I consider myself a "fair" person and I realize it is not possible to please everyone all the time. And, I truly regret that I cannot say that I was at all impressed with my experience on NCL - EPIC cruise to the Eastern Caribbean during the first week of January 2011. Perhaps my expectations were out of proportion compared to the conversations that I have had with friends and relatives. They showed me wonderful phots of their luxuary cruises, the fabalous food presentation and beautiful ports of call. I don't think I experienced that kind of beauty that you hear about on the EPIC freestyle crusing. It was a "very common" everyday type of experience--filled with the latest technologies and parties, but nothing of more of any beauty. Everything I could find at home, at the malls, shopping, and dining out was right there in my face again. You couldnot excape it. The overbearing music and shipboard interuption announcements reminded me of being at WALLMAT's. My everyday life is so much more sophistocated that this vessel. I eat better at home and I can so much more selective about my entertainment. There is no solitude on the vessel--only in my solo cabin where you cannot see the water. Topside the deck arrangement is very poor indeed. It is like a community park where the children scream and play while the adults lay around and listen to calipso music. Very common indeed. I did hear however, that for a much higher price, you could be excluded from all this in a more first class secured and much more posh forward part of the vessel. The worst part for me was the fact that the manystaff and management mistakes spoiled my overall enjoyment of anytime that I was there. Particularly, the fact that the deck staff failed to remove towels left by passengers overnight to save deckchairs. They neglected to do anything about this for three days and nights. When you got up in the early morning there was no one on the deck and there was no where to sit down. I didn't think the deck staff was cleaning up properly. Freestyle is no really more like no style at all. The class on this vessel is just above the cellar.
When I asked the deck staff to towels so I could sit down, they said they couldn't do that and it was unlikely that the towels would be removed by them.
I paid the full fare for this cruise and had no place to sit on the deck at 9:00 am in the morning. Duh!
The ports of call were filled with ramped poverty that shocked me and many other Americans that flooded into the ports. I did enjoy being on the high seas. However, the food preparation, service and presentations were definitely below average from what I am use too. It was more like Holiday Inn, not every the Express.
On the other hand my cabin steward was just fantastic and the other solo passengers were great to be with. That part worked. Everything else failed for me. I would definitely rate my experience as 30% fair and 70% unacceptable
for what I paid for it,$2600.00 including shore excursions, additional charges for food and alcohol and air fair both ways.
I will be much more selective the next time I cruise.
Sorry to disappoint you!