Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is known for Freestyle Cruising that provides freedom and flexibility, perfect for traveling families. Rather than the cruise line dictating where and when you’ll eat—and how you’ll dress—Freestyle Cruising gives you the option to make reservations at a number of different restaurants (note that many outside the main dining room may require a per person surcharge) for a variety of cuisines. This is a really great option for families who may have some picky little eaters to feed, or who need flexibility in their schedule.
Among the recognition NCL has received:
- Family Circle readers voted for the Norwegian Breakaway among the Best Family Cruises for “Best Freedom of Choice Ship” (2013)
- MeetMeOnBoard.com* awarded Norwegian a “CRUIZIE Award” for “Best Onboard LGBT Gatherings” (2013)
- Yahoo Travel listed the Norwegian Breakaway among the 10 Best Cruises and also named NCL the “Best Cruise for Families” (2013)
- Travel + Leisure named NCL among the top large-ship cruise lines for families in their 2012 World’s Best Awards.
Tolerance and Diversity:
Norwegian Cruise Line welcomes and promotes diversity among team members, both shoreside and shipboard, including LGBT team members. Crew members go through extensive customer service training, including diversity programs that address the needs of LGBT guests. As with most mainstream cruise lines, they also offer “meet ups” onboard for LGBT guests and their families.
In addition to a two-story Wii wall where kids and adults alike can play sports and watch movies, NCL also is favorite among kids because of their partnership with Nickelodeon. “Nickelodeon at Sea” is offered on five Freestyle Cruising Ships: Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway and allows families to take part in a number of Nickelodeon-themed activities, such as the Pajama Jam Character Breakfast and “Dora’s Dance Party,” to name a few.
As with most ships, there’s also a complimentary drop-off kids club (ages 3-12) called the “Splash Academy,” for creative play, sports and more. For tweens, some Norwegian ships offer the Recess Kids Area with Wii, Playstation 3, a dance floor and more. Older children can hit the video arcade, participate in sports workshops, bowling tournaments and “Dodge Ball Under the Stars.”
There’s also a circus workshop, developed in partnership with Hilario Productions’ Cirque du Jour.
Norwegian sails to nearly every continent but their Caribbean itineraries remain the most popular. See their website for more information.
* MeetMeOnBoard.com is a website and forum that connects gay cruise travelers.