My wife and I just completed the April 13-20 Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Epic. We booked this cruise almost 2 years ago and were so excited to sail on the Epic. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, and Princess. With our previous cruises, we were overwhelmed when we first entered the ship. We walked into the grand atrium and our first impression was, "WOW". As we entered the huge Epic, we were expecting the same WOW factor. We boarded through the casino that still smelled of stale smoke from the previous cruise. There was no grand atrium and no WOW factor. We stayed in a balcony cabin that was very small and cramped. I am 6'1" and my feet hung off the end of the bed. We asked our cabin steward for some wine glasses and he told us that we should contact room service. Are you freaking kidding me?!! His goal should be to make the guest feel welcome and valued. He immediately made us feel like a burden.
We were looking forward to some nice morning runs on the outdoor jogging track. We discovered the jogging tract to be on one side of the ship near the life boats and you had to run up and back on the same path and while dodging other passengers. As in past cruises, we wanted to spend time in the thermal suite. My wife purchased the week pass for the 2 of us. We found some blogs listing a price of $199 for the pass but we were charged $293!! We went for one day and the area was small with limited lounge chairs. They did have some very nice hydrotherapy areas and the sauna overlooked the water which was nice. We were very disappointed with the thermal suite and asked for a refund. They were very gracious and gave us a full credit.
We toured the ship and were very disappointed with the overall amenities and visual appeal. The majority of the restaurants were up-charge venues which were excellent. The aft and mid-ship elevators do not stop on the 5th floor. You have to go to 6 and walk through the casino and take the escalator down to 5. Almost everything you do on the ship takes you through the casino that reeks of smoke. The ship dedicated a huge amount of space to their casino and neglected many other amenities. We found the majority of the staff to be unfriendly and grumpy. I called the front desk for some help and was told I have to come to them for an answer. We ordered room service as did many people, and the dirty dishes would sit in the hallway for a day or two. Our cabin steward took our pool towels and didn't replace them. I called housekeeping and he showed up with 2 towels and told me how much I inconvenienced him and I felt like I was being chewed out.
We did have some great food in the up-charge restaurants as well as Taste. Taste had some excellent staff and they really made us feel welcome. Our waited in The Manhattan Room was rude and ignored us most of the time. The pool areas on the Epic are pathetic. The bathing capacity is somewhere around 15 people and even then, you're crammed. We were also charged $12 per day per person for service charges which nobody earned. We love to cruise and were very hopeful about NCL and the Epic. Unfortunately, we were severely underwhelmed and did not feel welcome or valued. We will not be traveling again on any Norwegian cruise ship.