Friday, March 19, 2010

Norwegian Epic: Free Eats In Over Half The Restaurants

Count Mel and me among those passengers who appreciate dining choices while on a cruise vacation. Our at-home lifestyle is laid back and casual. We eat when we are hungry, whether that’s at 6pm or 8pm. While Mel might disagree, we’ve never minded “dressing” to dine, or paying a supplement for a special dinner, but there are times when we just don’t feel like it, so Norwegian Cruise Line's “Freestyle Cruising” suits our style just fine.

And now NCL has announced that its largest, most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, Norwegian Epic, will feature an extensive number of complimentary Freestyle dining options–11 out of 21 total–that are included in the cruise fare. The additional 10 dining options will have a nominal cover charge. Guests on board Norwegian Epic can select from a variety of cuisines, dining styles and atmospheres on board with a total of 21 dining options. Those that will be free of charge are:

· Taste, the atrium restaurant serving traditional and contemporary cuisine;
· Manhattan Room, reminiscent of an elegant supper club complete with music, dancing and entertainment;
· O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill, serving American favorites and comfort food, 24 hours;
· Garden CafĂ©, Norwegian's signature action station casual restaurant;
· Great Outdoors, the pool-side grill;
· Spice H20, serving Latin and Asian-influenced cuisine in the adults-only complex;
· Atrium Cafe and Wine Bar;
· Studio Lounge, serving snacks and light fare;
· Epic Club, the elegant, exclusive eatery available to Norwegian Epic's Suite and Villa guests;
· Courtyard Grill, the more casual, outdoor area of the Epic Grill, open for breakfast and lunch; and
· 24-hour room service.

“It’s important for our guests to know that Freestyle Cruising on Norwegian Epic will offer the ultimate in freedom and flexibility, especially when it comes to dining,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “With that flexibility comes a wide-range of complimentary dining venues and options.”

In addition, Norwegian also announced the cover charges for Norwegian Epic’s specialty dining/entertainment venues (the good news is none of them will break the bank or our vacation budget):

· La Cucina, Tuscan-style eatery serving regional Italian specialties, $10 per person;
· Cirque Dreams & Dinner, two shows nightly including a three-course meal, $15 for general seating/$20 per person for preferred seating;
· Shanghai’s, Norwegian Epic’s new Chinese restaurant serving a delicious mix of Chinese dishes and noodle bar specialties, $15 per person;
· Shanghai’s Noodle Bar, a la carte pricing;
· Wasabi, expansive sushi and sake bar, a la carte pricing;
· Le Bistro, Norwegian’s elegant bistro serving classic French cuisine with an American flair, $20 per person;
· Moderno Churrascaria, expansive salad bar and choice of a variety of meats served by tableside passadors, $18 per person;
· Cagney’s Steakhouse, the line’s signature American steakhouse, $25 per person;
· Teppanyaki, the largest signature Japanese experiential restaurant at sea, $25 per person; and
· Pizza delivery, $5, available 24 hours around the ship.

"With our specialty restaurants, some guests may choose to dine in one of these venues just once or twice during their cruise to celebrate a special occasion," added Sheehan. "At the same time, others may want to sample a different specialty restaurant each evening to experience a new type of cuisine. That’s the great thing about Freestyle Cruising–the choice is up to our guests to decide how they want to customize their trip.”

We couldn’t agree more and Mel and I are really looking forward to exploring all the options on Norwegian Epic in July when she arrives in Miami.

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