Maiden Voyage, October 2001
by Linda Biancarosa
Shining Bright -- NORWEGIAN SUN
(Note: Due to New York City's pier
closure, Norwegian Sun sailed from Boston)
Luckily we made it up to Boston in approximately
four hours. We left at 5:30AM the day before the sailing since we were invited
to an overnight cruise. I was able to find parking 1 mile away which
was fine with me. At this point I would have parked my car anywhere. (At the end of the trip,
the total cost for parking was
One thing that was disturbing was seeing what has
happened to our country. We were constantly protected by four Coast Guard
Boats armed with machine guns and they escorted us in and out of the Port of
Boston. We also had a military presence at the pier.
When we boarded on Thursday Norwegian Cruise
Lines brought up Police Officers from Florida. We had divers under the ship,
the dogs sniffed all of the produce including beer, sniffed
our luggage, and then the luggage went through x-ray. Ours was carried on
because it was an overnighter. The passengers that embarked the next day had
their luggage put through the x-ray equipment by the pier staff that was
brought in especially for this job. The dogs came on the ship and checked
The keys for the cabins are also activated through
computer system and you must have them swiped when you leave and return to the
vessel. They also check all of your handbags, packages, etc. upon
returning to the ship. No one complained about the procedure and it moved
On the overnight cruise we were given a suite
located aft and it was very spacious and very comfortable. Nice size
veranda the only thing that bothered me was while we were in port we faced the
skyline of Boston. There in the shadows loomed the Prudential and
Hancock building. Two smaller versions of the WTC--several blocks
away but still upsetting. The suite had a nice walk-in closet with a
vanity and armoire that also had a safe, full tub, and separate area for
the commode. We had dinner that evening at East Meets West with
some of the Reps from Miami. Food and service was excellent and we went
back there during our cruise.
The next morning the butlers came and moved our
luggage to our Owner's Suite. What can I say? It was great. The cabin is located on Deck 11
forward, above the bridge. As you walk into the cabin you have a hallway and there are
two doors that lead to two adjoining cabins, if you wish, and a third door
that leads to the marble guest bathroom. As you walk through the
archway you are in the living room area. There is a nice size
sofa, two chairs, large cocktail table, and end table. On the other
side there is a granite wet bar complete with refrigerator and wall unit
stocked with stemware that goes on forever. We had a large flat TV, DVD player, and CD player equipped with speakers that would knock your
socks off. There is also a large desk over by the sliding glass doors and a
dining room table. We had not one but three sets of sliding glass doors.
The sliding doors from the living area lead to a very
large veranda which had a oversized table with chairs and cushions. Next to that was the two large lounge chairs with cushions
and then the hot tub with a wind protector. The entire veranda is
private from the deck above and a complete sunning area if you wish.
Going back into the cabin... there are two French
Doors with frosted glass that lead to the bedroom. We had a king
size bed with an armoire with a TV, end tables, and a chair by the second
set of glass doors.
Walk past the bedroom and there is a pocket door
that leads to the walk-in closet and dressing area and beyond it, the master
bath. The walk-in closet and dressing area has another
set of glass doors and these lead directly to the hot tub. Nice idea.
The master bath had a separate area for the commode, a large shower
stall, and a large hot tub for two. The bathroom is tremendous; all in marble with a double vanity sink in
granite. The entire sink area is enclosed in wall units with closet space that never
ended. The bathroom can be lit up with little lights that
have dimmer switches which can be very romantic. Actually, the entire
suite has the same effect. Was a very nice touch.
Another nice touch was that there were three
phones in the cabin and you can activate voice mail if you wanted it. Also,
they would hook up a laptop and printer for you if you so desired.
The butlers were excellent. We
cruised with one of them three times and he is now on his way to the
Norwegian Star. Our cabins stewardess was great and why not she is the cabin
stewardess for the Captain.
The ship itself is about 85% the size of the
Norwegian Sky, but the biggest improvement is the cabins. I had a client in an
inside cabin that measured 184 sq. ft, with excellent closet space.
They even had a full sofa. All cabins have refrigerators,
hairdryers, and a safe. I do not have any complaints about the
other cabins. They are all spacious and comfortable.
I fully enjoyed the Freestyle Cruising with the
large selections of restaurants. We had dinner twice in LeBistro, IL
Adagio, and East Meets West and we ate once in Las Ramblas and the Teppanyanki. Other evenings we had dinner in the Four Seasons and
Seven Seas Restaurant. The menus are basically the same with the
exception at dinner. The entrees are different. This was a good
idea because it gave you another choice and these restaurants are free.
Service in the Seven Seas and Four Seasons was good. They are new
and do have more to learn, but were all very polite and willing to do
anything to satisfy your needs. They are really trying very hard.
The 24 hour buffet had great selections, plus a
Vegetarian Indian Bar, Pasta station, Cheese Station, Soup station, etc. Finally, NCL has a buffet
they can be proud about. For years it was lacking.
The entertainment was terrific. Jean Ann Ryan
put on three productions. One was Cirque Pan, which was amazing how
they could do this performance on a moving vessel.
Now for you old timers out there... Do you
remember Marty Allen the comedian? He used to team up with Steve Rossi on
the Ed Sullivan Show. He must be in his 70's to 80's and we thought he
would be a flop. The guy was great. His wife is a singer and
she was with them and she sold her CD and all of the proceeds went to the
Sept. 11th fund.
The weather was good with the exception of two
nights hitting some heavy duty wind. We had more than a
Gale Force 10 wind--the wind speeds were somewhere around 65+miles per hour. Our cabin was rocking but I do have to say that this ship
was great in the water. I actually thought that it was better than the
and when I was on the bridge I asked the First Officer and he indicated the ballast is deeper on this
vessel. It sure made a difference.
In all of the Canadian ports, Province of
Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Foundland, we saw American Flags flying. It was a warm feeling to see how much they really cared
and expressed their feelings of support.
The 12 day sailing, as always, was too short. We
could have stayed on for another week. Actually with all of
the stress prior to the cruise, I was finally relaxing just in time to
get off and face reality. Something I did not want to do, since we
were trying not to watch CNN aboard the ship.
On the way home we decided to take the ferry from
Connecticut to Long Island because of the bridge situation and not knowing if
there would be a long wait to get over them. We just wanted to get home.
And finally we did... in one
piece, safe and sound.
Photo Courtesy of Norwegian
Cruise Line Reviews