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What Is The Best Norwegian Cruise Ship

Plan Your Norwegian Cruise Line Vacation

Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL): 9 Major Differences Between the Two Lines

Norwegian Cruise Line set sail in 1966 with an entirely new conceptregularly scheduled Caribbean cruises from the then-obscure port of Miami. Good food and friendly service combined with value fares established the line as a winner for active adults and families. Innovative and forward-looking, Norwegian has been a cruise-industry leader for decades, and its fleet is as much at home worldwide as in the Caribbean. Several of the lines ships cruise Alaskas Inside Passage, including one of its newest, Norwegian Bliss.

Noted for top-quality entertainment, Norwegian combines action and high-energy activities as well as a variety of dining options in a casual, free-flowing atmosphere. Norwegians freestyle cruising signaled an end to rigid dining schedules and dress codes. Norwegian ships now offer a host of flexible dining options that allow passengers to eat in the main dining rooms or any of a number of à la carte and specialty restaurants at any time and with whom they please. The ships accommodations include some of the largest suites at sea, studio cabins for solo travelers, and a private ship-within-a-ship complex called The Haven, a more luxurious area with personalized service.

From a distance, most cruise ships look so similar that its often difficult to tell them apart, but Norwegians largest, modern ships stand out with their distinctive use of hull art. Each new ship is distinguished by murals extending from bow to midship.

The Best Small Ship Cruises To The Norwegian Fjords

The staggering beauty of the Norwegian Fjords needs littleexplaining. This stunning landscape has been shaped over millenniaby powerful glaciers leaving rugged rock walls, overhanging cliffsand spectacular waterfalls plunging into the sea.

The reasons for travelling Norways coastline by cruise ship areobvious. For those who are put off by the larger, brasher ships,heres a round-up of the seven best luxury small ships that will becruising the Norwegian Fjords over the next year or so:

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Best Solo Inside Cabins: Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegians pint-size studios are found on Norwegian Bliss, Breakaway, Getaway, Escape, Epic and Pride of America, and they make a big impression for numerous reasons. Theyre dedicated as solo cabins , a concept that Norwegian pioneered in the mainstream cruise industry that is largely based around couples and families. The staterooms feature funky, multicolor lighting effects and a round window that looks onto the corridor. Each offers a full-size bed and lots of storage you can hog all to yourself.

But even better is that residency in these cabins gives exclusive access to the Studio Lounge, a hip hangout where cruise travelers can watch TV, hang out with a coffee or beer, and socialize with other solos.

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An Introduction To Norwegian Cruise Line Ships

Smaller only than Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line and MSC Cruises, Norwegian has become increasingly known for some of the biggest, most amenity-filled vessels at sea. But as mentioned above, the line doesnt just operate giant ships. More than half its fleet comprises vessels that, by todays standards, are considered almost midsize.

Indeed, Norwegian essentially is two cruise lines in one. The lines seven newest ships are big, bustling floating megaresorts that can carry upwards of 4,000 passengers at double occupancy . At around 145,000 to nearly 170,000 tons, all seven currently rank among the 30 biggest cruise ships in the world .

But Norwegians 10 older ships are much more modest in size, measuring around 75,000 to 94,000 tons and carrying closer to 2,000 passengers at double occupancy.

Norwegian appeals both to cruisers who like a giant resort vibe and those who prefer something more modest. The key, depending on your tastes, is getting on the right ship in the fleet.

On the big-ship end of the spectrum, Norwegians four new Breakaway Plus vessels Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Escape are the lines premier offerings.

One step down in size from the Breakaway Plus ships are the still-quite-large Breakaway Class ships Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway and the one-of-a-kind Norwegian Epic.

Norwegians 10 smaller vessels break down among five classes. But many are roughly the same size and offer similar amenities.

The 8 Classes Of Norwegian Cruise Line Ships Explained

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Some cruise lines Viking, for instance have fleets where many of the ships have the same basic design. Norwegian Cruise Line is not one of them.

If youre thinking of booking a Norwegian cruise, an important thing to know is that there is a wide variation in the size and style of the vessels in the lines fleet.

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Five of Norwegians 17 ships Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Epic are among the 30 biggest ships in the world. As such, theyre loaded with huge numbers of cabins, restaurants, bars, showrooms and deck-top amusements.

They are, in a nutshell, floating megaresorts.

But the line also operates a lot of smaller vessels that barely crack the Top 100 list of biggest cruise ships. In general, these ships have fewer venues and attractions than the bigger ships. But they still offer a lot for cruisers. Norwegian is a line known for packing many restaurants, bars and entertainment on its vessels even its smaller ones.

Each of these groups known as classes in cruise industry lingo is made up of ships that were constructed around the same time in the same basic design.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Ships Faqs

Which NCL ships have The Haven?

Norwegian Cruise Lines Haven is a VIP area with the most luxurious accommodation, butler service and an exclusive sundeck. Its available on all cruise ships except for Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Spirit and Pride of America.

Which NCL ships have waterslides?

Norwegian Cruise Lines Breakaway-class ships have the best water slides with five multi-storey slides to enjoy. The Breakaway Plus-class ships also have some good slides, as does Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Prima.The older NCL cruise ships in the Jewel-class, Sun-class and Dawn-class did have kids waterslides but these were removed when the ships were refurbished.

Who is the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line?

Norwegian Cruise Line is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. The parent company also operates the luxury brands Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises with a total of 28 ships across the fleet.

Is NCL owned by Carnival?

NCL is not owned by Carnival. The Carnival Corporation owns a number of cruise brands including Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, P& O Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Cunard, AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises.

Large Ship Line #: P& o Cruises

The United Kingdoms premier cruise lineand the worlds oldest, having commenced passenger operations in 1837P& O sails Europe, North America, and the Caribbean with a crowd made up primarily of British nationals. As such, prepare for the ships amenities to have a British bent . Three of the fleets five current ships fall into the large category, while its two upcoming ships, MS Iona and her as-of-yet unnamed sister, will be mega-ships.

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Ship Size And Things To Do

When it comes to the largest ships with the most features, theres little argument that Royal Caribbean is the gold standard.

Its Oasis-class ships are the largest cruise liners in the world, measuring more than 1,000 feet and 225,000 tons. The ships are also well-known for having unique things to do, including ice skating, FlowRider standing waves, huge multi-story slides, and tons more. If you want a ship with the most to do at sea, then Royal Caribbean is likely your choice.

Norwegian is making huge strides in this area, however, as a whole the fleet isnt quite there yet. Its Breakaway-Plus class of ships are the cruise lines largest. These ships measure about 165,000 tons. On board you will find a number of unique things to do, including go-karts, laser tag, and even waterslides that will take you out over the edge of the ship.

To be fair, we think these newer ships are comparable with Royal Caribbean, its just that on average Royal Caribbean offers larger ships with more things to do.

How To Make Sure You Get A Seat For Shows

Is There More To Norwegian Cruise Line Than Gimmicks Like This?

NCL offers a variety of evening entertainment shows, including comedy, magic, and Broadway-style productions. Most are free and offer first-come, first-served seating. If you want your pick of seats, show up 15-30 minutes prior to the show . The popular shows can fill up fast!

One caveat: if you would rather your fellow passengers not be angry with you, dont send one member of your party to reserve a block of seats. This is a huge breach of cruise etiquette! If you want seats together, your entire party needs to show up early and sit in them.

If youd like to see a show that requires tickets, such as one of the Illusorium dinner shows, some can be booked online before your cruise, and some need to be booked on board. Check the entertainment section of your online cruise planner for specifics.

For shows that require tickets, you can often book premium seating for an additional charge.

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The Ships Of Norwegian Cruise Line Offer A Casual Yet Contemporary And Upbeat Environment

Norwegian Cruise Line offers a fun, lively experience, and the Freestyle format offers a less-traditional approach to dining with a more casual dress code. Combined, the ships of Norwegian Cruise Line are a favorite choice for families. Itineraries span the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico and more. Plus, receive a Costco Shop Card with every sailing.

The Norwegian Cruise Line

The Norwegian Cruise Line is one of the best and most popular cruise lines in the world. It was founded in Miami, Florida, and the company offers cruises to pretty much every destination on the planet. They will take you to Asia, Europe, the Caribbean you name it, they have a cruise for you.

The company also has 16 different cruise ships that sail all over the planet. Well rank those ships from best to worst, to help you figure out which ship is the best fit for you. Its worth noting that even the worst ships from NCL are better than what some other companies offer, so dont dismiss a ship just because it ranks low on the list. In some cases, the rating is low because it only offers cruises to few destinations, which could be exactly what youre interested in!

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Other Ways To Get Around

It’s good to know that you can easily travel within Norway by other modes of transport. So you could dedicate your holiday to a cruise trip, or combine your tour with journeys by plane, train, bus or car.

Exploring Norway is possible by any means. The choice is yours.

Final Thoughts On Best Norwegian Cruises For Families

The Best Cruises for Kids

Well there it is, the best Norwegian cruises for families!

Norwegian Cruise Line is known as a family friendly cruise line with endless activities and high quality entertainment. Cruising with Norwegian makes for the ultimate family vacation that everyone will enjoy!

In this post, I shared the best Norwegian cruises for families and answered some frequently asked questions.

Are you planning your first family cruise? Please let me know in the comments below.

Happy Cruising!


Ethan Schattauer writes about fashion, travel and college advice on the website As a frequent cruiser, Ethan shares his unique perspective on what cruising is like for teens and young adults.

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Norwegian Cruise Lines Newest Ships

Norwegian Cruise Lines newest ship is Norwegian Prima. This new ship is currently under construction in Italy and will embark on her maiden voyage in August 2022. She is the first of six new Prima-class cruise ships to be built for NCL.

Norwegian Prima is set to be the most spacious new cruise ship at sea with expansive outdoor deck spaces, an infinity pool designed to blend into the ocean, outdoor firepits and a glass bridge walkway.

The newest NCL ship currently in service is Norwegian Encore. Launched in November 2019, this Breakaway Plus-class ship is also the largest in the NCL fleet, with an internal volume of 169,116 GRT and the capacity for almost 4,000 guests at double occupancy.

Norwegian Encore boasts a selection of family-friendly facilities including a virtual reality arcade, open-air laser tag arena, thrilling waterslides and a go-kart track.

Types Of Cabins On Cruise Ships

Cruise ship cabins are often referred to as staterooms or cruise accommodations. Their furnishings can range from comfy to luxurious. The cheapest tend to be smaller than an ordinary budget hotel room. The largest staterooms rival many land-based luxury resort accommodations both as sizes and amenities, but mostly as prices. Cabin rates are per person and usually based on double occupancy . Prices range widely by cabin types, sizes, deck location, amenities, companys and vessels ratings, also by destination, season, itinerary, travel agency, inclusions, and bonuses, promotion deals, etc.

On big ships, youll find a number of cabin categories within each cabin type. This is according to location, size, features, quality of view, etc. Cabin rates vary not only by type and size but also by category. For a particular cabin type, brochure/online prices usually apply to the lowest category. In your cabin, every square inch is usable since the price of ships is generally determined by the number of their beds/berths. So luggage fits under the bed, while the items you unpack will be stored in closets and drawers.

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Law Enforcement And Crime

There are about 18,000 U.S. police agencies from local to federal level in the United States. Law in the United States is mainly by local police departments and ‘s offices. The provides broader services, and such as the and the have specialized duties, such as protecting , and enforcing ‘ rulings and federal laws. conduct most civil and criminal trials, and federal courts handle designated crimes and appeals from the state criminal courts.

As of 2020, the United States has a of 7 per 100,000 people. A cross-sectional analysis of the Mortality Database from 2010 showed that United States homicide rates “were 7.0 times higher than in other high-income countries, driven by a gun homicide rate that was 25.2 times higher.”

The United States has the and in the world. In 2019, the total prison population for those sentenced to more than a year is 1,430,800, corresponding to a ratio of 419 per 100,000 residents and the lowest since 1995. Some estimates place that number higher, such ‘s 2.3 million. Various states have attempted to via government policies and grassroots initiatives.

Private Cruise Island Enhancements

Norwegian Prima – Exciting Activities & Entertainment Reveals

NCL Norwegian expanded the companys plans for its Bahamian privately-owned island Great Stirrup Cay and the exclusive luxury resort destination Harvest Caye . Harvest Caye port features a large-sized swimming pool, private beach, shallow lagoon , private cabanas available for rent, as well as a huge flora and fauna diversity.

Great Stirrup Cay was last enhanced in 2014 and by 2017 spring features several new offerings and amenities .

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Norwegian Epic Was Intended To Have Two Sister Ships But Is Now The Only One In Its Class

So lets start out with the most intriguing thing about this ship. While other cruising vessels usually have at least one other ship in its class a ship that shares its vibe, facilities, amenities, etc. Norwegian Epic is all on its own.

But this wasnt intended to happen. Norwegian Epic was planned as the flagship of Norwegian Cruise Lines Epic class. Two ships for the class were ordered in November 2006 , with the option for a third vessel from the same shipyard, STX Europe Chantiers de lAtlantique. However, a dispute interrupted the construction.

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The result of the dispute was that the shipyard would go ahead with constructing the first ship, but that the second and third ships simply would not be built.

And, so, weve ended up with Norwegian Epic in the Epic class all by itself, launching in 2010.

Acquisition By Star Cruises & Freestyle Cruising

Norwegian was sold by Kloster to Star Cruises in 2000, a subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong, part of the Malaysia-based Genting Group. Under the new ownership a major new concept was introduced with the newly completed ship the Norwegain Sky: Freestyle Cruising. This concept allowed passengers to no fixed dining times, relaxed attire, several distinct dining options, relaxed disembarkation and more lounges, bars, theatres and other entertainment and activity options, a major change that would have a ripple effect and redefine the future of the cruise industry.

Fleet Modernization

Norwegian Star

With the financial backing of Star Cruises, the struggling Norwegian Cruise Line was able to begin to replace much of its older and second hand fleet with new ships. In addition to the Norwegian Sun, Star Cruises had ships already on order for their own fleet at Meyer Werft, which would be transferred to Norwegian during construction, with the first two debuting as the Norwegian Star in 2001 and Norwegian Dawn in 2002. These would be followed by an accelerated new build program, adding four more new ships over a five-year period.

NCL America

Departure of the SS Norway

Apollo Management and reorganisation

In August 2007, Star Cruises sold 50% of Norwegian for $1 billion to US-based Apollo Management to strengthen Norwegian’s financial position. In 2007, Star Cruises sold Orient Line’s to Transocean Tours, and Orient Lines ceased operations in early 2008.

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