Much like many of its target clientele, NCL's fleet is young and dynamic. In the Escape, Encore, Breakaway and Getaway, it has launched four of the biggest and most technologically advanced ships to take to the seas in the last few years and that trend looks set to continue as the fleet grows further. Fun and flexibility definitely trumps formality on board, but that is not to say that there is any lack of sophistication and NCL has cleverly pioneered a ship within a ship concept by grouping together their most expensive suites in a separate area for a more intimate and exclusive feel.
Everything about NCL is consciously aimed at appealing to as wide a range of people as possible. Rather than having to conform to cruising stereotypes, the whole ethos of the line is that people should be able to choose how they want to enjoy their holiday. That applies to the pricing as well and NCL offers everything from super-premium suites to good value cabins.
With that in mind, NCL is unquestionably amongst the least traditional of the major lines and that fresh and dynamic approach has a strong cross-generational appeal, making the line equally popular with younger families as with older couples. Certainly NCL does far more than most to cater for its younger guests and there is no shortage of suitable leisure, entertainment and dining options for children of all ages.
NCL was the first of the major operators to realise that many potential holidaymakers were being putting off cruising by a perceived over-reliance on tradition and formality. Realising that many people preferred to choose their own dining and entertainment options, NCL's Freestyle Cruising started an industry-wide trend towards greater flexibility and choice, and the line remains a trendsetter in this area.
One of NCL's greatest successes has been in ushering in a more casual and laid back style of holiday whilst maintaining high standards of facilities and service. Its ships are famously unstuffy and welcoming but still provide the same quality and luxury feel that you'd expect from a premium cruise line.