First Time Cruiser

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First Time Cruiser
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You're booked. Now what's next?

So, you have already booked your cruise vacation and you're probably wondering, “What's the next step?”

As a first time cruiser, there are a few things you'll need to consider to make your first experience with Norwegian Cruise Line a memorable one. We've assembled this list of resources to help you along the way. Feel free to browse this page for tips. You can also call 1-877-397-1502 to speak with Personal Vacation Planner Mon - Fri 8am - Midnight EST & Sat. & Sun 8am - 5pm EST if you have any questions.

Want to see the site in action? Click below to watch a quick video tour.

What To Pack

When it comes to what to wear, you can go resort casual or get decked-out and look your best - it's your call. That's the freedom of Freestyle Cruising. We even have special "Norwegian's Night Out." It's the perfect opportunity to get your portrait taken with your family, that special someone or even with the ship's Captain.

Dress cruise casual anytime during the day, in the buffet and in most specialty restaurants. For women, it includes summer and casual dresses, skirts, regular or capri pants, shorts, jeans and tops. Khakis, jeans, shorts and casual shirts are fine for men. Swimwear is acceptable at the buffet and outdoor restaurant, but a shirt or a cover-up and footwear are required. Cruise casual is also allowed day and night on embarkation day.

Wear smart casual if you are eating dinner in the aft main dining room (our more formal dining room) and in Le Bistro on cruises longer than five days. For women, it includes slacks or jeans, dresses, skirts and tops. For men, it's jeans or slacks with a collared shirt and closed-toed shoes. Traditional Bermuda shorts along with long socks, loafers and a blazer are all acceptable on a Bermuda cruise.

We want you to be comfortable, but tank tops for men, flip flops, baseball caps, visors and jeans that are overly faded, with holes or tears and worn below the hips are not permitted in main dining rooms or specialty restaurants. Kids 12 and under are welcome to wear nice shorts in all our restaurants. You may want to pack a sweater too-air conditioning can be chilly.

Since your suitcases are collected the night before we return home, don’t forget an overnight bag for prescriptions and need-to-have items.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find some of our frequently asked questions. To view the full list please click here.

How do I pay for onboard expenses?

For your convenience, all shipboard expenses are charged to Norwegian's special onboard credit program. Sign up on the first day of your cruise, by establishing your method of payment with a credit card (Visa®, MasterCard®, American Express®, Discover®, Diners Club®), travelers checks or cash. If you choose to settle your account with cash, a deposit will be required in advance. Norwegian does not recommend the use of a debit card as payment for your onboard folio. However, if you choose to pay with a debit card, please be advised that Norwegian obtains pre-authorization which some banks may hold for up to 30 days.

Using your debit or ATM card

  • Norwegian does not recommend the use of a debit card as payment for your onboard folio.
  • Please be advised that multiple holds will be placed on your debit card account based on your onboard purchases.
  • After settling your onboard folio, these debit card holds may remain on your account up to 30 days after the cruise ends.
  • To avoid overdraft charges from your bank, please make sure that you have enough available funds in your account during this hold period.
  • Norwegian will not be responsible for overdraft charges resulting from holds placed on Debit Card accounts.

Cash/Traveler's Checks Procedures you can deposit cash or US Traveler's Checks into your onboard account.

A cash deposit may be placed on your account in the following amounts:

  • 7 day cruises - $300/person
  • Less than 7 days - $150/person
  • More than 7 days - $450/person

Once you have exceeded the deposited amount, your account will be closed to further charges. You can deposit as much money as often as you'd like throughout the cruise, however, refunds cannot be made until the day of disembarkation for any excess. US Traveler's Checks can be cashed onboard and are the same as cash.

**Personal checks will not be accepted, nor can they be cashed onboard.

What is the alcohol and beverage policy?

Alcohol Consumption Policy

Passengers must be 21 years of age or older to purchase or consume alcohol.

With the exception of Alaska and Hawaii itineraries, Norwegian permits young adults to purchase and personally consume wine and beer only while onboard and with the consent of an accompanying parent. Authorization will be given only when the accompanying parent completes the Young Adult Alcoholic Beverage Waiver form. This form can be obtained and completed at the Guest Services Desk upon embarkation of the vessel. However, passengers 18 years of age or older are permitted to consume beer and wine when sailing on round-trip European voyages without having to complete the Young Adult Alcoholic Beverage Waiver form.

Please note that with the exception of Wine and Champagne, all guests are prohibited from bringing alcohol on board our ships. If you purchase any alcohol at one of our ports-of-call or in our onboard shops, we will safely store your purchase(s) and either on the final night of the cruise or the morning of debarkation it will be available for pick up in a designated area.

Wine & Champagne Policy

Guests may bring bottles of wine and champagne on board. When bottles are brought on board and served or consumed in any restaurant, public room area or in their stateroom, a corkage fee will be charged according to bottle sizes noted below.

750 ml Bottle: $15.00
1,500 ml Magnum: $30.00

Wine or champagne sent directly to the ship by travel agents, friends, family, etc. or from another retail source, are subject to the same fees. Box wines are not allowed on board.

* Norwegian encourages the responsible use of alcohol and accordingly reserves the right to permanently or temporarily revoke the drinking privileges of any guest who violates Norwegian's Guest Code of Conduct or who is deemed a danger to himself, herself or others by vessel management. Continued abuse of alcohol while sailing and/or violation of Norwegian's alcohol policy may result in immediate disembarkation.

What's the service charge?

The reason there's a fixed service charge is an important one: Our Crew (as are the crew from other lines) is encouraged to work together as a team. Staff members including restaurant staff, stateroom stewards and behind-the-scenes support staff are compensated by a combination of salary and incentive programs that your service charge supports.

How much are the service charges:

 

- For bookings made prior to April 1st, 2017, regardless of the date of your cruise:

PREPAID service charges will be charged the CURRENT price of:
• $15.50 USD per person per day The Haven and Suites; $13.50 USD per person per day for Mini-Suites and below - FOR ALL SHIPS

 

(To pre-pay your service charges, Log In to My NCL or contact your travel professional)

 

- For bookings made on or after April 1, 2017:

All PREPAID service charges will be charged the NEW price of:
• $16.99 USD per person per day The Haven and Suites; $13.99 USD per person per day for Mini-Suites and below.
Norwegian Sky - $21.99 USD per person per day for Suites; $18.99 USD per person per day for Mini-Suites and below.

 

- For sailings on or after April 1, 2017:

All service charges PAID ONBOARD, regardless of booking date will be charged the NEW price of:
• $16.99 USD per person per day The Haven and Suites; $13.99 USD per person per day for Mini-Suites and below.
Norwegian Sky - $21.99 USD per person per day for Suites; $18.99 USD per person per day for Mini-Suites and below.

 

Guests sailing to Hawaii will be charged an additional 4.275% Pre Paid Service Charge GET Tax

 

Are service charges across the board for all guests?

All guests 3 years or older.

How do I prepay my service charges?

Contact your travel professional and request that it be added to your cruise reservation. If you have not made final payment this will be included in your final payment amount or if final payment has already been made we will require full payment at the time it is added.

At what point in the booking process can the prepaid charges be added?

They can be added at anytime up to 24 hours prior to sailing.

Why would I prepay my service charges?

The convenience of pre-paying the service charges allows you to plan your budget prior to your cruise giving you additional freedom while on board.

If I cancel my cruise are the service charges refundable?

Yes! The service charges are 100% refundable.

If there is a service issue can the service charges be adjusted on board?

Guest satisfaction is the highest priority at Norwegian Cruise Line. We have structured a guest satisfaction program designed to handle any concerns about service or on-board product quickly and efficiently. However, in the event a service issue should arise during your cruise please let our on-board guest services desk staff know right away, so that we can address these in a timely manner. It is our goal to reach a satisfactory solution to any issue when it happens and make sure our guests can focus on enjoying their cruise. Should your concerns not be met with satisfaction you can adjust the charges.

What does my cruise fare include?

For a full list of what's included please click here.

Do you still have questions?

For answers to other commonly asked questions, see our FAQ section, or call 1-877-397-1502 to speak with Personal Vacation Planner Mon - Fri 8am - Midnight EST & Sat. & Sun 8am - 5pm EST.

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