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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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We choose this cruise to board the Oasis of the Seas for the first time. My wife and I went as we normally do, by ourselves. We are in our late 60's but we dance, have fun and use the pools, jog, run and eat. Embarkation was smooth ... Read More
We choose this cruise to board the Oasis of the Seas for the first time. My wife and I went as we normally do, by ourselves. We are in our late 60's but we dance, have fun and use the pools, jog, run and eat. Embarkation was smooth and fast, very organized. Debarkation was even faster, about 10 minutes to exit the terminal from start to finish, could not believe it. This ship is very large yet it was very easy to navigate all areas. The key is to use the promenade (deck 5). Elevators are at both ends and quite a few they are. Remember that in many areas the food is free even if it looks expensive. Park Central (deck 8), just a great place to spend time to relax, get a great roast beef sandwich, fruit cups, salads and excellent soups. The Solarium was another spot to eat. But the Windjammer is the venue for eating most of the time. On deck 5 is the promenade and the jogging track. Go past the Boardwalk (here is the carousel) and the Aqua Theater. The promenade is the center of everything, from bars to music to 24hrs cafe, pizza. At Sorrentos they serve pizza with all the ingredients you want added, The entertainment was fabulous. Many typical activities and there's the Grand Parade with the Dreamworks animated characters. The food was the highlight since Royal Caribbean has greatly improved their menu, especially breakfast. Quality, presentation, and taste was simply great. Service better than ever. Royal Caribbean has taken suggestions and made changes and the results are evident, just an exceptional cruise. Before boarding and during your online checkin, make sure you try and get as many shows as you can in accordance with your dining schedule. If you find out taht some shows are full, do not worry, when you board just go to desk services and they will complete it for you, as we had to do. The folks are very very nice. On this cruise we had MyTime Dining table for two every night. The food was simply very good and service second to none. Our cabin was 7437 interior, roomy and very clean always. The public restrooms are very clean. All in all this was worth every penny and we will book another cruise soon. We have been on all the major cruise lines but we will return with Royal Caribbean. One last thing, do go to the Art Auctions. You will get a free artwork and an education about this fascinating world of Art. You do not have to buy anything but you will see great works of art and get to know a staff of friendly, knowledgeable persons that will answer any and all your questions. Oasis of the Seas is a great value. For 99.99% of the time, it felt like being on land, that's how smooth it travels over the seas. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We have cruised many cruises and wanted to try one of the mega ships so we booked the Oasis of the Seas. We had a balcony room mid ship on the 8th floor. The entry to the ship went very smoothly and the port staff was very friendly. The ... Read More
We have cruised many cruises and wanted to try one of the mega ships so we booked the Oasis of the Seas. We had a balcony room mid ship on the 8th floor. The entry to the ship went very smoothly and the port staff was very friendly. The ship appeared very clean, some areas of the ship needed updating like the carpet in the cabins was worn and stained We ate in the Salarium Grill upon entering the ship, food was ok and this was one of few places on the ship not too busy. The windjammer was packed no seats available and the food didn't even look good. The food was very disappointing over all for the entire week. For some reason they had a problem where they can't serve the hot food hot it was always luke warm at best. It seemed like the ship was making the food pretty bad to push the specialty restaurants. We tried the Chops Steakhouse on Tuesday Night and the food was pretty good until it came to dessert. After paying $42.00 a person for the specialty experience you expect some great food. Well the steak was good, most sides were pretty good the dessert was just plain awful. The title of the one was a warm cooking plate and instead we got 3 old dried up cookies nothing warm about them. The next dessert we tried was Red Velvet Cake it looked good but it was dry with a horrible taste. Supposed to have cream cheese frosting and it tasted bad. Tables around us ordered similar desserts and all of them looked like ours and were not eaten and returned to the kitchen with 2 or 3 bites taken out of them. The Ship has many activities to do on the ship, the shows were good but organization was a serious issue. They scheduled a trivia session in the Schooners Bar and nobody could hear what the host was saying because they had music blasting in the Promenade that was so loud that nobody could hear what the host was trying to ask. This was a problem numerous times with other events. The problem was a common problem but the cruise director did nothing to reschedule the event in a less chaotic place on the ship. Biggest disappointment was food for sure..... Steve Smith, Knoxville TN 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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was my 23rd cruise (cruised 10 other times on other lines) with Royal Caribbean which was always my favorite line. However, I am sorry I decided to take a Mega ship this year and because of our experience, I will never take another ... Read More
This was my 23rd cruise (cruised 10 other times on other lines) with Royal Caribbean which was always my favorite line. However, I am sorry I decided to take a Mega ship this year and because of our experience, I will never take another Mega ship again. The Oasis of the Seas was a fabulous ship, no doubt, but a number of things that Royal Caribbean has been known for suffered because of the masses of people who had to be serviced. Embarkation was a nightmare, which was a continuation of our terrible airport checkin. It used to be that once your bags were on the plane, you never saw them again until they were delivered in front of your cabin on the ship. Imagine our shock when we had to haul our bags through the airport, searching for someone to ask where we should go. We were never told by our Royal Caribbean agent that this would happen at the airport so we were shocked and incredibly disappointed, not to mention exhausted by the time we boarded the ship. Our cabin was comfortable and clean. However, this was the worse food I'd ever eaten on ANY Royal Caribbean ship. It was more like what prisoners call "grub". This was true in both the dining room and the Windjammer. The best things to eat were the rolls and butter and desserts. You often didn't know what the food was in the Windjammer, ugh. There were many foreign dishes which needed and English translation so we'd know what we were eating. Fortunately, service was excellent in our cabin, dining room and Windjammer. It is obvious that Royal is changing it's focus to younger, less discerning passengers who could care less about quality, taste and presentation of their meals. That is so sad but I guess there are just way too many people to care about ambiance and quality. When I spend that much money, I want quality. I can eat tough prime rib, tiny lobsters the size of prawns, and stew at home. Royal Caribbean might find that they are losing many of their seasoned cruisers to the younger, less experienced, less demanding passenger and because of this, they will quickly find themselves on the level with Carnival Cruise Lines. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
After reading several reviews of the Magic we weren't expecting a lot from our cruise. That turned out to not be the case. We found the staff on the Magic to be great. Food was okay, actually real good at times. Entertainment okay. ... Read More
After reading several reviews of the Magic we weren't expecting a lot from our cruise. That turned out to not be the case. We found the staff on the Magic to be great. Food was okay, actually real good at times. Entertainment okay. Our dining wait staff was wonderful. We've always found that the more fun you have with the staff the more fun you'll have in general. Lines for food weren't bad, after all you're sailing with 4,000 of you're best friends. Guys burgers and BBQ were great. Did the Italian restaurant and found it okay. Nothing over the top special. Heard the steakhouse was great. Disappointed in how some people dressed in the dining room. Almost seemed like they were pushing it to see if they wouldn't be seated because of what they were wearing. I'm sure it's tough for the cruise line to push this issue. This was our fourth cruise with Carnival and have done six with Disney. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We choose the ship because of curiosity. We found plenty of things t do, but the constant sales pitches that were ongoing on the promenade was relentless, and not open late or when at a port. The food was delicious but no ... Read More
We choose the ship because of curiosity. We found plenty of things t do, but the constant sales pitches that were ongoing on the promenade was relentless, and not open late or when at a port. The food was delicious but no "midnight buffet". Places to eat closed early and the little places that were available were horrible. Sorrentos pizza tasted like cardboard with melted cheese. Promenade cafe offered little sandwiches that had 1 slim piece of meat. We ordered two and combined them to make one decent sandwich. My wife had one server tell her that if she wanted orange juice with her breakfast she would have to wait till 1130 am as they were closed. Their hours were open till 1100 am, according to our watch it was 1054 am. If you want to go on this ship and don't mind adjusting you time to fit their schedule then you might enjoy the cruise, but my wife and I will not be returning to this ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
we had a good time in spite of some disapointing field trips. The service was excellent on board. our Interior room was larger than any other curise we have been on. The off boat trips were disapointing. The snuba was a wonderful ... Read More
we had a good time in spite of some disapointing field trips. The service was excellent on board. our Interior room was larger than any other curise we have been on. The off boat trips were disapointing. The snuba was a wonderful experence but the history tours were disapointing. The shows were outstanding. Cats was a wonderful show and the actors did a great job. The aqua shows were exciting and fun the divers were exciting to watch. The casino was fun with friendly dealers. Overall the ship is beautiful with something for everyone. There were many families on board and all were having a good time. We appreiciated the football games were at the On Air. Even a water leak in out cabin was handled well. but a day without water was a great inconvience. The food in the Windjamer was average but the food in the dining hall was very good. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
This was a family Christmas trip. My husband requires an ADA room and the cabin was fabulous (6636). Plenty of room for his mobility scooter and the bathroom--super. Great balcony. The dining in the main dining room (Silk) was great every ... Read More
This was a family Christmas trip. My husband requires an ADA room and the cabin was fabulous (6636). Plenty of room for his mobility scooter and the bathroom--super. Great balcony. The dining in the main dining room (Silk) was great every night we were there. Vintages is a fantastic place for wine and tapas---hardly ever crowded. Chef's Table--wow, the food and wine pairings were unreal!! (But you take a chance on who your dining companions might be--in our case, not fun people but the food and wine made up for it!) Schooner Bar is the best bar on the ship--wait staff learns your name immediately and remembers your usual drinks. They are fantastic--if you see Cory Sawyer or Lonnis or Michael Suah--you know you are in for super service. If you port in Cozumel, DO NOT DO THE SALSA and SALSA excursion! It was a waste of money. We were late leaving, the tour guide (aka a chef aka a salsa dancer aka a taxi getter) does not tell you anything. The place is not air conditioned so if it is warm, you will melt! Jamaica--do not do the shopping excursion--many hours of driving around without really stopping to see anything. Entertainment was not as good on this cruise as our last one. The Headliner show was just okay and it seemed like some of the other shows had lost their quality. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Our friends suggested we join them as our Christmas gift to each other. Being retired and love to cruise we booked for this eight day cruise. Our cabin was a superior outside balcony and provided much enjoyment for relaxing and reading. ... Read More
Our friends suggested we join them as our Christmas gift to each other. Being retired and love to cruise we booked for this eight day cruise. Our cabin was a superior outside balcony and provided much enjoyment for relaxing and reading. The main dining room meals were very nice and adequate. Several specials were suggested each night. The one night at Chops was nice, but I felt it didn't warrant the $40 per person extra charge. The shows were very good. The ice show and Come Fly with Me show were spectacular. The ship is enormous with 6400 passengers, but there was enough space that I didn't feel crowded. There were enough chairs, pools and hot tubs to accommodate the passenger needs. As a Diamond level member we received special perks and the Diamond Lounge provided a level of service above the norm. It was a nice place to go in the morning for a continental breakfast and not be crowded. I was a little disappointed that the small things like shampoo, conditioner, and moisturizer wee now eliminated from the rooms. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise for our 2 children! There were six of us (2 grandparents, my husband and I plus 2 kids- 9&11. We had a midship room with verandah! It was wonderful for us with plenty of room. We were on deck 7- highly ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our 2 children! There were six of us (2 grandparents, my husband and I plus 2 kids- 9&11. We had a midship room with verandah! It was wonderful for us with plenty of room. We were on deck 7- highly recommend the floor. We could take the steps or elevators. Comfortable and great location :) The food and entertainment were amazing. The ship was beyond clean every place you go. There is not a pool for swimming if you're larger than your average 3 year old. If you're looking for a pool to excercise or lap lanes- you will not find it here. You can sit in the pool and watch a Disney show at pretty much anytime during the day. The pirate night was awesome and priceless to see the kids watch the night show in amazement. Memories for a lifetime. We can't wait to book our next trip! 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Our children and grand kids liked to celebrated Christmas together in a cruise. So we choose Oasis of the Seas because it offers many features on board. We paid more than 4000 dollars for 8 nights including air flights and airport ... Read More
Our children and grand kids liked to celebrated Christmas together in a cruise. So we choose Oasis of the Seas because it offers many features on board. We paid more than 4000 dollars for 8 nights including air flights and airport transfer. The cruise fare was more than 400 dollars per night per person, a luxury pricing. We found out late that we had to wait for more than 4 hours at the airport for the first transfer to the ship on 10:30 am. On our return, we had to sign up for an excursion to the Kennedy Space Center during daytime to connect to an evening flight. They allowed us to cancel our airport transfer and the day-time excursion sent us to the airport afterwards. It taught us not to trust them for appropriate arrangements even with a package deal including the cruise, the air flights and the airport transfer. The Oasis of the Seas took in 6500 passengers. The check in was efficient for this large number of people but inevitably long. Ours was one and half hours but our friends spent 2 and half hours and were furious. Our luggage were mis-placed and we found them ourselves. My wife's luggage was damaged and they gave 50 dollars credit only. There were no particular celebration on either December 24 or 25. We were told of a Christmas lunch on Labadee, Haiti. This is a resort developed by Royal Caribbean. We can charge even with our ship card. It turned out to be just an ordinary BBQ. On the ship, you had to pay dearly for water, wine and specialty restaurants. 4 bottles of Evian costed 14 dollars. What is worse, the water from the faucet was not drinkable as advised by the front desk. That was confusing because the ship was equipped with water fountains in the fitness center and the running track. Both were posted with the signs asking us not to drink from the fountain. Still in the dining rooms, we were served with regular ice water. Apparently, they had portable water on the ship but they only provided for their dining rooms but not to us. We went one evening to 150 Central Park. This specialty restaurant charged us 45 dollars for a 3 course meal. This was considered over-priced since we already paid more than 400 dollars per person per day for room and board. There were no laundry room nor iron boards on the ship. Another avenue for them to get money from you. Their shows were very good. We like " Frozen in time" in particular. They also showcase Cats in a full-length production. Their staff were generally well-trained in the restaurants and guest services. Still, the pressure of making revenue was everywhere. We were at a wine-tasting event. At the end of tasting, they offered bottles of wines at deep discount for us to take back. My friend was ready to pay 50 dollars for two bottles. When he was ready to sign the pay slip, he found a charge of 18% gratuity in addition. I showed them my pay slip which did not post the 18% gratuity. My friend ended up not buying. Afterwards, I found in the review of my account that they added the 18% gratuity. They credited me back on that gratuity after my complaints. That wine clerk should be fired as this was cheating clearly. I enjoyed the cruise of the Oasis of the Seas. The charge of more than 400 dollars per person per night was way too expensive even during the peak holiday season. It really should be priced around 150 dollars per person per night. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise to escape for the Christmas holiday. My family consists of 2 adults, 1 16 yo and 12 yo. who wont use the teen club. We loved the size of the ship and participated in LOTS of trivia at the Schooner Bar which gets very ... Read More
We chose this cruise to escape for the Christmas holiday. My family consists of 2 adults, 1 16 yo and 12 yo. who wont use the teen club. We loved the size of the ship and participated in LOTS of trivia at the Schooner Bar which gets very crowded! We didnt end up seeing a lot of the shows but really enjoyed Oasis of Dreams. My husband didnt want to "dress" for the dining room so we ate in Windjammer the first 5 nights. I was getting pretty tired of the same buffet offerings and after we ate on night 5, we realized it was lobster night. My 12 year old was dying for lobster so I ran him down to the 8:00 seating (even though we had main) and they not only accommodated him but gave him 6 lobster tails! Then they sent him on his way with a dozen chocolate chip cookies to go! After that we went into the dining room each night and my husband wore shorts. All of the staff were awesome. Our room was great. I booked all of our excursions privately and they were all excellent. Highly recommend the bungalow on Labadee (cheaper than the cabana). "Christmas" was not "in your face" but there were tree, decorations, caroling, Hanukkah candle lightings and gifts for the kids. Decks were crowded on sea days as usual and closed our last day due to wind. LOVED Central park neighborhood. We were close to Boardwalk and Schooner Bar and for us it was the perfect location. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
A ship twice the displacement of the carrier Nimitz was worth exploring. The largest cruise ship which will be surpassed by the Harmony of the Seas by ONE foot. We really wanted to explore this craft and compare it to the other ships we ... Read More
A ship twice the displacement of the carrier Nimitz was worth exploring. The largest cruise ship which will be surpassed by the Harmony of the Seas by ONE foot. We really wanted to explore this craft and compare it to the other ships we have sailed. We did and decided that smaller is better for us octogenarians, however, if we take the teenage grandchildren as we did on the Brilliance last July in the Med. the Oasis would be the preferred choice. The best time to appreciate the ship is when most passengers are off on excursions or port visits. The ship is almost devoid of passengers! Central Park is empty, the Boardwalk is quiet and you can walk the Royal Promenade without feeling you are at a county fair. The Solarium area was appreciated most and was often the quietest spot to be found, super comfortable seating.spas and pools were not our thing. Although we are whale watch volunteers the whales in the pools were beyond us and the bikinis on some of the whales were really too much too bear. Far better to watch the kids on the TWO rock climbing walls or those in the TWO flow rider pools. Really, a huge recreation area, including mini golf and shuffle board. Entertainment was good but busy, Cats was over 2 h and after the intermission, half of the balcony occupants left! Was it that bad, YES. The second hour was a great improvement, thank god for that. Conclusion: it was worth the experience. If you decide to go please do a little research, you'll enjoy this mammoth a lot more. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My Family and I took our first Holiday cruise and loved it. The staff and ship were amazing as well as the ports of calls and all the activities lined up for us. We would definitely do it again. Royal Caribbean is the only cruise line ... Read More
My Family and I took our first Holiday cruise and loved it. The staff and ship were amazing as well as the ports of calls and all the activities lined up for us. We would definitely do it again. Royal Caribbean is the only cruise line that we will sail with, and they once again reminded me why we continuously sail with them. There were many activities to keep us all busy, and the staff was amazing and always participating. The ports of call were great. Lots of activities for me and the kids. The staff was great doing the many excursions we decided to do. The dining hall was fantastic and the service was beyond expectation. The staff very quickly learned what your likes/dislikes were and made sure to take very good care of you. All in all, it was an amazing time, and we are sad that it had to end. Will definitely do it again next year. Read Less

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