Norwegian Cruise Line to Retrofit Entire Fleet; Confirms no Plans to Change Smoking Policy

January 15, 2014
O'Sheehan's Pub, which has proved such a success on Norwegian Epic, Breakaway and Getaway, will be retrofitted across the entire fleet, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer has exclusively confirmed.

Speaking at a news conference onboard the line's newest ship, Norwegian Getaway, in Southampton, U.K., Kevin Sheehan said:

"O'Sheehan's has proved to be such a center point of the ship, for people to gather and socialize, that we have decided to put it on all the ships."

He added the line would be looking at ways to get more people into the pub at different times of the day.

Sheehan also confirmed Moderno Churrascaria, which has already been retrofitted on some ships, will be moved adjacent to Cagney's.

"We messed up there. We put it in the wrong place. Now we are relocating it adjacent to Cagney's in the middle of the ship," he said.

Sheehan also confirmed that the next two Breakaway Class ships – Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss– would have a "few changes" compared with Breakaway and Getaway, but he would specify what they would be. The homeports for the ships, which are due for delivery in 2015 and 2017, respectively, will be announced at Cruise Shipping Miami in March.

Sheehan also said that while a large number of cruise lines have banned smoking on balconies, Norwegian had no plans to do so:

"We're not looking at changing anything right now. We think we've got (our smoking policy) about right."

He also tackled the issue of pervasive smoke on around the casino area, which has been a hot topic of conversation during Cruise Critic's Live Q&A onboard.

"When we launched Epic we got a lot of comments about the smell and the location of the casino in the middle of the ship, and we took those seriously. We put in all those extractors, and we haven't had a comment in about three years. We've had one or two comments about Breakaway, and if we get enough, we address them."

Sheehan also gave his strongest indication yet that once the fleet gets a few ships bigger, Norwegian would look at basing a ship in the U.K.:

"We don't have 102 ships like Carnival Corp. does; we only have 13, so we have to be very careful about where we base ships.

"If we have six more ships, then we could get to the point where we look at coming into a new market.

"We'd like to have a ship based in the U.K., but we have to grow into it."

Andy Stuart, executive vice president of global sales and passenger services, added: "People say we're not committed to the U.K. market. We are, we're just not committed to the ex-U.K. market; we're committed to fly cruise."

--By Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor, and Jamey Bergman, Production and Rivers Editor