We booked this cruise about 5 months ago and we had friends and family decide to join us. We wound up with a party of 9.
I had read every review that I could find on the Epic hear and another web sites...People seem to either love or hate the ship..seems not much middle ground. I have always felt some people just look for that bad. Nothing is perfect so just go and enjoy.
We left with our friends Bob and Ruthie on Friday morning and stayed at the La Quinta in Fort Lauderdale. We had made reservations with SAS transportation to pick us up at the hotel and take us to the Port of Miami. They were right on time and very courteous. We had a full van but we had plenty of room everyone. The fee was $15 per person to the port. I thought this quite reasonable.
The other members our party took a red eye and beat us to the ship..(but we were rested..LOL).
We got to the ship and we were on board in 20 minutes...now I don't think they could do that any faster. It was smooth and simple. We went to the Garden Cafe..walked through the casino. We are not smokers and I could smell the smoke but it was faint.
The buffet was huge. I don't think I ever got to try everything, but I gave it a good try over the course of the cruise.
Our cabin was ready about one. I walked in and expected looked around and I liked it. My husband and I found the bathroom set up very convinient. In our cabin the bed was by the balcony...I did see my cousins cabin and hers was by the sink...go for the bed by the balcony. She also had a hull cabin...she did not like that at all. She didn't have much sun. Her cabin was 12004.
One suitcase showed up around an hour later. We went up on deck for the sailaway party and all 4500 hundred guests were up there. So much energy but it was one of the few times I felt crowded.
Our other suitcase had arived by the time we got back to our cabin. We unpacked and then met our friends for dinner at Taste. No wait. We had the steak and lobster and maybe I am not a gormet but I liked it. I have been known to eat at McDonalds.
St Patricks day. We all had identical St Pat's shirts so that day we were all Irish. We had a mixed group...some drinkers some not...I am in the not category. Had dinner at Taste again...nine of us....No wait..no cold food...everyone seemed happy.
A lot of our group went to the parties in Spice H20 at night and they had a great time. we would go to bed early. My favorite time was sunrise. I would go up to the Garden Cafe with my book and watch the sun come up. It has anazing windows all across the front of the ship.
That night we saw the Blue Man Group...Wow...so very cool.
Second day at sea...loved those days...got to really enjoy the ship. It is huge...we walked a lot from one end to the other but it was nice. I never felt pressure from anyone to buy drinks. One no and they left you alone. Everyone seemed friendly. I asked a few how they were and they would always smile and say good...and if you asked them a question they would talk to you. Our cabin steward Jhonny took very good care of us. We had great service everywhere.
There was an issue with some of the restrooms on deck 10...Joe one of our party had a back up ...but they fixed it in a timely manner. Mechanical things break.
We went to the Murder Mystery lunch...it was funny. Food was good.
Day 4: St Maarten:
We did the Beach Buggy fun...great excursion...drove these little buggys through Phillipsburg to Orient Beach and got to swim in the Caribbean. The water was beautiful. I had bought a tee shirt and the lady that I bought it from noticed I had dropped $40..she brought it too me. Now how sweet was that....she didn't have to..I wouldn't have notice for a while.
Our other friends did the Ultimate Island tour...They enjoyed that.
Day 5: St Johns
My birthday...now how cool is it to have friends and family join you in the Caribbean for your birthday..LOL. We did the Colonial tour and shopping...the tour was not good except for the views at the top of the hills overlooking the harbor...10 minutes was all for that. Then we went to Blackbeards castle and walked back to town. Not a good tour.
We had matching shirts for the men and matching for the women for dinner...LOL..someone actually asked us if we were together...duh.
We went to Modernero for dinner...was so fun. Our waiter Yanni was adorable and very efficient. The food was great..the salad bar was amazing. They brought me a cake and sang happy birthday.
Legends in Concert that night. The show was good..Jimmy Buffet...Good Donna Summer Good...Michael Jackson..great..and I am not a fan of Michael Jackson...this guy was amazing.
Day at sea..but facing the wrong direction...I don't want to go home....LOL.
That night we went to dinner at the Cirque Dreams show. We got premium seating so we were right up front. The show was so good...I loved the Blue Man Group but I do have to say this show was outstanding. I know people have complained about the food but to tell you the truth they could have fed me dog turds and I wouldn't have noticed.
We went to the white hot party for awhile...Wow...we got their early...and then at 10:30...the flood gates opened...these people could party...I would have been right with them in my day...LOL. So much fun..but alas had to take my old butt to bed.
Day 7: Nassau
We didn't book any excursions here...decided to wing it. We took a water taxi to Atlantis...then we decided to go to the beach..very long walk but the beach was so beautiful. The vendors were a little annoying but to them we are their livelyhood. They were not offensive. Took a taxi back to the ship.
We all met for dinner again at taste...Good food..good service.
We wemt back to finish packing...how sad. We opted to have them take our bags. We set them out that night.
I woke up early fixed coffee in the room and we were already in port. Miami looked gorgeous in the dark...Watched the sun come up and then met with everyone for breakfast in the Garden Cafe a little after 7. Talked about how much fun we had.
We went back to our room and finished packing the rest of the stuff in our carry on's. Last room check and went down stairs.
How do you get 4500 people off in a timely manner..ask the Norwegian Epic. Our time to get off was set for 10..they were ahead of schedule..we didn't wait for our color. Free Style Baby...LOL. We had our luggage and we were off the ship in less that 15 minutes. I called SAS just before customs...and then when we were through..we were picked up by 10:15. We did go around a few times while he picked up more passengers. We had a 3:40 flight so we had a long time at the airport and our flight was delayed another hour. But we made it home.
We had an awesome time..would I cruise on the Epic again..in a heartbeat. We are looking at a transatlantic cruise that should last at least longer than 20 minutes...LOL