Flag of BermudaOur First Bermuda Cruise
May/June, 1993

By Jack Welsch

Click on ThumbnailIntroduction

Eureka! I was recently cleaning out some things and found the forgotten notes taken on this trip. I get to relive the adventure as I type them out to prepare this page and you "get" to read all about it!

This trip was to celebrate our 25th anniversary. It used to be that only really old people took 25th anniversary cruises but, as our turn approached, I noticed the people were getting a lot younger! In any case, we'd heard for years that Bermuda was a beautiful spot and we decided to get there by cruise ship. Since we live about 100 miles West of New York, that seemed like a good choice for a sailing port as the air fare would be zero. It turned out to be a pretty good idea. The line this time was NCL and the ship was the Dreamward (later re-named the Norwegian Dream). It's a pretty new one and wasn't bad.

Saturday, May 29 - New York

Our cabinOur travel agency, having booked 12 people for the tour, had arranged for a van to drive us to New York. They left from Clarks Summit, PA which is 20 minutes in the other direction. The good news is they were driving by here so our son, Steve and his girl (now wife), Krista, drove us to the nearest interchange for a pickup. They picked us up at 9:45 AM and we were at the dock in New York by 11:40. We had one heart-stopper, though. About 6 blocks before the docks, a girl pulled up beside us and said the door of our U-Haul trailer full of luggage was open! The driver and I jumped out to check; I was in a panic because, naturally, our bags were the last in. I had visions of leaving on a week's vacations with our clothes spread across New Jersey!The door was wide open but all 3 cases and my backpack were there. My guess is somebody opened the door while we were stopped in traffic after coming out of the tunnel but didn't have time to get anything before the light changed. Whew! We were at the dock about an hour before they started processing. Standing in line, we met Bob and Jean, who'd been on the van with us. One on board, we dumped the carry-ons in the room and had a buffet lunch in the Terraces dining room. Our cabin was on the Promenade deck, starboard quarter. When we'd checked in, we were told we were at a table for 4 in the Four Season's dining room. When we checked it out, we were very disappointed, it's in the center of the ship and is not nearly as nice as the Terraces or the Sun Terrace. They each were more elegant and had huge windows looking aft. After lunch, we bumped into Bob and Jean again and, comparing notes, found we were at the same table. I mentioned my observations about the dining rooms but it didn't progress further.

Leaving New YorkThe day was very sunny but cool with a very strong westerly wind. Docked next to us was the carrier John F. Kennedy and next to that was the Intrepid. We considered debarking for a tour of the Intrepid, which is retired and now a museum. However, we opted to stay on the Dreamward. Our ship pulled out exactly on schedule at 5:00 and started down the Hudson. What a fantastic experience. I've been visiting New York all my life but this was a GREAT way to see it. After we passed the Verrizano Narrows bridge, Linda went below but I stayed on deck until we were clear of the #1 marker off Sandy Hook. I hated to give up!

By the time I went down, the bags had arrived and Lin was unpacking. Bob and Jean stopped by to say they'd changed our table to the Terraces dining room. Way to go, Bob! We went to a lecture on tours, etc. in the Starlight Lounge but it was lousy so we bailed out. We have late seating for dinner and our table's near the window and had a great view of the sunset. Dinner was very good; trout for me, pork for Linda. The show was a magic show and not very good so we bailed out of that, too.

Sunday, May 30 - At Sea

Pool deckWe awakened to a very heavy rolling motion. Breakfast is buffet and the Eggs Benedict were not so hot. We moved in on the pool and proceeded to spend the day there. Lunch at poolside was a cheeseburger. I somehow allowed myself to get sucked into a stupid poolside game for which I was awarded a deck of cards. I'll treasure it always... right! Lin quit at 2:30 but I stayed 'til 4:00 then took a nap before dressing for the black tie dinner. We had a drink at Lucky's Bar, had the portrait taken, then went to the Captain's cocktail party where we met Bob and Jean. The normal party but pretty decent. Dinner was good. All 4 of us had veal picata and we shared a nice Sancerre. After the show, "On Broadway", we went on deck for a bit, then tried the Observatory Lounge but the music was too loud and fast so we called it a day.

Monday, May 31 - St George's, Bermuda

St. George'sWe awoke as we were approaching St. George's. I ran up to see us approach and get a few pictures, then got us coffee and tea in the Sports Bar. We ate breakfast with some kids from Staten Island. After packing my gear, we walked through the quaint town of St. George's and out to Tobacco Bay to snorkel. On our way, we visited St. Peter's ChurchSt. Peter's Church, the oldest Anglican church in continuous operation in the western hemisphere. We got a mini guided tour; pretty neat! The snorkeling was great! There were lots of rocks, so lots of fish. I saw a barracuda and a huge parrot fish plus lots of others. We ended up sitting with the same kids we'd had breakfast with. I climbed a nearby small hill to have a look around. Beautiful sights! I started talking to a guy who turned out to be from Napal! Nice conversation.

Tobacco BayAfter some time enjoying Tobacco Bay, we walked to Fort Catherine, then back to town. The walk was long and it was hot but still enjoyable. We ate a lunch of fish & chips on the second floor balcony of O'Malley's Pub. Good food, good service, great view. All in all, a peaceful meal. Saw a guy in the restaurant wearing a Lehigh (my Alma Mater) sweatshirt and found it was a gift from the bartender who's a student there. I talked to him in turn and found he's a philosophy major. Small world.

Dropped our stuff in the room and walked around town 'til our legs gave out. This is really a beautiful town. Lin remarked that it's what Marigot (St. Martin) used to be like. Back on the ship, we sat by the big pool 'til Linda got sick of it and went down. I moved to the aft pool for another hour or so before going down to get dressed for dinner. The show was a vaudeville act by the cruise staff including the always-funny "If I were not upon the sea" skit.

Tuesday, June 1 - St. George's to Hamilton

HamiltonWoke about 6:30 to the sound of the winches bringing in the dock lines, then the engines kicked in. I opened the shades and it appeared there was a tug tied to our cabin trying to pull it off the ship! We're on promenade deck and our window looks out on the outside deck. The lines come in on the deck below. I went on deck to watch is leave St. George's. What a narrow channel!! Went down to dress and have breakfast. Unfortunately, we were still at breakfast when we pulled into Hamilton so I missed seeing us come in. We left the ship at 9:15 and, even though we'd been warned on the ship that motor scooters were dangerous, we walked a few blocks to "Wheels Unlimited" to rent one. Gibbs Hill LightThe price was $83 for 2 days. Linda wasn't confident enough to have her own so I was the only one renting. They had me do some driving around their lot to get the hang of it before I could leave. The wheels are really small so there isn't much gyro effect to help with balance. The damned thing was pretty tricky to drive. Eventually, we set off on the north shore road to visit the perfume factory, then around to the south shore. Visited St. Mark's Anglican Church on the way, then got on Middle Road to the Gibbs Hill lighthouse. As per the usual ritual, I walked to the top while Linda, being smarter, relaxed on a bench. I've got lots of pictures from all over the world of the top of Linda's head. We had a delightful lunch at the "King Henry VIII" pub. Linda had a hero but I had a mussel pie. We visited horseshoe beach for a bit but the weather started to look pretty threatening so we didn't stay long. We returned the the ship to change clothes, then walked around town a bit before dinner. I didn't feel well during dinner so I skipped the show. Lin went with Bob and Jean and said it was a great show; female jazz singer. I think I'm just exhausted.

Wednesday, June 2 - Hamilton

Hamilton in the rainWoke to driving rain! Very strong east wind and torrents of rain. They say it'll last 'til noon tomorrow. It's part of a big tropical depression. Gives new meaning to depression! At least there was no hurry to get up. Slept late, threw on some clothes to get breakfast, then came back and slept some more. Finally got back up, ate lunch and went into town to shop. I called "Wheels" to come and pick up their bike; no sense hanging onto it in this weather. I lost Lin at that point and spent about an hour looking for her, then gave up and returned to the ship and holed up in the Observatory Lounge. Linda finally showed up about 5:30. Met a couple from Rhode Island who are on their 8th cruise in two years. Yikes!

The sleep must have done me good; I feel perfect. Skipped the show, which was "Liar's Club".

Thursday, June 3 - Hamilton Departure

West EndWoke at 7:30 to a beautiful blue sky. Got up quickly, had a buffet breakfast up top, then hurried down to a taxi armed with snorkel, etc. I asked the cabbie to take us to Jobson's CoveJobson's Cove but, excellent salesman that he was, he sold us a 3 hour tour of the island. His name's Leroy and he was a great tour guide. He showed up a lot of options for a return trip. Saying we should stay away from the big hotels, he showed us small hotels, guest houses, etc. At one point, he stopped a telephone truck to ask for a phone book for us so we could use the yellow pages next time we come. The guy on the truck didn't have one so, later, Leroy stopped at the phone company office and got us one! How many people in the US have a Bermuda phone book? He did stop for a while at Jobson's Cove so I could swim. We got back to the ship around noon and I checked voicemail at the office one last time. Talked to my boss and told him I could check in at sea for the low-low price of $15/minute or part thereof. He felt they could live without me!

I put my bathing suit on and went on deck for departure. The ship channel out of Hamilton is narrow in a different way that the one at St. Georges. There's a lot of water for small boats but there are reefs that seem to almost touch the ship on each side. The ship was moving fast and we were barely fitting through. Guess that guy knows what he's doing! Once out of the mouth of the bay, the ship has to stay along the coast and inside a reef all the way to St. George's, where it opens to the sea. Dining RoomI stayed on deck for 2 or 3 hours but it was awfully crowded so I went down to change just as we were approaching St. George's. I saw the pilot boat coming out so I leaned over the rail on our deck to get photos of the pilot getting off. I was surprised to see one, then three more girls get onto the ship before the pilot got off. Turns out they'd missed the ship in Hamilton 'cause they thought sailing time was 3:00!

We dressed for the art auction that we've gone to several days and I bought a second picture. Then we changed for the second black-tie dinner and went for drinks in the Observatory Lounge where we sat again with George and Pat from Rhode Island'. The show was "Legs at Sea" plus a comedienne.

Friday, June 4 - At Sea

Surf in the poolWoke to a gray sky and very rough seas. Had breakfast in the Sun Terrace. Went to the debarkation lecture but we got there late so had to stand outside. I went on deck to read for a while by the aft pool but had to move 'cause the rough seas were splashing water out of the pool and all over the deck. It's really funny to see people walking. The motion of the ship makes everyone walk as if very drunk. When there's a large group of people, it looks like a snake weaving down the hall. Pretty funny.

(Sorry, folks, at this point my notes stop for no apparent reason and my memory isn't good enough to fill the gaps. We got back to New York on Saturday morning and were met by the van for the ride back home. It was a nice trip. I wouldn't mind returning to Bermuda, perhaps spend a week in St. George's.)