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Norwegian Cruise Line
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Norwegian (NCL) Cruise Highlights


Why Go?

Extensive choice of restaurants, bars and activities -- especially on the newest ships

Newest ships have excellent Broadway and West End theater shows

Be Aware: Many dining and entertainment options incur surcharges

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7 Night
Mediterranean - Western Cruise

Leaving:
Barcelona
Visiting:
Naples, Rome ... see more
Ship:
Norwegian Epic
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Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Barcelona
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Naples
  • Day 4
    Rome (Civitavecchia)
  • Day 5
    Florence (Livorno)
  • Day 6
    Cannes
  • Day 7
    Palma de Mallorca
  • Day 8
    Barcelona
Ship Details

Norwegian Epic - Norwegian Cruise Line

Pros

Jam-packed with 24/7 entertainment for singles, couples, families and groups

Cons

Confusing corridors and congested main decks

Bottom line

Fun, fun, fun for everyone

Reviews

Norwegian Epic Reviews

Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
Overall
4.5/5
Cabins4.0
Dining4.0
Service4.0
Value4.0

Norwegian Epic emerged from a three-week dry dock in October 2015 with significant enhancements...

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Fare Includes

What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

  • Cabin
    Room with bed and private bathroom
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • Service Gratuities
  • Most Onboard Entertainment
  • Kids Club
  • Shore Excursions
  • Wi-Fi
  • Spa Services
  • Select Dining
    Main dining room and/or buffet
  • Specialty Alternative Dining
  • Room Service
  • Butler Service
  • Basic Drinks
    Still water, cofee, and tea
  • Soft Drinks
    Soda and Juice
  • Alcohol
    Beer, wine, and spirits
  • Specialty Coffee Drinks
    Including smoothies and blended drinks
  • Specialty Fitness Classes

** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

7 Night
Hawaii Cruise

Leaving:
Honolulu
Visiting:
Maui, Maui ... see more
Ship:
Pride of America
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Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Honolulu
  • Day 2
    Maui
  • Day 3
    Maui
  • Day 4
    Hilo
  • Day 5
    Kona
  • Day 6
    Kauai
  • Day 7
    Kauai
  • Day 7
    Cruising (Napali Coast)
  • Day 8
    Honolulu
Ship Details

Pride of America - Norwegian Cruise Line

Pros

Recent reno added high-end furnishings; Hawaii-centric with every day in port; stellar customer service

Cons

Entertainment could be better; best food found at extra-fee restaurants

Bottom Line

Upgraded ship presents perfect way to see all of Hawaii in a week in style and comfort

Reviews

Pride of America Reviews

Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
Overall
4.5/5
Cabins5.0
Dining5.0
Service5.0
Value4.0

Travelers with a hankering to explore the Hawaiian islands but without the vacation time or mon...

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Fare Includes

What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

  • Cabin
    Room with bed and private bathroom
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • Service Gratuities
  • Most Onboard Entertainment
  • Kids Club
  • Shore Excursions
  • Wi-Fi
  • Spa Services
  • Select Dining
    Main dining room and/or buffet
  • Specialty Alternative Dining
  • Room Service
  • Butler Service
  • Basic Drinks
    Still water, cofee, and tea
  • Soft Drinks
    Soda and Juice
  • Alcohol
    Beer, wine, and spirits
  • Specialty Coffee Drinks
    Including smoothies and blended drinks
  • Specialty Fitness Classes

** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

7 Night
Mediterranean Cruise

Leaving:
Venice
Visiting:
Kotor, Corfu ... see more
Ship:
Norwegian Star
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Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Venice
  • Day 2
    Kotor
  • Day 3
    Corfu
  • Day 4
    Santorini
  • Day 5
    Mykonos
  • Day 6
    Argostoli
  • Day 7
    Dubrovnik
  • Day 8
    Venice
Ship Details

Norwegian Star - Norwegian Cruise Line

Pros

Refurbs have kept original Freestyle ship modern.

Cons

Reservations necessary to get the venue you want.

Bottom Line

Star provides some of Norwegian's most popular features, on a smaller ship.

Reviews

Norwegian Star Reviews

Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
Overall
4.0/5
Cabins4.0
Dining3.0
Service4.0
Value4.0

Norwegian Star underwent a refurbishment in summer 2018 during which it received the Sky Hi...

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Fare Includes

What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

  • Cabin
    Room with bed and private bathroom
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • Service Gratuities
  • Most Onboard Entertainment
  • Kids Club
  • Shore Excursions
  • Wi-Fi
  • Spa Services
  • Select Dining
    Main dining room and/or buffet
  • Specialty Alternative Dining
  • Room Service
  • Butler Service
  • Basic Drinks
    Still water, cofee, and tea
  • Soft Drinks
    Soda and Juice
  • Alcohol
    Beer, wine, and spirits
  • Specialty Coffee Drinks
    Including smoothies and blended drinks
  • Specialty Fitness Classes

** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

20-day
Exotic Expedition: Seychelles Madagascar And South Africa From Dubai

Leaving:
Dubai
Visiting:
Abu Dhabi, Fujairah ... see more
Ship:
Norwegian Spirit
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Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Dubai
  • Day 2
    Abu Dhabi
  • Day 3
    Fujairah
  • Day 4
    Muscat
  • Day 5
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Seychelles
  • Day 9
    Seychelles
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Nosy Be
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Port Louis
  • Day 14
    Pointe des Galets
  • Day 15
    Cruising
  • Day 16
    Cruising
  • Day 17
    Richards Bay
  • Day 18
    Cruising
  • Day 19
    Port Elizabeth
  • Day 20
    Mossel Bay
  • Day 21
    Cape Town
Ship Details

Norwegian Spirit - Norwegian Cruise Line

Pros

Lively ship that's been continually updated and refreshed.

Cons

Activities on smaller ship more limited than on line's larger vessels.

Bottom Line

Excellent value for the high quality of food, service and itineraries

Reviews

Norwegian Spirit Reviews

Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
Overall
4.0/5
Cabins3.0
Dining4.5
Service5.0
Value4.5

The 2,016-passenger Norwegian Spirit debuted in 1998 so you won't find a rock climbing wall, bo...

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Fare Includes

What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

  • Cabin
    Room with bed and private bathroom
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • Service Gratuities
  • Most Onboard Entertainment
  • Kids Club
  • Shore Excursions
  • Wi-Fi
  • Spa Services
  • Select Dining
    Main dining room and/or buffet
  • Specialty Alternative Dining
  • Room Service
  • Butler Service
  • Basic Drinks
    Still water, cofee, and tea
  • Soft Drinks
    Soda and Juice
  • Alcohol
    Beer, wine, and spirits
  • Specialty Coffee Drinks
    Including smoothies and blended drinks
  • Specialty Fitness Classes

** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

12 Night
Far East Cruise

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Koh Samui, Bangkok ... see more
Ship:
Norwegian Jewel
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Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Singapore
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Koh Samui
  • Day 4
    Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
  • Day 5
    Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
  • Day 6
    Sihanoukville
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Phu My
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 10
    Da Nang
  • Day 11
    Hanoi
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Hong Kong
Ship Details

Norwegian Jewel - Norwegian Cruise Line

Pros

Attractively refurbished ship with lots of dining and entertainment options

Cons

Water slide was removed in the 2018 makeover

Bottom Line

Choose this Jewel-class flagship if you like a vessel that's comfy and fun.

Reviews

Norwegian Jewel Reviews

Cruise Critic Editor Ratings
Overall
4.0/5
Cabins3.0
Dining4.0
Service3.0
Value4.0

More than 14 years old, Norwegian Jewel has regained its luster with an extensive refurbis...

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Cabin Comparison

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Fare Includes

What’s included in My Cruise Fare?

  • Cabin
    Room with bed and private bathroom
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • Service Gratuities
  • Most Onboard Entertainment
  • Kids Club
  • Shore Excursions
  • Wi-Fi
  • Spa Services
  • Select Dining
    Main dining room and/or buffet
  • Specialty Alternative Dining
  • Room Service
  • Butler Service
  • Basic Drinks
    Still water, cofee, and tea
  • Soft Drinks
    Soda and Juice
  • Alcohol
    Beer, wine, and spirits
  • Specialty Coffee Drinks
    Including smoothies and blended drinks
  • Specialty Fitness Classes

** inclusions in your cruise fare are based on Cruise Critic’s editorial expertise and not provided by the individual cruise lines. When you book with one of our cruise partners, please be sure to check their site for a full disclosure of all applicable fees. Cruise Critic does not guarantee any specific rates, prices, or amenities included in the fare. Inclusion items in the fare may change at any time and fees may apply for additional items.

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Norwegian (NCL) Awards

Editors’ Picks Awards

2017 Best Nightlife
2016 Best Nightlife

Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards

2018 Top-Rated Hawaii Cruise Lines
2018 Top-Rated Mexican Riviera Cruise Lines
2018 Top-Rated Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Lines
2018 Top-Rated South America & Antarctica Cruise Lines

What Is Norwegian Cruise Line?

Norwegian Cruise Line is a mainstream cruise line that offers itineraries throughout much of the world, with particular emphasis on the Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska and Europe. Norwegian cruise ships are easily recognizable due to their elaborate hull paintings, with the newest ships' artwork designed by such painters as Peter Max, Guy Harvey, Wyland and David "LEBO" Le Batard. Norwegian Cruise Line was originally founded as Norwegian Caribbean Line in 1966 in Norway and is today owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

How many ships does Norwegian Cruise Line have?

By the end of 2019, Norwegian Cruise Line will have a fleet of 17 cruise ships, with six more scheduled to launch between 2022 and 2027.

Where do Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ships leave from?

Norwegian cruises depart from Miami and New York City all year long. Seasonally, the line also has cruise ships leaving from the North American homeports of Boston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Orlando (Port Canaveral), Quebec City, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Seattle, Seward, Tampa and Vancouver.

Additionally, Norwegian Cruise Line is the only cruise line to have a cruise ship sailing round-trip from Honolulu on a weekly basis all year long.

Norwegian Cruise Line offers seasonal cruises in Europe leaving from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Rome (Civitavecchia), Southampton, Stockholm, Tarragona and Venice.

Throughout the rest of the world, and at various times of the year you'll find Norwegian Cruise Line ships leaving from Auckland, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Dubai, Hong Kong, Papeete, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. 

Where do Norwegian Cruise Line ships sail to?

Norwegian cruise ships sail primarily to the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexico, the Bahamas, Hawaii and Europe, but you can also cruise to Alaska, Cuba, Canada & New England, South America, Australia & New Zealand, and Asia. 

Are Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ships very different from each other?

Norwegian Cruise Line ships can range in size from holding 2,000 people to 4,500 at full occupancy, and the number and variety of onboard dining and entertainment options vary a lot depending on how big, and old, the ship is. The newest ships, those that launched in 2010 or later, have many more restaurants than the older ships, Broadway shows in the main theater (as well as secondary small-venue shows) and extensive top-deck activities including water parks, rope courses and more. They're busier ships, where the ship and all it offers is as much a reason for cruising as the destination.

The older, smaller ships are more about relaxation and traditional onboard activities like trivia, bingo and poolside games. However, when it comes to dining, all the ships have multiple main dining rooms, a top-deck buffet and a 24-hour diner-type eatery; all also have an extra-fee steakhouse, Italian trattoria and French bistro.

Unlike other big-ship cruise lines, Norwegian Cruise Line does not have traditional set-time dining on any of its ships. Cruisers can show up to any main dining room at any time they want during open hours. Large parties can make reservations if they'll need a larger table; for everyone else, there may be a wait during peak dining hours. Reservations are highly recommended for the smaller specialty dining venues, as time slots fill up fast.

Who goes on Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ships?

Norwegian cruise ships draw a diverse crowd, though the majority of passengers on ships sailing to the Caribbean and in Alaska and Hawaii hail from North America. You'll find a decent number of people from other English-speaking countries, and smaller numbers from South America and Europe. On European cruises, North Americans still dominate but you'll find more people from the United Kingdom and other European countries. One ship, Norwegian Joy, was designed specifically for the Asian market, and the vast majority of passengers on this ship will be from China.

You'll find plenty of young families onboard Norwegian ships, especially during holidays and school breaks. However, the line's newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, is less family-friendly than the line's other ships, with all the kids clubs on the lowest levels of the ship and onboard entertainment that is decidedly adult.

Generally speaking, Norwegian Cruise Line attracts mostly middle-aged and older couples, as well as groups of friends of all ages.

Do I have to dress up on a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise?

Norwegian Cruise Line maintains a casual atmosphere onboard; during the day, casual wear is the norm.

There's no formal dress code at night either, though most people do change into something slightly less casual for dinner. Additionally, some of the specialty extra-fee restaurants do require long pants, collared shirts and closed-toe shoes. Most evenings you'll see men in dark jeans or khakis and collared shirts, and women in blouses with slacks or skirts, or sundresses. Don't be surprised if you see people in shorts in the main dining rooms.

Norwegian doesn't have any formal nights, but there is an optional Norwegian's Night Out at least once per sailing, for which passengers are encouraged to dress up. You'll rarely see a tux or gown, but suits and cocktail dresses are not unheard of.

Norwegian ships also typically hold several themed nights (glow party, '70s or '80s, etc.) during a typical sailing. You might want to bring a few appropriate items, such as white clothing for the glow and white parties or bell bottoms for '70s night.

What are Norwegian Cruise Line's most popular activities?

On warm-weather cruises, the main pool is the line's most popular spot onboard. On ships with water slides and ropes courses, these are also popular and often require a wait of up to 30 minutes or more.

Inside, you'll find activities that range from trivia, bingo and Deal or No Deal during the day to song-and-dance revues or Broadway shows in the theater and live music or cabaret shows in the evening. Norwegian ships also have a lively bar nightlife. There's also an always-busy casino, which opens when the ship is out to sea.

Is everything free on Norwegian Cruise Line?

No. Unless you have an all-inclusive dining or beverage package (which you can buy), you'll have to pay extra for most gratuities, specialty dining, room service, all drinks (alcoholic and non, except water, select juices at breakfast, and coffee and tea), shore excursions, visits to the spa and any retail purchases, including photos.

On the newest ships, you'll also have to pay for some of the entertainment options and even some of the top-deck fun: On Norwegian Bliss, for example, the laser tag and go-karts cost extra.

Top Norwegian (NCL) Ships

Onboard

Norwegian Cruise Line specializes in flexible, laid-back cruises with ample restaurants and entertainment options.

Fellow Passengers

Norwegian cruisers hail mainly from North America, and vary from young families to retired couples.

Norwegian (NCL) Fleet

Norwegian Cruise Line has a fleet of 16 cruise ships.

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Norwegian (NCL) News