Sunday, July 11, 2010

Norwegian Cruise Epic Inaugural Cruise 7/2/20 Part two

This ship as we stated before is an entertainment ship. Some cruise lines focus on the family, others cruiser amenities,and others entertainment. Norwegian is definitely focusing on entertainment. We saw Blue Man group the first night. We got there about 30 minutes early and I suggest that if you want a decent seat you get there a little early. You are guaranteed a seat for that show, but seats are first come first serve. We were about 6 rows from the front and dead center and thought it perfect. No fear of getting splatter but close enough not to miss anything. The show is loud, if you do not like loud this might not be the show for you. All I can say about it is that it is fascinating and intriguing. I enjoyed the show from beginning to end and laughed through most of it. These guys are wonderful and I wonder why I had never seen this show before. It is a must do.

We were supposed to see Second City the first night too, but because of a snafu they canceled the show and we saw it the second night. They still have to work out some scheduling since the manager was not happy to see us entering her venue. So, on Saturday at 11:45m we saw Second City. It was good but not what I was expecting. It was definitely off color which did not bother me, but did others. It was kind of disjointed and sometimes they spoke so fast I missed it, and they were only about 3 feet away from me. It is a do once kind of thing.

We went to Howling with the Moon, and like I said before. If you are a fan of JellyRolls in Disney World then this would be a disappointment. They got the crowd going very late into the night, but I think it was more due to the alcohol intake in the room and not the entertainment.

Now Fat City was another story. We were in there twice and the band and group that was in there each time were exceptional. One group was 4 songwriters and we stayed the entire time they were on. The other was the jazz band that we caught only one song and they were well worth it and really worked the crowd. It is definitely a nightly haunt if I returned to this ship.

The casino was great. We would stop in there often. There were a ton of .01-.05 slot machines with some .25 and up to $1 slots. There were other games like the coin drop and many tables with everything from Let it Ride to Roulette. There seemed to be people there all the time. There were quite a few machines scattered about to cash your vouchers or make change. The casino was very good.

The other thing was that there were entertainers scattered around the ship. There always seemed to be someone near the steakhouse playing the guitar, The guys was truly worth listening too. Lots of songs from the 70's to now. The other place we always saw someone was the huge video screen below the Sushi bar. There was usually a duo there playing the guitar and violin, that was also very good on the ears.

The band up on deck were the calypso kind that you get on almost any ship. Nothing to exceptional but would be missed if not there, because you expect that music on the deck.

We heard that Cirque Dreams Dinner is not to be missed and reservations should be made as soon as they open. The venue holds less than 260 people and they go very fast. We did not get in, but heard it was well worth it.

We did not hear anything about the Legends in concert or the character breakfast which were sold out quickly. I did see the Elvis, Tina Turner and Marilyn Monroe impersonators at a NCL event in Florida before and they were awesome, so I would not expect anything less on the ship.

We did take a spa tour and I have never seen a spa like their. It is huge and has many steam rooms. Some with scents, some single sex and some for both men and women. They have the heated lounges, a private lounge area, many therapy rooms, a small pool with water feature and hot tubs, and a huge gym. Last but not least they have a wonderful salon.

Up on deck the water park is more fun than a 46 year old woman should have. The plunge is so much fun. The green slide is very dark and extremely fast. The fushia slide is fast but you can actually see as you slide The pool has great water features and places to sit and socialize. The kids area is in the shade which is perfect for little ones, though it also means it is quite cool there. We walked around the sports are and people were enjoying the rock wall and the first ever grappling wall at sea. The spider web thing always had kids in it, as did the basketball court. We saw the trampoline thing and the ice skating rink but no one was using them. A word for those who have ice skated on RCCL's rink this rink is outside and is synthetic. There is no ice involved at all, and since no one was using it and I did not want any broken bones, we can not tell you if it was any good.

If you have any other questions ask away!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Norwegian Epic Inaugural Cruise July 2-4 NYC part 1

The alarm went off at 3 am in the morning on Friday. We got ready and we were on the road by 4 am. We took Christopherson our Australian Navigation device and he got us to NYC in just over 3 hours. It was a very nice drive and no traffic to speak of.

Got to the pier way to early, at 7 am and were told to go to a corner of a lot and to wait til 9am when the parking lot would open for us. At 7:15 or so we were told to move and drive around NYC or live park and move when we saw the police. We did that until 8:45 or so. Then they let us in. An FYI for those parking at the NYC it is $30 a day. We were on the ship by 9:30 am. We brought on our own luggage on board and walked straight to our room.

Before I start on the room, let me say one of the most important things to me on a cruise is the size of the cabin. we are a family of 5. For the most part there is always 4 or us traveling. The cabins though gorgeous, are very small. There is less than a foot and a half between the cabinets and the bed. Even for two people who are maybe a little Pooh sized it is a tight feel. Three people in our room would have caused someone to go overboard from the balcony if it was a 7 day cruise. Just my honest opinion. The cabinets are very efficient. There are some wired baskets in some lower cabinets for added space. Closets have two bars in the tall one and one in the small one. We had three large deep drawers for everything else. The light over the sink is dim, and I was told they will be fixing that in all the rooms, but the one over the large mirror was great. The medicine cabinet over the sink is a great touch too and gets stuff of the counter space which is small. There was a cabinet with the safe and more shelves to the right of the mirror. Don't put your pocketbook there and remember it is still there when you are 2.5 hours away. Believe me it is very hard to get any help on the ship once you are off it. Back to the room...the bed was very comfortable. Though Judy is tall (5 foot 10 inches) and her feet hung over the edge of the bed. We spoke to a gentleman who hated it because he was 6ft and he hung over up to his mid-calf. The covers and sheets were soft and felt luxurious.

Now for the bathroom. I know it is supposed to have a European feel but the bathroom made me uncomfortable. Now I went with my friend Judy, and well it was uncomfortable to sit on the potty and be able to see movement through the frosted glass, and vice versa from the outside in. The same thing for the shower, though I closed the privacy curtain so I could come out of the shower to change. I was worried that if someone was changing they could come in while someone was dressing and everyone in the hall would get a free show BUT.....I was told that once you put your key in the slot to turn on the room electricity no one can come in that door. Yes, I found out the hard way that the slot next to the door is for you to put your room key in. Once you do that it turns the electricity on in the room. I finally had to call the front desk, because none to the electrical things were working in the room...DUH!

I can not see a family with children older than 8 have an easy time with the bathrooms. Someone would be getting thrown out of the room at all times. Especially if it is a girl/boy combination.I did not like that the toilet door is noisy when you open and close it, especially wen it is late at night and you want to sleep. Also, the toilet is to the left of the room, has a sliding door you have to open to get out, and the sink is across the room on the right hand side. Not very hygienic in my opinion. We encountered many many agents and guests saying the rooms are to small for more than 2 people.

The room would be great for a couple, newlyweds and very close friends. For families go for the bigger suites. The two bedroom one was very nicely done. But that come in a later posting. I love the numbers by the doors at the bottom is a wheel, and you turn it for service, do not disturb, turn down and welcome :) Very nice not to go searching for the tag you put on the door.

We walked around the ship taking pictures and video of the suites. It was great having so many rooms open for viewing. We also took lots of video and pictures of the public areas.

Let me say this for the is a mini Las Vegas. Their emphasis on this ship is entertainment. It has the largest casino on the high seas, with over 350 slot machines, and many many table games. The entertainment venues were wonderful. Everyone who saw Cirque was amazed. Blue Man Group was wonderful(do not miss it), the bars and restaurants we ate at were great. There is so much variety from a Brazilian restaurant to Sushi, and everything in between. We will go into detail on the ones we did visit ourselves. There was music everywhere for any musically taste. Two gorgeous screens 2 stories high that you could see sporting events, play the Wii, or have beautiful scenery from all over the word on while musicians played their instruments. The water park area is amazing, and the slides, pools and water features are an entire day of fun. Norwegian really out did themselves on the public and entertainment venues. You will not be bored on this ship. The regular "free" restaurants were pretty but small in comparison, the object is to have people use the specialty restaurants more than the main dining rooms. To be honest for the $18 cost per person it is worth to to go to Moderno Churrascaria.

Stay tuned for videos, and pictures...the wire to download my pictures has mysteriously disappeared along with my pocketbook which is in lost and found on the ship going to Miami, as we speak.

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