View Single Post
  #5 (permalink)  
Old June 24th, 2010, 08:56 PM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Paul Motter Paul Motter is offline
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,913
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default First post

Sorry to take so long to post but here it is....

Norwegian Epic – June 24 – First Impressions
I am onboard (stateroom 12568) and I have been looking around. My TV set says there is a problem with my account so I can't see my show reservations (the line at guest services is a mile long so I don't want to go there yet, but it says I have to eventually). But I called reservations and they said I have nothing scheduled before tomorrow night.

I will need to set up those phone numbers for Rudy Maxa to call the ship so I can do two live radio interviews. Times: Saturday at 10:54 a.m. EDT and Sunday at 5:00 pm EDT.

Good News: FoxBusiness gave me permission to devote ALL of my next column to the ship. The bad news for NCL regarding that is I wasn't on the press trip, because I would probably have a better impression. Right now the ship is not exactly bowling me over.

Embarkation was a nightmare by the way, It took 90 minutes of standing in line to get on the ship and there was no one from NCL outside to manage it. I asked three "hosts" and they all just shrugged. I finally said something to a local customs person about people cutting in line and she yelled back "it's a madhouse, sir - please complain to NCL." I'm just repeating what happened, not looking for the bad. But it was the worst embarkation I have ever seen.

But 7 days at sea is a long time and I will just play it by ear and try to catch the entertainment -- I am not snapping to any judgments. I have to say I am not crazy about the decor, however. Reminds of the Gold Nugget casino in downtown Vegas.



Norwegian Epic – June 24 – First Impressions
I am onboard (stateroom 12568) and I have been looking around. My TV set says there is a problem with my account so I can't see my show reservations (the line at guest services is a mile long so I don't want to go there yet, but it says I have to eventually). But I called reservations and they said I have nothing scheduled before tomorrow night.


Moving on....
Sorry to take so long to post but here it is....


Hi all – I made it, I am onboard Norwegian Epic, one of the most anticipated ships of the new generation. I am just walking around and getting my bearings, and I just ran into Doug Ward of the Berlitz Guide fame and he suggested dinner tonight in Tastes, so I will go dine with him.
Well, first impressions are important. I’m at a bit of a disadvantage here because I have not sailed regular cruises on other NCL ships, so I am challenged when it comes to placing this one in context of the rest of the fleet. I have been on Pearl for a short four-day press cruise, and that is my only comparison.
So far, I have to say that Epic is indeed short in the eye-candy department. My guess in the long run is that ship will be compared to Liberty of the Sea, or maybe even Voyager, and Carnival Dream.
Norwegian Epic does not have the Wow that you see on Oasis of the Seas by any means. There is no single place to stand and take in a Vista where you say “I never thought I would see this on a cruise ship.”
Oasis has literally dozens such places – the Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, Central Park, either atrium, the sports deck, zip line, etc. Here I am on Epic talking about Oasis. But the truth is that Epic only has one internal spot on the entire ship that spans more than one deck vertically – the singular atrium that has the two-story Wii game system and the “big TV” as you have seen on Norwegian Pearl. That’s it. Otherwise it is just a long span of rooms, one melding into the next with an overused common brownish red carpet that looks like it was salvaged from the Golden Nugget casino in downtownVegas.
Personally, this is probably the blandest ship; décor-wise, that I have seen since the Renaissance ships of the late 1990s when the biggest feature they could boast of in their brochures was the “Grand Staircase,” that rose one deck. My former colleague Anne Campbell would probably describe this décor as “Pottery Barn” which is a step below Bombay Company.
But fortunately, this ship is not just about décor, and frankly I have always found ship reviews that focus too much on décor to be as bland as – well, this ship. So, I am going to be focusing on the better parts of the ship, namely the entertainment, cuisine and the pool areas.
But before I start that, since I have seen no shows – a little more about the design of this ship. It is a very boxy ship, as you may have noticed from the outside. That boxiness carries over to the interior, which came as a great surprise considering the staterooms are so darn curvy.
The decks with the casino, O’Sheehan’s pub, the main atrium and the ridiculously large Park West art gallery area (this ship has six Park West employees, the largest Park West operation at sea), carries a theme of perfectly squared beige walls with short nap burgundy carpets with large brown paisley like accents. This is where that Gold Nugget casino looks originates, in the carpet and accents.
The restaurants mostly have tables and chaisr that resemble Cracker Barrel. And as I said in one of my earlier articles, the dark wood paneling along with the white lampshades resemble what I would best describe as décor a la “My parent house.” But at times it is more like my grandmother’s. Even the Teppenyaki Japanese restaurant has tables and chairs that look like a Chinese buffet on the main highway of a small town. Not the $3.95 Chinese Buffet – this is not cheap operation like that. No, it resembles the much nicer $7.95 for all you can eat Chinese Buffets you see in some of the nicer strip malls , but I doubt you will get out of there that cheap on this ship.
Someone told me a soda cards is $50 – that is a bit over the top as far as I am concerned.
The staterooms –
OMG – my studio stateroom is so small it is ridiculous. Seriously, there is room for a bed and that is about it. The closet space is not deep and there are NO drawers at all. There are two hanging closets, but who brings hanging clothes on a casual ship sailing in the Caribbean, and as my friend Doug Ward pointed out, there is not enough storage space in the cabins for a person sailing in Europe when this ship goes to summers in Barcelona.
As most of you know, I paid my own way to go on this ship, but please do not think I am knocking this ship but because I was not invited on the press cruise, In fact I am glad I was not on the press cruise, because I would not want to be one of those people who just told you how wonderful this ship is when in fact this is a very average ship. You will see when you get a chance to sail on it yourselves.
That is my first impression – mostly based on deor, however. Please read on.
I tried taking a shower tonight and I could not regulate my shower temperature - it went straight to scalding hot. I had gotten just wet enough to soap up when it went scalding, so I had to get out and towel the soap off my body and that was my shower. I doubt it is fixed (as requested) because even my sink is very hard to regulate – temperature-wise.



Reply With Quote