Fall is a great time to cruise, with lower fares and fewer crowds -- but if you're a football fan, will you miss key NFL games if you're sailing?
Never fear: a number of cruise lines broadcast games onboard. But if you're a superfan, know that only a few bring the fandom and game-day culture to life with activities like tailgate parties and fantasy football competitions. (Expect more elaborate celebrations during the Super Bowl.) Some lines even up the ante with sports team partnerships. For example, Norwegian Cruise Line offers perks such as $50 spending credit with a Miami Dolphins promo code, while Carnival -- the official cruise line of the Houston Texans and New Orleans Saints -- occasionally hosts special events with players onboard its ships.If you want to support your home team, keep up with your fantasy league or simply soak up the game-day energy, here are the five best cruise lines for NFL football.
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Ships: Fleetwide, except for Diamond Princess, Majestic Princess, Sea Princess and Sun Princess.
Where: Games are shown on the Movies Under the Stars outdoor movie screen.
Game-Day Activities: Select Princess ships feature "Game of the Week" tailgate parties, where fans can enjoy foods like pizza, burgers and hot dogs, as well as beer buckets and team-inspired drink specials.
NFL Games: The line broadcasts nearly 100 games -- including Thursday, Sunday and Monday night -- as well as wildcard and division playoffs, conference championships and the Super Bowl.
Disney Cruise Line
Where: Games are broadcast via Funnel Vision, the outdoor movie screen on all four ships, as well as the sports bar on each ship (Pub 687 on Disney Dream, Crown & Fin Pub on Disney Wonder and O'Gills Pub on Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic). You can also catch the games in the Promenade Lounge on Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.
Game-Day Activities: Depending on the ship and itinerary, Disney offers two NFL-themed activities: ESPN Dream Team Draft Day, an interactive fantasy football draft, and Partner Playoff, sports trivia with a Disney twist.
NFL Games: The line shows all Thursday-, Sunday- and Monday-night games, plus wildcard and division playoffs, conference championships and the Super Bowl.
Royal Caribbean International
Ships: Fleetwide, except for Quantum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas. (Vision of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas will begin broadcasting the games in early November; Rhapsody of the Seas will begin in early December; Ovation of the Seas will stream only the Super Bowl.)
Where: Games are broadcast on the outdoor movie screens, at the sports bar and on cabin TVs. Symphony of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas and Independence of the Seas will broadcast cames in the Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade.
Game-Day Activities: During games, fans can participate in fun activities that are tailored to each ship and itinerary. On special games like Thanksgiving Day, expect to see football-themed decorations, food and drink specials, football trivia, crew members dressed in team jerseys and more.
NFL Games: Royal Caribbean shows 13 Thursday-night games, 34 Sunday-afternoon games and two Thanksgiving games as well as two wildcard playoffs, two divisional playoffs, one conference championship and the Super Bowl.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Ships: Fleetwide (Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Star will begin broadcasting the games in early November.)
Where: Games are broadcast on the atrium screens and at various bars and lounges.
Game-Day Activities: O'Sheehan's Bar & Grill and The Local on Norwegian Bliss serve up game day-inspired snacks like chips and salsa, popcorn and chicken wings.
NFL Games: Norwegian offers Monday-night games, Thursday-night games, Sunday-afternoon games and two Thanksgiving games, as well as wildcard and division playoffs, conference championships, the AFC-NFC Pro bowl and the Super Bowl. Pride of America will broadcast a slightly different schedule than the other ships.
Carnival Cruise Line
Ships: Fleetwide, with the exception of Carnival's Australia-based ships.
Where: Games are broadcast at the Sports Bar and other various bars and lounges.
Game-Day Activities: Carnival offers beer bucket specials and traditional game-day foods such as hot pretzels.
NFL Games: Carnival shows Sunday- and Monday-night games, as well as playoffs and the Super Bowl.
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