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Norwegian Epic

Norwegian Epic
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 much so that he didn't even eat his dessert.

That alone would have made my cruise a success, but Mel brought along 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
So Accommodating
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.

Nothing 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.

Moderno Servers
Dining Out
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 in Brazil.

O’Sheehan’s For Food & Games
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.

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.

--> More Epic Entertainment & Activities Part Two

Photographs, © Linda Coffman,

From Cruise 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

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