Review: Norwegian Cruise Line’s Vibe Beach Club

This is a review of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Vibe Beach Club.

Whether you’re traveling with or without kids, there inevitably comes a time when you want a little adults-only time. It was that idea that drove Norwegian Cruise Line to introduce the Vibe Beach Club, a for-fee area aboard the Breakaway, Getaway, and Escape which provides a limited number of guests who are over the age of 18 an exclusive space in which to bask in the sun away from the more crowded public areas. The line has a similar area aboard Epic, although it is known on that ship as the Posh Beach Club. What is the area and is it worth the extra price? That’s what we’re here to help you decide!

How much does a Vibe Beach Club pass cost?

Located high atop the ship and behind doors only accessible to those who’ve obtained special keycards, the Vibe and Posh Beach Clubs feature everything one could need to enjoy a day in the sun (making them particularly popular on sea days). While day passes are sometimes available for purchase, most guests typically purchase the week-long pass, which runs around $99 per person. There are also private cabanas (which we’ll discuss later) available at prices which seem to vary by ship and, occasionally, even sailing, but run around $239 and includes Vibe Beach Club access for two guests.

Upon purchasing your Vibe pass, you’ll be given both a wristband which must be worn whenever accessing the area (although, truth be told, by day two or three, the staff generally knows who belongs and who doesn’t) as well as a separate key card which must be used at the entrance. You’re also given an envelope explaining the hours and exactly where to find the space, which while a tad silly can sort of make it feel even more “special.”

Important Things To Know

  • Passes are sold per person, not per cabin. If you want two, you must purchase two.
  • Vibe access is non-transferrable. Only the person who purchases the pass may use it.
  • The cost of beverages ordered at the Vibe Beach Club bar is not included, but your Ultimate Beverage Package is, of course, accepted.
  • No need to bring beach towels, as there are plenty available.

What’s beyond the door?

Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice upon walking into the area is what’s missing: Namely, the crowds. You’ll also notice what there’s plenty of: lounge chairs, with nary a chair hog in sight. And unlike the lounge chairs found elsewhere on the ships, those in the Beach Club areas feature thick, comfy padding and come in a variety of styles. You’ll find loungers for yourself, daybeds that can be shared, and a variety of other seating options, including chairs arranged around a table which are perfect for game play.

There’s a private bar catering to the needs of Beach Club guests, as well as waiters who’ll bring cocktails directly to your lounger. They’ll also periodically come around with fresh fruit skewers and even bottles of cold water with which to spritz sun worshippers so that they don’t become overheated. Some people say you haven’t lived until you’ve been spritzed by an attendant, others find it weirdly awkward to have another human being misting them like a hothouse flower.

While the Posh Beach Club aboard Epic does not offer any sort of water features, the Vibe Beach Club sections on the three other ships have hot tubs which are, as one might expect, a heck of a lot less crowded than those found around the public pool.

On both Breakaway and Getaway, private cabanas are available for rent within Vibe Beach Club, each designed to hold two passengers. While the cabanas do offer privacy, they aren’t designed in such a way as to offer an escape from the sun should it be shining directly on you, whereas those on the regular loungers can either open a nearby umbrella or move to a more shaded location when the sun gets to be too much.

It’s worth noting that the atmosphere within the Vibe Beach Club is much, much different than what you’ll find around the main pool. While great tunes are piped into Vibe, the volume is much lower than the often raucous beats blaring around the other one.

Vibe Is Not Your Only Option

Perhaps the most important thing to know is that the Beach Clubs are not the only areas aboard the ships designated as 18-and-over sections. Spice H20 is also an adults-only venue featuring similar amenities, and it is available free of charge to all guests. There are many guests who actually prefer the Spice H20 area for various reasons. For example, on Escape, the Spice H20 area features a gorgeous rock grotto waterfall area that many passengers adore. Breakaway’s version of Spice H20 features a similar grotto, minus the faux rock walls which elevate her sister ship’s water feature to another level. On both ships, the Spice H20 area (where many of the nighttime parties are held) is located on the back of the ship, so it offers stunning views… at least from the sides. Unfortunately, the back of H20 is taken up by a massive screen which definitely takes away from the panorama!

Why People Love Vibe Beach Club

So what makes access to the Beach Club such a hot ticket? Exclusivity.

Ask folks familiar with Vibe, and they’ll tell you that the only way to gain access is by making sure that you’re among the first to board and, just as importantly, that the first thing you do upon stepping foot on the ship is head directly to guest services (or, in the case of Escape, the Headliners comedy club) to purchase a pass. This is because on each sailing, a very limited number of passes – which varies by ship – are sold. As a result, the Beach Club areas are perhaps the least crowded place on even a sold-out voyage. Even on a beautiful sea day, you’ll have no problem finding a spot at the bar, plenty of loungers, or room in the hot tub.

It’s important to note one very, very big difference between Vibe and Posh. Passes to the adults-only area on the Epic, unlike those on ships featuring Vibe, is given free to guests who are staying in The Haven, Norwegian’s high-end ship-within-a-ship area. Therefore, fewer passes to Posh are often available for sale.

Final Thoughts

Although loved by many, Vibe Beach Club is definitely not for everyone. Those who love all the big, splashy events which take place around the main pools will probably find Vibe’s mellow ambiance a little too low-key for their liking. But over the course of a week, a sense of community often develops within Vibe, as you tend to see the same people each day. It’s not uncommon that members will wind up making plans to see shows or do dinner together. At the end of the day, those who are looking for a private retreat – and are willing to pay for it – will find the Vibe (and Posh) Beach Club a perfect place to hang out.

See Vibe Beach Club video review: 


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