Just got back from NCL Epic cruise. 1st time on NCL-Dental seminar is how we booked NCL. The shows were very good although one was $25-35 which included dinner, which was just ok for paying extra. The entertainment was worth the money. Staff was very friendly and helpful for the most part. Pool was much too small and noisy for such a large number of travelers. Cabin layout was cramped due to shape of bed. The walkway between bed and sink/counter was only wide enough for one person at a time. I had to continually move out of that area in order for my husband to get by and vise versa.The bathroom setup was rather odd. Toilet on one side of cabin door, shower on the opposite side, with sink in sleeping area in front of shower. My husband referred to the toilet and shower stalls as "time capsules" that's how they were shaped. There was sufficient closet and storage space. Room steward was excellent. Luckily our cabin was very close to elevators, drawback was very few stair and elevator More
locations making for very long claustrophobic corridors that seemed to stretch for miles. I missed the promenade concept that Royal Carribbean has on their mega ships, much warmer feeling.
The free style dining worked out well, not so regimented with specific times and we never had to wait, but the dinner meals always seemed to be warm at best, never piping hot, ie: we sent our meals back 3 nights, even in Cagney's restaurant, where there was an added $25 per meal + an $8 additional charge for lobster, which was dry and tasteless. Never having the same waiters was a disadvantage overall because you never really connected with any one or two waiters. We did tip each waiter each night individually after our meal was complete even though tips were included.
Casino was very smokey and permeated through most of deck 6. The bowling alley was only 3 lanes, which made for at least a 30 min wait any time you attempted to sign up. One night my husband was determined to wait for a lane and after waiting 30 min. the worker behind the counter gave our lane to a "friend" of some sort, who spoke his native tongue,who just walked right in. I told him I wasn't happy after waiting 30 min for nothing, he said "give me 5 more min" and I told him to forget it. That was very frustrating.
Overall, I thought the Royal Carribbean was a much brighter roomier ship, with easier access to stairs and elevators, but entertainment on Epic was better.One last tidbit was internet access or IPad usage was quoted as $.75 per minute, which was outrageous, felt like I was being nickeled and dimed with those fees. The MSG Poesia??was in port with us and we heard a guest say their interest was free, which is a nice feature esp for business people. Less
Atlantis seemed to be kind of run down, water areas had a bad odor, Cove Beach was a big disappointment after experiencing Trunk Bay in St John. There were jellyfish floating around, huge rocks w/seaweed in most of beach area and sand was like sand you would mix for cement, heavy and difficult to walk because you would sink in as you walked, like quicksand. Staff seemed unfriendly, as I asked 4 employees how to get to the Dig once we were disappointed in the beach, and each one gave wrong directions. There were guards manning their posts everywhere telling us we couldn't even walk through any areas other than Cove Beach and restaurants, casino,etc.Not enjoyable at all.
Booked the Tiki Hut snorkel excursion which was alot of fun but we were told the visibility was about 6 ft deep prior to leaving on boat over to area and offered money back if we changed our minds due to visibility. At that point it was a little late to say forget it so we went anyway. However, the area where they drop you off is really not in a protected cove location, so the people we were with who snorkel alot said they think the excursion always says poor visibility due to weather, but location is probably the main reason. I read reviews prior to booking online and most people said the same thing, fun and enjoyable but they too had poor visibility so I think it was more the location than the weather, so for $79 pp it was rather pricey to just swim, drink, have a bite to eat all additional costs and sit on tiki raft until you were ready to go back to ship.
Took the Red Hook ferry to St John, grabbed a taxi to Trunk Bay and felt like I died and went to heaven. Never experienced a beach more beautiful, but now they are charging $4 pp to go on beach. Taxi to ferry from ship, ferry to St John and back and taxi to Trunk Bay plus admission to beach and back was about $120 per couple w/tip.