5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I must say before we took this cruise read a lot of reviews. Was a bit nervous as friends of ours were coming as well. This was their first in many years. We have been on this ship before in 2010. Knew issues with elevators and room. Will ... Read More
I must say before we took this cruise read a lot of reviews. Was a bit nervous as friends of ours were coming as well. This was their first in many years. We have been on this ship before in 2010. Knew issues with elevators and room. Will say straight out we enjoyed our cruise very much as did our friends. Embark went smoothly. Disembark was a bit slow, but with 4000 plus really no issues. Our balcony was mid ship and was larger than normal. We loved our steward - Miguel - always had a towel animal every night. Room cleaned and bed made in a timely manner. We ate in the garden café,O'Sheehans,Cagneys - steak was delicious as well as Taste and Manhattan. We never had cold food as previous reviews stated. Hot and good. People seemed to complain about reserving for shows. Went on different sites of cruise ships and this appears to be the norm on larger ships. The shows were very good - Pricilla Queen of the Desert - costumes were amazing as well as the show. Nobody left before show was over and it was a standing ovation. Comedians were great. When walking past casino - center area is smoke free, so not quite as bad for smoke. Went on the Dunns River Falls tour. This was our 2nd time. loved it just as much. We did the Trolley Roger at Grand Cayman - our driver was very good. For an hours tour we got our money's worth. This was our 6th cruise with NCL and will definitely do another. We went to the service desk a few times and never had an issue at all. Very helpful. As always a cruise is what you make of it. And we made it awesome. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
The ship is super big , it has the biggest casino I have ever seen on a ship. It is very noisy and the elevators are ridiculous. always waiting. I personally thought there was not enough outside space. I don't like the free style ... Read More
The ship is super big , it has the biggest casino I have ever seen on a ship. It is very noisy and the elevators are ridiculous. always waiting. I personally thought there was not enough outside space. I don't like the free style dining I like to get to know the wait staff and be treated friendly. The staff in the restaurants looked like they just wanted to do their job and go to bed. the pools were very small. it seemed like everything on board was an extra charge. the internet price is unbelievable. you can't bring water on board you have to purchase it and its 24.99 for a case. REALLY. I have been on 40 + cruises and love cruising. Carnival has this beat but 150% and im not exaggerating. I actually had a fall on the ship and no one cared or came to check on me but the people around. The Bar I was in the Cavern they just went about their business. I actually broke my ribs. found out later that another gentleman tripped on the same dark small table and was hurt. The specialty restaurants are very nice but that's another couple hundred dollars tacked on plus 18% tip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
we choose ncl because of the freestyle and upgrade availability, the Haven experience was awesome. We had private everything, no waiting and exceptional service.. the entire trip was just better than any before ( 30 plus). The ship was ... Read More
we choose ncl because of the freestyle and upgrade availability, the Haven experience was awesome. We had private everything, no waiting and exceptional service.. the entire trip was just better than any before ( 30 plus). The ship was very clean, some of the areas were a bit unorganized, like the comedy club. Most of the public areas were very clean and the layout of the ship was good. Some of the shows/games were placed in bad areas, like deal or no deal... it was in the small atrium of the ship and did not have near enough seating. The main shows were not very interesting to us, but not bad. The restaurant's had very good food, but as usual on all the cruises now days that tipping is automatic the service is not what it used to be. The Ports were all pretty easy on and off the ship not much hassle. Overall the best trip so far, unfortunately we have booked another trip for April 15th and Ncl has advised me that they no longer offer upgrades ... I think this is stupid and hopefully they rectify it or I will be shopping for another line to spend my money with. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Epic FAIL!!! We are regular cruisers and know what to expect. I'll try to keep this to the point. The ship is just too big with too many people. On your second day when the elevator door opens and there is enough room for you ... Read More
Epic FAIL!!! We are regular cruisers and know what to expect. I'll try to keep this to the point. The ship is just too big with too many people. On your second day when the elevator door opens and there is enough room for you inside you will feel like you just won the lottery. Several people would get in the elevator even if it wasn't going in there direction just so they could stay on it and finally get off on the floor of their choice. During slow times there was no problems but during peak times get ready to use the staircase if you want to get anywhere quick. Norwegian wants to say they are freestyle cruising but there is nothing freestyle about this cruise. Freestyle cruising means you're not assigned to a dinner table. But on this cruise you better make a reservation for anywhere you want to go and get there early to beat the crowd of thousands of people because everything is already sold out after the second day. And I'm not talking shows and dinners that you have to pay extra for.... that's a whole Other story. I'm talking about what is supposed to be included with your admission. There are 12 dining options on this ship. However only 6 of them are complementary. And only 2 are full restaurants. All of the others are UPcharge restaurants. Upcharge upcharge upcharge... get used to it. Everywhere on the ship is an upcharge. The famous Ice Bar that is on the ship, $20 upcharge per person, bowling? $7 per person per game. Want fresh squeezed OJ with Breakfast from the juice bar? that will be $4. Even the complimentary restaurants have upcharge selections. GYM. Very nice... very large... a cross between PlanetFitness and Golds Gym. However... (ready for the UpCharge?) Want to go to the gym and then hit the sauna and steam room to burn off all the toxins you drank in the day before? Well the gym is free but use of the steam room and saunas is a $219 upcharge for the week!!! (For $249 they will include a nice body exfoliation lotion you can use.... PLEEEEZE) 6pack of Water for your room....that'll be $25 (seriously)... you'll seen :-( Pools are smallest on any ship I've ever seen. The ship is so crowded with so many guest that you have to make a RESERVATION to catch the tender boat to get off and go to the island. You have to make a RESERVATION for a comedy show you have to make a RESERVATION to eat dinner even in the free restaurants. How is this called freestyle cruising when if you don't make reservations, get there early and keep a schedule you never get to do anything. Why? Because the ship has 4500 guests on it. Take a good look at the picture of the ship. In my opinion it is a floating hotel room with no vacancies and very little common areas. This was our 5th cruise in 2 years.... technically the ship is the BIGGEST we've been on.... realistically... it felt like the SMALLEST ship due to the LACK of common areas... 'um... more staterooms please' The casino stretches almost the whole length of the sixth floor. Take your gas mask because you know smoking is allowed in the casinos. Our room steward was great. We ran into a handful of associates that cared. Shirley our room Steward... GREAT Giancarlo.... Matrede' of "The Taste" saved our evening with his sincere caring and professionalism Melanie Campeau in the shops.... LUV U!! thanks again!! Saha Santu in the Manhattan room... thanks again for making our anniversary dinner a great memory. Most of the others...you can tell by the looks on their faces, they are simply overwhelmed with jobs too big and too great for their staff to handle so they simply try to make the best of it. Such as Jatin Vyas at Guest Services.... although he could have done more for us (as we learned) he at least tried. PS... if you can't get a reservation for late night entertainment... just sit in listening distance of guest services..... its SO BAD its almost comical. We had much more fun off of the boat then on the boat. Overall sure we had a good time because we made the most of it, but I can tell you, I went to guest services on Friday night and asked how early can I get off of the ship .... because I wanted to run off of the ship and enjoy my last weekend of my vacation without having to make reservations and watch the clock for everything I do. If you have reservations for the ship and are used to your sail away card being all you need on the ship to do whatever you want.... and are used to being able to go catch a tender boat to the island at your convenience... and go eat when you want... or look at the schedule and see there is a comedy show and go down and try to catch it??? CANCEL your plans as soon as possible and get another cruise line. We've been on Norwegian about four times. But this was our first Norwegian cruise in the past three years and my gosh have many things changed. Even the employees would shake their heads with us and say yes a lot has changed. If you are planning on going on this ship and can't make any changes. Just be prepared to "make the best of it ". If you were booked on the ship and it is your first cruise, please do not think this is what cruising is like because this ship is a very bad example of what cruising is like. Every person we ran into, every conversation, from people in the elevator, to dinner, to pool, jacuzzi, even the shuttle back to our cars after the cruise.... all people were talking about was their dissatisfaction with the ship and the crowd size. I spoke to one elderly gentleman who told me this was his 79th cruise and he has never been on a ship like this one. And he meant that in a negative way as we began to share our disappointments with the ship. I also learned the reason why Carnivals slogan is the "fun ships". This ship was Boring!! The band by the pool only plays the best of the "softies". Oh and BTW. There is one bar on the pool deck. The right side of the pool deck is THE BAR, opposite of the bar, in the same shape and square footage... it actually SHOULD be another bar... but instead this entire other side is dedicated to "towel exchange" thus limiting bar access. At Embarkation you will be checked into a room for the 4500 of you getting on the ship that has NO vending machines.... water fountains by the restrooms.... that is IT. A precursor of what's to come.... I could go on but I just want to put this cruise in the 'learning' section of my vacations. The BEST advice I heard and I will pass on..... SHOP THE SHIP...NOT THE ITINERARY OR STOPS.....SHOP THE SHIP!! Have Fun!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Our experience on board the Epic was memorable but for all the wrong reasons. Compared to the Escape our experience on the Epic was less than stellar. Please don't mistake this for a review of NCL as a whole but instead about our ... Read More
Our experience on board the Epic was memorable but for all the wrong reasons. Compared to the Escape our experience on the Epic was less than stellar. Please don't mistake this for a review of NCL as a whole but instead about our experience on board the Epic. My hope is that NCL will see this and make a concerted effort to drastically improve the guest experience on board the Epic as many others share similar discontent for this ship. Every passenger received a phone call a couple days prior to embarkation day notifying us not to arrive at our designated time. We were told embarkation was going to be delayed and was given a different assigned time to arrive. Once we were on the cruise it was discovered an EDM festival named Holy Ship! was on the Epic the week prior. Almost every crew member we encountered had something to say negatively about the previous passengers and their behavior. Pool furniture was being thrown into the pool, state rooms were filthy and disorganized, passengers were too hung over or strung out and the crew had a hard time getting them out of the staterooms in order to turn the ship over for our cruise. While I understand this must have been a taxing week for the crew, I find it frustrating they were using it as an excuse as to why our cruise experience was so lackluster. I would have rather they apologize and go above and beyond to ensure we had a good experience instead of hearing excuses all week as to why the crew isn't up to par. The embarkation process did go smoothly however there was an extreme delay before we were able to get into our staterooms. We were told we could get into them between 1:00 to 1:30pm but we didn't get into them until 3:30pm. Most of our evening dining experiences were average at best. We ate in both complimentary and specialty dining venues. When dining on the Escape we never had an unsatisfactory meal but I can't say the same about our experience on the Epic. One evening we dined in the Manhattan room which was complimentary but my partner and another of our friends ordered the lobster tail for an upgraded charge of $25. I tried a bite of the lobster, it was extremely tough and chewy. My partner wasn't able to finish it before he had to leave the table to go to the bathroom because he got nauseous. The waiter stopped by the table to ask if he was finished with his food so he could take his plate. I told him my partner was getting sick in the bathroom. He offered no empathy and when I told him the lobster was bad, he didn't attempt to fix the situation or offer to cover the $25. I let this go and figured his sickness could have been from something else. Later that night our friend who ordered lobster also got sick. I no longer think it was a coincidence that both who ordered the lobster got sick. This did not sit well with me so I planned to address this later with guest services. A group of us went to Taste for breakfast and it appeared the crew was not ready at all for the amount of guests who showed up for breakfast that morning. There were three different officers who were seating people, and they pulled two waiters from another restaurant to help. Even with all of that, they were still scrambling and it took them 20 minutes before anyone came to our table to introduce themselves or take a beverage order. In the mean time no one came to apologize for the wait or to let us know they would be with us shortly. There were other food quality issues which individually could have been forgiven but each day it was always something with the food. I ordered a lava cake one evening for dessert but it was not a lava cake, it was described on the menu incorrectly. Another meal I ordered was a seafood dish which was supposed to be Milanese but it was prepared Parmesan style. Another meal I ordered a beefsteak tomato salad of which every tomato was green, tough and not ripe at all. I encountered a large amount of frustration when trying to reserve our tender boats to go ashore. All of our dailies stated we could reserve tenders from our televisions in the state rooms, or any of the monitors throughout the public areas of the cruise ship, or at the box office. I made numerous attempts to reserve on our television in the stateroom with no success. Then I tried to use a couple of monitors again with no success. Finally, I had to deal with the reality of standing in line at the box office to reserve our tender. This was excruciatingly painful as everyone else in the line was trying to reserve their show times. Since Priscilla Queen of the Dessert was one of the shows, it became a lengthy conversation with most passengers to describe the show and waiting while they decided if this was a show they wanted to see. On average it took each group about 5 to 7 minutes to book their shows. Once I got to an agent and booked my tender it took 30 seconds. I asked why I couldn't reserve in the room or on the monitors I was told neither of them were working! The tender boat reservation should not be included in the same line with the box office. This was a huge misstep in my opinion. Despite our experience on board the Epic we went to the cruise next desk to purchase our deposits for our next cruise. I wanted to be able to give NCL another chance and looked to book on one of the Breakaway or Breakaway plus class ships. I asked the agent to help us find a cruise longer than 7 days on one of the newer ships. He said that would be difficult and asked why a newer ship. I started to explain our negative experience on board the Epic and he completely agreed stating the ship is a mess and is going through some changes in management and staff. He spoke with extreme candor and admitted the Epic is not the best ship. While I appreciated his honesty part of me hopped he would probe and asked why I was so dissatisfied about my experience. When I finally went to guest services and spoke with a representative nothing was resolved. NCL is no longer placing comment cards in each of the staterooms. Instead they send out emails post cruise to a portion of the passengers on board to survey their experience. I wanted to be sure I would be able to discuss my experiences so I asked if there was a place online where I could offer my feed back. The agent couldn't give me an answer, and couldn't find a link herself when she went online to look for one. After discussing my experiences with her she barely offered an empathetic apology and no resolution to my dissatisfaction. There were so many other negative experiences on board the Epic of would make this review entirely too lengthy. If they were isolated events they could easily be overlooked. I know this will appear as a negative review of NCL but our experience on the Escape was beyond exceptional yet on the Epic so dismal. The people and friendships we made on board combined with the amazing ports of call made up for the lackluster experience on the Epic. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
About us: DH and I travel as a couple only, with the exception of an Alaska cruise in 2012, when one of our sons, and his wife, traveled also. (He liked it, she found cruising too rough… both of them LOVED Alaska!!!). We’ve tried ... Read More
About us: DH and I travel as a couple only, with the exception of an Alaska cruise in 2012, when one of our sons, and his wife, traveled also. (He liked it, she found cruising too rough… both of them LOVED Alaska!!!). We’ve tried several cruise lines, but tend to enjoy NCL most. This cruise had been booked for almost two years (with multiple changes, since NCL altered ships/itineraries), so we had tremendous anticipation for this trip and cruise! Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal: We were dropped-off at 11:10 AM. We gave our luggage to a porter, tipped, and got in line at 11:15 AM. Passing through Security took less than 10 minutes. Getting to a port agent’s desk (Platinum line) took only a few minutes. Check-In at that desk took another 7-8 minutes. We were directed to take a seat until they called Platinum guest. (Boarding was based upon 1) Haven (separate waiting area), 2) Platinum, 3) guests needing assistance (Wheel chairs, etc.), 4) Gold, 5) Silver, 6) Bronze. Embarkation: Around 11:45 am Platinum guests were called. As we headed toward the gang-way, there was a ship’s photographer offering to take pictures. However, it did not appear that any special screen was set-up. First impressions onboard…. NCL employees were available upon entering deck 7, but they were not pushing to head to any particular deck. Some did say “Garden Café is open.” We headed to the pool deck and each got a drink at Waves. Then we headed to Taste and enjoyed a peaceful and delicious lunch. Afterwards, we walked around a bit and headed to deck ten when “the rooms are available” announcement was made. Stateroom: We went to our Mini-suite stateroom 10274 at approximately 1:45 pm. We found our Room Steward, Barry, finishing up. DH commented that we did not get robes… not that he uses them. They arrived on Sunday! Location: Deck 10, Port-side (left), Aft (back), just a short walk from the aft stairwell. Easy and quiet. Port-side (left) stairwells have Orange-framed mirrors on each deck, Starboard-side (right) have Blue-framed mirrors on each deck (port and starboard also reflected the orange or blue, along with tan and brown in their respective hallway carpeting). I cannot comment much about elevators, since DH and I almost always take stairs. Bed: Our room had the bed near the bathroom area. We both found the bed to be rather comfortable. The length was not an issue for us, but we are not tall. The pillows are more firm than either of us are used to sleeping on, but we made do. Shower: Long and narrow with a rain-shower head. The only thing we would have liked would be towel bars instead of small hooks, but we understand why they avoided the bars. Toilet area: The frosted glass did not bother us. Storage: There are bins, plenty of shelves, and drawers (at the sink), and three different places to hang clothing! DH hung everything he wanted, I could have used a few more hangers. Balcony: Nice-size (6’ x 9’), with a small table and two chairs…loved it! We enjoyed some spectacular views during the week. Room Steward: Barry was efficient, welcoming, quick and thorough. Manhattan Room (Main Dining): Dinner on Saturday evening was the normal first night crazy. We had a 5:30 reservation, but just trying to get to the reception desk at MDR was a bit of a wait. Eventually, we were seated somewhat near the aft windows at a 4-top table, yet an entire row of 2-tops were left empty… odd! Our orders were taken, we got our salads (Bib lettuce with pecans and Gorgonzola and a traditional Caesar) and our entrees (Grilled Shrimp with white rice and broccoli, and a New York Strip “Dinah” with scalloped potatoes and broccoli) in a timely manner. We skipped having drinks and dessert, so we could shoot over to the theater to see The Epic Beatles. Le Bistro: Sunday evening, we enjoyed the first of 2 Platinum meals at Le Bistro. Our reservation was for 5:30. DH loved the Mushroom Soup and the Filet de Boeuf (beef steak). I enjoyed a Frisee salad and the Dover Sole. On Wednesday we again had our 5:30 reservation. DH had the Mushroom soup again and the Sole. I had Stuffed artichoke and Coq Au Vin. Taste (Main Dining): We ate lunch here on Embarkation Day. I had a salad and crab-stuffed potato skins… yum! DH enjoyed a Caesar salad and a shrimp dish. On Tuesday evening we ate dinner at 5:30. I had a salad and the Chicken Kiev… both excellent! DH had a Caesar Salad and Cavatelli with clams in a garlic creamy sauce. He loved both. O’Sheehan’s: Breakfast here on the morning of Cozumel… We both ordered the Country Breakfast consisting of 2eggs, pile of bacon, 1 sausage link, 2 hash-rounds, baked tomato, beans… and toast we never received. Food: DH and I constantly say that we just don’t understand why there are so many complaints about food! Maybe having grown-up in large families, and military life, made us grateful for “three-square meals daily!” With that said, while some of the food could look “tired” at some buffet tables, overall, we found the Garden Café, Great Outdoors, and Spice H2O to serve sufficient variety for the main-stream palate. We appreciate the wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh and varied breads, and multiple varieties of meats, pastas, rice dishes, etc. We found ourselves returning to the Garden Buffet for breakfast most days. Bars: I had a plan to follow regarding the UBP, which meant I would try every “Drink of the Day” and also try drinks I ordinarily would not think of ordering! With that in mind, on Saturday, I ordered the Daydreamer’s Daiquiri. Sunday was a Long Island Iced Tea. Monday was Rebellious Fish. Tuesday was The Painkiller (needed that one!) Wednesday was Bahama Mama. Thursday was Moscow Mule. Friday was Signature Mai Tai (they were NOT available on GSC). Drinks included in UBP (that I also tried): Aviator, Bacardi Mojito, Basil Cucumber Twist, Bushwhacker, Emperor’s Nectar, Mango Meltdown, Matador, Mudslide, and a few that I neglected to write down (and therefore, don’t recall). DH mostly stuck to Gin and tonic, Negroni, Perfect Margarita, red wines, and a Johnny Walker Black/Rocks. We both found Flordeliza Bolivar (Head Wine Steward) from the Philippines, to be the best bartender for our tastes. We found her during the afternoons, several days, at the Waves bar. Shows: Priscilla Queen of the Desert – I loved the costumes, the set, the performers. Everything was well-done and done remarkably well! Burn the Floor – Once again, the set and costumes are phenomenal!!! Burn the floor is pulse-setting… awesome! The Epic Beatles - We saw them on Embarkation night in the Epic Theater. They were crowd pleasers for certain! Other entertainment: The comedians Mia Jackson and Bob Kubota are each quite funny and enjoyable. The music and entertainment on the pool deck was nice, although, we did not hang-out there much. We played BINGO on the first morning and the final afternoon. Although pricey, BINGO provides a fun diversion for us onboard occasionally. We watched parts of other activities, but didn’t hang around long. The more crowded and noisy those events were, the less I enjoyed them. Especially when I got bumped or had my feet stepped on. Spice H2O: Each afternoon we visited, it was crowded: however, for the most part, it was a fairly quiet area. Grill selections were available on the Port-side. The bar was always hopping. Unfortunately for us, the bar area is also the SMOKING section. The pool was quite warm on the one afternoon that I went in. We also viewed a movie here one evening, which was a pleasant change of pace for us. Noteworthy on the EPIC: As others have posted, we found the lack of walking spaces to be limiting. The fitness center makes up for that with a wide variety of equipment (timing to use them is everything!!!) The “secret stairs” were not particularly impressive for us, but it was fun to check them out. The Casino was okay, smoky to me, but tolerable with my usually quick pace. Overall, we had a wonderful vacation, consumed some fabulous food and drinks, met some great people (special greetings to Andrea and Jon), saw some fantastic shows and performers, and enjoyed the lovely islands. We most likely will not book the Epic again, but that is because we enjoy other NCL ships more. PORTS Cozumel, Mexico: Having been to Cozumel more than six times before, we decided that we would venture-out “On Our Own” (O.O.O.) for the day. We had walked to the Money Bar two years ago, and knew that we wanted to do that again. Carrying our snorkel gear, the walk took us about an hour and a half to get there from the ship and Punta Langosta Pier (we believe the distance is 4.5 + miles). The water felt fabulous when we went in. It is easy entry to the water and fish are abundant all around (think Caribbean colors)! I found some beautiful corals that I had never seen before, but I did not have a water-proof camera to take any pictures (darn it!) We decided to take a taxi back, since the afternoon had warmed considerably. The taxi driver said we walked over 10K… (Maybe?!) George Town, Cayman Islands: We have also been to Grand Cayman several times, so again, we ventured O.O.O. Carrying our snorkel gear, we headed to Sunset House at 390 S Church St, via Church Street, for about 1 mile. We enjoyed the sea life we found here, but decided to head to Seven Mile Beach. Once we walked past the port, we hailed a bus, which took us only as far as Calico Jack’s (cost: $5 US for both of us, one-way). We headed to the beach to enjoy some beautiful warm sand and sea! When we had enough of that, we headed back towards town, walking along the beach. Overall, we figure we walked about 6 + miles this day. IF you want to walk from the port to a close public beach, it is easily done by turning left after leaving the pier. Walk north until you see a small sign that says public (or beach) access. I remember there was one of these just north of the Burger King, but if you are inclined, there are more along the way as you head further north. Ocho Rios, Jamaica: We decided to keep things “simple” for the day, so we walked into town to see, Turtle River Falls and Gardens. The walk was much longer than the “12 minutes” that Google had estimated! If you can’t walk up the entire ship’s stairs from deck 4 to 15, DON’T try walking to TRFG!!! Anyway, we were “picked-up” (joined us on our walk) by 2 men who started telling us about the area, the flora, etc. We couldn’t lose them! We were led up, up, up the hill to a (in my opinion) “suspicious” entrance where we gave the “guard” $20 each for DH and I. The 4 of us then wandered through the garden area seeing the falls and learning about agriculture. We declined further excursion as DH was quite winded. That’s when we found out that the 2 gentlemen wanted $40 each for their escort. We offered them the $28 that we had left between the 2 of us, and headed down the hill on our own. We were not happy with the situation, definitely learned a lesson, and want others to know what to be aware of. Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas (Berry Islands): We had been to GSC several times previously. However, the last time we were on the island was May 2012. There certainly have been many remarkable changes since then! Most notable: The grounds have been updated with: Cabanas on the Cay have more than doubled in price since we last visited. A pre-booked Large Cabana would have cost us $499.00 at 90 days prior to cruise, but went up to $599 at some point prior to embarkation (the price can vary for different ships and dates). Small Cabanas costs were $549 during this cruise. Clamshells (shade) can be rented for the day @ $35 which are set-up over two lounge chairs. There are multiple locations open to rent them. More water sports and excursions have been added. The Snorkeling has been expanded to include the Underwater Sculpture Garden. We snorkeled near the small cabanas, so I cannot remark on the Sculpture Garden. The Stingray Encounter is new, but we saw a small sting ray at the beach where we snorkeled, so we are happy. More bars are open and an additional eating pavilion was added. “Included” food venues: Abaco Taco and Jumbey Beach Grill. (Ala Carte at Jimmy Buffets Margaretville.) We ate lunch at Abaco Taco, where beef, chicken and fish tacos are available with guacamole, lettuce, pico de gallo, onions, peppers, and cabbage slaw available on the side. Drinks included in UBP on GSC are available at: Patron Bar, Bacardi Bar, Lighthouse Beach Bar, and Bertram’s Bar. The tender back to the ship took a long time to fill. Final evening on Epic: Sadly, we packed on Friday afternoon and then enjoyed a quiet dinner at Taste. We realized that we never did take either of our Celebration cards (for cakes) to any of the restaurants for my birthday and his retirement. (That’s okay, we still have the cards as souvenirs and we both had fewer calories to burn off!) We walked around a bit, and then decided to just go back to the room early. Disembarkation: We were back in Port Canaveral by 5:00 am. Easy Walk Off started early. Our Yellow (Platinum status) tags were called before 8 am (maybe 7:40). We were off the ship, gathered our 2 suitcases, and had cleared Customs by 8! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I just got off the ship and now headed back to MCO. This week about the Epic was not a pleasant experience. From the time we set foot on the ship until the time we settled our account the Customer service was horrible...horrific...the ... Read More
I just got off the ship and now headed back to MCO. This week about the Epic was not a pleasant experience. From the time we set foot on the ship until the time we settled our account the Customer service was horrible...horrific...the worst I have ever experienced. We do a lot of traveling and this is hands down the biggest disappointment I have ever scene in any cruise or resort. The worst service came from the front desk. I am not going to mention names of the workers but they were down right rude. Day 1... we get on the ship ok (whole other story about that) and walk around. We have dinner reservations at 7:30 at La Cucina. We were told in the morning that we would have our luggage no later then 6:30 by the gentleman checking us in, who was the nice person we met all week in that capacity. I went down to the desk at 7 to ask where our luggage was. She tells me you won't have your luggage until 8 pm. We have been in our clothes all Morning and afternoon from traveling. I told her about my dinner reservation and how we were told we would have our luggage by 6:30 and she responded to me that you will now have your luggage at 8pm and you can go to dinner with that...and point at me. I had to walk away. We had to move our dinner up to 8:45 and got our luggage at 8:10. Bartenders- all rude downstairs at the main pool but very nice at nice at spice H2O. Pools...you couldn't go into the pool during the last day because they were painting it and one of the main pools were closed for the same reason during the middle of the week. I think they could have picked a better time for that! We never had to schedule a spot for a tender. They left that big part out so we didn't schedule one until it was too late and was very late getting off the ship to Grand Caymen and the Bahamas. I heard the same complaint among other guests. Some weren't able to get off the ship until well after lunch. The entertainment was great! Both shows at the theater and the dinner show was outstanding. The shore excursions crew were also really helpful and nice. The room was small. We were on the 14th deck balcony. Bathroom and shower configuration was the worst I ever scene. They were like being in a small bubble. When we arrived there were still dirty clothes in the drawers from the guests before us. That was a huge turnoff. The layout of the ship was narrow meaning there were a lot of choke points so it always seemed crowded. Were we on the escape last winter and loved it. It was a totally differerent experience for the good. The only way I would go with Norwegian again will be on the Escape and that's a big maybe. I had all intentions on putting a deposit down for my next cruise with Norwegian but after that experience I may be going to a different cruise line. I never posted a review before so this should show how bad it was and upset I am. I hope the next guests have a better experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
We were limited to date of cruise departure because of school and not able to have our two teens (one in college) miss school dates. We did a fair bit of research before going but found it was truly alot of you don't know what you ... Read More
We were limited to date of cruise departure because of school and not able to have our two teens (one in college) miss school dates. We did a fair bit of research before going but found it was truly alot of you don't know what you don't know and quite honestly the website for the cruise line does not provide significant information on what the additional costs are. I really did not want to end up feeling nickeled and dimed. Although labeled as most expenses included there are many places to drop a significant amount of money on the ship. There were repeated daily attempts to have us spend money in many ways. They are very creative. One of the most important things for my daughter and I was the ability for the ship to accommodate our celiac diet. For those who are celiac it is a medical requirement for a gluten free diet and cross contamination will result in illness. We did complete forms once we booked, was assured we would meet with the head chef upon boarding. In our room was a letter, indicating we just needed to speak to guest services. Guest services just told us to talk to the head person at any restaurant. Bording in the afternoon we went up to the buffet (not great for celiacs) and the head person said we needed to speak to the head chef and contact guest services. Some fruit it was for lunch. When speaking to guest services, they directed us to the restaurant that was closed. We found a person there who gave us a phone number to call, they were the wrong number and unhappy, gave us another who then begrudgingly ordered dinner for that night. After all this at dinner we met one of two waiters who became our best allies, excellent knowledge of gluten free, we needed to order the night before for all meals. Not easy but by the 5th day we sorted that out. Food decent and not sick once. We ate most nights in the Manhatten room or the Taste with one night in the noodle bar (meh). The Manhatten and Taste were great, awesome breakfast in Taste, Stephan the wine steward in the Taste. We are travelling with our two teens 15 and 18 and had 2 rooms. A couple extra room keys put the right people in the right rooms :). The inside state room although smaller than the balcony was laid out better and felt more spacious. It suited the teens well. The balcony room was nice and I appreciated the fresh air. The room layout is weird with needing to get past the end of the bed/counter area that was a tight squeeze. Both rooms had well used space and storage. Nice to unpack once for the whole trip. Cute towel animals and great service by both room attendants. The Bahamas stop was their private island. Tendering to the island was not bad, although rocky as the ocean was rough. We did the stingray tour - fabulous! Island was lovely - the, only thing that was annoying is finding small amounts on our bill - 28, 45, 52 cent charges. Now, not that it is alot of money but odd. Turns out that despite having the drink package and paying the gratuities for that in advance if you are docked in the Bahama's or an American port there is additional fee (note my comment of nickeled and dimed earlier). The one main extra I knew we wanted was to have family photos. The perspectives studio has a wonderful photographer and we ended up doing a family photo shoot on St. Thomas. Essentially we created a shore excursion and as such we were one of the first 20 off the ship. An unexpected extra. We went to a different beach Morningstar beach at the Marriott resort. Fabulous pictures and we spent part of the afternoon there before going shopping for a couple hours. The only downfall was the $8. each frozen lemonades - same price as beer! Cool iguanas there too. Tortolla was our favorite port. Did a tour of the island from the taxi area at $25 per person, which included a stop at a rum factory and a couple hours on the beach. Our daughter learned to stand up paddle board and I would say this was our favorite stop. All the stops seemed too short and would have liked more time on land. For the ship, lovely with lots to do. A casino (did not spend time there - not sure why they allow smoking in doors, even at the casino), bowling, pianos -fun, Burn the Floor - an excellent dance show and Pricillia Queen of the Dessert - also excellent (although could offend some). There was also a walking track, excellent gym (although under 16 not permitted which was a disappointment for my athlete in training). Had fun with the ships Deal or no Deal, dancing with the stars and the how well you know your partner. Too funny - clean humorous entertainment! Pools were very small with cloudy water - likely due to overuse. I was surprised they were so small. The sunny sea day was a big problem to get a lounge chair -people saving with towels but not arriving. The kids liked the waterslide. There was also a rock climbing wall, but the lines were weird and not really sure how you cued up. Travelling with a teen (15) she refused to go to the teen club. Cannot say as I blame her, the description of what was happening seemed lame at best and not of interest for a teenager. The 18 year old was thrilled that if we signed a paper he could have a beer or glass of wine when the ship was at sea. For three of us it was the first time on a cruise. For the 18 year old, it was his second cruise as he went with school and coincidentally he was on the same ship three years ago. All in all a nice trip and I would cruise again. Not an always cruiser, but I would go again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our 20th cruise and 8th on NCL (2nd time on the Epic). We chose this cruise because it was a New Years Eve Cruise and it was the first cruise for our friends who wanted to go on a End of the year cruise. The embarkation was a ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise and 8th on NCL (2nd time on the Epic). We chose this cruise because it was a New Years Eve Cruise and it was the first cruise for our friends who wanted to go on a End of the year cruise. The embarkation was a breeze - thru the process and onboard within 10 minutes. Only delay was getting into the port on the Hampton Inn shuttle bus. We had for the first time a balcony room on the aft of the ship. Room 10317. Our room stewardess Daisy was amazing. We both were sick on Tuesday with a 24 hour bug of sorts but apparently we were the exception on the ship (never happened in the past). Don't understand the rave reviews about aft balcony rooms as we didn't care much for it. Always a spray of water while at sea spraying up on the balcony and very noisy at times. Service at the buffet was good (washy-washy) and the food was always the same. Service was good as well at most of the specialty restaurants. Food service at O'Sheehans was terrible. Trying to get into some of the venues was virtually impossible as you needed reservations for almost everything and they filled too fast as if they were too small for the size of the ship or there weren't enough perrformances to accomodate the cruisers. No room for spontaneity. Enjoyed the alcohol package and specialty restaurant packages and we loved the thermal spa package ( fee required) as we were there almost daily. Crew was very friendlt and helpful for the most part except for eh last day. We had to cancel a prepaid excursion and it was accommodated and the credit added to our room. Never had any problems getting an elevator. Didn't like the fact that you could never find a lounge chair on the decks as people were reserving them with towels and whatever early in the morning and no one was policing this at all. We loved Burn the Floor and Cirque dinner performance This is a huge ship with lots walking. I think we actually lost weight on this cruise so that's why we gave it three marks instead of two. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
It was our second time with the Epic and we thought it would be a great idea to spent new year on board. The crew was not polite even rude at sometimes the officers where rude and were apparently a bit tired, the food is almost all ... Read More
It was our second time with the Epic and we thought it would be a great idea to spent new year on board. The crew was not polite even rude at sometimes the officers where rude and were apparently a bit tired, the food is almost all extra charged ( not one price but almost all alla carte also in the Manhattan room) I don't mind this but then the quality needs to be much better. They changed a lot of staff apparently a lot of Romanian,Indian and Chinese crew instead of other European and Philippino crew it makes a big difference. The turkish head of the hotel officers was walking around like a dril sergeant and his french boss was never around. the ship was way to full it was impossible to get a chair by the pool because everything was taken. This ship is there to take your money and don't want to give you back any service. the rooms where not as clean as you suppose to have the balcony was never touched and the glass was dirty all the time in the BVI we where next to the Disney and then you think gee maybe I should have done that one how clean and pretty the spiegeltent show is great, but this ship is getting down in quality fast I could write more negative but i need to work and get ready for a next cruise the Epic was once great no its terrible so no more epic for us. this was not EPIC Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We choose this cruise last minute. We had a regular balcony cabin. Two adults Two children (18,14). Cabin was small but ok. Bathroom setup was strange no privacy. This was the first cruise for our room steward. He done ok but needed more ... Read More
We choose this cruise last minute. We had a regular balcony cabin. Two adults Two children (18,14). Cabin was small but ok. Bathroom setup was strange no privacy. This was the first cruise for our room steward. He done ok but needed more training. All drinks that we got from pool bar were too strong. All bud light that I got was dated from September and not very cold. All meals in buffet was pretty good. Taste was pretty good. Cagneys, Tep, was both good. La cucina was the best I think. All shows booked up quick. We seen howl at moon and burn the floor both were good. Great strirrup cay was great. The bbq was great also. St. Thomas and tortola were both ok. NCL does not have many waiters anymore around the pool because of the UBP. Main problem is the trash blowing around pool. It was great spending time with my family just won't do it again on the EPIC. Will give NCL one more try on smaller ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise because of its convenience; we live in Satellite Beach, only a short ride to Cape Canaveral, the departure port of our week cruise. Although there were some very nice aspects of the ship ( e.g.,the friendly staff, the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its convenience; we live in Satellite Beach, only a short ride to Cape Canaveral, the departure port of our week cruise. Although there were some very nice aspects of the ship ( e.g.,the friendly staff, the deluxe spa, the dining options, etc.) the overwhelming drawbacks were 1) the unacceptable smallness of our balcony cabin, and 2) the rediculously long lines to actually get on the ship at the time of embarkation. When the room was booked, the cabin offered to us was described to us as a two or three person one. As we were three adults, when we entered the room, it was barely the size for two, let alone for three persons. Upon inquiry, our cabin steward showed us how the couch's "ottoman" served as the third bed. When it's size and positioning was revealed, it not only blocked the access to the balcony, but also measured at around 5 feet, four inches in length. We are not tall people (I am about 5'6") and I slept the seven nights on it, with my feet hanging over the back of, and with barely enough space to fully rotate my body. Our efforts to find some other solution were met with the fact that there were no other available cabins. Our request for some other form of compensation fell completely on deaf ears. Please be aware of this rather false advertising when you have three members in you party, and they offer you that in reality is quite small by industry standards for two! As to the lines at the NCL Cape Canaveral, it took us nearly two hours to finally get on board the ship from the scheduled time we arrived at the port. Now, we have cruised from this port on the other main ships sailing from there (Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival) many times, and never did it take so long to board. No explanations for the wait were offered, and the staff were appropriately chagrined and apologetic about this "welcoming". From a consumer's perspective, it is not a very good way to start a cruise. If such lines are endemic to NCL, it would be wise to let your clientele know about this in advance so that they can plan accordingly. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Just returned from a week in the wonderful Haven on the Epic. This is our third time on this ship, and our first in the Haven. We ended up spending 90% of our time in the Haven. The food in the Epic Club was far superior to anything ... Read More
Just returned from a week in the wonderful Haven on the Epic. This is our third time on this ship, and our first in the Haven. We ended up spending 90% of our time in the Haven. The food in the Epic Club was far superior to anything else available on the ship. We have cruised with NCL since 2008, and the meals in the Epic Club were just fantastic! I like the Epic because Haven guests have access to Posh, as well as the Haven itself. Posh is great because it overlooks the pool deck, so you can still hear the music, and watch the crazy, fun activities they do poolside without the alienation of the Haven pool area, or the craziness of the main pool deck. It's the best of both worlds! Haven guests are able to order lunch in Posh (those purchasing Posh passes are not). Lunch in Posh and the Courtyard were the same menu. You had your choice(s) of a grilled veggie wrap, chicken Caesar salad wrap, grilled swordfish burger, cheeseburger, hotdog, and the best onion rings on a cruise! I can't recall if there was a salad on that menu or not. Lunch in the Epic Club was a full menu consisting of various sandwiches (French dip, sesame encrusted mahi mahi served on a pretzel roll, a burger, etc) a couple of salads (cobb, Caesar, and a mixed salad), to "dinner for lunch" options (linguini with clam sauce, salmon with lobster sauce, etc). There were other options, but I did not take a picture of the menu, and cannot remember them all. I had the mahi mahi one day, and the French dip another. Both were very good. My husband had the salmon one day, and the cobb salad another, and he enjoyed both. The kids only ate lunch with us on embarkation day, and both ordered burgers. We all had lunch in Posh a few times. My husband ordered the Caesar salad wrap a few times, and other times, the hot dog. I had the grilled veggie wrap one day, and a burger another day. The kids pretty much ordered hot dogs when eating there. I say kids - they are 19 and 20 !! My daughter had her friend from high school traveling with us as they are both on college break. As stated, Posh and the Courtyard were the same menu, and both were "okay". The Epic Club was fantastic. We ate dinner in the Epic Club for 5 of our 7 nights. We ate once in the Manhattan Dining Room because my husband ran into Grace, the hotel director's secretary, and she asked if we would enjoy dinner and the Burn the Floor show that evening. He said yes, and she secured a dance floor table for us, with our meal reservation for 8pm. The assistant maître d in the Manhattan room is Sasa from Bosnia, and he quickly became a favorite for my family. He has such a fantastic personality, and was very attentive to my family. During the day, Sasa manages O'Sheehan's, and also made sure our lunch there was up to par. If you do eat in O'Sheehan's, make sure to save room for the brownie cheesecake. We were stuffed, but Sasa insisted that we try it - and we are glad we did. It was delicious. In the Epic Club, Maria was our server for most of our meals (breakfast and dinner). Our family very quickly fell in love with Maria, and her sweet personality. She definitely made our experience more enjoyable! The food in the Epic Club was outstanding. The mustard encrusted rack of lamb was melt in your mouth delicious! My daughter ate surf and turf (filet and jumbo shrimp) multiple times. My husband and I pretty much tried everything on the menu. My daughter's friend tended to stick with the chicken, but only because she loved it so much. I honestly did not think we would eat there so often because the menu is limited, but the food is far superior to that anywhere else on the ship. It was definitely worth repeating a meal or two. The colossal shrimp cocktail were a favorite of mine, as well as the butternut squash soup. My husband had the shrimp risotto appetizer every night. We did end up eating in La Cucina one night, but only because we had platinum certificates to burn. I really did not want to leave the Epic Club for dinner! Dinner in La Cucina was good though, so no complaints there! Diego is the bartender in the Haven Bar. Fabulous bartender who can pretty much make any drink you want, and he does it well!! We started our evening there every night. By night two, he knew names and what people were drinking. This was also the gathering place for the same group of people (or so it seemed) every night before dinner. Friendships were quickly made!! We sailed during new year's week, so the ship was sold out. Crowded is an understatement. We were lucky to have David to escort us to Priscilla so we did not have to wait in line (great show!!). We really did not leave the Haven area unless necessary. Outside of the Haven, the ship was a zoo. Inside - a completely different experience. It was a wonderful, relaxing week. It will be very difficult to return to a "regular" cruise after this one. Leaving the ship - we were finishing breakfast at 6:40am or so, when the ship was cleared by customs. I don't think we were ever cleared that early! We finished our breakfast and were escorted downstairs to walk off the ship. We were in our car and headed home before 7am. Can't say it enough - this was a great cruise! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We just did the New Year’s cruise on the Epic, with stops at Stirrup Cay, St Thomas and Tortola. On board were my husband (50s), son (10), and me (40s). We travel twice per year on vacation and have done RCCL and Disney Cruise Line ... Read More
We just did the New Year’s cruise on the Epic, with stops at Stirrup Cay, St Thomas and Tortola. On board were my husband (50s), son (10), and me (40s). We travel twice per year on vacation and have done RCCL and Disney Cruise Line several times in the past. We select our cruises mostly for the ship and not the itineraries, and were excited to try the Epic. This is our first experience with NCL. For convenience, I have segregated feedback in three sections: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Good 1. Ship is gorgeous. The EPIC is truly magnificent on the inside. The décor is subtle and tasteful, with dark wood and neutral tones. Every corner is impeccably clean and well maintained. 2. Mini suite on deck 9 was absolutely beautiful. Tiny, but with pretty décor and plenty of storage room (3 full closets and many, many drawers). The bathroom layout was not an issue as we knew beforehand and took plenty of air freshener (!). The bathtub in the mini suite was comfortable and spacious, but a word of advice – do not pick this room if you have mobility issues because getting in the bathtub is quite a climb. Balcony was of adequate size, and had a lock for child safety. 3. Buffet selection was consistently good. Not great quality, but decent variety. You will always find something for everyone. 4. The specialty restaurants that we tried were great (Teppanyaki and Moderno). The Cirque menu was also surprisingly good (shrimp and steak). Service in these venues was exceptional. Also, all of them have kids menu (you need to ask), which was appreciated by our picky 10 yr old. 5. Shows (Cirque, Magician Christian Miro, and Burn the Floor) were outstanding and the best we’ve seen in a cruise (including the Disney shows). 6. Pool deck was epic! The water slides were a lot of fun and we enjoyed our best family moments there. The bowl slide is a must. 7. Service was overall pleasant, with attentive employees and smiling faces (washy washy, happy happy!). 8. The NYE party for kids at Splash Academy was packed. They had glow sticks, kiddie drinks and games, and our son had a lot of fun! The Bad 1. There are no outer decks other than the pool and above. The ship feels a bit claustrophobic, as you can hardly see the ocean from the inside. 2. Desserts in the buffet and main dining room are inedible. However, fruit and ice cream (including soft serve) are readily available and make up for the pastry disaster. 3. Elevators could be a problem. There simply are not enough elevators for the amount of passengers in this big ship. Be ready to burn some calories using the stairs. 4. The Splash Academy was a disappointment. We went several times to leave our son, but the advertised activities were not taking place. It also seemed to be one big room with dividers, with very little visual interest. However, they would play movies that our son enjoyed and the staff was kind and multi-lingual. For those considering this program, be advised that the Academy closes from 12-2 PM and 5-7 PM. So, if dancing at the Atrium at 6 PM is your plan, be sure to include Jr. or have a plan B. 5. The layout of the ship is confusing. We could use deck 15 (pools) to go from aft to forward. But if raining, the only other main deck (without a labyrinth of rooms) was deck 7. Deck 5 and 6 are cut in half by the casino, so if you have kids, 7 is your deck. 6. Not too many shops, and very little NCL merchandise available. The Ugly 1. The third bed in the cabin is not a bed. It is a sofa. After turn down, it still is a sofa. Not a sofa-bed, but a sofa. With a sheet on it. It was hard and small. My son (a skinny 10 year old) fell off twice while asleep. We found this unacceptable and a deal breaker for future consideration of the EPIC as a family vacation. 2. Main dining room food is inedible. Service beyond poor (we were not offered ANYTHING to drink), waiter forgot about us mid-dinner. Bread was cold, soup had no taste other than salt, and sirloin was hard to chew to the point where husband had to either spit it out or choke. We had two sets of cutlery instead of 3, so husband had to wait a while to start eating and by then his food was cold. Waiter seemed overwhelmed. Really unpleasant experience. Make sure to have specialty restaurant reservations in advance if you expect a decent dinner with respectable level of service. 3. Other than the night shows, the entertainment offer was poor for the family oriented. My son was bored by the Splash Academy and mostly declined to go, so we ended up spending all of our time together. Unfortunately, we found really few options of activities that we could do as a family outside of the pools. A lot of “entertainment space” is given to the spa promotions (“seminars” on acupuncture, foot analysis, wrinkles, etc., that are nothing but a sales pitch). The spider slide and bowling alley were open at 4 PM, which is really late. 4. We witnessed one disgruntled employee openly ranting to another employee in the buffet. The poor receptor was trying quite unsuccessfully to redirect this person to another area, but she was not having it. Really bad impression on boarding day. Fortunately, an exception as we never saw anything like this again. Overall, the Epic is a fantastic ship, but not for us. Just not enough family or kid oriented spaces and activities. Couples, young adults and families with teens will definitely enjoy the clubs and adult areas. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We have cruised with NCL before, and had a blast! But.... this was a disaster from the start. We busted our butts to get to the 12:30 p.m. allotted departure time where we stood in line in the blazing heat for 2 hours waiting to board the ... Read More
We have cruised with NCL before, and had a blast! But.... this was a disaster from the start. We busted our butts to get to the 12:30 p.m. allotted departure time where we stood in line in the blazing heat for 2 hours waiting to board the ship. The ship was packed and the staff was rude. The condition of our room was terrible... there were fingerprints all over the cabinetry... it was plain old DIRTY! None of the staff seemed to know what was going on... every time we had a question about anything, we had to wait in a line at Guest Services or wander around aimlessly trying to find a competent staff member to answer our question. And there were LOTS of Questions!!! The whole ship is just confusing! No real pool to speak of..Just a couple of waterslides and wading pool. There is a HUGE AND SMOKY casino on Deck 6 that you have to walk through (even minor children) to get to the main theatre. There is never any room in the good restaurants (or they say) and it forces many passengers to eat off the crappy buffet.. BIG but CRAPPY. The excursion to Tiki beach in Grand Cayman was very confusing and didn't have the cool beach options that was described. Our nine year old daughter was actually bored on this ship! DO NOT TAKE KIDS!! We think that maybe NCL is trying for a different demographic. If you want to gamble it is the perfect ship for you.... but otherwise it is an Epic Failure! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our second Christmas cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines; both times out of Port Canaveral. And, before I go any further, I have to recommend Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach and Kennedy Space Center to visitors for excursions. Not ... Read More
This was our second Christmas cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines; both times out of Port Canaveral. And, before I go any further, I have to recommend Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach and Kennedy Space Center to visitors for excursions. Not that we took any...but we live in Cocoa Beach and are very proud of our area. We are proud of Port Canaveral, too, although it IS having some growing pains. We embarked from the recently upgraded Cruise Terminal 10 and, personally, had no problems. Of course, we opted for an early arrival time (10 AM) and were able to have relatives drop us off. Later arrivals complained of long wait times in the hot Florida sun. There is also a traffic flow issue in and out of that end of the port, where the access road involves a drawbridge which can be open at inopportune times. The signage can be a little confusing, too, especially since Disney and Carnival also dock at that end of the port. If you are not coming in on a Norwegian-booked flight/shuttle from the Orlando airport we recommend making sure you get an early boarding time and plan to eat lunch on board. We were able to go to our cabin (BA 11121) in the early afternoon. It was a little bit of a surprise because the walls were curved, the bed was round, and the bathroom is one where commode, shower and sink are separated out rather than being in one "room". (There is a curtain to draw between these areas and the bed for privacy). However, after our initial skepticism about this arrangement, we decided it made sense if only because it freed up the three areas so the two of us could use them at the same time. One note: The light above the sink was inadequate. My husband could not see clearly to shave. Still, our cabin steward was great, the energy efficiency in having a master switch for the lights (controlled by your key card) was appealing and the "message wheel" (I don't know what to call it) outside the door where we could turn the dial to indicate if we wanted the room made up etc. is certainly better than the little paper slips used before. Dining: The Garden Cafe (buffet) is great but, like any buffet, crowded. The Great Outdoors (just outside the buffet, beside the pool) is good, especially early morning. We ate in three specialty restaurants: Cagney's, Moderno and Teppanyaki. The food in Cagney's was great even though the service was a little bit lacking. Moderno's waiter was terrific and it was an interesting dining experience. Tepppanyaki was entertaining, with good food and good theatrics. And, then there is O'Sheehans. I am glad to see that Norwegian expanded its late night eatery into an all night establishment, and cannot say enough about the fish and chips, pound cake and apple pie. The only problem there is the noise level. Another note: I have Crohn's disease and am very careful about food choices. I had NO PROBLEMS on board the Epic and was happy to see that there were plenty of gluten and sugar free choices on the menu. Entertainment: We took in the Christmas show, Burn the Floor and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Although the production quality of all three was excellent our favorite was Burn the Floor. And, I personally, liked the Howl at Moon/Dueling Pianos show. My husband found the venue for it (Headliners) a little claustrophobic. Health Center: My husband used the fitness center every morning and said it was never really crowded. There were a variety of fitness machines available as well as a conscientious staff. However, the walking/jogging path on Deck 7 was ridiculous. Whose idea was it to put that on a deck with lifeboats hanging on one side and exhaust fumes from restaurants belching out on the other? We found our own walking area up on Deck 16, where there is a sort of sun deck that could be lapped with little problem or disruption to the sunbathers. Activities: There seemed to be ample activities on board for all age groups: Plenty of trivia games, karaoke, poolside contests, bingo, movies and, of course, the casino. We also like to find quiet spaces where we can sit and read. The problem was that any of the indoor lounges were way too cold (Bliss comes to mind) to sit in comfortably without a sweatshirt/jacket. And, while our balcony was OK for short periods, outdoor venues need more shaded areas if you want to read and not soak up sun. We don't usually take the excursions and this cruise was no exception. We wanted to relax on board and that is what we did! As to whether we would go again? Yes! As a matter of fact we took advantage of the Book Ahead program to make a deposit for a future cruise with Norwegian. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Traveled for the Christmas week on the Epic. Our group was a party of 6 with two large balcony cabins. We were 4 adults and 2 teens. Embarkation was very easy. No lines at 11 AM. Staff greeted us with a smile and we were easily on board ... Read More
Traveled for the Christmas week on the Epic. Our group was a party of 6 with two large balcony cabins. We were 4 adults and 2 teens. Embarkation was very easy. No lines at 11 AM. Staff greeted us with a smile and we were easily on board and on our way to the buffet area. We had the drink package and immediately began to use it with a cocktail of the day. Amazingly, there was outdoor food ready for us!! The buffet opened shortly after that. We did wait a long time to get to our cabins, and when asking how soon it would be, I was told "when it's ready we will let you know" A bit curt, but oh well! Cabin was as described...........strange but doable Lots of storage but awful lighting and outlets awful. Bring along some extra extensions of some sort.. Met our wonderful cabin steward, Rosalee, who remembered our names from the first time we met! How do they do this???? She did all that she could to meet our needs but was never intrusive. Will get back to cabin issues in another section of this review. Been on several cruises and feel this food was some of the best. Have read other reviews of this ships food and can't understand why all the complaints? Ate in 3 specialty restaurants and all were great!!! Mostly ate beef the entire trip, so after I have my arteries cleared, will stay off beef for awhile! Drinks were good and plentiful and service was very good for the most. Wonderful service in Cagney's and Tempanaki !!! Catered to our shell fish allergic granddaughter, always watching to be certain there was no cross contamination. Entertainment was as good as any ship we have been on and we were sure to have made reservations as we knew this would be a very crowded cruise. Husband liked the casino, but was unlucky! Felt some of the big events held in the Atrium should have been moved to the theater as there was just too much crowding and not nearly enough places to sit. Actual shipboard activities were just OK. As always pool deck very over crowded and seat savers the usual problem as on all cruises. Basically used my own large balcony instead. Bought admission for the adult only water spa and enjoyed the peace and quiet and huge water features for the entire week.Very clean! Thought Epic did a good job celebrating Christmas all week....music, movies etc. Did not do any tours this time as we had been to these islands previously. Also there was the need to tender and water was rough for me to safely get on and off the ship.Missed Jamaica due to high winds, so felt bad for my grand kids. Now the ugly! We noticed that our carpet in the cabin was very wet and reported it in the A.M. We were having room service in our cabin when maintenance knocked and asked if they could come in to check. No problem we said. They failed to mention that they were going to open a drain while we were eating!!!! Quite an odor! We quickly went outside on the balcony to finish our meal and when we went back in, they had left two very large pieces of equipment to quickly dry up the carpet. Now we all know how small these cabins are and it is next to impossible to get past the bed to begin with, so having a large fan and a dehumidifier in the ONLY walking space was quite a trick!! Also the volume of noise was unbelievable!!!!! So after we tried our best to get ready, we left the cabin for the day. They were still in place when we came back to rest and had to call maintenance to haul them away. Carpet never really dried and on the night of day 4 it happened again!! Really nasty!!! Back with the fans etc! Now on the last night of out cruise, while packing, I received a call from customer relations asking if we would please move out for the night to a cabin one flight up. Ummm, I don't think so! They then proceed to say they were concerned with our health...think MOLD.....really?? How about the last 6 days? If they had another cabin to move us to, then why didn't they? Originally said ship was at capacity. Where did the people who were in this new found cabin go? Did they leave them on last port? Were they sleeping on the pool deck? Did they jump ship? Made no sense and so declined. What they really wanted was to run those fans all night to cover up the wet carpet for the oncoming next day guest!!!! Well good luck with that as they never did find the problem. For a week of soggy carpet the generously compensated us $100 Probably not nearly enough to cover one of the medical tests we may need for mold disease!!!!! All in all it was a good cruise if you eliminate the carpet stuff and our inability to stop in Jamaica. Nothing is perfect. When dealing with 4,000+ passengers you must expect some blips, so get over most of these issues. Again, special thanks to our room steward, Rosalie!!!!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Eight members in our extended family signed up for Norwegian's West Caribbean Christmas cruise aboard the Epic. It was epic all right. Epic crowds. Epic lines. Epic waits. Epic disappointment. But not everywhere. You could ... Read More
Eight members in our extended family signed up for Norwegian's West Caribbean Christmas cruise aboard the Epic. It was epic all right. Epic crowds. Epic lines. Epic waits. Epic disappointment. But not everywhere. You could always find a chair in the towel folding workshop in the Atrium. The best experience was the Cirque Dreams dinner show. The "incredible" adjective is incredibly overused. So forgive me when I say the performance was incredible as were the performers and the dinner. By the time it was over, I was both exhausted and exhilarated by the fast paced show and feats of the performers. And we saw it all while we chowed down at ringside. We spent about an hour at the dueling pianos program. It was entertaining and fun for awhile. But after awhile, it became cliched with music from the last century. Everywhere i went in the ship, it seemed some performer was singing "What's Love Got To Do With It." Hey, boat folks, Surprise! We're in the 21st Century. Mac 'N Cheese, two performers tucked away near a bar on the 7th deck, sang music from the 21st century. Really nice modern selections and they had following at the bar; but they didn't have a dance floor. Too bad. In fact i never could find a dance floor with music of at less than 115 beats per minute. There was a place for bump and grind; but, if that stage in your life has passed you by, too bad. I wasted precious suitcase space in packing a pair of dance shoes. Excursions were too often an exercise in frustration getting on and off the boat and on and off buses and/or ferries. Visiting the Tulum Mayan ruins would have been a fascinating experience had we had any time to spend there. But by the time we got there we had to march like Sherman through Georgia in order to catch our bus back to the ferry that would take us back to the boat. At three of our four destinations, we made it to terra firma. That wasn't the case with Jamaica. We were supposed to spend a day at Falmouth. But the captain decided the boat was too big and the harbor to exposed on the windy day we arrived. And, well, he would have liked to have taken us to Montego Bay, but another ship was already there. So we got to bob around on the sea for the day. Whoopee! My contact who was waiting for me at Falmouth said the water calmed shortly after we fled. Ouch! The captain said he would try to make it up to us. He must be still trying because I'm still waiting. Looking back, our first stop at Norwegian's private island, Great Stirrup Cay, in the Bahamas, was manageable and the most leisurely. For the fun in the sun and sand people, I think it met their expectations. I'm not one of them. So I tried to find the nature trail. No luck. All I found were signs that said construction was under way and thou shalt not pass. Eventually, a staff member took pity on me and pointed me in a direction that allowed me to do some birding amid some very large construction related semi-trailers. A couple in our group went on an eco-excursion boat trip and said it was quite interesting. The moveable feedlot followed us off the ship and onto the island and provided a pretty nice picnic--if you are in to hot dogs and burgers, and I am. Our midship balcony cabin looked small from the online photos, but it had surprising, if not ingenious, storage space. So that really helped. And while too short for some in our group, the mattress and the rocking of the ship rewarded me with some great sleep nights. But the electrical wiring was, like, "What were they thinking?" The only outlets were under a low shelf near the sink opposite the bed. So if you wanted to plug your phone in near your pillow and/or your ipad or your cpap machine, you had to string an extension cord across the floor through the room's only passageway and be very careful that you didn't trip on it if you got out of bed at night. Some staff were friendly and helpful. Some were indifferent or lacked first-hand information. Most were just plain busy managing 4,000 or so passengers. At this point I'm going to draw a distinction. Members in my family who had never cruised before were disappointed by the Epic's epic congestion. But we made the most of it, playing some really fun games that my son had brought along. And the long waits at the dinner table between courses were in good company and that made all the difference. Perhaps, some day our family will go another cruise, but you can be pretty sure, it won't be on the Epic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
I wanted to LOVE this cruise for so many reasons, and we did.... with the exception of the staff who were GRUMPY the entire time we were there for our "Happy Vacation!" Positive- *Check-in was a breeze *Ship is perfect ... Read More
I wanted to LOVE this cruise for so many reasons, and we did.... with the exception of the staff who were GRUMPY the entire time we were there for our "Happy Vacation!" Positive- *Check-in was a breeze *Ship is perfect for families- The Family Balcony room had great storage for a family of 4. *The slides, entertainment and Splash Academy were all fantastic. -Dueling piano Bars were Great! Negative- The STAFF! I barely saw a smile throughout the whole ship for any days that we were there! *Super long lines at the pool bar, with unfriendly bartenders. *If you were not standing in a certain "station" at the bar, they would not serve you, even if they weren't helping someone. *In 7 days, only two people actually asked us if we wanted a drink. (Not smiling) *The food was "okay." *Our room attendant barely said hello *I would say "good morning" without a response from team members! *It wasn't a surprise to walk by someone and not be greeted. 6 nights of dinners, and we only had ONE outstanding waiter. That was Alfredo at Taste! Additionally, the ONLY friendly bartender I found was Aarron V! He was the only one I saw smiling the whole week and would go back to his line because I knew he would happily take care of us. No one else would. I honestly feel that Aaron and Alfredo should be placed on better staff, because the rest of the team is bringing them down. At the end of the day, this could be an absolute AMAZING ship if they started with a brand new staff. If they had the same team as Royal Caribbean, we would go on this ship over and over and over, but unfortunately, I don't ever want to spend 7 days of my vacation with a whole bunch of grumpy people again! This would be a great place for families, if your truly don't care about the service- but if you do, I'd choose far, far, far away from Epic! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Having never sailed on the Epic before I was quite a bit worried reading all the November reviews that seemed overall negative. I can let you know we were very impressed! This is a bit of a departure from the freestyle cruising with NCL ... Read More
Having never sailed on the Epic before I was quite a bit worried reading all the November reviews that seemed overall negative. I can let you know we were very impressed! This is a bit of a departure from the freestyle cruising with NCL that we are used to. You do need to make some reservations or risk being disappointed when you don't get into the show or have the seat location that you want. Thankfully my wife booked what we wanted to see in advance and prepaid everything. This was also different from in the past and we will prepay everything in the future. It eliminates the small surcharges that always seem to add up during the cruise and put a damper on things. This time we walked off the cruise with only the following expenses: dinner, cruise next deposit, some gift shop purchases, and a bottle of wine that we enjoyed. We stayed in a balcony cabin on the 13th deck, mid ship. With so much to do we barely stayed out there. This is quite different from previous cruises where we congregate on the balcony for hours a day, reading, relaxing, and viewing the passing water... With so much going on the Epic we always found something to do. One of my favorite things is to be served breakfast in the main dining room as we recap the previous days activities and plan our current day. This never happened because the food in the buffet was so delicious. I have never wanted to go to the buffet more so than on this cruise. We also indulged in Cagney's (worth EVERY penny of the $60 we paid) one night, Shanghai, and once in The Manhattan Room, otherwise you could find us at the buffet. We have been to all the ports before and chose to do some different excursions. More sight seeing than activity as in the past. This was a fun departure from the norm and lead to a relaxing experience. We did swim with the stingrays in Cozumel and of course snorkeled all day before laying out on the beach at Great Stirup Cay. I'm not sure why there seems to be a rash of negative reviews. You do have to do a little more planning, there are a lot more people on board which means you have to arrive early, and when the weather is not ideal outside the inside activities become slammed! Other than that we were still able to do everything we wanted to do this cruise. Yes the elevators are crowded and sometimes you have to wait one or two cycles to find an empty one. We both are able to take the stairs so that is what we did when we could. Not always ideal but sometimes just walking up or down a flight of stairs can improve your chances of getting in the elevator. Large groups should be prepared to be split up though and meet at their location. Service was excellence. We did notice a lot more of the officers (I assume as they were in the white coats) not as friendly as in the past. Our room staff (Putu) was amazing and while we are not high maintenance, he knew our names and we always had a short chat as we passed each other. At first I didn't think I would like the big ship, then as the excitement built and I was reading Cruise Critic I saw the negative reviews and this began to confirm my initial impression. Not one to let the situation dictate my enjoyment level, I hit the bar on the first day and made the cruise what I wanted it to be. Not only did I enjoy the larger crowds, they made everything else more enjoyable. Howl and the Moon would have been a bore had it not been for the 100 plus that filled it and sang along each night. I have been on many other cruises that have 20-30 people in the bar after dinner and within an hour there are only 5. So yes the crowds were not always ideal, but they increased the excitement of the events. We enjoyed this cruise and ship so much that we have already booked our next sailing on the same ship. Knowing what we now know will only make the next time easier! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
Expectation were high for this cruise line because from what I had heard, it was the best. This was a last minute cruise before Christmas so cabin was a small inside cabin(128 sq ft) but doable. It had a very small shower. Every ... Read More
Expectation were high for this cruise line because from what I had heard, it was the best. This was a last minute cruise before Christmas so cabin was a small inside cabin(128 sq ft) but doable. It had a very small shower. Every veritcle surface in this cabin need to be cleaned. GROSS. My biggest complaint about this cruise was the food. We tried several locations to eat and found the same problem no matter where we ate, THE FOOD WAS NOT HOT. In some cases it was stone cold. I for the life of me do not understand this. We did ask a couple of times for food to be remade with no improvement. The made desserts were TERRIBLE so we ate fruit (which most of it was not ripe). This ship is HUGE, almost too big with lots of people. Our cruise has a crazy amount of kids. I don't mind kids I just wish the parents were better parents. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My sister and I cruised on the Norwegian Epic on Dec. 17-23, 2016 leaving out of Port Canaveral. The ship was beautiful and so big. Th Epic was the biggest ship in port. We visited three ports (Great Stirrup Cay, Georgetown, Grand ... Read More
My sister and I cruised on the Norwegian Epic on Dec. 17-23, 2016 leaving out of Port Canaveral. The ship was beautiful and so big. Th Epic was the biggest ship in port. We visited three ports (Great Stirrup Cay, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. Had a great time in all three ports. The cabin was very nice. We had a mini suite and was very surprised by the amount of storage space in the cabin. We liked the bathroom setup. One of us could shower while the other was brushing their teeth, etc. It did not bother us that the bathroom was in the "room. The beds were a little hard but still comfortable. The only issue we had with the bed was there was no room to separate the bed into 2 twin beds. The food on the ship was very good. There are two main dining rooms,The Taste and The Manhattan room. Both served the same menus. The menu was limited and if you wanted something else like steak and lobster there was an up charge for this. I did not like paying extra for certain dishes on the menu. I felt like this was a way to "nickel and dime" your customers. We've already paid for the cruise so shouldn't have to pay extra for certain foods. I've cruised on Carnival and Celebrity lines and never had to pay extra for steak and lobster. Perhaps Norwegian should rethink this. The Garden Cafe was also very nice and the food was also very good. The garden cafe is very huge and we had no problem finding a place to sit and eat even though the ship seemed to be full to capacity. There is also several other areas to eat included in your cruise fare such as O'Shehans which is a bar type restaurant that served soups, wings and sandwiches. The food here was also very good. Lots of entertainment on this ship. Only draw back was that we had to make reservations to see shows if the show was free or not. By the time we figured this out all shows were booked so we didn't see any show as the venues are quite small and only hold a limited amount of people. Service on the ship was very good. The wait staff in all of the eating areas were very friendly and engaged in conversation with their patrons. By far the Norwegian line was the best cruise line we've cruised on. While there were children on board, there was not a whole lot of children running around which made the experience very enjoyable. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Well, I have to say that I was a bit worried before we got on the ship. I had read so many bad reviews about the crew and ship. However, I boarded the ship with no expectations. My wife and I were very happy with the overall ... Read More
Well, I have to say that I was a bit worried before we got on the ship. I had read so many bad reviews about the crew and ship. However, I boarded the ship with no expectations. My wife and I were very happy with the overall experience. Were there hiccups and minor problems, sure. But, we easily overlook these items. We were on vacation. Why should we let things bother us. The crew was fantastic, the cleanliness of the ship was great. Any problems that I read about earlier had all been resolved. Yes, the stateroom (mid-ship balcony) was a bit strange, but it was functional. The food was good, the entertainment exceptional. The one thing I would like to say is about the other guests. It was very surprising to us that we saw many guests getting bent out of shape over the smallest problems (waiting in line an extra 5 minutes, etc.). We chalked it up to those that just want to complain about anything. I have to mention the bar staff at the Atrium Cafe' bar. Nur, Siti, and the rest were all fantastic. They always had a friendly smile and really looked like they were having a good time interacting with the passengers. Read Less
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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