This interesting cruise itinerary allows passengers to embark or disembark in either Norfolk or New York City. Passengers who board in Norfolk have a day to explore New York while other passengers are disembarking or boarding. Passengers who board in New York City have a day in Norfolk to visit the beautiful tidewater area of Virginia or take a tour of colonial Williamsburg. Either way, you get a seven-day cruise to Bermuda on a wonderful small ship that can dock in both Hamilton and St. Georges, Bermuda.
We drove the 600 miles from Atlanta to Norfolk the day before our cruise and stayed at a Marriott Courtyard in downtown Norfolk. For those driving to Norfolk, there are many hotels near the cruise ship pier. The Norfolk and Newport News Airports are both just a short distance from downtown Norfolk. After checking into the hotel, we strolled the downtown area. Several interesting restaurants beckoned on this quiet Monday night, but we chose a delicious seafood spot called Tortugaz a couple of blocks from the Elizabeth River on Granby Street. After dinner, we really enjoyed walking on the lighted path along the river. We had a great view of Portsmouth on the other side of the river and of the Nauticus Maritime Center. What a wonderful "easy" way to start a cruise vacation!
Continuing the "easy" theme, we enjoyed a relaxing morning at the hotel before driving to the ship a little before noon. The ship was sailing at 3:00 pm, but we thought we could meet some of our fellow passengers or enjoy the Nauticus National Maritime Center next door. Ronnie and I dropped our bags with a porter at the curb and parked the car across the street in the West Plume parking garage, which was designated for use by the Seven Seas Navigator. Note that the garage does not take credit cards and that you have to pay via cash or traveler's check in advance.
We couldn't board the ship until about noon, but we enjoyed sitting on the dock and getting to know our fellow Norfolk cruisers. Most seemed to be from Maryland, Virginia or the Carolinas, but there were also a few who had driven up from Georgia as we had done. One of the crew told us that less than 100 passengers were boarding in Norfolk. Several of the passengers in New York expressed their envy that we were just boarding, while they had to disembark the next day! Those comments certainly made us feel good about the week to come.
Our cabin #1106 was lovely and much like the one I had stayed in when I had last cruised the Seven Seas Navigator in November 2002. We decided to unpack later and dashed off to our first of many wonderful lunches on the ship. The shore excursions returned in the early afternoon, and the Seven Seas Navigator sailed down the Elizabeth River and into the Chesapeake Bay. A late afternoon thunderstorm made for a spectacular sail away. We had crossed the Chesapeake Bay numerous times via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel, but this was our first time to sail over the tunnel on a luxurious cruise ship. The ship exited the bay and turned north for New York City.
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More on Cruising to Bermuda on the Seven Seas Navigator from Norfolk
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