Archive for the ‘Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)’ Category

Norwegian iConcierge Smart Phone App

April 6, 2014

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Norwegian Cruise Line announced this week that the company’s smart phone application, “Norwegian iConcierge” is now available on board the line’s newest ship, Norwegian Getaway. Norwegian iConcierge has previously been activated on Norwegian Getaway’s sister ship Norwegian Breakaway, as well as on Norwegian Epic, and will roll out to additional vessels in the fleet by the end of 2014.

In partnership with Allin Interactive, Norwegian’s exclusive application allows guests to create a highly-customized vacation experience by providing interactive access to Norwegian Getaway’s on board guest information and service systems during their cruise, via the guest wifi network onboard.

“Norwegian iConcierge app has been extremely popular among guests on Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Breakaway,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer.

Android_iConcierge_v3

Guests who download the free application are able to conveniently interact with Norwegian Getaway’s systems from anywhere on board using their smart phone to make shore excursion, box office and dining reservations, view the ship’s Freestyle Daily activity guide and review their folio activity all from the palm of their hand. In addition, Norwegian iConcierge offers guests the ability to easily find and communicate with fellow cruisers. Guests who have the application installed on their SIP capable smart phones will be able to make and send unlimited calls and messages to each other while on board for a nominal fee.

” The Norwegian iConcierge app also features new ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship calling capabilities using a dedicated 1-800-number. For a low per minute rate, guests can now make and receive calls while on-board via the app.

Norwegian iConcierge is a free download and available through Apple, Android and Windows7 smart phone application stores. Norwegian is the first cruise line to implement this innovative technology across multiple ships, continuing the line’s history of innovation and elevating the guest experience.

(Image/Text Source: NCL)

 iConcierge  Downloads Here:

http://www.ncl.com/downloads/iconcierge

Norwegian Getaway Review: http://wp.me/PfRKD-2i7

 

Steel Cut For Escape

March 22, 2014

20th March, 2014

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(NCL Image – Kevin Sheehan and Bernard Meyer)

The first piece of steel was cut at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany today for the construction of Norwegian Escape, the first of two new Breakaway Plus Class ships for Norwegian Cruise Line, set for delivery in autumn 2015.

(NCL Images)

(NCL Images)

Norwegian Cruise Line and Meyer Werft executives watched as the first plate of steel was cut by a plasma torch in the yard’s state of the art facility. This plate will become part of Block 46 that will comprise the new vessel.

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“Norwegian Escape will be the largest ship in our fleet and will continue our legacy of innovation,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “Cutting the first piece of steel for Norwegian Escape marks the official start of construction for this remarkable ship. We are eagerly anticipating her delivery in October of 2015.”

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(Source: NCL)

Escape Hull Art & Homeport: http://wp.me/pfRKD-2rf

Escape: Hull Art & Homeport

March 13, 2014
(Escape, NCL Image - click to enlarge)

(Escape, NCL Image – click to enlarge)

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that Guy Harvey, widely recognised as the world’s finest marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, has been named to design the signature hull artwork of the line’s largest ship to date, Norwegian Escape, scheduled to debut in October 2015. At an event at Cruise Shipping Miami, the artist revealed his custom design for Norwegian Escape’s hull, which features an underwater scene of marine wildlife. Norwegian’s newest ship is Harvey’s largest canvas to date, at 325m in length, with his artwork spanning from the hull to the aft featuring two undersea scenes that blend seamlessly.

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“Guy Harvey is the perfect artist to design Norwegian Escape’s hull artwork because he is so passionate about the sea and his marine artwork is so life-like and well recognised,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We also appreciate how Guy is focused on ocean conservation and keeping the marine environment pristine, we plan to work with him to help support the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation as that goes hand-in-hand with our company’s strong commitment to the environment.”

Harvey combines his unique artistic talents with his background as a marine biologist, diver, photographer and angler, to create marine wildlife art with an unmatched authenticity and visual appeal.

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“I am deeply honoured to be asked by Norwegian to paint the hull of the newest and largest ship in their fleet,” said Harvey. “The larger than life paintings of popular but endangered marine creatures in the Caribbean will heighten public awareness about marine life. The large scale mural demonstrates the concern and respect that Norwegian and I have for the marine environment through which this ship will travel over the years.”

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation funds inspired scientific research and innovative educational programs to encourage conservation and best management practices for sustainable marine environments.

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Also at Cruise Shipping Miami, Norwegian announced that Norwegian Escape will homeport year-round in Miami and sail a seven-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary starting 14 November, 2015; visiting Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas.

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At approximately 163,000 gross tonnes and 4,200 passenger berths, Norwegian Escape will join the fleet in October 2015. The ship’s Eastern Caribbean itineraries will go on sale 19 March, 2014. Norwegian Escape will boast all of the exciting and innovative features found on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, plus a number of new spaces and interactive experiences that are yet to be announced.

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(Source: NCL)

Malcolm Says: It will be interesting to see how different  ‘Escape’ will be to the ‘Breakaway’ class (Breakaway and Getaway). We know that there will at least be a few new public spaces.

Escape speculation here: http://wp.me/pfRKD-2oT

See my Getaway review here: http://wp.me/PfRKD-2i7

Norwegian Epic’s European Itineraries

March 8, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced Norwegian Epic’s 2015/2016 winter itineraries from her new year-round homeport of Barcelona, Spain. From 29 November 2015 through 7 April 2016, Norwegian Epic will set sail from Barcelona on 10-day Canary Islands & Morocco itineraries, and 10, 11- or 12-day Western Mediterranean itineraries. Norwegian Epic’s new Europe itineraries will open for sale in the UK in early April 2014.

 Epic at Southampton, June 2010.

Epic at Southampton, June 2010.

“Norwegian Epic is the perfect ship to bring to Europe year-round and the ship’s new Europe itineraries are sure to be a hit among cruisers looking to explore this spectacular part of the world,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “These new itineraries provide exciting experiences and sights for our guests, while giving them a chance to spend more time exploring more of the beautiful cities that Europe is known for.”

Canary Islands & Morocco

Norwegian Epic will offer 10-day Canary Islands & Morocco itineraries from Barcelona starting 29 November 2015. Norwegian Epic’s Canary Islands & Morocco itineraries will encompass some of the most sought after ports of call along the North Western Coast of Africa and will visit: Tangier, Morocco; Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife, Spain; Funchal, Madeira, Portugal; and Málaga (Granada), Spain. Sail dates are 29 November 2015; 3, 24 January; 14 February; 6 and 28 March 2016.

Guests looking to celebrate Christmas 2015 on board Norwegian Epic can do so on a nine-day Canary Islands & Morocco itinerary which will be offered on 19 December 2015. Guests cruising for Christmas will visit Tangier, Morocco; Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife, Spain; and Málaga (Granada), Spain.

Western Mediterranean

Guests looking to cruise to the Western Mediterranean in the winter on Norwegian Epic can cruise on their choice of six-, 10-, 11-, and 12-day itineraries.

The 11-day itinerary features ports of call including Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy; Carthage, Tunisia; Palermo, Sicily, Italy; Naples (Pompeii), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Palma, Majorca, Spain; and Barcelona, Spain, and will be offered on 13 January, 3 and 24 February 2016.

On 9 December 2015 and 7 April 2016, Norwegian Epic will sail two 10-day Western Mediterranean itineraries that visit Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy; Carthage, Tunisia; Palermo, Sicily, Italy; Naples (Pompeii), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; and Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy.

Guests looking to cruise through the New Year can set sail on 28 December 2015, from Barcelona on a six-day cruise. Ports of call include Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Naples (Pompeii), Italy and Palma, Majorca, Spain.

On March 16, 2016, Norwegian Epic will depart for its longest Western Mediterranean winter season cruise, a 12-night itinerary that visits Valencia, Spain; Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy; Carthage, Tunisia; Palermo, Sicily, Italy; Naples (Pompeii), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Palma, Majorca, Spain; and Valencia, Spain.

 (Source: NCL)

Malcolm Says: Epic is a remarkable floating resort and is ideal for the young, young at heart and families looking for plenty of action and entertainment.  It nice to see her season extended and operating  European itineraries that are a little more adventurous, in 2015/16.

My Norwegian Epic Review:  http://wp.me/PfRKD-Iy

 

Noregian Escape: Longer Waterfront & Extra Public Spaces?

February 26, 2014
(NCL Image)

(NCL Image – click to enlarge)

There can be little doubt that ‘Norwegian’ are now committed to the mega-ship race, after their newbuilds: Epic, Breakaway and Getaway. However’  ‘Escape’ (2015) and ‘Bliss’ (2017) will be their biggest yet at around 163,000 gt.

The first issue of Escape’s deck plans reveal some interesting differences  between Escape and the two Breakaway class ships.

As well as having an expanded ‘Haven’ (private suites complex), ‘Escape’ will have more studio (single) cabins.  Although not ‘officially’ revealed, It also  looks that she will have a longer ‘Waterfront’ promenade with some (2?) new/extended public rooms on deck 8.

In addition it looks as if there will definitely be new public space/s on deck 5.

See More about Escape Here: http://wp.me/pfRKD-2oT

Anthem Of The Seas On Sale Tomorrow

26th February 2014: Royall Caribbean’s ‘Anthem of the Sea’s will be sailing from Southampton in  April-October 2015.  The cabins go on sale tomorrow. Even though we still do not  know all of Anthem and her sister Quantum’s facilities/layout, I bet the cabins will sell pretty fast!

Malcolm

Quantum/Anthem Speculation Here: http://wp.me/pfRKD-2l1

Norwegian Escape, Expanded Haven

February 20, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line’s next ship ‘Norwegian Escape’ due to enter service later in 2015, will boast an expanded Haven suite complex with more premium accommodation.

‘Norwegian Escape’ to be followed by ‘Bliss’ in 2017 are called the “Breakaway Plus” class and will be NCL’s biggest ships. They will be 163,000 gt and carry 4,200 passengers (lower berths) when compared to the “Breakaway class” at 144,000 gt and 4,000 passengers. (‘Norwegian Epic’ at 156,000 gt and 4,1000 passengers will become their second biggest ship.)

(NCL Image)

(NCL Image – click to enlarge)

The Norwegian Escape will have all of the features of Norwegian Breakaway/Getaway, in addition to new spaces and experiences.

The 4,200-passenger vessel’s expanded Haven is their “ship within a ship” concept. This has been done by adding a second deck (17 & 18) to the Haven, of  luxury accommodation.  The space, accessible by keycard, will have an outdoor terrace with its private restaurant as well as the same kind of private courtyard area with retractable roof, pool, two whirlpools, sauna, spa treatment rooms and sundeck.

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The number of suites within the Haven more than doubles, from 42 on Getaway to 95 on Escape. These include four 1,300-square-foot deluxe owner’s suites (that’s nearly 100 feet larger than the one found on Getaway), four 572-square-foot owner’s suites, 25 two-bedroom family villas that sleep up to six, and 22 penthouses. Another 26 Haven-style penthouses are located in other areas of the ship, facing forward and aft, as well as 14 Haven spa suites that are close to the ship’s fitness center and Thermal Suite.

(Owners Suite)

(Owners Suite)

Norwegian Escape will also expand its Studio area, which consists of rooms for solo travellers, from the 59 on Getaway to 82 cabins. The Studio, which is also accessible only by keycard, will have its own lounge, as Breakaway, Getaway and Epic have.

(Escape Studio Lounge - NCL)

(Escape Studio Lounge – NCL)

Families will continue to have options across the categories, with 40 mini-suites located near Splash Academy, 172 family balconies near the children’s facilities, 48 oceanview staterooms that can accommodate up to five and an unspecified number of inside staterooms with additional Pullman beds.

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(Meyer Werft image Breakaway+ click for full-screen)

According to Norwegian, details including the ship’s home port and its first-year itinerary will be announced next month, when the first sailings will be available to book.

(Text/Image Source:  NCL)

Malcolm Says: I assume Norwegian Bliss will also have an expanded Haven too.  It’s funny people used to criticize Cunard on having a ‘class’ system (different dining rooms liked to different grades of suite) but a “ship-within-a -ship” is becoming a standard feature, even on mass-market ships.

Extra Public Rooms?  It was clear from the outset that the Breakaway+ ships would have more accommodation  but I was particularly interested to know if they had more public rooms than ‘Breakaway’ class.  NCL titillated us by saying: “…all of the features of Norwegian Getaway, in addition to new spaces and experiences”.

However some basic ‘Escape’ deck plans are already available:

http://escape.ncl.com/assets/Uploads…Deck-Plans.pdf

When compared to Breakaway, Escape has an extra deck of cabins (20 decks in total).  Generally the other decks (labelled “More To Come”) appear to be configured in a similar way, in terms of accommodation and public spaces, with a few exceptions.  However  it does appears that the ‘studio’ (single) cabins are spread over three decks (10, 11, 12) not just two, with the lounge being on 11 between all three decks. This change accommodates the 32 extra studio cabins (82 in total).

The most significant difference is that Escape’s deck 5 has about 100 less cabins, which releases some extra space (in red below) for public rooms, which Breakaway does not have. Taking into account the stair towers/elevators, I guess this extra space represents about 25% of that deck. (I’m assuming the  space at the very stern of Breakaway’s deck 5 is a technical area and may NOT be available on Escape either).

I guess that there will  be room in this ‘red’ area for a fair-sized single-height lounge/entertainment space or a further dining option/s. The galley for the main dining rooms is just one deck above which maybe could be utilised.  The rendering shows windows on the port and starboard sides of this area, although they look no bigger than cabin windows. (Mind you renderings can change).

Getaway Deck 5

Getaway Deck 5

Escape Deck 5

Escape Deck 5

In addition 18 cabins have been lost from deck 8 (the Waterfront deck) and it appears the waterfront may have been extended and/or another public space has been created.

Below: Breakaway

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Below: Escape (Less cabins on deck 8/new space)

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Finally, what are those two ‘bulges’ on the top of the ‘Haven’ (see below)? Possible cantilevered (overhanding) Hot Tubs, RCI style?

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In terms of the Breakaway class public rooms:  I’d like to see Escape have a bigger main Theatre (it only holds 800) but this may not be possible. A complete re-design of Breakaway’s features  negates the cost savings benefits of simply adapting the design. Likewise I’d like to see a forward facing  Observation Lounge,  ‘Spinnaker Lounge’ style, overlooking the bow. However expensive revenue generating suites will clearly occupy such prime spaces.

I think Breakaway’s ‘Bliss’ is too small (even when compared to Epic’s). It  is rather like a claustrophobic ‘black box’ that can only be used as a night-club.  NCL’s original ‘Bliss-Ultra-Lounge’ concept was a more versatile design, with windows/stage, that could be used during the day time and as an evening night-club (a good idea for deck 5 maybe?) After all, Royal Caribbean’s buzz-word for their next ship ‘Quantum’, is “transformational” spaces.

Finally, I am a little concerned that the Breakaway class are often called “busy” or even “crowded” ships in passenger reviews. ‘Breakaway Plus’ will carry even more passengers.  Although it does look as if NCL will add at least some extra public spaces on deck 5 and deck 8, not all of the facilities of the Breakaway class can expanded.  The ship will be taller (an extra deck) but no longer or wider.  I assume that the busy  ‘Pool Deck’,’ Aqua-Park’ and ‘Sports Deck’ will all have to be the same size. The Waterfront may be a little longer, but cannot be wider.

Malcolm

Q: Please tell me what extra public rooms/dining you think Breakaway+ should have.

See my Getaway review here: http://wp.me/PfRKD-2i7

O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill to be Added to Fleet

O’Sheehan’s, the 24-hour Irish pub, will be expanded to six more Norwegian Cruise Line vessels, adding life to the atrium area.

(CEO Kevin Sheehan by A.Kolosh)

(CEO Kevin Sheehan, in O’sheehan’s, by A.Kolosh)

O’Sheehan’s debuted with Norwegian Epic’s introduction in 2010 and is featured on the sister ships Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway. It serves fast-food type snacks at no charge, besides beer on tap. Television, billiards and darts are available, too.

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Norwegian Jewel will be the first to gain a pub during its dry-dock in May. The remaining Jewel-class vessels: Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Pearl, along with Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star, will add O’Sheehan’s in the future.

(Source: NCL)

Norwegian Getaway Christened

February 9, 2014

7th February 2014 – Norwegian Getaway was christened in a star-studded ceremony by the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, with a rousing finale by Cuban/American musical superstar Armando Christian Perez (aka Pitbull).

(Image: NCL)

(Image: NCL)

Norwegian Getaway, the largest ship to homeport year-round at Port Miami, kicked off her arrival to Miami in style. Throughout the christening ceremony, which took place in three themed venues around the ship, Norwegian Getaway’s Miami flair was on full display.

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The Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders flipped the switch lighting up Miami and the bottle smashed against the side of the ship to officially christen her.

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“Miami’s ship is home and we couldn’t be more proud to bring this spectacular vessel to this electric city,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “We thank Miami-Dade County for this warm welcome and the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders for christening this beautiful ship and are looking forward to a very successful inaugural season.”

Norwegian Getaway will begin her weekly seven-day cruises from Port Miami to the Easter Caribbean on Saturday, February 8.

(Source: NCL)

See my Getaway review here: http://wp.me/PfRKD-2i7

Norwegian Getaway In Southampton

January 16, 2014

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Above: The Tropicana Dining Room, one of the most attractive at sea? (Click to make bigger)

I will provide more coverage on this amazing ship, shortly. Stay tuned! Malcolm

North Cape?

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15/01/14 Getaway in Southampton: during a public Q&A session Kevin Sheehan (NCL CEO) was asked if Norwegian ships would be sailing from a UK port next year, maybe to Norway and the North Cape?  We heard Sheehan reply “North Cape, I do not even know where that is”. 

That sounds like a conclusive “NO” to me.

Malcolm

Other NCL news:

Norwegian Cruise Line will be updating its entire fleet with O’Sheehan’s Pub, the new bar that has proven to be popular on its newest vessels – Norwegian Epic, Breakaway and Getaway.

The company’s chief executive Kevin Sheehan told those in attendance for Getaway’s debut in Southampton this week that efforts are also being undertaken to get more passengers to visit the pub, especially at different times of day.  He also said: “O’Sheehan’s has proved to be such a centre point for the ship, for people to gather and socialise, that we have decided to put it on all the ships.”

(Source: Cruise Critic)

Epic to Homeport in Barcelona

January 13, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that Norwegian Epic, the line’s award-winning ship, will home port year-round in Barcelona, Spain from 30 April 2015. Norwegian Epic will be the largest Norwegian Cruise Line ship to ever home port in Europe year-round.

Top Heavy: Epic at Southampton, June 2010.

Epic at Southampton, June 2010.

“We are excited to announce that our largest ship, Norwegian Epic, will homeport in Europe year-round in 2015,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Norwegian Epic’s innovative accommodations, world-class entertainment and plethora of dining options are the perfect complement to the European cruise market, one of the most sought-after cruise destinations in the world.”

Throughout 2015, Norwegian Epic will offer a variety of exciting European itineraries.  The  Itineraries are scheduled to be announced mid-March.

(Source: NCL)

Malcolm Says: It looks like the news for the next few weeks will mainly be coming from NCL.  This  is excellent news. Epic is a very exciting ships.

See my extensive ‘Epic’ review: http://wp.me/PfRKD-Iy

Getaway in Rotterdam

January 12, 2014

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11/01/14: Excellent Images by Aad Hoogesteger

(Web site: http://www.cruisefans.nl )


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