Norwegian Enhancing, Transforming Freestyle Cruising


Earlier this year, we talked about Norwegian Cruise Line’s version of ‘Update The Fleet’ that other lines have gone through in recent years.  Called Norwegian NEXT, the $250 million program promised to further define what it means to “Cruise Like A Norwegian”.  Now in full swing, apparently Norwegians want more dining options and their namesake cruise line is delivering just that.

Royal Caribbean International called it the Royal Advantage program, adding elements of the cruise experience made popular on the newest of ships to the existing fleet, effectively giving older vessels new life and relevance.   Carnival Cruise Lines gave many ships a stroke of the FunShip 2.0 brush, also updating what they do both in response to and in anticipation of passenger comments and dreams.  Guests  sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line, inventor of the have-it-your-way Freestyle Cruising umbrella which includes  Freestyle Dining, are seeing even more choices.

Further development of the Norwegian NEXT program, focused on enhancing and transforming what they do fleet wide,  is taking elements from Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway and adding them to older vessels.

The laundry list of new features includes

  • Multiple new menus in the ships’ main dining rooms that offer an increased variety of selections and contemporary dishes;
  • “Chocoholic Night” one evening per cruise, featuring specialty chocolate-based desserts in each restaurant,  a choice of up to seven signature chocolate desserts
  • The ability for guests to make main dining reservations up to 90 days in advance.

Adding Diversity Tagged To Ship And Sailing Date
New regionally-focused complimentary dining room dinner menus vary by ship itinerary and change each evening of the sailing, ensuring that guests have a wider selection of dishes to choose from during their cruise.

Jumping off the page as an interesting addition: on-menu wine pairing recommendations and anecdotal culinary history.

Simplifying The Process
Featuring a sleeker design along with wine pairing recommendations and anecdotal culinary history, the new menus display several sections:

  • Starters- a choice of up to 12 each night
  • Classic dishes- standard every night
  • Main course– up to 15 from which to choose each evening
  • Chef’s signature dish and
  • Dessert

Additionally, guests can enjoy new lunch menus in the main dining room.  O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill is introducing exclusive specialty dish nights, such as prime rib, all-you-can-eat baby back ribs, and chicken and waffles.

Something For Everyone, Even Traditionalists
One part of the Freestyle Dining concept that did not appeal to some cruise travelers was the loss of being in the same dining room every night with the same people at the same table.

In keeping with the line’s Freestyle Cruising, Norwegian is also making it easier than ever for guests to further customize their vacation experience by offering the ability to make reservations for complimentary dining rooms up to 90 days prior to the cruise date. With reservation times at 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm, and 8:30 pm, the new system provides guests the option of selecting a dining time during any evening of their cruise, for a party size of up to 12 guests.

Find Out More
For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian NEXT program, visit www.ncl.com/next. To book a cruise, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.

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