Sunday, November 7, 2010

Norwegian Epic, Part 1

Ben and I decided that we love the Norwegian Epic! I’d like to devote a few posts now about the ship itself so that you can decide if she’s a ship for you, too. First, let’s get those "New Wave" balcony cabin bathrooms out of the way. They’ve already received a lot of press, both positive and not-so-much, and a few of our colleagues still don’t like them. I have to say, however, that Ben and I found ourselves getting used to the entire cabin configuration, bathrooms included, and began to like the division of bathroom components.

The shower and toilet areas in balcony cabins are located on either side of the doorway entry, and the sink stands alone in the main cabin area. On the plus side, I don‘t fog up the mirror when showering while Ben shaves, and who doesn‘t like a separate toilet? The shower and toilet doors, though, are heavily frosted, not completely opaque, so you know when someone is in there. That’s okay for most couples, but likely a challenge for friends traveling together. There is a curtain that can be drawn to separate the toilet/shower area from the cabin, which helps; you just have to hope no one knocks on the door! (Hint: turn the privacy indicator outside your door to red.)

Admittedly, our balcony cabin was narrower than usual, and the wave design, while different, created navigational challenges and also affected storage. Closet space is determined by the location of the “wave“ in the cabin design. In our cabin, the bed was closer to the balcony door; in those with the bed further from the balcony door, there was more walking space and cabins were more accessible. One thing of note: we didn’t have a closet that would have accommodated a long dress. NCL features Freestyle cruising, rendering formal gowns unnecessary, but hanging one would have proven difficult.

Storage space itself is very generous if you know where to find it. We learned three days into the cruise that there are two large drawers under the couch. We did find the cool hamper under the sink, which beats storing dirty clothes on the closet floor, as well as the handy drawer above it and the cabinet space behind the back of the sofa. As on any ship, you just have to figure out where you want to put your things. We had storage space left over even before we ever found the hidden drawers.
A couple of pluses to note: the hair dryer was actually decent, unlike most cruise line dryers, and a handy hook in the shower holds a razor blade. It‘s the little things. Of course, in true NCL tradition, there is a coffee pot in each stateroom.

Bottom line, the cabin works just fine.

More on this very cool ship and its innovative entertainment in my next posts.

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