Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Norwegian Epic Activities

67% of cruisers loved it
1836 reviews | Write a Review

Why Choose Norwegian Epic?

  • Dedicated Studio cabins and lounge for solos
  • Blue Man Group leads outstanding show choices
  • Aqua Park among best pool complexes at sea

Norwegian Epic Entertainment

Editor Rating


Replacing the Blue Man Group, the Epic Theater now hosts the double Tony Award winning (for costume design) musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Based on the flamboyant comedy movie, this colorful extravaganza features over 500 dazzling outfits -- including 200 headdresses -- and an array of feel-good dance floor hits. Located at the front of the ship on Deck 5, the Epic Theater is relatively small, extending over two decks and seating up to 681 passengers -- though with no restricted views to the stage.

Ballroom and Latin dance company Burn The Floor -- featuring 14 dancers, a live band and two singers -- brings their Ballroom Blitz show to the Epic. Expect sizzling and steamy dance routines taken straight from their hit Broadway show.

Hop into the 259-seat Headliners for the Second City improv comedy show. This one's better with a larger audience, and sit closer to the front if you want to see the performers on the tiny stage -- otherwise, you'll be watching them on the TV screens strategically scattered about the room. Better yet, don't miss the Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos show on the same stage. Both are free.

Most shows need tickets -- even the free ones, which are in the majority -- though these can be booked online or at the box office on Deck 6 outside the Epic Theater. Generally, the later the show, the smaller the audience, so go later if you're in a big group and want to sit together.

At Night

Formerly Fat Cats lounge, the Cavern Club invokes the spirit of the iconic Liverpool nightspot made famous as the venue for The Beatles early shows. Moodily-lit with plenty of red brick, it makes a good stab at recreating the atmosphere of the 1960s club, though some modern decorative touches do break the spell. The venue is designed in partnership with the owners of the real 57-year-old club, and features Beatles-inspired music from international artists.

For karaoke, late-night dancing and billiards, there's the adults-only Bliss Ultra Lounge, which also features three bowling lanes, plasma screens, and non-stop music.

The Cirque Dreams and Dinner show, is set in the 217-seat, two-floor Spiegel Tent. This theater-in-the-round show is a weird mix of shrill singing, so-so acrobatics and forgettable food, while tickets start at $29.99. The space is generally put to better use during the Second City's three-times-a-cruise, frequently hilarious murder-mystery lunch (costing $20).

Norwegian Epic Bars and Lounges

Bar Central -- a familiar NCL concept -- is enlarged on Epic and comprises a varied cluster of drinkeries. Along with a cigar bar and beer, scotch and martini meccas, passengers can literally grab a cold one in the Svedka Ice Bar, a stunningly beautiful, freakishly cold (17 degrees) and unique-to-Epic unmissable hotspot. Reservations are required, and the $20 cover buys you two drinks while complimentary faux fur takes the edge off the chill.

Other bars include the O'Sheehan's Neighbourhood Bar & Grill, a popular and spacious 24-hour hub that mixes traditional pub vibe with American diner touches and a three-lane bowling alley. A very different vibe can be found at Spice H2O, an adults-only complex that transforms into an Ibiza-inspired beach club every evening.

Norwegian Epic Public Rooms

Editor Rating
Public Rooms
As with many mega-ships, it can be hard to remember that you're on the open ocean. It's no different on Epic, whose grand outdoor spaces are almost entirely confined to the top decks (hence, no wrap-around promenade midship to burn off some calories).

Most of the main activity in the ship's interior centers on Decks 5, 6 and 7, where three levels of restaurants, entertainment venues and shops compete for attention. True, it all seems a bit mall-like, but you can't dispute the convenience.

Depending on the time of day, the three-story atrium and its giant video screen is either a hub of activity or a drowsy dead zone. When the sun is up, expect to see folks playing Wii golf or chatting up friends as tranquil videos backed by zither music light up the screen. At night, sports or movies are the featured attraction -- watch from plush chairs in the Deck 5 atrium coffee bar or, one flight up, on barstools at O'Sheehan's. (I opted for the latter and its eight beers on tap, free grub and perfect sightlines.)

In fact, the area surrounding the coffee bar is an ideal place for some quiet time, containing as it does the chi-chi Le Bistro; Epic's art gallery/auction house; the i-Connect Internet cafe; guest services; and the Click photo gallery. One cool thing about Click: There's no need to stare at hundreds of strangers' mugs when looking for your own. Just swipe your keycard at a kiosk to see your pictures, then find them in the binders located nearby.

For more action, head to Decks 6 and 7, which become packed with passengers at dinnertime and beyond. One place you won't find packed is Tradewinds. The ship's selection of duty-free -- and oft-deserted – shops, offerings include the Pointe, which sells all things NCL and Epic (including a $39.95 ship model); Jetties, for beachwear, cabana shirts and the like; and the Sandbox, a cute kid's store with stuffed critters and a wall of candy that can be yours for $11.96 a pound.

Be aware that the Epic casino slices right through the middle of Deck 6, so slot machines are unavoidable, particularly if you're heading to Shanghai's and several other venues. It's a curious design decision, inasmuch as the clanging sounds from the machine are jarring, and lingering entrails of cigarette smoke drive some passengers away from an area rich in culinary and entertainment options. Even when the area is empty-ish, you can still smell the smoke in the air, making it a real drag (pun intended). That said, the Vegas-esque gambling den is a risk-taker's dream, and at 13,000 square feet the largest NCL casino afloat. Choose among 340 slot machines, plus the requisite tables games, all of which make money go "poof!"

Norwegian Epic Spa & Fitness

Editor Rating
Spa & Fitness
Who needs a waterpark while you're at sea? Just about everyone it appears, and Epic delivers. Its mammoth Aqua Park is a kaleidoscope of pinks, greens and purples, centering on the Epic Plunge, in which tube-riders zip into a giant funnel before dropping through a 200-foot-long chute into a pool below. It's crazy fun, and I think I screamed louder than most of the kids waiting behind me in line. Two other slides are just as wet, maybe not as wild, but worth the wait.

Otherwise, expect a pair of standard pools surrounded by fountains, funky sculptures and an ocean of loungers. (Tip: Head farther aft to find available seating or check out the nearly hidden -- and frequently uncrowded -- sundeck on Deck 18; take the silver cylindrical elevator to the right of the Garden Café entrance, and don't forget the sunscreen.) Little ones have their own place to frolic in the Splash and Play Zone, a shaded oasis of fountains, wading pools and animal sculptures tucked under the water slides.

Other outdoor diversions include a rock-climbing wall (33 feet high, 64 feet wide) and an industry-first rappelling wall -- no surprise that more adventurers opted to let gravity do the work, so the rappellers (who clamber down the towering edifice) always seemed to outnumber the climbers. Still, the wait to do either paled in comparison to the lines for the bungee trampoline on the sports deck, home to a basketball court, the Spider Web (a two-story climbing cage covered in mesh and packed with sweaty kids) and more empty chaises.

To escape the frenzy of the Aqua Park, check out Spice H2O, a tiered, stage-like space that serves double duty as an adults-only pool during the day and an adults-only party space at night. (If you're worrying about whether the no-kids rule is taken seriously, in my experience it was.) For my money, the huge LED screen hugging the ship's aft detracts from the view; I'd rather see the actual ocean than a projection of waves. But the attendant bar and small buffet space was usually people-free, and there's a calming lull over the area that's fairly rare for Epic.

Alas, that's not the case at the Mandara Spa, a shockingly boisterous affair sequestered on Deck 14. Having just savored the facilities on NCL'S Norwegian Jewel, I expected the same sort of this-is-heaven experience on Epic. Instead, while the treatment rooms were lovely, the hydrotherapy courtyard and thermal suite was just short of a madhouse the half-dozen times I ventured forth. I never did get a chaise on the open-air deck, and the heated-tile loungers were almost always filled, or covered with wet towels.

All of that would have been fine, really, if the main attraction -- the therapy pool -- was actually therapeutic. But the chattering masses packed within ended that dream, and the unwanted showers provided by other guests who stuck their heads under the two super-jets spurting water into the drink mid-pool only added to the discomfort. It's too bad, inasmuch as the space itself is captivating, with an ethereal glow provided by twinkling lights embedded into the ceiling.

Better to save some money and splurge on one of 50 spa treatments (massages, facials, etc.) or hit the fitness center with its 37 treadmills and 18 cross trainers.

Next: Norwegian Epic Family
Print this section
Show The Lowest Price

Norwegian Epic Ratings

Editor Rating 4.0 Member Rating
Public Rooms
Spa & Fitness
Family & Children
Shore Excursions

Explore This Ship

Norwegian Epic Deck Plans Norwegian Epic Cabin Reviews
Ship Stats
June 2010
CDC Score:
Have you taken a cruise before?
Thank you!
Close X
See Deals on Norwegian Epic up to 82% off

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.