Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The cruise experience on Norwegian Cruise Line ships

Felix Chan, Vice President for Sales - Asia of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., reveals how he has grown as a traveler and why cruising is one of the best ways to travel.

Norwegian Escape going to St. Tomas

WHICH DESTINATIONS ARE BEST SEEN VIA A CRUISE?

Travelers, particularly the younger generation, want to see the Northern Lights. You can expect a similar situation to Cuba in Iceland; small expensive hotels that are difficult to secure even if you’re willing to pay. So cruising is a very good way to travel to Iceland. Another popular destination is Alaska

Travelers from hot countries in Southeast Asia want to go to colder places for trips. Norwegian Cruise Lines and Oceania Cruises both sail to Alaska in the summer. And next year, we have a new ship called Norwegian Bliss sailing to Alaska.


WHICH DESTINATION WOULD YOU LIKE TO REVISIT?

I’m thinking of taking my parents on an Oceania cruise ship to Italy. They have visited major cities in Europe but they haven’t been to the small islands and cities. When you go on a land vacation, you always go to the big cities because these are the most convenient. But on a cruise ship, you can go to smaller towns and boating villages. Small luxury cruise ships like Oceania Cruises can go to ports that large ships cannot access. And there are so many unheard-of islands in Italy

My parents are already over 75 years old so cruising is perfect for them. They can take a rest or go out when they want. I see them every week, but the three of us haven’t traveled together alone in a long time. This trip will be something to look back to 10 or 30 years from now without regrets, because I spent a wonderful time with them.

Felix Chan
Vice President for Sales - Asia of 

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

HOW DID YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH TRAVELING?

Traveling means three things to me. First, it’s about relationship-building – it’s an easy way to build a bond among families. Second, traveling is about inspiration. You interact with different people, learn different cultures, and hear new ideas that inspire you in work and personal life. Third, travel let’s us take a step back and experience the diversity of life, especially when the majority of our time is spent at the office, in a concrete building with a singular view.


Pincho Tapas Bar, Norwegian Escape

WHAT KIND OF TRAVELER ARE YOU?

I’m very strategic in planning my trips. For business, I need to be structured with which agents to call and which meetings to attend. For my leisure travels, I also need to be strategic because our time is limited. I make sure my family always treasures our time together. The well-planned itineraries for our vacations are always decided by my wife. She give a lot of effort to planning trips.

Norwegian Bliss going to Alaska

WHERE WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE TRIP?

My first cruise ship experience just two years ago on Norwegian Epic. I had never cruised on a ship like Norwegian Cruise Lines before. When I was a kid, I went to cruises with my family where the ships were more of a casino type, unlike the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings brands, which are more the resort types of cruise ships

At that time, I didn’t know much about cruise products so I needed to make sure that this was the right product for me before accepting the job at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. So the company sent me and my wife on a trip on the Norwegian Epic for seven days from Barcelona to the Mediterranean. After that cruise, my perception on cruising changed totally.

Kids Water Park, Norwegian Escape

BON APPETIT

Our dining establishments can top five-star restaurants in Europe. Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas are well known for the best lamb restaurants that are comparable to establishments on land. Oceania Cruises’s master chef, Jacques Pépin, used to be the personal chef of the French president. He has been our executive chef since Oceania Cruises was founded.

Cagney's Steakhouse, Norwegian Escape

WHAT IS THE TRAVEL PHILOSOPHY OF YOUR CRUISERS?

Asian travelers are particular about several things. They’re destination-driven, which means they care about visiting exotic and extraordinary destinations where they can explore and learn. They are also value-driven


CUBA AS A CRUISE DESTINATION

For example, Cuba is a popular cruise now because there are few good hotels on land, and most charge extremely high prices. A cruise ship is a better alternative in value because it means your entire “resort” brings you to Cuba and lets you experience the culture and history of Cuba. Then you can return to the ship and enjoy the dining establishments and entertainment experiences that come along with the cruise ship.

HAWAII AS A CRUISE DESTINATION

Another popular cruise destination for us is Hawaii. Travelers can island-hop to four islands in one week. On land, travelers need to take a plane to transfer from one island to another. The cost of the time and different hotels are expensive. But on a cruise ship, you get more value in terms of convenience, accommodations, and dining.

Cadillac Diner, Pride of America cruise ship

Asian travelers have strong family values. A lot of people treat cruising as an annual family reunion. That’s the beauty of the cruise ship: it caters to many generations. My parents can relax on the cruise ship or take a short excursion. My kids are always going to the children’s facilities on the cruise ship

My wife and I always choose from the many short excursions offered on the cruise. During the day, everyone may do different things, but they come back together for dinner and to enjoy the shows on the cruise ship afterwards. So if you want a travel experience that caters to different generations, choose a cruise.

"Burn the Floor" performance, Norwegian Epic

PEACE & TRANQUILITY AT SEA

Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas offer different wellness programs. People can choose from vegetarian options, apart from the typical dishes we offer in our daily menus. We have shore excursions related to wellness, such as the chance to do yoga or tai chi on one of the Canary Islands. Wellness and health are growing trends because people are becoming more health conscious. And they want to make sure that even when they’re traveling, they have wellness options.

Norwegian Joy

HAPPINESS AT SEA

Norwegian Joy was just launched last year. I attended the christening and sailed on the ship with my family. This ship has very exciting elements.”


FULL SPEED AHEAD

The Race Car Track is the first go-kart on a cruise ship. When you turn fast around the corners, you get views of the sea since the racetrack is on the highest deck of the cruise ship.


WORLDS OF VIRTUAL REALITY

The Galaxy Pavilion has a lot of virtual worlds that the young and young at heart can play in. This is a must-go place to try the roller coaster and the virtual reality games.


UNLIMITED GASTRONOMIC FEASTS

On Norwegian Joy, we have 28 restaurants. So even if you have every meal on the ship every day, you still won’t be able to try all the restaurants. Guests have different cuisine choices, from French and Italian to Japanese and Korean.


WHAT AN EVENING

There is Broadway-quality entertainment on the cruise ship every night, including magic shows, live music, and comedy clubs. Two of the must-see performances include “Elements” with its amazing acrobats, and “Paradis,” which involves the 15-feet revolving showgirl staircase.



FUN FOR WATER BABIES

Aqua Park is an exciting water adventure. The water slides extend outside the ship so it’s a very thrilling experience – like you’re being thrown into the sea.


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