Life’s a beach – at least that’s one element of what clients will encounter onboard the Norwegian Epic -- as the line’s recent press conference at cruise3sixty took place amid a creative, fun landscape of beach balls, lounge chairs, outdoor cabana-style beds, and even a pseudo pool decorating the room.
Roberto Martinoli addresses the crowd at cruise3sixty
It was a press conference backdrop for another Epic “reveal” by NCL executives including Roberto Martinoli, the line’s new president and COO, and Andy Stuart, executive vice president of global sales and passenger services.
Excitement is high on the Freestyle Cruising list of options for Epic. The line revealed that the new ship will boast an expansive Aqua Park that Martinoli describes as “really amazing” with three slides – a green colored kids’ slide; a purple slide for thrill seekers who will enjoy a three-story drop; and the dramatic Epic Plunge yellow slide, which is the only tube slide and largest bowl slide at sea
In addition, Martinoli says your clients can get their thrills on a 33-foot-high, 64-foot-wide extreme rock climbing wall and the first ever rappelling wall at sea.
The ship will also boast six bowling lanes in two venues – three in Bliss Ultra Lounge and three in the new O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill; the latter new Irish pub will be open 24 hours.
A mixed use sports deck will allow guests to engage in eight different athletic activities including basketball, volleyball, soccer, dodge ball, baseball batting [in a batting cage], bungee trampoline; a rope adventure course; and a 24-foot-high climbing cage called the spider web. The ship also has the first squash court at sea.
Norwegian Epic will also feature three separate kids’ and teen activity areas. The kids area – split into separate spaces for kids ages two to nine and tweens – is called Recess. Entourage is the new high-energy teen area for those 13-17.
Andy Stuart at the Norwegian Epic reveal party at cruise3sixty
Executives also revealed the next generation of Freestyle Dining with 14 restaurant choices – the most at sea – along with 18 bars and lounges.
In terms of dining venues, Taste will be located in the ship’s atrium, serving traditional and contemporary cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Décor will be European retro chic.
An elegant aft restaurant is the two-story Manhattan Room, bringing a new dining concept to Epic. “We’re going to have live music and dancing here and then it will become a late night supper club as well,” said Stuart.
Modeled on a traditional English country garden conservatory, Café Jardin will feature 12 live action stations including a kids’ café. This replaces a traditional buffet, and is more guest friendly. The Great Outdoors allows al fresco dining with views of the Aqua Park.
The line’s signature steakhouse now has a new Argentinean twist – becoming Cagney’s Steakhouse & Churrascaria; guests will savor a variety of skewered meats presented by tableside passadors. “We’ve also built a beautiful, sumptuous salad bar” notes Stuart.
La Cucina is a Tuscan-style eatery, which Stuart describes as “one of the prettiest restaurants on the ship.” It’s split into two areas – one a traditional Tuscan farm home and the other an Italian courtyard with a large olive tree and hanging lanterns.
The signature upscale Le Bistro delivers French cuisine with an American flair.
A first for NCL is a totally new Shanghai restaurant with décor reflecting old Shanghai in the 1930s. Boasting a show kitchen, it will serve a mix of Chinese dishes and noodle bar specialties. Guests will order traditional Chinese cuisine, noodles, wok fried dishes and dim sum.
The new Wasabi will feature sushi and sake. In addition, NCL’s Teppanyaki restaurant concept will also be expanded on Epic with 115 seats. Teppanyaki diners will view up to 24 knife-wielding chefs working their culinary magic at one time.
Complimentary for suite and villa guests (with a fee for other guests), there are two dining venues -- the Epic Club and Courtyard Grill high atop the ship in The Villas complex.
Stuart said yet another restaurant – yet unnamed – as well as more bars will be revealed in May.