Solo Slash? Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals More Plans for Cabin Design

September 8, 2011
(12:40 p.m. EDT) -- In a good news-bad news scenario that may be disappointing to solo travelers, Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that its new 144,017-ton, 4,000-passenger Project Breakaway ships will indeed feature the solo cabin-and-lounge complex that's been a runaway hit on Norwegian Epic. The bad?

The Studio complex, the only such dedicated-to-singles space on any contemporary cruise ship, has been cut in half, and will hold just 59 100-square-foot staterooms rather than the 128 found on the 155,873-ton, 4,100-passenger Norwegian Epic. As on Epic, the studio cabins will be clustered around a key card-accessed two-story lounge with bar.

Spokeswoman Amanda Graham told Cruise Critic the reduction had nothing to do with demand for Epic's single occupancy cabins, which had spawned legions of vocal supporters. The breakaway ships will be smaller than Epic, and because they won't be as wide, there won't be as much room for solo cabins, she said.

Meanwhile, Norwegian offered information on Project Breakaway's other as-yet-unrevealed accommodations, including the oceanviews, family-friendly staterooms and spa-category cabins and suites.

Oceanviews are back. On Norwegian Epic, every outside cabin has a balcony -- an industry first. The Project Breakaway twins will re-introduce the standard oceanview stateroom; there will be 158 of them on each vessel. Graham explained the return of oceanviews by saying the line was trying to provide more variety. "The goal of Project Breakaway is to take the best of the best from every ship, and we wanted to keep the mix fresh," she noted.

Family of five? Of the 158 oceanview cabins, 42 will be family oceanviews, which can accommodate up to five people. This is a nice addition for parents with more than two children, who would otherwise be forced to book expensive suites or pay for additional cabins. In addition, there will be a number of Family Mini-Suites (sleeping four) located near the children's facilities.

Spa cabins. Both Project Breakaway ships will also include special spa accommodations similar to those found on Norwegian Epic. The 28 Spa Balconies and the 20 Spa Mini-Suites are located adjacent to the spa and fitness center, and occupants are provided complimentary access to the Thermal Spa Suite.

Insides. For thrifty-minded travelers, Project Breakaway ships will include 449 inside cabins that feature two lower beds that can be converted to a queen-size bed. Many are connecting and sleep up to four passengers.

Today's announcement is the last of the stateroom reveals. Earlier this summer, Norwegian showcased the ships' exclusive suite complex, The Haven, and said its newly designed bathrooms won't include cabin-flooding bowl sinks or revealing frosted-glass shower doors.

Stay tuned for more on Project Breakaway as Norwegian will be sharing a steady stream of tidbits about the highly-anticipated new ships over the next 20 months. Cruise Critic will be covering every step of the process, from steel cutting to launch. Follow along on our NCL Project Breakaway page.

--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor