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NCL EPIC


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n the weeks leading up to our cruise on Norwegian Epic I thought it would be a good idea to sit down with my son while he watched the Nickelodeon cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants, so I could get an idea of why


it’s so popular.


For readers unfamiliar with SpongeBob, he’s a lovable character who lives at the bottom of the sea in a place called Bikini Bottom with his friend Patrick the Starfish. He works in the Krusty Krab restaurants making crab patties and – well I could go on, but you get the drift. Anyway, needless to say SpongeBob is a huge hit with small children and the idea of meeting him (and Patrick) was almost like the build up to Christmas for my four-year-old, Findlay (that’s him in the captain’s hat, above right).


BIG IS BETTER We flew to Barcelona, and as we approached the cruise terminal we played games such as the first one to see the ship wins a prize. Not hard – the ship, as befits her name, is vast, and towered high above all the other cruise ships in port. Epic is in fact the third biggest ship in the world after Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, carrying a whopping 4,100 passengers. She cruises out of Barcelona during the summer season, operating mainly seven-night Mediterranean cruises until mid-October.


| APRIL/MAY 2012


Norwegian Cruise Line has an ongoing link up with Nickelodeon called Nickelodeon at Sea, so SpongeBob and the other cartoon characters are on all the Epic sailings throughout the summer, popping up at character breakfasts and special meet and greets on the ship, one of which we went to. These take place a few times each day and they give the kids a chance to shake hands and have their picture taken with whoever is their favourite Nickelodeon character.


But the cruise we were on was particularly special in that not only were the cartoon characters on board, but also the stars of various huge (in the US) teen and pre-teen shows such as iCarly and Victorious, plus a film crew, live broadcasts, and meet and greets. The dates for these “All Access” cruises have not yet been confirmed for this year, but if your child is a fan – get on board, as these are a unique chance to meet these TV stars.


SPONGEBOB GOODIES


The passenger mix was predominantly Spanish and American and then the various other nationalities were evenly split between Brits, Italians and French.


CRUISE-INTERNATIONAL.COM


norwegIAn epic is the third biggest ship in the world, carrying a whopping 4,100 passengers


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