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Norwegian Cruise Line Sailing from Houston Bayport October 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line will officially sail from Houston Bayport Cruise Terminal on October 11, 2014 to join the already in service Princess Cruise which started on October of last year. The newly improved 2,374-passenger Norwegian Jewel will be the selected ship to sail from Houston Bayport Cruise Terminal. Norwegian Jewel will be sailing for seven-day Western Caribbean cruises, departing each Saturday from October 11 – April 11, with calls in Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; and Banana Coast or Roatan (alternating schedule) Honduras.

This destination was voted Best Caribbean Cruise for the value by Travel + Leisure, this exciting itinerary offers guests an thrilling way to explore the beautiful Western Caribbean from a convenient departure point. As the namesake of the “Jewel Class” cruise ships, you can bet she’s got it all. As well as offering some of the largest suites at sea, there are staterooms to accommodate every style. When it comes to entertainment, this ship’s filled with excitement: 16 dining options, 13 bars and nightclubs and that’s just the beginning.

Enjoy delicious eats like O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill and Moderno Churrascaria, the Brazilian-style steakhouse, then hop over to the Sugarcane Mojito Bar, offering delicious hand-crafted cocktails. Guests on board Norwegian Jewel will also be able to enjoy delicious cannolis and cupcakes from Carlo’s Bake Shop by Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s Cake Boss and Next Great Baker, at the ship’s Java Café.

For its part, Norwegian Cruise Line signed on to home port at Bayport for 75 departures over a period of three years starting with the first sailing by the 2,374-passenger Norwegian Jewel on October 11, 2014. NCL’s contract with POHA calls for an option to extend an additional two years. From Bayport, the Norwegian Jewel will sail on seven-day Western Caribbean itineraries including ports of call in Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize, and Roatan and Bay Islands, Honduras.

Awaiting passengers there at Pasadena outside Houston will be a stand-alone structure of 96,000 square feet in area. It’s specifically designed to make the embarkation process a pleasant start for the coming cruise experience and to process efficiently and speedily returning passengers and their luggage.

Anticipating a large number of passengers who will drive is parking space for some 800 vehicles. Covered walkways connect the building with passenger drop-off points. Close-in, too, are taxi stands and bays for tour buses that will shuttle passengers in from both Hobby International Airport 25 miles away and the George Bush International Airport 45 miles away.

Inside Bayport is a 13,500-square foot passenger lounge area while 55 check-in counters will be staffed to process boarding guests. Information and even paging messages are transmitted over a network of 40 42-inch plasma video screens. VIP customers will have access to a separate lounge for priority check-ins. It’s also available for wedding parties and similar pre-embarkation social events.

Boarding ships comes at an upper level reached by escalator or for handicapped passengers a large capacity elevator. A glass-enclosed air conditioned/heated FMT Mobile Elevating Gangway provides access to the ship.

For passengers on a pre- and post-cruise vacation, the surrounding areas called Bay Area Houston offers some 35 accommodations ranging from B&Bs, motels and hotels. Some will provide free shuttles to the cruise terminal. In terms of attractions, about 8 miles from Bayport is the 60-acre Kemah Boardwalk, a complex that features nine themed restaurants, amusement rides and games, retail shops and the 52-room Boardwalk Inn.

Officials of the POHA are excited that their long wait for their ships to come in, literally, is over. Says Ricky Kunz who heads up Trade Development, “We’re already getting calls from passengers about where they should park.”

Norwegian Jewel Facts

Passenger Capacity (double occupancy) 2,376
Gross Register Tonnage 93,502
Overall Length 965 feet
Max Beam 105 feet
Draft 28 feet
Engines Diesel Electric
Cruise Speed 22.5 knots
Crew 1,100
Inaugural Date 2005

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