My favorite 10 things about cruising with Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL)
I have been on 9 NCL cruises, they are without a doubt my favorite cruise line who I go back to time and time again.
1) The ships
The ships are huge, modern and packed with things to do. NCL offers a large array of sports to try and water slides to go on. Rock climbing walls, ropes courses, bowling, golf and much much more. They have large theaters and atriums with many bars, restaurants and quirky bits to explore. They normally always have a pub too which I always enjoy.
2) The food
I love freestyle dining. It allows you to have so much more flexibility when you don’t have to be at a set table at a set time. I love being able to eat in a different place each day. There is such variety of food available on NCL which I haven’t always found to be the case on other cruise lines. The quality of the food in the main restaurants are always good with lots of variety, the menu changes each day which means you always have new options available to try. They also normally have a bar/pub which serve burgers/hot dogs in a less formal setting, the buffalo wings are absolutely amazing, I have these every time I go on an NCL cruise. The last time I cruised with NCL I had the buffalo wings 6 out of the 7 days I was onboard!
3) The drinks
The unlimited beverage package was being offered as part of my last booking promotion. You cannot beat a cocktail by the pool and a glass of prosecco with lunch. There are so many bars on board Norwegian ships you could drink all day every day and not have the same thing twice. The bartenders are normally lovely and will help you decide on a drink if you just can’t make up your mind! I particularly like the mojito bar onboard the Getaway, they make the best raspberry Mojito in the world. The drink package is certainly a must, at least for me anyway.
4) The atmosphere
I love the atmosphere of NCL ships. Norwegian generally has quite a laid back approach to cruising, there is no set meal times and no dress codes to adhere to. All of this makes for a relaxing cruise. You are completely free to do as little or as much as you want.
5) The entertainment
I have been lucky enough to see some amazing theater performances while onboard NCL cruises. My favorite by far being Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the show was so good that I watched it twice. The variety of shows offered means that there really is something to engage everyone. As well as musicals they have various singing and dancing acts and usually a comedian and/or magician. The shows are also rarely repeated meaning that you can go to the theater most days, (whenever you want thanks to the freestyle dining!). The entertainment onboard NCL is far superior to the ‘entertainment’ I have experienced on some other cruise lines. This may be to do with the fact that NCL has a younger average age of passenger than, for example, Cunard. Of course, Cunard is brilliant if you want what they have to offer, they do what they do extremely well 🙂
6) The cabins
I have stayed in inside and balcony cabins while on Norwegian cruises. The cabins have always felt spacious and cleverly organized, the design of the cabins has clearly been thought about as every inch of space has a function. The rooms are ‘made up’ and ‘made down’ for you each day by your cabin steward, who leaves a chocolate on your pillow each night. They also sometimes leave towel animals which always makes me smile.
7) The daily itinerary
There is a lot going on on NCL cruises. On any given day the freestyle daily is packed with activities. From demonstrations to classes, quizzes and game shows. On a Norwegian cruise I feel able to go for a wander if I have a spare minute and be quite confident that I will stumble upon an event of some kind. Events run from way before I get up to way after I go to bed. There is a lot going on on Norwegian cruises.
8) The use of technology
NCL are one of the few cruise lines which I have found utilize technology really well. They have the freestyle daily itinerary available in app form which is really useful when you’re out and can’t remember what time that film starts. I also saw recently a photo booth where you could take a photo and send it home, a nice idea I thought. I let my family know that I was onboard safely by sending them a selfie.
9) The staff
The staff on NCL are some of the most cheerful people I have ever met. The room stewards go out of their way to always make sure that they say hello and smile at you each time you walk past. In fact, all of the staff always say good morning/afternoon which I like. The staff in the bars and restaurants are always around if you need them but they don’t leave me feeling pestered which I appreciate.
10) The price
NCL cruises are affordable (hooray!) I might not be able to afford to cruise in the Haven (see description below from NCL), not yet anyway, but I have always found that the cruises are reasonably priced.
The Haven by Norwegian
Hidden away at the top of the ship is The Haven by Norwegian, home to our most luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodations. Not only will you have access to all the ship has to offer, you’ll enjoy the personal service of a concierge and 24-hour butler throughout your entire stay. On top of that, complete privacy and tranquility are just steps away on a sundeck reserved exclusively for guests of The Haven. From embarkation to debarkation, boarding of tenders to shore, onboard entertainment to dining times you will have priority. In your own ship within a ship, The Haven will make for a unique experience you’ll never forget.
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