"To me, that (solo stateroom) was a very important thing," Sheehan. "As in the rest of the industry . there is a large market of people who want to travel alone and we didn't have an alternative for them."
Now, he said, Norwegian is adding solo cabins on the Pride of America while it's in dry dock and will add them to other ships, although older ships won't have the lounge.
The company has already done away with another feature that debuted on Norwegian Epic, a faux ice skating rink that no one used, but that took a lot of labor to set up and take down every day. Sheehan learned about the problem from a co-worker who didn't recognize him when he spent two weeks posing as a crew member for the CBS reality TV series "Undercover Boss." He immediately got rid of the rink.
Del Rio said Oceania also made mistakes. Designers didn't anticipate the popularity of the Barista coffee bar - which, unlike most ships, offers free specialty coffee drinks - or the Bon Appetit Culinary Center, which offers hands-on cooking classes for a fee. And he's disappointed that a 10-person private dining room, Privee, initially available for $1,000 a night but knocked down to $250, did not get much use. On the next ship, he said, the culinary center and the coffee bar will be larger, and Privee will be eliminated.
2012'S NEW SHIPS
Three new ships joined the Miami fleet in the last few weeks:
Carnival Breeze: The third ship in the 130,000-ton Dream class, which started in 2009. Carnival has ordered the first of an as-yet unnamed class of 135,000-ton ships set to debut in winter 2016.
Celebrity Reflection: The fifth in the 122,000-ton Solstice class, which started in 2008 and proved so popular that some earlier ships were "solsticized" - retrofitted with some of the most popular features of the Solstice class. No new Celebrity ships are planned at this time.
Oceania Riviera: The second ship in the 66,100-ton Marina class, which started in 2011. Oceania expects to use the same design when it builds another ship, although that won't be for at least two more years.
2013'S NEW SHIPS
Only two large oceangoing ships that will make their homeports in the United States are scheduled to be completed in 2013. Both are new designs and will be the first in their class.
Norwegian Breakaway: The 144,000-ton, 4,000-passenger cruise ship is scheduled to launch in April from New York City, which will be its year-round home. A number of features will tie it to the city, including a New York skyline painted on the hull by Peter Max; a seafood restaurant by New York restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian; a hot-dog cart, and the ship's godmothers, The Rockettes. The second Breakaway-class ship, the Getaway, will arrive in Miami in January 2014 and will have similar Miami-specific details, including a hull painted by local artist David Le Batard.
Royal Princess: The 141,000-ton, 3,600-passenger ship will debut in Europe in June, then sail to Fort Lauderdale in October. The second ship in its class, the Regal Princess, will debut in spring 2014. Princess Cruises has not announced the second ship's homeport.