Alaskan Cruise (Thursday 25 June, Redstone Lake) Tinus

Gazing over a lake – coffee at hand – I sit and ponder our fortune. My dad and brothers are off to play golf, my mother is outside writing. Music fills the room behind me. Oh, how grateful I am! We have truly been abundantly blessed by the King and to the flow of blessings there seems to be no end!

Thousands of thoughts, which I am desperately trying to catch and pen, are flying about my head. Mostly thoughts of all that has happened in my life thus far. Stories I wish to share but can't seem to find an appropriate introduction for. Thoughts of praise to our Precious Lord. Thoughts of things and times so beautiful that I can't help but feel it can only be put to paper if the perfect words are found. Yet even as I sit and ponder them, words, even the very best ones available in my arsenal, fall woefully short!

But my mind can contain no more and be it that I fail horribly at portraying the wonders I have seen and experienced, it is still better than not voicing them at all, I suppose.

I therefore mean to undertake that which I have – for reasons I have just tried to explain – postponed until now. Though there are a great many things I would love to share, somewhere I must start and a recall of our cruise aboard the Norwegian Star seems to be a proper place to do so.

This account to follow is, however, mostly for my own gain and you will do nor yourself, nor me any injustice in not reading any further. Besides, I am perfectly aware that you have already heard (or read) plenty of our week on the waters.

When I shall publish this post (hopefully soon) and how many hours I shall sit sifting through all the fragments of stories and memories overcrowding my head (oh, how lovely is such an overcrowding!) I know not, but about that you need not worry for if you are reading this, I must already have posted it. J

Allow me to start with the ship upon which we sailed. She goes by the name of Star, Norwegian Star.

Her 92 000 ton bulk elegantly absorbs the 1100 crew members from 56 different countries and more that 2000 guests. The mass of people is so effectively dispersed between her 14 decks, more than 10 restaurants and 12 elevators, that it never feels crowded aboard. And therein lies possibly one of the main reasons I enjoyed the cruise so much. For you see, I am but an introvert in a family of passionate people. A tentative C among D's and I's. I have long ago been teasingly dealt the name of "Spoedvark" (for those that have no understanding of Afrikaans, it sort of translates to "Speedy.") I'll have you know, that the name has been very liberating to me, for now I have a license to be slow! Oh, how often do the member of my family dread (not really) the day I became Spoedvark

See, what I mean, my head is a mess of thoughts! Please forgive me if I lose tread of my story and be warned that it might happen again.

Anyway, though I have learned to love the fast paced life I was born into, I need time of silence and solitude every now and again in which to recover, to recharge if you will. And that this cruise was for me, but more on that later. I was still telling you about the Star.

Deck 6 is home to the Casino and Cigar bar (and no, I did not hang out in either), as well as the lower portion of the Stardust Theatre. The rest of the Theatre resides on deck 7, forward. Deck 7 and 12 are the main public areas of the ship. A host of restaurants (amongst them the Blue Lagoon) the Galleria duty free shop (yes, they even cater for shopaholics aboard), the photographers' headquarters, the Carousel night club and Pearl martini bar, as well as the reception, housed on the lowest floor of the main atrium at the centre of the ship, are located on deck 7.

Set on deck 6 mid-ship and astern, respectively, but accessed only by stairs from deck 7, are the Aqua and Versailles Main dining rooms.

Five floors above the Stardust, forward on deck 12, the Spinnaker lounge enjoys panoramic views. When nothing is happening in it (which seldom occurs, since it is used for "game shows," staff quizzes, bingo and other entertainment), it is a wonderful place to sit, gaze and read.

Behind it the chapel, with blue chairs looks out massive windows on the port side. The lifestyle and card rooms, which look exactly the same: green tables and comfortable chairs, occupy the starboard side. Between them and the chapel (I'm still on deck 12, forward) are the library and Cinema.

Venturing further backward on deck 12, you walk out onto the pool deck with 2 slides, a pool, 4 hot tubs and the Grill. Behind it is the Market, the ships main cafeteria which serves breakfast (7:00 – 11:00), lunch (12:00-15:00) and dinner (16:00-22:00). As if they knew you would feel guilty at merely looking at or thinking about all that food, the spa and gym are next in our journey from bow to stern on deck 12. At the very back of the ship, two ping pong tables, 2 hot tubs and the kiddies pool occupies the open deck.

Walking up a flight of stairs from there, the helipad (sit-and-soak-up-the-sun-in-icy-Alaska-since-no-helicopters-ever-come-to-the-ship-space, in other words, are at the very rear of deck 13, which is open deck all the way to the bow.)

Before you think you are at the top of the ship just yet, ascend with me to the 14th deck that bulges from the centre of the ship at both the stern and bow. On Deck 14, aft, are located the 2 garden villas and the basketball court. The Bier Garten and another hot tub is upon deck 14 forward.

Just to clarify, the open part of deck 13 thus wraps around the "bulges" on which deck 14 is. Furthermore, the pool deck on deck 12, has clear skies above it, as deck 13 has a gap in that area.

Open decks can be found all around deck 7 (upon which a few shuffleboard courts are located) , the pool deck and stern deck on deck 12, the helipad and outside edges of deck 13 (housing the 400m jogging track) and the forward observation deck on deck 14.

The remainder of the ship is mostly filled with staterooms. Ours was located on deck 4 forward. Rooms 4557 and 4559

There, that is the ship.

If I have lost you, which I probably have (not because of an error on your part, but my over detailed and unimaginative description,) I beg you pardon. I once again extend the offer to stop reading at once.

If anyone still chooses to proceed, I must explain a few more things.

Norwegian Cruise Lines pioneered a policy they call freestyle cruising. Basically, it means that you can almost do whatever you want, whenever you want, wearing whatever you want wherever you want. Between the Market Café, Grill, Aqua and Versailles you are almost always sure to find something to eat, all included in the price of the cruise. If you still find yourself hungry at a time that none of these are open, you can order room service or visit the Blue Lagoon 24/7, also at no charge. The rest of the restaurants (on decks 6, 7, 12, 13) charge extra.

Now, on to what we actually did…

But before I start, I must go refill my cup of coffee for it has become cold. (I can’t remember the last time I allowed that to happen…comes to show you how hard this recording business is.) The problem is, I know not if I shall return to my post soon. But as I have said, about that you need not worry. For now, share my joy and contentment if you can. The lake lies like glass before me, Laurika Rauch is singing behind (the second album to fill the room since I started typing), my mother is still writing and the other men have yet to return. The sky is palish blue and the trees on the far shore vivid green. Truly, we serve a great God!

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Well, that is how far I got beside the lake in Canada. After the break above, which was intended as but a brief pause (but did after all lengthen considerably), my mother and I went for a stroll down the road and I dared go kayaking once more (a funny story can here be recalled…maybe I shall tell it later).

Now I sit in Atlanta, in my "office" (and off course my coffee is not far) and finally post Volume 1 on our Alaskan Cruise.

Though it is off topic, alow me to end with by quoting the words of Himlin Galant.

I can't wait for the day that God's glory shines forth in our government, education, law, economy, arts (magazines, music, movies incl.), churches and international partnerships.

It's what burns in my heart, I cannot rest and nor can I give God rest until this vision materializes... for His glory and humanity's sake... We are the salt, we are the light... no longer can the world decay, no longer can darkness reign... yet we have to allow Him to prepare us...


  1. I enjoyed reading about the ship and have jotted down a lot of information as we will be cruising on the Norwegian Star in December (God willing). One question--can I wear crop pants in the Versailles and Aqua when we go to dinner? Or are women required to wear a skirt or dress for the evening meal in those restaurants? My e-mail address is My name is Shirley.

  2. First off, I have to say that I LOVE cruise ships.
    I spent over 12 years working on them as a Scuba Instructor,
    Shore Excursion Manager and an IT Officer.

    For 2 years I also worked shoreside in Miami as a database IT guy.

    During my years on ships, I have to stay that many things happened
    and that life is definately stranger than fiction on cruise ships.

    Many people have asked me to share the stories I have collected over
    the years, so I am complying with their request.

    My site is:

    If you had any stories of your own to add, please
    send them to me and I will be happy to add them.

    Sean B. Halliday