Published at Monday, May 14th 2018. by noah seihan in Cruise Ship Cabins.
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.
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.
Another Epic first is Cirque Dreams and Dinner which is performed by an exceptionally talented group of acrobats in a special theater-in-the-round called the Spiegel Tent. Several of our staff members saw this show and said that it was very good but perhaps a bit too long. My wife and I saw a very different show in the Spiegel Tent. Our 3-year-old granddaughter who we were able to bring with us is a big fan of Dora the Explorer and Diego and she just loved the Nickelodeon character breakfast which in addition to Dora and Diego also featured Sponge Bob Square Pants Jimmy Neutron and others. In an exclusive deal with NCL the Nickelodeon characters are presently appearing on the Epic and the NCL Jewel (which now sails year-round out of New York City) and will eventually appear on several other NCL ships.
Ship fuel is cheaper than automobile fuel for a few reasons. There are no road taxes on ship fuel of course and also it is different fuel. Ships main engines usually run on IFO180 or IFO380. Generator engines tend to be more finicky and commonly require diesel (MDO) which is still cheaper than automotive diesel. IFO 180 and 380 costs much less than MDO usually about half the price. Ships consume a lot of fuel. So fuel cost is a major concern. I have some suggestions. If I were a co-owner of a ship I would be willing to invest a little more in the ship to increase fuel efficiency and thus lower operating costs. There are many things that can be done to increase fuel efficiency. I would start with hull resistance. There is a new silicone-based paint from International Paints that when applied to the hull reduces amount of resistance in the water sufficiently to result in a 3 to 5% decrease in fuel consumption. A similar coating for the propellers also has been proven to increase fuel efficiency.
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.
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