Shipboard Life

Nothing can really prepare you for life onboard a cruise ship. You could say it’s a bit like a floating 5 star hotel. This hotel had 12 levels. This elevator leaves reception reaching all the way to the the top.


Level 11 is the main deck of the ship. All of us enjoyed the pool and spa, with warm spring weather for the duration of the cruise.

SL Pool

SL Spa

The stairwell from the main deck leads to the outdoor Games area

SL Bask

The basketball, table tennis and driving range are popular pursuits

SL Sports

A popular activity for the Berrys and Bradings was the table tennis


and still more table tennis…



Shipboard Life in the 21st Century


As far as shipboard entertainment is concerned, however, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Ane endless array of activities are scheduled throughout the day beginning with the “Wake Up and Stretch Class” (7.30am) to the “White Hot” dance parties into the wee small hours

Jen led the way, enticing Karen to a “girl’s night out”on the Dazzles Disco dance floor. Comedians and magicians were also popular. The highlight for the Berrys and Bradings was “Cirque Pan” a stage production tribute to Peter Pan. The acrobatic displays by the dancers were fantastic.

<image: Peter Pan>

and the show concluded with a grand finale featuring the staff, officers and crew of the Norwegian Sun. A great way to end the cruise.

<image: crew>

Activities for the kids

<image: activities for kids>

Children are also “taken care of” with a program running each day from 9am – 10.30pm! The B&Bs (Berry and Brading kids) preferred their freedom for the main but did enjoy a couple of activities including the Pizza making party in the Pacific Heights Restaurant!

<image: pizza making>

Freestyle Dining

Of course all the above was “free” to passengers, hence the term “freestyle” appearing in the ship’s literature. Perhaps the most enjoyable (and decadent) aspect of freestyle is the dining experience. With a choice of 10 restaurants, including the exclusive Seven Seas and Four Seasons we will not eat this well again. No doubt it was appreciated by the Bradings, weary from their RV Road and Camping trip. It was certainly a contrast to the more spartan diet endured by the Berrys on their North American road trip in the months that followed.

Shipboard Life in the 19th Century

In a quiet moment while reclining on deck it suddenly dawned on me how different this was to the shipboard experience of my maternal ancestors! I had recently read the newspaper reports of the ill fated voyage from Aberdeen to Melbourne, 150 years ago. It carried my 4x great grandfather, his wife and 5 children. As was common in those days the provisions were insufficient for a voyage of months. To quote the editorial in the Melbourne Argus

“The lives of a great number of passengers were endangered, and sacrificed,  from the despicable  economy of the attempt to save a surgeon’s salary…with a supply of provisions either bad or deficient. We trust that the case of the Nerbudda will act as a warning…very considerable disgust has been excited by some late cases both here and in the adjacent colonies”.

That story had a bitter twist. On arrival my ancestor was stretchered to Melbourne Hospital where he died leaving a wife and 5 children. The result was a 50 pound fine for the Ship Captain – the money being used to support the widows and orphans in their new life in the colony!


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