We're back from Bermuda on the Dawn and we had a great time. The weather cruising to and from Bermuda was cloudy and a bit rough (7-12' waves) but the 3 days in Bermuda were nice, partly cloudy and highs in the low 70's, perfect for sightseeing although a bit chilly for swimming.
No more Dine Ashore program, just a brochure listing various restaurants. We stopped for lunch in Hamilton, but had dinners on the ship.
Wednesday we docked at Kings Wharf and just walked off the ship. We walked around the area, checking out the shops, glassblowing demonstrations, and the Clock Tower Mall. Back to the ship for lunch and in the afternoon we took a bike tour along the railway bed. Lots of fun and great scenery.
Thursday the ship left Kings Wharf for Grassy Bay where it anchored. The Celebrity Century replaced us at the pier. We got off the ship at 8:30 before it left and visited the Maritime Museum, then jumped on a ferry to Hamilton. We stopped for lunch in Hamilton, shopped for a while, then walked to the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. Lots of interesting information on ship wrecks, diving, undersea life, and a big shell collection. By then we were pooped, so we jumped on a bus back to the pier and tendered back to the ship. Thursday we took NCL's Best of Bermuda tour, a bus ride covering Hamilton and St. Georges area, with stops at the Zoo & Aquarium, a stop in St. Georges and the Botanical Gardens. A very nice overall tour if you've never been there. Afterwards we walked around Hamilton some more, then caught the tender back to the ship. The ship left Bermuda around 5:00pm.
It's about a 30-40 minute tender ride. They used the ship's lifeboats as well as some of the island's ferries. The ferries hold a lot more passengers, and it's a much smoother ride.
Freestyle 2.0 was partially in place during our cruise. At embarkation they handed us a glass of champaign and told us our cabin wasn't ready yet. As usual they told us to go to the buffet and have some lunch. However we opted for the Venetian Restaurant and had a nice sit-down lunch. The buffet was crowded, there was plenty of room in the Venetian.
Since we had a category AF cabin we could make dinner reservations 48 hours in advance (balcony and above). Outside and inside passengers can make then 24 hours in advance. They said the food had been upgraded, although I didn't really see a big difference from our Gem cruise in October. They did offer lobster at least twice in the Venetian and Aqua restaurants though....that's new. The food in the Venetian and Aqua was ok, nothing spectacular. We also dined at Cagneys, Le Bistro, Impressions and Salsa and all were excellent.
One thing I did notice, they are starting to charge extra for small things that were free in the past. The sail-away BBQ by the pool was $8.95 pp and a White Ice party one night in Dazzles was also extra (we didn't go).
Overall, the ship was very nice, we had a great time in Bermuda, and this cruise is one of the few I would do again. We've done Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean cruises and most ports are worth visiting once. Bermuda is definitely worth more than one trip.