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Celebrity vs Norwegian

Discover the differences between Celebrity and Norwegian cruise lines.

Updated

Fact checked

Norwegian Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises sound completely different. One name brings a country to mind, the other symbolises fame and fortune.

But are there really that many differences between the two cruise brands?

Here’s a handy guide to exactly how they compare.

Celebrity vs Norwegian

FeatureCelebrityNorwegianVerdict
Where does it sail to?
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • The Caribbean
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • South America
  • The USA
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • The Caribbean
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • South America
  • The USA
Both lines cover similar destinations.
Does it have Wi-Fi?Yes, for a fee.Yes, for a fee.Both offer Wi-Fi at a cost.
Does it provide towels?Yes.Yes.Both provide towels.
Contact options
  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Phone
NCL doesn’t have live chat.
Is it all-inclusive?No.No, but you can upgrade to an all-inclusive package.Neither is all-inclusive as standard.
How much is the deposit?1-6 night cruises: $200

7-14 night cruises: $400

15+ night cruises: $800

1-6 night cruises: $150

7-14 night cruises: $300

15+ night cruises: $450

NCL’s deposits are less than Celebrity’s.
Does it have a gym?Yes.Yes.Both have gyms.
Does it have hairdryers, laundry and irons?Hairdryers – yes. Laundry and ironing is charged and not self-service.Hairdryers – yes. Irons and laundry are charged.Both offer hair dryers and laundry facilities.
Does it include food?Yes.Yes.Both include food.
Does it have casinos?Yes.Yes.Both offer casinos.
Does it have an ATM?Yes.Yes.Both have ATMs.
Does it have formal nights?Hosts Evening Chic nights where cocktail dresses, skirts trousers or designer jeans are acceptable."Dress up or not" nights.Both lines are flexible on formal dress.
How much are drinks?US$6-7 for a beer, US$9-11 for a wine.US$6-7 for a beer, US$9-14 for a wine.Prices are similar.
Is it good for families?Yes. Kids’ Clubs and family dining.Yes. Kids’ clubs, family rooms, family dining.Both are good for families.
Does it have child care?Yes, for children over 12 months old. Fees apply.Yes, at a cost.Both offer childcare for a fee.
Does it have virtual balconies?No.No.Neither have virtual balconies.
Does it have a waterslide?No.Yes.NCL has waterslides.
Does it have a promenade?Yes.Yes.Both have promenades.
Does it have free room service?Yes, from 6am-11pm.Yes, but with a $7.95 convenience charge.NCL charges for room service delivery.
What are my payment options?
  • American Express
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • American Express
  • Diners Club
  • Discover
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
NCL offers a few more ways to pay.
Can I price match?No.No.Neither offers price matching.
Does it allow for cancellations/changes?The minimum cancellation charge is the deposit.

Charges apply to some changes.

Cancellation charges apply 60 days before the booking date.Both have cancellation penalties.
How much are airport transfers?Fly-cruise packages include transfers to the ship.Fly-cruise packages include transfers.

Other transfer costs differ, e.g. New York LaGuardia to New York port costs $40.

Both include transfers in fly-cruise packages.
How much are gratuities?US$14.50 per person/per day for guests in interior, oceanview and balcony staterooms. You can opt out or adjust.From US$13.95 per person/per day.Both lines charge daily gratuities.
Has a ship ever sunk?No.No.No ships have sunk with either line.

Who offers the best price?

Prices for a seven-night Italy, France and Spain cruise, departing from Rome and calling at Florence, Nice, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona start at $1,659 with Celebrity Cruises.

  • Prices for a seven-day Western Mediterranean cruise, departing from Rome and calling at Florence, Cannes, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Naples and Rome start at $1,167 with Norwegian Cruise Line.

The verdict?

Celebrity Cruises pulls up as the more expensive cruise option for similar journeys through European waters. It includes an extra sail day above what NCL offers, but at a price difference of $500 which is steep on a per day basis.

Prices are correct at the time of writing and may not reflect sale periods which could alter the price of each cruise.


Is this cruise line good?

Norwegian Cruise Line is rated just 3.5/5 on Cruise Critic with reviewers remarking on the relaxed atmosphere on board. On the other hand, Celebrity Cruises comes in at 4/5 on the cruise review website Cruise Critic, with reviewers also praising the informal atmosphere plus the imaginative food options.


Any other differences worth noting?

NCL has a reputation for its onboard entertainment. The line-ups can include Tony award-winning Broadway shows like Rock of Ages and it’s acrobatics show Cirque Dreams.

Norwegian Cruise Line also runs a flexible dining policy, which means there are no set dining times for dinner or pre-assigned seating.


What are the deals like?

Celebrity Cruises offers deals centered more on extras rather than flat-out monetary discounts. Some perks it’s offered in the past include US$300 on-board credit and reduced kids' pricing. Norwegian Cruise Line is also open to discounted second passengers, in the past offering up to 50% off fares for second passengers and free perks such as $500 on board credit and free wine.

The verdict?

Both cruise lines offer similar deals, most popularly centered around second-passenger discounts and free on-board perks such as credit. Norwegian Cruise Lines more often has slightly better deals, with generous offers for on-board credit and greater discounts for larger groups.


Top Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line deals

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$1/day one-way car hire in Australia

Valid on select dates for select car hire in Australia. Destinations updated regularly.

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Gold Coast stays from $49/night

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Extra 8% off on hotel bookings

Save on hotel stays before 31 December 2020 in Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Fiji, Thailand, Singapore, USA and more. Available at select hotels.

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Get $20 credit

Get $5 off each of your first four rides in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Geelong, Perth and Newcastle. Valid on all dates for new users. T&Cs apply.

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New Zealand stays from $30/night

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Melbourne stays from $50/night

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Refer a friend and get $25 Airbnb credit

Give a friend $50 toward their first stay and get $25 credit for yourself toward a future booking.

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Popular Travel coupon codes

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Popular Cruises coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
21 Sep 2020 3rd and 4th passengers free on cruises ********
7 Sep 2020 Free room upgrade on sailings ********
21 Sep 2020 Up to 61% off Australia holiday packages ********
7 Sep 2020 10-night New Year's Eve cruise + Free room upgrade from $1,399 ********
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