Although Andy Stuart has been president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line only since March of this year, the 27-year company veteran is shaking things up at the cruise line.
“We’re taking Freestyle Cruising to the next level to provide our guests with an experience unmatched by any other contemporary cruise line,” said Stuart. “Norwegian Sky guests will have the freedom to enjoy a cruise vacation the way they desire-whether it’s lounging by the pool with a margarita, having a laugh at a comedy show, catching up on their favorite book on their balcony, or indulging in fine dining- all included in their cruise fare.”
Cruise guests 21 years of age and older sailing on the Norwegian Sky will enjoy a variety of unlimited premium spirits, innovative cocktails curated by the award-winning mixologists from Miami’s Bar Lab, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer up to $11. Guests 3 to 20 years of age will enjoy unlimited sodas and juice throughout their cruise.
Launched in 1999 and refurbished in 2013, the Norwegian Sky sails three- and four-day round-trip cruises from Miami to the Bahamas year-round.
The Norwegian Sky features 12 bars and lounges to take advantage of the complimentary drinks. The new all-inclusive drink experience will also provide guests with unlimited beverages while on Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas.
Cruises in January of 2016 start at $289 per person based on double occupancy for an inside stateroom on a 3-night weekend cruise. That compares to a $179 last minute fare for the same cruise this upcoming weekend, without the included drinks.
Regardless of the perceived price increase, $289 per person for a weekend of sun, fun, food, and complimentary drinks seems like a good deal for next January.
With drink package promotions and other “inclusive” cruising benefits being very popular this year, this move seems like a brilliant strategy to increase the prices (and therefore profit yield) on an older ship on short turn-around cruises.
It will be interesting to watch how this drives bookings, and if Royal Caribbean, Carnival or some of the other cruise brands try to match the “drinks included” on the entire ship strategy.
Those who do not drink alcoholic beverages may want to avoid this ship as it is likely be more expensive than comparable cruises without the free drinks, and it is likely to attract a “party” crowd.
Will the included drinks entice you to book a cruise on the Norwegian Sky? Please share your thoughts, or just a “yes” or “no” in the comments below.
Norwegian Cruise Line has made several announcements recently. Check out these other posts: