Norwegian Cruise Line today announced The Norwegian Edge, "an innovative program that promises to introduce a new standard of excellence that encompasses the entire guest experience, from ship hardware to culinary enhancements and exclusive private destination developments," said the company.
It reflects a significant two-year $400 million investment by the company through 2017. Nine ships will be included in the program.
“Norwegian has a long history of investing in its fleet to offer guests the latest and greatest innovations, but the investment to raise our ships to The Norwegian Edge™ standard of excellence takes it to new levels,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief operating officer. “The new standards of The Norwegian Edge program will entice our guests to return again and again to ships that will look and feel as if they were just delivered, with all new menus and new dining experiences, visiting incredible exclusive destinations that reflect the quality finishes, amenities and outstanding service found across the Norwegian fleet.”
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, as well as The Haven Courtyard, Lounge and Restaurant.
Norwegian Gem followed in November, debuting significant 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, to reflect a more contemporary look; 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.
he new complimentary dining menus offer an increased variety – featuring appetizers, soups and salads, featured entrees, and desserts – and have been carefully 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, said the cruise line.
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 introduction of these new enhanced menus 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 her dry dock on March 15; Norwegian Gem on April 1; and Norwegian Dawn after her 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).
Norwegian has further expanded plans for the line’s privately-owned destinations including the development of the Caribbean’s premier resort-style experience at Harvest Caye, Belize.
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 high quality amenities for guests by spring 2017. Specific details will be announced later this year.