Norwegian Epic, April 6/13
This was our 23 cruise but only our 2nd with NCL and it was a fairly last minute booking.
We chose a gty balcony and were assigned cabin 9036 which was located forward on deck 9 port side.
There are a lot of good things to say about this ship.
Check in was extremely quick and easy and our cabin was available by 1:00PM. The food in the Main Dining room and Taste was much better than expected with a good variety. The buffet was typical cruise ship food and quality no better-no worse. As far as the specialty restaurants go, we found Cagney's Steakhouse to be mediocre and were quite disappointed with La Cucina Italian restaurant. Le Bistro on the other hand was quite enjoyable.
Finding your way around was easy thanks in part to the blue colour used for the staircases, carpets
and elevator indicators on the starboard side and orange used on the port side.
Without a doubt, the best thing about this ship is their entertainment. We thoroughly enjoyed Blue
Man Group, Second City and Howl at the Moon piano duel. The individual musicians featured throughout the ship were second to none and considerably better than some on more upscale ships.
Epic has the largest casino at sea and was always well attended.
As has been reviewed & discussed elsewhere on the net, the standard balcony cabins are impractical, uncomfortable, awkward and just plain stupid. When you step into the cabin you are
actually in the bathroom with the shower on one side and the toilet on the other each enclosed by
semi-transparent sliding doors resulting in very little privacy. A tiny sink is located at the foot of the smallish bed making it impossible for 2 people to squeeze past each other. There was ample closet space and the balcony was a good size.
There are design issues that contribute to the ship feeling crowded. The area around the main pool
gets extremely congested when there are events going on and the forward elevators get the greatest
use since the buffet, suites, spa, gym etc are located forward which contribute to very long waits. It
was especially bad after muster drill.
There were a lot of smokers on this cruise with smoking allowed on the balconies much to the discomfort of those on adjacent decks. The cigarette smoke in the casino was very noticeable also.
In my opinion, the afterthought addition of the box like structure containing the Garden Villa suites on the top of the forward section along with the squared off stern makes this the ugliest cruise ship at sea bar none. Fortunately she looks pretty nice on the inside.
Overall we enjoyed our cruise but are unlikely to cruise on Epic again as there are far better
choices out there.