Hurricane Earl has caused several ships to change itineraries in order to avoid the storm. Some of the most popular Islands in the Caribbean like St. Maarten and St. Thomas are too close to the projected path of Hurricane Earl. So in the interest of safety and not ruining vacations the cruiselines have altered some itineraries of ships currently cruising the Caribbean.
Carnival Victory, Carnival Pride, Carnival Dream, Norwegian Epic, Enchantment of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and possibly the Norwegian Dawn will have their itineraries modified due to the storm. You can see all the details on these changes on the CruiseSource.us Hurricane Cruise Tracker page.
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I’ve posted many articles, pictures, and video of the NCL Villas and Suites on CruiseSource.us. The private Courtyard Villa complex found on many of Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships including the NCL Pearl, Jade, Gem, Jewel, and Epic set NCL apart from the other cruise lines. For celebrities like OutKast’s Andre 3000 who recently vacationed on the NCL Epic, being able to spend all of your time enjoying the privacy of the courtyard complex makes for a relaxing vacation that is not possible on most other cruise lines.
Thanks to a NCL drastically reducing rates on their Suites and Villas for new bookings made between August 12th & 15th, this exclusive luxury just got very affordable. This sale includes almost 100 sailings! Get the complete list of sailings and savings for Free!
For instance on the NCL Jewel 7 night Bahamas Cruise departing New York City on 11.14.2010, a Family of 4 in a 2 bedroom villa is $1999 for the 1st and 2nd passenger. The rate for the 3rd and 4th passenger in each cabin is only $199 per person. So the total price for 4 people in a two bedroom Villa is $4890. This gets you the exclusive luxury that only the NCL Courtyard Villas offer for about $1200 per person. This sale is offering savings of $1000s and includes almost 100 NCL Cruise vacations to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Greecs, Panama Canal, and the Mediterranean.
Epic Private Courtyard Villa Pool
Watchout Disney…NCL and Royal Caribbean are bringing it. I was recently on the NCL Epic 2 day Inaugural cruise and was introduced to Sponge Bob and Dora the Explorer. When I returned home my kids loved the pics of the water slides and of the Nickelodeon characters. Within hours of showing my family the pics from my 3 day NCL Epic adventure, a Norwegian Cruise Line commercial came on Nickelodeon advertising Nickelodeon at Sea. My 3 year old went crazy, saying “daddy take me on that cruise”. Of Course the NCL commercials did a much better job than my pics at making the Nickelodeon characters come to life.
Sponge Bob, Dora, & Jimmy Neutron on NCL Epic
A few days later, I saw a TV commercial advertising the Royal Caribbean Dreamworks Experience with Shrek and Donkey. The beauty of these relationships is the advertising that will draw families onboard for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience. Parents have a hard time saying no to their kids. If your kids have seen these commercials featuring their favorite characters placed in the middle of their cartoons, I am sure you are already well aware of their effectiveness. It’s a page out of the McDonald’s Ronald McDonald playbook. Get the kids constantly asking to go on a Cruise vacation with Dora the Explorer and sooner or later that family will be on Nickelodeon at Sea vacation. This is the main reason why families have been paying a sizeable premium to cruise on Disney Cruise line for years.
The only issue now is which cruise to take my family on next NCL’s Nickelodeon at Sea or the Royal Caribbean Dreamwork’s experience. Are your kids more into Nickelodeon, Dreamworks, or Disney? Would that be a driving factor in choosing your next family vacation?
Here is a video from Kevin Tacher’s family reunion cruise. They were one of the first families to cruise 7-nights on the NCL Epic.
On the recent 2 day inaugural on the NCL Epic, I hung out with Ed one of the Blue Man group on the NCL Epic as well as the Blue Man Group Insiders media team. If you are a fan of the Blue Man Group, I totally recommend joining the Blue Man Group Insiders Facebook Page. On the NCL Epic, they have 4 Blue Men, but of course only 3 perform each night. If you are traveling on the NCL Epic there is a good chance you will get to see them without their blue paint. Below is a video of the behind the scenes with the Blue Man Group on the NCL Epic created my friend Joe Burke, @rotcav on Twitter.
Rich Tucker, Ed (Blue Man), Chris Parker
Detailed Overview of the NCL Epic Courtyard Complex by Liz Finn of NCL:
On the NCL Epic, the Ultra-Exclusive Private Courtyard Complex only accessible by passengers booked in the courtyard level suites sets the Epic apart from the rest of the industry. As Liz Finn, from NCL explains in the video below the courtyard suite accomodations are a one-of-kind option for multi-generational families. For the young kids to be able to get all of the entertainment options that the NCL Epic offers while the grandparents get an exclusive high-end experience in the courtyard complex is not found on any other ship. Some of the cabins in the courtyard complex like the Owners Suite’s offered plenty of square footage. The Penthouse suite in the courtyard complex that we toured lacked a little in size but was still very luxurious. You will see in the videos below that the NCL Epic suites have some of the most beautiful and innovative bathrooms that we have seen at sea. The reality of the courtyard complex is that with a private Sun Deck, Courtyard Pool, Dinner Club, Lounge, & Workout Facility the courtyard suite passengers have 2 private decks to roam that becomes their luxurious home away from home. For those looking for a private experience with tons of amenities, there is very little need to leave the courtyard complex if you did not want too.
NCL Epic Owners Suite Video from the Exclusive Courtyard Complex:
NCL Epic Penthouse Suite Video from the Courtyard Complex:
NCL Epic Courtyard Villa Private Pool Video:
Click to enlarge Photos from the Courtyard Villas, Suites, and Pool
Luxury + Privacy + Exclusivity = NCL Epic Owners Suite
Epic Private Courtyard Villa Pool
NCL Epic Penthouse Photo
Videoing the NCL Epic Courtyard Photo