The Norwegian Epic (launched in 2010) is, by far, the largest ship in the NCL fleet. In fact, with the exception of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the NCL Epic is among the largest cruise ships at sea. It is also one of the most uniquely designed cruise ships ever and reflects the thoughtfulness that the Epic’s designers gave to maximizing the use of space to achieve a much bigger, wide-open “feel” to all of the ship’s public areas. One area just seems to “flow” into the next (without the “cookie-cutter” rigidity sometimes found on cruise ships) and, rather than having its public areas running at a uniform width through the center of the ship, the Epic’s interior width seemingly changes as you turn right or to the left to enter another venue.
One of the hallmarks of NCL’s acclaimed “Freestyle Cruising” is the choice of dining options and, not surprisingly, the Epic takes this feature to a new level. In addition to the two main dining areas (the Manhattan Room and Taste), the Epic offers 17 other dining venues, each with its own cuisine and ambiance. This includes the spacious main buffet area (the “Garden Cafe”), the poolside grill (“Spice H2O”), “O’Sheehan’s” (a huge, sprawling pub that is the “social nucleus” for many of the ship’s guests) and several specialty restaurants such as La Cucina Italian restaurant, Teppanyaki Japanese grill and Le Bistro French restaurant just to name a few. Each of the specialty restaurants has a “cover charge” (which ranges from $10 to $35 per person) but most guests agree that they are well worth the money. Other specialty restaurants on the Epic include Cagney’s steakhouse and Moderno Churrascaria, a Brazilian “all-you-can-eat” barbeque in which guests signal their servers with a green card (“OK, I’m ready for more”) or a red card (“No more, please. I’m stuffed”).
Entertainment on the Epic is in a class by itself. There is the Second City Comedy Troupe (of “Saturday Night Live” fame) and the show by the world-famous Blue Man Group is absolutely “over the top”. It takes place in the ship’s main theatre which seats about 600 people. However, consistent with NCL’s concept of “Freestyle Cruising”, the Epic was designed with multiple entertainment venues, each offering a different show. The Epic also showcases “Legends In Concert”, which features impersonated performances by Elvis, Madonna, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elton John and other “super-stars”. Another Epic “first” is Cirque Dreams and Dinner which is performed by an exceptionally talented group of acrobats in a special theater-in-the-round called the Spiegel Tent. In the morning hours, the Spiegel Tent hosts a Nickelodeon character breakfast which features Dora the Explorer, Diego, Sponge Bob Square Pants and others. Activities on the ship are plentiful. Unique to the Epic is the “Epic Plunge” (a massive 7-deck water slide), 6 bowling alleys and the SVEDKA Ice Bar (the first ice bar at sea) in which the entire contents (including the bar) are made of ice and the venue is maintained at a “toasty” 17-degree temperature to keep it from melting. “Real cool”! Patrons are provided with heavy jackets before entering and vodka is clearly the beverage of choice.
The NCL Epic offers an incredibly wide variety of accommodations, ranging from single-occupancy studio staterooms to huge luxury suites with personal butlers. Standard balcony staterooms have curved walls, which give the room a very “unique” look (unlike typical cruise ship staterooms which are almost always rectangular with straight walls). To maximize space utilization, you enter most staterooms through a door between the shower stall and the toilet stall (each with a heavily “frosted” enclosure). It’s not your typical cruise ship cabin!
So, Although the Norwegian Epic is a great ship for just about anyone, it is most appreciated by the seasoned cruiser who has been on many cruise ships and now wants to experience something truly unique.
Top Norwegian Epic Cruise Deals
View our featured cruise deals and itineraries on the Norwegian Epic. For more information on these Epic cruise itineraries, click below or call Direct Line Cruises.
- Epic_SpiegelTent_rendering_web (2)