16th Nov 2024 | 7 nights | Norwegian Cruise Line | Pride of America
Travellers with a hankering to explore the Hawaiian islands but without the vacation time or money to spend on multiple trips are smart to consider taking a seven-day cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America. As the only U.S.-flagged ship that sails around Hawaii, Pride of America has a unique itinerary that includes only Hawaii (there aren't any out and back trips to small foreign islands to meet the requirements for foreign-flagged ships). This means time is maximized in Honolulu, Maui, the Island of Hawaii (Big Island) and Kauai. As an extra bonus, there aren't any days at sea, opening up even more time to explore and participate in shore excursions.
Pride of America was commissioned in 2005 and in Spring 2016 underwent a massive, multimillion-dollar enhancement project during a month-long dry dock, which saw the ship essentially gutted replacing old furnishings with updated carpeting, furniture and flooring. Several bars were completely overhauled, private cabanas were added to Deck 14, the suites were refurbished and the spa was upgraded. The results of this effort are impressive and immediately apparent upon boarding the ship. In addition to a fresh paint job in patriotic colours, the interior resembles that of a five-star resort.
Pride of America's wide variety of restaurant and entertainment offerings allows passengers with different interests to find the place that works for them. The Gold Rush Saloon, for example, is a nice spot for those looking for a casual evening of beer drinking and listening to karaoke. On the other side of the spectrum, those who want a fancier evening (with posher drinks) can go to the Napa Wine Bar and Pink's Champagne Bar. The Hollywood Theater is a good place for those who want to hear show tunes and see Broadway-style performances while Club Mardi Gras is perfect for people who are more interested in a lounge atmosphere and want to dance well into the evening.
This diversity of venues, including restaurants, lends itself to a fairly spacious atmosphere while onboard. It doesn't often feel like there are more than 2,000 people on the ship at the same time. The spacious vibe is also helped by the fact that most of the ship empties when in port, and the ship is in port every day.
When planning your days in port, note that with the exception of Kona, the ship docks at ports that are short driving distances to any points of interest. This is a noticeable difference for passengers used to cruising in places like the Caribbean where most activities can be found immediately on shore. For this reason, it is advisable to organize shore activities in advance. Pride of America offers a plethora of exciting shore excursions for a fee (ziplining, kayaking, bus tours of Volcanoes National Park, luaus and more). Shore excursions are such a big deal on this ship that they often fill up before the ship leaves port the first day. Do some research before you go and try to sign up way in advance for the best slots.
Daytime: Norwegian's "Freestyle Cruising" mantra lends itself to cruisers who wear what they want when they want, especially during the day.
Evening: The ship has two main dining rooms: Skyline Restaurant and Liberty Restaurant; cruise casual attire (shorts, T-shirts) is acceptable at Skyline Restaurant while more formal attire (collared shirt for men, no shorts for ladies) is required at Liberty Restaurant. There is one "Norwegian's Night Out," where guests are welcome to dress up (most wear cocktail attire as opposed to black tie). Toward the middle of the week, the ship puts on its White Hot Party, a club-style event with a DJ and dancing (21+), and white attire is encouraged. "Smart casual" attire (nice slacks for men, dresses for women) is required at the fee-based restaurants. Flip-flops and T-shirts are perfectly acceptable at the buffets.
Not permitted: Shoes are required in all dining venues and tank tops and baseball caps are also never permitted.
Any prices mentioned are correct at the time of writing and subject to change at any time without notice
The Hollywood Theater (Deck 5) is the main theatre on Pride of America with two events per night. During the weeklong cruise in Hawaii, passengers can see "Oh What A Night!," a Jersey Boys-style tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons; as well as "Vegas! The Show" and sets by professional comedians. The show lounge accommodates 880 guests, is 2,000 square feet and includes a photo area where guests can get their pictures taken on the red carpet.
In addition to the evening productions, passengers can go to the Hollywood Theater during the day for magic shows, comedy shows and movie screenings.
There is never a dull moment onboard Pride of America. Hawaiian enrichment classes (lei making, workshops on Hawaiian culture) are offered every day by the ship's "Hawaiian ambassador." A native of Hawaii, the onboard ambassador leads cruise-long educational workshops about the history and culture of Hawaii and even holds a closing ceremony/graduation at the end of the cruise for participants. Trivia is available during different times each day; as are Ping-Pong tournaments, arts and crafts classes, dance classes putt-putt golf challenges, shuffleboard and culinary demonstrations.
In addition to the Hollywood Theater productions, karaoke is offered most nights on Pride of America (usually in the Gold Rush Saloon) and the SoHo Art Gallery, on Deck 6, often has receptions where passengers can view original works of art, and sometimes participate in competitions related to art knowledge. Evening sports trivia tournaments often happen at the John Adams Coffee Bar.
The last night of the cruise involves leaving Kauai and sailing past the Na Pali Coast. This is an excellent opportunity to take out your camera and snapshots of the coast's iconic jagged cliffs. This sailing usually happens in the late afternoon -- it is best seen from an upper deck.
Gambling is illegal in Hawaii and since Pride of America is a U.S.-registered ship, there is no casino onboard.
Music can be found almost everywhere on board Pride of America. In the evenings, guests can go to Club Mardi Gras for a nightclub feel with popular dance music streaming through the speakers or the Pink Champagne Lounge to listen to a piano player sing everything from Paul McCartney to Billy Joel. For karaoke, you'll want to head to the Gold Rush lounge.
Pride of America offers a host of venues that serve alcohol and/or coffee to passengers for a fee. Each one has a unique theme, opening an array of possibilities for travellers of almost every taste.
John Adams Coffee Bar (Deck 5): Located inside the atrium and near the Guest Services counter, this is your everyday coffee shop with options such as espressos, cappuccinos, pastries and sweets like truffles for a fee. There is an inviting seating area that doubles as the spot for morning trivia. Open 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Mardi Gras Cabaret Lounge and Nightclub (Deck 6): Mardi Gras is a New Orleans-style nightclub that offers drinks and entertainment every night of the week, from interactive game shows to trivia to dance classes of all types (swing, ballroom, Hawaiian dance). Open 6:30 p.m. until late.
Pink's Champagne Bar (Deck 6): Pink's is the perfect place to wind down with a glass of bubbly and listen to a musician play the piano (watch the schedule for the sing-alongs). This spot is great for couples interested in an alternative to the big-theatre cabaret shows.
Napa Wine Bar (Deck 6): Tucked into Deck 6 near Cagney's, Napa Wine Bar is a quiet spot to relax with a glass of vino. The venue is decorated in warm maroon hues and inviting couches. Outdoor space is also available.
Aloha Lanai Bar (Deck 11): Those interested in grabbing a drink can head to the deck behind Aloha Café and Moderno to Aloha Lanai Bar. This outdoor spot is a good place to watch as the ship casts off from each Hawaiian island.
Gold Rush Saloon (Deck 11): Gold Rush Saloon is a fun place to go if you want to let loose, no dress-up required. Complimentary popcorn is available and live music (usually a piano player; sometimes karaoke) entertains patrons enjoying their beverages. This is also the place to go if there is a large sporting event the week of your cruise -- there is a massive television screen to watch all the action.
Ocean Drive Bar (Deck 11): Ocean Drive is a quiet bar that overlooks the South Beach Pool and can seat up to 124 patrons. The spot is away from most of the action, which makes is a nice reprieve from all the noise. This is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine or craft cocktail and stare out at the sea.
Key West Bar & Grill (Deck 12): Key West is an open-air bar and grill overlooking the pool area. Swing by in your swimsuit and cover-up for a drink or a snack. Open 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Waikiki Bar (Deck 13): Waikiki Bar is the only designated smoking bar on Pride of America. It overlooks the Oasis Pool and is a good place to go for craft cocktails.
Pride of America has a variety of pool options, namely the South Beach Pool on Deck 11 (mid) and the Oasis Pool on Deck 12 (aft). There is also an animal-themed kids pool on Deck 12 that includes slides and a paddling area.
Four hot tubs are located on the main pool deck (adjacent to the South Beach Pool). Outside of those four, passengers can find another hot tub on Deck 11, hidden away from the crowd on the starboard (right) side
Pride of America has a variety of recreation options for passengers. There is a jogging/walking track on Deck 6 (three laps equals a mile), a sports court on Deck 14 for volleyball and basketball, and outdoor games such as oversized chess and checkers, plus table tennis and shuffleboard on decks 11, 12 and 13.
Deck 11, where the main pools are located, has the most spots to sun yourself, but lounge chairs can also be found on several upper decks as well. During its latest dry dock Pride of America added private cabanas on Deck 14; the cabanas are first come, first served (no sign-up sheet required). They come with two lounge beds each, and are shaded on the top and offer excellent views, making them a comfortable option for passengers wanting to get away from the crowds.
Pride of America has a host of services, starting with its Newbury Street Shops (Deck 5), a collection of stores situated to look like a quaint downtown street. Offerings include cruise clothes, gifts and sundries. Shuffles Card Room (Deck 6) offers a variety of card and board games and can accommodate up to 44 people.
The ship also has a high-tech digital photo gallery with touch screen kiosks and a collection of different cameras for sale. In addition, Perspectives Studio (Deck 5) offers private portraits taken by professional photographers. Right next to the studio, in the Atrium on Deck 5, are the guest services and shore excursion counters.
Looking to get married while on the ship? If so, you are in luck. The most recent dry dock enhancements include the addition of a chapel on Deck 6. Staff can offer vow renewal ceremonies and wedding packages starting at $2,995. (Note: these are not legal ceremonies.) Vow renewal ceremonies start at $499.
While in-room Wi-Fi is available for a fee, passengers can also go to Internet Cafe (Deck 6) to check email and search the web. Open 24 hours. Internet rates are as follows: $0.95 per minute or $75 for 100 minutes and $125 for 250 minutes. Alternatively, unlimited access can be purchased for $29.99 per day.
Laundry services are available on the ship for a fee. (As an example, a two-piece suit costs $19.99 while a dress is $11.95.) There are no DIY launderettes onboard.
Pride of America's Mandara Spa (Deck 12) is spacious and well-appointed with a quiet relaxation room (co-ed), locker rooms and a thermal suite that features heated stone loungers (try using one to extend your relaxation, post-treatment). You can get access to the thermal suite for the entirety of the cruise for $100 or go for a day for $20. Access to the thermal suite is included in any 75- or 100-minute massage.
Bodywork therapists and treatments are of the same experience and quality that you will find in some of the best spas in the world with the prices to match. Try the Mandara Hot Stone Heaven massage ($195 for 75 minutes), the Quartz Lifting Facial ($145 for 50 minutes) or the Aroma Spa Seaweed Wrap and Massage ($259 for 100 minutes). Advance reservations are required; cancellations within 24 hours will be charged 50 per cent of the treatment fee. Note: An 18-per cent service charge is added to your bill for all spa services.
Mandara Salon is adjacent to the spa and offers a host of services. Haircuts start at $59 for women and $25 for men. Keratin Complex treatments start at $155 and manicures and pedicures cost $50 and $70 respectively.
The Pulse Fitness centre (Deck 12) is open 24 hours a day and was renovated as part of the ship's 2016 dry dock. The result is a state-of-the-art space with TechnoGym cardio and weight equipment (each with its own television) and multiple studios for small group classes.
Advance reservations are recommended (but not required) for extra-fee classes like yoga, Pilates and indoor cycling ($12 each class). Passengers can also join a TRX class for $20 per class or three classes for $45. In addition to classes, nutrition and body composition sessions are also offered for a fee. The Personalized Nutrition Plan class is $85 for one hour and you can measure your body fat percentage with a body composition analysis for $35 per person or $55 for a couple.
If you'd prefer to exercise outside, check out the jogging track on Deck 6 (three laps equal 1 mile).
Dining options on Pride of America are abundant and high quality. Those interested in keeping cash in their pockets will not have a lesser time by going only to free dining options (although the food is definitely better at the extra-fee restaurants) and crew members are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions. For those looking for a more upscale experience, the extra-fee dining outlets are excellent and on par with what travellers can find in any major metro area (with prices to match).
Norwegian's Freestyle Cruising mantra extends to its dining. Guests can eat what they want when they want and with whom they want. Seats are not assigned and many restaurants have liberal open hours.
Skyline Restaurant (Deck 5): Skyline Restaurant is another main dining room on Pride of America that also serves traditional American food. It offers the same dinner menu as Liberty Restaurant, but breakfast is served here as well. Morning options include eggs and pancakes. Casual dress (shorts and T-shirts) is perfectly acceptable at Skyline. This spot is able to accommodate 574 guests and is open 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for breakfast and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for dinner.
East Meets West (Deck 5): East Meets West is a small Asian fusion restaurant with dishes from East Asia and South Asia (think orange peel beef, Kung Pao chicken, fried rice, udon noodles and more). Reservations are recommended as without a reservation, you may wait for a few minutes before being seated. Located right next to the shore excursion counter, East Meets West is open for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Cadillac Diner (Deck 6): Cadillac Diner is open 24/7 and is the perfect casual place to take a hungry family. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Options include omelettes, French toast and bacon at breakfast. For lunch and dinner, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese are available on the "kid's corner" menu and entrees range from beef burgers and Buffalo wings to chef's salads and tuna melts. If you are in the mood for a splurge, you can purchase a milkshake (flavours change daily) for $4.50 each (other than the milkshakes, the rest of the food is free).
Liberty Restaurant (Deck 6): Those with an interest in American history will feel right at home at Liberty Restaurant, one of Pride of America's main dining rooms, which has a Colonial American theme. Statues of the Founding Fathers, as well as large paintings of important moments in the country's history, adorn the space. Open for dinner only, the menu includes traditional American food such as seafood, steaks and salads. Appetizers might include crab and cheese souffle and beef carpaccio, while entrees might be shrimp risotto and braised red snapper. Passengers are expected to change for dinner (collared shirts, close-toed shoes and dresses as opposed to flip-flops and T-shirts) at Liberty Restaurant. Open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and can accommodate 417 diners.
Aloha Cafe/Kid's Cafe (Deck 11): Aloha Cafe is the main included dining option on Pride of America. It is a sprawling, buffet-style restaurant with windows on both sides of the ship and a wide variety of food options, depending on the time of day. It isn't terribly crowded and is nicely laid out with multiple food stations across a large area.
Seating for Aloha Cafe/Kid's Cafe spans a large area, indoors and outdoors. There is room for 332 people indoor and 338 outdoor. The noise level can get high at peak times. If you are looking for a quieter atmosphere, head out to the bow of the ship to the Aloha Lanai Bar (cocktails, beer and wine are available) and enjoy the fresh air and views of Hawaii.
For breakfast, which runs from 5:30 to 9:30 a.m., you will find everything from fresh fruit and oatmeal to French toast, pancakes and eggs. For lunch, typically 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., the options are varied and include ethnic choices (Chinese, Thai and Indian), pizza, burgers, salads and a large dessert station with everything from soft-serve ice cream to tarts, cake and cookies.
Along with food, there is a bar where you can order alcohol.
Children won't feel left out at Aloha Cafe. They are welcome to sit in the main buffet area with their families or can relax in the adjoining "Kid's Cafe" -- a mini version of the real thing. Kid's Cafe includes a buffet situated low to the ground with child-friendly food such as macaroni and cheese and Jello.
Key West Bar & Grill (Deck 12): Key West is an open-air bar and grill with high-top tables that overlooks the pool area. It is perfectly acceptable to come in your swimsuit and cover-up for a snack. Food includes buffet-style items like sliders, chips and hot dogs, depending on the day. Open 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Room Service: Room service items are free (other than the "Special Occasion" section of the menu that includes items for a fee), but there is a convenience charge of $9.95 per order. Note: A tip of $1 to $2 for each order is also appreciated. For those staying in suites, butlers can help organize room service deliveries.
Sushi & Sashimi Bar (Deck 5); al a carte: In the same room as East Meets West is this a la carte sushi bar. Try the Two-Timing Tuna Roll with spicy tuna, tuna sashimi, garlic ponzu and chives for $5 or the Californication Roll with soy paper, crab mix, cucumber, guacamole and spicy sauce for $6. Advance reservations are recommended. The bar is open for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Teppanyaki (Deck 5); $29.95: Walk through East Meets West into a room on the right-hand side and you will find a series of hibachi grills surrounded by group seating for up to 25 people. This is Teppanyaki, a Japanese restaurant where diners are entertained by experienced chefs making everything from seafood on the grill to steaks and veggies. Entertainment is the name of the game as chefs interact with guests, telling jokes and even playing with food (get ready to have a piece of vegetable tossed in your mouth from afar!). Advance reservations are required. Teppanyaki is open for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Jefferson's Bistro (Deck 5); al a carte: The inside of Jefferson's Bistro is made to look just like Thomas Jefferson's library in Monticello. Diners will find food such as mussels ($6.99), bouillabaisse ($14.99), roasted lamb lion ($18.99) and pan-seared scallops ($15.99). Open 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended here, but not required.
Cagney's Steakhouse (Deck 6); al a carte: Cagney's is a traditional American-style steakhouse with tasteful decor, muted colours and white tablecloths. Diners can enjoy dishes like crab cakes ($6), lobster bisque ($5), veal chop ($25) and grilled sea bass ($18). Open 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Moderno Churrascaria (Deck 11); $24.95; Moderno is a fancy Brazilian-style steakhouse beautifully decorated near the bow with several walls lined with glass-enclosed wine cellars. Servers bring skewers of tender meats tableside for diners to try. This isn't the most vegetarian-friendly place, but there is an impressive salad/pasta/cheese bar located in the middle of the restaurant -- perfect for those who don't eat meat. Open 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Note: Moderno is also open for a free late breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.)
La Cucina (Deck 11); al a carte; Possibly the nicest restaurant on Pride of America, La Cucina is not to be missed. This Italian eatery transports diners to Tuscany with traditional dishes in a high-end setting with velvet touches and white table settings. Perhaps most impressive is the pesto gnocchi ($7.99) and vegetarian lasagna ($8.99). Don't leave without checking out the extensive wine list. Advance reservations are recommended. Open for dinner.
All cabins on Pride of America are furnished with modern touches, cherry wood finishing, a flat-screen television, radio, phone, mini-refrigerator, hairdryer and safe, and all have Wi-Fi access Space is tight but workable for interior and some balcony cabins and storage space is maximized with wall cabinets, bedside tables and a fairly large closet that can fit at least two suitcases.
The beds in all rooms, with the exception of suites and studios, can be split into two separate twin beds. It is recommended that you request a split bed prior to sailing to allow housekeeping enough time to accommodate. If you are already on board and want to split your bed, alert your cabin steward; it might take several hours to complete this request.
Bvlgari-brand toiletries are provided in suites, but in all other cabin categories, you'll get Norwegian Cruise Line's lemongrass product. You will find lemongrass-scented lotion, soap, shampoo, conditioner, cotton balls and cotton tips.
Studios: Studio cabins are perfect for solo travellers because they measure about 107 square feet of living space. Each has one bed, a bathroom with a shower and a desk and chair. The interior is modern and bright with new furnishings from the 2016 dry dock. There are four studio cabins on Pride of America, each of which has access to a Studio Lounge. The lounge features four armchairs and a table. It is designed for people staying in studios to hang out, although in practice it isn't used very much (there aren't any windows in the room).
Interiors: There are 224 inside staterooms, measuring 132 square feet each. Each has cherry wood finishing, a coffee maker, 17-inch flat-screen television, desk and a small stool to sit on and a bathroom with a shower. Some interior cabins have bunk beds, in addition to the main bed that can be separated into two twins. Interior cabins can fit up to four people depending on configuration but because of the size, they can also be a solid option for solo travellers. Note: Solos will have to pay two adult fares for this accommodation offering, as opposed to Studio rooms, which are priced for a single person.
Oceanviews: The Pride of America has 178 ocean-view staterooms (some with views obstructed by the ship's lifeboats) measuring 144 square feet. Ocean-view rooms have either a large picture window or a smaller porthole; all have a main bed that can be divided into two twins, plus a sofa bed or two pulldown bunk beds. Inside you'll find cherry wood furnishings, a desk and chair, flat-screen television, safe, mini-fridge, coffee maker, and a bathroom with a shower.
Balconies: There are 613 balcony staterooms on Pride of America, each ranging from 179 to 233 square feet. The rooms feature cherry wood finishing, a desk and chair, flat-screen television, mini-fridge, coffee maker, a safe and bathroom with a shower. A floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass door opens to a balcony with two chairs and a small table.
Obstructed View Family Suites: Pride of America has four obstructed view two-room family suites, each measuring between 330 and 356 square feet of space. The larger of the two rooms has two single beds that can be combined and two pulldown bunk beds. The smaller room is more like a den with beds to fit small children. The size of the obstructed family suites is well suited for families of five or less with small children in tow. Like the other cabins, these feature cherry wood finishing, a safe, coffee maker, plus desk and chair. The window on these suites looks out onto one of the ship's lifeboats. The obstructed-view family suites do not have a balcony.
Penthouse Suites: Pride of America has three types of penthouse suites: the Deluxe Penthouse Suites, the Deluxe Family Penthouse Suites and the Penthouse Suites.
There are two Deluxe Penthouse Suites, all located on Deck 13 and measuring 461 square feet. Each one has a king-sized bed and walk-in closet. The bathroom has a shower and Jacuzzi tub, double vanity and separate shower. The interior of the penthouse includes a desk and chair, seating and dressing areas, flat-screen television, safe, coffee maker and mini-fridge. The Deluxe Penthouse Suites have a spacious outdoor balcony.
Pride of America has two Deluxe Family Penthouse suites, each measuring between 607 and 650 square feet. They have the same amenities as the Deluxe Penthouse Suites except instead of a separate shower and double vanity, they have a single vanity and a tub/shower combo. Each one has a walk-in closet and king-sized bed separated from the living room with a privacy curtain.
There are 20 additional Penthouse Suites onboard, each measuring between 363 and 416 square feet of space. These have a king-sized bed, a seating area (separated by a privacy curtain), walk-in closet and bathroom with a shower and bathtub. Two of the Penthouse Suites are ADA compliant and can accommodate guests with disabilities. Like the other penthouse suites, these feature an expansive outdoor balcony (around 245 square feet of space).
Owner's Suites: There are three types of Owner's Suites, all of which come with butler and concierge service. The first measures between 766 and 875 square feet, sleeps up to six people and can be found on decks 8, 10, 11 and 12. These come with a private bedroom with king-sized bed, walk-in closet, separate shower/hot tub, as well as a private balcony with lounge chairs, table and a hot tub. All Owner's Suites also have a sofa bed, desk and chair, safe, television (with a CD player), and a bar (but no sink). You'll also find a computer that offers paid internet access.
The second type of Owner's Suites can be found on Deck 13. These sleep up to four passengers and have a large bedroom with a king-sized bed. These suites also include sofa beds for other members of the family and a separate living area with connecting doors to adjacent Penthouse Suites (can sleep up to 10 people when combined). Amenities include a television, desk and chair, coffee maker and mini-fridge. Balconies in Owner's Suites measure up to 410 square feet, while interior space comes in around 570 square feet.
The top-tier owner's suite is the Deluxe Owner's Suite, which can accommodate up to four people. There is one of these and it measures 1,382 square feet. It comes with a veranda with a private hot tub, outdoor dining area, powder room for visitors and a master suite. It has a king-sized bed in the master bedroom, plus beds for other passengers, an entertainment centre with flat-screen television and a CD and DVD player. There is a CD/DVD library available, laptop available for Internet access ($0.95/minute; 100 minutes for $75; 250 minutes for $125; unlimited access for $29.99/day) and a grand piano and wet bar. A separate dining area features another piano, this one a baby grand, and a teak table with seating for six people. The master suite bathroom has a shower and tub, a double vanity and walk-in closet.
Passengers staying in one of Pride of America's suites are in for a treat as there are many perks only for them. The ship has seven butlers onboard; one butler is assigned to each suite. Butler service is from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and they can take care of everything from food and beverage and packing and unpacking to shoe shines and laundry services. They also deliver daily canapes and clean in-suite coffee makers. The butlers are a huge source of information for onboard activities and services as well as island excursions and general activities.
Butlers can assist in making dinner reservations, spa appointments and excursion reservations. Additionally, suite guests are given priority check-in, invited to complimentary breakfast and lunches at Cagney's Steakhouse, as well as to an invite-only cocktail reception to meet the ship's captain.
Active families, picky eaters, and couples/groups who love to bar hop
People who can't stand crowds, or those seeking a relaxed onboard environment
Norwegian cruise ships draw a diverse crowd, though the majority of passengers on ships sailing to the Caribbean and in Alaska and Hawaii hail from North America. You'll find a decent number of people from other English-speaking countries, and smaller numbers from South America and Europe. On European cruises, North Americans still dominate but you'll find more people from the United Kingdom and other European countries. You'll find plenty of young families onboard Norwegian ships, especially during holidays and school breaks. However, the line's newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, is less family-friendly than the line's other ships, with all the kids clubs on the lowest levels of the ship and onboard entertainment that is decidedly adult. Generally speaking, Norwegian Cruise Line attracts mostly middle-aged and older couples, as well as groups of friends of all ages.
Norwegian Cruise Line maintains a casual atmosphere onboard; during the day, casual wear is the norm. There's no formal dress code at night either, though most people do change into something slightly less casual for dinner. Additionally, some of the speciality extra-fee restaurants do require long pants, collared shirts and closed-toe shoes. Most evenings you'll see men in dark jeans or khakis and collared shirts, and women in blouses with slacks or skirts, or sundresses. Don't be surprised if you see people in shorts in the main dining rooms. Norwegian doesn't have any formal nights, but there is an optional Norwegian's Night Out at least once per sailing, for which passengers are encouraged to dress up. You'll rarely see a tux or gown, but suits and cocktail dresses are not unheard of. Norwegian ships also typically hold several themed nights (glow party, '70s or '80s, etc.) during a typical sailing. You might want to bring a few appropriate items, such as white clothing for the glow and white parties or bell bottoms for '70s night.
No. Unless you have an all-inclusive dining or beverage package (which you can buy), you'll have to pay extra for most gratuities, speciality dining, room service, all drinks (alcoholic and non, except water, select juices at breakfast, and coffee and tea), shore excursions, visits to the spa and any retail purchases, including photos. On the newest ships, you'll also have to pay for some of the entertainment options and even some of the top-deck fun: On Norwegian Bliss, for example, the laser tag and go-karts cost extra.
On warm-weather cruises, the main pool is the line's most popular spot onboard. On ships with water slides, ropes courses, go-kart tracks and laser tag, these are also popular and often require a wait of up to 30 minutes or more. Inside, you'll find activities that range from trivia, bingo and Deal or No Deal during the day to song-and-dance revues or Broadway shows in the theatre and live music or cabaret shows in the evening. Norwegian ships also have a lively bar nightlife. There's also an always-busy casino, which opens when the ship is out to sea.
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NCL offer two simple price models. The base fare is available on all stateroom categories and includes:
NCL's Free at Sea option allows to you add on your choice of perks. Usually, you can choose two but during selected promotions, you may receive all perks. Prices vary by duration but start at just £199pp for a 7-night cruise. You can choose the following:
Suites & The Haven Suites
Guests staying in Suites and The Haven accommodation can enjoy a host of upgraded services and amenities including: