Observations on Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Getaway

Norwegian Getaway

Continuing our look at the various cruise lines, this week I thought I would talk about Norwegian Cruise Line.

Not all that long ago, Norwegian was in a bad way. The top management had some clever ideas but somehow the line was unable to turn these concepts into reality. As a result, Norwegian developed a reputation for poor service. My observation at that time was that the line had some interesting ships but the people operating the ships were unhappy and so service and execution suffered.

Then Kevin Sheehan became CEO and everything started to turn around. Energetic and charismatic, Sheehan was able to revive employee morale and unleash the pent up talents of management and employees. Whereas no one seemed to care before, now everyone is enthusiastic.

Norwegian is at the forefront of the new model of cruising. Long known for its Freestyle diing concept, the new Norwegian ships – – Epic, Breakaway and Getaway – – not only give passengers good quality options with regard to dining but also with regard to entertainment. Thus, guests have a great amount of freedom to decide how they will spend their time onboard.

There is also a wide variety of accommodations on the Norwegian ships – – again, especially on the newer ships. Cabins range from budget-concious interior cabins to the luxury of the suites located in the exclusive Haven area. The newer ships also led the way in providing cabins for solo travelers at a reasonable rate.

Passengers on Norwegian tend to be middle class. Most are interested in relaxing in the sun, using the sports facilities and in the evening being entertained in the bars, casinos and other entertainment venues. Lectures and cultural activities are not a high priority.

Norwegian is a family-fiendly line with a strong youth program and a large amount of space dedicated to children. Of course, the number of children onboard decreases when school is open.

The line bases its ships on a long term basis in certain home ports. For example, Breakaway and Gem are based all year in New York while Norwegain Dawn spends each summer in Boston. As a result, the ships tend to develop a local following who return to their local ship again and again.

Most of the ships in the Norwegian fleet were built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. This shipayrd is known for its attention to detail and the high quality of the ships that it builds. The Norwegian ships are no exception.

Norwegian is the thrid largest cruise company. Recently, Norwegian purchased Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises. This move makes a lot of business sense as it will allow Norwegain to become a multi-diemnsional cruise conglomerate like its competitors Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. My only concern, however, is whether the new lines will distract Mr. Sheehan from continuing the great work he has done in turning Norwegian around.

This week Beyondships has new photo and video features of Norwegian Gem http://www.beyondships2.com/norwegian-gem-coming-and-going.html and Norwegain Dawn. http://www.beyondships2.com/norwegian-dawn-photo-feature.html

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