1st Solo Trip: Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by ercadm

Norwegian Epic 4
Member Since 2013

Overall Member Rating

1st Solo Trip

Sail Date: January 2013
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
This was a last minute decision and I couldn't refuse the last minute pricing as I was going to be going solo and Epic's solo Studio cabins fit the bill perfectly. I also took advantage of the Bar Package which I was unaware of until I was in the embarkation area and read the brochure. Being as I was going single I figured it would feel more like an all inclusive if I just paid once and didn't worry about the drinks, since I'm normally only drinking beer and the odd highball anyway. Since everyone in the room has to partake, this may not be for everyone but I certainly enjoyed it. Not over doing it either, I think I certainly came out on top and saved at least $100.

As for the Internet that is another story. As I'm a tech, it is one thing to be taking a cruise but being out of touch for the week was just impossible so I purchased the $100 plan which provided 250 minutes but an additional 20 minutes if you booked on the first day, which I did. The problem came when you would More sign in and then get disconnected and/or could not disconnect as the sign out window would disappear as I learned with my ipad. After 2 days I had only 45 minutes left and had only signed in 4 times so I was off to the internet guy to find out what was going on. He was good enough to explain that Chrome just doesn't work well with their ship and to use Safari browser for sign in and out. Then proceeded to give me an additional 30 minutes. That was nice but it still didn't help much since the sign out was find after that but I was still getting disconnected all the time so would spend 5 minutes signing back in. This was never a problem on Carnival or Holland America ships so I think they better look in to this.

The embarkation process was painless, although I didn't get a numbered card so after they had called group 1, I just walked up and told the guy I didn't get a card and because I was by myself he said to go ahead and voila I was on my way to the ship, in the second group so I would say it was about 30 minute wait as I arrived right at 11am and walked right up to the counter to get my keycard.

Being as I had been on other cruise lines I could do some comparisons and in the most part I believe a cruise is what you make of it regardless of what ship you are on so my review is obviously "my" review. The Garden Buffet was great but didn't have the selection that Carnival Did and HOlland would always have the same meal in one of the areas that was the specialty in the fancy restaurant. This was not the case on Epic. I love sushi and there was never any available in the buffet but of course you can go pay a la carte in the Wasabi place.. thanks but I'll wait until I get home and have the all you can eat sushi buffet! There was always a place to sit in the Garden buffet area so that was never a problem.

I spent a lot of time in O'Sheenagan's as it was the hopping place during football playoffs and the Dance contest and kareoke were always fun to listen to. Being a very big ship, the casino typically took up pretty much the entire Deck 6 and was always quite busy although you could always find a place at a table or slot if you choose.

The Studio where I was staying offered a nice hideaway/quiet area with complimentary coffee machine and the odd snack, complete with full bar when there was a bartender. I only ever once saw this occupied with staff during the get together at 5:30-6:30 which I didn't partake in as it was my hot tub time! It would have been nice to be able to spend more time there and I would have if there was a life person behind the bar as it would have become more of a meeting area. Late at night when I would go there to do my work and hope there was a cookie left which there never was, it seems like those that were spending time there were also enjoying the complimentary snacks as well.

If I had to complain about one thing it would be that they did not provide Robes! I asked a number of people and they too did not get them but speaking with a few from the 'havens' they had them.. so it appears you really must go first class for a robe.. The only other thing that happened to me was I had placed my beach towel on the floor on the 4th day as it was still wet and I wanted a fresh one (Carnival would just do this regardless).. well he took my towel but didn't replace it so when I got back to my room, which wasn't until almost 3am, I called housekeeping (because they will charge you $25 if you take the towel!) I let them know I never got a replacement and I was asked how many I required..I said 1 because that is all I was given (in the single studio room).. she asked if I wanted it right away and I said "no because I am going to sleep now, please just let housekeeping know so that I am not being charged for this".. I had my do not disturb sign on and just over an hour later (about 4:30am) I heard knocking and I couldn't tell if it was for my room or the one across or beside me.. a few more knocks and it stopped, then my phone rang.. it was housekeeping!... I opened the door and the girl handed me two towels! So much for communication!

The fact that this 7 night trip hit only 3 ports is my style of cruising as it gave us 2 days at sea on the way out and one day at sea between St.Thomas and Nassau so it was quite relaxing. I am glad I did it, never normally travelling solo but with the Studio Cabins Norwegian Epic made it easy and affordable. I was also able to try out my third cruise line, if for nothing else, to compare between them all.. but as I stated earlier, the cruise is what you make of it and it is too easy to complain and compare but I believe each cruise liner and cruise ship has many unique things to offer.. if nothing else, the crew of this ship were extremely easy to spend time with, very personable and made my decision to travel on future Norwegian Cruises a thing to look forward to! Less

Published 01/28/13
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: T112569 Studio

The Studio room I was in 12569, I initially thought this would be a great room as it was the most AFT that was available, as well as being right at the entrance to the studio area so no long walk down the corridor, unless you wanted to go to the Lounge/Living room in which case it was a long walk, but that wasn't the problem.. the problem was the moment people would come through the studio corridor entrance the door would slam shut.. each and every time!!! Do yourself a favor and unless you can sleep through anything, do NOT get one of these rooms close to the exit. Since I was staying up late, I opted to sleep in most days until at least 10 and that was just impossible pretty much an hour before we hit the ports people were heading for breakfast and so it was non stop slam, slam, slam

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Port and Shore Excursions

The last port which I had never been to, Nassau, was what I would consider not just a port shopping as you were right in the heart of the downtown area or so it seemed. Full of activities restaurants, coffee shops, etc, easy to spend the afternoon and in our case, again, not that long since we arrived at 11am and were gone by 6. Most definitely not worth the trip to Paradise Island for only half day but if you are going to go check it out, you can get a cheap water taxi for $8 round trip right as you walk in to the port entrance.
Read 5044 Nassau Reviews

On to the first port of call, St.Maarten.. I had been there before so I was only off the ship to pick up a few things at the local port shops.. the beaches in St.Maarten are second to none and only Turks and Caicos, in my opinion, beat the ones that you will find (on the Dutch side) of the island so if you are looking for the best beach be sure to check them out here. The one complaint I heard from those that took the beach excursion was that they went to the French beaches which have the rough water so unless you like wind surfing you may want to stay on the Dutch side.

The second port was St.Thomas and I had also been here.. not near as nice as St.Maarten with regards to the beaches but still pretty nice. Many opted to take a cab over to the water taxi where you can then go to St.John island and take in the very nice beach over there. I did that the time before and quite enjoyed it but depending on the amount of time you have, which is not as much on Epic as it was on my Carnival stop, so I think I would advise staying in St.Thomas for the day. The shopping in the port here is very good so you actually don't have to go far.
Read 4002 St. Thomas Reviews

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