DYland Time: Norwegian’s Caribbean Inaugural Adventure


It was not too much of a risk to snag seats on one of the inaugural flight from Norwegian Airways to the Caribbean from JFK. The tickets were cheap and the potential for fun and adventure was high. So I grabbed JFK to Martinique and Guadeloupe to Boston a few days later. And then mostly forgot about it for a few months. As the travel date neared I realized I needed to complete the trip which meant flying from Martinique to Guadeloupe. and, because I don’t always think in straight lines, I looked in to adding an extra flight to the trip, dropping in on St. Martin’s French airport (not the infamous SXM) as part of the weekend. Yup, I could get that to work. too. I even managed to get flights on two different local carriers, Air Caraibes and Air Antilles. Time to island hop around the Caribbean.

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Aloha for an inaugural. Red and white in honor of Norwegian.
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Check out the view of Jamaica Bay as we climb out of JFK en route to Martinique

The first flight was supposed to be the big event as the inaugural Caribbean JFK departure. Alas, due to a variety of reasons the big party did not happen at JFK. We still had plenty of fun on the flight, but it was not quite the “main event” I was hoping for. Definitely a party vibe on board and things like in-flight bingo didn’t hurt the situation. Running out of catering, on the other hand, was more of an issue. The meal I had was good, though I’ve been led to believe that it was a one-off catering a JFK and not the regular menu so I’m not sure I can vouch for the regular meal service on board. Given the dearth of decent options at JFK T1, however, my best advice is to pack a lunch and use on-board as a backup plan just in case.

Snack time!
Snack time!
On board the plane...lots of seats in there
On board the plane…lots of seats in there

The crew was great for the flight, helping wit the festive vibe and doing their best to keep passengers happy, even as the catering supplies dwindled.

Rum drinks to celebrate the inaugural; the crew was awesome throughout
Rum drinks to celebrate the inaugural; the crew was awesome throughout

Wifi service was mostly abysmal but, sadly, that was what I expected. Between that and no power plugs on the flight (these are some of the longest 737 flights the carrier operates) entertainment choices are limited. In-flight bingo is always fun and soon enough we were descending into Martinique, wrapping another inaugural adventure.

Final approach into Martinique; pretty even in the dark
Final approach into Martinique; pretty even in the dark
And a great welcome to the island
And a great welcome to the island

Our day in Martinique was a short one and so our plan was a simple one: Tour the island by helicopter. This would let us see some of the landscape to get a feel for the place. Plus, helicopter tours are fun. Coordinating with HeliBlue was challenging, mostly because of misunderstandings on my part, but after many emails we finally got things squared away. Alas, it was not to be. We dodged small rain showers en route to the helipad but nothing which would keep us grounded. As our flight time approached, however, the skies opened. Pouring rain grounded the helicopter for long enough that we had to bail on the flight in order to catch our next flight with Air Antilles. We did get to see the helicopter landing, though.

BlueAir Helicopters in Martinique - That cloud in the background scuttled our trip
BlueAir Helicopters in Martinique – That cloud in the background scuttled our trip

Coming next: Great Fun in Grand Case

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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