Adventure Travel Abroad

Norwegian Cruise Line – The ULTIMATE Guide

Norwegian Cruise Line – The ULTIMATE Guide


Ahoy there cruisers. Let’s take a look at “NCL” or “Norwegian Cruise Line”. We’re going to use our knowledge to try and help you make the right decision. When booking a “Norwegian Cruise Line” cruise. So let’s go! So, “Norwegian Cruise Line” was originally set up in 1966 as “Norwegian Caribbean Line”. It’s an American-Bermudan company offer
an American-style cruising. It’s most famous for its “Freestyle Cruising” concept. Which basically means there’s no set dining times, you can sit with who you want and there’s no formal dinners either. It’s a really modern and
friendly cruise line. Bringing cutting-edge features to cruising. At the time of filming they have 16 ships in their fleet with 8 different class. And each type of ship
can offer you a different type of holiday. So let’s take a look at the first class of ship. So let’s start with
the first class of ship which is the “Sun Class”. These were built in 1999 and 2000
and have all been refurbished in the past couple of years. It consists of the
“Norwegian Sun” and the “Norwegian Sky”. They are the second oldest class of ship. The are both the smallest class of ship and hold around 2,000 passengers. A little bit about the “Norwegian Sun” It offers longer more exotic itineraries. It’s based in South America at the Panama Canal and the Caribbean. It’s really up-to-date with the recent refurb. And has more families on board than the
“Sky” This ships great for younger couples to older couples looking for an
adventure. So a little bit about the “Norwegian Sky”. Based in Miami and offers
sailings to the Bahamas and Cuba. It is the only ship from “Norwegian Cruise Line” that sales to Cuba and offers an overnight stay in Havana. The ship has an open bar policy. Which means there’s no paying for drinks. It’s the only ship in the
“Norwegian Cruise Lines” fleet that offers this. So think of this more as more of an
all-inclusive resort. There’s 10 dining options on the ship alone. And it offers you loads of bars and activities. As you expect with an open bar, it
gets a little bit lively. Being older ships, both of these ships miss some of the newer features that you’ll see on the bigger and more modern Norwegian ships. But there’s still a perfect size with lots of atmosphere. And these are perfect for shorter cruises. So next up we have this “Spirit” class of ship. This is the oldest class of ship from “Norwegian”. It was built in 1998 and it’s really starting to show its age in some places. So this ship also holds
approximately 2,000 guests. It was refurbished in 2014 to give it a little
bit of an extra modern touch. So it’s missing some of the features of
the newer ships. But it’s still a very intimate, relaxed but lively ship. It has 17 dining options and
12 bars and lounges on board. So there’s a big selection for everybody. So being a smaller ship, this ship is a really nice size and really easy to get around. Being based in Europe most of the time you get a real mix of international passengers. From Europe and from all around the
world. So the “Spirit” class is still a firm favorite
with its passengers. So who do we recommend this ship for? Well it’s great from toddlers to seniors. It has a really good kids club on board
as well as connecting staterooms. So it’s great for families. Next up is the “Dawn” class. These ships were built in 2001 and 2002. They hold around 2,400 passengers. Let’s start with the “Norwegian Dawn”. It was refurbished in 2016
to bring it up to the newer ship standards. But some passengers have complained
that this gives it a confusing layout. There’s plenty of bars, dining
and activities to keep everybody happy. This ship sails to Bermuda, Canada, New England and the Caribbean. The “Norwegian Star” was refurbished in 2015. Again bringing it up to the
newest standards of the Norwegian Ships. The “Norwegian Star” mainly sails in
Europe and the Caribbean. But sometimes heads over to
the west coast and Alaska. There’s plenty of dining options on this ship with 15 dining options and 11 bars to choose from. Both these ships have a really fun and relaxed atmosphere. On board you’ll find a wide spectrum of passengers. All looking for a great
cruise at a reasonable price. Next, we have the slightly bigger “Jewel” class. These ships hold up to 2,400 guests. Built in the mid-2000s we have the “Norwegian Jade”, “Norwegian Jewel” and “Norwegian Pearl” and “Norwegian Gem” These ships have all been refurbished in the last few years. Bringing them all up to date. Nice and fresh. They are still quite a small ship so they’re really intimate and really easy to get around. The Jewel class offers some of the
largest suites found at sea. But we do have to say that the standard cabins are
smaller than some other ships. But they’re still very comfortable never
less. There’s lots of bars and lounges on the
ships and this will have a real fun, lively atmosphere. So you will find these ship sailing in; Alaska, New York, the Caribbean, Europe and Australia. The “Norwegian Jewel” does look a little bit aged now and a little bit worn around the edges. But the beautiful “Norwegian Jade”. “Pearl” and “Gem” had a recent refit which brings it up to really beautiful modern standards. So who are these ships for? Well we wouldn’t say they are as family friendly as some of the newer modern ships. But they are great for shorter cruises. On the shorter cruises you do find a big mix of different people. Including families. Whilst the longer cruisers usually
attract a more all to clientele. We created a tour video of the “Norwegian
Jade” Take a look at it here
to have a look at what’s being done in the refurbishment. Next let’s take a look at the “Epic” class. Built in 2010 it was recently refurbished in 2015. This was one of the first mega ships from
“Norwegian Cruise Line”. Holding an epic 4100 passengers. It sells Europe in the summer and Caribbean in the winter. It truly has something to offer for
everybody. From Broadway shows to climbing walls and an onboard aqua park. This is a great ship for families and those are looking for some fun. This is also the first ship from “Norwegian Cruise Line” to feature solo cabins. These are fantastic for solo travelers. Everything on this ship is
done an epic and grand scale, With over 20 dining options. It can get a little congested due to its huge size. Also this has a bit of a strange cabin layout. With the bathroom and the toilet only separated by a glass door and the sink in the main cabin. Some passengers may not like the layout of this cabin. But if you’re traveling as a couple, like us,
it may not bother you. So who’s this for? It has a real fun atmosphere. It is fantastic for singles, couples,
families, groups, pretty much anybody. As you expect during the summer holidays. It can get over crowded with kids and families. So the “Breakaway” class was built in 2013 and 2014. It consists of two ships the “Norwegian
Breakaway” and the “Norwegian Getaway”. These ship hold around 4,000 passengers. They sail from New York, the Caribbean and Europe. These are really fantastic fun-filled ships. Featuring Broadway-style shows, aqua parks, the Sports Complex includes a
rock climbing wall and 9 hole mini-golf course. As well as the largest ropes course at sea. The ropes course also features the plank. Which is a plank that goes over the side of the ship. It is truly terrifying! Take a look at our “Norwegian Getaway” videos to see all of this in action. So the “Breakaway” class has an amazing wraparound deck which is called “The Waterfront”. It’s an outdoor promenade area which extends into the bars and restaurants so you can dine alfresco. It’s really cool it actually extends a
quarter of a mile around the ship. There’s a massive 25 dining options on
this ship. How incredible is that! 25 different places you can choose to eat. So who’s this ship for? Well we think there is something for everybody
on these ships. They are really the pinnacle of NCL’s
motto of “Freestyle Cruising”. We think everybody will enjoy this cruise ship. So for the “Breakaway” class of ship Make sure you watch our “Norwegian Getaway” full tour and vlogs. Where you can get a good idea of what these ships are really like. So let’s have a look at
some of the big boys of the fleet. This is the “Breakaway Plus” class. These are extended versions of the “Breakaway” class and hold around 4,300 passengers. The are being built in the last three years. So they are are the newest ships from Norwegian. Offering the newest facilities and the highest technology. You’ll find many of the features on here in the same as the “Breakaway” class. Just a slightly bigger ship. These ships really are the cutting edge of cruising. The “Norwegian Bliss” and “Norwegian Joy” even have a motor racing track onboard. They have the widest range
of dining available as well as loads of bars and lounges. So you’ll always find something to suit you. The “Norwegian Escape” is solely based in the Caribbean. “Norwegian Joy” was designed
with the Chinese market in mind and the “Norwegian Bliss”
is for the Caribbean and Alaska. It has a beautiful Observation Lounge. Meaning you can enjoy the
facilities whatever the weather. These ships are great for all the family. Ok so finally we have the “NCL America”. There’s only 1 ship. Uniquely this ship was built in the USA. It was built in 2005 he holds 2,200 passengers. This ship only sails in Hawaii. In the beautiful exotic Hawaiian Islands. What’s great about it is that there’s no sea days. So all of your time is spent on these beautiful islands. This is the only ship in the world, at the moment, that uniquely sails just in Hawaii So it’s the perfect choice. Some passenger say that the entertainment could be a little bit better. But I guess with so
many ports days it doesn’t matter as much. It’s a real stylish and comfortable ship
with an American theme. So who’s this ship for? Well we think it’s for
passengers who want to see as much of Hawaii as possible. So let’s talk about destinations. As you would expect with such a huge fleet there’s a wide range of destinations available. From the Caribbean to Asia, Alaska, the west coast, the Panama Canal, South America, the Mediterranean and even Australia and New
Zealand. “Norwegian Cruise Line” sail all around the world and offer a cruise for every destination. So my favorite bit, the dining onboard. Well there’s a massive choice on these ship as you’ve just heard. All the main dining and some of the lounges and the buffet are all included in the price. There’s a huge buffet onboard with a massive selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s even themed buffet nights with different foods from all around the world each night. There’s also “O’Sheehan’s” which you can find on many of the ships. It’s the pub on board and offers food 24-hours a day. It’s really tasty pub-style food. You can get nachos, chicken wings,
fries, burgers, hot dogs all included in the price. Room service is a bargain coming in at $8 for as much as you want to order in one order. There’s themed dining shows such as “Wine Lovers: The Musical” and “Cirque Dreams” at extra charge. Most ships have a massive range of
dining to suit everybody’s palate. So you’re not going to go hungry whilst on
these cruises. Some of our favorites from these ships include “Cagney’s Steakhouse”, “Le Bistro” – the French restaurant “La Cucina” – the Italian restaurant, “Teppanyaki” – the Japanese restaurant. The great thing about dining with Norwegian Cruise Line
is that there’s no formal nights. Because it’s “Freestyle” you can choose when you want to eat, where you want to eat
and who you want to eat with. You can book all of the speciality dining on-board,
on the app or before you even get on the cruise. Entertainments another place where Norwegian really shines. They offer an outstanding range of entertainment
and even offer full Broadway shows. Such as “Legally Blonde”, “Priscilla Queen of the desert”, “Rock of Ages”, “Jersey Boys” and other fantastic shows. You will not believe some of the activities on these ships. There’s climbing walls, water parks, ropes courses, laser quest and even a motor racing track on these ships. Plus organized activities and game shows. You’ll find live music all around the ships. Throughout the day and into the
evening. There’s always a night club on-board so you can dance the night away. Plus the casino for the adults and the arcade for the little ones. You can sip your favorite drink in one of the many themed bars onboard. Outside you’ll find multiple pools as well as hot tubs with plenty of space for catching a tan. There’s loads of outdoor spaces and spots on offer. As well as brilliant kids clubs for kids age 3 plus. So it’s perfect for the family. These ships really do cater for active cruisers. It is really impossible to be
bored of one of these cruise ships. So let’s talk about the cabins onboard
“Norwegian Cruise Line” ships. Let’s start with the “Haven” cabins. These are the suites on board. You can get one bedroom suites,
2 bedroom suites. These are usually located at the very front of the ship. Hidden away. Staying in the “Haven” area is truly like a ship within a ship experience. With its own lounge and restaurant. As well as its own private
Sun Deck. These cabins are much larger than normal cabins and also include multi bedroom cabins. So staying in a “Haven” category suite. You get your own concierge and 24-hour butler. How posh is that! Take a look at our “Norwegian Jade” video for more information about “The Haven”. Next, we have the normal style of cabins. We have mini suites, balconies, outside
cabins, interior cabins and solo cabins. So there really is something to fit
every sort of price point in every style of holiday. These cabins feature flat-screen televisions with a great selection of programming. As well as really comfortable beds. Depending on the ship. These cabins come in at all
different shapes and sizes. But they are pretty much what you would expect compared to other cruise lines. So where can you find the solo cabins? These are on some of the newer ships such as the Epic class. Breakaway and Breakaway Plus. These rooms are great because you don’t have to pay the extra occupancy fee that you normally would. We got the chance to visit the solo lounge and it’s a great place to meet other people who are traveling solo. We have always been please with our
cabins aboard NCL. We found them to be really spacious and have all of the amenities that you
really need. For a good look at some of the cabins. Take a look at our Norwegian
Getaway and Norwegian Jade videos. Where we take a good look around the cabins. So what’s included in the cost of your cruise? Well included is all your meals
in the main dining room. As well as the buffet onboard. And even on some cruise ships they offer snacks at one of the bars for 24-hours a day. So let’s talk about the drinks package. Drinks packages can be purchased before you sail or while you’re on the cruise. It’s usually cheaper to buy them beforehand. For travelers from the UK in Europe it’s premium all-inclusive all the time. So your drinks and gratuities are already included in the cost of your
cruise. The soda package cost $5.95 for children and $7.95 for adults per person per day. Plus that 20% gratuity. The next package is the “Cork’s and Caps” package which is the wine and beer package. It includes a wide selection of soft drinks, beers and wines by the glass. This is $59 per person per day plus 20 percent gratuity. At the time of filming. The “Unlimited Drinks Package” is $89 per person pee day. Plus 20% gratuity. At the time of filming. The package includes unlimited sodas,
spirits, beers, as well as wine by the glass and premium cocktails up to $15. Plus you can also get a 20% discount on bottles of wine purchased. None of these packages include bottled water. So there’s no charge for most of the
facilities onboard. This includes the kids clubs, aqua parks, water parks and most of the entertainment onboard. Speciality dining costs anywhere from
about $20 and upwards. There are a few cover charge restaurants where you pay a set fee. Such as “Moderno Churrascaria”
brazilian restaurant and “Teppanyaki”. This is coming in at about $20 at the moment. The rest of the speciality dining
restaurants are actually à la carte pricing. So you pay per course and this
can get really expensive. And go up $50 upwards depending on where you eat and how many courses you choose to have. We really recommend buying a dining
package before you get on the ship. You can do this by booking through your
travel agent or logging into “My NCL”. Where you can pick a variety of
different dining packages to suit your needs. You can really save some money on this. Internet packages can be bought whilst on the ship or beforehand using the “My NCL” or booking through your travel agent These start off at about $15 is for the
“Social Media Package” and get much more expensive for different packages depending on your needs. As with other mainstream cruise liners. The port excursions are not included in the price. So you would need to book these extra. Gratuities at the time of filming. For over 3 year olds for staying in a standard cabin are $13.99 per
person, per day. If you’re staying in a suite category cabin they’re going to be $16.99 per person, per day. But remember. If you’re from Europe or the
United Kingdom and you’re booking the all-inclusive package You don’t have to pay any gratuities. These are all included in the price. Okay then. So should we say what we like and what we don’t like about Norwegian? Yeah let’s
start with what we don’t like first. Definitely let’s get those bad points
out of the way. There isn’t many of them to be honest. What we really don’t
like is on the newer modern ships you’ve got to make reservations for
everything. Yeah and if it’s a particularly busy cruise. This can be problematic. Yeah it can be quite hard to fit in all of your dinner reservations, some show reservations and get all the times that you really
want. But on a positive note they do make it really easy to do that. They’re really do. Also it can end up being quite an expensive cruise because you have to pay for a lot of extras onboard. This includes things such as speciality
dining and shows. So why you might have a low price while you’re booked. It doe add up if you pay for all these extra things while you’re onboard. So some things that we really do like. I absolutely love the Freestyle way of
cruising. It’s just so flexible. It completely breaks all tradition with set
time dining and being on the same table every night with the same set of people And we can choose what we want to wear when we’re eating . So we can go in shorts and t-shirt or we can go in a full tuxedo if we really want to There is no formal nights on the ship. So you choose if you want to dress up. Next what we really like with “Norwegian Cruise Line” is the activities and
entertainment on board. There is just so much especially on the newer ships. There is really something for everyone. The other thing that we absolutely love as
well is the cabins. They are spacious. They’re modern and they’re really clean as well. There’s also a big range of cabins so you can find the perfect cabin for you. Including if you’re a solo traveler. Another big plus for Norwegian are the crew. Every cruise we’ve done with Norwegian the
crew have just been fantastic. Being really friendly, talkative and just want
to make your cruise a really fun time. Who do we think that Norwegian Cruise
Line is for? Well it’s not for the traditional style cruises. If you want to stick with that. This is a modern cruise line with new ways of cruising. As we said you choose everything you want to do and when you want to do it. It has a real fun and fast-paced atmosphere. There’s always something to do that you will enjoy and if you love formal nights this is probably not for you. Because there’s no formality on NCL at all. But like we said earlier on. People still do choose
to dress up so don’t be worried about that. And that can be a bonus for you if you don’t want formal nights. This is the cruise line for you because you can wear whatever you want. So what’s like type of passengers do you see on Norwegian Cruise Line? Well the newer more cutting-edge ships
you usually find a lot more families and younger people. Especially during the holiday season. On the older ships and longer itineraries you see an
older set of passengers. With a mix of families and more families and kids during the holidays. On some of the larger and newer ships you’ll also find a lot of solo travelers>This is because they perfectly cater for solo travelers. So people who want to have a good night out with good entertainment and
loads of choice with a lid back vacation style. This is the cruise line for you. This is a fun cruise line and we think you’re gonna really enjoy it if you are looking to have fun. Okay so that’s it for this time. We hope you
enjoyed our show. Make sure you watch some of our Norwegian videos in our video library to get a better idea about what it’s all about and come and follow
us on Instagram. We’ll be posting pictures of cruise ships and destinations all the time. You can find us @CruiseWith and you can see all the details in the description section below. So that’s it for this time. Until next time. Happy cruising.


Reader Comments

  1. I love Norwegian. This vlog makes me want to book another one. When will you two be taking your next NCL Cruise and which ship will it be?

  2. Me: Oooo there is a new video up by Honest Cruising, let me tell my husband (walks upstairs )
    Husband: (already watching the video) Did you see there is another Honest Cruising video up?

    Apparently your video was a top highlight of today for us to watch :-). Keep making your videos we love them.

  3. From a former travel agent for 19 years, with a specialization in cruises… I have to say, ..you guys are awesome. You do really informative videos that are great for new cruisers as well as experienced ones. Keep up the great work!

  4. Shared this on NCL facebook pages and about to post on mine. I can't rave enough about NCL (LOVE their crews attitudes) and love your reviews… even when you aren't on NCL. Keep them coming!! … Boarding the Jewel in late May through Alaska with three crew members on board that are excited to see us. Y'all join! HA!!

  5. Excellent information and so well presented! I hope you do this for all the major cruise lines, of course that will mean you HAVE to take more cruises! I’m waiting for vlogs on the Princess line😊.

  6. This is a fantastic overview of NCL; great job, gents! My wife and I sailed the Star in 2015 and were so impressed by Norwegian that we booked the Escape for 2016 just weeks after returning from the cruise aboard the Star. We are now booked on the Bliss for Jan. 2019 and can't wait. The crew, food, entertainment, and ships themselves have made us fall in love with Norwegian and have made us loyal NCL cruisers.

    There are just a couple of small things that you forgot to mention; namely, NCL's ongoing "Free at Sea" promotions and the ability to make the specialty dining and show reservations online ahead of your sail date. Regarding the Free at Sea promotions, NCL is almost always running these, with guests having the option of picking from five different included "perks" at the time of booking (the Ultimate Beverage Package, Specialty Dining Package, Internet Package, Friends/Family sail free, and Shore Excursion Credit). The amount of perks you can select is based on your cabin type, with Studio and Inside Cabins being offering a choice of one of the perks, Oceanview, Balconies, and Mini-Suite cabins having a choice of two of the five, and Suites and The Haven cabins allowing the choice of all five perks. This can really save people a lot of money, particularly with the Ultimate Beverage Package (you still have to pay the gratuities, however).

    With regards to specialty dining and show reservations, NCL will allow guests to make the reservations online up to 90 days ahead of your sail date (and, I believe, 100 days ahead for guests in The Haven). And while you are 100% correct in that it is kind of a pain to plan out your show and dining times on an otherwise freestyle cruise, you can save yourself a huge headache and disappointment by making said reservations ahead of time. This is especially true on NCL's large ships, where the shows and most popular restaurants fill up quickly.

    Anyway, thanks again you guys, and great job!

  7. As a disabled cruiser,  Norwegian is one of my favorite choices.  I travel with my service dog and they are incredibly accommodating.  Thanks for the great information.  Cheers!

  8. Nice job! My wife and I love NCL. Another great thing is their loyalty program. We made Platinum last year. Among other things this gives you two free specialty restaurant visits, Moderno or La Cucina and Cagney's or Le Bistro. We each get a free bag or laundry, a behind the scenes ship tour, two bottles of water and like all loyalty members a free bottle of sparkling wine. We love to do early walk off and they will also let you put your bags out the night before and have them ready in the port during that time.

  9. Thanks for the great video guys. My wife and I are cruising on the NCL Spirit on 25 March out of Barcelona- our third Spirit cruise and fifth NCL. Can't wait for the next video!

  10. As per the norm, a wonderful video. Although my husband and I have only been on one cruise with Norwegian (with another pending in August), I've done extensive research and would be happy to help anyone on the Americas side of the Pond with possible details that our fine hosts may not know about. (There are inclusive packages to choose depending on the cabin selected, for example.)
    But again, most importantly, this is a wonderful primer for those thinking about NCL. As for Tony and me, we've drunk the Kool-Aid and can't wait for our next NCL cruise.

  11. Great video on NCL! My partner and I love NCL. We've sailed in the Haven on 5 of their ships and are set to sail the Getaway out of Copenhagen in the Haven too!

  12. Outstanding information….very thorough. We typically have only cruised with Carnival, but scheduled our first Norwegian Cruise as well as first Alaskan Cruise for September 2019. I absolutely appreciate this video.

  13. If you're asked to leave an area for construction improvements or if sawdust gets into your drink from the constant upgrading power-sawing or if you're asked to make way for construction workers who have to move things through your area to access areas they need…you'll get a 25% discount on your next cruise!

  14. Do nto go through Norwegian cruise line.   they will have ongoing construction during your trip and only give you a 25% off next cruise even though your current one wasn't a good experience.

  15. The Breakaway O'Sheehan's is not serving anything at night. In fact you can't find anything to eat at night except some rolls and coffee in O'Sheehan's. I went to get coffee and the staff seemed annoyed and bluntly told me there isn't any food at this time before I even asked. Putting that aside I had a great cruise no other complaints other then false advertising here about food all night. I loved the crew they were on the whole awesome except that one time.

  16. I went on the Jewel in July 2011 and am going on the Spirit this June into July. A little disappointed that I am going on an older ship, but no days at sea this longer cruise. Hoping for a good experience.

  17. Been on the Sky, Spirit, and 2ce on the Dawn. Loved the layout of the Sky best, and like the smaller ships.

  18. Great video. Very informative and detailed. We have only been on NCL Dawn and Gem so we only know NCL and the freestyle cruising. We loved it but can't really compare to having times and location set for us. Some people I have talked to like being with the same people every night. We are going on RCCL in 2019 but our group chose my time dining.

    We have been fortunate that our first cruise we had 2 upgrades available and we chose the beverage package and 3 nights specialty dining. You still have to pay the 20% gratuities on the beverage package but you can easily cover that if you drink at all. NCL calls it Free at Sea and they offer it on the majority of their cruises.

  19. Booked a honeymoon cruise on the new Norwegian Encore for Thanksgiving 2019. Really enjoyed your video breakdown and made me look forward to my cruise even more. Thanks!

  20. Norwegian needs to rename there ships to THE SIZZLER OF THE SEA. Where you can eat all the crap food and buy all the BULLSHITRITE you can afford. Not to say I didn't like the video. Great video, Thanks guys. Please let us know who much the extras are. Extra for the food, activities, and excursions.

  21. So, Africa is not part of the world?… as you have mentioned that NCL cruises all over the world and when I look at the travel routes, Africa is not included!!!!

  22. I am really getting concerned that there are so many gay reviewers on cruise lines? yes I am a homophobe!! hoping there are no queer groups on my first cruise.

  23. I know you never ever answer my questions…. but I will ask all the same: Are the Norwegian Cruises and Royal Caribbeans one now… what am asking is do both company work together now… if you know that is…

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