What’s It Like Cruising Norwegian During COVID

The Norwegian Cruise Line announced their most popular itinerary is a 9-day cruise to Norway. The trip features everything from fjords, hot springs and ice caves!

“Norwegian Encores Cruise COVID” is a cruise that travels through the Norwegian fjords. The itinerary includes stops in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, and Trondheim. You will also be able to visit some of the most beautiful places on earth. Read more in detail here: norwegian encore cruise covid.

What’s It Like Cruising Norwegian During COVID

Among the cruise lines, Norwegian Cruise Line has among of the most rigorous COVID policies.

The line’s pre-cruise standards aim to guarantee that all passengers have a safe sailing experience. All passengers, regardless of age, must be completely vaccinated and have received the entire dosage 14 days before boarding.

norwegian epic

Epic of Norway (Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line)

Guests will also be examined at the terminal before to boarding from now until January 16, 2022. The procedure was quite quick, with findings available in as little as 30 minutes. Guests finish the embarkation procedure as normal after they get their negative findings.

Onboard Protocols and Changes at Norwegian

While new processes and adjustments have been implemented across the ship, many of them are not immediately obvious to passengers. Norwegian takes such safeguards before boarding, and their continued health and safety procedures aboard demonstrates their dedication to the health of its passengers and crew.

The Sail Safe program details the procedures taken by the cruise line to safeguard the safety of its passengers. My Norwegian Epic cruise began in Italy and visited European ports, so we had to adhere to the health regulations of each country.

social distancing sign norwegian epic


We checked in and obtained our Freestyle keycards after being cleared to board after receiving negative COVID test results. These are used as a room key and for onboard transactions. They show the status of Latitudes and the location of the muster. To avoid big crowds, the safety practice is now completed separately at home during check-in. You may finish your online check-in after watching the video. You’ll head to your muster station aboard the ship and have your card scanned. It’s a straightforward procedure.

Norwegian is adopting a face recognition technology to board and depart the ship instead of scanning your keycard. This not only identifies you, but it also measures your temperature. For contact tracing, your keycard employs technology.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s masking

You’ll see asterisks following several claims on the Sail Safe page, the majority of which pertain to European locations. Despite our bad COVID testing, immunizations, and restricted sailing ability, we disguised from the start on our transatlantic voyage (We were about 50 percent full.) Members of the team are obliged to wear masks at all times and undergo COVID testing on a weekly basis.

Although a few attendees had a drink stuck to their palms, the rest of the guests seemed to be in agreement with the mask wearing. Removing masks for eating and drinking was acceptable and not as onerous as wearing a mask between sips and bites, as required by the airline. “Washy, washy; joyful, happy; masky, masky!” became the typical greeting chorus at breakfast at the Garden Cafe. The final portion of the phrase was eliminated once we departed Europe, and some people replaced it with “healthy, healthy!”

MORE: We Tried the Cruise Line-Approved At-Home COVID Test

Distancing from others

When you press the elevator button, a visible notice on the wall shows a schematic illustrating the most basic elements of maintaining social distance in the elevator. If you’re having trouble seeing the signs, there are spherical marks on the floor in each corner of the elevator that indicate where the maximum of four individuals allowed in the area at one time should stand. According to anecdotal data, this was a tough notion for several on this voyage. To be cooperative, we went up the steps or waited for another elevator or two.

norwegian epic distancing markers

Bars and social isolation may sound paradoxical, but it was doable on Norwegian Epic with a little forethought. In the lounge portions of the bars, tables and chairs were spaced to promote social separation.

occupancy sign norwegian epic

A similar procedure was used to keep the theater from becoming overcrowded. Seating was typically cordoned off, leaving two chairs free for friends to sit together. Seating was blocked off in other bigger public venues using the same approach. It was never a difficulty to locate a seat to enjoy the entertainment since Norwegian Epic sailed at a reduced capacity and, in the event of production shows, gave two performances.

The Garden Café was most certainly the most difficult place to maintain a secure and healthy atmosphere. I was amazed by the efforts taken to prevent sickness from spreading after seeing too many behaviors that made the buffet my least favorite place to dine.

When visitors approach the area, they are met by friendly greeters who eagerly guide them to the many hand sanitizer machines found around the ship. Guests get a plate and utensils wrapped in a napkin after washing their hands. They next go to their preferred station and choose their favorite meals. In this touchless approach, the staff fills the dish. The same thing occurs at the beverage stations. When customers purchase beverages, staff members standing behind a roped area fill the cups and glasses and set them on a tray outside the area where the guests collect their cups.

hand sanitizer station norwegian epic

Alternating slot machines were disabled at the casino, and table games had more room between chairs. The gym and the stores also have capacity restrictions, which were clearly marked outside the doors.

Staff clean the ship’s rails, doorknobs, and walls on a regular basis. Everything is gleaming. Areas are disinfected with a disinfectant in the evening. The air filtering systems have been brought up to date to meet medical requirements.

These additional precautions gave me confidence that I would be healthy during the voyage. The majority of cruisers were cooperative, as is customary. One of them donned a mask with phrases on it that expressed his distaste for masks. Others just disregarded the advice. My pleasure of my trip on the Norwegian Epic was not harmed by any health program. Many of the signs vanished as soon as we exited European seas, and obstructed seats and gambling machines were available.

social distancing markers norwegian epic

I always worry about the COVID test, no matter how diligent I am. Norwegian put us all to the test before we arrived in New York. The predicted unfavorable outcomes were a relief.

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that COVID tests will no longer be administered at the embarkation port unless customers pay a cost of $99. Guests may produce negative COVID findings obtained within two days of embarkation at a U.S. port or three days prior to embarkation at a non-U.S. port.

During COVID, it is the visitors’ obligation to stay up to date on the ever-changing regulations for traveling and sailing. The Norwegian Sail Safe website is the best place to start looking for further information.

Russell, Theresa

READ NEXT: 12 Things to Know About Norwegian Cruise Line Before Sailing

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what it's like cruising norwegian during covid

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