Winter on the Norwegian Jewel Part 1
Norwegian Jewel – Tulum Ruins, Mexico
Norwegian Jewel – Tulum Ruins, Mexico
Last month when the Mr. and I were on the Norwegian Jewel the Captain of the ship was Lars Bergstrom. Captain Lars has such a warm and welcoming personality it’s nearly impossible not to be immediately drawn to him. Proof of which was that after the Q&A on board with the Senior Officers, he was nearly rushed by what seemed like half of the ship, whom he happily and patiently spoke to and took photos with.
So I was particularly glad when after I asked he said that he’d be happy to sit down for an interview. I’ve also included the video of the Officer Profile – Question and Answer session that took place in the Spinnaker Lounge, where he, the Hotel Director and newly appointed Chief Engineer answered a variety of passenger questions. It was hosted by Cruise Director Dan “The Man” Olsen.
Where are you from?
The middle of Sweden 3 hours north of Stockholm.
How long have you been a Captain?
20 years – 8 years with Norwegian
What made you decide to go into this line of work?
Born and raised in middle of Sweden – My Father’s cousin who was sea all of his life, was like a big bear, he’d have 3 kids on each knee and he told stories from around the world 8 years old and decided to work on a ship.
While his parents weren’t initially happy when he officially decided on a life at sea at 17 his parents weren’t too happy about him leaving, but they were both happy and proud when he graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy of Stockholm in 1979.
What are your basic duties?
Office work. Bridge work. Overall in charge. Making sure that things are right at all times.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Everything. You have to love people. If not you would work on a cargo ship.
How would you define your command style? And how do you feel it benefits your officers, staff and crew?
Open and friendly. Everyone that works on board should have a good time when they are working here. Being happy, everyone should be happy. Try to get them in a good mood. They work hard here for 10 months. You’d better be alert .. say the right things to them and make them happy. I have to be the Captain sometimes too. Screaming shouting is not my thing. It’s better to have your crew on your side.
What has been your favorite ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet to command and why?
The Jewel. I love this ship. I love the crew we have on board.
If you could sail anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
The Far East. Anywhere in the Far East.
What do you think is the most important thing that a passenger can do to increase their on board safety?
Participate in the drill. Read behind the door, there’s a big map of where to go and what to do in an emergency.
What do you feel distinguishes NCL from other cruise lines?
Freestyle cruising, definitely. We’ve come very far in that. All the ships that we’re building are for freestyle cruising. Norwegian is the innovator.
Check out the Officer Profile Q&A from the Norwegian Jewel below
A big thank you to Captain Lars for taking the time for the interview. I definitely hope to see him on future sailings on the Jewel.
Past Interviews with Norwegian Cruise Line Captains
Copyright © TravelXena.com 2013
Day 6, 7 and disembarkation on day 8
Day 6 – Second Day at Sea
I left the door to the balcony slightly open in order to take in a bit of sea breeze while sleeping buy the time I woke up in the morning the wind had kicked up quite a bit, signaling of course that we were actually on our way up North.
I slowly washed up and got dressed and by 11:00 we walked over to the Java cafe where I had an Cappuccino Aroma and started to catch up on writing about this trip.
Noon meant that it was time to have lunch at our favorite spot, Tsars. Vietnamese Summer Rolls and Portobello mushrooms for me again along with Shrimp Caesar salad.
Next up was an interview with Captain Lars Bergstrom. I’ll be posting that soon. Captain Lars is a very pleasant welcoming personality and the kind of person one looks forward to meeting again. So it was nice to have the chance to get to know a little more about him.
We had a table near the window that evening in Tsars and we could see that the waves were quite high! It was fascinating to watch and was indicative of what we would see the next day as we continued sailing along the Atlantic coast.
Food rave: And as much as I love, love, love creme brulee, there is a Pecan Pie adorned with chocolate Ice Cream in Tsars Dining Room that will make you smile for days. It’s delicious times 2 and worth trying when it’s on the menu.
Day 7 – Third Day at Sea
Another late morning, ah how I love those. The ship was moving quite a bit now, thankfully neither of us are really effected by sea sickness, here and there I’ll feel a little off, albeit nothing major. JP the Magician shared a tip and that’s to put some sugar under your tongue and suck on it. Sure enough it seems to work for motion sickness.
We went to the buffet for lunch and said hello to Felix Esprit the Restaurant manager on the Jewel and Angelito Santos the Executive Chef. Both of them have done a great job because the food style and flavor of the meals that we had on board was very good and simply delicious. There’s a Tilapia meal that I’m looking forward to tasting again the next time I’m on board when Chef Santos is there. One of the reasons his style of food prep ranks high with me is that I feel fish and seafood in general should be well done. I don’t want to have to send it back and ask to have it cooked further. If it’s juicy on the inside I’m not going to touch it. The fish dishes on the ship always had the right touch of moisture and were easy to eat and flavorful just as I like it. If only all places made seafood in this fashion.
Felix was very kind and treated my sweetie and I to dinner wherever we chose that evening. Since Le Bistro is my husband’s favorite I went with that one. We had a chance to have some of our favorite dishes twice as a treat from NCL, first from my Platinum Latitudes status and the second from Felix. What a nice happening on vacation! Thank you Felix!
After we dined we went to the question and answer session with Brenda Kaye the Hypnotist, Jean-Pierre Parent the Magician and Comedian and the acrobatic couple Celia & Julien.
Right after the Q&A I sat down with JP to do an interview with him for my travel blog. It was interesting, insightful and of course funny! If you haven’t already looked at it, you can check it out here.
About an hour after that we went to Stardust theater for the Officer Profile, it was then moved to Spinnaker Lounge before starting so we went upstairs 6 flights (yes we walked, staircase climbing was out major exercise for the week.) and made our way to the front with cameras ready. Captain Lars Bergstrom, Hotel Director Hugo Vanosmael, and newly appointed Chief Engineer Tihomer Hirdalo. The Chief Engineer for our sailing was Terje Bjerkan from Norway but he was not at the profile.
Afterward Captain Lars was nice enough to take photos with the crowd that swarmed him for photos after. It was pretty cute, there were a lot of young kids that were thrilled with the chance to have a picture with the man that runs the ship.
It was my chance to grab a photo with Hotel Director Hugo Vanosmael. I’d heard a lot of good things about him on the Cruise Critic board and they are true. He’s a very approachable HD.
After the officer Q&A in Spinnaker lounge we decided to stay so that I could take photos with Cosmo and Wanda from the Fairly Odd Parents. Yes I was the only big person standing there for a photo that didn’t have a little person with me. :p
That evening we said our goodbyes to Rocelle our lovely room steward from the Philippines. A kind personality and a friendly disposition we really enjoyed meeting and getting to know her. Hopefully we’ll see each other again on a future voyage.
Day 8 – Disembarkation Morning
After a week of fun, sun, food, and people it was time to go. Never easy to leave a place of comfort and entertainment we nevertheless woke up finished packing and left stateroom 10520. It was a nice comfortable room that we’ll miss having. We’d originally booked a room in a different category grade, but were very nicely upgraded into the balcony room. Thanks Norwegian Cruise Line!
Since Hurricane Sandy still effects Pier 88, the immigration process getting off the ship was basically taken care of on the ship. We waited about 35 minutes on this line before being able to see one of the 3 immigration officers on board. Probably a bit shorter than what the wait would have been outside, and thankfully in the warmth. I would recommend that different color tags are called spaced apart a bit more to prevent the congestion, but in the end there would be a long line anyway either on or off the ship, and I can only imagine how much tougher it must be for the crew to prep for the next wave of passengers when hundreds of us are still on the ship, so kudos to them for all of their hard work.
We’ve nothing but good things to say and great memories of our end of the year cruise on the Jewel and are happy to have had a chance to cruise on her again after a year and a half. We’re Looking forward to cruise number for on her…perhaps this year.
All photos and written material copyright @TravelXena.com 2012