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

Escape Floated-Out

August 15, 2015

It’s not all about big ships, but some of it is…

Click to enlarge (A.Depping)

Click to enlarge (A.Depping)

NCL’s biggest and newest ship, ‘Norwegian Escape’ was ‘floated-out’ today  (15/08/15) at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The float-out took place at 9 am local time. This is the process when the ship leaves dry-dock/assembly building and becomes waterborne for the first time.

Escape will enter service in early November 2015, after visiting Southampton, UK, and crossing the ‘pond’ to Miami, U.S.A, her homeport.

As always Andreas Depping has captured some wonderful images of todays float-out, which he has kindly given me permission to use above and below.

Click to enlarge (A.Depping)

Click to enlarge (A.Depping)

Escape is 164,600 gross tonnes, so about 20,000gt bigger than Breakaway/Getaway, with an extra deck (more passengers) and many different brands of bars, dining, shopping and entertainment venues. However she is still based on original ‘Breakaway’ design.

Click to enlarge (A.Depping)

Click to enlarge (A.Depping)

(More excellent images can be found at Andreas’s Facebook page and web site)

Norwegian Breakaway Review: HERE

Deck Plans Analysed: 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

 

NCL Deployment 2016/17

August 4, 2015

Norwegian Cruise Line have now announced their new itineraries for the brand’s Fall/Winter 2016/2017 deployment.

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Norwegian Getaway (M.Oliver)

Asia and Australia

In the fall of 2016, Norwegian Cruise Line will cruise to the Far East for the first time since fall/winter 2001-2002, with the recently renovated Norwegian Star sailing to the region for several unique itineraries that also feature first-ever visits to The Gulf and India. Norwegian Star will continue to spend her summer 2016 months cruising the Baltic Capitals from Copenhagen, Denmark. After her journey through the Western Mediterranean, Norwegian Star will depart on October 31, 2016 from Istanbul on the brand’s first voyage to the Gulf region through the Suez Canal for a 20-day Eastern Mediterranean and The Gulf itinerary with stops in Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Rhodes, Greece; overnight in Haifa, Israel; Port Said, Sharm El Sheikh and Safaga, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan; Salalah and Muscat, Oman; and an overnight in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

On November 20, 2016, Norwegian Star will sail a 21-day Journey to the East from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Singapore, featuring the brand’s first visit to India with an overnight in Mumbai and stops in Goa (Mormugao), Mangalore and Kochi (Cochin). Additional ports of call include Fujairah and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Muscat and Khasab, Oman; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Phuket, Thailand; Penang, Langkawi and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia; and Singapore.

Throughout December 2016 and January 2017, Norwegian Star will do a series of 11- and 14-day sailings in Southeast Asia, departing from Singapore and Hong Kong respectively. Norwegian Star’s 11-day Southeast Asia itineraries departing from Singapore on December 11, 2016 and January 5, 2017 feature ports of call in Ko Samui and an overnight in Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand; Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) and Nha Trang, Vietnam; Sanya and Hong Kong, China. Guests who sail on the ship’s 14-day Southeast Asia itinerary from Hong Kong on December 22, 2016 will celebrate the holidays with calls in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Hanoi (Ha Long Bay), Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; an overnight stay in Bangkok (Laem Chabang) and a day visit to Ko Samui, Thailand; and Singapore.

On January 16, 2017, Norwegian Star will sail a 21-day Southeast Asia and Australia itinerary from Hong Kong, China to Sydney, Australia. Ports of call include Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam; Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Thailand; Singapore; Bali (Benoa) and Komodo, Indonesia; Darwin, Cairns, Airlie Beach, and Brisbane, Australia.

Norwegian Star will sail a 12-day Australia and New Zealand sailing on February 6, 2017 from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand. Ports of call for this adventure down under include Melbourne and Burnie, Australia; and Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Napier and Tauranga, New Zealand. Norwegian Star will also sail a 19-day Australia and New Zealand thrill-filled itinerary from Auckland, New Zealand to Singapore departing February 18, 2017. Ports of call include: Bay of Islands, New Zealand; Sydney, Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Cairns and Darwin, Australia; and Komodo and Bali (Benoa), Indonesia; and Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang), Malaysia.

Norwegian Star will begin her journey back to the West with an 18-day Southeast Asia and India sailing from Singapore to Dubai, departing March 9, 2017. Ports of Call include Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), and Penang, Malaysia; Phuket, Thailand; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Kochi (Cochin), Mangalore, Mumbai and Goa (Mormugao), India; Muscat and Khasab, Oman; Fujairah and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Rounding out her season in the Far East will be a 20-day Eastern Mediterranean and The Gulf sailing from Dubai, United Arab Emirates through the Suez Canal to Venice, Italy departing March 27, 2017. Ports of call on this Western-bound journey include Fujairah, United Arab Emirates; Muscat and Salalah, Oman; Aqaba, Jordan; Safaga and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; an overnight in Haifa, Israel; a stop in Iraklion, Crete, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and finally, an overnight stay in Venice, Italy.

Caribbean & Bahamas

After more than a year in Europe, Norwegian Epic will return to Florida in November 2016 and will become the line’s largest ship to homeport from Port Canaveral. Norwegian will offer Freestyle Cruising at its finest aboard Norwegian Epic with a series of Eastern and Western Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries ranging in length from three, four, six and seven days?a sure opportunity to fit any schedule or itinerary preference.

Norwegian Epic’s seven-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary will be a beach-lover’s paradise with stops in Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Guests can choose to soak-up the sun or opt for an adventurous land-based activity on Norwegian Epic’s Western Caribbean itinerary, featuring stops in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Norwegian Epic will offer guests who may not have the time to get away for a week-long vacation the perfect opportunity for a quick escape in January and March 2017 with three- and four-day Bahamas itineraries with stops in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay.

Norwegian Jade will replace Norwegian Star and homeport from Tampa from November 2016 through April 2017 and sail a seven-day Western Caribbean itinerary departing on Sundays to Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan (Bay Islands), Honduras; and Norwegian’s new Caribbean destination experience, Harvest Caye, Belize. In addition, Norwegian Jade will also sail two eight-day Western Caribbean holiday sailings in December 2016. Guests aboard these two cruises will enjoy the holidays under the sun with ports of call in Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan (Bay Islands) Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala.

Norwegian Jade guests can explore further into the Caribbean with two 10-day and two 11-day Eastern Caribbean cruises from Tampa. Marking the first time Norwegian has offered sailings longer than one week to the Caribbean from Tampa, Norwegian Jade’s 10-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary departing January 15 and March 19 will visit Key West, Florida; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. John’s, Antigua; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Norwegian will call in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the first time aboard Norwegian Jade’s 11-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary departing January 25 and March 29; additional ports of call include Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands or Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Europe

Norwegian will continue to offer a four-ship deployment in Europe during the summer of 2016. Norwegian Spirit will replace Norwegian Epic as the brand’s year-round European ship, while Norwegian Star will sail the Mediterranean and Western Europe in the fall of 2016 en-route to the Far East.

Norwegian Star will begin her journey south with a 14-day Western Europe sailing from Copenhagen, Denmark to Barcelona, Spain departing on September 28, 2016. Guests will have the freedom and flexibility to taste, touch, shop and feel the flavors of Europe with ports including Oslo, Norway; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium; Paris (Le Havre) and Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France; Seville (Cadiz), Valencia, and the line’s first call in Gijón, Spain; as well as a call in Lisbon, Portugal.

Norwegian Star will sail an 11-day Classic Mediterranean itinerary from Barcelona to Istanbul in October 12, 2016. Highlighting some of Europe’s most sought-after destinations including Palma, Majorca, Spain; Marseille, France; Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples and Taormina (Sicily), Italy; Athens (Piraeus) and Mykonos, Greece; and overnight in Istanbul, Turkey.

Norwegian will return to the Holy Lands for the first time since 2013 with one eight-day Eastern Mediterranean and Holy Lands sailing round-trip from Istanbul aboard Norwegian Star departing October 23, 2016. Guests will marvel at the spiritual and natural wonders of the region with stops in Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; overnight in Haifa, Israel; Alanya, Turkey; and Rhodes, Greece.

Norwegian will offer two additional opportunities for guests to visit this incredible region, with two 11-day Eastern Mediterranean and Holy Lands sailings aboard Norwegian Spirit. The voyages will depart November 28, 2016 and April 12, 2017 on a port-packed itinerary from Venice to Istanbul with three overnight stops in Venice, Italy; Haifa, Israel; and Istanbul, Turkey. In addition, the itinerary will feature ports of call in Zadar, Croatia; Iraklion (Crete), Mykonos and Rhodes, Greece; and Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey.

Norwegian Spirit will offer a series of seven-, 10- and 11-day Eastern and Western Mediterranean sailings from November 2016 to May 2017 departing from Barcelona, Venice, and Istanbul?marking the first time in many years that Norwegian has offered the opportunity for guests to embark a ship in the Turkish city. Ports of call vary by sailing depending on length but include Zadar, Croatia; Iraklion, Crete, Athens (Piraeus) and Rhodes, Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Naples, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Palermo, Sicily and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Palma, Majorca, and Valencia Spain; Marseilles, France; and Valletta, Malta.

On December 27, 2016 and March 12, 2017 Norwegian Spirit will sail a 10-Day Canary Islands and Morocco itinerary. Her stops will include Tangier, Morocco; Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands; Funchal, Madeira; and Granada (Malaga) and Alicante, Spain.

Norwegian Jade

Norwegian Jade

Panama Canal

In addition to Norwegian’s previously scheduled Panama Canal deployment featuring two 14-day cruises in February 2016, the line has added two new 14-day Panama Canal sailings from Los Angeles and Miami on Norwegian Jewel, on February 5 and February 19, 2017 respectively. The mirrored itineraries feature ports of call including Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; and will feature a bucket-list item: a daytime transit through the wondrous Panama Canal.

South America

As previously announced, Norwegian Sun will return to South America for the winter season in 2016 and 2017. During this season, Norwegian will offer a variety of sailings through South America with departures from new homeport Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as from Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Guests will experience adventures great and small with a South America sailing aboard Norwegian Sun. Norwegian will offer 10-day South America itineraries departing from Buenos Aires, Argentina and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in December 2016, February and March 2017, where guests can soak up the vibrant South American culture with ports of call including an overnight stay on select sailings in Buenos Aires, Argentina; stops in Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay; and Sao Paolo (Santos), Ilha Grande and Buzios, Brazil, with an overnight stay in Rio De Janeiro.

Those looking to experience the majesty of the holidays at sea can do so aboard Norwegian Sun’s South America 14-day Buenos Aires Round-Trip sailing departing December 23, 2016. The holiday sailing is sure to bring “boas festas,” happy holidays, to all aboard with an overnight stop in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and the best of Brazil with stops in Sao Paolo (Santos), Ilha Grande, Buzios, Angre dos Reis and an overnight stay in Rio de Janeiro; along with Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Norwegian will offer four South America 15-day itineraries between Santiago (Valparaiso) and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The East-bound itineraries depart from Santiago (Valparaiso) on January 21 and March 9, 2017 while the West-bound depart from Buenos Aires, Argentina on February 22 and April 10. These spectacular journeys feature calls in Punta Arenas, Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Montt, Chile; Stanley, Falkland Islands; Montevideo, Uruguay; Puerto Madryn and Ushuaia, Argentina; with an overnight in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During these eastbound cruises, guests will also cruise the Patagonic Channels, majestic Chilean Fjords, sail the famous Strait of Magellan; Beagle Channel and the spectacular Cape Horn.

Those who may only have one week for a quick South American getaway can opt for Norwegian Sun’s South America seven-day Buenos Aires, Argentina to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil sailings on February 5 and March 24, 2017. This weeklong itinerary offers a snap shot of Eastern South America with ports of call in Sao Paolo (Santos) and Ilha Grande, Brazil; and Montevideo and Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Norwegian Sun will make her journey back to the Northern Hemisphere with a South America 20-day Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile to San Francisco sailing departing April 25, 2017. Guests on this voyage can experience a myriad of cultures with ports of call in Central America’s quaintest cities and opt for a shore excursion to the mystical Machu Picchu from Arica, Chile. Ports of call for on this northern-bound adventure include Coquimbo and Arica, Chile; Lima (Callao) and Trujillo (Salaverry), Peru; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Puerto Chiapas, Huatulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Guests can also choose to extend their South American exploration with a Cruisetour, providing an unparalleled opportunity to explore this region’s culture and spectacular destinations such as Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls and Easter Island.

Seasonally, Norwegian also continues to offer three ships in Alaska, four in Europe, two in Bermuda, as well as a variety of exciting South America; Bahamas and Florida; and repositioning cruises. Norwegian will also continue to offer its unique inter-island Hawaii cruises year-round on Pride of America from Honolulu. Norwegian’s short Bahamas itineraries on Norwegian Sky will continue to sail from Miami year-round, and will offer an all-inclusive experience featuring free premium beverages on all sailings in 2016 and beyond.

(Source: NCL)

Malcolm says: Brits will be a little disappointed that there are no itineraries starting from a UK port, with the exception of their newbuild, ‘Escape’ which offers a transatlantic passage in October 2015.

Norwegian Jade Review: HERE

Norwegian Epic Review: HERE

Norwegian Breakaway Review: HERE

Norwegian Getaway Review: HERE

 

Mega-Entertainment

June 30, 2015

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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

Norwegian Escape, Public Rooms

April 25, 2015

RCI & P&O are not the only cruise lines with a new ship:

‘Norwegian Escape’ is due to enter service in October 2015. She will be a ‘Breakaway+’ class ship, NCL’ biggest ship yet, at 164,00 gt (approx.), compared to the ‘Breakaway’ design at 146,000 gt (approx).

Below are some new renderings of just a few of the many public spaces. Click on the images to enlarge them. (All images courtesy of NCL)

The Waterfront

The Waterfront

Skyline Bar

Skyline Bar

La Cucina

La Cucina

District Brew House

District Brew House

Comedy Club

Comedy Club

Carlos's Bake Shop

Carlos’s Bake Shop

Tobacco Road

Tobacco Road

The Waterfront

The Waterfront

Earlier Renderings Here.

More Info about Escape Here.

Norwegian Escape Deck Plans

January 30, 2015

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Norwegian Cruise Line’s next ship, ‘Norwegian Escape’, is due to enter service  in October 2015.  She will be followed by ‘Norwegian Bliss’ in 2017.

NCL have updated their deck plans to reveal more:

http://www.ncl.co.uk/ships/norwegian-escape/#!/ships/norwegian-escape/deck-plans

(Deck 8 - Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

Both ships are enlarged versions of the “Breakaway” class (2013), hence they are called the “Breakaway Plus” class. They will be NCL’s biggest ships yet. They will be 163,000 gross tonnes and carry 4,200 passengers (lower berths) when compared to the “Breakaway class” at 144,000 gt and 4,000 passengers. They will eclipse ‘Norwegian Epic’ at 156,000 gt and 4,100 passengers, which will become their second biggest ship.

Escape will boast an expanded ‘Haven’ complex (their “ship within a ship” concept) with more premium accommodation and a number of new brands of dining and drinking venues.

(District Brew House)

(District Brew House)

The  expansion of the ‘Haven’ has been achieved by adding a second deck (17 & 18) to the Haven, of luxury accommodation. The space, accessible by key-card, 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.

1048x280-The-Haven-Courtyard

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 centre and Thermal Suite.

The image below, from an NCL rendering, probably shows the Haven’s restaurant, with outdoor terrace:

this one

Norwegian Escape will also have an expanded Studio-cabin area, which consists of 82 cabins for solo travellers, 23 more than Breakaway. The Studio cabins  will have there own lounge, accessible by key-card only, as on-board Breakaway, Getaway and Epic.

(Studio Cabin)

(Studio Cabin)

 

(Escape Studio Lounge - NCL)

(Escape Studio Lounge – NCL)

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

(NCL Image - click to enlarge

(Excellent NCL detailed rendering – click to enlarge)

 

Breakaway V’s Escape

When compared to Breakaway, Escape has an extra deck of cabins (20 decks in total). 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.

The most significant difference is that Escape’s deck 5 has about 100 less cabins, which releases some extra space to house the ‘Splash Academy’, kids club (Breakaway has this on deck 13). This change is to locate the ‘Splash Academy’ near to a large number of family suites.

Getaway Deck 5

Getaway Deck 5 (Click to enlarge)

(Escape Deck 5)

Escape Deck 5

It appears that Escape has extra cabins on deck 13 where Breakaway’s ‘Splash Academy’ is.

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

Below: Breakaway

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

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 I while back I guessed that the bulges on the top of the ‘Haven’ (see below) were  cantilevered (overhanding) Hot Tubs, RCI style.

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The deck plans now confirms this:

(NCL Image)

(NCL Image)

Comments: The ‘Breakaway’ class ships design was excellent.  The ‘waterfront’ is a simple idea, yet brilliant and this alone is a major improvement on Epic’s design.  All cruise ships. all lines,  should have a ‘Waterfront’ and I’m sure we will see more. In fact it appears that newbuils: Carnival (Vista) and MSC (Seaside) will have a similar facility.

However I am a little concerned that the Breakaway  ships are sometimes called “busy”, or even “crowded”, in passenger reviews. ‘Breakaway Plus’ will carry even more passengers.

Although NCL have added some extra public spaces on decks 5 and 8, not all of the facilities of the Breakaway class can expanded. The ship will be taller (an extra deck) but not significantly  longer or wider. I assume that Breakaway’s  busy ‘Pool Deck’,’ Aqua-Park’ and ‘Sports Deck’ will all have to be a similar size. Likewise, the Waterfront may be a little longer, but it cannot be wider.

Only time will tell.

Malcolm

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

 

Norwegian Escape culinary Experiences & Entertainment

January 19, 2015

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Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a multitude of new partnerships with leaders in the fields of dining, beverage and entertainment to feature innovative branded experiences on board Norwegian Escape. During an exclusive event in New York City, the line revealed that its largest ship ever, Norwegian Escape, will include several new culinary experiences, along with two Tony Award-winning musicals, and a unique Supper Club, when she begins sailing from her homeport of Miami in November 2015.

Foodies will enjoy Norwegian Escape’s ultimate culinary experiences, which will be helmed by James Beard Award-winning Iron Chef Jose Garces and Miami restaurateurs Jose Mendin, Andreas Schreiner and Sergio Navarro of The Pubbelly Restaurant Group; in addition to new beverage concepts The District Brewhouse, featuring craft beers from Wynwood Brewing Company, and The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar. Guests will be dazzled by three new shows, including Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals After Midnight and Million Dollar Quartet, along with a new supper club concept exclusive to Norwegian Escape, For The Record presents Dear John Hughes, featuring classic soundtracks from favourite motion pictures in a one-of-a kind 360° post-modern cabaret and dinner experience.

“With Norwegian Escape, we are transforming culinary experiences at sea and continuing our legacy of innovation that has revolutionised dining in the cruise industry,” said Drew Madsen, Norwegian Cruise Line’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “We are building on our solid foundation of branded partnerships, including Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, and welcoming new ideas and flavours from award-winning chefs. Norwegian also continues to pave the way as a leader in entertainment, as we bring two Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals and a post-modern cabaret direct from Los Angeles to Norwegian Escape.”

New Concepts by Jose Garces

James Beard Award-winning Iron Chef Jose Garces will launch two speciality restaurants on board Norwegian Escape, his first at sea. Jose Garces brings Latin-inspired culinary expertise, ranging from classic Mexican dishes to Cuban specialties. His breadth of culinary expertise along with his passion for cooking made him the perfect choice to lead the signature dining concepts on Norwegian Escape. Bayamo by Jose Garces will highlight Latin dishes with a heavy Cuban-influence in a chic dining room and al fresco on The Waterfront. Dishes will feature the flavours of Latin America with Spanish influences, such as Berenjenas, roasted aubergine with tomato rice and a saffron emulsion; and Bacalao Carbonizado, black cod with a squid ink glaze, saffron, and tomato and chorizo rice, among others.

Pincho Tapas Bar by Jose Garces will offer traditional Spanish tapas à la carte in a lively, casual setting. Plates will be prepared on an authentic la plancha grill right at the bar in front of guests and feature Latin dishes including Tortilla Española (Spanish omelette), Boquerones (white anchovies with pine nuts), and Jamón Ibérico (speciality ham imported from Spain).

Sugarcane Mojito Bar, a Norwegian guest favourite, will complete the space and serve as an entry to Bayamo. Guests who wish to have a cocktail before dinner can settle into the tropical setting, enjoy live Latin music, and select from more than 10 different mojitos and rum-based cocktails and can even select a “flight” of mojitos to sample to tantalise their taste buds.

Food Republic

A brand new concept for Norwegian, the Food Republic will be a modern, upscale food emporium from The Pubbelly Restaurant Group featuring global cuisine for sampling and sharing. Guests dining in the Food Republic will experience a culinary journey via small plates, with flavours ranging from Asia to Central Europe and the Mediterranean, all available à la carte.

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As some of the hottest restaurateurs in Miami, partners Jose Mendin, Andreas Schreiner and Sergio Navarro, have opened six concepts in the Magic City over the past three years. With a focus on creating unique flavour combinations and precise techniques, Director of Culinary Operations and Founding Partner Jose Mendin has been recognised as a semi-finalist for Best Chef South by the James Beard Foundation for three consecutive years, as well as nominated as People’s Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine.

Open for lunch through dinner, Food Republic menu highlights include Dates with Chorizo featuring smoked bacon, spicy tomato and goat cheese crema; Japanese Amberjack with lemongrass romesco, charred tomato and hazelnuts; and Black Truffle Braised Short Rib Dumplings, with white corn soy, red shiso leaf, and grana padano. The Food Republic offers guests the freedom and flexibility to choose what they want, when they want it, with convenient iPad ordering. With a simple swipe of their key card, food is prepared to order and brought directly to the guest’s table.

The District Brew House

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A concept never before done at sea, the District Brew House is a hip, urban craft beer hall featuring an exclusive partnership with Miami’s own Wynwood Brewing Company. Complete with a keg room, 24 draft beers on tap and more than 50 different bottled beers, the District Brew House is sure to be the new hangout on board for beer connoisseurs and fans alike.

The award-winning Wynwood Brewing Company is known for their signature brew, La Rubia Blonde Ale, perfect for the warm Caribbean weather. Along with La Rubia, the District will also serve an all-new brew from Wynwood Brewing Company that will be available exclusively on Norwegian Escape. The District Brew House will also offer a menu of gastropub-style plates for snacking that will complement the beer and beverage offerings, including handcrafted cocktails from Bar Lab’s James Beard Award-nominated mixologists Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi. Guests sampling the District’s many offerings will also be well-entertained, with interactive nightlife and sing-alongs of everyone’s favourite tunes, as well as a traditional photo booth, where guests can add their photo to the District’s pin board and leave their mark on this cool new space.

The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar

Norwegian Escape will also be home to the line’s first wine bar in partnership with the Michael Mondavi Family – The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar. From the novice to the enthusiast, The Cellars features an array of immersive wine experiences, focusing on tasting, education, and the enjoyment of wine, all accompanied by small plates and tapas, available à la carte.

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The curated wine list features 35 grape varietals including top selections from Tuscany’s Ornellaia and Michael Mondavi’s own Napa Valley Estate. The Wine Bar offers guests both a sleek indoor tasting room, and 180 degree ocean views at the outdoor wine bar on The Waterfront, with service provided by a Court of Master Sommeliers certified Sommelier.

 Carlo’s Bake Shop

While on board, guests will also enjoy delicious treats from Carlo’s Bake Shop by Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s “Cake Boss” and “Next Great Baker”. The decadent confections that the original Carlo’s bakery is known for, including Carlo’s Bake Shop’s famous cannoli’s, lobster tails, tiramisu, plus a variety of other unique cakes, cupcakes and Italian cookies, will all be available à la carte for guests who wish to indulge their sweet tooth.

New Entertainment Offerings

Continuing with Norwegian’s commitment to excellence in entertainment, Norwegian Escape will feature two Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals headlining in the Escape Theatre that will have guests dancing in the aisles. Winner of the Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire Awards for Best Choreography, After Midnight, which recently completed its run on Broadway, is the smash-hit musical that combines the big-band songs of Duke Ellington, a roof-raising onstage jazz band, and the best dancing from Broadway. A cast of megawatt singers, dancers and tappers will bring Harlem’s Cotton Club to life in a never-before-seen phenomenon at sea.

after

Also showing in the Escape Theatre following a successful run on Broadway and currently touring nationally as well as performing in Las Vegas, Million Dollar Quartet is the smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. On 4 December 1956, these four young musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. Million Dollar Quartet brings that legendary night to life, featuring a score of rock hits including “Blue Suede Shoes”, “Fever”, “Great Balls of Fire”, “Walk the Line”, and more. This thrilling musical will bring guests inside the recording studio with four major talents who came together as a red-hot rock ‘n’ roll band for one unforgettable night.

In a new concept exclusive to Norwegian Escape, the Supper Club has been re-imagined for an unforgettable dinner and show. For The Record is a critically acclaimed Hollywood night that celebrates classic soundtracks of motion picture masters in a one-of-a kind 360° post-modern cabaret. Guests will spend an evening with a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal in this mashed-up retrospective of the John Hughes’ coming of age 1980’s teen films. The audience will laugh, cry, stomp their feet and relive the classic new wave sounds from Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty In Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

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Expanding a successful run that began on Norwegian Getaway, Headliners Comedy Club will offer up top comedians through the line’s expanded partnership with Levity Entertainment Group, the world’s largest producer of live comedy. Levity employs over 300 artists each week, including some of the biggest names in US comedy, including Daniel Tosh, Amy Shumer and Jeff Dunham, who is currently the most successful touring comedian worldwide.

 (Source NCL)

Malcolm says: This is going to one big-impressive floating resort. However many of the bars, dining options and entertainment are very American in style – in fact some are local to Miami.  They may be unknown brands to some Americans, they are almost certainly unknown brands to most Brits and Europeans.  They are certainly unfamiliar to me.

Escape will probably be permanently based in the Caribbean and is clearly aimed at Americans.  She may not have the international draw that the likes of ‘The Blue Man Group’ gave Epic.

More ‘Escape’ Information here: http://wp.me/pfRKD-2T3

Escape Gets Snow Room and Largest Thermal Suite at Sea

January 9, 2015
Relaxation948x253

(Click to Enlarge)

Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest and largest ship, Norwegian Escape, will offer a wide array of spaces for guests to relax and unwind while at sea when the ship debuts in October 2015. Guests will be transported into sheer serenity with the line’s most innovative Mandara Spa to date, a tranquil hideaway that at its epicentre will feature the largest Thermal Suite at sea, outfitted with the line’s first Snow Room. In addition to the luxurious spa, adults will have two private lounge spaces to enjoy on board at Vibe Beach Club and Spice H2O, which will feature an all-new grotto area for guests to cool off after a day of sunbathing.

Norwegian Escape’s Mandara Spa experience, spanning two decks, will transport guests to a deep state of relaxation, with unobstructed views of the ocean, the opportunity to melt away on one of the 17 heated loungers, or find instant stress relief in the spa’s hydrotherapy pool, whirlpools, steam room, dry sauna, sanarium and salt room.

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Once guests have heated up, they can step into the rejuvenating Snow Room, a first for the line. The Snow Room, which ranges from a frosty minus 6 to 0 degrees Celsius, sends out a flurry of powdery snow throughout the day, offering guests a multitude of health benefits, including stimulating blood circulation in the body and strengthening the immune system.

The Ice Pool

The Snow Room

In addition to the spectacular Thermal Suite, Norwegian Escape’s Mandara Spa will be equipped with 24 contemporary furnished treatment rooms offering more than 50 signature services for both men and women.

Norwegian Escape’s full service salon will have guests looking their very best with a wide-array of hair, nails, waxing and kid-friendly services, along with acupuncture, teeth whitening and cosmetic medical treatments, performed by a licensed medi-spa doctor, such as Botox® Cosmetic, Dysport™, Restylane® and Perlane®. In addition, guests can go home tightened and toned by opting for a Thermage® CPT treatment, a premier non-invasive skin rejuvenating therapy that uses radiofrequency. The salon area will also feature a Barber Shop, offering exclusive men’s services.

Guests looking to stay fit while sailing, or who wish to try an exciting new exercise experience, can do so in Norwegian Escape’s state-of-the-art fitness centre furnished with the latest Technogym® weight training and cardio equipment. Norwegian group fitness favourites will be offered on board including Pilates, body sculpting boot camp, yoga, Zumba and TRX. Boxing buffs can enjoy Norwegian’s Fight Klub™, a high-intensity cardio boxing class. Personal training sessions will also be available, along with nutritional consultations and metabolic testing.

Spice H2O

Spice H2O

Norwegian Escape will also feature Spice H2O and Vibe Beach Club, two adult-only outdoor favourites perfect for lounging away the day. Spice H2O, located at the back of the ship on deck 17, is an adult-only enclave offering day-time complimentary leisure. A bevy of sun loungers surround a huge video screen, while two hot tubs await for those looking to de-stress. An all-new soothing grotto area, complete with waterfalls and perfect for cooling off from the warm Caribbean sun, will offer an exotic escape.

At night, all guests can dance under the stars in this open-air dance club or enjoy a cocktail at the bar with accompanying lounge area, featuring comfortable seating while admiring the ocean views.

Guests aged 18 and over will also have the opportunity to enjoy another private retreat – Vibe Beach Club – by purchasing an access pass. Complete with ocean views, a large hot tub, luxurious chaise longue-style sun loungers and a soothing water feature.

The Vibe Beach Club

The Vibe Beach Club

Norwegian Escape

Currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Escape will sail weekly seven-night cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean beginning on 14 November 2015. The 164,600 gross ton ship will be the largest ever 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.

(Source NCL)

More ‘Escape’ Information here: http://wp.me/pfRKD-2PV

 

Norwegian Escape – Family Business

December 16, 2014

Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest ship ever, Norwegian Escape, will offer the most exhilarating and action-packed activities for families and thrill seekers alike when she sets sail from her homeport of Miami in November 2015. The ship will feature the largest ropes course at sea, a three-storey multiplex of heart-pounding challenges complete with two planks and five Sky Rails, zip tracks that allow guests to soar through the air.

(Ropes Course - NCL Image, click to enlarge)

(Ropes Course – NCL Image, click to enlarge)

Norwegian Escape’s Aqua Park will be the largest at sea and includes a new Aqua Racer slide, while the expansive sports complex boasts a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle miniature golf course. Adding to the family fun, Norwegian Escape will also feature an expanded Kids’ Aqua Park; entertainment from Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids; along with the line’s first dedicated nursery for young cruisers two and under.

Sports Complex and Aqua Park

The Aqua Park on Norwegian Escape will be the largest at sea and feature four multi-storey water slides, a dedicated Kids’ Aqua Park, two pools and four hot tubs. All-new on Norwegian Escape is the Aqua Racer slide, the newest tandem waterslide at sea where competitors can race side-by-side on tubes as they twist and turn to the finish line. Back by popular demand, Norwegian Escape will also feature the Free Fall, which first debuted on Norwegian Breakaway. These side-by-side slides offer adventurous guests the chance to literally free fall, as the floor drops from underneath, propelling them into a thrilling loop. For those who prefer a more relaxing ride, there is a family-friendly open-flume body slide.

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Norwegian Escape will also bring the Kid’s Aqua Park to a new level, with enhanced attractions, an enclosed tube slide and a two-storey climbing structure for kids to explore. This watery wonderland offers an incredible array of new features for kids including a multitude of interactive wet elements such as water cannons and elevated buckets that deliver surprise drenchings.

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Both kids and kids-at-heart can test their skills on the new nine-hole, Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rooftop 9, miniature golf course. Inspired by the Nickelodeon hit-animated television series, this first-of-its-kind miniature golf course.

Norwegian Escape’s sports complex will also include a full-size basketball court for family-friendly competition and a new bocce ball court, a first for the line.

Nickelodeon Entertainment

Norwegian Escape will be the sixth Norwegian ship to offer Nickelodeon branded entertainment, which will delight families with the latest in Nickelodeon activities and events that kids of all ages will enjoy, including an opportunity to meet Nickelodeon characters and participate in a variety of experiences.

Youth Programming

In a first for the line, as part of the Guppies program, Norwegian Escape will offer childcare services for children ages six months to three years. Norwegian Escape’s Guppies program will offer a dedicated open play area for parents and babies to play together.

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Norwegian Escape features a centrally-located, expansive Splash Academy complex on Deck 5, offering age-appropriate supervised activities for children ages three to 12.

Splash Academy, the ship’s youth program, will once again have spaces for specific age groups:

Three to five year olds can explore in their own space decorated with vibrant, engaging colours, along with child-sized furniture and open space for active games and an activity centre to encourage creativity.

In a separate area decorated with fun graphics to captivate children’s imaginations, the six to nine year olds will enjoy a “hang out” area for lounging with new friends that also features dedicated gaming stations with the latest video games.

Children ages 10 to 12 years old will also have their own hangout, with access to the central multipurpose visual dance space and corresponding large video screen, open space for active activities and comfortable bean bags for lounging.

Entourage, located on Deck 17, is Norwegian’s high energy, exclusive teen zone for ages 13 through 17. This hip area gives teens their own unique space that includes trendy lounge furniture and a central gaming station. Entourage is conveniently located adjacent to the ship’s video arcade.

Norwegian Escape

Currently being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Escape will sail weekly seven-day cruises from her year-round homeport of Miami to the Eastern Caribbean beginning on 14 November 2015. The 164,600 gross ton ship will be the largest ever 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. Norwegian Escape’s signature hull artwork is designed by marine wildlife artist and champion of ocean conservation, Guy Harvey.

Accommodations include the company’s signature luxury ship–within-a-ship complex: The Haven by Norwegian; along with Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers; and many options for families, multi-generational groups, spa enthusiasts and more.

Norwegian Escape’s dining and entertainment will include outposts of several popular land-based outlets, including the first-ever floating Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant and Miami’s oldest and most legendary bar, Tobacco Road. Norwegian Escape will also feature the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar, a music venue and outdoor bar on The Waterfront that will feature live nightly performances where guests can enjoy the sounds of the tropics.

(NCL)

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

Below a very different NCL ship from the past:

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!


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