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Norwegian to include unlimited free drinks on Bahama cruises next year

Norwegian woos first-timers with unlimited beverages included in price of cruise from Miami to the Bahamas.

Passengers on the Norwegian Sky sailing will receive all-you-can-drink beverages — including beer, wine and cocktails — at no extra charge starting next year.

Norwegian Cruise Line announced last week it would take an "all-inclusive" approach and provide an open bar for three- and four-day sailings from Miami to the Bahamas. The incentive begins next January aboard the Norwegian Sky only.

Unlimited wine by the glass, beer and mixed drinks will be included in the cost of the cruise, a Norwegian statement says. For kids, it means unlimited sodas and juices.

The free beverage package also applies to daylong visits to Great Stirrup Cay, the cruise line's private island where passengers can swim, kayak and snorkel.

Andy Stuart, president and COO of Norwegian, told the Florida Sun Sentinel that shorter cruises represent a market in which "we introduce a lot of new people to cruising, and we're excited about the prospects of going all-inclusive."

Stuart also told the paper the all-inclusive Bahama cruises (all-inclusive being relative; some restaurants and spa services require extra charges) cost a bit more too.

Norwegian's action contrasts with a fee program it's testing out on other ships.

Earlier in April the company rolled out a service charge of $7.95 on selected room service items on its Getaway and Breakaway ships. Passengers still have plenty of free-food choices aboard the ships, but the action may indicate what fees passengers would be willing to pay extra for.

Info: Norwegian Cruise Line, (888) 625-2784 or contact a travel agent

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