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Cruise Lines Cruise Reviews

Spitsbergen Cruise

MS Nordstjernen, Page 3
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ABOVE: Upper and lower berths in Cabin 220. INSET BELOW: Private bathroom, Deck B hallway.

Cabins on the Nordstjernen

The MS Nordstjernen has 54 passenger cabins, and the operative word is "cabins," not "staterooms" or "suites." All cabins are small, compared to those on modern cruise ships, and most have bunk beds. (T- and G-class cabins on deck C have twin lower berths, and in T-class cabin 306 or 351, one of the beds can be converted into a couch during the day.)

I was in cabin 220 on deck B, one of 29 outside A-class cabins with bunk beds and private facilities. The cabin was tiny but comfortable: If I'd been a ballet dancer, I could have done my pliés, but pirouettes might have been a challenge.

photoThe cabin had cozy bunks (which were a bit short for anyone over 5 foot 10), a narrow closet, and a small table with chair between the bunks and the door. A wooden door led to the bathroom, which had a sink, vacuum toilet, and a shower curtain.

Cabin 220 was just the right size for one person, though it might have felt crowded if my wife had been along. Of course, on a ship as small as the Nordstjernen, you can use the bathroom, toss on your clothes, and head one or two flights up to a public room while your companion gets dressed. (With so much great scenery outside, you probably won't spend much time in your cabin anyway.)

photoIf you're on a budget, you can opt for an C-class inside cabin with private facilities or a D-class inside or outside cabin with just a sink. All D-class cabins are in the aft section of deck B, with toilets and showers nearby. (Separate men's and women's WCs are equipped with floor-to-ceiling toilet stalls, and unisex showers are in small private rooms off the hallway.)

Tip for passengers with private facilities: Pack an old towel to use as a bathmat, because there's no border around the shower. Also bring a bar of soap, because the only liquid-soap dispenser is next to the sink.

Next page: Dining and public rooms

Spitsbergen cruise review and photo diary:
The ship: MS Nordstjernen
Dining, public roooms
Crew and guides
Landings, port visits
Planning your cruise
Day-by-day photo diary

More about Spitsbergen:
Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Bird Cliffs of Spitsbergen (Fuglefjellet boat trip)