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Found 7 results

  1. "Renovated Ship Looking Good - Bermuda Never Gets Old!" View full cruise review
  2. After 25 cruises it shocked me that I had not yet sailed onboard Norwegian Cruise Line and I knew I was way overdue to experience "Freestyle Cruising." Fast forward a few months, and I find myself on a train racing toward Grand Central Station to Board the Norwegian Escape to Bermuda! Perk number 1 of NCL departing out of Manhattan, it is the most convenient departure port for New Englanders that is a train, bus or car ride away. With the taxi, Uber and Lyft drop off directly in front of the terminal getting from Port Authority Bus Station or Grand Central Train Station could not be easier and takes about 10 minutes. Once you arrive at the Pier, your luggage is taken by a porter, and you are through security in about 5 minutes. Check-In: After security things got a little confusing, with lines every which way but little signage that directed me to where we needed to be, however, I believe this was because the Escape was very new to New York, I did find my way and was happy to be so close to boarding. I am very used to a check-in process that is different from Norwegians'. Typically my onboard expense account is set up when I check in online 2-3 weeks before my cruise, with Norwegian this is not, currently, an option and your expense account is handled at the pier. This lead to noticeable longer wait times to check in and was clear to me that the expense account was the reason for this, especially with chip cards. After the longer than normal check-in process, Thanks to Norwegian, my friend and I were quickly escorted onto the Escape before any other passengers and then the fun began! Boarding: Stepping onto the ship was that same feeling you get every time that feeling of escape, relaxation and excitement for the week that awaits you. The one thing that I was most excited to see was 678 Ocean Place! The hub of the ship did not disappoint, with a marvelous multi-colored Chandelier dangling in the center, I immediately realized that this was going to be my favorite part of the ship! Booking Onboard Experiences: I have been on quite a few ships that have well over 4,300 passengers and have always been able to make reservations online before sailing. With Norwegian, I realized that there is a significant amount of onboard experience that you can only book once you are onboard. We were lucky enough to be the second people in line and finished booking everything that we needed and even though we just booked three activities it took about 20 minutes for the crew member in the box office to do this and an extremely long line formed behind us, definitely not the way I want to start off a cruise. So I would make sure this is your first stop when boarding to try and avoid lines! Garden Cafe: The buffet area onboard Norwegian Escape, the Garden Cafe, had a lovely relaxed vibe with hand washing stations at every entrance and a large variety of foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night snacks until 12 A.M! Dinner was a different global influence every night, with breakfast and lunch remaining consistent throughout the cruise! Accommodation: We were booked in a Family Balcony Stateroom on deck 9. The stateroom was spacious, had plenty of storage space, a mini refrigerator, hairdryer, television, plenty of outlets included one on each side of the bed and a beautiful view from the spacious private veranda! This stateroom has the capacity of 4 people with a bunk bed that drops from the ceiling and a sofa bed with plenty of room to move around! Freestyle Dining: Freestyle dining was the best, included, dining I have ever experienced on a cruise ship! Being able to choose a different restaurant and time every night was fantastic. I was expecting a different menu in each restaurant; however, most everything on the menu is the same in each restaurant, but the atmosphere is different in each one! For those of you who are unfamiliar with "Freestyle Dining," this is how it works. You can make reservations for one of, typically, three "main dining rooms" in this case we had choices of the Manhattan Room, Savor, and Taste. Each restaurant has the same menu and same times, but you can enjoy different atmospheres, times and wait staff every night! So say goodbye to being stuck in one dining room, at the same table, at the same time for the length of your cruise and hello to freedom to do what you like! For those of you who still enjoy the traditional way of dining with the same place, time and waitstaff you can do that too! To ensure you have the same time place and waitstaff every night go to a hostess at the very beginning of your cruise and let them know that is what you want and they will make it work! Onboard Activities: The Norwegian Escape is the first ship in the Breakaway Plus class of ships, so there are many activities onboard with but unfortunately laser tag and Go Karts did not make it onboard ? #firstworldproblem, am I right?) Waterslides: An absolute must try, my only regret was not trying them sooner. The Escape is equipped with two freefall slides and one "Aqua Racer" which is a nice relaxing slide! So you can opt for the exhilaration of the racer slides or the laid back lazy Aqua Racer slide and have the time of your life on both! Ropes Course: I understand why the Go-Kart tracks have replaced this, it was anti-climatic, at least for adults I can see children from 7-15 enjoying this activity. Is it worth doing, of course, but only once per cruise is fine! Learn More about Norwegian Cruise Line's onboard features here! Onboard Entertainment: While on a cruise that is overnight in a port it is easy to miss the onboard entertainment, but we made it a point to try and get to everything we could! The comedy shows onboard were offered almost every night both for families and for adults only. Of course, we chose the adults-only show and we left Howl at the Moon exhausted from laughter! The on-stage shows offered onboard Escape currently are, After Midnight and For the Record: The Brat Pack. Both shows are can't miss, it is a bit difficult to follow the story but the talent is OUT OF THIS WORLD do not miss one show! The small shows such as the Newly Wed game and similar shows were typically held in the Atrium, each show was unique and had its distinctive flair. In addition to small shows, you can also see cooking demonstrations, dance classes, cruise ship 101 and more in the atrium daily! Learn More about Norwegian Cruise Line's onboard entertainment here! Disembarkation: Although this is the worst part of the cruise, regardless if the process is smooth or not we all know smoother disembarkation is preferred over a prolonged wait for the enviable (reality). Disembarking the Escape was, and I hate to say it, the most unorganized process I have ever experienced. Now I definitely can not place all of the blame on Norwegian because it seemed that customs and the coast guard slowed them down, a lot. So disembarkation was quite horrible, but we were able to get a glimpse of the Norwegian Bliss, so that made everything better! Ratings: The below ratings are based on a 5 "wave" 5 being the best and 1 the worst, and it is waves because why not! These ratings are strictly opinion based and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cruise Ship Crayz TM. Check-in and embarkation: 3 Waves Some improvement is needed on the organizational side at the Manhattan cruise terminal to speed up the check-in process. Security is quick and Easy! Onboard Dining: Included Dining: 5 Waves The food onboard the Escape was some of the best-included food I have had at sea in a long time, and of course, the service was impeccable! Specialty Dining: I can not give a rating because I enjoyed the main dining rooms so much I forgot to try one! Onboard Activities: Solid 4 Waves The wide variety of activities offed onboard the Escape keep you busy all day, but I didn't get that WOW factor from the activities. Onboard Entertainment: 4 Waves As mentioned above The talent was incredible, but I was looking for more of a storyline, still can't miss shows! Accommodations: 5 Waves We loved our stateroom and attendant, and we had more than enough space to spread out and unpack completely! Disembarkation: 2 Waves Disembarkation was horrendous with people coming from all direction to get in a line that I am still looking for. I would opt for the express walk off! Overall I absolutely loved my first Freestyle cruising experience and can not wait to be back onboard a Norwegian cruise ship! I would highly recommend cruising onboard a Norwegian cruise to anyone, especially those with children! Click here to learn more about Norwegian Cruise Line and the Norwegian Escape!
  3. Over the past few months, many of you have asked, "Shon, when can I sail with you?" I'm no genie, but your wish is my command? Here's your chance to sail with me in 2014 right from my backyard on Grandeur of the Seas! We'll be sailing to one of my favorite destinations: Bermuda! I hand-picked this special 7 day/6 night cruise that's been dubbed as the "Bermuda's Grandeur with Shon" cruise! The cruise departs on Friday, September 12, 2014 and returns on Thursday, September 18, 2014! I know the weather will be great, seas will be smooth and this cruise will go down as one you'll always remember! I'm teaming up with Daley's Destinations based here in Maryland on this sailing; helping to give you a great price, on-board credit and even a reduced deposit*. If you book between now and Thursday, September 05, 2013, all you have to do is place a $100.00 deposit down per person to secure your spot (that's it). The other portion of the deposit - which is $150.00 per person - would not be due until Sunday, February 02, 2014 and the final payment of the cruise would not be due until Sunday, June 29, 2014. What a deal on that deposit break-down, right? And on top of that, we're throwing in free on-board credit per cabin! I promise you, this is one sailing you won't want to miss! The videos are cool, the pictures may tell the tale, but seeing it live and in person is something you'll be glad you did! So what are you waiting for? Get your cabin booked today so we can sail to the pink sand shores of Bermuda in 2014! Bring your friends, family and even brotha man from the 5th floor! Interior cabins are currently $716.12 per person and Ocean views are running at $818.12 per person. If you save $25.00 per week every month, you'll have $100.00 per month to pay on the cruise and going this way, it'll be paid off before the June 29th deadline. Now remember, you can only take advantage of this special promotion and pricing by booking via Daley's Destinations. For more information on this sailing, check out the e-flyer, call Daley's Destinations direct at 1-888-803-6189 and stay tuned for more updates from me. Be sure to mention you saw this cruise advertised on The Ocean Escape and they'll be sure to make sure you get to take advantage of all the good stuff mentioned above. Act fast because cabins are limited! As always, you're cruisetacular for reading! Hoping to cruise and groove with you in 2014--Shon! *The reduced deposit of $100.00 per person is only valid until Thursday, September 05, 2013 so act fast!
  4. Just booked another Boston to Bermuda cruise on the Dawn. We love this cruise - it’s close to home and nothing but 7 days if total relaxation, and we’ll need it after the port intensive Mediterranean cruise in June.
  5. Of course, this was in 1909.... Remember the stories that your parents used to tell about prices so low that you could barely imagine them? Taking inflation out of the equation – because it ruins all of the fun if we don’t – it really is a great joy to close your eyes and picture the days of five cent bottles of soda, brand new cars at a few hundred dollars, and other items that had cost a very small fraction of what they do today. Assuming you enjoy that imaginative endeavor and have taken a cruise sometime in the past 10 years, you’re sure to enjoy this ad from the Bermuda-Atlantic S.S. Company promising a Bermudian cruise for a mere $40: Promising Bermuda to be “a paradise on earth,” the ad raves about the island’s lush foliage and warm seas, while throwing in a guarantee of sporting events to make the trip even more interesting. Providing an added bang for your buck is the fact that your $40 includes stateroom, berth, and all meals. SOURCE: Bermuda News(bernews.com)
  6. So have you heard the cruisemazing news? I am super excited for this week because on Thursday I'm gonna be chatting it up with all about one of my favorite destinations of all time: BERMUDA! Last Tuesday, the secret was no longer and just in case you missed it you can read the official announcement (see it here). Want some inside information on what I plan to talk about? Want to see the questions? Well... I'm not going to give any spoilers, but if want a preview... NAAAAAAAAW, I can't do that! BUT I can say I can basically call Bermuda my third home, after any cruise ship of course! I've cruised there twice and have a third planned cruise there in 2014. Honestly, it's like THE premiere summer cruise destination for folks who aren't feeling Canadian, want to fly to Europe or Alaska or are worn out by what's in the Caribbean Sea! I'll be sharing links to some of my pictures, videos and so much more coverage I have from the island which is conveniently located east of the Carolinas in the Atlantic Ocean. Want to know what you can do for free? Want to know WHY a ship has to dock there for three whole days? Wonder if the Bermuda triangle rumor is just hype? Want to see the pink sand beaches there in Bermuda? Well be sure to sign up for the Cruise Chat session happening this Thursday, June 20, 2013 beginning at 8:00pm. I hope to see all of you there! Let me get my thoughts organized so I'll be ready when we talk Bermuda all night on Thursday! Who's ready? I know I sure am! Join me and the cruisetacular, Bermudian fun! See ya in a few days! Participation limited to members only (it's free to join). To access the chat room click the following link: Cruise Chat LIVE!
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