We had booked this cruise for our entire family over Thanksgiving--four cabins, nine people. We had one balcony of 3 and 3 inside cabins. Let me preface this by saying that we have cruised over 18 times and four counting this one have been on Norwegian, but also have many on Celebrity, Royal, and Princess. We booked this cruise on Norwegian due to limited time constraints, and affordability for some younger members of the family.
The room configuration for families is TERRIBLE. We had our 15 year old son in our balcony room and privacy is non-existent due to the bathroom and shower being in the absolute front of the room directly next to the door. When you exit the shower, you are standing directly in front of the cabin door. Wet. Naked. The third person literally sleeps on the couch. The room has been turned so that there is barely space to move or to change clothes. It is impossible to walk in front of another person, there is so little room in the cabin.
Any time dining? Yeah, right. We did not have one night out of all seven that we were able to eat in the dining room without at least a half hour wait. And eating at Taste? I think I've had better more cheerful service at the McDonald's drive thru. Waiters and waitresses were irritated, surly, and short. And why shouldn't they be? Norwegian has created an atmosphere where the waitstaff have little if nothing to gain by being pleasant and conversational. You will NEVER have the same waiter or table twice, due to anytime
dining. The waitstaff already HAVE their gratuities....no point making any extra effort at all. The Manhattan room is somewhat better, and definitely in terms of decor. Taste felt like eating in someone's basement. I can't imagine who designed that one. We ordered the wine package and their was no champagne available on either the first or second tier. We took the entire family to Le Bistro one evening and were terribly disappointed. We had been to Le Bistro on the Sun, but the one on Epic is not the same. There was an upcharge of $10 for half the menu. And that's after already paying $20/person. One of the kids wanted to order two entrees and was told that ordering more than one entree was not allowed in the specialty restaurants. But the WORST of the WORST was O'Sheehans. If you can avoid it, do so. It is simply the WORST service EVER. Even the bartenders are RUDE. The staff is irritated to have you there, and they let you know it. We were even asked not to sit at an empty table so that they didn't have to wait on us separately. You can't get a glass of water or soda (yes, we bought soda cards) that isn't 4 inches tall anywhere on the ship, and O'Sheehan's is no exception. The wings were raw in the middle and cold. The hamburgers were like rocks. One of my kids ordered a soda and gave it to the other who had left his room card with the soda sticker in the room and was "seen" by the waiter who then came over and threatened to "take his soda sticker away". Unless you are ordering beer or liquor the waiters make it clear they would prefer you leave. Ordering just food or using your soda card or asking for water earns you an attitude of disgust. Food and lines in the cafe were terrible and disorganized. The same food was served each and every day and was very obviously recycled dinner.
The room stewards do their jobs, but look exhausted and put out. We consistently got two of everything in our room instead of three. We usually love our room stewards, and ALWAYS tip extra on top of the gratuities. This was the first time we have not written the compliment card out for at least several employees on the ship and tipped generously over and above the gratuities, but this was an entire shipload of employees who behaved as if they wanted nothing more than to get off the boat at the next port and never come back.
When you are in the Caribbean, you might expect a reggae band on the pool deck, right? We got a polka band on the pool deck several days. No lie---a POLKA band. Huh??
We all HATED the layout of the ship and HATED the crush of all the people. It was like spending 7 days shopping on Black Friday with the crowds at a KMart bluelight special. Just YUCK. The ceilings are low everywhere, there is overwhelming smoke in the casinos and the library (THAT'S a library??) and everyone with allergies suffered continuously.
Never again. Epic fail.