NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE, one of the world’s largest cruise operators, sails a 21st-century fleet of 16 ships, all dedicated to delivering a full resort experience. NCL pioneered its contemporary freestyle cruise mode a quarter-century ago. Quite casual and sporty, Norwegian voyages are rife with recreational facilities and “eat what you want, when you want, where you want” dining, designed to appeal to active adults and families on a spree.
Norwegian brings its “South Beach Miami” experience primarily to the world’s two most popular cruising destinations, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, ideal waters for a vacation. Such ships as the 4,266-passenger Norwegian Epic sail from Miami into the Caribbean, stopping to party at NCL’s private resort island in The Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay. North Americans are also booking NCL’s Mediterranean cruises at an accelerating rate, as cruises to Europe are on an upswing. Due to this rising demand, NCL redeployed its 3,929-passenger Norwegian Getaway from Miami to the Baltic Sea. And next summer the 4,028-passenger Norwegian Breakaway will relocate to Copenhagen for nine-day Russian and Scandinavian sailings.
Norwegian Cruise Line keeps a strong presence, too, in Alaska, Hawai’i, North America, Australia and Asia. The 3,900-passenger Norwegian Joy, launched this year, is specially designed for the Chinese market. The 2,376-passenger Norwegian Jewel, based in Australia, offers several itineraries throughout the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. The 2,186-passenger Pride of America is the only cruise ship of its size to offer regular cruises in Hawai’i, which it does weekly (although this ship has not met with universal acclaim). Norwegian also conducts cruises to New England, eastern Canada, Florida, Bermuda and The Bahamas from New York. And next year, NCL will launch its latest creation, the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss, from its home port in Seattle. The Norwegian Bliss will become the largest cruise vessel serving Alaska, with summer 2018 cruises originating from Seattle’s Pier 66, a port NCL helped redevelop and will manage for the next 15 years.
NCL’s fleet is divided between its mid-sized resort ships, carrying about 2,000 passengers, and its large resort ships, with about double that capacity. Facilities vary somewhat, but don’t be surprised to find Las Vegas-style entertainment, acrobatic dinner shows, dozens of small eateries and wine bars, spacious spas, casinos, water parks, climbing walls, even bowling alleys. It’s basically a towering tropical resort with a lively waterfront boardwalk reshaped to fit inside a watertight hull.
Whichever ship and whatever its destination, passengers can expect to be bombarded with all the freestyle options and non-stop activities that make up an NCL playground at sea. But many ships offer at least one onboard escape: The Haven, a ship-within-a-ship of suites with private restaurants, pools, sun decks and butler services, is perfect for those desiring a partial escape from the madding crowds.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.
The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”
The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.
Pride Month is in full swing and to celebrate the community, make a colorful cocktail everyone will enjoy. These colorful ingredients will get the party started during Pride or any time of the year. Start this recipe the night before to create the rainbow ice cubes.
Hotel San Luis Obispo partners with Harmony Cellars for the SLO in Harmony offer. The offer includes 15 percent off a two-night stay Sunday–Thursday, a complimentary wine tasting for two at Harmony Cellars, club member discounts at the winery for the day and the opportunity to explore the town of Harmony, California, population of 18 and located 30 miles from San Luis Obispo. Book online.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Enjoy additional perks at Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, with the Vitamin Sea, D & Me offer. Rates begin at $130 per night, including complimentary breakfast daily, a healthy starter at Arrecifes Restaurant, one poke bowl and one drink at El Palmar Restaurant. The use of one beachside pergola per stay is also included. The offer is valid on stays through Dec. 21, and use code S5706 to book.