Norwegian Cruise Line
Based in Miami, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has cut a niche for cruising without cares.
Described as 'Freestyle Cruising', they broke down the traditional understanding of what cruising was all about.
Formality and conformity went straight out the window, with the new emphasis on fun, freedom, flexibility a new-style, more carefree holiday was born.
NCL gave their guests back the choice to do what you want, when you want to and how you want to.
So, wear what you want, eat when you want and play when you want are the backbone of how Norwegian Cruise Line run their ships.
They are also famed for their extremely relaxed disembarkation policy, almost unheard of in mass-market cruising. Their wish is that your last day onboard, is as relaxed and enjoyable, as your first.
Recently, their new ships, Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Pearl have pushed the boat(!) out further with their innovative designs as well as more choice of accommodation and more ways to eat.
For Hawaiian cruising, Norwegian Cruise Line is unique in that it offers the only seven-day inter-island Hawaii cruises year-round (out of Honolulu). NCL cruises in Hawaii involve a flight to Honolulu or Kahului, where you join your cruise.
Hawaiian ports of call are Kona, Hawai'i; Hilo, Hawai'i; Kahului, Maui; Nawiliwili, Kauai; and Honolulu, Oahu, Lahaina, Maui, depending on the various itineraries that Norwegian Cruise Line offer.
If you choose the right one you van even visit Fanning Island, Kiribati as well!
The NCL Hawaiian cruise fleet is made up of Pride of Aloha, Pride of America and the brand new Pride of Hawai'i, with it's 12 different bars and 10 restaurants and a wider range of entertainment options than any other ship cruising Hawai'i.
The Pride of Hawai'i is the largest US-flagged cruise ship ever built.
What's the Food Like?
From French to Italian; Spanish to Japanese. As well as great fare from the good old U s of A, you will be spoilt for choice on your Norwegian Cruise Line cruise.
They offer at least 6 restaurants and even up to ten on some cruises, though you need to check what is available for your choice of destination.
What time do you want to eat? That's easy too - for dinner, any time from 5.30 to midnight will do, with some ships having electronic availability indicators and even when this isn't available, your restaurant of choice will let you have a beeper to let you know when your table is ready!
The dress code is, well, up to you. Want to go casual - well, you can. Want to dress up and dust off your tux, well that's OK too. At NCL you might well have your alter ego sitting right next to you!
Some exclusive restaurants, for that very special occasion, require and additional payment. And most don't!
What's There to Do?
Because of the relaxed atmosphere that Norwegian Cruise Line offers, days on board ship are filled with casual pleasures. You can find a quiet spot on deck and chill or choose from the many adventures the ship has to offer.
During the day
Take your pick from swimming pools and hot tubs to relax in. Then fitness centers and jogging tracks to get you up and moving again. After that is time to wind down again at the spas.
Or maybe an onboard course or seminar. From dancing to cookery; to lifestyle maybe. And if you're exhausted by all this, why not pick up a book from the library or chill out with your plastic and do a little onboard shopping.
NCL offers varied onshore excursions, some guided; some for you to experience at your leisure
Specially trained professionals supervise the kids for you.
There are 4 age groups catered for in the kids programme, where they have all sorts of fun and games.
For the older kids, the fun extends into the night. With the flexibly of the dining programme, kids find a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line, especially in their newer ships, a load of fun.
When the Sun goes down
This is an NCL speciality and they are serious about their entertainment. Pretty much full-on specula stage shows, to live bands, DJs and discos too.
Ships also have the requisite libraries, game rooms, shuffleboard, art auctions, seminars, and port talks.
Need to keep in touch?
Passengers can choose between using the Internet café or wireless services (laptops are available for rent).
In 2006, NCL added “Freestyle Cellular” service to its vessels, allowing passengers to make and receive calls anywhere the ships travel. All charges are billed to the passenger’s home cellular carrier.
Fixed service charge of $10 per person per day, $5 per child $0 per child under three automatic as well as 15% for drinks and other optional services.
Who Goes On Norwegian Cruise Lines?
Norwegian Cruise Line have a broad appeal. From families to mature seniors. From couple to gay and lesbian, with a special appeal to those with special needs
The crowd is diverse, ranging in age from young families to senior citizens, and a good many with special needs.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) have put a lot of work into getting the accommodation right for families with interconnecting rooms suiting both parents and kids too.
For bigger families there are even some three bed cabin combos that work really well.