Norwegian Rolls Out $250 Million Fleetwide Cruise Ship Upgrade Program

May 20, 2014
norwegian (4:15 p.m. EDT) -- Norwegian Cruise Line is investing $250 million in a fleetwide renovation program it's calling Norwegian Next. As part of the program, the line will bring many Breakaway-class dining and entertainment features to all of its ships by 2015.

A number of Norwegian ships have been refurbished to feature several enhancements, including Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Pearl and Pride of America. Norwegian Gem is expected to emerge from dry dock this year, and Norwegian Star and Norwegian Epic are scheduled to undergo dry dock in 2015.Among the Norwegian Next upgrades are:

Norwegian is introducing new menus in its main dining rooms and Garden Cafes, and will expand O'Sheehan's Bar & Grill, Carlo's Bake Shop treats and the Sugarcane Mojito bar (previously only on Getaway) to all ships. In addition to new Mondavi wine menus and Bar Lab cocktail creations, the line also will provide fleetwide beverage training for bartenders, wine stewards and restaurant managers.

From acrobats in "Elements" to a 15-foot revolving showgirl staircase in "Paradis," Norwegian is developing new shows, game shows and theme nights in addition to its current lineup. Featured on Breakaway and Getaway, the H2Glow party will be expanded to all ships as well.

Kids' Activities
New kids activities, dining experiences and meet and greets will be added onboard the five ships that feature Nickelodeon entertainment. Passengers on many ships will have the chance to get slimed Nickelodeon-style at the cruise line's private island Great Stirrup Cay.

Private Islands
Norwegian is introducing Bacardi and Patron bars to accompany more beaches and more cabanas in Great Stirrup Cay. Harvest Caye, the line's newest private island, is coming fall 2015 to southern Belize.

Onboard Connectivity
The iConcierge app, currently available onboard Epic, Breakaway and Getaway, will be rolled out across all ships and will allow cruisers to keep in touch with talk and text. According to the line, shipwide Wi-Fi is also undergoing improvements. Touch screens and digital signage are coming as well.

Technological Upgrades
Exhaust gas scrubbers will be installed on six ships (in addition to Pride of America) in an effort to reduce emissions. Underwater hulls will be coated in high-performance paint to reduce friction and improve fuel efficiency.

Norwegian Epic is scheduled for dry dock next year and will receive many upgrades in the Norwegian Next program but not the same as others in the fleet. "Epic is really considered in [the Breakaway-class group] as well, since the enhanced dining and entertainment options onboard really started with that ship," Norwegian spokeswoman Vanessa Picariello told Cruise Critic. Epic will not be adopting anything from Breakaway or Getaway.

--by Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant