Published at Monday, June 04th 2018. by beky audrey in Cruise Ship Cabins.
Since all restaurants offer a variety of culinary choices any evaluation of food is influenced not only by personal taste but also by what items are selected from the menu. For example on the first night my wife and I ate at the Manhattan Room one of the ship`s main dining areas. She had a chicken dish which she evaluated as OK while I had scallops which were very good. Like all public areas on the Epic the layout and décor of the Manhattan Room was a tribute to the ship`s designers. Wide open and airy the Manhattan Room had the look and feel of a fine dinner theater. In fact I was somewhat surprised when our dinner host (one of NCL`s executives) informed us that the Manhattan Room was not a specialty restaurant. The other main dining room appropriately called Taste was also extremely well laid-out and pleasing to the eye. At the center of Taste is a beautiful chandelier (claimed to be the largest at sea) that spirals down from the deck above. Although I did not eat in Taste I am told that the menu is the same as the Manhattan Room so I would assume our assessment of the food would have been about the same (i.e. OK to very good depending on the entre` selected and of course personal taste).
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.
Do the math. If one hundred buyers pool resources in exchange for a percentage of ship ownership the acquisition cost will be divided by that same number. One percent ownership of a $250000 cruise ship would cost a mere $2500 for ship acquisition. At the other end of the scale one percent ownership of a brand new mega cruise ship would cost five million dollars.
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).
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.
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