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An Awesome Journey - the Bermudas

 

Island Crystal Cave

 

Well, this was a first for us, an oceanic cruise from New York to Bermuda!  This cruise was in the planning process for nearly a year and a highly anticipated trip for us.  Prior to this particular odyssey we have been to Australia and Canada.  These journeys afforded us views from the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge to St. Joseph's Oratory (Montréal) and the Le Château Frontenac (Quebec City) overlooking the Fleuve St. Laurent (St. Lawrence River).  Those places and spaces we had seen were picturesque, buccolic and aesthetically stimulating on the senses, but nothing prepared us for what we were about to encounter.

 

 

Our cruise ship was the MV Horizon of Celebrity Cruises, a nearly 700 ft. long ocean passenger cruise vessel whose primary purpose other than conveyance across the briny depths was a palace of opulence and hedonistic splendor.  This ship was pleasing to the eyes and when one boarded her; the Horizon was literally a floating wonderland of sights, sounds, colours, aromas, mirrors, glass, and everything to excite the palate and body, down to the innermost soul.

 

 

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We arrived to the pier, courtesy of our travel agent (whom I hope God will bless abundantly).  The docked Horizon widened both our eyes and we were awestruck and very happy.  Well after checking Ids, passports, luggage, tickets and the other prerequisites, we were able to embark.  We initiated the beginning of the many photos and video footage that would be taken throughout the cruise. We proceeded to the gangplank and proceeded onboard, where we heard beautiful violin music played by the Celebrity Strings as our welcome aboard music.  The first thing that came to mind was the immensity of the vessel.  It was the largest travel conveyance we have ever been on, rather land or sea.  We proceeded to our outside stateroom through ornate stairs and mirrored elevators, which played a delightful tune as they stopped by the various decks of the ships.  The tune, a series of delightful bell-like tunes, is still in our mind, even as this journal is written.

 

 

We got to our stateroom and the first thing we did was to fall on the two beds and we both had a Verrazano-Narrows Bridge size smiles on both our faces.  After getting settled and oriented to our stateroom, which was a good sized walk-in closet-like compartment with a large porthole, nice furniture, glass table, lovely pictures on the wall and an atmosphere of comfort, tidiness and safety, a Welcome-Aboard buffet which was one of the many delicacies we were to experience was ready for us at the Coral Seas Café on the Marina Deck.  After the buffet we toured the vessel and got adjusted to our surroundings including a life-boat drill before our bon voyage.  

Verrazano

 

As we sailed from New York Harbor we said good-bye to New York for the next seven days.  It was a delightful experience sailing under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and seeing Sandy Hook on the starboard (right) side of the vessel.  We know then that we are about to enter into the deep waters of the Atlantic were we will be in God's hands for the remainder of this journey. We woke up early the next morning, which was Sunday.  As we look at the porthole, we saw the ocean rolling by as if the boat was on wheels.  This had to be the most ultimate boat ride we ever had.  Mass and ecumenical services was available on the ship.  In fact, we knew the priest who did the services for this cruise.  Gordon had the opportunity to read at the mass on Sunday and Friday.  Throughout the day there were all kinds of activities, shows, games, lectures, and all the food one could eat.  Our first formal which was the Captain's Welcome Aboard Cocktail party was this evening.  This was a five-star event where they served us appetizers and the other delicacies and food items like there was no tomorrow.

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Monday morning we arrived at St. George's Island in Bermuda.  The first thing that astounded us was the flying fishes.  They looked like an airplane was taking off from a aquamarine runway.  The water was beautiful.  We were never able to see the beneath the sea surface before.  As we entered the narrow opening to the dock, the indigenous and other residents of this delightful sun-washed and blessed paradise waved hello to us and welcome us.  Riding on the ocean for one and a half days was nice but we were happy to step on dry land and stroll around the beautiful island of St. George.  We had the opportunity to meet some of people whose friendliness and warmth personified the reputation these islands have as welcoming, and they were more than helpful in our getting around and seeing Bermuda.

 

Tuesday morning we sailed from St. George Island to Hamilton which was about a 2-hour ride.  The scenic splendour of the harbour in Hamilton, along with the islands the deep blue pristine waters and the pastel colours of the various edifices, mixed with the hotels and government buildings were astounding. Once we stepped foot into Hamilton, we saw the beautiful shops and beaches which were either in walking distance or a bus or taxi ride away.  We took a tour on the Glass-Bottom boat where we saw fishes, sea plants, coral reefs, and turtles.  It was like looking at a huge aquarium.  We visited the beach at Horseshoe Bay where the water was clear as crystal and the sand was a clean pink color.  This was a very picturesque site.  We also visited the public library, took in the olfactory plesantries of the perfumery and was awed by the gifted skills of a glass maker, whose creations defied the ordinary parameters of aethestics.

 

 

Wednesday we did some more shopping and touring.  Even though we were docked, the activities, parties, food, entertainment still went on the Horizon.  Gordon had the chance to play the game called "Do You Want To Be a Celebrity", which was based on the popular game "Do You Want To Be a Millionaire".  Marvin was on standby as a lifeline.  Gordon did well in the categories and won various prizes including a duffel bag which can in handy to bring back our souvenirs and gifts from our cruise.  Activities, food, fun, and games continued on the ship including a Mexican feast on the Marina deck pool side.

 

 

 

Thursday afternoon we were about to leave Hamilton and come back to New York.  We made sure we finished our shopping and was back on the boat before it sailed home (though we were very tempted to stay).  As we left Hamilton we said good-bye to the clean water, wonderful atmosphere, and the incredibly beautiful environment that we enjoyed for the few days we were in Bermuda.  Even though we was on our way back home, the activities, food, and fun on the ship never ceased.
 That evening we decided to go to the show in the Palladium Show Lounge.  We did not expect to go on stage and sing the song by the Temptations called "My Girl" in front of everyone, but we did, and received rave reviews!  Throughout the whole cruise, this was the most exciting night ever.  We actually became "Celebrities" on the Celebrity.  If we had known this was going to happen, we would have had the lights and video director to video-tape us performing on stage.  We would have loved to capture and treasure this moment.

 

Friday morning we were at sea on our way home.  Most of the morning was spent packing and filling out our the disembarkment forms and gratitudes envelopes.  Afterwards, we enjoyed our last day on the vessel with all sorts of activities, entertainment and food.  It was a little depressing because the cruise was almost over, but we were happy that we had the time of our lives.



Saturday morning we saw Sandy Hook and pass under the Verrazano Bridge as we entered New York Harbor.  After docking we waited to be cleared by customs before disembarking.  This was a experience that we will remember the rest of our lives.  Even if we take another cruise, it will always be different from our first.  We hope that everyone will get the opportunity to experience a cruise at least once in a lifetime.

Webmasters' Note:  Thanks Lisa and Mike for providing some of the photos on this page *smile*
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