Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is all set for its summer season down under with Norwegian Spirit offering a series of seven 12-day itineraries from December 2023 until March 2024. 

Norwegian Cruise Line is the fourth largest cruise line in the world by passenger size. Its 19 vessels have a total of 55,820 berths and bring their guests to over 400 destinations across the seven continents. 

Founded in 1966, this line is also a go-to cruise line for cruise enthusiasts because of its generous feature “Free At Sea” which is one amenity other lines do not have. 

For cruisers, here are some of the tips to consider in booking for Norwegian Cruise Line. 

NCL's Norwegian Spirit vessel
NCL’s Norwegian Spirit is set to start her summer season down under.

On NCL ships

The 19-ship fleet of the Norwegian Cruise Line is divided into six classes including Prima Class, Breakaway Plus, Breakaway, Jewel, Dawn, and Sun. In addition, Norwegian Epic, Pride of America, and the Norwegian Spirit are in their own classes which adds to the lines variety of ships. 

In 2017, NCL announced the six-ship Prima Class on order from 2022 to 2027. The first ship of this class, Norwegian Prima, had her maiden voyage in 2022 starting with an 8-night sailing to Amsterdam. The Prima Class accommodates 3250 passengers and has a gross tonnage of 142,500. 

The four-vessel Breakaway Plus Class has the largest ships in the NCL fleet with a passenger capacity in the range of 3804 to 4266 people, and gross tonnage ranging from 164,600 to 169,145 tons.

In other categories, the line’s Breakaway Class has two vessels, both with a passenger capacity of 3963 and a gross tonnage of 145,655. 

NCL’s 4-ship Jewel Class, the 2-ship Dawn Class, and the 2-vessel Sun Class have passenger capacity ranging from 1936 to 2402. 

Furthermore, there are three individual ships, including the largest ship of the NCL fleet, Norwegian Epic, with a passenger capacity of 4100 and gross tonnage of 155,873. 

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A suite witjh hottub on Norwegian Prima.
Norwegian prima’s The Haven sundeck.
The Aqua Park on Norwegian Bliss.
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On NCL staterooms

Staterooms onboard the 19-vessel Norwegian Cruise Line range from 29.5 square metres to 2040 square metres that suit all types of cruisers. Cabin categories include, Suites and Penthouses, Club Balcony Suites, Balcony Staterooms, Oceanview Staterooms, Inside Staterooms and Studios.

Meanwhile, starting January 2, 2024, NCL will add 1000 solo cabins across its 19-ship fleet. Solo Cabins come in three categories: Solo Inside, Solo Oceanview and Solo Balcony.

NCL guests may also opt to book their accommodation in The Haven which is perched in an elevated and exclusive section in the vessel. It comes complete with round-the-clock personal butler and concierge services.

On dining and culinary experience

The line features a wide variety of culinary options from mouth-watering treats and healthy meals to the most creative cuisines crafted by culinary experts. 

NCL also provides guests the option to set dining times as they please. NCL guests who avail the Free At Sea promo, specialty dining package will be included in the cruise. 

Complimentary dining includes three Main Dining Rooms, The Local Bar & Grill (O’Sheehan’s), and The Buffet at The Garden Cafe. In addition, the Spiegel Tent, Illusionarium, 24/7 Blue Lagoon, Cadillac Diner, Las Ramblas, and Henry’s are also part of the complimentary dining list. 

NCL's Main Dining Room
Enjoy sumptuous meal in one of NCL Main Dining Room.

Guests who do not have reservation for the Main Dining Rooms are entertained on a first-come-first-served basis. 

On the other hand, the line also has a list of dine for fee (specialty dining) which include Le Bistro, Moderno Churrascaria, Cagney’s Steakhouse, Teppanyaki, La Cucina, and Ocean Blue. 

Furthermore, Starbucks® cafes and kiosks are also in all NCL vessels.

On amenities and onboard activities

Norwegian Cruise Line offers an array of onboard activities that suit guests of all ages. 

Thrillseeking guests can have their heart pumped up with the line’s ThrillPlex activity area. The line also houses the largest race track at sea. Passengers may also opt for Go Karts, Laser Tag or the Ocean Loops in the Aqua Park.

NCL ships have more than 20 bars and lounges that offer different types of drinks and beverages for guests to enjoy especially during night time. 

Moreover, entertainment at night ranges from Broadway-inspired shows to full production concerts and performances all for the delight of guests onboard. Some of the impressive Broadway performances onboard that guests enjoy are Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots and Rock of Ages.

NCL also features innovative and high-tech activities for the family like those offered in the Galaxy Pavilion. 

The race track on Norwegian Prima.
The race track on Norwegian Prima.

On gratuities

Norwegian Cruise Line applies a daily service charge of $20 for passengers staying in Club Balcony accommodations and below. On the other hand, those booked in The Haven Suites are charged $25 per guest, per day. Additionally, a 20 per cent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage, specialty dining and spa bills for passengers 3 years and older. 

So while enjoying the freedom and flexibility NCL offers, expect daily service fees starting at $20. Furthermore, The Haven and Penthouse guests should anticipate and budget for the higher $25 daily charge due to their premium accommodations.

On ship’s dress code

NCL’s comfortable cruising concept automatically relieves guests of stricter and formal dress codes. On the usual sailing, guests are invited to wear smart casual for dinner in the main dining hall and to other specialty restaurants. However, tank tops, flip flops, visors, and ripped jeans are not allowed. 

On the other hand, dining at buffet restaurants and other less formal dine-for-fee restaurants allow casual attire such as pants, jeans. shorts, and sun dresses.

NCL Cruise
Dress codes need not apply in all areas.