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This was our second Christmas cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines; both times out of Port Canaveral. And, before I go any further, I have to recommend Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach and Kennedy Space Center to visitors for excursions. Not that we took any...but we live in Cocoa Beach and are very proud of our area. We are proud of Port Canaveral, too, although it IS having some growing pains. We embarked from the recently upgraded Cruise Terminal 10 and, personally, had no problems. Of course, we opted for an early arrival time (10 AM) and were able to have relatives drop us off. Later arrivals complained of long wait times in the hot Florida sun. There is also a traffic flow issue in and out of that end of the port, where the access road involves a drawbridge which can be open at inopportune times. The signage can be a little confusing, too, especially since Disney and Carnival also dock at that end of the port. If you are not coming in on a Norwegian-booked flight/shuttle from the Orlando airport we recommend making sure you get an early boarding time and plan to eat lunch on board. We were able to go to our cabin (BA 11121) in the early afternoon. It was a little bit of a surprise because the walls were curved, the bed was round, and the bathroom is one where commode, shower and sink are separated out rather than being in one "room". (There is a curtain to draw between these areas and the bed for privacy). However, after our initial skepticism about this arrangement, we decided it made sense if only because it freed up the three areas so the two of us could use them at the same time. One note: The light above the sink was inadequate. My husband could not see clearly to shave. Still, our cabin steward was great, the energy efficiency in having a master switch for the lights (controlled by your key card) was appealing and the "message wheel" (I don't know what to call it) outside the door where we could turn the dial to indicate if we wanted the room made up etc. is certainly better than the little paper slips used before. Dining: The Garden Cafe (buffet) is great but, like any buffet, crowded. The Great Outdoors (just outside the buffet, beside the pool) is good, especially early morning. We ate in three specialty restaurants: Cagney's, Moderno and Teppanyaki. The food in Cagney's was great even though the service was a little bit lacking. Moderno's waiter was terrific and it was an interesting dining experience. Tepppanyaki was entertaining, with good food and good theatrics. And, then there is O'Sheehans. I am glad to see that Norwegian expanded its late night eatery into an all night establishment, and cannot say enough about the fish and chips, pound cake and apple pie. The only problem there is the noise level. Another note: I have Crohn's disease and am very careful about food choices. I had NO PROBLEMS on board the Epic and was happy to see that there were plenty of gluten and sugar free choices on the menu. Entertainment: We took in the Christmas show, Burn the Floor and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Although the production quality of all three was excellent our favorite was Burn the Floor. And, I personally, liked the Howl at Moon/Dueling Pianos show. My husband found the venue for it (Headliners) a little claustrophobic. Health Center: My husband used the fitness center every morning and said it was never really crowded. There were a variety of fitness machines available as well as a conscientious staff. However, the walking/jogging path on Deck 7 was ridiculous. Whose idea was it to put that on a deck with lifeboats hanging on one side and exhaust fumes from restaurants belching out on the other? We found our own walking area up on Deck 16, where there is a sort of sun deck that could be lapped with little problem or disruption to the sunbathers. Activities: There seemed to be ample activities on board for all age groups: Plenty of trivia games, karaoke, poolside contests, bingo, movies and, of course, the casino. We also like to find quiet spaces where we can sit and read. The problem was that any of the indoor lounges were way too cold (Bliss comes to mind) to sit in comfortably without a sweatshirt/jacket. And, while our balcony was OK for short periods, outdoor venues need more shaded areas if you want to read and not soak up sun. We don't usually take the excursions and this cruise was no exception. We wanted to relax on board and that is what we did! As to whether we would go again? Yes! As a matter of fact we took advantage of the Book Ahead program to make a deposit for a future cruise with Norwegian.

Great Christmas Cruise!

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by NanBD

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our second Christmas cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines; both times out of Port Canaveral. And, before I go any further, I have to recommend Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach and Kennedy Space Center to visitors for excursions. Not that we took any...but we live in Cocoa Beach and are very proud of our area.

We are proud of Port Canaveral, too, although it IS having some growing pains. We embarked from the recently upgraded Cruise Terminal 10 and, personally, had no problems. Of course, we opted for an early arrival time (10 AM) and were able to have relatives drop us off. Later arrivals complained of long wait times in the hot Florida sun. There is also a traffic flow issue in and out of that end of the port, where the access road involves a drawbridge which can be open at inopportune times. The signage can be a little confusing, too, especially since Disney and Carnival also dock at that end of the port.

If you are not coming in on a Norwegian-booked flight/shuttle from the Orlando airport we recommend making sure you get an early boarding time and plan to eat lunch on board.

We were able to go to our cabin (BA 11121) in the early afternoon. It was a little bit of a surprise because the walls were curved, the bed was round, and the bathroom is one where commode, shower and sink are separated out rather than being in one "room". (There is a curtain to draw between these areas and the bed for privacy). However, after our initial skepticism about this arrangement, we decided it made sense if only because it freed up the three areas so the two of us could use them at the same time. One note: The light above the sink was inadequate. My husband could not see clearly to shave.

Still, our cabin steward was great, the energy efficiency in having a master switch for the lights (controlled by your key card) was appealing and the "message wheel" (I don't know what to call it) outside the door where we could turn the dial to indicate if we wanted the room made up etc. is certainly better than the little paper slips used before.

Dining: The Garden Cafe (buffet) is great but, like any buffet, crowded. The Great Outdoors (just outside the buffet, beside the pool) is good, especially early morning. We ate in three specialty restaurants: Cagney's, Moderno and Teppanyaki. The food in Cagney's was great even though the service was a little bit lacking. Moderno's waiter was terrific and it was an interesting dining experience. Tepppanyaki was entertaining, with good food and good theatrics. And, then there is O'Sheehans. I am glad to see that Norwegian expanded its late night eatery into an all night establishment, and cannot say enough about the fish and chips, pound cake and apple pie. The only problem there is the noise level.

Another note: I have Crohn's disease and am very careful about food choices. I had NO PROBLEMS on board the Epic and was happy to see that there were plenty of gluten and sugar free choices on the menu.

Entertainment: We took in the Christmas show, Burn the Floor and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Although the production quality of all three was excellent our favorite was Burn the Floor. And, I personally, liked the Howl at Moon/Dueling Pianos show. My husband found the venue for it (Headliners) a little claustrophobic.

Health Center: My husband used the fitness center every morning and said it was never really crowded. There were a variety of fitness machines available as well as a conscientious staff.

However, the walking/jogging path on Deck 7 was ridiculous. Whose idea was it to put that on a deck with lifeboats hanging on one side and exhaust fumes from restaurants belching out on the other? We found our own walking area up on Deck 16, where there is a sort of sun deck that could be lapped with little problem or disruption to the sunbathers.

Activities: There seemed to be ample activities on board for all age groups: Plenty of trivia games, karaoke, poolside contests, bingo, movies and, of course, the casino.

We also like to find quiet spaces where we can sit and read. The problem was that any of the indoor lounges were way too cold (Bliss comes to mind) to sit in comfortably without a sweatshirt/jacket. And, while our balcony was OK for short periods, outdoor venues need more shaded areas if you want to read and not soak up sun.

We don't usually take the excursions and this cruise was no exception. We wanted to relax on board and that is what we did!

As to whether we would go again? Yes! As a matter of fact we took advantage of the Book Ahead program to make a deposit for a future cruise with Norwegian.
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