Easily ranking in the top three of things our readers most want to know about are Norwegian Epic’s studio cabins and lounge. As you may recall, NCL originally planned to make this grouping of very small cabins a sort of hipster’s retreat for the budget-impaired. Didn’t go over. So now — in a brilliant move that as I like to say made lemonade out of lemons — NCL decided to transform the space into cabins for solo travelers.
In a word? Small but oh-so-cozy. Each has a double bed, enough storage space, flat screen telly, neat ambient lighting (four different colors; one person at yesterday’s press conference wanted to know if it was an effort to introduce chronotherapy — therapy of color? — into the ship). I think it just looks nice. Ironically, the frosted-glass bathrooms that are controversial in the cabins-for-two don’t exist here (here, you get a toilet and a shower in a regular, pre-fab plastic-formed bathroom. The irony of course is that here who cares about privacy: You’re in the cabin alone!
Loved the studio lounge, take a look at the photo. It’s just a sleek, contemporary place to chill out with its own coffee making facilities and also a bartender at certain times of the day. It feels more like Seabourn than NCL. Also a cool touch: there’s a vending area down the hall that sells the usual junk food (chips, candy, soda), though there’s no microwave (no need to be heating up pallid plastic containers of fake spaghetti with all the options the ship has to offer dining wise).
The whole thing reminds of the pod hotel craze that’s creeping into airport accommodations. All things equal, I’d prefer a cabin with a balcony for the same price as this — but if that’s delusional, well, I’d be happy here. Would you?