Norwegian Cruise Line sometimes seems like the crazy, late-night mattress salesman of the cruise industry. Like last month when it ran a two-day promo offering free airfare when you booked an Alaska cruise, it felt like the message should have been delivered by a slightly disheveled guy standing a little too close to the camera saying:
“We’re giving it away! For free! My boss doesn’t know! He thinks I’m crazy! But I’m doing it anyway! Act now! One day only before my boss finds out and has me taken awaaayyyyyyyyy!”
With a big, yellow, CALL NOW flashing on the screen before it cuts back to a rerun of Happy Days.
Well, Crazy Norwegian’s House of Cruises is back at it this week, one-upping the Alaska offer with free flights to Hawaii. Starting October 4, book a cruise on the Pride of America, and you can receive free airfare from one of 37 airports in the US and Canada to Honolulu, where you’ll take a seven-day excursion through Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island of Hawaii.
“As my boss says, we like selling anything we can sell for free!” NCL President and CEO Andy Stuart told a gathering of travel agents and media at the University of Hawaii-Hilo Tuesday afternoon. His sophisticated British accent sounding nothing like a late-night mattress salesman. “We think it’ll get people excited to come back.”
Stuart explained that this unprecedented promotion is the cruise line’s way of encouraging visitors to come back to Hawaii — and to the big island specifically — after the volcanic eruption drove tourists away this past spring. Though the eruption has for the most part subsided, some people are still hesitant to come.
“We felt it was important to tell people the island of Hawaii is open to visitors,” he continued as pleased local politicians looked on. “The media does a wonderful job of reporting when [a disaster] starts, but when normalcy returns it’s radio silence. It’s important to tell people this destination is open for business.”
The promotion is part of NCL’s Free at Sea program, which offers among other things free WiFi, a free open bar, and onboard credit. The cruises typically start around $899 a person, and if the Alaska promotion is any indication, this deal likely won’t apply to the cheapest cabins on the ship — though no details were given as to who might qualify.
Much like the zany, late-night TV ads of yesteryear, this offer is only good while supplies last. Though it’s not as insane as the one-day-only Alaska Bonanza, these free flights to Hawaii won’t be available forever, granted no end date was specified. But beginning October 4, that flashing clock in the corner of the screen will be ticking, so if you want that free flight to Hawaii ACT NOW! Or maybe just wait until the crazy mattress salesman loses his mind again next month.