Friday, May 7, 2010

This is Epic!

Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Norwegian Epic begins sailing from Florida this summer with a host of accommodations, onboard entertainment and recreation that could set a new industry standard of excellence.  I say could because the cruise line has added more features to this new ship than any other in their fleet. If this ship is a big hit or not will depend totally on the actual onboard experience.
The stakes are high.  Right on the heels of last year’s new Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s mega-popular ship of neighborhoods, Aqua-features and more, NCL’s Epic has a tough act to follow. At 153,000 tons and carrying over 4000 guests, Epic is surely in the big-ship ballpark but it does not look like they are planning on following anyone.
That said, I promise not to compare Epic to Oasis ever again…and it appears to be appropriate not to compare as this ship could end up being distinctively different and in a class of it’s own.
I’ll get more into the details of the ship with a series of articles closer to launch in late June and before sailings begin from the Port of Miami in July.  For now, let’s take a look at some of the features that will set this ship apart from all the rest and could make Norwegian Epic big news and a really different cruise experience.
  • Accommodations- Studios, Spa Staterooms, Villas, Owner’s Suites and Family Accommodations sounds familiar and in line with the current berthing trends in the cruise business today.  Add in over 1400 ”New Wave” staterooms with curved walls, concealed contour lighting, domed ceilings and a whole new feel to cruising could set this ship apart from all other.
  • A focus on Family will rank high on the list of features aboard Epic.  More connecting staterooms than any other ship at sea, multiple water slides, a dedicated kids area, bowling, an under-21 nightclub, a two-deck Sports Complex and more will offer families plenty to keep them busy
  • A world-class heath spa and fitness center could be on par with any other at sea, offering the latest treatments, machines and personal attention needed to make it all work together
  • Freestyle Dining will feature more than 17 dining options including an upscale steakhouse, special venues for Villa guests, all the signature NCL dining venues and more including “take-out” and room service options for kids. 
  • Nightlife will abound with one of only 14 ice bars in the world. Spice H20 transforms the aft pool area into an adult nightclub after dark. The Posh Beach Club offer adults-only space anytime too and combined with other elements of the ship will give focus to the adult cruise experience.  This could set Epic apart from all other ships.  We expect a focus on family.  We see a trend in new ships and the refit of older ships to gain adult-only space.  Epic could very well offer a balanced onboard experience that works for both families and adult-only equally well

Saving the best for last, Entertainment might very well rank as some of the best at sea.  Cirque Dreams and Dinner might just blow away any other dining and entertainment fusion available on any line.  This is one of the smartest moves I have yet heard of on what Epic will offer.  Cirque= quality as anyone who has seen a Cirque show can attest.  Add that to a great meal and they might just have something wickedly amazing there.  Add the Blue Man Group in what looks to be a stunning Epic Theater, a dueling piano bar, the world’s leading tribute show Legends in concert and more. Entertainment might very well set the stage for this ship to truly live up to it’s name.

Read more abou the Epic

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