After reading over 50 reviews about the Norwegian Epic, I was quite concerned with sailing this ship for Spring Break the last week of March. The four biggest lingering concerns included poor/unfriendly /slow service, smoky promenades, mediocre food, and too many up charges. I will address each of these.
I have been on about 10 cruises on four different cruise lines. The kindness of this ship’s crew far exceeded ANY of my previous 10 cruises. From the cabin steward to each waiter my family felt nothing but complete acceptance and kindness. Each worker went above and beyond and did his or her best to meet our every need. Also, we never sat in the main dining room for more than an hour and a half. The nights we arrived to the dining area before 6:30, we were in and out in an hour. Our target time was always 6:00, but often arrived about 6:15. This is faster than any other line I have cruised. The one night that we arrived at 7:30, it did take longer, but the place was jammed packed, so it was to be expected. We found that if you arrive between 6:45-8:00, you can expect to take longer. Just plan accordingly and you will have no problems.
Smoke? I am highly sensitive to smoke and avoid smokers at all costs. I was almost shocked at the LACK of smoke. We walked through the casino SEVERAL times a day, and NEVER thought it was smoky! My husband even said he thinks it was the least amount of smoke in any casino we have ever encountered. Yet another concern debunked. A side-note…we turned in for the evening about 10 – 11:00 each night, so maybe late in the evening it gets worse???
Food! The meals on the ship were fine. I never ate anything BAD. Of course it isn’t five-star, but both my vegetarian daughter and meat eating husband think the food on the Epic was the best out of all the cruises we have cruised. (Carnival, Royal C., and MSC) We NEVER paid to eat in any of the up charge restaurants. We decided we would try the main dining the first couple of nights then decide. We chose to never try the upcharge ones, and we had $250 onboard credit to burn! We used the credit for drinks, the shops, and the amazing CANOLI at Carlos’s bakery! We ate in the main dining room 6 nights and in Taste 1 night. We ate breakfast and lunch several times at O’Sheehans and then the rest at the buffet. My suggestion is to avoid eating at the most common times, and you will enjoy every meal. There were several dishes that we really liked, and never had any complaints about anything we ate.
The Ship – It didn’t feel any bigger than any other ship. From the outside, it looked enormous, but it didn’t feel big from the inside. We were remarkably surprised how little if any movement we felt. My hubby usually has to take Dramamine, but this ship was so stable, he didn’t need any. My hubby and I chuckled about the elevators, too. We never had to wait and they came so quickly it became the joke. Of course right after a show was let out we went straight for the stairs, but any other time waiting on an elevator was a non-issue.
The entertainment was fun. It was a nice change of pace from the usual production number. The Blue Man Group and Legends were great and are highly recommended. (Elvis and S. Tyler were both amazing!)
If you are laid back and a go-with-the-flow kind of person, you will have a blast! We are not complainers by nature, but after reading all the reviews we were nervous. I am happy to say that we found nothing to even complain about even a little, and we had an amazing vacation!!!