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Any new parent knows just how important it is to choose the right baby name. When it’s finally announced to friends, you hope to avoid the “stink look” on their faces, as it's quickly dismissed with “oh, that’s nice." During the current new cruise ship boom, an unprecedented number of cruise lines are also “expecting,” and the latest to announce its new addition to the family is Norwegian Cruise Line. Drum roll, please. The F3 class ship will be named: the Norwegian Epic. (No stink look here, good choice NCL!)

The appropriately-named Epic will be the largest of Norwegian’s fleet, topping out at a 4,200 passenger capacity. It is set to debut in May 2010 with, (generally speaking), the standard Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Eastern Caribbean cruises will sail to Philipsburg in St. Maarten, St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, and Nassau in the Bahamas. Western voyages will visit Costa Maya in Mexico, Roatán in Honduras, and Cozumel in Mexico.

Although these Caribbean itineraries don’t offer many surprises, the new ship is full of them. The Epic will be sporting some posh, modern staterooms with curved walls, back-lit domed ceilings, and modern vanity sinks and separate shower stalls in the bathrooms. Norwegian is also adding some out-of-the-box entertainment, including five unique venues on par with the nightlife scene in Las Vegas, Ibiza, the Riviera, and South Beach. These ever-so-chic outlets include an outdoor entertainment complex with private cabanas and cascading waterfalls, and adults-only clubs with LED screens and private gaming tables.

Photo courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line
Perhaps the coolest of them all - quite literally - is the industry’s first true ice bar inspired by the popular ice hotels in Scandinavia. NCL’s Ice Bar will feature blue, green, and purple LED lighting that simulates the Northern Lights, and the tables, stools, walls, glasses, statues, and the bar itself, will all be made of ice. The room’s temperature won’t rise above 17 degrees, but cruisers will be given fur coats, gloves, hats, and cocktails to warm themselves up.

I’ve got to hand it to NCL, they get an A for creativity.

To learn more about this new ship, click here.

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