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Norwegian Sun Cruise Review
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Copyright 1995-2002 
Linda Coffman

 

Norwegian Sun
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 $222.00.)  

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 around. 
 
The keys for the cabins are also activated through a 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 fairly quickly.
 
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 Norwegian Sky 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


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