Refurbished Pride of America ‘essentially a new ship’


The refurbished East Meets West restaurant.

The Pride of America, Norwegian Cruise Line’s ship in the Hawaiian Islands, has returned from a drydock during which the ship received new venues, redesigned public spaces and refreshed décor.

The cruise line’s president, Andy Stuart, calls the Pride “essentially a new ship.”

“This is much more than just a fresh coat of paint and new drapes,” Stuart said.

Every stateroom received new bedding, new furniture, new flat-screen televisions and updated flooring.

New venues include the Soho Art Gallery, featuring works of art available for purchase; the Perspectives Photo Studio; and Dolce Gelato. The ship’s wedding chapel is in a new location on deck six with new flooring, furniture and wall fixtures.

The new Perspectives Photo Studio.
The new Perspectives Photo Studio.

The ship’s pool deck underwent a refurbishment with a refinished pool, new loungers and Jacuzzis.

The Skyline main dining room got a new entrance, new carpet design, new furniture upholstery, new window drapes and new columns throughout the restaurant. La Cucina, Norwegian’s signature Italian restaurant, is now an “elegant and intimate venue,” Norwegian said.

The ship’s specialty restaurants East Meets West, Cagney’s Steakhouse and Jefferson’s Bistro also received enhancements.

Menus in all dining outlets offer additional choices, Norwegian said.

Norwegian Epic back in service with new attractions and spaces

Norwegian Epic.
The Norwegian Epic set sail this week with new venues and attractions after a three-week renovation.

The ship now features the Cavern Club, an entertainment venue that pays tribute to the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, where the Beatles performed in their early years.

The Epic has a new Broadway-style revue, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert — The Musical,” a show that celebrates gay pride and is based on the 1994 Australian film. Well-known pop songs from yesteryear are part of the score, including “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Survive,” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

A scene from “Priscilla Queen of the Desert — The Musical.”

The Aqua Park now has SplashGolf, a game that combines water features with minigolf.

Norwegian Epic also was outfitted with a new photo gallery, library and card room.

Several restaurants received new decor, carpeting and furnishings, including Moderno Churrascaria, Cagney’s, La Cucina, Le Bistro, Garden Cafe, Manhattan Room and Taste.

Other venues that were spruced up: the Mandara spa, Bliss Ultra Lounge, Marketplace buffet, Epic Theater, casino and Haven suite complex.

The Norwegian Epic entered service in 2010. The ship will sail Mediterranean cruises this winter and next spring and summer before returning to the U.S. and its new home in Port Canaveral, Fla., in fall 2016.

Norwegian’s specialty restaurants to go a la carte

Norwegian Cruise Line said most of its alternate dining venues will move to a la carte pricing rather than cover charges starting next year.

The line is introducing a la carte pricing on the Norwegian Escape, due in November, for three of its specialty restaurants that now have cover charges. In addition, it will also introduce a new dining concept.

The restaurants are La Cucina, Le Bistro, Cagney’s Steakhouse and the new Bayamo by chef Jose Garces. At the same time, diners will be able to choose how many courses to order.

At Cagney’s Steakhouse, starters on the new a la carte menu range from $4.99 to $7.95 and main courses from $17.99 to $29.99. Main courses at Le Bistro start at $15.99 and $12.99 at La Cucina.

Moderno Churrascaria and Teppanyaki will remain at a cover charge of $19.95 and $29.95 respectively, and entertainment dining will also stick with a single fee.

The new a la carte pricing will apply to Ocean Blue restaurants on the Norwegian Getaway and Breakaway starting Oct. 3. The plan will then go fleetwide in January.

Norwegian said anyone buying a specialty dining package will have access to all menu items at La Cucina, Le Bistro and Cagney’s Steakhouse at no additional charge, while dining in Bayamo by Jose Garces will cost an extra $15.