Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by mommyjill: Freestyle-more like
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Western Caribbean
First of all, I am not hard to please-so I preface this review with the fact that I am a busy mother of 4 who is also a professor at the University of Miami, so we cruise in order for ME to get a break, not have to feed, launder, entertain, and not relax at all while my kids are on winter break. We have had amazing Royal Caribbean cruises, Club Med vacations, and (in retrospect a last minute Carnival cruise we took last year was even preferable to NCL-if you can believe it!) have never had a single complaint...so her is the detailed, honest experience we had....
First of all, the cruise line misrepresented the interior cabin occupany-since there was no bunk as a 3rd bed, my husband and I had our 3 and 8 year old in our family balcony.....when the room was turned down we could not move at all....the round bed was so short our feet hung off of the bottom, and everytime we rolled over, a light went on...Meanwhile in the room with the 14 and 12 year olds, we had no idea what was More going on or where they were because once we were in the cabin with the sleeping kids, we couldn't open the door.
The kids club is a disaster-nice people, but ridiculous...12 year olds must be signed out by a parent at night, so we coulnd't have our 12 year old go or we wouldn't be able to sign him out. They also charge $6 per child per hour after 10:30pm. Don't even ask about the process of signing in or picking up-couldn't be more of a disaster at 10:30pm-seas of parents sick of paying extra for every little thing.
Next-the spaces on the ship are not inviting or relaxing or gracious as they have been on other cruise lines we have taken. They are cramped, and there is not any room to pass by the bars, casinos,etc....without bumping into people.
they don't have enough card tables in the casino-we were with friends who waited hours to get a seat at Texas hold em. We really missed the feel and great design of the Jewel, Navigator, Independence....despite the large numbers of passengers-Royal makes you feel as if you are the only ones on board.
And on the pool decks, Royal has a section for people who must smoke, but NCL has no such area....there are smokers everywhere! Every single day, they were out of towels.....and they just didn't care. Every single day.
And on the casino level, everyone has to walk through to get to the shows and restaurants....it is impossible to pass by due to the cramped space, and the kids are literally inhaling smoke.
Forget the gym, no space at any cardio machines.
There is nothing FREE about Freestyle..it mostly means if you want to do something, fine, but you are going to pay!!!
The best things were the entertainment...Blue Man, Cirque, all good, if you can get in....luckily I made reservations for all entertainment and dining 45 days before the cruise....but we did decide we wanted to go to one more restaurant, but we couldn't get in....
the shopping it terrible, nothing like the promenade on Royal....
Do not take this ship or cruise line ever!!! When we have left other resorts and cruises in the past, we actually felt like we would miss the waiter, the maitre 'd, all of whom know us by name, had coffees ready in the AM, knew what our kids liked to eat, etc....
NOT ON NCL......we really felt like it was a blatant rip-off-we made the best of it, but never again.....we also had friends in the suite/villas who were in a smaller room than ours for twice the price so they could have access to special amenities that were always booked.... Less
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Cabin review: B511060 Family Balcony
tiny everything, but great storage space-couldn't figure out who would need so much storage!!! we needed room to breathe, a bed where our feet didn't stick out....worst cramped space ever! too small in order to cram more people on the boat and bilk them for ever nickle and dime they have!!!Read All Family Balcony (B5) Reviews >>
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The boat that rocked
We had a great time.