The gloves are off. Norwegian Jewel will call Australia home from October next year and promises to knock your socks off as it will have the best food, the best service, the best onboard experience and the best “hardware,’’ so says Harry Sommer, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Executive Vice President of International Business Development.
In lay man’s terms, “hardware” refers to the new look ship as Jewel underwent a $40 million facelift two years ago where nothing was left to chance.
“Norwegian Cruise Line offers freedom and flexibility never before seen in Australia – Australians can now experience premium contemporary freestyle cruising much closer to home,’’ he said.
In addition, Jewel will have one of the best entertainments at sea – the home-grown ballroom spectacular Burn the Floor founded by Australian impressario Harvey Medcalf.
Jewel will also introduce a ship within the ship called The Haven with 24-hour butler service for passengers who book the more expensive suites. They will have access to 16 dining options from teppanyaki to the Brazlian Churrascaria with no pre-assigned seating times.
“Norwegian Jewel epitomises NCL’s flexible freestyle approach to life on board,’’ Mr Sommer said.
The line makes no excuses for charging more for its cruises.
“We charge $30 to $40 more than Carnival because we have the best product,’’ he added.
Steve Odell, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific said that NCL will always be more expensive than other lines.
“We are a premium product – we give more, therefore we charge more but we are mindful of what the market will pay,’’ Mr Odell said.
Rival lines such as RCL and its mega ships like Ovation of the Seas invested in the “wow” factor offering death-defying water slides, robot bar tenders and the North Star.
Jewel will offer 15 voyages between October 2017 and March 2018 ranging from five to 40-day itineraries. Seven of the cruises will be round trips from Sydney calling at Tasmania, Geelong and Kangaroo Island. There will be a series of cruises to New Zealand.
At the end of the season, Jewel will head to Japan visiting Indonesia, Vietnam, Halong Bay, Tianjin and ending in Osaka just in time for the cherry blossom season.
She will stay in Japan for a series of cruises before heading back to Australia.
Pricing on Jewel’s Australian and Asia Pacific cruises will be revealed on June 29.