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SHIP ITSELF Very large with lots of small capacity areas No soaring atrium like the smaller ships but mainly 1 storey with a few areas with open ceiling to next level so more of a hotel feel than traditional cruise ship The weather wasn’t consistently good enough to use the outside areas but when sun was out pool deck very busy .The waterpark area takes away from pool space but if you wanted a quiet area to sunbathe deck 18 was a good place Novelty ideas such as the Ice Bar never seemed to be too busy-not present at all on the newest ship The Escape so perhaps the novelty value is just that It took me a while for the light to dawn that starboard corridors had blue and beige carpets and blue lighting on the stairs and lifts whereas portside had orange and beige! There are no patterns of fish swimming in direction of travel which is a great idea on other NCL ships to give clue whether you are going forward or aft and if you head the wrong way they are long corridors Our muster station was the Casino which is a terrible idea I’m used to muster drills being done in restaurants etc but the Casino with its machines blocking view of crew members trying to demonstrate safety procedures and everyone squashed into a narrow hall would be dreadful in case of a real emergency BARS There are plenty of bars to choose from! The Ultimate Beverage Package [UBP] has been offered as a free perk for a long time mainly for ocean view and above so seemed many people had this-it was still being offered for $79 per day plus 18% gratuity and less publicised the wine and beer package at $10 per day less. Also available wine packages and soda packages For the first time we found getting served at the bars or waiting for a circulating bar waiter to take our order to be hit or miss-certainly not up to usual NCL standards. They seemed to be overwhelmed at busy times and even at quieter times the waiters seemed more interested in collecting dirty glasses than checking who was looking to order a drink-usually they do both with a smile and some quick conversation. RESTAURANTS We ate mainly at O Sheehans or the garden cafe for convenience and to be able to eat when we felt hungry. We only ate once in Manhattan restaurant for lunch to meet up with cruise roll callers which was fine Lots of people had the dining package as a perk so speciality restaurants busy and difficult to get a reservation at peak times We only eat in speciality restaurants if have a voucher-in this case we each had a platinum latitudes meal for Le Bistro .In the past this could also be used in Moderno or La Cucina but the only alternative now is La Cucina We preferred Le Bistro to La Cucina both for speed of service and ambience ENTERTAINMENT There is plenty going on day and night to appeal to all tastes We found our favourite band the Starlights-a rockn roll band playing in the Cavern Club most nights Duo Luna a guitarist and female vocalist were appearing in the atrium or Shakers bar and Paulo a guitarist/vocalist playing in Maltings We went to Howl at the Moon a couple of times and found them entertaining but not as good as previous performers we have seen onboard the larger NCL Ships Priscilla queen of the Desert was the signature theatre performance and was hilarious However there are numerous written and spoken warnings that the show is not suitable for children or the easily offended but the audience still had a high percentage of young children! It was school Easter holidays in the UK so expected a lot of children on board I didn’t notice too many during the day as avoided pool deck and the kids clubs were popular However late at night there were a lot of children running wild around the bar areas whilst their parents were nowhere to be seen or oblivious to their little darlings getting underfoot STATEROOMS We were in 12185 a large balcony. Due to the external shape of the ship this meant a triangular shape added to the regular balcony which meant could accommodate at least 1 lounger as well as the standard 2 chairs and table. The set up of the room was with couch next to balcony which did give easy access to the balcony The controversial bathroom set up was a non issue for us-we have been married 30 years! However I spoke to someone who was on the inaugural Epic trip about 6 years ago and said the frosting on the doors was a lot more transparent then! THERMAL SPA I pre purchased a cruise length pass for $179 a $20 reduction than if bought on board Epics Mandara Spa and Salon is supposed to be the largest spa at sea A unique feature of Epics Thermal spa is the open area at the aft with 6 padded loungers and 2 couches which give wonderful views and great to enjoy in good weather Inside the communal area are several heated tile loungers although 3 of them had signs on saying cold bed-ie needing maintenance Plenty of padded loungers and chairs,sauna and steam room with windows to open sea The therapy pool with hot tubs and pressure jets was always popular Inside the single sex area is another steam room and sauna with windows to sea which was hardly ever used so a good quiet area As you hand your keycard over at spa reception they give you a wristband with an allocated locker. The staff then store your room card in a file folder corresponding to that number which means it is efficient to return your room card at the end of the session That works fine until someone uses a random locker and “yours” is in use. Unfortunately the staff are inconsistent with dealing with this, some will give you a different free locker, others will suggest you use any free locker but don’t note which further compounds the problem and still others will open that locker and move the stuff to another one and lock it without informing the original occupant! I treated myself to a series of hot stone massages under the 10,20,30 offer whereby you get progressive discounts Still very expensive but I had plenty of OBC! EXCURSIONS We did private tours in 3 ports and can highly recommend Bruno from tripgrancanaria John Reid from Tenerifeprivatetours And Jeff from Hit the Road Madeira

Epic Trip to Canary Islands

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by fabnfortysomething

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2016
  • Destination: Canary Islands
  • Cabin Type: Large Balcony
SHIP ITSELF

Very large with lots of small capacity areas

No soaring atrium like the smaller ships but mainly 1 storey with a few areas with open ceiling to next level so more of a hotel feel than traditional cruise ship

The weather wasn’t consistently good enough to use the outside areas but when sun was out pool deck very busy .The waterpark area takes away from pool space but if you wanted a quiet area to sunbathe deck 18 was a good place

Novelty ideas such as the Ice Bar never seemed to be too busy-not present at all on the newest ship The Escape so perhaps the novelty value is just that

It took me a while for the light to dawn that starboard corridors had blue and beige carpets and blue lighting on the stairs and lifts whereas portside had orange and beige!

There are no patterns of fish swimming in direction of travel which is a great idea on other NCL ships to give clue whether you are going forward or aft and if you head the wrong way they are long corridors

Our muster station was the Casino which is a terrible idea

I’m used to muster drills being done in restaurants etc but the Casino with its machines blocking view of crew members trying to demonstrate safety procedures and everyone squashed into a narrow hall would be dreadful in case of a real emergency

BARS

There are plenty of bars to choose from!

The Ultimate Beverage Package [UBP] has been offered as a free perk for a long time mainly for ocean view and above so seemed many people had this-it was still being offered for $79 per day plus 18% gratuity and less publicised the wine and beer package at $10 per day less.

Also available wine packages and soda packages

For the first time we found getting served at the bars or waiting for a circulating bar waiter to take our order to be hit or miss-certainly not up to usual NCL standards.

They seemed to be overwhelmed at busy times and even at quieter times the waiters seemed more interested in collecting dirty glasses than checking who was looking to order a drink-usually they do both with a smile and some quick conversation.

RESTAURANTS

We ate mainly at O Sheehans or the garden cafe for convenience and to be able to eat when we felt hungry.

We only ate once in Manhattan restaurant for lunch to meet up with cruise roll callers which was fine

Lots of people had the dining package as a perk so speciality restaurants busy and difficult to get a reservation at peak times

We only eat in speciality restaurants if have a voucher-in this case we each had a platinum latitudes meal for Le Bistro .In the past this could also be used in Moderno or La Cucina but the only alternative now is La Cucina

We preferred Le Bistro to La Cucina both for speed of service and ambience

ENTERTAINMENT

There is plenty going on day and night to appeal to all tastes

We found our favourite band the Starlights-a rockn roll band playing in the Cavern Club most nights

Duo Luna a guitarist and female vocalist were appearing in the atrium or Shakers bar and Paulo a guitarist/vocalist playing in Maltings

We went to Howl at the Moon a couple of times and found them entertaining but not as good as previous performers we have seen onboard the larger NCL Ships

Priscilla queen of the Desert was the signature theatre performance and was hilarious

However there are numerous written and spoken warnings that the show is not suitable for children or the easily offended but the audience still had a high percentage of young children!

It was school Easter holidays in the UK so expected a lot of children on board

I didn’t notice too many during the day as avoided pool deck and the kids clubs were popular

However late at night there were a lot of children running wild around the bar areas whilst their parents were nowhere to be seen or oblivious to their little darlings getting underfoot

STATEROOMS

We were in 12185 a large balcony. Due to the external shape of the ship this meant a triangular shape added to the regular balcony which meant could accommodate at least 1 lounger as well as the standard 2 chairs and table.

The set up of the room was with couch next to balcony which did give easy access to the balcony

The controversial bathroom set up was a non issue for us-we have been married 30 years! However I spoke to someone who was on the inaugural Epic trip about 6 years ago and said the frosting on the doors was a lot more transparent then!

THERMAL SPA

I pre purchased a cruise length pass for $179 a $20 reduction than if bought on board

Epics Mandara Spa and Salon is supposed to be the largest spa at sea

A unique feature of Epics Thermal spa is the open area at the aft with 6 padded loungers and 2 couches which give wonderful views and great to enjoy in good weather

Inside the communal area are several heated tile loungers although 3 of them had signs on saying cold bed-ie needing maintenance

Plenty of padded loungers and chairs,sauna and steam room with windows to open sea

The therapy pool with hot tubs and pressure jets was always popular

Inside the single sex area is another steam room and sauna with windows to sea which was hardly ever used so a good quiet area

As you hand your keycard over at spa reception they give you a wristband with an allocated locker. The staff then store your room card in a file folder corresponding to that number which means it is efficient to return your room card at the end of the session

That works fine until someone uses a random locker and “yours” is in use. Unfortunately the staff are inconsistent with dealing with this, some will give you a different free locker, others will suggest you use any free locker but don’t note which further compounds the problem and still others will open that locker and move the stuff to another one and lock it without informing the original occupant!

I treated myself to a series of hot stone massages under the 10,20,30 offer whereby you get progressive discounts

Still very expensive but I had plenty of OBC!

EXCURSIONS

We did private tours in 3 ports and can highly recommend

Bruno from tripgrancanaria

John Reid from Tenerifeprivatetours

And Jeff from Hit the Road Madeira
fabnfortysomething’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
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