NCL Ahead of Curve on F3 Cabin Design

April 25, 2008
Norwegian Cruise Line has trickled out some more details on its upcoming F3 class of 150,000-ton, 4,200-passenger ships. Since the new-build project was first announced, execs have hinted that the ships' design would be revolutionary and nontraditional. First up: "New Wave" staterooms, a new take on cabin design that features contemporary curved architecture and more open living space.

The two major innovations here are in actual cabin structure. The first -- and most noticeable in the renderings -- is sleek, curved walls and lines, which will create a "modern and chic experience," according to NCL. Second, F3 ships will also feature a unique bathroom concept that features a separate shower stall, toilet area and vanity.

Though a similar three-part setup has already been implemented on earlier NCL ships, the difference here is that instead of all three of the above components being squeezed into the tiny box that is the typical cruise ship restroom, the sink and vanity will be out in the open in the actual stateroom. Meanwhile, behind a closed door you'll find two segregated areas, one containing the shower, the other the toilet. This is particularly useful for couples or families who might otherwise fight over the use of the lavatory. Now if your spouse is hogging the shower, you can brush your teeth or wash your hands with ease.

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What else can you expect?

All categories (New Wave Standard, New Wave Balcony, New Wave Deluxe) will include flat-screen TV's, a mini-bar, and MP3 connectivity upon request. The Balcony category adds a verandah, naturally, and the Deluxe includes more living space.

Softer, concealed LED lighting is featured throughout the New Wave staterooms. There is a backlit dome above the bed in almost every cabin (some insides are excluded).

Sophisticated earth tone palettes prevail -- darker woods with just a splash of color.

Freestyle 2.0 components, such as upgraded bedding and linens, and Elemis bath products, will feature prominently. Balcony and Deluxe staterooms get extra perks including robes, a customized fruit menu, priority restaurant reservations and a turn-down cookie on the last night of the cruise.

Cruise Critic Assistant Editor Dan Askin -- at Aker Yards in St. Nazaire, France, this week for the F3 keel laying -- was able to sneak a peek at the new accommodations at the adjacent cabin factory. He tells us via e-mail: "Though the cabins are approximately the size of the Jewel-class staterooms, the curves add the impression of size. They're very futuristic looking, but in a way that people from the 50's might have conceived of the future. The colors -- orange, teal, but more muted than typical NCL decor -- are a bit retro."

NCL promises more "stateroom reveals" to come. The two F3 ships on order are scheduled for delivery in 2010.

Stay tuned.

--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor