Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by KandJCruising: Great Atlantic Crossing
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Great Atlantic Crossing
From the beginning:
Embarkation was a breeze, though slightly delayed due to Customs issues. Were on board and dining in Epic Club by 1230 or so. Muster drill was 1530 (no lifevests) and very brief. Sailaway should have been 1600, but actually happened closer to 1730. Did the Sailaway Party from Posh and watched Miami slip into the distance.
Cabin: Aft PH w/ Balcony. Picked Deck 12 to avoid noise from the spa, but that didn't quite work out as we heard construction/repair noise late several evenings/early mornings; it was annoying and caused some lost sleep, but we dealt with it. This seemed to only be an issue during the TA as they were making repairs during the hours the spa was closed. The room was ready sometime around 1400. Great room, plenty of space, large balcony. No issues w/ the shower/bathroom set up and the sink was one of the larger models, so no real issues there.
Entertainment: saw BMG the first evening and enjoyed the show once again. This More is a show we could watch once every few months (first saw them in Nov). Though it's roughly the same each time, it's still slightly different and enjoyable enough to watch multiple times. Enjoyed Howl at the Moon on multiple evenings, and love their shows. With a good crowd, they're my favorite entertainment on Epic. Also spent several sets w/ Slam Allen and loved his music, as well. Second City was good, but typical of what you get on pretty much every NCL ship. The hypnotist was a great show. Legends was OK; not terribly impressed w/ any of the performers (Aretha, Neil Diamond and Janet Jackson). Bowled a couple of games in Bliss during some higher seas; it was fun and an interesting experience trying to bowl on lanes that sway w/ the ship.
Game shows/crew shows: most are normally held outside, but the weather forced several into the Bliss Lounge. While Bliss is a great place to hang out, the seating isn't conducive to crowds and viewing a show on the dance floor/stage. To see any of the game/crew shows you truly needed to arrive 30 or more minutes early to get a seat. Even then, the crowds might overwhelm the area and eliminate sight lines for any seating not right around the floor. We didn't see Cirque Dreams again; once was enough for that.
Dining: we ate most meals in the Epic Club and thoroughly enjoyed the service there, though it seemed much busier and the service just a little slower than in Nov. Still, great food. The only specialty restaurants we hit were Shanghai and La Cucina. I'd give both an OK; good food and service, but nothing to write home about. The views in La Cucina are great, though. Room service was good, though the requested time you mark on the form was rather approximate. The warning call for all our orders came 15-30 mins early and the food arrived within minutes of the call. The delivery pizza was fair- very cheesy, but not great. Ate at O'Sheehan's several times and enjoyed everything we had there.
Spa: really didn't use this time, so can't comment.
Casino: other than the CC Slot Pull, didn't use, though it seemed frequently busy. The added emphasis on air/smoke filtration since Nov seemed to help and it was rarely smoky through the area.
Gym: still great, though often crowded in the afternoon. Never had to wait more than a few minutes for anything, though.
Port: Ponte Delgada was nice, though a little crowded that day w/ 3 ships in port. Had a nice tour of the island w/ a local lunch. The weather was cloudy and breezy, but it was overall a pretty nice day.
Debarkation: we were doing the B2B, so we had a late breakfast then we walked off late morning to enjoy a day in Barcelona. It was absolutely smooth and speedy. Catching the port shuttle into town was a breeze.
Random thoughts: we lost 6 hours total during the trip, basically one hour every other night, and I never quite caught up to the right time. The ship sailed at well below capacity, so nothing really felt crowded (expect maybe Bliss during a show).
On the whole, it was a very relaxing trip and we managed to do a lot of reading (my goal) and sunning (my DW's) while not having to work, cook, clean or do anything we normally have to do at home. We'd book another TA in a heartbeat, but think we'll try a westbound trip next time. Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Epic 12317
Great location, great balcony, though quite a hike to the Courtyard and Epic Club. Some vibration, especially when docking. Could hear construction work in spa on several evenings, though suspect this was just an issue during the TA as they were taking care of issues.
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