First Cruise Thoughts : Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by ALCH1984

Norwegian Epic 4
ALCH1984
Member Since 2017

Overall Member Rating

First Cruise Thoughts

Sail Date: March 2017
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I’ve found the reviews here so helpful I wanted to chime in as well. After making a reservation on a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise on the Epic from Port Canaveral, I checked the reviews and was worried it would be an utter disaster. It wasn’t, but the ship was sailing at full capacity (4,600?) and patience was the name of the game. I live in a city, so I’m used to it, but it was crowded. I think having a party of two (honeymoon!) was advantageous. We got seated faster, could slip around crowds faster, not get separated easily, etc. We didn’t take the elevator once (had to burn those unlimited beverage package calories somehow), showed up early to things to get a seat, and reserved the Manhattan Room and Taste (the free restaurants, which were great) long before the cruise. I only ran into great ship staff, but also, I was pleasant to them. I saw a lot of people being unpleasant, which might More contribute to less stellar service.

We had an inside state room. I thought the room was nice, but I live in a tiny rowhome, so maybe I have low standards. It was big enough for the two of us, great storage, and it was nice not having the sun wake us up in the morning. The toilet/shower situation wasn’t terrible since it was my husband and I, but I can see where that could get awkward (we just would make the other watch television loudly when we had to go, lol).

Maybe it’s common, but I find it worth noting there’s a gym (with classes at an extra charge), a game room (I learned I suck at checkers), a daily “newspaper” with a schedule (very helpful), and espresso drinks are not included in the unlimited beverage package. When off the ship, we were advised to carry driver's license and the ship card and had no problems. We did NCL excursions since I was nervous about going at it alone and being left behind. There was also a lot of waiting, then rushing, in what we did (bike/snorkel in Grand Cayman and tube/beach in Jamaica), but ultimately they were fun experiences and it was nice not being anxious about being left behind. I wish I had brought cash to tip guides.

I’ll admit, people claiming the deck chairs, and then leaving them unattended for hours really got to me. On the daily newspaper in small type it notes unattended belongings will be removed after one hour, but there’s no way staff can actually enforce it. One sea day I wanted to read my book on a lounge chair and there were 0 available in the adult area at the back of the ship, which was only at about half capacity. One day, after a few mudslides, I “accidentally” knocked a few unattended towels off chairs. The owners hadn’t been around in 2 hours. Try it. Vigilante justice feels good.

Like everyone says, disembarkation was a disaster at Cape Canaveral. There were three ships at the same time on a Saturday. We took the Go Canaveral shuttle, and at one point they were telling people to just catch a taxi if they had a flight before 1 p.m. We waited an hour and a half to get off the ship, then three hours for the shuttle.

I spoke with many people who said they’d never sail the Epic again, but one fellow said it was his fourth time and he loved it. For us, overall, it was fun because we made it fun. But, we’re not doing a cruise again until we go with a large group, have kids, or are much, much older (though, I’m 32, it’s not far off!). And we probably wouldn’t do this ship again. Also unrelated, but, we saw few young couples, it was mostly families and retired couples (in direct contradiction with a recent review- it must change a lot depending on the time of year). Less


Published 03/24/17
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ALCH1984
Member Since 2017
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