We have just had a wonderful week on board the Epic. We travelled the Eastern Caribbean route for a week and had a great time. Although many people have already made their comments there are some which I would like to add.
Firstly the cabin, we had cabin 12149, which is a balcony cabin, The cabin itself was fairly tight in that if you wanted to go out onto the balcony there is no room for two people to get past the end of the bed at the same time. The bed was comfortable but it is short. Now I am only 5’8’’ tall and my feet felt as though they were hanging out if the bed every night, even my wife who is 5’4’’ in height felt the bed to be small. There is plenty of storage space, just read the booklet in the cabin as it tells you where every bit of space is. We did not read this until our second last day whilst sorting out our laundry and in doing so found loads of space that you can utilise. The shower room and the toilet are a bit tight so if you are a large person you may have some problems.
The restaurants are great there is so much variety for all. Really anyone complaining about the food needs to have their head looked at because there is so much to keep even the hardest of eaters happy. My wife who does not eat meat/fish had a fair selection of food to pick and choose from. We had most of our meals in the garden café and we also sampled the Manhattan room which is lovely and Cagney’s steakhouse where the food was excellent. Although in Cagney’s there is a $25 dollar cover charge it is really worth it. The Manhattan room is a very busy restaurant. It has entertainment on during the early evening and you have to be patient and time it right to get in for a meal. Even if you have to wait they can give you a pager to let you know when a table comes free. The food in here also was excellent. We also went to Cirque Dreams in the Spiegel tent for a show and a dinner. We upgraded to premium seats but it does not really matter what seats that you get as you are so close to the action you may as well get the normal seats which are $10 less in price. It is a set meal ,everyone has the same food. The show itself was very good and you are so close to the action you can almost reach out and touch the performers.
There are plenty of bars throughout the ship one of which must get a mention being from Scotland is the Whisky bar. Now our friend who travels with us owns a bar and was looking forward to sampling and seeing which whiskies there were on offer. Well he was very disappointed as they only had four whiskies, now tell me this does this make this bar a whisky bar, I don’t think so. Other bars throughout the ship were nice and had a theme to them. The Ice bar is cool, you get a coat and gloves to use when inside, you have to book a slot as it only holds about twenty people at a time so is quite small. Now Spice H2O bar which is at the rear of the ship was great at nights as they had fun entertainment going on there involving guests and had various themed nights for music , and for us it was excellent as we had a few good nights there dancing away beside the bar with the open skies, not what we are used to back home , At one point they even had a snow machine switched on blowing snow across the rear of the boat, now that’s something as you don’t normally get snow in the Caribbean.
The entertainment on board was excellent, we took in the Blueman Group, Cirque dreams show, Second City show and Legends in concert. Well this is the 3rd time we have seen Blueman group and it is still hilarious, so if you have not seen them before make sure you see them. Cirque dreams show was very good also ,it is a mixture of acrobatics and comedy, Second City which we had never heard of before , we booked as a fill in show and we are glad we did go to it as it was excellent and beyond our expectations. Lastly was the Legends in concert, this was very disappointing for all four of us. The acts that they had on the evening we went to see it was Janet Jackson, now none of us would call JJ a legend so were not impressed by this and at the same time she was rather poor. Next was Neil Diamond, yes he is a legend but it looked like they grabbed someone from below decks and shoved him on stage to do a few songs. Finally was Aretha Franklin, now unless you like her music you will be disappointed. This show lasted about 55 minutes ,lets put it this way, its 55 minutes of my life I will never get back. From previous reviews of this particular show maybe they change the acts on a daily / weekly or cruise basis it may be an idea to try and find out from the booking office onboard as to who is performing on a given night.
When we arrived in ports we had booked two excursions for two of our destinations. We went on the Screamin Jet eagle boat which was absolutely fantastic, lasts about one hour in total and you are guaranteed to get soaked so take a towel to hand dry yourself when you are finished. The guys who run the trip were great and offered some great advice about what to wear and and what not to on the boat. Our other trip we booked was the Stingray Adventure, well both my wife and I love animals and this trip was excellent too. You go to a small island not far from port and you get a facemask and snorkel and go into a sectioned of part of the bay where the stingrays are. The water is only 2-3 feet deep so no need to worry about being a strong swimmer, you get the opportunity to feed the animals and even get to hold one so that was something I jumped at the chance to do. Remember and take a waterproof camera as there is nobody at the bay to take photos of yourselves, which is something we found totally strange We would definitely recommend this trip however as your time is short when doing trips you cannot squeeze in two trips in the same port which gives you some time to do your own bit if sightseeing on your own.
The staff on board the ship were all very helpful and polite at all times but this would be expected.
All in all we had an absolutely brilliant time on board there is so much to do and see when on board it is a shame to get off when in port. We would recommend this ship to anyone. This was our second time with NCL, and really enjoyed it and will definitely go cruising with them again in the future.