Tag-Archive for » Norwegian Sun «

Answering The Big Question About Sunset is a Sunset is a Sunset — or is it?

So here’s a question for you. Do you think “a sunset is a sunset is a sunset?” If you don’t, you may find these sunset photos interesting, as we have from a variety of cruises in different parts of the world…

1-Hawaii MakahaYou never quite know what you’ll see when the sun’s setting in the South Pacific, and the contrast of the clouds off the coast of Hawaii can be typical.

2-SFAny cruise ship leaving San Francisco late in the day can deliver this view (if it’s not raining) as you prepare to slip under the Golden Gate Bridge.

3-SunsetThis was the result of repeated attempts (no motor drive here) to catch the sun as it dipped below the ocean’s horizon…did we make it?

4-SunsetThe reflection of the setting sun is always speelbinding, as it was for us, off the coast of South America from the appropriately named Norwegian Sun.

5-Puntarenas-MillThis could be any ocean scene at sundown, so you’ll just have to take our word that it was near Puntarenas, Costa Rica, from, the Celebrity Millennium.

6-Sunset-GuatThis photo from the port of Puerto Quetzal, Guatamela, made it into our archives even though we hadn’t even begun writing about cruising!

7-HawaiiMany cruises visit Hawaii long enough to disembark and enjoy the sun from the shore, enabling the ever-present palm trees to help frame the shot.

Friday File: Favorite Cruise Ships

We’ve often been asked: “What’s your favorite cruise ship?” It’s a question often asked of anybody who cruises a lot by people who cruise a little, or less. Our answer, one we borrowed from the late John Maxtone-Graham, is always the same: “The one we’re on.” That’s pretty much how we feel. When you love cruising, you rarely go on a cruise that you don’t enjoy. At the risk of sounding like Pollyannas, to us cruises are just varying degrees of good. Having said that, over the last six years, these are the six cruise ships we enjoyed the most, for a variety of reasons…


Norwegian Epic: Critics always trash it, but in two cruises we’ve found the complaints mostly trivial.


Allure of the Seas: It’s hard to believe anybody who is objective could find fault with this ship-that-has-it-all.


Coral Princess: In our world, she’s the queen of Alaska, with a feel we call “comfortable in every way.”


Costa Diadema: When you like all things Italian, as we do, you like the flagship of Italy’s main cruise line.


Celebrity Eclipse: When you spend six days at sea, you either love or hate a ship — we loved the Eclipse.


Norwegian Sun: This has everything to do with our longest cruise, 19 days, on a ship that became “home.”

In the news…

• Carrie Underwood joins Carnival Live!  in November to raise funds for vets
• Upcoming SS United States Conservancy announcement to save the ship
• Fog in Tampa once again causes chaos for Carnival Paradise, AidaVita

Today at portsandbows.com: What’s next for Princess Cruises

Carnival Fantasy
4 nights
April 25, 2016
Miami (return): Key West, Cozumel
Inside: $239
Cost per day: $59

The Norwegian Edge For All Its Ships 

On the subject of “you have to spend money to make money” is there an industry where it’s more obvious than cruising.

Norwegian is the latest.

After an aggressive new-ship program that will have enlarged the fleet by six ships in seven years by 2019, it was logical to assume Norwegian might hold off on refurbishing Gemsome of its older ships. After all, the tab for the six new ones that began with the Breakaway in 2013 is likely to be near $5 billion.

If it was logical, forget logic. Norwegian is committing to spending $400 million on freshening up primarily the restaurants on nine ships with a standard of excellence the cruise line is calling The Norwegian Edge. The Epic and Gem have already been done and over the next year they’ll be followed by Pride of America, the Sun, Dawn, Spirit, Sky, Pearl and Jade. The only old ships missing — the Jewel and the Star — were refurbished within the last 18 months.

Here is what will be either added or upgraded to deliver The Norwegian Edge: The Cavern Club, La Cucina, Cagney’s, Le Bistro, Moderno Churrascaria, The Manhattan Room, Garden Café, as well as The Haven Courtyard, Lounge and Restaurant.

Of the seven new-ship years, 2016 was going to provide an investment respite. After the Breakaway’s introduction of a new class in 2013, the Getaway followed in 2014 and the Escape in 2015. Next is the Bliss in 2017 and two unnamed ships in 2018 and 2019.

When the dust settles, Norwegian will have a fleet of 17 ships and be positioned to take a break from making things new.


In the news…

• The ‘Big Storm’ delays port return of Grandeur of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas
• Norwegian, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas cancel 61 port calls in Turkey
• Crystal’s offering short segments as part of World Cruises in 2016 and 2017

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Norwegian Sun
14 nights
February 13, 2016
Santiago, Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco, Chilean Fjords, Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas, Beagle Channel, Ushuaia, Cape Horn, Port Stanley, Puerto Madryn, Montevideo, Buenos Aires
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $28

New ship No. 5 — Harmony of the Seas

Fifth in a series of new ships for 2016


This third Oasis Class ship is already being called the world’s biggest ship by Royal Caribbean, but who’s measuring. Harmony of the Seas is the identical length of its predecessor for the title, Allure of the Seas, and weighs 718 tons more but is 49 feet smaller in width. The determining factor seems to be capacity, which at two-per-room gives Harmony the edge by 88 passengers. It’s really a moot point because the three Oasis sibling ships are the three biggest cruise ships anywhere.

Launch date: May 22

Capacity: 5,488

Sister ships: Oasis of the Seas (2009), Allure of the Seas (2010)

Maiden voyage: Southampton return (4 days)

Home port: Barcelona and Fort Lauderdale

Ships then in Royal Caribbean fleet: 26

Interesting: While Harmony of the Seas has all the trappings that have made the Oasis Class so popular — Central Park, Boardwalk, Giovanni’s Table, Broadway shows, Flowrider — this $1.35-billion ship’s identity is likely to be the Ultimate Abyss. Thrill seekers will drop 10 stories when they venture into the tallest waterslide on any cruises ship, which continue to display slides that are bigger, wilder, scarier. Passengers will wear “WOWBands” to help them find their way and Royal Caribbean says VOOM is the fastest Internet at sea. Harmony’s Broadway show is Grease, certain to be a winner, and its other distinguishing gimmick is likely to be the robots who serve drinks in the Bionic Bar. Do they ask for tips?

Today at portsandbows.com: Geographically appealing ports for Canadians

Norwegian Sun
14 nights
February 27, 2016
Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Puerto Madryn, Port Stanley, Cape Horn, Ushuaia, Beagle Channel, Punta Arenas, Strait of Magellan, Chilean Fjords, Puerto Chacabuco, Puerto Montt, Santiago
Inside: $999
Cost per day: $71

Shaking Hands With Cruise Captains

This is a sign of the apocalypse: Don’t shake hands with the captain of your cruise ship.



According to a recent story in London’s Daily Mail online edition, captains have been warned about shaking hands with passengers, lest they be infected with the dreaded Captain-Princessgastrointestinal illness that we are encouraged to believe only happens on cruise ships.

Oops. We’re guilty. We’ve met captains on almost every cruise ship we’ve been on, usually for an interview, and without fail we have shaken hands probably before and after the interviews. We may be just doing elbow bumps in the future.

The Mail’s story included this message from Crystal Cruises to its guests who may be attending a reception attended by the captain.

“While the captain is pleased to meet you, he and the other staff receiving you refrain from shaking hands in order to provide the most effective preventative sanitary measures.”

Apparently, this has been Crystal’s policy for seven years. Unlike norovirus, it hasn’t spread through the industry, but it could. Or common sense could prevail because, in the words of the Cruise Lines International Association: “You are 750 times more likely to get norovirus on land than on a cruise ship.”

There is another alternative to avoid spreading germs: Wash your hands before meeting the captain.

But that’s old-fashioned and most un-apocalyptic.

In the news…

• Cruise ships bypass Bermuda because of Hurricane Joaquin
• Multi-year partnership for Carnival and New Orleans Saints
• Severe weather delays start of New Zealand cruise season

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Norwegian Sun
17 nights
November 4, 2015
San Diego, Huatulco, Puerto Chiapas, Puerto Quetzal, Puntarenas, Salaverry, Lima, Arica, Coquimbo, Santiago
Inside: $599
Cost per day: $35

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