Hi all.

In February, I'll take a cruise with my girlfriend. This will be our first Cruise. We choose the Norewgian Jewel, 9-Day in southern Caribbean.

We have some questions.

1.) What means Freestyle Cruising?
2.) Can we pay additional money and have a plan for unlimited drinks?
3.) Can I rent a Suite for the night dinner with the capitan.
4.) How many money will must have daily for a normal cruise?

I'm very sorry for my english. I'm from Colombia and I apreciate all the information that you can give me.



1) Freestyle is the term that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) uses whenever it is doing something different from the other cruise lines. For example, most cruise lines make you leave your cabin early on the last morning so that the cabin stewards can get the cabins ready for the next group of passengers. NCL allows you to remain in the cabin until it is your turn to depart. NCL calls this Freestyle debarkation.

However, the big "Freestyle" thing is dining. Basically it means that there are no set dinning times, and you are not assigned a table. In other words, you can eat when and where and with whom you want. The following is from my cruise on the NCL Star in October 2005 ...

What sets Norwegian apart from everyone else is the Freestyle dining. As I mentioned, there are ten dining areas. Six are free, four cost extra, and only three do not require reservations (Aqua, Versailles and the Blue Lagoon). It is noted that Norwegian does not allow blue jeans, tank tops, shorts, T-shirts or beachwear in any of the restaurants after 5:00pm. It is also noted that Aqua and Versailles (the two main restaurants) get very busy between 7pm and 8pm.

The advantage of Freestyle dining is you can eat when you want. However, that is only true in three of the ten restaurants. All the other restaurants require reservations. What is the difference between making a reservation and having a set dining time? Also, for groups this can be a problem. In traditional dining you show up at your table at the assigned time. You know the rest of your group will either already be there, or will arrive soon. With Freestyle dinning, your group has to decide where it wants to eat and when. If you have ever tried to get a group to agree on anything, you know what a chore this can be. Also, if your group is large enough, you can guarantee that someone will show up at the wrong restaurant at the right time, or show up at the right restaurant at the wrong time. For me, I don’t like having to take time out of my day to make a reservation. The whole idea of cruising is to have a carefree vacation. I believe that having to make reservations takes away from that experience.

You can read the entire review if you want by clicking on the links below. The review is long, about 19 type written pages. It is so long in fact that it would not fit in the space alloted, so I continued it onto a second review (the reason there are two links) ...

2) You can buy an unlimited soft drink package, but there is no unlimited alcoholic drink package.

3) No. All the suites will be occupied by other passengers.

4) This varies by how much you spend on drinks and gambling. Tips are $10 per day per person. However, it is called a mandatory service charge. That is the only expense you will have to make. However, there are other optional expenses. Most drinks are free (included). That includes tap water, milk, punch, regular coffee, tea and juice. The drinks that cost extra are soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, specialty coffees and bottled water. All souvenirs (including photos taken by the ship's photographers that you choose to buy). If you gamble, you will have to set your own budget for that. While the food is included, NCL offers optional extra cost restaurants. If you choose to go to one of the optional cost restaurants, that would add another $10 to $30 per person per dinner (depending on which restaurant you go to). However, most of the restaurants are free (included), so the extra cost restaurants are optional.

Another variable is how much shopping you will do on shore. Basically I plan for $100 per person per day. However, I don't drink much and I don't gamble. If you do a lot of drinking and gambling, then perhaps you should plan on $300 per day per person. Also, if you plan on making many larger purchases (souvenirs), then plan accordingly.


Thanks Cruizer, your information is very complete. I made a mistake with my english, because in the 3rd question, I want to know if I can rent a dress, o formal dress for the night capitan dinner.



To Meakin88..
What did you like about the Jewel? My H and I are cruising for the first time and are going on the Jewel in 3 weeks time.