The third of four pages of the Decked! top to bottom tour of Norwegian Cruise Lines’ NORWEGIAN EPIC covers much of the non-villa suite accommodation, the remarkable and innovative “Studio” cabins and the suite of public spaces on Deck 7.
Like most modern ships, the bulk of NORWEGIAN EPIC’s accommodation is sandwiched between the upper decks and a suite of lower deck public spaces. Basically, this includes Decks 13, 12, 11, 10, 9 and 8.
Bridge Viewing Room
Although the wheelhouse is off-limits to passengers, on certain occasions, the NORWEGIAN EPIC’s Bridge Viewing Room is open (although no one ever seems to know exactly when). This space, located on forward Deck 13, is also used for meetings, so if you don’t succeed in getting access, keep trying and hope the shades covering the windows looking into the aft portion of the bridge are open.
The EPIC’s stairtowers are color coded, in blue to port and orange starboard.
Throughout the ship, there is an abundance of Macassar wood veneers, shaded in a walnut tone. In the stairtower areas, they are complemented by a similarly-striped carpet pattern.
All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2010 unless otherwise noted. Please click on image for a larger version.
Connecting Family Balcony Cabins
Deck 13 features a wide range of accommodation, including Family Deluxe Balcony, Family Balcony and Insides. The Family cabins share an interconnecting door in lieu of a section of the storage space one would have in “regular” cabins in the same category. The Family Balcony Cabin shown here measures 216 square feet and sleeps up to four guests. Features include full length sliding glass balcony doors, coffee/tea makers, mini-bar, flat screen TVs and separate sitting areas.
Inside Cabins measure 129 square feet and feature beds in twin or queen configuration, flat screen TVs, mini-bars and coffee/tea makers.
The inboard length of Decks 12 and 11 feature some of the NORWEGIAN EPIC’s most interesting and unique accommodation, the Studios. These single occupancy cabins flank a long, central passage that spans most of the ship’s length.
There is a double deck lounge called The Living Room for the exclusive use of Studio Cabin guests. Accessed via a key card, it features a bar, large plasma TVs and nooks of seating. Concierge services are available for booking dinner and entertainment venues.
Studio Cabin guests also have access to a vending room, a concept heretofore unique to non-Japanese cruise ships and ferries.
The Studio Cabins, themselves, are futuristic cubby holes measuring 100 square feet. They actually have solid doors on their bathrooms, unlike most of the other accommodation on NORWEGIAN EPIC. The large porthole style windows that look out onto the central passage can be closed off with a sliding, light-blocking shade for privacy. Originally, these were to be offered as double occupancy cabins but NCL rethought the concept and now they are sold as single cabins but without the usual industry single surcharge, making them a great bargain for solo travelers.
Sharing a similar blueprint to the Penthouse Cabins already shown in the Villa Complex, there are several Penthouse Cabins in the NORWEGIAN EPIC’s general accommodation.
These Penthouses measure 322 square feet and feature corner tubs and separate w/c and shower facilities, CD/DVD players with flat screen TVs, mini-bars, espresso makers and large balconies. Concierge services are also included.
Deluxe Balcony Cabins
Deluxe Balcony cabins measure 245 square feet and are similar in most respects to those shown in the Courtyard Villas in Part One of this Decked!
The most controversial aspects of these “New Wave” cabins with their attractively curved bulkheads and ceilings are the separate bathrooms and showers in the entryway. Limited privacy is attained through see-through tempered glass doors and a curtain that closes off that portion of the cabin.
The cabinet top sinks will be replaced with deeper basins in the near future. This en suite plumbing is actually not unlike that from tourist class liners of the past, although the hardware is very much of this era.
Decks 11, 10, 9, and 8
More passenger accommodation.
Forward Deck 7 begins with the fo’c’sle head where there is a whirlpool for the crew. The ship’s bell is tucked away at the base of the towering superstructure.
Finite promenades continue aft along either side of the ship. Although each side had its own running track (that loops around at each end), this is really not a traditional promenade where one would want to sit in a deck chair or take a casual stroll. Any views of the sea are obliterated by the lifeboats that protrude out from the side of the ship. Alas, this is basically a staging area to abandon ship.
Bliss Ultra Lounge
The 250 seat, 7,801 square foot Bliss Ultra Lounge begins the lineup of interior public spaces on Deck 7.
Once past the fiberoptic lighting, bead curtains and two lampshade-topped horses in the entryway, there is a three lane bowling alley, large bar, pool tables and private booths.
At night, this incongruous space become one of the ship’s pulsating hot spots in a tradition begun with the most recent F2 ships, NORWEGIAN PEARL and NORWEGIAN GEM.
Deck 7 Lobby and Tradewinds Boutique Shopping Area
A mall-like central passageway punctuated with three atria links the public spaces and shopping areas on Deck 7.
The Tradewinds Boutiques include a number of souvenir, duty-free, sundry, clothing and jewelry shops.
Tradewinds spans the forward section of Deck 7 between Bliss Ultra and the three deck high midships atrium flanked by Bar Central.
One of the NORWEGIAN EPIC’s key decorative focal points is the 21 foot tall crystal chandelier designed by Kalmar of Vienna and constructed by SMC Architects and Lighting Design of the U.K. The two ton object which can mutate through 255 color variations, is comprised of a series of oval discs that spiral around a tube of crystal-encrusted balls.
Bar Central Area: SVEDKA Ice Bar
Bar Central begins with the SVEDKA Ice Bar, one of the most talked-about features on the NORWEGIAN EPIC. The first sea-going ice bar accommodates a mere 25 guests for up to 45 minutes at a time, provided they can last that long in its carefully-controlled 17 degree temperature. Hats, gloves and faux fur panchos are provided along with two signature cocktails for a tariff of $20 per person. The bar is open between 5:00 and 10 PM nightly and features ever-changing LED optical effects and a bar, seating, walls and sculptures made of ice.
Bar Central Area: Shaker’s Martini Bar
Located on the port side of the midships Deck 7 atrium, Shaker’s Martini Bar is one of the EPIC’s most beautiful venues with accommodation for 74 guests in plush velour seating. At night it clinks to life with the din of cocktail chatter and a crooning pianist.
Bar Central Area, ctd.
Bar Central continues along the aft side of the atrium with more seating between Wasabu Sushi Bar and Shaker’s.
Bar Central Area: Malting’s Beer and Whiskey Bar
The passage aft continues beyond a screen with the attractive Maltings Beer and Whiskey Bar, accommodating 132 guests.
Wasabi and Teppanyaki
On the starboard side of the midships Deck 7 atrium, there is the Wasabi Sushi Bar (accommodating 20 with a la carte pricing for sushi, sashimi and yakitori dishes).
Adjoining Wasabi is the expanded Teppanyaki Restaurant with 115 seats and stations for 24 knife-wielding chefs who theatrically prepare dishes Benihana style for a cover charge of $25 per person.
The Humidor Cigar Lounge
The Humidor Cigar Lounge is located aft of Shaker’s and on the port side of Maltings. It accommodates 29.
Aft Deck 7 Foyer
A third atrium overlooks the casino from the aft portion of Deck 7 and features another crystal light fixture.
In addition to the Beauty Salon on Deck 14, the NORWEGIAN EPIC has a Barber Shop on the starboard side of the aft Deck 7 atrium.
Moderno Brazilian Churrascaria and Cagney’s Steakhouse
A handsome foyer fronts the entryway for the two extra tariff dining venues, Moderno Churrascaria on the starboard side and Cagney’s Steakhouse to port.
Similarly decorated in dark wood veneers and rich tones of velvet, these extra tariff venues feature unique offerings. Moderno has a Brazilian-themed menu of skewered meats and a centrally-located salad bar. It seats 120 and hails an $18 per person cover charge.
Cagney’s Steakhouse is a popular fleetwide extra tariff venue featuring traditional American steakhouse fare and seats 150. Cover charge is $25 per person.
End of Quadruple Decked!, Part Three: MV NORWEGIAN EPIC, Decks 13 to 7
Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea. With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications. Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India. He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."