1,024 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise to try something other than Carnival. I found myself missing Carnival,,, much more festive atmosphere, better food on Carnival. The entertainment on the Epic was good, except Burn the Floor had a gay theme in the ... Read More
I chose this cruise to try something other than Carnival. I found myself missing Carnival,,, much more festive atmosphere, better food on Carnival. The entertainment on the Epic was good, except Burn the Floor had a gay theme in the beginning that was a turn-off. Loved the Beatles tribute band.The Garden Cafe was subs-standard food. We discovered the Manhattan to escape the bad food. Desserts in particular were tasteless at the Garden Cafe. It also seemed a cruise that catered to a lot of geriatric and disabled passengers. I didn't feel like I was among my peers. Our stateroom was wonderful. Tendering from the ship to port also was smooth. Somewhat of a language barrier, as we ended up with a different shore excursion than we intended to sign up for. We were unable to attend some events (Beatles) because the venue was small and there was no reserve seating. I would prefer reserve seating for all events. The embarkation and disembarkation went about as smoothly as expected. Our cabin steward was very friendly and took good care of us. We did have a problem getting fresh beach towels to take into port. After 3 requests we gave up and checked towels out from the pool area. The best port of call was St. Thomas, yet we had the shortest amount of time there. The ports of call were all beautiful. On Great Stirrup Cay (owned by Norwegian) they could use some netted tents to protect food from all the flies. We were pleasantly surprised to find available lawn chairs, even though we arrived late morning. Wear lots of sunscreen!! In Tortolla we were ripped off by a beach vendor who charged us about $20 more than advertised for two drinks. We figure it was because we did not rent his $20 lawn chair and chose to sit on the sand. Buyer beware! We used the gym onboard...very nice, not too crowded, state of the art equipment and NICE VIEW!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Embarkation went smoothly: we drove up, dropped our luggage, parked in the garage, walked up to check-in and walked on to the ship. Finding a place to sit for lunch was a bit frustrating at first (walked all the way to Spice H2O ... Read More
Embarkation went smoothly: we drove up, dropped our luggage, parked in the garage, walked up to check-in and walked on to the ship. Finding a place to sit for lunch was a bit frustrating at first (walked all the way to Spice H2O carrying some luggage), but we ended up getting a table at O'Sheehan's on our way back to Garden Cafe. The food was delicious and service was great. Our cabin was 11314 (aft balcony). Miky our steward was extremely attentive and did a great job. Overall, the layout of the cabin was good (bed by the slider) and there was plenty of storage (2 small "closets", 4 narrow, but decent width drawers, and a cabinet with baskets attached to the doors). We were able to nest 2 of our pieces of luggage and put them in 1 closet and put the other (a rolling duffel) under the bed. We are not "dress-up" people, so we did not go to the main dining room. We ate at the Garden Cafe a fair amount, I liked that I could choose from a variety and regulate my portion size, so I did not overeat as I usually do in restaurants. We did eat at Taste one night, the food was good, our waiter was a bit "aloof". We also were served food at the bar at O'Sheehan's. I will say, we spent a good amount of time at the bar and the bartenders were fabulous. I give them tons of credit for working the hours they do with a smile for every customer and handling the "rushes" with ease. We did not partake in much of the Entertainment, but we did go to the Cirque show. I HIGHLY recommend it and "yes", spring for the more expensive seats. We were crammed into a booth under a lower ceiling and missed some of the show that occurred above us. The food was delicious and the servers were extremely attentive. I did ride two of the three water slides on Deck 15...they were so much fun!! We played Bingo and the crew that handled it were entertaining. We did not use the spa, but we did find the jogging track. It was odd, as it was contained to one side of the ship and was just a loop on that side. We are used to being able to walk the entire circumference of the ship (on Disney), which spreads out the "walkers" and "joggers" a good deal. We had a couple things wrong with our cabin the first couple days (shower did not drain, safe was not working, and a hinge on a closet was broken). All were fixed within 24 hours. Everyone we had interaction with was gracious, polite, and greeted us with a smile. We only had one excursion, in Tortola we did the Norman Island Snorkel. It was AWESOME. Sail Caribbean Divers were fun and professional. They made the excursion THE BEST. I have also added a review of the excursion on the Norwegian site. If you like the water and seeing aquatic life (fish, coral, urchins, and turtles), this is the excursion for you. We walked around the shops at the port in St. Thomas (in the rain) and also walked around Great Stirrup Cay (GSC). I think GSC is VERY well done; either get an early tender to be on the "near" beach or take your time getting ashore and walk a little farther; there were PLENTY of chairs on the beaches down the way. Overall, I was very impressed with Norwegian. We have cruised Disney four times and Royal Caribbean once. I would definitely cruise Norwegian, again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We had been on one cruise previously with another company and did not love it. This was going to be our last cruise if we didn't like it. It turns out we loved it. The Epic was a great ship and the staff was outstanding. We were ... Read More
We had been on one cruise previously with another company and did not love it. This was going to be our last cruise if we didn't like it. It turns out we loved it. The Epic was a great ship and the staff was outstanding. We were on a 7 day cruise to Tortola, St Thomas, and Norwegian's Island. We enjoyed all of the stops. We did a safari taxi in both Tortola and St Thomas and would recommend it to anyone. They cost $25pp and last approximately 3 hours. No reservations are needed because you pick them up once you get off the ship, they are everywhere. It is a great way to see parts of the island you won't see otherwise. There are numerous photo opportunities and you learn so much about the history of the island. Tortola and St Thomas are only 20 miles apart, but St Thomas is in such better shape after the hurricanes 2 yr ago. I hope they spend some money in Tortola to get it back in pre-hurricane shape. The ship itself was terrific. We had no issues finding chairs by the pool and the drinks were plentiful and easy to get to. The restaurants were excellent quality and we enjoyed every meal, especially the T-bone (off menu) at the italian restaurant. I have nothing but great things to say about the shows and music, we enjoyed it everyday. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We choose cruise with other friends. Embarking and disembarking was smooth process however at end some difficulty in finding luggage as it was mixed in different sections. Our room steward Jovich was excellent, friendly and attentive. He ... Read More
We choose cruise with other friends. Embarking and disembarking was smooth process however at end some difficulty in finding luggage as it was mixed in different sections. Our room steward Jovich was excellent, friendly and attentive. He decorated our room for my sons birthday which occurred during the trip! Much appreciative. Dining opportunities provided everyone’s satisfaction: Italian, Mexican, American, as well as other cultural foods! Comedy club, singers, trivia and other onboard entertainment was nice. Place for dancing and get together for teen population as well. Did not enjoy Tortola British Virgin Island at all. Dirty, suffering from hurricane Irma and nothing to do. No shops worth going too and afraid to eat anywhere other than the port spots 2-3 places. US Virgin Islands St Thomas was nice port however only able to stay half day-should be switched from Tortola. Some staff on ship stuck up/rude. Non-smiling only a handful! Food kind of basic fries, hot dogs and hamburger. Breakfast wonderful! Needed more vegetables vs fries! Shows fill up too fast with no room available sit. Would benefit if able to sign up for them prior to being on ship as well. My sons sandal got caught in escalator and almost pulled his foot into matchine as well. Informed customer service who didn’t care. Asked us “What can I do for you” Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This cruise was set up for about 150 people by a travel agent who is a member of our fraternal order. It was a great deal, packaging everything into one price (cruise fare, port charges, beverage package and gratuities). Very convenient ... Read More
This cruise was set up for about 150 people by a travel agent who is a member of our fraternal order. It was a great deal, packaging everything into one price (cruise fare, port charges, beverage package and gratuities). Very convenient and a wonderfully great value. There is nothing better than a seven day cruise spent in only 2 ports plus their beach with the rest of the time floating on the sea. The ship was filled with endless activities to choose from, fantastic shows, comedy, entertainment and the largest casino we have seen on a cruise ship. The staff were all friendly and happy to serve us. The dining experience in all the standard restaurants was nothing short of excellent and the food was all up to a nice standard of preparedness, presentation and taste. We have sailed on about 7 different cruise lines and find that Norwegian suits our needs better than most of the others we have sailed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We arranged for a group booking for some of our family and friends. There were 21 of us. We have cruised many times and this was the first cruise for the rest of our group. I understand the operational marketing behind the mega ships. This ... Read More
We arranged for a group booking for some of our family and friends. There were 21 of us. We have cruised many times and this was the first cruise for the rest of our group. I understand the operational marketing behind the mega ships. This was our 2nd cruise on big NCL ships (Breakaway in Jan this year). All of the public venues are to small and always filled to overflowing. Epic theater only seats 800-900 with a passenger load of 4000+. Ridiculous. Having to make reservations for a show? Really? Main dining room food was good as usual. But service was slow. Seems there were significantly fewer waiters and even fewer asset waiters. Really evident when we went to specialty restaurants. Could only make late night reservations. On a tip we went to the restaurant at an earlier time only to see well over half the restaurant empty and were told they were hoping for more wait staff. Happened to us twice and on both mega ship cruises. Again the food was very good. Like the wait staff reduction, there apparently was a staff reduction for bar service and bar tenders on deck. You were better off pushing thru the throng around the bar to get s drink. Waiting for a server was a waste. Tiny pool area and surrounding sun deck. Spice H20 hard to get to. As for the room, smallest we have had. And the bathroom was in the room! Sure there was a frosted glass wall around the toilet and shower, but they are still in the room, and you are backlighted so you are visible to someone in the room. Yes there is a curtain, but why not a separate bathroom. I fail to see what was gained. The only venue that wasn't too small was the shops on board. But selection was the usual and just as pricey. We love sailing NCL and have several times. But I seriously doubt we will ever sail on the Epic again or recommend the Epic. No thanks. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
After 8 cruises on different Carnival ships, we decided to try Norwegian. Carnival's food is a little better (especially the Guy Fiera burgers); other than that, everything was better on Norwegian. We had a mid-ship balcony on level ... Read More
After 8 cruises on different Carnival ships, we decided to try Norwegian. Carnival's food is a little better (especially the Guy Fiera burgers); other than that, everything was better on Norwegian. We had a mid-ship balcony on level 8, and it was spotless and spacious compared to any Carnival ship. Service was of course impeccable. Very easy boarding and self-assist disembarking. The first day was very chaotic once onboard, with elevators being hard to come by, but that's pretty much always the case. The bars on Level 15 were horrendously crowded the first day, and we had to wait in line for 30 minutes or so to get a drink. That was much less of a problem for the rest of the cruise. If you want to see a show, be sure to make a reservation, or you won't get in. Also, pack your patience to get on the tenders, even with a reservation. In my opinion, Norwegian Epic is a great ship and an excellent value. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This cruise was modified to 5 days after event on previous sailing. Norwegian was very accommodating to us after initially being left in the dark when information was requested prior to our sailing date. The weather was great and we had a ... Read More
This cruise was modified to 5 days after event on previous sailing. Norwegian was very accommodating to us after initially being left in the dark when information was requested prior to our sailing date. The weather was great and we had a relaxing cruise. Thoroughly enjoyed restaurants on cruise... first time doing meal package and it was well worth it... we will do it again. The Brazilian Restaurant was excellent and it was our first time experiencing that type of restaurant. The veal in the La Cucina was delicious. Played some bingo and Deal or No Deal. We enjoyed lounging around the ship in various bars and lounges. Favorite bar was Maltings Whiskey Bar. Only two ports (Bahamas) but Norwegian refunded all previous charges and promised 50% refund on our current cruise and 50% off future cruise. Staff was fantastic and accommodating. We were glad cruise wasn't cancelled. We spent Sunday night while Epic remained in Port Canaveral. We enjoyed entertainment on the cruise, including Cirque Dreams and Burn the Floor. H2O was our favorite hang out day and night. The GLOW party was fun and everybody was having a good time. Getting off the ship was easier and much faster than when we cruised from Miami. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I must preface this review with the fact that this particular cruise was a combination of many freak incidents. We had mechanical engine issues and stopped at none of the 3 ports on our itinerary. So I cannot comment on any excursions or ... Read More
I must preface this review with the fact that this particular cruise was a combination of many freak incidents. We had mechanical engine issues and stopped at none of the 3 ports on our itinerary. So I cannot comment on any excursions or ports. The one port we stopped at, San Juan, we hit 2 smaller docks that sunk...check it out on YouTube :) All this to say, we spent almost our entire vacation on the ship. So thank God the ship was massive and had a ton to do! The restaurants were fantastic. We particularly liked getting breakfast at O'Sheehans and dinner at The Manhatten. Service and presentation were excellent at The Manhatten. Varied between bars on how strong the drinks were. Entertainment: we loved the dueling piano bar -- so much talent and so much fun! The comedians on board were fantastic and did a good mix of family shows and adult later night shows. Side note: the comedians had a ball with making fun of our ship's mechanical issues which actually helped relieve everyone's anger and stress over the situation. What can you do but laugh and have another drink?! Cabins: we were on an inside state room...we honestly don't care that much about the room as we spent most of the time in other areas of the ship. But for 2 of us, it was more than enough room. Service: overall it was good and the crew were incredibly patient and calm while dealing with thousands are angry cruisers. The only thing I wish they had done was communicate a little more information regarding the situation and updates. The captain and cruise director would give important updates over the PA system which was spotty in many areas. So many people were clueless to what was happening until receiving a letter to their stateroom a few hours later. It's been almost 3 weeks since returning with no communication from NCL on the refunds and credits we were promised. We are hopeful that they will provide information to our claim within the next month but again, I feel like customer service and communication could be much better for a situation like this that affected 4000 guests. Everyone we talked to who were veteran cruisers said that this has never happened to them and to do another NCL cruise. We most likely will...because we'll receive a huge credit for a future NCL cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I’ve been on the Epic about 4 times. We chose this 7 day cruise to surprise family. The second day at sea we were told we would miss the port the next day as the ship was having engine trouble. The same news was given to us the next day ... Read More
I’ve been on the Epic about 4 times. We chose this 7 day cruise to surprise family. The second day at sea we were told we would miss the port the next day as the ship was having engine trouble. The same news was given to us the next day with the same problem. At this point, cruisers were advise that we would be given a 50% credit towards the next cruise based on what was paid. We were advised we were stopping at Puerto Rico (not a port of call) to repair the engine. As we came into port, the ship crashed into parts of the dock. We were watching from our balcony but were unaware as did not even feel anything. People were given refunds for excursions they may have booked. However after 24 hrs in Puerto Rico, our ship left but was not going full speed. Bottom line, we missed our last port and came into Miami a day late. Got a full credit towards our next cruise, new return flight cost covered, free phone calls and internet to make arrangements. I felt there was little more NCL could have done to make up for this. We still had a very enjoyable cruise, great food, etc. I enjoy the Epic so much for the quality of entertainment. Their Burn The Floor theatre show was so professional I saw it twice. Many venues with music throughout the evening. Most ships have so little to do in the evening, this is always a pleasure. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were on the Epic Fail Cruise, meaning the engines died on the 2nd day, we didn't go to any of the 3 ports we paid to see, and they took us, limping, to San Juan to work on the engines, where the Epic crashed into and sank 2 docs ... Read More
We were on the Epic Fail Cruise, meaning the engines died on the 2nd day, we didn't go to any of the 3 ports we paid to see, and they took us, limping, to San Juan to work on the engines, where the Epic crashed into and sank 2 docs while trying to come in to port. The cruise was an epic fail and the service by NCL was very much below average after the chaos began to ensue. However, my review is going to be based on the ship, not the mechanical problems or the lack of planning and care for customers on the part of NCL. The Epic gets horrible reviews. We didn't think it was nearly as bad as what people say, so I want to address the main concerns I read before our departure: Cabins: Yes, the cabins are uniquely laid out. The separate shower and toilet was awesome! No, you can't see through the glass. The room curtain will block whatever you need. Because the shower is separate, it comes with glass doors!! This means to moldy shower curtain sticking to you and WAY more shower space than any cruise I've been on. The separate toilet is also kind of nice. The sink is separate and placed by the end of the bed, but this was in no way a problem for us. Of all the rooms I've had, this room had TONS of storage space!! We had no problem finding enough room to put things. AMAZING! The beds- yes they are shorter than normal and rounded at the end. There's not a fitted sheet in the universe that would fit on that oddly shaped mattress. My husband is 6'5. His feet were off the end of the bed. If this is a deal breaker for you, this is not the ship for you. Layout of the ship: People complain that the layout is confusing. It's no worse than any other ship. Everything you need is either on Deck 5, 6, 7, or 15. That's it! A common complaint is that you have to walk through the casino on Deck 6. This is true. The casino is spread out all over deck 6 and you do have to walk by machines and tables to get from one end to the other. It's hard to avoid deck 6 because not all elevators go to deck 5, so if you get on the wrong one, you'll have to walk to the escalator to get to 5, which is where Taste is at. Elevators: People complain that the elevators are too slow. We were on the ship with 4200 people. With the exception of getting on the ship, we had no issues. Our ship didn't do a normal port of call because of engine issues; I would imagine that elevators would also be slow on port of call days as well. Other than that, they are fine. Tip: USE THE DOOR CLOSE BUTTON. It dramatically speeds up the process. Food: Food was great! Buffet was wonderful, and I've had some crappy NCL buffets. This one was very good. They made crepes every night in the buffet. Trust me and go indulge at least once. Taste was excellent. We ate there 4 nights and once for breakfast and didn't have a bit of trouble. Food and service were fantastic. Taste and Manhattan offer the exact same menu, so we did not eat at Manhattan because we do not like dressing up. Shanghai and O'Sheehans got mixed reviews. I loved O'Sheehans, hubby hated it. I hated Shanghai, he loved it. It's free, so just go try them and decide for yourself! Pool deck: Lots of people complain about the layout and size of the pools. Yeah, the pool is probably on the small side, but most pools on ships are small. Not uncommon. We loved the layout and had a great time. We never had trouble finding deck chairs, as most people complain to have that problem. Bars: We had no issues getting drinks. There are servers everywhere taking orders and they are very efficient. Sometimes H20 and the main pool bar get crowded, but what do you expect on a sea day? Lighten up! They have mobile carts that do frozen drinks, so if you are a frozen drink person, hit up the carts. They are very fast! Our cruise was pretty much a disaster from start to finish and I fault NCL for that. But I wanted my review to be specifically about the Epic because the reviews are so horrible. It's not nearly as bad as what people say, and I'm a regular cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
To summarize our entire cruise in one sentence; We had a great time and they gave us another cruise for FREE! We were on the Norwegian Epic Eastern Caribbean itinerary sailing Feb 9 - 16. I had read a lot of negative reviews about the ... Read More
To summarize our entire cruise in one sentence; We had a great time and they gave us another cruise for FREE! We were on the Norwegian Epic Eastern Caribbean itinerary sailing Feb 9 - 16. I had read a lot of negative reviews about the Epic and was a little concerned. But when the alternative is -13 degree weather and snow in Minneapolis, how bad can it be? We did find a few things to nitpick, but they were minor and really didn’t affect our experience. First of all, the crew on the Epic was fantastic. Our cabin steward, Rolando, was very helpful and greeted us many times. He kept our stateroom (B5 Balcony 12019) very clean with little interruption to our day. The bartenders were very busy, but seemed to be having fun and joked with us as we waited for our drinks. The wait staff in the dining rooms were very friendly, but seemed to be inexperienced (at least new to the Epic). The greeter at the Garden Café (buffet) was both funny and annoying with her “washy, washy”, “yummy in your tummy” and “happy, happy” comments over and over. There were many comments about how crowded the Epic was and how difficult it was to see some of the shows (not enough room…needed reservations for everything). With 4100 passengers, I don’t see how this can be avoided. We did a little pre-planning and waited in a few lines for 15-30 minutes and were able to see all of the entertainment. Dining: Cagneys – 18oz ribeye was great, while the 5 oz filet with shrimp was just OK Teppenyaki – Fabulous!!! Great Valentine’s Day dinner Circque Dreams Epicurean – Food was so-so, but show was great Taste & Manhattens – No reservations, but showed up at 5:30 and got right in – wide selection, everything was good, but nothing super special Entertainment: Make reservations for shows online prior to boarding, or right away after you get on. We did that and were able to work the rest of our dining/entertainment around the shows. Burn the Floor – Fantastic!. The latin guitar version of Stairway to Heaven was really cool. Priscilla – Great costuming and the show was good. I felt that the plot was lame. Beatles – We saw them in the Epic theater – 1 hour tribute was good. They also played in the Cavern, but that would have been crowded. Headliners Club: We lined up 15-30 minutes prior to the show and easily got great seats close to the front - Howl at the Moon – We saw that show twice, both times they were great! - 18+ Comedy with Jim – his show was good - 18+ Comedy with Rodney – Great! - Family Comedy with Rodney – Even Better! Now, for the BOGO. This cruise was cursed! We had engine problems and had to divert from Tortola/St. Thomas ports and go to San Juan for repairs instead. Captain announced the due to the missed ports, we would get 50% credit towards a future cruise. When we sailed into San Juan, the Epic took out two of the mooring pillars (dolphins?...check out YouTube). Then, after leaving San Juan, we were informed that we wouldn’t be stopping at Great Stirrup Cay. Due to this, the credit was changed to 100% towards a future cruise! Hence, the BOGO! We did go ashore in San Juan for a couple of hours, but this cruise was basically 6 sea days and 1 day in San Juan. It would have been nice to be able to see Tortola, but sea days are fun. We were always able to find a lounger (forward deck 18) and also spend a lot of time on our balcony listening to the waves. We did get into Port Canaveral 8 hours late (3pm instead of 7am) and that caused a lot of return travel headaches. We actually spent an extra night (Saturday) in the stateroom (including complimentary lunch, dinner and Sunday breakfast). Though we did have issues, we kept think about the cold Minneapolis weather and rolled with the punches and had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The cruise was awesome. The restaurant choices and food were amazing. The staff was friendly . Would recommend the Epic The entertainment, especially the group D Soul Duo,They were a 2 person singing/entertainment group. Loved them. Saw ... Read More
The cruise was awesome. The restaurant choices and food were amazing. The staff was friendly . Would recommend the Epic The entertainment, especially the group D Soul Duo,They were a 2 person singing/entertainment group. Loved them. Saw almost all their shows. The bars on deck 15 were nice also. Loved most of the drinks. Some were not consistent. Liked that the epic had several pools and 6 hot tubs. The was plenty to choose from as far as excursions. Loved Cozumel and Mia Plaa beach excursion. Best margaritas I ever had, the quacomle was amazing. This beach had a few options of things to do. Something for every age. Had pools, beach, water slides, inflatable s on the water, paddle boat and water tricycle. So much fun. I wouldn’t choose the beverage and food package. Loved that I got to try local food and drinks. Falmouth, Jamaica was nice. Loved Diamond International Jewelry store, felt I got a good deal on my Tanzanite that I bought. Were great to work with. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Let me start by saying, you have probably read the seemingly endless parade of negative reviews on this ship by now, and you're questioning why in the world you booked this cruise? That was me for about a month leading up to this ... Read More
Let me start by saying, you have probably read the seemingly endless parade of negative reviews on this ship by now, and you're questioning why in the world you booked this cruise? That was me for about a month leading up to this cruise, and I was worried we were going to have a horrible time waiting in endless lines, with mean staff, terrible unclean accommodations, and bad food. You know what? We had a great time! Let me start with embarkation, a process numerous people complained endlessly about in the reviews being 2-3 hours and waiting forever in the heat. Maybe that's true for them, but here's my advice: Don't be the first people to try and show up before the ship is ready. We waited until noon to get to our shuttle, we were in line for about 45 minutes, and we were on the ship, sitting in Taste restaurant at 1:15PM having lunch. It was an hour and 15 minutes from getting to the shuttle to sitting on the ship ordering food. No problem whatsoever, and the lines never stood still for very long. We were greeted at Taste by the very friendly Akash, who took our order and had both our food and drinks to us in 12 minutes. I timed this because I'd heard stories in other reviews about the slow service. We never encountered this in any of our main dining room visits in either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If anything they were almost TOO fast getting to us to take orders or bring us our food, sometimes we just wanted to peruse the menus a little longer :) Drinks that afternoon were in the Atrium bar with Rajesh, another funny and kind guy who served us our drinks in 3 minutes. Again, I'd heard stories of 15 minute bar waiting times, which I found to be completely false with two exceptions. 1 - If you went to the O'Sheehans bar at prime-time (basically from 5-10PM), you'd have a long wait, and 2 - if you went to the Waves bar near the pool, you'd ALWAYS have a wait. The Waves bar was completely overworked, because it's the only bar near that area. However, my tip is that they would always open two carts on the other side of the deck area near the towel stand, and you could get beers, pre-made Bahama mamas, and some frozen drinks that were in the frozen machines. If you're not picky about having a pre-made Bahama mama (and I'm not, I had several and they have plenty of liquor in them), you're fine up there. If you went to any of the other bars, you could easily get a drink in less than 5 minutes. My favorites were the Maltings bar, which had the best drinks and best bartenders, and also the Shakers bar, which had the best table service. You could plant yourself at Shakers near the piano, and listen to Jay (imagine a goofy dad singing piano songs with enthusiasm and cracking you up) while you had the great staff take care off all your drink needs without ever getting up. We had the Ultimate Beverage Package, and found it had plenty of options. We both liked the fact Bombay Sapphire was included, as well as certain cognacs, and Bullit Burboun. The specialty drinks were also great, my wife really enjoyed the Painkiller, Pina Coladas, and the French Manhattan. I really enjoyed the Rusty Nail, the Shaku-Shaku at Teppanyaki, and the Old Fashioned at Maltings. We ate dinner at 3 specialty restaurants with the Dining package that was included. The first was Le Bistro, we had a server named Celeste and our Wine Steward Tapiwai who took care of us very well, and made excellent recommendations of the Scallops appetizer, the Crab Salad, and the French onion soup. My wife had the Dover Sole with lemon capers that she gave a 7/10 score to, and I had the Filet of Beef which I also think was a 7/10. Desserts were the profiteroles, and the creme brule, both excellent. The second restaurant was Moderno, which I didn't care for as much due to the fact that everything was entirely too salty. It was basically one big meat parade, which was filling, but I felt I had to chug water due to the overseasoning of all the meat, and the many salad options which were also heavily salted. It was my least favorite of the specialty dining we did and I wouldn't do it again. The last was Teppanyaki, which was very enjoyable from a show standpoint. I can't remember our chef's name, but he was very smiley and made it a fun event. The drinks were great, and I honestly think the filet they did was more tender and better tasting than the one we had in Le Bistro. Then again, I prefer that garlic flavor they put on everything at Teppanyaki. One thing that was an issue is the elevators. You do have to time things correctly or you'll be waiting forever on an elevator to get to your floor, especially in the middle decks. It's much easier to get an elevator on Deck 5, or on deck 15, than it is in the middle. You were better off taking the stairs if you were on a middle deck down a few decks to get where you wanted to go. The rooms are exactly what the other reviews stated, except we found ours completely clean, and our steward Alvito was excellent and took care of all our requests without any issues. He got us bathrobes, made sure our mini-fridge was emptied, got us 4 extra pillows, and managed to make up the rooms twice a day even with our slightly odd coming and going times. One of the best things about this ship was the staff. We found them to be more interactive and treated you like family than the other cruise line we'd be on. One of the bartenders, Rushane from Jamaica, is genuinely funny and will make you a great drink while chatting you up in an excellent Jamaican accent. Another fun crewmember was Maria from Argentina, who ran most of the Atrium events and the Escape Room we did, and she's always very interactive, took pictures with us, and showed me how to fold napkins in one demonstration. We really felt everyone we met was lovely and enjoyed them taking care of us on our fun cruise. The food was very good across the board, and I think generally the buffet was better than the other ship we'd been on with Carnival. However, I think they can do more with the selections in the main dining room areas. They just need to bring a bit more variety than a rotating 4-5 items, and the rest of the menu being the same every night. I'd also like to point out that the Irish pub food for late night really hits the spot if you've been out at one of the deck parties, and you just want some saucy wings and a pile of nachos to satisfy that alcohol soaking need. I have only two really main complaints for this cruise, so I've saved them for the end, because they aren't really that big of a deal. The first is that this cruise was in February, which we'd never done before, but many of the passengers were really old and not in great shape. We saw tons of scooters, wheelchairs, and more people with walking sticks or canes than I could count. The average age was probably 60. We're in our 30s. This made for a much tamer atmosphere than our prior Carnival cruise, and I honestly didn't enjoy hearing many of the older couples constantly complain about stuff. We also went to a cruise critic meet and greet, and we were one of the younger people in that group. If that's who's rating the Epic, I can see why the ship gets a bad rap, because outside of Stephanie (who ran the meet and greet and was very friendly, she's great), the rest of the group didn't seem interested in either meeting or greeting us after several conversation attempts. The other complaint is that I got a cold on the ship on by Thursday, and it seems it's something that went around to a lot of folks. Norwegian tries their best, but I think this is something that was left over from the prior cruise according to some reviews I read recently, which means they may need to do a better job of sanitizing the common areas now that I know for a fact several hundred people caught this cold. Washy washy isn't really enough when the crew gets it, and if they get it the ship needs to take that into account instead of forcing them out to do more work amongst the passengers and spreading it around further. I would go on the Epic again if the price was right, because the ship really does provide great value to get a balcony room, all your drinks and specialty dining, and some reducing port excursion costs in one package. Mandy the Cruise director was also very friendly and made things fun in her British accent. Try it for yourself, I think if you go into it with the right frame of mind you'll really enjoy yourself. The Epic isn't perfect, but it's seriously fun, and it's not the floating disaster many reviewers have claimed it to be. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Our first cruise was with NCL Breakaway and we so enjoyed it that we cruised with NCL again! We loved the Epic Thermal Spa, its size and the small outdoor area was lovely! Spice H2O had a pool that was available on most days which ... Read More
Our first cruise was with NCL Breakaway and we so enjoyed it that we cruised with NCL again! We loved the Epic Thermal Spa, its size and the small outdoor area was lovely! Spice H2O had a pool that was available on most days which made this loud and overcrowded area more pleasant. Posh and Vibe on both ships are not worth the investment. Thanks to our travel agent Keith Belanger with Dream Vacations, we landed the best Spa Balcony Room we could have had - steps away from the gym and Thermal Spa, which are essentials for OUR vacation happiness. The gym on Epic was large and diverse enough to satisfy our gym-rat needs while on vacation :-) Specialty dining is a great experience and we are hooked on Le Bistro and Moderno. Staff onboard was smiling and approachable albeit not consistent in their treatment of guests - more attentive to the requests or complaints of some passengers than others. I observed this discrepancy on more than one occasion and found it so concerning that I took time out of my vacation to sit down with one of the cruise directors to discuss this. Finally, we really enjoyed our time on Harvest Caye. I could live in that pool for the rest of my life! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because we've never been on a 10-day and we wanted to see Harvest Cay in Belize. Harvest Cay was amazing to say the least. We didn't have one bad day of weather except for the last day at Sea with Gale force ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we've never been on a 10-day and we wanted to see Harvest Cay in Belize. Harvest Cay was amazing to say the least. We didn't have one bad day of weather except for the last day at Sea with Gale force winds returning to FL. This was our 12th cruise with NCL and we were very disappointed with the Latitudes Members Group. No announcement of the cocktail party, & the Cruise Next deals are not as good as they have been in the past, so we didn't book another one. We thoroughly enjoyed and had great relationships with the Photography staff, especially Marco. Not too "salesy", and always too great pics of us! The buffet was great with a lot of variety at each meal. It would be nice if the pool deck food bars would open sooner for lunch on "At sea days" and close breakfast earlier. People were always waiting for lunch there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I'll start right off with the Epic cabins suck. It might be OK if you're traveling with a significant other, but not with a friend. Beds separated are 1" apart from each other. The bathrooms....or lack therof were just ... Read More
I'll start right off with the Epic cabins suck. It might be OK if you're traveling with a significant other, but not with a friend. Beds separated are 1" apart from each other. The bathrooms....or lack therof were just horrible. There was no where in the cabin (except the balcony) where you could pass the other person without having to climb over a bed or couch because there was no room. Beds were too short (and I'm only 5'7"). The other main reason I hated this ship was you can't get to deck 5 where the main business hub is without getting off at deck 6, taking a long walk through a smokey casino, then take an escalator down (that sometimes didn't work). For these reasons, I would most definitely avoid this ship, I certainly would never book it again. Oh and most of the public restrooms were either non functional or not well maintained. I suspect that they were getting heavy use as many people were using them to avoid the ones in the cabins. Everything else about the trip was awesome. NCL staff are the best......everyone from the room stewards to bartenders to roaming servers on the deck to restaurant and buffet staff were amazing. So friendly and helpful. The service in most of the specialty restaurants was slow, but I guess we had nowhere we had to go so it wasn't a deal breaker. The food was amazing in both specialties and main dining rooms. Loved the outdoor movies in H2O. Pricilla was a surprise....I didn't think I would like it, but it was hysterical. Embarkation and Disembarkation was a goat rodeo but soon forgotten. NCL staff keeps me coming back and they didn't let me down this trip. I'll definitely be back, just not on the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This is our second time on the Norwegian Epic. Our first Norwegian Epic cruise was in January of 2017. This cruise was January of 2019. It was a 10 day eastern Caribbean. Although we prefer Norwegians Breakaway/Breakaway Plus ships ... Read More
This is our second time on the Norwegian Epic. Our first Norwegian Epic cruise was in January of 2017. This cruise was January of 2019. It was a 10 day eastern Caribbean. Although we prefer Norwegians Breakaway/Breakaway Plus ships slightly better, the cruise was a steal and the perfect length. Since this is our second time on Epic, we are able to compare the two cruises and found our most recent trip to be far better than our experience two years ago. The only major issue I have with this ship is the need to make reservations for just about everything and having to do it before you even get on the cruise. We like to plan each day out based on the activities going on. Some days we may want to eat very early to make a 7:00 show or some days we may eat after the show. Once we embarked, just about every reservation (shows and specialty dining) were either completely booked or only had 9:30 dinner options. But heres the thing, there is always space because guests book their reservations before they embark and either forget or change their mind. This is extremely frustrating as it leaves other guests without reservations and unable to enjoy their cruise. Multiple times we saw guests being seated for dinner at one restaurant and the hostess telling them they had a reservation at another restaurant. We were also able to walk in to La Cecina (which showed completely booked) and sit right down to a nearly empty restaurant. So make sure you book your entertainment and dining reservations before hand, but please for other guests go to those reservations. Dining: Of all of the quirks of Norwegian Epic, dining is one of the more frustrating. This is a ship that simply does not have enough dining options (during dinner mostly) to accommodate all of their guests. NCL prides itself on the ability to dine when you want. With Epic this is not the case. If you do not have a dinner reservation, you will most likely wait. Now wait times are not outrageous, we found anywhere from 10-40 minutes in the complimentary dining options. Unfortunately, for most of the specialty dining, reservations are hard to come by. This is most likely due to the fact that most people now have the dining package for free. Taste - One of the two main dining rooms, Taste is daily modern with white accents. It is located mid ship under the main chandelier. If you get one of the tables under the chandelier, it is quite nice. Manhattan Room - The other main dining room, Manhattan is the more upscale option and has a dress code (the amount of grown men getting mad that they couldn't eat there in shorts was mind boggling). There is a live band that plays at certain times during dinner and has a nice open feel. It is open to the decks above (Cagneys and Moderno above). The food at the main dining rooms is average. Most of the meals leave a little to be desired, but there were a decent amount of options. Cagneys - Probably the best meal we had on the cruise. The menu is heavily beef and fish so beware it is not for everyone. The cut of meat I had was amazingly tender and juicy. If you like meat and are going to choose specialty dining options, make sure you make it here. Note, we had a 9:30 reservations because that was all we could get. We showed up at 7:00, which tends to be the busiest time, and asked if there was anything earlier and were seated immediately. La Cucina - Our second favorite restaurant on the ship is strangely located deck 14 forward below Garden Cafe and is accessed from Garden Cafe (weird). The pasta dishes are amazing and definitely worth the extra money. We did not have a reservation, but figured we would try to walk in. The restaurant was empty around 7:00 and the host decided to basically scold us for not making a reservation (we tried but the guests that make them and then don't show up make it near impossible). Instead of just politely mentioning that the were completely booked, he made a point to tell us he would make an exception this time but we should eat somewhere else next time. The restaurant remained mostly empty for our entire meal. Moderno - This was our second time eating at Moderno (we had eaten there last year on Getaway) and were again disappointed. The meat is so heavily salted that most was inedible. The concept of a Brazilian steakhouse is amazing. If you do not know, servers walk through the restaurant with all types of meats and when you want one they cut a small piece for you. You can try as many or as few as you want. Unfortunately, most were too salty. I would choose a different restaurant. Teppanyaki - We ate here on the last evening for a birthday celebration. The chefs focus on music and singing to entertain and are not able to use fire like most hibachi restaurants. Our chef was very entertaining and you get a massive amount of food. Again, the meat was extremely salty. Shanghais Noodle Bar - One of my favorite places on the ship. The Noodle Bar has a few items (potstickers, egg rolls, noodles) to choose from and we would go here early or late for a snack or appetizer before or after dinner. Garden Cafe - Its a buffet. It isn't bad it isn't good. We would eat here for lunch and sometimes a quick breakfast. The buffet doesn't change all that much day to day. There is a themed dinner every night (mexican, western, asian, etc) but we prefer a better sit down meal for dinner. After about 5 days we were sick of eating here. Embarkation: We had no trouble getting on the ship. From arrival to standing on the ship was probably under an hour. We cruised right in (took an Uber to the port) and got in line in the terminal. We checked in at the desk after waiting in line for about 30 minutes (we arrived slightly early and had to wait). After checking in, we waiting for about 10 minutes for our boarding number to be called and walked right on. We boarded at about 12 and our room was ready at 2 or so. Have all of your luggage delivered so you aren't dragging it around prior to your room being ready. Just bring what you need for the day in a small bag. Sometimes your luggage won't arrive until later on in the evening, so be prepared to go to dinner without your luggage. This time, our luggage had arrived after the muster drill. Entertainment: The two main shows were Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and Burn the Floor. Priscilla is amazing. It is a drag show set in Australia and has a great storyline, great cast, and amazing musical numbers. Its slightly edgy and not for kids (or closed minded adults) but definitely a must see. Burn the Floor is just terrible. We've seen it before on the Epic and on Getaway and have been disappointed every time. I think others enjoy it but the dancing is sub par, there is no storyline at all (even though I believe they tried to have one), and the music is sub par. I found myself dozing off during the show. We hit up some comedy as well. Some bad some good. Cruise ship comedy is very standard. The other activities are typical of a cruise ship. Our cruise director Mandy was very good and kept us entertained. Service: Compared to the service we received two years ago, my expectations were low. I was pleasantly surprised with the service. It was by no means perfect, but was adequate. Crew was attentive and upbeat. We only had one issue, which is less a crew issue and more of an overall NCL issue. Our reservation called for 4 free offers (dining, drinks, shore excursion credit, free wifi) About 2 days in we tried to get on wifi and it was not showing on our account. We went to guests services only to find we were missing our wifi and shore excursion credit. Guest services is not able to do much on the ship. They emailed headquarters and were given a fairly generic response, leaving us without those two offers for the duration of the cruise. I will be calling NCL to see how they are going to fix this issue. Overall, we were very pleased with our experience. The value for this 10 day cruise was incredible. It cost about the same as we usually spend on a 7 day cruise. We had very few issues and had a relaxing and warm vacation. NCL Epic seems to have some great itineraries, which make up for some of its downfalls. The most important thing to do on Norwegian Epic is to go in with an open mind. There will be quirks and strange issues you run into, but don't let it ruin your vacation. The ship is known to be a blunder, but nothing on that ship will ruin a trip unless you make it. Happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Embarkation was very slow getting started but after that we had a fantastic time. Loved the food, the shows, etc. Loved the intinerary and the excursions. The ship does have a closed in feeling especially on the deck with the Epic ... Read More
Embarkation was very slow getting started but after that we had a fantastic time. Loved the food, the shows, etc. Loved the intinerary and the excursions. The ship does have a closed in feeling especially on the deck with the Epic Theater and Spiegel Tent and when shows are either starting or finishing the traffic flow is pretty bad. I did like the escalators as I haven’t seen them on other sailings. The shops are much larger than other ships. The quality of the food was outstanding. All of the servers and bartenders were great and always wore a smile. The Concierge, Steward, Butler, and Cruise Director all did a fantastic job. As on other cruises I have felt that they could do a better job with all of the carts in the hallways. I know it is a big undertaking cleaning a ship that large so I do understand but it does make navigating the halls a little difficult sometimes. Overall was an awesome experience and I appreciate the effort that the staff makes to provide me with a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Norwegian Epic, the largest of the Norwegian Fleet with the most solo cabins on the high seas. The darkest ship in the Norwegian Fleet. I chose this cruise because I was traveling solo, and the studio cabins made this a great price ... Read More
Norwegian Epic, the largest of the Norwegian Fleet with the most solo cabins on the high seas. The darkest ship in the Norwegian Fleet. I chose this cruise because I was traveling solo, and the studio cabins made this a great price for an 11 day cruise. (I actually did 21 days, as I stayed on board for the 1/23/2019 cruise as well). I sometimes didn't see the ocean for more than a day. Getting outside, other than on the pool deck was not an easy endeavor on this ship. I am accustomed to walking around the ship on deck 7 of most Norwegian ships, but this was not possible on the Epic. There was a back and forth jogging trail. The view was blocked by the lifeboats for almost the entire length. The crew was amazing. They were polite, helpful, and fun to be with. The structure of the ship however was not healthy. The central casino was impossible to avoid, and was always full of second hand smoke. The worst part was that in order to get to the TASTE restaurant from an aft cabin, one had to travel to deck six, then walk half the ship to an escalator to go down to the dining room. I am an asthmatic with VERY controlled asthma. I have over 200 nights aboard ships; and have never before had a problem. I got so sick that I had to spend much time in the medical center. Which is a very costly service. They could open my lungs with treatments, but then I was just letting more smoke in. I spent my last 8 days very ill, and unable to do much due to the smoke on board. The medical treatment onboard was also somewhat dated, and they did not understand about smoke; but one cannot expect them to have top notch pulmonologists. The studio cabins are 99 square feet. Interior cabin, Toilet compartments are small, especially if you have knee issues. The direction your cabin is oriented matters. The shower is fine as far as I was concerned, except dropping soap is hard to retrieve within the space allotment. I worry about the quality of the recycled air. And another concern is the presence of service dogs in rooms. If a dog has been living in a room for ten days, it will take 6 months of excellent cleaning to remove all of the dander. This means if the next occupant, or the sixth next occupant is allergic to dogs. Too bad for him. There is no way to know if this has happened in your room. Now I know that even though I loved the crew, I will not return to the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Our third cruise, others were Carnival and most recently (before this on) Holland America. Cons: The epic is huge with 5000 passengers. Will go on a smaller (2500-2800) ship next time. For us just too big, too many people, everywhere was ... Read More
Our third cruise, others were Carnival and most recently (before this on) Holland America. Cons: The epic is huge with 5000 passengers. Will go on a smaller (2500-2800) ship next time. For us just too big, too many people, everywhere was crowded and lots of emphasis on the casino, you couldn't get away from it. If I want to gamble, I'll go to Vegas. Stood in line for all shows, no real "drop in" nightclub or club where you could come in, hear/see some entertainment and come and go. The rooms were smaller than our other cruises, no table to enjoy breakfast coffee or an afternoon/evening drink, and my feet hung off the bed (only 6' tall). Closet hangers were right out of Motel 6. Halls were narrow and always filled with cleaning carts. No real public area for people to meet, have conversations, play cards, etc. so they did so in buffet dining seating area leaving diners to stand with their food. Upon inquiry, was told by crew they were told to leave alone, bad policy. Their private islands are an embarrassment, especially Stirrup Key. Would have preferred a real stop at a real port. Pros: The food was good in all venues and Cagney's Steak house was one of the best steaks we have ever had, rivals Ruth's Chris. Cabin service was friendly and attentive. Entertainment was good, especially Cirque and a group called D'Soul Duo. Overall a good experience and good value for the money, especially the open bar, internet and specialty dining perks. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My wife and I cruised on th Norwegian Epic on an eleven day cruise of the Caribbean and Central America. This was our second time on th Epic with a different itineary. The food was very good , service in the Steakhouse could have been ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on th Norwegian Epic on an eleven day cruise of the Caribbean and Central America. This was our second time on th Epic with a different itineary. The food was very good , service in the Steakhouse could have been better (my wife did not get everything she ordered and waiter could have been nicer) for the price we expected a better experience.The entertainment was great especially Priscilla Queene of the Jungle (a must see) There were plenty of venues for entertainment and very good variety of entertainment. This was a nice itinerary.My wife and I were very pleased with Norwegian's private Island Harvest Caye a lot to do a very nice beach lots of shops, Zip lining ,lots of lounge chairs and umbrellas. Embarkation and debnarkation was handled quite well. Handling so many people went smoothly. We travel from Tampa, so we book a nights stay at a hotel in Port Canaveral. They Shuttle you back and forth from the hotel to the ship and it makes it quite easy. The parking facilities for the hotel is very affordable. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our second cruise with Norwegian, so we now have two ships to compare. We took the Breakaway in May 2018, and the Epic in January 2019. Transfers from the airport and embarkation: Transfers from the airport were a bit slow: we ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Norwegian, so we now have two ships to compare. We took the Breakaway in May 2018, and the Epic in January 2019. Transfers from the airport and embarkation: Transfers from the airport were a bit slow: we waited 2.5 hours from the time our flight landed until we could catch the shuttle to the port. We found the transfer shuttle quickly – it just took a long time for a bus. The embarkation process once we arrived at the port was quick and very efficient - maximum 30 minutes from the time we arrived at the port until we were on the ship. Disembarkation and return to the airport was quick. We disembarked on time with our luggage and were waiting on the bus within 30 minutes. We waited on the bus for about 45 minutes (we don’t know why – it was full) before returning to the airport, but still arrived with plenty of time to check-in, eat lunch, and make our flights. The Epic’s rooms were slightly more dated than the Breakaway’s rooms. The largest issue we had with the entire cruise was the bathroom situation. Rooms don’t have a bathroom per se: there is a toilet room, a shower, and then a curtain dividing the front of the room from the back. There is a sink-vanity combo on the backroom side of the curtain. This was really tight and awkward, and would have been even moreso for non-couples staying in the room together (siblings, parents-kids, friends, colleagues, etc). Frankly, you can see and hear everything the person is doing on the other side of the curtain! However, the Epic’s rooms had significantly more closet storage than the Breakaway. We had tons of drawers, cupboards, shelves, and hangers so we were both easily able to fully unpack and hide our luggage for the duration of the cruise. Our cruise director Mandy was friendly but not as visible or approachable as our previous cruise director Dan Dan. Many of her announcements were pre-recorded, whereas Dan Dan would actually make the announcement in a public place. Our room steward Kevin was friendly and accessible. He recognized us and we saw him almost every day. Unfortunately, our room seemed to be getting cleaned later in the day, as we would return from excursions around 1-3pm and our room still hadn’t been cleaned. We had the pleasure of running into Shirley from the cruise director’s staff, whom we first met on the Breakaway. She remembered us and we remembered her. She was still bubbly, happy, and energetic whenever we saw her. As others have mentioned, the three pools are too small for a cruiseship holding 4000+ people. No more than 100-200 people could swim between these pools. However, we never had an issue finding a lounge chair or deck chair. One amenity that we quickly missed was the ability to dry our clothes. As a Caribbean cruise, you’re obviously swimming and wet every day: you need to dry off and have your clothes dry in a reasonable timeframe. Unfortunately, air circulation in the rooms was poor, even if you hung your clothes in the shower with the vent and clothesline. As a result, our room quickly gained a damp and musty smell from our constantly wet clothes and towels. We had to take our clothes to dry on the deck in the sun; otherwise the smell would have only gotten worse. Other cruiseships have pay-per-use laundry machines; the Epic only offered to do laundry once – a single laundry bag for USD$20, to be returned a few days before the end of the cruise. We’d like to see better laundry services. As expected, all of the entertainment was great. The Broadway shows Priscilla and Burn the Floor were incredible. The Cirque dinner and show were amazing. The impressionist, comedian, and magician were great. The hypnotist and vocalist were different, but something entertaining to watch. The outdoor theatre was great. The screen is a good size and the staggered layout allowed for dozens of lounge chairs and deck chairs to be used to comfortably watch a movie. The Atrium needs to be doubled or maybe tripled in size: the existing chairs were always full, leaving most guests to stand and watch the entertainment. The entertainment there is amazing! The competitions and gameshows were always fun to watch. It being full is a good thing, but something needs to be done about seating. There are two photo studios next to the Atrium that we never saw being used; perhaps they could be removed to make additional Atrium room. Alternatively, we’ve heard that other cruiselines have a dedicated “gameshow theatre” – a second theatre just for what Norwegian would do in the Atrium. Guest Services in the Atrium were quicker than the Breakaway. There were never long line ups more than 3-4 people. One issue we had was with Grand Cayman: due to wind we were dislocated from the primary port to another port about 20 minutes away. The wind is not Norwegian’s fault; however, it should have been Norwegian’s responsibility to get us where they agreed to take us. Instead, they simply announced taxis were available for USD$6 per person, one-way. Because of this, we were late for an excursion, which resulted in additional costs for us to find the excursion part-way through as well as us missing about an hour of the excursion. All of the food was good. The variety was excellent and we certainly never went hungry. The Garden Café again had theme nights for supper every night. One thing they could have done better was use and highlight the local cuisine. The ship was clearly very American-centric, so many of the ‘themes’ were just American food: American night, western country night, etc. We were sailing in the Caribbean and I would have liked to see authentic local Caribbean food (jerk chicken, fresh coconut, pineapple, mango, avocado, tacos, etc). The Epic has one less restaurant than the Breakaway (Breakaway also has Savour). This added a lot of pressure to the remaining restaurants, resulting in longer line ups and wait times. We would recommend making reservations early in the day. We had issues with O’Sheehans Pub again, as we did on the Breakaway. Once again, wait times were long and service was slow. It’s disappointing, especially since it’s literally the same pub menu every day. Why aren’t there always burgers, wings, and nachoes cooking and ready to go? We also had an issue with Taste Restaurant early in the cruise. Our total dinner service took more than two hours! It took a very long time to order, and then we waited almost an hour between appetizers and main courses with the appetizer plates still at our table. It felt like our server forgot about us. We had to ask him where our main courses were, and remind him multiple times that we still needed a room key returned after ordering wine. We missed a show and let him know we were too exhausted for dessert. Thankfully, when we complained about this issue, both the Food and Beverage Director and Manager called us to apologize, ask for our feedback, and gave us free chocolate-covered strawberries. Both of Norwegian’s private islands on this cruise (Great Stirrup Cay and Harvest Caye) were phenomenal. Truly paradise. It rained for the morning of Great Stirrup Cay, but so what? Go swimming and you’re going to be wet anyway. Both had tons of beach space and everything you could need. The fresh tacos at Great Stirrup Cay were a nice touch; the massive pool at Harvest Caye is unforgettable. The crew talent show on the final night was nice: it let us appreciate their skills and talents beyond just being crew members. We saw a singer, band, magician, and baton thrower among them. The Epic’s farewell event was not as nice or formal as on the Breakaway. The Epic’s was simply a 10 minute farewell video tacked on following the magician on the second-last night: it felt rushed and didn’t give the crew the recognition they deserved. Overall, the Epic is more dated than the Breakaway. It has much warmer wood tones and it’s darker in a lot of areas. It borders between warm and cozy and too dark at times. For example, the Atrium on the Epic had fewer windows than the Breakaway. As another example, the Breakaway had fish on the carpets that ‘swam’ toward the front of the ship. You don’t realize how helpful they are until they’re gone! As a result of the comments above, the Breakaway was 5/5 but the Epic was 4/5. It was still a great cruise and Norwegian was still excellent, save for the issues and opportunities above. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Choose this cruise because of the sail date and also ports. I read many reviews of the Epic leading up to our cruise and based on them I was worried. We were just two so perhaps our perspective would be different than a large group ... Read More
Choose this cruise because of the sail date and also ports. I read many reviews of the Epic leading up to our cruise and based on them I was worried. We were just two so perhaps our perspective would be different than a large group traveling together. We had a great time and overall it was a very good cruise. Embarkation was delayed due the Holy Ship Cruise that preceded ours. We had early check in at 9:30 and it was easy driving to the port, parking, checking bags and checking in. After that we waited for an extended time to board the ship. The terminal was filled and we heard from others that they waited outside in a line to check in with very little info given as to the delay. I think we boarded around 1 or 1:30. We elected to carry our own bags off for disembarkation and it was a breeze. We were off the ship by 7:15 am. The ship layout is odd with only elevator banks forward and aft. They really could use one on the middle. It seemed that everywhere we wanted to go to eat or get a drink or for much of the entertainment required a walk through the casino. If I had children this would really irritate me. Our cabin was balcony midship and had lots of storage space. The split shower/commode areas would not be such an issue if the bathroom sink had been included with one of them. The sink area was very small, the lighting for putting on makeup was horrendous and only one person could walk past the bed at a time. The sofa was not comfortable at all to sit on. And even though we are not tall our feet sometimes were off the bed. Largely as a result of reading reviews, I took a lighted makeup mirror with me and also a power strip. With phones, watches, etc that need charging the two outlets just does not seem to be enough. We though the dining on the ship was fine. Specialty restaurants were very good. Of the two main dining rooms we thought the service in Taste was much better than Manhattan Room. It is true that there were always lines at 5:30 and sometimes other times to get into a dining room. The most we waited for a table was 45 minutes on the last night of the cruise. The Garden Cafe Buffett seemed to us to have ample seating with overflow in La Cucina. I liked the layout of the buffet better than previous cruises on NCL. They really do their best to handle the large crowds. There was plenty of selection of food. Breakfast in Taste was excellent. This ship has the best entertainment of any of the previous cruises we have been on. Although you sometimes have to make reservations ahead of time to see a show in the main theater and wait in line in smaller venues to get in, the quality of the shows is worth it. BeatleMania, Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams and Priscilla Queen of the Desert were all excellent. Additionally the guest entertainers we saw were excellent. We had excellent service from our cabin steward and for the most part from the wait staff and bartenders. There were a couple of exceptions to this but we were not sure if this was more a result of being overworked rather than just not caring. Also, a comment about deck chairs. If you do not wish to sit right next to the pool there are plenty of chairs all over the ship including quite a lot of them on deck 18th, some of which were even padded. If you don't have to be where the action is at the pool it did not seem to us that finding a chair was an issue. We enjoyed our excursions which I will include below. Overall, we had a great time on the this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was the 2nd of 2 back-to-backs, Dec. 22 and 29, 2019. Having been on Caribbean cruises before, we did not make plans for off-ship organized tours, as we were warned of the slow disembarkation, especially by tenders, making it ... Read More
This was the 2nd of 2 back-to-backs, Dec. 22 and 29, 2019. Having been on Caribbean cruises before, we did not make plans for off-ship organized tours, as we were warned of the slow disembarkation, especially by tenders, making it necessary to get into line early!!!. NCL did its best to make this easier, but it was still an hour and a half, with an arranged tender time, to get off ship at Great Stirrup Cay. A fault here for the process is that no one ensured that those with a scheduled tender were those who got on it. Around us were a number of people with later tender times, or not scheduled times, getting on the tender we were to get on. On the flip side, we were part of number of cruisers doing back-to-back and the process for us was well handled and well explained, and we received some special handling to make our mid-cruise disembarkation, US Customs, and reboarding as easy as it could be. We had full access to our cabins and the ship if we chose to "stay onboard". A disappointment for us was that there was no indoor lounge overlooking the sea, so to watch the sea pass by as you sailed meant an outdoor space, in the wind. This ship is not designed to allow one to just enjoy a quiet space to watch the world go by. Another annoyance was the need to pass through the Casino, with its smoking area, to get to the Atrium from aft elevators, or to access some of the restaurants. Gamblers can find a casino, others should not have to suffer its presence. In another review, I discussed the very oddly designed and cramped cabin (deck 9, balcony), but obviously this was part of NCL designing a ship to carry the maximum number of passengers, and ensure that their attention was always on the onboard action. The result is a ship that from onshore is as ugly as any container vessel, and onboard is lacking a mid-ship elevator bank so the forward and aft ones are very busy and patience trying. We had few issues with the specialty restaurants and found the food quality in them very good. The main restaurants we found noisy and the staff seemed to be too few for the number of tables they dealt with, so food arrived on the cool side and waits tended to be, at times, long. On the positive side, we found the food tasty and variety was good, although desserts can be skipped, as they tend to be pretty bland. On these cruises, the entertainment was fantastic, especially Burn the Floor, and Priscilla, both of which we saw a second time. Read Less
Sail Date December 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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