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I'll be saying goodbye to my Song of Norway figurine soon. My ebay auction will be ending. It's kind of sad to see her go, but I'm retired and downsizing now. I think I can google another picture or two of her so I'm off to search. To everyone who posted pictures....Thanks for the memories!


Hello sea-cruise, I got up 5 min. to late for my last bid so I lost it:( It finished at 6:45 AM my time and I went to my computer as soon as I woke up but it was to late:( Thanks for giving my the E-Bay # so I could bid for it:D



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Hi Carol, I'm sorry you missed out on it. It ended about 10 minutes to 10 a.m. here on the east coast. Thanks for bidding on it anyhow. That's the only one I had of that ship. Now that I'm getting older I can't stand having too much to dust. :o ;) Have a good weekend.

Here is another picture of the ship while it was in New Orleans:

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  • 1 year later...
  • 9 years later...

I know this is a really really OLD post. I am looking for some history about the SONG OF NORWAY.

I went on an eastern Carribean Sailing, I think either in 1077 or 1980? probably 1980.

does anyone have pictures or memories from eastern Carribean itinerary? I remember some of the kids excursions to St. Thomas and shopping there.and I remember the tiny pool.

RCCL really was a great line back then.


anyone have some memories?

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I previously posted these in another Song of Norway thread, but here's a picture of the Song of Norway MDR. Notice the low ceilings compared to today. And check out the waiters in their red and white striped uniforms with straw hats. I think maybe it was America the Beautiful night since we're all waving tiny flags!






Thinking back about those outside stairs to the lounge, I remember tripping and just about breaking my you-know-what coming down those - at night - in the rain - in heels LOL.


And a Song of Norway VCL silly story. We used to live near Dayton, OH, and the Dayton Daily News had a columnist named "Dale Huffman", who was local-famous. One night I thought a man sitting at the VCL bar really looked like him. And after another glass of wine I was SURE it was him.


So I told my brother in law "Tim" to look over there, isn't that Dale Huffman? And Tim agreed, well gee, what d'ya know, heck yes, that WAS the famous Dale Huffman. So Tim gets up and walks over to the guy and holds his hand out to shake hands and asks "Dale Huffman?". And the guy answers "Well I'm sure glad to meet you Dale Huffman, I'm Steve Wilson".


Of course we fell over laughing, and having fun with that (i.e. calling Tim "Dale" or "Mr. Huffman") lasted the rest of the week, especially whenever that guy saw him out and about the ship and would call out to Tim "Hey! Hi there Dale Huffman!" or "You having a good cruise Dale?".

(Sorry - this story was funny when we were tipsy, kind of like continuing to tease Tim later when we were in Ocho Rios during the cruise and they were talking about Jamaican Bauxite mining and he thought they said Box factories and we started writing "Made in Jamaica" on the bottom of boxes. Doesn't take much to make us have a good time, huh)

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  • 1 year later...
On 6/23/2007 at 11:05 PM, LynnAB said:



Hi, Nancy,


My first cruise was on Song Of Norway in September of 1979! We were in the middle of TWO hurricanes, David and Frederick. What a week and what an experience! I had a few very scary moments on the cruise but what ended up being my best cruise in many ways. It was an unbelivable voyage, with stories I'll be telling forever and memories I'll have forever, too. It was amazing and what sold me on RCCL.

@LynnABMy wife was also on that cruise in 1979 RCCL went out of their way to make up for it. She and her girlfriends have a lot of good memories from that cruise.

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6 hours ago, rempage said:

Hello All. My father was a drummer in the Song of Norway and Nordic Prince cruise band back in the 1978/1979. Can you guys help me to decipher the captain at the attached photograph?



You could try asking Captain Johnny on Twitter @HarleyCaptain  He’s been with the company for 45 years. 

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What a fun thread!!  My first cruise was in 1988 on a ship that was called the Regent Sea.  It was my parents, my older sister and myself.  I remember having  cherries jubilee and Baked Alaska--both flaming desserts.  I do not remember eating too much food--my mom made my sister and I wear the patches behind our ears--we did not have any appetite at all.  By the 3rd day of the cruise, we took those patches off and finally ate food!  I remember shooting skeet and hitting golf ball off the back of the ship.  My parents were the youngest adults on board by probably 30 years to the other adults.  My sister and I were the youngest people that had been on board in years--lol.  My sister ended up "dating" our bus boy ( that was his title) the whole cruise.  She spent a lot of time with the crew on the crew floor--not  something allowed these days by any stretch of the mind.  Fun times.

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15 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

You could try asking Captain Johnny on Twitter @HarleyCaptain  He’s been with the company for 45 years. 

Ourusualbeach - many thanks. I'll certainly will. 

Edited by rempage
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Our very first cruise was on the Song of Norway  in 1989!  We had a cabin at the very front of the ship with a port hole....the roo was bowed. Never having cruised before we thought it was so stunning and got hooked on cruising!

I checked the photos from that cruise but none of the ship.

Great memories!

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Never made it on the Song Of Norway but my first solo cruise was on the Song Of America in May 1983. It was the ships twenty fourth sailing from Miami to Nassau, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and St Thomas. Traveled with my wife on Royal Caribbean’s Sun Viking Pacific Coastal Voyage from Los Angeles to Vancouver, British Columbia in April 1995 and on the Nordic  Prince’s Bermuda sailing from New York in June 1986. On a recent Norwegian Jade eight day sailing from Singapore to Thailand and Malaysia in January 2020 we saw the Sun Viking in Georgetown, Malaysia. It is now sailing as the Oriental Dragon, a casino ship doing daily sailings from Georgetown. It doesn’t look bad for a ship that first started service for Royal Caribbean in 1972. It still has the Viking Crown Lounge in the aft section of the ship. I remember staff serving sandwiches in all the lounges and the disco at 1:30AM in the morning. Also remember the cash bar back in the day too!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes it's an old thread and I'm finding it 13 years later. CC is such a great resource!

I worked on the SON as a musician for 12 weeks in late 1985 and a second contract of 32 weeks March through October in 1986 and had a lame Instamatic camera on the first and then a decent Nikon camera bought in Miami for the second so I can make a contribution here to the collective memory.


I was living in London and there was an English band on board in August 1985. Their keyboard player gave his notice. A call went out to the agency in Manchester who had provided the band. A woman in the office said "I know a guy in London" and my next door neighbor got the call and had to scramble to be in Miami in 2 days.

As he left on a Thursday I wished him bon voyage and said jokingly-"If they need a drummer give me a call"


On the next Tuesday he (John) called me from Ocho Rios and said "do you want a job?"


"Ok- you have to be in Miami in 2 weeks and you have to find a guitar player!"

"On it!" I advertised in a trade paper (Melody Maker) and found a doozy who could also sing.


Two weeks later we were in Miami at RCCL offices having our medicals and soon we were on board and rehearsing for sailaway that afternoon at 5pm bound for the Western Caribbean which that year was Ocho Rios Grand Cayman and Cozumel. In 1986 Labadee was added. NCL's Norway would set off ahead of us. An impressive sight.



John and I in our cabin on deck C at the waterline. I'm the man in black. John is being Stan Laurel for a minute.



Being arrested by head waiter Raimund on French night in the dining room



Tendering to Georgetown, Grand Cayman



Passengers returning to the ship in Cozumel


I have lots more, of the ship and the people on board and some insight into the crew-member life back then.

The Nikon ones from 86 will be better quality


More on my next day off...




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Great story Norris. Did you know the other bands as well? I am sure there must have been at least two bands on one ship.

My father was playing the drums in 1984/85 in a Polish band probably on Song of Norway. I must dig out his photos...



Edited by rempage
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3 hours ago, rempage said:

Great story Norris. Did you know the other bands as well? I am sure there must have been at least two bands on one ship.

My father was playing the drums in 1984/85 in a Polish band probably on Song of Norway. I must dig out his photos...




Thanks Adam, I knew two Polish drummers-Teddy (Thadeus) and John and have pics of them which I'll show as we go along. There was also a steel band on each contract. Four bands on the ship on each cruise.

Meanwhile I am off to work.



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I had about two hour's rehearsal with my new band on that first Saturday as I already knew a lot of the rock songs they would play and had a good idea of the easy listening, cocktail volume instrumental tunes that I would need at 5 pm. Yes, we were the band that played indoors during sailaway. The My Fair Lady lounge had huge windows and I could sit and play and look out on McCarthur Causeway where for some reason young women would flash their breasts from passing speedboats.


We played one 45 minute set in this room and then didn't have to play until 11 pm-this time in our main venue the Land of the Midnight Sun disco where we would play 4 sets with a 15 minute break between each when an American guy called Carl would play some records. At 3 a..m we were done and we weren't alone in the room.

We played as loud as we could, which was nice after the restraint of the cocktail music. Who was popular then?

Bruce Springsteen, definitely Huey Lewis, Rod Stewart, Kool and the Gang. Dance music.


One of the cruise directors I worked with (my boss) was a big Aussie man with a beard, bald and a wickedly good stand-up comedian and quick witted. His name was Greg Maxwell and I have yet to see anyone as witty or as smooth as him. My band had to back him up on a special night in the other lounge which was called____

name escapes me now but will return. I only played there for the Masquerade Party and had to watch his hand-signals behind his back (shades of Van Morrison) and produce drums rolls and rim shots for comedic effect.

I had to watch his hands like a hawk and none of it was ever rehearsed. The people that passed across the stage were hilarious in their make-shift costumes as pirates, Roman senators, drag queens, huge men dressed as fairies etc had me and the crowd (always packed) in stitches. I remember- South Pacific Lounge.


I worked 21 hours a week with one day off (always Ocho Rios) but that was a formal night so had to wear an RCCL tuxedo which I loved. Uniforms were provided for the bands so we looked smart and all our laundry was free and pressed.  A cabin steward cleaned our room each day and brought fresh towels. Hooray!


Here are some pics to break up the narrative. As I have warned you before-pics from 1985 were taken on an instamatic camera (i.e. pretty crap). 1986 (if we ever get there ) will have Nikon DSLR pics in the hands of a novice.


Here, on a sunny day is a steel band playing by the pool (cold sea water but nobody cared). They were intoxicated by the stuff brought by the strolling Jamaican "bar service" men who spun large trays as they walked.


That was in Cozumel and some Mexican dancers from the town were brought aboard to dance. Cool!


Also in Cozumel, where I often had lunch in the MDR on the ship, a Mariachi band was brought on board to stroll around during the meal, stopping at tables (loved that!) to uplift our spirits as the weather was so beautiful, the drinks cheap and the beaches fantastic. It was a very unhappy time in my life (LOL!)


on a pedallo in Grand Cayman( probably) with John



Parties in the crew mess were impromptu, fired up on cheap rum (Cruzan was popular) and cases of Budweiser @ $7 for 24 cans. Instruments would appear from nowhere as there were 18 musicians on board and the ship's dancers would twirl. This is our guitarist Geoff from London and Peter from Poland playing trumpet. As there were 47 Nationalities onboard in the mess, Beatles songs proved universally known and that makes sense.



Miami skyline 1985. Taken from the Howard Johnson hotel where we were put up for a week while the ship went to the Bahamas for a quick dry dock. We were given a daily food stipend.



More soon, just home from work.


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The iconic bar on the funnel (much later removed)



 Crew were not allowed in the Viking Crown lounge but I went there a few times anyway and enjoyed how cosy it was and how unique. The ship's Night Security officer was called Leif and he spoke good English and befriended me early on and that helped. Here he is with Mark our bass player from Manchester.



In November 1985 we left the ship and were offered another contract to return in March 86 which we accepted.

There was only one original band member from Manchester and us 3 London dwellers. Once home, my neighbor John decided the sea life wasn't for him , especially on the next contract which was for 6 months.

So I took the responsibility to find two new members as Geoff the guitar player had missed his wife for 12 weeks and was also not returning. Again an ad in Melody Maker and auditions in London which yielded 2 great new people.


I was home for almost 5 months and each day wrote  a letter to a New Jersey passenger I met on my 3rd from last cruise. After the cruise I met her in Miami and we went to Orlando to Disneyworld for the weekend. We arranged to meet back in Miami in late March a couple of days before I sailed SON again.

She's the one on the right



Back to life in 1985 when the ship and cruising was all new to me. Life on board with only 21 hours of work a week was easy-for the musicians at least. We got a day off! Not so the waiters and room stewards, many of whom I knew by now. Their meals were basic affairs in the Crew Mess-mainly big pots of stew and rice. Occasional steaks and fries. Salads. We had our own table at the back of the MDR-the only passenger dining room back then. You could smoke in the dining rooms and bars then. Waiter/busboy service and order as much as you liked from the menu. Cherries Jubilee flamed table side by a head waiter.

This is a 1986 shot of the table with me and Mike our new keyboardist/singer



We sat next to the tiny office of the Maitre 'd, Italian Raimondo, a firm friend



The Marvelous Marvin sticker refers to Marvin Hagler who sailed with us and came to the disco each night with his wife. He was a very graceful dancer-not drunk uncle at a wedding. Nice man. 1986.



The guy in the red shirt is Dave, a friend of Mark's. Yes within 2 weeks of our 1986 contract in March, Mark decided he was missing his new girlfriend too much and gave notice. He gave us Dave's name and we (Royal) flew him out. We didn't hear him until we were rehearsing on the ship after Mark had gone to the airport. 

Luckily he was a great addition to the band and a friend to this day via Facebook!


More tomorrow when I am off work. I'll leave you with a pic of one of my favorite places on the ship.

Promenade deck









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