Sail Date: August 2018
First time cruiser. Crew were generally great and biggest asset of NCL. However, not relaxing as anticipated... Boarded and had to wait from midday to 8pm for room so could not shower or change clothes. The "all inclusive" but ... Read More
First time cruiser. Crew were generally great and biggest asset of NCL. However, not relaxing as anticipated... Boarded and had to wait from midday to 8pm for room so could not shower or change clothes. The "all inclusive" but pay for some things was confusing, as were complementry (or not) shows and dining, especially when online account showed charges that subsequently disappeared. Because we were on excursions every day we did not get good value from the included "all inclusive" dining or extra charge "ultimate Drinks" package. Lifts were frustratingly slow and overcrowded. Top Decks with outside areas overcrowded and more like a Butlins holiday camp than luxury liner. Had an outside balcony but room service was nearly $8 a go, so enjoying the outside that way not really an option. Customer Services queue was usually long and slow, and much time was wasted mainly because access to decent information online was poor. Fid was okay. Overall the experience fell short of expectation. The ability to hop off hop on at ports is good but we went with another (recommended) excersion company. The NCL excersions in comparison were very very expensive but I cannot comment on their quality. Don't do every stop because it is very tiring. Internet was blisteringly expensive at over $240 each for the week. It was the premium service but that was not really an option because the other (still chargable) options provided extremely poor (unusable) bandwith. In the library there are Desktop PCs and or but no scan capability. The desktops were useless, even when using premium internet account. Could not even check in with Airline and print boarding card - something I imagine many would want to do. I get the attraction of cruising but it was just too busy - good for the cruise line but not great for passengers. If I go on another cruise I would not go cattle class. I would probably choose a ship with a higher ratio of staff to passenger and a higher quality of service so that I can truly relax. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We booked this cruise after cancelling another NCL cruise going to Havana, Cuba (during last year's hurricane). My wife and I have always wanted to go to Italy, so we booked this one leaving from Rome and then came in a few days early to ... Read More
We booked this cruise after cancelling another NCL cruise going to Havana, Cuba (during last year's hurricane). My wife and I have always wanted to go to Italy, so we booked this one leaving from Rome and then came in a few days early to tour Venice and Rome. We had an amazing time in what felt like a mini-vacation before we even ended up on the ship! The folks at ItalyScape really set us up with some fantastic tours and guides. We did a "Breakfast at the Vatican" tour before the general public was allowed in, and I definitely recommend getting there early if you really want to appreciate the artwork before the crowds show up. In retrospect, booking a cruise in July in Italy meant it was going to be hot, and it was. But going early helped. We boarded the boat on Wednesday, and I must admit it was a little strange that most of the people on this particular cruise had boarded in Barcelona, so they were halfway into their cruise already. Didn't create any issues, just interesting. Boarding was simple, and we were in our room in no time. The cabin was great...we had picked a spa suite and we were literally two doors down from the spa, which was so convenient as we spent a lot of time there. Although the Epic is enormous, and there were times when the crush of people was annoying, we pretty much stayed to ourselves, ate when we wanted to, and stayed away from the pool on deck 15 where all the families and there kids were. We got into a routine of having a cocktail at the martini bar and then hitting one of the restaurants. We really enjoyed the food, especially the Brazilian steakhouse. And all the servers and wait staff were exceptional. The do nickel-and-dime you a lot for things, such as in-room movies and shuttles at the ports). We did our own trips at the ports, and were glad not to be in the cattle call every morning. We would roll up to the port, and our guides/drivers were waiting for us for a personal tour of whatever port we visited. Overall it was a great vacation and would do it again! Definitely recommend booking the Cirque show...it was awesome. We didn't really see any other shows...just nothing our speed! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We choose this cruise line because our family tries to go on a new cruise every year. This is my 3rd cruise and my families 4th. When we got to the terminal in Barcelona the Norwegian staff was right there to help with bags and made ... Read More
We choose this cruise line because our family tries to go on a new cruise every year. This is my 3rd cruise and my families 4th. When we got to the terminal in Barcelona the Norwegian staff was right there to help with bags and made security a breeze. Especially for someone that has PTSD and can't handle lines or things not going smooth. The security staff helped us through the process and then one of the ships staff members was on the other side walking us to a check-in representative. As we got to check-in we walked right up to the counter, got our ID cards and then was taken to the ship. As we entered the photo staff was there to take our pictures. I was surprised on how helpful they were especially since we were a group of 8. On board the ship everything was extremely clean, staff was there to welcome us onboard and bar staff was offering drinks. After we got a drink we went up to the room where our bags were already waiting for us. On other ships we have waited up to 6 hours for our luggage. Our room was a good size, spot less and completely met our expectations. We couldn't have asked for a better steward. The towel animals he made were out of this world. On our first night we had went to shower and noticed that our shower head was broke. The next morning we let him know and it was fixed within an hour. Each night on the cruise ship we tried a different dinning hall. Each of the dining halls had amazing food. Nothing beats the steak house on this ship though. The chef at the steak house definitely knew what he was doing. Highly recommended. As for dessert, the best dessert you'll get on the ship is in the steak house. On a side note don't get the green tea cake at the hibachi. It tastes like card board and spinach. Overall I would say the trip was amazing. We booked the cruise through Costco and get an awesome deal. I highly recommend the excursions. If you want to save some money book them through Shore Excursions Group LLC. We did way more than what the cruise offered if we had booked with them and saved money. Firdoze from the photo crew by far stood out from any other staff members on the cruise. She knew us by name, was very patient with the special needs party in our group, always livened up the area and when it was time to purchase our pictures she was right there to help explain the process. At one point I got beyond confused with the pricing and was getting frustrated because the computer and the sign said two different prices. Firdoze came and helped us print our pictures we wanted. Helped us determine which package was best for us and even saved us over $200. Major kudos to her for all of her hard work helping us. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this ship mainly for the ports but also wanted to try a larger ship. It was our 25th anniversary trip and we wanted to visit all the ports while having to only unpack once. The Epic gives you so many options for dining, drinks ... Read More
We chose this ship mainly for the ports but also wanted to try a larger ship. It was our 25th anniversary trip and we wanted to visit all the ports while having to only unpack once. The Epic gives you so many options for dining, drinks and entertainment while on board. We loved the freestyle sytem but made reservations ahead of time for both main dining restaurants- which were amazing both for service and food. So many places to relax and order cocktails, listen to Beatles music or dueling piano or shows - I don't get people who don't enjoy themselves on this ship- if not happy with one thing try another! We enjoyed the excursions thru NCL. Lots of history with really great tour guides! A bit rushed but had to expect that. The room with balcony was great! Some reviews we had read really made the room sound cramped and horrible. It's fine, if spending a lot of time in your room then you are missing out on all the great amenities this ship has to offer. Last thing - ALL the crew members we interacted with were friendly and happy. I'm not sure how they kept this up all week but they did! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was the best cruise ship we sailed on having been on 7 cruise ships previously. We wanted a balcony cabin and booked via Thomas Cook. Good job we knew to look at deck layouts first as they put us on deck 8 right at front of ship with ... Read More
This was the best cruise ship we sailed on having been on 7 cruise ships previously. We wanted a balcony cabin and booked via Thomas Cook. Good job we knew to look at deck layouts first as they put us on deck 8 right at front of ship with an enclosed balcony (which is a porthole) above the 'high voltage disco'. Demanded be changed straight away. Just be careful if your booking with non cruise specialists and ALWAYS check deckplans as it was only after looking at the little symbols I realised we had an enclosed balcony! Room was nice and clean. Not enough room to pass each other. We travelled 2 adults and 1 child and we ended up putting cases on sofabed and he just slept with us as bed is big. Bed is very comfy. Patrick our room steward was always lovely. All staff were brilliant, very friendly. You cannot fault the food, something for everyone and plates hot with fresh cutlery in cloth napkins. Water with ice available all day. Bars gave generous measures & cocktails of the day lush! Get dollars before you go as in casino they have minimum spend on your room card of 100 dollars plus 3% charge so you can just play as you want ie: 20 dollars a night. We were at the very back of the ship but it was so easy as lifts are at back and front of ship. Also there are stairs at back of ship that take you up to deck 13. We never had a problem with lifts a'tall. The shows are out of this world! Tip log in to your ncl account as soon as you book and it tells you when you can pre-book shows. Mark it down in your diary and book Burn The Floor, Cirque and Priscilla. The Cirque is extra but well worth it. Priscilla is not for children really so they better going kid's club. Kid's club we used a little but it's excellent and very safe...passwords etc...and free till 10.30pm then chargable 6 dollars each hour till 1.30am. Trips are very expensive. On previous boats we paid a third! We paid £330 for a coach & little trolley ride to Pisa for 2 adults and 1 child, was there an hour and no chance to go into anywhere as you had to queue for tickets...if you really want the experience just go all out and book it all including entrance tickets. Bingo and deal or no deal are a winner and kid's can join in too. Ive worked it out now aswell rather than trailing my whole wardrobe in my case I now do list for each day and nights outfits and only pack that plus 2 extra in my case and stick to it...saves loads of case space for pressies! Print off a cruise packing list aswell it helps. The water package in room arrives in bulk so just ram 2 bottles in fridge each day as fridge packed with drinks that you can buy at a hefty price. Noticed alot of towels on chairs with no people on them for hours...tip take big coloured plastic hair grips to assign your towel to chair rather than placing clothes or hat on them so you know which is yours as clothes or hat can blow with wind. Palma stop btw is payable for a coach to town about 15 euro. The bbq chicken wings in O'Sheeans are amazing. Overall we had the best cruise ever...sure you will too! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We booked this ship for the itinairy and because of the reviews. It’s our 7th cruise. We cruised Royal Carribean ( Allure, Oasis, Quantum, Jewel) Norvegian Getaway, and Canival. We are a big family with 4 kids ( 13 to 19) we love ... Read More
We booked this ship for the itinairy and because of the reviews. It’s our 7th cruise. We cruised Royal Carribean ( Allure, Oasis, Quantum, Jewel) Norvegian Getaway, and Canival. We are a big family with 4 kids ( 13 to 19) we love this ship. Stateroom are very well organise, lots of storage it’s impressive. The variety and quality of food is remarkable at the buffet best we had. In the main dining room we had great and fast services but we usually arrive around 6:45 pm if you plan to eat after 19:00 it get more busy and services take more time. We love the shows very good and divertising, the magician is so good, we saw free shows every night and enjoy ourself. My 17 years old son loved the teenclub we did not see him the hole week. We try every activities on the ship. We can not say a bad thing if you planned in advance what you want to do and arrive when it begins you never have to wait long line except for the waterslide with tube because the have to size of tube and not much of them but this is very fun. This ship made a priority on clean hand to avoid getting sick and we appreciate that no need to bring extra Purel at the table because the have extra disinfectant in the buffet. Any time you reenter the ship “washy washy lady are there”. Every people working on this ship is very nice, helping and smily. There is a very good “vibe” on this ship good music all time on the pool deck not to loud and we never feel it was crowded on this ship. Lots of chairs on the decks. You can always find a place to sit compare to Getaway. Best gym ever, good machine weighs ...it get busy cause it so good. Everything seem to be planed to facilitate our live there. Easiest way to get a tender is to go at the guest services not on the TV or cruise app. No confu sion or long wait in line to get off of the boat . It was a breeze each time no stress compare to all our other cruises. We did all port of cruise on our own. We walked to Palma (45 minutes) but saw nice bikes to rent just out of the ship that could have been a good idea because there a bicycle path next to the sidewalk from the boat to the city or you have the bus just there also, in Canne we went to the public beach ( 30 minutes walk 16 euro for two chairs and umbrella) Rome, Sorrento and Naples we hired driver from Private tour in Italy with Domenicco very good company. In conclusion we love, love , love this ship. Don’t hesitate. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Had a wonderful time celebrating my 60th birthday with wonderful crew who made us feel home & special everyday. The food was excellent & the ship has a lot of dining options. I was just disappointed by the check-in crew. ... Read More
Had a wonderful time celebrating my 60th birthday with wonderful crew who made us feel home & special everyday. The food was excellent & the ship has a lot of dining options. I was just disappointed by the check-in crew. They were in a hurry & did not even explain to us that we have UBP. If not for one of our pool waitress Rizalyn who told us when we ordered from her we would not know that we have UBP The shore excursions was a bit pricey for the value offered. We were also not given enough free time on our own especially we were with people that was on level 1 choice, people with mobility issue . The tour escort left us behind & we had to take a cab to go back to the ship. The item we left on the tour bus was also not returned back to us. We had asked the guest services twice just to check but it was not turned in Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Our first time on a cruise and chose the Epic. We had a great time for 7 days which are unforgettable. The ship represented all ages and all nations. The ship is one of the largest. Cabins are beautiful and clean. The dining ... Read More
Our first time on a cruise and chose the Epic. We had a great time for 7 days which are unforgettable. The ship represented all ages and all nations. The ship is one of the largest. Cabins are beautiful and clean. The dining options are nemerious and food is tasty. Plenty of bars and all types of alcohol Available. Plenty to do for ages. The embarkation and disembarkation are done so smoothly, effiecently And with professionalism. Watched the semi finals between England and Croatia and the staff put on food and drinks to feed until your were to your brim. The staff are the asset to the ship. Each and every member treats you as an individual and not as a number. Friendly, helpful always with a smile and serves you that you will never forget this trip. We stayed in mini suite with balcony. If you buy WIFI, it worked great. If I am to say one positive criticism is that the cabins are a bit dated and will do with a refurb. Love to go again soon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because I wanted to give my granddaughter a very special 16th birthday gift, and this itinerary made stops at ports I thought she’d enjoy. The initial email I received from NCL said that children under 16 sailed ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to give my granddaughter a very special 16th birthday gift, and this itinerary made stops at ports I thought she’d enjoy. The initial email I received from NCL said that children under 16 sailed for free, so I immediately contacted them to book a cruise in July. I guess I should have expected it, but I was disappointed to find that the two for one for kids offer was only during the school year. I sucked it up and booked anyway. The cruise company handled the rest of the arrangements well. Embarkation was slow but efficient. Our stateroom, however, was incredibly small, I have taken many cruises on many other lines, and I have never had to walk through the bathroom to get into my cabin. In order to shower, we had to pull a curtain to partition the “bathroom” from the cabin. My sister, granddaughter, and I were sharing a cabin, and there was absolutely no room for our clothing or any space to sit other than on a bed. We had to turn sideways to pass one another. All this would have been OK if the onboard activities had been interesting or entertaining. Apparently, NCL requires reservations for some evening shows and charges for others. Other activities were very amateurish or poorly done. Food in the buffet was adequate. The dining rooms were good but not great. Service was better than cuisine. On two occasions I sent desserts back because they were inedible....dry and tasteless. We usually settled for cookies from the kids’ section of the buffet. I decided against shore excursions offered by NCL and booked independently because,theirs were so expensive. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our 7th cruise and our 6th 7-day cruise. First time on Norwegian (3 Disney, 3 Royal Caribbean). We chose this cruise solely based on itinerary and dates. I read the reviews of the Epic and still chose the cruise...and we had a ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise and our 6th 7-day cruise. First time on Norwegian (3 Disney, 3 Royal Caribbean). We chose this cruise solely based on itinerary and dates. I read the reviews of the Epic and still chose the cruise...and we had a fabulous time in all of the ports of our Western Mediterranean cruise. The boat we treated as a moving hotel as it didn't offer much compared to the previous cruise lines we've experienced. Pre-cruise communication from NCL was sparse. We embarked in Rome and had no problem. We chose to hire private transportation from Rome as we were a family of 5 with luggage. For 160euros, we had a car service arranged by our hotel. Cheaper than cruise transportation and at our leisure. Free-style dining worked for us because of our schedule with our port stops, but we missed the connections made with servers when you have a set dining schedule. Our boat was near or at capacity, so we did have to wait at times for seating or to be served. Food was just ok. Again, comparing back to Royal Caribbean and Disney. We did not purchase any beverage plan and are so glad. 4 of us were of legal drinking age, but with a few drinks a night, it didn't come close to what the ultimate beverage plan would've cost us. We saved a huge amount of money not buying the plan. We found the mixed drinks weak all over the boat. Ports-the itinerary was fantastic and felt that we had a good amount of time in each port, which we maximized. Tendering in Cannes went fine, but we reserved the tender the afternoon we boarded, so we could make our tour (non-NCL). Most of our excursions, we arranged outside of NCL as theirs were very expensive and larger groups. The ones we did through NCL were well-organized and just fine. Rooms-we had 2 interior staterooms. The rooms were very small-smallest we've ever had, but had great storage. The bathroom set-up is just weird. No idea who thought it would be a good design...Hard to enter stateroom when someone is showering as you have to pass the see-through shower door to enter the cabin...A curtain separates the see-through toilet door and see-through shower door from the cabin, but not the entry door. So, after a shower, you have to change behind the curtain just standing there...we made it work, but c'mon, it's a bad design. We NEVER saw our room steward, which is very unusual compared to other cruises. Pool towels were supposed to be replaced, but nope, never. We never got new soap and it took days until the tissues were replaced (I pulled out the tissue door to hint and a new box was left on the counter for me to replace). Our 3rd bed was left down 100% of the time most of the cruise, so we only had one bed to sit on (the 3rd bed was let down from the ceiling making the bed underneath it impossible to sit on). This seemed lazy on the part of the steward. Staff-After a lot of reflection, I believe the staff is trained much differently that the 2 other cruise lines. MOST are polite and helpful, but they do not go any extra distance for customer service. The cabin stewards were barely satisfactory at their jobs. Most servers were polite and attentive. We had a few disappointing interactions and I have to blame NCL as a whole for those. Executive staff should read the reviews of seasoned cruisers and travel and experience other cruise lines to see the difference. Epic-there were only 2 'free' shows during the week, and we saw Burn the Floor, which was great. We missed Priscilla due to our schedule. Other cruises had a full week of 'free' shows. We popped in the dueling piano bar night and enjoyed that. The boat was fine. It doesn't have much open space to see the actual water. Elevators were difficult to get most times as there are only elevators fore and aft-no midship elevators. We are used to seeing staff cleaning railings, tidying public bathrooms, picking up the top deck, cleaning windows in port, etc. NCL does not do any of this. There are some windows in some restaurants, but they are very dirty. We had 6 days in port and fantastic, clear weather...plenty of time to clean. I'm not saying the staff didn't care, I just believe NCL doesn't make ship upkeep a priority. It's unusual that the boat partially turns over on Wednesdays in Rome, Sundays in Barcelona. After the Sunday in Barcelona, the boat was jam-packed! No comment about the teen club as our teen never went due to our schedule. Only looked at photos once and didn't buy any as our memories were mostly made in port. The customer service area is in an open space directly across from an entertainment area. In the evenings, it's very hard to have a conversation with staff as the music is so loud. Just bad design. Disembarkation-again we arranged a private car to get us to the airport. If we had used NCL, it was $79/person x 5 people to transfer to the airport! We paid 160euros for the private van service (arranged by our hotel) and rolled our own bags off that morning. We had a great week, thanks to the itinerary, but would not chose the Epic again and would be VERY hesitant choosing NCL. Read Less
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
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 3.9
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.7

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