Spa onboard Norwegian Bliss
Spa onboard Norwegian Bliss

How Norwegian Cruise Line changed the way solos cruise

Pioneers of their time, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) were the first to offer guests a dedicated area and staterooms for solo travellers.

Aboard Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway as well as the Hawai`i-based Pride of America, NCL has revolutionised the cruising industry by introducing studio staterooms designed for the solo traveller.

The studios, which are custom-built at around 9 metres squared, come equipped with a full-size bed, flat-screen TV as well as a private bathroom. Some ships, like the Norwegian Epic have staterooms which look out onto the corridor, while most other solo studios have virtual windows.

The style of the studios differs from ship to ship – from retro fit outs with white tufted walls, to sleek Scandinavian designs. On selected ships, there is the option of connecting studio staterooms which is a great option for those travelling with a friend, but also wanting their own space.

Studio on Norwegian Bliss
Studio on Norwegian Bliss

But the best part about being a solo traveller with NCL is the Studio Lounge, exclusive to those staying in Studio staterooms.

This special area comes equipped with a large-screen TV, coffee-making facilities, snacks as well as a bartender at certain times of the day to host pre-dinner gatherings – a great chance for like-minded solo travellerss to meet up.

It doesn’t stop there for singles – NCL also hosts events for solo cruisers, with some ships also offering pub crawls through the different watering holes of each ship. NCL also has dedicated shore excursions for singles, so there will always be a buddy to hang out when you’re exploring different destinations.

Sailing around Europe, Canada and Alaska, the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera as well as repositioning and transatlantic voyages means solo cruisers won’t miss out on the wonderful destinations NCL visits.

Norwegian Breakaway's studio lounge
Norwegian Breakaway’s studio lounge

You’ll never be bored on an NCL ship – from activities on the sports deck, to go karting, spa treatments and more, by day. And by evening, NCL’s entertainment lineup offers some fabulous big scale shows including Broadway productions, comedy and more.

On Norwegian Bliss, there are Broadway shows like Jersey Boys. Featuring hits from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons like Big Girls Don’t Cry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You and more, you don’t need to go to New York to watch.

While on Norwegian Encore, you’ll find the hit show Kinky Boots, Cyndi Lauper’s famous musical. This irresistible musical tells the story of Charlie Price, who having inherited a shoe factory forms an unlikely partnership with Lola, a cabaret performing drag queen. Together they produce a show-stopping line of high-heeled boots to save the business.

Scene from Kinky Boots
Scene from Kinky Boots

Solo travellers will be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining aboard NCL ships. On NCL’s ships there can be up to 20 different dining venues which include specialty restaurants like the sumptuous French Le Bistro, mouth-watering Cagney’s steakhouse and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Sea, serving the freshest Mexican fare. There are also up to 22 different bars and lounges, which range from cocktail to whisky bars. There’s even bars dedicated to drinks, such as The District Brew House serving local and international craft beers.

Other ships like Pride of America have American themed bars including the Gold Rush Saloon and a Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge & Nightclub, a nod to the famous festival held in New Orleans.

As part of NCL’s Free at Sea promotion, solo guests receive one free offer when they book a studio or Inside stateroom. Guests can choose between a free beverage package, specialty dining package, WiFi package or shore excursions credit.

NCL also offer a Solo Cruiser Discount with reduced single supplements for regular staterooms on select cruises (meaning you’ll pay less than double the cruise fare)! The discount is also combinable with NCL’s Free at Sea (excluding Sailaway categories).

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