Norwegian Cruise Line’s Lack of Bathrooms an Epic Failure?

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Norwegian Cruise Line is hosting about 2500 travel agents and media on board their newest ship, Epic, prior to its first voyage with full-fare-paying customers. The practice is somewhat common in the industry just as many businesses have ‘soft-openings’ before a grand opening in order to work out any kinks and make last-minute changes. One such issue that has several on-board media members scratching their head is the lack of bathrooms in many of the guest suites on board the massive new cruise ship from NCL.

Every Epic suite will still have a sink, a shower, and a toilet, but instead of putting all these items in one room, Norwegian has separated them and placed them around the room to save space. The shower and toilet areas are both behind a translucent glass door, typically on either side of the doorway, and the sink is located closer to the middle of the room. A privacy curtain separating the shower/toilet area was added after the fact, but it may not be enough for everyone to feel comfortable.

“I think it just won’t be private enough of a set-up for many American vacationers — particularly those traveling with older children,” said Gene Sloan of USA Today who is live-blogging from the Norwegian Epic this week. “I know my own pre-teen and teen girls would feel uncomfortable preparing for the evening in such an open bathroom arrangement with me in the room.”

John Honeywell (AKA CaptGreybeard), reporting for The Mirror in the U.K., says that “a number of people I have spoken to say they would have to banish their partners from the cabin at appropriate times – which might prove somewhat inconvenient.”

Did Norwegian Cruise Line take “Freestyle Cruising” too far with their latest cabin design? Would the layout stop you from booking?

On a side note, and somewhat ironic, the smaller studio cabins on board do have a traditional bathroom setup.

5 thoughts on “Norwegian Cruise Line’s Lack of Bathrooms an Epic Failure?”

  1. I am sailing the Epic July 24th. If I would have known of the bathroom layout before booking, I think I would have booked another ship. I too am traveling with my kids one being my daughter at 16 years old and I think this is going to be a very awkward thing for her as well as my son. As of yet, this is the only thing I see wrong. But yes, I would have booked another ship or cruise line if I had known before hand.

  2. I am traveling with 2 of my girlfriends- my one friend feels a little uncomfortable with this set up. But I think it wont be too much of a problem- we just have to be respectful of each other’s privacy. But I think the curtain will work out just fine, and thankfully the vanity is on the other side (try having 3 girls get ready around the same time). Also it is no where as bad as when I was travling in Europe in my 20’s and sharing a bathroom with a whole floor of a hotel or hostile, just part of the traveling experience I suppose.

  3. I may catch hell for writing this but I didnt find the layout the least bit weird or uncomfortable. In fact I enjoyed the extra space in the shower (it’s a good 5′ long by 3′ ft wide, which leaves plenty of room to dry off). Good for NCL for bringing change into the industry. If folks don’t like it there are 100’s of other ships out there. It’s not like the kids or the parents can’t be entertained elsewhere on the ship if it’s THAT bad. I am a single male (age 30) so I may view it from another angle.

    We talked about this when we did our show from the ship last weekend.

  4. Since I cruise with friends or my young adult daughter, I find this bathroom arrangement a total deal breaker. What were they thinking?

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