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Ivy Bonner Cruise Ship February 24th, 2018 - 14:53:53
One of the hallmarks of NCLs 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 weve experienced on some other ships). It also includes the poolside grill (\"Spice H2O\") \"OSheehans\" (a huge sprawling pub that became the meeting place and \"social nucleus\" for many of the ships 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.
The Service A cruise passengers perception of onboard service is so often dependent upon who their stateroom attendant was and which waiters / waitresses served their meals. Since my wife and I started Direct Line Cruises there have been several instances in which different clients on the same exact cruise would report radically different service levels. So at best any evaluation of service should be taken only as a generalization based on limited individual experiences while onboard. Having prefaced this part of my review (to \"cover my tail\" in case the reader has a different experience) my wife and I found the service on the NCL Epic to be consistent with what weve experienced on other NCL cruise ships (i.e. very good with only minor exceptions).
If personalized service and having someone at your beck and call is important to you opt for a luxury cruise ship. Cruise ships also come in a wide range of sizes although size may not be the primary concern. Cruise West and SeaDream Yachts offer some of the smallest ships under 200 passengers. Small ships will offer a more personalized experience and their size allows them to visit smaller and less-traveled ports. As a down side smaller ships arent able to offer the extravagant entertainment of larger ships. If youre prone to sea-sickness a larger ship is definitely the better option. The larger the ship the less noticeable the rolling motion of travel at sea. One last consideration that may not come immediately to mind - is this a maiden voyage or will you be traveling on an established ship? While the first thought may be \"the newer the better\" there are disadvantages to being on the first trip of a new cruise ship.
On this pre-inaugural cruise I tried two of the specialty restaurants Cagneys steakhouse and Moderno Churrascaria a Brazilian \"all-you-can-eat\" barbeque in which guests signal their servers with a green card (\"OK Im ready for more\") or a red card (\"No more please. Im stuffed\"). My wife and I have raved about Cagneys steakhouse on several other Norwegian cruise ships (e.g. the NCL Dawn the NCL Gem and the NCL Jewel) and we enjoyed it just as much on the Epic. On the other hand we were not nearly as impressed with the Epics Moderno Churrascaria which is the first such restaurant on any cruise ship. The salad bar was absolutely fabulous (especially the plump shrimp and fantastic gourmet cheeses) but other than the sirloin (which the servers cut right in front of you) my wife and I were both disappointed with the quality of the meats. Ironically my son Greg (who is CEO of Direct Line Cruises) and several of our staff members tried Moderno Churrascaria and really liked it. So dont take my word for it.