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Linda Coffman

Notes from the Norway

SS Norway docked in Halifax, NS

Debbie Carlsen (9/5/01) -- Today is Wednesday and we went to New York. We got off the pier and walked 2 blocks and got a cab to Battery Park to take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. It was very nice. W e could have climbed up to the crown but we decided to just walk around the museum. We put our faces on stickers as souvenirs. Then we came back. We were looking for a cab and this guy says "need a cab?" We chit chat and next thing you know we are tooling around Manhattan in the back of a white stretch limo for 25 minutes. It was very cool. When we left New York we hit the pier on the way out. We were being buzzed by helicopters.

Todd won $90 in the casino. Tomorrow is the head/neck shoulder and hand and foot reflexology massage. Time to go for dinner. The New York sky line is very beautiful at sunset. Debbie

Debbie Carlsen (9/6/01) -- Wednesday evening update. Last year on the Norway they had a 60's sock hop with hula hoop contest--except last year they didn't do it. This year they did and guess who participated and WON the hula hoop contest. No it wouldn't be TODD... It would be DEBBIE!!!! Ta da!!! I won a drink holder, a deck of cards and a book mark. The size of the prize does not matter.

Dinner tonight is with jacket and tie so it is more formal. Tonight's Entertainment is Sam Moore from the 50's and 60's. Today's massage was the hand and foot reflexology and hand/neck and face massage. It felt so good I didn't want to move!! 

We met a guy at lunch and got a tour of the royal suite. We took a private dance lesson to learn to do the swing and we can happily do it.

The sea has some whitecaps on it, it is windy out and would be described as a wonderfeul Chicago fall day. It is windy. Tomorrow is Halifax. Debbie and Todd

Karen Segboer (9/7/01) -- A bit about what's happened onboard so far: Yesterday was a great afternoon full of swapping memories with folks who had sailed on the SS France telling stories and reliving their trips of so long ago. The SS Norway onboard historian got everyone together in the North Cape Lounge and the tales commenced. We were lucky to have some animated speakers and heard some great tales. More on that later, and I personally do hope NCL holds another session like that one again before trip's end.

I can personally attest to the fact that the SS NORWAY has quite a bit of life left in her, especially these last few days when all of us are lovingly remembering just what a magnificent vessel she is/was. In fact (and I hate to anthropomorphize), I think she's feeling the vibes of all the memories and the grand times on the North Atlantic run during her salad days. 

As for me, Hans and I have one of the most comfortable cabins we have ever booked on any ship... #110 on Norway deck. A long corridor with plenty of storage space, a very large central cabin area and a "split" bathroom with a sink and a tub in one "bathroom" and the john and another sink in a separate "toilette" off the corridor. Lots and lots of space. 

And the folks onboard are, of course, wonderful. Met several Liners Listers for the very first time, some as far away as New Zealand! The weather has been great, the seas smooth and the company onboard very convivial.

That's it for now! Karen, en route in sunny Halifax NS

Warren Davis (9/8/01) -- I cannot tell you how privileged I feel to be part of the Blue Lady's escort home. Every one of the 1900+ passengers aboard love this ship, allow for her blemishes, and are celebrating her place in liner history. You are all here with us in spirit. 

Aside from the mishap leaving NYC (Norway hit the opposite pier due to an overzealous tugboat captain and a portion of the lido was damaged), it was a very emotional moment. Waving to Tim pierside as the ship slowly departed was very difficult. He couldn't have seen the tears welling up in my eyes behind my sunglasses and I tried very hard to keep smiling. I so much wished that he and all of you could have sailed with us.

A very old fireboat met us near Lady Liberty and spouted enormous plumes of spray in every direction. A band on the aft lido played the National Anthem as Norway paused for her final NYC 'close-up'. 

SS Norway steams away from Halifax, NS

Halifax, as always, provided a poignant sendoff. A lone bagpiper sent us on our way as the shore side tourist staff all dressed in red vests bid us farewell in unison, so loud that anyone on deck could hear. I've run into many many unexpected surprise friends aboard. It's a reunion of sorts, of the 1996 crossing. 

Last night Elvy Rose took to the stage with all new material. The ship could be powered from all her energy! She is dynamite! 

The food has been quite good and much improved over last December. And the answer to the 'how good is Mandara Spa?' question is that I had a fabulous 80 minute massage that I will not soon forget. I asked for a deep pressure massage and this very petite woman from South Africa looked at me and sneered in a very dominatrix way, 'you want pain - don't you. Well I promise you pain' She delivered. That's all I'll say on the matter. ;) 

So long for now! Warren - somewhere approaching Newfoundland.

For what are surely to become historic photographs of the SS Norway, John Sherwood has contributed these memories of her day in Halifax and her final sailing.

Stephen Card (9/9/01) -- Tim was right about the on time departure last Wednesday. There were a few more serious problems than the NORWAY's urge to remain in New York! (see Farewell to a Legend link below)

When we sailed it must have been very close to low water. With our deep draught the NORWAY seemed to 'sniff' the bottom. Without enough sternway she came to a halt between berths 2 & 3. The three tugs pushing aft eventually caused the ship to move over the shallow patch and the stern swung up and the Pool Deck overhang made contact with the stanchions on Pier 3. One stanchion was damaged. We buckled a section of plating about 5 metres long, broke the teak rail and broke a few windows on the windscreen. 

When the stern started moving south again, one of the after tugs came round and pushed along the starboard flank to stop the ship landing on the corner of Pier 2. For a few minutes it looked like the tug was going to be caught between ship and pier. 

I understand there was a fair bit of commotion up on the bridge. Anyhow, we sailed from St John this afternoon and we are now out into the Atlantic.

Almost flat calm and hardly any swell. Stephen

Karen Segboer (9/9/01) -- There's simply nothing like crossing the Atlantic with a large group of friends on a classic liner. I wish you ALL were here! 

Warren took a schooner excursion today in St John's. Hans and I did the city tour. It was so hot this far north today that even the locals were amazed! 

PS--There's NOTHING TO DO OR SEE in St John's, Newfoundland. If any of you are ever here, stay onboard! Karen, having the time of her life!

Warren Davis (9/9/01) -- S/S Norway departed North America for the last time. Our eastbound crossing has begun. Warren

Debbie & Todd -- Today's daily decadence or 'How to roast a turkey'... wait, its the spa treatment I am talking about. This one is not for the modest. First you have a pair of paper panties to wear. Then they exfoliate you using sea salt and brush front and back. Then you take a shower. Then you come back and the table is covered in foil. You climb up and they massage oil in you front and back. Then they wrap you in foil and let you bake. Meanwhile, they give you a mini facial with cleaning exfoliating, etc. treatments. Then they leave you alone to bake for a little while. They come back and you take another shower and then they massage moisturizer on you. Quite wonderful... so far there is no spa treatment I would not repeat

Wonderful day at sea (again) pretty calm seas and temp is mid 60's. Well, off to the spa for the whirlpool. Tonight is another formal night. Todd & Debbie

Debbie Carlsen (9/10/01) -- Is it Monday already? Wow. It sure doesn't seem like it. 

St. John... USVI  or would that be Newfoundland? It would be hard to tell as the weather was the same!!! Yes indeed it was 80 degrees yesterday in St. John. But the swells were high and we had to go around the back of Conceptions Bay to tender. We tendered in high seas in the Caribbean and we are glad Capt. Swen decided to go around even if it did shorten our stay in St. Johns. We took the little ship and went to Cape Spear the most easterly point in North America. And then some shopping. I wish we had more time to spend here. They said come back in July and you can sit on the shore and watch the whales.

Today we are at sea. We can feel the swells. We are not worried at all about the hurricane in Bermuda. It will not be able to catch us even if it tried!!! So don't worry. We are having fun.

Well its almost time for dance class, then lunch, then the pedicure and manicure. Boy, I'm getting tired just writing all of this. We are having a great time! Debbie

Karen Segboer (9/10/01) -- This is surely the most fun I've had in a while with a bunch of folks who appreciate a great ship.  I find myself growing very fond of this vessel, and I promised myself I wouldn't, since her fate is so uncertain.  I don't want to fall for another grande dame only to have her yanked from service and from any hope of my sailing on her again.

Just came from a very lovely ceremony this noon as the SS Norway plows out into the North Atlantic from Labrador and Newfoundland. Our own Bruce Vancil and his wife, Sheaufang, renewed their wedding vows in the Club Internationale today. Sheaufang looked grand in her wedding gown from twelve and a half years ago, and Bruce was dashing in his white dinner jacket. All invited guests were delighted to be there to witness the romantic event, as this was a surprise for the bride. Her wedding gown was spirited onboard by Bruce's best man, and she found out about the ceremony only days before. Bruce, we now know, is a romantic as well as a ship buff.

Many of us took lots of photos, and we'll be sure to share them as soon as we can. Bruce sends greetings out to you all and says he wishes you all could have been there, as well. It really was a splendid time! Happy twelve and a half years (half way to twenty five) and best wishes for many many more, Mr. and Mrs. Vancil. Karen, reporting from sea

Warren Davis (9/10/01) -- The glorious sunshine and unusually warm Canadian weather have given way to the expected. Our first day crossing east is chilly, gray, windy, the ship is pitching nimbly. There's hot tea - casual outside and 'elegant' in Club Internationale. The spa beckons with its warm steam room and bubbling Jacuzzi. 

Tonight's menu: "Cucina Latino" 

The overcast day does not bode well for tonight's star gazing. Star Deck surrounding the forward funnel was supposed to be open until 1am (it is normally closed in consideration for the guest in the penthouses) for stargazing and perhaps the Northern Lights. Wish a clear night for us, eh? Warren

Stephen Card (9/10/01) -- Nothing from Hurricane Erin at all. Still slight sea and low swell. With a bit of luck Erin might race over the Atlantic and catch us in the Channel next Monday. Best from the NORWAY, Stephen

Todd & Debbie (9/11/01) -- Today there is a light drizzle over the Atlantic. But it is supposed to clear up for tonight. We go slower during the day and the captain kicks it up at night, or so it feels. At night, you can really feel the swells and you know you are on a ship. Some people (not us) saw a school of dolphins swimming next to us.

We are incredibly busy on these relaxing days at sea. First, there are only 23 hours in the day as we keep setting the clocks back. It is 10:30 am now. I think it is 5:30 in Chicago, so wake up you sleepyheads!!! Todd has already played trivia and won (another, I think it is number 4) deck of cards. Now I am online. 11:00 is dance class until noon when we will eat lunch because we keep sleeping through breakfast! Then yesterday was my spa and pedicure from the package we bought ahead of time. It was a very nice treatment, but quite pricey. While I was there getting my ANNUAL Pedicure, there was a guy complaining--"Its been two whole months since my last pedicure and my feet are in horrible shape!!" Then we checked out the art auction and went to the big band tea dance where they had just found the sheet music from the original France ticket and were sight reading it as a band in front of a packed dance audience!!! Says a lot about the quality of musicians. Then we went to high tea and then a private dance lesson so we can now to a foxtrot. We must be getting better. Then upstairs to change clothes and see Guys and Dolls. Stopped at the casino before dinner where DEBBIE GOT LUCKY AND TURNED 10 in $34 at a 25cent slot machine!! YEAH YEAH YEAH! Finally (Todd also won another $25 while I was spending it in the spa). Then dinner and then to see Who Wants To Be A Millionaire--the NCL Norway version. There are all kinds of lectures going on that we haven't seen. There was a Latin dance and a second earlier tea dance that we also did not get to. There simply isn't enough time to do everything. 

Today is the couples massages and dinner at Le Bistro. We are having a wonderful time but we miss our friends. I don't miss cooking, cleaning, and  getting up to go to work... but we are doing laundry in the sink. A pair of socks takes 36 hours to dry. Debbie & Todd

Karen Segboer (9/11/01) -- 10:43 am - We all just heard about the terrorist stuff going on in the United States. The ship is trying to set up CNN in the public rooms so we can get some information. Please send any info you can!

11:13 am - We've got spotty CNN and the internet cafe is jammed. No charges for anyone using e-mail now, as many people are trying to reach home and find out what's going on and if folks they know are safe.

Please send any news. We're really reaching out for anything, and the ship is paralyzed about this news. Normal activities have ceased to go on.

11:15 am - Most of us are either in the internet room or in one of the public rooms to watch CNN.

Thank you for the information.  I can't tell you how much it means, out here in the middle of the Atlantic.

12:52 pm - Internet access is now free and all cabins will get five minutes free so we can all call home if we need to. CNN is running continually in all the public rooms and the Captain has announced a memorial service in the Saga Theatre at 4:30 PM. Needless to say, all onboard events have been cancelled. Everyone here fears the beginnings of a war and have doubts about getting back home via air they way we planned. If we can Hans and I might try for the QE2's return home a few days after we arrive in Southampton. There has also been some discussion (don't know how serious it is right now) about the SS Norway doing a turn-around and taking all who need to back to New York. Karen

Warren Davis (9/11/01) -- 4:36pm - We have heard. The captain made many announcements and he had CNN coverage restored, although the reception isn't very good out here. 

The mood on the ship is somber, many New Yorkers (including myself) who know people who work in the trade center and have friends/family in NYC. I personally have a friend who is/was on a United Airlines flight bound for New York City. I have no information on his whereabouts. 

A special memorial service was arranged this afternoon and NCL is provided free phone service so that we may all check on friends and family. Tonight's entertainment has been altered out of respect and there will only be lounge entertainment. The main showtime presentations have been cancelled since it was a comedy show. NCL and our captain have done a nice job. 

The people I have encountered all have their thoughts and prayers focused on NYC. I cannot believe just a few days ago we were passing by the glimmering Trade towers watching for the brief moment when the Woolworth building appears between the two towers as if being hugged by them. 

I live not too far from the towers, I can see them from my corner. I have a brother-in-law who works for the government in Washington. Many other passengers have similar stories to tell. Many talk of not flying home but rather attempting to book QE2 or extending our stay in Europe. But then thoughts of home and national pride take over and we must come home to take our places alongside our brethren. 

As we continue our voyage eastward, our emotions and thoughts face west. Our hearts are with you our friends, family and loved ones that we left behind. We'll be home soon. Warren

Karen Segboer (9/11/01) -- Although in a somewhat much more somber atmosphere aboard, about half of the onboard activities are proceeding this evening. 

Tom Cassidy had planned a cocktail party and dinner in Le Bistro for SSHSA Long Island members. I don't know if that will continue on. Another memorial is planned by the ship for 10:30PM in the Saga Theatre tonight. 

Many of us are getting info from personal e-mails and online as well as continuing CNN broadcasts. 

We've been asked to spend five minutes online at a time so that everyone can use the internet cafe, as it is free today. I'll try to update as often as I can. Karen

Continued on Page Two

"Lady in Blue"  Photographs of SS Norway's historic final appearance and departure from New York City

Farewell to a Legend, by Tim Rubacky. His thoughts and remembrances as the historic SS France/SS Norway reluctantly slipped from her New York City berth for her last crossing.  "Bon Voyage is always French..."

SS Norway in Halifax -- For what are surely to become historic photographs of the SS Norway, John Sherwood has contributed these memories of her day in Halifax and her final sailing. 

SS Norway sunset postcard, courtesy Norwegian Caribbean Cruise Line. Departure screen shots from the Halifax Harbourcam.