Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Revenue and Expense from Contracts with Customers

Revenue and Expense from Contracts with Customers
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Revenue from Contract with Customer [Abstract]  
Revenue and Expense from Contracts with Customers
3. Revenue and Expense from Contracts with Customers


On January 1, 2018, we adopted Topic 606, which supersedes the revenue recognition requirements in Accounting Standards Codification 605—Revenue Recognition (Topic 605) (“Topic 605”). Using the modified retrospective method, we applied the new requirements to those contracts which were not completed as of January 1, 2018. Results for reporting periods beginning after January 1, 2018 are presented below under “— Financial Statement Presentation” and “— Impacts on Financial Statements,” while prior period amounts are not adjusted and continue to be reported in accordance with our historic accounting under Topic 605.


Nature of Goods and Services


We offer our guests a multitude of cruise fare options when booking a cruise. Our cruise ticket prices generally include cruise fare and a wide variety of onboard activities and amenities, as well as meals and entertainment. In some instances, cruise ticket prices include round-trip airfare to and from the port of embarkation, complimentary beverages, unlimited shore excursions, free internet, pre-cruise hotel packages, and on some of the exotic itineraries, pre- or post-land packages. Prices vary depending on the particular cruise itinerary, stateroom category selected and the time of year that the voyage takes place. Passenger ticket revenue also includes full ship charters as well as port fees and taxes.


During the voyage, we generate onboard and other revenue for additional products and services which are not included in the cruise fare, including casino operations, certain food and beverage, gift shop purchases, spa services, photo services and other similar items. Food and beverage, casino operations and shore excursions are generally managed directly by us while retail shops, spa services, art auctions and internet services may be managed through contracts with third-party concessionaires. These contracts generally entitle us to a fixed percentage of the gross sales derived from these concessions, which is recognized on a net basis. While some onboard goods and services may be prepaid prior to the voyage, we utilize point-of-sale systems for discrete purchases made onboard. Certain of our product offerings are bundled and we allocate the value of the bundled goods and services between passenger ticket revenue and onboard and other revenue based upon the relative standalone selling prices of those goods and services.


Timing of Satisfaction of Performance Obligations and Significant Payment Terms


The payment terms and cancellation policies vary by brand, stateroom category, length of voyage, and country of purchase. A deposit for a future booking is required at or soon after the time of booking. Final payment is generally due between 120 days and 180 days before the voyage. Deposits on advance ticket sales are deferred when received, and include amounts that are refundable. Deferred amounts are subsequently recognized as revenue ratably during the voyage sailing days as services are rendered over time on the ship. Deposits are generally cancellable and refundable prior to sailing, but may be subject to penalties, depending on the timing of cancellation. The inception of substantive cancellation penalties generally coincides with the dates that final payment is due, and penalties generally increase as the voyage sail date approaches. Cancellation fees are recognized in passenger ticket revenue in the month of the cancellation.


Goods and services associated with onboard revenue are generally provided at a point in time and revenue is recognized when the performance obligation is satisfied. Onboard goods and services rendered may be paid at disembarkation. A receivable is recognized for onboard goods and services rendered when the voyage is not completed before the end of the period.


Cruises that are reserved under full ship charter agreements are subject to the payment terms of the specific agreement and may be either cancelable or non-cancelable. Deposits received on charter voyages are deferred when received and included in advance ticket sales. Deferred amounts are subsequently recognized as revenue ratably over the voyage sailing dates.


Contract Balances 


Receivables from customers are included within accounts receivables, net. As of December 31, 2018 and January 1, 2018, our receivables from customers were $17.3 million and $13.8 million, respectively.


Contract liabilities represent the Company’s obligation to transfer goods and services to a customer. A customer deposit held for a future cruise is generally considered a contract liability only when final payment is both due and paid by the customer and is usually recognized in earnings within 180 days of becoming a contract. Other deposits held and included within advance ticket sales or other long-term liabilities are not considered contract liabilities as they are largely cancelable and refundable. Our contract liabilities are included within advance ticket sales. As of December 31, 2018 and January 1, 2018, our contract liabilities were $1.2 billion and $1.0 billion, respectively. Of the amounts included within contract liabilities, approximately 50% were refundable in accordance with our cancellation policies. Approximately $1.0 billion of the January 1, 2018 contract liability balance has been recognized in revenue for the year ended December 31, 2018.


Our revenue is seasonal and based on the demand for cruises. Historically, the seasonality of the North American cruise industry generally results in the greatest demand for cruises during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months. This predictable seasonality in demand has resulted in fluctuations by quarter in our revenue and results of operations. The seasonality of our results is increased due to ships being taken out of service for regularly scheduled Dry-docks, which we typically schedule during non-peak demand periods. This seasonality will result in higher contract liability balances as a result of an increased number of reservations preceding these peak demand periods. The addition of new ships also increases the contract liability balances prior to a new ship’s delivery, as staterooms are usually made available for reservation prior to the inaugural cruise. Norwegian Bliss, with approximately 4,000 Berths, was delivered on April 19, 2018 and added 8% capacity to our fleet.


Practical Expedients and Exemptions


We do not disclose information about remaining performance obligations that have original expected durations of one year or less. We recognize revenue in an amount that corresponds directly with the value to the customer of our performance completed to date. Variable consideration, which will be determined based on a future rate and passenger count, is excluded from the disclosure and these amounts are not material. These variable non-disclosed contractual amounts relate to our non-cancelable charter agreements and a leasing arrangement with a certain port, both of which are long-term in nature. Amounts that are fixed in nature due to the application of minimum guarantees are also not material and are not disclosed.


Contract Costs


Management expects that incremental commissions and credit card fees paid as a result of obtaining ticket contracts are recoverable; therefore, we recognize these amounts as assets when they are paid prior to the voyage. Costs of air tickets and port taxes and fees that fulfill future performance obligations are also considered recoverable and are recorded as assets. As of December 31, 2018, $116.3 million of costs incurred to obtain customers and $32.5 million of costs to fulfill contracts with customers are recognized as assets within prepaid expenses and other assets. Incremental commissions, credit card fees, air ticket costs, and port taxes and fees are recognized ratably over the voyage sailing dates, concurrent with associated revenue, and are primarily in commissions, transportation and other expense.


Financial Statement Presentation


As of January 1, 2018, in connection with the adoption of Topic 606, we reclassified $51.6 million of deferred costs associated with obtaining customer contracts to prepaid expenses and other assets from advance ticket sales.


Impacts on Financial Statements


The adoption of Topic 606 does not change the timing, classification or amount of revenue recognized from customers in our consolidated financial statements nor does it change the timing, classification or amount of incremental costs to obtain and fulfill those contracts with customers. Therefore, the adoption had no impact on our consolidated statement of operations or consolidated statement of comprehensive income.


The following table summarizes the impact of the adoption of Topic 606 on our consolidated balance sheet, which has been adjusted for deferred contract costs that would have been included, net, in advance ticket sales, as of December 31, 2018 (in thousands):


    As Reported     Adjustments     Balances Without 
Adoption of 
Topic 606
Prepaid expenses and other assets   $ 241,011     $ (63,628 )   $ 177,383  
Total assets   $ 15,205,970     $ (63,628 )   $ 15,142,342  
Advance ticket sales   $ 1,593,219     $ (63,628 )   $ 1,529,591  
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity   $ 15,205,970     $ (63,628 )   $ 15,142,342  


The following table summarizes the impact of the adoption of Topic 606 on our consolidated statement of cash flows for the year ended December 31, 2018 (in thousands):


    As Reported     Adjustments     Balances Without 
Adoption of 
Topic 606
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:                        
Prepaid expenses and other assets   $ (29,519 )   $ 12,029     $ (17,490 )
Advance ticket sales   $ 262,603     $ (12,029 )   $ 250,574  
Net cash provided by operating activities   $ 2,075,171     $     $ 2,075,171