Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) announced yesterday that it has seen record bookings in regard to its newest cruise ship, the Norwegian Epic. Typically, when a new ship’s itineraries are released, the public, in anticipation, will sell out a lot of the new ship’s sailings. In this instance, Norwegian’s bookings have hit record highs.
The last two ships to go out as new ships in NCL’s fleet were the Norwegian Pearl and the Norwegian Gem. At this time, price increases are setting in for all of the Epic’s categories, which include new Studios for the budget-conscious cruiser to the ultra luxurious villas, penthouses and deluxe owner’s suites. As of June 1, 2009, prices are starting at $699 per person, not including governmental fees and taxes. However, due to the high demand of Epic’s first sailings, prices are sure to go up.
If you are a member of NCL’s past guest program, Latitudes, you are entitled to a variety of promotional offers until Aug. 31, 2009. These include up to a three category upgrade, and additional discounts on cruise fares of up to $100 per stateroom, and up to $500 in onboard credit for suites and villas. These of course depend on the length of your cruise.
The Epic is scheduled to enter service in May 2010 with Inaugural events taking place before she begins sailing to the Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean. Her first Eastern Caribbean sailings, which begin July 17, 2010, include the following itinerary: Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. Her Western Caribbean itinerary, whose sailings begin shortly after the July 17th sailing, includes the following ports: Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. The Epic’s home port will be in Miami.
ABOUT THE SHIP
The Epic’s grandeur will be spread all around. According to NCL, the Blue Man Group will perform onboard the ship, giving NCL an industry first. This will be the first time that the Blue Man Group will be seen at sea. The Epic will also be an industry leader in entertainment, having many more entertainment venues than just a two-show nightly event in the ship’s 685-seat Epic Theater. Specially-designed venues will give cruisers a broad range of entertainment options.
Also aboard the Epic will be the only “big top” at sea, a 265-seat dinner theater that will present famed producer/director Neil Goldberg’s Cirque Dreams and Dinner. During this two-hour show, guests will be marveled at juggling dinner courses, music, and plenty of acrobatics performed. This will be a first at sea as well.
In addition to the dinner theater, the Epic’s new Freestyle Dining options will give diner’s 14 restaurant choices – the most at sea – and 18 bars and lounges. It will provide the first Ice Bar at sea, Spice H20 with non-stop entertainment around the clock; the large Aqua Park, with the only tube slide and largest bowl slide at sea – The Epic Plunge; seven decks of Freestyle Family Fun, including a 33-foot high, 64-foot high extreme rock climbing wall; as well as bowling lanes, kids’ programs, athletic facilities and much more.
The Epic will hold approximately 4,200 passengers with a new wider range of fun for all cruisers.