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Norwegian unveils new ship and new itineraries

SmarterTravel

This weekend, I was invited to attend the christening ceremony for Norwegian’s newest ship, the Norwegian Pearl. I was able to explore the ship and pick up the latest news on NCL America’s Hawaii itineraries.

The Pearl is sister to the Pride of Hawaii and Norwegian Jewel, but not an exact replica. The ship is unique in that it offers the line’s first bowling alley and rock climbing wall. The bowling alley-cum-nightclub is a great space, decorated bordello-style with velvet lounge chairs and beds, and features four 10-pin bowling lanes. The rock climbing wall is shorter than Royal Caribbean’s, but the “easy” route I tried was a lot harder than my climb on the [% 1247422 | | Freedom of the Seas %].

Other innovations include two new owner’s suites located above the Garden and Courtyard Villas for all you wealthy cruisers out there. The ship’s boutiques have been moved from an out-of-the-way area at the back of the ship to a high-traffic location between the Asian restaurant complex and the theater. The lounge chairs by the pool have also been upgraded—no more crappy plastic chairs.

The Norwegian Pearl will sail alternating five-night western Caribbean and nine-night southern Caribbean itineraries. This summer, the ship will reposition to Seattle to sail seven-night Alaska cruises.

There’s also news for NCL America fans. In September 2007, the Pride of Aloha will begin alternating 10- and 11-night Hawaii cruises from Honolulu. Every fourth sailing will call in the Fanning Islands, with the other three solely interisland affairs. These itineraries will let guests have the ultimate Hawaii experience, as well as a day or two at sea to enjoy the ship and views of the Na Pali, Molokai, and Oahu coasts.

The Norwegian Sun will return to Miami and start seven-night western Caribbean cruises in October 2007. Ports-of-call include Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

For more information about any of these sailings or the new ship, visit Norwegian’s website.

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