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

Escape Gets Legendary Miami Bar

October 23, 2014

31st October 2014

In celebration of Norwegian Escape’s one year to launch milestone, Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that Miami’s oldest and most legendary bar, Tobacco Road, will find a new home aboard the line’s newest and largest ship.

32246-5The acclaimed establishment, which was issued Miami’s very first alcohol license, is closing its original location this week after 102 years in business. In an effort to preserve the tradition of this iconic Miami landmark, Tobacco Road and Norwegian Cruise Line partnered to bring the Tobacco Road experience on board Norwegian Escape, which will begin sailing from Miami in November 2015.

Located within 678 Ocean Place, the new location of the celebrated tavern will incorporate elements of the original Tobacco Road, including the iconic neon sign, memorabilia and photographs that will showcase the history of Miami through the lens of events and happenings at the bar over the past century.

In addition to favourite beers and spirits, Tobacco Road Bar on board Norwegian Escape will also feature a selection of cocktails created by Tobacco Road’s resident mixologist, Leo Holtzman. The delicious drinks from Holtzman’s Cocktail Collection will include favourites like the Chili Mule, featuring ginger puree, Cointreau and vodka topped with a sliced seranno pepper; and the Gateway, a rum-based drink that incorporates yuzu juice, elderflower syrup and Prosecco.

(Escape, NCL Image - click to enlarge)

(Escape, NCL Image – click to enlarge)

Norwegian Escape will begin weekly seven-night cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean on 14 November 2015. The ship will be the largest to home port year-round in Miami, carrying 4,200 guests to tropical Caribbean destinations including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas. The ship’s signature hull artwork is designed by marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, Guy Harvey, which features an underwater scene of marine wildlife.

(NCL)

Malcolm Says: Norwegian Escape will be NCL’s biggest ship at 163,000gt (10% bigger than Breakaway/Getaway). This class will be the worlds third largest, being slightly smaller than RCI’s  ‘Quantum’ class and with RCI’s ‘Oasis’ class being the worlds biggest.  Escape’s design will be similar to Breakaway’s with an extra deck. Some  of Breakaways public rooms will be substituted for new ones. There will also be some extra ones.

I wonder if ‘Tobacco Road’ will be designated non-smoking? That would be ironic!

Quantum – The Top Secret Ship

October 21, 2014
(Meyer Werft Image)

(Meyer Werft Image)

‘Quantum of The Seas’ must be the most secret cruise ship ever built by any cruise line.

On 29th October 2014, Quantum arrives at Southampton, yet amazingly we still do not know all of her secrets.

There are still parts of her deck plans that are labelled “More To Come”.  We have seem some renderings of her internal spaces, but not all of them.  We have seen few real images. Details of some of the cabin grades, the ‘Royal Esplanade’ and the shops are still missing.

I think in the case of  ‘Oasis of the Seas’, RCI were so confident that they released all of the details, as soon as they could.  They let the concept speak for itself.  They knew that the worlds biggest ship would almost  promote itself. I recall that very few secrets were held back, for very long.

Quantum is a very different kettle of fish.

I think RCI were worried that Quantum could seem like an anti-climax when compared to ‘Oasis’. After all she’s smaller.

All of Quantum’s dining options leaves little room for too many ‘wow’ type public spaces, which have been RCI’s trademark in the past.  Quantum does not have the popular favourites like Central Park, Studio B, the Boardwalk, a Royal Viking Crown or a Royal Prom (as we know it).

On-board Quantum Technology and the Dining are designed to create the new ‘wows’.

‘Dynamic Dining’ is of course a very fundamental change for RCI and not without risk. It will change the design of every RCI ship from now on. RCI probably feared a backlash. After all ‘Dynamic Dining’ is VERY similar to NCL’s ‘Freestyle’ dining system. The latter still has it fans and critics after several decades of operation.

Few people have been on-board Quantum yet, but we may even find that aspects of Quantum’s design are similar to NCL’s newbuilds: Breakaway and Getaway. They were constructed in the same shipyard too, Meyer Werft, in Germany.

I believe RCI decided that they could generate more excitement about Quantum, by releasing the details very, very slowly, rather than presenting all of the facts up front.

Just my take on the events. Do you agree with me?

Malcolm

Stop Press: Some new interior images have been taken by Ingrid-Fiebak:

http://www.ingrid-fiebak.de/galerie/categories.php?cat_id=2222

My ticket to visit ‘Quantum’ at Southampton next week has obviously got lost in the post! If you are going, here are the things that I want to know:

1) The facilities for youngsters look great, but what does the ship have to offer adults?

2) How does the ‘Royal Esplanade’ differ from a ‘Royal Promenade’?

3) Having multiple dining options leaves a lot less room for ‘wow’ spaces (like the Royal Viking Crown, Central Park, Studio B, Royal Prom. tall atriums etc.). How does this affect the ships ‘feel’.

4) It all that technology just silly gimmicks or real enhancements?

5) The ‘BIG’ question is does Quantum feel like an RCI ship or has there product morphed in NCL.

Stop Press – We finally have more details & deck plans: http://wp.me/pfRKD-2LZ

Norwgian Escape Details

October 1, 2014

Norwegian Cruise have revealed that Norwegian Escape will incorporate The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place, the immensely popular design innovation first introduced on Norwegian Breakaway and also on Norwegian Getaway. This concept includes an oceanfront boardwalk lined with restaurants, bars and shops, combined with three expansive, flowing decks of dining, bars, entertainment, gaming and more. The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place have taken cruising to new heights and offer an unparalleled experience with a unique connection to the ocean. Norwegian Escape is currently under construction and is scheduled for delivery in October 2015.

(NCL)

(Click Images to enlarge NCL)

Located on deck 8, The Waterfront is a revolutionary outdoor experience that adds a whole new dimension to Norwegian’s signature Freestyle Cruising, by offering a number of seaside venues that will feature breath-taking views and a sense of connection with the ocean. The hub of the ship will be 678 Ocean Place, a space that uniquely flows, intertwines and connects three decks of daytime and night-time amusements.

A private group dining venue for up to 100 guests will be one of the new features.

As part of Taste, one of the complimentary dining options on board, the Private Room at Taste will accommodate up to 100 guests, offering the opportunity for groups to dine together in a private setting. Located just below the main Taste restaurant on deck 5, the Private Room at Taste features its own entrance, lounge and private dining area.

The new Skyline Bar, will be located within the Escape casino. It is an elegant and sophisticated lounge highlighted by brushed gold and metallic finishes. The lounge will also feature entertainment, a bar with video poker and multiple walls lined with ultra, high definition LED screens that can create an array of scenes to transform the mood of the space.

(Skyline Bar - NCL)

(Skyline Bar – NCL)

The popular Manhattan Room returns (deck 7) as the complimentary aft dining room with cool, sophisticated tones of blue and silver. As guests dine on cuisine that reflects the elegant nature of the room, they will enjoy live music and dancing. The two-story high restaurant showcases floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows looking aft, lined with mirrored accents and glamorous lighting.

(Manhattan Room - NCL)

(Manhattan Room – NCL)

New to Norwegian Escape is a portrait studio, where guests will have the opportunity to take professional photographs. There will also be a number of exciting dining and entertainment venues located within 678 Ocean Place and in other locations on the vessel that will be revealed at a later date.

(The Waterfront - NCL)

(The Waterfront – NCL)

Following inaugural events in Southampton and its maiden transatlantic voyage, Norwegian Escape will begin weekly seven-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean on 14 November 2015. The ship will be the largest to home port year-round in Miami, carrying 4,200 guests to tropical Caribbean destinations including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.

(NCL)

(Teppanyaki Restaurant – NCL)

The ship’s signature hull artwork is designed by marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, Guy Harvey, which features an underwater scene of marine wildlife. Norwegian’s newest ship is Harvey’s largest canvas to date, at 1065 feet in length.

(Source: NCL)

Malcolm says: Escape is essentially ‘Breakaway’ with an extra deck. There will be some new public spaces, but many will be very similar.

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

Breakaway Review: http://wp.me/PfRKD-238

Norwegian Escape Keel Laying

September 20, 2014

19th Sept 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line and MEYER WERFT today celebrated the keel laying of Norwegian Escape at MEYER’s state of the art facility in Papenburg, Germany. During the ceremony, block 35/41, the first of 86 blocks that will comprise the 164,600 gross ton vessel, was lifted into the covered building dock, officially marking the start of the ship’s construction. Norwegian Escape will be Norwegian’s largest ship to date, carrying 4,200 passengers, set for delivery in October 2015.

(NCL Image)

(NCL Image)

Kevin Sheehan (above, colourful shirt), Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer, was on hand in the dock and laid the traditional “lucky coin,” before the first block, weighing 400 tons, was placed by crane. A special commemorative coin featuring the ship was created to celebrate the day’s activities.

“Norwegian Escape will be our largest and most innovative ship to date, building on the phenomenal success of Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway,” said Sheehan. “We are looking forward to seeing this ship take shape over the next year and welcoming her to our fleet in October 2015.”

Norwegian Escape is the first ship in her class, and is being built by MEYER WERFT through a highly-efficient construction process that will deliver the ship of 164,600 gross tons in just over 19 months from steel cutting to delivery.

Norwegian Escape will begin weekly seven-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean on 14 November 2015. The ship will be the largest to home port year-round in Miami, carrying 4,200 guests to tropical Caribbean destinations including St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas.

The ship’s signature hull artwork is designed by marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, Guy Harvey, which features an underwater scene of marine wildlife. Norwegian’s newest ship is Harvey’s largest canvas to date, at 1065 feet in length, with his artwork spanning from the hull to the aft featuring two undersea scenes that blend seamlessly. 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.

(NCL)

See More about Escape’s New public  spaces Here:

http://wp.me/pfRKD-2oT

NCL Acquires Prestige Cruises International

September 12, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Prestige Cruises International, Inc. (“Prestige”), the market leader in the upscale cruise segment and parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, in cash and stock for a total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion.

(NCL Image)

(NCL Image)

“The acquisition of Prestige represents an extraordinary opportunity for Norwegian Cruise Line to expand our market presence by adding two established, award-winning brands in the upscale cruise segment with loyal followings,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer.

“We are excited to become part of the Norwegian family and start a new chapter for our company,” said Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige. “With Oceania and Regent, we have built iconic brands with distinctive product offerings and strong customer loyalty.

Prestige operates eight ships and approximately 6,500 berths under two segment-leading brands. Oceania Cruises is the market leader in the upper-premium cruise segment with five ships offering destination-oriented cruise. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the market leader in the luxury cruise segment and operates three award-winning, all-suite ships, with an additional ship on order for delivery in summer 2016.

“The combination of three distinct brands, each serving a different market segment, under one umbrella immediately creates an industry-leading cruise operator with an unmatched growth trajectory and a portfolio of products that allows us to appeal to guests at every stage of their life cycle,” added Sheehan. “We are fully committed to retaining the brand propositions, guest experiences and cultures of the Norwegian, Oceania and Regent brands that have allowed each to realize such success.”

(Source: NCL)

NCL to Purchase Prestige Cruises?

September 3, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is in negotiations to purchase Prestige Cruises International for roughly $3 billion (£1.8 billion).

OceaniaCruises-CD-Header

Reuters reports that the acquisition will give Norwegian Cruise access to Prestige Cruises’ wide variety of ships and clientele, allowing the company to compete with rivals Royal Caribbean Cruises and Carnival Corp.

Prestige Cruises operates under the Oceania and Regent brands. Together, these travel to Scandinavia, Russia, the Mediterranean, North America, Asia and South America.

The company posted revenues of $1.2 billion last year, marking a six per cent rise from 2012.

However, the deal could still fall apart and is yet to be concluded.

(Reuters)

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

 

NCL Orders Two More Breakaway-Plus Ships

July 15, 2014

NCL  has ordered two more Breakaway-Plus-class ships for delivery in 2018 and 2019.

The two 164,600 gross tonnage, 4,200-passenger ships will be built by Germany-based Meyer Werft. The first will be delivered in the second quarter 2018, while the second will come in the fourth quarter 2019. They will join sister Breakaway-Plus-class ships Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss, due October 2015 and March 2017, respectively.

(NCL Image)

(NCL Image)

The design of the Breakaway-Plus-class ships is based on the two Breakaway-class ships already in Norwegian’s fleet, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.

The contract price for both new ships is approximately 1.6 billion euros.

(NCL/Cruise Critic)

Malcolm says: O.K NOT the two rumoured 200,00gt mega-ships, but two more impressive additions to the expanding NCL fleet. As for homeports, how about China and the UK? Maybe not the two new breakaway+ ships themselves, but they would free up older tonnage for re-deployment.

What Would NCL Include On A 200,000gt Mega-ship?

July 14, 2014

While daydreaming, I was wondering what the Norwegian cruise might include on-board a 200,000 gross tonne mega-ship.

(November 2013 - Click for bigger image)

Getaway – Andreas Depping

A recent rumour suggest that they might be about to order such a mega-ship (or two) which would be almost as big as Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the seas (225,000 gt).

Firstly I believe that such a ship would have to be a completely new design. NCL have added an extra deck to their ‘Breakaway’ design (146,600gt) to create the ‘Breakaway Plus’ (Escape and Bliss at 163,000 gt) but we are talking about a 200,000gt. That’s more than just two extra decks!

Not only is Oasis the world’s biggest class of cruise ship, carrying the highest number of passengers (6,296 maximum) she also has room for a number of breath-taking public spaces. Not only does she have an enlarged ‘Royal Promenade’, which is an internal street running along much the length of the ship, she has the ‘Boardwalk’, complete with Merry-Go-Round at the stern and the amazing ‘Central Park, an area with real trees and plants. Only the remarkable split-superstructure design and  scale of the ship allows such ‘wow’ spaces.

Central Park (Oasis)

Central Park (Oasis)

Norwegian’s three most recent ships: Epic, Breakaway, Getaway and the forthcoming Escape and Bliss all have a very different design to Oasis.  Third generation ‘Freestyle’ requires almost every inch of the ships to be packed with multiple dining rooms, multiple bars and multiple entertainment venues. This leaves little room for double-height rooms or big spaces. Even their atriums are modest when compared to many other big modern cruise ships.

So what would they do with 200,000 gt? Well more cabins and more passengers than ‘Escape’ is a given. I guess her double occupancy might be around 5,000 passengers, so that’s maybe a 1,000 more than ‘Breakaway’?  Obviously bigger dining rooms and bigger entertainment venues will be required to handle the extra passengers. However NCL’s new ships already have more dining options than you could use in 7 night cruise. Would a new NCL mega-ships really need even more?

It would be nice to see at least some of the extra-gross tonnage used for some big new public spaces. I assume the very attractive ‘Waterfront’ feature (bars and dining rooms lining an external promenade deck) will be back. After all it’s a simple, but excellent idea. I would expect such a mega-ship have a much enhanced ‘Waterfront’. They say that Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and the MSC newbuild project ‘Seaside’ will also have a big ‘Waterfront’ like feature.

(The Waterfront)

(The Waterfront)

What would NCL do with the pool-deck? We have already seen their big aqua-parks with mini golf, sports court, ropes course, rock climbing wall and water slides. What next, a Ferris -Wheel or roller coaster? Maybe even a mini-train around the deck?

Personally I like some of the traditional ideas such as a high forward facing observation lounge. This helps give a ship a better ‘connection with the sea’.  Even RCI have abandoned their signature ‘Royal Viking Crown’ lounge on-board their new ‘Quantum’ class ship, which is a shame.

How about pools? Everyone seems to complain that the pools on-board mega-ships are not plentiful enough and too small. I believe this is because they are now always located on the top deck and having too many tons of water up their can compromise the ships stability. How about creating a big pool, on a low deck, inside the ship. This is where the pools were located on-board the ocean liners of yesteryear. Just an idea!

In short, I have no more idea than the next man what NCL might incorporate into a new mega-ship, but its fun to speculate. What facilities do you think a new NCL mega-ship might have?

Malcolm

NCL To Build Two Ships Almost As Big As Oasis?

July 8, 2014

Rumours claim that a Norwegian Cruise Line are on the verge of ordering two 200,000-ton prototype ships. These rumours allegedly come from multiple suppliers involved in the bidding process.  If this is true, the ships will approaching the size (in terms of gross tonnage)  of Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis’ class.

(Oasis)

(Oasis)

The rumours go on to suggest that this order will go to Turku, STX Finland.  It has also been suggested that Meyer Werft and the Finnish Government are signatures away from a deal to see STX Finland end up in the hands of the German shipbuilding company. NCL of course have a very positive relationship with Meyer Werft.

'Breakaway Plus' (NCL Image)

‘Breakaway Plus’ (NCL Image)

These two rumoured NCL mega-ships are not to be confused with their forthcoming newbuilds, the ‘Breakaway Plus’ ship ‘Escape’ (2015)and ‘Bliss’ (2017).  At 163,000 gt these are NCL’s biggest ships yet, but still short Oasis’s 225,000 gt.

(Source: The Net Rumour Mill)

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

 

 

Norwegian Escape to debut in Hamburg

June 20, 2014

Hamburg is preparing to welcome Norwegian Escape in October 2015. Norwegian Cruise Line’s 4,200 passenger newbuild, currently under construction at Meyer Werft, will make its public debut in the city on October 23, becoming the largest cruise ship to call in Hamburg.

(Escape, NCL Image - click to enlarge)

(Escape, NCL Image – click to enlarge)

The first visit is during a two night cruise for the travel trade, followed by a two night sailing from Hamburg to Southampton.

‘The European market has played an important role for Norwegian Cruise Line for years now, with Germany in particular one of our key source markets. Our choice of Hamburg as the venue for the Continental European premiere celebrations for a new vessel for the first time clearly illustrates our commitment to the German market, demonstrating the potential we see here for Norwegian Cruise Line in the coming years,’ says Jürgen Stille, director business development Continental Europe at Norwegian Cruise Line.

‘The presentation of the new vessel on the River Elbe, the cruise industry’s red carpet, is the perfect choice of venue,’ says Gerd Drossel, managing director of Hamburg Cruise Centre.

(Source: Seatrade)

‘Escape’ Speculation: http://wp.me/pfRKD-2oT


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 181 other followers