Love ‘em or hate ‘em there’s no denying Norwegian Cruise Line changed the face of cruising when they introduced the concept of ‘freestyle’.
Since then they’ve continued to add exciting new innovations and concepts every time a new ship has been released.
The list of what makes NCL great could go on and on (and yes we know they might not be for everyone) but we’ve picked out our top thirteen favourite things that we think highlights why everyone should try NCL at least once…
Each of their ships can have up to twenty eight different dining options!
You can choose which you eat from and have breakfast, lunch and dinner whenever you want – that’s the beauty of Norwegian Cruise Line’s dining. You can eat al fresco in the Garden Café, snack on sushi or wolf down an Italian, the choice is yours. Freestyle dining also has no set seats or times, giving you the ultimate dining freedom. You can find out more about this here.
One of the big complaints we hear about NCL is that a lot of their restaurants will have an additional service charge if you want to dine in them. This is true… as far as it goes!
At least half the restaurants will always be free and if you think you can make it through twelve different restaurants in a seven day cruise then we salute you!
Did you know? They even have a signature chocolate buffet for the chocoholics amongst you…Yum!
Make a Splash
Norwegian Cruise Line don’t just have pools – they have water parks! They’ve the fastest water slide at sea and the Norwegian Breakaway has an Aqua Park with three multi-storey water slides and the 200-foot Epic Plunge – which is the only bowl slide at sea! You can find out how much you’ll enjoy your time at the water parks here.
A massive part of the Norwegian Cruise Line experience is the ability to wear whatever you want! When you enjoy “Freestyle” dining you don’t have to wear suits; its “Dress Up or Not.” There’s no formal nights or gala nights – (but be warned – turning up to dinner in your bikini could be taking things a bit far!) You can read more about this here.
Ice Ice Baby
The Norwegian Epic has the only ice bar at sea where the bar. Seats, sculptures and even your drink glasses are all made of ice! Don one of the coveralls and step into a Scandinavian wonderland – with SVEDKA ice var. You can read more about this and the other NCL bars on offer here.
Solo Travellers Welcome!
We know that many of you are often searching for ships suitable for solo travellers and some Norwegian Cruise Line ships actually have a dedicated singles area with a range of studio cabins. The singles area even has its own bar, TV screens and lounge area. You find out more about this here!
Ok, so maybe this one’s more for the kids but it’s good to know they’ll be happy on-board as there are kids clubs to keep them entertained throughout their stay! The clubs are split into different age groups to suit their needs and are run by trained youth staff. Children will be doing everything from scavenger hunts to sensory play, sports tournaments to circus school. You can watch what they’ll get up to below!
The Sweetest Thing
You can munch on the culinary delights of “Cake Boss” master baker Buddy Valastro, as he has a bakery on-board several ships. Carlo’s Bake Shop on the Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway serve signature dishes and Carlo’s also offers cupcake decorating classes.
Who needs twenty eight different restaurants when you can just splurge on tasty cakes all day?
It’s Heaven in Haven
The haven provides a private area of luxury at sea, with suites, villas and first class service for those that want to splash out a little more. You can enjoy twenty four hour butler service, a private pool, a limo from the pier to the airport and plenty of other bonus added extras! You can find out more about how the other half live here. (We’re not jealous at all!)
Their ships are pretty unique looking! Love or hate the artwork – you can’t deny that its eye catching! The décor inside ships is also modern and quirky, with stylish interiors to match the exteriors. Check out the hull art below!
Did You Know: The NCL Jade has carpets in all the corridors with fishes worked into the pattern. The fish are all swimming towards the front of the ship meaning you can orientate yourself anytime you want with just a glance down at your feet!
They have their own private island called Great Stirrup Cay. It has a giant hippo slide, three bars, five beaches, snorkelling, parasailing and live music. The area’s even a protected marine wildlife sanctuary – so you might get lucky and see some sea turtles! You can read more about cruise lines private islands here.
Las Vegas On Your Door Step
Guests can enjoy Las Vegas style shows on your travels and live music and discos with multiple entertainment venues. Shows include Rock of Ages, Cirque Dreams (which takes place in a circus tent), Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Legally Blonde the Musical.
Climb On Up
It’s not just Royal Caribbean that have rock climbing walls… You can climb more than twenty feet above the deck to get a bird’s eye view of the ship – if you have a head for heights of course! The wall is available on Norwegian Breakaway Class, Norwegian Epic, Pearl and Jade. Perfect for a quick test of speed and agility!
Walk The Plank – Or The Ropes Course
It’s not just pirates that walk the plank! You can walk the plank on Norwegian Breakaway class ships, eighty feet above the water – if you’re brave enough! Breakaway and Getaway also have a ropes course, where you can swing along the three storey course. If this isn’t enough action for you, try the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle mini golf or bowling!
Are you interested in Cruising with Norwegian Cruise Line? Have you sailed with NCL before? What’s your thoughts on freestyle cruising? Would you miss not getting dressed up? Let us know in the comments below!