Part 3 of 3: The following day, Ty gathered up as many of us in the band who were up for a tour of the bridge and operational areas. You can bet I was first in line among the band … I got several great camera shots on the bridge and, for one brief instant, got to meet the operational Captain of the vessel. Throughout the entire cruise, every single officer and crewman I met was friendly, courteous and professional and the NCL staff on-board bent over backwards to see that every passenger had a good time and a good cruise.
There were a couple of days that the sea was choppy and rough, but other than the typical gentle rolling action of the vessel, she was smooth and stable … unlike the Carnival Cruise vessel we passed on our way … all I can say is that watching that ship pass by made me extremely glad I was on Norway and not on that one!
For the most part, when I wasn’t exploring the ship I was up on one of the decks attempting to sun tan. If I had to absolutely find anything negative about that cruise, it would have nothing to do with NCL or the ship ... it was the fact that I didn’t tan, or sunburn, or even get the slightest bit pink from the Caribbean sun; on at least four of the seven days we were out, I ran shirtless in only shorts or swim trunks from 6:AM to 6:PM with no tan oil, sunscreen or anything and never got a bit of color … yet I saw people all around me using sunscreen like there was no tomorrow and still turning lobster red.
When my wife and I would stroll by the funnels on the Sun/Star Deck, it was interesting to hear the sound coming from them … like the exhaust of a giant clothes dryer … and I never got tired of hearing it. I shot skeet from the very stern of the vessel. During the cruise we visited two islands, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. We were supposed to visit a third place, but the seas were to rough for us to get in with our vessel’s deep draft, so the Captain declared a day at sea and it was great. We prowled around out into the Atlantic in no particular direction and Norway fitted herself to that environment for which she had been designed so well … ocean travel … for that brief day out in the open Atlantic for awhile I was able to see and get a feel for what transatlantic travel was all about and it was magical.
Our two nights of performance came and we had a wonderful time with our concerts. All too quickly our seven days and nights on Norway came to a close. When we pulled into port at Miami, it was with a sense of great sadness that I faced leaving the ship (though my wife was more than eager to feel solid ground under her feet again). She departed the vessel as quickly as possible, but I lingered and looked around for as long as I could and ended up being among the very last passengers to leave.
They can build these huge luxury mammoths like Oasis of the Seas and other cruise vessels of similar design … and these newer ships, I’m sure, have their allure … but … in my book, one has not truly experienced what shipping is all about until they’ve sailed at least once on one of the true transatlantic ocean liners. While I am sure that there is a certain appeal to these newer cruise ships (which have always reminded me of over-sized yachts for some reason), there was a magic and personality found in the classic ocean liners that, in my opinion, the newer vessels will never possess.
Suffice it to say that Norway, in a brief seven days, filled me with a lifetime of precious memories that I will always cherish. The movie called Titanic “the ship of dreams”, but I think the same could be said for ships like SS France/Norway.
Last edited by Titan1954; 06-16-2014 at 08:57 PM.