Cruised on the NCL Epic End of Sept 2012. There was 4 of us travelling (2 couples) and we choose the epic as it is a new 'fun' ship with lots of entertainment and of course the freestyle option. Having cruised with both NCL and RCL previously. (Didnt like RCL )
We embarked in Barcelona. Very easy to embark. Slight wait to go onboard but only about 30 mins and there are shops to look in and refreshments available.There are many duty free shops in here which we bought 2 bottles of wine and put them in my hangbag. Regret I didnt buy more as there were no checks on this port what so ever (would have paid corkage if asked)
Nice welcome on board ( no free drinks though! ) Went to the pool and hung out at the bar for a few hours. Rooms were announced very quickly - only and hour or 2. Checked into room and went exploring!
The boat is very easy to navigate around. Signs everywhere showing you where to go. Didnt really use the lifts too often but when we did found them fine ( not sure why everyone is going on about half hour delays?!)
As this is our 3rd cruise I thought by everyones comments on the pool it would be the size of a hottub! But I thought it was ok in size, pretty similar to previous cruise experiences. Only difference was this pool was never packed so plenty of space! ;o) Putting that down to going when the kids were back at school!
The water slides are great - loved the Yellow 'epic plunge'. Great fun and not too scary! The Green one was good too but bit too scary for me! The hot tubs were lovely - roasting hot and never too packed.
the food: ( were not fussy but like a nice meal)
For breakfast we went to the buffet everyday - amazing selection of food. Everything was absolutely delicious and above average.
Lunch was normally something by the pool at the outdoor buffet, they had burgers, pizza, salads, and if you go inside you can get absolutely everything. too much food and choice ! ;op None of our group had a bad meal on the boat.
Manhattan Restaurant. Good selection for a set menu. Ate here once, lovely.
Taste Restaurant, Similar to Manhattan, Very good quality food also
Circus show was absolutely brilliant - best entertainment on the ship and definitely worth every penny! We got premium seats ( sitting upstairs) and well worth it to see everything. Show and food was amazing, do it !
Bliss night club
Spent nearly every evening here. Dj was fantastic, dance floor was always full! We did a Michael Jackson thriller dance class in here as well and that was brilliant fun.
The irish Bar was great for pre dinner drinks. Pool tables/ bowling, golf game etc. So lots to keep you amused. The food is available 24/7 so if you fancy a 3am snack after the niteclub you can grab a burger or some tenders, which are amazing!
Didnt use the casino only walked through it. would have used it if you had easy access to get chips but couldnt figure out how you buy them! You cant use your room key for this. Didnt find casino it smoky at all ( and I would be very sensitive to this) so dont understand people complaining about this.
Happy hour. Just realised halfway through the trip that there was happy hour in Maltings daily! Goods savings, buy one get one free inc cocktails! yum yum
Few other bars dotted around the boat. Didnt like the fat cats ( jazz and not our thing) or the ' comedy lounge'. It wasnt a comedy lounge as we thought, but 2 guys on pianos paying random stuff trying to be funny. Totally American humour and must admit it was lost on us Irish ! Thought it was really terrible. gave it 2 goes but walked out both times after 5 minutes.
Spice is great on white party night. Again fantastic Dj and the place was full. Brilliant night there. During the day Spice is a bar but noone was in it when we were there as it was very windy in this area and too cold to sit out here. Im sure thats not a problem in July !
Went to see the blue man show - it was good, I wouldnt say great. Few of our party didnt like it, but I thought it was ok and entertaining. worth going to see anyway ! didnt like Legends show, the acts were geared towards the older crown, rod stewart, elvis and madonna.. On the advertisements around the ship you would be lead to believe it is Britney Spears and Lady Gaga! The acts that were one wouldnt be our taste.
best show is definately the cirque dreams - brilliant.
Theres always entertainment by the pool, music etc. Some was good, some was terrible, but they have to cater to all tastes!
Our room was fantastic. ( Balcony room 13000) Had read all the reviews before going so expected a small room, but it was perfectly fine. Decor was lovely, very cool and modern. Huge balcony. No noise problems at all. Bathrooms were fine, honestly dont understand what every is fussing about with the bathrooms. The doors are frosted and you cant see anything through them! we thought they were fine, no issue at all. Room was always kept spotless by our cabin attendant who did a great job. He made animals with the towels - always great to find on the bed when you come back to room!
Overall we loved the Epic. It a beautiful ship with so much to do - you will never be bored! Its a fun ship, great music and atmosphere. Staff were all lovely. Food was excellent. We only ate in 1 of the fee paying restaurants , the italian, and it was fab. But theres plenty of options if you dont want to pay the extra.
We love NCL and have just booked a cruise for March on the Jade. Hope you enjoy the Epic - Happy Cruising !