Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by robergee: Great overall experience!!!
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Great overall experience!!!
It was for my wife and I our first cruise together but my second since I was on the Disney Magic in March 2010.
From Montreal, we took our flight to Fort Lauderdale on Dec 28 and it was just perfect.
Once on the boat, we found our room easily (#11234) and were very pleased with the comfort, decoration and overall presentation. It is small, like every cabin but with the patio, everything is just perfect.
Rapidly, we found that we would have to pay for many things. We didn't know that the drink packages would have to be taken during the first day preferably and when we found out, it was already too late. Water on the ship is good and we took the opportunity to dring water when eathing at the restaurant and this is not a bad thing :)
As soon as we arrived on the boat, I wanted to book the Blue Man Group show and the Legends in concert and that was a great idea since it booked rapidly and as we were there to celebrate the new year, we had specific dates More that we wanted to book these shows.
Blue Man Group was exceptionnal! It was fun and we were sitting in the middle of the 3rd row so it was just perfect as well. We just showed up 1 hour in adavance and the door opened 50 mins in advance so it went very fast and we took that time to read our book and relax...
The Legend in concert show was a very nice surprise! Nicky Taylor, Katy Perry and Elvis Prestley look alike singers were fantastic. We had a great time! It was the 1000th show on the boat so at the end, they brought a cake and made a special event for it....
The food on the boat is also amazing. The only thing we didn't like much was the "buffet" and don't take it wrong, we simply are not "buffet" oriented people cause it was mostly good but nothing to compare with the "a la carte" restaurant. We booked "Le Bistro" on Dec 31 at 21h30 thanks to Nancy, a great french Canadian Customer care attendant that helped us booking this amazing restaurant to have a special diner for this very special day. This restaurant was a 9/10 easily... We strongly recommend this restaurant...
We also booked the famous Teppanyaki wich is a "Japonese restaurant show" it was just as good as "Le Bistro" but with the Entertainment of the funny cooking just in front of your eyes :)
Finally, we booked the La Cucina on Friday everning (last everning of the cruise) and it was a 8/10... but still worth the 15$ charge....
On this cruise, there is ALWAYS something to do! We were amazed to see how many people were going at the gym during this cruise... maybe, just like us, feeling guilty to eat that much :) Pay attention! Some activities have to be paid and we participated to the "abs of steel" training only to find out at the end that it was around 150$ for 4 sessions of around 45 mins.... Pretty expensive but very good class. Since we didn't want to pay 300$ for both of us on top of all the charges, we explained our situation to the trainer and he immediately reimbursed the charge and it was very appreciated. Being 2 french speaking hapy cruiser wasn't always easy for us to understand what was going at all time :)
During the evening, there were parties every evening on the main deck. We took part of the disco party and it was fun. Most of the crowd were adults with some kids/teanagers. On Dec 31, the party on the main deck was filled with teanagers and the music was very loud and kids were running everywhere. It wasn't that fun and quickly, we left that party. It would have been great to have an "adult" party just like the disco one the night before. Among the 1000 people dancing, I think that 950 were kids....
The day after, there was the "bal en blanc" and everyone had to wear a white pants/shirt/skirt.... A great idea but still... to many kids to enjoy the party as we were a couple...
During this cruise, we had one very bad experience... The second day at sea, we decided that we would take advantage of the main dack and try to get a sun tan... I especially woke up at 7h00 to reserve a chair (with 2 towels I carefully lef on the deckchairs with books). We went back there at 8h00 and left again for breakfast and took part of a Wake up activity beside the pool for 15 minutes. When we came back, our chairs had been taken by those 2 (can't really say what I would like to) women that argued with us that it was ok to take our chairs because we weren't there for an hour.... I told them that we went for breakfast and that we took part of an activity. I told them that our stuff was on the chair and that it was clear that we were coming back right after... She told me that there was this rule of "1 hour away" allowing them to take our chairs. She's right... this rule exist. But no one would ever dare taking somebody else stuff, throw it away and make himself home... She had the kind of attitude making you wish she could fall over the bridge and you would'nt even mention it to anyone if you understand what I mean. I would have payed an extra charge to get rid of her at the next port... I wish I would know how to do Voodoo stuff to make her pay for this wasted day at sea...
SO.... NOTE THAT THERE IS NOT ENOUGH DECKCHAIRS FOR EVERYONE (it is obvious that there is not enouph chairs... this is very unfortunate and unacceptable). I understand that they can't put 5000 deckchairs but there is definitely an issue with this. NOTE THAT THERE ARE RUDE PEOPLE WITH A BAD ATTITUDE THAT WON'T BOTHER RUINING YOUR DAY BY TAKING YOUR CHAIR... Next time, i will bring a padlock that no one will be able to get rid off! I will be the only one with the key! After this issue with the cow, we tried to find another spot with deckchairs but believe me... none was available and it was definitely unthinkable for us to take other people's deckchair (as we have respect, class and honor). We then spent our day Inside. Even today, I still hate that women as much as I may hate the number 1 criminal on the FBI list...
Finally, there is one last unacceptable thing. The problem with the deckchairs is not only that there is not enouph... they are in a very bad shape! In the middle of the back, you will feel the metal rod and where it folds, most of them are broken and it created a hole between your ass and your back. The deckchairs were the worse I had ever seen in my life!!! Even worse than the ones that you find in poor Caribbean countries for rent. They are in such a bad shape that I felt shy for Norwegian offering this to their clients who paid several thousand dollars to spend 6 days onboard.... truly unacceptable and unbelievable. Something like that is enouph to bring shadow on the overall experience onboard.
Despite the state of the deckchairs and the story with the 2 stupid women, we would definitelyl repeat the experience with no hesitation. Padlock2 and more towels for the comfort of the chairs would solve the problem!
A special mention to the smoke coming from the casino... it doesn't make sense! It's in the middle of the ship so it ruines the air all around... a real pain....
Another special mention to the personnal and the crew... They are FANTASTIC!!!! Polite, respectfull and very attentionate! A real pleasure to deal and talk with them.
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Cabin review: 11234
Perfect cabin for the price. Not much intimacy with you need to go to the washroom but a good pretext for your Partner to go on the balcony :)
Port and Shore Excursions
It was a short excusion and a very good fun for the value. Bring something to hold your sunglasses if you go there otherwise, you will have to buy the strap that they sell for 5$
It's a yellow speed boat that can accomodate around 28 people well strapped and ready to get very wet. The Captain was very fun and he definitely wanted us to have a good trip. The boat can do 90 degrees turn and it swerve at the last minute and all people are getting a wave on the face each time!
It doesn't hurt, don't worry. This activity can be done with kids and they will remember this a long time! I would repeat the experience anytime :)
Beach is great. You need to pay if you want to use a deckchair but it's cheap. This place is very poor and not much to do there other than have a walk on the beach and relax. We didn't take any excursion and if we did, it would probably have been a lot better cause it's pretty boring...
Beach is 4/5
City/shopping is 2/5
Activity is ? as I unfortunately didn't take any
We didn't want to make the same mistake we did at St Marteen port so we took 2 excusions! 1st one was to do the Island tour. The trucks they use are Ford F350 with room for around 20 people in the back (special open cab with a roof). The top isn't high enough so for a 6'00 tall and more, it's not easy to look outside while the truck is going... Views are absolutely fantastic and really breathtaking! Views are what makes this excusion value. You will stop in 2-3 shops but this part wasn't special at all. This tour could have been done in 1.5 - 2 hours but with the shopping, it took around 3 hours. I recommand this tour. Downside: You can't hear much with the speakers installed in the back as the driver comments what you are seing on the way.
Scuba - beginner
As for the SCUBA diving, it was very fantastic!!!! We had a crash course and then, went on a boat where they split the group into 4 groups of 4-5 people. An instructor then takes specificaly care of his group and make sure they are set to go. In our group, a girl couldn't ajust her hears while going down and the trainer had to take care of her for around 10 minutes. During this period, her boyfriend, my wife and myself were 20-30 feets under and were panicking a bit... you know, first time you breath with a tank is not obvious for the first couple of minutes. I don't think the trainer should have left us by ourself at this time and luckily, my wife and I managed our feelings and we finally ended up having one of our best excursion of our life! Sometimes, you have to go beyond your comfort zone and this is what made this experience exceptionnal. I invite everyone to try this excusion but just make sure you don't loose your trainer if you are with someone having issues... On the other side, I understand that he did his best to have everyone on board but it could have become a nightmare if either my wife or myselft wouldn't have been able to stay in the bottom for 10 minutes wainting by ourselves...