Norwegian Epic cruise liner Review

I was invited to attend the exclusive two-night (July 2 – three, 2010) pre-inaugural sailing for NCL’s newest and largest ship, the Norwegian Epic. outward from New York town, the sailing began with the ship’s naming ceremony, that was hosted by comedian Jeff Garlin and featured the ship’s godparent, Reba McEntire. Adding to the festivities was the Macy’s fourth of July Fireworks show that was broadcast live from the Epic on national tv (WNBC). It enclosed musical performances by Justin Bieber, Enrique vocalist and LeeAnn Rimes. As I even have skilled over and over within the past, the parents at NCL very knowledge to throw a party! however let’s specialize in their new ship, the Epic.

The “Hardware”

When discussing the physical attributes of a cruise liner (i.e., it’s layout and appearance), business professionals typically talk over with the ship’s “hardware”. So, let’s begin there.

At 153,000 tons with a rider capability of four,100 (based on double occupancy), the Norwegian Epic is, by far, the most important ship within the NCL fleet. In fact, with the exception of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas (which was launched in December 2009), NCL’s Epic is among the most important cruise ships puzzled. it’s conjointly one among the foremost unambiguously designed cruise ships that I even have ever been on (… and i have been on quite an few). In most cases, that “uniqueness” may be a terribly positive attribute that reflects the thoughtfulness and a spotlight that the Epic’s designers should have paid to maximising the utilization of area to attain a far larger, wide-open “feel” to all or any of the ship’s public areas. And, the means that one space simply appeared to “flow” into future (without the “cookie-cutter” rigidity typically found on cruise ships) was really exceptional. But, in an exceedingly few areas, I didn’t understand the distinctive style of the ship to be a bonus. as an example, the outside form of the ship appeared a small amount “odd” to ME. The bow is somewhat “stubby-looking” and also the stern is “squared-off” so the ship doesn’t have a “sleek” look from the surface. Adding to the irregular look may be a large 3-deck appendage that was ostensibly “plopped” on prime of the front section as Associate in Nursing afterthought (or, additional possible, to additional maximize the ship’s interior space). Obviously, the ship’s designers had to create some “trade-off’s” to accomplish everything they did within the ship and, after all, from a passenger’s perspective, the inside style is much additional vital.

The ornamentation of the Epic is fashionable and somewhat additional “toned-down” than different NCL ships. obtaining around wasn’t quite as simple as a result of the ship’s distinctive interior style. instead of having its public areas running at an even dimension through the middle of the ship, the Epic’s interior gave the illusion of being designed that means however, in many completely different places, the inside dimension of the ship would ostensibly vary and you’d head to the proper or to the left to enter another venue. So, simply after I thought I had seen the whole ship, i might discover a brand new space. Having been on over fifty cruise ships, I found the layout of the Epic to be terribly fascinating and “refreshing”.

The Food

Since all restaurants provide a spread of cookery decisions, any analysis of food is influenced not solely by personal style however conjointly by what things square measure hand-picked from the menu. as an example, on the primary night, my better half and that i Ate at the Manhattan space, one among the ship’s main feeding areas. She had a chicken dish, that she evaluated as “OK”, whereas I had scallops that were superb. Like all public areas on the Epic, the layout and ornamentation of the Manhattan space was a tribute to the ship’s designers. Wide open and “airy”, the Manhattan space had the design and feel of a fine house. In fact, i {used to be} somewhat stunned once our dinner host (one of NCL’s executives) educated us that the Manhattan space wasn’t a specialty edifice. the opposite main feeding space, suitably known as “Taste”, was conjointly extraordinarily well laid-out and pleasing to the attention. At the middle of style may be a stunning lighting fixture (claimed to be the most important at sea) that spirals down from the deck on top of. though I didn’t eat style, i’m told that the menu is that the same because the Manhattan space, therefore i might assume our assessment of the food would are regarding identical (i.e., “OK” to “very good”, reckoning on the entre’ hand-picked and, of course, personal taste).

One of the hallmarks of NCL’s acclaimed “Freestyle Cruising” is that the selection of feeding choices and, not amazingly, the Epic takes this feature to a brand new level. additionally to the 2 main feeding areas, the Epic offers seventeen different feeding venues, every with its own cooking and ambiance. This includes the spacious main buffet space (the “Garden Cafe”), within which the food was systematically contemporary and of high-quality (albeit with somewhat less selection than we’ve skilled on another ships). It conjointly includes the poolside grill (“Spice H2O”), “O’Sheehan’s” (a large, sprawling saloon that became the assembly and “social nucleus” for several of the ship’s guests) {and several|and a number of different|and several other} specialty edifices like La Cucina Italian restaurant (which was even additional beautifully adorned on the Epic than on other NCL ships), Tepanyaki Japanese grill (much larger than on different NCL ships) and LE eating place French edifice simply to call a number of. every of the specialty restaurants contains a “cover charge” (which ranges from $10 to $35 per person) however, in my opinion, they’re all well definitely worth the cash.

On this pre-inaugural cruise, i attempted 2 of the specialty restaurants, Cagney’s chophouse and Moderno Churrascaria, a Brazilian “all-you-can-eat” barbeque within which guests signal their servers with a positive identification (“OK, i am prepared for additional”) or a red card (“No more, please. i am stuffed”). My better half and that i have raved regarding Cagney’s chophouse on many different Norwegian cruise ships (e.g., the NCL Dawn, the NCL Gem and also the NCL Jewel) and that we enjoyed it even as a lot of on the Epic. On the opposite hand, we tend to weren’t nearly as affected with the Epic’s Moderno Churrascaria, that is that the 1st such edifice on any cruise liner. The bar was fully fabulous (especially the plump shrimp and fantastic gourmand cheeses) however, apart from the cut of meat (which the servers cut right ahead of you), my better half and that i were each unsuccessful with the standard of the meats. Ironically, my son Greg (who is CEO of Direct Line Cruises) and a number of other of our workers members tried Moderno Churrascaria and very likeable it. So, do not take my word for it.

The Service

A cruise passenger’s perception of aboard service is therefore typically dependent upon UN agency their cabin attendant was and that waiters / waitresses served their meals. Since my better half and that i started Direct Line Cruises, there are many instances within which {different|totally completely different|completely different} purchasers on identical precise cruise would report radically different service levels. So, at best, any analysis of service ought to be taken solely as a generalization supported restricted individual experiences whereas aboard.

Having prefaced this a part of my review (to “cover my tail” just in case the reader contains a completely different experience), my better half and that i found the service on the NCL Epic to be in line with what we’ve skilled on different NCL cruise ships (i.e., superb with solely minor exceptions).

Entertainment And Activities

It may be laborious to believe however the show by the Blue Man cluster really exceeds NCL’s hype! it absolutely was the foremost distinctive (… yes, i am victimization that word once more… ) and skilled act I’ve seen on any cruise liner. completely funny and fun, i might rather see that show night when night than to sit down through a number of identical previous “Broadway song-and-dance” shows I’ve seen on such a large amount of different cruise ships. The Blue Man performance was within the ship’s main theatre that, considering the dimensions of the Epic, was comparatively tiny (with a spaciousness of below 600 people). However, despite that reality, the theatre wasn’t “packed” as a result of, in line with NCL’s conception of “Freestyle Cruising”, the Epic was designed with multiple amusement venues, every providing a special show.

In addition to Blue Man cluster, the NCL Epic showcased “Legends In Concert”, that featured impersonated performances by Zen, Madonna, Tina Turner, Jackson and different “super-stars”. If you wish this type of factor, you’ll in all probability get pleasure from it a great deal. Otherwise, you’ll realize it to be “OK”, as I did.

Another Epic “first” is basin Dreams Associate in Nursingd Dinner that is performed by an exceptionally proficient cluster of acrobats in an exceedingly special theater-in-the-round known as the spiegeleisen Tent. many of our workers members saw this show and aforesaid that it absolutely was superb however, perhaps, a small amount too long. My better half and that i saw a really completely different show within the spiegeleisen Tent. Our 3-year-old grandchild, UN agency we tend to were ready to bring with North American nation, may be a huge fan of “Dora the Explorer” and “Diego” and she or he simply white-haired the jukebox character breakfast that, additionally to Dora and Diego, conjointly featured “Sponge Bob sq. Pants”, “Jimmy Neutron” et al.. In Associate in Nursing exclusive upset NCL, the jukebox characters square measure presently showing on the Epic and also the NCL Jewel (which currently sails year-around out of latest royal line City) and can eventually seem on many different NCL ships.

Another featured act on NCL’s cruise ships is that the Second town Comedy organization. though I didn’t see their show on the Epic (… there simply wasn’t enough time to try to to everything… ), my better half and that i have seen them on many different NCL cruise ships. In general, we tend to found their “rehearsed” skits to be terribly funny, and their “ad-libbed” routines terribly “un-funny” (but, then again, I ne’er very enjoyed look Jonathan Winters, UN agency was regarded by many folks as Associate in Nursing “ad-lib” comedic genius).

Activities on the ship were plentiful. distinctive to the Epic were the “Epic Plunge” (a large 7-deck water slide), six bowling alleys and also the SVEDKA Ice Bar (which NCL touts because the 1st ice bar at sea) within which the whole contents (including the bar) square measure product of ice and also the venue is maintained at a “toasty” 17-degree temperature to stay it from melting. Now, that is “really cool”! Patrons square measure given significant jackets before getting into and hard liquor is clearly the drinkable of selection.


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