Norwegian Cruise Line, which has expanded its Homeland Cruising
program to include 12 North American homeports in 2003, is
considering basing a ship in California.
“Homeland Cruising is here to stay,” said Andy Stuart, senior
vice president of marketing and sales. “We’re now looking at how we
can deliver Homeland Cruising in more ports.”
The California deployment could begin in 2004, at the earliest,
Stuart said. NCL is due to release 2004 itineraries this month or
Stuart made his comments during recent inaugural festivities for
the Norwegian Dawn in New York. At 92,250 tons and carrying 2,224
passengers in double occupancy, the vessel is a sister to the
Norwegian Star, based in Honolulu. Although the ships are similar
in layout and both offer 10 restaurants as part of the Freestyle
Cruising concept, Norwegian Dawn’s decor is more sophisticated.
In addition, the line said, improvements were made in the design
and location of the public rooms.
The Dawn has three main restaurants and seven alternate dining
venues, three of which charge a service fee.
New on Norwegian Dawn is Cagney’s, a 1930s-style steakhouse
offering certified Angus beefsteaks plus lamb, lobster, veal and
other dishes. The by-reservation dinner venue seats 112 in a
dark-wood setting. The cover charge is $17.50, the same fee charged
by Bamboo and Le Bistro.
The 72-seat Le Bistro displays original oil paintings by Renoir,
Matisse, Van Gogh and Monet all on loan from the chairman of Star
Cruises, NCL’s Malaysian parent.
Bamboo, an Asian-fusion complex, encompasses an a la carte
dining area, a sushi bar and a Teppanyaki room.
In addition to the art in Le Bistro, Dawn’s “wow” factors
include paintings on the hull, staircase landings decorated with
huge Warhol pop-art portraits of Mao and two enormous Garden Villas
with three bedrooms and private gardens.
New features include a casino (which the Star does not have),
children’s facilities with a dinosaur-themed pool and the Mandara
Spa with a large indoor pool.
Passengers who bring laptops can get online anywhere in the ship
using wireless access cards.
Norwegian Dawn has seven-day itineraries from Miami to the
Eastern and Western Caribbean. In May, the ship will be
repositioned to New York for seven-day cruises to the Bahamas.
“West Coast agents are going to be primarily interested in the
Caribbean itineraries,” Stuart said. “They are going to have an
awful lot of clients who’ve sailed on Norwegian Star from Hawaii.
There’s a great database of people who are now looking for
something different and also new customers.”