New York

Norwegian Gem Ship Tour Part 1

Norwegian Gem Ship Tour

On a nice day in late September, I had the privilege to tour the Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) Norwegian Gem. Since there are no real opportunities to tour a ship in and around Wisconsin, I need to fly out somewhere and spend a night or go to a conference to take part in a ship tour.  So, with this in mind I flew into New York City the night before and stayed at place using Airbnb. You can read about my stay in a previous post A Un-hotel Option.

Manhattan Cruise Terminal

Manhattan Cruise Terminal

That Saturday morning, after catching a glimpse of the ship from the top floor of the apartment building I stayed at and drinking my cup of coffee, I walked the few blocks down to pier 88 of the Manhattan Cruise Passenger Terminal. NCL allows us to bring a guest along on the ship tour, so I met up with my clients outside the terminal and made our way inside. After going through the normal process of giving up our I.D. to get the visitor badge, we were shown to a waiting area so we can wait till the group was ready. What a perfect time to grab a picture of the artwork on the hull of the Gem.

Norwegian Gem

Norwegian Gem

When we were ready to board, we were taken through the security line where our carry-on bags were checked and were led on board. This ship does have the WOW factor when you walk into the Crystal Atrium. It is beautiful! I will get into the public areas of the ship more in another post since we were whisked off to tour the staterooms first.

Crystal Atrium

Crystal Atrium

We were first taken up to the The Haven, Norwegian Cruise Line’s “ship within a ship” concept. There are many benefits you get when you stay in The Haven which include:

  • 24-hour, trained and certified suite butler
  • Concierge service
  • Courtyard Valet
  • Gourmet “white tablecloth” en suite dining with special gourmet menus
  • Platinum keycard access
  • Exclusive access to The Haven Courtyard with private pool, sundeck, hot tub and fitness area

    The Haven Courtyard

    The Haven Courtyard

  • VIP priority embarkation and disembarkation
  • Priority boarding of tenders ashore
  • Priority reservations in the ship’s specialty restaurants, spa, award-winning shows and more
  • Invitations to private restaurants for breakfast and lunch and to exclusive events
  • VIP private tours ashore can be reserved by The Haven Concierge

We were shown the three bedroom garden villa that I will only be able to see on a tour or in my dreams. This suite goes for just under $22,000 for a 9-night cruise.

Garden Villa Sitting Area

Garden Villa Sitting Area

Garden Villa Master Bedroom

Garden Villa Master Bedroom

Garden Villa Private Courtyard

Garden Villa Private Courtyard

After that, we were taken down to see the balcony and inside cabins. They are well decorated and more spacious than other ships that I have been on. Lets face it though, how much time are you really going to spend in your stateroom? There is so much to do on this ship you will want to spend as much time exploring it as you can. I will get more into the public areas and all the activities there is to do in my next post.

Balcony stateroom

Balcony stateroom

Inside Stateroom

Inside Stateroom

Author Nathan Nehmer: nate@cardinalcruiseandtravel.com

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Categories: Cruise, New York, Norwegian Cruise Line, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social Media Showing Off The Norwegian Breakaway

Don’t you just love social media? Remember the days when you had to wait for the event to be over and the newspaper to come out before you saw pictures of it? Those days are gone! With sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; we can see whats going on almost as its happening. Of course, we also have to thank smart phones for helping out with this feat.

This past week the Norwegian Breakaway was christened in New York City. She is the largest cruise ship to be positioned full time in New York. The build up to the event on May 8, 2013 was huge and everyone in the cruise industry was talking about it. Norwegian Cruise  Line also set up a live video theme of the ceremony. At one point, I saw a tweet that there were almost 6,500 viewers on the live feed but that number dropped as they experienced a few technical problems with it.NorwegianBreakaway.jpg

Then she set sail and we have been seeing pictures and comments come in over twitter and other social media sites. I sorted through some of the tweets and picked out my favorites to show. The picture above was tweeted many times and I can’t seem to find the original person who tweeted it to give credit.

Norwegian Cruise Line was busy posting pictures to their Instagram page. It looks like they are proud of her and want to show her off. Here are some of the pictures from their account.

She has arrived! #norwegianbreakawayis docked in #nyc! Check out the view of the city.

The @rockettes just christened #NYC’s newest ship, #norwegianbreakaway! Time to celebrate!

The incredible Slam Allen is lighting up the room with another amazing performance at Fat Cats On#norwegianbreakaway

Enjoy the most beautiful view of the Freedom Tower in #nyc from deck of#norwegianbreakaway!

You can even chill at Fat Cats on the Waterfront on #norwegianbreakaway!

You can even chill at Fat Cats on the Waterfront on #norwegianbreakaway!

A post shared by Norwegian Cruise Line (@norwegiancruiseline) on

Ok I know what some of you are thinking; These are professionally taken photos from the cruise line to make their ship look good. For this reason I sat down and searched twitter for passengers pictures of the ship. There were plenty to chose from so here are some of my favorites.

I think those are some impressive photos from people who were already lucky enough to sail on her. I can’t wait to get my turn to see her in person

Author Nathan Nehmer: nate@cardinalcruiseandtravel.com

Categories: Cruise, cruise news, New York, Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line News, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Titanic II Hotel or Cruise Ship?

Danielle, Aka @CruiseMiss, recently wrote in her blog; Titanic II A Legacy Or A Curse; her feelings about the plans to build the Titanic II. This plan is being pursued by Australian business man, Clive Palmer, and has the whole cruise world debating on if it’s a good or bad idea. Here is an excerpt from Danielle’s post, to read her whole post click here.

“Is there a demand for this type of vessel? I don’t really think there is however if she did come along I know many people would be truly fascinated by her and it would certainly be something very different indeed for our modern times.

Could she sustain herself? Maybe, there are one or two cruise lines with just one vessel and they manage to survive however, they are modern vessels with all the modern luxuries we crave whilst at sea.

I think the subject of Titanic II will forever have a divide and my own feelings lean me towards the “not such a great idea” area.”

Her post got me thinking more about if this is a good idea or not. For the most part’ I agree with Danielle that there won’t be a demand for this ship. This is especially true after the first couple of years, after the Titanic enthusiast and history buffs take their cruise. So does this mean I think it’s a bad idea to build this ship? Whoa…wait a moment before go that far!!

While I think that this won’t work as a cruise ship, I think that it could possibly be a good idea to make it into a floating hotel. A few points on why I believe this:

  1. The cost to spend a couple nights on the Titanic II would be far less than taking the Trans-Atlantic cruise. This would encourage the interested people to do this if they couldn’t afford the weeklong cruise
  2. This would cost less to operate, as the fuel would not be need to propel her through the water. The electrical and water systems could be hooked up to city utilities.
  3. The main dinning room could be made into a fine dinning restaurant that could be open to the public instead of just the people aboard the cruise.
  4. They could also build in a Titanic museum into the ship that would be open to the public therefore, increasing the possible revenue.

Am I saying this is a great idea, not even close? What I am saying is that, in my opinion, it works far better as a hotel than it does as a cruise ship.titanicII

So what are your thoughts, I want to hear them. Am I way off line on this thinking? Do you have any ideas or should the whole Titanic II idea be scraped altogether. Please leave your comments telling me what you think.

 

Categories: Cruise, cruise news, New York, news, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Look at The Haven on the New Norwegian Breakaway

The Norwegian Breakaway will be making her New York inaugural voyage on April 30, 2013 from London to her year round homeport New York City.  She will be making sailings to the Bahamas & Florida and the Caribbean during her inaugural winter season.

Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Breakaway

I wanted to take you on a trip to her exclusive area, The Haven. Guests who booked themselves into some of the most luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodations on board the Breakaway; will enjoy an experience of a lifetime. Some of these experiences that guest will enjoy are:

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  • The Haven Courtyard – A private pool, sundeck, hot tub, fitness area, as well as the The Haven Restaurant and The Haven Lounge that is exclusive to The Haven guests

    The Haven Courtyard

    The Haven Courtyard

  • The Courtyard Valet – The Haven guests will experience dedicated Valet in The Haven Courtyard to provide personalized service, whether it’s taking a guest’s drink order or providing an extra towel
  • 24 Hour Certified Butler – All of The Haven’s butlers receive formal training by the International Institute of Modern Butlers and are available to our guests day and night
  • White Tablecloth En-suite Dining – If guests of The Haven want, they can have their butler serve a gourmet meal in their suite, complete with white tablecloth for an upscale, fine-dining experience (perfect for the newlyweds on their honeymoon)
  • Platinum Colored Keycards – These special babies will get you enhanced recognition throughout the ship.
  • Priority Reservations Throughout the Norwegian Breakaway – A dedicated concierge can secure reservations for The Haven’s guests at specialty restaurants, the spa, entertainment and invitations to private events

    The Haven Restaurant

    The Haven Restaurant

The Norwegian Breakaway features 7 stateroom categories within The Haven.

1.    THE HAVEN DELUXE OWNER’S SUITEWITH LARGE BALCONY

These Suites are located in The Haven and offer amazing ocean views, a wet bar and an extra-spacious wraparound balcony. They include a king-size bed; additional bedding that accommodates two, and one and a half bathrooms. This stateroom can sleep up to four people.

2.    THE HAVEN OWNER’S SUITE WITH LARGE BALCONY

These beautiful Suites are located in The Haven and offer amazing ocean views and an extra-spacious balcony. They include a king-size bed; additional bedding that accommodates two, and one and a half bathrooms. This stateroom can sleep up to four guests.

3.    THE HAVEN 2-BEDROOM FAMILY VILLA WITH BALCONY

These Villas are located in The Haven and are perfect for the family. They feature an extra-spacious balcony, two bedrooms, one with a king-size bed, the other with a double sofa bed and two bathrooms. Can sleep up to six guests.

4.    THE HAVEN COURTYARD PENTHOUSE WITH BALCONY

These Penthouses are located in The Haven and include a king-size bed and private balcony with a fantastic view. (Sleeps up to three)

5.    THE HAVEN AFT-FACING PENTHOUSE WITH BALCONY

These Penthouses have access to The Haven and feature a king-size bed plus dining and sitting areas. They offer an unforgettable view from the aft-facing, private balcony. (Sleeps up to four)

6.    THE HAVEN FORWARD-FACING PENTHOUSE WITH BALCONY

These Penthouses have access to The Haven and feature a king-size bed plus dining and sitting areas. They offer amazing views from the forward-facing, private balcony. (Sleeps up to four)

7.    THE HAVEN SPA SUITE WITH BALCONY

These Suites have access to The Haven and are the perfect way to experience a total spa vacation. They include a king-size bed, hot tub, oversized waterfall shower and multiple body spray jets, spa décor, easy access to the adjacent Mandara Spa and fitness center, as well as complimentary access to the Thermal Spa Suites during regular Spa hours. (Sleeps up to two)

 

 

Now you may be asking yourself; if you book a cabin in The Haven, does this mean you can’t explore everything else the Norwegian Breakaway has to offer. The answer is: by all means no! In fact, I encourage you to explore the rest of the ship. She has so much to offer you, it would be a great disservice to yourself not to see the rest of the ship. The hard part would be to want to leave The Haven.

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Click on the image to contact us for more information.

The Haven is truly a great way to relax and feel pampered as you enjoy everything that Free-Style cruising with Norwegian Cruise Line has to offer. Why not make your plans to check out everything The Haven has to offer?

Stateroom descriptions and photos are courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Categories: Cruise, New York, Norwegian Cruise Line, travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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