Norwegian (NCL) Cruises

42,071 Reviews
Norwegian Encore (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

About Norwegian (NCL) Cruises

Known for its "freestyle" cruising, the laid-back Norwegian experience is all about choice, offering one of the largest selections of dining and entertainment venues per ship. Plus, with Norwegian's Free At Sea offer, every cruise fare includes a choice of things like free Wi-Fi, specialty dining, drinks or excursions.

  • More about Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Who goes on Norwegian (NCL) cruise ships?

  • Do I have to dress up on a Norwegian (NCL) cruise?

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Norwegian Gem
Norwegian Gem

7 Night
Bermuda - Boston

2,598 Reviews
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Norwegian Gem
Norwegian Gem

7 Night
Bermuda - Boston

2,598 Reviews
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Norwegian Jewel
Norwegian Jewel

9 Night
Repo - Pacific Coastal

2,361 Reviews
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Norwegian Joy
Norwegian Joy (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

7 Night
Canada & New England - Other

509 Reviews
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Sponsored

Memorial Day Sale

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MSC Cruises

10 Night
Asia - South East

2,125 Reviews
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17 Night
Transpacific

2,174 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Hawaii Hnl Inter Island

2,370 Reviews
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11 Night
Asia - South East

2,125 Reviews
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7 Night
Alaska - Northbound Whittier

2,361 Reviews
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8 Night
Repo - Pacific Coastal

2,051 Reviews
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11 Night
Canada & New England - Other

2,165 Reviews
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7 Night
Alaska - Southbound Whittier

2,361 Reviews
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9 Night
Europe - Western Mediterranean - Barcelona

3,053 Reviews
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Cruise Critic Favorite

9 Night
Asia - Japan

2,125 Reviews
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11 Night
Asia - Japan

2,125 Reviews
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Norwegian (NCL) Cruises Tips, Activities, and Overview

Who goes on Norwegian (NCL) cruise ships?

Norwegian cruise ships draw a diverse crowd, though the majority of passengers on ships sailing to the Caribbean and in Alaska and Hawaii hail from North America. You'll find a decent number of people from other English-speaking countries, and smaller numbers from South America and Europe. On European cruises, North Americans still dominate but you'll find more people from the United Kingdom and other European countries. One ship, Norwegian Joy, was designed specifically for the Asian market, and the vast majority of passengers on this ship will be from China.

You'll find plenty of young families onboard Norwegian ships, especially during holidays and school breaks. However, the line's newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, is less family-friendly than the line's other ships, with all the kids clubs on the lowest levels of the ship and onboard entertainment that is decidedly adult.

Generally speaking, Norwegian Cruise Line attracts mostly middle-aged and older couples, as well as groups of friends of all ages.

Do I have to dress up on a Norwegian (NCL) cruise?

Norwegian Cruise Line maintains a casual atmosphere onboard; during the day, casual wear is the norm.

There's no formal dress code at night either, though most people do change into something slightly less casual for dinner. Additionally, some of the specialty extra-fee restaurants do require long pants, collared shirts and closed-toe shoes. Most evenings you'll see men in dark jeans or khakis and collared shirts, and women in blouses with slacks or skirts, or sundresses. Don't be surprised if you see people in shorts in the main dining rooms.

Norwegian doesn't have any formal nights, but there is an optional Norwegian's Night Out at least once per sailing, for which passengers are encouraged to dress up. You'll rarely see a tux or gown, but suits and cocktail dresses are not unheard of.

Norwegian ships also typically hold several themed nights (glow party, '70s or '80s, etc.) during a typical sailing. You might want to bring a few appropriate items, such as white clothing for the glow and white parties or bell bottoms for '70s night.

Is everything free on Norwegian (NCL) cruises?

No. Unless you have an all-inclusive dining or beverage package (which you can buy), you'll have to pay extra for most gratuities, specialty dining, room service, all drinks (alcoholic and non, except water, select juices at breakfast, and coffee and tea), shore excursions, visits to the spa and any retail purchases, including photos.

On the newest ships, you'll also have to pay for some of the entertainment options and even some of the top-deck fun: On Norwegian Bliss, for example, the laser tag and go-karts cost extra.

What are Norwegian (NCL)’s most popular activities?

On warm-weather cruises, the main pool is the line's most popular spot onboard. On ships with water slides, ropes courses, go-kart tracks and laser tag, these are also popular and often require a wait of up to 30 minutes or more.

Inside, you'll find activities that range from trivia, bingo and Deal or No Deal during the day to song-and-dance revues or Broadway shows in the theater and live music or cabaret shows in the evening. Norwegian ships also have a lively bar nightlife. There's also an always-busy casino, which opens when the ship is out to sea.

Why go with Norwegian (NCL)?

  • Extensive choice of restaurants, bars and activities -- especially on the newest ships
  • Newest ships have excellent Broadway and West End theater shows
  • Be Aware: Many dining and entertainment options incur surcharges

Best for: Active families, picky eaters, and couples/groups who love to bar hop

Not for: People who can't stand crowds, or those seeking a relaxed onboard environment

Norwegian Cruise Line Cruiser Reviews

Not what I expected from NCL

The cruise director sucked and she should have done a better job at managing this process.Hopefully on my next one it's a better experience.Read More
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lissi06

many10+ Cruises

Age 44s

One and done for NCL

Our stateroom attendant kicked us out at 8 saying he had to clean the room so we waited for an hour and 45 minutes in a lounge.Organization: no one seemed to have information on tender times, and the disembark process was very backlogged.Read More
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tiredtraveler88

couple2-5 Cruises

Age 36s

Quick thougths on the NCL Viva

My wife used the 150 free minutes and then paid $49 towards the end of the cruise when her minutes ran out.It's a great compromise between the food court and the big restaurants.Read More
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BingoBoy

couple2-5 Cruises

Age 25s

Haven Not Worth It

If you like priority and the extra perks don’t cruise NCL Haven.First day we were forgotten and waited a very long time to be helped, there was a stain on my son’s bed, in room phone wouldn’t stay charged most of the time so if we needed anything we had to find our butler, we had the drink package but if we ordered drinks to our room we would be charged, no free laundry services, empty mini fridge, warm welcome champagne, A/C worked half the time, etc.Read More
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TLives To Travel

few6-10 Cruises

Age 56s

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