Blue Man Group Makes Debut at Sea
The 4,100-passenger, $1.1 billion ship has a 650-person theater designed specifically for the Blue Man, and what passengers see on Epic is a full-length show complete with Twinkies, Jell-o, drumming and social commentary, all backed by an excellent, high-energy band.
The opening night crowd – mostly European travel agents on a prevew cruise from Rotterdam, Holland - was really into the 1 ½-hour performance, clapping along and pumping their arms in the air when directed by a blue-costumed trio (Blue Man does not speak, but does get his point of view across).
Norwegian Cruise Line has said with this 153,000-ton ship it would shake up the world of cruise entertainment and it certainly has. The cruise line has earned bragging rights.
Another big entertainment wow is Cirque Dreams, a circus/dinner theater held under a red and gold big top. As you dine on a set menu – steak and chicken (but don't come just for the food) – you watch two female acrobats (known as "twins" in the show), twist and turn in a large ring dangling many feet from the floor, strong men, jugglers, a tight-rope walker, a male acrobat with a beefcake body (who emerges out of water in a bathtub) and more, all in a show created for the ship.
The Cirque Dreams costumes are over-the-top, the humor adult-oriented. And even the wait staff is in on the act. But be prepared for two hours of nonstop activity – during which you may find you hate to look away to eat. There is a fee for attendance to this show, but it's worth it. This circus is certainly like nothing you've seen at sea before.
Passengers on Epic can also look forward to amazingly talented singer impersonators in Legends in Concert, a Vegas show that will do a full production some nights in the ship's theater. The Legends cast also does a shorter dinner show on select nights in the ship's Manhattan Room, one of two complimentary main dining rooms – the ship has more than 20 dining options, about half you pay extra for.
Tina Turner, Madonna and Elvis impersonators awed the supper crowd on the preview cruise.
Nightlife on Epic also features an impressive line-up of club acts. Before you hit the late-night disco scene you can head to an entertainment zone to see The Second City perform improv comedy in the Headliners comedy club, catch a dueling piano act called Howl at the Moon (also in the comedy club, and taking audience requests), and visit Fat Cats to hear blues so impressive you may think you're in Memphis.
NCL was not kidding when it said Epic would be the ship for entertainment. The shows can all be pre-booked on line, and the ship also has a box office for those seeking tickets once onboard.
After more preview sailings and a transatlantic, Epic officially debuts in New York on July 2, and later heads to its new homeport of Miami, where it will do a regular roster of weeklong Caribbean cruises.
Blue Man photo courtesy of NCL.