Cruise NewsNorwegian Cruise LineNorwegian Cruise Line Testing Priority Access, New Pay for Perks Program

Norwegian Cruise Line Testing Priority Access, New Pay for Perks Program

Norwegian Cruise Line is testing Priority Access, a new pay for perks program that is currently available for purchase on two of their cruise ships.

Norwegian’s Priority Access will be similar to programs offered by other cruise lines.  For a fee, guests can receive VIP perks that will enhance their cruise and cut down on the need to wait in lines.

Norwegian’s Priority Access includes the following:

  • Priority check-in and boarding
  • Tender priority for ports that require a tender
  • Priority debarkation
  • Standard room service breakfast menu
  • $50 spa credit per person on port days
  • Complimentary Canapés on the second day of the cruise

This new program is currently being tested on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Sky.  Cruise lines often test new programs on a few cruise ship before deciding on whether to roll them out fleetwide.

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The cost for Norwegian’s Priority Access is as follows:

  • 3-5 day cruises – $69
  • 6-9 day cruises – $99
  • 10-15 day cruises – $149
  • Cruises 16 days and longer – $199

Note: Prices are per stateroom and not per person. It will be available for purchase to a limited number of cabins per sailing.

This new program from Norwegian Cruise Line is similar to what other cruise lines offer: Carnival Cruise Line’s Faster to the Fun, Royal Caribbean’s The Key, and Holland America’s Club Orange.

We would love to hear from you, would you pay for a program to receive extra perks on your cruises?  Leave us a comment in the comment section below.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
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50 COMMENTS

  1. It will probably be a great program like the other ones on Royal/Carnival. I just hope that NCL gives more to the loyal customers and make sure they actually do board first and get what they deserve with their benefits!

  2. Seems prices have jumped a bit…I just paid $249 for my cruise on the Jade in November. Price is painful, and I’d be patient getting on board, but the room service option is a plus as a lot of my excursions have a 6-7am start time so this will be quite helpful.

  3. I just purchased this for my cruise on the Pearl coming up in January. It was only $99 for me (balcony stateroom, (5 days). Maybe I’m spoiled, but as an elite member with several airlines I love the priority boarding part of it. I actually just took a Royal Caribbean cruise from Shanghai to Japan and I was essentially the only international passenger on the ship. The other 4400 people were all Chinese, so I had priority boarding. I can’t begin to tell you what a breeze it was being able to bypass everyone else at every checkpoint in the process. I was treated like royalty. I thought to myself, “Wow, I wish I had this for every cruise.” Then I saw what NCL was offering and I jumped on it. The other perks in the package are decent – I wouldn’t use the spa credit but the room service breakfast and canapes are nice. To be honest, I’d probably pay $99 just for the priority boarding alone, especially after having experienced it on RCI.

    • I bought this, never before, where on my document is it stated. I was looking for it and I don’t know where to look. Lol

  4. I just added the “Priority Access” plan to our cruise coming up in November on Norwegian Star. The price I was offered was higher per stateroom at $249.00. I didnt realize that this is a new test add-on. I am curious on the pricing, it seems like they are “testing” pricing too.

  5. Why would a loyal NCL cruiser pay for this perk. I am almost a platinum plus latitudes member and every month I look to see what the insider offer is. Not much is offered anymore. All cruise lines are starting to charge for perks that used to come with being a loyal customer. I will remain loyal but I will not pay for these minimal perks. My next cruise in 2020 I plan on remaining on board until I have to get off. Here’s a tip to new cruisers: Save and opt for a suite. You get the perks!!!

  6. Just purchased it for a cruise on the bliss. I have also purchased faster to the fun for a recent carney cruise. Well worth it to skip right on board. Don’t really care if people get their feathers ruffled over it.

  7. We opted to try this for our cruise that we are boarding tomorrow morning. I’ll see how it goes and make a decision going forward from there. I understand the frustration of those that have spent enough to earn these perks but for us we can only afford a cruise every year or two and have been loyal to NCL for several years. This is a way for us less fortunate to get a taste of the luxury we all wish we could afford.

  8. NO to Priority Access. As experienced cruisers we are among the last to embark. No lines and the cabin is ready for use. Disembarking we are among the last off the ship.

  9. I would not pay for this. If u carry your bags off u get off first anyway. Who cares about room service? A spa credit? On embarcation and port days these are on sale anyway. Priority for rendering? If I take a shore excursion I get priority anyway. As PT Barnum once said “There is a sucker born every minute.”

  10. I just learned of this through a fellow cruiser. I grabbed this deal up through the add-ons section of my online check in. The cruise we are going on in November has two tender ports and I am not a fan of the buffet either. The idea of having breakfast on my balcony every morning was enticing as well. We are one cruise away from being silver, so it will be a very long time before we ever get these types of perks. I love that they are offering this at such a low price.

  11. Yes, I paid for the extra perks! I understand it might upset some of the more experienced cruisers, and I get it. However, for someone that will probably never reach that status, it’s just a little bit of luxury for me….I deserve it. From what I understand, only a limited number of people will be able to purchase, so if that’s true, it shouldn’t hinder anyone with higher status as far as waiting to embark/disembark, or whatever. And I doubt I’ll get as much as ppl with status. I’m super happy to spend the extra to reward myself for the hard work I do to afford this cruise! Thank you NCL!

  12. I have been on 5 NCL cruises and YES! I just purchased this for our January cruise! It is for 25 staterooms per cruise! I love the idea!

  13. I did everything right as a Platinum Latitudes member to get a Vibe pass on my last cruise. Yet, the “disabled” boarded first and ran to get the passes.
    So, it’s $100 for this perk plus another $200 for Vibe? Yikes!

  14. Fairly typical of NCL I’ve spent years with them to get most of those perks not ont have they jacked there prices up over the last two years,now this this is worse than Ryan Air . They should be wearing a mask.

  15. What is the point of the Lattitude program if anyone can pay to get the same benefits. All NCL would be doing is to incent me to cruise with other cruise lines because what is the point of staying loyal if I can just pay. In fact i am now going to shop around for my booked 2020 due to this article. I am currently silver working toward gold but not any more.

  16. I spent about 25 grand on NCL cruises to get to a level that has those perks now I will stand behind someone spent 99 bucks. What is the point of staying loyal to one cruise line if you can just buy the perks?

  17. I think loyalty should count. I don’t think you should have to pay more. I feel after being a loyal cruiser to NCL cruiser the perks are earned..

  18. How fair is that to those of us that have worked our way up to Platinum or Platinum Plus and get these things for free and now we may have to wait longer to board or to get a tender because you want to make more money and let people pay for these perks previously only allowed to those of us who have earned them??? This idea really seems unfair!!!

  19. I would definitely pay extra if the perks were worth it; in this case, at those prices; they aren’t. The spa credit will probably have the limitation of not being combinable with other discounts or specials so that perk will pretty much go unused since standard spa prices are prohibitive. If they extended Room service to all day that would be a better option. Breakfast is the one meal I don’t want from room service since eggs get cold very quickly. Great idea, but it needs more of an enticement. So far the only real benefit is the priority boarding. That’s too much $ just to get on board early, particularly since rooms aren’t available anyway. Also, I’m never in a hurry to disembark. A better option for me would have been a delayed disembark/late check out. First one on, last one off. My last RCL cruise permitted me to stay onboard until 2:30 p.m. on disembarkation day – now that was a perk. The NCL price would be reasonable if they punch up the perks to include something one actually wants like RCL’s wifi inclusion.

  20. Yes, We would be willing to pay the extra charge for the priority access. Seems to be only about $15+ a day, which seems to be reasonable.

  21. I sure would in fact wish they were offering on the
    Norwegian Joy that I cruise on in 12 days. I’d add it in a heartbeat!

  22. Nope would never pay extra for it. I like the latitudes program. I’m not platinum yet but will be one day and look forward to being considered loyal to NCL.

  23. No way. I’m currently platinum plus with NCL – I’ve already paid enough to get to that level. Seems like a money grab to me.

  24. I would depending on some of the perks. Priority boarding and debarking sound pretty good. Don’t use spa so that don’t matter. The breakfast thing is ok but you still have to pay the 7.95 fee. Canapes sound good but I am a very picky eater. So over all I would have to say no.

    • Where did you see that you have to pay the 7.95 fee? That’s one of the perks of paying for the access in not having to pay the room service fee for breakfast or why would they advertise it?

  25. I travel in the Haven or suites so it is not for me. It is fine as long as it is a small limited amount of people.

  26. There is no way I would pay extra for VIP service. When we cruise we expect first class service. We have been on 32 cruises so far and if the service we now receive goes down we will find another cruise line or just start taking other types of vacations. We have been to enough ports around the world where we would be happy to stay a week and explore.

  27. No. Platinum Plus so no need to pay more. Please do not add more people to the “priority” lines. Just earn these perks like the rest of us did.

  28. Just another way to Nickle and dime the customer to death. This is the reason we stopped going on the last cruise line we were on, because at every step they were trying to sell you something, so we decided to try NCL next year. Ack.

  29. I would definitely pay that for a shorter line when boarding. With the spa credits, it essentially turns out to be free. When we got The Key on RCL, the priority line for us was separate from the suite guests priority so I would assume that NCL will do the same.

  30. We always reserve a suite which gives us many perks. We don’t want too many people receiving these perks or we will be waiting in lines (priority boarding, etc.). Why should we pay hundreds more for a suite when we can get these perks for under a hundred or a couple of hundred?

  31. No, that’s too much money to pay considering the only part I would use would be priority boarding. And I doubt it would help. I’m disabled, so I got in the line for the disabled to board. Apparently hundreds of people boarding were disabled. What a joke.

    • Similar to all of the people boarding an airplane early because they “need a bit of extra time to board.” Then on arrival they are usually the same ones that grab their bags and make a mad dash for the exit.

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