Norwegian cruises have been an industry leader in the cruise business for many years. They offer cruise deals to all of the popular cruise locations, including Alaska, the Bahamas, Bermuda, New England, Europe, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera, and Canada. Their rates are in line with the rest of the industry, and you can save money by finding great cruise deals. If you are considering Norwegian cruises for your next vacation, here are some important things you should know.
Norwegian Cruises and Fares
Your cruise fare will give you access to a room, certain meals, and some entertainment. The type of package you choose will affect what is included. If you choose to dine at the specialty restaurants you will need to pay an upcharge. Drinks, spa days, laundry, photography, the casino, Internet access, and taxes are not included as part of the Norwegian cruise ships fares. There are several options for paying the cruise extras. You can set up a credit account using a major credit card. The cruise line will obtain an authorization on the card to ensure it’s valid. Be aware that if you use a debit card this money may be unavailable to you for as long as 30 days. You can also choose to pay with cash. This option requires a little more work on your end. You must deposit at least $100 per person per day for the length of the cruise. This means a 14 day cruise for 2 people will require $2800 deposited on the day you leave. A refund of any unused money will be given on the day of disembarkation. Traveler’s checks are accepted and can be cashed. Personal checks are not.
Even though you may book a private room, you will still have luggage restrictions for the ship. Each person will be allotted up to 2 pieces of luggage, weighing no more than 50 pounds apiece. Keep in mind that most people have to fly to the ship, and you are restricted by the airlines on your luggage as well.
Norwegian cruises offers a unique take on meals. While other cruise lines, such as Disney cruises or Royal Caribbean cruises may have specific times for included meals, Norwegian does not. They call this ‘freestyle’. With this type of plan your included meals can be eaten whenever you feel. They offer open dining at all of their restaurants, and open menus. You choose when and what you want to eat.
Staying in Contact
Since cruising is typically a longer excursion, it may be important to stay in touch with family, friends, or coworkers. You can rent computer terminals in their onboard internet cafes. Any time spent emailing or otherwise online is billed to your Norwegian cruises account at the end of the cruise. Others can contact you by dialing a toll free number. This will ring your room just like a hotel would. You are free to use your own cell phone at any time as long as you aren’t in a ‘quiet’ area on the ship.
Since Norwegian cruises are almost all inclusive, many people get confused regarding the policy on tipping. The staff will appreciate tipping for great service, but it’s not expected. It is suggested to tip bar tenders, restaurant servers, concierge personnel, butlers, spa workers, and other service workers between 15-18%. Most people will tell you that regardless of if you’re taking Norwegian cruises or others, tipping is in good form.