Published at Monday, May 14th 2018. by leonda avril in Cruise Ship Cabins.
A cruise passenger`s perception of onboard service is so often dependent upon who their stateroom attendant was and which waiters / waitresses served their meals. Since my wife and I started Direct Line Cruises there have been several instances in which different clients on the same exact cruise would report radically different service levels. So at best any evaluation of service should be taken only as a generalization based on limited individual experiences while onboard.
Some cruise cabins have VCRs or DVD players and some televisions also have radio/music channels. The cabins also usually have a night table reading lamps and a chair. Most modern cruise ships come with a hairdryer so you won`t have to bring one from home. Some standard staterooms feature personal safes table desk with chair convertible loveseat mini-refrigerator and even Internet access although it is often much more costly than in the common Internet lounge. The cruise line brochure or Web site usually specifies what amenities are in each cabin.
All deck and engineering positions should be filled with an all Ukrainian crew. The ship will realize the most value for the money with Ukrainian deck and engineering staff. The Ukraine has a long maritime history and tradition. Maritime training and standards in the Ukraine are among the best in the world. Ukrainian deck and engineering staff are as good as or better than any other but the cost of their labor is a very good value. The labor for deck officer and engineering staff are governed by international agreements including STCW (Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers).
At 153000 tons with a passenger capacity of 4100 (based on double occupancy) the Norwegian Epic is by far the largest ship in the NCL fleet. In fact with the exception of Royal Caribbean`s Oasis of the Seas (which was launched in December 2009) NCL`s Epic is among the largest cruise ships at sea. It is also one of the most uniquely designed cruise ships that I have ever been on (... and I`ve been on quite a few). In most cases that uniqueness is a very positive attribute which reflects the thoughtfulness and attention that the Epic`s designers must have paid to maximizing the use of space to achieve a much bigger wide-open feel to all of the ship`s public areas. And the way that one area just seemed to flow into the next (without the cookie-cutter rigidity sometimes found on cruise ships) was truly remarkable. But in a few areas I did not perceive the unique design of the ship to be an advantage. For instance the exterior shape of the ship seemed a bit odd to me. The bow is somewhat stubby-looking and the stern is squared-off so that the ship does not have a sleek appearance from the outside. Adding to the irregular look is a massive 3-deck appendage that was seemingly plopped on top of the front section as an afterthought (or more likely to further maximize the ship`s interior space). Obviously the ship`s designers had to make some trade-off`s to accomplish everything they did inside the ship and after all from a passenger`s perspective the interior design is far more important.
It may be hard to believe but the show by the Blue Man Group actually exceeds NCL`s hype! It was the most unique (... yes I`m using that word again... ) and professional act I`ve seen on any cruise ship. Thoroughly funny and entertaining I would rather see that show night after night than to sit through some of the same old Broadway song-and-dance shows I`ve seen on so many other cruise ships. The Blue Man performance was in the ship`s main theatre which considering the size of the Epic was relatively small (with a seating capacity of under 600 people). However despite that fact the theatre was not packed because consistent with NCL`s concept of Freestyle Cruising the Epic was designed with multiple entertainment venues each offering a different show.
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