I have been reading on Cruise Critics for months and find it very interesting the variety of opinions but it makes sense because of the variety of people but I have found it hard to find reviews from Solo travelers so I wanted to make sure that I did a review that might help other Solo Travelers. I am using the term Solo on purpose I am not writing for Singles because that is not what I am. I was attracted to NCL because of the Studios I got so excited about being able to go on a cruise and only having to pay for myself I booked right away and I can tell you I have never been so happy about my decision.
I flew into Ft Lauderdale and thanks to the Roll Call board I had excellent transportation at a very reasonable cost of $15 per person or if you were by your self $45 but there were others so I only had to pay $15, this was through SAS. I got to my hotel no problem, NCL booked hotel it was ok but based on everything I have since learned you can do much much better if you do this yourself, just check to see if the hotel gets you to the port and if it will cost.
Was picked up by NCL arranged transportation no problems. Got to the port and there were two checking points one for odd number and the other for even number cabins. Outside of the fact that this was the Christmas Cruise and there were lots and lots of families I think the checking when exceptionally well considering the number of young children that everyone and I mean everyone had to deal with. Check in was also smooth considering the number of large family groups checking in (20 or more trying to coordinate everything).
Got on the ship and the employees greeted you with a smile and map along with Christmas decorations. I might have a different mind set but between making sure I knew the ship from on line getting the map was all that I needed. I would just look at that the map and I could find anything I wanted and I carried the map the whole time I was on the ship.
I found that the Studio exceed my expectations. I found it to be a fantastic space with more than enough storage outlets and space for one person. I am not a small person but am not a large person (have those in my family)so I will say I had no problems with the shower or toilet area and compared to the other lines I have been on they seems very similar in size just more open which is not an issue when you are by yourself. I talked to one older woman who had some medical issues and she found the tight space between the bed and the closets to be hard especially waking in the middle of the night and being disorientated which I could understand but had no issues with. The sink is a no-issue. The space around the sink offers all kinds of shelves and outlets that it is more than I have in my home. I truly cannot express how much I like this space. The bed was great, I felt like I was in a cocoon, no noise problems during rough seas I felt like I was gentle being rocked to sleep. Cabin Steward, Anthony made me feel special and I honestly had no wants that he did not see to immediately as long has he known I had a need. I do not think any of the Epic staff has yet to pass that mind reading course so what I can say anything and everything I had an issue with was addressed as soon as they became aware of the fact that I had an issue. FYI I have lived, yes lived in smaller places than a studio. If you are thinking about it go for it you should not be disappointed.
The Living Room can be whatever you want it to be, a quick bit to eat, cup of coffee, meeting place, or a quiet place to sit with some space around you but not the noise. Meagan (Cruise Social Hostess) works very hard at helping people to meet up and makes sure that the people that want to be informed about what was going on have the information even though the information is in writing and on a view screen all the time. Meagan is great along with Carmen the bartender during the Solo Get Together hour. After the first or second day she knows what you want and goes out of her way to met your needs.
I believe that you can spend as much or as little as you want on this cruise. Because I am relatively new to cruising I still use the line's excursions but have to say that I have enjoyed most of them the one I did not enjoy was a learning experience so I will not put blame anywhere. I do not drink that much so I got the soda package. At not time anywhere on the ship did I have any trouble getting a drink in a timely manner no one avoided me but they did respond quickly. No one pushed drinks, shows, specialty restaurants so I do not understand when people complain about this it is there choice.
I tried 3 of the specialty restaurants: Moderno, Cagheny's (spelling ?) and Le Bristo. All my choices and I liked Le Bristo so much I went three times in the 14 days. They made me feel special and the food was wonderful. A difference with me is I have no problem doing something like this by myself so I never had any issues getting a reservation, I eat early before the families start coming then I go enjoy other activities around the ship.
I cannot tell you everything that I did because I was always doing what I wanted when I wanted and where I wanted. I went to shows, watched movies at Spice and the Atrium, went to the Art auction, when to the shopping seminars, enjoyed POSH, eat at Taste, the Garden Buffet, the Manhattan Room, snacked at the late buffet on the pool deck, tried O Shanassy (sorry about spelling), I found quiet spots when I wanted them, sat in the middle of the action when I didn't. Made friends with crew enjoyed watching all of the people enjoying themselves around the ship.
I was by myself and I was only that way when I wanted to be people were friendly and approachable. I made friends and had a great time. I truly believe that the only way you can get bored is if it is your decision. I was on the ship for two weeks and still have not done everything the ship offered. I mean I was so busy during the day I was tired and did not make very many of the later night activities including the White Party, FABBA, etc. and I did not even do all that they offered during the day (this means things that did not cost additional money).
I am already trying to figure out when I can take another Epic trip considering my work obligations. I found out that I loved being on for two weeks I really got to relax.
My standards might not be as high as some but I truly believe that for me as a Solo traveler who has no problem being by myself this was a fantastic vacation that I hope to repeat numerous times.
I think I covered everything that I found important and hopefully it will help other Solo Travelers, go out and do it so you can make your own decision.