Norwegian Cruise Line Review
Norwegian Cruise Line is the proverbial underdog of the cruise world: not quite the power elite of some larger competitors, but scrappy and determined and lots of fun – you just can’t help but root for them. This cruise line provides a adventure filled crusing experience for the solo-traveler, couple, family, or group. The good news is, they are one of the most affordable ocean cruise lines on the market. As of 2020, the line operates 17 ships that will take you on trips to the many destinations around the world.
Norwegian Cruise Line Overview
Norwegian Cruise Line got its start in 1966, making it the oldest major cruise line based in the United States. In the late ’90s, after years as a budget cruise line, it began a series of moves that eventually gave this company a big boost. Today, the line has a fleet of new or recently renovated mega-ships and offers a casual onboard experience that’s heavy on dining and entertainment, with a dash of new-age innovation. The Norwegian fleet offers its guests premium top deck experiences, waterfront views, flexible dining options, and countless hours of award-winning entertainment that appeal to adults and kids alike. You’ll find more young couples and young families aboard NCL than aboard many other mainstream lines because of their generally low fares and a cruising atmosphere designed for a younger clientele.
Once it started building its modern fleet around the turn of the millennium, NCL became known for two main things: it’s casual “freestyle cruising” and the endless number of dining options. Instead of the traditional formal and informal nights, NCL went with a casual dress all the way but, as the guest, you can choose to dress it up if you like. This freestyle cruising experience allows you to enjoy award-winning entertainment, extreme relaxation, or live on the wild side and walk the plank, all at your own accord. The staff onboard excel at arranging prime cuisine options to satisfy all of your specific cravings, accommodating the most adventurous and picky eaters. No matter the ship, there are always various dining options – you can indulge in the traditional 4-course meal in one of the grand main dining rooms, stop by the poolside grill, or enjoy a quick bite from one of the grab-and-go options, each experience carefully crafted to satisfy your tastebuds. Most importantly, you will eat what you want, when you want, with whoever you want.
Each ship features production shows and events that with inspired themes, music, and choreography. Each night of your cruise you will have access to a variety of performances from highly trained and talented performers. The Norwegian Production Cast offers something for every guest, from theatrical dining experiences and acrobatics to live entertainment from professional tribute bands. Comedy is a must-do for every NCL Cruiser – it’s fresh, fun, and guaranteed to bring a laughable night to your cruising journey. The Norwegian Getaway, a ship that was recently refurbished in 2019, features the Headliners Comedy Club with the priceless and lively Levity Entertainment Group, the largest producer of live comedy in the United States. Norweigian takes into consideration that sit-down entertainment isn’t for everybody, so for all the lively dancers in the group, be sure to check out the pool decks or the Bliss Ultra Lounge. These parties are a sight to see and a must for anybody who wants to dress up and dance.
Fleetwide, NCL’s ships offer an array of different activities arranged with each member of the family in mind. You can visit the award-winning casino, epic waterparks, state of the art fitness centers, take bartending and cooking classes, or check out some of the shore excursions. Onboard the newest ship in the fleet, Norweigian Encore, guests have access to a virtual reality wonderland at Galaxy Pavilion or getting an adrenaline rush at the epic Norwegian Encore Speedway, the world’s largest race track at sea – suspending 13 feet over the side of the ship! As the name suggests, it’s so good you’ll have to do it again. All of the cruise activities were designed with families in mind. Kids get a full program of activities divided into age groups; Guppies Program, Splash Academy, and Entourage are all centers for youth to make friends and enjoy the cruise. Best of all, these activities are complementary and supervised, so the kids will be occupied while you enjoy a hot stone massage at the Mandara Spa.
Suites & Staterooms
Accommodations tend to be about average for the industry, with standard cabins a bit smaller than those aboard some other competing lines. The decor is generally a mix of stylish and fun elements — considerate lighting, island-colored carpets, and fabrics. On most of the ships, those looking to splurge can opt for “The Haven by Norwegian,” a separate first-class section sequestered away toward the top of many of NCL’s ships, offering spacious accommodations and a private courtyard, private sundeck, a concierge lounge, and (on some ships) exclusive restaurants, bars, and fitness centers, all reserved for Haven guests only. The Spa Suites, Mini-Suites, and Balcony staterooms offer exclusive spa treatments while you are at sea. These suites include access to the Thermal Spa Suite, which will take your relaxation to a new level of luxury and you will return home rested and rejuvenated. If you are a solo traveler, you should consider the contemporary modern Studio, built for the solo-traveler at a discounted fare on select Norwegian Cruises. Guests that book the Studio option will also have access to the studio lounge.