Saturday, October 16, 2010

Welcome Aboard Norwegian Epic

Cabin # 14036

Cabins are finally ready for occupancy...

Continuing our virtual tour of Norwegian Epic, it's time to checkout your stateroom.    

Your cabin assignment for the cruise is 14036, a deluxe family balcony cabin on deck 14, forward, port side.   The Mandara Spa & Salon is located on this deck also.   Some of the cabins on this deck have special spa access and amenities in their cabin.   

Even though 14036 is not one of those, there is an option to purchase use of the spa's thermal suite for $199 per couple or $119 for a single.   This provides unlimited use of the spa throughout the cruise.    So for $14 per person per day you enjoy similar benefits as a spa suite guest (just not the spa products in your cabin).    More about the spa in another post...
Opening the door of the cabin, you are greeted by the bathroom facilities.  This is not setup as in most other ships.   Instead of the usual one room bathroom, there is a shower area on one side, the commode on the other, and the sink and medicine cabinet beyond that.    The usual solid door is replaced by translucent panels.    You are pleased to see that you actually have a tub and shower in this type of cabin.  

If you've read our blog for awhile, this doesn't come as a shock to you since we wrote about the controversial configuration when Epic began its inaugural sailings.   You might be wondering what the designers had in mind when they introduced this innovation.   Their intent was to make it possible for different guests to use the facilities at the same time.  
For a couple, we'll assume that this sharing doesn't cause any issues.  However, for other occupancy combinations, such as families with children of any age, or friends sharing a cabin, the configuration will take some getting used to and / or planning.
We had our grown up son with us on this trip and to be honest, the bathroom layout didn't cause a problem.   There is a curtain that can be drawn to provide you with privacy.   You'll want to be sure to spin your dial to "do not disturb" and double lock your door to be sure you cabin steward doesn't surprise you from the other direction.    There are robes in the cabin, so that too is another way to ensure privacy when you get out of the shower.
Your luggage arrives and it's time to unpack.  You survey the storage facilities to decide how to divide the space for the three of you.  The closet nearest the entry way is ideal for hanging up everyone’s nice clothing.   The bank of cabinets above and below the counter provides plenty of storage for remaining clothes and other items.   There are four metal baskets in the lower cabinets which can be used for night clothes, swim suits, or any other items that don’t need to be hung up.
Next to the bed there is a night stand with three shelves which can be used for clothes or storage of cameras and other essential items you’ve brought with you.  There are a few hidden storage spaces also...  under the sofa bed, there are drawers that pull out and above the bed at least one of the cabinet doors opens.
Cabinets & closets (left) bed & sleeper (right).View from Balcony

Across from the night stand, next to the balcony door, there are two closets in this particular cabin. One thing that we discovered is that there are minute differences in the cabin configurations even for the same category.   For example, the sofa bed can be before or after the full size bed depending on the location of the cabin and direction of the waves.   The location of the curtain and the storage configuration may also be different. 
If you happen to be in a cabin that has adjoining doors, you will lose some of the storage space.  For example, the extra closet space is replaced by the door.   The night stand cabinet next to the bed is most likely narrower than the one in this cabin.
The extra space came at a price for us also.  To compensate for the extra space, we lost some of our balcony depth.    There still was plenty of room to relax on the balcony with the two chairs and small table providing the furnishings.  
It is possible to put your full size suit cases under the bed which is what you'll need to do due to the odd sized closets.    The wave design makes it impossible to put anything other than bags that are backpack size on the closet floor.    My advice is to put your suitcase under the bed and use it for your dirty clothes.
This cabin was sufficient for the three of us, however that was partly due to the sleeping schedules.   My husband and I were up early to have breakfast and attend the conference sessions while our son slept in after a long night.   Therefore, we weren’t all trying to take showers at the same time.
We took a tour of the ship during our conference cruise.   Watch for reviews of other cabin types complete with pictures in future posts.

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