333 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews

Twenty years ago we spent our honeymoon on a Norwegian ship. It was an excellent experience. We decided to try Norwegian cruise line again with the Epic. It was a complete failure. The design of the ship is laid out badly and confusing. ... Read More
Twenty years ago we spent our honeymoon on a Norwegian ship. It was an excellent experience. We decided to try Norwegian cruise line again with the Epic. It was a complete failure. The design of the ship is laid out badly and confusing. There are only elevators at the front and the back of the ship. There is always long lines and crowds for the elevators. What makes it worse is the crowds pile in the elevator which has no air conditioning. It is like standing in a packed sauna. The ship decor and staterooms have a very dark paneling which gives it a bad lighting atmosphere. The ship was so overcrowded that it wasn't relaxing. It was like standing in long lines at Disney World just to get on a ride. You had to arrive at restaurants and shows at least one hour prior to their scheduled times because long lines formed early for each event. Nobody made it clear that you needed to book showtimes and non specialty restaurants reservations before boarding the ship. To add to the frustration all show activities are located in the same area of the ship. You couldn't move because long lines formed early for each show. You always had to wait in lines for everything and make sure you got there early. For the shows you didn't reserve, there was still long lines and standing room only crowds. The comedian acts repeated their same shows. Had we known we wouldn't have waited for the same show in standing room only crowds. The juggler Dan Bennett and the magician were the only good shows. While Priscilla had wonderful costume changes and singers, the show was definitely not appropriate for a cruise ship audience. Especially as the main entertainment show. The bad design of the ship also included very small pools that were more like the size of a bath tub especially with over 3000 cruisers onboard. The sports deck did not include the traditional miniature golf course that is featured on all other cruise ships. The bad design of the ship also involved being forced to walk through smoked filled casino areas to get to other venues and restaurants on the ship. This is very harmful for non smokers. While sitting in the Taste Restaurant you could even smell the smoke from the Casino above. We were also very unhappy to find out that even with the beverage package, you could not get bottled water for free. Why? We are not heavy drinkers and I am sure bottled water is cheaper than alcohol. As long time cruisers, we enjoy booking the spa suite balcony level or higher. The only redeeming factor on the Epic is the Thermal Suite Hydrotherapy area in the spa. Access to it is included in a spa level stateroom. This area provides the much needed stress relief from the constant crowds and lines in all areas of the Epic ship. The balcony in the spa area is the quietest area on the ship even with the roar of the rear engines. Again though this area would become so crowded because everyone agreed it was the only place to escape the craziness of this ship. We booked this vacation for my husbands birthday. His favorite food is Italian. We choose La Cucina for that reason. We both were very sadly disappointed with this restaurant. How does an Italian restaurant not offer pasta selections? My husband left the restaurant without eating. The waiter felt so bad that he gave us pizzas to eat later. This cruise was an "Epic" failure. We will never book Norwegian again. Celebrity cruise line has shown that they treat their passengers royally with better ship features, indoor, and outdoor facilities, and entertainment while having comparable prices. I noticed in other posts where they mentioned catching a bad cold at the end of their Epic cruise. We had the same problem. We were not sick when we got on the Epic but left our vacation with a bad cold despite constant hand washing. We noticed many other cruisers were coughing by the end of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Started out with a 3 hour wait to get on ship due to the “Holy Ship” fiasco. They were late getting passengers off ship because the authorities had to come on and arrest 15 passengers who were detained in ship jail, due to drug ... Read More
Started out with a 3 hour wait to get on ship due to the “Holy Ship” fiasco. They were late getting passengers off ship because the authorities had to come on and arrest 15 passengers who were detained in ship jail, due to drug trafficking. We actually saw people being escorted off ship in handcuffs. Then a crane had to take the stage down off of top deck, all while we waited. By the way, there was a small sign in the corner stating “Porters are salaried employees, and tipping is not required”. This sign was hidden in a corner, after you paid the porters, who were aggressive. Security was lax, just to get the huge backlog of passengers on ship. By the time we got on, all food areas closed, had to run to Muster Drill. BTW, all staff were tight lipped on the arrests. A copy of the “Holy Ship” itinerary was left in my room and it showed the last music group ending at 5:30am on our embarkation day. Therefor, everyone was probably passed out in their cabins, drunk, with staff unable to wake them and get them off the ship. NCL sold out to the music festival and cheated next passengers out of first day of cruise. Everywhere you go on ship, it smells. The smells ranged from spoiled milk to feces. The staff looks overtired and grouchy. Our room steward was excellent though. Tried the Manhattan dining room twice, each time dinner took 3 long hours. Wait staff is curt, slow and unfriendly. Food was cold and tasteless. Taste was a better food option, but entire place smelled of smoke and spoiled milk. Specialty places were alright, got them free from Costco, otherwise would have skipped. YOU CANNOT USE ONBOARD CREDIT TOWARDS GRATUITIES, no other cruise line does that. Did not find this out till last day. Even Costco told us we could use for gratuities, not true. Food in Garden Cafe was good, with enough seating. Ship is odd with elevators only in front and aft. Whole ship is detailed in dark wood, so ship has a dark and dank feel about it. Cabins are very dark with insufficient lighting. Toilet and shower on opposite ends is dumb. The carpeting everywhere is filthy. The ship is under construction, so top deck is limited. Make sure you ask if construction is done before planning. Overall, tired, dirty, smelly ship that should be in dry dock. Never again. Try Holland or Celebrity, much better service and cleaner ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We initially chose this cruise for the itinerary, and the port it was departing from. We are experienced cruisers, having been on many different cruise lines - Holland America, Royal Caribbean etc. The embarkation process was the WORST ... Read More
We initially chose this cruise for the itinerary, and the port it was departing from. We are experienced cruisers, having been on many different cruise lines - Holland America, Royal Caribbean etc. The embarkation process was the WORST we have ever experienced! We stood outside in the hot sun in a line that went on forever. It took several hours to even get to the point of check-in. It was disorganized and chaotic. When we tried to ask a few people behind the scenes what the delay was, we received two different explanations (please note - no one from the ship went along the line to provide any type of communication at all). The first explanation that we received was that the ship was late into the port that morning by two hours, setting everything back. The next explanation that we received was that it was customs that had held up things that morning. We would discover later that the truth was there was a huge issue with drugs on the ship that had delayed disembarkation, as it had made the news. We finally get on board and go to our rooms. I had purchased an internet package, but there was nothing in the room telling me that I had purchased the package, with any instructions as to how I could access the internet. Later on, using the NCL app, I discovered that we had a $50 shipboard credit. Thinking this was an error, I went to guest services to inquire, to find out that a family member had purchased it as a gift for us. I explained it would have been nice to know that, and any other ship I have been on would have had a note card left in our room to tell us. I spoke with the Assistant Guest Service Manager and he made it very apparent that he didn't care. There was no - I'm sorry, we apologize, nothing, no explanation. When I asked about the embarkation process the previous day, again, no explanation was provided. While up on deck for the sail-a-way, we heard several people complaining that their staterooms were not clean. Ours was okay, but the carpet was stained. The rooms (we had an inside stateroom), are the SMALLEST we have ever had on any cruise we have been on. The only two great meals we had on this ship were the two nights we went to restaurants on the ship that we paid EXTRA for. The food and service in the main dining rooms was not great, we did not feel well cared for. By this point, we all came to the conclusion that Norwegian doesn't know what customer service is, and they just don't care. Let's talk about the drinks! We didn't have one really great drink while on board. The cost - $12.95 plus they charge a gratuity. What was really upsetting was that on top of that, when they bring you the bill to sign, and there is a place to add an ADDITIONAL Gratuity. Like we haven't paid enough with the already over inflated prices. The result for us - we drank very little on the cruise, which was disappointing, because we enjoy having cocktails while on vacation. The couple we were traveling with brought wine with them. When we were unloading when we first arrived, there was a porter saying to take the wine out of your check-in luggage but didn't say why. To unpack and repack in the chaos was not something they were about to do, so they left the wine in the luggage they were checking. BIG MISTAKE!! They were fully prepared to pay the $15 per bottle corkage fee, but they essentially held that piece of luggage hostage because of the wine. They got the runaround about how to retrieve the luggage, and after several trips to guest services, being sent different places, it was 11 p.m. before they were able to retrieve their luggage. The entertainment was okay, but there was nothing that we were completely "wowed" by. Because of the way embarkation happened, I do not believe that they properly vetted people, and that many must have lied about their health on the health declaration. We have never gotten sick on a cruise, but our entire party fell ill, with sore throats and upper respiratory. As I sit here and write this, I am still not recovered (Day 10). Everywhere we went people were sneezing, coughing. Two last things I will leave you with, every other ship we have been on, has a deck that goes around the entire ship that you can get out on to walk around and look at the view. This ship did not have this. The decks that you could go out on (Deck 7) was only on each side of the ship (one was the jogging/walking "track") and the lifeboats blocked any view. Other ships have always had a room that you could go and relax in with comfortable chairs to read or play cards (like the Crow's Nest on Holland America), there was no such place on this ship. The only thing that we liked about Norwegian was the fact that the dress code for dining is more relaxed. Not having to take suits, ties, and being able to wear a nice pair of capris with a dressy top, or for the guys, dress pants with a golf shirt was a nice change, and so much easier packing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Started off very badly with a 2 + hour wait to embark. No one would tell customers what the issue was. Some blamed TSA. Others said the ship was 2 hours late arriving in port. It was after we got on that we learned the real reason (just ... Read More
Started off very badly with a 2 + hour wait to embark. No one would tell customers what the issue was. Some blamed TSA. Others said the ship was 2 hours late arriving in port. It was after we got on that we learned the real reason (just google Norwegian Epic Drug bust January 2019). The staff seemed pre-occupied and un-attentive; meals were mediocre unless you paid surcharge for certain restaurants. We did so twice and the food and service was much better. Bar drinks are not great and overpriced (most mixed drinks avg $12 USD). A can of pop cost over $4.00 USD - insane! There are few interior areas where one can go to sit and look out on the water (think HAL Crow's nest). The card room is about 25' square - much too small for the size of the ship. The library is very small. The corridors are narrow in places. Lines are long for restaurants and entertainment. The theatre holds 600 people. The main show - Priscilla played two nights, 2 shows a night. If you do the math, that means 2400 people could see the show (if you had a reservation or was lucky to get in on standby). The rest were out of luck. The only plus was the weather and the shore excursions that we booked ourselves prior to cruising - and NCL had nothing to do with that. We have cruised many times with many cruise lines and this will be one to forget. Embarkation when smoothly because we walked off with our own luggage - and boy were we happy to get off! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this particular cruise as it is one we had been on before on a different cruise line. We enjoyed that one so much, I thought, how different could it be on another cruise line with what I thought was a pretty reputable name. I ... Read More
I chose this particular cruise as it is one we had been on before on a different cruise line. We enjoyed that one so much, I thought, how different could it be on another cruise line with what I thought was a pretty reputable name. I couldn't have been anymore mistaken. This cruise was actually our Christmas and graduation from college gifts to our two children. Only one of my two children had cruised before and knew pretty much what to expect. As my one child put it...he had a better time on the what he referred to as the "budget cruise line" than he did on this particular cruise. My daughter has traveled the world, mostly by air and said she was less that impressed with cruising. I told her that she shouldn't base her dislike of cruising from this particular cruise because as we know, they can be much different. Our New Years cruise aboard the Norwegian Epic to the Eastern Caribbean left us with few good things to say about this cruise. The ship was on the small size and was completely packed. While I understand it was a holiday cruise, there were not enough amenities for a full house. While our cabin was nice and our cabin steward was delightful, along with most of the other hands on workers including the bartenders, waiters and waitresses, etc., some of the phone operators in particular guest services were quite unfriendly. We didn't care for the fact that the higher up managers walked around in their white uniforms checking out how the workers were doing their jobs and being condescending to some of them. As part of our cruise package, we chose the unlimited beverage package and the three specialty dinners package. How do you run out of a certain ingredient to make a particular drink, which happened to be mint on the third day of a cruise?? The specialty dinners were not very memorable with the exception of the Brazilian steak house, and perhaps because we had never experienced that food adventure before, The french choice seemed ok, though not as good as the first and the last, Italian is not even worth commenting on. Then the next very annoying challenge was trying to find chairs around any of the pools, or for that matter, finding a chair anywhere outdoors. I'm not sure what time people came out to stake out their chairs but we were out fairly early, around 9:00 am without an unclaimed chair in sight. Even if more chairs were available, there was no place to put them. They chair were lined up like sardines. The last stop on our cruise was to Norwegians private island which turned out to be a real disaster. We had to be tendered out to the island and I believe ours was at 10:00 AM and again, by the time we arrived, there wasn't a chair to be found except at a picnic table. We turned right around and took the next tender back to the ship. Because most everyone was on the island, we ended up having a better time on the ship. We could pick any chair we wanted and there wasn't a line at the bar or any of the restaurants. I believe it was the most enjoyable day on the ship. People came back from the island complaining about the long times for food and drink. So while I haven't given up on cruising, because I know it can be enjoyable, it certainly won't be on Norwegian Cruise Lines again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Planned New Years cruise to relax - didn't necessarily care about the ports. From day one it was a bad experience - the room was filthy, dirty carpet with rat droppings all over. The sofa was filthy, I put a towel on it before I ... Read More
Planned New Years cruise to relax - didn't necessarily care about the ports. From day one it was a bad experience - the room was filthy, dirty carpet with rat droppings all over. The sofa was filthy, I put a towel on it before I could sit. Paid for a suite with a balcony as usual. Would not have stayed if it were a hotel. The shows were very good, easy to get into, very pleased. Dining was OK- seemed to have lots of leftovers on the buffet, but it a buffet.... Service was very much less than expected - while we have been on other Norwegian cruises I have never seen staff speak to guests as I saw on this cruise - had them bark at me and suggest I go to another place for service as they were busy. Saw them making fun of other guests....really, at least go behind closed doors if you are going to make fun of the people paying your paycheck. Never again - not just done with Norwegian Epic - done with Norwegian - period. Will lose almost $2,000 in deposits but would never do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The summary of this cruise would be oversold and understaffed! This cruise line packed as many people as possible and there were no where near the available amenities to serve the people! Excursions were cancelled due to staffing, there ... Read More
The summary of this cruise would be oversold and understaffed! This cruise line packed as many people as possible and there were no where near the available amenities to serve the people! Excursions were cancelled due to staffing, there were no chairs available most of the time, it took forever to get served anything! I actually felt sorry for the staff, or at least for the ones who weren't incredibly rude! On day two, my adult children woke up to a sweltering hot room! It took about 8 hours and 3 requests for someone to finally come fix their air! Also on day two I was eating breakfast and bit into a piece of glass! They took my room number! On day 6 I pulled a piece of glass out of my lip from my bar drink! Again, they took my room number! On day two my niece and nephew were assaulted by a very drunk passenger! They took our room number! On day two they ran out of mint, an essential ingredient in the only drink my husband likes other than premium bourbon (which they do not serve)! There were long lines for anything you needed and there were no seats in any bar or any entertainment venue unless you got in line an hour before opening! The day on their private island was simply a change of venue with the same issues! Not enough chairs or food and beverage service! Long lines and not enough staff! So besides the glass in the food and the long lines to be served, the food itself was terrible. I am not incredibly picky, but I found myself saying, "well this meal wasn't too terrible" on occasion. My parents paid for for 16 of us to go on this cruise! I hate that they wasted so much money on something that was so incredibly disappointing! Oh and by the way, as many times as they took our room number, they never actually did anything about our issues. This was our first and last NCL cruise! I will stick with Crystal! The only positive thing I can say is that our cabin steward was incredibly sweet and accommodating! She was the best part of NCL! She should go work for Crystal! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Along with several hundred others, I made the mistake of traveling on NCL during the college football bowl season. I should have checked with NCL but just a assumed they would televise the playoffs. NCL then got to sell me the $500 ... Read More
Along with several hundred others, I made the mistake of traveling on NCL during the college football bowl season. I should have checked with NCL but just a assumed they would televise the playoffs. NCL then got to sell me the $500 premium streaming internet package that didn’t even work. Of course, no refunds. Beyond this, so many other issues that made this the worst cruise I have taken (out of 7). The food was not good (except specialty dining, which is an extra cost) and everything had lines or was sold out. Excursions, shows, everything needed pre planning or you were out of luck. Also, if your room was in the aft, you needed to walk through the Smokey casino to get to a lot of places or take a long route around. Worst part was nobody cared to help you resolve issues. In terms of positives, the kids loved the pool water slides and bar service was pretty good given how full the ship was. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We wanted to get away for the Christmas holidays and wanted to sail on the Epic. We have been on several of the NCL large and small ships and have over $2000 in future cruise money, so we are a fan of NCL. There were so many things ... Read More
We wanted to get away for the Christmas holidays and wanted to sail on the Epic. We have been on several of the NCL large and small ships and have over $2000 in future cruise money, so we are a fan of NCL. There were so many things wrong with the Epic, that surprises me why NCL has not fixed them. Embarkation was terrible with extremely long lines even we arrived when we should have. In the stateroom the toilet is in one room, the shower in another room, and the sink in the stateroom itself. Functionally this makes sense, but in reality, it is a mess. My wife's head, while in bed, was only about 5' from the toilet if the door was open. The balcony stateroom was very tight. We had to turn our small carryon to it's side to pass by the end of the bed. No power outlets above the counter level in the room. On deck 6, a main area, is the casino that goes from one side of the ship to the other. You walk through it to get to many places and due to the smoke, you and your clothes smell like smoke. Could not get to the Taste restaurant from the aft elevators. Moderno was awful. Food way overcooked. Getting a drink at the bar on the ship took well over 30 minutes. If you were a small person, getting to the bar would have been worse. There are two tiny pools for this big ship. The Cavern club sound was terrible. It is a long narrow room, with the stage along the long wall. Just awful. Our cabin stuck out beyond the upper staterooms meaning people could look down on us, and when they washed the glass above, guess where the wash water went. A main theater show with drag queens. Not the best for a main show in our opinion. The cruise director was great, and staff were friendly but the staff had accents made that made it very hard to understand them. On the positive side, Cagney's was awesome, as well as the bar there. Main DR food was very good, however breakfast plating was different everyday. Howl at the Moon was awesome, particulary Katie. Entertainment in the main DR was great.. Bar service at O'Shehan was very good. On the rear of the ship they have a large screen. This was great for watching football. Wonderful Christmas service by the Staff. We liked the crew talent show. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
First of all we are huge Norwegian fans so we were excited for this trip. It was 14 of us total in 5 cabins. Bottom line is you should stay away from this ship. The ship: we were very disappointed in how confined this ship is. Very ... Read More
First of all we are huge Norwegian fans so we were excited for this trip. It was 14 of us total in 5 cabins. Bottom line is you should stay away from this ship. The ship: we were very disappointed in how confined this ship is. Very little open space and almost no outside area except the top deck. Way finding is impossible. Several times I made the joke with employees if they were lost also, a couple of the did say yes. How bad is that when the staff cannot find their way. The cabin: we had a high mid balcony. Whoever designed these needs to be fired. It must have been a joke that went bad. When you walk in the door you have the toilet on one side and the shower on the other. For spouses not too bad, maybe even a little risky. For anyone other the frosted glass leaves little to the imagination could be very awkward. The cabins are cramped and the layout is horrible. Of all our cruises this layout is by far the worst of any ship we have sailed. Dining: the standard Norwegian dining rooms are available. With a ship this big you would expect dining for 14 would not be a problem, boy were we wrong! Only once could we all sit together. The food was as expected, awesome. The service was normal for Norwegian. We enjoyed our freestyle dining. Going towards the earlier part of the meal service gave us almost no wait to be seated. Overall we will still be loyal Norwegian cruisers but we will NEVER cruise on the Epic again. It was interesting that we were talking to one of the hotel managers one day. It was told to us that this was the first ship from a French shipyard. Norwegian has commissioned 4 ships and after this ship they cancelled the other 3. I do not know the validity of that story but it sure explains a lot. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Freestyle cruising they call it. They say it empowers you to cruise how you want to. In reality, it just means you have to do all the work. There's nothing waiting for you once you get on-board unless you scheduled or reserved it ... Read More
Freestyle cruising they call it. They say it empowers you to cruise how you want to. In reality, it just means you have to do all the work. There's nothing waiting for you once you get on-board unless you scheduled or reserved it ahead of time. Want dinner in the main dinning room? Hope you made a reservation. Otherwise you'll have to stand in line and wait your turn. You want specialty dining, booked solid for all the normal meal times. Hope you enjoy the buffet or are willing to wait an hour or more to get a table for you and your family. Yes, let's wait to eat at 9pm with our kids when we have a port of call at 7am the next day. You can always stand in shorter lines and get buffet food though. Nothing we ate on the ship was especially memorable either. The teppanyaki was pretty good but you had to pay extra for that and make reservations. The buffet was basically the same thing every day with a slight variation in main cut of meat they cooked that day. The chinese restaurant was terrible, from the service to the dried out cubes of chicken that was on my plate. We paid extra for the ability to select our cabins. We picked a great spot, same floor, close to each other and near a stair case for easy access. Almost immediately our reservation was cancelled due to an accounting error at NCL and by the time we got them to look into it the rooms had already been reserved by another guest. We spent three weeks asking them how we could fix it and they just kept telling they'd take care of it. Three days before our cruise date we were told the ship is fully booked and they can't doing anything about our room situation. The rooms we ended up in. One room you had to walk to the center of the ship (stairs are at either end) to hallway that took you across the ship the other side of the where our room was the second to last room at the end of a long hallway. It was a several minute walk to get there once we arrived at the floor the room was on. The other room was on another floor and almost halfway down the ship as well. This meant we has to walk almost the entire length the ship and change floors to get to from one room to the other. We were given $200 of non-refundable credit per room and Wifi. Credit we could only spend with NCL. So after being given the run around for three weeks while I assured my family they'd fix it, they did nothing about it, kept our money hostage and wouldn't even speak to us about it beyond the middle managers who could never help us and always had to "talk to corporate". I called multiple times only to get stonewalled and told they would contact corporate and get back to us. The first three time I was told this I never received a call back. Once aboard we were comped one specialty dining meal and after three days they upgrade one of our rooms. This three day wait was for NCL to be sure the persons who didn't board on the sailing date weren't coming. Such a service they provided for those lucky cruisers and they never even showed up! 20% gratuity is charged on top of every service and service was terrible and there was nothing you could do about it. This gratuity was also charged on top of the "Free" offerings as well. So, it didn't matter to the staff, they always got their 20%. Slow and poor service all around the ship. I guess if I wanted to tip for better service I could have but they were already getting an extra 20% out of me. And even if I did tip our wait staff to try and get better service they were different every night. What would have been the point. The $120 ($99 plus the forced 20% gratuity charge) a day "Unlimited Beverage Package" didn't include things like: a cappuccino, fresh juices, redbull or even just a bottle of water if you wanted to bring one with you as you walked the port you just arrived at. All of those were extra costs on top of the large sum you've already agreed to spend each day on beverages. You also can't take anything out of the mini bar in your room that is on the included beverage list. Average glass of wine was $12, do the math and see what it would take to "get your money's worth"! The casino is on the main floor of the ship and you HAVE to walk through it or change floors to get around it. This is an important point as smoking is allowed in the casino. Loved walking through a smokey room with the kids on our way to a meal. Kids areas: We gave the 12yo the right to come and go as they please in their respective area but unfortunately if they did go sign themselves in they would have had to stay there for 2 hours before they would let them leave or we would need to come sign them out before two hours if they were to get out earlier. This rule meant they never even entered the area for fear of being trapped there if it wasn't fun and I don't blame them. The 14yo didn't even want to go near the teen area. Did they get anything right? Getting off the ship was a surprisingly smooth process. We chose the 7am to 8am window and were able to get breakfast early at the buffet and then walk off the ship, grab our luggage and head to our car. I presume this was half related to our decision to do this before crowds began to grow though. Admittedly, with the reservation problem we experienced leading up the cruise, we started with a bad impression of NCL but we promised each other we wouldn't let that spoil our cruise experience. We're a pretty tolerant family and are very understanding that not everything will be perfect. However, the combination of all of these things has created an insurmountably low opinion of the NCL experience. As a family that cruises once or twice a year we wanted to try something different. This was our first time cruising with NCL and after this experience and lack of response by the company it will certainly be our last. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were looking for somewhere to go over Christmas and this offered a decent itinerary. The #1 worst part of this cruise was the lines. Lines everywhere. My wife waited in line for 46 minutes for sub-par tacos on their private island. ... Read More
We were looking for somewhere to go over Christmas and this offered a decent itinerary. The #1 worst part of this cruise was the lines. Lines everywhere. My wife waited in line for 46 minutes for sub-par tacos on their private island. Boarding the tenders was always a nightmare; count on standing in line for at least half an hour. Leaving their private island the tender was WAY overloaded - people were standing everywhere and I am certain they were over the legal capacity for that vessel. I bought the upgraded tickets to the Cirque show and (on good advice) showed up an hour early to stand in line to get a good seat. I spoke with a lady that showed up ONLY 45 minutes early to wait in line and they got seated on the upper deck. No reason that process couldn't be managed better. Our most recent other cruises were aboard Celebrity and Disney so maybe we had set the bar too high with our expectations on food and service because both were terrible on this boat by comparison. The food at Cirque was poor quality. My wife took our child to the bathroom when they were bringing out the entree. When she returned, they told her they didn't have anymore so she didn't even get to eat. We asked for glass of wine before show started and they never brought it. We had mixed reviews of Le Bistro. One night was pretty bad - way overly salty (Dover Sole) ruined a perfectly good piece of fish. The 2nd time we went it was good. Cagney's was okay. They basically heavily season the meat to cover up for not so great cuts. We liked the little sushi place. The worst food experience was always Garden Cafe. LINES! We almost saw a fight on the first morning when someone tried to hop the 20+ minute line for an omlet. Definitely best to avoid the rush around 10:00 am if you just have to go there. The two main dining rooms with sit down service were okay. Not nearly as good as the aforementioned Celebrity and Disney but okay. The one area where they did a good job was the kid's club. Our 6 year old wanted to go every day and the staff was great. We are scarred from this experience and not sure if we will ever return to a big boat for vacation but if we do it darned sure will not be aboard another NCL boat. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I booked this cruise for my family because I'd had really good experiences with Norwegian. This was quite the exception. From the start of having no one to greet us to taking 3 hours to get on the ship due to lack of employee ... Read More
I booked this cruise for my family because I'd had really good experiences with Norwegian. This was quite the exception. From the start of having no one to greet us to taking 3 hours to get on the ship due to lack of employee knowledge, system errors and just plain laziness, to the room flooding, to having no accessibility in the room for my handicapped dad to the wheelchair that was recommended by ncl's rental company not fitting in the room to poor customer service. This was the worst cruise I'd been on. After all the things that happened my parents were given $100 each on board credit. The food, food staff, ports, shows and room attendants were very lovely but the customer service desk used standard lines and showed no comparison. They knew a water pipe burst at 8pm and didn't bother to check the rooms. Then they expected my elderly parents to walk in the water throughout the night because they weren't going to fix it until the morning. If you are staying with a friend in the room beware that there is no privacy for showers and bathroom except a curtain and then you can't leave the room if the other is in the shower. Awkward. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My first cruise with NCL was highlighted by a food allergy which gave me the opportunity to visit the medical center, receive an Epipen injection and spend over $3000 on one medical bill. WONDERFUL!! The food made me ill on four separate ... Read More
My first cruise with NCL was highlighted by a food allergy which gave me the opportunity to visit the medical center, receive an Epipen injection and spend over $3000 on one medical bill. WONDERFUL!! The food made me ill on four separate occasions. Fortunately three of the vomit inducing experiences were minor - as I learned to take one bite of food, chew thoroughly and swallow before taking a second bite. Each was a new experience - steamed cauliflower, chicken breast and turkey leg. Every guest commented on the hand spray procedure on board; most said that it was water and ineffective at cleaning anything. Stairway handrails were streaked with greasy hand prints and contaminants. The elevators were germ factories. Embarkation was a joke. NCL placed the blame on US Customs. Even the broken and missing luggage. The solo studio room was small. My luggage didn't fit under the bed, so I had to shift it from the minimal floor space onto the bed several times a day. The toilet area made me claustrophobic. The sink was poorly located. I had to fight with the sliding door which covered the closet each time I had to open or close it. Entertainment was mediocre at best. Staff were rushed and rude. Would I go again? NEVER! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The embarkation process in Port Canaveral was a nightmare. They kept us waiting outside on a chilly windy day for hours. There was no organization to the line and busses kept dropping off and dumping people in the middle of those who had ... Read More
The embarkation process in Port Canaveral was a nightmare. They kept us waiting outside on a chilly windy day for hours. There was no organization to the line and busses kept dropping off and dumping people in the middle of those who had been waiting. No announcements from Norwegian and then the passengers started to place the barricades that were around and organize ourselves. We had cabin 9197 and it was right over the Japanese Steakhouse. Grease fumes prohibited us from sitting on the balcony. When we complained we were put off for five days before our room was changed. They did give us a $200 credit. All of the perks were bogus. We got the drink package but had to pay $178 up front to cover tips. Got 250 minutes of internet but it was so slow or didn’t work at all through most of the cruise. Got 4 speciality dinners but couldn’t make reservations except for 8:45 or later. After much hassle we did manage to get into the Italian, French and Cagneys Steakhouse for 5:30 dinners. The food was excellent. Most of the shows were overcrowded or booked and required reservations. It was hassle making reservations for the shows but once in they were excellent. The cabins are horrible. My 5’11” husbands feet were hanging at least one foot off the end of the bed in the regular balcony room. Both the toilet and shower have opaque doors so there is no privacy whatsoever. This ship was so crowded and there was no place to sit in the cabin or elsewhere on the ship to relax. What was supposed to be a relaxing holiday was so stressful that one week later we are still trying to get over it. Never Norwegian again. I could go on and on about the design of this ship. We have cruised on Holland, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Carribbean this was so bad that I never want to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The cruise started off badly by taking over 3 1/2 hours to board. Missed lunch because of this. Dinners in the specialty dining rooms were great, however the Manhattan and Taste left us feeling like we had just eaten in a bad ... Read More
The cruise started off badly by taking over 3 1/2 hours to board. Missed lunch because of this. Dinners in the specialty dining rooms were great, however the Manhattan and Taste left us feeling like we had just eaten in a bad restaurant with bad food and even worse service. Only one night at Manhattan gave us good service and her name is Linda. I sent many meals back. One meal even tasted like it was spoiled. The Pub served frozen, greasy fish. Guest service staff were rude and difficult to deal with. They didn’t want to deal with problems, like missing laundry and extra service charges. They was no communication prior to sailing and when I inquired about this, I was told that everyone knows this information. Being new to NCL, I didn’t know. The ULTIMATE BEVERAGE package is not Ultimate because it didn’t include water and coffee. We found out the hard way, after ordering water and being charged after the meal. Other ships include waters and coffee. We felt we were nickel and dimed the entire time. Maintenance staff painting with toxic paint early morning. We woke to a terrible smell in our cabin yet they were wearing masks. Awful trip Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Good price on this cruise, plus the ports were good. Issues started on embarkation. Only 2 TSA agents showed up for work. No communication to any passengers waiting over 3 hours to board. My main issues are around the food quality, ... Read More
Good price on this cruise, plus the ports were good. Issues started on embarkation. Only 2 TSA agents showed up for work. No communication to any passengers waiting over 3 hours to board. My main issues are around the food quality, taste and some service. The food in the buffet was horrible. The roast beef was so tough they could not cut it one night. No taste, same things over and over , night after night. They had no cream on the entire ship for 10 days for coffee. How is that possible? They don't offer shrimp cocktail, escargot, lobster night. The quality of the steak and prime rib was thin. Unless you paid to go to Cagney's you got a very simple cut of meat. The wait staff at Shanghai's were excellent. In the main dining room, never once in 10 days asked if I wanted my wine glass filled up. No butter on the table. Didn't ask if I wanted sour cream on my baked potato, didn't ask if I wanted cheese on my pasta. None of these things ruined this cruise. The entertainment was excellent. I liked the cruise director. Burn the Floor musical a must see. I had the liquor package and I was not able to get a soda in a can, only out of the fountain pop. Does this make sense? I can get a $15 glass of wine, but not a $2 can of pop. They told me I would have to purchase the soda package to get a can of pop. NCL is know as the nickel and dime cruise, and it really is. They were taking water and pop off passengers on embarkation, not allowing them to even bring 1 bottle of water on board. I've never seen so many guests upset around the ship. It will be a long time before I cruise NCL again. Going back to what I know is 5 star cruising with Celebrity and Royal. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Epic Starting with boarding-disaster/no Wheelchairs-blind people with canes all left to fend for themselves at bottom of stairs and escalator-no one organizing lines -one line became 2 th en 3 then a mob-countless people getting pushed ... Read More
Epic Starting with boarding-disaster/no Wheelchairs-blind people with canes all left to fend for themselves at bottom of stairs and escalator-no one organizing lines -one line became 2 th en 3 then a mob-countless people getting pushed and shoved-Utter chaos-no wheelchairs were available until after check in-took 1 hour after signing up to get it-two people came in and tried to get help for 94 year old and an 84 year old-no help at all -they had to walk-in to sign up to get a chair-10 in our group -all complained worse boarding ever? Talked to others during trip one couple with 27 cruises another with 30-we are close to 20 if u count river cruises——Platinum or plus doesn’t help outside! Toaster and coffee pot both broken on Sat Am on pool deck-toaster still broken 3 Food and service for 10 in Manhattan was very poor-many items cold or Luke warm-took forever between courses Dinner and service at Taste much better but still not hot Invited to Platinum party -went in -helped myself to wine -but no seats-we left Irish bar still the best concept yet- but service is very sketchy on the side with the pool tables-u have to flag people down and the 20 min before u get a drink—then the menu is different on the other side-both sides should be identical-I do not know whose brilliant idea that concept was -but forget it-open the whole thing up-with all the people on this ship the Irish Bar should be open on both sides-this waiting 25 min is crazy also could use one more facility of that size-maybe Italian or Greek or mixture of both/“Mediterranean Delight” Premium liquor package-somehow managed to drop Makers Mark off the list-Grey goose still on-totally arbitrary-like trying to squeeze two Buffalo nickels together to get a dime-come on -Premium is premium-stop the nickel /dime stuff-it demeans you! Pool way to small-both of them! Elevators-only 2 sets should be 3-a long wait always Service in the food areas very chaotic and inconsistent-Taste good -Manhattan terrible-Why? Now Disembarkation-rented a wheelchair from u for last 3 days-was told I could have an Escort to push the chair from my room to beyond passport -then the daily news says u can’t-so I call the desk and they say I can’t-so I told them to go across to Hotel Services and check it out-he comes back all surprised that I do have someone coming to get me-so I get a call before 7 am saying he is on the way and should he bring a wheelchair-we say no because I have one I rented from u-boy was that a mistake/ we get to gangway checkout and are told we cannot go any further with that wheelchair we have to get another one to go down the ramp-so we hold up the whole line for 15 min-then the guard checks our ship cards-mine is not working and he thinks I should go back and get a new one-my wife said no way-use hers-so finally we leave-getting over to the landslide and have to wait for a land-side pusher to take us through customs-which he did After a 20 minute wait-So we had a disastrous time on both loading and unloading. Also many times the people in our group of 10 were told one thing by one person and the opposite by another-not once or twice but many times-almost to please us with an answer-right or wrong! Most of Bar waiters and bartenders were top notch but especially if they were tipped -now this next thing I don’t know who to blame-Ordered a Southern Comfort Manhattan with sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters on the rocks-a standard for over a century-I got SC on the rocks-SC with red coloring-a glass of SC and a glass of Vermouth (mix my own I think)-the variety was amazing including a few drinks Straight Up instead of on the rocks!- Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I had a great cruise on Epic in 2015 I gave the trip 5 stars in my review. Things have gone way downhill since then. The Entertainment on the ship was pretty good and a good variety of activities were offered. Krystal the solo host ... Read More
I had a great cruise on Epic in 2015 I gave the trip 5 stars in my review. Things have gone way downhill since then. The Entertainment on the ship was pretty good and a good variety of activities were offered. Krystal the solo host was very nice and helpful. The Thermal spa was also nice and I made a daily visit to the sauna and Hydrotherapy pool. I found it clean the drinking water was always filled and there were lots of clean towels and robes always availible, I never had trouble finding a heated stone lounger to relax on. My room Stewart Ahmed was also very good and kept my room clean all the time. The big issue with this boat was service in the Taste dining room Dinner usually took about 3 hours with most of the time spent staring at empty dishes. I could not get a refill of water without flagging down a server. One evening I had to find a water pitcher at a server station and refill all the water at my table. Usually half the table left before desert because they did not want to waste the entire evening waiting for cold mediocre food. I spoke to the matre'd twice and nothing ever got better. When I went there for breakfast once a man at my table asked for syrup for his Waffles or pancakes and the server said no you can't have syrup there was some sauce there and use that. The other time I went to breakfast there I asked for butter for my toast she said she would get it then disappeared not to be seen again that morning. My biggest complaint is that when the issues were brought up nothing was done to fix them. I did not go to the MDRs for the last 5 days of the cruise. I ate at the sub golden corral quality buffet or at O sheehans which actually had pretty good food and service. The entertainers did a good job I liked the singer Tetiana who let me get up on stage with her. Burn the Floor was awesome even seeing my 3rd version of it. The ship overall is too crowded I missed several shows because dinner took all evening and the theater is too small for the ship and was full by the time I escaped from the dining room. A lot of people did a really good job making guests happy on the cruise. But a few uncaring horrible Servers in Taste made all their work go to waste since the main thing everyone will remember is how bad the service and food was at Taste. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have done 54 cruises this was maybe the worse and only cruise I would say I wish I never did.Cabin design well they only made one like this should have been a clue.sink,shower,toilet all separate and small..Our room was never cleaned at ... Read More
We have done 54 cruises this was maybe the worse and only cruise I would say I wish I never did.Cabin design well they only made one like this should have been a clue.sink,shower,toilet all separate and small..Our room was never cleaned at the right times we were always just returned to room be in shower or ready to go to bed for the night when he would show up to clean room,we tried different times even asked him what time he would nothing worked.Lines for everything long lines didnt seem to matter if you reserved or not.Food almost always cold if we were lucky it would be warm slow service in dining room,The specialty dining was better,we ended up eating there 5 times.Pools THE WORSE of any cruise I have ever been on.The weather was beautiful the pools were Very hot every day many people complained,a couple days the pool was as hot as the hot tubs,crew not real friendly officers no where.The ship was clean,and we had a drink card which apparently means you get your own drinks service slow.The more I think about cruise the bad things I remember so I will stop No more ncl for us back to Princess and Celebrity and Holland Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our son chose this cruise to help them get away after a horrific year of enduring Hurricane Michael. They are a military family and had their home decimated and the base in which he is based was destroyed. We all needed to give their ... Read More
Our son chose this cruise to help them get away after a horrific year of enduring Hurricane Michael. They are a military family and had their home decimated and the base in which he is based was destroyed. We all needed to give their family a break. We made lemonade out of lemons. But it was just terrible. Getting on board the person who registered us did not even know what she was doing. Before getting on board we had to go through the whole process again! I met other persons who had the same experience. Whoever designed the cabins on this ship should never be employed again. Yes it was that bad. The shower and bathrooms had translucent doors so whoever entered the cabin or were in the cabin could see the person going to the bathroom or taking a shower. We had grandchildren in our cabin for the first 3 days and never had any privacy. We just hated it. Had I known about this before the cruise we would have never cruised NCL Epic. The passenger capacity was 4100 and we felt it. Long lines and crowds everywhere. Loud music constantly and a poor selection most of the time. Bartenders were over worked and understaffed making for more of a feeling of being overcrowded. We had a drink program with our fare but the wait times out by the pool area made it prohibitive to even get a drink. We could never find a quiet space on this ship. It was overwhelming how crowded it was. The pools were so tiny you would have thought they were designed for a small home. Tenders: At one port it took us 51 minutes from the time we entered the tender line until we were back on the ship. Holland America used their own tenders and there was no lines! Poor service on NCL! Our first day on board the buffet lines were way too long and when they opened up the main buffet room they did not even know what they were serving! This was not a vacation! It was a grueling event! I met other people on board who could not wait to get home. It was that bad. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I was excited to take this cruise. I wanted to love it - people tell me how nice cruises are. I didn't have the same experience. from when we first arrived we had issues. my husband is Danish but has a us permanent resident card. the ... Read More
I was excited to take this cruise. I wanted to love it - people tell me how nice cruises are. I didn't have the same experience. from when we first arrived we had issues. my husband is Danish but has a us permanent resident card. the lady didn't know how to check him in and had to ask 2 people before we were able to proceed. Then once on the ship, the cards they issued my parents didn't have the meal and beverage packages on them so they were getting charged for all the drinks and food. It took 4 trips total to sort it out, two to get them to fix the card and two more to reverse the charges they said they'd do after the second meeting. Then they needed us to come up to fix whatever they did wrong for my husbands check in so we had to go back to guest services and wait in line again. Also, and the absolute worst thing is that my daughter was scratched on the stomach by two stray dogs when the excursion bus driver stopped inexplicably at a roadside souvenir shop. she was bleeding and the bus driver didn't have a first aid kit so we had to clean it with water and a towel. Then when we got back to the ship, they were claiming there was not rabies on the island, but were getting a verification from them and they'd let us know if she needed a rabies shot or not. we NEVER heard back. guest services followed up the next day - they asked how she was and if we needed anything. I told them I needed a follow up from the doctor, they said ok - again I never heard back. lastly I went to settle my bill for my massage and I found that they charged us $15 a day per person to be on the ship - after paying over 3k for a tiny cabin. so, basically I spent the majority of my vacation in line at guest services or in the medical center. Don't book Norwegian - they are the worst. for what we spent we could've gotten a villa with a driver and a chef in some ritzy neighborhood on the beach in south America with fewer crowds and more room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
From the moment we stepped on the ship and saw the filthy windows everywhere that we looked I was concerned about the EPIC. Last year we took a cruise on the ESCAPE and had such a wonderful experience that we immediately put money down on ... Read More
From the moment we stepped on the ship and saw the filthy windows everywhere that we looked I was concerned about the EPIC. Last year we took a cruise on the ESCAPE and had such a wonderful experience that we immediately put money down on another cruise with Cruise next. This year we didn't. The Epic was a huge disappointment. Unlike The Escape, not once were any of the windows/balconies cleaned while we were in port. Our room was filthy and the bathtub was filled with mold. The room steward never refilled anything like sugar, shampoo, lotion, soap etc. The boat was so noisy and shuddered continuously. So much so that the glass doors on the tub and the toilet rattled all night, every night. The first time I went into the room and used the toilet, there was a piece of glass and I cut my foot open...not a great start!! The television had so little options with channels and we had to keep watching the same 10 minutes of a crappy cartoon in between shows. We never knew that the first port in the Bahamas was a private NCL island and that we had to get a tender, communication was terrible!! Whereas Harvest Caye was beautiful last year, Great Stirrup Caye is in need of a major facelift. The port of call in Jamaica at Ocho Rios should just stop. The beaches are so rocky getting into the water that I was almost over my head in the ocean before I finally felt sand. It was very painful. After speaking to many other guests that went to other excursions on the island they all had the same experiences. During the trip, we spoke to a lot of other people and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM HAD THE SAME COMPLAINTS! Almost every one of them said that they would never use NCL again, as of right now we aren't sure if we ever will either. If it wasn't for the wonderful experience that we had on the Escape we definitely wouldn't. We saw discrimination against a gay couple by the assistants to the cruise director that made us sick! The glow party was ruined for practically everyone because little kids were allowed to run around and knock over drinks and constantly bump into adults trying to dance and have fun, it wasn't the place for kids. It was brought to the attention to the cruise director by multiple people and he couldn't have cared less. Because of all of this and other reasons I rated this cruise poor...only because it was the lowest option available. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This cruise was recommended to us. We have been saving and preparing for this trip for over a year. This was my wife's birthday week. The checking in and boarding process was long and hot. Designated arrival times do not even matter. ... Read More
This cruise was recommended to us. We have been saving and preparing for this trip for over a year. This was my wife's birthday week. The checking in and boarding process was long and hot. Designated arrival times do not even matter. Every restaurant/ buffet/ cafe that was included was mediocre at best. If you wanted to see shrimp, and lobster, and other expected cruise ship foods, you will have to get it from the ocean on this cruise. Outside of the cabin Stewart, Casino staff, and some wait staff, the service was terrible. The ship layout has the main buffet dining at the top of the ship, so prepare to walk stairs a lot, because elevators are not efficient unless you go to breakfast at 6AM. My wife went to the spa to have her hair styled for dinner, and the person who did her hair made some insensitive comments about her hair and face that brought my wife to tears when she got back to the cabin. Excursions are chaotic and stressful with a lot of waiting. Recommend going onshore by yourself and doing the same activities at your pace. Felt like a retirement community by 11PM. That's when the bars on the ship start to close up, except Bliss, which smelled like urine, H2O, and the casino. Prepare to go to bed early on this boat. We disembarked with our luggage, and got off very quickly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I choosen this Norwegian Epic becuse od western Med.Regions, Its provides the most terrible foods in the crusie ship history. I stronnglrg not recommended to anyone , single ,family and senoirs . JUST NO . By the way no good drinkings ... Read More
I choosen this Norwegian Epic becuse od western Med.Regions, Its provides the most terrible foods in the crusie ship history. I stronnglrg not recommended to anyone , single ,family and senoirs . JUST NO . By the way no good drinkings waters supply. Totaly terrible services the dinnig room foods were not foods just junkies . Terrible and horrible services . THe ship were gay desert queen just not foe family . Lousy shows its needs to be up graded or changes . the vendors macines were not working for the whole trips no one care about that .Foods services on the ship were just not not enough to eat . JUst terrible and horrible . I would not recommended anyoe to go on board for just a horrible ship. . By the wat in board the ship announced FREE bout it was not everythings needs to pay .The entrtainments just horrible noy na good shows to terrible shows for everyonre. Noe I found a good way to expressed myslf to everyone who like Western Med regions , Please don't go to Norweegian Epic that all.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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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