All aboard Norwegian Epic for a whistlestop tour

June 30th, 2010 in Cruising by Sarah Lee 1
All aboard Norwegian Epic | pic NCL

I recently hopped aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Epic for a nosey round ahead of the ship’s official naming ceremony in New York.

The UK launch has been followed up by a fully-booked sailing to the city where Epic will host the 34th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks event before heading to its homeport of  Miami on July 7 for its launch.

Norwegian has a new focus with Epic. It’s a real step forward from other NCL ships I’ve been on in terms of staterooms, design and layout, and entertainment as I’ll be covering in other posts on this blog. In the meantime, here’s a couple of quick video tours of the ship.

The first takes in deck 15 with the ship’s Aqua Park featuring pools, cool Epic Plunge slides, sun decks and bars, as well as the Garden Cafe and a little of new restaurant, La Cucina.

The next video takes us into the ship onto deck 7 past the shops – there were some really good shopping options on board (also look out for a quick view of NCL’s Chief Executive Kevin Sheehan here), to the Ice Bar, where a group is getting all wrapped up to go in, then the other bars and restaurants – many of which are familiar to NCL regulars like Shakers and Cagney’s Steakhouse (but check out their new look). One thing I loved about the ship was the open design of this area – there are staircases and escalators between decks 5 and 7 and the restaurants were so much more open to the rest of the ship. Take a look at Taste – one of the main restaurants filmed from above here – all open to the upper deck, giving a sense of space while maintaining the atmosphere at the heart of the ship.

Other things I was impressed by that the videos don’t show are the Mandara Spa – the largest at sea with a thermal suite and outdoor relaxation area, Spice H20 – a sort of adults-only beach club at the aft of the ship, and Bliss Ultra Lounge – the ship’s rather cool nightclub. Then of course there’s the onboard entertainment – the fabulous Blue Man Group and the Speigel Tent – a big top (well it wasn’t huge, but big enough) with a great circus show.

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