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tomservo

Let's Getaway to Bermuda - my first CC review!

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17 hours ago, tomservo said:

 

No problem! It's actually taking me much longer to write this than I had expected (plus the photos take a while to upload), so it gives me more of an appreciation for those who do take the time to write these up. Here's the card you requested:

 

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Well I recognize Kimberly as we had her on a POA trip.  She does a good job and very professional.

 

That Haven Courtyard meal leaves a lot to be desired.

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This is wonderful, thanks for sharing!

 

As you said, the avocado toast is new to the Haven breakfast menu.  Did you manage to take a picture of the Haven breakfast menu?  If so, could you share it?

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1 hour ago, jasperess said:

This is wonderful, thanks for sharing!

 

As you said, the avocado toast is new to the Haven breakfast menu.  Did you manage to take a picture of the Haven breakfast menu?  If so, could you share it?

 

I did take one originally, but the pic got messed up (was using a different app for menu pics), and I forgot to take another. It’s pretty much the same one that’s been floating around on here plus avocado toast. 

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Day 3 - Bermuda

 

We grabbed breakfast in the Haven before heading out to explore the Royal Naval Dockyard. We've flown to Bermuda twice before, but had never seen the Dockyard, so we decided to explore that and stay close to the ship. Unfortunately it was cold and drizzling most of the morning, so we ended up cutting our stay short and only visited for an hour or two before heading back to the ship.

 

The pastries were a little bit of a letdown - not as good as a decent bakery, but better than a grocery store's bakery (if that makes sense). Otherwise the food we ordered was good.

 

Some treats from the Haven buffet

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Haven Breakfast Buffet

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Omlette

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Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

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French toast (again) and sausage

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Bermuda

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Shorex Shenanigans

We were planning on doing the Bermuda Train Company's Dockyard tour, but decided against it due to NCL shenanigans. Originally I emailed the Train Company directly to see if we could purchase tickets directly through them, since NCL wanted 60/adult and 40/child for the excursion (200 for a family of 4 for an hour long trolley ride? are they out of their minds??!). They said we had to buy them directly from NCL. I also asked if infants/toddlers were free, and they said kids under 3 were free (my youngest is 2.5). I did have the 50 shorex credit from the Free At Sea, so I was thinking 110 is much more palatable. When I spoke to the concierge to make the reservations, I said that I wanted 3 tickets but the 4th was under 3, so he should be free. She called to double check and they told her that we would need to buy him a ticket because only 1 and under was free. Shady. I told them I wasn't interested.

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Day 3 - Lunch

 

We got tired of the rain and headed back to the ship to ensure we didn't miss lunch at the Haven again. The apps were good, the scallops were good but there were only 3 which seems a bit small for an entree so I got the French Dip as well. The French Dip was pretty good although the bread was a little stale, like it had been under a heat lamp for too long. The beef in the sandwich was very good and well seasoned. The jus was not a typical broth, but more like a demi-glace, and was excellent. Fries were terrible per usual. I can't put my finger on it, but it's almost as if they fry one big batch and set them under a heat lamp for the rest of the day. I don't think I ever got any fries that were actually fresh out of the fryer. The goat cheese galette was good, but it was just too much goat cheese. The desserts were good as well. Not sure what was up with the random bits of yellow cake with the brownies. Not complaining, I mean we ate them, just a little weird. Also I think the ice cream was regular vanilla, not macadamia.

 

Haven Lunch Menu

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Bread

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Fritto Misto

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Santa Fe Flatbread (no ham)

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Kids Chicken Fingers and Fries

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Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Goat Cheese

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Scallops

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Goat Cheese Galette

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French Dip

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Banana Cream Tartlet

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Warm Chocolate Espresso Brownies

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When we got back to the room, we found the butler treat du jour:

 

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We also had intruders on our balcony which we would have been prepared for had we actually read any of the notices they left us:

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Also I realize I haven't been posting the dailies. I'll post the rest of them once the main review is done. Next post - dinner in the Haven!

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enjoying your review.   Will be in Bermuda soon (on the Gem) 🙂

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Day 3 Dinner

 

The excitement and change in schedule (going to bed and waking up late) finally took its toll on our oldest, who passed out around 6pm at the start of dinner. My wife took him back to the room where he promptly fell asleep and didn't wake up until the next morning. I didn't get a picture of the dinner menu, but it's pretty much the same as what has been posted on here (reposted below). I had read previously on here that they are open to different dietary requests, especially vegetarian, so I was curious to see how the experience would be. I was underwhelmed with their response. I posted this in another thread but I'll repeat it here for the review:

 

On 4/17/2019 at 9:28 PM, tomservo said:

My wife had a lot of options at breakfast, but for lunch/dinner, she had 3 options:

 

1) choose from the existing vegetarian options on the menu (usually one app and one entree for lunch and dinner)

2) modify an existing item (i.e. the Sante Fe Flatbread without the ham, the butternut squash soup without duck stock and a day's notice)

3) have something brought in from MDR, which was usually some kind of unimaginative pasta dish

4) try to figure out if the chef can make something custom for you

 

She typically would do 1 or 2, did 3 once, and wasn't comfortable with doing 4. They also seemed hesitant to offer 4, so I wasn't too comfortable with it either. I know many other cruise lines (Holland America, X, Oceania, etc) have set vegetarian/vegan menus that you can order from with a day's notice or so. I was hoping for something similar in the Haven, but it doesn't look like they do that.

 

The night before, I arranged to have them bring in the vegetarian entree from the MDR, as well as make a vegetarian version of the butternut squash soup. She had the soup before she took our son back, and then I had the butler send her entree to the room after she left. She started to get seasickness for the first time we got on the ship, so she slapped on a patch and called it a night. My younger son and I proceeded to finish our dinner in the restaurant.

 

Dinner Menu

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Shrimp Cocktail

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Butternut Squash Soup

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Short Rib on Polenta

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Grilled Filet

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Dessert Menu (Chocolate Pistachio Bar is gone)

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Pear Ginger Crumble

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Mocha Mousse

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Chocolate Ice Cream

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Dinner was pretty good. The shrimp cocktail was disappointing, the shrimp were huge but tasted like they were cooked prior to being frozen. The texture was softer and more pliable than it should have been. If you've had (or made) shrimp that has been freshly cooked (even from frozen) it has a much firmer texture. The soup and my wife's entree were good (although I couldn't grab a picture of it, it was grilled eggplant and zucchini and marinara). The short rib was decent, and the filet was really good - well seasoned, and the mushrooms and sauce were good. The potatoes maybe could have been crispier. The desserts were good too, although be warned that there is way more mousse than appears to be. There were other layers below the chocolate (vanilla and raspberry) that were good too.

 

After dinner we headed back to the cabin and hung out in the bedroom and on the balcony for a while and then went to bed. It was one of the nice things about having the living area separate from the bedroom (plus balcony access from the bedroom), because we could entertain our younger son while the other slept in the living area. Only more sea day until, in the words of the immortal Soul II Soul, "back to life, back to reality..."

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Day 4

 

Breakfast

We're starting to get into the swing of things, but of course its our last day. We headed to the Haven for breakfast and there was actually a wait, so we asked if we could eat in the courtyard which they said was fine. It's weird that you can't eat lunch there but you can eat breakfast (and maybe dinner?). After we got seated out there a number of other parties who were waiting joined us in the courtyard. It was a little cool since it's an open air courtyard and the ship was moving but otherwise pleasant. I had the Eggs Benedict with the filet and bacon. The Benedict came with some sort of truffle-y compote, which was probably finely chopped mushrooms mixed with truffle oil. I don't like truffle oil (tastes like rubber to me, also is never made from real truffles), but I've never had real truffles either so I can't say for sure what it was. I ate it anyway. I don't remember what everyone else had and don't have pictures anyway.

 

I also wanted to talk about the coffee in the Haven - when you order coffee, they give you a mini-french press. I am a little bit of a coffee snob, but I don't turn my nose on regular coffee either. I was disappointed with the coffee in the Haven, it was consistently not good all week. It just tasted thin and weak to me, and french press in particular is supposed to taste fuller and bolder. It could be a quality issue, but I'm guessing they probably just weren't using the right amount of coffee. 

 

Ships wake from the aft balcony (actually from day 3)

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Partially consumed Filet with Bacon and Eggs Benedict

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Truffle? Bits on Benedict

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We relaxed, the kids played in the water park, and I got some mojitos from the Mojito Bar:

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I also managed to get some pics from Wasabi

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When we got back to the room, we found the most endangered species on the ship lurking on a bed.

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He must have been in search of our afternoon snacks. Fortunately, we got to them first.

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So, if you have the beverage package, you could get a single mojito that's included, but you have to pay if you want a flight. I suppose I could just order six mojitos back to back and it would be free?

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1 hour ago, ClarkBHM said:

So, if you have the beverage package, you could get a single mojito that's included, but you have to pay if you want a flight. I suppose I could just order six mojitos back to back and it would be free?

sounds right

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Thanks for the review!  Hopefully by the next cruise your littlest will be old enough to be dumped, er, invited, to the kid's club so you and your wife can enjoy a bit more down time.

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In your earlier post of your cabin --- your keycards were in a leather holder.  Is this new I never saw that before.

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2 hours ago, tumblew467 said:

In your earlier post of your cabin --- your keycards were in a leather holder.  Is this new I never saw that before.

 

Yeah it's my first time seeing it too, it was in the room when we got there. I used it mostly to help carry my kids cards with us. It was hard to get it in and out of the side with the plastic window. 

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12 hours ago, ClarkBHM said:

So, if you have the beverage package, you could get a single mojito that's included, but you have to pay if you want a flight. I suppose I could just order six mojitos back to back and it would be free?

 

Yeah it's kind of silly, you'd think they'd want to encourage less waste by not charging drink package holders for the flight. You can order 2 drinks at a time so 3 orders would get you 6 for "free", but if you didn't want to waste the drinks or get drunk off of 6 full sized mojitos, you could pay the 5 dollar upcharge to get the flight (20-15 + 20% grats - 20% PBP discount I guess?)

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Day 4

 

Lunch

 

This was our 2nd lunch at the Haven after missing lunch on Day 2. I had the Lobster Bisque and the Brie Burger, and my wife had the Tunaless salad. The soup and salad were good, and for the burger I asked for the rind to be cut off of the brie (too bitter for me), which I think they did but it was all melted by the time I got the burger (also forgot to take a pic). The carrot cake was decent.

 

Lobster Bisque

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Niçoise Salad (sans niçoise)

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Carrot Cake

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Posted (edited)

Day 4

 

Dinner

 

We each had one for SDP credit for our last day, and I wanted to try Ocean Blue, so my wife took our older son to La Cucina and I took our younger. I was really hoping for the old menu, but it looks like I missed by a few weeks.

 

Ocean Blue

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Sesame Mascarpone Bread

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Crabcake

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Crabcake interior

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Ahi Tuna Avocado Tower

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Roasted Beets

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Black Seabass with Garlic Herb Butter

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Lobster Tailssssssssss

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Brussels Sprouts and Vegetable Medley

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(meanwhile, at La Cucina)

Spaghetti Carbonara

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Caprese pizza

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Mousse Cake and Key Lime Pie

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I was not disappointed with the new menu - everything I had was pretty good. The crabcake had big pieces of crab and not too much breading, the tuna tower had good sized chucks of tuna (sometimes it's diced too finely) and the sauce was good, and the beets were tender. The seabass was good and not dried out, and was my first time trying seabass. I should have gotten a different sauce though, something more acidic (mango peach would have been good).

 

I also had some OBC to spend, so I added a lobster tail, but they brought me 2, complements of the chef. I felt pretty special until I passed someone on the way out who also got double tails. It was the last day of the cruise, maybe they were just trying to get rid of it. It was also good, although not entirely cleanly pulled out of the shell. The sides were good as well, I was too stuffed to finish them. The vegetables were varied and well prepared. The brussels sprouts were interesting - it's like they peeled back the leaves of a few big sprouts and then deep fried them, like a brussels Bloomin' Onion. There was bacon in there, and the whole thing may have had something sweet on it as well (maple syrup?). It was really good, but I was too full to eat more than a couple. Overall this was probably my favorite meal of the trip, Haven included. We were too full for dessert and had to catch MDQ, so we had them buttled back to the room.

 

Pro-tip - if you're using an SDP credit and want Surf and Turf, why pay the 9.99 surcharge when you can make a much better Surf and Turf for a dollar more? Get the 8 oz Filet and add a Lobster tail for 10.99, the extra dollar will net you 60% more Filet. Maths!

Edited by tomservo

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GREAT REVIEW!!! I came on here tonight specifically to look for you. For some reason I thought you were sailing April 27th. 😂 I’m glad you took so many food pics - they’re so awesome! Loved seeing some of the Haven food. It’s right up my alley!

 

And what an awesome surprise for your wife! Love the suite... our inside cabin was probably the size of your master bedroom. haha 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this. 😊

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1 hour ago, Shoppie124 said:

Did you have to buy the card holders or were they room swag?

 

They were in the room when we got there. I’m not sure if they still do that. 

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Thanks for the awesome review!  Read through it all and loved the pictures of everything- it was very helpful and interesting to read!

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Thanks for the report. I gather things have changed a bit since when we have been in The Haven we have always been escorted into a set of elevators bound for The Haven entrance but then again we have always stayed  IN The Haven itself.

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On 4/14/2019 at 2:05 PM, tomservo said:

Day 1 - Suite 11908

We finally arrived in the room. My wife noted that the room number had the word "Suite" above it. I think it started to dawn on her but I played dumb. She was very surprised we when walked in. I was very surprised that I was able to kept it a secret until we got to the room.

 

In-room table and chairs

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Welcome champagne and bottle of water

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Living room

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Tea and coffee

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Mini-fridge (requested it to be emptied)

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Plates, napkins, and utensils

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Contents of the mini-fridge (presumably)

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Outer (guest?) bathroom

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Bedroom

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Master bathroom

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Toilet room

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Shower

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Balcony

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love your photos ! what room type was this i love it

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9 minutes ago, lolo26 said:

love your photos ! what room type was this i love it

 

It's the best cabin on the ship! It's the Haven Aft-Facing Penthouse Suite (H6). We had room 11908.

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On 4/16/2019 at 1:59 PM, tomservo said:


You're right, they are small-ish, especially compared to a land based restaurant. I don't mind, because I like trying different things, this way I can try 2-3 small items rather than 1-2 medium/large items. I was surprised at how small the sheppard's pie was, but at least it didn't fill me up too much for dinner.

Yes, the portions are small, but with soup, salad, the entree, and dessert, it's fine.

 

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