Norwegian Cruise Line Loyalty Program
Norwegian has a point-based frequent cruiser program, Latitudes Rewards, that has six tiers, ranging from Bronze to Ambassador .
Members earn points for every night they sail on one of the lines ships. They get an additional point for every night they stay in a Concierge room, a suite or a room in The Haven. They also get an additional point for every night booked through a Latitudes Rewards Insider Offer.
Hitting the first tier, Bronze, takes one cruise. Reaching the second tier, Silver , would take at the most five cruises if youre doing seven-night trips.
Related: Everything you need to know about the Norwegian loyalty program
Lower tiers dont bring all that much in terms of truly valuable benefits. Youll get things like priority check-in and discounted spa treatments performed while ships are in port. But higher levels of the program start to be enticing.
Platinum brings free dinners at two extra-charge restaurants, free internet minutes, behind-the-scenes ship tours and concierge service.
The top Ambassador level brings a truly wonderful perk: A one-time complimentary seven-night cruise in a balcony cabin. You can pick almost any sailing except trips around Christmas and the new year.
A passenger staying in suites and booking through Latitudes Rewards Insider Offers could get to the Platinum level with just four seven-night cruises.
Related: The TPG guide to cruise line loyalty programs
Which Cruise Should I Take: Carnival Or Norwegian
You can head to a Caribbean beach on either mainstream line … so which one is right for your cruise? –
Norwegian has been the trendsetter ever since it rolled outs its Freestyle Cruising® program more than a decade ago. Most of Norwegians ships have more than 10 choices, though youll pay from $5 to $75 a person to eat in most of them. The newest Norwegian ships have a restaurant by Food Network Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and a bakery by Buddy Valastro, TLC’s Cake Boss. Recently, Carnival started improving its own dining lineup, with Food Network star Guy Fieri-branded burgers and impressive poolside taco stands and its Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse could hold its own in New York.
Our Pick: Draw A few years ago, Norwegian would have won easily, but Carnival has upped its game.
For decades, Carnival has consistently built ships with roomy standard cabins, measuring 185 square feet or larger, with sizeable showers and bedside reading lights. Norwegian, on the other hand, scrimps on cabin size: 128 square feet.
Our Pick: Carnival If you like space and plan on spending time in your room, Carnival comes out on top.
Our Pick: Norwegian While Carnivals standard cabins are big, the options are less innovative.
Our Pick: Carnival The new concert series is groundbreaking and gives the line an edge.
The Best Norwegian Cruise Trips
Taking a cruise around Norway is one of the best ways to see everything that this beautiful country has to offer. There is a lot to choose from and in this article you will find the different cruise options on offer across Norway.
Taking a cruise around Norways many spectacular sights ensures you to see everything that makes the country so unique. Whether its a fjord cruise taking in dramatic landscapes, a trip to see the northern lights, or a sea safari to spot wildlife, theres a cruise out there for you.
Norway is famous for its dramatic fjords, carved from the bedrock by giant glacier tongues in the last ice age. They can reach incredible lengths with Sognefjorden, a well-known Norwegian fjord measuring 205 km in length. The waters within and around a fjord are sheltered, meaning they are uncharacteristically calm and contribute to nice, smooth sailing.
One of the top fjord cruise destinations is the idyllic UNESCO site of Geirangerfjord. After departing from Geirangerfjord cruise port you will be shown everything the stunning fjord has to offer. You will get up close to the famous waterfalls and be able to spot abandoned farms clinging to the steep sided slopes. You can take part in a sightseeing cruise or spend a little longer on the boat travelling between Geirangerfjord and The Art Nouveau Town of Ålesund.
Northern Lights Tours
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Extensive Menu Of International Cuisines
Aside from the inclusive dining options when you book the Norwegian Joy, youd find eight specialty venues that offer international cuisines from countries like France, Japan, and Italy, to name a few.
Youd also find three main dining rooms, including the casual spot Garden Café with its floor-to-ceiling windows, a gastropub called The District, and The Local Bar & Grill, which is open all day and all night long.
All in all, you get:
- 5 inclusive dining options
One thing is for sureyou wont go hungry on board the Norwegian Joy!
Medium Ship Line #: Seabourn Cruise Lines
Dont think of Seabourn as a typical cruiseit ships are much more akin to mega-yachts, with ultra-luxurious decor, service, and dining. The fleet currently has five vessels, the largest of which carry 600 passengers. Their small size allows the vessels to dock in small ports all around the world . Many of the cruise lines guests are lifelong learners, and they flock to the nightly Seabourn Conversation program, which brings all sorts of intriguing figures, from Steve Wozniak to Elaine Paige, on board for lectures and casual chats. In 2015, Seabourn announced a partnership with celebrity chef Thomas Keller, who crafted new menus for the three existing ships and spearheaded new restaurants on the two newest ships, Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation.
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Best Large Cruise: Royal Caribbean
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean
- Ship: Ovation of the Seas
- Duration: 7 nights
- Itinerary: Alaska Inside Passage, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria
If youre looking for a cruise to Alaska with all the theme-park-like attractions, then the Ovation of the Seas will not disappoint. Built in 2016, Ovation is currently ranked as one of the 10 largest cruise ships in the world with onboard features like a skydiving simulator, a cocktail bar tended by robots, aerial performances in the theater, and the North Star, a moving observation pod with surreal views. The first two days of the voyage are spent at sea so theres plenty of time to explore the ship and try different activities. Or, dine at specialty restaurants like Chops Grille, Royal Caribbeans iconic steakhouse Wonderland, an eclectic array of dishes, or Giovannis table, a favorite Italian restaurant.
The Spa Is Certainly Impressive
The spa aboard Norwegian Escape really pulls out all the stops. There are two dozen treatment rooms within the spa, and an expansive spa treatment menu that even includes treatments that are suitable for kids and treatments that family members can enjoy together. When youre not enjoying a treatment, you can take advantage of the spas various relaxation spots, such as the thermal suite, which is outfitted with a thalassotherapy pool, heated lounge chairs and a hot tub.
Plus, there are floor-to-ceiling windows for great views of the water while you kick back and relax. Things getting a little too heated for you? The spa also boasts Norwegians first snow room, where guests can relax post-sauna in a 14-degree room that literally has snow falling from the ceiling.
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Not Everything Is Included In Your Cruise Fare
As youre reading this article, youre likely coming up with tons of things you want to see and do during your Norwegian Escape cruise, but keep in mind not everything is included in your cruise fare. Things that are included? Your meals at select restaurants, including the main dining rooms and buffet theater shows access to the AquaPark access to the Spice H20 adults-only deck access to the fitness center and most daily activities.
Things that arent included, however? Gratuities, beverage and spa tips, spa treatments, shore excursions, WiFi, late night babysitting and special activities. Just keep this in mind as you plan out what you want to do and see during your Norwegian Escape cruise.
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Medium Ship Line #1: Msc Cruises
Showing up for the third time on our list, MSC Cruises is clearly beloved by many! The Swiss cruise line has just four medium-size shipsthe Lirica classwhich accommodate between 2,000 and 2,600 passengers. Theyre also the oldest ships in the fleet, though they each underwent refurbishment as part of MSCs Renaissance program to modernize interiors and expand their size. The line is known for its Mediterranean inspirationthough its fleet sails far beyond the region, calling at ports all over the worldso youll find delicious Italian food on board no matter where your ship is taking you. MSC sailings are quite lively, especially at night, with many guests partying at nightclubs into the late hours.
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Mexican Riviera Family Cruises
While many travelers visit Mexico each year, the majority of them visit only one destination. On a Five- or Seven-Day Mexican Riviera cruise from Los Angeles, you’ll maximize your Mexico vacation experience by visiting up to four different destinations including Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta.
Depending on your cruising dates, you’ll have your choice of sailing on Norwegian Bliss or Norwegian Jewel. You may be wondering why you could choose a Mexican Riviera cruise for your family when this experience is known for its party atmosphere and lively bars. However, the Mexican Riviera is also home to iconic landscapes, world-class deep-sea fishing, and plenty of adventure activities both in the water and on dry land. Mexico radiates traditional cultural experiences, history, delicious cuisine, and golden beaches, plus the opportunity to try learning a new language!
Its A Big Cruise Ship
With a passenger capacity of 3,804, not to mention its 1,821 crew members on board, the Norwegian Joy is like a little community of travelers with just enough people to make a large neighborhood.
The Norwegian Joy was constructed in 2017 and got its first makeover in 2019. Then it was redeployed to cruise Alaska in the same year.
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Arctic Cruise To Svalbard
Arctic cruise tourism is a growing market and Svalbard is a popular destination given its relative accessibility from mainland Europe. The glacial scenery is simply spectacular, and of course there’s an opportunity to see Arctic wildlife. While far from guaranteed, the possibility to see a polar bear is an undoubted draw on these trips.
In addition to their coastal voyages, Hurtigruten offer sailings to more remote places. These include Antarctica and Greenland, but also Svalbard.
In addition to the major cruise companies, many smaller companies run multi-day boat trips around the archipelago. This could be a great solution if you are prepared to fly to Svalbard independently. For an idea of what to expect, you can listen to an episode of the Life in Norway Show all about adventure tourism in Svalbard.
Medium Ship Line #: Cunard
While Cunards Queen Mary 2 fits more than 2,600 passengersand a number of cats and dogson board, her sister ships, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria only have a capacity of about 2,000 passengers. Though theyre quite similar in layout, the QE and the QV differ in design. Both nod to the historic ocean liners of the early 20th century, but the QE takes on a bolder Art Deco vibe, while the QV features more subdued yet equally elegant decor. Guests on board both ships are likely to partake in afternoon tea before donning a glamorous gown for dinner.
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What Is The Best Norwegian Cruise Ship For You
When it comes to choosing the best Norwegian cruise ship for you, your family, or your better half, size is a matter of importance. The reason is that a larger cruise ship will likely give you a complete holiday cruise experience with plenty of activities on board for both families or individuals alike.
Thus, we named Norwegian Joy as the best Norwegian cruise ship on the list since it ticks all the right boxes for the best cruise ship according to its size, amenities, and activities on board.
On the contrary, if you prefer more intimacy or to experience the feeling of a more exclusive cruise, settling for a smaller cruise ship might be for you.
Other Interior Attractions And Activities
In addition to entertainment spaces, the interior of Norwegian ships are loaded with other venues where passengers can kick back and let loose day and night.
All but one Norwegian ship has a casino, and on the lines bigger vessels, they are huge operations. The casino on Norwegian Encore has more than 300 slot machines and 26 table games , plus its own bar.
On the lines big Breakaway Class and Breakaway Plus Class ships, the casino along with a large proportion of all onboard restaurants, bars and clubs sprawls across three central decks connected by an atrium-like space known as 678 Ocean Place . At night, these three-deck complexes become lively places.
The Breakaway and Breakaway Plus Class ships also have innovative outdoor promenades called The Waterfront lined with outdoor seating for many restaurants and bars. The Waterfront is located on Deck 8 of each of the ships, which is one of the main decks for restaurants on them all.
Two of the newest Norwegian vessels Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Joy have state-of-the-art gaming and virtual reality zones called Galaxy Pavilion.
Theres nothing quite like Galaxy Pavilion in the cruise world. The venue has an amazing array of super-high-tech virtual reality experiences, including incredibly realistic race car simulators , hang-gliding simulators, virtual mazes and a virtual reality Jurassic Park jeep ride.
Theres also the bowling alley youll find on Norwegian Epic.
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Medium Ship Line #1: P& o Cruises
The British line P& O Cruises is the oldest in the world, established in 1837 to ferry mail and passengers between the United Kingdom and the Iberian Peninsula, but it began to offer leisure operationsthe very first cruises as we know themas early as 1844. The ships cater to a primarily British audience, and they provide good value for a classic cruising experience. Guests enjoy traditional activities like shuffleboard, dance classes, and pub quizzes. The ships typically sail in Europe, though they do have ports of call in Asia and the Middle East.
Best Cruise Lines In The Caribbean
It’s a clean sweep for Disney in this category too. Disney has been named the top cruise line in the Caribbean for the past eight years, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Living up to its name, the Miami-based Celebrity Cruises partners with well-known names in the arts and entertainment industry. It’s newest ship, Celebrity Beyond, has Gwyneth Paltrow as its “wellbeing advisor” and a restaurant created by Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud, according to its website.
Also on this list: Regent Seven Seas Cruises , Holland America Line , Carnival Cruise Line , Norwegian Cruise Line , Oceania Cruises , Princess Cruises and MSC Cruises .
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Fuel Surcharge Policy On Norwegian Cruises
Norwegian Cruise Line has eliminated its fuel surcharge effective for all voyages departing in 2009. NCL will refund the fuel supplement in the form of an on-board credit for all 2009 bookings within the final payment period. All existing 2009 bookings outside of the final payment period will be adjusted to remove the fuel supplement and NCL will revise the final payment amount. NCL is suspending the company’s fuel supplement for all voyages departing in 2009 at this time. The Company reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests should the price of light sweet crude oil according to the NYMEX increase above $65 per barrel. NCL may collect any fuel supplement charge in effect at the time of sailing, even if the cruise fare has been paid in full.
Other Norwegian Cruises To Try
If theres the best and the second-best Norwegian cruise ship, there are also three tiebreakers who made it to our top 3 list: Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Pearl, and Norwegian Gem.
We made a quick table for you to compare the next Norwegian cruise you might want to hop on and experience.
- Northern Europe
A few days or so on a Norwegian cruise ship is going to make your whole vacation memorably enjoyable.
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Large Ship Line #: Holland America Line
As its name indicates, Holland America is a cruise line that was established in 1873 to primarily ferry passengers, many of whom were emigrants, between the Netherlands and the United States. Of course, these days, the cruise line sails more broadly to more than 470 ports around the world on its 11 shipsand its highly regarded for its Alaska itineraries. While passengers can enjoy classic cruise activities like swimming, sports, and gambling, Holland America is particularly noted for its culinary and musical programs: it has a partnership with the TV show Americas Test Kitchen for cooking demonstrations, cooking classes, and a number of live music venues , and stage productions dedicated to the history of music on many of its ships. It also partners with O, The Oprah Magazine, on lifestyle programming, like daily meditation classes. The next addition to Holland Americas fleet will be the Rotterdam, which is due to set sail in 2021, with a capacity of 2,650 passengers.
More Space And Service
Norwegian Prima will be the most spacious new cruise ship in the contemporary and premium cruise categories, offering guests approximately 150 to over 1000 more cubic feet per guest compared to comparable ships.
The vessel will feature the largest Inside, Ocean View and Balcony Staterooms in the NCL fleet, with up to 50 percent more room. Premier Owners Suites in The Haven aboard Norwegian Prima will be 50 percent larger than the most spacious suites of the Breakaway and Breakaway Plus Classes.
With up to 35 percent more staff than any other new cruise ship in its category, the ship will also offer the highest staffing levels .
Other enhancements include:
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