Norwegian Cruise Lines' new megaship Epic will have more restaurants
than any cruise ship ever -- a total of 14. Most will be alternative
dining venues, a term the industry uses for restaurants that assess a

This is no surprise; NCL's Freestyle ships have always had a
number of specialty restaurants -- as many as 11 on Norwegian Pearl,
for example -- but the dining options on Epic will offer the most
variety ever.

While the surcharges for these restaurants have not yet been
announced, they will likely be from $5 to $25 per person. There will
always be no-extra-charge cuisine in the regular dining room and the
breakfast and lunch Lido-style restaurants. (NCL says its self-serve
facilities are not buffet-style restaurants. The line uses the term
action stations to describe how the food is presented.)

The alternative restaurants will include many NCL favorites, such as Le Bistro and Teppanyaki, but they will be bigger and better on Epic. New restaurants on Epic include the first purely Chinese restaurant -- not Asian fusion as on previous NCL ships. O'Sheehan's, named after NCL's new CEO, will be an Irish pub with authentic pub food. The Epic Club and Courtyard Grill will be private restaurants for the Courtyard Villa ship within a ship suite guests only.

NCL claims to have invented the concept of alternative dining restaurants, the first being The Palm Tree, which carried a $35 service charge. I personally recall Le Bistro restaurant on the Norway back in 1992. But as I recall, the service charge was much less.

What is New on Norwegian Epic

Some of the new restaurants on Epic have never been offered on an NCL ship before.

The first exciting new option is an addition to an NCL favorite, Cagney's Steakhouse. The restaurant will also now include Churrascaria servings by pasadors. If you have no idea what that means, you are in for a treat. This Brazilian-style dining features servers bringing hot meats directly from the spit oven to you on a hot skewer.

The service includes a wooden signaling device on your table to tell
the pasadors you are ready for more meat. They bring the skewer over
and will carve off as much as you want. The meat is succulently hot and
delicious. I am sure this will be a favorite new dining option.

Another new option is O'Sheehan's Irish Bar, which will
probably stand out more for its fun than its food. The fun includes
pool tables, darts, foosball, air hockey and even three lanes of
bowling. The food will include traditional pub dishes like meat pies
and fish and chips.

The last entirely new option is Shanghai's, the new Chinese
restaurant. The room will offer a mix of Chinese dishes and noodle bar
specialties. Built around an open kitchen, the room will feature décor
that reflects Old Shanghai in the 1930s and is reminiscent of the China
Club in Hong Kong.

The Norwegian Epic Restaurants

Meals at Taste and the Manhattan Club
are included in the cruise fare, since they are the main dining rooms
for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition, you can enjoy the pub
food at O'Sheehan's and the Lido-style restaurants Café Jardin and the Great Outdoors at no extra charge. Café Jardin is open for casual dining at night.

The Manhattan Club will resemble an art deco supper club.
This two-deck-high restaurant will have a live band and a dance floor.
This is the largest main dining room, seating 600, and there is no
surcharge. It is located aft, with commanding views over the stern
through two-deck windows. Taste seats 540 and features contemporary cuisine. It is near the ground floor of the atrium and there is no charge to dine there.

Café Jardin & The Great Outdoors offer Lido-style
casual dining for breakfast and lunch. Rather than traditional
buffet-style service, the room features separate action stations. The
decor is influenced by the look of an English country garden
conservatory. Café Jardin is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the Great Outdoors is closed for dinner. There's no extra charge.

O'Sheehan's, the Irish Pub, also does not have a surcharge for dining. It seats 289 people and is open 24 hours a day.

Epic Club and Courtyard Grill seat 127 guests. These
restaurants are only available to those who book Courtyard Villa
staterooms. There is no extra charge for these restaurants.

 Specialty Restaurants (Various Surcharges Apply)

Teppanyaki is an NCL favorite, where chefs prepare the food directly in front of guests at individual preparation stations surrounded by chairs. The restaurant can seat 115 and can accommodate as many as 24 chefs serving at the same time.

Shanghai's features only Chinese cuisine.

Wasabi features traditional Japanese food like sushi, sashimi and Japanese Yakitori dishes. It will also have a sake bar.

La Cucina will be a Tuscan-style Tratorria offering regional Italian specialties including pizza, pasta with steak, chicken, and fish dishes. The décor will resemble an Italian courtyard, including a large olive tree with hanging lanterns.

Le Bistro is an upscale European continental restaurant and an NCL favorite. Le Bistro was one of the first alternative dining spots ever placed on a cruise ship in the early 1990s. When NCL executive vice president Andy Stuart described the food as French cuisine with an American flair, he added, which will horrify the French, but that's okay.

Stay Tuned

There is more to be announced about Epic -- including an additional restaurant and more details about the nightclubs. The next reveal of further details about Epic is scheduled for May.