Nikos and Kostas Pagonis of Athens-based Exclusive Tours last month took local travel agents on a tour of Norwegian Cruise Lines’ cruise vessel Norwegian Dream, which had docked in Piraeus harbor. Exclusive, as the line’s representative in Greece, says it’s off to a new start with the cruise line and will soon announce special package prices and new cruise agendas.
Meanwhile, Norwegian has begun a new start as well. The line is the first in the industry to offer what it calls ‘freestyle cruising’ and expects the rest of the industry to follow suite. NCL says the new vacation concept transforms the traditional cruise into a carefree, unique experience with no boundaries. For the first time, cruise guests can dine whenever, wherever and with whomever they choose so as the excitement of travel is combined with the flexibility and relaxed lifestyle.
All ships within the fleet will be converted to freestyle throughout 2000 and early 2001. Guests of the Norwegian Sky and Majesty already enjoy freestyle cruising benefits.
But while the dining aspect of the cruise is the main component in freestyle, other aspects include the choice to dress according to your mood with casual attire being as dressy as you’ll ever have to get. Those who prefer to get all decked out will have that option in one of the main dining rooms and some of the lounges. There is at least one formal night for cruises four days or longer.
Another component is an end to tipping. Suggested gratuities are automatically applied to your account. If you decide to tip more or less than the suggested guidelines, just contact the ship’s credit desk. Finally there’s disembarkation. With freestyle, and thanks to more service personnel on board NCL vessels, disembarkation can take place at a time you prefer, instead of rushing in the morning to join the crowds.