22 Orlando (Port Canaveral) to Caribbean - Western Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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
Sail Date January 2017
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Sail Date December 2016
This was our third cruise this year, and we took it solely because we got a good deal. Getting to the port proved to be a chore, because there were four ships all loading at the same terminal side, but once we got into the area, boarding ... Read More
This was our third cruise this year, and we took it solely because we got a good deal. Getting to the port proved to be a chore, because there were four ships all loading at the same terminal side, but once we got into the area, boarding was fairly quick and painless. We were allowed into our cabin immediately (possibly because it took so long to get to the port -- we didn't board until after 2pm.) I appreciated that the muster drill was held in the casino, rather than crowded onto the decks, like we've experienced before. Starting with what we loved, the meals in the Manhattan Dining Room were excellent, accompanied by a jazz quartet that provided subtle, but mood establishing, background music. We had dinner in Taste one evening, didn't like that as much, and in the Noodle Shop, which was pretty good. Otherwise, snacks in the pub on deck 6 (good chicken wings, rest was kinda meh) and the buffet on deck 15 was okay for breakfast and lunch (the breakfast buffet, got very boring as the week wore on, always the same stuff, would have preferred some variety.) The entertainment was great, the best we've experienced at sea. Comedy club was tops, dueling pianos awesome, the shows were top notch (didn't like "Priscilla," it's not to our tastes) and Cirque Dreams and Dinner was an amazing add-on ($50/person for the premium seats, well worth it.) I'm not one for the casino, but it has to be on a par with some Las Vegas establishments -- hundreds of slots machines, and at least a dozen tables. It was kind of annoying that you often had to walk through it to get from place to place, because it's not non-smoking, but there are other ways to get around. The Cavern Club was great and the Epic Beatles were outstanding. Can't say enough for the two shows of theirs that we saw. Martini Bar was a great place to hangout and had great staff. They sponsored our Cruise Critic meet and greet, as well as the slot pull (provided some gifts,) that was very cool. We met great friends at the meet and greet, very happy that we got to do that. Now, the not so good... Stateroom -- terrible, see below Bar staff -- there were a couple bars that were good, but service, in general, was very slow. The bar outside of the Manhattan Room was particularly bad Television -- the "sports pub" had two tvs that pretty much placed soccer 24/7. That's okay with me, but I know that there were those who were disappointed that Monday Night Football, for example, wasn't available on the ship. In the cabin, you had four channels (FoxNews, MSNBC, BBC News and Sports 24/7) in addition to the cruise line info channels and one movie channel (showing random films, it wasn't HBO or something similar.) Atmosphere -- there was definitely an "upsell" feel to the place, that NCL constantly had their hand out for one thing or another, from future cruise deposits to pull tabs to raffle tickets to... Communication -- ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. This baffles me, because you can't blame it on the ship, which is newly in Port Canaveral -- these are not "shake down" issues. Prior to the cruise, we received no information about what terminal to report to. During the cruise, you are required to make reservations for shows and dinners and stuff, but there is no way to see what you've reserved without going to the customer service desk and having them print it out for you. At Grand Cayman, our excursion brought us back to port with 15 minutes to spare, only to find half the ship, literally, about 2,000 people, ahead of us in like to get on the tender. We waited in the sun for almost an hour to get on and, apart from an NCL officer walking through the queue once (probably trying to figure out how long it was going to take to get everyone on board) and a guy handing out cool towels thirty feet ahead of the tender loading area, no one came to check on the passengers, many of who were older, to hand out water, assure people they'd get on, etc. We were basically ignored. Finally, on disembarkation day, we had, literally, no idea what the process was. No one delivered luggage tags, we'd been given customs forms, but absolutely nothing else about the process. I turned on the tv at 7am to see if there was something about it, and there was a channel with some info, but nothing about what deck to go to if you were going to carry your stuff off (which we had to do, lacking luggage tags.) We wound up asking a fellow passenger at the elevators (get off on deck 7.) On the whole, we will likely give Norwegian another try -- the food and entertainment are powerful enough draws -- but would never go on the Epic again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First off, I may not be as experienced as some of the other reviewers and I wouldn't consider myself high maintenance. I personally believe each cruise line has positives and negatives and that you can have a good time based on your ... Read More
First off, I may not be as experienced as some of the other reviewers and I wouldn't consider myself high maintenance. I personally believe each cruise line has positives and negatives and that you can have a good time based on your needs on pretty much anyone but one may be more suiting depending on your personality, party size and history. I am a 37 year old single male who loves to travel. My first cruise was in 2011 and this was my forth. All have been in the Caribbean and 7 days. I have sailed on the Carnival Glory, Carnival Victory, Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas, and The Norwegian Epic. I have sailed from Miami, San Juan, and Port Canaveral. Now onto my review. My cruise sailed out of Port Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas, Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Port Canaveral is probably the busiest port in the US. There were about 6 different ships that boarded the day we left. Despite the size, I found embarkation to be efficient and I had no issues. In fact, my luggage was even delivered to my room prior to 5pm which was a first in my experience. I had an inside cabin which many may complain about the design. Mainly the toilet being separate from the shower and the sink being separate from both. For me being a solo traveler, It was different but a non issue. Service to the cabins was done well, however this was the first time I was not introduced to the cabin steward. I commend the staff on the ship, great attitude, personality, and service. Especially due to the large capacity of customers which can only lead to even more complaints justifiable and non justifiable. The ship had great activities, a little bit of something for everyone. I enjoyed using the gym, having multiple free and specialty options for dinner, and even a separate "barbershop" for mens grooming services. The cirque dinner theatre show was wonderful and although it had a fee of $47 for premium seating, it was worth it. The clubs, pool parties, bowling, sports bar, howl at the moon and shows like burn the floor, comedy, and a magician provided a nice variety along with the typical art auction and games that you would find on most ships. The all white deck party was a highlight. Although the ship is huge, I chose to use the steps so that I wouldn't have to wait for elevators. Be aware that due to the size of the ship, many activities require reservations. Some can be made online prior to arrival, at the box office, or even on the room tv. I found the food to be good but not great. I didn't dine at the specialty restaurants because there were adequate other options and I was solo and often wanted to eat alone. This ship has solo cabins for others like me that want an affordable trip without needing to have a cabin mate. They also have optional solo guest gatherings in the solo lounge daily. If you like to be active, are mobile, youthful and energetic, I think the Epic could be a good time. Last but not least, the Free at Sea promotion put this cruise over the top for me. I basically only paid gratuities and had a drink package a.k.a. open bar for an entire week. Incredible savings for even a social drinker. I found that I was a little more social than usual thanks to the drink package. Some travelers that prefer smaller ships with more intimate service may not enjoy this . The haven cabins provide a more luxurious experience for those if they care to try it. But for my demographic and preferences, I will definitely do NCL again. I'm already booked for next December. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Won it from casino. The ship was the absolute worst we were ever on. The food was the same in all dining rooms. The service was slow and inattentive. They never offered to get drinks or see how you were doing in buffet areas. The freestyle ... Read More
Won it from casino. The ship was the absolute worst we were ever on. The food was the same in all dining rooms. The service was slow and inattentive. They never offered to get drinks or see how you were doing in buffet areas. The freestyle dining was not nearly as good as on other cruise lines. The menu was very limited and the service was lacking. Our stateroom was never made up until at lease 2pm. We had the drink package and rarely saw a person to get drinks. Usually had to go to bar to get ourselves. They charged extra for everything. Gym amenities were non existent. This was our 11th cruise and first on Norwegian which we will never go on again. There was limited seating at all shows, you had to book ahead of time to even get in to see a show. Thee were not nearly enough crew to service the guests. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I should have taken a cue from the long lines we stood in to even get checked in and onto the ship. My 2 daughters and I had a mini balcony suite (with emphasis on mini). It was tiny. I cannot imagine what the interior staterooms ... Read More
I should have taken a cue from the long lines we stood in to even get checked in and onto the ship. My 2 daughters and I had a mini balcony suite (with emphasis on mini). It was tiny. I cannot imagine what the interior staterooms were like. Whomever designed those rooms should be stripped of whatever title they hold. The bathroom is right in the room with only a smoked glass rounded-shaped slider to put into place to use the toilet and another one to use the shower. They are about the size of the facilities in an RV. There is absolutely no privacy since you can certainly see (and hear) the person inside through the glass and see when they stand, sit or whatever. Ours had a curtain, but other people told me they did not even have that. There is barely room to walk in the cabin....tiny, tiny, tiny. This is a huge ship and with the tiny rooms it holds a lot of people, but does not have enough elevators to accommodate them, so expect a long wait time. You cannot even take sealed bottled water on-board unless you have a "written" statement from your doctor. If you want water, you must purchase it on-board for the low price of $7.95 per bottle or $26.95 for HALF a case (that's 6 bottles, mind you). The very first night on-board we asked our cabin steward for coffee packets (there was a coffee maker which made one cup at a time in the room, but no coffee). He informed us that they were out of coffee packs but we could order room service coffee at no charge. When I called, they said room service coffee was $9.95 (after breakfast) and we could only get complimentary coffee in the morning. Next morning I was on hold for 35 minutes and was told it would be 30 to 45 minutes wait and $7.95. We told them it was supposed to be complimentary because we had no coffee in the room. We had to hold again until they could confirm that. Our cabin steward was great and did everything possible to make our stay enjoyable. He was always at our beck and call and was always friendly. The staff on the common areas were not nearly so friendly. I have been on cruises where EVERY staff person ALWAYS spoke. No so on this cruise; most of those "in charge" did not even appear to notice us guests. Another thing, it was my understanding that if you dined in the complementary dining rooms, you could order anything on the menu....not so anymore. The "better" entrees now have a hefty up-charge. And, there are more up-charge restaurants than complementary ones. We bought the 3 meal up-charge package and I must say the three up-charge restaurants we chose (Cagneys, LeBistro, & Moderno Chiaroscuro) were excellent. I am not a prude and go to NY and Atlanta to see Broadway shows. However, the show in their big theater, "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," was so vulgar and offensive we could not sit through it and got up and left. Why a cruise line would book that kind of show for a cruise (other than gay men) is beyond me. However, the show "Burn the Floor" was exciting and well done by a talented cast. We thoroughly enjoyed it. This was my first cruise with Norwegian and it may very well be my last. If their other ships are like the Epic, I am not interested in sailing with this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Ala in all we a a great time, but the ship, the balcony cabin we had was nice, and had a lot of storage area. The food and service was a BIG disappointment compared to other cruises I've been on. Long waits (up to an hour and a half ... Read More
Ala in all we a a great time, but the ship, the balcony cabin we had was nice, and had a lot of storage area. The food and service was a BIG disappointment compared to other cruises I've been on. Long waits (up to an hour and a half to get your food once crdered, and the food was not good at all. I did not finish a single meal. And don't get me started on the bread. Any of the bread served, from bus to table bread was old and stale, it just crumbled under a butter knife. Tendering to the islands needs fixed. They only had 3 tenders, and the process to get of the ship had to be booked. I only have a few hours on Grand Cayman due to this. Outside of the poor food, service and processes to get off at the ports, we did have a great time. We met many wonderful people onboard. The shows that we were able to get tickets for were great, and they played a lot of fun games at various times of the day. The ports of call are OK, eastern Carrie Ian is nickers, but the private island was surprisingly nice. Food and beverages are all included while on the island. The only drawback was getting on and off the ship, heard again, have 3 tenders for 4100 people is no where near enough. The off and on boarding was terrible. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have cruised with another line mostly and decided to give Norwegian a try for the first time. We are in our early 40's with no children. Embarkation was the craziest we have ever seen before. We parked at a shuttle lot and sat ... Read More
We have cruised with another line mostly and decided to give Norwegian a try for the first time. We are in our early 40's with no children. Embarkation was the craziest we have ever seen before. We parked at a shuttle lot and sat on the shuttle for 45 minutes due to a back log of traffic. Then we waited in the terminal in line for another 2 hours. This was the worst process I have seen and it really needs to be fixed. Ship has nice decor and it is easy to maneuver around. Had a balcony cabin. Loved the sliding balcony door as there were no slamming noises like we were used to on other cruises. Our room steward was great. The design is a bit tight for two people to walk around in, but loved all the hidden storage. The separate shower and toilet areas worked well for us. Balcony is large and loungers instead of chairs would have been better. Since we had the free beverage package it was easy to get drinks, when we could get a bartender. We felt most bars were under staffed and overwhelmed. I stuck with wine as I found most of the mixed drinks really odd tasting. Enjoyed the ice bar one night and felt the drinks were nice and strong. Dining had its ups and downs. I was very disappointed that all the speciality restaurants were booked by the time we boarded. They should really set aside slots for walk up's each day. I thought "Freestyle" cruising meant no planning??!! Since that was the case we either ate at the buffet or O'Sheehans for dinner daily. Loved the wings, burgers, salads etc that we had there. The buffet had lots to choose from daily and loved the fresh salads. Was disappointed that our Thanksgiving reservation at the Manahattan room didn't happen for us. We reserved 6:30. Got in line by 6:15 and waited till 7pm and people with 6pm reservations were still not seated. So we left and had burgers at the pub instead. Disappointed room service has a fee when it is free on other cruise lines. Noodle bar was very good. Only got in once due to the limited time and availability. Entertainment was great. Loved the Cirque show, but there needs to be another meal choice besides the beef and shrimp or a veggie dish. How about a chicken one to choose from? Meal itself was ok. I loved the Burn the Floor and Priscilla Queen of the Desert show. Howl at the Moon was ok, but we have had a better experience with this elsewhere. Comedians were funny. The Spice H20 was a good place to hang out as long as we could sit on the nonsmoking side, with my allergy I could not go on the side with the bar for more than a minute. We found the casino layout odd but smoke there did not bother me. Glow party was fun the one night also. Bowling was fun and proved difficult on a moving ship. What made the whole trip on the ship for us was the Thermal spa passes. Spending time in the spa daily made my trip. The bubble pools and saunas are wonderful and the environment is relaxing. Heated stone loungers and balcony chairs made this place heaven after a long day. Fitness center is huge with tons of cardio machines, impressive. We did the Passion Island tour in Cozumel. This was a nice island and beach, but was I tired of being asked if I wanted a drink every 10 minutes even though they were included. Lunch buffet was ok. Skip the souvenirs here and get them in town. Vendors in town are pushy, but will work with you on price. In Jamaica we did the Chukka River tubing. This was a ton of fun! The roads to get there are a little rough and steep, but our driver was careful. It was raining but we still had fun. The river is a bit cold at first but the rainforest scenery makes up for it. There are some mild rapids in spots but the tour guides stay with the group. Several of us broke off and were way ahead of everyone for a while and it was so peaceful. The jerk chicken at the end is very good and worth a try. We had time for shopping near port after. We bought a beautiful paining from a very nice man. We enjoyed this port more than we thought we would. We did Grand Cayman on our own and had wished we did not by the time we were done. Traffic in Grand Cayman is crazy with 4 ships here. We took a public bus to the Dolphin place across from the turtle farm to swim with dolphins. The bus had a low almost flat tire and the driver had to stop for air. Traffic was so bad we almost did not make our time. We got there and it was like a cattle call. People all in groups into the tanks. The experience was ok, but by the end I felt really bad for the dolphin who did not want to perform anymore and they needed to call another one in from another holding pen. I never want to do that again. Turtle farm was ok, we were disappointed that they stop the snorkeling by a certain time or we would have planned our day better. Got back into town and went to Margaritaville for food. Service was slow but food good. **WARNING** If you are new to NCL, when you board the ship the first day go to your tv and go to the entertainment section to book your tender ticket(s). This was all new to us as on other lines you don't need to do this. We made ourselves board the tender with another letter since we had "L" but had to be at the dolphin place by 1:30. Had we waited we would have never made it. They never checked or asked our letter, but I would have liked to know about this process ahead of time. Great Stirrup Cay is really nice, but the tender here is a disaster. Too many people, takes too long. Again, we had letter "M" but boarded with D as it would have taken all day. Beach is nice with good snorkeling. Lunch was impressive and very good. Shopping here not so good. Crappy shirts and stuff. Debarkation was ok. We did self assist since we live in FL. Waited a while but easier than looking for our luggage in all the piles. Will we do a NCL cruise again? I am not sure. I prefer the mid sized ships, but loved the spa services available with the pass. Overall we had fun, but we are not sold on strictly cruising with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
the ship in itself is awesome. Extremely clean. all staff was very concerned with sanitation issues. "Washy washy' people all over with hand sanitizer. my cabin, which was a studio was quite adequate for my needs. I wish more ... Read More
the ship in itself is awesome. Extremely clean. all staff was very concerned with sanitation issues. "Washy washy' people all over with hand sanitizer. my cabin, which was a studio was quite adequate for my needs. I wish more cruise lines would follow suit . the food in the complementary restaurants was adequate. some meals were lukewarm. The buffet had plenty of choices and even with the number of people moved very quickly. Adequate seating. The two main shows, Burn the Floor and Pricilla were wonderful. Service was great except for my cabin steward who obviously was in training. The ports and excursions offered , on the most part, were great. Embarkation was pretty smooth except for Port Canaveral. Massive traffic jam trying to park at the port.. Jamaica , as expected, is a poor country Everyone looking to sell you something. Anything. We were told by our guide at Dunns river falls that the other guides would actually board the bus and demand their tips. Grand Cayman is beautiful! The day I went to the Tulum ruins was very hot! I am glad I did my homework and found out about the trolley for $2.00! Saved me from having heatstroke! And the best of all was my spa pass. Great place to get away from the people and the noise on. I am already looking at a southern Carribean cruise for next December on Norwegian Dawn! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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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