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Frequently Asked Questions

What are incentives?

The purpose of an incentive is to influence behavior. It is typically an award somebody earns for achieving a goal, meeting certain qualifications or performing desired behaviors. A cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line is like giving your group two incentives in one: the first-class treatment and facilities of a luxury resort, combined with the excitement of travel to exotic destinations. From cocktail parties to award ceremonies, a cruise is a great way to bring colleagues closer together, while everyone still has time to themselves. What's more, we've been in the business of planning incentives cruises longer than any other cruise line, so relax, let us help you achieve success at sea.

What are meetings?

No deadlines, no sales calls, no memos. Is this any way to conduct business? Well - actually, yes. Think of our ships as floating conference centers complete with state of the art auditorium and meeting rooms with Wi-Fi capabilities, multi-image shows, theatrical special effects and more.  We have rooms that accommodate large sessions, breakout rooms and hospitality suites of all sizes. Since your associates can't stray too far when they're aboard ship, you can keep attendance higher and be more productive.

What are Full Ship Charters?

For large groups, nothing is more impressive than a privately chartered ship. Since you "own" the ship, virtually every aspect of the cruise can be customized for your group. You can decide which ports the ship will call on, what dishes will be offered on the menu, and which shore excursions will be available. The ship's Captain can even promote the company's chairman to the rank of Honorary Admiral in a full-dress ceremony. It's like having your own floating resort. Charters are perfect for large incentive groups of 1,500 or more people.

What is included in the cruise fare?

Accommodations, entertainment and most meals are always included.

How do I pay for the onboard expenses? 

Most everything is invoiced and paid for pre cruise. However, any expenses incurred onboard are charged to a master account.

What size groups is Norwegian prepared to handle?

Depending on the ship you choose, as few as 16 guests or up to a full-ship charter of 2,000+ guests. Many of our clients with even larger groups have divided their incentive winners into back-to-back cruises.

How does the cost compare to a land-based resort?

Many of the services that resorts charge extra for are complimentary aboard our ships such as, meeting rooms, coffee breaks, afternoon snacks, AV equipment, entertainment and many daytime activities, to name just a few.

Do you charge for meeting rooms?

No, we do not charge for meeting rooms or AV equipment. However, if you do require assistance from our technical department, there is a nominal cost.    

How are private functions handled?

Your group's functions can be held either in public rooms, lounges or in private suites. Drinks, hors d'oeuvres and entertainment can be provided at an affordable cost.

Is there a service charge?

We are confident that you will enjoy your Freestyle Cruising experience and that our entire crew will provide you with the standard of service for which we are known. A $12.95 USD discretionary service charge will be automatically added per guest per day (for guests three years and older) to your shipboard account for all staterooms. This charge will be shared among those staff members, including the restaurant staff, stateroom stewards and other behind-the-scenes staff who provide services that enhance your overall cruise experience. These service charges can be paid in advance of your cruise by contacting your Program Specialist.

If you have any concerns about the service you receive during your cruise, please let our onboard Guest Services Desk staff know right away, so we can address any issues in a timely manner. In the unlikely event that we can't resolve your issue, you can have the service charge adjusted onboard. 

What about gratuities?

Unlike most other ships in the cruise industry, there is no required or recommended tipping on our ships for service that is generally rendered to all guests. While you should not feel obligated to offer a gratuity, all of our staff are encouraged to "go the extra mile," so they are permitted to accept cash gratuities for exceptional or outstanding service if you care to offer them.

Also, certain staff positions (e.g., beverage service) provide service on an individual basis to only some guests and do not benefit from the overall service charge. We encourage those guests to acknowledge good service from these staff members with appropriate gratuities. Additionally, Pride of America has a service charge of 18% for all spa and salon service, and all other ships have an automatic gratuity of 18% for all spa and salon services. 

Are telephone, internet and fax services available?

Yes, anyone from your group can telephone directly from their stateroom and fax services are available from the ship. We also have Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities, so guests can bring their laptop or cell phone and use them around the ship. Guests will be charged at applicable rates.

Can I use my Cell Phone?

Guests on North American cruises have the ability to use their cell phones even when communications towers are oceans away. The service is available to most guests with GSM phones that operate at 900 MHz, which are common in the U.S. Guests will be able to make and receive both voice calls and text messages. In addition, guests with data-capable GSM/GPRS devices are able to access all data services, such as email and picture messaging. Guests will be billed by the carrier to whom they subscribe at roaming rates set by that carrier, just as if they were roaming on land instead of at sea.

Will I have access to the internet?

All our ships have a 24 hour Internet Café. Give your friends and family back home your personalized email address (printed on your cruise ticket) and stay in touch throughout your cruise. Click here for more information on rates and services. Wireless internet (also known as Wi-Fi) is also available throughout our fleet.

Can my group dine together?

Our main policies and procedures for group dining are:

Main Dining Rooms
FIT guests and individual guests who are part of a group do not require reservations and can dine at any time between 5:30 and 10pm. Up to eight guests can usually be accommodated with little or no wait.

Groups of 1 to 199 guests may make group reservations as frequently as they desire during the cruise. Group reservations may be made for 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 8:30pm, 9:00pm or 9:30pm.

Groups of 200 or more guests may make group reservations two times during the cruise. Group reservations may be made for 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 8:30pm, 9:00pm or 9:30pm (early seating must be completed by 7:45pm). The maximum number of guests varies with the ship and the group will be booked in the mid-ship dining room as first choice of placement. Your Group Event Planner will be available to confirm details. The group may have to be split between the two main dining rooms.

Guests in groups of 199 or less will be able to order from the regular menu of the evening. Groups of 200 or more will be provided menu options.

Epic - European or summer-time itineraries (Memorial Day to Labor Day), group seating times will be 5:30pm only.

Remainder of Fleet - European or summer-time itineraries (Memorial Day to Labor Day), group seating times will be 5:30pm and 7:00pm only.

Specialty Restaurants
FIT guests and individual guests who are part of a group must make reservations for a specific time in the specialty restaurants. Because of the small size of specialty restaurants, groups larger than 60 cannot be accommodated in one restaurant. They may be split among two or more restaurants.

Groups of up to 20 guests may make group reservations for as many nights as they desire on the cruise with no seating time limits. Guests will be offered the regular menu.

Groups of 21 to 40 guests may make group reservations for as many nights as they desire for seating times of 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 8:00pm, 8:30pm, 9:00pm or 9:30pm. Menu options will be provided.

Groups of 41 to 60 guests may make group reservations for as many nights as they desire. These groups will be broken into groups of 20 and seated at 30-minute intervals at 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 6:30pm, 8:00pm, 8:30pm, 9:00pm or 9:30pm. Guests will be offered the regular menu.

Groups of 61 or more will not be able to be accommodated in one particular specialty restaurant. They will be split into groups and/or different restaurants and handled they same as groups of 21 to 40 or 41 to 60.

Specialty restaurant cover charges for group reservations must be pre-paid before the start of the cruise. The cover charges are non-refundable. Reservation requests should be submitted to your Group Event Planner for confirmation. The Corporate Restaurant Manager or Manager of Restaurant Operations will confirm all time and locations.

Specialty Restaurant Buyouts
A Group may buy-out a Specialty restaurant 45-days prior to their scheduled sailing.  There are two different types of buyouts:

Utilizing the entire specialty restaurant for 1 seating (first two hours of operation) so that other guests may dine in the restaurant that evening; or

Utilizing the entire specialty restaurant with the guarantee that there will not be any reservations prior to or after the reserved buy-out.

A set menu will be used for this purpose consisting of a set salad, choice of three entrées, and a choice of 3 desserts.

In additional the restaurant charge there is a minimum beverage consumption guarantee.  

Reservation requests should be submitted to your Group Event Planner for confirmation and total costs. The Corporate Restaurant Manager or Manager of Restaurant Operations will confirm all time and locations.

 

Do you offer any special food & beverage packages?

Yes, we offer Beverage Packages and Soda Packages Click Here

Are there any amenities that can be added or purchased to enhance my group's experience?

Yes, we have a wide variety of amenities that can be purchased, from wine deliveries to chocolate covered strawberries, to onboard credits. Simply call your Program Specialist.

How many amenity points do I have?

We do not work with amenity points like we do with other groups, however, we offer amenities that can be requested and added to your group based on the sailing and the amount of staterooms.   

When do I need to have names?

Names are required 60 days prior to sailing, however if this is a cruise only program we can work on allowing names to be provided 45 days prior. However, if your air packages are through Norwegian, then names need to be provided 75 days prior to sailing.

Are name changes allowed?

Yes, up to 72 hours prior to departure.

Can I purchase air with incentive groups?

Yes, however special terms and conditions apply. For more information, you can contact our Meetings, Incentives & Corporate Events team at 1.866.NCL.EVENTS or email us at events@ncl.com.

Is everyone required to sail the full length of the cruise?

 We encourage all guests to sail the full length of the cruise. There are laws that we must follow and there are ports of call where guests may not fly back to the U.S. from. However, exceptions may be made for guests cruising on Pride of America in Hawaii.

What is the difference between standard group terms & conditions and corporate group (meetings and incentives) terms & conditions?

Click here to view a comparison chart between standard groups and corporate groups.

Can Norwegian help with the promotion of the cruise?

We can provide a number of tools you can use to spark interest in your incentive program such as videos, brochures or even a postcard that you can periodically send to your participants.