My wife and I decided to book a last minute cruise sailing January 12th. We booked it only because the price was one we could not pass on. After booking the trip, I then started to read the reviews which honestly got me a little worried. However one member said something that stuck with me, " your vacation is what you make it." I took this to heart and looked forward to our first Norwegian adventure....besides a bad cruise is better than a good day in the office!!!
We arrived from our local hotel at the port around 11:15 am and we're on the ship before noon. I agree with other posts that Epic lacks the "wow" factor, especially since our last cruise was on Allure which is big time WOW! Day 1 was our worst day, funny on Allure day 1 was our worst too. It started by my wife's dress getting caught in the escalator which I had to tear to free her. A staff member saw it all, did come to assist but said nothing!?! My bag showed up in our room around 3 pm, by 7 pm no sign of my wife's. I called the service desk...no help, said bags can be delivered up to 8 pm and told us to wait. So we were either going to wait or go to dinner with my wife and her ripped dress??? I went to the hall and spoke to our steward who suggested we go down to the courtesy desk. ...so we did. They had a guy filtering/directing people...he was useless as he told us the same thing the lady on the phone told me. I went to the desk regardless and the gentleman told me there are bags in a room right there. I went in to look and my wife's bag was the first one right there....tags had come off! Now why two other told us to wait till 8 pm I have no idea!! I was annoyed so I took the opportunity to also complain about my wife's torn dress. Well her her $30 dress that was actually a little two long and because of the tear will force her to get it turned up to the proper length turned into a complimentary dinner at the French restaurant, bottle of wine included, approximately $130 value....so we were happy with that. The other negative this day was the wait at The Manhattan. Some called it 20 mins...we were close to 40! Not a good first impression on freestyle cruising!
Now that is the end of the bad, which was not too bad really.
The good....rooms have lots of storage....my wife and I pack a lot of stuff for a week, we did not use all the storage. I do a lot of biz travel and use to a lot of bad beds and bad pillows in hotels, these beds and pillows were awesome! I loved our bed right next to the balcony as we slept with the balcony door open every night with a nice cool breeze coming in. Bathroom config, yes different, but no big deal. Like someone said, if I were NCL I too would be concerned with water damage that is apparent. Lighting configuration options were good, shower pressure great and lots of hot, hot water! Room was smaller than Allure, but balcony was bigger. Thought it could have been a little cleaner as some smudges apparent on the closet doors and glasses we use with my wife's lipstick I think should be replaced. This is where I am not a fab of mandatory gratuity. I would rather give it to those that deserve it. Overall service was good, but noticed a difference compared to RCL.
Sun deck was very busy, but we took the advice of a review and purchased week passes to Posh. For $59/pp we felt it was well worth it, even on port days that you go into port. It is not that busy, padded lounge chairs, padded cabana like chairs and padded double beds. Slept every afternoon in the sun. We went on land at every port and we would come back and lie in Posh to chill for a bit before getting ready for dinner. Talking to guests who were in The Haven used Posh instead because The Haven area was too hot as no breeze gets in and the pool is too hot. If Posh had a pool, that would make it perfect.
Food....awesome....always eating and lots of options. Buffet, MDR's, Irish pub (awesome shepherds pie!), Cirque and the French restaurant all great! Really don't understand some negative reviews about the food on this ship???!!! Oh and lattes better than Starbucks!
Entertainment.....Blue Man Group, slow in parts but entertaining. Cirque was good, standard seating is plenty. Legends...Michael Jackson made it! He was unbelievable! Looked, talked, sang and danced just like MJ!! Game Shows fun. Second City was ok and the least we enjoyed. The best....Howl at the Moon...Dueling Pianos......the three singers/players are such a talent! Some nights going to 1 or 1:30 in the morning! Epic entertainment surpasses Allure, just seemed there was more to do and for longer into the night on Epic.
Disembarkation...seemed weird...or unorganized....never had to wait to get off a ship?
It is natural to compare ships, especially your current to your last one. Day one and part of two we were saying Epic does not compare to Allure. By the end, we both enjoyed Epic more than Allure! Every ship has pros and cons. Certainly if everyone could bring the best of all their cruises to one ship, they would. All I can tell you, if you are looking for a good time, Epic will not disappoint!!!
Now onto Celebrity Reflection in April!!!! Can't wait!