The Norwegian Epic is an amazing ship. I read all the reviews and found NONE of the negative reviews to be true in my opinion. It is funny how many people will not post a review unless they are complaining about something. I do have a few suggestions, NOT complaints. I prefer Norwegian because they are the ONLY cruise line that understands it is MY vacation and allows me to eat when I want to eat, where I want to eat, and wear whatever I feel like wearing to dinner (resort casual). I refuse to book a cruise with any other line that tells me what I have to wear and when I have to eat, NO THANK YOU, I will sail FREESTYLE FOREVER!!!
First of all the ventilation system in the Studios could stand some improvements. I found the Studio Lounge area hot and stuffy even though the A/C was set at max. My cabin was damp, the bed sheets were damp as were the pillows, like when you go camping in a tent, the system was set on max in my cabin but didn't seem to recycle the air fast enough, especially when you shower in a 100 sq ft room. Otherwise I found the studios a fantastic option and will be booking another one.
My second suggestion has to do with the public rest rooms on the pool deck and under Spice H20. The men's rooms always smelled of urine, often the garbage cans were full. We reported this to the Asst. Hotel Director and he assured us he would take care of this. The conditions of these rest rooms did not improve through the entire trip. This was a disconnect from the rest of the ship as it was beautiful, very clean, and just packed full of fun.
The food? FANTASTIC. Even at the Garden Cafe I found the selection varied, and delicious. One person I talked to said, "The food doesn't seem very gourmet". I asked if he had tried any of the specialty restaurants, and he had not. SO how can he come to this conclusion if he hasn't tried the other options? Yes these are the kinds of people who write negative reviews, yet didn't bother to try the options on board, so pay them no attention. Like I said before the Garden Cafe and TASTE were wonderful and included dining options! The fillet mignon in Cagney's was the BEST I have ever had. The Chinese restaurant on board was the BEST I have ever had. The chef came out and spoke with us, and sent us a few off the menu choices to try. We had a table full of food as we tried almost everything on the menu. I thought this will cost more than the 15$ cover charge, but guess what... It didn't! What a cheap price to charge for such great food! We just loved this chef he was personable and very talented! For the entire week I found only one dessert that I didn't really care for, otherwise everything I tried was top notch fantastic!
The staff... WONDERFUL ! I was treated like a king on board by everyone I came in contact with. The guys up in Spice H20 were fantastic. They remembered my name, and my drink choices. They also asked about others from our group when they weren't there with us. Very personable, friendly and professional. My cabin steward was always happy and always spoke to me. I would not be so happy if I had to clean 22 rooms! One restaurant Moderno, had wonderful food as well. A member of our group wanted cheesecake for dessert, but they didn't offer it. The staff ran over to Cagney's steak house and got a piece of cheesecake for our group member! What awesome service from the entire staff on board, they made us feel very comfortable, and were willing to give us whatever we wanted... again we were treated like kings!
If you are a solo traveler, I highly recommend the studio option and the Epic. You WILL meet a varied bunch of people and make new friendships, and if you participate in the 5:30 gatherings you will have a great time on board with new people that will quickly become good friends! A wonderful ship filled with fantastic food, fantastic staff and awesome entertainment. The Blue Man Group was a joy, and the blues band (I forgot the name) in Fat Cats was so superior that we went twice. Show your love to Big Lou! Spice H20 was my favorite hangout on board, the game shows were fun and always full of laughter and although the white hot party wasn't my thing, a lot of people attended and had a great time. We went for more blues in Fat Cats that night.
I could go on for hours about how great the Epic is, and I will be back!
They offer the Bags program, where you pay 19.95 your bags get picked up the last night of the cruise and you don't see them again until you get to your final destination, AND you get your boarding passes delivered to your cabin! It was GREAT not to have to check into the airline, drag my bags off the ship or find them in the port just to drag them to a cab and into the airport... well you get the idea. Pay the 19.95 and don't do any of that stuff, just walk into the airport, go directly through security and then to your gate, it is SO worth it! especially when you walk by your airline and see 100+ people waiting to check in and know you dont have to wait in that line!