Let me start off by saying that this was my 8th cruise and this is the best ship I've been on. I completely recommend this ship. The few criticisms below are for you to prepare yourself for a slightly different experience or let you know how to get around the disappointments we had. I even offer solutions for you.
The Entertainment - and i am not talking about just the shows. The climbing wall, rappelling wall, Water Slides, Full sports court with dodge ball, basketball, soccer, wave pools, kids water park... wow Bliss lounge is the best lounge on the water. The main theater has NO COLUMNS to block your view! Comedy cub with several comedy acts! Awesome casino - lots of games and the smoke issue is solved! Club H20 an adult sun area and great outdoor nightclub - fantastic. Quiet sun area on deck 18. Took us a while to find but plenty of chairs and quiet. Use the glass elevator at the pool entrance to the buffet.
The Food - I had no complaints about the More
food, I think it is standard cruise food -which is very good. We never paid extra for food and had more choices than any other cruise. Had we decided to pay more, the choices were phenomenal. The buffet is the best on the water.
The ports - If you are a SCUBA diver, or enjoy cheap beach clubs with liquor, these are the ports you want. If you want shopping and not third world, go Eastern Caribbean.
The room - nice room with a place for everything. I even liked the bathroom setup.
Embarkation - did you really put 4000 people on the ship that day? I was on board in 15 minutes and did not see a line.
The picture system. We didnt use it, but still admire the state of the art system.
The overall experience - fantastic.
Space - While some things were great, the space came from other things. There is no atrium. There are no corridors on level 6. When you walk through the casino, there is only room for 2 single file lines between the blackjack chairs and slot machines. This is a main thoroughfare. Solution: during busy times use the level above (level 7) especially if you are in a hurry.
Cabin space. I was impressed with the efficiency of the cabins, but my DW was becoming frustrated with the lakc of space between the bed and the counter. Solution: get a bigger stateroom or look at the plans when you book your room and get a bed near the balcony. The beds are located on the wider part of the room so look at the curved wall on the deck plan and pick the one where the wider part is closer to the balcony. Then there is no need to go in that aisle when preparing for the day.
Beef - Most of the food is awesome, but if you want good beef, do not be afraid to eat in the buffet (where the roasts are cut for you and are awesome) or pay premium prices. The steaks at Manhattan and Taste were thin and tough. Solutions: Fish and Chips at the 24 hour pub, buffet, premium restaurants.
Margarhita and beer tastings - you can get beer tastings for $15. They have 5 bottles lined up on the bar and say you get 1 of each. After you pay, they give them to you in 4 oz cups that are half full. you end up with 12 oz of beer for $15. Solution: just buy the beer you like. you probably already know which one it is. If you want to learn about beers, go to a brewery where tastings are free.
The views for Cirque dreams and dinner. Only about 30% of the lower priced tickets can see the whole show. The lower priced tickets sit on the second level (30%)and the perimeter of the first level (70%.) From the perimeter of the first level you miss 3 of the 10 acts when they are hoisted out of your sight or too close to the floor. Solution: either pay for premium seating or get there an hour early. We got there 45 min early and were the first group to get the bad seats. We still enjoyed the show. The food was very good, but small portions.
The Poker rake - 10% up to $25 and 25% of tourney buy ins. Solution: read up on how to play in a game with a big rake and when to quit. I ended the cruise up $500 so yes it is possible. Hint: It doesn't help to educate the fish about rakes or what the rake in Vegas is.
Karaoke. The selection is limited and they cant use your CD-G unless you know the words. Solution: if you have a CD-G bring also a printout of lyrics or know the words.
The tipping system. Sometimes the service was very good. Sometimes a little slow or uncaring. It would be better if tips were more individualized. Solution: don't let the little things bother you. Less
Norwegian Epic Cruises to the Western Mediterranean
Great balcony overlooking other balconies and no one overlooks you. Just one neighbor. Bigger than other balconies in the same category. Bed by the bathroom (would be better by the balcony) Not much room between the bed and counter. Lots of storage. Very efficient design overall