Posted April 25th, 2012, 03:57 PM
I have never been on either line that you are asking about, but I have been below the equator on long cruise on 4 different ships. I have never found aboard any ship a naturally darkened area where you could star gaze. Only once in my experiences was night star gazing announced and offered with a darkened area. We had an astrophysicist onboard as a lecturer and he arranged it. Once, you could sign up to be called if a clear night occurred and then you could go up top where someone would point things out from a darkened area. (We got the call the first night aboard at 2:15am and we still had jet lag from getting to the ship, so we went back to bed!) Once we asked at the Front desk and they asked someone on the bridge and we got a phone number to call him at night if it looked clear. We called him and he directed us to a spot on the aft of the top deck where he had turned off the lights for us and told us where to look for the Southern Cross. The last time, a junior officer from the bridge offered to take a group up top in the dark for stargazing, but again only after we requested it from the Front desk and CD and destinations lecturer.
My advice is pick the one you want and ask onboard early and often for star gazing, or pick one that has an astronomer onboard as a lecturer if possible. Good luck, Debbie