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I have spent the last year quietly watching blogs and message boards and gathering information to help with our first cruise with Norwegian cruise line. I choose the ship because we were traveling with my two children. I have to say I did not believe the brochure when it said "your children will not want to leave the ship" but it is so true. My girls age 5 and age 8 both asked " Mummy when can we go back to our ship " at each and every port ! and we had tears when it was time to leave. Embarkation was as organised as it could be we arrived on a bank holiday so it was an unusual day with the port closed until 2pm. We got a bonus tour of Barcelona which was lovely but we were all so tired after being up all night to get there to enjoy it. It also meant that all these coaches touring in the morning all headed to the dock at the same time which meant for long queues to check in. We didn't use the specialty restaurants the choice in the garden cafe was really good and changed daily . We found a seat everytime in the garden cafe but after reading on here about food going cold we made sure we had a table before even looking or getting food. We loved to sit and over look the front of the ship two evenings we were treated with dolphins playing .We did book two of the other included more formal dinning venues that were included in the price so we had some special nights . We all had drinks passes which were free as we booked early. They were strict with measures but the choice was amazing you could pretty much have anything you wanted at any time of day . Yes you do pay for bottled water and posh coffee but there are plenty of water stations and regular tea and coffee stations on deck that you don't need too. The entertainers were really good very professional and worked hard . The circus show is awesome and well worth the extra charge,my 5 year old sat still for the whole two hours and was mesmerized ! I had no problems booking any shows at all! Although I did read up and take advise from fellow travelers and book the bigger ones Presilla and burn the floor at home before we set sail. The web site is very good but as I was booking for several rooms I also know there customer service phone line will book them for you too ,shows are available to book 3 months before you sail. I did use the TV in the cabin to book smaller shows like the comedian which saved the queues at the box office. I am not sure why the ice bar is not on any on the online booking systems in cabin or web site but it was easy to book in person with the desk outside the bar itself. Bowling is first come first served so no booking needed for that one ,we only had to wait 20 mins for a lane. We loved our daily family organised activity as well as time in the pools and flumes in the afternoon .The girls both enjoyed the club and asked to go in it so we were able to have free time as adults which was great and guilt free as we knew they were well looked after and happy.On the first day you are allowed in and are shown around ,there after you sign them in and out with keycards but dont see what they get up too .The space itself is huge. We had passes for the thermal suite which was well worth its money ,we spent colder mornings and some late evenings in there . One time I had the whole place to myself and at most there were about 20 people in there. It does get busy its all about picking your time. We went on organised shore excursions at all ports and enjoyed them all. I would say with kids the beach trip on Gran Canaria was a great place but not long enough most of the time was on the bus travelling. We had 2 hours in Morgan and the tour guide didn't even mention a beach only markets for shopping. By the time we found the beach the girls only had an hour before we had to walk back to coach. The dunes are awesome but we only got half an hour there. Some elderly people on the coach barely got down to see them before having to walk back to the coach. The best trip for the kids was Loro Park spectacular shows and well looked after animals. We booked all our shore excursions before our trip on the web page. I was surprised to find one cancelled in Morocco , the one place I did not want to go on my own. All the less expensive trips were fully booked so only the more expensive were available so book trips early. The ship is not formal at all .My husband did take a suit but he didn't feel the need to use it only a shirt and tie. Some nights you saw people in full sequin gowns and black tie .Its entirely down to the group you are with . We did take out the unlimited wifi .It doesn't allow for multiple devices so it was a pain logging one of and another on. It did allow for the kids to have quiet time and for us not to panic over them running up big bills. We also used iconcierge app with such a big ship it was a god send to be able to use our phones on the wifi network. It also meant that we could give the kids staff our phone numbers . With the best will in the world you can say where your going to be but plans change and the ship is huge. My mother in law had a single studio suite not far from our cabin . I was really impressed i think she had more space than we had and I had a sneaky peak in there coffee lounge, it was brilliant . I had to pay for my posh coffee upstairs and they could just go and get one .The only thing was with all the fancy lighting in her room we couldn't work out how to just get just a regular light as it scrolled threw colours but that could just be us. That said she spent a lot of time on our balcony or upstairs so that didn't matter. Disembarkation was very smooth we literally walked of ship at our set time only a handful of other people around ,found our bags and got on coach for airport. It took a little while for the coach to fill up but not long. I have seen lots of comments about extra charges on board ship . Yes they do add up but and this is a big but this cruise was a fraction of the quotes I had from other ships for similar cruise this year and even with the extras .Note to parents with smaller children the key cards given out to the kids allow them to spend money. The games in the bar are swipe cards! We allowed our girls to play table hockey but only with us $1.50 each game . There is a form you can ask for that will stop them spending money you need to sign and return to guest services. I can't comment on the gym we never found it in 10 days ,but I didn't look for it either. Would we travel on the Epic again Absolutely!!!!

Epic Easter with Kids

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Jfulker

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2016
  • Destination: Canary Islands
  • Cabin Type: Family Balcony
I have spent the last year quietly watching blogs and message boards and gathering information to help with our first cruise with Norwegian cruise line. I choose the ship because we were traveling with my two children. I have to say I did not believe the brochure when it said "your children will not want to leave the ship" but it is so true. My girls age 5 and age 8 both asked " Mummy when can we go back to our ship " at each and every port ! and we had tears when it was time to leave.

Embarkation was as organised as it could be we arrived on a bank holiday so it was an unusual day with the port closed until 2pm. We got a bonus tour of Barcelona which was lovely but we were all so tired after being up all night to get there to enjoy it. It also meant that all these coaches touring in the morning all headed to the dock at the same time which meant for long queues to check in.

We didn't use the specialty restaurants the choice in the garden cafe was really good and changed daily . We found a seat everytime in the garden cafe but after reading on here about food going cold we made sure we had a table before even looking or getting food. We loved to sit and over look the front of the ship two evenings we were treated with dolphins playing .We did book two of the other included more formal dinning venues that were included in the price so we had some special nights .

We all had drinks passes which were free as we booked early. They were strict with measures but the choice was amazing you could pretty much have anything you wanted at any time of day . Yes you do pay for bottled water and posh coffee but there are plenty of water stations and regular tea and coffee stations on deck that you don't need too.

The entertainers were really good very professional and worked hard . The circus show is awesome and well worth the extra charge,my 5 year old sat still for the whole two hours and was mesmerized ! I had no problems booking any shows at all! Although I did read up and take advise from fellow travelers and book the bigger ones Presilla and burn the floor at home before we set sail. The web site is very good but as I was booking for several rooms I also know there customer service phone line will book them for you too ,shows are available to book 3 months before you sail. I did use the TV in the cabin to book smaller shows like the comedian which saved the queues at the box office. I am not sure why the ice bar is not on any on the online booking systems in cabin or web site but it was easy to book in person with the desk outside the bar itself. Bowling is first come first served so no booking needed for that one ,we only had to wait 20 mins for a lane.

We loved our daily family organised activity as well as time in the pools and flumes in the afternoon .The girls both enjoyed the club and asked to go in it so we were able to have free time as adults which was great and guilt free as we knew they were well looked after and happy.On the first day you are allowed in and are shown around ,there after you sign them in and out with keycards but dont see what they get up too .The space itself is huge.

We had passes for the thermal suite which was well worth its money ,we spent colder mornings and some late evenings in there . One time I had the whole place to myself and at most there were about 20 people in there. It does get busy its all about picking your time.

We went on organised shore excursions at all ports and enjoyed them all. I would say with kids the beach trip on Gran Canaria was a great place but not long enough most of the time was on the bus travelling. We had 2 hours in Morgan and the tour guide didn't even mention a beach only markets for shopping. By the time we found the beach the girls only had an hour before we had to walk back to coach. The dunes are awesome but we only got half an hour there. Some elderly people on the coach barely got down to see them before having to walk back to the coach. The best trip for the kids was Loro Park spectacular shows and well looked after animals. We booked all our shore excursions before our trip on the web page. I was surprised to find one cancelled in Morocco , the one place I did not want to go on my own. All the less expensive trips were fully booked so only the more expensive were available so book trips early.

The ship is not formal at all .My husband did take a suit but he didn't feel the need to use it only a shirt and tie. Some nights you saw people in full sequin gowns and black tie .Its entirely down to the group you are with .

We did take out the unlimited wifi .It doesn't allow for multiple devices so it was a pain logging one of and another on. It did allow for the kids to have quiet time and for us not to panic over them running up big bills. We also used iconcierge app with such a big ship it was a god send to be able to use our phones on the wifi network. It also meant that we could give the kids staff our phone numbers . With the best will in the world you can say where your going to be but plans change and the ship is huge.

My mother in law had a single studio suite not far from our cabin . I was really impressed i think she had more space than we had and I had a sneaky peak in there coffee lounge, it was brilliant . I had to pay for my posh coffee upstairs and they could just go and get one .The only thing was with all the fancy lighting in her room we couldn't work out how to just get just a regular light as it scrolled threw colours but that could just be us. That said she spent a lot of time on our balcony or upstairs so that didn't matter.

Disembarkation was very smooth we literally walked of ship at our set time only a handful of other people around ,found our bags and got on coach for airport. It took a little while for the coach to fill up but not long.

I have seen lots of comments about extra charges on board ship . Yes they do add up but and this is a big but this cruise was a fraction of the quotes I had from other ships for similar cruise this year and even with the extras .Note to parents with smaller children the key cards given out to the kids allow them to spend money. The games in the bar are swipe cards! We allowed our girls to play table hockey but only with us $1.50 each game . There is a form you can ask for that will stop them spending money you need to sign and return to guest services.

I can't comment on the gym we never found it in 10 days ,but I didn't look for it either.

Would we travel on the Epic again Absolutely!!!!
Jfulker’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 3 to 6
Ages 7 to 9
Service
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Cabin Review

Family Balcony
Cabin B4 12069
Our cabin layout was not a problem for us in fact it made getting two children dressed easier having the sink seperate.They could use the basin whilst one of use showered. There was far more storage than I needed ,I think we could have had cloths for 6 months and the suitcases fitted nicely under the bed so we weren't lifting them out of the shower like I have done on other ships.Once the beds were set up there was very little room to open cupboards so if you didn't want to wake kids in morning get cloths out the night before. The cabin steward was very good at checking when to set them up so I was happy .We all found the beds very comfy and the top bunk is very sturdy some nights my girls both got in the one bed to watch tablet before bed. The only moan I had was that the plugs were really close together so although there were four we could only use two with our adapters for uk plugs.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews