By Elias Rodriguez
All aboard! My family and I are totally psyched about going on our first cruise ever! The Norwegian Cruise (NCLH) Line’s newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, departs from Manhattan’s Westside and will serve as our vacation getaway this summer. The idea of a vacation without back seat interrogations, (“Are we there yet?”), amusement park purgatory or speeding ticket torture (“Thanks Tampa, I owe you one!”) is immensely appealing to this working dad. As a native New Yorker, I should feel right at home since the Breakaway’s creators partnered with such New York icons as the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes and the artist Peter Max to give the ship a New York look and feel.
The Rodriguez clan is excited about the many eating venues, top deck aqua park and shows onboard, but I am looking forward to getting a firsthand view of the innovative green technology touted by the cruise line. Apparently, the company is an environmental innovator. They tout a so-called Eco-Smart Cruising philosophy, so choosing them for our maiden voyage on the high seas seemed like a natural fit.
Emission reduction technology in the navigation system, a myriad of energy efficiency features and fuel oil recovery are among the many environmentally-friendly designs onboard. During my research on the Internet, many message boards note that the staterooms have a built in system that remotely turns off the in-room air conditioning and lighting when unoccupied. A few posts noted it as an annoyance, but one could easily see the cumulative benefits of such a system in terms of saving energy.
Norwegian’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Sheehan, has stated that, “Being environmentally conscious is of the utmost importance” to the firm. Well, I will experience first-hand what that means on their brand new ship. My wife, kids and I are all hoping for a relaxing, entertaining and earth-friendly trip. If you have any tips for us first-time mariners, feel free to post. I will be sure to report back after we, eh, Breakaway.
About the Author: Elias serves as EPA Region 2’s bilingual public information officer. Prior to joining EPA, the proud Nuyorican worked at Time Inc. conducting research for TIME, LIFE, FORTUNE and PEOPLE magazines. He is a graduate of Hunter College, Baruch College and the Theological Institute of the Assembly of Christian Churches in NYC.