Sign up to our newsletter

Treat yourself: Why living the high life at sea doesn’t have to cost the earth

Fancy vacations don’t need to break the bank thanks to the amazing deals offered by cruise lines. Here are the perks you can enjoy on a cruise.

Cruise vacations are the perfect opportunity to get, quite literally, far away from it all away out on the big blue.

Leading contemporary cruising brand Norwegian Cruise Line not only offers incredible itineraries the world over but they also offer the opportunity to sail in style.

Not only can you tuck into a variety of cuisine across a wide selection of onboard dining options but you will absolutely never be bored thanks to award-winning entertainment – including hit Broadway shows such as Million Dollar Quartet, Burn the Floor, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and more – and activities for all ages and interests.

There’s virtual gaming complex Galaxy Pavilion, the fastest slides at sea, a race track and even a casino if you want that kick of adrenaline. Want to relax? Visit Mandara Spa or laze in the infinity pools to soak up that vacation feeling.

The good news is, you don’t have to be Midas to afford such an indulgent break – in fact, with NCL, upgrades are surprisingly affordable, and a trip to Europe next year is the perfect way to find this out for yourself.

We’ve taken a look at the perks you can bag when sailing to Europe in 2023 to prove that living the high life at sea doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Should I get an upgrade package on my vacation?

Bit of TLC

It’s easy to assume that investing in an upgrade will be a pricey affair, but this need not be the case.

With NCL, upgrades see you benefit from premium beverages so you can enjoy a wide selection of soft drinks, branded spirits, cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer served in all bars, lounges and restaurants throughout your cruise. That will be a prosecco, a Pimm’s and a Peroni for us, please!

Of course, you’ll need to soak up the drink with something and NCL has a raft of speciality restaurants to choose from so you’re guaranteed to benefit from unique dining experiences, whether you love American, Italian or Mexican.

At Japanese food theatre eatery Teppanyaki, chefs perfectly prepare steak, chicken and seafood on a large steel grill while over at Cagney’s Steakhouse guests can take their pick from choice cuts and sip on cocktails.

Want something more formal? Visit Le Bistro for an upscale dining experience with crisp white linens, an intimate atmosphere and attentive service with items like bouillabaisse, pan-seared scallops and veal medallions.

Now, we’re pretty sure you’ll want to be showing off these amazing gourmet experiences to your friends and families back home and one of the great things about the upgrade is you’ll get the Wi-Fi you need to stay connected.

Ready to stretch your legs? Why not sign up for a cruise excursion? With the upgrade, you can make the most of time ashore with a $50 shore excursion discount per stateroom, per port of call.

There will be oodles of excursions to choose from, too. NCL is offering over 170 unique itineraries in Europe in 2023. Travelers will be able to explore a new port nearly every day – and sometimes even two!

The line boasts more than 118 ports of call across Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Greek Isles which is more than any other contemporary cruise line – how ever will we pick just the one voyage?

The final perk of getting an upgrade? On select sailings guests three and four in the stateroom pay only the applicable tax for their cruise – a terrific option for families traveling with children.

Will I need to pay full price for a cruise?


We get it, these perks sound pretty sweet, but is such a cruise going to cost you an arm and a leg? You’ll be thrilled to know the answer is a resounding no! NCL regularly have brilliant deals and offers for vacationers to snap up.

Currently, savvy travelers can save 50 percent off cruises and fly cruises across all accommodation categories.

The joys of the limited-time offer don’t stop there – you can also enjoy air credit on select sailings^.

That’s more funds to splurge on Italian leather goods ashore, amiright?

Is it worth getting a balcony on a cruise?

Get out there

OK, so you’ve decided to commit to the cruise, but where will you stay? Picking the right stateroom for you is a key part of ensuring you’ll enjoy your cruise vacation to the max.

Some passengers can be unsure whether it’s worth staying in a balcony room but we’re here to let you know exactly why it’s a decision you won’t regret.

Firstly, it’s the perfect spot to indulge in a bit of peace and quiet. While you’ll find all manner of tranquil nooks around NCL ships, from the spa to the library, your very own balcony means you’ll absolutely never be disturbed by any other guests. It may well come in useful for a break away from your own travel companion, too (John, must you always sing in the shower?). Simply equip yourself with a book and a coffee and soak up that me-time.

Another major advantage of a balcony is for appreciating the delightful views, whether you want to admire an approaching port, gaze out at the majesty of the ocean or take in the beauty of a sunset. No trekking up to the top deck required – simply roll out of bed and step outside to breathe in that sea air and ogle the marvellous vista.

Having a balcony also means you’ll get extra space – it’s an extension to your stateroom so you’ll benefit from even more room to swing cats, or you know, get ready for a big night.

A final perk you might not have considered is the advantage of natural light. Waking up can be tricky even on vacation, especially with curtains so effective at blocking out the rays. By being able to stand out on the balcony with the sun on your face you can embrace the Vitamin D and charge yourself up ready for the exciting day ahead (John, bring me out a tea would you?). Top tip, you may also prefer to do your makeup here to make the most of the natural light.

Where in Europe should I cruise?

Set Sail

Want to take in the stunning terracotta rooftops of Croatia or the whitewashed wonders of Santorini? Or maybe you’d like to uncover the history of Florence or eat tapas in Barcelona? NCL’s Europe cruises 2023 will have something for you.

We’ve rounded up just four of the cool cruises you can embark on to the continent next year.

7-Day Greek Isles: Santorini & Israel from Athens (Piraeus)

Duration: 6 nights
Where: Athens, Greece | Kusadasi, Turkey | Patmos, Greece | Jerusalem, Israel | Tel-Aviv, Israel | Limassol, Cyprus | Santorini, Greece | Athens, Greece
Ship: Norwegian Jade

Find out more

9-Day Mediterranean: Italy, France & Spain from Barcelona

Duration: 8 nights
Where: Barcelona, Spain | Cannes, France | Florence/Pisa, Italy | Rome, Italy | Naples, Italy | Cagliari, Sardinia | Palma, Majorca | Ibiza, Spain | Barcelona, Spain
Ship: Norwegian Epic

Find out more

9-Day Greek Isles: Santorini, Mykonos & Croatia to Venice (Trieste) from Athens (Piraeus)

Duration: 8 nights
Where: Athens, Greece | Santorini, Greece | Mykonos, Greece | Corfu, Greece | Dubrovnik, Croatia | Kotor, Montenegro | Hvar, Croatia | Split, Croatia | Venice, Italy
Ship: Norwegian Gem

Find out more

10-Day Greek Isles & Italy: Santorini, Mykonos & Florence from Rome (Civitavecchia)

Duration: 9 nights
Where: Rome, Italy | Santorini, Greece | Athens, Greece | Mykonos, Greece | Corfu, Greece | Valletta, Malta | Messina, Italy | Naples, Italy | Florence/Pisa, Italy | Rome, Italy
Ship: Norwegian Breakaway

Find out more
Book Cruise

*^ Terms and conditions apply to all offers, see ncl.com for full details

Published 11.14.22