NCL Introduces Nintendo's Best-Selling Wii Fleetwide

March 29, 2007
Norwegian Cruise Line's announcement today that it will be the first line to offer the Wii, Nintendo's incredibly popular, interactive gaming system, onboard all its ships, may be controversial for families cruising together. Sure, kids reluctant to cruise because of the prospect of losing a week of video gaming -- we know you're out there! -- can now stay in touch. Parents hoping for some family togetherness and a temporary disconnection from high-tech toys may be disappointed.

Still, NCL's announcement is just the latest in a series of different products, services and amenities that cruise lines are integrating these days for the "don’t want to leave home without it" brigade. Shipwide cell phone access and faster Wi-Fi are others.

At NCL, the Wii is currently available on Norwegian Pearl, as well as Pride of Aloha, Pride of America and Pride of Hawaii, its three NCL America vessels; NCL plans to have the system installed fleetwide by next month.

How does it work? Wii, a gaming system that integrates a classic video game experience with a wireless, motion-sensing joystick (in a tennis game, for instance, you would "swing" the racket by swinging your arm), will be located in the atrium and other public rooms, allowing guests to gather and play against each other in various sports games while crowds view the game on large video screens. Each ship's Kid's Crew facility will also feature two Wii consoles (Sorry parents, no grown-ups allowed!). The ships will also host tournaments and other activities.

All onboard systems will equipped with the "Wii Sports" package, offering five distinct sports games: tennis, golf, baseball, boxing and bowling. Other games available on the ships include Wii Play, WarioWare: Smooth Moves and Excite Truck.

--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor