Theme Cruise Sale? NCL "Perks" Up Nick Sailings

August 25, 2010

In what seems to be a push to increase sales for the upcoming "Nickelodeon All-Access" theme cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that all bookings made by September 13, 2010, will be eligible for some perks: onboard credit of up to $250 and reduced deposits.

This is an interesting move considering that added booking incentives such as these are atypical for theme cruises, which rarely go on sale due to high production costs and niche appeal. Though NCL spokespersons would not share whether bookings had been weak prior to the promotion, it's possible that these perks were put in place to prompt enough bookings to fill the pricey sailings.

The first cruise is a seven-night Bahamas cruise aboard Norwegian Jewel, departing from New York on February 20, 2011, priced from $899 per person, compared to rates starting from $549 per person for identical non-themed sailings. Similarly, rates for the second cruise, a weeklong Western Mediterranean cruise aboard Norwegian Epic, setting sail July 24, 2011, start at $1,299 per person, compared to $1,099 for non-themed sailings. The amount of onboard credit is dependent on the cabin category booked -- only passengers that book Garden Villas, the most expensive accommodations onboard, will receive the highest dollar amount. If you book a balcony cabin, for example, you'll get a $50 credit.

For the added cost, passengers will receive heavy doses of all things Nick, including visits from celebrity guests from shows like "iCarly" and "True Jackson VP" (though specifics have not been announced), meet and greets, daily character breakfasts, and poolside events including the famous Slime Time LIVE! game show.

It's worth noting, however, that NCL's partnership with Nickelodeon, announced earlier this year, has already brought popular characters like Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants to the entertainment lineup aboard select ships. Non-themed sailings actually offer many of the same options as the theme sailings, but on a smaller scale and minus the celebrity appearances.

So, we want to know: Are ramped up activities and yet-unnamed celebrity guests enough to entice you to book a "Nickelodeon All-Access" cruise? Or are the theme sailings just not different enough from the "regular" Nick offerings to warrant the extra cost? Tell us!

To find more information on this cruise and other themed sailings, visit Cruise Critic's Theme Cruises 2010 and 2011.

--by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Web Content Producer

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