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Epic In So Many Ways
By Linda Coffman
Miami, January 2012: When
the plates are cleared away and my husband Mel and I leave the
dinner table we often part ways in terms of how to spend the
remainder of the evening. I
enjoy the shows and nightlife while on cruises; Mel prefers to
relax with a cigar and perhaps a watch something on television.
On our Norwegian Epic sailing we each got to do what we wanted—and
we did then together (but, no, I didn't smoke any cigars!)
Upon boarding Mel realized how much I looked forward to the
shows on Norwegian Epic—the first thing I did when we reached
our stateroom was use the interactive television to book
seats—and he conceded that he'd join me as long as we
"sit in the back" so he could slip away early, as he usually
does. So, did he leave before Blue Man Group finished their
hilarious show or before the Legends in Concert took their final
bow? NO! Not only did Mel stay until the end of each performance, he
thoroughly enjoyed them and also accompanied me to Howl at the
Moon Dueling Pianos, and on two evenings we caught the Slam
Allen Blues Band. Plus, Mel was mesmerized by the performers
during the Cirque Dreams and Dinner show...so much so that he
didn't even eat his dessert.
That alone would have made my cruise a success, but Mel brought
cigars and after each show we made our way either to the Humidor
cigar lounge or outside to the Spice H2O pool bar where he
savored his smokes along with a nightcap. As the week passed, we
found the outdoor bar more to our liking with its friendly
waiters and a soothing backdrop of silent underwater movies
being shown on the big screen above the pool. We also found it
to be quite lively on the nights that Norwegian's signature White
Hot Party and other deck parties were held there.
|Balcony Stateroom 1204
Norwegian Epic, the line's largest
flagship ever, was launched amid some controversy in 2010. While
Epic has the usual luxury suites in the very private The Haven
section of the ship, Studio accommodations for solo cruisers
with their own private lounge, and fairly standard inside
cabins, all outside staterooms have a balcony.
controversial there, until you look at the design of the outside
staterooms, which have a curved wall and non-traditional
bathroom cubicles for toilet and shower. The vanity sink is
actually inside the stateroom itself. It's that "bathroom"
configuration that caused some to raise their eyebrows.
For a couple married as long as us, we found no problem with the
layout, although Mel likened the lavatory cubicle to an airplane
bathroom. In fact, we found the stateroom to be quite
comfortable and spacious, with more generous storage than
expected. Thankfully, a small card in the room pointed out
storage areas we wouldn't have discovered on our own, such as
behind the cushioned back of the curvy sofa.
Granted, our stateroom probably had the preferred set up of bed
near the balcony and sofa close to the entry door, and I can
understand how having the sink beside the bed would be less
desirable. The only quibble we had with the bathroom arrangement
was that the entire stateroom could get steamy after we had hot
showers. We found it helped to draw the curtain across the area,
which also afforded a bit more privacy.
As a rule, this diva likes to be waited on and
doesn't care much for buffet restaurants. However, there are
always exceptions to the rules and Norwegian Epic's buffet is
definitely one of them. On evenings when we had show
reservations, Mel and I didn't want to be slowed down at dinner
and headed for the buffet where we found a variety of satisfying
dishes. My favorite macaroni and cheese made several appearances
and one evening's prime rib was as good as any I've been served
in fancier restaurants.
While reserving our seats for shows on the interactive
television program during our first afternoon on board, I also made dinner reservations for several
nights. Our first choice was Moderno, the Brazilian style
churrascaria. It’s a new restaurant experience introduced on
Norwegian Epic in which diners help themselves to a soup and
salad bar before servers make the rounds to tables offering meat
on skewers—lamb, various cuts of beef, chicken, sausages, and
even sweet pineapple. Sides included fried bananas, garlic
mashed potatoes, rice, and beans. Beside your plate is a card to
indicate your wishes—to continue service you place the green
side up and when you’re done you turn it over to the red side.
We saved room for dessert and my flan was exquisite. While I had
never dined in a churrascaria in Brazil, Mel has on numerous
occasions and I was anxious to hear his impression of Moderno.
One word said it all—authentic. Plus, he said the meats we
enjoyed were more tender than those he’d typically been served
With all the restaurant choices on Norwegian Epic, you can dine
in a different one every night and not make it to every one. We
also made it to Cagney's steakhouse and the Manhattan dining
room for dinner, as well as Cirque Dreams and Dinner—the
fantastic "circus-style" show takes place in the center of the
"tent" as you are served a surf 'n turf dinner—it's the only show that carries a
charge, which is actually for the meal.
O’Sheehan’s For Food &
While Mel prefers the buffet instead of a sit down breakfast in
the dining room, which he considers too formal, we discovered a
compromise that suited us both—breakfast served in O’Sheehan’s
Irish Pub. The scrambled eggs, bacon, and hash browns in the
Express Breakfast option are just what I like with a glass of
juice and coffee. Other options are a Country Platter with eggs
fried or scrambled and bacon or sausage, baked beans, a grilled
tomato, and sautéed mushrooms; Homemade Corned Beef Hash with
eggs; Create Your Own Omelet with popular fillings; and French
Toast. Breakfast arrives with a Bakery Basket filled with
muffins, pastries, and croissants.
O’Sheehan’s was also a hit with us for casual lunches with
traditional pub grub (fish ’n chips) and comfort food (meatloaf
and pot pie), as well as corned beef, grilled chicken, and tuna
melt sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, and a classic burger with
cheese and bacon. Best of all is that O’Sheehan’s is always open
and I got a Chocolate Brownie Sundae—a brownie, topped with
walnuts, ice cream, and chocolate sauce—anytime I craved it.
Well, even better is that there is no charge for the food in
O’Sheehan’s. We also recommend it for a mid-morning Bloody Mary
while bowling a few frames.
Epic Entertainment & Activities
Linda Coffman, CruiseDiva.com
Diva's Norwegian Epic Blog Archive:
Embark Like A Norwegian: Day One
Norwegian Epic: Home Away From Home
A Night Out On Norwegian Epic
Luck of the Irish on Norwegian Epic
Epic Entertainment on Norwegian Epic
Fun With Nick on Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Epic’s “Spicy” Retreat
A Really Cool Time Aboard Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Cruise Line - Cruise Reviews
Norwegian Cruise Line Profile
Guide & Cruise
Cruise Diva's Blog
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