norwegian sun - norwegian cruise line : cruise ship review & photos

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Norwegian Sun - Norwegian Cruise Line - cruise ship review & photos

In 1966, Norwegian ship owner Knut Kloster and Miami-based Arison family formed NCL and changed the face of the cruise industry by offering the first fly-cruises out of Miami. Now, 40 years later, Norwegian Cruise Line is back - stronger than ever. The line's new owners (Star Cruises of Malaysia) have invested heavily to once again make NCL one of the front runners in today's demanding cruise industry. And from what I have seen, they will certainly succeed.

When Star Cruises took over the control of NCL in 1999, the first thing to go was assigned seating at dinner. Labeled as "Freestyle Cruising", all NCL ships now offer open seating in any of the main dining rooms or specialty restaurants. The first new NCL ship to be custom designed to the "Freestyle Cruising" concept entered service on September 10th, 2001 and is named Norwegian Sun. Built by Lloyd Werft of Bremerhaven, Germany (who also delivered Norwegian Sky in 1999), Norwegian Sun reached an impressive top speed of 23,6 knots during North Sea trials at the end of August. Just hours after the new ship was officially handed over to her owners on Friday, August 31st, 2001, I boarded the ship in Bremerhaven for an overnight celebration.

NCL did a marvelous job in making all their guests feel at home on their newest and flashiest vessel yet. All dining venues were in full operation, drinks were on the house, ShowTime in the Stardust Lounge featured a full-scale musical extravaganza, and at Midnight the doors of the main dining rooms opened for NCL's signature Chocoholic Buffet. With no less than nine restaurants, twelve bars and lounges, it was all too clear on that Augustus day in 2001 that Norwegian Sun was about to change the face of the cruise industry!

Now, five years later, carrying one of NCL's signature oversized tattoos on her hull, Norwegian Sun has found her place in the fast growing NCL fleet. On the following pages, you will find the report that was first published back in 2001 on these pages. Welcome Aboard!

Norwegian Sun docked at Bremerhaven's Columbuskai on August 31, 2001. This photo courtesy NCL

Norwegian Sun during sea trials - without the hull art that was added in 2006. This photo courtesy NCL

Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line
Year built: 2001
Building Yard: Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven, Germany
Gross Tonnage: 78,309
Length: 258.6 m (853.0 ft)
Beam: 32.2 m (105.8 ft)
Passengers (normal): 1,936
Passengers (maximum): 2,627
Crew: 968
Service speed: 22.6 knots
Sister ships: -


Photos and text: 2001-2006 Bart de Boer - Photos on this page courtesy of NCL.

Originally published on September 25, 2001. This version published on May 28, 2006

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