Norwegian Cruise Line has recently announced that they have upgraded their reservation system. Great, but what exactly does that mean for NCL cruisers? Two things, and both are advantages for those cruisers (myself included) that like to pre-plan.
The first enhancement has to do with shore excursions. In the past guests could reserve shore excursions before their cruise, but they were not charged for them until they were onboard. Now the guest is charged when they reserve it. You’re probably thinking how I can possibly see paying the cruise line in advance of the cruise, as something positive. On port intensive itineraries like Alaska or the Mediterranean, the price of shore excursions can add up very quickly and some may find it to be unaffordable if it were necessary to pay for them all at once. However, if you book your cruise far in advance you then have the opportunity to spread out the purchase of shore excursions over time. It can be easier on the vacation budget that way.
The second enhancement allows guests booked on the Norwegian Epic to pre-purchase their specialty dining, including tickets to “Cirque Dreams and Dinner” as well as The Second City’s “Presumed Murdered” murder mystery show. Look for an announcement in the near future for the ability to pre-purchase specialty dining fleet-wide. Again, how nice to be able to pre-plan if you so desire.
Of course, Norwegian Cruise Line is all about “Freestyle Cruising” and giving guests endless choices. Nobody is required to book anything in advance. Shore excursions and specialty dining can still be arranged once onboard the ship. But isn’t it great having options?"