Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Norwegian Cruise Lines
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #121 (permalink)  
Old July 1st, 2010, 09:47 PM
Junior Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 10
Default Did I miss the answers?

I really appreciated the information it is very helpful for planning. I have a couple of questions that I have not seen the answers.
1) The Studio Lounge was suppose to be two level with someone there to help make resevations for shore excursions, dining, and shows, did this happen? If not do you think that NCL will follow through with this issue?
2) The Studio area was suppose to have limited access but after stating this was not so have you heard if that is going to be corrected?
3) Did you heard anything about the recommendation of a DVD Player, movies, games in the Studio Lounge?
4) Do you know if they are going to put blow dryers in the Studio rooms? Just want to know if I have to pack one.
5) Do you know were I can go to ask these questions if you do not know the answers outside of the Ask and Answer site on NCL's Epic site. I really would like to hear from the customer service of the cruise line if you do not know.

Thank you very much for the insight on this ship I think that the ship will attract the Solo traveler because it is so nice to be able to enjoy without having to pay for two when a person just really wants to enjoy the whole atmosphere. Safe travels with calm seas.
Reply With Quote
  #122 (permalink)  
Old July 2nd, 2010, 09:37 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

1) The Studio Lounge was suppose to be two level with someone there to help make resevations for shore excursions, dining, and shows, did this happen? If not do you think that NCL will follow through with this issue?

They did not have a concierge and I doubt they ever will. They already have other people to book shows in other areas (and potentially on your TV when its working). They did have a hostess in the lounge most of the time - a cruise staff person, but generally she was just talking and playing games (not to diminish her importance - it was really a nice touch to have her there). It is possible that SHE would take care of that for you, but I can't guarantee it. Making reservations onboard is not a problem, though. I dont think they need a concierge in there.


2) The Studio area was suppose to have limited access but after stating this was not so have you heard if that is going to be corrected?

I see nothing that indicates that will be done. It should have been done in the shipyard and now I don't think they care that much. No one onboard was objecting, and I think some people prefer to have it open so outsders can visit them.


3) Did you heard anything about the recommendation of a DVD Player, movies, games in the Studio Lounge?

There are now games in there and two TVs - no DVD player. I think they should show movies in there and I believe they probably will at some point, but all movies on TV are pay per view, so it will have to be scheduled by the hostess in there. My guess is that if you request a movie showtime in there they will schedule one. Personally, I would ask for a DVD player. The crew area had thousands of DVD movies available to them - the hostess could borrow one easily.


4) Do you know if they are going to put blow dryers in the Studio rooms? Just want to know if I have to pack one.

I know some people asked for dryers and received them from their stewards. If you are among the first to ask you should be able to get one with no problem.


5) Do you know were I can go to ask these questions if you do not know the answers outside of the Ask and Answer site on NCL's Epic site. I really would like to hear from the customer service of the cruise line if you do not know.

I think I answered your questions.
Reply With Quote
  #123 (permalink)  
Old July 2nd, 2010, 09:46 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

Ummm... I guess there is a little more to that video than I remembered "draggin' and droppin" -

There is also a portion of Legends that shows how GOOD the show really is (Jean Ann Ryan is tossing and turning at night, I am sure) -

and a brief test of the of the toilet doors. Thanks to my victim who shall remain un-named although he is frequent CruiseMates poster.
Reply With Quote
  #124 (permalink)  
Old July 2nd, 2010, 03:24 PM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

I was just at the Christening ceremony for Epic hosted by Jeff Garlin from HBO etc, and Reba McEntire.

The show featured all of the entertainment from the ship, Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams, Second City, Howlin at the Moon, etc. It was once of the best, funniest and well-written christenings I have ever seen.

OK - it was a bit of a commerical for the ship, bbuit that is OK, it qwas tastefully done and veru entertaining. Rebe was on just 5 minutes, but she is so darling she is irresitable.

Anyway - the official press cruise begins NOW. I am on with a lot of press I know and recognize, especially from my NY days; Ted Scull, Sam & Arline Bleecker, Kay Showker. If you read cruise articles you know these people.

I have already seen the ship and all the entertainment. I hope you got to see the webcast of the christening - it is a sample of all the entertainment onboard. If not - go to NCL:.com and I am sure you will be able to see a re-cast of it within an hour or so.
Reply With Quote
  #125 (permalink)  
Old July 2nd, 2010, 06:32 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ohio (4 Now)
Posts: 14
Default

Reply With Quote
  #126 (permalink)  
Old July 2nd, 2010, 08:34 PM
Dave Beers's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,598
Default

I wish they had done more time with Reba and less time with the emcee. He grew tiresome to me rather quickly. But I did like the entertainment overview they presented. Given the freestyle theme of NCL it was apparent that the christening ceremony needed to be casual and not a stuffy thing with suits and pomp. Thus they succeeded.

I still got the impression Reba told her driver to keep the motor running and she'd be back in a couple minutes. It was anti-climatic really.
__________________
Dave
Forum Moderator
Reply With Quote
  #127 (permalink)  
Old July 3rd, 2010, 01:17 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default Cirque Dreams & Dinner - Uh Oh

Update on Cirque Dreams & Dinner

I am now on the regular press cruise with the New York crowd of journalists that I know well. There are at least ten well-known cruise writers onboard who I am good friends with. Many have all been writing for longer than myself, most of them starting in the late 1980s or early 1990s, even earlier in some cases. I started in 1996.

Today NCL had the inaugural ceremony and it went off perfectly. Considering it was a non-rehearsed performance that is amazing. Presented live in the Epic Theater and broadcast throughout the ship and over the Internet, it featured Jeff Garlin - from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and the movie “I Just Want Someone to Eat Cheese With.” (Jeff, I want you to know I actually rented and watched that movie – I’m the one) as the moderator.

Jeff was reading from a script shown on Teleprompters just below the stage level, and he didn’t hide that fact – he joked about it. I thought he was good-natured but I heard some people comment he was irreverent for a serious event like a ship christening.

The presentation included various LIVE scenes shown on the video screen in the theater from around the ship from “Cirque Dreams”, the “Slam Adams Blues Band in Fat Cats”, the Nickelodeon characters in the main atrium, the “Howl at the Moon” players, etc. These scenes - introduced by the Cruise Director, Sean, and the Entertainment Director Simon – were shown on the screen in the Epic Theater.

There was a blessing by a priest, and finally the beautiful Reba McEntire appeared to give the traditional ship’s blessing “Bless this ship and all who sail upon her – be safe and HAVE FUN – legal fun.” At which point she pointed to Jeff Garlin who jokingly responded “why are you pointing at me?”

They then cut to a video of a champagne bottle breaking against the hull of the ship and the ship’s horn blew. I have to say it was one of the slickest inaugurals I have ever seen. It was extremely well done production quality, and I have to hand it to the company MIG Productions from New York who scripted and directed the event – very talented people.

The New York Press Trip

That’s right, my journey is not over! I am still on Epic but now I am surrounded by friends who know me well. These are all cruise writing professionals I met while living in New York. Several of these people have been writing about cruise ships for a very long time - well over two or three decades in many cases and I am happy to say I still know them all well.

Some of us just went to together to see Cirque Dreams and Dinner (I will not name who) – and unlike previous reports you got from the European press trips - these cruise writers did not like this show.

I had had not seen the show in its entirety, I missed it on the crossing. But I had seen a preview in Pompano Beach during the SeaTrade convention. I did like the preview. But this time I saw the full show – with dinner included. We were all sitting together, and when the negative comments started coming from my friends almost right away I actually urged them to suspend their pre-conceived notions of cruise shows and to really give this show a chance.

Unfortunately, the pace did not change and the show went on for well over two hours – with no break. Bottom line, every reporter who saw the show with me did not like the show – and by the end I had to agree. I will not even print the adjectives they used.

Here is the problem… This show is full of jokes that are plays on words, such as “Cecille P deBille” as the host, “George Wash A. Ton” as the dishwasher, etc. The very vague plot is something about “the investor” who they are trying to woo into giving them money for the show.

Long story short – the jokes are all based on a plot which never comes across to the audience. The story line falls completely flat – it is incomprehensible. This makes all of dialog of the show basically meaningless – and there is a LOT of dialog.

Bottom line – these writers liked the acrobatic “cirque” part of the show somewhat, but the songs and dialog were too long and the sight gags were far too predictable. For example, one bit had five members of the audience singularly trying to play a different cowbell. It took the show’s emcee Cecile 15 minutes just to “teach” these men how to play a cowbell! As if they had to be shaken a specific way. Seriously, 15 minutes of mime to show grown men how to play a cowbell -- excruciating. This show goes on like this; non-stop for over two hours.

My tablemates decided to leave the show after 1:45. We peeked into Blue Man Group and immediately felt at home. In fact, I had treated each of the three writers with me to see Blue Man Group in New York back in about 1998 –we all had gone together.

As we left others came out of Cirque; guidebook writers, ocean liner scholars, cruise historians. Comments included, “insufferable”, “horrible.” and “I give this show six months.”

My opinion? Part of the problem is the venue. Our seats were in a position where we could not see much of the action which takes place in the center of a room with no stage. The non-stop dialog is all in a fake German dialect, guttural for the male lead and falsetto for the female lead. This is accompanied by servers constantly bringing you an average dinner, who often get in the sightlines of the performance as they wait on other tables. It is chaotic, impossible to follow, incomprehensible in plot and also in sound quality. The characters are ill-defined, and they never develop. It is basically just an endless stream of sight gags that and self-reflective double entendre humor suggesting twists for a plot you don’t know or care about.

Bottom line, Cirque Dreams flopped. I am sorry NCL.

I liked it when I saw it in Pompano, because they just gave us a synopsis of the story (which they do not do here) and skipped the dialog, going to the best acrobatic acts – the Russian musclemen, the aerial twins, etc

Now, I am only saying this in my message boards, not in an article or anything else. This is just between us and it really is not my place to speak for other people. I am just giving you a head’s up that you are going to see a fair amount of negative press about this show, despite what you heard from the cruise reporters on the Euro press trip.

Maybe it was a better show that night in Rotterdam. Some shows are like that, they vary. But most shows tend to be pretty much the same every night..

I had to retire to my cabin with a headache after the show, and here I am. I am sorry Neil Goldberg – producer of Cirque Dreams. I have heard he is a very good person and he keeps a lot of entertainers working in Southern Florida. He said he always wanted to do a “Cirque Dreams Production” as a dinner theater.

I still like the idea and I hate to see the venue and the effort go to waste – but get back to the “circus” aspect of the show and ditch the story line all together. Just give people visual entertainment. The venue with dinner, etc. is just too busy for anything more than that.
Reply With Quote
  #128 (permalink)  
Old July 3rd, 2010, 02:09 AM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1
Default

I am new to cruising and the entire experience but I am appreciative of the honest and unbiased opinion you have provided in your blog. I am an investigator by profession so I have been doing alot of searching to find out as much information regarding the Epic as possible. I am booking for the September 4th cruise and am trying to gather dining plans and show information. Thank you Paul so much for providing open and honest information regarding the venues aboard. I had planned to make reservations for the Cirque Dreams and Dinner but after reading your review I have changed my mind and am going to Howling at the Moon and few other spots. I am interested to know more about the Ice Room. Did you get a chance to go and experience it? If so please let me know how it was. In any regard thank you for providing clear,concise and enjoyable information that is greatly needed especially for a first timer like myself
Reply With Quote
  #129 (permalink)  
Old July 3rd, 2010, 02:15 AM
Junior Member
Familiar Face
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 10
Default

Thank you very much for answering my questions so completely. I have been reading everything that I can find on the Epic and your comments and information are by far the most informative. I have never been on a new ship so having you provide the actual information versus the sales pitch helps me to have a more realistic expectation which I believe will help me actually enjoy the trip I have planned instead of being disappointed. I truly am looking forward to this experience. Again thank you for taking the time to answer all my questions.
Reply With Quote
  #130 (permalink)  
Old July 3rd, 2010, 10:26 AM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,780
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

Paul, The New York Daily News, has an impressive 2 page shot of the Epic coming into the harbor, boy she looks great!...It lists the stats for the ship,and one thing stuck both my husband and myself as odd...it states the Epic has 20 lifeboats,& indeed it shows 10 on the side...doesn't that seem such a small amount for a passenger capacity of 4100? Just curious....
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #131 (permalink)  
Old July 3rd, 2010, 10:54 AM
Mike M's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: You're Looking At Me
Posts: 23,710
Default

Trip:

They're big lifeboats. Most lifeboats hold 200 + people plus with the number of life rafts there is more than enough space for passengers and crew.

Take care,
Mike
__________________
Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator

"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me

"Fear is the assassin of dreams." ~Me
Reply With Quote
  #132 (permalink)  
Old July 3rd, 2010, 01:42 PM
Dave Beers's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,598
Default

Yes, very large life boats. For perspective, the Oasis lifeboats hold 370 passengers each.

That's really a shame about the Cirque Dreams & Dinner.

Paul - <ahem> I know you were anxiously awaiting the Capital City Cloggers. I thought they were supposed to be in the christening show but they weren't. Did you catch their act?
__________________
Dave
Forum Moderator
Reply With Quote
  #133 (permalink)  
Old July 3rd, 2010, 07:37 PM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

Sorry, I dont know when the Capital City Cloggers are going to show, but I'll ge glued to my Twitter so I get an update the momment it is official!


I did get sick last night and all day today. I dont think I was poisoned, but if looks could kill there is a certain executive on here who is not too happy with me.

AllI have to say is, "It's your ship, not mine. All I do is write about it." I think I gave this ship more than enough fair coverage, good and bad.

BTW: my friend Anne Campell is in stateroom where the TV and phone STILL do not work. It is making her crazy. I am hearing from a lot of people with kids that the cabins are exceedingly crowded.

Yes the lifeboats had to be let off thee ship before it could dock. I have video of them bringing one back up which I will post later.

I am glad to hear the comment about realistic exectations. If this ship is priced the same as other Mega-ships it is a nice ship, especially the entertainment. Howl at the Moon, Fat City, Blue Man Group, and Legends in Concert are all excellent choices. The food is delicious on the ship pretty much throughout.

I had a great time hanging with Roberto Martinolo and Doug Ward, and seeing my friends from NYC was very special. I am just sorry I am sick today.

I heard that in the press conference today there was a good amount of blaming Colin Veitch for the problems with the ship. I don't doubt that is true. Unfortunately, when you take something over a project and you don't fix something it becomes your problem. I realize that isn't a popular notion in this day and age we live in - but problems don't go away just because they "weren't your fault." They are now your responsibility, regardless of who is at fault.

I am going to go offline and process some more pictures to upload.
Reply With Quote
  #134 (permalink)  
Old July 3rd, 2010, 10:05 PM
Dave Beers's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,598
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
I heard that in the press conference today there was a good amount of blaming Colin Veitch for the problems with the ship. I don't doubt that is true. Unfortunately, when you take something over a project and you don't fix something it becomes your problem. I realize that isn't a popular notion in this day and age we live in - but problems don't go away just because they "weren't your fault." They are now your responsibility, regardless of who is at fault.
Precisely. The customer isn't interested in who is at fault. All the customer wants is a functioning TV, shower, and telephone. The blame game is childish and bears no fruit. Indeed, it diminishes those who play the blame card.
__________________
Dave
Forum Moderator
Reply With Quote
  #135 (permalink)  
Old July 4th, 2010, 12:02 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default Blue Man Group

Okay - I can't say it enough because to actually see it hapoen is the culmination of years and years of me knowing - in my gut - that I know a little bit about entertainment. I have been watching cruise ship shows (professionally) for 25 years now, and I started started recommending Blue Man Group as a show a cruise line should put on back in 1993. I am sure I am not the only one, but I guarantee you I did it many times.

Even more importantly over the years I have done it again and again in print in CruiseMates.

I just saw Blue Man Groue show again tonight on Epic (I also saw it a few days ago) - and this time I sat in one of the front rows and it was every bit as good as any other version of BMG I have ever seen.

You really have to give NCL credit for the amount of work they put into getting this show up on Epic. It is the full-fledged entire production, no skimping. And it was great.

Tonight the audience was really into the show, and that obviously had an effect on the players. It was just great.
Reply With Quote
  #136 (permalink)  
Old July 4th, 2010, 02:38 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 7
Default

Paul, sorry I didn't have a chance to catch up with you on the press trip but you always looked deep in conversation with someone so I didn't have a chance!

I couldn't agree more with what you said about Cirque Dreams and Dinner. "Excruciating" is the perfect description. In fact, we left after about an hour and and 15 minutes and hearing that it went on for over two hours convinces me we made the right choice. And may I add that the dinner was practically inedible? "Filet mignon" is NOT supposed to flake...and the chicken was horrendous. The set menu concept is probably required at a show like that but what if someone was a vegetarian??? It was disaster. A CONSTANT barrage of total nonsense...for who, I wonder? Kids? Can they sit still for that long? Adults? Not those on this trip. It reminded me of the worst kind of horrible production show that might take place in the theater but longer, even worst, and people will have to pay for the privilege.

On a positive note. BLUE MAN GROUP WAS ONE OF THE BEST EXAMPLES OF OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINMENT I'VE EVER SEEN....ON LAND OR SEA! Unbelievable!
Reply With Quote
  #137 (permalink)  
Old July 4th, 2010, 02:49 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 7
Default

I should also say that the toilet/shower situation in my suite didn't bother me nearly as much as that horrible "sink" in the middle of the room. It's more like a water fountain and the faucet extends up and over which prevents splashing soap off your face without splashing water all over the floor. Add to this the fact that the tissue dispenser is right beneath the sink and you end up with soggy tissues, puddles on the floor...not good.

Also, and this just could be me--anyone else would probably be careful after the first time--but the overhead cabinets were just at the right height for me to slam my head against them every time I went to get something off the cabinet top.

Moderno, EXCELLENT. Blue Man Group, better than excellent! Lots of VERY good....lots of VERY bad.
Reply With Quote
  #138 (permalink)  
Old July 4th, 2010, 07:23 PM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

I am sitting in DFW flying back home, long day but I will have more to add tomorrow. Thx to all,
Reply With Quote
  #139 (permalink)  
Old July 4th, 2010, 10:09 PM
Fern's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,104
Default

Paul, I've really enjoyed your "live from" reports and look forward to your "synopsis" report. Hey, take a day off, we can wait until Tuesday !
__________________
Fern

"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."

Carnival Inspiration 2002 Carnival Elation 2004
Grand Princess 2004 NCL Sun 2005
Sun Princess 2006 NCL Dream 2007
Caribbean Princess 2007 NCL Dawn 2008
Island Princess 2008 Island Princess 2009
Golden Princess 2009 Carnival Conquest 2010
Grand Princess 2010 Island Princess 2011
Grand Princess 2011 Carnival Magic 2012
Carnival Dream 2012 Island Princess 2013
Carnival Magic 2013 Carnival Legend 2014
Sea Princess 2014
Reply With Quote
  #140 (permalink)  
Old July 5th, 2010, 10:44 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

Thanks - I am sick as a dog. I do not know what happened but I realize now that I was dehydrating myself on the ship as I had very little drinking water.

I do want to do a synopsis, though.
Reply With Quote
  #141 (permalink)  
Old July 5th, 2010, 05:46 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 450
Default

Paul. I want to say thank you for your coverage of the epic. I thought it was great, and told a lot of information about the ship. Though i will not sail on her cause i don't like the look of her and the looks of the rooms. Thanks again for a great read. Henry
Reply With Quote
  #142 (permalink)  
Old July 5th, 2010, 08:13 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 191
Default

Paul feel better soon, enjoyed your ongoing reviews.
Reply With Quote
  #143 (permalink)  
Old July 5th, 2010, 08:33 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 445
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Update on Cirque Dreams & Dinner

I am now on the regular press cruise with the New York crowd of journalists that I know well. There are at least ten well-known cruise writers onboard who I am good friends with. Many have all been writing for longer than myself, most of them starting in the late 1980s or early 1990s, even earlier in some cases. I started in 1996.

Today NCL had the inaugural ceremony and it went off perfectly. Considering it was a non-rehearsed performance that is amazing. Presented live in the Epic Theater and broadcast throughout the ship and over the Internet, it featured Jeff Garlin - from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and the movie “I Just Want Someone to Eat Cheese With.” (Jeff, I want you to know I actually rented and watched that movie – I’m the one) as the moderator.

Jeff was reading from a script shown on Teleprompters just below the stage level, and he didn’t hide that fact – he joked about it. I thought he was good-natured but I heard some people comment he was irreverent for a serious event like a ship christening.

The presentation included various LIVE scenes shown on the video screen in the theater from around the ship from “Cirque Dreams”, the “Slam Adams Blues Band in Fat Cats”, the Nickelodeon characters in the main atrium, the “Howl at the Moon” players, etc. These scenes - introduced by the Cruise Director, Sean, and the Entertainment Director Simon – were shown on the screen in the Epic Theater.

There was a blessing by a priest, and finally the beautiful Reba McEntire appeared to give the traditional ship’s blessing “Bless this ship and all who sail upon her – be safe and HAVE FUN – legal fun.” At which point she pointed to Jeff Garlin who jokingly responded “why are you pointing at me?”

They then cut to a video of a champagne bottle breaking against the hull of the ship and the ship’s horn blew. I have to say it was one of the slickest inaugurals I have ever seen. It was extremely well done production quality, and I have to hand it to the company MIG Productions from New York who scripted and directed the event – very talented people.

The New York Press Trip

That’s right, my journey is not over! I am still on Epic but now I am surrounded by friends who know me well. These are all cruise writing professionals I met while living in New York. Several of these people have been writing about cruise ships for a very long time - well over two or three decades in many cases and I am happy to say I still know them all well.

Some of us just went to together to see Cirque Dreams and Dinner (I will not name who) – and unlike previous reports you got from the European press trips - these cruise writers did not like this show.

I had had not seen the show in its entirety, I missed it on the crossing. But I had seen a preview in Pompano Beach during the SeaTrade convention. I did like the preview. But this time I saw the full show – with dinner included. We were all sitting together, and when the negative comments started coming from my friends almost right away I actually urged them to suspend their pre-conceived notions of cruise shows and to really give this show a chance.

Unfortunately, the pace did not change and the show went on for well over two hours – with no break. Bottom line, every reporter who saw the show with me did not like the show – and by the end I had to agree. I will not even print the adjectives they used.

Here is the problem… This show is full of jokes that are plays on words, such as “Cecille P deBille” as the host, “George Wash A. Ton” as the dishwasher, etc. The very vague plot is something about “the investor” who they are trying to woo into giving them money for the show.

Long story short – the jokes are all based on a plot which never comes across to the audience. The story line falls completely flat – it is incomprehensible. This makes all of dialog of the show basically meaningless – and there is a LOT of dialog.

Bottom line – these writers liked the acrobatic “cirque” part of the show somewhat, but the songs and dialog were too long and the sight gags were far too predictable. For example, one bit had five members of the audience singularly trying to play a different cowbell. It took the show’s emcee Cecile 15 minutes just to “teach” these men how to play a cowbell! As if they had to be shaken a specific way. Seriously, 15 minutes of mime to show grown men how to play a cowbell -- excruciating. This show goes on like this; non-stop for over two hours.

My tablemates decided to leave the show after 1:45. We peeked into Blue Man Group and immediately felt at home. In fact, I had treated each of the three writers with me to see Blue Man Group in New York back in about 1998 –we all had gone together.

As we left others came out of Cirque; guidebook writers, ocean liner scholars, cruise historians. Comments included, “insufferable”, “horrible.” and “I give this show six months.”

My opinion? Part of the problem is the venue. Our seats were in a position where we could not see much of the action which takes place in the center of a room with no stage. The non-stop dialog is all in a fake German dialect, guttural for the male lead and falsetto for the female lead. This is accompanied by servers constantly bringing you an average dinner, who often get in the sightlines of the performance as they wait on other tables. It is chaotic, impossible to follow, incomprehensible in plot and also in sound quality. The characters are ill-defined, and they never develop. It is basically just an endless stream of sight gags that and self-reflective double entendre humor suggesting twists for a plot you don’t know or care about.

Bottom line, Cirque Dreams flopped. I am sorry NCL.

I liked it when I saw it in Pompano, because they just gave us a synopsis of the story (which they do not do here) and skipped the dialog, going to the best acrobatic acts – the Russian musclemen, the aerial twins, etc

Now, I am only saying this in my message boards, not in an article or anything else. This is just between us and it really is not my place to speak for other people. I am just giving you a head’s up that you are going to see a fair amount of negative press about this show, despite what you heard from the cruise reporters on the Euro press trip.

Maybe it was a better show that night in Rotterdam. Some shows are like that, they vary. But most shows tend to be pretty much the same every night..

I had to retire to my cabin with a headache after the show, and here I am. I am sorry Neil Goldberg – producer of Cirque Dreams. I have heard he is a very good person and he keeps a lot of entertainers working in Southern Florida. He said he always wanted to do a “Cirque Dreams Production” as a dinner theater.

I still like the idea and I hate to see the venue and the effort go to waste – but get back to the “circus” aspect of the show and ditch the story line all together. Just give people visual entertainment. The venue with dinner, etc. is just too busy for anything more than that.
Not sure what you expected from Cirque Dreams. You must know that Cirque Dreams ia a rather large company with different venues and different themes. Cirque Dreams is not Cirque Du Soleil. Never intended it to be.
The theme was rather simple: it reflected the street circus of some gazillion years ago (or small artists) who with their performances looked for money to continue on in their livelyhoods. Thus the search for the 'investor'. I think it bis a cultural difference as most on the trans-atlantic crowed liked the Cirque Dreams and Dinner. These types of street artists (known in German as Gauklers) are part of the history of the European culture. The 'faked' accent is supposed to reflect French people rather than Germans.

The intro to Cirque Dreams production should give everybody an idea
Quote:
Cirque Productions was founded in 1993 as the first American company combining the European cirque-style of performance artistry with American circus arts and Broadway theatrics.
I am sure that Cirque Dreams and Dinner would work much better in the Caribbean if some goofball with Mickey Mouse ears run around and the show simply be watered down and everybody can sing "it's a small, small world".

Cirque Dreams & Dinner is not easy to follow and understand. One actually has to pay a little attention. It is quite an entertainment for a 2 hours.

Reply With Quote
  #144 (permalink)  
Old July 5th, 2010, 10:25 PM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

Well, since I had seen a preview of the show in Pompano Beach last March and actually thought the preview went very well I think all I need to say is that I expected it it to be like the preview.

Please note that in the text I wrote it is not ME who who is criticizing the show as much as I am repeating what I heard other people saying.

I had high expectations for the show based on a "cirque" (ie" circus performance) theme. In Pompano I saw balancing acts, acrobats. etc.

What I saw on the ship was perhaps 25% that kind of entertainment, and the rest was incomprehensible dialog no one in my group could follow. And it takes place in the "Speigal Tent" - I think that is German, not French.

I suggest they can salvage the show by going back to a "cirque" theme - a la "Cirque D Soleil" which generally has no dialog at all.
Reply With Quote
  #145 (permalink)  
Old July 5th, 2010, 11:31 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 445
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Well, since I had seen a preview of the show in Pompano Beach last March and actually thought the preview went very well I think all I need to say is that I expected it it to be like the preview.

Please note that in the text I wrote it is not ME who who is criticizing the show as much as I am repeating what I heard other people saying.

I had high expectations for the show based on a "cirque" (ie" circus performance) theme. In Pompano I saw balancing acts, acrobats. etc.

What I saw on the ship was perhaps 25% that kind of entertainment, and the rest was incomprehensible dialog no one in my group could follow. And it takes place in the "Speigal Tent" - I think that is German, not French.

I suggest they can salvage the show by going back to a "cirque" theme - a la "Cirque D Soleil" which generally has no dialog at all.
I am surprised but we have seen quite a few circus acts. As a matter of fact most of it was circus acts which also included quite a few acts with attendance participation. Wished you would have seen both (on the TA and the media 'circus' *pun intended*) to see if both shows were identical.

Spiegel is the german and dutch word for mirror but is also used in other countries (much like Kindergarten/Kindergarden or Schmutz etc). Cirque though is a French word. I just go by french because the title of the venue and some of the costumes which clearly lead me to believe that the setting was a couple hundred years ago in France (or what is today France).
The accent probably sounded in some ways more German than French with some actors as they were from Eastern European countries and their natural harsh accent came through. Central, Northern and Eastern Europeans always talk a harder English than per say the French. These areas of Europe (including Germany) have a harsher native language opposed to the French whose language is a soft spoken language. That usually reflects in the accent. I always say that most Central, Northern and Eastern Europeans sound mean in English. I know. I am German. .

But let's set aside the accent which wasn't a problem to me anyways.

I am just not very fond of any US writers opinion since I read that guy's review from the USA Today on the shower issue. What was his name? Gene something....such crap I have never read in my life.

It was nice meeting you though.


I don't think Cirque Dreams is for those who are fond of gawking for hours at that little fountain play in the Aqua Theater which is a miniaturerised version of the Dubai Fountains all the way to the exact same song and music.

I would compare the Cirque Dreams more to the Mystery Theater "Presumed Innocent" where you have to pay a little attention to get the final story.

Cirque Dreams is a mixture between play and acrobatics the 'old fashion' way.
Reply With Quote
  #146 (permalink)  
Old July 6th, 2010, 02:48 PM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

(let me apologize for my TYPING skills - they are awful - I have to go back and re-edit almost everything I wrote).

I was not a fan of what the reviewers on the first cruises wrote, either.

When I got aboard and started hearing absolutely nothing but complaints from guests about broken showers, TVs, telephones, etc, I could not believe they were on the same ship I was on.

How could they go on that ship and know about all the problems and not report it?

Even on this last weekend one of my media friends had a cabins with NO working telephone and NO working television. She hated it for 2 days, imagine staying in there for a week.

But anyway - I am aware that you liked the ship and disagreed with me about the decor. You liked the decor. I found people who agreed with me, and people agreed with you - so we are neither one right or wrong.

I wanted to like the Cirque show, and I expected to like it. I went into it thinking I would like it but it was my companions who immediately took a disliking to it and asked if Jean Ann Ryan had done it.

It was only after the first 90 minutes of me ignoring their comments and trying to pay attention that I realized I didnt know what I was watching either.

There WAS food for vegetarians, however.

Sometimes shows like this need time. The AquaTheater on Oasis needed about four months before it became an acceptable show, and I heard inside things about that show I never repeated - but I will tell you now the cast almost quit en masse at one point about 10 weeks in.

You said you liked the open floor spaces between decks. (I had said there was only one main atrium point and it was only two deck high) that was technically incorrect, there were other spots where you could see down on decks below. I just didnt feel a cohesive focal interest in what I was seeing between floors. It did not feel like an "atrium" to me. In on spot you were looking down on penny slot machines, in another you were looking down on people eating in a restaurant - why?

One thing a companion of mine pointed I had not noticed - very low ceilings everywhere. Go on Queen Mary or Oasis and look at the high ceilings. Then on Epic even the main theater is but two decks tall. Epic truly has very few BIG rooms. It has a lot of small rooms.

I am wondering if maybe the ship is TOO diverse and segmented. I envision long lines for acts in rooms that are too small. I envision BMG getting burned out doing the same show 4 nights /week, twice each night. On a regular cruise ship they would do it two times total, not eight.

I am starting to wonder if presenting "BIG SHOWS" in a "BIG THEATER" for everyone is not such a bad idea. I think the entertainment on Epic is excellent, I just wonder if THEY can sustain it. There is almost too much entertainment. I know I couldn't see everything I wanted to see.

I have to say Oasis also has excellent entertainment for a cruise ship - but Epic transcends cruise ships. It is proferssional. Oasis has Hairspray and it is the full show, but its a musical, and a safe choice. Blue Man Group is a daring and risky choice that will pay off well.

But in terms of theater size, it is almost like you can see traditional cruise ship style coming full circle - from where it started to Free-style and back again to big theaters - but this time with better shows - Like Blue Man Group, Hair Spray, etc.

The ice shows on Oasis and even Freedom are also truly first class, by the way. Nothing wrong with them.

I also have to say I have not been on Disney but I am willing to bet their shows would also qualify for this elote group.
Reply With Quote
  #147 (permalink)  
Old July 6th, 2010, 04:29 PM
Snoozeman's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bosque County, Texas
Posts: 5,420
Send a message via AIM to Snoozeman Send a message via Yahoo to Snoozeman
Default Big Shows on Epic

I'm not sure if anyone at NCL entertainment goes back to the S.S. Norway days, but they used to have Broadway shows and big production numbers on her, so it's not a NEW concept it's really a throwback. I recall almost all passengers attended the shows in those days as well.
__________________
Ray McDonald / Snoozeman

My Personal Cruise Blog: My Cruise Blog

Future Cruises:
Carnival Triumph-Caribbean-7/28/2014, Carnival Legend-South Pacific-8/30/2014, MSC Preziosa-Mediterranean-10/25/2014, MSC Fantasia-Mediterranean-11/2/2014, Navigator of the Seas-12/14/2013, Norwegian Jewel-1/3/2015, Emerald Princess-1/11/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/2/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/15/2015.
Reply With Quote
  #148 (permalink)  
Old July 6th, 2010, 04:35 PM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,780
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

I am so looking forward to the new entertainment options. After so many years of watching the Broadway shows, with Grease, Phantom, 43nd St, etc...etc...The Blue Man Group, for example, will be a breath of fresh air...
Bring it on
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #149 (permalink)  
Old July 6th, 2010, 04:50 PM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

Hey Ray ... I worked on the Norway back in 1993. The difference is that they were doing Broadway shows, but they were still doing shortened versions and hiring entertainers from the "Dollywood" school of musical comedy.

The new Epic entertainment has real shows as licensed from Blue Man Group, Legends in Concert, and Second City. Not cheesy remakes.

I also recall that Jean Ann Ryan got sued by the person who sang one of the original songs in Phantom because he was in the Norway audience and heard his version (his voice) come on during the "Salute to Broadway" soundtrack and he inquired as to whether she had gotten proper licensing for the soundtrack.

I doubt very seriously if NCL would make a mistake like that today - even though Legends in Concert does have footage of the original artists on stage during the shows. That just shows what a quality production it is, they had to pay to license that footage and it is a really nice touch.
Reply With Quote
  #150 (permalink)  
Old July 6th, 2010, 05:14 PM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,844
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default



This is an interior shot where you see difdferent levels which I (mistakenly?) did not count as being like an atrium. Here you see deck seven on top with the $800,000 LED chandelier (not the carpet on the top deck). Below you see deck 6 with the 1c slot machines and that stylish escalator, and the bottom deck in actually looking down into Tastes, one of the main dining rooms.



This is a similar view from deck seven to deck six although I am not sure what is below. I just diud not find this very visually exciting.



This is the other end of the opening up above. Once again, you are looking down on slot machines. Up above was what i thought was one of the nicer parts of the ship's interior, Bar Central where the "malt" and martini bars were located.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
balcony, codes, cruises, deck, epic, first 7-day cruise, june 24, kilman, live, mean, ncl, norwegiaan epic, norwegian, promenade, richard, studio stateroom

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
To Paul Motter ,et al Lakers Fan Ask CruiseMates Staff 3 September 23rd, 2010 10:42 PM
TO PAUL MOTTER MTL Chit - Chat for Cruisers 4 June 7th, 2008 08:50 PM
Paul Motter BEACH DOUG Ask CruiseMates Staff 5 September 1st, 2006 09:11 AM
Paul Motter Marian K Ask CruiseMates Staff 2 December 31st, 2004 03:48 PM
to Paul Motter Winner Crystal 1 August 25th, 2003 08:22 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:02 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1