Cost of Living On a Norwegian Cruise Ship

It costs about $285 a day for two people to live on the Norwegian Sky.  This cost includes “free open bar”.  You can probably get a better deal if you book within a couple of months of sailing.

This post is the third in my series “Cost of Living On a Cruise Ship.”  My first case study was Carnival, and the second was Royal Caribbean. 

We are comparing the cheapest cruises that leave from Miami in the month of January 2017, and we are looking at the prices that are offered on each cruise line’s website.  Here are the Norwegian cruises that leave from Miami during that month that are comparable to the ones I used for Carnival and Royal Caribbean:

Norwegian Sky Bahamas Itineraries
Norwegian Sky Short Itineraries

The Sky does alternating 3- and 4-night cruises to the Bahamas out of Miami.  I’m not sure why the Sky is not cruising January 23rd.  I don’t see it repositioning to another port, and it’s not scheduled to go into drydock.  Perhaps the ship has been chartered for the rest of the month.

Three-night Norwegian Sky Cruises out of Miami

Norwegian Sky Three Day Cruise Itinerary from Miami
Norwegian Sky 3-day Itinerary from Miami

There are three of these cruises offered in January.  Here is the cost breakdown for these cruises:

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The cost to take all three of these cruises is $2822.12 for two.

Four-Night Norwegian Sky Cruises out of Miami

There are also three 4-day cruises on the Sky in November.  Here is the itinerary:

Norwegian Sky Four Day Itinerary from Miami
Norwegian Sky 4-day Cruise From Miami

Following is the cost breakdown on the 4-nighters:

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The cost to take all three four-night cruises is $3161.58 for two.

The total cost to take all six cruises is $5983.70 for two.  This gives 21 days of cruising for $284.94 per day for two.  This sounds expensive compared to Carnival ($189/day) or Royal Caribbean ($235/day.)  Let me discuss a couple of caveats of this pricing.

Drink Package Inclusion

These cruises are advertised as “drinks included.”.  It is included in all fares and cannot be separated out.  I think Norwegian is test marketing an “all-inclusive” cruise, as the Sky is the only ship that is offering this.  Usually the drink package is an add-on amenity called the “Ultimate Beverage Package” that is charged on a per diem basis.  The package costs $79/day (they just raised the price!), and an 18% gratuity is added to your bill.  I’m not sure if this extra gratuity is automatically added on the Sky cruises because there is no separate cost for the drinks.  The per day cost differential between Carnival and Norwegian, is $96/day.  This would give you a value of $48 per person per day for the drinks package.  Only you can determine if that is a good deal for you.

No Breaks For Booking Ahead

Norwegian will discount their cruises, but they like to wait until the last minute to do so.  Carnival and Royal will give you a decent price if you are looking to book a year or more out, but Norwegian has these cruises priced rather high at the moment.

Back in October I booked a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise that departs from LA.  We are getting a casino rate; however, the price for the cruise on the website in October was over $1000.  I’ve just checked the price of this same cruise and it is now $549.  It does not pay to book ahead with Norwegian.

The best strategy for living on Norwegian ships would be to be extremely flexible and book cruises as you see the prices drop into your comfort level.  But you might have to change ships often to keep get the best prices.




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