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January 07, 2012

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Norwegian Cruise Line made two announcements over the past two days. The first annoucement was regarding their newest ship build, Norwegian Breakaway.

Norwegian Breakaway is planned to sail year-round from New York City. The 4,000 passenger ship will offer the following cruise vacations:

  • April 2013 - 8 Day Trans-Atlantic from London to New York City
  • May 12 to October 6 - 7 Day Bermuda Cruises Roundtrip New York City to King's Wharf
  • October 13 to April 13 - 7 Day Bahamas & Florida Cruises roundtrip New York City to Port Canaveral/Orlando, Nassau, and Great Stirrup Cay/Bahamas

    The second annoucement is the introduction of a new Youth Program. Norwegian Cruise Line has a large number of families that cruise with them; in fact 150,000 children sailed with NCL in 2010.

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    Here are the changes:

  • There will be new age groups for the program: 3 to 5 years; 6 to 8 years; 9 to 12 years; along with two teen groups: 13 to 14 and 15 to 17 years
  • There will also be programming for babies and toddlers ages six months to two years.

  • The new fully developed and enhanced curriculum tailored to each age group is being produced in conjunction with The King's Foundation and Camps, a United Kingdom-based organization that provides high quality sport and activity programs designed to make a positive impact on children. More focus will be placed on sporting activities, arts and crafts, theater and technology. Activities will change every 30 to 60 minutes depending on the age group and will be set within blocks of programming time in the morning, afternoon and evening.

  • The new curriculum will also include creative themes, such as circus day, theater/technology/sports and port of call day. The company has engaged Cirque Du Jour, a New York-based company that specializes in teaching children real circus skills such as scarf juggling, ball juggling, plate spinning, clowning and acrobatics. Circus workshops and shows will also be offered for the entire family.

  • In addition, the youth programs will be expanded to utilize other areas of the ships, including the sports courts, rock walls, theaters, lounges and public spaces and will feature more family events such as parades and scavenger hunts.

  • The company is also investing in its youth staff, by increasing the ratio of staff to children and establishing new criteria for the hiring of counselors, including the requirement of a college degree in recreation or child care (or the equivalent experience).

    Over the last 5 years Norwegian Cruise Line has made many changes; both at their head office updating their reservation system for travel agents and making improvements on their cruise ships. I'm happy to report that I have been truly impressed with their efforts and changes. The Norwegian Epic is a fabulous ship with so many great improvements, which they learned from and have incorporated on all their other ships. If you haven't taken a Norwegian cruise for a few years try it again and you too will be impressed!

    Written By Denise Blackmore, MCC

    Posted by Denise at January 7, 2012 02:29 PM
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