|Garden Cafe Forward overlooking Italian Restaurant|
During this cruise, we really took advantage of the available entertainment on-board. Of critical importance, everyone should know that if you intend on seeing the world famous Blue Man Group, I strongly urge you book your seats well in advance of sailing. We booked 45 days before, as these shows are always sold out. And WOW! Was it an awesome show. And it is COMPLIMENTARY! Consider this. If you go to Vegas, tickets will cost you more than $100 to see them in decent seats. Your cruise fare includes admission. I would say that what you pay for this cruise is WELL worth it. Also available for your entertainment, and again complimentary; The Second City comedy troup from New York in Headliners Comedy Club. Alumni from this group includes John Belushi, Martin Short, John Candy, and Gilda Radner. The comedy and improvisation was amazing. For a show in Chicago, you would pay $30 pp. Your cruise fare is getting cheaper by the day! Finally, there was Legends in Concert. Performing on stage for us was Steven Tyler (OMH, was he good)., Lady Gaga, and Elvis Presley. I sang at the top of my lungs to Aerosmith favorites, while the Tyler imitator strutted around the stage and put on a really good show. I am not much of a Gaga fan, and Elvis is always a favorite, but I would go back to this show. If you were to attend one of these concerts at Bally's in Atlantic City, you would pay $37.50 per person. Though we did not go, Nickelodian's Slime Time Live was also there for you and the kids to enjoy. There was other entertainment that was available for purchase, such as Cirque Dreams and The Second City's murder mystery theater lunch. We did go to the murder mystery and really enjoyed it, at the price of $20 per person. As I said earlier, it is easier to book before the cruise. But if you wait, there is a ticket counter on deck 5 or your stateroom interactive TV, which is convenient. One other complementary place you should NOT miss. If you like blues music, then do not pass by Fat Cats. The band that played in here each night was incredible. I took 10 seconds of video for an overall video production, and was immediately told to turn off the camera.
|Balcony Stateroom 9060|
|Group dinner in The Manhattan|
|Tastes Restaurant From Above|
Now for fun! The Epic is loaded with fun things to do, both for kids and adults. Now some may think I am a child at heart (Barbi would whole heartedly agree), but I believe the Epic Plunge slide video above shows how fun this can be for everyone! There are 3 slides in total. The purple is longer than the green, but the plunge was definitely the most fun. I went twice! Just behind the stairs to the plunge is a large children's water area, which is more shaded to protect those sensitive little skins from sunburn. Lots of Hot tubs all over the ship, including Spice H2O, which is an adults only area most of the time. There is a pool here too, which doubles as a stage for other performances, along with a large screen TV. We watched a video of Plácido Domingo one night. There is also an inside big screen at the Atrium, Deck 5 mid-ship, where I found Barbi one day watching Soul Surfer. The Epic Casino takes up half of Deck 6, and WOW! Was it packed every night. Some say that Carnival is the "Booze Cruise" (Which I don't agree with), but I will say this appeared to be the "Gambler's Cruise". During our NCL briefings, we found out that when the Epic is in Europe, the Casino is rarely used. But when it comes back to the Caribbean, it is most definitely used. I tried my hand at the "extreme" climbing wall, but could not get this slightly overweight body over the 2 foot ledge above me. I worshipped the sun from my balcony and from the pool deck. For those of you who "Truely" worship, there is a "Freestyle Sundeck" on Deck 19, which is adults only, and cannot be viewed from above or below. Sun however you like here!!!! I was wowed by the amount of machines and free weights at the fitness center. Honestly, I have never seen that many free weights on any ship. For those who love to play some hoops, there is a full size basketball court on the back of the ship above Spice H2O. Never seen that on any ship either! And one other First! Bowling! There are three lanes at O'Sheehans and 2 Lanes at Bliss Deck 7 Forward. We bowled and had a blast doing it.
For the Solo Traveler, the Epic is the first in the industry to offer solo staterooms, and priced as such.
|The Haven Pool|
Overall, I really enjoyed this cruise. I look forward to Norwegian Breakaway (2013) and Getaway (2014) to see if Norwegian improves the stateroom layout. Breakaway is on sale now and will be sailing from New York city to Bermuda for 7 day itineraries. I would love to be on one of those new voyages. Perhaps with 2 couple friends sharing the Garden Villa!
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