NCL cruise tips & tricks video by Cruise Blog

Are you ready to embark on a Norwegian Cruise Line adventure? If so, we’ve got you covered with our NCL cruise tips and tricks video by Cruise Blog. In this video, we will share 35 valuable tips that will help you maximize your cruise experience from start to finish. From downloading the Norwegian Cruise Line App for deck plans and entertainment info to researching ports of call and making reservations ahead of time, we’ve got all the insider advice you need. We’ll also cover topics such as dining options, packing essentials, onboard activities, and even tips for traveling with kids. So join us as we dive into the world of Norwegian cruises and ensure you have a memorable vacation with little stress.

NCL Cruise Tips & Tricks Video by Cruise Blog

Are you planning to embark on a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) sailing soon? Look no further because we have compiled a list of our top 35 tips to help you maximize your cruise experience and make lasting memories with little stress. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, these tips will ensure that you have a fantastic time on board. So let’s dive right in!

NCL cruise tips  tricks video by Cruise Blog

Downloading Norwegian Cruise Line App

Our first tip is to download the Norwegian Cruise Line App a few weeks ahead of your cruise sailing. This app is a treasure trove of helpful information for your voyage. With the app, you can access deck plans, lists of restaurants on board, entertainment schedules, and much more. Once you’re on board, you’ll also be able to access a digital version of the Freestyle Daily, the onboard ship itinerary, and schedule. So, make sure to download the app and get acquainted with all the features it offers before setting sail.

Online Check-in Process

Once you’ve booked your cruise with Norwegian, we highly recommend going through the online check-in process. This can be done about 21 days before your cruise embarks through the Norwegian Cruise Line App. Online check-in ensures that the physical check-in at the cruise port will be quick and easy, saving you time and hassle. It’s a simple process that helps expedite the embarkation process, so be sure to complete it ahead of time.

Browsing Excursion List

Norwegian offers an extensive list of excursions at each port of call. All of these excursion options can be viewed in the Norwegian Cruise Line App. We recommend browsing the excursions well ahead of time to plan your vacation and reserve a spot on any popular excursions. Exploring the excursions in advance will allow you to make the most of your time in each port and ensure that you don’t miss out on any memorable experiences.

Arriving at the Port

To ensure a smooth boarding process, it’s essential to arrive at the port on time. During the online check-in process, you’ll be able to select a boarding time for your embarkation day. By arriving on time to the selected boarding time, you’ll help ensure that you can board your Norwegian ship quickly and efficiently. So make sure to plan your travel arrangements accordingly and arrive at the port within the designated time slot.

Reserving Theater Show Tickets

Some of the theater shows on board Norwegian ships require reservations. To secure your spot for these complimentary theater shows, head to the box office located right outside or near the main theater on board. The helpful crew members at the box office will assist you in reserving the showtimes of your choice. Making these reservations ahead of time will ensure that you don’t miss out on any spectacular performances during your cruise.

Researching Ports of Call

Before your cruise, it’s a good idea to research the ports of call you’ll be visiting. Norwegian offers excursions at nearly every port, but exploring on your own can also be a great option. Researching the ports of call ahead of time will give you an idea of what each destination has to offer. You can plan your day accordingly and decide whether you’d like to participate in a guided excursion or explore the port on your own.

Creating a Must-See List

Norwegian ships have so much to offer in terms of activities, dining options, and entertainment. With so many choices, it’s helpful to create a must-see list before your cruise. Take the time to browse the Norwegian Cruise Line website and familiarize yourself with what your ship offers. Knowing what is available on board will help you prioritize experiences and ensure that you have the opportunity to enjoy all the things you’re most excited about.

Exploring Onboard During Port Visits

While many passengers disembark the ship during port visits, it’s worth noting that onboard experiences tend to be less crowded during these times. After a day of exploring the port, passengers often return to their rooms or find a comfortable lounge chair to relax in. If you’re looking for a good day to visit popular onboard spots such as the pool or theater, port days are often the best choice. Take advantage of the quieter atmosphere and enjoy the amenities on board without the hustle and bustle of peak times.

Trying Different Main Dining Rooms

Norwegian ships typically have multiple main dining rooms, each offering the same food options. We recommend trying out each main dining room to experience the different decor and atmosphere that each one offers. This allows you to switch up your dining experience throughout your cruise and adds variety to your meals. So be sure to make a reservation at each main dining room and indulge in a unique culinary experience every night.

Specialty Dining Options

In addition to the main dining rooms, Norwegian ships offer a plethora of specialty dining choices. These venues feature excellent cuisine with unique flavors, alongside beautiful and engaging atmospheres. It’s important to note that specialty dining options are not included in the normal cruise fare and require reservations. We highly recommend making your reservations ahead of time as these venues tend to have limited availability due to their popularity.

Making Reservations

To secure your dining reservations at the specialty restaurants, it’s best to plan ahead. Norwegian Cruise Line provides options to make reservations online before your cruise or through the Norwegian Cruise Line App. By making your reservations in advance, you can ensure that you’ll be able to dine at the specific venues you desire without any last-minute disappointments. So choose your favorite specialty restaurants and make your reservations to have a memorable culinary experience on board.

Additional Cost

It’s important to note that specialty dining options come with an additional cost. While the main dining rooms and buffet are included in your cruise fare, specialty dining venues require an extra fee. The cost varies depending on the restaurant and may not be covered by any dining package you may have purchased. Be sure to budget accordingly and factor in these additional costs when planning your cruise expenses.

Budgeting for Extra Experiences

In addition to specialty dining, Norwegian offers various extra experiences on board, such as access to the thermal spa and adults-only areas. If you’re interested in these additional experiences, we recommend deciding which ones you’d like to participate in ahead of time and factoring them into your cruise budget. Setting aside some additional funds for onboard expenses is always a good idea to ensure that you can fully enjoy everything the ship has to offer during your cruise.

Great Stirrup K – Norwegian’s Private Island

One of the highlights of many Norwegian Caribbean itineraries is a visit to Great Stirrup K, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas. If your ship is docking at this beautiful resort-like island, we recommend disembarking the ship early to make the most of your day ashore. Since Great Stirrup K is owned by the cruise line, many of the amenities on the island are complementary to Norwegian guests. Take advantage of the pristine beaches, water activities, and other complimentary offerings for a memorable day in paradise.

Complimentary Amenities

When visiting Great Stirrup K, Norwegian guests can enjoy a range of complimentary amenities. These can include beach chairs and umbrellas, access to water activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding, and beachside bar service. Make the most of these offerings to enhance your beach experience and fully enjoy the tranquility and beauty of Norwegian’s private island. Don’t forget your sunscreen and beach towel for a day of relaxation and fun in the sun.

Stateroom Tips

Your stateroom is your home away from home during your cruise, so it’s essential to make the most of it. Here are some tips to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay in your stateroom.

European Device Charging Outlets

Norwegian staterooms are equipped with more European device charging outlets than U.S. outlets. If you’re traveling from a country with U.S. electrical standards, it’s essential to bring a European charging adapter for your electronic devices. These adapters can easily be found online or at commonly used websites and retailers. Having the right adapter will ensure that you can charge your phones, cameras, and other devices for the duration of your trip.

Checking Weather and Packing

As with any trip, checking the weather ahead of time is crucial for efficient packing. Before your cruise, take the time to check the weather forecast for each port of call. This will help you determine what types of clothing to pack and whether you need any specific items for excursions or activities. Whether you’re sailing to the Caribbean or Alaska, we recommend packing a swimsuit to enjoy the water slides and pools on board the ship.

Budgeting for Drinks

It’s no secret that drinks on board can add up quickly, especially alcoholic beverages. Norwegian offers a wide range of drink options, and prices for alcoholic drinks typically range from $10 to $25. To help keep your budget in check, we recommend deciding how many drinks per day you plan to enjoy and budgeting accordingly. You can also take advantage of drink packages offered by Norwegian to save money if you’re a frequent drinker.

Packing Sunscreen and Aloe

If you’re traveling to warmer tropical locations with Norwegian Cruise Line, we highly recommend packing your own sunscreen and aloe. These products can often be expensive to purchase on board the ship or at a port. By bringing your own sunscreen and aloe, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you haven’t spent a fortune on essential skincare items.

Walking The Waterfront

Many Norwegian ships feature an area on board called The Waterfront or Ocean Boulevard. These areas consist of a walk-around deck space for guests to stroll and enjoy beautiful ocean views. Take advantage of these scenic spots to relax, unwind, and take in the breathtaking sights of the open sea. Walking The Waterfront is a great way to spend some quiet time and immerse yourself in the serenity of your surroundings.

Exploring Onboard Entertainment and Dining Options

Norwegian Cruise Line offers a multitude of onboard entertainment and dining options for guests to enjoy. From Broadway-style shows to live music performances, there’s something for everyone. Take the time to explore all the available entertainment and dining options on board. Attend different shows, try out different restaurants, and make the most of the vibrant atmosphere on the ship. By experiencing a variety of onboard activities, you’ll create lasting memories and make your cruise truly unforgettable.

Packing Your Own Beach Towel

While Norwegian offers free towel rentals to guests on board, it can be more convenient to bring your own beach towel. When renting a towel from the ship, guests need to sign in using their key card and room number. Additionally, towels must be returned to the pool deck by the end of the cruise, or guests will be charged $25. Packing your own beach towel ensures that you have a towel readily available whenever you want to enjoy the pools, beaches, or water activities on board.

Pre-packing for Disembarkation

Disembarkation morning can feel rather rushed as all guests are encouraged to disembark the ship as soon as possible. To have a stress-free morning and enjoy a relaxed breakfast, we recommend pre-packing all of your luggage the night before. This way, you won’t have to rush around gathering your belongings on the final day of your cruise. Take your time to pack strategically, ensuring that you have everything you need accessible and organized for an easy departure.

Late Night Snacking Options

Are you craving a late-night snack on board? With Norwegian, that’s not a problem. Norwegian ships offer multiple options for guests looking to indulge in some late-night snacking. Room service is always a great option and is available 24 hours a day on some ships. The only cost for room service is a small delivery fee of ten dollars per order. Additionally, the main buffet usually hosts late-night bites from around 10 o’clock to midnight. So whether you’re craving a sweet treat or a savory snack, you’ll have plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.

Arriving Early to Theater Shows

Attending the theater entertainment shows on board Norwegian ships is complementary to all guests. However, these shows tend to fill up quickly due to their popularity. To secure a good seat, we recommend arriving at the theater about 20 minutes before the start of a show. This will give you ample time to find a seat and also grab a drink at the nearby bar to enjoy during the show. Arriving early ensures that you won’t miss out on any of the spectacular performances and guarantees you a prime viewing spot.

Complimentary Child Care

For parents traveling with younger passengers, Norwegian Cruise Line offers complimentary child care on board. The kids’ clubs provide a safe and fun environment for children to enjoy various activities while their parents have some free time to explore the ship. Take advantage of this service and give yourself a break while your kids have a blast with other children their age. It’s a win-win for everyone, and it allows the whole family to have a memorable cruise experience.

Relaxed Covid-19 Policies

Norwegian Cruise Lines have relaxed their Covid-19 policies to welcome guests on their ships regardless of vaccination status and without testing requirements. Guests are now able to enjoy their cruise experience with fewer restrictions. However, it’s important to note that guidelines may vary depending on the destination and current health situations. It’s always a good idea to stay informed and check the updated policies before your cruise to ensure a smooth and worry-free experience.

Embarkation Tips

Embarking on your cruise is an exciting moment, and these tips will help ensure a seamless and stress-free experience.

Arriving at the Cruise Port

To minimize stress on embarkation day, we advise guests to arrive at the cruise port the day before and stay at a hotel near the port. This eliminates any worries about potential travel delays and allows you to start your cruise day off with ease. You can begin your vacation feeling refreshed and ready to embark on your adventure.

Staying in a Hotel

Choosing to stay in a hotel near the embarkation port has many advantages. It gives you the flexibility to arrive at the cruise terminal on time, well-rested, and without rushing. You can explore the area, enjoy a delicious dinner, and relax before setting sail. Many hotels also offer special packages for cruise guests, including transportation to the port, so be sure to inquire about these options when booking your hotel stay.

Freestyle Daily Itinerary

Once on board, Norwegian Cruise Line provides a daily itinerary called the Freestyle Daily. This publication is your guide to all the ship activities, dining times, and entertainment options available each day. We recommend taking the time to review the Freestyle Daily and plan your day accordingly. Whether you’re interested in attending a cooking demonstration, lounging by the pool, or catching a live performance, the Freestyle Daily will keep you informed and help you make the most of your time on board.

Bringing a Reusable Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is important during your cruise, especially in warm climates. We recommend packing a reusable water bottle to have throughout the day. Norwegian Cruise Line provides water stations throughout the ship where you can refill your bottle at no additional cost. Carrying a reusable water bottle ensures that you have easy access to water whenever you need it, without having to purchase single-use plastic bottles.


Norwegian Cruise Line supplies shampoo and conditioner in the staterooms, but guests are welcome to bring their own toiletries if they prefer. If you have specific hair or skincare products that you can’t live without, feel free to pack them in your luggage. Having your preferred toiletries on hand will enhance your in-room pampering routine and make you feel your best throughout the cruise.

Complementary Drinks at the Buffet

When dining at the main buffet on board Norwegian ships, guests can enjoy complementary coffee, tea, and juice. These non-alcoholic drink options are available throughout the day, allowing you to quench your thirst without any additional charge. Take advantage of these complimentary offerings to start your day off with a caffeine kick or enjoy a refreshing beverage as you savor the delicious buffet dishes.

Spacious Staterooms

Norwegian Cruise Line takes pride in providing spacious staterooms to its guests. The staterooms offer ample storage space for your belongings, ensuring that you can keep your room neat and organized throughout your cruise. Take advantage of the storage options to unpack your suitcase and settle into your home away from home. You’ll find that the extra space allows for a more comfortable and enjoyable stay on board.

Researching Itineraries

When choosing a cruise, it’s important to research the itineraries and destinations offered by Norwegian. Each itinerary has its own unique highlights and experiences. Whether you’re interested in exploring the Caribbean, Alaska, or other exciting destinations, take the time to familiarize yourself with the ports of call and the activities available at each destination. By researching the itineraries, you can choose the one that aligns with your preferences and ensures a memorable vacation.

Wi-Fi Availability

While disconnecting from technology is often encouraged during a cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line provides Wi-Fi on board for those who want to stay connected. However, please note that Wi-Fi access comes at an additional charge. If you decide to use Wi-Fi during your cruise, we recommend limiting your usage to essential tasks and taking the time to disconnect and fully enjoy the ship’s amenities and experiences.

No Dress Code

One of the many perks of cruising with Norwegian is that there is no strict dress code to follow. Norwegian Cruise Line embraces a freestyle cruising concept, allowing guests to dress comfortably and casually throughout their vacation. You’re encouraged to pack a variety of clothing options that suit your personal style and preferences. Whether you prefer dressing up for formal nights or opting for resort wear, feel free to express yourself and be comfortable throughout your cruise.

Carrying Key Cards

Your key card is your lifeline on the ship. It serves as your identification, room key, and method of payment for onboard expenses. We recommend carrying your key card with you at all times to ensure easy access to your stateroom and to make purchases without any hassle. You’ll find that your key card is an essential item throughout your cruise, so keep it safe and readily accessible.

Planning Memorable Activities

To make the most of your cruise experience, plan activities that will create lasting memories. Norwegian Cruise Line offers a wide range of unique and exciting activities for guests of all ages. From thrilling water slides and rope courses to Broadway-style shows and interactive game shows, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Take the time to explore all the available activities and plan your days accordingly. By participating in these memorable experiences, you’ll create unforgettable moments that will stay with you long after your cruise ends.

Family-Friendly Features

Norwegian Cruise Line is known for being family-friendly, offering a range of amenities and activities for guests of all ages. From splash parks and kids’ clubs to teen lounges and family-friendly shows, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Take advantage of the dedicated spaces and programs designed for children and teenagers, allowing them to have a vacation filled with fun and excitement. With Norwegian, the entire family can create magical memories together.


In conclusion, these tips and tricks provided by Norwegian Cruise Line will help ensure that you have a memorable and enjoyable cruise experience. From downloading the Norwegian Cruise Line App to making reservations for specialty dining, each tip is designed to enhance your vacation and make the most of your time on board. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveler, following these tips will help you navigate the ship with ease, prioritize your must-see experiences, and create lasting memories. So start planning your NCL cruise, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure on the high seas!

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