Occupation:Retired Fire Officer
Number of Cruises: 26
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Crown
Sailing Date: September 4th, 2005
We arrived at the New York pier at 11AM and boarded promptly at 11:30. After checking into our cabin, and then avoided the buffet and went for lunch at the Seven Seas restaurant which proved a good choice as we had almost all of our meals there. The food and service were exceptional for a non-specialty dining venue. We were warmly greeted by Maitre 'D Edgar from Honduras who had been our Maitre "D on the Norwegian Dawn. After lunch, I noted the pool was empty on a warm sunny day so I was able to enjoy 45 minutes of solitary lap swimming. We had a great departure from New York and found the ocean unusually calm. I thought my wife could forego her Bonine but she wisely heeded the advice of the Captain who advised there were swells ahead and those susceptable to motion sickness should take their medication. He was right as it got choppy later that night and we encountered some rough seas on our following sea days.
ACCOMODATIONS- Because we were celebrating our anniversary, we booked an Owner's Suite. It was huge with a large balcony with 2 lounge chairs, a queen size bed and large walk-in closet. We were greeted by our concierge Belky from Peru and butler Roel from the Philippines who served us well throughout the cruise. Our cabin attendants Eduardo and Guilliermo, both from the Philippines were outstanding. Our cabin was always made up when we returned from breakfast and the beds were turned down with the next day's program when we returned from dinner. It was the best cabin we have had on any previous ship.
DINING- We had almost every meal in the Seven Seas restaurant where the food and service were consistently exceptional. Our favorite dinner entrees were rack of lamb, sea bass, Duck L'orange and of course lobster. We prefer a table for two but found that those near the window were immediately adjoining a table for four which offered little privacy when both were occupied. We notice some booths for two against the interior wall which we requested and enjoyed many meals on table 51. The 2nd night, we celebrated our anniversary with friends on a table arranged by Edgar and enjoyed a plentiful lobster dinner after which the staff presented us with a delicious anniversary cake as they serenaded us tableside. It was a memorable evening. The Hotel Director Jacque invited us to be his guest at the Le Bistro restaurant where we enjoyed a superb meal on the final night of our cruise. We avoided the crowded and often chaotic buffet and the Chopsticks Asian venue which others said had poor ambiance and food. The menu at the Pasta Cafe was very limited so we didn't dine there but those who did said the food was excellent. The barbecues at Cafe Italia and poolside were tempting but we preferred the civility of the Seven Seas. Overall, we were very please with our dining experience.
ENTERTAINMENT: We really enjoyed the talent and energy of the young members of the Jean Ann Ryan Company. Four of them made a special impression on us. American singers Sarah and Theo can really belt out a song and Canadian dancers James and Chelsea who provided us with the highlight of our week. James sang the anthem of our generation, Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serendade" while Chelsea danced behind him in a beautiful gown recalling memories of Cyd Charisse, to whom she bears a striking resemblance. The only number they did that raised eyebrows among the older cliental was Theo and James singing "Boogie-woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" wearing sailor suits? Among the other entertainers, singer George Solomon impressed with his tribute to the old crooners. Sharkbait were a dynamic duo combining acrobatic juggling with comedy. We found the entertainment to be first rate.
ACTIVITIES: We enjoy ballroom dancing and were disappointed that the fine Amar Orchestra provided music for dancing in the Stardust Lounge on only two evenings during the seven day cruise. The pianist in the Crown Club had a poor venue facing a passageway with people walking by all the time and considerable smoke from the nearby bar. The poolside music was a bit loud at times and far to contemporary for the mostly older passengers. We enjoyed Jeopardy and nightly team trivia which our team managed to win at the end of the week. We avoided the smoky casino. My wife really enjoyed the Salsa Dance Class given by the aforementioned multi-talented Chelsea ably assisted by fellow Canadian James. We felt the complimentary fitness classes were too few and scheduled at inopportune times. Overall, there was no lack of activities arranged by Cruise Director Mike from New York.
BERMUDA: Our visit to our favorite island port-of-call was cut short by rapidly approaching Hurricane Nate. We enjoyed the beaches of St. George on Tuesday and when winds from Nate closed the south shore beaches, we made the most of our final day in Bermuda swimming in a seclude cove on the north shore. All ships were ordered out of Bermuda Wednesday evening as the hurricane was expected to impact Bermuda on Thursday morning. Under the circumstances, we thought Capt. Ronny Borg did an outstanding job in heading the ship east at flank speed Wednesday night to place as much distance between us and the storm by Thursday so we could enjoy calm, sunny seas for our extended sea days. While we missed an additional day and a half in Bermuda, we were blessed with ocean conditions so ideal that the Norwegian Crown was able to just drift in a tranquil sea under bright sun on Friday and Saturday. Debarkation in New York on Sunday was prompt and we were off the ship at 9:00AM, our earliest departure from any cruise.
SUMMARY: Despite the intrusion of Hurricane Nate, we had a most enjoyable cruise thanks to an excellent, friendly staff. We found Norwegian Crown an excellent venue for a Bermuda cruise and would not hesitate sailing on her again.