After receiving a free cruise offer from Bally’s in Atlantic City, it was hard to resist not taking advantage and booking another trip. This trip is a girls trip with my daughter. It is our second time cruising together without Chris. Our first was our fabulous Hawaii cruise (it was the cruise that started this blog) and I enjoy spending cruise time with her. We decided to sail from New York City since we could drive to the pier and save the airfare cost. I also really enjoyed the Joy on our cruise in February and Bermuda is a spot we have visited many times.
We woke up early because we wanted to get to the pier around 9:30 since we had a mission to secure Vibe passes for the week. The Vibe is an adult only sun deck with its own hot tubs and bars. The loungers are very comfortable and you can always find a spot. It is very popular so you need to book it as soon as you board.
Chris drove us to the pier so we also saved on the parking costs. We pulled up around 9:45, said our goodbyes and dropped off our luggage. The first step was the line for security which looked long but moved at a good pace. The next line was to verify your Bermuda authorization, covid test and passport. This line moved slower. They gave us a boarding card which was number 25. Next, we got in another line to get our room keys. They had three lines, platinum, Casinos at Sea and everyone else. The casino line was shorter and since I had booked it though them I chose that line. I asked the agent if they had priority boarding for higher latitudes since I am sapphire or one for casino guests. She was unaware and asked another who also was clueless. This didn’t seem good for my plan of ascertaining Vibe passes. Other ports even have a seating area for platinum and higher so I was pretty confused by this. The concierge was standing outside of the Haven lounge so I figured he would be the most knowledgeable to ask. He did seem confused as to why we weren’t given a low boarding number too. He then said come in and stand here. Within seconds, he pointed at the door and said, “Ok go onboard.” I wasn’t expecting that to happen but it was pretty awesome. We went straight to Teppanyaki where the Vibe passes are sold and were seven and eight in line. I heard the guy in front saying he had to talk to two managers in the pier to get priority boarding for his status. I’m not sure what the deal was but it seemed like they weren’t readily giving this perk. He also said they only were selling 60 passes. I’m glad we made it!
After getting our Vibe passes, I decided to upgrade my beverage package. Both members of a cabin have to upgrade but since my daughter is 19, I am allowed to just upgrade which makes this a perfect time to try it out. I had to wait in line at guest services to get a new card and also to sign a paper allowing Veronica to drink beer and wine.
The next order of business was checking into our muster station. This is Veronica’s first cruise since covid and she enjoyed the ease of the new process. It is so quick! I hope this change stays.
With all the chores done, we figured it was time for lunch. Instead of the buffet, we went to the Local for a sit down lunch. We both ordered six wings and split a fish sandwich. I ordered a Matador to get my trip started. When I ordered, our server noticed the P+ on my card and suggested a bottle of Pellegrino as well. The wings were super crispy and delicious. The sandwich was very nice as well but we made the right choice to share. As we finished up, I checked our internet and saw that Veronica had the upgrade I purchased at home but mine was not showing. So we had another chore to do before the start.
The line at the Internet cafe was pretty long and slow moving. It sounded like others had the same problem ahead of me. We had about a 15-20 minute wait but once we reached the manager he fixed it in seconds. I am glad I had the paper printed though that I had purchased it.
Finally, we could go explore the ship. We located the vibe and then went for a nice walk through all the outside decks and down to the Observation lounge. The announcement was made that some cabins were ready so we went to check out our home for the week.
We are staying in a club suite balcony. It was not much money to upgrade to this with my offer. The perks are not great if you have Platinum status but the location and the room with large bathroom is very nice. My suitcase was delivered so I unpacked. When I was finished unpacking, Veronica’s suitcase showed up shortly after. I went to grab a Starbucks since it is included in the package while Veronica unpacked. She is quite the pro cruiser and was unpacked by the time I returned!
Our next big choice was where to watch the sail away. We decided on the Vibe. We grabbed two stools at the bar and I ordered a Negroni and she had a Corona. The famous Chocolate Cowboy is working there this week so that should be fun. It was a great time with blue sky, epic city views and of course Lady Liberty. If you have never cruised from New York, it is a must do. It is one of the best sail aways.
We had a reservation for Le Bistro at six so we returned to freshen up. It was a quiet night in Le Bistro since specialties are usually not popular the first night. I started my meal with a glass of Veuve since I had to use the plus package, right? I ordered a Cabernet from the Platinum list and Veronica shared that bottle with me. Our starters were the crab salad for me and French Onion soup for Veronica. We both really liked our choices. For dinner, we both had the filet mignon. It was delicious although both of us were not fans of the foie gras and did not feel it added to the dish. We had a nice chat with some lovely ladies next to us who have sailed on NCL many times. For dessert, Veronica ordered Ile Flottante and I tried the Marquise au Chocolat. I couldn’t eat more than two bites of mine because it was super rich chocolate. Veronica’s though was delicious, in fact I think it might be the best thing on the menu if you miss the old menu. It had elements of creme brûlée which we both miss from the menu. The chef came to our table and I told him everything was great and that her dessert was fantastic. He said he’d bring me one no charge. I told him I was full but he was not taking no for an answer. It quickly appeared so I obliged him and ate a few bites of that. I am happy to have found a new favorite dessert.
We went for a walk after dinner to help digest. We popped into the Beatles show in the theater that was just starting. It was the same show I saw in February and I thought Veronica might enjoy it. We opted to stand in the back just in case we wanted to leave but stayed for the whole performance. After, we listened to the piano player in the District and visited the casino. It was a very busy day so we were ready to return to our cabin to get some rest for a day in Norfolk tomorrow.
You may have noticed the picture heading the blog section. Lisa & Chris have decided to take our passion for cruising to the next level and have started their own full service travel agency! We are able to handle any of your land and sea adventures and we would be honored to have our loyal readers as clients. Please visit our website HERE to sign up for weekly travel deals. We can help you have experiences just like the one you are reading about now! Also, feel free to email or call us at (302) 985-6403