Friday, September 23, 2016

Cruising Alaska Freestyle

Thank you for following my blog. I thought I had been doing pretty good getting a post published weekly. However, in this lifestyle of living in an RV and traveling full time, we sometimes find ourselves parked in a location where internet access is not good enough to publish a post. That has been the case since my last post. I typically write in or near where we are parked, rather than travel to another location to post. With that said, I am now in a sunny location with better internet access and it is time to share more fun that my sister and I had on our journey to Alaska. After completing all of the posts on our journey to Alaska, I will attempt to catch up our land journey in the RV.

This is the beginning of our last week in Alaska. We are on a luxurious cruise ship, seeing more beautiful sights and cruising the inside passage.

Our Alaskan adventure continues on the Norwegian Sun, one of the ships owned by NCL, the Norwegian Cruise Lines. The Norwegian Sun was built in 2001, refurbished in 2016, and holds 1936 guests (double occupancy). Prior to leaving the dock from Seward, Alaska, on Monday, June 6, at 9 p.m., everyone met at their assembly stations for a mandatory lifeboat drill at 8:30 p.m.

“Freestyle” is the name given to this type of cruise. Instead of having meals at scheduled times in special locations, we had freestyle dining. All of the following were included in the cruise fee. There were two main dining rooms, Four Seasons and Seven Seas, with three-course meals and daily specials from which to choose. More casual dining was available at buffets, the indoor Garden Cafe and the Great Outdoors, with made-to-order stations and classic favorites. The Sports Bar had late night munchies. Room service was available 24 hours a day with a convenience charge of $7.95 per delivery except for the complimentary continental breakfast.

Cover charges were added and reservations were highly recommended at specialty restaurants which included Italian, American style Steakhouse, French Bistro and more. Other additional charges included  gratuities, beverage and specialty service charges, and additional taxes could apply while in certain ports.



Because of the large variety of choices of food and the ease of moving through the line and dining at a table near a window, we usually ate at the Garden CafĂ© during the day. There were far more choices of food than I can begin to list here. Choices included soups, individual salad items and salad choices, including American potato salad with huge chunks of potatoes, slaw, and more. There were dill pickles, sliced tomatoes, bagels and cream cheese, chunks of cheese, fruits, and vegetables. Other choices included  sandwiches, bread/rolls, grilled items, beef patties, meat choices the way you like, and different entrees every single day. Desserts including a variety of small slices of cheesecake, puddings, mousse, fruit pastries, and more were conveniently located on the way to the beverage station. Last, but not least, the ice cream station was located at the start of the line, where waffles were made.



The food was great and the items listed above do not even begin to list them all. It was always convenient no matter what we had planned for the day. In the evening, we tried to time it so we could get a window setting in one of the main dining rooms.

Following the Sun

The Norwegian Sun is a beautiful ship. I love this way of cruising. Choices seem to be the key when you cruise freestyle. The size of this ship also contributes to the large variety of things happening onboard. Here it is being readied for its next cruise.

The Norwegian Sun
Every morning the “Freestyle Daily” publication was outside our cabin door.  It highlighted the adventure(s) for the day, special events and the evening’s entertainment lineup. One entire page had a list of the events happening for the day divided into morning, afternoon, and night and listed the time, the event, and its location. Also included were other “good to know” things.

Aboard the Norwegian Sun

Our room had a balcony deck and was located on the 9th floor.

If  we ever got turned around, it was as easy as looking at the fish on the carpet to determine which way to go. The fish on the carpet swim forward towards the front of the ship. The red fish in the photo below is going the wrong way.

Fish on the carpet swim forward towards the front of the ship.
Interior Photos

The glass behind this open staircase in the central area of the ship was one of the elevators.  This elevator was behind the staircase and opened toward the aft (back end) of the ship; another like elevator opened toward the front for guests coming or going from the front of the ship.

Beautiful open staircase
Open staircase from an upper deck
The Chapel was located near the forward part of the ship.
Part of the Art Gallery
Metal art with vertical mirrors reflecting behind it
Metal art with vertical mirrors reflecting behind it
Internet cafe and seating area
Glass tile artwork near entry area of one of main dining rooms
Exterior Photos

Weather permitting, poolside buffets were set up on deck.
Approaching the pool area
Upper deck photo
Swimming on a sunny day
There were so many wonderful things to do. Our first evening, we decided to go to the “Welcome Aboard Show” at the Stardust, which featured a stage with lower and upper balcony seating. The variety show featured an introduction of the staff, and a sneak peak of the fabulous entertainers that would be performing throughout the rest of the week.

Sunset was 11:11 p.m.; I took this photo at 11:57 p.m. to show how light it was outside at that time.

Photo taken 46 minutes after sunset
Sunrise was 4:27 a.m. the next morning.

Thank you everyone for visiting and following my adventure. Feel free to make comments. We will see more beautiful scenery as we continue cruising. In my next post, we will see Hubbard Glacier.

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