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Our experience on board the Epic was memorable but for all the wrong reasons. Compared to the Escape our experience on the Epic was less than stellar. Please don't mistake this for a review of NCL as a whole but instead about our experience on board the Epic. My hope is that NCL will see this and make a concerted effort to drastically improve the guest experience on board the Epic as many others share similar discontent for this ship. Every passenger received a phone call a couple days prior to embarkation day notifying us not to arrive at our designated time. We were told embarkation was going to be delayed and was given a different assigned time to arrive. Once we were on the cruise it was discovered an EDM festival named Holy Ship! was on the Epic the week prior. Almost every crew member we encountered had something to say negatively about the previous passengers and their behavior. Pool furniture was being thrown into the pool, state rooms were filthy and disorganized, passengers were too hung over or strung out and the crew had a hard time getting them out of the staterooms in order to turn the ship over for our cruise. While I understand this must have been a taxing week for the crew, I find it frustrating they were using it as an excuse as to why our cruise experience was so lackluster. I would have rather they apologize and go above and beyond to ensure we had a good experience instead of hearing excuses all week as to why the crew isn't up to par. The embarkation process did go smoothly however there was an extreme delay before we were able to get into our staterooms. We were told we could get into them between 1:00 to 1:30pm but we didn't get into them until 3:30pm. Most of our evening dining experiences were average at best. We ate in both complimentary and specialty dining venues. When dining on the Escape we never had an unsatisfactory meal but I can't say the same about our experience on the Epic. One evening we dined in the Manhattan room which was complimentary but my partner and another of our friends ordered the lobster tail for an upgraded charge of $25. I tried a bite of the lobster, it was extremely tough and chewy. My partner wasn't able to finish it before he had to leave the table to go to the bathroom because he got nauseous. The waiter stopped by the table to ask if he was finished with his food so he could take his plate. I told him my partner was getting sick in the bathroom. He offered no empathy and when I told him the lobster was bad, he didn't attempt to fix the situation or offer to cover the $25. I let this go and figured his sickness could have been from something else. Later that night our friend who ordered lobster also got sick. I no longer think it was a coincidence that both who ordered the lobster got sick. This did not sit well with me so I planned to address this later with guest services. A group of us went to Taste for breakfast and it appeared the crew was not ready at all for the amount of guests who showed up for breakfast that morning. There were three different officers who were seating people, and they pulled two waiters from another restaurant to help. Even with all of that, they were still scrambling and it took them 20 minutes before anyone came to our table to introduce themselves or take a beverage order. In the mean time no one came to apologize for the wait or to let us know they would be with us shortly. There were other food quality issues which individually could have been forgiven but each day it was always something with the food. I ordered a lava cake one evening for dessert but it was not a lava cake, it was described on the menu incorrectly. Another meal I ordered was a seafood dish which was supposed to be Milanese but it was prepared Parmesan style. Another meal I ordered a beefsteak tomato salad of which every tomato was green, tough and not ripe at all. I encountered a large amount of frustration when trying to reserve our tender boats to go ashore. All of our dailies stated we could reserve tenders from our televisions in the state rooms, or any of the monitors throughout the public areas of the cruise ship, or at the box office. I made numerous attempts to reserve on our television in the stateroom with no success. Then I tried to use a couple of monitors again with no success. Finally, I had to deal with the reality of standing in line at the box office to reserve our tender. This was excruciatingly painful as everyone else in the line was trying to reserve their show times. Since Priscilla Queen of the Dessert was one of the shows, it became a lengthy conversation with most passengers to describe the show and waiting while they decided if this was a show they wanted to see. On average it took each group about 5 to 7 minutes to book their shows. Once I got to an agent and booked my tender it took 30 seconds. I asked why I couldn't reserve in the room or on the monitors I was told neither of them were working! The tender boat reservation should not be included in the same line with the box office. This was a huge misstep in my opinion. Despite our experience on board the Epic we went to the cruise next desk to purchase our deposits for our next cruise. I wanted to be able to give NCL another chance and looked to book on one of the Breakaway or Breakaway plus class ships. I asked the agent to help us find a cruise longer than 7 days on one of the newer ships. He said that would be difficult and asked why a newer ship. I started to explain our negative experience on board the Epic and he completely agreed stating the ship is a mess and is going through some changes in management and staff. He spoke with extreme candor and admitted the Epic is not the best ship. While I appreciated his honesty part of me hopped he would probe and asked why I was so dissatisfied about my experience. When I finally went to guest services and spoke with a representative nothing was resolved. NCL is no longer placing comment cards in each of the staterooms. Instead they send out emails post cruise to a portion of the passengers on board to survey their experience. I wanted to be sure I would be able to discuss my experiences so I asked if there was a place online where I could offer my feed back. The agent couldn't give me an answer, and couldn't find a link herself when she went online to look for one. After discussing my experiences with her she barely offered an empathetic apology and no resolution to my dissatisfaction. There were so many other negative experiences on board the Epic of would make this review entirely too lengthy. If they were isolated events they could easily be overlooked. I know this will appear as a negative review of NCL but our experience on the Escape was beyond exceptional yet on the Epic so dismal. The people and friendships we made on board combined with the amazing ports of call made up for the lackluster experience on the Epic.

The Epic was epically disappointing.

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by rinzler78

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Our experience on board the Epic was memorable but for all the wrong reasons. Compared to the Escape our experience on the Epic was less than stellar. Please don't mistake this for a review of NCL as a whole but instead about our experience on board the Epic. My hope is that NCL will see this and make a concerted effort to drastically improve the guest experience on board the Epic as many others share similar discontent for this ship.

Every passenger received a phone call a couple days prior to embarkation day notifying us not to arrive at our designated time. We were told embarkation was going to be delayed and was given a different assigned time to arrive. Once we were on the cruise it was discovered an EDM festival named Holy Ship! was on the Epic the week prior. Almost every crew member we encountered had something to say negatively about the previous passengers and their behavior. Pool furniture was being thrown into the pool, state rooms were filthy and disorganized, passengers were too hung over or strung out and the crew had a hard time getting them out of the staterooms in order to turn the ship over for our cruise. While I understand this must have been a taxing week for the crew, I find it frustrating they were using it as an excuse as to why our cruise experience was so lackluster. I would have rather they apologize and go above and beyond to ensure we had a good experience instead of hearing excuses all week as to why the crew isn't up to par.

The embarkation process did go smoothly however there was an extreme delay before we were able to get into our staterooms. We were told we could get into them between 1:00 to 1:30pm but we didn't get into them until 3:30pm.

Most of our evening dining experiences were average at best. We ate in both complimentary and specialty dining venues. When dining on the Escape we never had an unsatisfactory meal but I can't say the same about our experience on the Epic. One evening we dined in the Manhattan room which was complimentary but my partner and another of our friends ordered the lobster tail for an upgraded charge of $25. I tried a bite of the lobster, it was extremely tough and chewy. My partner wasn't able to finish it before he had to leave the table to go to the bathroom because he got nauseous. The waiter stopped by the table to ask if he was finished with his food so he could take his plate. I told him my partner was getting sick in the bathroom. He offered no empathy and when I told him the lobster was bad, he didn't attempt to fix the situation or offer to cover the $25. I let this go and figured his sickness could have been from something else. Later that night our friend who ordered lobster also got sick. I no longer think it was a coincidence that both who ordered the lobster got sick. This did not sit well with me so I planned to address this later with guest services.

A group of us went to Taste for breakfast and it appeared the crew was not ready at all for the amount of guests who showed up for breakfast that morning. There were three different officers who were seating people, and they pulled two waiters from another restaurant to help. Even with all of that, they were still scrambling and it took them 20 minutes before anyone came to our table to introduce themselves or take a beverage order. In the mean time no one came to apologize for the wait or to let us know they would be with us shortly.

There were other food quality issues which individually could have been forgiven but each day it was always something with the food. I ordered a lava cake one evening for dessert but it was not a lava cake, it was described on the menu incorrectly. Another meal I ordered was a seafood dish which was supposed to be Milanese but it was prepared Parmesan style. Another meal I ordered a beefsteak tomato salad of which every tomato was green, tough and not ripe at all.

I encountered a large amount of frustration when trying to reserve our tender boats to go ashore. All of our dailies stated we could reserve tenders from our televisions in the state rooms, or any of the monitors throughout the public areas of the cruise ship, or at the box office. I made numerous attempts to reserve on our television in the stateroom with no success. Then I tried to use a couple of monitors again with no success. Finally, I had to deal with the reality of standing in line at the box office to reserve our tender. This was excruciatingly painful as everyone else in the line was trying to reserve their show times. Since Priscilla Queen of the Dessert was one of the shows, it became a lengthy conversation with most passengers to describe the show and waiting while they decided if this was a show they wanted to see. On average it took each group about 5 to 7 minutes to book their shows. Once I got to an agent and booked my tender it took 30 seconds. I asked why I couldn't reserve in the room or on the monitors I was told neither of them were working! The tender boat reservation should not be included in the same line with the box office. This was a huge misstep in my opinion.

Despite our experience on board the Epic we went to the cruise next desk to purchase our deposits for our next cruise. I wanted to be able to give NCL another chance and looked to book on one of the Breakaway or Breakaway plus class ships. I asked the agent to help us find a cruise longer than 7 days on one of the newer ships. He said that would be difficult and asked why a newer ship. I started to explain our negative experience on board the Epic and he completely agreed stating the ship is a mess and is going through some changes in management and staff. He spoke with extreme candor and admitted the Epic is not the best ship. While I appreciated his honesty part of me hopped he would probe and asked why I was so dissatisfied about my experience.

When I finally went to guest services and spoke with a representative nothing was resolved. NCL is no longer placing comment cards in each of the staterooms. Instead they send out emails post cruise to a portion of the passengers on board to survey their experience. I wanted to be sure I would be able to discuss my experiences so I asked if there was a place online where I could offer my feed back. The agent couldn't give me an answer, and couldn't find a link herself when she went online to look for one. After discussing my experiences with her she barely offered an empathetic apology and no resolution to my dissatisfaction.

There were so many other negative experiences on board the Epic of would make this review entirely too lengthy. If they were isolated events they could easily be overlooked. I know this will appear as a negative review of NCL but our experience on the Escape was beyond exceptional yet on the Epic so dismal. The people and friendships we made on board combined with the amazing ports of call made up for the lackluster experience on the Epic.
rinzler78’s Full Rating Summary
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