Going on an NCL cruise? Countdown the days on Facebook

Looking to connect with other cruisers? Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has an application for that. Guests booked on a NCL vacation at sea can now network with other guests on the sailing with the NCL Cruise Countdown Clock Facebook application. Continue reading “Going on an NCL cruise? Countdown the days on Facebook”

Cruise Guide: Norwegian Epic to sail in 2010 with 14 dining options

The Norwegian Epic may not be to everyone's taste from the outside, but it's what's inside that matters. Rendering and video (below) courtesy of NCL
The Norwegian Epic may not be to everyone's taste from the outside, but it's what's inside that matters. Rendering and video (below) courtesy of NCL

By Matt Roseboom

cruiseguideheadersmallAlthough some may question the look of her exterior appearance, you won’t care what NCL’s newest ship, Norwegian Epic, looks like from the outside as you enjoy her 14 restaurants, 18 bars (including the first ice bar at sea) and Aqua Park inside.

Epic, which launches in the Caribbean July 10, 2010, will offer a wide variety of cabins, from the very small inside staterooms called The Studios (100 square feet) to luxurious suites which feature their own courtyard villa. All outside staterooms will feature private balconies. Continue reading “Cruise Guide: Norwegian Epic to sail in 2010 with 14 dining options”

In Port Today: Nassau, Bahamas

Four cruise ships, from left, Regent Seven Seas Navigator, Norwegian Sky, Carnival Sensation and Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas are shown docked under sunny skies in Nassau, Bahamas, Tuesday March 31, 2009.
Four cruise ships, from left, Regent Seven Seas Navigator, Norwegian Sky, Carnival Sensation and Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas are shown docked under sunny skies in Nassau, Bahamas, Tuesday March 31, 2009.

NCL releases more cabin information on their upcoming Epic

NCL officials announce some of the new features of their newest ship, the Norwegian Epic. The announcement was made during the Seatrade conference in Miami Beach and was also available via webcast.
NCL officials announce some of the new features of their newest ship, the Norwegian Epic. The announcement was made during the Seatrade conference in Miami Beach and was also available via webcast.

At the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Miami Convention this morning, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) revealed the full range of varied accommodations to be offered on its next generation of Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic. Continue reading “NCL releases more cabin information on their upcoming Epic”

NCL hosting 7th gay and lesbian family-friendly cruise

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is continuing its successful partnership with R Family Vacations, family-friendly vacation specialists catering to the gay and lesbian community led by travel entrepreneurs Gregg Kaminsky and Kelli O’Donnell. This year, R Family Vacations is offering a summer adventure cruise to Alaska aboard the 2,240-passenger Norwegian Star from July 11 to 18, roundtrip from Seattle. This Alaska cruise is the seventh time in five years that NCL has hosted R Family Vacations and their guests on board one of its ships. Continue reading “NCL hosting 7th gay and lesbian family-friendly cruise”

NCL names new CEO and sales vice president

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) recently announced two new positions within the company. Roberto Martinoli has been appointed president and chief operating officer and Camille Olivere has been named vice president, sales. Continue reading “NCL names new CEO and sales vice president”

Cruise Guide: NCL unveils Gem of a ship

By Mike Coleman

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) unveiled a new ship over the holidays and, with the New Year now upon us, has produced a series of ambitious fleet-wide resolutions.

The 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem features, among a host of innovative amenities, 12 posh villas two with their own private gardens and sundecks plus 10 with private courtyard, pool and sundeck.

Look for dining and several entertainment options in 12 onboard restaurants and a 24-hour nightlife complex boasting the second four-lane, 10-pin bowling alley at sea, an NCL exclusive first offered on Norwegian Pearl.

Guests looking for a physical challenge will find a 30-foot rock climbing wall with five different climbing routes, each with varying degrees of difficulty. Norwegian Gem also features the Wii video game system by Nintendo. Wii tournaments are held in Norwegian Gem’s atrium on a two-story LED screen allowing guests to gather and play against each other.

The ship will sail 7-, 10- and 11-day itineraries from her home port of New York to the Bahamas, Florida and the Caribbean through April when she repositions to Europe for a series of 28 seven-day Western Mediterranean itineraries roundtrip from Barcelona. Later this year she will return to the Big Apple to feature seven-day Bahamas and Florida itineraries.

The ship is the eighth vessel purpose-built for NCL’s signature Freestyle Cruising – an approach to cruise travel unlike any other offered in the industry. Freestyle Cruising leaves regimented schedules behind, and is characterized by having no fixed dining times, no formal dress codes, relaxed disembarkation and dozens of on-board entertainment and activity options.

The line, meanwhile, has also announced significant fleet wide enhancements to its onboard product. Dubbed Freestyle 2.0, look for an improved dining experience; stateroom upgrades, new wide-ranging onboard activities for guests all of ages; additional recognition, service and amenities for balcony, suite and villa guests, and the re-launch of a past guest recognition program. 

Among the highlights: Lobster in the main restaurant on multiple days and in one restaurant every night of the cruise; a signature specialty dish in every restaurant; one or two alternative restaurants open for lunch on sea days; a new and expanded room service menu; upgrades in bedding, sheets, pillows, duvets, towels, bathrobes and in-cabin amenities including coffee maker and expanded TV offerings.

Additionally, look for an “at your service” hotline; separate check-in for balcony and mini-suite guests; personal escort to stateroom; plus concierge and butler service in all suites and villas. 

Most of the enhancements are being rolled out immediately and will be largely implemented by summer.

Cruise Guide: NCL to feature series of Bermuda cruises

By Mike Coleman

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has unveiled a series of Bermuda-bound itineraries from five East Coast cities in 2008. It’s the largest such deployment in company history. 

Look for Norwegian Dawn to sail from New York and Norwegian Dream to depart from Boston. Norwegian Majesty, meanwhile, will sail to the island from three cities: Philadelphia, Baltimore and Charleston.

Beginning in mid-April 2008, Norwegian Dawn will embark on a series of seven-day sailings through Aug. 24 and then again from Sept. 28 through Oct. 26. Departing on Sundays, the cruises feature three days in Bermuda at King’s Wharf.

Norwegian Dream begins an inaugural season out of Boston, offering a series of seven-day sailings to Bermuda departing on Sundays from May 11 through Aug. 24, 2008 and again from Sept. 28 to Oct. 26. Norwegian Dream replaces the Norwegian Majesty, which has been sailing out of Boston to Bermuda since 1998.

Norwegian Majesty, meanwhile, will begin sailing seven-day Bermuda cruises from Charleston on April 19, 2008, followed by a five-day Bermuda cruise on June 14, 2008. On June 21, 2008, the ship returns to Baltimore for the first time since 2004 and embarks on a series of nine seven-day cruises from Baltimore to Bermuda, departing on Saturdays. A six-day sailing from Baltimore to Bermuda on Aug. 23, 2008 is scheduled before the ship repositions to Philadelphia. On Aug. 30, 2008, the vessel begins a series of five seven-day sailings to Bermuda from Philadelphia, with Saturday departures.


PGA Tour Partner

Meanwhile, in an effort to drive awareness of NCL golf programs in Bermuda and Hawaii, the line has inked a partnership deal with the PGA Tour.

The three-year agreement also provides NCL the right to use the PGA name in advertising, as well as to share in promotional and tournament hospitality opportunities built around both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour.

“In our continuing effort to embrace new and innovative marketing programs, we expect that this partnership with the PGA Tour will let golfers around the world know that you can combine a great cruise vacation with top golf experiences at the best courses in the world on NCL,” said Scott Rogers, NCL’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Headquartered in Miami, with a fleet of 14 ships in service and under construction, NCL also operates NCL America and Orient Lines. The company recently took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Pearl, and is currently building Norwegian Gem for delivery in October 2007.

Cruise Guide: O’Donnell to christen Norwegian Pearl

By Michael Coleman

Emmy Award winner Rosie O’Donnell will serve as godmother to Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) newest vessel – Norwegian Pearl – during christening ceremonies in Miami next month. 

The 93,500-ton ship will be the ninth new vessel in six years for NCL. Among the onboard innovations is a cruise industry first – a four-lane, ten-pin bowling alley – and two NCL firsts, a rock-climbing wall and two top-of-the-ship deluxe owner’s suites.

Like her sisters – Norwegian Star, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Jewel and Pride of Hawaii – Norwegian Pearl will accommodate 2,400 guests, and will feature multiple restaurants, lively public rooms, family-friendly cabins and a new style of shipboard accommodations – Courtyard Villas – which, along with each ship’s two Garden Villas, make up “the biggest, most luxurious and innovative suite complexes at sea,” according to NCL.

After a series of inaugural events in Europe and Miami, the ship will sail two seven-day itineraries to the Caribbean (eastern and western) beginning December 22. On January 5, 2007, Norwegian Pearl features its five and nine-day western and southern Caribbean schedule. Ports of call on the five-day Western Caribbean itinerary include stops in Cozumel, Mexico and Belize. The nine-day Southern Caribbean route includes calls in Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. John’s, Antigua and Tortola.

NCL will donate the use of Norwegian Pearl to O’Donnell’s charity, Rosie’s For All Kids Foundation, for a one-night fund-raising event December 15. Guests onboard the one-night cruise will enjoy an evening of culinary delights, a Broadway-style show in the Stardust Theater with O’Donnell, and guest entertainers direct from Broadway, a comedy show by the popular comedy troupe, Second City, and a sail-away cocktail party on the pool deck.

Rosie’s For All Kids Foundation is a public, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping America’s kids, by supporting non-profit programs that serve disadvantaged children. Since 1997, her foundation has awarded more than $15 million in early childhood care and education program grants to over 1,100 nonprofit organizations, and has helped to build 27 daycare centers in low-income areas throughout the United States. 

NCL and O’Donnell have been working together since 2004, when R Family Vacations chartered Norwegian Dawn for the industry’s first-ever gay family cruise. 

NCL has a fleet of 15 ships in service and under construction. It oversees the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America, and Orient Lines. In October 2007, look for another christening ceremony, this time as Norwegian Gem enters service.