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This is only my 2nd cruise so not much to compare against after going away last year on P&O Azura - my sister found an excellent deal for the family on Norwegian Epic which included the free drinks package - too good to be true for a party of 11. We found Norwegian Epic to be an amazing large ship and enjoyed the freestyle cruising life it had to offer. Embarkation was very smooth as we had stayed 3 days earlier in an apartment in Barcelona and took a 5 minute walk to get the Port Bus for only a few euros each. Then after dropping off luggage a short wait in line before checking in, then onto the ship to try and find your way around. Disembarkation was equally as smooth walking off the ship after breakfast with no queues or waiting other than a 20 minute wait for a taxi. Kids Club: We signed my daughter into the kids club - surfers for my 9 year old and she made many friends and had lots of activities whilst being entertained, she usually only went in the evenings as she spent her days with us but enjoyed it very much, on a few occasions I was told off for collecting her too early. Dining: We paid extra a few weeks earlier for the 5 speciality dining restaurants and dined in Cagneys Steakhouse (lovely steaks), went to La Cucina (lovely Italian restaurant) meal was spoilt as ship was a little rocky this evening and children not feeling well, loved the dining experience of Teppanyaki and fun time had, Moderno Brazilian Steak Restaurant was another dining experience with a difference. The last speciality meal was the Cirque of Dreams which we had an amazing view (food was OK) but it was dark so could not see what you were eating! The normal restaurants are very good but by having a different restaurant every night made it so much more fun and exciting going out to dine. We did eat in the Garden Buffet sometimes for convenience but often walked around looking for a table and felt it was too busy. We booked our speciality dining restaurants prior to leaving and despite being 11 in the party we could only book the meals for tables of 6 and 5 but it was not trouble asking the restaurants on the day to change it to a table of 11 - very accommodating in the restaurants. Bars: Drinks package included was exceptionally good with bottled beers, wines, cocktails, spirits, soft drinks, juices etc all included. At times you did have to be a bit forceful to get served at the bars but eventually if you were patient then you got served soon enough. Ice Bar; On the last evening we decided to try the Ice Bar out as the child/teen & elders all wanted to see what it was like, so for $20 per person you get 2 drinks, wear a big coat & gloves and see how long you can stay in the cold - not too long when you have sandals on! Another experience never done before. Entertainment: Amazing and booked a few shows, hard to book some of the shows saying fully booked, they must keep a number of seats back for the stand by and because of no shows as I always managed to get in by either asking as walking in or by using the option of Stand By. I saw some amazing shows; Burn the floor, Priscilla, Cirque of Dreams, Motown (4Ever), Magician and Classics show. We joined in the Bingo and had lots of fun with the family - even had 2 winnings within the family. Pool/Slides: Due to the weather not being great I never ventured into the pool but the children 9 & 16 went on the slides a few times and had great fun, I'm sure in the better weather they would have large queues. We always found a sun bed or 2 around the top of the pool area, if not, then we ventured to the front of the ship and managed to get sunbeds in the quiet area. We did not book any tours/excursions and ventured off ourselves and found most of the port of calls to be very good, if only the weather was better then more beach days would have been had. I must recommend the cable cars in Funchal followed by the Toboggan Wicker Basket ride down the hill - very funny. Norwegian Epic was a huge ship and not for everyone, myself and family really enjoyed the cruise and eventually found our way around, love the freestyle dining, loved the drinks package, entertainment, children’s club, pools etc - Didn't like the weather - but that’s NCL's fault! Norwegian iConcierge; Between the family we downloaded the NCL app that enabled you to communicate to each other whilst on the ship a cost of $7.95 but worth it to let members of your group know where you are. Please be aware that not all shows/entertainment details are up to date. Finally, lovely to hear the announcements each morning about the port we were in but it would have been nice to have a review of the weather as we were in an inside cabin we had no idea until we got dressed and went out.

Fantastic Family Cruise on Epic

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Cruiserfamily17

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2016
  • Destination: Canary Islands
  • Cabin Type: Inside
This is only my 2nd cruise so not much to compare against after going away last year on P&O Azura - my sister found an excellent deal for the family on Norwegian Epic which included the free drinks package - too good to be true for a party of 11. We found Norwegian Epic to be an amazing large ship and enjoyed the freestyle cruising life it had to offer.

Embarkation was very smooth as we had stayed 3 days earlier in an apartment in Barcelona and took a 5 minute walk to get the Port Bus for only a few euros each. Then after dropping off luggage a short wait in line before checking in, then onto the ship to try and find your way around. Disembarkation was equally as smooth walking off the ship after breakfast with no queues or waiting other than a 20 minute wait for a taxi.

Kids Club: We signed my daughter into the kids club - surfers for my 9 year old and she made many friends and had lots of activities whilst being entertained, she usually only went in the evenings as she spent her days with us but enjoyed it very much, on a few occasions I was told off for collecting her too early.

Dining: We paid extra a few weeks earlier for the 5 speciality dining restaurants and dined in Cagneys Steakhouse (lovely steaks), went to La Cucina (lovely Italian restaurant) meal was spoilt as ship was a little rocky this evening and children not feeling well, loved the dining experience of Teppanyaki and fun time had, Moderno Brazilian Steak Restaurant was another dining experience with a difference. The last speciality meal was the Cirque of Dreams which we had an amazing view (food was OK) but it was dark so could not see what you were eating! The normal restaurants are very good but by having a different restaurant every night made it so much more fun and exciting going out to dine. We did eat in the Garden Buffet sometimes for convenience but often walked around looking for a table and felt it was too busy. We booked our speciality dining restaurants prior to leaving and despite being 11 in the party we could only book the meals for tables of 6 and 5 but it was not trouble asking the restaurants on the day to change it to a table of 11 - very accommodating in the restaurants.

Bars: Drinks package included was exceptionally good with bottled beers, wines, cocktails, spirits, soft drinks, juices etc all included. At times you did have to be a bit forceful to get served at the bars but eventually if you were patient then you got served soon enough.

Ice Bar; On the last evening we decided to try the Ice Bar out as the child/teen & elders all wanted to see what it was like, so for $20 per person you get 2 drinks, wear a big coat & gloves and see how long you can stay in the cold - not too long when you have sandals on! Another experience never done before.

Entertainment: Amazing and booked a few shows, hard to book some of the shows saying fully booked, they must keep a number of seats back for the stand by and because of no shows as I always managed to get in by either asking as walking in or by using the option of Stand By. I saw some amazing shows; Burn the floor, Priscilla, Cirque of Dreams, Motown (4Ever), Magician and Classics show.

We joined in the Bingo and had lots of fun with the family - even had 2 winnings within the family.

Pool/Slides: Due to the weather not being great I never ventured into the pool but the children 9 & 16 went on the slides a few times and had great fun, I'm sure in the better weather they would have large queues. We always found a sun bed or 2 around the top of the pool area, if not, then we ventured to the front of the ship and managed to get sunbeds in the quiet area.

We did not book any tours/excursions and ventured off ourselves and found most of the port of calls to be very good, if only the weather was better then more beach days would have been had. I must recommend the cable cars in Funchal followed by the Toboggan Wicker Basket ride down the hill - very funny.

Norwegian Epic was a huge ship and not for everyone, myself and family really enjoyed the cruise and eventually found our way around, love the freestyle dining, loved the drinks package, entertainment, children’s club, pools etc - Didn't like the weather - but that’s NCL's fault!

Norwegian iConcierge; Between the family we downloaded the NCL app that enabled you to communicate to each other whilst on the ship a cost of $7.95 but worth it to let members of your group know where you are. Please be aware that not all shows/entertainment details are up to date.

Finally, lovely to hear the announcements each morning about the port we were in but it would have been nice to have a review of the weather as we were in an inside cabin we had no idea until we got dressed and went out.
Cruiserfamily17’s Full Rating Summary
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Ages 7 to 9
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IF 13033
Good size cabin for family of 3, beds comfy, soon got use to the bathroom arrangements within the family. Shower was a good size along with toiletries, toilet was perfectly adequate, I just felt the sink was a little small and would have preferred the curtain to include the sink area as the flooring did. Good storage area for 3 people and cases fitted under the beds really easily. Lighting was not bright enough around the bathroom mirror.

Loved the towel animals each evening and my daughter was so disappointed if we forgot to leave the sign saying 'turn down the cabin'.
Our cabin steward (His name was Matteo) was attentive and looked after & cleaned our cabin so well.
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