Then there’s Entourage, an exclusive teen zone for ages 13-17, located at the top of the ship. This funky space might even make mom and dad jealous, with air hockey and foosball tables, a video jukebox, flat-screen TVs and a central gaming area featuring PlayStation 3. In the evenings, Entourage transforms into a nightclub for this same age group with a dance floor and plenty of comfy couches to lounge on. Right below Entourage is an expansive video arcade with everything from Guitar Hero to car racing games and vending machines stocked with goodies.
freestyle entertainment Gone are the days where cruises featured one or two nightly shows in one dedicated theater. The Epic offers a number of entertainment options—some even offered for the first time at sea—designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences.
Our favorite, though, by a long shot was the Blue Man Group, which truly pushes the envelope in terms of innovative theatrical performances. We recommend you tell your clients to set aside an evening for this zany performance (suitable for kids ages 5 and up), because it’s a completely unexpected and a delight. The group performs eight shows per week in the ship’s Epic Theatre and runs 75 minutes; reservations are encouraged.
There’s also “Cirque Dreams and Dinner,” a 2-hour interactive theatrical dining experience that takes place nightly in the Spiegel Tent, which we think is a great option for families with younger children. Though there are a couple of acts with some impressive acrobats, this show is full of mayhem, with jugglers, mischievous characters, music, and tons of silliness. “Cirque Dreams and Dinner” performs 12 shows during a 7-day cruise. Cover charge is $15 pp for general seating in the banquets and upper deck and $20 pp for premium seating on the ground floor.
playtime for grownups Clowns, jugglers and blue-painted performers are all well and good, but mom and dad might want some more, shall we say, “mature” activities—and we’re not talking shuffleboard here. Enter the SVEDKA Ice Bar. Inspired by the original ice bars and ice hotels in Scandanavia, SVEDKA is the first ice bar at sea and a must-visit on the Norwegian Epic. This frozen chamber of ice features a bar, walls, tables, stools, glasses and life-size sculptures. LED lighting with changing hues of blue, green and purple are reminiscent of the Northern Lights, creating an authentic Arctic atmosphere. Guests are given coats, gloves and hats to keep warm, since the room is kept at a chilling 17 degrees Fahrenheit.
SVEDKA is open nightly from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. There is a $20 pp cover charge that includes two signature cocktails and 45 minutes in the Ice Bar. Reservations are encouraged.
Guests who would rather stay warm can check out any of the other 20 bars and lounges on board. POSH Beach Club, for instance, is an outdoor space perfect for poolside lounging during the day, lined with white-cushioned daybeds and private cabanas. At night, POSH turns into an open-air nightclub, complete with a dance floor, DJ and VIP bottle service.
There’s also Bliss Ultralounge—a bowling alley and casual lounge by day and nightclub with dance floor and private VIP areas by night—and SpiceH20, an adults-only complex with a pool and plenty of lounging space, as well as an oversized LED screen that displays vibrant video images and music. Then at night, a dance floor rises from the pool and Spice H20 becomes a beach club with live entertainment.
Gamers will also love to know that much of deck 6 is dedicated to the Epic Casino, spanning over 13,000 sq. ft. This Monte Carlo-inspired casino features 340 slot machines, along with gaming tables featuring blackjack, roulette, poker and craps. Cascades Bar, with a grand central crystal chandelier serves as the casino’s centerpiece.
freestyle dining With 20 freestyle restaurants on board, there are dining options to please every palate. During Recommend’s visit, we particularly enjoyed Teppanyaki (cover charge $20 pp), which features chefs cooking exhibition-style Japanese cuisine on top flat grills. Cagney’s Steakhouse is also a must (cover charge $25 pp). Here, guests can enjoy mouth-watering steaks ranging from filet mignon to a 167-oz. T-bone, as well as salmon and double cut pork chops, and an array of cocktails.