Friday, February 13, 2009

NCL's Largest Freestyle Ship Norwegian Epic Coming in 2010

I have to say I am glad that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and STX Europe have come to an agreement and construction of the 150,000 ton, Norwegian Epic will continue. The ship, as touted by NCL, will be the largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date.

Capable of carrying 4,200-passenger, she is scheduled to sail year-round to the Caribbean from Miami, beginning in summer 2010. Following a series of inaugural events in Europe and the U.S., the Norwegian Epic will be based in Miami and sail year-round to the Caribbean offering alternating seven-day Western and Eastern Caribbean voyages through April 2011.

The ship's Western Caribbean itinerary includes stops in Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. Norwegian Epic's Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.

Norwegian Epic represents the next generation of Freestyle Cruising which incorporates a wide range of new features and amenities, including curved New Wave staterooms and unique nightlife options.

Nicknamed the New Wave standard, New Wave balcony and New Wave deluxe staterooms, the accommodations on-board the epic, represent a progression in cruise ship accommodations with a completely unique bathroom design, contemporary curved architecture and open living space. The New Wave stateroom's most distinctive design element is its curved walls and lines creating a modern and chic experience. NCL has maximized the bathroom space completely by providing a separate shower stall, separate water closet and a modern vanity top sink. The staterooms feature a sophisticated earth-tone palette accented with a splash of color and rich, dark wood. Concealed contour LED lighting and back-lit domed ceilings set a relaxing vibe.

From a public room perspective, NCL has revealed five unique nightlife venues that rival the experiences of Las Vegas, Ibiza, the Riviera and South Beach. The five venues include the industry's first true Ice Bar; POSH Beach Club, a first of its kind beach club at sea that offers an exclusive, 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 entertainment and nightclub complex with four-lane bowling alley; and Spice H20, an adults-only aft pool deck experience.

Over the upcoming months, NCL will release more information on the Norwegian Epic and I will be sharing updates on Cruise-Guru as they become available.

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