Norwegian Cruise Line
by Linda Coffman
Nothing could be finer than to sail from Carolina
Norwegian Majesty beneath a "Carolina Blue" sky in
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
"Majesty" of Charleston
traditional gift exchange: Captain Dan Wikingson,
Norwegian Majest, and Anne Moïse, SC State Ports
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.
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
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.
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
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
Majesty (Part 2)