Norwegian Plans NEXT $250-million Upgrade

| Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Norwegian NEXT program will upgrade older ships with elements from newer ships in 2015

Norwegian Cruise Line just announced a brand new initiative to bring the best elements of its newer ships, like Epic, Breakaway and Getaway, to the rest of its fleet. The new $250-million revitalization program has already been dubbed “Norwegian NEXT.” The goal is to bring “new enhancements, experiences and transformations” across the fleet. 

The “Norwegian NEXT” program will revitalize a number of vessels, including Norwegian Jewel, which just re-entered service following dry dock, along with Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Spirit, which were also recently refurbished.  The upgrades will feature new dining experiences, new entertainment and guest activities, technology innovations, new tropical destinations and the line’s continued commitment to the environment.

Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer, said, “The youngest fleet at sea continues to get even better with our robust enhancement program taking place over the next two years. We want to continue to provide fresh and relevant experiences to our guests every time they sail with us. We are investing significantly in making sure that our guests have the vacation of a lifetime.”

Norwegian Cruise Line takes credit for having “reinvented the dining experience at sea with the line’s Freestyle Dining concept.” Now, the line says it is taking dining “to the NEXT level.”

The program will introduce new menus in the main dining rooms and the Garden Cafes (leisure dining spots on Norwegian’s ships) that will offer more variety and choice, including a number of new dishes crafted by expert chefs using the finest ingredients. New food and beverage venues will also be introduced across the fleet. 

Norwegian Jewel is First

Norwegian Jewel will be the first ship retrofitted. Norwegian will bring on board the popular, complimentary dining venue, O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill. Also coming is the newer Sugarcane Mojito Bar, first introduced on Norwegian Getaway. There will be a new location for the Moderno Churrascaria restaurant, and soon treats from the popular Carlo’s Bake Shop by Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s Cake Boss and Next Great Baker, will be featured.

A New Beverage Program

Norwegian will also upgrade its beverage program.  The cruise line recently formed a partnership with the Mondavi Family of winemakers, and a new wine menu has already been introduced across the fleet, with even more new wine concepts planned for Norwegian’s upcoming new ships. There will also be an enhanced fleet-wide training program of bartenders, wine stewards and restaurant managers, to provide an even more knowledgeable staff for the wining and dining experience onboard.

New Entertainment Initiatives

A wide range of new guest activities will be introduced across the fleet. The line’s exciting new H2GLOW Party, first introduced on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, will soon be offered throughout the fleet.  The line is also producing a series of new shows at its recently opened 45,000 square foot rehearsal facility, Norwegian Creative Studios, in Tampa, Florida. Exciting new attractions include soaring acrobats in “Elements,” and a 15-foot revolving showgirl staircase in “Paradis.” Guests will also be rocking out with the full rock band in “Rock of Ages.”

For the focus on family, Norwegian’s five ships that already feature exclusive Nickelodeon entertainment will soon offer more ways to interact with Nickelodeon favorites like SpongeBob SquarePants.           

New Pre-cruise Planning

Enhanced pre-cruise planning options online will allow guests to design their vacation in advance. Once on board, newly upgraded wireless internet access from bow to stern along with interactive digital displays will be added fleet wide. The interactive touch screens will allow guests to order items, get directions and reserve dining and shore excursions with a scan of their room key. Guests can also take advantage of Norwegian’s groundbreaking iConcierge mobile application to manage their cruise experience and stay in touch with fellow cruisers and family at home.

Private Island Enhancements and a NEW shore experience

In addition Great Stirrup Cay, the line’s private island in the Bahamas, the line is developing a new eco-friendly cruise destination, Harvest Caye, in southern Belize. The 75-acre experience is planned to open in fall 2015 and will offer guests the option to take shore excursions on the mainland or enjoy the authentic shopping village, water sports or relaxing beach area on the island.  Both beach habitats will see the opening of the Bacardi Bar. 

To learn more about Norwegian NEXT, visit www.ncl.com/next.

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