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The fleet

Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Cruise Line is making cruise dreams come true with its newest Breakaway Plus Class of cruise ship.

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Norwegian Dawn

Given the range of food options on any NCL Freestyle vessel, it can be easy to overlook what’s different about each ship – for Dawn it’s the daily cookouts held by the pool and offering burgers, spare ribs etc, they occur at lunchtime on sea days and early evening on port days.

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Norwegian Epic

When you’re Freestyle Cruising® aboard Norwegian Epic, your schedule is the only schedule we insist you keep. And boredom is the only option we refuse to offer. For starters, there’s the amazing new Ice Bar, literally one of the coolest places in the world.

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Norwegian Gem

One thing that confuses many people about the Norwegian Gem is which of the dozen different restaurant options are price included and which you have to pay a premium for. Those with a surcharge are Cagney's Steakhouse, Le Bistro, the Orchid Garden and the Teppanyaki Room.

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Norwegian Jade

Even cruise lines make mistakes – for NCL, it was deploying several ships in Hawaiian waters. New legislation in that region made it more and more difficult for cruise ships to turn a profit (crews had to be 90% American, ships had to stay two nights etc) and so the Pride of Hawaii became Norwegian Jade and moved to Europe.

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Norwegian Jewel

Norwegian Jewel, at least in the big-ship marketplace, is the closest thing possible to a land-based hotel holiday – although you do end up wondering why people take a cruise at all if that’s what they want?

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Norwegian Pearl

The Pearl was launched in 2006 and extends the cruise line’s aims to allow people to do whatever they wish, whenever they wish – which works out practically with twelve eating places and eleven bars, as well as the famous rock climbing wall. And at the very top of the Norwegian Pearl’s exclusive accommodation options are the Garden Villas which contain three separate bedrooms, private gardens with hot tub, and access to a private courtyard with pool.

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Norwegian Sky

Norwegian Sky has had an interesting past: in 2004 she became Pride of Aloha and sailed on Nil’s dedicated Hawaiian routes for four years, before reverting to her original name and returning to Caribbean cruising.

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Norwegian Spirit

A spectacular, state-of-the-art ship, Norwegian Spirit sparkles from stem to stern. Eight unique restaurants, 11 bars & lounges, the luxurious Roman Spa & Fitness Center and the glimmering Maharajah’s Casino are just some of the many spoils available onboard.

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Norwegian Star

Star is a ship for those who like deck activities and fun. Her ‘big’ pool is flanked on the aft end by a pair of twisty slides, and at each end with hot tubs and there’s an indoor lap pool in the Barong Spa measuring forty feet by thirteen.

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Norwegian Sun

The Norwegian Sun was the first ship Norwegian Cruise Line commissioned specifically to fulfill their Freestyle Dining ambitions. It’s a bright ship, like many of the NCL vessels and offers a combination of jolly colors, spacious accommodations and cheerful public spaces which gives the line its happy ambience.

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Pride of America

Pride of America is as her name suggests – a celebration of all things American – from the Cadillac Diner to the Abe Lincoln statue in the Liberty Dining Room – and her passengers are 98% American too. There are surprises on this ship, and not always good ones: the shops are small and expensive by comparison with other NCL vessels and there is no duty-free.

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In the spirit of this innovation, the latest NCL liners experiment with a range of experiences and amenities ranging from onboard luxury villas, through to interconnecting cabins and an internet based booking system along with an electronic restaurant reservation system.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the NCL approach is its laid-back disembarkation process, which is as relaxed and comfortable as that offered by the top-of-the-line luxury cruises, which offers passengers one of their happiest memories at the very end of their cruise experience.

  • Brand history – a complex history with Norwegian, Malaysian and US owners in the mix has led to a cosmopolitan and family-friendly style of cruising
  • Signatures of the line – the first to create a freestyle dining option
  • Number of ships – 11 (and two on order)
  • Best for (kids, entertainment etc) – embarkation and disembarkation: the most laid back and easy-to-enjoy boarding system in the cruise industry
  • Special dining features – the first to create a ‘dine when you like’ option, NCL is still a leader in casual dining at sea
  • Special suite features – On the newer ships the Garden Villas are huge family spaces with three bedrooms, sunbathing areas, private steam room and family-sized hot tub
  • Special kid features – the casual focus of the line follows through into children's programmes and lots of events, teen spaces, kiddy discos and children’s pools to allow adults some quality quiet time
  • Entertainment features – think loud and fun, this is X-factor rather than string quartet territory
  • Spa and fitness features – oddly, while the gyms are grand, the spas on NCL ships seem to be a slightly neglected area: they are perfectly serviceable but not stunning
  • Routes – NCL covers most territory, excluding the world voyage, and is particularly good on short (three to five day) options



No. of Ships

Star Rating

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