Ship Review by Jackie Roseboom, July 2010
Many people pick a vacation city based on how much it has to offer. Big names like Nickelodeon and Blue Man Group that could have only been seen in places like Las Vegas and Orlando are now cruising the high seas. With all the innovations on the brand new Norwegian (NCL) Epic, it’s like you’re in a city with ever changing views.
The Epic has an impressive entertainment lineup headlined by the Blue Man Group live in the Epic Theater. There are two dinner shows; Cirque Dreams, which is a mixture between Moulin Rouge and a circus; and a Nickelodeon character breakfast. Other entertainment options include The Second City Comedy Troupe, dueling pianos at Howl at the Moon and Legends in Concert, which include impersonations of your favorite legendary singers.
NCL has a new take on the traditional stateroom, which they call “new wave”. Its innovative design provides more space, with the bathrooms the most obvious change. The bathroom has been split into three parts. As you enter your cabin, a shower enclosed by a glass door is on one side and the toilet is behind a glass door on the opposite side. As you pass those, an open sink is just before your bed. All outside staterooms have balconies.
There are three private areas that are only accessible to guests in certain stateroom categories. The Villas suites has a common courtyard, dining area, beach club and more. The Spa rooms are close to the Mandara Spa and include complimentary access to its pool and lounges. The single room Studios are designed for people traveling alone. They’re priced for one and all share a private lounge. This is a great solution for the single traveler.
The Epic has 20 dining options — everything from an Argentinean style steakhouse to French gourmet to Tuscan-style Italian. They also offer the always popular sushi. While many of the restaurants are available at no extra charge, some have a surcharge. Many restaurants book up quickly, so try to make your reservations in advance.
Epic raises the bar with 20 lounges and clubs to choose among. Two of the most unique let you bowl at O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill and enjoying your favorite vodka drink in the Ice Bar. For about $20 you can cool off in the only ice bar at sea. Two drinks are included in the price.
The Epic’s pool and sports decks offer tons of fun for young and old. There are three full-size watersides. The rock climbing wall offers another first at sea with its repelling wall. Kids enjoy The Spider Web — a 24-foot climbing cage. There’s even an ice skating outside. (It’s not on real ice but still fun.)
There’s a lot more to discover aboard this new large cruise ship. Epic sails out of Miami alternating between Western and Eastern Caribbean routes. Her itinerary changes to the Mediterranean for part of 2011 and 2012.
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