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Linda Coffman

Notes from the Norway

Page Two

Karen (9/12/01) -- 12:55am - Our CNN is getting more spotty and is breaking up.  We now have an internet feed from NY news station WPIX and that helps.  The ship is really doing it's best to keep us advised .
I'm going to try to take a look at rtc through Google (if I can remember how... DejaNews was so much easier). The crowd has thinned at the internet cafe since the free access has ended.

We sometimes forget what's important. I still can't believe all of this.  I can't believe I will fly home from this trip, land in New Jersey and look out my plane window and NOT see the WTC the way I always saw it. 
How dare they. Damn them, all of them. At tonight's get-together, many in our group were wearing pins from American shipping lines rather than French lines.  All of a sudden, all of us are indignant about the liberties some two-bit, third world country has taken with what's ours. Karen

Warren (9/12/01) -- There is but one topic of discussion aboard ship today. Groups huddle together over coffee, drinks, card games and you hear the same conversation emanating from each: the devastation in New York, the Pentagon, and the fourth plane that crashed. 

But even so, shipboard life is returning to normal after yesterday's shock. Passengers are strolling the inner and outer promenades, playing cards, attending lectures, people watching and ocean gazing. 

We're experiencing 6-9 foot swells and Norway is gently taming them. The sounds of an ocean liner at sea abound. The bulkheads are creaking and every once in a while you can even hear some pots and pans crashing after the periodic rolls and pitches of the ship. Even with all the movement, Norway's fine hull causes barely any water turbulence. She may be 40 years old, but she still cuts the water like a surgeon's knife. Warren

Debbie & Todd  (9/12/01) -- The days at sea are beginning to fall into a pattern. Spa treatment, trivia, dance class, lunch, something different in the mid-afternoon, high tea, dance, dinner, entertainment. Such a life... one could get used to this

Today the North Atlantic looks its name. It is gray and we are swells of 10 meters. the ship rocks from side to side. we are enjoying it tremendously.

Dinner at le Bistro was fabulous with Swiss cheese fondue, escargot soup, Caesar salad, filet mignon with béarnaise sauce, dessert crème Brule which they served hot and  Todd had chocolate cake (again) the next night was French night in the dining room. We have a copy of the menu so I don't have to kill French. I had scallops and crepes filled with great mushrooms and Todd had coq a vin.

Well, there is a line to use the computers.

On a  more serious note, we don't know anything about getting home. We assume that the airplanes will be working by then. Please pray for us that we can get home. We have to have a copy of our passport to be able to reboard the ship if we go ashore in Dublin or Scotland.

We have all the news here so we can follow along. Take care. Next note I'll write about the seaweed wrap treatment and Todd and Debbie breaking out their brand new fox trot and swing on the dance floor. Could someone please have a party with dancing so we can use this new skill set? Debbie and Todd

Warren (9/12/01) -- This is what as been happening aboard ship. Whenever a New Yorker is spotted, hugs are automatically offered. One of the most comforting things has been the easy ability to sit with friends--old and new--to chat, listen the lounge music, enjoy a cocktail together. It's pointless avoiding discussion of events back home so we plunge right into it. Last night I asked a new friend to read his writings to our gathered group in Club International. Julien is British and his gregarious, entertaining, and big hearted nature has been a godsend to us. As Julien read aloud the group of half dozen was in tears and we found ourselves spontaneously holding hands. 

Norway has been granted a wish made by many today. On her final day of crossing, we have stormy seas! The waves are high, winds are howling, squalls creep up on us. Lady has been given one last chance to show the stuff she's made of. She's giving us a wonderful ride. Warren

Karen (9/14/01) -- A small group of us, under the leadership of Aberdeener Bruce Peters, were in Glasgow today when, at exactly 11 AM, everyone stopped for three minutes of silence to honor the victims of the WTC/Pentagon terror. I wasn't quite sure where I was, so I said softly to myself "What is this place?" A little lady with gray hair and the biggest blue eyes whispered, "This is George Square, dear." 

She must have noticed my American accent and, as a lone bagpiper started to play and literally everything around me stopped (traffic, buses, cars, people), she touched my arm and said "I'm so, so sorry," and she started to cry. Then I started to cry. It was so moving and so terribly sad all at the same time. The enormity of it just finally caught up to me. There were American flags in shop windows and hand printed signs of support all over the city. That a whole city would stop to pay their respects to us Americans was more touching than anything I can ever remember. Karen

Warren (9/14/01) -- At Midnight Friday into Saturday, S/S Norway silently passed NCL's new flagship M/V Norwegian Sun. Nothing was announced. No salutes. No nothing. Lady maintained her dignity. Warren

Debbie & Todd (9/16/01) -- Scotland and Dublin were great. Todd and I had a great time. We saw Edinburgh and a big traffic accident that allowed us to really study the scenery as it crawled by at 5 mph. But eventually we got to the Britannia and, while we only had 1 hours to be on her, it was worth the 5000 mile trip. We also had a brief time to shop. Todd and I spent it by going to tea with really hot scones and sandwiches (not hot) with coddled cream and jam. Yummy. And and there was time to pick up a sweater for Debbie and a St Andrew's golf shirt to Todd.

In Dublin we got off the bus and walked to the train, kind of stumbled across. We were in the lead because we had a map!!! it cost 4.4 pounds for 2 round trip tickets - that's about $1.50 each and we got off in downtown Dublin. Walked around and stumbled upon a horse and carriage rides 40 pounds for 1 hour = 25 dollars. It was a great tour of stuff we would never have seen on our own. Other people paid twice as much for a bus tour or walking tour. The horse walked--we rode. At one point it started to rain -- so Gary, the driver stopped and put the carriage top up. We will be in many other people's photos. I could go back to Dublin with a lot of money and come home with none at all.

Debbie has managed to catch the head cold going around the ship. They pamper me in the spa with special treats to make be feel better, like lime oil in the sauna.

We should be flying home on British Airways Tuesday, leaving at 3:00pm London time.

Would we do it again??? YES IN A FLASH. A 7-day cruise will never be long enough again. Would we change anything? Maybe figure out how to sleep less. Would we do anything differently? Nope. Not a thing. The balcony cabin up high was great.

Today is the English channel. The captain said we would see lots of ships but not that many so far. Tomorrow is France where most of the French passengers will disembark. Tonight is LOBSTER NIGHT and final farewell party for the captain. We just came from high tea. Time to run around the ship a few times to get hungry for dinner (just joking). The only exercise I get is climbing 14 flights of stairs from the roman spa (Dolphin Deck-deck 0, as it is 2 below Biscayne, the last passenger deck) to our cabin (Sun Deck  14). The food is on deck 8, entertainment is on deck 10 and 11. The ship is 1/5 of a mile long and we are at the front. I don't need anymore exercise. We will be home soon. Debbie and Todd

Karen (9/16/01) -- In many ways this has been a wonderful trip, one that will certainly go down in memory as one of the best, despite the bad news back home... but now, I want to go home. So far, our flight is ready to go from Heathrow to Newark, NJ, on Tuesday, and I, quite frankly, don't care what I have to do to get on that plane back home again. British Air can check every item of luggage I have, they can go through all my suitcases, souvenirs, and dirty laundry. 

I just want to be assured a safe trip home, and I want to go home. We've seen the beautiful cities of Glasgow and Dublin, we've felt the charm of the Irish and the warmth of the Scots. Tomorrow is France and I look forward to it. Then (fingers crossed) we go home. I want to go back to the United States. I want to go home. Karen

Debbie & Todd (9/17/01) -- Is it really over and the end? I'm sorry to say it looks that way. Today we saw Honfleur and Deauville and I've decided I think I'm French. This is where I felt immediately at home. It was wonderful. We are flying home tomorrow on British Airways, the one that was not cancelled (the morning flight was cancelled).

The cruise has been wonderful--far too short. I could go again and again

So there we  were in the casino. We had lost all our money and I was down to my last 7 chips. So I stuck them on numbers and one hit! (That's 35 chips.) So I did it again... and it hit again... then 2 more tries and again! Then 2 more tries and it hit again! I went from having 7 chips to 100! I was so excited!!! The same night Todd did well at Craps. Then we went to Deauville and Debbie went shopping!

Today we are walking around the ship taking photos and feeling sad. Debbie & Todd

Warren (9/17/01) -- I have the ship virtually to myself today. I opted not to tour or go ashore, but rather to stay with the lady as many hours as possible. I cannot believe this is the last day I'll ever be aboard this ship. I've used up three rolls of film just today, trying to capture as many memories as I can. I even did a tour of every cabin I've occupied! 

My emotions are running high as I write this. I'm torn between wanting to freeze this day indefinitely and wanting so badly to return home so that I can embrace all of my friends and family that have been coping with the chaos at home. It's been very strange the last few days. I found myself in moments where I was fully enjoying this journey as much as I had ever hoped to. And then... and then... the horror of the World Trade Center and Pentagon creeps back into focus and I pull back. I stop myself from having a good time, feeling guilty that I'm dressed to the nines, drinking champagne, reveling in the moment. 

This has been an incredible journey during frightening times. I hate that it is coming to an end. I want so badly to be home. I'm terrified of getting there. Warren

Back to Page One

"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.