Picking your ideal cruise can be a lot like dating. Many cruisers play the field to see which cruise line is a perfect fit. This is a fun period when you can try all sizes, shapes and styles of ships and cruises to see what works for your lifestyle and expectations.
Then, when things click, you just might have a match made for life.
If you’ve ever been curious about what Norwegian Cruise Line has to offer, let’s have a look at why you might fall in love with this popular line and its ships that sail all over the world.
Your Preferred State is “Chill”
Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its “Freestyle Cruising” mantra. This means you can dress up or dress down during your cruise. It’s your choice. You can eat your meals whenever you want with the Freestyle Dining program. There are no fixed dining times or assigned tables. This is great for ultimate flexibility, because each day brings something different onboard or during your excursions while ashore. So, it’s good to not have to be locked into any preset plans or structure every night on the ship. You set the pace to enjoy your vacation as you feel.
You Enjoy the Outdoors
Norwegian Cruise Line is an innovative line, being the first to fully embrace the outdoor dining experience with The Waterfront, a wide promenade on its newer ships Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss.
While you can always find plenty to do outside on the lido deck, at the waterparks and on the waterslides, ropes courses and sports courts on Norwegian Cruise Line ships, The Waterfront gives you more options to embrace the breezes and ocean views.
This promenade complex features bars and restaurants, giving cruisers the chance to enjoy dining and drinks al fresco.
You Want to Sail to Exotic Islands
Norwegian Cruise Line offers all-inclusive Cuba cruise itineraries out of Port Miami and Port Canaveral.
You read that right: all-inclusive. Norwegian Sky sails from Miami, and Norwegian Sun from Port Canaveral. Each ship features drinks, specialty dining and shore excursion credit included in your fare. Plus, the ships have an overnight stay in Havana, so you can plan a night out on the town. Maybe you’d like to cruise along the Malecon in a vintage car to enjoy the sunset on your way to a night of sultry music and sweet rum at the legendary Tropicana Cabaret.
Norwegian also has a ship dedicated to voyages around the Hawaiian islands. Pride of America is the only cruise ship that homeports in Hawaii, and it offers weeklong cruises year-round. Cruisers can get to four ports in Hawaii and spend about 100 hours in paradise on these sailings, which visit Maui, Oahu, Hawaii and Kauai.
You Love Food
Norwegian Cruise Line ships feature a slew of restaurant options to please all palates. Look for these eateries on the lines various ships.
Try Cagney’s Steakhouse or French cuisine at Le Bistro. Churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse (bring a big appetite to this spot), and La Cucina features Italian specialties. Los Lobos is the place for traditional Mexican meals.
Burgers and bar bites are available at O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill, The Local and Margaritaville.
Wait, there’s more. Teppanyaki is Norwegian Cruise Line’s Japanese hibachi restaurant, and Food Republic offers tapas-style delicious bites inspired by all types of cuisine from across the globe. And Q, a Texas smokehouse, serves up amazing grub on Norwegian Bliss.
These specialty venues are in addition to the fine buffets and main dining rooms you will find on the ships.
Also, passengers staying in The Haven (an exclusive ship-within-a-ship complex) and in suites can dine at the specialty Haven restaurant.
You Like Beer (and Other Bevvies)
You’ll never go thirsty. Norwegian Cruise Line ships offer up to 22 bars and lounges to settle in with new friends and unwind over drinks while listening to live music, watching sports or just enjoying the cruise life.
I’m a beer drinker, so I love the District Brew House featured on Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss. The bar features live music and more than 50 bottled beers and 24 on tap, with craft brews from all over the U.S.
Other popular spots include Waterfront venues like 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, Maltings Beer and Whiskey Bar, Shaker’s Martini Bar, Sugarcane Mojito Bar and the Key West-style Sunset Bar.
Haven’t found your preferred drink here yet? OK, maybe you’ll like the Skyy Vodka Ice Bar or Magnum’s Champagne and Wine Bar.
The Cellars is a Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar, and Mixx Bar features creative cocktails that serve as a great precursor to dinner.
John Roberts is a freelance writer and operator of InTheLoopTravel.com. He writes about cruising and active travel, highlighting how people can connect with the world and other cultures through rewarding travel experiences.