5 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Caribbean - Eastern Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews

Will try to be objective and make this concise. First, we are seasoned, middle aged cruisers w/ 20+ cruises logged on RCCL, Celebrity, Carnival and Princess. We had heard mixed reviews about NCL but got a good deal on a balcony cabin ... Read More
Will try to be objective and make this concise. First, we are seasoned, middle aged cruisers w/ 20+ cruises logged on RCCL, Celebrity, Carnival and Princess. We had heard mixed reviews about NCL but got a good deal on a balcony cabin ($649) and thought we'd give the line a try. First the Pros: *Cabin 8200 on the 8th floor aft had ample storage and comfortable bedding. Each guest has a reading light. Balcony size was good w/ two reg chairs and a small table. Décor was pleasant. Small fridge, hairdryer, coffee maker (!), dispensers w/ shampoo and shower gel. **Embarkation and debarkation get a big thumbs up w/ neither taking more than 20 mins. **NCL EPIC offers single cabins for solo travelers or individuals who simply want their own room (we did not see a single but think this is a great idea)! **Dining room menu is available in casual full service restaurant "Taste". **Breakfast buffet was plentiful, offering a full range of choices every morning. They even made eggs benedict on debarkation day). **Art was plentiful in the auction gallery and auctioneer & gallery director were knowledgeable and attentive. **Nice array of children's facilities--arcade, rock climbing wall, BB court, Water slides, toddler pool area, etc. **O'Sheehan's is a sports bar/grille offering bar food on one side and regular dining on the other. It is pleasant, casual and over looks a massive (20" x 30' ?) large screen in the atrium below. **First time we've seen bowling alley on a ship ($5 a game---boo). **Food was overall fair to good with a some dishes sticking in my mind as being very tasty----SF Chocolate Panna Cotta, Grilled Mahi Mahi, Crepes, Seafood Coppincino, salads and dressings, pecan sticky buns. (Would avoid the French onion soup). **Large bin for used towels storage under sink. Now the Cons: **This balcony cabin is THE SMALLEST we have ever seen. Think of a RCCL cabin that shrunk. Room was curved and a large person would have trouble walking through the room. You can sit on the bed and brush your teeth. The sink is the size of a large dinner plate. **Room was oddly designed w/ sink in the bedroom and separate stalls for shower and toilet (each had a frosted sliding door).Light switches are hidden and you must park your room card in a slot near the entrance to have working lights (hurray for the green part, boo for having to figure this out for ourselves). **Many dining tables and all deck chairs need repair and/or replacement. On sea days as always. it was hard to find an open deck chair but this was in part because many chairs were stacked, tied and not made available. **Be careful when choosing a balcony cabin. The lifeboats hang off the side of the ship and obscure the majority of balcony rooms. We like looking down at the water and many balcony rooms did not afford this view. **Service, compared to other lines, was overall lacking. $12 pp, per day gratuity was automatically billed to one's account . **The three shows that were included were good but on the other nights, entertainment was limited. We enjoy shows very night so if that is what you're looking for too, this isn't the ship for you. . **Too many of the dining choices are pay restaurants with fees per person of $15-$30. Free style is not so free style when extra fees are added and there still remains a minimal dress code in the main DR, basically resort casual. **There were three tiny pools that were always crowded. There was a "posh pass", fee unknown, that allowed you access to another area where there may have been another pool but we didn't check that out. Our thought is that adequate swimming facilities should be offered for free for all guests. **Watch your on board credit balances! We lost out on $20+ because some credit is refundable and other is not which means that it cannot be applied for service charges, ie that horrendous $12 pp, per day fee. Check your balances before the last day when debarking which is when you receive your paper statement. What a scam. **St Thomas port time was awful--everyone had to back on board at 3:30 pm. I don't ever recall having to be back that early in St Thomas. **The ship itself is huge but nothing about it was awe inspiring. It was a big, ugly ship. It lacked the décor and design of most ships. It was also set up in a chopped up fashion, making it difficult to negotiate. Elevators are at each end of the ship which does help guests to walk off those desserts. **We were not impressed (being kind) with the ship's Captain whose answers to two children's questions during officers Q&A were curt & rude. Shame on him. **We didn't catch a glimpse of the CD until the 3rd-4th day. There was not a welcome show which was disappointing. **Overall, a fair experience. Would we cruise NCL again? Probably not.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
For a family of 4, Norwegian Epic was a blast! We booked a balcony room and inside cabin for our girls (13 & 15)... The bathrooms are small on every cruise we have been on so our NCL cruise consultant recommended 2 room (plus we ... Read More
For a family of 4, Norwegian Epic was a blast! We booked a balcony room and inside cabin for our girls (13 & 15)... The bathrooms are small on every cruise we have been on so our NCL cruise consultant recommended 2 room (plus we actually saved $$$). Rooms were clean and our room steward was amazing! We chose to eat in the main dinning rooms. We were never disappointed. Our youngest daughter is a vegetarian and her food selections were great! My husband and daughters really enjoyed the water slides (best time without lines is getting back from excursions). Sports deck was awesome. The show "Cirque Dreams" was amazing and well worth the extra money. The dinner provided with the show was great too. Two quick tips : *have your kids wear their bathing suites under their clothes the day you board AND *bring a power cord strip (trust me on this one). You will need to plug in chargers, phones, etc. Overall there is not one thing we can complain about!! We will be cruising on the Epic again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
The ship is clean, big goes without saying, it is new and very forward thinking in design. Great staff all very outgoing and friendly and willing to take care of your needs . Ship so big and very difficult to find your way , yes the ... Read More
The ship is clean, big goes without saying, it is new and very forward thinking in design. Great staff all very outgoing and friendly and willing to take care of your needs . Ship so big and very difficult to find your way , yes the carpet is color coded and so are the elevators, great but no outside cue's to help guide you. No outside promanade deck ,a short jogging track , you batteled either with runners or walkers. Inside ship lovely and pretty and bright. Same gifts in shops nothing new there. Casino spread out. Ice Bar fun and should be tried at least once, if a drinker same price for those who don't drink and for kids. Food nothing new either. Cold soups are a great addition and worth a try, so are the pretzel rolls. Buffett area very bright clean big. The room, now that is a whole new ball game. The wave form is a waste of space. Very difficult to walk around in for 2 persons and the bathroom, shower spaces, well for get it. I sure do not know how the very tall or very heavy or physically challenged people get in and out of the stalls. Not worth the extra money we paid. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
This is a quick review of our Epic cruise. This was our first NCL cruise. We are fans of both Princess and Royal Caribbean, but we were very interested in seeing the Epic, so we opted to give NCL a try. Because of reading so many mixed ... Read More
This is a quick review of our Epic cruise. This was our first NCL cruise. We are fans of both Princess and Royal Caribbean, but we were very interested in seeing the Epic, so we opted to give NCL a try. Because of reading so many mixed reviews, my expectations for NCL were not very high, so I was very pleasantly surprised that I liked it so well. Loved the freestyle dining concept. This works so much better than anytime dining on other lines. Never had to wait more than 5 minutes to be seated. The Epic is very large, but never felt crowded. No lines anywhere. The Garden Cafe (Buffet) seems a bit odd in it's layout, but it works. The flow was great, no lines to get food anytime we were there. We were in a Spa Deluxe Balcony Cabin on Deck 14. Loved it! Great location and very quiet Cabins have great soundproofing and are very well designed. Lots and lots of storage (even drawers under the sofa) Our cabin had a shower big enough for 2 with great sliding doors. Our friends were next door and their cabin had a tub/shower combo. We learned the tubs are alternated every other cabin in this area. We preferred our shower as the tub was high and difficult to get in and out of. Our cabin type included spa robes to use, spa soaps and lotions and a bracelet for admittance to the spa thermal area. The thermal area with hot tubs, sauna, steam room, heated loungers was the best I've ever seen on a ship. There is a great balcony there off the aft, which is a great place to curl up and read or catch a little nap. I spent a lot of time in this area. One of the CC people on our roll call organized a cabin crawl so we got to see several cabin types, including a 2 bedroom villa and a Studio Cabin for single travelers. This was fun. To make it more fun, everyone who went put in $5 and was given a card at each stop. At the end, whoever had the best hand won the pot of money. That just happened to be me! I won $120! The food on this ship was fantastic no matter where we ate, but our dinner in Le Bistro was amazing!! If you like lobster, do not miss it there! It is the best lobster dinner I have ever eaten! We did not eat there until Thursday night or I would have done it again. Worth every extra penny! We also ate a Teppanyaki. It was fun and the food was good, but I felt very crowded at the cooking table. Probably wouldn't choose it again. Just liked the atmosphere of Le Bistro more. Entertainment - Well, I think NCL has raised the bar for cruise ship entertainment! Blue Man Group - very good! Cirque Dreams Dinner - The food was a set menu, but good food. However, I felt like the dinner was a distraction. Very hard to to eat and keep up with the performers. There were also too many people seated at each table. Felt crowded. I really think this would be better as a cocktail show instead of a dinner show. I read many complaints about the cost of this, but I don't know where else you can see this type of performance so close. I thought it was well worth the money and you don't like the food, go eat somewhere after! Legends - great show. The Michael Jackson impersonator was amazing!! 2nd City - So, so funny. Don't miss this! Casino - Looked great, but the smoke was way too thick so I avoided this area completely. Howl at the Moon: Didn't get to see. The one time we stopped by it was late and packed. Looked like a good time! Ice Bar: It's a fun experience, but wouldn't do it again. 2 drinks came with admission. They give you a great parka and gloves. Don't forget to wear socks and closed shoes! Attended a martini class in Shakers! It was fun, maybe too fun because I still can't remember where we ate dinner that night! Watched Monday night football in the Atrium where they have a great screen, good seating and serve popcorn! I hurt my back on Day 3 of this cruise, so I didn't get to play on the water slides or try the bowling lanes or do any dancing. Kind of a bummer, but I spent more time in the fabulous spa which was very relaxing and healing. While the ship is beautiful inside and quite innovative, I experienced more movement and vibration on the Epic than I have on any other ship. We did have a mechanical issue the 2nd night out when a bearing on a propeller shaft when out. We were dead in the water for a few hours so they could do repairs. They kept us very informed and the repair was done at sea and we continued on. Whether or not this problem contributed to the movement and vibration during the entire cruise, I'm not sure. That is really about the only negative I have. The service, food, staff, and overall experience were so good that I booked a future cruise credit while on board! I really look forward to sailing NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
THE ROOM AND SERVICE ASSOCIATED WITH IT. It started with a very beautiful TINY room. It was when the room temperature remained at 80 degrees that first day, we knew, it could be a "problem". We asked how to create tickets ... Read More
THE ROOM AND SERVICE ASSOCIATED WITH IT. It started with a very beautiful TINY room. It was when the room temperature remained at 80 degrees that first day, we knew, it could be a "problem". We asked how to create tickets that would request they fix it, so we began to "put in" tickets to repair the A/C. After putting several of those that didn't work, we asked "what is WRONG"??? and they said, this is the best this room can get. We would have NEVER EVER booked a cruise knowing the room A/C was broken. For us this would have been a deal breaker, but we never had the chance to choose. We just got back the answer that this was the best and coolest they could give. It was warmer than the hall and unbearable for us. This was the start of what continued to be one "thing" after "another" on this problematic cruise. This room had a shower in which the drain was actually lifted up on a mini hill, so the water would never go down it. This caused the room to flood, entirely, with the water waving back and forth from the balcony door track across the whole bottom to the door out. Since there was NO STORAGE AREA in this Tiny Room, our luggage and computers were all stored under the bed ON THE FLOOR. We never thought that would be a problem until the first shower, which put 3 inches of water sloshing back and forth on the entire floor area of the room. When we called, they said "oh no problem, we can clean up". Before they got to us we were walking in a few inches of water all over the room, and the door bell rang. The door out had not been designed properly so it only opened 1/2 way because the back door top thing was against the wall, so we had to squeeze in and out. When we answered they had towels to stop the water flow and we squeezed out the door way, while they mopped up. This happened for EVERY shower. There was not a real "bathroom" in this room. The toilet had a rounded door, and was private, the shower had a rounded door on the other side, and the sink was in the middle in the open. Using the sink splashed water about and was part of the design issues with the room regarding splashing flood water and ease of usage. We accepted that the "room area" was always going to flood because of the shower and sink. It DID. We put our luggage and laptops in the Jacuzzi Tub in the room. This was because we could NOT use it because of the humidity and heat it would give off, so that tub was just for show (and the safety of our luggage and other floor items that would have been soaked from the shower floods). There was an electronic light panel that controlled the room lights but it did not work properly so we could never actually control the lights in the room. There was however a "motion" light in the bathroom, with NO OFF switch, so it would blare a spot light that would go off when you needed to find the toilet paper. There in the dark you would have to wave your hands to the light above hoping it would recognize the motion and go back on. In the middle of the night however that spot light was bright and painful and there was NO OFF BUTTON, except to hold still. ugh.. The flush was quite powerful and loud, it too would wake up any person sleeping. Spotlights and loud flushes are not conducive to helping your husband sleep. The bathroom spotlight was so bright that a 3am bathroom run would blare a spot light that could easily interrupt your "half asleep" bathroom run, that you would normally complete with a night light at home. It became a very big inconvenience to use the bathroom. On the room size, this room was so small that 2 people could not sit and relax in the "chairs" that where shown in the "room picture" from online. There was no room for the chairs and the table. we had to stack them on the wall to move around in the cabin. The space around the bed had 2 to 5 inches to pass through in most areas of the room. Stubbing a toe on stuff stashed under the bed became a verbal caution for us. When I booked this cruise I was told of 2 things that piqued my interest to book this cruise. 1. The room was Wi-Fi and it was free. (it was not free .40cents a min) 2. We were told the room service was free, I asked again, "free"?? she said "yes". This is not a typical perk so I was pleased to book and again it was a lie. Room service was slow, and NOT FREE. I heard people say they waited 45 min for Ice Tea. NOISE- Our cabin also was right under the bowling ally and/or another ridiculously loud banging daily activity with the noise levels during the day remaining unbearable. We could not nap because of the slamming loud banging noises right above us. It would stop at 9pm. We called and were told we could complain after 10pm. THE SHIPS' SERIOUS SAILING PROBLEMS At 2:45am on the second day at sea's early morning, we were still awake and felt and heard the ship shaking violently, and the shower "rounded" door shook so hard it detached from the track and hung open. We felt the ship stop, the engines stop, and we looked out the right back of the ship (our cabin balcony) and saw smoke. Worried we put the Ship Navigation TV on, and looked at the tracking channel, where we saw the longitude, latitude, speed and direction of the ship. This showed us as being adrift. The seas were rough, so the ship, with no engines running, turned towards North and began to drift. At 3am I decided to call the operator and ask why we were heading North, and not South and why we were adrift. The operator nervously answered with this answer, "ship is fine all is good, just talked to bridge and nothing to worry about, all is good and it will be repaired in an hour". WHAT?!?!?! Meanwhile we saw smoke and were concerned about a fire, we later found out it was a very heated ball bearing that hit the water and made steam (which appeared as smoke to us). There was no announcement about this. We asked around to get our information. We started back up with one engine and very slowly turned South, and moved with this odd cyclical shake. By morning the Captain said that we had some problems with the propeller/bearings and that we would be stopping for an hour for repairs. We were now about 5 hours late for ST. Maartin. This was the only stop we were interested in and began to worry. After drifting while repairs were being implemented, the Captain said we would be late to our First destination but the ship was fully repaired and we were going to speed up to make some time. By this time we were scheduled to arrive in St. Martin at 7am and we were told we would arrive at 10am. We arrived after 11am and missed most of our stops' purpose. We arrived late and did miss most of the event. At the next stop St. Thomas we did not disembark and found a full crew of repair workers who were replacing the sink faucets and some other plumbing fixtures. There was also a crew digging up the carpet to fix the "stops" on the floors where the doors are. It appeared you could not get a wheelchair over it. We were using a wheelchair, and found it impossible to navigate over these huge bumps, so they were digging up the carpet, gluing the carpet back with some supports put in place. The smell was bad. After that stop the ships TV Navigation Channel did not work any more. It no longer showed anything. Just blanks. Nothing really worked well for the ride home. The TV was finicky. The Wi-Fi was on and off, the room service was a busy signal and the repair crews were everywhere fixing things. The people working on the ship did their best to help and comfort. I would say this. The First String Employees (the best of the best) were on this ship to get it going, their job is to be on the new ships and make people happy. They were the ***** 5 Star staff who were the best. They knew how to compensate, apologize, offer alternate help, and let you tell them you were unhappy and they would try to "make it better". NCL should KEEP THIS STAFF and FIX THE SHIP!!! EPIC SHOULD BE JUST THAT.... EPIC. Not Epic-fail. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
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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