Norwegian Epic Inaugural Cruise (NY)

by Gray Cargill on June 18, 2010

Norwegian Epic

Rendering of the Norwegian Epic

I have been holding something under my hat for awhile now, and it’s finally time to share it with you all: I have a press trip coming up.  Not just any press trip, but a press trip I wanted very, very badly.  I will be sailing on Norwegian Epic‘s inaugural cruise out of New York City on July 2 (returning on the 4th).  This is a short cruise to acquaint the media, travel agents, and other VIPs with Norwegian’s new pride and joy.

I’m thrilled to be part of it, because Epic has 128 Studio Staterooms that are sized (and priced) for solo travelers, which I think could be the turning point in revolutionizing the cruise industry (and, if we’re lucky, might spread to the hotel industry), making it more solo-friendly across the board.  Obviously, that remains to be seen, but from what I’ve heard, sales for these staterooms are strong, which is a good sign. In any case, I’ll be able to check them out firsthand during this cruise.

Given that this is a press trip, there is an itinerary that NCL’s public relations people have pulled together for me. This itinerary includes press conferences, the christening ceremony featuring Epic‘s godmother, Reba McEntyre, and entertainment such as the Blue Man Group and Cirque Dreams and Dinner, among other things.  I do have several hours to myself, though, to explore the ship and enjoy the facilities as any cruiser would.  During that time, I’d really like to check out as many of the dining establishments and entertainment venues aboard the ship as possible.

Epic's Spiegel Tent rendering

Rendering of the Spiegel Tent (Cirque Dreams and Dinner)

My question to you is:  What else would you like me to check out while I’m aboard? After all, this blog is for you, too, so I want to bring back information that you think is important. Is there anything about going on a cruise as a solo traveler that you’ve always wanted to know?   Or anything in particular about the Epic that you’re curious about?  (You can see information about the ship and its offerings at NCL’s Epic website.)  Please add your response to the comments section below or on my Facebook page, or you can contact me directlyI may not be able to get to everything (as much as I would like to, I think I am incapable of staying awake for 48 hours straight, so my time is somewhat limited), but I’ll do what I can–especially if there’s something that a fair number of you are interested in.

SoloFriendly July 4, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Oh believe me, I will be. Stay tuned…

SoloFriendly July 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Thank you for the clarification, and now that I've seen the press materials handed out this weekend, I see my mistake. Unfortunately, no one sitting at my table Friday night knew this, and we were all expecting a lot more acrobatics. So this explains a lot. I've edited my article so I don't continue to spread misinformation. Thanks again!

Mjojepsen July 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Cirque Dreams is not a Cirque du Soleil Company.

Love to cruise July 2, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I am dying to know how you got on and what you thought. From what I have seen and heard, the solo studio cabins seemed a hit and I think NCL really have thought about single traveller all along with Epic. Do post up your photos and your reviews
thank you

SoloFriendly June 30, 2010 at 2:06 am

Thanks very much!

Grrrltraveler June 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I meant to comment earlier– I'm soo excited for you! It's awesome that you'll be on a press trip and with the Norwegian cruises too! While I”m not a big cruise person, here's hoping that they start cutting solo travelers some kind of break so that I don't have to live my life in regret of being single. Have fun!

dugis guides June 23, 2010 at 10:18 am

well friend Following her transatlantic crossing from London to New York … Once in Miami, the ship will sail a two-night inaugural cruise!

El Cid Vacation June 22, 2010 at 8:02 am

Riding a cruise ship is one of my dream getaways and landing it on Norway is an added bonus.

SoloFriendly June 22, 2010 at 12:39 am

Yeah, it's about time someone did. 🙂

James Clark June 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Wow, look forward to your updates. That's great they have taken the lead with the single rooms option.

James Clark June 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Wow, look forward to your updates. That's great they have taken the lead with the single rooms option.

SoloFriendly June 19, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Thanks, Christine! I'd probably like it more if this were a vacation rather than work, but I'm still pretty excited.

camorose June 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm

What an exciting opportunity! I can't wait to hear how you like it–I've never been much of a cruise person, but this sounds pretty luxe 🙂

SoloFriendly June 19, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Thanks, Sabina. I know, right? This is an idea whose time has definitely come.

Sabina June 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Hey, congratulations! There should absolutely be single rooms on cruise ships. Charging double the price when just one person is using a double room is crazy. I hope you have a great time! I'll look forward to reading about it. And that's a pretty ship.

SoloFriendly June 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Yes, I saw that, Fede. I'm wondering if that's normal or unusual for a new ship. Just hoping I'm not about to board the Titanic. LOL. Thanks!

SoloFriendly June 18, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I would like to do that as well. I hope I have time. It's on my list. Thanks!

wanderlustjourney June 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I think it would be fun if you could interview some of the staff and crew, I think it's always fun to chat with them on the cruise.

SoloFriendly June 18, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Thanks for noticing the typo, Doug, I've fixed it now. Too bad we're not on the same trip. But yes, let's compare notes later on. Cheers!

Fede June 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Hi Gray!

Looking up info on this ship I found this article http://news.travel.aol.com/2010/06/10/norwegian-epic-shipyard-fire/ which could certainly lead to some questions. Lucky you for being part of the experience!

Federico

Fede June 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Hi Gray!

Looking up info on this ship I found this article http://news.travel.aol.com/2010/06/10/norwegian-epic-shipyard-fire/ which could certainly lead to some questions. Lucky you for being part of the experience!

Federico

Douglaspar June 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I can't wait to hear about it. I'll be doing the trip on July 8th out of Miami. You'll have to let us know all about it.

Being a country radio personality I have to correct you, it's “Reba McEntire.” 🙂

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