March 18, 2009
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 Cabin Details Announced
Cruise Shipping Miami: The Cruise Industry by the Numbers
Cruise Line Executives Discuss "State of the Industry" in Miami
Do Luxury Cruise Lines Discount?
When Price Comes Into Play, How Loyal Are You to Your Favorite Line?
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Pictures from the Trade Show Floor