This was my first cruise, and my moms 6th cruise (5th with Norwegian). It was her first time on the Epic. As a first timer, if I had to make a decision on cruising again, I wouldn't cruise again based on my experience on the Epic.
Here is a list of what we did not like:
- portions were small, and quality was lacking
- too many specialty restaurants you had to pay for and the menu was similar to the buffets and normal dining areas
- you had to pay for all beverages, even pop. 6 bottles of water were listed at $21 and this was supposed to be a deal?!?!?!?!?!
- dining areas were so loud, you couldn't hear the person across from you
- the food took so long to arrive if you were in a main dining areas. We waited a couple of times over half an hour for just an appetizer
- the dining areas on the top deck closed early
- room service food was lacking in quality and choices as well
- a lot of the restaurants didnt have coffee makers on site, so the servers had to go away to get coffee urns.. seemed like there was ample room to put one in the area
- a couple of the activity staff were quite ignorant, making rude comments about eachothers personal lives either based on sexual connotations, education levels etc, racial comments towards cabin stewards.
- food services manager waited for my 65 year old mother to get out of his way while we were walking down the narrow corridor to our cabin on deck 15 (no restaurants on this deck so what he was doing there Ill never know). Same guy spent most of his time chatting up the hostess at Osheeans restaurant.
- the biggest part of the cabin was the balcony
- there was very little room to maneuver around the beds
- the toilet and shower were right at the entrance, so if your travel companion, new/old friends or steward came in he/she may have had a shocking welcoming
- the couch was useless. if faced the toilet sink and a storage cabinet. You couldn't clearly see the television
- the cabin door did not close properly and you had to give it an extra push (security issue)
- hair dryer kept cutting out. Im not sure if this was a fuse or connection thing
- the mini bar was super expensive, even for pop and water
Ports of call
- Jamaica seemed nice. We went on an excursion to Goop Hope Cultural experience and it was informative. As for the port itself, it was well laid out and close to Ocho Rios.
- Mexico at Costa Maya was simple. You got off the ship, walked to the end of the pier to a shopping area, being bombarded by pushy salespeople, or a couple of overpriced bars, and a big pool in the middle. You really had no choice to leave the area if you didnt have an excursion booked. It seemed pointless unless you wanted to buy real gitchy gifts
- Mexico at Cozumel was better. It was well marked, and you could walk around the city. There was lots of shopping and the salespeople were not as pushy. We went on the Dolphin Swim and ride excursion. It was all inclusive and the food was great. The people and dolphins seemed happy.
As for what was good about the cruise:
-Embarkation was good, and organized.
-Ship overall appeared clean
- Our cabin steward was wonderful, welcoming and informative.
- the servers in the main dining areas were constantly on their feet and lifting heavy trays.
- considering the small cabin, there was a lot of storage
- the internet wifi was available, but expensive to buy
I heard from several repeat cruises, the Norwegian Epic was the worst they have been on, and they didnt like anything other then the weather.