Norwegian Epic Debuts in Port Canaveral

By ,   November 14, 2016 ,   Cruise Industry

Port Canaveral welcomed home its 2nd giant cruise ship in as many weeks on Saturday, November 12, as Norwegian Epic arrived to start seasonal Caribbean sailings.

Norwegian Cruise Line's ship is among the top 10 largest ships in the world, and the 2nd-largest ship in Norwegian fleet behind last year's new ship Norwegian Escape.

NCL Epic comes to Port Canaveral on the heels of Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas' debut last week. Oasis is one of the three largest cruise ships in the world and can hold more than 7,000 passengers at maximum capacity, but the 155,873-ton, 1,081-foot Norwegian Epic has a 4,100-passenger capacity at double occupancy. The ship debuted in 2010, but was refurbished in 2015. It has sailed out of Miami and in Europe, but now will offer three-, four-, six- and seven-night cruises from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Epic's three-week dry dock overhaul in fall 2015 added new entertainment venue, The Cavern Club, based on the Liverpool nightclub where The Beatles first found success and the addition of the new Broadway show "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" along with "Burn the Floor," which did well on the Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway. Restaurant La Cucina also received a complete makeover while the ship's Haven courtyard, lounge and restaurant, family areas Entourage, Splash Academy and Aqua Park received upgrades.

Epic's arrival is an upgrade from Norwegian Spirit, which sailed seasonally out of the port from 2015-2016. Spirit's presence came after 3 1/2 years without any NCL ship, though, but Epic is slated to provide service through spring 2018. Its eastern Caribbean itinerary will stop in Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. The western Caribbean itinerary has stops in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. Several 3- and 4-night Bahamas cruises will visit Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay.