Norwegian Cruise Lines Still Picks The Ports!
When 4-star Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) introduced its innovative 'Freestyle' concept in 2000, they ushered in an extraordinary new era, which transformed the traditional cruise into a unique and far more personal experience. Designed to meet the changing needs of today's discerning cruise passenger, Freestyle Cruising offers guests a truly relaxed, resort-style experience, with perhaps most importantly, complete personal flexibility. There is only one schedule on NCL's freestyle ships, and that is yours. The hallmarks are remarkable.
There is a good assortment of suites most of which have private balconies and separate bedrooms. On the Dawn, for example, at the very top end you might select her spectacular 5,350 square foot "garden villa" suite complete with living room, dining room, three bedrooms, whirlpool tub and garden with a hot tub, outdoor dining area and terrace (it's true!). And there's butler service too. It simply does not get better than this for families or a group of friends). But no matter which accommodation style you choose, you'll find your surroundings, bright, cheerful and comfortable.
NCL has created a world of options for their guests, which contributes mightily to the shipboard atmosphere of family holiday fun, relaxation, personal freedom and romance. Wide open spaces and small private hideaways. Sheer glass walls and views stretching to the ends of the earth. Coconut body polishes at Mandara Spa. Warm cognac and hand rolled cigars, beer and a game in the sports bar. Special clubs just for the kids. "And so very much more".
Food is a very big part of cruising, and in this area, NCL is in a league of its own. Along with the wide assortment of cuisine found on every ship, there are added treats and variations on the theme. A wickedly sinful Chocoholic Buffet, a President's Menu, designed by Henry Haller, former White House Executive Chef, tasty children's menus, Healthy selections from Cooking Light magazine with low fat, low cholesterol and low calorie suggestions. Meals taken in main dining rooms are included, however there is an additional charge for meals enjoyed in specialty restaurants.
The good times roll as lavish entertainment fills the night with pizzazz. Broadway style theatre and snazzy productions in grand scale showrooms, cabaret singers and comics in the lounges. Dancing at Dazzles. Hot Latin rhythms and the latest tunes in the disco. The slap of cards and "rat-a-tat-tat" of the roulette wheel in the sizzling casino. NCL hosted cocktail parties for honeymooners, singles and past guests. Is there a more exciting place to be in the evening than on a ship at sea, ablaze with lights, overflowing with music and the sound of happy laughter'
Accommodation is of all stripes, truly wide-ranging with owner's suites, penthouse suites, family suites, ocean-view staterooms and inside staterooms (many adjoining and family-friendly). Ocean-view and inside staterooms have two lower beds, bathroom with shower, refrigerator, safe, TV radio and phone. Some also offer a sitting area and many of the ocean-view staterooms have private balconies or large picture windows.
Public Rooms and Facilities
A veritable parade! Public areas vary by ship with the larger, newer ships having the greatest preponderance. A general list includes restaurants, lounges, bars (including coffee, champagne and wine venues), and pub. Also an internet caf'sports deck with basketball, volleyball, golf driving net, beauty salon, fitness center, walking/jogging track, card room, cinema, video arcade, pool(s), lap pool, kid pool, hot tubs, and even a snorkeling program.
Originating in Bali, Mandara Spa has been dubbed the "aaahhhhhhhh" spa, and for good reason. The name Mandara comes from an ancient Sanskrit legend about the Gods' quest to find the elixir of immortality and eternal youth. No guarantees on the immortality, but you'll certainly feel forever young! How 'bout Hot Stone Heaven' Four Hands
Massage, or A massage for two in the privacy of your stateroom' Exquisite treatments that will nurture you inside and out. Natural ingredients, caring touch. Could not be more perfect!
Norwegians have a way with kids! NCL's complimentary Kid's Crew' is a program of things to do places to go and kids to meet. It's like recess only longer. Sleep away camp, only better. A specially trained staff of youth counselors from universities and organizations, who carry an impressive bag of tricks for your kids, carefully supervises every minute. There are circuses, crafts, parades, sports, games, stories and parties. Campouts with tents, cooking classes where they can make a pizza or pancakes, T-shirt painting, face painting, treasure hunts and sandcastle competitions if your cruise includes a visit to NCL's private island.
Age specific, programs vary for Junior Sailors age 3 to 5, First Mates age 6 to 8, Navigators age 9 to 12 and Teens age 13 to 17 (teens enjoy karaoke, dancing, pool parties, scavenger hunts, trivia contests, exercise classes, volleyball, basketball and movies). Programs are subject to change and the aforementioned is far from a complete list. But you get the idea!
Great Stirrup Cay
NCL's Own Private Island in the Bahamas Relax on the talcum sand and swim in the crystal-clear waters of NCL's own Private Island in the Bahamas. Even the most novice snorkeler can see brilliant fish, gentle stingrays and coral reefs.
Floats, paddleboats, kayaks and Kis-Kat sailboats are available to ensure guests enjoy the wonders of Great stirrup Cay's waters.
Snorkeling Program Features an experienced and knowledgeable instructor, fins, a mask and safety vest. Scuba excursions are also available!
"Europe Plus" Program
Features free, two-night pre- or post-cruise hotel packages, transfers, private hospitality desks at hotels and breakfast at Rome hotels in conjunction with Norwegian Dream's European and Mediterranean cruises. (Must be booked and deposited 180 days prior to sailing; some restrictions apply.)
NCL's Latitudes Program is designed to recognize guest loyalty with special savings and greater benefits on cruises, including future cruise discounts, an on board cocktail party for members only, on board consultant, complimentary subscription to Latitudes, NCL's quarterly magazine, special check-in at selected ports and more.
For those special moments, NCL offers wedding packages, which include a wedding coordinator, ceremony, wedding officinal, announcements, wedding cake, photography package and more.
Winter Weather Guarantee!
Ask about Norwegian Dawn's Winter Weather Guarantee who provides shipboard credits and/or cruise credits for certain weather-related cancellations or specific delays. Applicable to select sailing months.
A young fleet by most cruises line standards; ships have either been built within the past six years or have enjoyed recent refurbishment. Norwegian Star, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Dawn were inaugurated in 2001 and 2002 respectively. Norwegian Sky's maiden voyage was in 1999 (she has been re-flagged as Pride of Aloha and has joined the new NCL America brand in July 2004). Norwegian Majesty first sailed in 1997, Norwegian Wind in 1993 and Norwegian Dream in 1992 (both Wind and Dream were refurbished in 1998) Norwegian Sea launched in 1988 and was refurbished in both 2001 and 2003. 77,000 ton, 2000 guest Norwegian Spirit (formerly Superstar Leo of Star Cruises), was built for Freestyle Cruising in 1998. She closely resembles her larger sister, Norwegian Dawn.
In September 2003, NCL added Norwegian Crown to their fleet. Formerly the Crown Odyssey she previously sailed under the banner of NCL's sister company, Orient Lines. She has undergone a multi-million dollar transformation to Freestyle standard including the addition of three new restaurants including NCL's signature Le Bistro, a Pasta Caf'nd the Asian influenced Chopsticks. The Seven Seas Restaurant, the Yacht Club and Caf'talia are also on board. Other changes include enhancements to the Top of the Crown Lounge, an expanded Lido Bar, a complete renovation to the casino, and the Mandara Spa, Beauty Salon and Fitness Center was completely rebuilt.
About the Author
About the author: William Lezubski (Accredited Cruise Counsellor (ACC), and Certified Travel Counsellor(CTC)-William is a professional in the Travel Industry and the author of 'Discount Caribbean Vacations Web Site' available at http://www.discount-caribbean-vacations.com/index.htm