Published at Monday, May 14th 2018. by leonda avril in Cruise Ship Cabins.
Cost is typically the primary concern of most travelers. The more amenities a cabin offers the more it will cost. For example cabins with a balcony typically cost 25% more than cabins with just a window. Windowless cabins cost far less but guests are left with no view. It is important to know what you are willing to live without on your trip. If a balcony is not that important then forego it to save money for entertainment or a future trip. Cabin sizes will differ on different cruise lines. The smallest rooms on larger cruise ships will be bigger than some of the larger rooms on smaller cruise ships. Many people prefer to get a smaller room and extend their vacation. After all the cabin is just a place to sleep. All of the fun and entertainment is above deck.
On this pre-inaugural cruise I tried two of the specialty restaurants Cagney`s steakhouse and Moderno Churrascaria a Brazilian all-you-can-eat barbeque in which guests signal their servers with a green card (OK I`m ready for more) or a red card (No more please. I`m stuffed). My wife and I have raved about Cagney`s steakhouse on several other Norwegian cruise ships (e.g. the NCL Dawn the NCL Gem and the NCL Jewel) and we enjoyed it just as much on the Epic. On the other hand we were not nearly as impressed with the Epic`s Moderno Churrascaria which is the first such restaurant on any cruise ship. The salad bar was absolutely fabulous (especially the plump shrimp and fantastic gourmet cheeses) but other than the sirloin (which the servers cut right in front of you) my wife and I were both disappointed with the quality of the meats. Ironically my son Greg (who is CEO of Direct Line Cruises) and several of our staff members tried Moderno Churrascaria and really liked it. So don`t take my word for it.
I do know something about what I am writing about here. I am the former President of Adventure Spa Cruise. My advice is not just uninformed ranting. Back to the point now the second best manning nation for a ship is India. I highly recommend India for the medical staff and the entire hotel staff including the spa and every other position except the deck and engineering. The labor costs in India are very attractive. I would also recommend using an Indian based manning agency. It is best if the ship`s owners do not have to deal with every employee issue or concern. The manning agency takes the pressure off the ship`s management and their service is very reasonable. Indian employees tend to make better employees than do Filipinos. Indians also speak English albeit not quite as well as Filipinos. I know Americans tend to get all worked up when someone uses a broad brush to paint an entire ethnicity. I love the people from the Philippines but as employees they tend to be more problematic than do Indian employees. I realize that this statement is politically incorrect and these days that might get me thrown in jail. I usually do not worry so much about being politically correct. I call it the way I see I and I let the cards fall where they may and hope I can stay out of jail for speaking my mind.
This is a well built little `Pocket Cruiser.` At just over 320` in length overall it is a small cruise ship. Many experienced cruise passengers prefer smaller more intimate cruise ships for a variety of reasons. This ship can go places where the big cruise ships cannot reach such as shallow draft ports and even many rivers. It has an omni-directional bow thruster and can turn on a dime (relatively speaking of course). I have carefully examined this ship from the engine log to the ultrasound hull report. This is a sound and safe little cruise ship. It is also a very fuel efficient and economical ship. My first time on this ship was in the middle of the summer in Greece when it was very hot outside. The ship is fully air conditioned and it was cool and comfortable inside the ship. I checked the engine room to see how many generators were running. I am happy to report that all the electric and air-conditioning requirements can be met by running just one of the three Daihatsu generators. These generators are very economical to operate in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance.
My wife and I were in a standard stateroom with a balcony (one of the Category B staterooms on the ship). Upon entering the stateroom we had two initial impressions. First of all the curved walls gave the room a very unique look (unlike typical cruise ship staterooms which are almost always rectangular with straight walls). The second thing we noticed is that the stateroom didn`t have a bathroom... well at least not in the traditional sense. You entered the stateroom through a door between a shower stall and a toilet stall (each with a heavily frosted enclosure). A curtain separated these areas from the main part of the stateroom which among other things included the bed a couch storage closets / cabinets and a sink. The advantage of having the sink outside of the toilet and shower area is that one occupant can use the sink while another is using the shower or toilet (a convenience that you don`t often find in traditional cruise ship staterooms). In addition the unique design of the stateroom provided much more storage space than is typically found in a conventional stateroom of similar dimensions. However despite that I found the stateroom to be very tight (particularly in the cabins that have the bed nearer to the entrance door than to the balcony door) and overall I must admit that I would have preferred a more conventionally designed stateroom configuration or one of the larger deluxe balcony (Category D) staterooms on the Epic).
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