by Kevin Griffin of The Cruise People writing for cybercruises.com
Beginning in 2016, Norwegian Cruise Line will offer all-inclusive cruising on its 3- and 4-day cruises from Miami to the Bahamas aboard its 2,002-berth Norwegian Sky. From January, passengers sailing to the Bahamas will enjoy an all-inclusive experience with dining, entertainment and now free wine, beer and spirits included in the fare.
Until now, the best one could expect on the line’s Bahamas cruises was the popular happy hour before dinner.
Andy Stuart, president of Norwegian Cruise Line, said “We’re taking Freestyle Cruising to the next level to provide our guests with an experience unmatched by any other contemporary cruise line. Norwegian Sky guests will have the freedom to enjoy a cruise holiday the way they desire – whether it’s lounging by the pool with a margarita, having a laugh at a comedy show, catching up on their favourite book on their balcony, or indulging in fine dining – all included in their cruise fare.”
“We think this is a stand-out change,” said Stuart. “The 3- and 4-day market is important to us. It’s a market where we introduce new people to cruising. We really thought it was a way to differentiate Norwegian Sky by making it an all-inclusive product.”
Stuart says the line has no plans beyond Norwegian Sky.
“It’s ultimately driven by demand,” he said, but added “we’ve raised prices a little bit in advance of the announcement. Over time, demand will determine price.”
Passengers over 21 will be able to enjoy a variety of soft drinks, juices, unlimited premium spirits, cocktails by award-winning mixologists, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer up to $11 aboard Norwegian Sky. Guests between three and 20 years of age will be able to enjoy unlimited soft drinks and juice throughout their cruise.
In early August 2014, Norwegian Cruise Line announced the new All-Inclusive add-on programme in North America, introduced later in mid September in the UK (Column of September 15, 2014)
Norwegian Sky features thirteen dining options, twelve bars and lounges, two pools, five hot tubs, an on-board spa, casino and children’s programming.
On the rest of the Norwegian fleet, it was announced earlier this month that many of the line’s Asian food outlets have now become free of change.
So passengers can now indulge in favourites such as fried rice, spicy seafood, udon noodles and steamed pork dumplings free of charge at the following venues:
* Norwegian Breakaway – Shanghai’s Noodle Bar
* Norwegian Dawn – Bamboo
* Norwegian Epic – Shanghai’s Noodle Bar
* Norwegian Gem – Orchid Garden
* Norwegian Getaway – Shanghai’s Noodle Bar
* Norwegian Jade – Jasmine Garden
* Norwegian Jewel – Chin Chin
* Norwegian Pearl – Lotus Garden
* Norwegian Spirit – Shogun
* Norwegian Star – Ginza
* Pride of America – East Meets West
Back to Norwegian Sky, Norwegian’s 3- and 4-night Bahamas cruises were among the first to be introduced by the line fifty years ago using the 8,666-ton 550-berth Sunward, a European cruise ferry adopted for Caribbean cruising.The first voyages between Miami and Nassau that were actually offered and advertised as all-inclusive stay-aboard cruises were made by the Clarke Steamship Company’s 3,445-ton 175-berth New Northland, eighty years ago, in 1935.