4,306 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews

Chose cruise for stops. Excellent time crew excellent travel during Coronavirus craziness endless cleaning on ship they really made us feel safe. Captain made decisions not to port in port Rico due to uncertainty! Sailed up to ... Read More
Chose cruise for stops. Excellent time crew excellent travel during Coronavirus craziness endless cleaning on ship they really made us feel safe. Captain made decisions not to port in port Rico due to uncertainty! Sailed up to Cape Canaveral embarkation was fairly smothered considering circumstances!! provided transport to air port and we were not charged anything extra for extra days at sea!!! Excellent job NCL!!! We will definitely cruise NCL again !! Epic is a good ship for multiple stops not best ship for sea days no enough outside venues!! We have been on getaway multiple time and enjoyed the water front part of ship !! NCL is a fun cruise line for me and my wife they have good entertainment and a great staff most bar tenders on board made great drinks!! We’re a little picky we don’t like extra sweat mixers in our drinks and most time they adjusted to our taste!! Also food was great no complaints there Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We had booked a trip to China in early March. Since it had to be rescheduled due to C-19, we looked around for a cruise. The 7-day Southern Caribbean on the NCL Epic sailed from SJU, which I've never visited, and the ports of call ... Read More
We had booked a trip to China in early March. Since it had to be rescheduled due to C-19, we looked around for a cruise. The 7-day Southern Caribbean on the NCL Epic sailed from SJU, which I've never visited, and the ports of call were 83% new to both of us – so, we picked it. We had a nicer-than-expected experience to Cuba the first time we were on Norwegian in 2018; the word "Epic" sounded famous and grandiose (little did I know at the time that the fame was yesteryear's news - this ship, while massive, is beginning to show its age). Also tempting was a "free" pkg: beverage (premium, but not the top one), 3 specialty dining nights, “shore excursionS”, and 250 minutes of internet - in quotation marks because the fine print revealed they aren’t quite as generous in reality. They charge you the 20% service upfront for the first 2 up front; the bev pkg is regularly priced at $99 per day, while dining is $99 for the 3 nights; so even the gratuity for the bev pack is a whopping $140 per person for the cruise. Frankly, unless you are aready a ripe candidate to join AA, I wouldn't pay to get it - $99 (or $119 with tip) of drinks per day, even at cruise ship prices, is a lot. Now, when it's "free", sure, I can drink $20 worth easily day in and day out. And yeah, there are some sore points even in the freebie (more in a sec) Likewise, I personally won’t spring $33 for specialty dining per person per night (+ tip of course). – better to save my money for when I’m NOT on a cruise, since “specialty” does not always mean “superior” when compared to the alternative (regular dining). The internet was tricky, and while not Flash-like, not as slow as feared. The “shore excursionS” was just $50, for ONE of us – try as I may, I could not come up with any excursionS that would justify the plural number; I forfeited that $50 so that I could save more money buying my own excursions. Even before Viator came on the scene big time, there have always been options that are less expensive and/or restrictive. We spent a couple of days in San Juan before the cruise, did some prep work booking our own excursions while we were there, and looked forward to the cruise with great anticipation. Please be sure you know where you board in SJU, as there are two different cruise terminals, and they are not exactly next to each other. Embarkation was one of the smoothest – a bit of walking, but practically no line, and made even better by an enthusiastic agent. In the interest of brevity (too late, you might complain!), I’ll quickly cover some general areas and focus on a few aspects of this cruise in more detail. You already have my thoughts on excursions. Entertainment was fine, with many options when it’s a ship this size. The two main shows in the Epic Theatre were good to very good. Tthe dueling piano sessions are always helped by the free flow of liquor (guests and artists), and the mentalist guy was impressive in blowing your mind. I cannot comment on any of the kids’ programmes; the water slides were not always operational (they’re fine), and the hot tubs are always crowded. and (as usual) not nearly hot enough. I like the fitness room too – seems to be enough at least for the cruise crowd I was with – not crowded at all. So now, onto the other areas (other than Cabin, which is found below). DINING The use of melamine immediately sets them down a notch: Princess, too, had that, but Celebrity had “real” plates. I’d say the Garden café was generally 3.5 to 4 stars, if you can overlook the crude way in which they treat their esteemed guests: to wit, cantaloupes, water melon, pineapples, and honey dews are all skin on, and hewn to Brobdingnagian proportions, hard to deal with when the knife is dull. We tried both Taste and Manhattan, and yes, the latter is a touch more exclusive and refined. The selection was, again, not as bad as reading reviews would have led me to believe. I had a very nice pepper steak one evening, even the French fries served with it ruined it a bit. Try to stay abreast of dining room/café hours, as that “last resort” buffet on the pool deck outside of the Garden Café is pretty much, well, last resort. That pool bar is easily one of the busiest as well, particularly during the day. Believe it or not, they offer as “specialty” dining, sushi, and a teppanyaki place – places you’d pay probably half the price if you were on terra firma. The 3 we chose were French (C+), Cagney (A-), and Italian (B+). Again, I would NOT pay extra for any of these, but since it’s a so-called freebie, we did it. So how “special” was it? Just to give you an idea… the appetizer at Le Bistro looked similar to the one we had at Taste the first night. I ordered it just for comparison. Result: taste is about the same (yup-that unmistakable chlorine smell is !) – fancier presentation, and one fewer scallop. What do you think: worth it? I’d say only the Cagney experience was “special”: larger, Riedel wine glasses, some selections that are more special (grass-fed New York). That’s why it’s the most booked. If you want Cagney’s, at YOUR time/date, book it as soon as you get on board. It is on wine, and wine pricing, that I want to spend a minute or two explaining, as it is absolutely THE worst foot NCL puts forward. Never mind that they have those wine stations in the garden café designed to gouge the unaware (a Simi Cab, which you get at Publix for about $17, $5.50 for 1.25 oz., and $22 for 5 oz.!!!!! There aren’t enough exclamation marks in the world). So let’s say you dodge that pitfall. NCL has more. Remember the drink pkg: FREE drinks, incl. wine, up to $15 a glass. This is where they get you. You notice there are some wines that are $8/9/10, and then you see a few at $16, $18… a glass. RESIST THE TRAP. They are designed to catch the unaware. You’d think in any establishment, the pricing would be more or less consistent. Not when they want to play “Gotcha” at NCL. I have the facts (I took pix for later research). Those $8/9/10 glasses are generally priced at a quarter of a full bottle of wine (Luigi Bosca Malbec, or the Recanati or Gerard Bertrand Cab, among others, $9/$33, the Torres Crianza, $10/$35). But once you move PAST the $15 price-point, LOOK OUT!!! The Badger Mtn Cab, or the John Wine Cotes du Rousillon, par exemple, $16/$29, or a 1.8 ratio! The point? They are trying to move you into those higher-priced wines, where the mark-up PER GLASS is unreasonably and disproportionately higher. They think you’re stupid. I resent that. Don’t be! SERVICE One thing we’ve observed in our last 3 cruises this past year is that, while on Princess or Celebrity, the staff are pretty damned close to letting the guests pass first in the corridor, NCL is probably doing an 80-20. No biggie, you might say, but worth noting. Staff friendliness was not helped by the draconian measures taken about 5 days into our cruise with food – so, I’ll try not to discount it too much – but it ran the gamut of friendly to indifference. The training, though, is ostensibly lacking. When we dined at Le Bistro, I thought I’d start with, you know, a glass of Dubonnet on the rocks, arguably the national drink along with Pernod and Ricard. “Doo-fun-nay”, our cute waitress from Peru asked, quizzically, “I don’t think we have that”. Likewise, waiters would pretend know what wine you’re talking about, and either bring the wrong one, or come back to ask you again. The way their system is, wait staff often give the impression of being harried or disorganized. Our one notable bright spot was Miguel at La Cucina the last (or what WOULD have been our last) evening on board. He was polite, professional, and very much on top of his game. A gem, and a reassuring footnote on … whatever. I don’t think I’ve made it a habit to slip someone a $20 for one meal (OVER and above the mandatory gratuity we were charged!) Our cruise WAS affected by Covid-19. Day we were to dock in SJU, we were turned away - had to sail to Port Canaveral instead. The 2 extra days of cruising did not cost us extra (although they really could have tastefully handled the $15 pp/per day gratuity as long as the staff DO end up getting their share) - they handled that part alright, arranging for buses to get us to MCO. The main reason that my wife and I were less than pleased overall is summarized this way: NCL/Epic treat customers like they are stupid, math-challenged ignoramus (or is that ignorami); that may or may not be true with the majority of customers, or perhaps fellow pax are just too loaded to care, but the way NCL tried to play "gotcha" with your money is just offensive. That's why I did not buy any future credits, tempting as those deals were: it is not at all clear in my mind that we'd be three-peat customers after that cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this cruise because the dates matched spring break-I am a professor and had the opportunity to travel (when we booked- we did not know that COVID-19 was on the horizon). We booked on "Black Monday" and got a really ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the dates matched spring break-I am a professor and had the opportunity to travel (when we booked- we did not know that COVID-19 was on the horizon). We booked on "Black Monday" and got a really good deal with 3 specialty meals, wifi, a beverage package and 50 dollars off shore excursions. Embarkment was excellent. I wished I has listened to the ship orientation-it took me days to understand processes that I should have learned! Our suite was great on the 9th floor with a balcony. The two of us friends have Celiac disease so were quickly connected to the dietary specialist who took such good care of us. We were not able to eat at the buffet because NCL does not label its food, but we had wonderful meals at the sit down restaurants including three at speciality restaurants. We upgraded to the best beverage package and enjoyed fabulous wine bottles with each meal. Our beds were comfortable. Our room was tended to twice a day. In getting off the boat for island days-we would never know we were on the giant ship! Few if any wait times or lines. Really amazing. We took one NCL shore excursion to the Virgin Gorda that was very very well done! I would say our service was good to excellent. We loved the entertainment especially "Pricilla Queen of the Desert" and the Circ show. We got the Wifi upgrade which may have been worth it for two professionals who needed to stay connected to work. WIfi on cruises is slow and frustrating but we did use it when we could. We left on our cruise just before the serious nature of the COVID-19 pandemic came to light. We were not offered cancellation or rescheduling. Once on the ship the crew did lots to keep us safe. We had no virus on ship with 5000 plus passangers and nearly that many crew. I am grateful to NCL for the care they gave us. We were the last sailing of the ship for months. Now, some criticism, mostly of the ship: *The pools are not satisfactory in terms of space, depth, or temperature. There are really no handicap accommodations for swimming. *Pool bar service was far too slow and difficult *Pool area service staff seemed to be avoiding taking orders rather than trying to serve. Our ship was diverted from Puerto Rico to Cape Canaveral due to the COVID-19. Apparently we needed a 3 day quarantine. The NCL crew and staff handled three more days with poise and grace. They treated us with the same kindness we had during the scheduled days of our cruise. BRAVO NCL! You did an excellent job in a tough situation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this cruise on 2/6/20 based on the itinerary and low price that went even lower after we booked. We flew into Puerto Rico on Friday, 3/6 and satyed3at the Caribe Hilton (amazing) while enjoying the forts, Old San Juan, some great ... Read More
We chose this cruise on 2/6/20 based on the itinerary and low price that went even lower after we booked. We flew into Puerto Rico on Friday, 3/6 and satyed3at the Caribe Hilton (amazing) while enjoying the forts, Old San Juan, some great restaurants and an excursion to El Yunque rainforest. EMBARKATION Arrived around 1:00, got tested for temperature, checked in on priority (Platinum), filled out some paperwork, got our key cards and were on the ship within 15 minutes of our temp check. DISEMBARKATION Not as smooth, but once we figured out what line to get in, we waited about 45 minutes and then were about the first 100 or so people let off. Going through customs was easy (no paperwork or questions) just held our passport by our face and walked right through. DINING Ate a 5 of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed each except for La Cucina where it took us 1.5 hours just to get served 2 courses. We ate mainly in Taste for breakfast but for a couple of early morning meals at the Garden Cafe. BARBADOS Did NCL Excursion with bus transport to Carlisle Bay Beach (beautiful) that included a welcome drink, lounge chairs and an umbrella. ST. LUCIA Did NCL Excursion for Soufriere by Land/Sea that was phenomenal. Our tour guide, Cindy, was fantastic and knowledgeable about the island and its history during our journey via small bus along the numerous twists/turns and elevated changes with a few stops to see the Pitons and amazing water views below, with our final journey via catamaran to view the Pitons and scenic coastline. ANTIGUA We booked our own excursion to Blue Waters Resort for $65 pp that included use of resort facilities (pools, beaches, water sports) but no food or drink. If you want the all inclusive the cost is $150 pp. NCL charges $349 pp (includes transportation) but we only spent $18 total for the 15-minute ride via cab from the port. You need to book this via phone directly with this beautiful and luxurious resort. TORTOLA/BVI We booked an excursion on our own via Kuralu Too for a small group (we were 2 of 20) that included 2 great snorkel spots and then almost 4 hours at Jost Van Dyke where we enjoyed the food & drinks at The Soggy Dollar Bar, the beautiful beach and warm water. ST. THOMAS We did the skyride that is but a short walk from the cruise pier that provides a quick, enclosed gondola ride to the top, while providing some amazing views at the top. Afterwards, we took an open air cab ($8 pp) to Magen'd Bay Beach to soak up some last minute beachtime at this Top 10 rated beach. ENTERTAINMENT Howl at the Moon - 5 stars! Burn the Floor - 5 stars! Epic Beatles - 4 stars SERVICE 5 Stars across the board but for a brief service glitch while eating at La Cucina. Our room steward, Irwin, was fantastic, pleasant and did a great job. We received greetings duiring our long walks in the room hallways from everyone each time we passed them. We secured POSH passes and got more than our $ worth ($59 pp) especially as our cruise was extended 2 extra days. INTERNET 1 star as I truly hope NCL addresses this really bad system they use. This was never more under the spotlight than when we were told at 6:30 AM on the day we were to leave Puerto Rico on Sunday, 3/15 through Tuesday, 3/17 where trying to make a call or change a flight via the internet were next to impossible. The extra 60 minutes were a nice gesture but were virtually useless when needed. PUERTO RICO A beautiful island that provides a rich Caribbean history, great restaurants, bars and our hotel (Caribe Hilton) was a resort we will go to again. We were upset that our ship was turned away on 3/15, and felt especially sad for the many PR People that were so close to being home, yet wre turned away like rest of us. NCL Thank you for a great cruise, wonderful service and getting us safely to Port Canaveral (no extra costs). We look forward to cruising again on NCL! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I recently returned from a cruise with my family on the Norwegian Epic. Our port of call was San Juan. We were originally scheduled for a 7 day Caribbean cruise, but it turned out to be a few extra days due to the complications of the ... Read More
I recently returned from a cruise with my family on the Norwegian Epic. Our port of call was San Juan. We were originally scheduled for a 7 day Caribbean cruise, but it turned out to be a few extra days due to the complications of the virus outbreak. Everyone was temperature scanned before entry on the vessel to be sure no passengers had a fever. The staff was very, very diligent keeping everything clean and sanitary. All condiments were removed from the tables, and all the buffet items were given to the patrons from the crew. (The crew was wearing gloves, and with smiles on the faces). I'm sure this was a difficult task considering they were most likely working extra shifts to cover all the extra requirements to feed everyone in the buffet area. The condiments were handed out individually in small containers. Everywhere you looked, there were crew members cleaning every surface. Elevator buttons, casino machines, handrails, tables, walls, everything. I even witnessed two people hand scrubbing every stair on the escalator. We were given constant updates on the current situation in all of the ports we visited. When our vessel tried to return to San Juan on the last day, an announcement was made by the captain about the current situation. He stated that if we were to port there that we would of been quarantined for a minimum of 3 days on the island possibly up to 14. He decided to return the vessel to Port Canaveral for us to disembark. We were then told that every cabin would receive an hour of free Wi-Fi and a free phone call to make changes to our return travel arrangements. Our drinking package was extended along with our vacation for two days at no extra charge. The cruise line also offered to pay the difference for our return flights home, and chartered buses for everyone to the Orlando airport. I believe they also chartered a private flight for any passenger returning to San Juan. All in all I was very pleased with the professionalism and the quality of service from the Norwegian cruise line employees during the stressful time! I would highly recommend them to anyone considering booking a future cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I chose epic because It was my first cruise and wanted a huge ship and heard norwegian was a good line. The crew took such good care of us to keep us safe from the corona virus to ensure that we all had a healthy fun cruise. Restaurants ... Read More
I chose epic because It was my first cruise and wanted a huge ship and heard norwegian was a good line. The crew took such good care of us to keep us safe from the corona virus to ensure that we all had a healthy fun cruise. Restaurants were FABULOUS. The entertainment was over top notch. Tables always clean and available.captain worked very hard to keep us safe and made sure we found a port to dock to as soon as he possibly could due to the corona virus .he was definitely a great and courteous captain. Sooo much to do on the ship. Excursions were great. Loved the eco hike and beach at st johns.came with amazing long unexpected boat ride which really made the excursion extra nice along with the amazing paradise beach in st John's and perfect hike. Zip lining in st lucia was so much fun!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I was on the Epic for back-to-back- cruises March 1-15, 2020. This was the last cruise before NCL shut down for at least 30 days. Fortunately, there was no illness on this cruise and a good time was had by all. I am a frequent cruiser ... Read More
I was on the Epic for back-to-back- cruises March 1-15, 2020. This was the last cruise before NCL shut down for at least 30 days. Fortunately, there was no illness on this cruise and a good time was had by all. I am a frequent cruiser with NCL and have always had a good experience with them. I do not understand how people can write such negative reviews about these cruises. Everyone, without exception, was very pleasant to deal with. The staff were always cheerful and willing to help. Embarcation in San Juan went very smoothly. I am a Platinum Lattitudes member, so there were no lines to speak of. They had many people checking folks in for the cruise, much more so than on some previous cruises I have been on. I was on the ship in no time. I ate in most of the specialty restaurants and Cagneys is, by far, the best of the lot, in my estimation. The food in all the restaurants, including the main dining rooms, was quick to arrive, hot, and perfectly cooked. I had a mini-suite stateroom on deck 11 and it was great. Tons of storage and a very nice-sized balcony, much bigger than on some of their newer ships. My room attendant, Irving, was always around, always willing to do whatever was needed to make my stay comfortable. The shows were very good, both Burn the Floor, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The comedians were better than some I have seen on past cruises. The ship is large, but I never had trouble finding a seat in any of the venues. I gamble quite a bit, and I will say, the casino on the Epic seems a bit tighter than on some other NCL ships, but I still managed to have a good time. All in all, I had a great time on the Epic. I am already booked on the Pearl in November for their Panama Canal cruise. I am hoping that this virus business settles down and allows us to travel again soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I choose Norwegian lines because my 1st experience on Dawn was excellent. Obviously, I cannot say the same on the Epic. Comparing to Dawn, Everything from the welcome with exception on a few was not as exciting. Room seemed tinier. Keep ... Read More
I choose Norwegian lines because my 1st experience on Dawn was excellent. Obviously, I cannot say the same on the Epic. Comparing to Dawn, Everything from the welcome with exception on a few was not as exciting. Room seemed tinier. Keep bumping into my partner to get from one place to the other. Shower was separated from toilet area and even the sink was apart from both these areas and oh so very small. Found it very difficult to put my makeup on because there wasn’t a good mirror for this purpose like on Dawn. Not enough Elegant restaurants to choose from. Did not like the fact to always have to go though the smoky smelly Casino area to get to where I was going. The Director and crew was not as nice either. I mean this was the Epic!! Expected way more. Ship was rusty and being painted on stops. Entertainment was great. Loved The Epic Beatles and the Colombian 4 Blue band on the pool deck. They were the best! But all in all very disappointing on my wedding anniversary celebration. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
My wife and I joined friends on the Epic in march 2020. This was our first cruise. Sailed out of San Juan. Easy and organized embarkation and disembarkation. We stayed in balcony suite 11056. We liked it. Loved the Brazilian ... Read More
My wife and I joined friends on the Epic in march 2020. This was our first cruise. Sailed out of San Juan. Easy and organized embarkation and disembarkation. We stayed in balcony suite 11056. We liked it. Loved the Brazilian Restaurant, Cagne's Steakhouse and the Hibachi Grill. We would recommend eating at all three. Casino was nice. Our cabin Porter Alan was AWESOME. Every staff member we had contact with was pleasant. Bars were crowded but we managed just fine. Danced the nights away. We were slightly overdressed. Not that we dressed to the nines....... but most people were in extremely casual clothing. We both loved sailing the Epic. Ports of Call were San Juan =okay ...it was the port of call. Oranjestad was nice. Curacao was fun. In Bonaire we should have walked the town but didn't because we did an excursion. St Lucia was okay and St Kitts was fun. We went on a few excursions. One was in utvs in Curacao....would not do again. Just say No. Another no go was the St Lucia Rainforest Tram. Our guide was the sweetest most informative girl. Just did not make up for the boring ride. The Zip lines there sounded like people were having a ball. Many venders at most port of call wanting to take you on adventures. We both thought that on our next trip that is the way we would go. Way more freedom to change plans that way. Our best excursion was one the wives found and talked us into around the island of Bonaire. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Having cruised with Norwegian before and hailing from Wisconsin, the beverage package and destinations were a big draw. After reading the reviews on the Epic (like I do before I go anywhere on vacation) I was pleasantly surprised. All I ... Read More
Having cruised with Norwegian before and hailing from Wisconsin, the beverage package and destinations were a big draw. After reading the reviews on the Epic (like I do before I go anywhere on vacation) I was pleasantly surprised. All I had read about was the crowded conditions and long waits for the elevators as well as the poor food selection. Our group of 3 couples never ran into any of those problems. If in fact you were a late riser or had to be the first one off the ship in port you would run into a crowd in the breakfast buffet or in the line off of the ship,but that’s to be expected. Everyone of the crew was VERY friendly and the first to wish you a good day. Food was very good in the 3 specialty restaurants we ate in as well as all the other food venues we tried. Cabin was on 9th floor,balcony mini suite. Plenary of room and storage unless your holding a square dance. Toilet and shower pull the curtain if you feel the need. All the port stops were nice with the exception of St. Lucia. To many people with 4 cruise ships in port. St. Kitts very nice with the best prices and nicest shopping opportunities of cruise. In closing a vacation is all that you make it.If you choose not to have a good time don’t blame the ship. For the money it’s the best deal around!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Good itinerary, but this ship design is bad. My husband's feet hung off the bed by about 6 inches. No other Norwegian ship has been like this! The room is cramped, with no real bathroom, just a cubicle for shower, cubicle for ... Read More
Good itinerary, but this ship design is bad. My husband's feet hung off the bed by about 6 inches. No other Norwegian ship has been like this! The room is cramped, with no real bathroom, just a cubicle for shower, cubicle for toilet and the sink is out in the open, waking everyone up when you wash your hands if you get up in the middle of the night. No shampoo, conditioner or body lotion. Only two main staircases fore and aft, instead of 3. This is worrying for this size of ship. The buffet is all the same items repeated 5 times along the center and both sides. There is no quiet place to eat outside from the buffet. All the outside railings have plexiglass so you have to peer between the panes to see clearly. The food and drinks were good quality, but we found ourselves defending Norwegian to quite a few first time cruisers with them, trying to tell them this ship was not 'normal' compared to the rest of the fleet. The staff were all lovely. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
The Epic is a wonderful ship. We will certainly consider sailing on it again, if it's going where we want to go. The public areas are well-done. We loved Cirque and Burn the Floor. My only complaint regarding entertainment is that ... Read More
The Epic is a wonderful ship. We will certainly consider sailing on it again, if it's going where we want to go. The public areas are well-done. We loved Cirque and Burn the Floor. My only complaint regarding entertainment is that they need more performances for things like the comedy club and the Beatles so that more people can actually attend them (very limited seating in the Cavern Club). It was easy finding seats at places like Maltings and Shakers, even when live music was playing. We did all of our shore excursions through NCL. We especially loved ziplining in the rainforest of St. Kitts. Some of the boat/snorkeling trips were too crowded (especially the one in St. Lucia). The Thermal Spa is wonderful. We spent at least an hour a day in there. For dining, we had breakfast at the buffet, which was fine. We had one lunch at the buffet, which wasn't as good as breakfast, and didn't go for lunch there again. Most of our lunches were at O'Sheehans or one of the MDRs, when not eating on an excursion. For dinner, we went to Taste and the Manhattan Room once each and did signature dining the other nights. Thoughts on those: Manhattan Room and Taste: The food was delicious. We liked the smaller portions as it meant we actually had room for dessert! Moderno: Brazilian style meat place. The "salad" bar is amazing with the basic salads, shrimp salad, an antipasto section, cheeses, and much more. They do the typical green side up when you want more meat and red side up when you don't want any. The dessert was incredible. Cirque: Entertainment and wonderful food. This is a fixed menu: prosciutto with cheese and greens, filet mignon with onion straws, and trio of desserts plate. La Cucino: The scenery is incredible, as you are at the front of the ship, looking over the water. Loved the bread. The food was upscale, with fine touches. I had the shrimp ravioli with lobster sauce. Yum! Teppanyaki: Japanese Hibachi grill. Our grillmaster was very entertaining, singing back and forth with grillmasters at other grills. The food was perfecto! Cagney's: This was our only truly disappointing meal all week. My steak was tough and uneatable. I ate about half of it. The french onion soup was good, though... Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This is my second NCL cruise, and like the first one embarkation & disembarkation was the smoothest of all the cruises I’ve been on. (Been on Carnival and Royal Caribbean, 15 cruises in total) This ship never really felt crowed, ... Read More
This is my second NCL cruise, and like the first one embarkation & disembarkation was the smoothest of all the cruises I’ve been on. (Been on Carnival and Royal Caribbean, 15 cruises in total) This ship never really felt crowed, except a few times in the Garden Cafe - When people are breathing down you back to get an extra piece of bacon (I’m positive they didn’t run out of bacon). I thought all the bartenders were very attentive, specialty dinning was awesome, especially Moderno. My ATV excursion was cancelled the day before we arrived in St. Kitts - So we walked around, and that was a disaster. I’ll preface it by adding that we did that last year, and enjoyed the shopping area, and ventured into the town - and completely enjoyed it. However, this year we were bombarded by taxi drivers, monkey handlers, and hair braiders. And when I left the tourist shopping area, I become very concerned of suspect people watching and eyeballing my wife and me - So we immediately left and got back on the ship. Room service was very good, but my mini-suite was not worth the money. Very narrow, and the toilet and shower were situated separately, in which I would call a “pod”. Very strange!!!! And the deck for a mini-suite was on the small size. (I’ve had mini-suites on multiple ships and cruise lines, and this was the worst. Overall, we love cruises, and we’ll be on Breakaway in May with the entire family. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We choose this cruise because it was the only Caribbean ports not yet seen. Absolutely hated the Epic. Only two banks of elevators for the entire ship (front & back). Waited way too long to finally get an open space and then it ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was the only Caribbean ports not yet seen. Absolutely hated the Epic. Only two banks of elevators for the entire ship (front & back). Waited way too long to finally get an open space and then it felt like sardine container. Took stairways all too often (more than I actually wanted since we were on deck 17 in the Haven). Ship staff, the facilities, and the food were all excellent as expected. This was a 7 day cruise and packed with ports. However, only 2 of the ports had enough time in port to really appreciate the port. Way too rushed and could have easily removed 1 of the ports. Overall I would rate the cruise as a 4 out of 5. We will cruise NCL in the future but the ship I rate a 2 out of 5 and will never cruise on it again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Ok so we (group of 12) choose this ship and cruise line for the ports it was going to. I usually cruise with Royal Caribbean and after this cruise with NCL I will he going back. I had read several reviews about this ship after I booked ... Read More
Ok so we (group of 12) choose this ship and cruise line for the ports it was going to. I usually cruise with Royal Caribbean and after this cruise with NCL I will he going back. I had read several reviews about this ship after I booked and pretty much except a few who had really bad experiences everyone was spot on. Getting on and off the ship was a pretty smooth process when your trying to get 2500 people on. If you like music the entertainment was excellent. Howl at the moon is a must! It's from 9pm to 1am 4 nights on ship. Singing dancing and drinking it's a really fun time. After 11pm it does tend to get a little R rated. Beatles show is really good and lots of other lounge type singers who were very good also. Food and wait staff was top notch, being a party of 12 they accommodated us great. Cagney's and Le Bistro are a must. Cruise director and staff left a lot to be desired as far as making your time on board fun. We booked all but 1 shore excursion with AAA and were very glad we did. Smaller group size for less money. Aruba we grabbed a taxi 16.00 for 6 people to go to the beach and shopping. Note beach chairs and umbrellas are very costly on the beach. We paid 50.00 for 1 umbrella and 2 chairs. On Curacao we paid 5.00 for 2 chairs and a umbrella. Curacao had the best beaches and clearest water by far. We booked with a company called Compass on Bonaire for a sail and snorkeling trip. Well worth the money. Super professional people who new a lot about the history of the island. Also took us too a remote place to snorkel. On the way back it was beer, water or rum punch and lite snacks. Did the Diamond falls botanical gardens excursion on Saint Lucia and it was just ok Way too long of a trip about 90 minute drive to arrive at falls. The worst thing about this ship is the cabins. It's the main reason I would never book again on the Epic. When you open the door your shower is on the left and your toilet is on the right. There is a small curtain to pull to block view from rest of the room. The sink is at the foot of bed. The bed is a curved shape so if your over 5'7 your feet will hang off the foot of the bed. You can only have one person moving around the cabin at a time or you will be constantly getting into each other's way.( very narrow) I like to sleep in or nap before we eat dinner and with setup its impossible for my wife to get ready without making a ton of noise. Most ships have a small bathroom to shower and get ready in away from main part of the cabin. Not the Epic. Also if you have to get up to use the toilet at note since it's right by the bed you hear that loud flushing sound everytime. What we all said was they made these way to small so the could get a few more people $$$$ on board. Lastly since they are now offering the drink package almost free on every cruise, be prepared to see your share of drinks after 10pm. Also are balcony cabin was on deck 9 towards the back of the ship. We heard the ships engines loud on and off when we were pulling into a port. Mostly between 6-8. No sleeping when this was taking place. If you book than ask for a cabin towards the front of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I chose NCL and the Epic for their southern Caribbean itenerary. This was my first cruise and I was worried about the size of the ship and the reviews of the bathroom layout. First of all, for a 4000+ person cruise there were only a few ... Read More
I chose NCL and the Epic for their southern Caribbean itenerary. This was my first cruise and I was worried about the size of the ship and the reviews of the bathroom layout. First of all, for a 4000+ person cruise there were only a few times where I felt that crowds were an issue. That was normally at the buffet when we weren't in port. I scheduled dinners away from the buffet each night which was never an issue. I actually really liked the room. It was super clean. There was a lot of storage and the bathrooms we're not at all an issue. It was actually nice that you didn't have to wait for someone to finish showering to use the sink or toilet. Between the curtain and frosted glass, privacy was not a concern. The shows (Burn the Floor, Cirque, and Pricilla) were all good. Not at all at the same level as what you would see in Vegas, but still a really fun way to spend an evening. I absolutely loved Pricilla. The ports were all nice and different. We did excisions at 3 of the 5 stops. I wish I would have scheduled more. All and all it was an awesome trip and I'm ready for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Hoping you are comfortable, because this one will be a long one... This year, we decided to try a cruise to see if it was 'for us.' With some destinations in mind, and only a specific date range free, we searched for options. ... Read More
Hoping you are comfortable, because this one will be a long one... This year, we decided to try a cruise to see if it was 'for us.' With some destinations in mind, and only a specific date range free, we searched for options. We chose Norwegian because it had an excellent record for cleanliness, and high ratings for customer satisfaction, and because the Epic was going to destinations we wanted to visit. We spent a week on the Epic, departing from Puerto Rico and sailing to Aruba, Curacao, St. Lucia, Saint Kitts and back to PR. As we had not been to San Juan before, we added two days to walk the Old Town and see the sights. We both found that really enjoyable, and appreciated the warm people and learning about the history of Puerto Rico and the role it has played over the centuries. One thing we had not considered was that the original itinerary included Bonaire, so when that was removed (prior to our purchase of the cruise), it meant we spent an entire day at sea, going in circles between Aruba and Curacao, burning fuel and going nowhere. I imagine it is the less expensive option to port fees, but it seemed a bit nonsensical to be so close to these ports and not be able to spend more time in one or both of them. Overall, it was a pleasant experience. We selected a mid-ship cabin with a balcony, specifically on the port side to get the best views and sunsets on the return portion of the trip. The cabin was fine, personally, the split bathroom setup was not an issue. Lots of storage and closet space, two North American plugs and two European plugs under the counter, and USB access on the side of the TV. Another outlet is located inside the mirror over the sink. The beds were comfortable, and we ordered extra pillows. We travel with a recharging kit that uses a USB hub and several phone adapters to maximize valuable outlets. In this case, we didn't need to use our European adapters for the Euro outlets. We were able to charge two phones, one camera battery and a laptop using the kit and the North American plugs with ease. One other thing we travel with is a small USB powered fan to move air in hotel rooms. This was a lifesaver in the cabin as it was so warm outside that opening the door at night for a refreshing breeze did not work out as planned. The AC was strong and appreciated. The ship was clean. Really clean. We booked in November and researched cruise lines and their records for norovirus issues, and Norwegian was the best. The Epic had no reported issues for years, which increased our confidence. And now with the coronavirus issue, we noticed cleaning and disinfecting underway at all times and in all the public areas. It was good to see the cruise line's prevention practices were in place. Boarding and departing the ship at every port was quick and efficient. We spoke with others after the cruise and learned that this was unusually efficient, so perhaps we were lucky. The ship itself is huge, and it was full, so probably over 5000 people with crew included. We eat early, and the various restaurants were always available, yet busy. We dined at the 15th level buffet for breakfast, and enjoyed fresh fruit, omelettes and perhaps a few more potatoes than we should have. The variety is good and allows for a different meal each morning. Lunch was generally light, but the dinners were where we had the most interesting experiences. Our package included three premium restaurants, and we chose the Japanese, Brazilian and the French restaurants. In theory, these were good choices. In practice, not so good. To be fair, the Japanese restaurant was pretty good. Our chef was entertaining, the service was fine and the food was great, especially the steak and prawns. The chicken was overcooked, but I'd rather it be a bit tough than under cooked, so maybe I am being a bit critical. The Brazilian restaurant was where the wheels fell off the cart. Having visited Brazil and having dined at one of their steak houses, I can confirm the Brazilians know their meat and how to prepare and present it. Every cut at this themed restaurant, from the lamb to the steak was saturated in salt. Some cuts were wrapped in bacon and cheese, not something one would see in a Brazilian steak house. At the end of the meal, my plate was filled with half eaten pieces of meat, a waste of food as well as a disappointment. We had a similar experience at the French restaurant. Our inquiries on alternatives resulted in advice to plan ahead and give dietary notice 24 hours in advance, which seemed a bit of an overreaction given the concern. In the ship's defense, the Executive sous chef came out to see what could be done and was very pleasant. In fact, pretty much everyone was pleasant, they just were unable to provide salt free options. Preparing foods in advance is understandable given the number of meals made each day, but some flexibility needs to be in place as well. Where the ship excelled was in the complimentary restaurants. We found the service and the food in Manhattan and Taste to be superior to the themed specialty restaurants, and the servers were able to provide food that was not salted. So if you find yourself not able to secure a reservation in the specialty restaurants, all is by no means lost. Entertainment was good. The Cirque show was very entertaining, and intimate as it is a small theatre. The food at that show was pretty mediocre, and getting a glass of wine seemed to be asking too much, but the show was worth the time spent. We popped our heads in to see the Priscilla and Burn the Floor shows, but ultimately left as they were not our style of entertainment. Really enjoyed the Howl at the Moon comedy shows, with three comedian/musicians taking requests from the audience. The included on board wi-fi was a struggle, not so much because of the coverage, which was fine but as it was a metered connection and the process of logging in and out was unreliable, so minutes were lost and stress was gained. There are options to purchase more time, but it isn't cheap, so keeping within the original allotment was our plan. And, we were a bit surprised with how much direct sales there was on board. It was constant, everything from pre-paying your next cruise to all of the various products for sale on board. For us, it was too much, we don't appreciate being bombarded with sales pitches. And, Norwegian is persistent with their direct marketing at home, as well. We receive a solicitation about every ten days for upcoming cruises. It really is excessive and counterproductive. The four ports of call were all pleasant. We walked around town and hit a beach in Aruba, and just walked around in Curacao. We went on two shore excursions in St. Lucia and St. Kitts. The Island Splendour on St. Lucia started out interesting, but turned into a series of brief stops intended to flog souvenirs. It became a bit shabby toward the end. We took a city tour and beach transfer on St. Kitts, and the driver was excellent and provided good information on the island and the capital city, and then dropped us off at a wonderful beach for a few hours. We learned at the beach that a cab ride from the ship was about $3.00 each way, so that is a much more affordable option if an afternoon at the beach is on your agenda. We went to Frigate Bay, just east of the port and it was very nice. Overall, a good experience, and a good way to see several islands. Would we cruise again? Perhaps in a different environment such as a river cruise, but probably not in this format. But, you have to try everything once, I have been told. 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Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and ship size (not too big but amenities of a larger ship). The itinerary was excellent, although we missed a port (Bonaire) and were annoyed with “after final payment” changes. Tip: We flew ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and ship size (not too big but amenities of a larger ship). The itinerary was excellent, although we missed a port (Bonaire) and were annoyed with “after final payment” changes. Tip: We flew into San Juan a day early and stayed right in the Airport Hotel. Sooooo convenient and only needed 1 taxi ride directly to the port the next day. It was clean and had an excellent complimentary breakfast, and hotel staff/manager was great help. Embarkation and Debarkation were better than any other cruise we’ve been on. No lines at all. Ship: I found the layout fine. The casino was huge but we could avoid it by taking a different floor. The smoke wasn’t ridiculous but it would be better if the casino was more contained since it does open up to the center of the ship. The ship was clean and well maintained. Deck space on sea days is definitely an issue. There is not enough space for 4,000 people. We dealt with this by booking the Thermal Spa for the week. Worth every penny. Great amenities including saunas overlooking the ocean, jetted pool, and a private outdoor lounge area. Tip: booking the Thermal Suite cost less than upgrading to a regular balcony. By booking an interior and the Thermal Suite, we had outdoor space that was quiet and great amenities to stay relaxed plus an uncrowded heated pool. Cabin: we actually really loved the inside cabin set up. I was worried that they would be too small, but there was ample storage. I liked a separate shower and toilet. The shower was the biggest I’ve ever had at sea. Only problem was the lighting is WAY too dark. It was difficult to see to put on makeup. Dining: very pleased with the dining options. Only bad meal was in the main dining room for lunch. All specialty dining was excellent, main dining dinner was good, and breakfast and lunch in the buffet was great. The service was excellent. Smiles from everyone, even when we could tell they were under staffed and working hard. Activities and Entertainment: lots to do. The funnel slide was super fun although it was busy so we only did it on embarkation without a wait. Rock climbing wall was good size and sport court was nice. We even played shuffle board and ping pong. The theatre shows were very good but not for the easily offended. Unfortunately we could not see some of the other shows because the venue space was way too small. There were lots of trivia and game shows we enjoyed. Plus dance classes and a fun escape room that all was free. No need to pay for entertainment to keep busy. Shore Excursions: Aruba took excursion with a local company called ABC Excursions. Excellent company and great price. saw EVERYTHING in one day and included lunch. Curacao ship excursion to the Hato Caves and City Tour. Professional and comfortable. Caves were interesting. We would have liked more time to shop in town but they did the best they could with time constraints. It is a beautiful city to explore walking distance from the port. St. Lucia best excursion with the ship! Took a catamaran cruise “between the Pitons”. Got to snorkel, take pictures, and dance on the boat. Clean bathrooms too! Highlight was that this was a late port so we got to see the sunset on the way back to port. Gorgeous island views. Definitely recommend. St. Kitts taxis are easily organized and accessible so no need to book a beach excursion through the ship for double the cost! We like snorkeling, so we went to Regae Beach Bar on Cockleshell Beach ($14 pp taxi ride + $20 for 2 beach chairs and an umbrella). Felt very authentic Caribbean and had good snorkeling. We saw star fish and a huge sting ray. Left time for shopping. San Juan we booked ship excursion to the Rainforest that included the airport transfer. It was a long drive but absolutely beautiful with great views. Norwegian did a great job with picking excursion companies. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
On off the ship the fastest we have ever had .the ship is very large with many thing to to.the casino is very big they have a lot of table games .they could use a upgrade on there slots.food in all dining venues was very good and always ... Read More
On off the ship the fastest we have ever had .the ship is very large with many thing to to.the casino is very big they have a lot of table games .they could use a upgrade on there slots.food in all dining venues was very good and always hot. Had only one problem the breakfast in taste was really bad.pool areas nice .I wish the Beatles tribute band played in the main theater more cause the cavern club is way to small.for smokers out there they have two spots one buy the main pool.the other in spice h 2 o on side smoking with a bar and 20 to 25 table s with umbrellas the other side non smoking with food..we had no problem with water like so many others did..with all that said enjoy the ship cause we had a lot of fun .and remember you are on vacation in the Caribbean so have fun. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The rooms used for shows are too small for that many people. We had to be in line for an hour before the shows even started. This is our first time sailing with Norwegian and I would not sail the epic again. Why were the Beatles put in a ... Read More
The rooms used for shows are too small for that many people. We had to be in line for an hour before the shows even started. This is our first time sailing with Norwegian and I would not sail the epic again. Why were the Beatles put in a small, crapy room, when we couldn’t get in for a show we tried to get in there, guess what? Dining was great in the two big restaurants, the one in the middle was Bad, we never did get served there. Ports, the worst! I have never been on a ship with those changes, 6:00 to 12:00 in the morning! Then 2:00 to 7:00 at night on another. I don’t drink and I don’t gamble so that wasn’t for me. I go on a cruise to see these different islands. The cabin was spotless, very clean, and very helpful. I had to call about the safe and they were there in 10 minutes. I have never used the toilet and had to wash my hands outside on any other ship I have been on. The excursions, I had to go outside the ship for something new, the times were changed and then finding something to do in Curasau, the busiest time in St Lucia to get back. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Last year we sailed on the NCL Getaway this same week. This year we tried the Epic. I loved this ship. It is huge (aren't they all?), and pretty. We chose a cabin layout with the bed closest to the balcony, which allowed us more floor ... Read More
Last year we sailed on the NCL Getaway this same week. This year we tried the Epic. I loved this ship. It is huge (aren't they all?), and pretty. We chose a cabin layout with the bed closest to the balcony, which allowed us more floor space upon entering. Passing the foot of the bed is strictly a one way zone! The cabin had a lot of storage space, and the toilet - shower - sink configuration worked beautifully for us. The enclosures are frosted, so for a couple or a family with younger children this should not present a problem. We found everyone on staff to be friendly and helpful. Spanish was probably the most heard language. Some of the waiters and bar staff were difficult to understand. Perhaps we are just losing some of our hearing facilities. The shows were superb, especially the adult comedy shows. We loved Spice H2O, and locating open loungers was not a problem. The same can be said for the loungers by the central pool. We saw very few children traveling this week. We used the Casino a lot! This Casino is really large for a cruise ship. If you like to gamble, you will not be disappointed with the options in this casino. The food was good and plentiful in the Garden Cafe (the 24/7 buffet). Le Bistro was fantastic!!!!!! La Cucina was not. And I will be polite here and say no more about this restaurant venue. Perhaps we just experienced it on an unfortunate night. In general I would give the food on this ship an A-. The ship was very clean. The general announcements over the speakers are difficult to understand, again because of the language accents. Our balcony was a wonderful space, large enough to hold 4 if necessary, and more than comfortable for the two of us. We chose not to upgrade our cabin because I had chosen it with consideration of location. We were in cabin 13201. This was very close to the elevators, which we rarely had to wait for! I would go back to this same cabin without a hesitation. I would chose to sail on this ship again. It was clean, friendly, well laid out, and smooth sailing! I find it imperative to do thorough research and planning before boarding a ship. I use a small three ring binder to hold all documents and scheduled events and excusions for each day aboard. Many guests complained about not being able to acquire excursions or reservations in restaurants, etc...This is the result of poor planing on the part of the guest, not the ship's staff! Do yourself a favor by taking care of all the details before you board, then just relax and enjoy beauty of the sea! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife and I had been on Epic twice before this cruise so when the opportunity to go to the ABC islands out of San Juan we jumped at it. Without notice, without any explanation, and after the cruise was paid for and after the airline ... Read More
My wife and I had been on Epic twice before this cruise so when the opportunity to go to the ABC islands out of San Juan we jumped at it. Without notice, without any explanation, and after the cruise was paid for and after the airline arrangements were made, the itinerary was changed dramatically. Bonaire as a stop was dropped and we had a day and a half at sea between Aruba and Curacao. The stop at Curacao was for 6 hours starting at at 6 AM. My wife and I had breakfast at 7:30 and walked over to the usual suspect shops for about one hour where the boat docked. All of this came after 36 hours of the ship doing figure eights in Caribbean killing time when we were supposed to be in Bonaire. I could be wrong but two consecutive nights at sea seemed to exacerbate the over the top drinking and gambling on this cruise. The stop in St. Lucia was also only 6 hours but at least it was 2 PM to 8 PM. Having whined about the itinerary, let me state that the entertainment was excellent. The Burn The Floor Review while not to my taste was well attended and appreciated. Priscilla Queen of the Desert was very funny and professional. The Cirque Show(including the included dinner) was great. The Beatles cover band was very good. The food at the Taste dining room was excellent. We went to three premium restaurants: Le Bistro and Toppanyaki were excellent; LaCuccina was ok. Our cabin while small was adequate and well serviced by the cabin steward. If you are thinking about cruising to these islands, think Celebrity. We are repeating to the ABC's in December on Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I have gone on 6 cruises mostly with RC. After this experience I will never go with the Norwegian Epic ever! We just got back. Traveled end of Feb 2020. I will give you the pros and cons of our experience Pros -Food was great, ... Read More
I have gone on 6 cruises mostly with RC. After this experience I will never go with the Norwegian Epic ever! We just got back. Traveled end of Feb 2020. I will give you the pros and cons of our experience Pros -Food was great, Loved the crepe station in the buffet -lots of dinning options,  -ship/room decor was nice,  -entertainment was good. (best comedians ever!) Cons -The ship has no idea how to control 4000 people!  Never have I ever seen such lines! -The line ups to get on and off the ship at each port was about an hr long wait! No Joke,  IT WAS RIDICULOUS! Good luck if you booked a private excursion!   -Ship was late leaving ports and late arriving!  No one was happy with arriving late at the port when we only have a couple of hrs there .-The itinerary wasn't good. We left Aruba and sat at sea circling Aruba for a day then arrived at the island right beside in Curacao, very disappointed we didn't get longer at the port, wish I had noticed the terrible port times before I booked!  I should have paid attention, arriving in Curacao at 6am then leaving at noon is terrible.  (In the past RC Cruise lines offered full days at each port) -line ups in the Buffet was crazy long in the morning especially for the omeletts -The theatre was so small we had to make reservations and when we found out we needed reservations several days before the show they were already sold out.  We have never had to make reservations on any ships before, so we had no idea! -the Ship was very under staffed!  Dinner service in the dining room was over 2 hrs!  most nights it took forever for any food to come! -Ship was so under staffed that they didn't even open any waterslides on the sea day. I asked why it wasn't open and staff said because it was windy but the following day it was finally opened and it was very windy that day, I assumed because of staffing issues? -They had a Cirque du Soleil show, they were charging an extra $25 per person to see the show!  We shouldn't have to pay extra to watch entertainment! -We love sitting with other couples at dinner to visit, but on this ship if you want to sit with someone you have to make arrangements in advance then make a dinner reservations.  Most of the dining room was couples tables.  We never did get to sit with anyone.  -The layout of the ship is terrible, no open areas to walk across, had to constantly walk around casino tables and dinner tables, too crowded to walk anywhere!   -Lineups for elevators was crazy!  We took it once and never again!  people squished on like sardines probably because it took so long. -the room had a stupid layout.  The toilet was right beside the bed!  I can sit on the toilet and touch my bed!  not very romantic to me! - NCL doesn't offer any towel animals on their ships, they said to cut down on laundry. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We booked this cruise based on the itinerary. We were particularly keen to visit Curacao, which offered a whole day on the island. Alas, things changed. We were scheduled to arrive in Curacao at 6AM (you read that right) and depart at ... Read More
We booked this cruise based on the itinerary. We were particularly keen to visit Curacao, which offered a whole day on the island. Alas, things changed. We were scheduled to arrive in Curacao at 6AM (you read that right) and depart at 1230PM. One port was excised all together. No believable explanation was ever extended. We were, in a word, miffed. We resolved to make the best of it. Multiple reviewers have used the "Good, the bad and the ugly" structural method. It is appealing, save for the done-to-death feel. I wanted to shift the focus - "The steaks were tough as Sister Sara's Mules." Maybe "Norwegian will show you a good time...for A Fistful of Dollars." "Once Upon a Time in the West...ern Caribbean." Nah. That's too much work for what was a fabulous cruise. We took the Southern route, anyway. Norwegian Epic is a big, clean ship that looks a little odd. The "Haven" spaces is plopped just above the bridge in a blockhouse-style architecture. It does funky things to the ship's lines. No matter, we weren't aboard because it was pretty. The ship itself is easy to navigate, logically put together, except... Some ships are built around a promenade deck. Epic seemed built around the casino, which emanated cigarette smoke two decks above it. Boarding was stupid easy. We arrived precisely at the time on our boarding pass, in an area frequented by "Phone App" drivers, documents in hand. We never stopped moving, to the point we were juggling pens and papers filling out the "I haven't had a Corona in weeks" forms on the fly. Thirteen minutes, from when we got in line to enter the building and when we crossed into the ship. Pro tip - we were dumped into the Deck Four ingress/egress point, which jammed up in front of the elevators. Gentle "excuse me" requests didn't work. We had to push our way to the staircase. The food on board was excellent, with the usual cruise ship caveats. Portions in the MDR (we chose the Manhattan) fluctuated, sometimes modest, sometimes generous. There was acceptable variety most nights, sometimes really good dishes were offered. Service was quick and efficient, although the servers weren't as conversational as other lines. It was unusual if a server would linger for more than superficial pleasantries. They did keep our wine glasses full! The specialty restaurants offered food that was about the same level as the MDR. Cagney was fine - the steaks well presented. The Italian restaurant was also good, the food rich and flavorful. The hibachi restaurant was disappointing - way way too much reliance on soy in the seafood dishes. The steak, however, was incredibly good. The buffet - standard. Nobody does scrambled eggs well. The omelet lines moved quickly, and smaller ready-made omelets were available. Multiple sanitizer stations were available, so one could hose down your hands after handling tongs. There was enough variety to allow an excellent choice of options. The coffee was surprisingly good, plentiful and many stations available. The pastries were okay, except for the muffins - to absolutely die for. Best ever, on any cruise ship. We liked the cabin layout, although a couple of features were perplexing. There is plenty of storage space, the bed was very comfortable and - once the guy in the next cabin explained the system - the lights were wonderfully useful, with a logical pattern. The bathroom layout, with shower and head in different enclosures, worked extremely well. The sofa, if that's what it was, was useless. It had a sort of wave design that created an angle every place one might sit. Annoying. Our cabin attendant was fantastic. Helpful, efficient and very nice. She made our stay very comfortable. The bar service was spotty. We found a covered area on the pool deck to read and write, spending hours there over four days. We got bar service once, and had to attract the attention of the server to get it. Often, they would walk past us with a thousand yard stare. Getting served at the pool bar was an exercise in patience - the bartenders worked hard and had a system, but by mid-afternoon the other cruisers were pushy and very loud. Service in the other venues were about average, with the wait staff not always in evidence. We went to one show, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It was lavish, to put it mildly. It was loud, flamboyant and unpredictable. It was also touching in spots. We loved it! The music and dancing were amazing, the cast extremely talented. Total recommend. The port calls - erratic. Aruba cabs were expensive, and service in the beach bars slower than even island time might suggest. St. Lucia was a traffic nightmare, and we were lucky. Groups of people were still coming aboard 30 minutes after we were supposed to shove off. Curacao was easily negotiated on foot. We loved St. Kitts - pay attention to the folks hawking bus tours. They are excellent, well worth the $20 per we spent. Debarking - as stupid simple as getting on. Ten minutes. We were not sure about Norwegian once the itinerary changes took place. We were ready to be disappointed. They delivered an excellent product. We enjoyed the whole voyage, in spite of ourselves. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We wanted to do a cruise to the ABC islands and we used our cruise next deposits for this cruise on NCL EPIC. First the good - we loved cruising out of of San Juan. That port draws in older crowd and that suits us. There were minimal 20 ... Read More
We wanted to do a cruise to the ABC islands and we used our cruise next deposits for this cruise on NCL EPIC. First the good - we loved cruising out of of San Juan. That port draws in older crowd and that suits us. There were minimal 20 yr olds on the cruise. We loved the ports and the crew on the Epic is the best I've seen in 25 years. The bad: the Epic may be the worst ship I've ever been on. The rooms are terrible, very narrow with the bathroom inside of a closet. No surprise NCL has only one of these in their fleet. She has no mid-ship elevators. So if you book mid-ship like we did (and payed extra for!) you will be walking a lot as you have to go to the bow or stern for an elevator. We still had a great cruise because the staff on this ship is top notch. The itinerary was good but I have to call out NCL on some major problems. They cancelled our port to Bonaire. On the island of Curacao we arrived at 6 am and departed at 12 pm. There was no time to see Curacao. We then arrived in St. Lucia the next day at 2 pm at 8pm. NCL's handling of the itinerary was completely unacceptable. That said we cruised with many terrific people and a great crew...we loved the cruise but NCL could have made it even better without the gafs on the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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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