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Norwegian Cruise Line Sails Into Las Vegas on a Sea of Dreams

by Linda Coffman

Las Vegas, June 2008: What's a cruise line doing at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas? Norwegian Cruise Line chose the hotel’s private Venus Pool to reveal its vision for the future of nighttime experiences at sea designed specifically for its two next generation of Freestyle Cruising ships, F3, set to debut in 2010.

Colin Veitch accepts an icy vodka from NCL's F3 Nightlife Ice Queen, a vision in fur

Assembled guests entered another dimensionthe F3 Zoneand found it out of this world. Totally innovative, F3 ships will have no big void spaces; no main show lounge that is empty during off peak hours, no lido that is deserted after dark. Instead, spaces are designed for multiple uses that offer choices unlike anything else afloat. While families will no doubt also find a lot to love on F3 ships, this "reveal" is all about the type of adult nightlife found in the world's most sophisticated playgrounds.

From New York chic and Ibiza late-night-party-style to Miami South Beach trendy and a sizzling Vegas vibe, the nightclubs on NCL’s new F3 ships will create never-before-seen experiences at sea and feature a variety of uses for day or night, along with exclusive, adult-only venues.

We Love The Nightlife
The ships’ five most distinctive hotspots were revealed by Colin Veitch, NCL’s president and CEO, including a cruise industry first—a true Scandinavian style Ice Bar; POSH Beach Club, a first of its kind beach club at sea that offers a deluxe, adults-only setting at the top of the ship; Halo, the Über Bar, a private bar and lounge in the ship-within-a-ship villa complex; Bliss Ultra Lounge, NCL’s all day to night entertainment and lounge complex with a four-lane bowling alley; and Spice H20, the adults-only aft pool deck experience.

“There is nothing ordinary about these ships. The F3s are unconventionally extraordinary,” said Veitch. “Every experience on board will be unique and like no other. But this is just the beginning. We have a lot more to reveal in the upcoming months so stay tuned.”

With these signature outlets, NCL’s nightclub experience will rival even Vegas’ energy and passion for nightlife. Aha! Now you know why we're here! As promised, "What happened in Vegas, is not staying in Vegas," so this is what we have to look forward to at sea...

NCL F3 Ice BarCOOL, NCL’s Ice Bar – The coolest spot afloat to chill out isn't simply a bar with a layer of ice atop it. NCL's giant "ice cube" vault creates a glowing centerpiece in the Bar City complex with walls, tables, stools, sculptures, and even beverage glasses all made of ice. At 17 degrees Fahrenheit, the frozen chamber is lit in changing hues of blue, green, and purple LED simulating the Northern Lights. Fur coats, gloves, and hats will keep 25 guests at a time warm as they sip icy chilled drinks from their icy frozen glasses. Inspired by the original ice bars and ice hotels in Scandinavia, and one of only 14 ice bars in the world, the cruise industry’s first true ice bar is the ultimate big chill. To enter, guests will pay a cover charge with a drink or drinks included.

NCL F3 POSH Beach Club by dayPOSH Beach Club – At the top of the ship on decks 18 and 19, it's simply the best beach-y club for sybarites that features "nightlife" from early morning to late night. Adult guests can purchase a POSH pass for the day or the week that grants them access to a private glass elevator to enter this exclusive outdoor entertainment complex styled with Mediterranean flair and combined with the tempo of South Beach and the Costa del Sol. During the day, guests can lounge on thickly padded Balinese day beds and in private cabanas in a sun-splashed setting and cool off beneath a 35-foot long cascading waterfall. The POSH VIP Host and crew are at hand to pamper every whim. At night, the scene heat up as POSH Beach Club becomes an open air night club, complete with VIP bottle service, while the DJ sets the vibe for the non-stop party. Four POSH experiences a day are delivered:

POSH Vive: Early Morning (6 to 9am)

  • Awaken to yoga classes and body-and-soul treatments in private cabanas as the sun rises and the day starts anew.

POSH Rehab: Morning (9am to Noon)

  • Relax and recover from a night out with Salty Dogs, Bloody Mary’s, and mimosas combined with chill out tunes.

NCL F3 POSH Beach Club by nightPOSH Sol: Afternoon (Noon to 6pm)

  • The best nightlife in the daytime lounging on Balinese-style day beds, enjoying funky beach music, and sipping a spiked POSH snow cones while splashing under a waterfall.

Pure POSH: Evening (8pm to whenever)

  • A pure, sizzling, sexy, nightlife experience where guests enjoy sparkling drinks and bottle service served on silver trays. Look out Vegas, the vibe here is hot, hotter, hottest. Guests can dance all night under the stars or lounge on a POSH bed in true Riviera style.

NCL's F3 Halo, the Über BarHalo, the Über Bar – A heavenly and tres exclusive spot. Garden and Courtyard villa guests have exclusive VIP access to this Über Bar located atop the ship on the private deck 16. This over-the-top lounge showcases the best of the best. It's where you'll find the the finest of everything, from the world's best liquors to the best of the art featured on board and available for purchase. Jewelry-clad servers display the priciest jewelry onboard for purchase (would you like to super-size that diamond with your Martini?). Strategically placed framed LED screens set the mood with video montages showing the best artwork, music videos, films, iconic images of celebrities, places, fashion, and more. Private gaming tables, including baccarat and blackjack, add to the upscale style of this adult-only club.

NCL's F3 Spice H2O by daySpice H20 – It's what an aft-pool has never dared to be. Infused with Latin and Asian influences, colors and atmosphere, this adults-only complex located at the back of the ship on decks 15 and 16 features a massive LED screen displaying quirky video images from charging bulls to flamenco dancers and synchronized swimmers to tap dancing Geishas all combined with dynamic music to create a truly unique and sensory experience. During the day, guests can soak up the sun in lounge beds around the pool while enjoying chill-out Asian tunes and Asian-inspired cuisine in those little white to-go containers. As the sun sets, Spice H20 morphs into an Ibiza-inspired beach club with live entertainment and dinner served tableside or directly on plush sun beds. At night, the mood is red-hot with Latin vibes, dancing, and unique entertainment atop the covered pool. Yes, the pool bottom rises to deck level for shows and dancing. Spice H20 will serve up four spicy menus per day:

Sunny Spice: Morning (8 to 11am)

  • Spicy Bloody Mary’s and Spicitinis combine with breakfast and relaxing tunes.

Aqua Spice : Afternoon (11am to 4pm)

  • Enjoy the energy of the in-the-know crowd to sun the day away with Asian margaritas, bottle service, and beers from around the world. Asian-inspired food is served in Chinese take-out containers.

Sunset Spice: Late afternoon/early evening (4 to 9pm)

  • Catch a perfect sunset every day—it's guaranteedeither live or on the big screen. Entertainment is live, champagne flows, and a continental barbeque with an eclectic menu that isn’t available anywhere else on the ship is served. As the sun sets, it becomes an intimate environment with Spanish guitars and red-hot dancers setting the Latin theme.

NCL's F3 Spice H2O by nightAll Spice: Evening (9pm to whenever)

  • The entertainment is non-stop throughout the evening in this outdoor amphitheater. A visually captivating aerial ballet video comes to life as the pool floor rises and aerial performers mix dance moves with acrobatic choreography inside a metallic sphere to create a mesmerizing experience. Dinner is served and then dancing the night away on the covered pool is de rigueur.

NCL's F3 Bliss Ultra Lounge, Bowling, NightclubBliss Ultra Lounge & Nightclub – Back by popular demand, the popular Bliss Ultra Lounge and Nightclub, featured on Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Pearl, with NCL’s signature bowling alley at sea moves to the next level on F3 ships. Located on deck seven, this hotspot is perfect for daytime or midnight bowling, dancing, or as the place to be seen. Every evening, Bliss transforms into a hip, high-energy ultra lounge where plasma screens display music videos, shadow dancers entertaining the crowd, and the music never stops. A dance floor, private VIP areas and mood-lit bowling complete this totally unique seagoing experience. Bliss also hosts NCL’s popular White Hot Night, the ultimate dance party set in a wonderland of white. Guests are encouraged to wear white to the party and, if they didn't pack something suitable, specially designed "white hot" shirts and feather boas are available for purchase. On F3 ships, Bliss features live gaming tables with dealers.

NCL F3 acrobaticsJust like in Las Vegas, where we partied like Paris (Hilton, that is) at PURE nightclub, F3 guests will be able to purchase a Beyond the Velvet Rope package for access to the exclusive clubs. Like Freestyle Dining, think of this as Freestyle Nightlife. The cover charges aid in "crowd control" and add to the allure of exclusivity—if you've ever seen the lines to enter clubs like PURE or TAO in Vegas, you know what we mean. Don't want to pay to party? You don't have to. There will be no charge for entry to Bliss Ultra Lounge, Spice H2O, or a variety of other bars and lounges on board.

World, hold on—there's even more coming as NCL’s F3 ships incorporate a universe of new features. The F3 ships represent the company’s third generation of Freestyle Cruising shipsa further evolution of NCL’s program to dismantle the structure, regimentation, and constraints of the traditional cruise vacation experience. The largest vessels in NCL’s fleet, each 150,000-ton F3 ship will accommodate 4,200 passenger berths.

Images: Photos © Linda Coffman; Artists' Renderings Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

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