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Norwegian Majesty
Norwegian Cruise Line

by Linda Coffman

Nothing could be finer than to sail from Carolina

Norwegian Majesty beneath a "Carolina Blue" sky in Charleston, SC

No airport hassle, no flight expense... if the remarks of passengers debarking Norwegian Majesty in Charleston, South Carolina are any indication, southeastern cruisers are delighted that Norwegian Cruise Line has extended their Homeland Cruising Program to one of the south's most majestic cities.

"It was great!" -- "Try ALL the restaurants." -- "Our cabin with a picture window on deck six was a lot larger than we expected." 

Those were just a few comments overheard as we dodged porters wheeling carts piled high with luggage on our way to board Norwegian Majesty for a luncheon and tour.

Passengers within driving distance park their vehicles in a near-by designated lot and shuttle to the pier, while those arriving at Charleston's airport are but a half hour away by taxi. It's all about convenience! Our drive from Augusta, Georgia was an easy three hours and, with an embarkation beginning at 1pm, there is plenty of time to arrive in the city, drop the luggage off, park, and browse through the City Market before heading for check-in and a leisurely lunch on board.

The "Majesty" of Charleston

The traditional gift exchange: Captain Dan Wikingson, Norwegian Majest, and Anne Moïse, SC State Ports Authority

According to Colin Veitch, CEO & President of Norwegian Cruise Line, "Charleston is a vibrant, beautiful city and an ideal location on the East Coast for Norwegian Majesty, a favorite with NCL passengers."

While not purpose-built for NCL's Freestyle Cruising concept, Norwegian Majesty has many of the elements passengers have come to expect on board her newer and larger fleetmates... dining options, a variety of entertainment selections, a spa, and facilities for children. Passengers can tailor a cruise vacation on this intimate vessel to fit their personal tastes, not someone else's.

Dining
Norwegian Majesty, a diminutive ship by 21st Century standards, still manages to offer both traditional and alternative dining choices, the hallmarks of NCL's innovative "Freestyle Cruising" concept.

  • Seven Seas Dining Room—One of two main restaurants with menus created by master chefs
  • Four Seasons Dining Room—The second main restaurant, smaller and more intimate
  • Le Bistro—NCL's signature upscale French Mediterranean restaurant; the per person cover charge is a steal
  • Pasta Café—When the sun goes down, the Royal Observatory is transformed into a popular Italian trattoria, featuring crisp linens on cozy tables for two or four and individually prepared pasta dishes--squisito! Dining with a magnificent view and no cover charge.
  • Café Royale—Buffet style eatery adjacent to the outdoor pool area; open for breakfast and lunch as well as snacks
  • Piazza San Marco—Serving up 'burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and ice cream

For late night attacks of the munchies, head for the Rendezvous Lounge or the casino where snacks are served from 11:30pm until 12:30am and midnight to 1am respectively. And, lest your forget... it's hard to go hungry on a cruise ship with 24-hour room service available. 

Because this is Freestyle Cruising, passengers can choose resort casual attire every night or dress up for a special dinner. Formal attire during one evening is optional with one or more restaurants set aside for those who don't want to forgo this shipboard tradition. The only "dress code" caveat is that no jeans, t-shirts, shorts, cut-offs, tank tops are allowed in any of the restaurants at dinner. Most passengers selected an array of "country club casual" outfits, ranging from pant-and-top ensembles to cocktail dresses. Pack light and think mix 'n match with various accessories. Without assigned dinner partners, it's unlikely that anyone will notice a "repeated" garment.

Freestyle Cruising offers the flexibility of dining when you wish and with whom you choose. What a concept... eating when you're actually hungry!  For parents who want to share a romantic dinner for two, the Kid's Crew program and group babysitting solves the problem of child care.

Staterooms

Built in 1992, Norwegian Majesty was "stretched" in 1999 when a 112-foot midsection was added to increase her size. While that meant more space, unfortunately there were some features that could not be updated, such as the addition of balconies—none of the staterooms have them.

While there are numerous stateroom categories from which to choose, basically they are configured in six layouts and fares are determined by size and location. (Pictured is a Superior Oceanview Stateroom on Deck 6)

  • Owner's Suite—Living room, separate bedroom, twin lower beds that convert to queen-size bed, floor-to-ceiling bay windows, stereo with CD library, VCR, mini safe, hairdryer, tub & shower, TV, refrigerator. Concierge service. Average square footage: 374
  • Suite—Twin lower beds that convert to queen-size, sitting area, floor-to-ceiling windows or large picture window, VCR, mini safe, hairdryer, tub & shower, TV, refrigerator. Concierge service. Average square footage: 235
  • Superior Oceanview Stateroom—Twin lower beds that convert to queen-size or double bed, picture window, hairdryer, shower, TV, refrigerator. Average square footage: 145
  • Oceanview Stateroom—Twin lower beds that convert to queen-size, picture window, hairdryer, TV, shower. Average square footage: 108
  • Superior  Inside Stateroom—Twin lower beds that convert to queen-size, TV, hairdryer, shower. Average square footage: 145
  • Inside Stateroom—Twin lower beds that convert to queen-size or double bed, TV, hairdryer, shower. Average square footage: 108

Take care when selecting a stateroom—even some in the top categories have obstructed or partially-obstructed views.

Continued --> Norwegian Majesty (Part 2)

Photos © M. D. Coffman/Author's Collection


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