Okay I admit it. I’ve only been on one cruise my entire life. But considering it was aboard a bright orange boat with cabins the size of closets, I’m pretty sure the no-frills experience doesn’t count (no it wasn’t the Staten Island Ferry, but in the way of amenities, it sure as heck was close). Maybe it’s the ubiquitous buffet courts, the unending embarkation lines or the nagging perception that the ship is one big floating hotel—whatever it is, I’ve never really trumpeted the cruising experience. That said I realize there are plenty of nice folks who love to cruise. Just love it! So in the spirit of equal airtime I share with you an exciting bit of news from Norwegian Cruise Lines: The company announced yesterday that it will begin sailing newer, more elaborate ships to Bermuda starting in 2011. Out goes the seven-year-old, 2,224-passenger Norwegian Dawn (pictured) and in comes the two-year-old, 2,400-passenger Norwegian Gem, which will sail to the island weekly from May through October, calling on King’s Wharf at the Royal Naval Dockyard for three days. So what’s so fancy about the Norwegian Gem you ask? As the newest vessel in the fleet the Gem features a four-lane bowling alley, professionally trained chefs slicing lobster and steak at personal Teppanyaki tables, plus a massive two-story screen where guests can play Nintendo Wii. Best of all if you can pull yourself away from its Tahitian pool, the Ultra Lounge and Night Club or the Stardust Theater you can explore—wait for it, wait for it—Bermuda! By all means take the cruise, just promise me you’ll get off the ship and poke around a bit. Deal?
is a Bermuda-based travel writer and television correspondent. To read his work visit DavidLaHuta.com or to follow him on Twitter visit Twitter.com/DavidLaHuta. Visiting Bermuda? Read his story, 36 Hours in Bermuda, which appeared in the New York Times travel section in September 2009 (http://bit.ly/36HoursBermuda) and Jetsetter's The Many Faces of Bermuda, which ran in January 2011 (http://bit.ly/FacesOfBDA).