Published at Wednesday, June 06th 2018. by daniel amoien in Cruise Ship Cabins.
While onboard one of NCL`s executives asked me what I thought of the ship and what type of client it would be best suited for. Without hesitation I responded that the Epic would be most appreciated by the client who has been on many cruise ships and now wants to experience something truly unique. Consistent with that it`s no coincidence that my wife booked the 15-year anniversary cruise for Direct Line Cruises` staff on the NCL Epic and now that we`ve gotten a small taste of it we can hardly wait until September when we set sail on the Epic for 7 nights.
One of the hallmarks of NCL`s acclaimed Freestyle Cruising is the choice of dining options and not surprisingly the Epic takes this feature to a new level. In addition to the two main dining areas the Epic offers 17 other dining venues each with its own cuisine and ambiance. This includes the spacious main buffet area (the Garden Cafe) in which the food was consistently fresh and of high-quality (albeit with somewhat less variety than we`ve experienced on some other ships). It also includes the poolside grill (Spice H2O) O`Sheehan`s (a huge sprawling pub that became the meeting place and social nucleus for many of the ship`s guests) and several specialty restaurants such as La Cucina Italian restaurant (which was even more attractively decorated on the Epic than on other NCL ships) Tepanyaki Japanese grill (much larger than on other NCL ships) and Le Bistro French restaurant just to name a few. Each of the specialty restaurants has a cover charge (which ranges from $10 to $35 per person) but in my opinion they are all well worth the money.
Location of the cabin regardless the size is very important. How close do you want to be to the upper deck? Do you have children who will be hard to travel up and down flights of stairs with every day? Where is the cabin in relation to the engine or water lines? Be sure to look at a map of the cruise ship before choosing a cabin location. Many people are not very concerned about where their cabin is since they will just be sleeping there. However on longer cruises your cabin will be the only private place you have to get away from all the noise and relax. You may want to be certain the cabin is far away from the main deck to ensure it will be a quiet area. On the other hand perhaps you enjoy the party do not plan on sleeping much and would prefer a cabin close to all the action. Choosing a cabin is very important as an uncomfortable cabin could make for a very uncomfortable trip.
The biggest value of all onboard cruise ship is in labor costs. The better cruise ships tend to be labor intensive providing passengers with unrelenting attention and extravagant pampering. The hotel staff on all cruise ships provides the basic services including food preparation and serving laundry cabin stewarding entertainment casino operation beauty shop operations This is one area where I would prefer to not scrimp because of the very good value in these services due to the low cost of international labor. I would prefer to go beyond the level that most cruise ships go in the area of spas. Land based luxury and specialty resort spas are very expensive but the exact same level of service professionalism skill and treatments can be provided on a cruise ship at extremely low cost. Labor is the key and the primary reason for most of the expense of spas. Labor is a tremendous value on a cruise ship because the cruise ship managers can choose workers from the global marketplace where it is easy to get the best value for the money.
There are some other figures that must be tabulated into the total cost of ownership. Acquisition cost is first and foremost. The next figure is the cost to put the ship in service. On an older ship this cost may be higher than the acquisition cost. On the other hand the cost to put a ship into service can be much lower if you were to get a good deal on a ship that already meets the international standards for ship safety especially SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea). Maintaining compliance with Chapter II SOLAS 74 amendments is cost prohibitive for some older ships and they are typically scrapped instead of being refurbished at great expense. There is a very important SOLAS implementation date coming up on January 10 2010. On that date all commercial international ships will be required to be in compliance with the new fire safety codes. The most important new codes deal with the use of combustible materials in the ship. It will be expensive to replace all combustible materials in ships with non-combustible or flame resistant SOLAS compliant materials that meet the new safety standards. This will result in many ships being sold for scrap metal.
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