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.
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 four best cruise lines for NFL football.
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Updated January 8, 2020
1. Princess Cruises
Ships: Fleetwide, except for Diamond Princess, Sapphire Princess, Ruby Princess, Golden Princess, Majestic Princess, Pacific 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.
2. 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 sports trivia throughout each sailing.
NFL Games: The line shows select Thursday-, Sunday- and Monday-night games, plus wildcard and division playoffs, conference championships and the Super Bowl.
3. Royal Caribbean International
Ships: Available games vary by itinerary (see below).
Where: Games are broadcast on the outdoor movie screens, at the sports bar and on cabin TVs. Ships with a Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade will air games there.
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 ships sailing in the Caribbean/Alaska without a Playmakers Sports Bar will have a total of seven broadcast games every week (five at various times on Sunday, one on Monday and one on Thursday), while ships on the same itineraries that have Playmakers will see all available Sunday, Monday and Thursday games.
Ships on European itineraries without Playmakers will not screen any NFL games, but ones with Playmakers will also air seven games per week. Thanksgiving Day games will be shown on all ships with Caribbean, Alaskan and Australian itineraries, and playoff and Super Bowl games will be shown on all ships except Spectrum of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas.
4. Norwegian Cruise Line
Ships: Starting in September 2019, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Sun and Pride of America will broadcast games.
In October 2019, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Getaway will also air games, and Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Encore will join in starting in November 2019.
Where: Games are broadcast on the atrium screens and at various bars and lounges.
Game-Day Activities: Other than airing whatever scheduled NFL game is available for broadcast, no football activities will be available onboard.