Between January 12th until the 19th my daughter and I had the great misfortune to be aboard the Norwegian Epic. I say misfortune because after 3 days when we realized the situation was not going to improve, we couldn't wait to return to Miami and get home. As a cruiser of more than 20 years (I took 8 in 2012!) I can honestly say that this was the worst cruising experience of my life! What was especially disappointing was that the cruise was my daughter's Christmas present and she had been looking forward to it enormously. So much was so very wrong.
We are citizens of the UK who live in the US as we have visas. Even though we had checked in online the lady at our assigned check -in desk clearly had no idea how to process such a visa -- and neither did the 4 men she asked to help, including a supervisor. It took 45 minutes at the counter before being given our key cards which were illegible (smudged?) and so had to be reprinted.
We were in a Mini Suite cabin, which was very odd. It was very, very narrow for the amount of money we paid with the wash hand basin in the cabin! It seemed not to be holding up well to being used -- scratched, peeling paint and generally dowdy.
In both Manhattan and Taste, the food was inedible to say the least. We only ate there twice, having booked 4 specialty restaurants before leaving on our trip, but I feel very sorry for the people who could not afford to do as we did! The service was also dreadful! In Taste we waited 40 minutes to have our order taken, 30 minutes for our appetizers and 40 minutes once they had been cleared for our entrees. When I mentioned it to the Assistant Maitre D, he said that they couldn't cope when a lot of people arrived together. What an Admission! The service was no better in Manhattan and the food was so bad we left after one mouthful of food. The head waiters were too busy chatting to be available to guests.
Dreadful! If I wanted a microwaved lasagne I would buy a Stouffer version from our local grocery store. Again, service was very slow.
The food was ok, but nothing special but again the service was dreadful. It was evident that there were many new servers who didn't know what to do eg. Reaching across my daughter to give me my food and vice versa, or which food belonged to whom. Again no head waiter.
Moderno and Cagneys- Both were excellent!
'Michael Jackson' was very good, the others decidedly average.
Blue Man Group
Boring compared to other BMGroups, I have seen elsewhere.
Boring and appalling food. Portion size was insulting-one broccoli floret, one potato the size of silver dollar, a very small fillet steak and 2 shrimps. Most of which was poor for a cover charge of $35 per person.
Reasonable entertainment but when I asked for an alternative to Shrimp Salad, the server took the shrimps off and gave me the shrimpy tasting salad back.
Staff and Crew
With a few exceptions the staff were not very good, I suppose they get their gratuities regardless of their level of service so their attitude left a lot to be desired! This extended to the Hotel Director and all at guest services. One night our cabin was not serviced, for whatever reason and when I asked if this could be remedied the lady at guest services rudely said I had not left the cabin early enough. As we had vacated the cabin at 7.20pm (we had a 7.30 reservation) I very politely asked her if she was sure. She was adamant that the stewards completed their shift at 7.00. I know that not to be the case so I asked her to check , for future reference. She returned and said it was 9pm. No apology so when the Hotel Director passed I expressed my concern that the guest services said the first thing that came into their heads. I found this customer service employee to be arrogant and rude, too. Seems to be the mentality on the 'Epic".
I could go on but I won't. Having had such a dreadful experience, I came home and with enough time to re-organize my business, do laundry etc last week went on another cruise from Port Canaveral, half the price of the 'Epic' with a company whose mission to provide dining experiences, service and entertainment beyond customer expectation -- which they did beautifully! Use another cruise line for your vacation!