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9 NCL Cruise Ship Classes

Your Guide To NCL Ships

Discover more about Norwegian Cruise Lines 9 different classes of cruise ships.

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9 NCL Cruise Ship Classes

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Explore All 9 Classes Of Norwegian Cruise Line Ships

Ahoy there, landlubbers! Today, I’m going to take you on a wild voyage through the diverse and exciting fleet of Norwegian Cruise Line. Prepare to be amazed as we explore the wide variation in the size and style of these magnificent vessels.

A go-karting track at sea! Onboard NCL Encore
A go-karting track at sea! Onboard NCL Encore

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An introduction to Norwegian Cruise Line ships

Norwegian Cruise Line operates 19 vessels that can be broken down into nine distinct groups, also known as classes.

Big and small, NCL has it all

Unlike other cruise lines that stick to a specific size or style, Norwegian Cruise Line is the master of versatility. They operate both large megaresorts and smaller vessels, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

For the adventurers seeking a small and intimate experience, the smaller ships in NCL’s fleet are the perfect choice. These nimble vessels allow guests to discover hidden gems and explore ports that larger ships can’t access. It’s like having your own private yacht, but with all the amenities and services of a world-class cruise line.

Norwegian Sun cruise ship - one of the best smaller ships
Norwegian Sun cruise ship – one of the best smaller ships

Categories to categorize

With such a diverse fleet, Norwegian Cruise Line has cleverly categorized their ships into eight groups based on their amenities and features. This makes it easier for cruisers to find the perfect ship that matches their preferences.

Whether you’re looking for non-stop entertainment, luxurious comfort, or family-friendly fun, NCL has a ship for you. From the Bliss and Breakaway Plus class to the Jewel and Spirit class, each category offers a unique experience that will leave you wanting more.

Ahoy, megaresorts!

If you’re a fan of big, bustling floating megaresorts, then Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ships will blow your expectations out of the water. These floating cities are packed with amenities and attractions that will keep you entertained from sunrise to sunset and beyond.

Imagine racing down thrilling waterslides, enjoying Broadway-style shows, feasting on gourmet cuisine, and dancing the night away under a sky full of stars. It’s an experience like no other, and only Norwegian Cruise Line can deliver it in such grandiose fashion.

Oldies but goodies

While the newest ships steal the limelight, let’s not forget about the older ships in NCL’s fleet. These vessels may be more modest in size, but they still offer a lot for cruisers seeking a classic and timeless experience.

These ships have a certain charm that can’t be replicated. From their cozy cabins to their intimate lounges, each corner exudes a nostalgic atmosphere that harkens back to the golden age of cruising. If you’re yearning for a simpler and more laid-back voyage, these older ships are the perfect choice.

So, whether you’re an adventurer craving serenity or a party animal ready to make a splash, Norwegian Cruise Line has the ship of your dreams. Get ready to set sail on a truly unforgettable journey!

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If it’s your first time cruising, it can all seem overwhelming and confusing. That’s why we offer a First Time Cruise Help Service at Rock the Boat Travel Agency.

The best place to start is by talking with one of our team members. It all starts with you – finding out what you like and just as important, what you don’t like. Coupled with our cruise know-how, we’ll suggest the perfect first time cruise for you. Request a call with one of our team.

First time cruisers enjoying being on a cruise ship as a family

Norwegian Prima & Viva
Norwegian Prima & Viva

Prima Class: Sailing into Luxury and Fun

Norwegian Prima (2022), Norwegian Viva (2023).

Norwegian Cruise Line is renowned for its diverse fleet of ships, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience. Among its remarkable collection is the Prima class, which includes the Norwegian Prima and Norwegian Viva. These smaller ships are specifically designed to provide guests with upscale amenities and an intimate atmosphere that sets them apart from larger vessels.

Size Doesn’t Matter, Amenity Does!

Now, you might be wondering if the Prima class ships are as grandiose as their larger counterparts. The answer is a resounding “Absolutely!” Although slightly smaller in size, these ships do not disappoint when it comes to over-the-top amenities. Prepare to be pampered and treated like royalty from the moment you step on board.

Imagine waking up in a plush and comfortable suite, stretching your legs and enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee on your private balcony. The Prima class ships offer a variety of suite categories, catering to every taste and preference. From spacious and elegant staterooms to luxurious penthouses, each with its own unique charm and features, there’s something for everyone.

Over-the-Top Entertainment Options

Prepare to be dazzled by the over-the-top entertainment options available on the Prima class ships. With a focus on providing exceptional live performances, you can expect to be captivated by Broadway-caliber shows, musical performances, and awe-inspiring aerial displays. Delight in the mesmerizing skills of talented acrobats, dancers, and musicians as they take the stage to deliver unforgettable performances. The entertainment onboard these ships will leave you wanting more and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Designed for Access to Smaller Ports

One of the standout features of the Prima class ships is their ability to access smaller ports around the world. Unlike larger ships that are limited to popular and heavily trafficked destinations, the Prima class ships can navigate pristine waters and dock at picturesque ports that are off the beaten path. This allows guests to explore hidden gems and truly immerse themselves in the local culture and charm of each destination. Whether it’s a remote Mediterranean village or a secluded Caribbean island, the Prima class ships open up a world of possibilities for the intrepid traveller.

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NCL Joy is one of the great ships in the Breakaway Plus class
NCL Joy is one of the great ships in the Breakaway Plus class

Breakaway Plus class

Norwegian Encore (2019), Norwegian Bliss (2018), Norwegian Joy (2017), Norwegian Escape (2015)

Breakaway Plus class ships are the largest vessels in the Norwegian fleet. These magnificent ships are packed with everything you could possibly want for a fun-filled vacation. From exquisite dining options to exciting entertainment choices, there is something for everyone onboard.

Exciting Attractions

One of the standout features of the Breakaway Plus class is that the ships are giant megaresorts on water. With numerous restaurants, bars, and entertainment options, there is never a dull moment on board.

For those seeking thrills, the Breakaway Plus class ships have plenty to offer. From go-kart tracks to laser tag areas, there are endless opportunities for adrenaline-pumping fun. Guests can challenge family and friends to a race on the go-kart track or engage in a friendly battle in the laser tag arena. These unique attractions make cruising on the Breakaway Plus ships an unforgettable experience.

Broadway at Sea

Prepare to be dazzled by world-class entertainment on the high seas. The Breakaway Plus ships offer Broadway-style shows that will leave you in awe. Sit back and enjoy spectacular performances featuring talented singers, dancers, and actors. From classic musicals to contemporary productions, there is something for everyone’s taste. Make sure to book your seats early as these shows are not to be missed!

NCL Getaway, part of the Breakaway Class of ships
NCL Getaway, part of the Breakaway Class of ships

Breakaway Class

Norwegian Getaway (2014), Norwegian Breakaway (2013)

If you think bigger is always better, then you might be surprised to learn that when it comes to Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships, the Breakaway class actually falls slightly short in size compared to its sibling, the Breakaway Plus class. But don’t let the smaller scale fool you – these ships still pack a punch in terms of features, amenities, and entertainment options.

One of the standout features of the Breakaway class ships is their impressive pool areas. With not just one, but two pool sections, you’ll have plenty of room to swim, sunbathe, and cool off from the summer heat. Plus, with a ropes course and miniature golf available onboard, you can add a touch of adventure and friendly competition to your vacation.

When it comes to entertainment, the Breakaway class ships truly deliver. Prepare to be amazed by Broadway-caliber shows that will have you dancing in your seat and singing along to familiar tunes. If you prefer a more intimate setting, head over to the dueling piano bar where talented musicians compete to showcase their skills and entertain the crowd.

Sailing Solo

Solo travellers will find large complexes designed to cater specifically to their needs on the Breakaway class ships. These solo sailor complexes ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience, with features such as private lounge areas, dedicated dining venues, and spacious accommodations. It’s a perfect opportunity for individuals to meet like-minded guests while still having their own personal space.

NCL Epic is the only ship in the Epic class - and it lives up to its name
NCL Epic is the only ship in the Epic class – and it lives up to its name

Epic Class

Norwegian Epic (2010)

Let’s talk about the Norwegian Epic, shall we? This ship is truly one of a kind in the Norwegian fleet. It stands out with its unique design featuring curved walls and cabin layouts that you won’t find anywhere else.

But what sets the Norwegian Epic apart even more are its over-the-top attractions. I mean, where else can you find a tube-and-bowl waterslide and a rappelling wall on a cruise ship? It’s like they took a regular ship and thought, “You know what would make this epic? A waterslide that sends you spinning in circles and a wall you can climb down like a daredevil!” And honestly, they were absolutely right.

Now, let’s talk about the dining options on the Norwegian Epic. It’s not just your typical buffet or a couple of restaurants. No, this ship goes above and beyond to satisfy your taste buds. With multiple dining options to choose from, you can have something different every night of your cruise. From juicy steaks to fresh seafood and everything in between, the Norwegian Epic has got you covered.

But it’s not just about the food. This ship also knows how to entertain its guests. There are entertainment venues scattered throughout the ship, each offering a unique experience. Whether you’re in the mood for a Broadway-style show, a comedy performance, or some live music, you’ll find it all on the Norwegian Epic. And let me tell you, these performers know how to put on a show. They’ll have you laughing, dancing, and singing along in no time.

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Norwegian Pearl is one of the 4 Jewel Class ships
Norwegian Pearl is one of the 4 Jewel Class ships

Jewel Class

Norwegian Gem (2007), Norwegian Jade (2006), Norwegian Pearl (2006), Norwegian Jewel (2005)

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Jewel class ships! Prepare to be dazzled by a ship that offers the perfect combination of features and activities for a truly unforgettable cruise experience. These ships may be smaller than their megaship counterparts, but don’t let their size fool you – they pack a punch when it comes to amenities and entertainment.

One of the standout features of the Jewel class ships is the wide array of dining options available. From elegant fine dining establishments to casual buffet-style eateries, there is something to satisfy every palate. Whether you’re in the mood for a juicy steak, fresh seafood, or international cuisine, you can find it all on board. And of course, no cruise would be complete without a visit to the ice cream parlor for a sweet treat!

When it comes to relaxation and pampering, the Jewel class ships have you covered. Indulge in a soothing massage or rejuvenating facial at the onboard spa, or take a dip in one of the sparkling pools. For those who like to try their luck, the casinos offer a thrilling gaming experience. And when the sun goes down, the bars and lounges are the perfect spots to unwind with a refreshing cocktail and enjoy live entertainment.

What sets the Jewel class ships apart is their ability to offer all of these amenities and activities in a more intimate setting. With fewer passengers on board, you can enjoy a smaller crowd and a more personal experience. Whether you’re lounging by the pool or catching a show in the theater, you won’t feel overwhelmed by a sea of people.

Accommodation options on the Jewel class ships are as varied as the activities. From cozy interior cabins to spacious suites with ocean views, there is something to suit every budget and preference. For those seeking the ultimate luxury experience, the private suite complexes offer an exclusive and opulent retreat.

Sailing around Hawaii, the Norwegian Pride of America
Sailing around Hawaii, the Norwegian Pride of America

Pride of America Class

Pride of America (2005)

The Pride of America is truly a one-of-a-kind ship in the Norwegian fleet. While it may be smaller in size compared to its counterparts, it certainly doesn’t lack in amenities or excitement. In fact, it manages to pack a punch and offer a fantastic range of experiences for all cruisers to enjoy.

This class of ship is ideal for those who prefer a more intimate cruise experience. With fewer passengers on board, guests can enjoy a quieter and more personalized vacation. The smaller size also allows the ship to access unique ports of call that larger ships cannot reach.

However, it’s important to note that the Pride of America class does not have the same level of amenities as the larger classes. While it still provides a comfortable and enjoyable experience, passengers may not find all the bells and whistles that are available on the bigger ships.

Despite this, the Pride of America class is a popular choice for many cruisers. Its unique itinerary, intimate atmosphere, and variety of onboard offerings make it a standout option. Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned traveller, the Pride of America class provides a memorable and enjoyable holiday experience.

Norwegian Star - part of the Dawn Class
Norwegian Star – part of the Dawn Class

Dawn Class

Norwegian Dawn (2002), Norwegian Star (2001)

The Dawn-class ships are just as fabulous as the Jewel-class ships when it comes to amenities and size, with a few distinctions.
Similar to the previous ships, the Dawn-class vessels offer over a dozen dining options, with three main restaurants, a casual buffet, a Brazilian churrascaria, a French restaurant, and a teppanyaki eatery.
Furthermore, each ship features multiple pools, whirlpools, basketball courts, and golf driving nets. You can also enjoy a theater, spa, casino, and various bars and lounges on board.
Like the Jewel-class ships, the Dawn-class ships may not have big attractions like go-kart tracks and massive water parks that can be found on larger Norwegian vessels. Additionally, you won’t find Broadway musicals or a private Haven suite area on these ships.

Norwegian Sun cruise ship - one of the best smaller ships
Norwegian Sun cruise ship – one of the best smaller ships

Sun Class

Norwegian Sun (2001), Norwegian Sky (1999)

Discover the charm of the Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Sky, two of the smaller ships in the Norwegian fleet. While they may not have as many bells and whistles as the larger ships, they provide a more intimate and personalized cruise experience for travellers who value destination over onboard attractions.
Indulge in a variety of dining options, with over six restaurants to choose from including main dining rooms, casual buffets, and specialty eateries. On top of that, both ships offer pools, whirlpools, sports courts, and even a jogging track for those looking to stay active while at sea. And of course, don’t miss out on the nightly entertainment and excitement at the onboard casinos and theatres.
Keep in mind that unlike the bigger ships, the Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Sky do not feature private suite complexes or solo cabins. But if you’re looking for a more cozy and down-to-earth cruising experience, these ships are the perfect choice for you.

Leo Class - Norwegian Spirit
Leo Class – Norwegian Spirit

Leo Class

Norwegian Spirit (1998)

Get ready to experience the charm of Norwegian Spirit, the smallest and oldest ship in the Norwegian fleet. If you’re looking for a more cozy and personal cruising experience, this is the ship for you.
With a weight of 75,904 tons and room for just 1,966 passengers, Norwegian Spirit offers a more intimate setting compared to the larger Norwegian ships.
While it may have fewer options than the bigger ships, there are still plenty of choices for dining with 13 food outlets, including main restaurants, a buffet eatery, and specialty restaurants like Cagney’s steakhouse and Le Bistro.
Don’t worry, there’s no shortage of entertainment and activities on board. From pools and waterslides to a casino and nightclub, Norwegian Spirit has everything you need for a fun and memorable vacation. So get ready to set sail and make unforgettable memories on Norwegian Spirit.

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