European Vacation My Way 2016: Time to Cruise

Welcome back to my travel blog. Today, we leave Copenhagen behind and take to the high seas aboard the Norwegian Cruise Ship, Star. The ship weighs 91,740 tons, is 965 feet long and 105 feet wide. In addition to its 1,083 member crew, it welcomes aboard 2348 guests for each cruise it takes. The wasn’t our first cruise, but unlike last year’s Celebrity Cruise to Alaska aboard the Millennium where there were dress codes and formal nights, the Star offers freestyle700x475_MainImage_Star dining–eat where you want, when you want, and if you want to dress up, you can do that, too.

We met in the hotel lobby late morning and boarded a bus for our trip to the harbor. Since Tuesday was a work day,   the traffic was horrendous–not cars, but bicycles. We passed a bike traffic jam. I’d never seen anything like it before. Treehugger has some great pictures, much better than the ones I almost got.from the moving bus. It’s amazing. Check it out.

The bus ride to the port was a long one, with the bus driving down streets so crowded and narrow, it was a wonder he made it through. The port is located far from where we were staying, and as you approached you could see that the city is under construction everywhere. They’re even reclaiming the sea to make more land. DSCF6004 DSCF6003

Once we boarded the ship, I took pictures of the warehouses at the docks and the expansion. Is it just me or do things look prettier?

I’m not a fan of standing in line waiting, and I have to admit, the waiting to board the ship was long, but it was handled well. The only official picture we purchased was this one taken after registration and before we boarded the ship itself.

NCL cruise 2016

And so the adventure begins. The Star was an awesome ship.  We had a cabin with a balcony. Our steward kept everything in order for us. Here John was trying to put stuff in the cabin safe, but the thing didn’t work. Within half an hour, they’d replaced it.DSCF6007

After lunch at O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill (Deck 8). This is the ship’s 24 hour restaurant. It was the one place we could usually find without getting lost–which I did several times. The restaurant–more of a open space with tiered seating overlooks the atrium. It’s lots of window seating. The food was delicious. We had several late breakfasts, lunches and dinner there our first night aboard ship–although we missed the roast beef, but that comes later.Here’s a peek at some of the balcony seats and the gorgeous ceiling. IMG_1913


This second picture is taken from the staircase that leads to the Java Cafe in the atrium.

All ships have a sailing out protocol and on the Star, this was a presentation–a musical extravaganza on the pool deck. While it definitely wasn’t swimsuit weather, the crew made us all feel welcome and at home.IMG_1908

There were even a few hardy souls who soaked their feet in one of the hot tubs, but sorry. WAY too cold for me. IMG_1885

Off we went to explore the ship. We found the two main dining rooms, Versaille and Aqua.IMG_2826

Versailles, all gold and posh, decorated with pictures of King Louis XIV, was where we reported for lifeboat drill. It was also the ship’s main dining room. We had several meals there throughout the cruise. Everything was absolutely excellent and the service unbeatable.


In the Stardust Theatre we got a glimpse of what we’d be seeing during the week and met the ship’s leaders. Most were from the Philippines, but the captain was Swedish.

After the presentation, we headed to Gatsby’s, one of the ship’s main bars. It became our meeting place. My husband loved being addressed as Mr. John. Here he is  enjoying a beer with Stan, a friend from Cornwall also on the cruise.  20160519_211826IMG_1906

There was a nightly piano player who was always good to listen too. We made friends there too–couples from the United States, England, Australia, and New Zealand. We played games such as Country Shape Trivia and Name that Tune. I even played the one-armed bandit and won $60.00.

DSCF6008Our next day would be a sea day, where we could sleep in,or do whatever we liked. After that we’d make our first Norwegian Port. For now, it was good food, good drinks and lots of happy conversation.

See you next time for a look at a Norwegian Fjord town!


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