Quadruple Decked! NORWEGIAN EPIC, Part Four: Decks 6 and 5

This is the fourth and final page in our comprehensive Decked! top to bottom tour of the NORWEGIAN EPIC, one of the most anticipated and, to some, controversial, new cruise ships to come along in years. Decks 6 and 5 are devoted to public spaces such as the main entertainment venues, the casino, several dining spots and the reception area.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Dawning Of A New Norwegian Epoch: MV NORWEGIAN EPIC Sea Treks Blog by Peter Knego

Quadruple Decked!, Part One: MV NORWEGIAN EPIC Villa Complex and Suites

Quadruple Decked!, Part Two: MV NORWEGIAN EPIC, Decks 19 to 14

Quadruple Decked!, Part Three: MV NORWEGIAN EPIC, Decks 13 to 7

Deck 6

Epic Theater

Epic Theater, facing port/aft.

Deck 6 begins with the upper level of NORWEGIAN EPIC’s largest entertainment venue, the 681 seat Epic Theater. Most cruise ships have a very large theater that can accommodate a third to half their capacity but NCL is challenging the status quo by providing a multitude of smaller venues, each featuring headline acts.

Epic Theater, facing port.

The brilliant multimedia performance art-meets-musical/food splattering Blue Man Group performs eight 75 minute shows per week in the Epic Theater. Audience members in the first two rows are given hooded plastic panchos for protection from the elements but no one in the theater is safe from being “abducted” into the on stage antics.

Epic Theater, facing forward from starboard.

The Epic Theater is also the main venue for Legends In Concert, who offer six 45 minute shows three days per week. The first Legends line up includes Madonna, Elvis and Tina Turner impersonators but that will change every four months.  It pays to plan ahead here as a large block of seats is made available on line well in advance of each cruise.

Deck 6 Passage

Forward Deck 6 Lobby and Box Office, facing aft.
Forward Deck 6 Passage, facing aft.

The forward portion of Deck 6 contains a passage connecting the Epic Theater with two neighboring entertainment venues. This is one of the ship’s most lively and yet congested places during peak hours, a situation exacerbated by kiosks hawking souvenirs.

Spiegel Tent

Spiegel Tent, facing aft from Deck 6.

Accessed from the port side of the forward lobby, the 237 seat Spiegel Tent is the only one of its kind at sea:  a double deck, purpose-built dinner theater in the round. It is equipped with special lighting and fixtures to accommodate some extraordinary acrobatic feats by the ship’s Le Cirque company.

Spiegel Tent stairs to upper level.

Two extra tariff dining/entertainment options are available here. The first, Le Cirque Dreams and Dinner, is offered twelve times per week with a cover of $15 for general seating and $20 for premium (up front) seating. The two hour show is impressive for its sheer scale and technical tour de force but the content is, at times, cloying. And while the three course fixed menu is somewhat limited, the dishes are synchronously delivered and the food is tasty.  Warning:  those paying extra for upfront seats can expect to be dragged into segments of the show.

Spiegel Tent, facing port from Deck 7.

The Spiegel Tent is also the venue for the Nickelodeon’s Character Breakfast, offered three times per cruise at 8:00 AM. Price is $10 per child and $15 per adult.

Headliners Comedy Club

Headliners comedy club, facing aft.
Headliners comedy club, facing forward.

Aft of the Epic Theater and across the passage from the Spiegel Tent on the starboard side of Deck 6, there is the 280 seat Headliners. This 3,389 square foot venue features a stage, full bar and faux brick walls, emulating the ambiance of an urban comedy club. The setting is tailor-made for the popular improvisational Second City and Howl at the Moon comedy acts, although the sight lines are obstructed by support pillars.

O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill

O'Sheehan's, facing aft from port.

Pubs seem to be a new rage on board mega-cruise ships, with the popular Wheelhouse Bars on Princess now serving pub lunches and, of course, Cunard’s Golden Lions. NCL ups the ante with the EPIC’s 289 seat O’Sheehan’s (named for current NCL CEO Kevin Sheehan) with its non-tariff, 24 hour pub eatery.

O'Sheehan's bowling alley, facing aft.

Although NCL’s bowling alleys are not the first ever put to sea (sorry PR reps who claim otherwise!), they are the most abundant. On the EPIC, in addition to the three lanes in Bliss Ultra (see part three of this series), there are three lanes in O’Sheehan’s.

O'Sheehan's, facing aft from starboard.

O’Sheehan’s is situated on either side of the Deck 6 central atrium, with views of the two deck LED screen rising from the Deck 5 level.  This space is literally a “pub of activity”, with pool, darts and an array of flat screen televisions broadcasting ubiquitous sports events.

Epic Casino

Epic Casino, facing aft from port.

Spread over 13,000 square feet of Deck 6, the Epic Casino is rife with 340 slots, poker, black jack, roulette and craps tables, flashing lights, buzzing, ringing and all the accoutrements of a Las Vegas casino.

Epic Casino, facing aft from midships.
Cascades Bar, facing forward.

Fed by an escalator leading up from Deck 5 and stairs from Deck 6, the Casino has its own bar, Cascades, which is situated underneath the crystal light fixture in the aft atrium.

Fat Cats Jazz and Blues Club

Fat Cats jazz and blues club, facing aft.

Fat Cats Blues Club is tucked away on the port side of the ship in the aft portion of the casino. Described as “urban with a hipster vibe”, it seats 180 for nightly blues performances.

Shanghai’s Chinese Restaurant and Noodle Bar

Shanghai's, facing starboard.

Across the Casino from Fat Cats on the starboard side is Shanghai’s, the EPIC’s popular Chinese noodle bar and restaurant with an open viewing kitchen seating 133.

Shanghai's, facing aft.

Its decor is inspired by the China Club in Hong Kong and dinner is available for a $15 cover. Noodle bar courses are priced on an a la carte basis.

Manhattan Room Restaurant

Manhattan Room entrance lobby, facing aft.

A long central foyer leads aft from the Cascade Bar to one of the EPIC’s most attractive spaces, the 600 seat Manhattan Room.

Manhattan Room, facing aft.
Manhattan Room, facing starboard.
Manhattan Room, facing aft from port.

Floor to ceiling windows span the aft and side portions of the room.

Manhattan Room, forward/port bulkhead.
Manhattan Room, forward starboard bulkhead.

Colorful murals flank either side of the aft entrance.

Manhattan Room stage from above, facing aft.
Manhattan Room, facing aft/starboard.

The Art Deco-inspired, non-tariff dining venue features a two level dome over the aft/central stage and dance floor where a cabaret dinner show is held three nights per sailing, featuring the Legends in Concert impersonators: Madonna, Elvis and Tina Turner.

Deck 5

Art Gallery

Art Gallery, facing aft.
Art Gallery, facing forward.

Just aft of the Epic Theater on Deck 5 are three small conference rooms on the starboard side.  Unfortunately, none were available for photos during my short time on board. A midships passage continues with the EPICs Art Gallery, with for-sale content hosted by the hotly controversial Park West Galleries.

Le Bistro French Restaurant

Le Bistro entrance, facing port.

Le Bistro is the popular extra tariff French dining venue located on port Deck 5 adjacent to the Art Gallery.

Le Bistro, facing forward.
Le Bistro, facing forward from port.

It seats 124 passengers and commands a $20 per person cover charge in a setting that includes full length windows and an Art Nouveau ambiance.

I Connect Internet Cafe

I Connect Internet Cafe, facing forward.

On the starboard side of Deck 5, there is I-Connect, the ship’s cyber cafe.

Click Photo Gallery

Click Photo Gallery, facing aft.

The Click Photo Gallery is aft of I-Connect and the Art Gallery. On the EPIC, there is face-identification technology, allowing guests to digitally access images with their likeness without having to sort through stacks of photos.

Guest Services Lobby

Guest Reception, facing aft/port.

The Guest Services Desk and Shore Excursions offices are on the port side of the Atrium.

Deck 5 Atrium

Deck 5 Atrium, facing starboard.

The Atrium features a two deck LED screen with regularly scheduled sports broadcasts. It also contains a dedicated coffee bar.

Taste Restaurant

Tastes, facing aft. Photo and copyright Rob Di Stefano 2010.

Taste is a 540 seat non-tariff dining venue offering nouvelle cuisine in an ambiance that combines Art Nouveau, Odeon, Mondrian and futuristic influences.

Taste, facing aft from starboard.
Taste, facing aft from center.

Located at the base of the three deck atrium with the fiberoptic chandelier as a centerpiece, it spans the full width of the ship and concludes this comprehensive Decked! tour of the NORWEGIAN EPIC.

End of Quadruple Decked!  MV NORWEGIAN EPIC, Part Four:  Decks 6 and 5

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

Dawning Of A New Norwegian Epoch: MV NORWEGIAN EPIC Sea Treks Blog by Peter Knego

Quadruple Decked!, Part One: MV NORWEGIAN EPIC Villa Complex and Suites

Quadruple Decked!, Part Two: MV NORWEGIAN EPIC, Decks 19 to 14

Quadruple Decked!, Part Three: MV NORWEGIAN EPIC, Decks 13 to 7

Special thanks:  Martin Cox, Rob Di Stefano, AnneMarie Mathews, Courtney Recht

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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