Norwegian Cruise Line has announced The Norwegian Edge, a new two-year, $400 million investment project that will include an extensive ship refurbishment initiative and new additions to the guest experience.
The Norwegian Edge fleet revitalization program will transform many spaces onboard nine of the line's ships to reflect the look and feel of Norwegian's newest vessels.
The refurbishment program began in October 2015 with a full refresh of Norwegian Epic that included the debut of brand new venues like The Cavern Club; complete restaurant makeovers in La Cucina and a new look for Cagney’s, Le Bistro, Moderno Churrascaria, The Manhattan Room and the Garden Café; and refreshed décor, furniture and flooring in many public spaces, including The Haven Courtyard, Lounge and Restaurant.
Norwegian Gem followed in November, debuting enhancements including a complete makeover of Bliss Lounge; extensive interior refurbishments; refreshing of décor including new furniture and new flooring in all specialty restaurants and several complimentary outlets, as well as bars and lounges; new pool deck furniture; interactive digital signage and wayfinding technology; new teak flooring throughout outdoor spaces and corridors of upper decks; and upgrades to The Haven Courtyard and Sundeck with a new look including more shaded areas, cabanas and lounge chairs.
Throughout the course of the refurbishment program, a total of 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.
New for 2016, all ships in Norwegian’s fleet now offer upgraded complimentary dining room menus and the addition of optional à la carte priced items in the main dining rooms, such as grilled lobster tails and surf and turf entrees, providing guests additional choices and tastes to create their ultimate dining experience. The new complimentary dining menus offer an increased variety – featuring appetizers, soups and salads, featured entrees, and desserts –and have been developed by Norwegian’s culinary team with a focus on balancing popular traditional dishes like prime rib, chateaubriand, rack of lamb and escargot with current dining trends and heightened guest expectations. New offerings include more seafood selections such as fresh grouper, along with contemporary dishes like shrimp ceviche, seared Atlantic scallops with fennel puree, and braised beef short ribs.
Beginning on January 31, Norwegian will also be expanding the new specialty dining menus that debuted on Norwegian Escape across the fleet. The menus will be introduced at the line’s signature specialty restaurants - Cagney’s Steakhouse, Le Bistro and La Cucina - along with new offerings at Moderno Churrascaria and Teppanyaki. The menus include traditional French favorites at Le Bistro such as Bouillabaisse, pan-seared jumbo bay scallops and veal medallions with sauce morrel, and a more robust menu at La Cucina featuring antipasti, risotto and traditional secondi courses like Osso Buco alla Milanese or pan-seared sea bass filet. These new menus will be offered on Norwegian Breakaway as of January 31; Norwegian Getaway on February 14; Norwegian Epic on March 6; Pride of America after its dry dock on March 15; Norwegian Gem on April 1; and Norwegian Dawn after its dry dock in June.
In addition to the new menus, Norwegian is also further expanding training and certification for the fleet’s culinary and dining teams. All Executive Chefs, Executive Sous Chefs and other culinary staff are certified by American Culinary Federation (ACF). The line is also working toward a certified service training program to include all guest-facing positions and three new training and development centers have opened across the globe to help train crew members prior to boarding ships.
Guests should also expect to see the expansion of popular existing partnerships with culinary experts for food and beverage outlets on board. More details and specific information will be shared closer to each ship’s dry dock date.
Norwegian has further expanded plans for the line’s privately-owned destinations, including the development of Harvest Caye in Belize. This resort-style port of call will have a pool, beach, shallow lagoon for watersports, private luxury cabanas and more.
New features are also in store for the line’s private Bahamian island, Great Stirrup Cay. The island was recently enhanced in 2014 and will debut several new offerings and amenities for guests by spring 2017. Specific details will be announced later this year.