When Norwegian Cruise Line brought home to Miami their biggest, most innovative and ballyhooed ship in their fleet, Norwegian Epic, they were upstaged the very next day by an acquisition made by Carnival CEO, Micky Arison. Despite merely floating in slow motion, this acquisition stole headlines nonetheless. LeBron James is now a member of the Miami Heat. Do you think the people of Cleveland are disappointed? How's about the good folks at NCL? All the drama leading up to the arrival of their new baby, but it doesn't even get the front page. The anticipation of a basketball player making a decision took those headlines and the actual decision will not share the headlines in Miami soon.
In an entrance that was not as traffic stopping as Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas, Epic created its share on Macarthur Causeway, the road/bridge that connects Downtown Miami and South Beach, and runs parallel to the Port of Miami. As Epic made its turn in the port to get into proper docking position, it, for a few brief minutes, blocked out of view the American Airlines Arena, where the Miami Heat play. Looking back on it, it was an unfortunate visual metaphor for NCL's plans of grabbing headlines with a triumphant entrance.
Don't misunderstand, Epic, Miami is very happy that you are here. You bring the Magic City 4,100 passengers and 1,700 crew members weekly to stay in her hotels, eat in her restaurants and shop in her stores. You are big, you are exciting and you are beautiful (well at least on the inside). I was there to watch you come in to port and you definitely created a buzz among those lucky enough to watch you dock. So, NCL, don't feel sorry for yourself and don't get an inferiority complex. Yes, Mr. Arison has stolen your thunder, but look on the bright side... at least you're not Cleveland.