Nov 09

More Epic Entertainment

In my last post I spoke about the entertainment on the EPIC, as in the shows.  In this post I’ll cover the daytime entertainment.

Pools – There are two main pool areas on this ship.  I didn’t spend much time in the main pool area, I found the music was often too loud and I found the pools were designed more for children then adults.  I think there were 4 hot tubs, but I’m not positive.  This area was adjacent to the buffet, so it had free drinks – tea, milk, water, iced tea.

I spent most of my time in Spice H2O, the adult pool area.  While there was normally music playing, it was at a reasonable volume.  The pool was small and at night it actually converted into a dance floor (the floor of the pool would go up and down, fancy technology I hear).  There were 2 hot tubs on each corner of the area with great views out the back of the ship.  There was also a small buffet in this area, but there were no drink offerings other then paid drinks at the bar.

I did spend some time on a top sun deck in the front of the ship, these areas do not have music, nor do they seem to have many kids.

The ship does have a topless deck and a “freestyle” deck.  I did not visit either, but I did hear through the grapevine that people do go completely nude on the “freestyle” deck.

There is also an area called Posh.  I may have the story wrong, but I thought this was either part of or included in the villa complex.  However, you could also pay around $100 for access during the cruise.  My understanding is that there was better chairs and better bar service.  I know one person who used this and enjoy it.

Slides – There were 3 slides on this ship, the main yellow one, a purple one and a green one.  I did not go in the purple or the green ones because they had cold water and it was already cold that day!  I did go in the big main yellow one, which some people have called a toilet bowl like slide.  This slide had warm water, yea! and you rode down it on a round float.  You have to get your float at the bottom of the slide so don’t climb the stairs until you have your float!  Initially you go down a typical water slide shoot and then you end up in the “toilet bowl” and you go around 3 times before you get sucked down the final portion of the slide.  This slide was a lot of fun, though the 3 times in the toilet bowl might have been a little too much.  There were a lot of adults on line for the toilet bowl slide, it was that much fun!  I’m sure if there were a lot of children on the cruise or warmer out the line would have been crazy, it was long enough as it was.

Rock Climbing – The EPIC has a rock climbing and rappelling wall between the main pool area and Spice H2O.   I’ve only done rock climbing once, but it was only a few months before and I climbed all the basic and intermediate walls.  I decided to stick with the easy section on the ship.  The wall was shorter, but it wasn’t EASY.  For someone who has never rock climbed before, this would be a tough wall and I doubt they would make it to the top.  But for beginner rock climber it would be a challenge.  I never made it back to the rock climbing to try another wall though.  But it was fun and a nice break for the day, especially if it’s not a hot day.  You do not need to bring your own shoes for this, but you need socks.  You will also need to sign and electronic waiver before climbing.

Nickelodeon – Being an adult I didn’t truly partake in the Nickelodeon events.  There was a breakfast a couple mornings on the ship and then there were meet and greets a few afternoons.  I did stop by one of the meet and greets.  I was hoping to get a picture with Spongebob for my nephew, but they only had Dora characters that day.  If you can’t do the special Nickelodeon cruise they have, the breakfasts and the meet and greets are a nice treat for your little (or big) Nickelodeon fans.  The only thing I would have preferred is if they said who was going to be at the meet and greets.

Ice Bar – The ship has a Svedka Ice Bar, the first at sea!  There is an additional charge for this venue, $20 on my sailing which includes 2 drinks.  I had been in an Ice Bar in Stockholm, which I thought was better then this bar, but since this was on a cruise ship, it’s kinda cooler!  When you go you get a silver poncho style coat and gloves.  After you dress up a photographer will take pictures and then you go in.  I think you’re allowed in for 40 minutes, but I’m not sure many people make it the full 40 minutes, it is cold in there!  I was wearing a dress (not recommended) and socks.  Inside the bar there is a ice bar, ha ha, 2 or 3 ice benches and 2 ice sculptures, one was a bear and I think the other was a viking, maybe.  Most of the ice surfaces had a covering on them, plastic on the bar and a furry thing on the benches.

Bowling – The ship had 2 sets of lanes for bowling.  I only saw the one in O’Sheehans used once or twice.  They had neon lights and offered shoe rental.  On a more relaxing cruise this might have been a fun option.

Watch Sale – I’m not sure if a watch sale is actual entertainment, but this somehow felt a bit like it.  They offer like 60% off watches and people act like they’re giving them away.  It was actually a bit frightening. I tried to look and thought about getting a watch, but the lines were so long and the people were acting like animals so I passed on the watch.  I recommend watching people at the watch and buy a watch somewhere else.

Nov 02

Epic Entertainment

Yes, I know the name of this post is cheesy, when you name a ship Epic, you ask for it!

When Norwegian launched the Norwegian Epic the entertainment obviously had to match the name, it had to be epic and I thought they did an excellent job!

I’ll start with my only complaint and get it over with.  With so many people on the ship you had to make advanced reservations (pre-boarding or on the first night) for many of the shows if you wanted to guarantee to get in.  However, if you couldn’t get a reservation there was usually a standby line, which I hear got everyone in.  This system, while reducing the chaos at these shows, took a lot of the spontaneity out of the cruise entertainment.

On the first night of the cruise I went to see Cirque Dreams.  This is not a Cirque du Soleil show, but its the same type of performance: acrobatics, music, clowns, and in this case – audience participation. I’m not a huge fan of this type of show.  I enjoy it, but I also get a bored after about 45 minutes.  The nice thing about Cirque Dreams is that it’s a dinner show so you have a little distraction from the show which helped prevent the boredum from setting in.

Cirque Dreams takes place in a Spiegel Tent, whatever that is, the setting is like a theatre in round.  It has two floors and the seats upstairs are cheaper (there is an additional fee for this dinner and show), I also thought they were better as there are fewer sight line issues and you’re not picked for audience participation.  You do need to show up early to get seating, which is especially important if you get the premium seating on the main floor – if you come late you’ll end up in the back of the room and you’ll miss what is going on in the air during the show.  The food was good, very tasty.  I don’t remember what they served, though I know it was a new menu for my cruise, but there was a sampling of different appetizers, main courses and desserts.

Blue Man Group’s Theatre

I would recommend Cirque Dreams to anyone who likes Cirque du Soleil types of shows and to anyone who has considered seeing a show like this.  You can’t beat the price ($20 or $30) on this cruise to find out if you do enjoy it.

Next up is Blue Man Group, I had not seen this before and I enjoyed the show.  I’ll admit I didn’t get the plot of the show, but there were lots of cute and goofy things to keep me entertained.  I know this show isn’t loved by all, but for the price (included in your cruise), it’s certainly worth seeing.  I hear it’s pretty similar to the shows done in the US; however, they do have audience participation.  Consider yourself warned.

Steven Sorrentino as Sonny and Cher

Steven Sorrentino is a Vegas comedian who was on our ship for the summer.  Tickets to his show were particularly hard to get.  I enjoyed his show, I laughed a lot.  His “victims” ranged from the Marx Brothers to famous people in the 1970’s so I would say his audience would primarily be for the 40+ crowd from the US.  I know the British didn’t get most of his jokes.
There were quite a few things that I did not see – some Spanish Ballet, which I heard was very good.  A puppet show, which I heard you couldn’t see the puppets unless you were in the front.  Legends In Concert, which I heard mixed reviews of.  The Second City was not on our ship, they took off for the summer.  I was disappointed by this, they were on my cruise in Hawaii and were very good.

There was a Beatles band, I thought they were very good, but the crowd didn’t seem to get into it so the experience wasn’t great.

But my favorite entertainment was Howl At the Moon where their motto is “it isn’t how well you sing, but how loud.”  In case you’re wondering it’s dueling pianos.  One of the nice things is that there are 3 people so they rotate their breaks and the show never stops!  Maybe I’m a cheesy 35 year old, but I loved just hanging out and singing along.   They took requests and often made funny and entertaining renditions of songs and other times they just did a nice ballad.  Good times!