Posted on 10/30/2015

On 9 November when the Norwegian Escape sails from Miami guests who are looking for a “cold one” will have two choices. They can go to the pub to enjoy one of the first craft beers at sea or they can head to the spa to cool off in temperatures reaching -10 C in the “snow room.” The craft beer movement has legs. The popularity for niche and boutique beers is evident in Europe as well as North America. 

Beer drinkers are increasing opting for the unique and robust deliveries from independently brewed craft beers. Apparently the craft beer movement has fins too as the Norwegian Escape introduces the first craft beer hall at sea. Norwegian Escape’s District Brew House (called The District) has its own keg room visible behind a glass wall. The Wynwood Brewing Company will supply 24 beers on tap and more than 50 bottle options. "We're getting guests that are a lot more savvy about food and beverage, including beer," said Wes Cort (Norwegian executive in charge of developing new food and beverage concepts).

"Craft beer isn't a phenomenon anymore. It's real." It may be real, but offering craft beer has its concerns; not the ‘yeast’ of which is storage. "The challenge is a lot of it is unpasteurized," he says. "It has a short shelf life. It has to be very delicately handled. It has to be refrigerated all the time." The brewery next door makes delivery to the taps immediate.

For those looking for a different frosty treat they can enjoy snowfall from the ceiling of the thermal suite within the Mandara Spa. "It's very good for aches and pains," says Courtney Neumann (spa manager on the Norwegian Escape). She suggests lounging in the thermal suite's super-heated sauna before entering the snow room. "The idea is to go from hot to cold, which makes your blood vessels constrict and dilate, which is extremely good for your immune system and blood circulation."

The adults-only thermal suite has 33 heated loungers that conform to the spine and dozens of lounge chairs with ocean views. There is also a salt room infused with therapeutic salts; considered a treatment for respiratory and skin ailments. For us northerners, associating the snow experience with salt is a natural.