Activities: This is no ordinary water park—think inner-tubing, two pools, three waterslides, five hot tubs, and more. Nearby, you’ll find the tallest rappelling wall on the ocean.
Entertainment: Forget show tunes—the Epic ups the ante with full-length performances by the Blue Man Group, complete with actors plucked from the off-Broadway stage, plus circus-like dinner theater and comedy shows by Second City.
Food and Drink: A first: Norwegian Cruise Line has done away with the main dining room in favor of 20 onboard restaurants, including an Argentinean steak house, a sushi/sake bar, and a French bistro. The 20 lounges include Svedka Ice Bar—the first oceangoing bar made entirely of ice, from seats to glasses. The $20 cover charge includes loaner parkas and gloves (tip: make reservations upon boarding).
Spa: The 31,000-square-foot spa is the biggest at sea. NCL partnered with Bliss to create a modified version of the New York original; try the cheeky Fat Girl Slim treatment. Its fitness center goes beyond with kettle-bell workouts and a Lance Armstrong–branded spinning class that mimics the Tour de France.
Staterooms: Single supplements have long made cruising alone costly. Enter the first-ever “studio” cabins, which are tight at 100 square feet but share a lounge. At the other end of the spectrum: 60 villa suites, with access to a private pool and nightclub.