“Different”. That’s the word that keeps cropping up when you talk to Norwegian Cruise Line executive vice-president Andy Stuart about the world’s newest superliner.


Norwegian Epic, which made its debut in Southampton this week, is promising to offer a cruise experience that, although an evolution of NCL’s trademark Freestyle brand, represents a step-change in what is possible.


From the range of entertainment to the varied dining options and the curved walls of the staterooms, Epic is an attempt to stand out.


Central to the ship’s success is the evolution of NCL’s Freestyle brand, which offers freedom as well as the ability to prebook dining and entertainment.


Stuart said: “We are working very hard on the flow of Epic. One of the ways we are managing this is giving customers the ability, if they wish, to pre-book entertainment.”


Stuart estimated about a third of guests would pre-book, a third would book onboard and a third would “walk up on a whim”.


This proportion could be crucial on a ship that does not have a single space large enough to accommodate everyone onboard.


What the agents said













Andrea Gilbertson, Monster Travel
“This is my first time on an NCL ship and as soon as I saw it it had the ‘wow’ factor. Everywhere you go you find something new and the water park is amazing.” 

 

Andrea Gilbertson, Monster Travel
Leanne Murfin, The Co-operative Travel
“This ship blows a lot of others out of the water. It’s really taken on the Freestyle idea, and features such as the Ice Bar and Blue Man Group are really imaginative.”

 

Leanne Murfin, The Co-operative Travel
Sara Mason-Parker, Spires Travel
“It really is awesome. The entertainment is fantastic and the staff are really hospitable. I can’t get over how many bars and restaurants there are, and really, a seven-night cruise wouldn’t be enough.”
Sara Mason-Parker, Spires Travel


Stuart’s Epic selling points


Entertainment
“I hope people will choose the trip because of the entertainment.” It includes Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams and Dinner, Nickelodeon.


Good for families
“Every room, aside from studios, accommodates three guests, we have a range of interconnecting rooms, and, I think, the best designed family suites around with our two-bed Courtyard Villas.”


Dining
“You would be hard pushed to find a genre of dining that’s not available on this ship.”