The Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami is the holy grail for news people: you don't have to search out the news, it finds you. Norwegian Cruise Line hasn't disappointed. It revealed the full range of concepts and accommodations to be offered on its next Freestyle ship, Norwegian Epic, debuting in May 2010. That's not all: In what it calls an industry first, NCL has now opened group-block space reservations on Epic exclusively for travel agents before the ship goes on sale to the general public later this spring.
The new ship will feature a ship-within-a-ship suite complex that will comprise 60 suites and villas on two private decks at the top of the ship. Guests staying in one of these suites will have access to the Courtyard Villa complex featuring a pool, two whirlpools, gym, saunas, sundeck, indoor/outdoor dining, bar/nightclub and concierge lounge.
In this worrisome economy, NCL has also designed Epic with the budget-conscious traveler in mind. The ship's new category of inside staterooms, The Studios, are being dubbed ultra-modern, spacial and feature a large, round window that looks out into the corridor. There's even customizable color-changing light effects that mirror different stages of the day, or the guest's mood, including a love setting for those romantic nights at sea—cheeky! The Studios occupy two decks and have exclusive key-card access to the Living Room, a two-story shared private lounge.
Another NCL first: Introducing spa balcony, deluxe-balcony staterooms and suites located within the spa with complimentary access to the ship's thermal suite and fitness center.
These specialized accommodations complement the ship's New Wave Inside, Balcony and Deluxe Balcony staterooms announced last year.
Stay tuned: NCL plans to reveal more about Norwegian Epic at the Cruise3Sixty show in Ft. Lauderdale April 3, and in New York City in May.