Are you new to the NCL cruise experience? Are you new here? If you are, welcome! If you’re not, you’ll know that the Holroyd’s favourite cruise line is NCL (aka Norwegian Cruise Line). And although we’ve experienced 4 cruises first hand, on 4 different ships there are still things on board that we’ve haven’t yet done and can’t wait to try!
With up to 22 bars on any one ship with NCL, each with its own distinct vibe there are plenty of venues for your night out. On a 7-night cruise that’s a lot of bar hopping. We’ve tried our best and Abi loves the kids club but we’re distinctly behind our fellow cruisers. Some of the venues on our list for our next NCL cruise are Margaritaville at Sea and Svedka ICE Bar.
Margaritaville is a themed restaurant inspired by the life and lyrics of Jimmy Buffett. Open most days from 12-5pm, Margaritaville is the perfect stop if you are looking for some delicious lunch or a frozen concoction to help you hang on. Available on the newest ships in the fleet. Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Encore.
Svedka ICE Bar isn’t just a bar, it’s an experience. Onboard you head into a -10º fahrenheit room full of ice sculptures, your own frozen throne, and cool drinks in ice glasses. Admission is $20 and includes 2 drinks, a rented parka, and admission for 30 minutes. And I thought the AC on a ship was cold enough! Found on Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.
Have you tried either of these? What did you think? Let us know!
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Indulge in Norwegian Exclusive Speciality Dining
The food onboard NCL has always been excellent but now with Norwegian Edge, its been brought to an even higher standard. Edge is a program of change through the fleet, using and sharing skills from the luxury cruise lines in their group (namely, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas). Menus have been upgraded and they’ve introduced new venues.
A 7-night cruise is too short for many reasons, one of which is that you don’t get to try enough of the dining venues onboard NCL. Freestyle cruising and the extensive number of venues means you have to plan your cruise better than a military operation. Think Disney level planning! So we’ve made the mistake of missing out on two classic restaurants, La Cucina and Teppanyaki.
La Cucina, an indulgent Italian restaurant where you can enjoy family style dining and Teppanyaki is Japanese hibachi style. Where you sit at a lively shared table as a skillful chef perfectly prepares steak, seafood and chicken on a large steel grill at our authentic Japanese hibachi. Is you mouth-watering yet? Mine too!
Things I would never have expected to be imagined for a cruise ship. Go-karting and laser tag and of course, NCL have done it. I couldn’t speed race with the others onboard the Norwegian Bliss in 2018 because I was pregnant but my husband loved it! As for Laser Tag, again I was feeling too off and so we decided to skip Laser Tag. Want to see the vlogs from our trip?
The set up of the Laser Tag is impressive, purpose built with a narrative you follow. If you’re up for laser tag games in a land of sea monsters then Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Encore is for you.
Entertainment for all kinds
We’ve immensely enjoyed the entertainment onboard Norwegian Cruise Line, Blue Man Group, Jersey Boys, Cirque de Dinner, even a night in The Cavern Club with a Beatles tribute not to be missed!
But as with the dining options there’s only so much you can squeeze in to 7 nights onboard. So next on our list is Howl at the Moon a 2 man, 2 piano show at Headliners. Pegged as the world’s greatest live request show. You sing and dance to the talented musicians playing from any decade and are up for anything!
Then one more for me and my girls than Ant is the adults only Spice H2O, the on-deck night club for the deck parties. Set spectacularly at the aft of the ship by day it has incredible views all around, a pool, hot tubs, a giant LED screen, party music and plenty of loungers. On deck party night it’s a disco hot spot. Must remember to pack my dancing shoes!
Mandara Cruise Spa – time to relax
The more we’ve cruised the more adventurous we’ve been with our time. By our 3rd cruise on Celebrity we sprung for access to the spa. And late-2019 onboard Sky Princess I indulged in a hot-stone massage. The spas onboard are world-class. You have a broad selection of treatments, from the best practitioners. And the surroundings are wonderful. Imagine the serenity room, and relaxation rooms with a sea view. What could be more calming than that?
NCL’s Mandara Cruise Spa helps you unwind your mind and soul. With over 50 selected for treatments to choose from. Everything from a classic hot stone massage to luxurious facials, even acupuncture! We honestly can’t wait to try out the Thermal Suite before a personalised treatment for unwinding.
When we get back to cruising there will never be a better time, a cruise is excellent value anyway but we’re going to see some amazing opportunities. We love unpacking once, and waking up to a new destination every day. And NCL’s Freestyle cruising, jam-packed with activities and entertainment for the whole family make it our favourite choice for the Holroyd family holiday.
There’s so much going on onboard NCL – want to give it a try? Then get in touch
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