This has been a very full week for Norwegian Cruise Line as they have not only announced that the Norwegian Breakaway's homeport will be New York City, but have also introduced a new television ad campaign for the first time since 2008. The commercial encourages travelers to "cruise like a Norwegian" (whatever that means) in addition to highlighting other cruise related activities with similar tags such as "eat like a Parisian", "love like a Venetian" and "party like a Brazilian". It seems that, with this new ad campaign, Norwegian is moving away from the NCL moniker and stressing their Norwegian roots. I guess the question remains, "how DO Norwegians actually cruise?", because as far as I can tell, Americans cruise for vacation or holiday more than any other nationality on earth. Other perplexing parts of the campaign include a quiz that you can take to test "how Norwegian are you?" (Guess my friends up in North Dakota will ace that one...) Common sense aside, the commercial is pretty and is better than it could have been.
Back to the more important news, in my opinion: the homeporting of Norwegian's newest ship in New York City. Norwegian has always had more ships in New York than many other cruise lines, but this most recent announcement cements the importance of that brand to New York's cruise industry. The Breakaway will be the largest ship to be stationed there, and the Norwegian Gem will still be operating cruises out of New York with the smaller Star to be moved down to New Orleans upon the Breakaway's arrival. Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheen for the announcement last Thursday and expressed his enthusiasm for the new ship. City official estimate that the Breakaway will bring in an additional $35 million over a two year period.
Our opinions on the news? We love New York City and are always thrilled to see a large ship sail out of somewhere other than the Miami area because we feel diverse travel opportunities are lacking in the cruise industry. I, for one, look forward to a couple of days of Broadway and New York dining followed by an amazing cruise on a brand new ship.
Celebrity Offers to Let You Extend Your Cruise
Anyone who has ever been on a cruise knows the hustle and bustle of the morning of disembarkation and how rushed you feel to get off the ship. As I am usually rushing to catch a flight, this doesn't really bother me, but for someone who has a later flight or nowhere in particular to go, it can be quite annoying. Celebrity cruise lines is offering a solution: for $59 passengers in Europe can remain on the ship until 90 minutes prior to the next sailing. Passengers must vacate staterooms by 9:00 am, which is an hour later than normal, but may hang out in public areas for several more hours, even through lunch. I see this as a huge benefit for those who have later flights because when traveling in Europe, it is often difficult to decide what to do with your luggage(and your time) in the time between the cruise and the flight. With this option, you could just relax on the ship for a few more hours and not have that added stress. Is $59 the right price? I am not sure. Clearly, it needs to be enough that not everyone will take advantage of the offer, but the equivalent of an extra cruise day would be ridiculous. So, yes. I think $59 is about right. Will I ever take advantage of this? Perhaps; I have trouble imagining a circumstance where I would rather hang out on a ship than tour Europe. Regardless, I think it is a novel idea and a good option.
That's all for today, folks. Tune into our cruise podcast for more cruise news and information, and feel free to comment with your opinions.