Norwegian Epic: elegance and freestyle

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Norwegian Epic is a ship built in 2010 for Norwegian Cruise Line by STX shipyards. In 2015 it was fully renovated, bringing it up to the standards of the rest of the fleet, with the new characteristics offered by the Company. The ship is certainly large, with more than 4000 passengers that can be accommodated, and has a rich choice of common spaces, restaurants and attractions on board.

The dining formula called Freestyle, available for years on Norwegian Cruise Line, allows for a series of possibilities for types of dining and flexible hours. On the Norwegian Epic, this translates to a wide choice of dining locations and the possibility to taste every type of delicacy.

Most of the common areas on board the Norwegian Epic are located on decks 5, 6, and 7. The Atrium is centrally located and one of the most lively. Served by the Atrium Bar & Café, it offers videogames projected on a large screen, drinks at every hour of the day, and various services such as Guest Services, the Excursion Office, and the Cruise Consultant. From the Atrium, heading toward the stern, you can access the Taste Restaurant, one of the main restaurants on board, distributed on two levels.

Instead, toward the front of the ship you will encounter the Click Photo Gallery on the starboard side. Here you will also find the beautiful Le Bistrot French Restaurant, both elegant and well maintained, which offers tasting menus for an additional fee. You can admire the beautiful works of art from The Collection Art Gallery, that are available for purchase and offered at auction, that decorate the corridor leading to the Epic Theater. This elegant onboard theater is distributed on two decks and proposes first-class music and shows.

On the bow of deck 6 is the theater audience seating, and in front of the entrance to this, passing the Entertainment Kiosk, you will find another area dedicated to entertainment: the Spiegel Tent. Here you can dine in a circus tent atmosphere, while acrobats and other artists entertain and even include you in the fun. Across from this, the Headliners Comedy Club also offers shows, concerts and live music.

From here we arrive to the liveliest spot on the ship: O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill. Here you will find music, games of all types, bowling, good beer and cocktails, and all types of snacks at all hours. From this large and animated English-style pub, you can directly access the Epic Casino, full of tables and slot machines. The walk on deck 6 continues: Shanghai’s Restaurant is the right place to taste good Chinese cuisine either seated at the bar or at the tables. If you are with a group you can ask for a private dining room to enjoy an intimate dinner. For late nights there is nothing better than Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club, dedicated to a different type of live music each night. At the back of the ship you will find another main restaurant of the Norwegian Epic, the Manhattan Room Restaurant. Elegant and spacious, overlooking the stern, it affords beautiful views from the immense windows looking out to sea.

There are just as many places to enjoy on deck 7. Starting at the back of the ship, you will find two additional restaurants that expand the gastronomic offering and flexibility of this ship of Norwegian Cruise Line. The Moderno Churrascaria is a paradise for meat lovers, with unlimited portions served directly at the tables from trays and on skewers. Cagney’s Steakhouse proposes both meat and other dishes side-by-side, and it was completely renovated in 2015. Moving toward the center of the ship you will find a few shops and restaurants including the nice Barber Shop, and on the starboard side, a Japanese restaurant divided between Teppanyaki and Sushi Bar.

Where to sit for an aperitif or an after-dinner drink can be a difficult choice. On one side there is The Humidor Cigar Louge, where you can smoke and enjoy a distilled drink. At Maltings Beer & Whiskey Bar, the menu offers a long list of both types that the name suggests….while the Shaker’s Martini Bar offers elegant leather chairs where you can relax until dinner time or entertain yourself by reading during navigation. The Ice Bar is a surprise not to be missed, offering an experience you will never forget!

A series of stores invite you to shop as you head toward the front of the ship, where the eclectic Bliss Ultra Lounge offers further evening entertainment, keeping you entertained late into the night.

On Norwegian Epic, the Lido deck is number 15. The spacious Garden Café, in the front of the ship, is the onboard buffet restaurant. Various specialties are offered in a modern and bright atmosphere. At the very front of deck 14, with access from the buffet, is La Cucina Restaurant. During lunch they provide additional tables for the buffet and during dinner it is transformed into an Italian restaurant.

Upon going outside, you will find other specialty corners on either side of The Great Outdoors Bar & Grill. The Waves Bar serves drinks and whatever is necessary for enjoying a day in the sun and is right in front of the Stage. The Lido area, besides the pools, offers a Jacuzzi, a climbing wall, and a Water Park for the youngest passengers. Going through The Marketplace, and passing the Video Arcade, you will eventually reach the beautiful area at the stern, with another pool: Spice H2O Bar & Grill.

Deck 16 is home to the exclusive area called the Haven, reserved for those with Suites. Available to these guests are the Lounge, the Restaurant, the Courtyard Grill, the Courtyard Pool & Spa, and a dedicated Concierge. It is like a small luxury ship inside the larger ship! All the cabins are found on various decks of the ship. The choice is very broad. Starting with the Studio cabins, for singles, which have an exclusive lounge, and up to interior and balcony rooms and mini-suites.

The youngest guests can be entertained in areas from the Water Park, on the dizzying Epic Plunge slide, to the Video Arcade to the Entourage Teen Club. Surely it is not possible to be bored on a ship like the Norwegian Epic that combines elegant areas with a cruising style that is informal, flexible and young.

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Gabriele Bassi