Published at Monday, May 14th 2018. by leonda avril in Cruise Ship Cabins.
My wife and I were in a standard stateroom with a balcony (one of the Category B staterooms on the ship). Upon entering the stateroom we had two initial impressions. First of all the curved walls gave the room a very unique look (unlike typical cruise ship staterooms which are almost always rectangular with straight walls). The second thing we noticed is that the stateroom didn`t have a bathroom... well at least not in the traditional sense. You entered the stateroom through a door between a shower stall and a toilet stall (each with a heavily frosted enclosure). A curtain separated these areas from the main part of the stateroom which among other things included the bed a couch storage closets / cabinets and a sink. The advantage of having the sink outside of the toilet and shower area is that one occupant can use the sink while another is using the shower or toilet (a convenience that you don`t often find in traditional cruise ship staterooms). In addition the unique design of the stateroom provided much more storage space than is typically found in a conventional stateroom of similar dimensions. However despite that I found the stateroom to be very tight (particularly in the cabins that have the bed nearer to the entrance door than to the balcony door) and overall I must admit that I would have preferred a more conventionally designed stateroom configuration or one of the larger deluxe balcony (Category D) staterooms on the Epic).
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 Epic offers 17 other dining venues each with its own cuisine and ambiance. This includes the spacious main buffet area (the Garden Cafe) in which the food was consistently fresh and of high-quality (albeit with somewhat less variety than we`ve experienced on some other ships). It also includes the poolside grill (Spice H2O) O`Sheehan`s (a huge sprawling pub that became the meeting place and social nucleus for many of the ship`s guests) and several specialty restaurants such as La Cucina Italian restaurant (which was even more attractively decorated on the Epic than on other NCL ships) Tepanyaki Japanese grill (much larger than on other NCL ships) 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 in my opinion they are all well worth the money.
While onboard one of NCL`s executives asked me what I thought of the ship and what type of client it would be best suited for. Without hesitation I responded that the Epic would be most appreciated by the client who has been on many cruise ships and now wants to experience something truly unique. Consistent with that it`s no coincidence that my wife booked the 15-year anniversary cruise for Direct Line Cruises` staff on the NCL Epic and now that we`ve gotten a small taste of it we can hardly wait until September when we set sail on the Epic for 7 nights.
It may be hard to believe but the show by the Blue Man Group actually exceeds NCL`s hype! It was the most unique (... yes I`m using that word again... ) and professional act I`ve seen on any cruise ship. Thoroughly funny and entertaining I would rather see that show night after night than to sit through some of the same old Broadway song-and-dance shows I`ve seen on so many other cruise ships. The Blue Man performance was in the ship`s main theatre which considering the size of the Epic was relatively small (with a seating capacity of under 600 people). However despite that fact the theatre was not packed because consistent with NCL`s concept of Freestyle Cruising the Epic was designed with multiple entertainment venues each offering a different show.
The standard cruise cabin bathrooms are usually tiny and most only have a shower (no tub). The shower usually has good water pressure with the only complaint being the small size. Don`t be surprised if the shower curtain keeps trying to attack you! The bathroom also has a sink toiletry shelves and a noisy vacuum toilet like on an airplane. Often there is a small step up between the bedroom and bathroom perfect for stubbing your toe. The bathrooms also usually have a retractable clothesline for drying your swimsuit or hand laundry.
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