Raise a glass and toast farewell to open bar aboard Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun. The popular amenity on those two ships will end as of September 7, 2019, according to reports.
Norwegian began offering open bar aboard Sky in 2016 to distinguish the ship from other short-cruise alternatives. When Norwegian Sun was refurbished in 2018, an open bar became one of that vessel’s selling points as well. The open bar policy let NCL guests order unlimited premium spirits, mixed cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer without paying any additional fees. Sodas, juices and other drinks were also included.
The elimination of open bar comes soon after the U.S. government banned Cuba cruises. Both Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Sky had offered voyages to the once-again-forbidden island nation. The sudden announcement that U.S.-based ships can no longer sail to Cuba meant NCL had to alter several of these ships’ short itineraries. With Cuba being a higher-priced sailing, it could be that the math of an open bar didn’t work on less expensive cruises.
Still, if you want to drink for free on the ship, you aren’t completely out of luck.
Norwegian will now offer open bar as one of several options available to cruisers as part of their “Free at Sea” program. Through that program, guests can also choose other perks such as free specialty dining, free Wi-Fi, free or reduced airfare, and shore excursion credits.
Passengers who have already booked a cruise on either Sky or Sun will still be able to enjoy open bar, even if the cruise departs after September 7.
For more on cruising Norwegian, be sure to read our 27 Fun Things to Do on a Norwegian Cruise.