Norwegian Cruise Lines' Norwegian Wind March/April 1998
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a report on the Norwegian Wind from her first 7-day cruise after the "stretch job." It is mostly a description of the additions and changes to the ship itself with some new photos.]
Following the "stretching" of the Windward into the Norwegian Wind, Norwegian Cruise Line's ship can now carry 1750 passengers based on double occupancy, with an International crew of 614. The ship is now 130 feet longer and is rated at 46,000 GRT.
The expanded Four Seasons Dining Room offers panoramic views from most tables and can now accomodate 452 passengers. There are many tables for two, and the room is extremely tastefully decorated throughout.
The Coffee Bar/Lounge, located on the International deck just outside Dazzles, has an excellent selection of specialty coffees. It accomodates 148 comfortably - definitely a hit.
Outdoor Cafe/Pizzeria: located on the Sun Deck, serving both a breakfast and luncheon buffet and snacks. A bit "tight" where located in the corner and line-ups can be long, but if you choose your time wisely, this is a great alternative to the sports bar experience. The Mexican buffet is excellent.
Dazzles Night Club - located just outside the Stardust Theatre and quite well accepted accomodating approximately 175 passengers.
Monte Carlo Casino - located on the Star Deck and a bi-level room with blackjack, roulette and poker tables in one general area away from the "slots ". There are no longer nickel machines in this casino. Casino can be a bit crowded at the obvious times but has good passenger flow through.
Main Entrance/Lobby - Located on the promenade deck and extrememly pleasing with the pastel colors and generous plants that give a welcoming feeling - for those who have been on this ship you will note this is a great improvement.
Conference Center - Located on the Sun Deck and accomodates 60 but can be divided into two rooms of 24 and 36 seats each.
A great addition are the "wet bar and splash pools" located on the Sun deck. This area is very unique with seating for 24 on benches and stools with tables positioned just above the water line. An excellent place to cool off and enjoy a cocktail in the water and still be part of the action area.
The new decor was pleasing to the eye with pastels in grey and rose. Floor to ceiling windows are prevelant in public areas giving a wonderful sense of the sea all around. On this ship one feels they are always outdoors.
The flow of passengers in a couple of areas has been restricted with the stretch. On the Star Deck passengers must pass through the Stardust Lounge to get to their staterooms. At times this can be annoying when the lounge is closed for rehearsals or private functions resulting in having to go up one level, across and then back down. For passengers located on the International deck forward you must pass through the Four Seasons dining room to get to the public areas. This can be a bit disconcerting during dining hours.
Dining experience: If the choice is available to you, the two aft dining rooms, Sun Terraces and Terraces, are the places to be with excellent views from all levels and two rather cozy "private" sections if you are sailing with friends. The food quality and service was excellent and much improved over my previous sailings on the Windward. The alternative dining experience "the Bistro" is a wonderful option for that "special" evening, but be sure to make a reservation and be prepared for a three hour dinner. Menu is somewhat limited and the same throughout the cruise but all in all a wonderful alternative.
Staterooms: Well designed with a pleasant sitting area right by the large picture window. Depending on the category, this area will have either two small chairs with a coffee table or, in the deluxe cabins, a small sofa (some sofabeds). Standard outside staterooms are approximately 160 square feet with ample closet space and hangers, safe, hair dryer and remote color TV. There is no music channel and at times this can make it TOO quiet.
The new "owner's suites" that have been added are quite well appointed with generous use of oak, decorated in pleasant pastels, and a large washroom with walk-in closet and bar area with entertainment unit and separate bedroom. Although these are much smaller than the original owner's suites they are located midship and have private balconies.
Pool Areas: Two - one located on the Sun Deck and the other on the International Deck. Excellent deck space and twin jacuzzis on the Sports and Sun Decks.
Bar and Lounge service is excellent but not overly aggresive. A good selection of bars and lounges.
All in all I would rate the overall cruise experience at 4 STARS. An excellent cruise for the first timer and the Norwegian Wind will no doubt have many "repeaters". Great value!
Photos by Darcia Krushen.
Darcia Krushen has been in the business of selling cruises and managing cruise agencies for many years and we are delighted to have her review!
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please