Chilling Out On Norwegian’s Escape

The new Norwegian Escape has now left its birthplace in Germany and is en route to its home in Miami, following a short stop in Southhampton. At 5,000 or so passengers, it is now Norwegian’s largest ship and among the top half-dozen biggest ships in the world, and it comes with some innovations.Ice Bar-1

Like a cold room.

This is a curious addition to a cruise ship. The room’s actually being called the “Snow Room” and it’s part of the ship’s spa facility. Its temperature is 14 degrees Fahrenheit and snowflakes fall from the ceiling while passengers watch and…shiver. Spa reps say this is healthy — “good for aches and pains” — but if you were trying to sell your neighbour on going on a cruise this winter and touted the Snow Room there’s a good chance your neighbour would stay home.

The whole concept of a Caribbean cruise is to, pardon the pun, “escape” from wherever you live to a temperate, sunny climate.

Norwegian tried a variation of this concept five years ago on the Epic, which until last week was the cruise line’s biggest ship. It was called The Ice Bar, kind of a play on words since bars usually include ice to cool the drinks. Well, in The Ice Bar there were icicles everywhere but in the drinks. It was so cold that you had to bundle Ice Bar-2up before entering. It wasn’t exactly the North Pole, but 10 minutes was long enough, in the interests of survival…or at least comfort. The bar has survived, too…with a little Ice Bar-3sponsorship input from Svedka (vodka) and Inniskillin (ice wine), but it seemed a strange juxtaposition for the conventional concept of what a cruise delivers.

Once the novelty wears off, maybe the Snow Room will be a bigger hit. The old hot-cold treatment thing, you know. There are people, dozens perhaps, who think that’s good for the body even if it doesn’t feel good. To some of us, these people are known as masochists. Who knows if they’re right? Who will ever know?

Or maybe spa people are just like golfers. They’ll buy anything that they think is going to make them better.

In the news…

• New Orleans, usually a homeport, becoming popular with port calls
• Dawn Princess to be renamed Pacific Explor for P&O Australia in 2017
• MSC Lirica to be customized for Chinese market when it arrives next year

Today at portsandbows.com: Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2016


Celebrity Infinity
4 nights
October 23, 2016
Fort Lauderdale (return): Key West, Nassau
Inside: $272
Cost per day: $68
www.celebritycruises.com

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