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Norwegian Cruise Line reviews

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Set sail with lax dress codes and a flexible daily schedule.

Norwegian Cruise Line pioneered the freestyle cruising philosophy, offering come-as-you-are, sit-down dining options that appeal to a younger generation. Eat when and where you’d like, and enjoy a multitude of entertainment options every night.

But while more traditional restaurants onboard ask cruisers to dress smart casual, vacationers who prefer the classiness of a cruise with a strict dress code may want to look elsewhere.

17 ships

Number of ships

Price

No

Price matches

Details

Target demographic Families, Adults, Teenagers, Toddlers, Honeymooners, Singles, Young Adults, Kids, Disabled
Number of ships 17 ships
Contact options Phone, Email
Payment options Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Deposit required Deposit at checkout
Deposit required No price matching
Food Food included
Drink No free alcohol
Room service Room service included

Read our Norwegian Cruise Line reviews

Case study: Chelsea's experience

Chelsea Wells-Barrett profile photo
Chelsea Wells-Barrett
Public Relations Support, Finder US
I set sail on the Norwegian Pearl for its 12th Journey Through Song Cayamo cruise unaware it’d become one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. My expectations included uncomfortable beds and mediocre food in a more-than-cramped space for the week — but I was proven wrong from the first day on.

The rooms were spacious, with a small closet, drawers and a decent bathroom for storing cosmetics and toiletries. Food was available all day, prepared in a way that I would’ve spent high dollar for on land.

The only downfall was the Wi-Fi — which you have to pay extra for. But that isn’t a problem if you don’t have to work: You’ll find many ways to occupy yourself on the ship outside of the Internet.

About Chelsea’s cruise:

  • Norwegian ship sailed — Norwegian Pearl
  • Date of cruise — Sunday, February 10, 2019
  • Length of cruise — 7 days
  • Departure port — Port of Tampa – Tampa, Florida
  • Destinations visited — Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Costa Maya, Mexico

Where do Norwegian Cruise Line cruises depart from?

Norwegian Cruise Line ships depart from more than 30 cities worldwide and are available on every continent except Antarctica. But Arctic explorers, never fear — you can depart from Seward, Alaska, if you please.

  • Begin your NCL adventure in: Amsterdam, Athens, Auckland, Barcelona, Brooklyn, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Civitavecchia, Copenhagen, Dubai, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Honolulu Oahu, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Papeete, Port Canaveral, Quebec, Rome, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle/Tacoma, Seward, Singapore, Southampton, Sydney, Tampa/St.Petersburg, Tokyo, Vancouver, Venice

Norwegian Cruise Line cruises destinations

With more than 400 cruise routes to choose from, the hard part is deciding where you want to go.

  • Africa, Alaska, Asia, Australasia, Australia and New Zealand, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada and New England, Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Hawaii, Mediterranean, Mexican Riviera, Mexico, Northern Europe, Pacific, Panama Canal, Repositioning, South America, Southern Caribbean, Transatlantic, Western Caribbean, Western Mediterranean

Why you should — or shouldn’t — cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line

If you’re ready to unwind and relax in a casual environment, it’s hard to go wrong with Norwegian. But folks who need to keep up with work remotely may want to look elsewhere, as Wi-Fi gets pricey aboard NCL ships.

Pros

  • It holds prestigious industry awards.
    • World Travel Awards — Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line 2019
    • World Travel Awards — Europe’s Leading Cruise Line 2019
    • World Travel Awards — World’s Leading Cruise Line from 2017 to 2017
    • Travel Pulse Travvy Awards — Best Large Cruise Ship 2018 and Best Contemporary Cruise Ship 2017 awarded to Norwegian Escape
  • Seven specialty dining options.
  • No fixed dining times — eat where and when you’d like.
  • One NCL staff member for every two to three passengers on board.

Cons

  • You’ll pay $0.99 a minute for Wi-Fi, $29.99 a day for unlimited streaming and $34.99 a day for unlimited streaming plus VPN. That’s expensive, even when compared to the competition.
  • Each room service order comes with an extra $7.95 fee, unless you’re sailing in top-tier accommodations at the Haven or Norwegian Suites.
  • Juice and soft drinks cost extra.

Bottom line

Norwegian Cruise Line has a solid reputation and offers a flexible experience for vacationers in need of a blank slate — no itinerary or pressure to dress a certain way. But if you’re looking for cheaper Wi-Fi on board, or actually like the idea of dressing up for dinner, compare other cruise lines.

FAQs about Norwegian Cruise Line cruises

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