Norwegian Cruise Line Tips & Tricks
One of the largest cruise lines in the industry is Norwegian Cruise Lines. With cruises around the world, you’re sure to have an incredible experience aboard Norwegian cruise ships while visiting beautiful destinations.
If you’ve never sailed on a Norwegian cruise ship, you may feel overwhelmed. When it comes to being a first-time cruiser with a new cruise line, a little research can go a long way to making sure you’re prepared. You don’t want to miss any of the best onboard experiences because you weren’t fully prepared.
Fortunately, Norwegian cruises emphasize flexibility to ensure you have an easy, carefree vacation. You can board a Norwegian cruise ship without any plans and experience an incredible cruise.
Those who have sailed before can expect a similar experience when sailing with Norwegian. Everything you love about cruising can be found on Norwegian ships: food, entertainment and fun galore!
But each cruise line has its own unique offerings and amenities that are worth knowing about.
If you’re new to sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line, check out our top pre-cruise tips and tricks to help you have your best vacation yet!
Free at sea
Norwegian Cruise Line is known for offering its Free at Sea special, which allows cruise passengers to select up to five different benefits to include in their cruise fare. These benefits include Specialty Dining Package, Shore Excursions, Wi-Fi Package, Beverage Package, Free Airfare and Free Friends/Family Sailing.
Those sailing in Suites will be able to select all benefits while those sailing in an Inside Stateroom will be able to select one. It might even be worth considering upgrading to the next cabin level to have more perks included, depending on the cost of the upgrade.
Another extra tip – Norwegian will allow you to upgrade your Free at Sea drinks package to the premium package for an additional fee. Be sure to look at what’s included in your benefits and determine if upgrading to a more inclusive package is right for you.
Before embarking on your cruise vacation, make sure you are enrolled in Norwegian’s Latitudes Reward program, which is the cruise line’s loyalty program. You’ll earn points for every cruise you take, which can help you receive amazing loyalty benefits in the future.
Typically, you will earn 1 point for each night you cruise. Those who book The Haven or a suite will earn an additional point for each cruise night. Those who book a Latitudes Rewards Inside offer will also receive an additional point for each night of sailing.
It’s a free and easy way to earn perks while browsing.
Even with just one cruise point, you can earn special offers for future cruises, onboard discounts, and early access to announcements. Higher tiers receive more lucrative perks, such as free specialty meals, signature cocktails, discounts on internet packages, wine tastings, and concierge service.
Download the app
In the modern age of technology, cruise lines have embraced apps to enhance the onboard cruise experience.
Before boarding your NCL cruise, be sure to download the Cruise Norwegian app. You can access shore excursions, onboard entertainment, specialty dining options, spa treatments and more – all before you even board the ship!
The Cruise Norwegian app will also allow you to check in online to help save you time when you arrive at the pier.
During your cruise, the app can help you keep track of your account and all onboard purchases, as well as view the daily schedule of activities that take place throughout the cruise.
One of the biggest perks of sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line is the ability to have Freestyle Dining. It was an idea floated by Norwegian Cruise Line as an innovative way to offer cruise passengers more flexibility when it comes to dining. Vacations are meant to be easy and carefree, which is why Norwegian wanted to give cruise passengers more flexibility.
Traditional meals normally have a place early and late in the dining room; some cruise lines will also seat you with strangers at the same table. Not everyone’s cup of tea, as dining with strangers can actually be stressful for some!
Freestyle Dining lets you and your traveling party eat wherever and whenever you want. With multiple dining options on board, you’ll find plenty of options for dinner each night.
However, be prepared to have a wait time during peak hours. Most cruise lines tend to eat around the same time in the evening, so you might find that you can’t be seated immediately. This brings us to our next tip!
If you don’t want to wait and prefer to have a set time for dinner each evening, you can book in advance in the main dining room and for the specialty restaurants.
Before your cruise, you can access your reservation and book the time that works best for you and your travel party.
As cruise ships are built to accommodate thousands of passengers, it becomes increasingly important to book specialty restaurants and shows. The most popular venues and shows will fill up quickly.
It would be a shame to miss the festivities, and you can always cancel if you change your mind once on board. Reservations open 90-120 days before departure, so be prepared to search for reservations that might fit your schedule. If anything, it’s good to have a backup plan.
O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill is a popular spot aboard Norwegian ships. You can find this restaurant on more than half of Norwegian’s cruise ships. With a pub atmosphere and plenty of comfort food, it’s easy to see why this place is loved by many.
This free venue is open 24/7 and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the menu you can find many pub favourites, such as wings, fish and chips and pie. Some nights you can even catch a prime rib.
In fact, if you’re looking to skip the morning buffet queues, head to O’Sheehan’s for breakfast! They offer both a hot and cold breakfast selection and it’s made to order.
Regular Norwegian cruisers love O’Sheenan’s for breakfast, as it’s generally quieter and more relaxing than the buffet.
Norwegian’s newest ships offer more onboard thrills than its older, smaller ships. You can race around the top deck on the world’s only 3-story GoKart track. There are plenty of other thrills too, like huge water slides, laser tag and a ropes course. Norwegian actually has one of the largest water parks found at sea.
You can even walk on The Plank, which is an 8ft long platform that protrudes from the side of the ship and allows you to test the strength of your sea legs! Feel like Jack Sparrow as you venture from the upper deck onto the board, which is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
If you sail on one of Norwegian’s larger ships, you’ll likely find wait times for the most popular attractions on board.
Consider trying the attractions during off-peak hours to avoid the crowds. If you dock in a port that you are not passionate about, take the opportunity to try the thrills on board. Often you can ride the attractions on the first day of the cruise after boarding. Just before dinner is another great time to try out some thrills.
Take a look at your cruise compass and figure out when you can squeeze in the most popular rides. There are plenty of cruisers who will wait until the last day at sea to try everything, so try to use other times during the cruise.
You can also make a reservation for certain attractions when you board the ship. This can be done on your stateroom TV; but book right after boarding because places will fill up quickly!
Enjoy outdoor spaces
Norwegian cruise ships have tons of outdoor space to enjoy, which is ideal for cruise passengers who want to spend more time outdoors. While some cruise lines seem to cram more indoors, Norwegian has incorporated more outdoor space into the design of its ships.
Norwegian’s newer ships are putting even more emphasis on al fresco dining with more options available to enjoy the outdoors.
You can even find on-board dining areas with indoor and covered outdoor seating. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy a unique outdoor dining experience. There’s nothing better than enjoying the cool sea breeze while enjoying a delicious meal during your cruise!
Benefit to shareholders
Cruise passengers who own at least 100 shares of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd are eligible to receive onboard statement credit. This applies to any sail in which they still actively hold shares.
Those who qualify will receive up to $250 onboard credit while sailing. Those who sail an itinerary of 15 days or more will earn the full $250. Shorter cruises of 7-14 days will bring in $100. Cruises under 6 days will earn $50 for their cruise.
This is a great advantage for loyal Norwegian cruisers! To apply for Onboard Credit, locate the application form on Norwegian’s website before you board your cruise. Once approved, you will find the credit added to your onboard expense account.