Monday, January 16, 2012

Norwegian Epic: Home Away From Home

Based on a unique concept, our balcony stateroom on Norwegian Epic follows the contours of the waves twelve decks below. Much has been written about the floorplan, which includes two bathroom pods—one for a shower with a nifty handheld or adjustable height rain shower fixture and the other for the toilet—both with curved frosted glass sliding doors. Privacy really isn’t an issue for Mel and me, although we routinely pull the curtain that separates the bathroom area from the main part of the living space. Mel likens the toilet pod to airplane lavatories, without a sink. Our sink is in the main living space, adjacent to the shower on one side and closet on the other and directly across from the curvy sitting area. One complaint I’ve heard is that water from the sink splashes on adjacent areas. I think that’s more of a problem in the mirror image of our stateroom that has the bed located on the inner portion of the space and closer to the sink. Our bed is next to the floor-to-ceiling sliding balcony doors.

So far, we’re quite comfortable and found a place to stash everything we brought with us. The main closet is ample and storage spaces more than adequate. Three drawers beneath a second, shallow closet are equally shallow, but fine for undergarments and a few smaller items. Two large drawers beneath the curved sofa hold all the larger folded items, such as shirts and shorts. A “medicine” cabinet above the sink and drawer in the vanity keep toiletries close at hand.

Other features carry a bit of a learning curve. A cabin keycard must be placed into the slot near the door to keep the lights on and electric plugs are located behind a marked door beneath the desk. Hoever, the television’s interactive system is fairly intuitive and allows us to check restaurant menus and make reservations. Instead of standing in line at the Box Office to reserve spots for popular entertainment—Blue Man Group, Legends in Concert, etc—those arrangements and more can also be make through the television system in the comfort of our stateroom.

The telephone system also has a touch screen pre-programmed numbers for reservations and other functions, such as setting up wake-up calls and contacting housekeeping, the medical center, shore excursion desk, and the spa. In addition, we can order room service and pizza 24/7. The only food charge is $5 for pizza delivery. The telephone touch screen also serves as a nightlight that can be turned off with a touch of the screen. A nice convenience is the in-cabin coffee pot.

We slept quite well on our first night aboard Norwegian Epic thanks to the bed’s firm mattress and cushy duvet and pillows. Despite the unusual design and layout, we’re finding our stateroom with its generously sized balcony to be a spacious and airy home away from home.

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