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Song of Norway RCCL


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Hi Kids -

 

My first cruise was on the Song of Norway as a teen with my family in 1970. Rough sea first night out, my mother bought plane tickets in Nassau, end of cruise.

 

What ever happened to Song of Norway? I read in another thread the history of her sister ship, Song of America, but no definative answer as to SON.

 

Anyone know? :confused:

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  • 2 weeks later...

My first cruise was on SON in January 1988. To think that we thought that ship was huge. I remember it held 1088 people. The 2nd cruise we went on was on Song of America and then Sovergne of the Seas. We just got off Mariner of the Seas that hold 3300+. We've come a long way!! what a great little ship the SON was.

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SONG OF NORWAY was sold to the British cruise operator Airtours in 1997 and renamed SUNDREAM.

 

Last year she was sold to an Israeli company, Caspi Cruises, who renamed her DREAM PRINCESS (no connection to Princess Cruises) and operate her on short cruises from Israel to Greece and Turkey for the Israeli market.

 

You can see their web site here, entirely in Hebrew as she is intended for the domestic market only.

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She was out first cruise on RCCI back in feb 1986 . Very small cabins !! But i like the ship alot . I remember my aunt who use to cruise alot back in 1970 . She was doing a 10 day cruise from NYC on the New Amsterdam of 1939 a great ship un to herself to the Caribbean, and docked next to the then brand new Song of Norway .!! She said she saw this ship in St Thomass call the Song of Norway WOW what a ship !! Remember this was the first new ship build for cruising since the Oceanic came on line in 1965 .At the time RCCI ships were like no others .

Mr Veendam

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  • 1 month later...

She was my first cruise back in Dec. of '79. There were over 50 kids on board (wow!), so they hired two children's cruise directors who actually took us on tours of the islands without our parents! Don't think they'd be doing that now... I saw her in Jan. of '04 at St. Maarten before she was sold to the Israeli company. She was parked in front of the Mariner and was DWARFED! Think I remember hearing something on the Making of the Voyager DVD about how there is about as much crew space on the Voyager ships as there was total space on the Song of Norway...

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  • 3 years later...
My first cruise in 1970 at the age of 11. Have loved cruising ever since!

 

My first cruise too at the age of 14 but in 1972. Haven't missed a year of cruising since either! Going on the Mariner of the Seas in December - saw a great documentary of the ship last night on the Travel Channel.

Edited by cruiselover57
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I worked on this ship many years ago as a waiter, its was a great small ship, had lots of fun in the viking crown lounge.

 

Kelvin@cellflare.com

 

My first cruise was on the Song of Norway as a teen with my family in 1970. Rough sea first night out, my mother bought plane tickets in Nassau, end of cruise.

 

What ever happened to Song of Norway? I read in another thread the history of her sister ship, Song of America, but no definative answer as to SON.

 

Anyone know? :confused:

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  • 1 month later...

Ship+Photo+SONG+OF+NORWAY.jpg

 

Song of Norway (1970-present) Built by in 1970 as ms Song of Norway by Wartsila Shipyards, Helsinki, Finland for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. She was the first new ship built for RCCL, would have two sisters - Nordic Prince and Sun Viking - and soon began sailing seven- and fourteen-day cruises out of Miami, FL. In 1978, Song of Norway was lengthened by 85 feet, to increase her total passenger capacity to 1,024 as well as increase her size to 23,000 gross tons (original size had been 18,416 GT). She would serve RCCL (later RCI) throughout the world, breaking in new territories for the line.

 

Ship+Photo+SONG+OF+NORWAY.jpg

 

In 1996, surpassed by the new and significantly larger ships in the Royal Caribbean International fleet, Song of Norway was sold to British-based Sun Cruises, part of the Airtours/MyTravel Group, who operated the vesel under the name Sundream on cruises, mostly to the Med. As part of the deal, Song of Norways's distinctive Viking Sky Lounge on the funnel, a trademark of RCCL/RCI, was removed

 

Ship+Photo+Sundream.jpg

 

sundream_1970_3.jpg

 

After a short lay-up that began on 26 September 2004 in Piraeus, she was sold and refitted there in order to become MS Dream Princess for Israeli-based Caspi Cruises/Tumaco Navigation in October 2004. Upon completion of the refit in early 2005, she began sailing three and four-night Eastern Mediterranean cruises from Haifa and Ashdod, Israel to Alanya, Turkey, Rhodes, Greece and Larnaca, Cyprus. Some itineraries also included Limassol, Cyprus, Marmaris, Turkey and Santorini, Greece. January 2006 found her some distance away from her home, being used to house students from Tulane University after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, LA.

 

dream_princess_1970_4.jpg

 

 

2006 and 2007 found her chartered to Cyprus-based Lance Shipping under the name Dream. Princess Cruises had let it be known that they had not been happy campers when the name "Dream Princess" was selected for the ship by her Israeli owners in late 2004! In November 2006, Dream was chartered to Gulf Dream Cruise, running out of Dubai in the Gulf, but the venture collapsed after one cruise. On 18 September 2007, while anchored in the port of Rhodes, Dream developed a 10 degrees list. She was immediately evacuated and four officers who where on duty at the time of the incident were detained. The crew was accused of deliberately grounding the vessel to prevent further listing and an ultimate sinking. Divers investigating the incident discovered that hatchways in her hull designed for discharging untreated waste into the ocean, had been crudely plugged with chunks of wood, to prevent those discharges. Doing this kept the waste onboard. However, failure to pump the waste in a timely manner, resulted in the listing of the vessel.

 

dream_1970_1.jpg

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The list was eventually corrected but on 18 November 2007, due to strong winds, Dream came loose of her moorings and collided with a cargo ship which was tied up adjacent to her, causing minor damages to both vessels. The Greek coast guard managed to tow Dream back to her dock, using tug-boats. Dream would remain in the port of Rhodes for nearly two months until her seaworthiness was established. On November 28, 2007 she was towed to the port of Kusadasi, Turkey were she underwent repairs.

800px-DreamPrincessSternDamage.JPG

 

During that same month (November 2007) Caspi Cruises sold the ship to Miami-based International Shipping Partners, Inc. (ISP) who renamed her Clipper Pearl. After her refitting both in Kusadasi and in Valetta, Malta, she was chartered to the Peace Boat organization as a replacement for their Topaz, and once again renamed, this time as Clipper Pacific. The Peaceboat organization is a Japan-based international non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works to promote peace, human rights, equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment.

 

Clipper Pacific's bad luck continued however when, on 16 July 2008 while on her maiden arrival in U.S. waters (for her new owners), she was discovered to have numerous safety violations when inspected in New York by the United States Coast Guard. In addition to her hull damage, inspectors discovered 66 other safety violations, including problems with life jackets, labeling of fire exits and damaged lifeboats.

 

On 18 July 2008, the USCG cleared her for departure to Tampa, Fl where, upon arrival on 21 July, she entered drydock at the Tampa Bay ship repair yard. Ultrasonic images of her hull were taken to check the thickness of her hull plates and needed repairs were made before she was able to resume her transit to Japan. She did eventually reach Yokohama in early September.

 

Ship+Photo+CLIPPER+PACIFIC.jpg

 

 

Clipper Pacific set off on Peace Boat's 63rd Global Voyage for Peace from Yokohama on 7 September, 2008. After visiting various ports in Asia (held up once again in Singapore on 19 September due to electrical problems) and Africa, she passed through the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean Sea. Her next stop was at Kusadasi on 13 October where inspectors from the Classification Society came onboard to take a serious look see. They were not happy with what they found and sent her to Izmir, Turkey for repairs. She would be stranded at Izmir with 700 passengers on board for over two weeks due to problems with her engines as well as other maintenance problems. Now completely off schedule, she arrived at Piraeus, Greece on the evening of 29 October 2008 only to be forced to stay there until 11 November. On that morning she was last seen cruising off the port to an anchorage area.

 

This was the final drop in the bucket for the Peace Boat organization who decided to end its charter contract with the ship. Clipper Pacific's mostly student passengers were transferred to the last minute chartered ms Mona Lisa, which resumed the 63rd Voyage for Peace, picking up where Clipper Pacifc left off. It is unknown at this time what the future holds for the former Song of Norway.

 

Ship+Photo+CLIPPER+PACIFIC.jpg

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Thanks for the updates. I sailed on the Song of Norway twice - once out of Miami and once from San Juan -- and have great memories of her. On the first sailing I got engaged, and on the second we took our two small children with us -- the youngest was just 18 months old and the oldest just 3 1/2 years. One of the dancers babysat for us on a few nights so we could have some time to ourselves. A lovely young lady who the children adored. They were both wonderful cruises with fantastic crews.

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  • 3 months later...

Glad to see the Song of Norway has eluded the scrappers so far. My first cruise was on the SON 1n 1985. I just got off the Explorer of the Seas yesterday on my 11th cruise. Things in the industry have changed a lot in a fairly short period of time. If I could go back in time to '85 and cruise the old SON, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Better food then, better service, more intimate experience I think.

 

I will always cruise but will miss the "good 'ol days"

 

 

 

Dan

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  • 3 weeks later...

My first cruising experience was on the Song of Norway in August 1985

when I did 12 back to back cruises on her. Then in March 86 I began a run of 32 cruises, this time with Labadee added to the itinerary of Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

 

I was a musician on board so the cruises were free!

 

Unlike many of the crew (deck crew, waiters etc) I was in a position to mingle with the passengers and I don't recall hearing any complaints from them over such a long time span. They were having the time of their lives it seemed and many were repeaters.

 

I was very impressed by the food and service in the MDR where myself and my colleagues were served. Even though our three tables were non-tipping the waiters assigned there acted otherwise. Back then guests paid the tips on their last evening aboard and had comment cards to grade service in all areas of the ship (including the musicians) and a waiter with a low score would find himself working as a busboy the following trip or find himself serving us. This dip in his income (they were all male) would make him strive to regain his former status. As the Dining Room manager-a wonderful guy called Roberto- had his small office next to our table he was there to see, first hand, that his staff were offering the same service to us as the guests were to expect.

 

There were themed nights in the MDR- I recall Italian night with the waiters in red hooped tee shirts and straw boaters singing O Sole Mio;

French night had them in blue hooped shirts and berets, with members of the Polish dance band walking among the tables playing accordians and Caribbean night with the bar waiters dancing through the room spinning their trays. The guests loved these fun touches as did I. There was a midnight buffet that looked just like the photos in the brochure and wowed the guests. ( I have a copy of the RCCL brochure from 86 which gets the whole fleet of 4 ships into one booklet).

 

The staff on board were all of the same mind in my long experience-they were all upbeat, happy to be working there as part of a well -lead team

and it showed in their interaction with the guests.

 

The CD I remember most fondly was Greg Maxwell a jovial and very witty

Australian. Does anyone recall sailing with him?

 

I could go on and on but as this is my first post on CC I'll stop here.

 

I just wanted to stop by and salute what was a wonderful old ship made even better by the people I was fortunate to work with for so long.

 

Bimmer09 (who alas has ZERO cruises planned but I am working on it!!)

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We had our honeymoon on the Song of Norway in 1980. We loved the live music in the lounges and as you said the dining room service was impeccable.That cruise got us so hooked on cruising that we also cruised on Sun Viking and Nordic Prince.

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We had our honeymoon on the Song of Norway in 1980. We loved the live music in the lounges and as you said the dining room service was impeccable.That cruise got us so hooked on cruising that we also cruised on Sun Viking and Nordic Prince.

 

Belated congratulations!!

I recall playing for maybe a dozen weddings on board. I wonder if that still goes on?

 

There was live music by the pool on the SON- a steel drum band from the islands played all of their shows there(apart from Caribbean night in the MDR), including a night time one when we would leave Cozumel late. I had to play with them for a week as well as my own shows when their drummer was sent home for trying to bring some herbs aboard at Ocho Rios. I gather that live music by the pool is no longer a "given" on cruise ships, but it should be as it adds to the party atmosphere and the bands don't work long hours.

 

The SON didn't always sail at capacity which I think was 1100. I don't think the line dropped the prices then at the last minute to fill the cabins.

 

I thank everyone who takes the time to review on CC- it has been quite an eye-opener to see some of the cut-backs cruise lines have made over the years. Service and friendliness don't cost much-it's all a matter of leadership and instilling a can-do attitude.

 

Bimmer09

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Our first RCCL cruise was on the SON in July 1985. A 7 day out of Miami. Don't recall the ports. Just posted a new thread asking help for on old itineraries. Good Sailing, Murf

 

PS: Still remember the midnight snacks in the disco. Waiters coming around with sandwiches. What a nice touch.

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Our first RCCL cruise was on the SON in July 1985. A 7 day out of Miami. Don't recall the ports. Just posted a new thread asking help for on old itineraries. Good Sailing, Murf

 

PS: Still remember the midnight snacks in the disco. Waiters coming around with sandwiches. What a nice touch.

 

SON left Miami at 5pm Saturday (returning 7 am)

Tuesday was Ocho Rios

Wednesday Georgetown GC (tendered)

Thursday was Cozumel

 

In 1986 Labadee was added (Monday)

 

Bimmer09

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SON left Miami at 5pm Saturday (returning 7 am)

Tuesday was Ocho Rios

Wednesday Georgetown GC (tendered)

Thursday was Cozumel

 

In 1986 Labadee was added (Monday)

 

Bimmer09

 

Wow, it is just funny to see those same ports as the mainstream ones today, over twenty years later.

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  • 1 year later...

It's great to see how may of us took our first cruise on RCL's very first ship! It was my honeymoon cruise back in 1988 - 7 day Eastern Caribbean out of San Juan - anyone remember the stops? All I remember is Martinique, San Martin, Barbados, but it seemed like we stopped somewhere every day. We were so tired of being tourists that we just stayed on the ship one day! My souvenir coffee mug outlasted the marriage!

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  • 2 weeks later...

SON was my first cruise way back in 1980. I was 19 yrs old. Mom wanted to go on a cruise and Dad didn't so she took me. I was so excited. We flew National Airlines DC-10 red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Miami. I think the cruise cost around $2,100 w/RT air. The RCCL staff was there to meet our flight arrival. Back then food was top notch including nightly midnight buffets. We had a small inside cabin on Main Deck. No casino back then other then slot machines in the foyer outside of each lounge. No big Broadway shows other then top rate singers or comedians. You actually had to climb outside stairs to get up to the Viking Crown Lounge. I fell in love with cruising ever since. Cruising is still really good and RCCL still is one of favorite lives. My last cruise being on Mariner of the Seas in 2010.

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