7 facts about today’s cruise ships that will surprise you
1. Some cruises are formal and structured; others are completely up to you.
Gone are the days where you had to be at dinner at 6:30 at a specific table wearing khakis and a blazer or a knee-length sundress to be allowed in the room. While some lines go so far as having black-tie requirements, Norwegian Cruise Line offers freestyle cruising® — eat whenever you’d like, wherever you’d like, how you’d like.
You can choose an easy, quick-but-still-impressive buffet lunch with your swim gear in tow, or you can suit up for a fancy dinner at a French bistro, all on your own time. How you choose to cruise is all up to you.
2. If you want to do it, it’s an option.
Nowadays being on a cruise ship is like being in your own moving metropolis; and just like a city, each one is different. Norwegian Epic has a bowling alley, three water slides, and the Spice H2O pool bar, which transforms nightly into an alfresco nightclub complete with live DJs.
Not sold yet? There are art auctions. Casinos. And you can check your daily newsletter to see what classes are being offered, from fitness to beauty to cooking. When’s the last time you finished your yoga class and then decided to grab a chair 10 feet from a Picasso?
3. There’s a stateroom for everyone.
Whether you’re picturing The Haven® suite with a 24-hour butler and concierge service waiting to craft a personal experience for you, or a studio built for one, on large cruise lines like Norwegian you get to choose exactly how you sail. There’s everything in between, too, from your classic oceanview or balcony room to “mini-suites,” “spa suites,” and connecting staterooms for groups and large families. That means whether you’re exploring on your own or there for the reunion, there’s a room onboard that’ll fit you like a glove — and that glove comes with plenty of space, storage, and maid service to boot.
4. Your ship can be Vegas, Paris, or anywhere in between.
Do you want a week full of gambling, high-class entertainment, fancy cocktails, and a raging dancefloor? Or are you the type who prefers a jogging track, a ropes course, and a tennis court? Or maybe you’re looking to spend some quality time at a spa, check out an art auction, and take meals at the chef’s table (literally). All totally possible.
5. The staff is there for you 24/7, and they come with surprises.
After your cruise, you’d be hard pressed to not know the names of those who leave towel-animals on your bed, who deliver you room-service pancakes at 2am, or who man the grilling station at lunchtime around the pool. These people are there to make sure your week is unforgettable, and they pull out all the stops — if you’re celebrating something, let them know. They’ll arrange champagne for an anniversary or a sweet treat for a birthday. At the end of your cruise, it’ll be like leaving good friends.
6. Go with a large group and you may get some sweet perks.
It’s official: If you want to cruise in style, go with a group. Most larger cruise lines welcome groups with a private cocktail party, champagne, and complimentary credit for spending on the ship. Norwegian ups the ante with possible benefits that include a free specialty dinner, complimentary soda package, chocolate-covered strawberries on arrival, and the 16th person sailing free. The staff of the ship will take extra effort to coordinate outings for your entire group, help you out with dinner reservations, and help you plan shore excursions. And you thought the family reunion was going to be boring!
7. You’ll stay connected onboard through a range of options.
If you thought the cruise industry wasn’t keeping up, go no further than your stateroom. Odds are you’ll likely have a TV that’s totally interactive — you can book shore excursions, make dining reservations, view menus, order room service, and do anything else you can possibly dream of. There’s even “cruise email” you can send and receive, all while you’re lying in bed contemplating putting on your pajamas. If that’s not enough, download the app.
This post is proudly produced in partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line.