This was a last minute cruise purchase. We had and have so many various commitments that any holiday had to be taken within a short three week window so, quite honestly, we would have gone anywhere (well, nearly anywhere) if there was immediate availability and an acceptable price. Find, agree, book, pack and arrive at Southampton for embarkation, all within five days. It was the best deal we could find but we did have some anxiety about our choice. Would the inside cabin be claustrophobic, would the Fore location be choppy, would the Princess Theatre one deck below Emerald prove intolerably noisy, and, finally, would the Norwegian weather be so grim that, coupled with the feared seasickness, we would, on the whole, rather prefer to be in Bognor!
All fears proved without foundation and we have returned with wonderful memories.
The inside cabin was perfectly adequate for our needs. It did have wall mounted bunk beds which didn't impinge upon us at all but we thought the space might feel uncomfortably cramped had we had two children sharing the cabin in addition to ourselves.
We absolutely loved the fore location. It had none of the disconcerting vibrations associated with the aft area though I appreciate that this is a personal preference and some people prefer the vibrations to the rocking of the ship.
For us, the gentle movement at night was soothing and enjoyable. The sea was never more than moderate and, although the side table drawers would occasionally and unexpectedly slide open this was no more than an amusement to us.
Prior to embarkation, in those few fevered days of preparation I had posed the question of whether there was access from the fore of the corridor on Emerald Deck outside to the Upper Promenade. I can now definitively answer this question with an unambiguous "Yes". There are numerous doors from the Upper Promenade into the ship and it is certainly true that the majority of them bear the sign - Crew Members Only. However there are doors which don't bear this sign and one of them is just a few steps away from E112. From the inside it says Emergency Exit but not Emergency Exit Only. Opening the door gives you the advice to mind your step and watch out for high winds. A great way to get outside quickly and a great way to get back in after a walk.
The Theatre is one Deck below and near the location of the cabin and we were prepared to hear a great deal of noise. We heard nothing. However, we spoke to some people two decks above us on Dolphin and they suffered a great deal of noise from the Theatre. We were completely puzzled by this though in no doubt of their truthfulness. We were then very surprised to hear some sound walking back to our cabin along the corridor on Emerald Deck. I then looked more carefully at the corridor. Some of the Ocean view cabins do not face other doors when they open their door but a blank wall. These cabins are around the 200's to the 230's and this is the area where I could hear the Theatre. I then remembered that the people on Dolphin had also had a cabin with similar numbers.
Could it be (though I absolutely stand corrected if I have misinterpreted the situation) that the Theatre extends in height through a number of Decks and that this blank wall is the wall of the Theatre? In E112 we were well forward and with a number of cabins between us and this area and we didn't hear a thing. It was also very quiet as very few people needed to walk this far to reach their cabin. Oh dear, I've just thought, maybe now that I have encouraged all comers to access that very convenient door just beyond E112 there will be hordes of enthusiastic walkers marching onwards outside the door!
Finally, don't be wary of this area. We loved the location and would certainly chose it again.