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

Norwegian Escape Review Available

November 22, 2015
The Manhattan restaurant

The Manhattan restaurant

Norwegian Escape Review HERE

NCL to Build Separate Smoking Area in ‘Escapes’ Casino

November 7, 2015
Click to enlarge (Depping)

Click to enlarge (Image courtesy of A.Depping)

Norwegian Cruise Line is to retro-fit a Separate Smoking Area in ‘Norwegian Escapes’ Casino.

See Cruise Critic story HERE

Malcolm says: The problem is that many gamblers enjoy a drink and a smoke. Epic, Breakaway, Getaway and Escape all have VERY open-plan Casinos.

I recall that when I cruised on-board Epic in her maiden season, her Casino stank of smoke. NCL’s biggest ships only have two stair towers, one forward and one aft. Passengers will often find themselves walking through the Casino to get somewhere else, so inadvertently breathed the smoke.

Norwegian Escape Review Available

October 31, 2015


Well I finally threw it all together. It might have a few typos in it, but it’s largely complete.

I have concentrated on the ships design and how it differs from the ‘Breakaway’ class. Enjoy!


Norwegian Escape Review HERE

Escape To Escape

October 30, 2015

I’m just back form an overnight stay on NCL’s newest and biggest floating-resort, ‘Norwegian Escape’.

As soon as I get a chance I will complete my ship review, but in the meantime, here are some of my slides…


Epic Got More Epic

October 22, 2015
(Image courtesy of NCL)

(Image courtesy of NCL)

Norwegian Epic welcomed guests on-board on Monday 19 October 2015, following a three week dry dock where the ship received significant enhancements across the vessel, including entertainment, dining, technical operations and more. The new features come as Norwegian Epic readies for her winter and summer seasons sailing the Mediterranean from Barcelona, followed by her return to the United States and her new home in Port Canaveral in the autumn of 2016.

Norwegian Epic now features a brand new entertainment outlet The Cavern Club, bringing the legendary Liverpool venue where the Beatles saw their popularity skyrocket to life. Following the addition of Broadway sensation Burn The Floor earlier this year, Norwegian Epic was outfitted with a second new Broadway show during the dry dock, Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical, which is based on the Oscar-winning movie.

Many of the on-board dining venues received a refreshed look with new carpeting, reupholstered furniture, new décor and more. Epic was also outfitted with a brand new photo gallery, library and card room.

SplashGolf, installed in the ship’s Kids Aqua Park, is a new attraction combines two age-old elements of fun –water features and mini golf– into one completely new, interactive water based game attracting all age groups for more family fun. Additionally, the vessel received major renovations and enhancements to the Mandara spa, Bliss Ultra Lounge, pool deck Marketplace, Epic Theatre, Casino, and the exclusive Haven suite complex.

Technical modernisations and maintenance also took place during the dry dock. The ship received a new pair of “Becker rudders” together with more efficient propeller caps, and state-of-the-art energy efficient hull paint. Additional significant technical and safety updates include: lifeboats and tender boats release systems upgrade; thrusters and stabilisers full maintenance, air ducts upgrades as well as improved storerooms’ refrigeration systems.


Malcolm says: Epic was a ground-breaking ship for NCL. She was their first mega-ship and she took ‘Freestyle’ to a different level, with more dining and entertainment choices.  I found her cabins to be very stylish and original, but the bathroom arrangements freaked some people out.  Nevertheless Epic was the mould for the ‘Breakaway’ and the ‘Breakaway Plus’ designs that have followed. Many of their features were borrowed directly from Epic.

I had to look-up what ‘Becker Rudders’ are.

A few years ago when I was on-board the Epic, I was told by a senior member of crew that she was quite a difficult ship to manoeuvre. He suggested that it was a mistake to have built such a big ship without Azipods (propellers that can swivel 360 degrees, which increase manoeuvrability, especially when docking). Most other mega-ships of a similar size to epic have these as standard.

A Beccker Flap-Rudder

A Becker Flap-Rudder

Becker Rudders are jointed-rudders which can also increase manoeuvrability and can act like extra stern thrusters. This may be NCL’s way of addressing the manoeuvrability problem. Fitting full-blown Azipods would probably be prohibitively expensive, I guess.

Norwegian Epic Review HERE

NCL’ s Next Newbuild Will Be For China

October 12, 2015
(Image courtesy of NCL)

(Image courtesy of NCL)

The Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that the second Breakaway Plus class cruise ship will now be purpose built for the Chinese cruise market. The ship is currently under construction and the announcement was made by CEO Frank Del Rio during the CruiseWorld China summit in Shanghai.

The ship was originally going to be named ‘Norwegian Bliss’, but this is no longer the case. The new name will be announced at a later date.

The new ship, will be the second in NCL’s new ‘Breakaway Plus’ after Norwegian Escape which enters service within a few weeks. Escape and Bliss are around 164,600 gross tons and carry 4,200 guests. Two additional ships in the same class are on order for delivery in 2018 and 2019.

NCL’s CEO Frank Del Rio said:

“Our new purpose-built ship for China will have characteristics that are authentic to Norwegian Cruise Line and yet distinctively Chinese in all of its sensibility, With this new ship, Norwegian will unquestionably offer our Chinese guests a superior product and introduce a new standard of innovation and excellence into the marketplace, with an unrivalled level of customization for the Chinese consumer.  It will perfectly suit what modern Chinese travellers value from an upscale cruise experience.”

“Our China offices house a dedicated leadership team uniquely focused on ensuring the success of our local travel agent partners, which is crucial to the success of our expansion in what will soon be the world’s second largest cruise market, These offices will provide sales and marketing support to our travel partners whose customers not only wish to sail on our new China-based ship, but also on any of the incredible voyages around the world offered across our portfolio of brands.”


Malcolm says: NCL is following the trend of the other major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Carnival, by building dedicated cruise ships that will home-porting in China.

NCL’s Princess Cruises also recently announced that its upcoming ship Majestic Princess will be purpose built for the Chinese market. In fact Majestic Princess will two different names: one a traditional English name, and a separate distinct Chinese name with both written on the ship’s hull, which will be: Sheng Shi Gong Zhu Hao. The Chinese name translates to Grand Spirit or Grand World.

Maybe Bliss will also have two names? She was named in a completion, by a member of the public, so it would be unfortunate if she did not retain ‘bliss’.

Royal Caribbean’s third Quantum class ship will sail out of China once she enters service in 2016.

Norwegian Getaway Review: HERE

Norwegian Epic Refurbishment

October 4, 2015

Back in 2010 Norwegian Epic changed cruising forever by becoming the most innovative cruise ship to sail the seas. And now, fresh from dry-dock, a revitalised Norwegian Epic will once again wow guests with upgrades throughout the ship, plus a brand new entertainment!

• The Beatles at The Cavern Club
• Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical
• The dance sensation Burn the floor

Broadway sensation Burn The Floor: which has received rave reviews on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, will bring the sizzle and passion of ballroom dancing to Norwegian Epic with an all new and exciting show specifically designed for European guests beginning on her transatlantic voyage, April 19, 2015. “Burn the Ballroom,” featuring 14 dancers, a live band and two singers, is an ultimate high-voltage theatrical dance experience that explodes with jaw-dropping choreography, heart-pounding music and breath-taking moves.

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, dased on the Oscar-winning movie: The Musical is the heart-warming, uplifting comedy adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship and end up finding more than they could have ever dreamed of discovering. The Tony Award winning musical features a dazzling array of over 500 award winning costumes, 200 extraordinary head-dresses and a hit parade of dance floor favorites, including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” The show will open on the ship’s October 18, 2015 voyage.

Liverpool's Cavern Club

Liverpool’s Cavern Club

The Cavern Club: Norwegian Epic will also receive a whole new entertainment venue created through an exciting partnership with the owners of Liverpool’s The Cavern Club, the birthplace of British pop music. Impressively, 57 years after its opening, the original Cavern Club survives and thrives as a contemporary music venue. Norwegian will re-create The Cavern Club experience at sea, rocking guests each evening to the sounds of The Beatles, along with other international musicians. The Cavern Club will debut on the October 11, 2015 sailing.


Norwegian Epic Review HERE

Malcom says: Epic is quite an amazing floating resort. In fact Epic and the NCL’s ‘Breakaway Class’ ships are the only ships that really compete with Royal Caribbean’s newer mega-ship. If fact some may argue that they are better!

I’m a big fan of the Beatles and Liverpool’s Carven Club, having seen live music there, so I welcome the new venue on-board ‘Epic’.  The only disadvantage with Liverpool’s Cavern Club. although very atmospheric, is that the views of the band are quite poor when it is crowded, which it normally is.

Norwegian Escape’s Hull Art

September 14, 2015
(Image courtesy of NCL)

(Image courtesy of NCL)

Famed marine wildlife artist has created his largest canvas to date – the hull artwork on the new Norwegian Escape. The new ship will debut at Southampton in October, before crossing the pond to Miami, her home-port.

Norwegian Escape is Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, the largest in the company’s history. Norwegian Escape represents an evolution of the line’s innovative history of providing guests with the freedom and flexibility to enjoy their ideal cruise holiday. Harvey’s artwork brings to life his perspective of the spectacular Caribbean marine life on the expansive canvas of Norwegian Escape’s hull.

(Image courtesy of NCL)

(Image courtesy of NCL)

Spanning more than 1,000 feet in length from bow to stern, the custom-designed artwork features a scene of marine wildlife which blends two underwater seas seamlessly together. Featuring Harvey’s signature sailfish, the design also showcases key Caribbean sea life including sting rays, sea turtles, whale sharks and a variety of tropical fish.

I’m so proud to showcase the incredible marine life of the Caribbean on the largest canvas a human could possibly paint,” said Dr. Guy Harvey. “After weeks of work, the artisans at Meyer Werft, shipyard, Germany have done an incredible job of recreating my art on such a vast format. I’m overjoyed at the level of detail that has been achieved.”


The process of creating the artwork is a lengthy one, beginning with a laser that projects the design onto the hull. A team then outlines the art onto the curved hull, pencilling in the lines and then taping the edges in preparation for applying the paint by hand.

Guy Harvey, widely recognized as one of the world’s finest marine wildlife artists and champion of ocean conservation, combines his unique artistic talents with his background as a marine biologist, diver, photographer and angler to create visually appealing and truly authentic art.


Norwegian Escape Review: HERE

NCL’s Uptown Funk

August 6, 2015

If you enjoyed NCL’s crew on-board ‘Getaway’ performing ‘Happy’,  you will enjoy the ‘Breakaway’ crew performing ‘Uptown Funk’:

View the ‘Happy’ video HERE

Norwegian Breakaway Review: HERE

Norwegian Getaway Review: HERE



June 30, 2015


Today’s Megaships are offering ‘mega-entertainment’. NCL specialize in Las Vegas style ‘branded’ productions and ‘Broadway’ shows.

Since Norwegian Epic entered service in 2010, NCL have been offering the “Blue Man group” on-board, as the main show.

I cannot recall a ship ever before where the entertainment was marketed e, so enthusiastically, along with the ship itself.

The ‘Blue Man group’ will be replaced later this year by “Priscilla”.

Norwegian Epic Review HERE


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