Accommodations details unveiled for Norwegian Escape

By Tom Stieghorst

Norwegian Escape, The HavenNorwegian Cruise Line’s largest ship yet, Norwegian Escape, will include something for a variety of passenger types, including solo travelers, the disabled, families and spa enthusiasts.

Escape will continue the Norwegian Cruise Line practice of designing a separate ship within the ship area for high-paying guests. 

The Haven on Escape will include 95 suites, including 22 penthouse suites, 25 family villas and 14 spa suites. The solo traveler complex on Escape will include 82 studios.

The two-story Haven on Decks 17 and 18 will include a private restaurant with outdoor terrace, a lounge and a courtyard area with retractable roof. All suites will feature pillow-top mattresses and linens from the Bliss Collection by Norwegian. 

Benefits for the Haven’s guests include priority embarkation and disembarkation; the personal service of a butler and concierge; in-suite espresso/cappuccino machines; and plush bathrobes, slippers and oversized towels. 

The 4,200-passenger ship, due in the fall of 2015, will feature 1,168 balcony cabins, 114 oceanview staterooms and 407 inside cabins. 

The balcony offerings include 172 cabins designed for families, and the oceanview category has 48 cabins that accommodate five guests. There will be 47 wheelchair-accessible cabins.

Accommodations also include 308 mini-suites, including 40 family mini-suites and 20 spa mini-suites.

Norwegian said it will unveil the home port and itineraries for Escape in mid-March.

Seven Seas Voyager emerges from drydock

Seven Seas Voyager emerges from drydock

By Tom Stieghorst
The 700-passenger Seven Seas Voyager is on a Rome-to-Venice cruise, its first since emerging from a scheduled drydock for interior and deck upgrades.

Among many changes, the ship’s nightclub and observation lounge got new furnishings, wall coverings, carpeting and lighting. The Constellation Theater was rejuvenated, penthouse suites were redone and new teak was installed on the balconies of all 350 cabins.

The refurbishment was overseen by Frank Del Rio, CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings, parent of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Del Rio flew to Marseille, France, for a final inspection before the Seven Seas Voyager set sail, the cruise line said.

Enhanced Pride of America Sails in Hawaii

Enhanced Pride of America Sails in Hawaii

September 30, 2013New suites, single staterooms addedBy: Marilyn Green

Guests will experience new suites on the Pride of America // © 2013 Norwegian Cruise Line

Guests will experience new suites on the Pride of America // © 2013 Norwegian Cruise Line

The 2,124-passenger Pride of America, Norwegian Cruise Line’s dedicated Hawaii ship, is now sailing with extensive enhancements. Pride of America recently completed a $30 million refurbishment that includes new suites, studios for single travellers and inside staterooms.

The 24 new suites on Deck 13 have premium custom furnishings, fabrics, carpets and elegant bathrooms. Two are 566-square-foot Owner’s Suites that sleep up to four people, with a spacious bedroom, a separate living room, 1,200-square-foot balconies and bathrooms featuring custom mosaic tiles. The others are Penthouse Suites, including two Deluxe Penthouse Suites with Large Balcony, ranging from 363 to 459 square feet and sleeping up to six guests. There are connecting doors to the Owner’s Suites that allow a party of up to 10 passengers to be accommodated together. Suite guests have dedicated butlers and concierge, Tranquility mattresses, Lavazza espresso makers, Elemis bath products and private dining for breakfast and lunch.

Four 100-square-foot studio staterooms, introduced on Norwegian Epic, have been added, but there is no common lounge for them.  Four inside staterooms also were added to Deck 13.

“Pride of America offers a unique and extraordinary vacation to four of Hawaii’s most popular islands, and these new suites elevate the guest experience on this one-of-a-kind vessel to a whole new level,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian CEO.

Flat screen televisions were placed in all accommodations during the refurbishment and the fitness center was upgraded; Wi-Fi access is now available throughout the ship and carpeting was replaced.

A new Brazilian-style steakhouse, Moderno Churrascaria ($20 fee), was added to the restaurants onboard, and Lazy J’s has been made into a signature Cagney’s Steakhouse.

Pride of America is the only U.S.-flagged large cruise ship sailing a seven-day Hawaii itinerary departing from Honolulu every Saturday. Ports of call include an overnight in Kahului, Maui; Hilo and Kona, Hawaii; an overnight in Nawiliwili, Kauai; and an afternoon cruise past the Napali Coast.