We have arrived home after back to back Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises with the Epic over Christmas and New Year and our photos look awesome but unfortunately the cruise failed to live up to it's hype. I'm not going to list the details but would like to make some comments for NCL management to consider:
Try taking out some of the slot machines, especially at the embarkation entrances! Nothing deflates expectations more than a smoky dark casino when you're expecting soaring ceilings and art deco cruise ship glamour.
Try looking after children more seriously. In particular, either put in a safety ledge for the dangerous drop off in the children's pool or put a lifeguard in the lifeguard chair. We didn't see a lifeguard at the pool once in two whole weeks. It's not fair to expect parents to know that the drop off is there and also to expect them to supervise without help in a noisy, crowded, alcohol laden environment. Toddlers don't drown in a splashy way, they More
sink under water quietly and forget to breathe. Read up on it.
Turn the music down! Then turn it down another notch! The Blue Man Show was the worst culprit at a noise level that could cause permanent hearing loss after just 10 minutes exposure (look up the stats).
Look after teenagers better too. My daughter and I were approached by a young teenager with her friend who were personally warning all the girls on the ship about a fifteen year old boy who assaulted them ("he hit me over the head and tried to drag me to his cabin"). When I found two security men for the girls to talk to, another girl joined the group and said he had done the same thing. I was less than impressed by the apparent lack of support from security who appeared not to treat these as a serious incidents despite that fact that the girls knew which boy was involved and could have pointed him out. Put simply, it's not fair to encourage parents to let their teenagers roam all over the ship and then look the other way when there is a serious risk of harm.
Having said all that, we enjoyed our cruise but would not cruise with NCL again and am very reluctant to take another cruise in general. Our prior cruise was with NCL in Hawaii which we really enjoyed but this may have been because there was a port day every day. On this cruise, we found that the days at sea dragged by. Also on the Hawai there was well-treated American staff but on this cruise we were confronted with the first world passenger/ third world staff divide- although endemic to the cruise ship industry, it is not something we want to participate in again. Less