Thursday, January 3, 2013

Norwegian Cruise Line's Epic Lunch

If you follow my blog, you know how much I love cruising. And while opinions may vary, I happen to think cruise ships have come a long way in the culinary arena. Dining on a ship has become a gourmet experience, where each meal is filled with surprise and flavor. This past summer, I wrote a post on my 7-day cruising adventure through the Caribbean and all the fabulous food I indulged in.  More recently, I got to sample the cuisine that will be available in the Norwegian Breakaway due to set sail this coming summer. (See post Norwegian Cruise Line - Norwegian Breakaway).

It is because of this infatuation with eating on board a moving vessel that I was excited to receive an invitation a couple of weeks ago to a delectable lunch on the Norwegian Epic. Although this ship wasn't going anywhere with me on it, the mind is a powerful thing and I could envision myself setting sail to a tropical port as soon as I set foot on the ship.

The incredible chefs who prepared our outstanding lunch

Ahi Tuna Tartare
Short Crust Tartlet
While I enjoy eating at the Main Dining Room when I cruise, and usually stick to it, I had a taste of the Epic's signature French restaurant Le Bistro. Ooh La La, I loved it! I started with two delicious appetizers (I couldn't decide on just one) the Ahi Tuna Tartare (surprised?) and the Short Crust Tartlet. The Ahi Tuna Tartare was exquisite, with an orange wasabi glaze and a sesame crisp.  The tartlet was a flavor explosion of goat cheese, sun dried tomato chutney, basil oil and kalamata olive tapenade. With a beginning like this, I was captivated!

Cleansing our palates between courses

Surf and Turf
Chocolate Log
To honor the land and sea, I had the Surf and Turf as the main dish. It was an amazing feast of a tender and sweet lobster tail paired with a juicy filet. These two delicacies were accompanied by broccoli, sauteed mushrooms and country potato wedges. I'm sure the thought of stowing away would've entered anyone's mind at this point, but wait, there's more. As a grand finale to this enticing lunch, I ordered the Chocolate Log, a sweet surrender consisting of "spiced" dark rum-infused banana cocoa mousse. It was a combination of sweet flavors and textures that left me breathless.

In addition to this wonderful meal, I got an up-close and personal tour of the Norwegian Epic, including the "coolest" part of the ship (and by cool, I mean a whooping 17 degrees F.). Let me take you on a virtual tour of my adventure...

Welcome to The Haven; the most luxurious section of the Norwegian Epic. Here is where you find the Penthouses, Family Villas and Owners' Suites.

Guests have access to the exclusive courtyard area, Concierge Lounge, private restaurant and bar. It gives a whole new meaning to the term "The Suite Life".

We all know how hot it can get out on the Caribbean, so the Epic found a solution. Need to cool down? Just go to the Svedka Ice Bar and problem solved. Inspired by the original ice hotels in Scandinavia, it is one of only 14 in the world and the only one at sea. They'll even lend you a Parka and some gloves so you can hold your drink served in a glass made of ice.

My favorite: The Sunburst Yellow

Sadly, I had to wave goodbye from the port as I watched others cruise away, but the incentive is there to return real soon. If I enjoyed the Epic's culinary temptations so much in just one sitting, I can imagine what kind of adventures I'll have in a week.

For more information on Norwegian Cruise Line, visit their site at


  1. Very nice photos! It must be a very memorable trip. Also try Corryvreckan cruises.

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