This is a quick review of our Epic cruise. This was our first NCL cruise. We are fans of both Princess and Royal Caribbean, but we were very interested in seeing the Epic, so we opted to give NCL a try. Because of reading so many mixed reviews, my expectations for NCL were not very high, so I was very pleasantly surprised that I liked it so well.
Loved the freestyle dining concept. This works so much better than anytime dining on other lines. Never had to wait more than 5 minutes to be seated. The Epic is very large, but never felt crowded. No lines anywhere. The Garden Cafe (Buffet) seems a bit odd in it's layout, but it works. The flow was great, no lines to get food anytime we were there.
We were in a Spa Deluxe Balcony Cabin on Deck 14. Loved it! Great location and very quiet Cabins have great soundproofing and are very well designed. Lots and lots of storage (even drawers under the sofa) Our cabin had a shower big enough for 2 with great sliding doors. Our More
friends were next door and their cabin had a tub/shower combo. We learned the tubs are alternated every other cabin in this area. We preferred our shower as the tub was high and difficult to get in and out of. Our cabin type included spa robes to use, spa soaps and lotions and a bracelet for admittance to the spa thermal area. The thermal area with hot tubs, sauna, steam room, heated loungers was the best I've ever seen on a ship. There is a great balcony there off the aft, which is a great place to curl up and read or catch a little nap. I spent a lot of time in this area.
One of the CC people on our roll call organized a cabin crawl so we got to see several cabin types, including a 2 bedroom villa and a Studio Cabin for single travelers. This was fun. To make it more fun, everyone who went put in $5 and was given a card at each stop. At the end, whoever had the best hand won the pot of money. That just happened to be me! I won $120!
The food on this ship was fantastic no matter where we ate, but our dinner in Le Bistro was amazing!! If you like lobster, do not miss it there! It is the best lobster dinner I have ever eaten! We did not eat there until Thursday night or I would have done it again. Worth every extra penny! We also ate a Teppanyaki. It was fun and the food was good, but I felt very crowded at the cooking table. Probably wouldn't choose it again. Just liked the atmosphere of Le Bistro more.
Entertainment - Well, I think NCL has raised the bar for cruise ship entertainment!
Blue Man Group - very good!
Cirque Dreams Dinner - The food was a set menu, but good food. However, I felt like the dinner was a distraction. Very hard to to eat and keep up with the performers. There were also too many people seated at each table. Felt crowded. I really think this would be better as a cocktail show instead of a dinner show. I read many complaints about the cost of this, but I don't know where else you can see this type of performance so close. I thought it was well worth the money and you don't like the food, go eat somewhere after!
Legends - great show. The Michael Jackson impersonator was amazing!!
2nd City - So, so funny. Don't miss this!
Casino - Looked great, but the smoke was way too thick so I avoided this area completely.
Howl at the Moon: Didn't get to see. The one time we stopped by it was late and packed. Looked like a good time!
Ice Bar: It's a fun experience, but wouldn't do it again. 2 drinks came with admission. They give you a great parka and gloves. Don't forget to wear socks and closed shoes!
Attended a martini class in Shakers! It was fun, maybe too fun because I still can't remember where we ate dinner that night!
Watched Monday night football in the Atrium where they have a great screen, good seating and serve popcorn!
I hurt my back on Day 3 of this cruise, so I didn't get to play on the water slides or try the bowling lanes or do any dancing. Kind of a bummer, but I spent more time in the fabulous spa which was very relaxing and healing.
While the ship is beautiful inside and quite innovative, I experienced more movement and vibration on the Epic than I have on any other ship. We did have a mechanical issue the 2nd night out when a bearing on a propeller shaft when out. We were dead in the water for a few hours so they could do repairs. They kept us very informed and the repair was done at sea and we continued on. Whether or not this problem contributed to the movement and vibration during the entire cruise, I'm not sure.
That is really about the only negative I have. The service, food, staff, and overall experience were so good that I booked a future cruise credit while on board! I really look forward to sailing NCL again. Less