By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: We're going on a cruise this coming January aboard the Sundream. Could you give me info on this particular ship?

A: Fielding's WorldWide Cruises describes the Sundream as "She's not very glitzy or glamorous, but you'll find her comfortable enough as a floating hotel to take you to the places you want to go without packing and unpacking all the time."

As cruise liners go, most have had some sort of reincarnation. Built in 1970 as Royal Caribbean's Song of Norway, the ship had a capacity for 740 passengers. In those days, that was considered probably quite enough. Over the years, she's had extensions, stretching the ship to carry more passengers.

In 1997, the ship had a complete overhaul and was totally refurbished. Today, the ship is owned by the English tour conglomerate, Airtours Sun Cruises. Sundream can accommodate 1200 passengers in her 540 cabins.

As the Sundream, she does maintain some level of intimacy where passengers have a choice to walk along the seven decks, sip a cocktail by the poolside and laze about along the deck. Fully equipped with elevators, passengers can take in the nightly entertainment at the My Fair Lady Lounge, the South Pacific Bar & Lounge, the Lounge of the Midnight Sun and in the casino.

For first time cruisers, Fodors' Travel Guides states, "Compared with land-based accommodations, many standard ship cabins seem small." The fact is, they are. Cruise aficionados Harry Basch and Shirley Slater who penned Fielding's WorldWide Cruises offer this insider scoop. "The ship is best for competitive types, who can vie in the fitness programs and couples who can rekindle their romance in their very cozy cabins." Famous for delivering value-for-money holidays, Airtours are determined that anyone sailing on Sundream gets just that. What it's allowed is to offer vacationers a holiday at sea where you can island hop and enjoy different cultures without having to make a big dent in your pocketbook.


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All text & photos 2004.