The 8 lessons of Norwegian Cruise Line ships, defined

Some cruise strains — Viking, for example — have fleets the place most of the ships have the identical fundamental design. Norwegian Cruise Line just isn’t considered one of them.

In case you’re pondering of reserving a Norwegian cruise, an necessary factor to know is that there’s a huge variation within the measurement and magnificence of the vessels within the line’s fleet.

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5 of Norwegian’s 18 ships — Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Pleasure, Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Epic — are among the many 30 largest ships on the planet. As such, they’re loaded with big numbers of cabins, eating places, bars, showrooms and deck-top amusements.

They’re, in a nutshell, floating megaresorts.

The road additionally operates lots of smaller vessels that hardly crack the highest 100 checklist of largest cruise ships. Generally, these ships have fewer venues and points of interest than the larger ships. Nonetheless, they nonetheless provide loads for cruisers. Norwegian is a line identified for packing oodles of eating places, bars and leisure on its vessels — even its smaller ones.

The excellent news for these of you making an attempt to get a deal with on all of the choices inside the Norwegian fleet is that the road’s 18 ships might be bunched into simply eight teams of vessels with related facilities. If you realize one member of the group, you realize all of them.

Every of those teams — often called “lessons” in cruise trade lingo — is made up of ships that had been constructed across the similar time in the identical fundamental design.

Associated: Every thing to find out about cabins and suites on Norwegian ships

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An introduction to Norwegian Cruise Line ships

Smaller solely than Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line and MSC Cruises, Norwegian has change into more and more identified for a number of the largest, most amenity-filled vessels at sea. As talked about above, although, the road doesn’t simply function big ships. Greater than half its fleet includes vessels that, by immediately’s requirements, are thought-about virtually midsize.

Certainly, Norwegian is basically two cruise strains in a single. The road’s eight latest ships are large, bustling floating megaresorts that may carry upwards of three,000 to 4,000 passengers at double occupancy (much more with each berth crammed). At round 143,000 to almost 170,000 tons, all eight at present rank among the many 50 largest cruise ships on the planet (though their rankings will shift downward as extra large ships debut).

Nonetheless, Norwegian’s 10 older ships are far more modest in measurement, measuring round 75,000 to 94,000 tons and carrying nearer to 2,000 passengers at double occupancy.

Norwegian appeals each to cruisers who like an enormous resort vibe and people who choose one thing extra modest. The important thing, relying in your tastes, is getting on the best ship within the fleet.

On the big-ship finish of the spectrum, Norwegian’s 4 new Breakaway Plus vessels — Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Pleasure and Norwegian Escape — are the road’s premier choices.

One step down in measurement from the Breakaway Plus ships are the still-quite-large Breakaway Class ships — Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway — and the one-of-a-kind Norwegian Epic.

The smallest of the road’s large ships is the simply unveiled Norwegian Prima, the primary of a brand new collection of six vessels that can roll out over the subsequent 5 years and considerably remodel the model. Measuring 142,500 tons a chunk, all of them shall be about 17% smaller than Norwegian’s largest vessels.

Norwegian’s 10 smaller vessels break down into 5 lessons, although many are roughly the identical measurement and provide related facilities.

Prima Class

Ships at school: Norwegian Prima (2022), Norwegian Viva (2023).

Dimension: 143,535 tons.


The Prima class is the most recent and biggest at Norwegian — with the ships that each Norwegian fan needs to e-book.

For now, there is only one vessel within the collection in operation (Norwegian Prima), as of August 2022. Nonetheless, Norwegian is already taking bookings for the second ship within the collection (Norwegian Viva), which can debut in 2023. 4 extra sister vessels are on order for supply by 2027.

Underneath improvement since 2017, that is Norwegian’s first new class of ship in additional than a decade and, at 143,535 tons, the vessels within the collection are notably smaller than the ships the road has been including in recent times — an element that can give them entry to smaller ports around the globe.

Nonetheless, Norwegian Prima and its coming sisters are comparatively large ships that pack lots of over-the-top facilities. Norwegian Prima, notably, has a ridiculously large go-kart monitor that spreads over three decks (a cruise trade first). The ship additionally boasts The Drop, a 10-story dry slide that the road says gives extra G-force than an accelerating F1 race automotive.

Moreover, the vessel is residence to a three-deck theater that converts right into a Las Vegas-style nightclub, together with an inventory of interactive, real-life sport exhibits, together with at-sea variations of “The Worth Is Proper,” “Grocery store Sweep,” “Press Your Luck” and “Beat the Clock.”

Associated: I have been on almost each Norwegian ship afloat; listed here are my first impressions of Norwegian Prima

That stated, Norwegian Prima is about greater than flashy leisure and actions. It marks a extra upscale flip for the road. Norwegian says Norwegian Prima gives the biggest number of suite classes (13) for a big ocean ship, the biggest three-bedroom suites of any new cruise vessels, in addition to the model’s largest-ever inside, ocean-view and balcony cabins.

The whole again of the ship is devoted to an upscale, “ship-within-a-ship” non-public suite space referred to as The Haven that rises eight decks excessive and consists of 107 suites, a sprawling non-public indoor lounge space, non-public out of doors lounge and pool areas, and a non-public restaurant. Different vessels function The Haven areas, however none as large as this one.

The Metropolitan Bar on Norwegian Prima. GENE SLOAN/THE POINTS GUY

As well as, the general public areas of Norwegian Prima really feel extra spacious than most of the different 17 ships within the Norwegian fleet. And, certainly, they’re. Norwegian Prima was constructed with a better ratio of area to passengers, which itself is an upscale contact.

Norwegian additionally says Norwegian Prima gives probably the most out of doors deck area of any new cruise ship — together with extra complete pool deck area than every other ship within the model’s fleet.

Associated: 11 venues, 32 dishes, 4 days: See what occurred after I tried to check each dish at Prima’s new Indulge Meals Corridor

Breakaway Plus Class

Ships at school: Norwegian Encore (2019), Norwegian Bliss (2018), Norwegian Pleasure (2017), Norwegian Escape (2015).

Dimension: 164,600 to 169,145 tons.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest vessels are its 4 new Breakaway Plus Class ships, the most recent of which is the 4,004-passenger Norwegian Encore. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

These are the Norwegian ships you go on when you’re a fan of megaresorts.

Whereas not fairly as large as Royal Caribbean’s big Oasis Class ships, Norwegian’s Breakaway Plus Class vessels are firmly within the pantheon of the world’s cruising giants. They’re the Norwegian ships most full of eating places, bars, leisure and over-the-top points of interest. There are such a lot of of these items that you just received’t have the ability to do all of it in a single, weeklong cruise.

The Breakaway Plus ships are so large, in actual fact, that they’ve room for large go-kart tracks and laser tag areas on their prime decks (on all the vessels within the collection besides Norwegian Escape). There’s additionally loads of room to spare for a number of swimming pools, waterslides and a kiddie splash zone.

Every of the vessels additionally gives actual Broadway exhibits in large, state-of-the-art theaters; sprawling spas; casinos that fill half a deck; devoted youngsters’s play zones; and greater than 2,000 rooms.

As well as, the 2 latest ships on this collection, Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Pleasure have massive gaming and digital actuality zones referred to as the Galaxy Pavilion.

The highest deck of Norwegian Encore features a sprawling go-kart monitor and an outside laser tag space. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

For meals, you’ll discover a minimum of 20 venues on every of those ships, together with a number of foremost eating rooms and a buffet that include no further cost and such extra-charge eateries as a teppanyaki restaurant, a steak home, a high-end French restaurant and a Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Sea.

With numerous family-friendly points of interest such because the go-kart tracks and laser tag programs, these ships attraction closely to households with youngsters, notably teenagers, however they draw lots of {couples}, too. They’re additionally standard with solo vacationers, because of their unusually massive complexes of cabins for one (one thing you’ll discover on the Breakaway and Epic lessons of ships, too).

Associated: The final word information to Norwegian’s Latitudes Rewards loyalty program

All 4 of the Breakaway Plus ships have massive, non-public, two-deck-high suite enclaves referred to as The Haven that include their very own pool areas, eating places and lounges. They’re a number of the most spectacular suite complexes wherever at sea.

The largest of those ships, Norwegian Encore, measures 169,116 tons, making it the 18th largest cruise ship on the planet as of this story’s publishing (it should drop within the rankings over the approaching years as further megaships debut). That’s greater than all however one Carnival ship and each Princess Cruises ship. Solely Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises have a major variety of greater vessels.

Norwegian Encore can maintain greater than 5,000 passengers with all berths crammed.

Breakaway Class

Ships at school: Norwegian Getaway (2014), Norwegian Breakaway (2013).

Dimension: 145,655 tons.

The road’s two Breakaway Class ships embrace Norwegian Breakaway. DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES FOR NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

These vessels are just like the Breakaway Plus Class ships however barely smaller. Or, put one other method, the Breakaway Plus Class ships are a stretched model of the Breakaway Class ships.

You’ll discover most of the similar eateries, bars, lounges and leisure venues on the Breakaway Class ships that you just’ll discover on the Breakaway Plus Class vessels. The marginally smaller measurement of those vessels means there’s only a tad much less “stuff” on board.

The highest decks of the Breakaway Class ships have two pool areas and water parks with waterslides, for example — similar to the Breakaway Plus Class ships. Nonetheless, they don’t have go-kart tracks or laser tag programs. As an alternative of the latter points of interest, you’ll discover an adults-only pool space referred to as Spice H2O behind the vessels. At night time, it transforms right into a dance membership.

The Breakaway Class ships additionally boast full-size ropes programs on their prime decks. Certainly, they had been the primary cruise ships ever to have such a function. Different deck-top options embrace miniature golf programs on each vessels and basketball courts that double as volleyball courts.

Waterslides on Norwegian Breakaway. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

On the leisure entrance, each ships provide Broadway exhibits of their foremost theaters and have a circus-like present in a secondary theater referred to as Cirque Desires. The latter is a dinner present that comes with an additional cost. They’re additionally residence to Howl on the Moon dueling piano exhibits and a model of the Latin-themed dance present Burn the Ground.

Just like the Breakaway Plus vessels, the Breakaway ships have massive complexes for solo vacationers, in addition to massive, non-public The Haven suite complexes.

Generally, as with the Breakaway Plus ships, these vessels are finest for vacationers who like a megaresort-type expertise, and so they attraction closely to households with youngsters who love all their deck-top points of interest. Every of the 2 ships on this collection — Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway — holds about 4,000 passengers at double occupancy.

Associated: The 5 finest locations you may go to on a Norwegian ship

Epic Class

Ships at school: Norwegian Epic (2010).

Dimension: 155,873 tons.

Norwegian Epic crusing into Port Miami. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Norwegian Epic is an outlier within the Norwegian fleet. Unveiled in 2010, it was initially purported to be the primary of a collection of as much as three related vessels. Nonetheless, after disagreements with the shipyard that constructed it, Norwegian ultimately canceled an order for a second ship within the collection and an choice for a 3rd ship within the collection, leaving Norwegian Epic in a category of 1.

Whereas roughly comparable in measurement to the Breakaway Plus and Breakaway class ships (it’s a bit smaller than the previous vessels and a bit greater than the latter vessels), Norwegian Epic has a notably totally different design that features some distinctive options.

Maybe most notably, balcony cabins on the ship have an uncommon design that features curved partitions, rounded mattress corners, and a sink and self-importance space that’s in the primary dwelling area (for all to see), separate from a closed-off rest room space. The bathroom space is behind a translucent door that some cruisers discover much less non-public than that they had hoped.

Norwegian Epic can be residence to the one tube-and-bowl waterslide at sea and has such rare-for-cruise-ships points of interest as a rappelling wall and a three-lane bowling alley. It additionally options an ice bar the place prospects put on parkas whereas sipping drinks.

The Epic Plunge on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic is a tube-and-bowl-type waterslide. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Nonetheless, Norwegian Epic additionally gives loads that shall be acquainted to Norwegian followers, together with most of the line’s signature eating places, bars and leisure.

Standout options on Norwegian Epic embrace a water park with a number of the most over-the-top waterslides at sea (together with the aforementioned tube-and-bowl slide). It additionally gives a model of the Broadway present “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” in its foremost theater and a circus-like dinner present referred to as Cirque Desires in a secondary theater.

As well as, Norwegian Epic has the road’s largest solo cabin advanced (with 128 rooms for one) and an enormous The Haven non-public suite advanced.

At 155,873 tons, Norwegian Epic at present ranks because the twenty ninth largest cruise vessel on the planet. Notably, it was the world’s third-largest ship when it debuted in 2010. That tells you simply how a lot the cruise trade has grown in recent times.

It carries 4,100 passengers at double occupancy.

Jewel Class

Ships at school: Norwegian Gem (2007), Norwegian Jade (2006), Norwegian Pearl (2006), Norwegian Jewel (2005).

Dimension: About 93,500 tons.

4 Jewel Class vessels at Norwegian Cruise Line embrace the Norwegian Pearl. HORACIO VILLALOBOS CORBIS/CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES

Are you not sure if you wish to sail on a megaship with 4,000 or extra individuals however nonetheless desire a vessel with an excellent quantity of options and actions? The Jewel Class ships often is the good resolution.

At 93,500 tons, the 4 vessels within the collection are almost 50% smaller than the road’s Breakaway Plus Class ships however nonetheless large enough that they’ve loads to supply.

Every of the vessels has greater than a dozen meals venues, together with three foremost eating places, an informal buffet, a steak home, a French restaurant and a teppanyaki eatery.

You’ll additionally discover a number of swimming pools on every of the ships, together with whirlpools, basketball courts and golf driving nets. Every of the ships additionally has a theater, spa, on line casino, and a number of bars and lounges.

What you received’t discover on the ships, due to their smaller measurement, are all of the gee-whiz points of interest akin to go-kart tracks, laser tag programs and enormous water-park areas that Norwegian has placed on its greater vessels. In case you can’t reside with out these kinds of options on a cruise ship, then the Jewel Class most likely isn’t for you.

Word that Norwegian Gem does have a climbing wall and a single waterslide. Norwegian Pearl has a climbing wall however no waterslide. Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Jade have neither of the points of interest.

Every of the Jewel Class ships holds round 2,400 passengers at double occupancy (plus a couple of hundred extra with each berth crammed). That’s about 40% fewer passengers than you’ll discover on the most important Norwegian ships.

That makes them good for cruisers who need to get away from the kind of crowds which are on the most important megaships with out giving up most of the facilities that large ships have to supply.

Pleasure of America Class

Ships at school: Pleasure of America (2005).

Dimension: 80,439 tons.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pleasure of America sails year-round in Hawaii. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Like Norwegian Epic, Pleasure of America is an outlier within the Norwegian fleet. In actual fact, it’s maybe a fair greater outlier than the previous vessel.

Sporting a patriotic U.S. theme (you’ll discover venues named after Thomas Jefferson and John Adams), and a definite array of lounges and leisure, it’s a ship particularly designed to sail year-round in Hawaii — the one considered one of its variety at any line.

Pleasure of America notably flies a U.S. flag and operates with a principally U.S. crew, in line with laws governing cruise itineraries that solely embrace U.S. ports. That’s a giant distinction from every other large cruise vessel on the planet.

It’s additionally the one Norwegian vessel with no on line casino, in line with native Hawaii laws.

In case you sail on Pleasure of America, you’ll discover such one-of-a-kind eateries because the basic American car-themed Cadillac Diner. You’ll additionally discover a few of Norwegian’s signature choices, together with a Cagney’s steak home and Italian eatery La Cucina. The ship’s different onboard points of interest embrace a showroom, lounges, bars and a prime deck with in depth open-air pool and solar lounging areas.

Due to its possession of Pleasure of America, Norwegian is the undisputed chief in Hawaii cruises. Most cruise strains that provide sailings to Hawaii solely provide a restricted variety of such journeys throughout a couple of months every year. Norwegian, in contrast, gives sailings across the Hawaiian Islands each week of the 12 months — the one cruise line on the planet to take action.

An iconic presence in Hawaii, Pleasure of America has been completely devoted to the archipelago since its debut in 2005. It gives a repeating seven-night itinerary that begins every Saturday in Honolulu and brings the possibility to go to 4 totally different Hawaiian islands on a single, seven-night journey.

Starting and ending on the island of Oahu, the itinerary consists of two days every on Maui, Kauai and Hawaii. The 2-day go to to Maui entails an in a single day keep on the port of Kahului. The 2-day go to to Kauai entails an in a single day keep on the port of Nawiliwili. The 2-day go to to Hawaii is cut up between a name at Hilo and a name at Kona.

Daybreak Class

Ships at school: Norwegian Daybreak (2002), Norwegian Star (2001).

Dimension: 92,250 and 91,740 tons.

The two,340-passenger Norwegian Daybreak. SHUTTERSTOCK

The Daybreak Class ships are just like the Jewel Class ships in measurement and facilities, with a couple of variations.

Like the previous vessels, the Daybreak Class ships have round a dozen food-serving venues, together with three foremost eating places, an informal buffet, a Brazilian churrascaria (barbecue) restaurant, a French restaurant and a teppanyaki eatery.

You’ll additionally discover a number of swimming pools on every of the ships, whirlpools, basketball courts and golf driving nets. Every of the ships additionally has a theater, spa, on line casino, and a number of bars and lounges.

Just like the Jewel Class ships, the Daybreak Class vessels lack the kind of large points of interest akin to go-kart tracks and enormous water parks discovered on greater Norwegian vessels. As well as, there aren’t any Broadway musicals on Daybreak Class ships, and so they don’t have a non-public The Haven suite space (although they do have a number of big suites referred to as Backyard Villas that measure greater than 6,000 sq. toes).

In case you can’t reside with out these kinds of options on a cruise ship, then the Daybreak Class most likely isn’t for you.

Solar Class

Ships at school: Norwegian Solar (2001), Norwegian Sky (1999).

Dimension: 78,309 and 77,104 tons.

Some older Norwegian Cruise Line ships, such because the 77,104-ton Norwegian Sky, are lower than half the scale of the road’s newer vessels. NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Courting to 2001 and 1999, respectively, Norwegian Solar and Norwegian Sky are among the many smallest ships at Norwegian. They provide fewer onboard points of interest and facilities than is typical for the road’s vessels.

Generally, they attraction to cruisers on the lookout for a extra intimate expertise on a cruise ship than what you’ll discover on the large Norwegian ships. In addition they draw cruisers who care extra concerning the locations that they go to on a cruise than onboard points of interest.

On every of the vessels, you’ll discover greater than half a dozen eateries, together with a number of foremost eating rooms, an informal buffet, a diner-style pub, a steak home, an Italian trattoria and a French bistro.

On their prime decks, the ships have swimming pools (one on Solar, two on Sky), whirlpools, a basketball courtroom that doubles as a volleyball courtroom, golf driving nets and a jogging monitor. The ships even have casinos and theaters with nightly exhibits.

In contrast to most greater Norwegian ships, neither of the vessels has a non-public The Haven suite advanced or solo cabins.

Leo Class

Ships at school: Norwegian Spirit (1998).

Dimension: 75,904 tons.

Courting to 1998, Norwegian Spirit is Norwegian’s smallest and oldest ship, and — like the road’s Solar Class ships — it typically appeals to cruisers on the lookout for a extra intimate expertise than you’ll discover on the large Norwegian ships.

At 75,904 tons, Norwegian Spirit is lower than half the scale of Norwegian’s largest ships, and it carries simply 1,966 passengers — greater than 2,000 fewer than the Norwegian biggies.

It additionally gives fewer (however nonetheless fairly a couple of) venues and points of interest. In all, you’ll discover 13 meals retailers on board, together with two foremost eating places, an informal buffet eatery, and variations of the road’s signature Cagney’s steak home and French eatery Le Bistro. There are greater than half a dozen bars and cafes.

Deck-top points of interest embrace a number of swimming pools, whirlpools, waterslides, a basketball courtroom and a jogging monitor. The ship additionally has a on line casino, spa, nightclub and theater.

Of be aware, Norwegian Spirit initially was constructed for Asia-based Star Cruises (the place it was referred to as SuperStar Leo).

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