The Norwegian Epic would fit in perfect on the Las Vegas strip, and give the newest hotels some good competition. The Epic has a vast array of dining and drinking locations, entertainment and activity choices, and a wide range of accommodation. This ship is the closest the industry has come to emulating the great parts of Las Vegas.
Norwegian Cruises, “Free style Cruising”, does offer freedom and unique choices that fit your mood and timeframe.
The ship offers 21 dining options, of which 11 are included in your cruise fare, and do not have surcharges. The other 10 have $15-$25 per person surcharges for the specialty dining. Deck 14 houses the huge gym (over 20 treadmills) and Mandara Spa (huge and gorgeous), and the main part of the kid’s facilities. Plus there are 20 bars.
The line-up of restaurants on Norwegian Epic is more extensive than on
NCL’s earlier Freestyle ships in two ways: There are more of them (e.g.,
Moderno Churrascaria and O’Sheehans) and some of the previous ones have been enlarged (e.g. Teppanyaki is nearly twice as big). And, while there is no longer one main dining room, smaller very attractive rooms such as the Manhattan Room and Taste have separate menus and do not have a surcharge. We were pleasantly suprised at the like entertainment provided in the Manhattan Dining Room.
They offer the amazing Cirque Dream and Dinner , 3 of the nights and twice a night. But they can only handle 200 guests per dinner/show. At 45 days prior to your cruise, you should go online and make a reservation for this event. It is a round-type showroom with dinner and beverages. It’s an amazing, two hour experience, with a reasonable surcharge $20 per person for the dinner version. For those who do not want dinner, seats on the circular balcony actually may provide a slightly better perspective of the acrobatic performance.
We then enjoyed the Blue Man Group, who performs twice a night for 4 nights, in the 600-seat Epic Theater and this innovative, avant-garde, street-art type of show has been a huge success in multiple cites for nearly two decades. The exciting show goes about eighty minutes and there’s no surcharge. You can reserve before the cruise, or sign up for it when you board the ship. Other options include Second City comedy troupe, the Legends in Concert performance, jazz club, comedy club and more, and Epic’s entertainment really does stand out, and can be compared to an expensive show in Vegas.
I am in awe at the private Courtyard Villa complex. Sixtysuites and villas make up the courtyard along with terrific private facilities: lounge, restaurant, bars inside and out, gym, pool, whirlpools, concierge and sunning areas. It’s as if the penthouse area of a Vegas hotel has gone to sea. This is the place for clients who want the best of accommodations and pampering (butler service and more). While the exterior of the ship is not sleek, the inside of the ship is lovely and exposes a curved wave design.
Unique to the cruise industry, all outside cabins have private verandah balconies. Some have tubs & some have showers.
Another unique cabin, is the inside solo/single studio that is 100 sq feet. This ship has 100 cabins that appeal to the single traveler who does not want to pay for a full regular cabin. the design is exceptionally efficient,
with clever sliding doors over the wardrobe, TV and shelf areas. The beds are doubles instead of twins. These people have a access to a large, full service lounge where they can mingle amongst the other single travelers.
I heard that the Spa/Penthouse cabins & the Solo/single rooms are the cabins flying off the shelf.
The ship has an unusual bathroom set-up. The sink, shower & toilet are all part of the cabin. The shower & toilet have sliding floor to ceiling glass doors, as well as a curtain that can be pulled in front of them to create a bit of privacy. The sink is small and in between the toilet/shower area and the bed or sofa. It’s got a large faucet in a small round sink, which makes shaving a bit difficult. There is alot to be said to having separate facilities, making it possible for more than one person to use the facilities rather than having one person monopolize the entire bathroom. This is innovative, but just need to inform the clients in advance so they are not surprised.
The ship’s capacity is from 4200 to 4100
The Norwegian Epic has changed the traditional concept of what a ship can be. A floating hotel in Vegas with a freestyle choice.
Toby Nash, Cruise & Travel Masters
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