I would like to start by saying that i don't normally write reviews because i try not to mislead anyone or try to convince anyone otherwise from their initial feelings. with that being said, This was my 3rd cruise in 2 years as i instantly became addicted to cruising when i sailed May 2012 on the Carnival Dream with the same Eastern itinerary. I have to admit the NCL Epic is indeed a beautiful ship with gorgeous decor and design including the rooms which are a little small but cozy and more then enough space for the amount of time you should be spending on it lol
But the Customer Service was absolutely horrible. After Sailing with Royal Caribbean last Feb 2013 and was automatically decided that RC is the cruise experts I have been on 3 different cruises with 3 different companies and i must admit that NCL really disappointed me. Anytime we had a question the response was rather rude and almost as if you are bothering them. One the people in my party is a vegetarian and letting them know that at dinner was a bother to them and an excuse was always made as compared to RC and Carnival they would NEVER make you feel as if you were a bother. the layout of the ship was very difficult and the casino is huge. I believe it is the biggest casino at sea, now if you're a gambler, obviously you will enjoy that but the fact that it was the entire 6th floor was really hard to navigate through. Also, you are able to smoke in the casino but with it being open in the center to above and below decks with one being the TASTE dining room, not a very pleasant dinner with the smell of smoke.
EMBARKATION - Honestly pretty quick and easy and no line up at all, but the disappointing customer service began right there. She wasn't rude but wasn't all that friendly either.
DISEMBARKATION - DISASTER ! ! ! We had the transfers booked all combined with NCL and we were given RED tags which meant we we're first off the ship at 8 AM and that was not the case. Red tags were never called out and we only got off the ship at 9:30 am after waiting in a massive line that surrounded the entire 6th deck. Then when we finally got off looking for our luggage was horrible because the signs are not very clear as to where you are supposed to look. After getting through customs looking for what bus to get on was a joke but we found it, after walking through crowds of extremely disappointed passenger coming off the Epic.
Now the food was great, no complaints except for all the additional charges. Way more then any other cruise line. The Cirque Show dinner was great $29.99 standard seats. The BLUE MAN GROUP is a MUST.i honestly did not think i would enjoy it but we all really did. Legends in concert not so great. Second City after dark...horrible but not all have the same sense of humor.
This ship is very top heavy therefore you feel a lot more of the movement and swaying and i am not one to get sea sick at all ever i don't even need the patch but one night we had some rocky waters and it made me a little sick.. but that was everyone on the ship. it was a quiet night in general.
One last thing, the DJ at BLISS night club SUCKS ! All the techno trance crap he was playing and with barely anyone on the dance floor he never thought of changing up the music. only 2 nights i actually enjoyed the music and Danced a bit. I also felt that the entertainment was not as good as far as the staff getting people into the vacation groove.