General Overview - Norwegian Epic sailing out of Miami.
If you want a holiday camp atmosphere, nowhere to sunbath and screaming kids running round while their parents scoff endless burgers to fill their already oversized elasticated waist shorts then look no further, this is the cruise from hell.
The ship is like a floating casino with endless slot machines competing to deafen you whilst you try to squeeze between the super sized tattooed vest wearing people chain smoking whilst 'feeding' the slots, the smell of smoke is dreadful and wafts throughout the entire ship.
You'd think with the above the that this would be a cheap cruise and on the face of it you'd appear to be correct but don't be fooled, the guys from NCL know how to suck you in and financially rape you when you are on board, everything costs. The free dining is only applicable in two undersized restaurants, every other restaurant has a cover charge of $15 -40 per person and these are practically empty as a result. The dress codes are not enforced and I felt sorry for everyone who made an effort only to be sat next to a table in vests and shorts screaming at each other as if they were 30 feet apart, why do they do that?
Tipping, my favourite part of the cruise. They apply a mandatory amount of tips per room daily irrespective of the level of service you receive, they then add mandatory tips to all bar bills and a section for additional tips, presumably the bit the actual staff member gets, that is three lots of tips per transaction. The daily room tips is nothing but a price increase by stealth so please call it so NCL and stop attempting to deceive people. They pay the crew so little these people genuinely need and in most cases deserve the tips but as a customer you are 'tip weary' by the time you are asked to cough up even more. You can opt of of the daily room charge but only on the last day of the cruise but like everything the queues are huge so they hope people won't bother, disgraceful.
Sunbathing - the remaining deck space available for this is next to nothing especially if you want a child free quiet environment, no such area exists on the vessel. The main pool area is like a Butlin's Holiday Camp from the 70's, noisy, crapped and full of wannabe compares competing for your ear attention. The cruise director occasionally makes an appearance on the mike, you can tell it's him by his his false sickly voice that lacks all kind of sincerity, not professional at all.
The rooms, who on earth designed these? The glass fronted toilet and shower offer absolutely no privacy visually or audibly from other occupants of the cabin. The carpets were dirty, the pillows smelt of previous people's sweaty heads and we're lumpy, the toiletries were missing completely for the first 3 days and the rounded bed (it clearly looked good on the drawing board) is great if you are a midget, I'm am 5'11" and my feet hung over the end no matter how I laid on the bed. The cabin aircon is a nightmare, you can't turn it off. The temperature varies about 5 degrees on any setting so you cook then freeze all night all the time while the fan is blowing the damned air in your face so you wake up each morning with your eyes welded shut feeling like someone burnt a tyre in your mouth the night before. If the ships attractions are just too much to bear you can always retire to your room to watch a film but guess what, they charge you another $10 for the privilege.
I could go on and on but I'm sure you are getting the picture. If you want to travel in a windowless box full of redneck beer swilling football watchers then is is the cruise for you, cruising for me means something completely different thus I WILL NEVER use this cruise line again.