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Big Changes at Norwegian Cruise Line

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If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And that’s exactly what Norwegian Cruise Line did today in announcing their two-year, $400 million program which will see them investing in every aspect of the guest experience. At the heart of the plan, dubbed The Norwegian Edge, is a fleet-wide refurbishment slate which will see each of their ships undergoing various levels of change.

Citing the company’s “long history of investing in its fleet to offer guests the latest and greatest innovations,” NCL president and COO Andy Stuart added that this “investment to raise our ships to The Norwegian Edge standard of excellence takes it to new levels.”

So what exactly does the Norwegian Edge experience involve? Stuart explained that the goal is to encourage loyalty by ensuring that the ships “look and feel as if they were just delivered” while offering “all new menus and new dining experiences” and allowing guests to visit “incredible, exclusive destinations.”

When Will The Changes Begin?

The program promises to, in essence, help make some of the fleet’s older ships have the same look and feel of newer vessels such as Breakaway and Escape. The process actually began last October when Epic was given a bit of a touch up, largely in order to give the public spaces and restaurants a more modern feel.

The following month, Gem saw her Bliss lounge undergo a major transformation while some of the other spaces on board underwent less extensive but equally notable makeovers. That ship’s Haven courtyard also got a new look which provided more shaded areas for guests of the exclusive area to lounge in, as well as new furniture.

Pride of America and Norwegian Sun are set to enter drydock for refurbishments this spring, with Norwegian Dawn getting the Edge treatment over the summer, and Norwegian’s Sky, Pearl and Jade to follow soon after.

New Menus, More Options

Starting on January 31, the menus featured in Norwegian Escape’s specialty restaurants will be rolled out across the entire fleet, hitting Breakaway that day, Getaway on November 14, Epic on March 6, Pride of America on March 15, Gem on April 1, and Dawn following her dry dock in June. Look for the complimentary dining rooms to also see their menus upgraded, including an increased variety of offerings as well as several a la carte choices. While this will no doubt encourage a whole new outcry from the “nickel-and-diming us” crowd, the actual effect is to allow families who might previously have had to choose between the main dining rooms and a specialty restaurant the opportunity to stick together while still experiencing the type of meal they’d prefer.

Paradise, Found

Also part of the Norwegian Edge program are expanded plans for both Harvest Caye and Great Stirrup Cay, the line’s private destinations. While the latter underwent several enhancements in 2014, there is more in store for Great Stirrup Cay over the next two years, although details have not yet been released. As for Harvest Caye, it is set to feature both a pool and beach as well as luxury cabanas.

Are you excited about the changes? Which aspect do you find to be most intriguing?

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