Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by wowzers: Great for Solo Travelers!
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Great for Solo Travelers!
I did not intend to travel solo but my ex-girlfriend (who suggested the cruise) broke up with me after it was too late to get a refund, so I went on my own not knowing about the Solo traveler programs unique to the Epic.
After a cancelled flight and making some very creative arrangements to get to Miami, I arrived with only 15 minutes before the cut-off time (which thankfully is really 3:00, not 2:00 as stated on documents). Needless to say, embarkation was super-fast as everyone else was on the boat.
Once on the boat, I learned about the daily Solo Traveler meet-up in the Living Room studio lounge. Normally the lounge is available to only people staying in the small studios, but during the meet-up time it is open to all solo travelers. It includes a happy hour 2-for-1 drinks served by Julio, a fantastic friendly bartender.
There is a solo traveler coordinator who facilitates introductions, sets up group activities, and has surprise events during the More meet-ups. We met the captain one day. A different day, the magician Jeff Hobson gave a private show. We were offered a tour of the bridge. We were offered a group dinner with complementary wine. Natalie was the coordinator, and she made the cruise special.
Dining: Decent food everywhere, great food in a some places -- soup @ noodle bar, daily cold soup @ buffet; appetizers @ steakhouse; very slow service in all sit-down restaurants. You would think they would want to rotate people out quicker. I almost left Cagney's without paying the $25 specialty dining fee because it took 35 minutes to get the check.
Entertainment: Blue Man Group was a great show, nearly identical to the one in Las Vegas & NYC; Legends in Concert was ok; Jeff Hobson was did a great late-night PG13 magic show and a fun family afternoon show; Second City comedy troop was also good. But the highlight was Slam Allen performing jazz at Fat Cats. This guy acts like he's still in New Orleans.
Staff: Everyone, everyone was friendly & helpful. The steward was great. He had my mini-bar cleared out so I couple put medication in. When he realized I brought my own tea bags and liked it cold, he refilled my ice bucket 3 times a day. I thought that everyone on the ship except for dining staff went out of their way for customers. Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Epic
If you get a balcony room, try to get a '103' room. It has an extra-large space for two lounge chairs. My room was not a '103'. It had plenty of storage space and a decent vertical (?) layout. The split toilet & shower took a bit of getting used to.