With the youngest fleet of ships among major North American cruise lines and some of the most impressive high tech on the high seas, Norwegian Cruise Line has made some enterprising moves in its industry in recent years.
And while there is no shortage of groundbreaking technological advancements aboard its ships, it is a concept the world’s third largest cruise line calls “Freestyle Cruising” that is perhaps its most revolutionary act.
Freestyle Cruising does away with traditional itineraries and puts the emphasis on giving guests the freedom to have what they want, whenever they like. This includes everything from diverse dining options and accommodations to nixing the dress code and putting seemingly endless entertainment options at a guest’s fingertips.
Norwegian Cruise Line has made versatile vacationing its mission and the result is a cruise like no other. Here’s what you can expect on future sailings, including recently announced 2020 and 2021 sailings of Norwegian’s all-new 3,998-passenger Norwegian Encore.
It’s your vacation and you should be able to eat what you want, when you want it. With Norwegian’s Freestyle Dining approach, you have more ways to eat than days you’ll be on your cruise.
At its core, Freestyle Dining eliminates fixed dining times and pre-assigned seating to which many cruises have become accustomed. Instead, guests can choose any onboard restaurant to dine at – or they can go to a favorite again and again. Choices include juicy cuts of choice angus beef and decadent Parmesan truffle fries at Cagney’s steakhouse, hibachi and onion volcanoes at Teppanyaki and fresh Mexican cuisine at Los Lobos.
When the craving calls, get a burger hot off the grill or start date night with a spiffy four-course meal – and you don’t need to dress up unless it’s something you want to do. Aboard Norwegian Joy, indulge in the five S’s of wine tasting – see, swirl, sniff, sip and savor – at the cruise line’s first-ever wine bar, The Cellars, created in collaboration with the Mondavi family of California’s Napa Valley, who have been making remarkable wines for four generations.
In addition to its specialty restaurants, Norwegian includes access to up to three main dining rooms with every cruise fare. Norwegian also offers a self-service buffet with meat carving stations, plus made-to-order entrees and desserts that appeal to families and adult travelers alike. There is also 24-hour room service available when you just want to relax with breakfast in bed or satisfy your late-night hunger.
Freestyle Fun and Entertainment
Norwegian wants you to vacation on your own terms, and they certainly provide enough entertainment options for you to do it.
From their firsts at sea – including the only race tracks, bowling alleys and open-air laser-tag courses on cruise ships – to their bests, like the Mandara Spa, which was voted the best cruise ship spa in the world at the World Spa Awards, you’ll be able to make the most of your leisure time with truly memorable experiences.
In addition to sports courts, pools with water slides, wine tastings and a full casino, there is plenty of live entertainment aboard Norwegian ships, including Broadway musicals like “Kinky Boots,” “Jersey Boys” and “Rock of Ages.” In the mood for some laughs? Then check out the Levity Entertainment Group for some serious fun. Or watch acrobats soar during dazzling performances of “Cirque Dreams” aboard the Norwegian Getaway and the Norwegian Epic.
Of course, if your idea of fun is lounging poolside with a cool drink in your hand, you can make that happen. Norwegian is known for its epic swimming pools, amazing splash parks, towering waterslides, hot tubs and more – perfect for anyone trying to make the most of a warm-weather getaway.
Norwegian’s quest to give guests ultimate freedom results in the most diverse collection of staterooms and suites at sea. Their Balcony Staterooms are simply breathtaking, but it’s their luxury suites, family-friendly connecting rooms and Studio Staterooms designed and priced specifically for solo travelers that make them truly unique.
Plus, The Haven by Norwegian® gives guests next-level decadence. This spacious enclave for guests staying in the ship’s most splendid suites have the grandest accommodations, including 24/7 butler and concierge service, private dining, priority disembarkation and more.
Mini-suites, Family Balcony and Balcony Staterooms provide options to families and couples who want the right combination of space and luxury for their needs.
Suites and penthouses are other choices whether you’re booking for a couple or as many as eight guests. These rooms have expansive balconies, spacious living rooms, beautiful baths and more. There’s even butler service, a special Suite menu and complimentary champagne. Ask about Spa Staterooms too – designed with colors and lines to create a more soothing feel – which also come with complimentary spa access.
More Freestyle Perks
Norwegian scrapped its dress code to help make guests feel more comfortable and another way they accomplish that goal is by constantly providing the highest level of service to guests. Norwegian takes great pride in its crew-to-passenger ratio, which lets restaurants and public rooms stay open longer every night.
Another benefit of Freestyle Cruising is Norwegian’s guest-friendly disembarkation system that helps guests make the most of their final morning on the ship. Guests can eat breakfast in a restaurant or a continental breakfast in the comfort of their stateroom and disembark either when their luggage tag is called or during last and final call later that morning.
Norwegian Cruise Line is a pioneer when it comes to giving guests the freedom to do what they want, when they want at sea. If an hour-by-hour itinerary is not really your thing – or if you just want to have options – the relaxing and enjoyable flexibility of a Norwegian Cruise Line voyage is for you.