In late April, the keel was laid for the first of Norwegian Cruise Line’s third generation F3 ships, due to debut in 2010.
“The F3 ships are our most innovative project in the company’s 41-year history and will provide a totally unique vacation experience,” said Colin Veitch, NCL’s president and CEO. “Today, as we lay the keel for this groundbreaking new ship, we are one step closer to revolutionizing cruising as we know it.”
The two 150,000-ton F3 ships will be the largest in NCL’s fleet, with 4,200 passenger berths, and will offer 60 percent more guest space than NCL's largest ships to date. All outside staterooms — 1,415 on each — will have private balconies. The company’s New Wave staterooms feature "pod" bathrooms with separate shower stall, separate water closet, and a vanity top sink, concealed contour LED lighting and domed ceilings.
Meanwhile, the line has introduced new entertainment on Norwegian Jade as part of the ship’s year-round deployment in Europe, with four new off-Broadway musicals as well as the long-running off-Broadway show, “Tony n' Tina's Wedding”; an expanded Second City improvisational comedy show; and a classical evening of opera and dance choreographed by award-winning choreographer Twyla Tharp.
Entertainment scheduling now offers nighttime production shows twice per cruise, but only one performance per evening. On most evenings, there is a second show performed that includes acrobatics, action comedy and magic. Shows include the Tony award-winning Smokey Joe’s Café, showcasing more than 40 classic favorite rock and roll, rhythm and blues songs written by songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller including ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Stand by Me’; “Shout! The Mod Musical”, which features sounds of England in the 1960s; and “The World Goes ‘Round,” filled with classic show tunes from ‘New York, New York’ to ‘Cabaret.’