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  #61 (permalink)  
Old June 28th, 2010, 06:30 PM
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Will you be on for the two-day from NY on July 2nd? I forget if you said you were or not.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 12:35 AM
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Keep up the great posts! I love reading 'em!
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Old June 29th, 2010, 05:01 AM
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I will be on the Hew York 2-day press cruise and I will probably post a LOT of pictures and video from New York on the July 1st since Internet time is expensive onboard $.55/minute.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 05:20 AM
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Default Third Photo Album

http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/mem...c-legends.html

Here are images of the Legends show - both in the main theater and in the Manhattan dining room.



Madonna



Tina



Elvis
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Old June 29th, 2010, 05:24 AM
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In casd you missed it on the front page --- Here is a link to my article on Legends:

Legends on Norwegian Epic: CruiseMates Bargains Newsletter June 29, 2010......


Legends on Norwegian EpicBy paul motter I have to admit that I felt somewhat skeptical when NCL first announced "Legends," the Las Vegas company that specializes in "tribute" artists, as one of the featured performance acts on board Norwegian Epic.

In fact, my pre-conceived notions could not have been more wrong. Like many things about Epic that have surprised me, the Epic debut of this show last Sunday night was magnitudes better than I ever expected. I have to give credit to Richard Kilman, the new Director of Entertainment for NCL in only on his second year on the job, for jumping leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Norwegian Epic already has the best cruise ship entertainment ever, taking it to levels I honestly never expected to see at sea.

The three artists represented in "Legends at Sea," are Tina Turner, Madonna and Elvis. Now, I expected the show to be three mostly solo performing look-alike "tribute artists" singing medleys of the real stars' hits backed up by the "Epic Orchestra" reading charts they had rehearsed a few times.

Wrong! In fact Legends at Sea is a complete production with its own hot band and five backup dancers, all of them seasoned professional Las Vegas chorus men and ladies, with several costume changes and choreography emulating the original artists' own original stage shows.
The show starts with the Tina Turner tribute artist, who transforms the stage into a Tina Turner concert, with all of the stage patter about "rollin' on the river" you probably remember and all the great body moves you identify with the real Tina, and her backup singers and dancers.
The next artist is Madonna. She has all of the controversial costumes "the" Madonna is famous for, confabulating Catholicism and sexuality for a version of "Like a Virgin" that is real enough to have you reliving the first time you ever heard the song. The choreography is perfect, with the dancers dressed like provocative (and controversial) sexy nuns and priests - just the way Madonna would want it.

Last up is Elvis. The entertainer here is best as the young Elvis. Although he is extraordinarily handsome, he almost looks too young for even the early Elvis hits like Hound Dog. He was the most nervous and least polished performer but he uses it in his act adeptly, just as the real Elvis would have done, with lines like "I'm dyin' of hot up here." Wiping the sweat off his brow, the handkerchiefs are given to the equally swooning ladies in the audience. One particularly lovely Aussie lass suggested, "if you're that hot why don't you just take your pants off?" to which mock-Elvis drawled, "This ain't that kind o' show, ma'am."

Original film footage of the real artists doing almost the same moves as you are seeing onstage is shown on the large video screens bookending the stage. It shows the confidence of these tribute performers that they can be compared to the originals side by side.

Ironically, while the concept of "Legends at Sea" is not much different from many standard cruise ship shows that are a "Salute to..." anything, this show exceeds any typical cruise ship show by miles. These lead performers were born to play these roles in terms of looks and talent; the choreography and its execution is equal to what you would see in a real concert by these artists, and the musicianship of the band, which only works in these Legends shows and has done so for years, is first rate.
The main "Legends at Sea" show will only show in the Epic Theater six times on every cruise - two shows a night on the three nights Blue Man Group are not in residence. That means seats are limited so make reservations. A more cabaret style show called "Legends Unplugged" will be shown in the Manhattan dining room. That show will only be shown three times total - no reservations, first come first serve, and each artist does just a very short set. Then the backup singers and dancers do their own set - a tribute to Motown classics which shows off the very real talent of the "chorus."

As I have been telling readers following my daily blog "Live from Norwegian Epic" - be sure to make all Epic show reservations online 45 days before the cruise sails. Meanwhile, there will be several performers who are not pre-announced at all and for which no reservations are possible. These performers will be announced on the day they are appearing and the usual venue is the 217 seat Spiegel Tent. These shows are first come-first serve, so get there early.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 05:27 AM
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Default Norwegian Epic Bathroom Controversy

Norwegian Epic Bathroom Controversy
By Paul Motter
June 28, 2010

If you haven't heard about the controversial New Wave Stateroom bathroom facilities on Norwegian Epic, where have you been?

The new staterooms on Norwegian Epic are unlike any cruise ship stateroom you have ever seen. Not only are the curvy and plush, instead of boxy and sterile like most cruise ship cabins, they feature an entirely new approach to hygiene facilities that has become a non-stop topic of conversation onboard. Normally I wouldn't do a feature article on bathroom facilities, but in this case, it is the most common complaint I am hearing on my current cruise, so here goes...

As you enter one of the New Wave Staterooms, the first thing you see are two sets of translucent frosted glass doors, one on your left and one on your right. Depending on your particular stateroom (they come in a variety of combinations) the doors on your left will be either your shower or the toilet, and the doors on the right will be the other.

This is essentially your bathroom, without a sink. This area, which also includes the entrance to the stateroom from the outside hallway between the two facilities, can be separated from the rest of the stateroom, visually at least, with a pull curtain that goes from the corner of the shower to the corner of the toilet.

Now, there are some issues with this. First, the frosted glass is still glass, which means that when the lights are off in the stateroom and the lights are on in the facility one will see a silhouette of whoever is inside. No, you don't see any detail, but you certainly see color, size and posture. You can see what a person is doing at any given time, unless the curtain is drawn, of course.

Another unsavory aspect which I have heard about enough times that it bears mentioning, is that neither of the glassed-off facilities is air tight, meaning they are not sound-proof at all. Every little noise will reverberate inside this glass cubicle, amplified several times before it leaves the tiny room and announces itself to the occupants of the stateroom. Other things will also emit from the toilet area, because it is not airtight. Put another way, if you meet someone on the ship and you are on a first date, you definitely want to ask them to leave the stateroom if you need to use the facilities.

Another issue comes with the shower, which is almost level with the floor making it far too easy for shower water to escape into the stateroom. In fact, the toilet is the same way, and although an overflowing toilet is somewhat rare on a cruise ship (they use a vacuum method rather than a traditional flush), unlike most cruise ships where any water facility has a "scuppered basin" to capture loose water and drain it away, these toilets have no such method so even a tiny overflow could have pretty severe consequences. Drying off in the shower is also a challenge since they are just large enough to stand in, but probably too small for bigger people to bend over. Chances are you will be drying off by the front door, so be sure to lock it and also draw that curtain - then mop the floor with your towel.

By now you are wondering where the bathroom sink is located. It is within the stateroom, outside the curtain. Depending on the size of your stateroom, it will either be opposite your bed, or on the same side and next to your bed. If possible, try to get the cabins where the sink is on the same side of the room as the bed. When it is opposite the bed there is not enough room for another person to pass anyone standing at the sink. If your wife is brushing her teeth, you will have to crawl over the bed to get to the toilet.

Now, I do understand the positive aspects to this bathroom arrangement. A person can be in the shower, another person can be on the toilet and a third person can be at the sink, all at the same time. This is good because you can't do that in a regular bathroom. Or can you? Well, yes you can, but you won't have any privacy. Umm, but wait a minute. While they may have had the right idea, you don't have much real privacy with this bathroom arrangement either, no matter what you do, with the non-sound proofed, non-airtight translucent doors.

Article continues below Consider your Stateroom Layout Carefully Before Booking

Now there are several very good things about these staterooms. Each one comes with a mini-bar (you have to pay for what is inside, but it is nice to have it), an actual coffeee maker so you can wake up any time and have fresh coffee within minutes, hairdryer and very cool lighting effects.

While the interior staterooms are mostly typical square boxes, the balcony cabins on Epic come in several different layouts, but the concept is the same in each. One of the walls in these staterooms is curved to add visual interest to the d�cor, while the other wall is straight and contains the cabinetry.

The curved long wall from the front door to the balcony is an S-curve. The headrest of the bed fits into the concave portion of the S, which makes it possible to have a queen-sized bed that does not stick out into the room as far as a straight wall. The convex portion of the S is where the sofa goes, which means the sofa is curved in such a manner that a person sitting at one end will be facing away from a person sitting at the other end.

Naturally, two staterooms side by side share the same wall, so the S-curve is reversed in the cabin next-door. This means the other cabin will have the sofa closer to the front door with the bed next to the balcony area. I think this is preferable - there is more room for the sink and you will not have to walk around the bed every time you want to sit down to dress or relax.

Here is the rub, however; these cabins are generally narrower than the average cruise ship stateroom. Even with the bed fitting into a concave curved wall, the foot of the bed is still less than two feet from the opposing wall. This is where the flat panel television is been located. This means the sofa, placed against a protruding part of the S-curve, sticks out into the room by several feet more than in a square box stateroom, so the opposing wall is so close there is no room for even a small coffee table. You are essentially staring straight at a blank wall of wood cabinetry.


CONT....
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old June 29th, 2010, 05:28 AM
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The corner of the sofa nearest the sofa is vaguely turned towards the bed, but it is still too far against the opposing wall for practical viewing of the television placed across from the center of the bed. Strangely, the television mounts are also not made so one can change the viewing angle. You must be on the bed to watch television.

Now, with the bed reaching all of the way across the room and the couch curved around the protruding portion of the S-curve wall there is hardly any way for two people to pass each other in the stateroom without one of them having to get out of the way of the other. In other words, with the limited passing room end and to end as well as the ability of sound and other sensory stimulae to escape from the private facilities, perhaps instead of "New Wave" Staterooms, these should have been dubbed the "excuse me" staterooms.

Joking aside, these are cool staterooms in terms of look and I actually applaud the effort made by NCL to do something completely different. Personally, I don't think most married couples and close families will have a problem with these facilities, but there will be some people who will find them vexing. For those people I recommend the studio staterooms like the one I am staying in. Strangely, although this room is being sold to singles with no supplement fee, it has a fully private toilet, in a separate room that is completely airtight and soundproof. Furthermore, if you book two Studio Staterooms you can make them connect and have a fairly large common area and separate bathroom facilities (airtight) for each occupant.



] Below are the mockups for the F3 cabins: NOTE THAT THESE ARE WIDE-ANGLE LENS - THE ROOMS ARE NOT AS WIDE AS THREY APPPEAR.
Click on the pictures for the full versions.
NCLs New F3 Balcony Cabin 1 NCLs New F3 Balcony Cabin 2

NCLs New F3 Deluxe Balcony Cabin 1 NCLs New F3 Deluxe Balcony Cabin 2

NCLs New F3 Inside Cabin 1 NCLs New F3 Inside Cabin 2
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Old June 29th, 2010, 08:38 AM
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Holy cow! Those Legends performers are spittin' images of the real thing, aren't they????

Anyway, see you on board, Paul!

Judi
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Old June 29th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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Paul...I've seen Tina Turner in concert...she certainly looks like Tina, may sound like her, but does she have the famous Tina Turner legs
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Old June 29th, 2010, 12:41 PM
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I guess the best word to use for all these design features is befuddling

To be cutting edge is one thing, but to be cutting edee at the expense of comfort and privacy, to their passengers is befuddling

I would love to see how many passengers come back to rebook, after experiencing the the sounds and aromas on a 7 day cruise....
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Old June 29th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice View Post
Paul...I've seen Tina Turner in concert...she certainly looks like Tina, may sound like her, but does she have the famous Tina Turner legs
You can't see her legs in the photo Venice, but I like what I CAN see!
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Old June 29th, 2010, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
I guess the best word to use for all these design features is befuddling

To be cutting edge is one thing, but to be cutting edee at the expense of comfort and privacy, to their passengers is befuddling
That's me. I want a cabin with a comfortable bed, wi-fi, a functional and user friendly bathroom, a working TV, a safe, adequate closet space, and usually a balcony. I'm not worried about my cabin being a fashion statement. I'm into functionality and space.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 03:32 PM
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Snoozeman..I concur..perhaps Paul can post another photo

either that or we will have to book on the Epic and see her in person I can sing the opening base (Ike's part) verse of Proud Mary
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Old June 29th, 2010, 04:38 PM
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paul, when the epic arrives in new york later this week where will she be docked and how close can we get to see her in person
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Old June 29th, 2010, 04:38 PM
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Default Aft Balcony Cabins Deck 10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
The corner of the sofa nearest the sofa is vaguely turned towards the bed, but it is still too far against the opposing wall for practical viewing of the television placed across from the center of the bed. Strangely, the television mounts are also not made so one can change the viewing angle. You must be on the bed to watch television.



Now, with the bed reaching all of the way across the room and the couch curved around the protruding portion of the S-curve wall there is hardly any way for two people to pass each other in the stateroom without one of them having to get out of the way of the other. In other words, with the limited passing room end and to end as well as the ability of sound and other sensory stimulae to escape from the private facilities, perhaps instead of "New Wave" Staterooms, these should have been dubbed the "excuse me" staterooms.

Joking aside, these are cool staterooms in terms of look and I actually applaud the effort made by NCL to do something completely different. Personally, I don't think most married couples and close families will have a problem with these facilities, but there will be some people who will find them vexing. For those people I recommend the studio staterooms like the one I am staying in. Strangely, although this room is being sold to singles with no supplement fee, it has a fully private toilet, in a separate room that is completely airtight and soundproof. Furthermore, if you book two Studio Staterooms you can make them connect and have a fairly large common area and separate bathroom facilities (airtight) for each occupant.



] Below are the mockups for the F3 cabins: NOTE THAT THESE ARE WIDE-ANGLE LENS - THE ROOMS ARE NOT AS WIDE AS THREY APPPEAR.
Click on the pictures for the full versions.
NCLs New F3 Balcony Cabin 1 NCLs New F3 Balcony Cabin 2

NCLs New F3 Deluxe Balcony Cabin 1 NCLs New F3 Deluxe Balcony Cabin 2


NCLs New F3 Inside Cabin 1 NCLs New F3 Inside Cabin 2
Paul,
Have you seen the aft balcony cabins on deck 10? Are the balconies larger and are they covered? We are booked on the Epic 9/4/10. Thanks for your input and great info......Source
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Old June 29th, 2010, 06:24 PM
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Paul..your objective reporting is most appreciated
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Old June 29th, 2010, 08:04 PM
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I have only sailed on Royal Caribbean; but after seeing the photos and reading the blog; I must consider NCL.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 10:47 PM
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Default Can I interview you for my talk show?

Mr. Motter, I will be aboard during the two-night media cruise out of New York, can we meet for a short interview?

Barry
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Old June 29th, 2010, 11:10 PM
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Sure, Barry, but I dont know what cabin I will be in yet. But I will probably find you.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Have you seen the aft balcony cabins on deck 10? Are the balconies larger and are they covered? We are booked on the Epic 9/4/10. Thanks for your input and great info......Source
Yes, a regular CruiseMates poster FL_Cruiser is staying in one of these aft cabins on this cruise and I have seen it. The balconies are nice and the room is a little rooomier.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Yes, a regular CruiseMates poster FL_Cruiser is staying in one of these aft cabins on this cruise and I have seen it. The balconies are nice and the room is a little rooomier.
Awesome! We have an aft balcony room on deck 11 for the 12/25 sailing...so very happy to hear that news!
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Old June 29th, 2010, 11:26 PM
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Great news Paul..I am on deck 13 aft!
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Old June 29th, 2010, 11:38 PM
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http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/mem...c-june-29.html

This is a new picture album showing some of Blue Man Group (what pictures were allowed) - a dinner at Teppenyaki with Doug Ward and Roberto Martinoli and several Steiner girls.

And the Studio Stateroom lounge which is really starting to come to life. I honestly think this is going to be a great ship for solo cruisers. I am having tons more fun just because it is so easy to meet people.

They now have a solo's host coming in the lounge daily, they are leaving real food there daily (sandwiches, desserts, salads), they have TVs and hot coffee & cookies 24 hours.

This is a good thing - if they can make this ship popular with solo cruisers that alone will be enough to make it successful.

Blue Man Group was every bit as good as I hoped they would be - they did not skimp one bit on the show - fantastic.

Just one caveat - they allow kids under five in the show and THEY SHOULD NOT. Hearing toddlers chattering nonsense ruins the cerebral seriousness of the show. The show is all about timing, with great pregnant pauses and facial expressions. The kids making noise breaks the magic of the performance in a big way.

If you have never seen BMG this won't matter much, but as a BMG vet I can tell you (NCL) it makes a huge difference in your perception of the show. this is not a show for toddlers - it s a sophisticaed show for adults , even if it is all visual with very little dialogue.

Anyway - the pics are here.

I recommend getting in line at least an hour early (even with a reservation) to get a close seat.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Great photos, especially of the teppanyaki. Looks like quality seafood being prepared - especially the lobster tails.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Paul,

Sounds like you've settled in nicely, and are now enjoying the cruise. And it sounds as if someone paid attention to your initial critiques of the "studio lounge", and it's now functioning more like it should.

The pace does sound a bit frantic. Too much to see and do, even on a seven day cruise! You don't get to say that too often.

Every review I've read raves about Blue Man Group and Cirque Dreams and Dinner. Those shows alone are likely to be a reason for people to book this ship.... even if they do have to wash their hands in bed
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Default NYC arrival details?

Any news on the expected arrival time on Thursday in New York? Especially interested what time she will be off the Battery and when they expect to be alongside the Manhattan pier?

I assume she will stay at the pier Thursday overnight?

Also interested in the sailing time on Friday.

Thanks
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:50 PM
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I agree that kids under a certain age should not be allowed in certain shipborad shows and in certain upscale specialty restaurants. Ruins the entire atmosphere. Thats what they have McDonalds and Dennys for.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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Default July 4th

NBC is telecasting the New York City fireworks LIVE from the EPIC. Are there tickets available to watch on the EPIC?
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billkava View Post
NBC is telecasting the New York City fireworks LIVE from the EPIC. Are there tickets available to watch on the EPIC?
woo hoo!!!!
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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We LOVE teppenyaki style meals-very relaxing and conducive to socializing. Every time we go to Toronto (not too often) we try to visit Benihana which is that type of restaurant. You didn't mention if you enjoyed the experience-I wondered if the food was as good as it looks and what is the surcharge?
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