Sunday, March 28, 2010

Norwegian Epic

She’s beautiful, she’s hip, she’s revolutionary and she’s trendy! She’s the next generation of freestyle cruising! The Norwegian Epic will make waves beginning this July by taking cruising to a whole new level. But who will this stylish and innovative ship appeal to? The answers easy…EVERYONE!

The Norwegian Epic is perfect for families! It starts with accommodations that give families of every size the space they need. Balcony cabins comfortably sleep four, but maybe you want more room. This ship offers more choices of connecting staterooms than any other cruise line giving you the space to spread out and more importantly, the advantage of a second bathroom! Luxurious villas can hold up to six and offer amenities you’d never believe were possible on a cruise ship!

Imagine cruising with Dora the Explorer or SpongeBob and his sidekick, Patrick! Well, they’re here, exclusively on select NCL ships including the Epic! “Nickelodeon at Sea” is a unique family cruise vacation experience that includes character meet and greets, character breakfasts, story hours, Nick-themed dance parties and interactive game shows such as “Slime Time Live.” What could be more fun for a kid than to be cruising and to have the opportunity to be covered with oozy goozy green slime!

Maybe your family wants a wet and wild cruise vacation. The Epic will debut NCL’s first ever Aqua Park! Imagine three multi-story water slides with varying degrees of “thrill factor”, culminating with the “Epic Plunge”, the only tube slide at sea with a thrilling drop through a 200-foot long tube! Yikes! The Aqua Park also includes two main pools with arching water effects which illuminate at night, five whirlpools, a wading pool and a kid’s pool in the children’s Splash and Play Zone which features whimsical sculptures, water sprays and effects, along with a kiddy slide.

If that is not enough reason for you to want to bring the family aboard, how about a complimentary kids program that delivers fun day and night? The youth staff at “Recess” is carefully selected from university education and recreational programs and are experts in providing enjoyable, engaging activities for every age group. A designated area for “tweens” includes a Wii and Playstation gaming area, a karaoke stage and a surround sound cinema.

“Entourage” is Norwegian Epic’s high energy, exclusive teen zone for ages 13 through 17. This funky space includes air hockey, pinball, foosball, a video jukebox, and nine large flat screen televisions, five of which are located around a central video game console featuring PlayStation 3. In the evening, “Entourage” transitions into a hip nightclub with a space for dancing or just hanging out on comfy couches.

The Norwegian Epic is perfect for both singles and couples! Regardless if you’re on your own, traveling with friends, or with that special someone, adults will find cruising aboard the Epic the ideal vacation!

For those that like to travel alone, accommodation innovations include hip urban flats designed for single occupancy…with single occupancy pricing! Studio guests have access to an exclusive keycard-access-only Studio Living Room complete with large screen TVs, a jukebox, and lots of comfy seating. What a great place to meet fellow travelers!

Or maybe you and that special someone are looking to retreat to your own private paradise. New Wave staterooms have sexy curved walls and concealed contour lighting. Every oceanview stateroom has a private balcony. And the romantic and secluded Spa Suites have their very own hot tubs! Find them in a private access area with direct entry to the spa.

Looking for the amenities of an upscale, glamorous and private resort? Head up to POSH Beach Club. Adult guests take a private glass elevator to enter this exclusive outdoor entertainment complex styled with a panache and excitement that’s half South Beach, half Costa del Sol. During the day, you can lounge on thickly padded Balinese day beds and in private cabanas. When it gets too hot, cool off beneath a 35-foot long cascading waterfall. The POSH VIP Host and crew are at hand to cater to your every wish. At night, the scene heat up as POSH Beach Club becomes an open air night club.

Spice H20, another adult only area is infused with Latin and Asian influences. It features a massive LED screen playing eccentric video images paired with vibrant music to create a truly unique and sensory experience. During the day, soak up the sun in lounge beds around the pool while enjoying Asian-inspired cuisine in those little white to-go containers. As the sun sets, Spice H20 morphs into an Ibiza-inspired beach club with live entertainment and dinner served tableside or directly on plush sun beds. At night, the mood is red-hot with Latin music, dancing, and unique entertainment atop the covered pool.

If sophisticated and cosmopolitan dining is part of your ultimate vacation experience then the Epic has just what you’re looking for! With 21 dining options, 11 of them complimentary, seven nights at sea is hardly long enough to experience them all! One evening you could do French at Le Bistro and feast on coq au vin. On another evening try Brazilian barbecue served by the passadores (meat waiters) at Moderno Churrascaria. Or maybe you’ll want to sample the sushi at Wasabi; just enough to hold off hunger pangs until you’re ready to head for the classy Manhattan Room and an evening of dinner and dancing. Of course you can begin another evening with a pre-dinner cocktail at the Ice Bar. One of fourteen authentic ice bars in the world, it’s kept at a frigid 17 degrees. Don’t worry, between the vodka and the faux fur they lend you upon entering, you’ll be toasty in no time. But don’t get too comfortable because it’s off to Cirque Dreams and Dinner, a dinner show that combines European cirque-style artistry with American circus and Broadway theatrics. So many choices!

The Norwegian Epic is perfect for those seeking an active vacation! The sports complex, yes, I said complex, is incredible! Two deck of multifarious activities that can put any land resort to shame! The full sized basketball court offers much more than just a game of hoops. How about hockey, dodge ball and soccer too? Or maybe you’ll want to spend some time working on your swing…baseball swing that is… in the full size batting cage. Not to worry, you can work on your golf swing too!

The climbing wall is incredible. Part rock and part vertical building, the climbing wall is accessible on two levels with varying degrees of difficulty, rated according to official U.S. climbing grades. At 33 feet high and 64 feet wide, the climbing wall includes a water tube weaving right through the middle and the first-ever rappelling wall at sea. There’s also a 24-foot tall enclosed climbing cage called the Spider Web. Now that’s extreme!

Norwegian Epic features not one, but two of their signature, industry-first bowling alleys at sea. There’s O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill where the whole gang (including the kids) can head on over to the lanes and test their skills. Then there’s the three lanes at Bliss Ultra Lounge where during the day all ages are welcome.

The Fitness Center, open 24/7, is state of the art. It has 25 treadmills with their own TVs and cross trainers too. It features a TRX Suspension trainer, a complete total-body training tool built around a set of nylon straps that create resistance from two sources always at your disposal: your body weight and gravity. If you need the latest in workout routines the Epic has them all. Case in point; Kettle ball training is exploding on the exercise scene and the Epic has it. There are also more diverse fitness classes than any other ship at sea including yoga, Pilates, Activio group cycling and body sculpting boot camp.

Then head to the Mandara Spa to give those achy muscles some TLC. The spa is every bit as high-tech and high-end as any on land. Twenty-four well appointed rooms offer every type of luxurious therapy imaginable. Among the many sumptuous treatments for you to indulge in is the couple Rasul Rooms. Enter into the exotic chamber together to take part in a traditional cleansing ritual. Apply different colored medicinal muds to specific areas of the body, while gently inhaling the steam infused by pure herbs. To complete the ritual, a warm tropical rain pours down from the dome of the room and the muds are gently washed away …

The menu of spa treatments is vast and they no longer cater to only women. There is an enriching diversity of therapies that are designed for men and the Epic also has special treatments for moms and daughters or fathers and sons. Several relatively new services available are acupuncture, teeth whitening and even Botox!

Can one cruise ship be everything to everyone? Regardless of the experience you are looking for and despite your uncompromising expectations, a cruise aboard the Norwegian Epic can and will be whatever you want it to be. After all, that’s what freestyle cruising has always been about. But now, it’s just gotten better!

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