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Help!! Info on the old NCL Ship Skyward


Fairsky
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We sailed on Skyward twice, 1985 and 1991.

 

Unbeknownst to me when I booked it, the 1985 cruise was a "Hall of Fame Baseball Cruise." Onboard were Ernie Banks, Harmon Killebrew, Enos Slaughter, and Rich Reichert. The MC for all activities was Dick Enberg (then of NBC). I still have a baseball autographed by all of them, and dated. Good times.

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Dreamward was one of the ships they stretched. I cruised on this ship twice before it was stretched. Renamed to "Dream" after stretching.

 

We sailed NCL Dream into a super low system on a Bermuda trip.

 

We had 35 foot following seas. Twice the ship's propellers came out of the water with a Horrible shake and shudder.

I could not help thinking about the photos on the ship cut in half in dry dock I viewed, whilst praying the weld's would hold.

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Hi, I was a musician on the Skyward for 16 weeks back in 1981. It Was one of my favorite ships to work on since we had human rights unheard of on other ships> We were allowed to dance. We were allowed to use the pools. Best of all we had PRIVATE cabins! I lucked out and got the cabin of the bandleader(Franco Pucci) whom we relieved while he was on vacation. It had a Sealy Posturepedic mattress and a refrigerator as well as a private bathroom/shower.As you know the passenger size was around 500, making for a much more intimate experience in meeting people, specifically -girls! One of my pickup lines was "Would you like to come to my cabin and see my refrigerator" ! Corny but strangely effective.

 

Wished I could have stayed on that ship longer. My friends got in the next band and lived 5 years on there with all sorts of adventures. I worked on 12 other ships off and on for a total of about 1800 nights across a12 year time span. Had many many good and bad times!

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My husband and I were married in St. Thomas on our first cruise on the Skyward in April, 1981. Of course I have many fond memories of that cruise; the Italian Singers in the lounge, pictures with the captain, the very small "casino", which was just a few slot machines behind a curtain; those swinging chairs folks have already mentioned. I need to get out our wedding pictures and relive the adventure!! It led to a love of cruising that has continued to this day. Thanks to the OP for bringing up the memories!

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My husband and I were married in St. Thomas on our first cruise on the Skyward in April, 1981. Of course I have many fond memories of that cruise; the Italian Singers in the lounge, pictures with the captain, the very small "casino", which was just a few slot machines behind a curtain; those swinging chairs folks have already mentioned. I need to get out our wedding pictures and relive the adventure!! It led to a love of cruising that has continued to this day. Thanks to the OP for bringing up the memories!

 

Side note : on most ships the Captain gets paid for every photograph taken with him during those parties. The poor photographers have to sell enough photos($$$) to pay him before they get their share!:rolleyes:

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Psanto- Do you remember the show band being under the name of Jerry Shaw Orchestra? I may have been on the Skyward during your trip!

 

I don't recall the name, but I think I kept the daily activities sheets from that cruise. I'll try to dig them up tomorrow and let you know. (that is awful about those poor photographers!!)

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  • 6 months later...
I think they were Windward and Dreamward (formerly Norwegian Wind and Dream). I remember one went to Bermuda when we went there on Celebrity Zenith back in 1995.

We were on the "stretched ship" in the mid 90s pretty sure it was the windward. Our first cruise on NCL!

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For our December 1991 honeymoon, we took a pair of back to Caribbean cruises. We sailed the Seaward (Western Caribbean) from Miami and then the Starward (Eastern Caribbean) from San Juan. These were the first cruises for both of us.

 

The first night in the theater, the Cruise Director announced that the average weight gain on a cruise was one to two pounds. After a slight comedic pause, he quipped - that's per day. Unfortunately, he was very accurate.

 

This was long before free style cruising. All cruisers sat for dinner at the same table, with the same 8-10 guests at the same designated hour. That regimentation hampered our experience, as you were tied to a restrictive schedule - had to be back on board, showered, dressed and seated on time at your designated table each night. We did miss a few shows because dinner ran late.

 

I fondly remember the Maitre D, Mr. Lee. As a gift, our travel agent had a bottle of champagne sent to us on the ship. At the first night's dinner, Mr Lee announced the HE had a bottle of champagne for us. We asked him to bring it out on the formal night, with enough glasses for all the guests at our table. Each night, like clockwork, Mr Lee reminded us that HE had this special champagne sitting on ice. Each night we answered, please bring it out on the formal night (I think it was the fifth night) . The way he continued his repertoire, one would think that Mr Lee himself had gifted us this champagne. Finally on the last night of the cruise, we are all seated for dinner. Back then NCL issued little envelopes for gratuities. All guests had their little gratuity envelopes at the ready. Incredibly, Mr Lee never came to the dining room that night. My bride and I are not gamblers by any stretch of the imagination, however, right after dinner we proceeded to the casino and gleefully deposited Mr Lee's gratuity into the quarter pushing machine. To this day we still laugh about Mr Lee's gratuity and our donation to the casino.

 

As we had the later sitting for dinner, it was a few short hours until the Midnight Buffet began. We were astounded by the huge display of assorted goodies. We loaded our plates and grabbed a seat. After a few mouthfuls, we realized that there was no way we could partake so soon after dinner. That was the first and last Midnight Buffet we attended.

 

I still recall the sail away party on the smaller Starward. As soon as the ship started pulling out of San Juan, a deck full of cruisers with cocktails in hand, a very large number of guests vanished to the bowels of the ship. I never saw so many people get nauseous at once. The following night there were still a few empty seats at dinner.

 

Fast forward to 2010, the kids are now teenagers, and we jump back into cruise vacations. Some have lamented that NCL no longer grants Latitude credit for the "ancient" cruises. Back in 2010, I inquired about our 14-day credit from our honeymoon. NCL indicated they had no records going that far back and I would need to prove my claim. Fortunately, I had the old style docs, portraits taken by NCL staff photographer from formal night and dockside pictures with the mascots, and some original handouts (see below). I even had the menu, which was sold in the on-board gift shop. NCL issued the Latitude credits.

 

I don't recall any swinging chairs.

 

Ah, the memories of a lifetime. By the way Mr. Lee, your champagne was excellent - thank you.

 

Starward_zps6bonftnh.jpg

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  • 2 years later...

I'm late to this post, but I just found it so...excuses. I, with my grandparents, parents, and brothers were on the Skyward in January of 81 and then again in 83 (My brothers and I were between 9 and 17 and were the only kids on the ship for the first cruise and just three of 4 kids for the second). In 81 it was still doing the same San Juan, St. Thomas, Cape Hatien, and Puerto Plata ininerary. The next year NCL experimented by opening up the unique and unvisited (at the time) yucatan including Cancun, Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen, and another port I don't remember (Grand Caymens maybe?) because weather diverted us and we wound up in Nassau. We loved the hanging chairs and, while too young to gamble, I snuck into the slot machine closet (yea, it was small) enough times to make 10 bucks (which was the world to me back then). I do know that between 81 and 83 the slot machine closet was converted to a logod merchandise store/closet, and the card/game room (starboard side, Atlantic deck I think???) was reset at a casino with slots and two or three tables. A couple weeks ago I had my pictures from those cruises digitized, so I'm going to share with you all pics of those things you were all talking about...and a treat, one of the wall hangings from the stairwells.

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Love this!!  We sailed on the Skyward May 5, 1985...Western Caribbean (I remember only Cancun, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and the Private Island).  On the Private Island we were supposed to have a picnic, but a storm blew up shortly after we arrived, and we were hiding behind palm trees to avoid the flying beach umbrellas.  Getting from the tender back onboard the Skyward remains one of the scariest cruise events ever.  We had early dinner with a table of six....pictures show us all dressed up every night.  I remember the grand entrance of the entire wait staff with the Baked Alaska,  "Horse Races" and dance contests for entertainment....and a bar bill which equaled the cost of the cruise!  We were much younger then and life got in the way before we resumed cruising again in 2015.  It is very different now and we love sleeping in a cruise bed that you don't have to put your feet up against the wall to fit in!  

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After operating as the casino ship “Leisure World” for the last few years, the former Skyward was beached for scrapping two weeks ago in Alang, India - the last of NCL’s original fleet.

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On 9/12/2016 at 10:53 PM, Ohio_Bob said:

I think they were Windward and Dreamward (formerly Norwegian Wind and Dream). I remember one went to Bermuda when we went there on Celebrity Zenith back in 1995.

We sailed on the Wind in 2004 around all the islands of Hawaii.  It also sailed all the way south 2 days each way to Fanning Island.  It was a GREAT cruise!!!!

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Posted (edited)

For those of you who may or may not remember...

 

Sometime around '82 the Skyward was refitted with stabilizers. When I was on the ship in '81 there were no stabilizers. I distinctly remember having the early dinner seating when the ship first sailed from Miami. We were in the dining room and the vibrations from the engine not only shook the ship, but rebounded off the bay floor to FURTHER shimmy the ship. I was getting sicker and sicker and the ship hadn't even hit the open waters. Thankfully, that vibration was gone as soon as the ship exited the bay and I was fine the rest of the ship.

 

In '83, when the Skyward had stabilizers, we hit very rough seas. The ship was very small and...well, the tiny ship was tough, if not for the courage of the fearle...wait, that was the three hour tour we had taken out of Hawaii. Where was I? Oh yes, we hit rough seas trying to get into some port so the captain took the ship WAY out of the way (the Caribbean is way bigger than you think) and we wound up headint north to Nassau. However, getting there was the adventure.

 

Back then, the ships moved enough (even with stabilizers) that the halls by the rooms all had handrails. The crew slipped airsick bags in that rail, across the ship. And, above the railing, where the wall met the ceiling, the crew strung ropes. Yes, ropes. They were expecting rougher seas than they were letting on.

 

I vividly remember sitting at the back of the lounge for the show (facing forward I think) and every time a monster wave hit, the ship severely pitched and every last passenger groaned as they rose up and crashed down. That night, after the show, my dad and I were the only non-crewmembers walking the ship. The movement didn't bother me and my dad needed a cigarette. They did have the midnight bufett, but it was really small and there were only a dozen people who showed up.

 

Yeah, the big ships with stabilizers are very different.

 

Oh, and here's another treat. Those last pics were from January 1981. Here are two from January 1983 when the ship was "redecorated" for the Yucatan itinerary. Not only did they put up cheesy decorations, but they built temporary sets for themed shows. One night they brought in local traditional dancers to perform by the fake pyramid assembled on the deck. And, of course, the dinner menus were specially set up to have meals that matched the local "cuisine"...the way Americans may have imagined it in 1983.

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Edited by Mariner Mike
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Posted (edited)
On 9/12/2016 at 10:53 PM, Ohio_Bob said:

I think they were Windward and Dreamward (formerly Norwegian Wind and Dream). I remember one went to Bermuda when we went there on Celebrity Zenith back in 1995.

We sailed on the Wind in 2004 around all the islands of Hawaii.  It also sailed all the way south 2 days each way to Fanning Island.  It was a GREAT cruise!!!!  Fanning Island is an atoll without fresh water and is supplied twice a year by Australia.  In our voyage they were running severely short of food and the Wind provided them multiple pallets with rice. 

 

I also remember getting back on to the ship from the tenders was really scary.  They bounced up & down and the crew timed it so they would literally hold your arms and fling you aboard when the tender side rail was equal to the opening on the side of the ship.  

 

The Wind

approaching ship by tender

boarding from tender

midnight buffet

my son prior to his flight lesson on Hilo

view of the Wind flying overhead

view of Kilauea from above

 

The midnight buffets existed back then :)

 

You definitely felt more of the ocean's motion and that was part of the excitement and charm.

 

This cruise was a part of my 2 sons' graduations, one from college and the other from high school.  The younger was off to college to learn to be a pilot so part of his gift was a flying lesson on the big island of Hawaii out of Hilo.  NCL was wonderful in helping us coordinate that and he had a 3 hour plus flight lesson with some awesome photos.

 

 

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Edited by BigRedFan
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5 minutes ago, Karaboudjan said:

 

What an ugly box they added to the back!  Does anyone know what the ship behind her is?  Not exactly pretty either...


Karnika (Jalesh cruises, India). Former P&O’s Pacific Jewel, entered service in 1990 as the Crown Princess after being built by Fincantieri. It also served as the A'Rosa Blu, AIDAblu and Ocean Village Two before moving to P&O Australia as the Pacific Jewel in 2009, serving the contemporary Australian market. 

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