What is Free at Sea with Norwegian Cruise Lines?
As a travel agent who plans a lot of cruises for her clients I get alot of questions regarding Norwegian Cruise Line's FREE AT SEA program and how it all works. This is truly one of my favorite perks offered by a cruise line and something I feel sets Norwegian apart from other cruise lines! As a cruiser it is important to understand what it is before you book your cruise vacation.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Free at Sea has 4 main components! (1) Free Open Bar (2) Free Specialty Dining (3) Free Excursions (4) Free Wifi! It is also VERY important to understand how many guests in the stateroom receive each perk from the Free at Sea offer. For instance, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Free at Sea provides drink packages to all guests but dining packages only to the first 2 guests on the reservation this is all still a huge savings when you think about it.
Let's start with open bar. Free Open Bar is all of your drinks including soda, juice, tea, coffee, mocktails, cocktails and spirits. For the higher end liquors and coffee specifically from Starbucks there is an additional charge. Regardless this is a HUGE savings especially when you are on a long sailing. ALSO, your beverage package follows you to Great Stirrup Cay which is Norwegian's private island in the Caribbean so all of your drinks are included when you are there!
There are a few caveats to the Unlimited Open Bar package to be aware of. This perk entitles guests 1-8 on the reservation. Guests under 21 years of age will get a soda package as a substitution only if they are the first or second guest on the reservation. If guests 3-8 are under 21 years of age, a soda package will not be given as a substitution however it can be added for an additional cost. Also a 20% gratuity is added to all “free” beverage packages.
Free Specialty Dining is another great offer but there are some key details to be aware of. Essentially the long you are onboard the more specialty dining benefits you will recieve as well as the higher category stateroom. The Haven, Suites and balconies are alloted more than oceanview and interior. It is also important to note the specialty dining benefit unless otherwise noted is for guests 1 and 2 only. If there are more than 2 people in your party they can still dine with you it just means the food they order will come with a cost.
Free Excursions are another great value to cruisers and I personally take advantage of this every cruise I can. What people sailing need to know is that you are given a $50 credit for one person (usually guest 1) per excursion. Now when you are on a 5, 7 or 10 day sailing this is awesome because you will be stopping at several ports and that $50 can definitely help offset the cost of any excursion you want to do when you are there. Just remember though it is $50 per excursion per stateroom, NOT per person.
Free Wifi. These days we like to stay connected even when we are on vacation. I know I am always posting my adventures when I am onboard so this another cool perk. Norwegian Cruise Lines is alloting a certain number of wifi minutes based on the length of your cruise to use while onboard!
75 minutes per person for 3-6 Day Cruises
150 minutes per person for 7-11 Day Cruises
300 minutes per person for 12+ Day Cruises
Now that may not cover your entire trip but perhaps that is just enought to check your email or photo that instagram photo while you are away. Again this is another perk for guests 1 & 2.
As an avid cruiser I definitely feel that Free at Sea is an amazing perk. At the end of the day utilizing a travel agent like myself will help you find the right cruise itinerary with an amazing cruise line to meet your needs for your next vacation!
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