TRAVEL THERE: FORMAL NIGHT (OR NOT) ON NORWEGIAN EPIC IS MOSTLY NOT
Formal Night is one of my favorite nights when I’m cruising, but on the Epic I wasn’t feeling very good as I dolled up in crepe and beading. I gave it my best shot though, because we were going to eat in Le Bistro, the French Specialty Restaurant.
“Or Not” Trumps Formal
The Epic has amended Formal Night and changed it to Formal or Not Night and there was a whole not lot or not going on. When I’m getting all dressed up, part of the fun is looking at everyone else that’s gotten all dressed up. There wasn’t a whole lot to look at on the Epic.
Nor was there a Captain’s Cocktail Party. The captain is probably thrilled to death about that, but I missed it.
Now this might be good news or bad news for you. If you’re the kind that hates dressing up and especially on vacation, then you are absolutely gonna love the Epic. If like me, one of the reasons you go on a cruise is to get dressed up, then book another ship. Only about a dozen other folks on board will dress up with you when you’re free-styling. The rest will be in sun dresses and aloha shirts, if not jeans and a t-shirt.
The picture above is about the only decent one taken of me that night, because the rest made it very clear that I wasn’t at my best. My eyes were puffy and I could barely muster a smile. In fact, I’m not sure why this one came out so well.
Le Bistro is Le Best
Le Bistro was wonderful. My taste buds were not in high gear, but they were working well enough for me to know that I was eating good food. I opted for two starters that night: French Onion Soup and escargot. Both were excellent.
The meal started off with a bang – literally. Le Bistro is directly beneath the Speigal Tent and the performers were in the middle of their first show as we pulled our elegant chairs up to the Le Bistro table. The waiters were clearly embarrassed and apologized profusely. Thankfully, the banging was short-lived and once we’d begun our appetizers, then our meal went uninterrupted.
The menus on the Epic are designed to cut down on food costs. On other cruises I’ve been on, the menu (and the wait staff) encourage you to have soup, salad, appetizers, a main course and dessert. No one on the Epic tells you that you can’t have something, but the menu is divided into Starters and Entrees. I didn’t let the divisions discourage me. If I wanted salad and an appetizer, I got it. If I wanted soup to start and a salad as my entree, that’s what I ordered. The waitstaff always complied, but I’m betting that a lot of people think they are limited to a starter and an entree.
After you finish your meal, they bring you the dessert menu and we weren’t bashful about ordering more than one dessert either. At Le Bistro, everyone ordered a dessert and then we ordered the chocolate fondue for the table. In Le Bistro, they also serve French Press coffee and my table mates enjoyed it, but I’m not a coffee drinker.
I had cheese for dessert. It’s one of those things I’ve seen other people do, but I’d never gotten around to it. I’m usually sharing a dessert with Mr. Sweet-tooth, but I’d already had a crepe, in the afternoon, so cheese sounded pretty good – and it was.
By the end of the meal, I was exhausted. I tried to interest Bill in some of the activities available, but if I was going back to the cabin, then he was going to go be my nurse. I got out of my finery and read for a while. Come back next week and hear what happened on St. Maarten.