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  #91 (permalink)  
Old June 30th, 2010, 04:52 PM
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bland, you can't be serious???

I think it looks like a, well I will leave it at that. As Paul mentioned, it looks like the Golden Nugget in Vegas, gaudy, certainly not bland...

As for financual problems, I am sure they are pushed to the limit right now. Carnival Inc is a little different, they have zillions of ships under their umbrella. NCL has a dozen. Just building the Epic wasn't a drop in the bucket..

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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:56 PM
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Paul, from what you have reported so far, I am not sure I have much desire to cruise the Epic. I wasn't excited about a huge ship in the first place and now, I am more convinced. Most of the problems, I sure will be ironed out in the next month or so. When I first went into the travel business I remember RCI ships, the Voyager class, they had nothing but problems the first month of so.

Still, I just don't think the Epic is for me. I really think it is going to appeal to the younger set, cruisers in their 20s to 40s.

Thanks for keeping us informed.

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Old June 30th, 2010, 06:09 PM
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A GLASS BATHROOM?? are they mad, we all know we have to do this stuff but for heavens sake... GLASS!!
This ship sounds dreadful to me, queues for everything unless you plan what you are doing some weeks ahead, glass Lavs what next??
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Old June 30th, 2010, 06:13 PM
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Default Epic - what's wrong with this ship?

Norwegian Epic – So What’s Wrong?


This is the part where I spread the gossip. This is what people are talking about....


As many of you may know, I paid my own way to sail on this cruise. I planned to do that all along since last March, when I was told no U.S. reporters would be going on the European press cruises. I planned to be one of the first reporters onboard and paid for that privilege. I also scheduled myself to be on the New York media sailing the nights of July 2nd and 3rd.


I will be honest – as always – and give you full disclosure. No cruise reporter could afford to always pay to go on every cruise they report on. I cannot speak individually for any other cruise reporter, but I will repeat that I often take cruises as the guest of a cruise line, and I am sure most of the others do as well.


Such cruises are often short cruises hosted by the lines’ public relations department, and they always go out of their way to show the ship in its best light. Now, although I enquired last March I was not included in the short list of U.S. cruise reporters invited on the European press trip. In fact, even though NCL knew my plans to pay to be on this cruise as a regular passenger I did not find out I was being “scooped” by my competition until I read their reports online. Had I been invited I would have gone.


Now, since I have been onboard, NCL has treated me pretty well, treating me to a few dinners onboard and giving me Internet access. They will also be hosting me on the upcoming two-day trip, as I already mentioned. But I am still paying quite a lot for this trip, so I have right to bee-atch, if you get my meaning.


Now, just to be clear, I have never seen my peer cruise reporters disclose that they accept cruise line (free) trips as I have always disclosed, and I have also been told by other cruise lines that the reason I have not been invited on some early trips is because sometimes there are some things they don’t want reported.


Still – my readers come first, so I am just saying all of this so you appreciate my position. I am always somewhat “at the mercy” of the cruise lines, but at the same time, I do not hide what I think and I always put my readers first. That is a chance I take, and I hope you appreciate it.


So, let’s take a look at what went wrong on this cruise, and which problems are short term growing pains and which may be endemic problems for Norwegian Epic - unless and until they are fixed.


Growing Pains:

When I first came aboard I was told by a number of people that there were problems with many things inside their cabins. Many people had broken televisions, telephones, showers or safes.


My shower (and many others) only gave out scalding hot water. It was fixed on the evening of the second day, which means I went two days without a shower. I skipped one shower and went to the gym to shower the next afternoon. Other people told me they were moved to other cabins because of no hardware for their showers. Unfortunately, I heard two stories where people were downgraded to lesser cabins, without offers of compensation.

One person had a tub but no shower. Since he wanted a shower he was given a new cabin – with no tub. Another person on his first cruise ever just called my cabin to tell me how his booking of adjoining balcony cabins was downgraded to two inside cabins not even close to each other. The couple has three kids 4 years and under. After (he says) 12 hours of international calling from the U.K. to U.S. he finally got the balcony cabins he paid for.


In both cases the two couples were especially upset for two reasons – they were downgraded after waiting hours of sitting by the phone, with no mention of compensation. The man from the U.K. did get the cabins he booked (and paid for) but he endured hours of aggravation just to get that. He says he was just told he got a $500 credit – one day before the cruise ends.


The phone system has not been working correctly all cruise. The button for reception does not work and dialing 0 does not get you anywhere – the number for reception is 00 if you happen to be onboard and reading this. The button for restaurant reservations does not work -if you call it asks you to enter a mailbox number (?) and then it puts you on hold, and then you go back again – an endless loop. You cannot leave a voicemail message on any phone – it just isn’t possible.


If you want to make a reservation for a restaurant or show you have to talk to a live person - go to the "Box Office" on deck 6 or dial 00 and have reception connect you. The guests in line at the live person “Box Office” were wrapped around the room several times the first few days.


You cannot make or see your existing reservations on the TV system as advertised. The television stations onboard include CNBC, MSNBC, BBC, Sky News and several NCL stations – no American news stations (unless you consider MSNBC news – I don’t). There is no CNN.


Many ships now carry Fox News (Royal Caribbean, Crystal), which now has twice the viewer ratings of MSNBC. Even though I rarely fully agree with the opinion on either one I watch them both, but the fact that NCL chose one and not the other compels me to say that media in the U.S. has become polarized, and unless you want to advertise your allegiance to one or the other I think it is best to have both sides represented. (Full disclosure, I also write for Foxbusiness.com).


The safes in many rooms are still not working – meaning your valuables could be stolen and NCL would be responsible. So far, no one has had anything stolen as far as I know – good thing.


Anyway – these are all growing pains that can be fixed. Now, let’s talk about problems that appear to be outright design problems. There is general talk onboard, by passengers who know cruising, that this ship was rushed out of the shipyard, and that a few more weeks would have helped. Obviously, I say.
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  #95 (permalink)  
Old June 30th, 2010, 06:17 PM
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Problems not so easily fixed:
We already discussed the obvious bathroom situation. That is a given – either they will be fixed or Epic will live under the cloud of having odd bathrooms.


Moving on – this ship does not make it easy for guests to find their way. It is not a complicated ship to figure out – but nowhere is there a map that shows the entire ship at once. In the elevator areas you can see a list of what floors various public rooms are on - and a diagram of the floor you are on.


There is also no map in the stateroom literature (that I have seen) nor have I seen anyone carrying a ship’s map on paper. There are no maps of the ship – anywhere, except on the Internet deck plans and I assume in the brochure. So bring your brochure on your cruise, you may need it.

I had a long story here about looking for La Cucina and getting lost - bottom line Epic is backwards - the Buffet is forward and the Spa is aft. But it was the kind of story where if I knew the ship's system I would not have gotten lost, but I didn't know it, because I am new onboard. Still, who's fault is that? NCL would probably say "well, if you were paying attention you would not have gotten lost." Well, if you had a ship's map....


Here is another problem I have not seen reported anywhere. One of the water slides leaks water like a sieve IN HIGH SEAS. – and the top deck has puddles everywhere as deep as an inch. This includes around the ping pong tables, the deck chairs, public walkways, etc. I just walked outside and there were five men with squeegee mops pushing the water down various drains. They were making very little headway. I expect the top decks of Epic will be pretty much full of puddles any time there are high seas. The angle of the decks does not seem to be designed for drainage. “The scuppers are not well-placed” as a well-known cruise journalist said to me.


The stateroom hallways are odd. As you walk along there are places where you suddenly encounter a rise of about five inches at a 30-degree angle. There is no warning – it is carpeted over, but when you hit it (because you really can’t see it) you either get jarred backwards or fall forwards. A travel agent onboard, who paid her own way for a studio stateroom like me, said to me she has been tripping over them the whole trip. They vex her. Personally, it’s not a big deal to me, but if my 92-year old mother fell and broke a hip I would be upset.


The hallways also have a strangely claustrophobic feeling I could not put my finger on until I realized there are walls jutting outward at an angle between the stateroom doors, which the steward’s carts don’t fit against without sticking out into the hall by several inches. You have to turn sideways to get around these carts. They don’t fit in the halls.


The studio staterooms are adorable, and I am very comfortable in mine. But you need a manual to know how to work the lights. There are switches for lights hidden inside of cubby holes, and the “love-setting” panel has four buttons with just symbols which are essentially meaningless for a light-switch. There is a heart, a half-moon, a sun, and series of curved-radiating bars. I have no idea what those mean. If you press them nothing happens, but if you hold them down various lights dim or brighten. Changing lights is an adventure every time, like the old TV game show “Concentration” where you see if you can remember something you witnessed before. By the way, as I sit here in white light, I have other lights cycling between red, blue and violet throughout my room, but I have no idea why.


The Studio Lounge is fantastic, a cruise revolution for solo cruisers (I have learned NOT to call them single cruisers). But forget the concept that it is a keyed access room – anyone can enter and looky-loos do pass through. In fact, it has a very expensive cappuccino, mochaccino and espresso coffee maker, but there is nothing stopping other guests from coming in to use it, or taking the salads, desserts and sandwiches there. Now, the whole idea was that you would know who was solo onboard because they were the only ones allowed in the living room – no.


Finally, the Garden Café has really good food, with eight omelet stations, eggs Benedict, etc. But I have not had a single meal in there where I did not have to ask someone if I could join them at their table. It isn’t because the staff is not efficient, they are. It is because there is a shortage of tables.


Now – we have had freezing weather this entire trip and hardly anyone is sitting outside. If you add those tables I suppose there is enough seating for everyone, but you don’t always have sunny weather on any cruise.


By the same token, it seems to be the ship should have had a larger theater. There are eight Blue Man Group shows scheduled per 7-day cruise. That is enough for everyone, but it only leaves three nights for Legends at Sea – also a very good show. The Epic Theater is fully scheduled just between those two shows, so the rest of the shows must go in even smaller venues. The reservation system works, but expect lines for all of them, even if you have reservations.


That is the extent of my “what’s wrong” list. The good outweighs the bad and I am having a great cruise, but if I told you no one onboard is upset about anything I would be lying.


Is this enough to stop me from recommending Norwegian Epic? Absolutely not. This is an innovative ship that will either be loved for its unique nature or more likely its shortcomings will be tolerated because the good outweighs the bad.
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  #96 (permalink)  
Old June 30th, 2010, 06:29 PM
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So sorry to have missed you in Southampton ...you sound like a man after my own heart!!
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  #97 (permalink)  
Old June 30th, 2010, 06:37 PM
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I had fun at Teppenyaki. i did not think the food was worth the cover charge. I will have a complete restaurant review online tomorrow.

The ship should be alongside pier 88 at 10:00 a.m. I believe she is entering the harbor at 7:00 a.m.

She will be in the harbor all day of the 1st, she sails July 2nd, probably about 5:00 pm and will be out 2 nights.

You can see the Fireworks webcast online - go to Macy's web siite for information.

You may be able to see the inaugural with Reba at NCL.com. Go there to see if it will be webcasted.

This is another problem I forgot to mention - there are tiny clocks on the phones and video screens around the ship - but they all show different times all the time (usually the wrong time), so I never know what time it really is.

I went to dinner an hour early two nights ago, and showed up for BMG an hour early as well.

I admit I missed the Cirque show because I was just exhausted and forgot the date. But even if I had remembered, there is a good chance I night have missed it just because of the clock situation. In any case, I will see it on the media cruise.

The Guitar rental is still not in force, but it has to do with the language on the rental agreement (I guess i misspoke about a licensing situation) - in any case, I said it will be resolved by July 1st either way.

This has been fun reporting to you, and I will still be online. I will upload videos from land (the Internet is slow, and expensive - like $55 for 100 minutes ( $.55/minute), plus I will be back for the media cruise....
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  #98 (permalink)  
Old June 30th, 2010, 06:45 PM
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Thank you so much for your interesting postings...look forward to the next one!
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Old June 30th, 2010, 06:54 PM
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I really want to say, kudo's to you for reporting the good, the bad, and, the ugly! I think the solo cruisers this trip, have you to thank for getting the ball rolling in the Living Room....Tell NCL to deliver on the promises made to this overlooked cruising segment....get that door locked!

For me there are a couple of things I will tolerate, as you say, but I truly think the ball, was dropped,and the comfort of the passengers is compromised, and, that offends me.

So many things sound wonderful,and, I do look forward to my cruise, in spite of the shortcomings, in the back of my mind....Keep up the good work!
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  #100 (permalink)  
Old June 30th, 2010, 08:40 PM
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Kinda - which ball do you think the ballwas dropped on?

You know, working on ships I know (and I have tried to explain this to people before) - remember there are three different worlds on every cruise; the passengers, the crew, and the people in Miami "running" the cruise line.

Many times Miami makes decisions the crew has to live by, even though Miami isn't there. The crew is just the face of a disembodied compaany actually running the show.

That is why I try to calm people down when they get too upset onboard - sometimes it just isn't their fault!
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Old June 30th, 2010, 08:59 PM
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I am looking forward to this cruise with one exception, & really my main concern, as I have stated all along in your blog is the cabin design. Anything else I just plan to go with the flow, as we so often say...If I miss a show or dining venue one night, I will try it again another night.

I find it hard to believe that the powers that be in the design department, never once thought, as the designs came to fruition that, this maybe not the best idea, to have seperate toilets and showers, and oh ya, let's make them almost see through!

Removing the conventional bathroom, to have cutting edge design, at the expense of the passengers comfort and privacy, to me is ludicrous..

You have pointed out the pitfalls so well along this cruise, I hope NCL is reading the responses.....I can bet returning cruisers come back and say, I loved the food, Epic had great enterainment and we loved the cruise, but the bathrooms were the pits! I bet I will be saying the same
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Old June 30th, 2010, 10:53 PM
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Paul a very informative account of the Epic. And it just reinforces our desicion to not sail NCL. We had many of the same problems on the PEARL and it had been cruising for a while when we cruised. Especially with the phone system not working properly and that was not our worse problem. And with the way the cabins are on the Epic I surly do not want a cabin like that. Both my husband and myself do like our privacy in the bathroom.

I am very glad that you did pay for this cruise, especially with NCL reading it as your addition in red on the one post shows that they have been. I am sure that NCL would not want any reporter to report the full truth with NCL paying for the cruise. But then what line would. No matter where a report is written I can always tell if the person doing the writing has paid for the cruise or not as when not there are never negatives, or at least maybe one very minor negative. And this is truly a very complete report good and bad.

I hope for those that really like NCL that all of the problems you have reported will be fixed.

I have to agree with trip's statement:
"I find it hard to believe that the powers that be in the design department, never once thought, as the designs came to fruition that, this maybe not the best idea, to have seperate toilets and showers, and oh ya, let's make them almost see through!

Removing the conventional bathroom, to have cutting edge design, at the expense of the passengers comfort and privacy, to me is ludicrous.."

Those are definitely Dropping the ball in my opinion.

So far I have only looked at the photos you put in posts but will check out the rest.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:01 AM
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Default Pool deck and outdoor seating

Thanks for the info. Im interested in your opinion about the pool sizes and deck chairs. Ill be sailing late august and im sure there will be more passengers, and longer lines for the shows. Do you feel there is adequate room in the pools and enough lounge chairs when they are at full capicity. I understand that you have had cold weather, just curious about warmer weather cruises. Thanks
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  #104 (permalink)  
Old July 1st, 2010, 05:11 AM
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I know there are people for whom the bathroom will be an issue. But here is the thing...

Right now this ship is premium priced, but not by that much. If it ever comes down to the levels we see with Voyager or even Liberty - this will be a ship you will not want to miss because of the great entertainment and food. If the bathrooms are a BIG deal you can ask your spouse to leave when you do the "thing". It is not that big a deal to me or I think a lot of people. As Kahlil Gibran said "a man and wife should share their naked bodies proudy and in their purest forms, this is intimacy as God intended" - or something like that.

As far as the "free" thing goes, you are making me sound like I only wrote the truth because I paid. I think I am a little more conscientious than that. Maybe I stress the bad a little less when its a free press trip, but it is hard to see all the bad on a 2-day cruise with the PR department planning everything for you.

I also paid to go on Oasis, because both of these ships deserve a thorough review, not a 2-day preview (not enough). But basically I think the reason I wrote more bad than usual is because I had a chance to see more, not just because I paid to go. I wrote what I saw, which I always try to do.

My reference to paying had to do with other cruise reporters who went before me. The truth is I think they were not as truthful as they should have been if they were on the same ship I was on before me - I heard no mention of bad showers, TVs, phones, lines or water-soaked decks. The truth is I am tired of the kissing up between the cruise lines and certain other cruise sites, and many otherreporters are saying the same thing. I honestly don't know why anyone thinks they are the best cruise reviewers. They are cheerleaders anytime they go on press trips.

But it is up to the public to find more realistic reviews. If the public wants to read public relations pablum regurgitated by popular cruise reporters I can't do anything about that. This isn't the only kind of press in America that has become nothing more than disingenuous talking points, now is it?

I am getting more and more calloused, Voyages to Antiquity was a final straw in a way. I have been misled by cruise lines only a few times, but I really do not like finding out I have been led down a garden path of rosy "fiction" when in fact the reality is much worse than I was told.

I am not accusing NCL or VTA of lying, PR people have a job to do and that's that. I am just saying that reporters have more responsibility than to just write what they are told to write. They need to report.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 05:19 AM
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As far as deck chairs go, I have to be honest and say I really don't think there are nearly enough. Much of the top deck is taken up by the pool and slide facilities. These are great and kids will really love them.

The whole Courtyard Complex takes up a lot of the top deck, also, and the stern goes straight down, no additional pool decks. The bow is just for the crew. There is an adults only pool at the stern top deck "Spice H20" - that will add a lot of space but it is smaller than it looks and I dont think it's enough to give deck space to everyone who wants it - but you will be glad to get away from the kids, and this ship will have a lot of them.

I didnt even mention the Nickelodeon - because it was too cold for a lot of their outside axctivities.

In the long run, I see this as a kids' and family's ship. Its for young people. This is not quiet, refined cruising. It is high-energy bang for your buck cruising. I am sure this ship will have many fans, and some who won't go near it.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 07:14 AM
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I'm a cruise writer, too, and have written for cruisemates.com in fact. I once met someone on a press trip who said about another journalist: He doesn't report, he writes copy. So true about some. They might as well be crafting a cruise line's brochure. At the same time, often it's not the writer, but the magazine or other vehicle that's at fault. They live in fear of alienating cruise lines by writing the truth because the last thing they can afford to do is lose an advertiser. I love writing for cruisemates.com because you actually can speak the truth. I did something on Gem this winter--and I actually LOVED Gem but it was a far cry from the luxury trips I usually do--which included statements on the crowds, children, etc. and Paul didn't change a word of it.

Just saw a short clip on Epic on the news. Apparently the ship will be at Pier 88 at about 10:00 a.m.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 09:24 AM
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Paul, I thought you did a great job of describing the ship and your honesty is refreshing. You write in a way that makes things informative and interesting at the same time. Much like John Maxtone G. I have to say I have fallen in love with her lines, I like the way her cabins extend out both port & Starboard. I like her forecastle, instead of a steep slope as most cruise ships, Epic's is more gradual with decent sized ports, which enhances her bridge I enjoyed your pics as well but am still a little perplexed as to why you would include a few interior shots of the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.
well done
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Old July 1st, 2010, 09:57 AM
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I have to give kudos to Paul. As Editor in Chief at CruiseMates, he's never tried to tell me what tosay when I write for CruiseMates. In fact he doesn't even see my weekly blog's or my Virtual Cruise installments until they are posted (even when they could sometimes us a peek to edit grammar and spelling.

It's a CruiseMates policy to be open, and allow the cruise lines to write and print their own "cruise brochures". My job has always been to take a consumer's look at things, as Paul has done in these daily reports.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 10:53 AM
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Thanks all.

As I read back through "what's wrong" I dont that many serious negatives that you wouldn't also say about another mainstream cruise line ship.

The decks are mostly dry today, because it is a sunny day on very flat water, so the salide does not leak unless the ship tilts. But it is pretty hard to clean up.

The carts in the hallways - again like so many ships.

I doublechecked the outside deck chairs just now - this is the first time you could walk outside without freezing your brass off - and I see many of the deckchairs are in shade, below overhangs. There really is not that much space for chairs. I am not much of a sunworshiper, so I will wait for future reports, but it seems limited to me.

I ate in Le Bistro again last night and it was delicious again. I have to say the restaurant service has been very friendly and efficient everywhere I go. On Royal Caribbean and HAL I have endured long waits between course many times - not so here. They always were on the ball.

We just docked at pier 88 in NYC and will be getting off for a night in the city and then back on tomorrow. Then you can compare what so many other writers will write to what I have said...
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Old July 1st, 2010, 11:01 AM
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Thanks for the reports. I was vicariously aboard all week as I read each update.

Another good description for many in the travel journalism business is they are stenographers, dutifully writing down and publishing everything they are told by the PR people and management. It is refreshing to read honest appraisals, such as those one finds here.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 11:30 AM
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Here is a webcam view of the Epic at the Manhattan pier.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 11:32 AM
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Thanks for your unbiased blog on the Epic. I was planning a July cruise ,but changed it last fall to a Thanksgiving cruise when my family decided on going as well. This will give NCL time to work out any issues I trust.Give a big hello to Sean W. for me...I'm sure he has been swamped with trying to attend to any fixes to the hotel issues, but he and Klaus have always been above and beyond throughout their careers with NCL, and I have faith.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 11:47 AM
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lplenge....

Thanks for mentioning the staff here. I think it is very important to note that any "issues" with Epic are not the fault of the people working on this ship. Sean, Simon and Klaus have all done a spectacular job of organizing the entertainment and hotel operations.

The problems here are with the hardware, not the software. I am going to upload more pictures now.

http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/mem...-new-york.html

These show the hallway bumps and deck puddles I referred to before.

Our disembarkation is stalled becauswe the pier is backed up 0 probably waiting for customs & border patrol. So I sit onboard listewning to Obama's immigration speaah with the Statue of Liberty just outside.

Of course, it will be followed up by the commentary of MSNBC since that is all they have onboard for US political news. Wow, the host after the speech actuallly just said she felt a chill going up her leg (no kidding).
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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
I find it hard to believe that the powers that be in the design department, never once thought, as the designs came to fruition that, this maybe not the best idea, to have seperate toilets and showers, and oh ya, let's make them almost see through!

Removing the conventional bathroom, to have cutting edge design, at the expense of the passengers comfort and privacy, to me is ludicrous..

Trip.. I think as time passes, and more experience it, it will be less of an issue to most, with the exception of families sharing the same cabins.

The sink separate from the shower and toilet would concern me more...because you are touching surfaces before washing your hands.

But... I do think with the positives of the rest of the ship (the food, entertainment, etc) outweighing the negatives, the majority of people will simply overlook any washroom design flaws.

I'm thinking in time they'll even get a handle on having to stand in line for some of the more popular shows.

By late Oct. when the CM group boards, it's highly likely you could have very different experiences than what Paul's experienced on this ship's first full cruise.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:10 PM
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Please DO say hello to Sean W. For me if you can. I was suppose to keep in touch with him as a request when we last spoke in Jan on the Sky. We have crossed paths on many NCL ships and as always he has acknowledged and recognized me and my sister each time. Was hoping to be able to be in NYC on this day to see the Epic sail in for the first time as we discussed. Unfortunately, my elderly mother health has consumed most of my time making it impossible. Still give him my regards and will be in touch in the future.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 02:26 PM
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The hallway bump was invisible to me until you showed the ground level photo. That is extremely hazardous. I think it meets OSHA criteria for being marked with hazard warning stripes.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 02:46 PM
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Paul,

I have had chills going up my leg all week as I've read your reports.

Seriously: Thanks for the unbiased observations and reporting. You did motivate me to change cabins from an aft BA to D3 in order to have more space and handle the bathroom situation a bit better. I'm sailing with my wife and sister and the more room we have the better. I would have moved to a Garden Villa but my pocket book isn't that big.

I look forward to hearing more from you and the "Shrimp Eaters" who will be coming on board for the press cruise.

Take care,
Mike
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Old July 1st, 2010, 03:13 PM
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Too big for New York? For new Norwegian mega-ship, it's going to be close

Just how big is the much-ballyhooed new mega-ship from Norwegian Cruise Line, the Norwegian Epic? So big that it's going to take a bit of finessing this week to get it into a berth in New York City.

A spokeswoman for the line tells USA TODAY the giant, 4,100-passenger vessel, scheduled to be christened in the Big Apple on Friday, is going to have to drop some of its lifeboats when it arrives in the Hudson River in order to fit comfortably into its assigned dock space.

The 153,000-ton ship's lifeboats partially protrude from its sides, and the line plans to lower five of the lifeboats before the vessel turns starboard into the pier, says spokeswoman Courtney Recht.

"If we didn't lower them they would hang over the pier," she notes. "They will be put back onboard after we have left the pier to head out on Norwegian Epic's two-day inaugural cruise on July 2."

Recht says the ship's officers will repeat the maneuver when the ship returns to New York City on July 4 to serve as the host venue for the city's annual Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks celebration.

Bigger than all but a handful of Royal Caribbean ships, Epic is more than 60% larger than the largest Norwegian Cruise Line ship currently at sea. Its width, at 133 feet, is a hefty 20% greater than earlier Norwegian vessels such as the 106-foot-wide Norwegian Pearl. Its length also is greater at 1,068 feet (the Pearl, by comparison, is 965 feet long).

Epic will be christened at 2:00 PM on Friday by country music's Reba McEntire in a ceremony hosted by comedian and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Jeff Garlin.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 03:53 PM
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YouTube - norwegian epic engine room.wmv

This shows the engine room, and the electrical generatoers on Epic. It shows the propellar shafts that had the bad bearings.

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Old July 1st, 2010, 04:02 PM
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Cool:

I love the engine room stuff. It's nice that they let you film down there.

Tina looked good and I will definitely attend the Legends show.

The bathroom confirms my opinion that NCL had their heads up their aft when they designed the staterooms.

Overall: I can't wait to sail on Epic.

Take care,
Mike
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