Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Night Out On Norwegian Epic

Norwegian Cruise Line’s signature “Freestyle Cruising” offers a multitude of choices—there are so many dining and entertainment options on Norwegian Epic that it would be difficult to experience them all in a single week, but we’re giving it our best shot.

Take last night for instance. We began the evening with dinner in Moderno, the Brazilian style churrascaria. It’s a new restaurant experience introduced on Norwegian Epic in which diners help themselves to a soup and salad bar before servers make the rounds to tables offering meat on skewers—lamb, various cuts of beef, chicken, sausages, and even sweet pineapple. Sides included fried bananas, garlic mashed potatoes, rice, and beans. Beside your plate is a card to indicate your wishes—to continue service you place the green side up and when you’re done you turn it over to the red side. We saved room for dessert and my flan was exquisite. While I had never dined in a churrascaria in Brazil, Mel has on numerous occasions and I was anxious to hear his impression of Moderno. One word said it all—authentic. Plus, he said the meats we enjoyed were more tender than those he’d typically been served in Brazil.

No night out would be complete without entertainment and we found plenty that didn’t require reservations. Music filled the air as James Barr entertained on piano in Shakers, the champagne and martini bar, while guitarist Scott Stowe played next door in Maltings the beer and whiskey bar. We alternated between them before setting off for Headliners Club to see the Howl at the Moon dueling piano show. Not your traditional piano bar, the room is set up for viewing and listening with rows of chairs and video screens so everyone can see the action on stage no matter where they are seated. The show is augmented by enthusiastic audience participation as the performers play requests and interact with guests.

Headliners was rocking, but before the night was over we had another stop to make—the Slam Allen Blues Band was playing in the Fat Cats Lounge and we were advised their show was not to be missed. That turned out to be an excellent tip and Slam Allen was our favorite show of the night. When their set ended with “Shout” everyone was on their feet dancing and singing along.

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