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Epic--Reservations needed for main dining room??

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We're new to NCL and will be on the Epic out of Rome in about four months.  This "freestyle dining" stuff is all new to us.  There will be 10 in our group, and we're not interested in the specialty restaurants.  Do we need to be making reservations in advance for our group in the main dining rooms?  If so, how do we know what time the evening shows are so we can know what time to make the dinner reservations.  Also, any advice on which "free" places we should make reservations for?  Thanks!

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For a group of 10, it is better to make reservations. 


120 days prior to your departure, reservations for shows and dining open. It is best to reserve EXACTLY 120 days prior to your cruise. You will be able to see the times of the two shows (Burn the Floor and Priscilla Queen of the Desert). Each show plays on two nights (2 shows per night). 


Once you are on the ship, you can book comedy shows, escape room sessions, Canvas by U (painting - extra charge), Cirque Dreams dinner show (extra charge). Each person in your party needs to book their own comedy shows using a touch screen kiosk in public elevator lobbies or at the boxoffice in front of the forward elevators on Deck 6.  Early comedy shows are family oriented and late shows are 18+. 


Each party in your group has to book their shows on their own. 


One person can book a table for 10 in the Manhattan Room Main Dining Room. The Manhattan Room is the larger of the two main dining rooms and has live music and dancing each night. Taste is the smaller of the dining rooms and has fewer large tables. Most people dine on their own, so the there are mostly 2-top and 4-top tables in the dining rooms. The Manhattan Room does require long pants; all other complimentary restaurants allow shorts (and most people will be dressed very casual). 


The Garden Cafe Buffet, Shanghai Noodle (small tables), and O'Sheehan's Pub (small tables - open 24 hours) are the other complimentary restaurants.


Just as a note,,, many groups say "everyone in our group of 10 want to eat dinner together every night". In reality, when you can show up and eat when you are hungry, eat when you are ready, and when there are other restaurants try, most group never stay together and show up every night to eat together. Most people are interested in trying something different,,, and there are not 10-tops in most restaurants. Also, on the Med cruise, there are veeeerrrry long days ashore, and more so, people often don't want to be tied to dining times.

Edited by BirdTravels

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Welcome to NCL.


Please be advised that comedy shows in headliners were not able to be reserved on the Jan 12 Epic sailing...only ship I have experienced this. The shows were first come first served. Line begins forming 45 -60 minutes prior to showtime. Doors open 30 minutes prior. Seating was gone 25 minutes before showtime. NCL will then permit rows and rows of standees in the back. And then latecomers will disrupt the show by continuing to try to cram in during the first 15 minutes of the show. NCL staff are nowhere to be found during this cluster##$$.


Also, if you haven't already done so, make sure you are prepared for bathroom/shower situation. Google it or watch a YouTube video.


Lastly, Epic is a "different" ship. Go with an open mind and you should be ok.



Edited by blcruising

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