There are usually two main dining rooms on Norwegian Cruise Line ships. On the Star and Jewel class ships, the aft dining rooms are grander than the mid-ship dining rooms. With Norwegian Epic, the two main dining rooms are even more distinct.
At the aft end of the ship is the Manhattan Room. Modeled after the New York City supper clubs of the first half of the 20th century, the room has a polished sophisticated appearance. The center of the room rises two decks high and has a dance floor and a stage at one end.
These are not merely for decoration. Musicians perform here during dinner and it is not unusual to see the dance floor populated with guests.
In keeping with its more sophisticated atmosphere, the Manhattan Room has a somewhat more rigorous dress code than the majority of the venues on Epic. According to the daily program, no shorts are allowed in the Manhattan Room after 5 p.m. and shoes and a shirt must be worn. Inasmuch as the restaurant only opens at 5:30 p.m., this means that shorts are never allowed and you must always wear shoes and a shirt. And the staff does enforce this prohibition.
Despite this restriction, the Manhattan Room often has guests waiting to be seated during the most popular hours. Guests are issued a pager so that they do not have to wait at the entrance to the dining room.
In contrast, I never had to wait to be seated at Epic's other main dining room, Taste. It serves essentially the same menu, but Taste is less visually impressive and has no live entertainment.
The main section of this room lies beneath the giant chandelier that dominates the center of Epic's public decks. Guests can up from their tables and see the chandelier and the open public areas on Decks Six and Seven. Done in a modern style, this section offers little else in visual interest.
On either side of the center section are one deck high rooms decorated in a resort style including shuttered windows. During breakfast and lunch on sea days, one can look out and see the ocean rushing by.
I enjoyed my meals in Epic's main dining rooms. Particularly memorable was the Broiled Lobster Tail in the Manhattan Room. Also interesting were the regional specials offered each evening. A Jamacian seafood stew that I had in Taste was very good. The eggplant parmesan was good but lacked real personality. Service was good in both restaurants.
Neither of Epic's main dining rooms have a cover charge. Taste is open for breakfast, lunch (sea days) and dinner. The Manhattan Room is only open for dinner.
Above: The Manhattan Band performing jazz numbers in the Manhattan Room during dinner
Below: The center section of Taste.
Above: A Jamacian seafood stew.
Below: Lobster tail.
Click here for our interview with the Hotel Director of Norwegian Epic
Click here for other dining reviews of Norwegian Epic
Cruise ship restaurant review - - Norwegian Epic - -Norwegian Cruise Line - Manhattan Room, Taste