Just come back from a memorable week on the Norwegian Epic.
Couldn't have been more satisfied on our first cruise.
Embarkation was suprisingly easy only took 20 minutes in total! Couldn't believe how well organised they were - had read some horror reviews about other cruise lines so were a bit apprehensive.
We had a balcony stateroom which was larger than we expected and had all the facilities we could have hoped for. Don't know why some people have complained about the size of the rooms, toilet or shower. Ours were more than adequate - suppose it depends on what you are comparing it with.
The ship itself was bigger than we expected yet there was never any perception of being crowded given that there were over 4,000 passengers on board! We never queued anywhere.
Ship always docked and departed on time and was virually silent when in motion.
Staff were always attentive, courteous and helpful without being obtrusive or sycophantic - always plenty of staff about.
Hygiene was obviously paramount due to the number of santizing stations in evidence, in fact this ship was cleaner than many hospitals I have worked in!
The variety, quality and quantity of food available was much better than we had expected so we didn't bother much with the speciality dining. We had been worried about the dining being too formal with set dining times, set tables and having to dress up. Couldn't have been more wrong! I realise that some folks like dressing up - we don't, so it was perfect for us. Just turn up and eat, no rush and no time limits.
Blue Man Group was mindblowing! Fat Cats jazz club was great fun!
Disembarking and settling up at the end was again much easier and quicker than we had expected.
If we had two negatives, they would have been that the Cirque Dining experience was a bit too cramped, wasn't the best value for money and that the cost of the drinks was higher than we expected. We expected them to be quite high but $7 for a beer was a bit pricey!
Didn't go on any of their organised tours - they were very expensive, did everything ourselves on local transport (along with a lot of other passengers), it wasn't that difficult and saved us a fortune!! and in many was ways more satisfying because we got to see the things WE wanted to at our own pace.
Overall, our first experience of cruising was far, far better than we could have hoped for. We will definately cruise again, but ONLY with NCL. Would highly recommend for the first time cruiser.
I do not work in the travel industry and have no connection to NCL or any other cruise organisation.