After experiencing their first cruise more than ten years ago, Paul and Pamela Butler have never looked back. Longstanding members of Latitudes Rewards, Norwegian Cruise Line’s customer loyalty programme, they have cruised over 27 times with Norwegian.
Encouraged by a friend, they started cruising by testing the waters on board Norwegian Sun in 2001, and booked their next cruise before they had departed the ship. Recognising that it can be difficult to know where to start for new cruisers, Paul and Pamela Butler have offered their top tips for anyone looking for some insider knowledge.
Paul Butler said, “There is so much information out there – whether it’s about destinations, ships, excursions or facilities - and new cruisers can find it overwhelming to understand where to start. This is why we feel that speaking to those of us who have cruised before is an ideal way to prepare for a cruising holiday.”
Paul and Pamela’s top tips include:
Once you arrive in your stateroom, be sure to talk to your room steward. The room stewards know everything.
If you’re staying on board a big ship such as Norwegian Epic or Norwegian Breakaway, book a suite in The Haven by Norwegian. It has the luxury of a small ship but when you want to explore you can experience the rest of the facilities on board.
Take advantage of all the amenities on board, but don’t feel pressured into trying everything. Norwegian’s Freestyle Cruising® means that you can do what you want – it’s your holiday, so make sure it feels that way!
If there are any particular restaurants you know you want to visit at a certain time, look into pre-booking them before you sail on My NCL. That way, you’ll be able to relax knowing that you have a number of special meals already sorted! But with Norwegian’s Freestyle Dining you can also just go with the flow and have dinner whenever hunger strikes.
Make sure that you have enrolled into the Latitudes Rewards programme once you return from your first cruise so you reap the benefits on your next cruise – even just one point can give you some great benefits that will heighten your cruise experience.
Finally, ensure that you quote your Latitudes Rewards number at time of booking whether booking through a travel agent or directly with Norwegian. Also keep an eye out for Norwegian’s monthly Latitudes Rewards Insider offers where Latitude Rewards members can receive some great offers such as free on board spend.
Paul continued, “Norwegian has treated us well through the Latitudes Rewards programme and one of the highlights of every cruise is seeing the staff who have been part of the Norwegian crew for so long that we consider them our friends.
“When we were on board Norwegian Pearl, we were there when Ryan, a staff member we have known since he was a junior butler in 2002, discovered that his wife had given birth to their first baby. My wife rushed out when we came to port and came back with some baby clothes for the new arrival. That was a pretty special moment”.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Latitudes Rewards programme allows cruisers to earn points for every cruise night booked, as well as the opportunity to earn extra points per night for booking more than 9 months in advance, booking a suite or booking any of the monthly exclusive Latitudes Rewards insider offers – that can be found on the website. These build up to rewards such as on board discounts, priority disembarkation and complimentary behind the scenes tours. Visit http://www.ncl.co.uk/ /latitudes/ for more information.
Nick Wilkinson, Director Business Development of Norwegian Cruise Line said, “We love hearing feedback, tips and thoughts from our Latitudes Rewards members. These are the people who know all there is about cruising and who are often first on board our new ships and new destinations. The programme rewards customers who cruise with Norwegian with some fantastic perks and exclusive opportunities.”