The 2017 Sweepers Escape

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Tips #2, #3 & #4 by John Minges

Posted by [email protected] on February 6, 2017 at 9:55 AM

Be sure to read John's first blog post by scrolling past this one.

Tip #2: Your key card will NOT have your room number on it…This card is your onboard charge card in addition to your cabin key. You must have this card when you leave the ship when you are in port and must be shown in order to get back onboard the ship!

After you open your cabin door in order for the light switch to work and the electricity to work in all the plugs you must insert a card into the slot above the switch. This slot turns on an indicator light on the outside of your cabin door beside your room number that lets your room steward or stewardess know you are inside. Also there are two buttons you can click on and one is a “do not disturb button” and the other lets your cabin steward or stewardess know to “make up your room.”

Note that the elevators and steps for this ship are all the way forward, the front section of the ship, or all the way aft, in the back of this ship, so you will be walking quite a bit. There are no elevators or stairs in the center of the ship.

Once you are assigned your room number you need to make a point to know what side of the ship the room is located on because the hallways and rooms all look the same. This is not a big deal so don’t worry because I’m going to share with you two easy tips to help you find your room fast.

First you need to know a few nautical terms: Port and Starboard. Port is the left-hand side of the ship facing forward and starboard is the right-hand side facing forward.

When you get off the elevators or steps on the deck where your room is located you will see plaques on the wall by the entrance to each hallway. Each plaque list will have the word Port or Starboard then below all the room numbers.

Tip #3: The carpet on the floor in the halls where the cabins are located have schools of fish swimming and they are ALWAYS swimming forward… this will help you know what direction you are going!

Tip #4 There are a total of 25 different dining experiences as well as 21 different bars and lounges onboard as well as a wonderful spa, casino and yes shopping on board!

What time is dinner?

What time would you like it to be? Norwegian's exclusive Freestyle Cruising lets you choose.

Also you can eat for free or you can pay a little extra and enjoy some specialty meals. Regardless the food is very good. If you want a light snack or a full meal the Garden Café located on Deck 16 Aft is always a great choice! They serve ice cream too!


Since there are over 4,000 passengers onboard it is advisable that you make reservations in advance online for specialty restaurants! If you purchase the “Dining Package” you can visit four specialty restaurants during your seven day cruise without having to pay any additional fees.

To learn more about the different dining options visit the following link: .

Fitness Center….. The Fitness Center is located on Deck 16 Forward in a room that is directly in front of the doors that lead into the Spa. As you walk into the Fitness Center on the right hand side you will see several rows or treadmills and a few stair stepping machines facing the side windows of the ship.

In the corner of the room is a counter where you can pick up a hand towel and a small glass door refrigerator that has cold damp washcloths. On the left had side of the room you will see various weight lifting equipment and a set of free weights.

Spa……If you are interested in making Spa reservations I recommended you book any treatments as soon as you get onboard because they tend to get booked quickly. When you come onboard there will be representatives from the Spa on Deck 6 mid ship in the Atrium by the Guest Services counter. You can also go up to the Spa on Deck 16 Forward. If you book more than one treatment you will receive a discount also Spa treatments are cheaper on days when the ship is in port than when it is at sea!

Plus if you like peace and quiet and don’t necessarily feel like you have to lay in the sun or fight over a deck chair then I STRONGLY recommend you purchase in advance online the “Thermal Suite Pass” which gives you unlimited access to the Spa Thermal Suite for the ENTIRE WEEK! The cost for the week is $199 if you book online which saves you $20 versus waiting to book it on the ship. You also have the option of just going for one day for approximately $54. Regardless it is well worth the price! To learn more visit:

In order to access the Thermal Suite you will first need to check in at the Spa located on Deck 16 Forward. They will verify you have the “Thermal Suite Pass” and place a sticker on the back of your room key. They will take your room key and file it in a card case by your last name and give you another key that opens a door allowing you to enter the hallway leading to the Thermal Suite. In the hall are both men’s and ladies’ locker rooms that have spa robes you can wear throughout your stay. Inside there are also full showers and lockers. I recommend you wear your bathing suit.


At the end of the hall is the glass door that leads you into the Thermal Suite shared by men and women. As you walk in you will find an enclosed panoramic view of the bow of the ship overlooking the horizon. To the right of the doorway are towels and a light refreshment center that includes coffee, tea and cold water flavored with oranges. There are about a dozen heated ceramic lounge chairs which are very relaxing! Also, behind those chairs are several rows of padded regular lounge chairs.

Inside you will also find a hot tub and a large Thalasso Therapy Pool. The pool is easy to enter walking down a few steps with a hand rail. This therapeutic heated-water pool with bubbles will wash away stiff and sore joints and just make you say Ahh!

In order to turn on the water jets simply press the little white buttons you will find around the pool area. In the same pool is another section called the Vitality Pool which provides an even more intense amount of water jet action. In the center is a warm waterfall that you can stand under and allow it to cascade onto your shoulders!

The Thermal Suite not only has the pool area but a steam room, sauna, a salt room and snow room and a separate tropical rain shower.


Check out the following video:


(Make sure and say hello, because this is where I’ll be most of the cruise!)

Casino…..The casino is only open when the ship is in international waters and not while in port. Unlike Las Vegas or Atlantic City there is no international gaming board so the slot machine payouts are not mandated at a certain percentage. Basically I’m saying it is HARD to win a jackpot. I’m sure it happens sometime but not very often. If you want to play for fun it is fine. Also know even though the ship has a no smoking policy smoking is allowed in the casino for players. The casino also has both blackjack and roulette tables. The table minimum for roulette is $10 spin. On roulette the value of the chips is two dollars each versus the standard one dollar.

If you plan on playing a lot you might want to consider getting a “Casinos At Sea” players card so your play can be rated. This will allow you to receive that Reward Points and depending on your level of play may get you invited back for special events that take place on various different cruises.

How are you rated? Table Games: Reward Points are based on average bet, session play or hands played and game type. Reel & Video Slots: For every $5 coin-in, receive 1 point. Video Poker: For every $10 coin-in, receive 1 point.

You can redeem your Reward Points for slot and table game play, toward charges off your final bill or save them for your next cruise. Reward Points can also be transferred from ship to ship. Earned points stay on your account for 18 months if not redeemed.

In order to purchase chips you can pay with cash or make a charge using your cruise keycard. If you opt to make a room charge they add several dollars to the amount as a convenience fee.

An ATM machine is also located in the casino.

Shops….There will be plenty of opportunities to shop on your cruise and these shops are only open when the ship is at sea. Don’t feel like you need to rush and buy something because you will have plenty of opportunity in both St. Thomas and Nassau. On the last day of your trip the shops offer a huge sale on many of the items they charge full price on, so it might be to your advantage for you to wait!


Photos Onboard….As you board the ship and in the evening most nights you will have the opportunity to have your photograph taken by one of the many ship’s photographers. There is no charge to have your pictures taken and you are not obligated to buy any of the photos. However, if you want to have a nice keepsake of your cruise visit the Photo Gallery located on Deck 8 to make your purchase.

Below are informational links for each port of call we will visit:

St. Thomas:



Be sure to check back next week when we share Tips #5, #6 & #7 from John Minges. If you have any questions about this information, you can email John directly at [email protected] In the meantime, be sure to register for the National Sweepstakes Convention here and book your stateroom for the convention cruise here.

Gwen Beauchamp


Categories: Cruise

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1 Comment

Reply Liesje M Fennimore
3:14 PM on July 27, 2017 
Help....? Can i call someone? To ask a few questions