Though a big focus of Norwegian Cruise Line's press conference today at the Cruise Shipping Miami Convention was the unveiling of Norwegian Epic's two-deck suite complex, one -- ahem -- "smaller" detail stood out to us. During the cabin detail reveal, NCL also announced that Norwegian Epic will feature 128 Studio cabins that are 100 square feet apiece.
That's right -- 100 square feet.
To put things in perspective, 100 square feet is the equivalent of 10 by 10 feet -- smaller than the average dorm room. For example, a standard double at Syracuse University, my alma mater, is 12 by 13 feet. Even an entry level room on easyCruise, known for shoestring cruise travel, is a smidge larger at 108 square feet. The Studios are also smaller than some actual balconies. On NCL's recent Norwegian Gem, Owner's Suites come with 151-square-foot balconies (and even standard balconies start at 38 square feet, more than a third the size of a Studio). Long story short: These staterooms are tiny.
What's the draw? The Studios feature sleeker decor including special color-changing lighting effects. Also, Studio guests get an exclusive, shared social space called the Living Room that features a bar; two large TV screens; a concierge, for booking dinner reservations and shore excursions; and modern, white couches and chairs. The starting price for the Studios will be the same as for New Wave Standard inside cabins, which measure a just slightly roomier 128 square feet.
Even still, announcing accommodations of this size (or lack thereof) is unprecedented in an era of bigger "everything" -- and particularly surprising in this case because Norwegian Epic will be the line's largest and most innovative new-build ever.
So, we want to know what you think: Would you pay standard inside rates for a smaller cabin that's more chic and provides access to a private lounge? Or is 100 square feet simply not enough space for a cruise vacation? Vote in our poll!
--by Melissa Baldwin Paloti, Managing Editor
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Norwegian Epic Studio Cabins: Too Tiny or Super Chic?
March 18, 2009