For cruise passengers looking for an all-inclusive experience, it can sometimes be difficult to determine what comes with the cruise fare and what is extra.
What is included in the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) base fare? For the most part it is similar to other cruise lines. A cabin, food, entertainment, activities and sports are some of the main inclusions.
There are, however, additional charges for restaurants, drinks, and activities.
Here’s what you need to know about what’s included in a Norwegian cruise fare.
Food and drinks
Norwegian offers several free dining locations for customers:
- Main dining rooms with daily rotating menus and a range of cruises. Norwegian’s signature Freestyle Dining allows for flexible dining times and cruise passengers can come whenever they want.
- Buffets – no cruise is complete without a buffet. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there is something for everyone.
- Hungry at 2am? Norwegian offers you 24-hour options, such as an Irish-style pub with great classics to satisfy late-night cravings.
- Shanghai Noodle Bar offers customers an Asian cruise with freshly made noodles, delicious wok fried dishes, authentic soups and more
- During the day, take advantage of the Main Pool Bar & Grill for quick bites and grilled favorites
- Coffee, teas and pastries at select cafes
Guests can enjoy the following free drinks:
- Tea and coffee
- Iced tea
- Selection of juices (breakfast only)
Activities and Entertainment
After guests are done with their meals, there are plenty of amenities and activities to keep them busy. Norwegian is known for its rich entertainment options which include a variety of shows such as Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots, Footloose and other Tony award winning musicals. Included with the cruise fare:
- live music
- Theme nights
- comedy club
- Variety shows
- Swimming pools and whirlpools
- Water park with slides
- Sports Complex
- Table tennis
- Fitness center
- Mini golf
- Jogging track
- rope lessons
With its newer ships, Norwegian has added fun and thrill-seeking activities, including a new and improved race track, laser beacon and Galaxy Pavilion virtual reality complex. Unfortunately, these have additional costs.
Kids’ clubs can be great fun for all ages, and Norwegian has plenty of free options. Splash Academy for Kids is the cruise line’s free, age-based children’s program offering:
- Guppies for children from 6 months to 3 years old, where children enjoy sensory games, music and activities focusing on movement and colours. (Parents must be present).
- Turtles for 3 to 5 year olds, offers arts and crafts activities, a circus school, developmental activities, storytelling, parades and treasure hunts.
- Seals for 6 to 8 year olds offers circus techniques such as sling juggling, plate spinning and rope spinning. Also included are theme nights, painting, sports, games, parades, treasure hunts and video games.
- Dolphins for ages 10-12 have more advanced circus skills such as stilts, ball juggling and devil sticks. Children participate in treasure hunts, themed parties (survivor/spy), sports, team building activities and video games.
- Entourage for Teens offers a dedicated hangout, where teens can play video games, watch movies, enjoy arts, music, and sports with people their own age.
- Teens can show off their creativity and personality with musical jams, dancing, singing and other fun activities like creating balloon sculptures and graffiti masterpieces. More circus skills, dodgeball, football, basketball and to top it off, a party every night.
Access to private islands
Although most excursions are extra, Norwegian offers the possibility of visiting its private islands in the Caribbean for free.
Off the southern coast of Belize is Harvest Caye, Norwegian’s private island. Surrounded by the lush greenery of Central America, guests are treated to a wide range of activities at this 75-acre oasis.
Harvest Caye is home to abundant natural wildlife as well as access to a coral reef, the second largest in the world. Cruise passengers can enjoy the beautiful beach or snorkel Belize’s Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world. The 15,000 square foot pool features a swim-up bar and waterfall feature.
The resort-style area is free and includes plenty of chairs and umbrellas. Food and drinks are extra, as the sites are run by local owners.
Great Stirrup Cay
Norwegian’s other private destination is located in the Berry Islands, the northernmost islands of the Bahamas. A 268-acre island oasis, it’s a lush paradise and guests can enjoy its expansive beaches, snorkeling, and other activities. There are plenty of great beaches, including the 1,500-foot-long main beach, with plenty of sun loungers and some natural shade
There are a number of great free options ashore, including Jumbey Beach Grill for some BBQ favorites, Abaco Taco Bard, and a new Topic Like It’s Hot food truck with island flavors.
FREE AT SEA program
Norwegian currently offers its FREE AT SEA program, which adds a number of benefits to your cruise fare. Eligible cruises are listed on the Norwegian website. Currently, this applies to many itineraries in 2022 and 2023, including Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe and its new ships Norwegian Prima and Viva.
Some of the benefits offered:
- 35% off cruise fare
- Free open bar including spirits, cocktails, wines, draft beer, juices and sodas
- Complimentary specialty meal
- Receive a $50 shore excursion credit per visit
- 3rd and 4th guest for $99
- Deposits 2-1
What is not included in the cruise fare?
As with most cruise lines, there are a number of additional packages and activities that can be purchased. Cruise passengers will pay extra for:
- Tips and gratuities
- Port excursions (excluding private islands)
- Specialty restaurants
- Beverages – sodas, bottled water
- Specialty coffees and teas
- Alcoholic beverages
- Baby sitting
- Spa and wellness treatments
- Select onboard activities
- Medical services