NORWEGIAN EPICenter Of Mixed News? — Updated

NORWEGIAN EPIC departs Rotterdam on June 21, 2010. Photo and copyright Hans Hoffman 2010.

June 23: NORWEGIAN EPIC departed Rotterdam on June 21, escorted by the tug RT MAGIC, arriving in yesterday at 2:30 PM, three hours earlier than expected. The arrival time was altered by 7.5 hours to 5:30 PM after it was revealed that a problem with the ship’s propeller shaft would cause the newbuild to proceed across the Channel at half speed. MaritimeMatters has been assured by a PR representative on board the ship that there will be no further delays or changes to the ship’s scheduled transatlantic crossing and subsequent inaugural program festivities in the U.S., despite varying feedback from the ship that contradicted that information.

Southampton-based cruise blogger, Patsy Dempsey of Liner Lovers boarded in Rotterdam for the one night voyage and relayed several reports to the MaritimeMatters Facebook page.

Regarding the changes in the ship’s U.K.-based inaugural schedule (EPIC was scheduled to depart last night on a two night cruise, return Thursday and then head to New York on a seven night crossing): “More mystery. She is now due to sail at 1pm tomorrow, Wednesday, with no return date OR (information available regarding the) sailing on the 24th. She has also been removed from the cruise schedule.” Click here for a link to the Southampton Shipping Movements Site referenced by Patsy. UPDATED: The EPIC did, indeed depart today and spent time off the Isle of Wight. She will return to Southampton in the morning and then will depart on the 24th for New York. The Shipping Movements have since been updated and now show the EPIC departing again on the 24th.

Her comments about the cabins: “Things don’t work or are confusing. Hate this sink in the room. Everything gets wet. The sockets are hidden under the counter, some behind a door. You need to use the card by the door to turn the lights on. No one tells you this. Plenty of storage but the rooms are narrower than usual.”

Dining/Entertainment: “Dinner was good in the Manhattan Room with those impersonators, though the Tina Turner sounded nothing like her. The waiters sing along and dance.”

Layout/Decor: “Ship looks fab from what I’ve seen…Ice Bar was locked but I love so much of the interior — must be Apollo’s influence. Prom deck’s worse than (CELEBRITY) SOLSTICE class — total disconnection with the sea. La Cucina has a great view overlooking the bow.”

To see what the EPIC looks like on board, we recommend this excellent suite of photos by Raoul Fiebig of Das Ruderhaus, taken during the two night preview cruise for the European (and a few select American) media.

With special thanks to Patsy Dempsey and Hans Hoffman.

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

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."
Peter Knego

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