Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by fourml8r: Epic Pleasure
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Opened up at 12 Noon. We arrived at the terminal shortly after 12 and there was a short line. We were on the ship within an hour. Since we are Latitudes members our line was slightly shorter, but neither line was long. One nice thing is that the Taste dining room was open for lunch. This was much better than the "traditional" embarkation buffet on you see on most cruise lines. FYI -- You can get a cab for $24 (TOTAL -- no matter how many passengers you have) from the airport to the port. Most "shuttles" wanted $10-15 per person, which ends up costing more than a cab if you have a family. So why bother with a shuttle. It is only a 15-20 minute ride.
Cabin: We had a balcony cabin (14032). This cabin has a larger than normal balcony. I liked the curved walls of the cabin. It provided extra storage behind the sofa back cushions and also above the bed (in the curved area right above you). You won't see this unless you know it's there. I had read about the bathrooms and More LOVED the layout. For starters the shower is a usable size. Not a closet like on other ships. Plus since the areas are separated, one person can shower while one uses the toilet. The glass on both the shower and toilet area provided plenty of privacy. If you need more, just pull the curtain closed. Not an issue at all and I found it to be far superior to any other cruise ship bathroom I have ever used. The sink is in its own area, and had no "splashing" issues others have mentioned. Another advantage of our cabin was that the hallways on deck 14 are split up. So the only people in our corridor were the 30 or so cabins in that area. No cross traffic, or elevator or stair traffic like in other places.
Dining rooms: There are 2 dining rooms on board. Taste and Manhattan. They both have the same exact menu, the only difference is that Taste is casual all day long, in Manhattan you need pants and collared shirt for dinner. We go casual, so we only ate at Taste. I especially liked the free style cruising. You eat whenever you want and there was never a line to get in since everyone is spaced out better. The food in Taste dining room was consistently very good and even excellent on some nights. The breakfast and lunch menus are fixed for the entire cruise, but the dinner menu changes daily.
Upscale restaurants: Plenty of choices. We ate at the Churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse), La Cuccina (Italian) and Cagneys (Steakhouse). All were good with the Churrascaria being the best. I especially liked the seafood chowder at the salad bar. Huge pieces of all kinds of seafood in it. The Italian was my second favorite, followed by the steakhouse.
Buffet: We only ate there twice on the cruise. But it was acceptable. Plenty of choices / selection.
Entertainment: We did the Blue Man group (Free), Legends Concert (Free), Comedy club (Free), Cirque ($20 extra) and the Murder lunch ($20 extra). All were good.
Pools: We used the water slides they were a lot of fun. Pools are small, but if I want to swim in the Caribbean, I will just go to a beach, not in a pool. Hot tubs were nice. They do get a little crowded, but no worse than any other ship I have been on.
TV : I love that you can choose anything right from the TV in your cabin. You can book a show, make a dinner reservations, book an excursion, view photos, etc. We did not even have to go to the Pursers desk once the entire cruise.
Photos: As usual they take a ton of these. But NCL uses facial recognition software so that all your pictures are in a specific cabin numbered binder. No need to search through thousands of pics on a wall. You can also view them right on the monitors in the photo desk area. I loved this feature.
Casino: I liked the casino. They have designated NON-SMOKING areas which I prefer.
Kids Club: My daughter said this was the best kids club she had been to so far on any cruise ship.
Disembarkation: The ship does arrive early (7AM in Miami). We had breakfast and were off the ship before 8AM. We did the "Walk off ", which is the fastest way to get off the sip by far. You get first off the ship so there is literally no customs line to wait in. Less
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We had a great time.