A major new plan
By Dana Niland
Norwegian Cruise Line revealed Thursday The Norwegian Edge, a program that will introduce a new standard of quality that encompasses the entire guest experience, from ship hardware to culinary enhancements to exclusive private destination developments.
The initiative reflects a two-year, $400 million investment by the company through 2017, and its main component entails extensive ship refurbishment.
“Norwegian has a long history of investing in its fleet to offer guests the latest and greatest innovations, but the investment to raise our ships to The Norwegian Edge standard of excellence takes it to new levels,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief operating officer. “The new standards of The Norwegian Edge program will entice our guests to return again and again to ships that will look and feel as if they were just delivered, with all new menus and new dining experiences, visiting incredible exclusive destinations that reflect the quality finishes, amenities and outstanding service found across the Norwegian fleet.”
The ship revitalization program will transform many spaces on board nine of the fleet’s ships to reflect the feel of the line’s newest ships.
The program began in October 2015 with a refresh of Norwegian Epic, followed by Norwegian Gem.
The seven additional ships will go into dry dock for both guest-facing and technical enhancements: Pride of America and Norwegian Sun in spring 2016; Norwegian Dawn in summer 2016; Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Pearl in winter 2017; and Norwegian Jade in spring 2017.
Norwegian will also expand investment in its onboard culinary program.
New for 2016, all ships in the line’s fleet now offer upgraded complimentary dining room menus and the addition of optional a la carte in the main dining rooms, such as grilled lobster tails and surf and turf entrees.
The new complimentary dining menus offer an increased variety and have been developed by Norwegian’s culinary team with a focus on balancing traditional dishes like prime rib, chateaubriand, rack of lamb and escargot, with current dining trends and heightened guest expectations.
Beginning on January 31, Norwegian will also be expanding across the fleet the new speciality dining menus that debuted on Norwegian Escape.
In addition to the new menus, Norwegian is also further broadening training and certification for the fleet’s culinary dining teams.
Guests will also see the expansion of popular existing partnerships with culinary experts for food and beverage outlets on board, with more details and specific information to be announced closer to each ship’s dry dock date.
Norwegian has also announced plans for the line’s privately-owned destinations including the development of the resort-style experience at Harvest Caye, Belize, which will feature a pool, exclusive beach, shallow lagoon for watersports, private luxury cabanas and many more exciting features.
The line is also planning new features for its own private Bahamian island, Great Stirrup Cay, which will debut several new offerings and amenities for guests by spring 2017.