Norwegian Epic QUESTIONS

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#1
Haines City, FL
111 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Thinking about booking the Epic for a December next year. Never cruised on Norwegian before. Can someone answer a few questions ?How good does the free drink package work? Is there a certain number of drinks you can have during the whole cruise?
I heard you have to Make reservations to see the shows. Is there always room during a certain show, or are you disappointed many times?and do they really charge $100 to see Cirque?..
How IS THE food in the dining room?
One last question..,do they serve smoked salmon (LOX) at breakfast in the dining room and buffet?
Thanks for any and all informations. I'm during myself crazy, whether we should stick to Carnival or RCCL again....
#3
Eastern Washington
226 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by Camsnana
Thinking about booking the Epic for a December next year. Never cruised on Norwegian before. Can someone answer a few questions ?How good does the free drink package work? Is there a certain number of drinks you can have during the whole cruise?
I heard you have to Make reservations to see the shows. Is there always room during a certain show, or are you disappointed many times?and do they really charge $100 to see Cirque?..
How IS THE food in the dining room?
One last question..,do they serve smoked salmon (LOX) at breakfast in the dining room and buffet?
Thanks for any and all informations. I'm during myself crazy, whether we should stick to Carnival or RCCL again....
I was on the Epic a couple of years ago, and can give you my OPINIONS to a couple of your questions. Obviously, everyone has different experiences, but I'll share mine.

Having only cruised on Celebrity and Princess before, NCL was very different. You do have to make reservations to the shows, but it was no problem getting the times/days we wanted. There was a significant charge to see Cirque, and reviews I had read prior led me to decide it was not worth it. I did not find out for myself.

The food in the dining room, although passable, was just that. I can honestly say that every single meal in the dining room was a disappointment, and we ended up eating anywhere else, if possible. Since they have the "anytime" dining, you don't have regular table mates nor waitstaff. Epic failure for me.

I cannot speak to the drinks package, nor the lox availability.

Overall, NCL Epic was a lovely ship. The customer service, food, boarding experience, communication, etc. were far below Celebrity. However, it is worth noting the price point for NCL was also much lower. I am sure there are those who love NCL, but after my first cruise with them, I am not one of them.
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#4
Washington
6,002 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
In 2016, NCL revamped their menus in the MDR (as well as in the specialty restaurants) and the food is getting quite good reviews. The Cirque show is $25 pp for standard seats and $39.95pp for up close seating and includes dinner. You do need to make reservations in advance for specialty dining and shows. The Epic has many free restaurants:

2 Main dining rooms
Shanghai's (Chinese)
O'Sheehan's (pub food and prime rib once a week at night)
Buffet (one of the largest and most comprehensive I've ever seen at sea)
Spice H2O bar and grill
The Great Outdoors

Then there are the specialty restaurants that cost extra:
Le Bistro (my favorite)
Cagney's
Teppanyaki
La Cucina
Noodle Bar
Moderno Churrascaria
Wasabi

The culture on NCL is that you eat dinner in a different restaurant every night with your own party (not a bunch of strangers) and nowadays, most NCL cruise packages include a specialty restaurant package. Book your specialty restaurants online up to 90 days before your cruise to get the best selection of dates and times. By the first day of your cruise the most popular restaurants will be sold out or only have times like 9:30pm or 5pm.

Here's some of the new menus and photos of the food:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FInJOajA4K4

You can definitely get smoked salmon at breakfast in the dining room. In the buffet, they have smoked salmon mousse on cucumber instead. On the other hand there are 80 items on the breakfast buffet.

Here are some of the food choices in the buffet:
Breakfast:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckpPlEyVM8A
Lunch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHXtbwTz7Io
Dinner:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0qqLP_Qs7k

In terms of the drink package, you can get any drink you want that is under $15 included (which is most of the drinks on NCL) and if you order one that is more expensive, they deduct $15 from the price and just charge you the remainder. You can have pretty much all you want unless you get drunk and unruly and the bartender cuts you off. Here's the bar menus:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvKP-QSCnss&t=29s

Here's O'Sheehan's menus:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhQziW1iRx0

One tip: The Epic has an AMAZING spa and you can buy a spa pass online if you are not in a spa cabin. It is well worth the money!

I have sailed on Carnival, Celebrity, Princess, HAL, RCCL, NCL, Uniworld and MSC and I'm a foodie and chef. I would say that the MDR food on NCL is standard hotel banquet food. It is overall good, but not special because it is mass produced food. The food in the specialty restaurants is much better and more similar to what you would get in a nice restaurant on land. The reason for this is because it is not mass produced.
#5
206 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I agree the Epic does have an amazing thermal suite in the spa. We bought the week long pass on a couple of Epic cruises and loved it. We had to buy it onboard the first day, however. They have a limited number, so it needs to be one of the first things you do, if you are interested. Also the specialty restaurants are very good , in my opinion. I like NCL when we are willing to pay for these two upgrades.
#6
14 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
I saw that Epic was recently in for a makeover in September 2015.
I was aboard in January 2015 and going back on in January 2018.
What has been changed/beautified?


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