Passengers:4,100 Best for: Families, stimulation-craving adults, and anyone who likes a big ship with lots of action
Sails: The Caribbean, Mediterranean, Transatlantic Crossing
At a Glance: After being refurbished in late 2015, this megaship is better than ever. Like other Norwegian ships, Epic packs so many restaurants, activities, and bars onto its decks, it’s almost impossible to try them all in one trip.
If you’re looking for extra privacy and perks and don’t mind a splurge, reserve a stateroom in The Haven, an exclusive suites-only area with its own restaurant, lounge, courtyard, and pool. The largest suites on the ship are the 852-square-foot Deluxe Owner’s Suites, which come with a living room, dining room, and oversize balcony. Not staying in a suite? Staterooms range in size from a 100-square-foot studio to a 241-square-foot Mini-Suite with a balcony.
The AquaPark is the ship’s splashiest feature with two pools, five hot tubs, and three wild water slides. Among them is Epic Plunge, which Norwegian says is the first and largest bowl slide at sea. (There’s also a kids’ pool for the little ones.) For those who’d prefer to stay out of the water, there’s a bowling alley in Bliss Ultra Lounge and a sports complex on deck 17 with a rock-climbing wall, rappelling wall, and full-size basketball court. Traveling with kids? The ship’s Splash Academy children’s program will keep them busy with everything from video games to dancing.
With dozens of treatments on offer from hot stone massages to acupuncture, the Mandara Spa might be the most relaxing spot on the ship. One of the biggest draws is the Thermal Suite, where passengers come to take a dip in the thalassotherapy pool, or loll on heated lounge chairs. Spa suite guests have unlimited access to the Thermal Suite, while other passengers can purchase a pass.
There are 20 restaurants onboard, including the three main dining rooms. But the latter aren’t the only places to eat for free. O’Sheehan’s serves up complimentary pub grub like fish ‘n’ chips, while Shanghai’s Chinese Restaurant and the smaller Shanghai’s Noodle Bar dish out Asian favorites. But if you really want to treat yourself, make a reservation at one of the for-fee restaurants, most of which are à la carte. For oysters Rockefeller and bone-in rib eye, try Cagney’s, Norwegian’s signature steakhouse. Other for-fee options include Brazilian steakhouse Moderno Churrascaria, Italian eatery La Cucina, Japanese eatery Teppanyaki, Wasabi sushi, and traditional French restaurant Le Bistro.
The ship has more than a dozen bars onboard. The coolest spot on the ship is Svedka Ice Bar, where the bar itself and your chair are hewn entirely from ice. Sip spirits at Maltings Whiskey Bar, order an appletini at Shaker’s Martini Bar, hit the disco at Bliss Ultra Lounge, or check out the Beatles cover band at the Cavern Club. As for entertainment, passengers can head to Headliner’s for comedy or hit the Epic Theater for Broadway shows like Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Burn the Floor.