Boston is very popular with Montrealers, partly because it is a comfortable drive, lasting 5 – 6 hours depending on how many stops you make. Many of our young people attend college or university in the area, which has over 300 schools of higher learning.

In June, Beverley, our daughter Lesley and I drove to Boston and took a wonderful seven day cruise aboard the Norwegian Majesty to St. Georges, Bermuda.

Everything about this trip was relaxed and easy. We crossed the border at St-Jean, and took the wonderfully scenic US 89 south, and picked up I93 and straight into Boston. The Majesty sails on Sunday afternoons at 4pm, so traffic was not an issue for us. Similarly, we almost had the road to ourselves the following Sunday morning when we left Boston. The parking garage at the pier is indoors, with 24 hour security, and just across the street from where we boarded the ship. We dropped off our bags with the porter, and I went to the garage. The charge was $98 for the week, less than the taxes on one air ticket!

So, with plenty of time to spare, we boarded The Norwegian Majesty, in time for a late lunch, and explored the ship while we waited to set sail for Bermuda. By today’s standards, she is a mid-sized ship of 40,000 tons, with 650 crew and 1250 passengers. There is a good sense of community amongst the crew, who come from over 50 different nations – a mini United Nations!

The Majesty has most of the services and amenities that you find on the larger ships, with the advantages of a crew that know one another and work very well together.

This is an ideal adventure if you’re new to cruising because after 1½ days at sea, The Majesty docks in the pretty harbour of St. Georges, Bermuda, where she stays for 3½ days before setting sail for the return journey to Boston. The ship is your hotel in Bermuda, and guests are free to come and go. This makes a trip to Bermuda quite affordable, because the hotels are somewhat pricey. The photos that accompany this article attest to the gentle beauty of Bermuda. However, you’ll have to visit in order to discover the unhurried civility of the people, where people of different races co-exist in a society that is colour blind, and young folks politely jump up to give their seats to older people on the bus.

The Majesty was one of the first ships in the NCL fleet to introduce Freestyle Cruising, which requires more staff than on traditional cruise ships. There are no pre-determined seatings for meals, meaning that you can dine where and when you want. The Seven Seas and The Four Seasons are the two main dining rooms, and The Bistro is an intimate restaurant offering exceptional continental cuisine. We had a special evening in the Bistro, and we all agreed that the modest $15 surcharge was an excellent value.

In addition, the Pasta Café serves outstanding Italian cuisine in the Royal Observatory, with excellent views from the floor to ceiling windows in the forward part of the ship. While reservations are required, there is no cover charge. The Café Royale (perhaps better known as “the buffet”) is located on deck 10.

Coffee and sweet rolls are available at 6am, and a full breakfast buffet runs from 7 until 10:30am. It’s also open for lunch, afternoon snacks, and dinner. We also enjoyed having a good old fashioned cheeseburger at the Piazza San Marco on Deck 10 aft, which also serves hot dogs and pizza.

The Majesty has two salt water swimming pools, two hot tubs, a fitness centre, and Mandara Spa. Guests can have everything from a facial to detoxification body wraps in the spa. Lesley won a mini facial and treated herself to a 50 minute massage. Very relaxed she was that evening.

NCL has extended Freestyle in Bermuda to enable guests to have lunch or dinner ashore at a wide selection of restaurants and pubs. Vouchers are $25 for lunch and $50 for dinner; and you are charged only $5 for lunch and $10 for dinner. They include tips, but not drinks. We enjoyed lunch in a British Pub called the Hogg Penny Restaurant & Pub in Hamilton one day before continuing on to Horseshoe Bay Beach, which is justifiably Bermuda’s most famous beach.

There are many beaches to choose from, and we found that buying a two or three day bus pass was the best way to get around. In fact, there are more people from the cruise ships on board than Bermudians. There are two beaches within a pleasant walk from the ship.

Tobacco Bay is ideal for snorkelling, although the beach is a small. St. Catherine’s beach is much larger, situated adjacent to the St.George’s Golf Course.

There is a good variety of shore excursions, including a tour of the two main islands that make up Bermuda. If it’s your first visit, we recommend that you take one on the first day. It’s a great way to acquaint yourselves with Bermuda, its history and people. You’ll also see areas where you might want to re-visit during the next 2 ½ days. The tour is five hours, and at $62 is an excellent value. For golfers, the shore excursion personnel can also take care of booking tees times at a selection of three courses. Rates include green fees and cart rental; and clubs and shoes are available to rent if you haven’t brought your own.

Norwegian Cruise Line has an excellent reputation for its entertainment, and the acts on the Bermuda cruise were outstanding. The big production shows are presented during the four evenings at sea. While in port, we saw some terrific comedians.

In addition to the shows in The Palace Theatre, there is musical entertainment throughout the ship in the various bars and lounges throughout the evening. The poolside band was also very popular during the afternoons and for the late evening themed deck parties. Those who have heard about the Chocoholic Buffet won’t be disappointed. A little over 3000 pounds of chocolate is almost inhaled once a week during The Majesty’s salute to the world’s most popular flavour!

There is such a variety of activities onboard that it takes a four page flyer, published daily to list them all. Everything from bingo, to informal bridge, wine tasting, art auctions (excellent values to be had), trivia challenges, and spa demonstrations. Activities are generally schedule to last for about 40 – 45 minutes.

St. Georges is designated a World Heritage Site by the UN, and it was the original site of the first settlement of shipwrecked Britons on their way to Jamestown, Virginia in 1609. A replica of their “ship”, The Sea Venture is located on the pier where The Majesty is moored while in St. Georges. Most of the main stores in Hamilton also have locations within a hundred yards of the ship. On Tuesday evening there is a terrific street fair in the town square adjacent to the ship. A good time for locals and NCL passengers alike, with many joining together to do The Electric Glide (sort of like line dancing – without the country music).

We were up and off to the beach early on Friday morning, and back in plenty of time for the 11:30am all aboard! It was a bittersweet feeling as we sailed out of the harbour, leaving this beautiful island and her gentle people behind. We still had a day and a half to enjoy The Majesty and her crew as we made our way back to Boston.

We agreed that this was a wonderful cruise holiday, including our visit to Bermuda. We weren’t the only ones! On the return trip, there was a huge line-up of people biking future cruises with NCL, and the majority were booking another Bermuda Cruise – a pretty solid endorsement of their holiday.

The Norwegian Majesty makes weekly Bermuda cruises from May until the end of September. She then has a 13 day repositioning cruise that passes through Bermuda, and the Southern Caribbean before making her way to Charleston, South Carolina. During the winter months she has a 7 day itinerary that includes Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Key West, and three relaxing sea days. For information about The Majesty and other Norwegian Cruise Line ships, please visit their website: or call for a free brochure: 1-800-327-7030. Bon Voyage!

Related Posts