As a rule we don’t pay much attention to awards given to cruise lines and ships here at Cruise Diva. It’s difficult to determine whether they are legitimate and how the award recipients are arrived at. This one is different and we’re pleased to share the news that Norwegian Cruise Line is the first in the cruise industry to be honored by Travel + Leisure, the popular guide for world travelers with the largest audience of any travel magazine, with its distinguished Design Award. The recipients of the seventh annual award represent the best new examples of design in a range of categories from hotels and transportation to luggage and travel fashion.
Norwegian Epic was awarded “Best Transportation” for its innovative Studio staterooms (pictured above), a private key-card access complex on two decks consisting of 128 staterooms and the Studio Lounge. The concept was pioneered by Norwegian and designed and priced specifically for solo travelers, allowing them the comfort and convenience to travel without the industry’s single supplement cruise price. Priestmangoode, a design firm in the United Kingdom, designed the Studios for Norwegian.
“The Studio staterooms on Norwegian Epic have been extremely well received and we are pleased to be able to offer solo travelers an opportunity to visit great destinations while experiencing Freestyle Cruising on board our most innovative ship,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer.
Each Studio stateroom, at approximately 100 square feet of living space, features a contemporary design with a full-size bed and separate areas for the bathroom, sink and shower. In addition, guests in the Studios have private access to the exclusive Studio Lounge where they can grab a cup of coffee in the morning, meet up with fellow cruisers, and plan their day or relax with a drink in the evening. Since many of the Studio staterooms are connecting, there is also the opportunity for friends to travel together while giving each their own private space.
Norwegian Epic is currently featured at TravelandLeisure.com and is highlighted in the magazine’s March issue, which will appear on newsstands tomorrow, Feb 21. Winners of the 2011 Travel + Leisure Design Awards were selected by an esteemed panel of judges, including Henry Urbach, curator of architecture and design for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Norma Kamali, fashion designer; Danny Meyer, restaurateur; Paulette Cole, CEO and creative director of ABC Carpet & Home’s; and David Childs, Chairman of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill.
We’re impressed and are sure you will be as well. Good job and kudos to NCL!