Madeira is now behind us as Epic continues on her way southwesterly toward the Caribbean. 5 sea days stretch out before us. 5 days to do whatever we choose but will most likely consist of eating and drinking. Oh and trivia. Lots and lots of trivia. I will return with even more useless information in my head than I did before I left.
This is our 4th Transatlantic crossing and if numerous days at sea are not your thing then I would not recommend it. I am fine till about day 5 and then I start wishing for dry land…even just the sight of it. The endless flat horizon does something to the psyche if you are not born of or used to the sea. Of course, it helps that you are onboard a mega-size cruise ship full of endless activities, entertainment, restaurants and bars. There is always something to do. That said there is also something mesmerising about watching the ocean slip by your balcony. It’s ever-restless state sometimes seem to mirror your own. Best remain relaxed and calm then.
We are cocooned by 360 degrees of water and the only interlopers into our sphere of solitude is the odd cargo ship (by day 4 we’ve seen just one) and various marine life. This consists of multiple flying fish and one distant seabird skimming low over the waves. I thought I caught sight of a whale at one point but think it was more wishful thinking than an actual Cetacea.
Most days are spent with an early morning coffee. Breakfast. The progressive trivia. We have not embarrassed ourselves but we are far from being the best team. We usually head to Spice H2O which is the adults only area at the aft of the ship where there are some good spots to sit in the sun (if it’s out). Lunch will be in one of the venues detailed below. We scour the planner for afternoon activities or relax on our balcony, reading or listening to music. Peter often heads to the gym around 4pm (I avoid).
Depending on what show is on will determine when we eat but if you know us then we always start with a few pre-dinner cocktails in our favourite bars. Maltings and a Shakers on here. We have struggled to stay up past midnight but we blame age and the ever-changing clock times as we head west. It screws up the body clock.
I am combining these 5 sea days into one blog as people who have ever done the crossing will know, days seem to blur into one another until you forget which day it is all together.
Without doubt one of the best meals we have had on this ship or any other for that matter. We were a little trepidatious before we went having never tried this type of food before.
Sat around our Teppan (hot plate) are 4 couples including us. A couple from Venezuela, a couple from Florida and another couple from San Francisco, who we later learn that the last time they crossed the Atlantic was in a rowing boat.
I should point out that the food served here is not traditional Japanese food. We have some friends currently on a trip to Japan and the food pictures they are sending back would have you running for the hills. This is a more westernised version served by someone who is both chef and entertainer. I don’t recall the name of our chef but he was funny and highly skilled with his cooking utensils. We ate the following:
Miso Soup – starter
Ginger and Soy salad – 2nd course
Asuka – Filet Mignon and Shrimp – main course
Egg Fried Rice and mixed vegetables – to accompany the main course
I can’t tell you how delicious the Asuka was. Peter had similar although he swapped the shrimp for chicken. It was incredibly filling. So much so that we skipped dessert. I think everyone at our table did.
We enjoyed this restaurant very much. Based on the popular South American concept of the Churrascaria it’s basically a meat fest.
You start with a visit to the amazing salad bar where you could create a whole meal in itself from here. Everything was so fresh and amazing, I made my own Caesar Salad but I added potato salad, beef tomatoes & pickles. The danger is that you could overfill yourself before starting the mains.
The waiter places a coaster on your table that is green one side and red the other. When you are ready fo the ‘meats’ you just flip to green and a succession of Servers (or carvers) will turn up at your table with a selection of different cuts for you to try. Filet Mignon, Flank, Sirloin, Chicken, Pork, Lamb, Sausage. When you need a breather you just flip the coaster to red and they will stop. Needless to say, you fill up fast and we didn’t try everything. It was all very tasty though. We did manage to sneak in a dessert as well.
This is one of the main non-speciality restaurants onboard Epic. We have found dining here a bit hit and miss. The quality of the food has been pretty consistent but service is highly dependent on the servers themselves. Some excel whilst for others it seems just routine. Almost robotic like. Perhaps they are reaching the end of a long contract and have taken their eye off the ball a little.
This is the other main dining room and standards here are slightly higher (the menu is exactly the same as Taste). They are strict on attire in that you need to wear long trousers although this can be jeans etc. The ambience and service is better than taste though.
The Irish Bar/Cafe. If you are after something a little less formal then this is the place to go. It’s open 24/7 and serves a variety of pub styles meals in a sports bar type setting. We had breakfast here once but didn’t enjoy but the couple of times we had lunch here was very good. They do excellent burgers and sandwiches. I recommend the Chipotle Chicken Sandwich.
Slightly disappointed with Epics main Buffett. Not enough variety for me although you could always find something and the food quality was good. We always managed to find a seat even on the busiest days and the outside seating is a bonus when the weather is good.
Priscilla. Queen of the Desert.
An amazing production for a cruise ship show. Having seen the show in Manchester a few years back we wondered how they would transfer it to a cruise ship. It was more or less the same with some subtle difference. The costumes seemed even more outrageous and fabulous. There was a standing ovation at the end and rightly so.
Burn the Floor
We attended this very popular show once evening but neither of us were very impressed. The dancers were undoubtedly talented and enthusiastic and perhaps we were just not feeling it that evening but I was a little bored. Will admit I dropped off part way through but that could have been solely down to the large meal I had had before rather than the show. The rest of the audience seemed to really like it though.