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We were limited to date of cruise departure because of school and not able to have our two teens (one in college) miss school dates. We did a fair bit of research before going but found it was truly alot of you don't know what you don't know and quite honestly the website for the cruise line does not provide significant information on what the additional costs are. I really did not want to end up feeling nickeled and dimed. Although labeled as most expenses included there are many places to drop a significant amount of money on the ship. There were repeated daily attempts to have us spend money in many ways. They are very creative. One of the most important things for my daughter and I was the ability for the ship to accommodate our celiac diet. For those who are celiac it is a medical requirement for a gluten free diet and cross contamination will result in illness. We did complete forms once we booked, was assured we would meet with the head chef upon boarding. In our room was a letter, indicating we just needed to speak to guest services. Guest services just told us to talk to the head person at any restaurant. Bording in the afternoon we went up to the buffet (not great for celiacs) and the head person said we needed to speak to the head chef and contact guest services. Some fruit it was for lunch. When speaking to guest services, they directed us to the restaurant that was closed. We found a person there who gave us a phone number to call, they were the wrong number and unhappy, gave us another who then begrudgingly ordered dinner for that night. After all this at dinner we met one of two waiters who became our best allies, excellent knowledge of gluten free, we needed to order the night before for all meals. Not easy but by the 5th day we sorted that out. Food decent and not sick once. We ate most nights in the Manhatten room or the Taste with one night in the noodle bar (meh). The Manhatten and Taste were great, awesome breakfast in Taste, Stephan the wine steward in the Taste. We are travelling with our two teens 15 and 18 and had 2 rooms. A couple extra room keys put the right people in the right rooms :). The inside state room although smaller than the balcony was laid out better and felt more spacious. It suited the teens well. The balcony room was nice and I appreciated the fresh air. The room layout is weird with needing to get past the end of the bed/counter area that was a tight squeeze. Both rooms had well used space and storage. Nice to unpack once for the whole trip. Cute towel animals and great service by both room attendants. The Bahamas stop was their private island. Tendering to the island was not bad, although rocky as the ocean was rough. We did the stingray tour - fabulous! Island was lovely - the, only thing that was annoying is finding small amounts on our bill - 28, 45, 52 cent charges. Now, not that it is alot of money but odd. Turns out that despite having the drink package and paying the gratuities for that in advance if you are docked in the Bahama's or an American port there is additional fee (note my comment of nickeled and dimed earlier). The one main extra I knew we wanted was to have family photos. The perspectives studio has a wonderful photographer and we ended up doing a family photo shoot on St. Thomas. Essentially we created a shore excursion and as such we were one of the first 20 off the ship. An unexpected extra. We went to a different beach Morningstar beach at the Marriott resort. Fabulous pictures and we spent part of the afternoon there before going shopping for a couple hours. The only downfall was the $8. each frozen lemonades - same price as beer! Cool iguanas there too. Tortolla was our favorite port. Did a tour of the island from the taxi area at $25 per person, which included a stop at a rum factory and a couple hours on the beach. Our daughter learned to stand up paddle board and I would say this was our favorite stop. All the stops seemed too short and would have liked more time on land. For the ship, lovely with lots to do. A casino (did not spend time there - not sure why they allow smoking in doors, even at the casino), bowling, pianos -fun, Burn the Floor - an excellent dance show and Pricillia Queen of the Dessert - also excellent (although could offend some). There was also a walking track, excellent gym (although under 16 not permitted which was a disappointment for my athlete in training). Had fun with the ships Deal or no Deal, dancing with the stars and the how well you know your partner. Too funny - clean humorous entertainment! Pools were very small with cloudy water - likely due to overuse. I was surprised they were so small. The sunny sea day was a big problem to get a lounge chair -people saving with towels but not arriving. The kids liked the waterslide. There was also a rock climbing wall, but the lines were weird and not really sure how you cued up. Travelling with a teen (15) she refused to go to the teen club. Cannot say as I blame her, the description of what was happening seemed lame at best and not of interest for a teenager. The 18 year old was thrilled that if we signed a paper he could have a beer or glass of wine when the ship was at sea. For three of us it was the first time on a cruise. For the 18 year old, it was his second cruise as he went with school and coincidentally he was on the same ship three years ago. All in all a nice trip and I would cruise again. Not an always cruiser, but I would go again.

First cruiser learning all week long

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Cantraveller

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
We were limited to date of cruise departure because of school and not able to have our two teens (one in college) miss school dates. We did a fair bit of research before going but found it was truly alot of you don't know what you don't know and quite honestly the website for the cruise line does not provide significant information on what the additional costs are. I really did not want to end up feeling nickeled and dimed. Although labeled as most expenses included there are many places to drop a significant amount of money on the ship. There were repeated daily attempts to have us spend money in many ways. They are very creative.

One of the most important things for my daughter and I was the ability for the ship to accommodate our celiac diet. For those who are celiac it is a medical requirement for a gluten free diet and cross contamination will result in illness. We did complete forms once we booked, was assured we would meet with the head chef upon boarding. In our room was a letter, indicating we just needed to speak to guest services. Guest services just told us to talk to the head person at any restaurant. Bording in the afternoon we went up to the buffet (not great for celiacs) and the head person said we needed to speak to the head chef and contact guest services. Some fruit it was for lunch. When speaking to guest services, they directed us to the restaurant that was closed. We found a person there who gave us a phone number to call, they were the wrong number and unhappy, gave us another who then begrudgingly ordered dinner for that night. After all this at dinner we met one of two waiters who became our best allies, excellent knowledge of gluten free, we needed to order the night before for all meals. Not easy but by the 5th day we sorted that out. Food decent and not sick once.

We ate most nights in the Manhatten room or the Taste with one night in the noodle bar (meh). The Manhatten and Taste were great, awesome breakfast in Taste, Stephan the wine steward in the Taste.

We are travelling with our two teens 15 and 18 and had 2 rooms. A couple extra room keys put the right people in the right rooms :). The inside state room although smaller than the balcony was laid out better and felt more spacious. It suited the teens well. The balcony room was nice and I appreciated the fresh air. The room layout is weird with needing to get past the end of the bed/counter area that was a tight squeeze. Both rooms had well used space and storage. Nice to unpack once for the whole trip. Cute towel animals and great service by both room attendants.

The Bahamas stop was their private island. Tendering to the island was not bad, although rocky as the ocean was rough. We did the stingray tour - fabulous! Island was lovely - the, only thing that was annoying is finding small amounts on our bill - 28, 45, 52 cent charges. Now, not that it is alot of money but odd. Turns out that despite having the drink package and paying the gratuities for that in advance if you are docked in the Bahama's or an American port there is additional fee (note my comment of nickeled and dimed earlier).

The one main extra I knew we wanted was to have family photos. The perspectives studio has a wonderful photographer and we ended up doing a family photo shoot on St. Thomas. Essentially we created a shore excursion and as such we were one of the first 20 off the ship. An unexpected extra. We went to a different beach Morningstar beach at the Marriott resort. Fabulous pictures and we spent part of the afternoon there before going shopping for a couple hours. The only downfall was the $8. each frozen lemonades - same price as beer! Cool iguanas there too.

Tortolla was our favorite port. Did a tour of the island from the taxi area at $25 per person, which included a stop at a rum factory and a couple hours on the beach. Our daughter learned to stand up paddle board and I would say this was our favorite stop. All the stops seemed too short and would have liked more time on land.

For the ship, lovely with lots to do. A casino (did not spend time there - not sure why they allow smoking in doors, even at the casino), bowling, pianos -fun, Burn the Floor - an excellent dance show and Pricillia Queen of the Dessert - also excellent (although could offend some). There was also a walking track, excellent gym (although under 16 not permitted which was a disappointment for my athlete in training). Had fun with the ships Deal or no Deal, dancing with the stars and the how well you know your partner. Too funny - clean humorous entertainment!

Pools were very small with cloudy water - likely due to overuse. I was surprised they were so small. The sunny sea day was a big problem to get a lounge chair -people saving with towels but not arriving. The kids liked the waterslide. There was also a rock climbing wall, but the lines were weird and not really sure how you cued up.

Travelling with a teen (15) she refused to go to the teen club. Cannot say as I blame her, the description of what was happening seemed lame at best and not of interest for a teenager. The 18 year old was thrilled that if we signed a paper he could have a beer or glass of wine when the ship was at sea. For three of us it was the first time on a cruise. For the 18 year old, it was his second cruise as he went with school and coincidentally he was on the same ship three years ago. All in all a nice trip and I would cruise again. Not an always cruiser, but I would go again.
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