Although it’s always nice when the city clears out for a holiday weekend, I wasn’t looking forward to spending this recent one in town. Instead, I took advantage of an invitation to embark on a two-day inaugural cruise on the Norwegian Epic. Boasting the largest spa at sea, 20 restaurants, a casino, three waterslides, a sports complex, and more, Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship more than lives up to its Epic name. With performances by the Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, and a variety of Nickelodean characters, such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer, boredom is probably the one option not available on the action-packed ship. However, relaxation can be found onboard at Mandara Spa & Salon, which features a menu that offers everything from Go Smile Tooth Whitening ($199, 30 minutes) and Botox and Dysport injections (starting at $350) to more traditional spa therapies. While I packed in as much as I could in the two days I was at sea, it wasn’t nearly enough time to try everything the ship had to offer. I did manage to find time to visit the ship’s Ice Bar (here I am donning a fur-trimmed parka to survive the frigid 17 degree temperature), a place I wouldn’t mind revisiting right about now while in the midst of an east coast heat wave. Look for more on the Norwegian Epic and its Mandara Spa & Salon in a future issue.