We are going on the Norway in October for our son's birthday and we will be traveling with a 3 yr. old. I was wondering what activities are available for that age group. Also we are on the Norway deck cabins V205, V207 and V213. Has anyone stayed in these rooms and what is your opinon. Thanks for your input.
I couldn't say what it would be like with a 3-year old, but here is our experience: We just got off the Norway after a 7-day cruise to Eastern Caribbean 5/4/03 - 5/11/03. We took our 7 year old; it was his first cruise, our second (the first was with Royal Caribbean). Our cruise was the week after the school holiday, so there were not many families with children during our trip. It didn't matter to our son. The children's facility, called "Troll-land", was so beloved by him that he refused to do anything else when Troll-land was opened (even swimming in the pool, which he would love normally). There are three age groups, 2-5, 6-12, and teen. Troll-land is only open on at-sea days, from 9-12 am, 2-5 pm, and 7-10 pm - You have to take the kids to meals yourselves. There is also babysitting (at an additional fee) from 10 pm to 1 am if you need it. Whenever Troll-land was opened, Mark insisted that we take him there (even if we had to take a break from dinner to do it). When we showed up to take him back, he tried to negotiate for 10 more minutes (or whatever he could get). He made some very good friends there (we exchanged addresses/phone numbers). The counselors are excellent, and deserved a gratuity (optional) in our opinion. Also, there was an entertainer, Tolliver, part of the Jean Anne Ryan Company, who enchanted the children with his gymnastics, and he stopped by Troll-land one evening to greet them. This was thrilling for them and he was very sweet to do that. Don't miss the performance given by the Company on the first night at sea.
Interesting that you are in those cabins - we were in V209 and V211 (adjoining), which are on the Viking Deck. They are OK, nothing special. You'll have one double and an upper bunk bed in each room. The cabins were better on the RC Explorer of the Seas, but since we hardly spent any time there, it wasn't a problem for us. They are very conveniently located (in the aft of the ship). Your dining room (Leeward) is one or two floors just below you (depending on whether you are seated upstairs or downstairs). There is a decent children's menu with the usual staples...PB&J, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, burgers, pizza, spaghetti, etc. Seems kind of a shame to take a kid on a cruise and have them eat PB&J, but that's what our son opted for most of the time. The Casino & Photo Gallery is one flight above you, and two flights up is most of the action - the International Deck (shops, information, lounges, Great American Restaurant). Dazzles Disco and the Pool Deck are down the hall (to the rear of the ship). Only Troll-land and the Internet Cafe/Library are far from you; two flights up and all the way to the bow section. As you've probably heard, the elevators are quite slow; we took the stairs almost everywhere we went, and believe it or not I lost 5 lbs.
If you want to email me for more info, please feel free - and enjoy your cruise!!
Yes, we would do the Norway again. But we also would not feel tied to NCL, and might experiment with another line, like Princess. Here's the rundown, IMHO: The Explorer (Royal Caribbean) was fantastic and really sold us on the idea of cruising. However, it is very modern, and very large. My husband and I preferred a more intimate and "antique" feel, and since the itinerary, timing and price of this trip worked out, we booked without hesitation. I expected Art Deco decor to have a more "elegent" atmosphere, to me, though, it seemed almost modern (for example, the stairs and chandelier in our dining room were made of stainless steel). I wasn't really impressed with the interior appearance - although I liked the Club Internationale. The ship itself is nice looking, more like a ship and less like a box, the way some of the newer ships are. It also travels very smoothly, with very little sensation of rocking. It didn't feel too crowded, except in the Great American Outdoor Cafe and on the pool deck. It did get annoying at first when people reserve pool chairs with towels, but we didn't let that bother us; if we needed a chair, we just looked for one that hadn't been occupied in a while and moved the towel(s). The food and service, overall, were better on the Explorer, but not by huge amounts. We stayed away from the Cafe and ate mostly in the dining room. The food was adequate, with a some exceptional dishes thrown in. We did not eat at Le Bistro ($$), but I heard people say it was well worth it. As you've probably heard, the tenders are a pain in the a**, but it's the price you pay for traveling on a ship like this (that is too deep to dock). Tendering with a 3-year-old will probably not be fun. You will be between a rock and a hard place as far as shore excursions. Based on our experience with the Explorer, we deliberately did not book any shore excursions through the Norway, and that was the right choice for us. We think they're way too expensive, you waste a lot of time waiting for your group and in lines, and we didn't like the sense of being herded around. Unfortunately, if you don't book an excursion through the ship, you don't get the first crack at the tender. So you'll end up getting to the islands a bit later. Hope that helps!