Page 5 of 5





Page 5 of 5



Labeled uninspiring as "The Pizzeria" on the deck plan, Ciao Chow is much more than a pizzeria! Itís another great innovation that will surely be a hit with passengers. In the afternoon, pizzaís are freshly baked from one the giant ovens behind the bar. But in the evening the restaurant is transformed to a trendy reservations-only eatery that pays homage to Marco Polo, who brought pasta from China to Europe. From China: Steamed Shanghai Potstickers with fried basil and Honey-roasted Duck on Szechuan Risotto. From Italy: the "Ciao-Chow"Pizza del Giorno or one of the "Pastabilities", Italian pasta specialities prepared tableside by the Maitre dí. And thereís much more! Forward on Pool Deck is the marble-clad uppermost level of the atrium (très elegant!). Leading directly from the forward stairwell is the Body Waves Spa, featuring a beauty salon, massage rooms, sauna and steam room (and that room is steaming indeed!), plus a separate fitness and aerobics room.

Located directly above the bridge, with breathtaking views forward through larger-than-life windows is The Observatory Lounge. Decorated in Indonesian style, with fascinating artwork, the room feels airy and inviting. A dance floor and bar are placed in the middle of the room, and brightly colored parasols add a festive touch.

The huge Sun Deck is home to twin pools and 4 jacuzziís under a canopy Ė floodlighted at night. During our visit, the outdoor stage is home to The Norwegian Sky Orchestra, and Iím sure Cruise Director Dottie Kulasa will schedule numerous outdoor events here in Norwegian Skyís inaugural season! Two bars serve the sunning crowd. The Topsiders Bar is anchoring the aft end of the Pool Deck, and the Champs Bar is a wonderful bar and terrace up on deck 12, Sports Deck and actually overlooking the whole pool scene. A "Sun Walk" is surrounding the pool area, with more (padded!) lounge chairs and glass screens to keep the breeze out. A huge full-sized basketball & volleyball court is located right in front of the funnel on Sports Deck, with golf and batting cages located further aft.

Letís conclude the tour of the superb Norwegian Sky with two very elegant rooms, perched high atop the ship all the way aft on Sports Deck. Gatsbyís Wine Bar is a place where you would like to sit down and never stand up again. You might want to bring a good book just in case this happens to you, too! Oversized chairs and couches in gold and brown, a grand piano and a wood paneled bar make this room one of the most elegant on the ship, perhaps only outdone by The Bistro next door. In this luxurious reservations-only dining room tables are smaller than in the main dining rooms; an ideal place to have an intimate dinner with friends. By the time Elisa and I are finished with our shipís tour, itís about time to get ready for a formal evening. We are so taken up by the ship (and our private balconies) that we miss the NCL Management Presentation (sorry NCL!), but are just in time for the Cocktail Party. That figuresÖ At 8.30 p.m. itís dinnertime in the Seven Seas Dining Room. Our dining room reservation cards tell us that Elisa is seated at table 100, and Iíll be at table 406, but the Maitre dí manages to get us a nice table for two at the window. We dine

wonderfully on smoked salmon, tournedos and Cherries Jubilee, and all too soon it is time to go out on deck to witness a most unforgettable fireworks display. Accompanied by music of Vangelis (and others), we see the whole Port of Dover lighted by impressive pyrotechnics. This is one of those momentsÖ

When the rain really threatens to spoil things (this is England after all!), we hurry back inside and find a seat in the Stardust Lounge. Jane L. Powell (who?) turns out to be NCLís own Aretha Franklin and has the audience swinging in the aisles in no time. She and her band are yet another highlight on this expertly organized pre-inaugural party. Next: the Chocoholics Midnight Buffet. Served in the Four Seasons Dining Room, we go there to look but not eatÖ Itís a good thing that we had some exercise before coming to the buffet (i.e. swinging to Jane L. Powell) because of course we manage to end up at a table with

a plate stacked with chocolate in front of us. Chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate-covered bananas, chocolate cookies, chocolate cakes. BAD! But oh so GOOD! After a somewhat short night and a hurried breakfast itís time to say goodbye from Norwegian Sky. At the time of writing the ship is underway on her Inaugural Voyage, and Iím quite sure she will be a huge success for NCL. At first the rather eclectic mix of styles seemed odd, but obviously NCL has tried to design a ship that would please everyone. With her Internet Café and large selection of dining areas and lounges, this is indeed a ship that will appeal to many people. Add to that a very friendly crew of 750 that is obviously proud to be working on the new flagship of the fleet, and you realize that NCL has a winner on their hands. It took some time, but NCL has successfully "reached for the sky" and is back where it belongs in the cruise industry with this beautiful ship.


All photos and text: © 1999-2000 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

Originally published on July 30, 2000. This version published on July 14, 2007

Amenities, decor, charges and services may have changed since this article was written

All rights reserved