Dream show, nightmare dinner

//Dream show, nightmare dinner

cirque4.jpgNorwegian Epic is more of a floating resort than a cruise ship – think an Atlantis-style palace or a Las Vegas casino complex – ports of call are very much secondary to food and entertainment which will be the real attractions for passengers.
In the ship’s Spiegel Tent you get both for the price of one with Cirque Dreams, a cabaret show and dinner combined performed in a room decked out like . . . a circus tent..
It’s an weird but fascinating combination, with most of the performances taking place on a tiny circular area in the centre of the room, from ropes and trapezes hung from the ceiling, and with the cast running frantically around between tables. At times the enthusiastic waiters are drafted into the show as well
There’s a fixed, no-choice menu with a barely edible main course of steak and chicken. If it was themed with the show it would be ham and cheese, to match the acting and the performances in the early part of the event, which warms up with an overly dramatic pretence of auditioning a succession of acts, and some screeching singing that threatens to shatter the wine glasses.
The whole thing lasts two hours, and it only really gets going about half way through, with a dazzling performances by strongmen, jugglers, tumblers and a quick-change artiste which combine to leave the audience open-mouthed with admiration.
Particularly at the rippling six-pack of the hunk who emerged dripping wet from a bath centre-stage to launch himself into a series of acrobatic swoops around the little arena.
If it wasn’t for the fact that the show also relies on some audience participation, he would have been the undoubted star. Unfortunately for him, on the night I was there, he was outshone by a rather portly, bearded gentlemen putting on a virtuoso performance as part of a cowbell ensemble. Sadly, the no-photographs rule means I am unable to bring you pictures of my finest hour.
Cirque Dreams is performed twice a night on six nights of each cruise, with the best seats costing $20 and the upper gallery $15.
The Spiegel Tent is also the venue for character breakfasts with SpongeBob SquarePants and his Nickelodeon chums three times a week ($10 for children aged 4 to 12 and $15 for 13-plus and parents) and for a lunchtime murder mystery scripted by author Scott Turow (also three times a week, $15).
Events in the Spiegel Tent might carry a surcharge, but the most ground-breaking and prestigious show on board comes at no extra cost.
There is nothing like Blue Man Group – on land or at sea – and tickets for their shows in New York, Las Vegas and Orlando can cost anything up to £100 each.
They perform two shows a night, four nights a week in Epic’s 681-seat theatre. It’s almost impossible to describe what they do, so here’s a video taster of their unique act.

Elsewehere on the ship, blues guitarist Slam Allen was a popular draw in Fat Cats, the Howling At The Moon duelling pianos kept everyone singing along in Headliners, and a celebrity DJ turned up the volume in the Bliss night club almost to nosebleed levels.
NEXT: A guided tour of Norwegian Epic’s restaurants.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:25+00:00 28 June 2010|Cruise Entertainment|2 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. Franz Neumeier 28 June 2010 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Do you think the 15$ / 20$ for die Cirque Dreams Show is justified? I mean, on other ships (even NCL ships) you get a great show with strongmen, jugglers and such for free in the main theater. And the food in the Spiegel Tent, as you mentioned and as I can confirm, is definitely not better, probably worse than in any other free restaurant onboard. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked the show, most of the performers were just stunningly good. But why pay $15 for something I can get for free elsewhere?

  2. Carolyn Spencer Brown 29 June 2010 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Have to agree with you about the dinner, John, it was pretty poor though there was so much going on I wasn’t really aware I was eating it! And we didn’t get steak on ours 🙂
    I think the show has great potential but the screeching and the cheesy drama really does distract from the best parts, which are the stunts.

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