The Progster

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Day 0 - Norwegian Pearl Transatlantic Begins

These entries from the Transatlantic crossing of the Norwegian Pearl are the views of my wife and I. They are put here purely for entertainment and information. If you don’t agree with any of the contents, feel free to discuss it on the Cruise Critics boards at I will add mroe pictures when I have cheaper internet access than you get on the ship ;o)

Well here we are finally boarding the Norwegian Pearl for the first ‘real’ cruise of more then 1 night bound for Miami. The ship is leaving from the Queen Elizabeth II dock in Southampton, where efficiency seems to be the order of the day. The taxi gets to drop us off in a covered hanger area where our bags are quickly taken away to be x-rayed and taken on board. We go through little formality to get our room keys and security pictures taken and a credit card swipe. It was actually faster than it was checking into the hotel last night. We chink through security with the Marks and Spencer 6 bottle wine carrier ready to pay the $15 per bottle corkage, but before we know it, we are through the x-ray security check and on board and in the atrium area.

First impressions of the ship are great, very fresh colours are tastefully used around the ship. The atrium while not very high still manages to host a massive video wall and has icicles hanging from the ceiling, the cool blues used in the seating fabrics and carpet mirroring this theme. NCL have already got into the Christmas spirit with large decorated trees in the atrium and 2007 illuminated signs at the reception desk.

We eat lunch at the Indigo restaurant again tastefully decorated with 3D glass pictures depicting US landmarks on the walls. This is a brighter restaurant that Impressions which takes the same space on the Dawn, mainly due to the fact that it spans the ship with windows on either side. The menu has a very good selection on offer, and it is noticeable that the portion sizes have been increased even since our Baltic’s cruise in July this year. One surprise was that tax was added to the wine price, presumably since we were still sitting in Southampton. Strange as it was never a problem sailing out of the US and buying while still in port, but that’s Gordon Brown for you, collecting every penny he can get.

We met up with several other folks from the CC the Star Bar on Saturday night. Names like Shore Guy, Snorklin’ Barb, Flying Pirate, Inside Cabin, Patchwitch, Tanti and Selle to name a few all now have faces rather than avatars to recognize them by. The Star Bar is a really nice dimly lit push bar on deck 13 looking forward over the pool area. The kind of bar I would expect to see in a classy hotel. A few of us try out Cagney’s steakhouse next door and find the quality hasn’t gone down by any means. Great Oysters Rockafeller, Jumbo Shrimp cocktails to start with, and the Prime Rib is a wonderful new addition to the menu in 14oz and 10oz options.

By the time we leave at around 11:30pm, the wind is getting pretty fierce as we see someone just about blown over trying to walk outside past the restaurant. A good indication of what is to come . . .


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