Learn the secrets to navigating the cities and cruise terminals your cruise will leave from.
Entertainment is the main feature on Epic: the ship features Blue Man Group as one of its stage shows. There is an extensive pool-bar called H20 Spice and an Ice-Bar similar to the one in Stockholm where everything inside is made of ice from the bar and chairs to the drinking glasses. Be sure to write your schedule down and bring it with you although you should be able to pull up your reservations on your TV system, ours was not working very well on my first cruise so I had to call and ask them to retrieve my schedule. During the day Norwegian Epic is like any mega-ship with a few unique and special features. But Nighttime is when the ship's entertainment comes alive with the shows described above. The beautiful Epic Club Lounge is for the exclusive use of the Courtyard Villa guests and showcases premium liquors, LED screens make framed video displays showing montages of the world's best artwork, music videos, films, celebrities, fashion and more. Courtyard Grill Bar is a come-as-you-are casual bar perched high above the sea in the exclusive Villas Courtyard Grill.
Norwegian Cruise Lines' new megaship Epic will have more restaurants than any cruise ship ever -- a total of 21.
Teppanyaki: This is a Japanese restaurant with a performing chef cooking your entire meal on a hot grill surrounded by counter seating for a dozen patrons.
Wasabi; the Japanese sushi bar, a la carte pricing with sushi rolls starting at just $3 is a bargain.
Meals at Taste and the Manhattan Club are included in the cruise fare, since they are the main dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The only drawback is not enough seating for a full ship, expect to have to ask if you can join someone or you will find your nice hot food going cold.
The most distinctive design element of the new staterooms, aside from the curved walls and lines creating a modern, inviting look, is that the bathrooms feature a separate shower stall, separate water closet and a modern vanity top sink in the room area.
The Courtyard Suites occupy the front of the ships definitely have the most beautiful public areas of the entire ship.
NCL recently signed an agreement with Nickelodeon to feature the characters onboard the ships for special events for kids as well as just having the caharacters onboard often to brighten the day of your young one. In addition to selections from their own menu, young passengers can eat hot dogs and chicken nuggets in the Kid's Corner buffet, with mini stools and low tables. Best for People who Want: A fun mega-ship with lots of nightlife, great entertainment, romantic staterooms and a large variety of alternative restaurants. Should be Avoided By People Who Prefer: Quiet settings, uncrowded ships, no kids, all-inclusive cruises where all dinners are taken at pre-set times in the dining room with the same table and waiters every night. The nightclubs all feature comfortable but flashy colors and fabrics, except the Ice Bar which only features ice. Teppenyaki: This is a Japanese restaurant with a performing chef cooking your entire meal on a hot grill surrounded by counter seating for a dozen patrons.
As stated, Epic has the Blue Man Group, the hit show that started wowwing New York in early 90s and became the main shows at the venetian in Las Vegas.
The Casino is one of the biggest at sea with hundreds video slot machines including nickel and penny slots.


Shore excursions run the gamut from canopy zipline tours for thrill-seekers to sedate sightseeing trips. The Health Spa and Salon has two dozen treatment rooms for such exotic treatments as algae detox, lime and ginger salt glows, coconut rubs, and milk ritual wraps, including three for couples. As time went on they added new features to the free-style concept, less strict disembarkation procedures, a wider variety of restaurants and new styles of staterooms ranging from the most basic to elaborate suites. You can still dine in one of two regular dining rooms with the food included in your cruise fare but it no longer involves a pre-set dining time and table.
This is a proven hit that uses a lot of props and this will be one of the first times a cruise ship has built a showroom for a specific performance piece. So, while NCL Freestyle has freed you from their regimentation - you are highly advised to create your own schedule by going online and making reservations for your entire cruise well in advance of your sail date. Sporting events are shown on multiple flat screen televisions and you'll find three lanes of bowling, dart boards, pool tables, foosball and air hockey.
Maltings Whiskey Bar offers whiskies from around the world; Canadian, Irish, American, Welsh or Scotch.
Truffled scallops over risotto, lobster in a delicious beurre blanc and flourless chocolate cake This restaurant is a staple on all NCL ships and the food is delectable. Italian restaurants are very popular alternative dining on most cruise ships, but this one seems more of an afterthought for Epic.
A complete sushi combination plate with three different rolls and an appetizer is just $8.00.
Both of them serve the same menues every night, but the Manhattan Club, seating 600, is aft with nice views of the sea on three sides. The problem is not a shortage of staff to bus the tables, they are very efficient, it is a shortage of tables.
This was a problem for a lot of people who said the bathroom facilities are not private enough. The private pool, hot tubs, indoor and al fresco dining rooms and the private bar are all exquisite. Balcony and deluxe staterooms have bathrobes, a customized fruit menu, a fresh-baked cookie at turn down on the last night of cruise, an escort to the stateroom on embarkation day, priority restaurant reservation and reception hotlines and special color keycard for ship-wide recognition.
Where most at-sea children's programs turn their backs on the under-threes, NCL welcomes even those in their terrible twos.
This is a fantastic show which the Cruisemates' editor, Paul Motter, started recommending to cruise lines back in 1993. The largest theater onboard for production shows only seat 680 people and is used for Blue Man Group four nights per week and Legends at Sea the other three nights (both do two shows each night). The problem is that this venue is far smaller than it appears in many ship renderings and the actual performer working space is a circle only about 12-feet across.
The first ships built with two completely separate dining rooms, one for traditional dining and the other for free-style, were called F2 ships. For an extra $10 you can get a full lobster in a succulent creamy sauce or a 32-ounce (!) porterhouse steak. Does the chef's ability to flip a full bowl of rice into his hat without dropping a single grain make the food taste better?


In fact, the lobster and 32-ounce porterhouse are also available here (also an extra $10 - but you save $5 over Cagney's). NCL suggests that concierges and butlers be tipped separately in accordance with the services they provide.
In fact, the translucent glass will reveal what a person is doing inside if the lights are on inside, although the outline is vague. They also no longer demanded that people adhere to formal dress or stay in the stateroom on certain nights of cruise. In fact, Epic has 21 different dining venues onboard, many of them are included in the cruise fare (no extra charge) and some of them premium where you pay an additional charge for a nicer dining experience. There is a space for Cirque-style performances as well as the usual nightclubs with live or recorded music for dancing, a sing along piano bar, and a jazz club. The Humidor Cigar Lounge is a fully stocked humidor of premium-brand and hand-rolled cigars with comfortable seating, signature cocktails, and an extensive drink menu. Now, traditionally the fire is below the meat, but open-flames are dangerous on any ship so the heat is electrically generated. With no soaring atriums (the tallest open verticle area on the entire ship is a mere three decks) the ship tends to feel small and crowded.
They will carve it tableside and can give the end portions to those who like medium rare and the center to those who like rare.
Still, the very slow roasting process allows the juices to steep the meat from the outside in - slowly and succulently. This restaurant is right priced, but does not compare to the Italian fare on most cruise ships. Breakfast offers eight omelette stations, pre-made yet still hot eggs Benedict and fresh crispy bacon.
This show is a full production with real backup singers and dancer and a hot band, all of them from Las Vegas. The idea that you can do anything at anytime, the real Freestyle promise, didn't quite materialize.
On deck seven the décor and finishes are more modern, but not with the sublime decorative dignity of Celebrity or Holland America ships. The crispy on the outside and liquid on the inside layer of beefy fat melts in your mouth - a carnivore's delight.
The only access is by walking down a staircase hidden in the forward section of the Garden Cafe (buffet area). The only access is by walking down a staircase hidden in the forward section of the Garden Café (buffet area). There is very little nautical sense onboard at all, nothing to remind that you are on a ship.



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