Be warned! We do not think that Norwegian or the EPIC is perfect, but you will not find us complaining or being very critical in this review. We feel very blessed and fortunate to be able to go on such an amazing holiday and go with a positive attitude - looking for the best and never come away dissapointed.
I research as much as possible ( thank you Cruise Critic friends) about the Ship and the Ports we will visit and this makes a huge difference as we make plans and set our expectations.
Our Adventure started in Fort Lauderdale where we spent a day and night before the Cruise at Hollywood Beach - always a fun time wandering along the Broadwalk, soaking up the sun and enjoying a few beer and pizza. We also enjoyed the Water Taxi along the Cannels. If you do this.... plan for a full day.
Embarkation - always quick and easy with NCL. We were onboard enjoying lunch at OSheehans by noon..... after stopping at Guest Services to purchase two weekly passes for the POSH sundeck - well worth it for us.
Epic -can be dubbed a "floating Las Vegas' with the casino and the amazing entertainment. Being the 3rd largest cruise ship in the world, the Epic is huge. Being March Break, it was also to capacity with close to 5,000 guests - many children and spring breakers. Add another 1800 crew! Wow! However there is SO MUCH to do for everyone, you can never be bored. Yes, you can find many ways to spend more money, but we you certainly did not have to to thoroughly enjoy yourself.
We did miss a promenade deck to walk all the way around outside and did not like always like walking through the casion on deck 6 - but there was plenty of outside fun and we found ways of avoiding the casino.
Cabin - Our first time trying an aft facing cabin and we loved the amazing view. I could never fill all the storage space. We were on Deck 13 and found a small private balcony a few steps from our cabin at the back corner of the ship - perfect for taking a glass of wine to watch the sunset it if was off the bow of the ship.
Entertainment - Blue Man Group, Legends, Second City and Cirque Dinner Show we booked prior to sailing. Only the Cirque had a fee. At least three other Bars had a piano player, singer and duo playing each evening.... not to mention the pool band that kept things hopping during the day. If you like Jazz/Blues - check out Fat Cats. We really enjoyed Howl at the Moon and stopped by there 3 nights. They are very good. And then, there is the nightly parties at H20 - cant beat dancing under the stars! Oh and if that's not enough there are several game type shows..... all included.
Yes, you can choose to pay for bingo, deal or no deal and the casino if that's your thing.
wait - there's more..... the Sports Deck with rock climbing and repelling, a trampoline, a spider web and regulation basketball court. Inside you'll find two bowling allies, movies, more games.... sorry don't think we saw everything.
Restaurants - We didn't eat in any of the speciality restaurants and while we are sure they are good, we were very happy with the main dining rooms - especially Manhatten - a dinner club atmosphere with music most nights. At most breakfasts at the Buffet - taking our plates down to LaChinno's where we almost had the place to ourselves sitting looking over the bow of the ship.
We also experienced the ICE BAR - very unique and the Martini Tasting at Shakers - yummy~
Pool Deck - This is the hub of business - especially for the families with children who enjoyed the pools and slides. If you like to be right by the pool, you may find it is crowded and busy, but if you are just looking for a sun deck chair (without kids) go up to deck 18. to cool down, they have some great showers and usually a nice breeze. Also great for viewing sail away and sail in to ports.
Excursions - It was nice to have 3 sea days to relax at POSH and take in some of the wide variety of optional activities as we choose.
St. Martin - We did the America's Cup = 12 meter Regatta. Awesome experience!
Spend the afternoon in a lounge chair with some inexpensive beers at St. Phillipsburg beach and wondered through some of the shops.
St. Thomas - Took a taxi to Saffire Beach first thing in the morning. Not busy till after noon. Decent snorkeling near the reef to the left if facing the water. Taxi back to Paradise Point for a great view of the harbour. A little shopping in Havensight before heading back to the ship.
Nassau - Did the Atlantis Beach Day as we wanted to check out Atlantis. Very busy spot, but enjoyed some relaxing on the beach and lots of walking to check out the dig, aquarium and famous hotel.
the CREW - Absolutely the most enthusiastic and helpful group we have met. Andy the cruise director is everywhere. He and his team were fantastic in their Abba dance routine. The Hotel Director and other officers always were there to greet and welcome you when returning from port. Jayson and other bartenders at Posh were super friendly and seemed to really enjoy their jobs.
Embarkation - We did 'walk off' and from our room to our transportation at the terminal was 30 minutes.
As we said above... we love NCL because we love freestyle - never having to dress up, the varied options of where and when to eat, the never ending activities to choose from; the best entertainment at sea and the friendliest staff you can imagine. Sure there are things we don't participate in, but glad they are there for others who enjoy. It means there is something for everyone~
Can't wait for our next cruise... hopefully Alaska on the Pearl.