Posted February 16th, 2017, 10:04 AM
Last edited by SuiteTraveler; February 16th, 2017 at 10:11 AM
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
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)
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:
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:
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:
Here's O'Sheehan's menus:
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.