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I'll preface this review by saying that I have been on Disney, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, MSC and Carnival cruises before and while they all may have had a few issues they were all great cruises and I was never excited to get off the ship and go home. However, this trip basically defied any knowledge I thought I had about cruising and I was so excited when my feet hit land at Port Canaveral so I could just get off this ship. From start to end, this cruise was sub-par to say the least. Upon arrival there are no signs telling you were to go (from the parking garage) so when I asked a traffic attendant if I need to walk to the other end of the terminal to find a bag porter, he laughed at me and told me I was funny and that was a great question (clearly being sarcastic) but I have never sailed NCL so I didn't know if things work differently. After giving my bags to the porters and going inside chaotic terminal we found our way to the gangway, from the looks of it you could step onto the ship to left or the right so I asked which way I was supposed to go and the crew stared at me and shrugged their shoulders. We found our way to an open door and I tripped over the lip and fell face first on the ground. The two crew members stared at me on the floor and said oh yea watch out for that and went on with their conversation. Because no one ushered us in I had no idea where to go so I asked a crew member inside and she stared at me like I had 7 heads, she didn't speak English so she had no idea what I was saying (which would end up becoming a recurring theme of this cruise) and asked someone else standing by. They told me to just go to my room, when I asked if they were ready they said they didn't know. It was pure chaos and it was really dark inside so I was already feeling discombobulated. I'm not sure what I was expecting but on Disney they literally announce your arrival and Royal Caribbean welcomes you and directs you were to go immediately to avoid confusion. Clearly not happening here. Throughout the cruise the service was the worst I'd ever experienced on a cruise ship. People barely spoke English, so conversations were out of the question. Although, they didn't seem to care enough to have a conversation anyways. I asked a member at guest services for directions and she didn't speak enough English to help me find my way. I have never experienced such a severe language barrier on a cruise ship! Traveling to another country, sure but on a cruise ship?? The Superbowl aired while we were on the ship and were assured it would be shown throughout the ship. We were really excited to watch the superbowl on the Atrium screen (an awesomely gigantic two story screen) but were insanely disappointed by the fact that other than the 20 or so chairs that are already there for the atrium cafe, there was no extra seating... Not one extra chair, or bench or anything. People were resorting to sitting on the floor. We went out to the H20 pool deck and were quite annoyed that people were using shoes and bags to hold chairs. We went back to the Waves bar and again, not one extra seat. To add on to that, they had already strapped up the lounge chairs. Clearly poor planning. Because almost everyone has the ultimate beverage package the amount of excessively drunken people on board is astounding. I mean sloppy-college-rager-drunken-party kind of hammered. I'm only 26 and we definitely had too much to drink the first night (because they basically feed it to you during embarkation) but it was borderline alcoholism. People passed out over lounge chairs at the pool and even throwing up. I didn't notice a lot of kids on board and maybe that's why, I would never take my child on a cruise with an overwhelming amount of drunks. Possibly one of the worst parts of this ship, besides the abysmal service and terrible food, is that basically the entire ship smells like an ashtray. I'm not even sure where the smoking and non-smoking parts of the ship are because it just all smells like smoke. We got off the boat and immediately washed everything, its Monday and some of our stuff still smells like smoke. Several times we were forced off the balcony in our room because someone was smoking and it was blowing into our faces. This ship is huge, one of the bigger ships I've ever been on. Having been on the Allure of the Seas and the Anthem of the Seas I didn't expect to feel much movement or really even notice half the time that I was on the ocean. That was such a mistake. I felt every single wave, big or small, we hit. I have never had motion sickness as we own a boat and go out all the time. I have lived at the beach my entire life so I'm extremely comfortable with the ocean but it's Monday, I got off the ship Saturday and I STILL have sea legs. Its awful. We didn't even hit bad weather and the swells were never bigger than 4 feet yet the ship moved like a little dingy in a hurricane. We attempted to eat in La Cucina (specialty restaurant in the very front of the boat) one night but my husband, an experienced boater, had to get up and go back to the room to avoid getting motion sickness because the movement was that bad. This particular cruise is a "Freestyle" cruise. I'm still not even sure what that actually means. Chaotic? Unorganized? No Dress Code? Yes, yes and yes. I called to ask about the dress code for the specialty restaurants and was told there was no dress code. Yet when we arrived to eat at Le Bistro (the french themed specialty restaurant) the hostess rudely told my husband, who was wearing a Brooks Brothers button up shirt and dress khakis, that he would not be allowed in because pants were required. This would have been fine had I not called ahead of time to ask about the dress code. Even though I was beyond fuming my husband politely went upstairs to change while I was seated and to my disgust I found tables of people wearing flip flops, jeans and t-shirts. At that point since no one had come to our table for 10 minutes I should have just left because there wasn't enough wine in the world that would have calmed my eye rolling and temper. The shore excursion process is ridiculous. They quite literally have everyone pile into one theater only to immediately direct them outside and fen for themselves. Usually you check in, get a sticker or some kind of tag and follow someone out of the gangway to your respective excursion leaders. Nope, not here. No crew members knew where any line for any excursion was. It was just inexcusable. I pre-paid gratuities as I have with almost every cruise I've been on because I've never had an issue and I seriously regret that, not one single server or crew member deserved it. On our entire cruise the only crew that we truly enjoyed and truly deserve our gratuities were the wonderful people in the Park West Art Gallery, particularly Simba, Katie and Gabriella. We took a chance, having never been to an art auction but that was the one experience we actually enjoyed on this cruise. They were absolutely wonderful, they were friendly, they bothered to ask our names and know why we were on this cruise and what we were celebrating. It was a welcomed experience. We were celebrating our anniversary but we were also celebrating overcoming some serious issues this past year and reaching incredible milestones. Thankfully, my husband and I are easy going and we still had fun, mainly when we were not "trapped" on this unbelievably bad ship, but fun nonetheless. After talking with several other cruisers, some of whom have cruised with NCL before, they were just as displeased if not more. One couple even informed us that this was their 3rd NCL cruise but this was the worst cruise they had ever been on. They told us that other ships and crews were much, much better than this ship This is without a doubt the worst cruise I've ever been on. When I pay thousands of dollars I have a standard of service I expect and this cruise, in no way shape or form met that standard. From the many people I've already expressed this discontent with, it seems to be just this ship and I truly hope so. This ship, the crew, the service, the food- everything is an embarrassment to the NCL reputation. As I said, this was our first NCL cruise and will unfortunately probably be our last because I don't feel like chancing thousands of dollars just be disappointed. I have never regretted spending $3000 in my life until now, I feel like I was swindled out of my money and given crap in exchange. I definitely expressed concern to the appropriate outlets at NCL but I seriously doubt they will even respond. Overall, we'll stick with any other cruise line over NCL, the Epic was that bad.

An Epic Failure

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by klmaruca

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I'll preface this review by saying that I have been on Disney, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, MSC and Carnival cruises before and while they all may have had a few issues they were all great cruises and I was never excited to get off the ship and go home. However, this trip basically defied any knowledge I thought I had about cruising and I was so excited when my feet hit land at Port Canaveral so I could just get off this ship. From start to end, this cruise was sub-par to say the least.

Upon arrival there are no signs telling you were to go (from the parking garage) so when I asked a traffic attendant if I need to walk to the other end of the terminal to find a bag porter, he laughed at me and told me I was funny and that was a great question (clearly being sarcastic) but I have never sailed NCL so I didn't know if things work differently. After giving my bags to the porters and going inside chaotic terminal we found our way to the gangway, from the looks of it you could step onto the ship to left or the right so I asked which way I was supposed to go and the crew stared at me and shrugged their shoulders. We found our way to an open door and I tripped over the lip and fell face first on the ground. The two crew members stared at me on the floor and said oh yea watch out for that and went on with their conversation. Because no one ushered us in I had no idea where to go so I asked a crew member inside and she stared at me like I had 7 heads, she didn't speak English so she had no idea what I was saying (which would end up becoming a recurring theme of this cruise) and asked someone else standing by. They told me to just go to my room, when I asked if they were ready they said they didn't know. It was pure chaos and it was really dark inside so I was already feeling discombobulated. I'm not sure what I was expecting but on Disney they literally announce your arrival and Royal Caribbean welcomes you and directs you were to go immediately to avoid confusion. Clearly not happening here. Throughout the cruise the service was the worst I'd ever experienced on a cruise ship. People barely spoke English, so conversations were out of the question. Although, they didn't seem to care enough to have a conversation anyways. I asked a member at guest services for directions and she didn't speak enough English to help me find my way. I have never experienced such a severe language barrier on a cruise ship! Traveling to another country, sure but on a cruise ship??

The Superbowl aired while we were on the ship and were assured it would be shown throughout the ship. We were really excited to watch the superbowl on the Atrium screen (an awesomely gigantic two story screen) but were insanely disappointed by the fact that other than the 20 or so chairs that are already there for the atrium cafe, there was no extra seating... Not one extra chair, or bench or anything. People were resorting to sitting on the floor. We went out to the H20 pool deck and were quite annoyed that people were using shoes and bags to hold chairs. We went back to the Waves bar and again, not one extra seat. To add on to that, they had already strapped up the lounge chairs. Clearly poor planning.

Because almost everyone has the ultimate beverage package the amount of excessively drunken people on board is astounding. I mean sloppy-college-rager-drunken-party kind of hammered. I'm only 26 and we definitely had too much to drink the first night (because they basically feed it to you during embarkation) but it was borderline alcoholism. People passed out over lounge chairs at the pool and even throwing up. I didn't notice a lot of kids on board and maybe that's why, I would never take my child on a cruise with an overwhelming amount of drunks.

Possibly one of the worst parts of this ship, besides the abysmal service and terrible food, is that basically the entire ship smells like an ashtray. I'm not even sure where the smoking and non-smoking parts of the ship are because it just all smells like smoke. We got off the boat and immediately washed everything, its Monday and some of our stuff still smells like smoke. Several times we were forced off the balcony in our room because someone was smoking and it was blowing into our faces.

This ship is huge, one of the bigger ships I've ever been on. Having been on the Allure of the Seas and the Anthem of the Seas I didn't expect to feel much movement or really even notice half the time that I was on the ocean. That was such a mistake. I felt every single wave, big or small, we hit. I have never had motion sickness as we own a boat and go out all the time. I have lived at the beach my entire life so I'm extremely comfortable with the ocean but it's Monday, I got off the ship Saturday and I STILL have sea legs. Its awful. We didn't even hit bad weather and the swells were never bigger than 4 feet yet the ship moved like a little dingy in a hurricane. We attempted to eat in La Cucina (specialty restaurant in the very front of the boat) one night but my husband, an experienced boater, had to get up and go back to the room to avoid getting motion sickness because the movement was that bad.

This particular cruise is a "Freestyle" cruise. I'm still not even sure what that actually means. Chaotic? Unorganized? No Dress Code? Yes, yes and yes. I called to ask about the dress code for the specialty restaurants and was told there was no dress code. Yet when we arrived to eat at Le Bistro (the french themed specialty restaurant) the hostess rudely told my husband, who was wearing a Brooks Brothers button up shirt and dress khakis, that he would not be allowed in because pants were required. This would have been fine had I not called ahead of time to ask about the dress code. Even though I was beyond fuming my husband politely went upstairs to change while I was seated and to my disgust I found tables of people wearing flip flops, jeans and t-shirts. At that point since no one had come to our table for 10 minutes I should have just left because there wasn't enough wine in the world that would have calmed my eye rolling and temper.

The shore excursion process is ridiculous. They quite literally have everyone pile into one theater only to immediately direct them outside and fen for themselves. Usually you check in, get a sticker or some kind of tag and follow someone out of the gangway to your respective excursion leaders. Nope, not here. No crew members knew where any line for any excursion was. It was just inexcusable.

I pre-paid gratuities as I have with almost every cruise I've been on because I've never had an issue and I seriously regret that, not one single server or crew member deserved it. On our entire cruise the only crew that we truly enjoyed and truly deserve our gratuities were the wonderful people in the Park West Art Gallery, particularly Simba, Katie and Gabriella. We took a chance, having never been to an art auction but that was the one experience we actually enjoyed on this cruise. They were absolutely wonderful, they were friendly, they bothered to ask our names and know why we were on this cruise and what we were celebrating. It was a welcomed experience.

We were celebrating our anniversary but we were also celebrating overcoming some serious issues this past year and reaching incredible milestones. Thankfully, my husband and I are easy going and we still had fun, mainly when we were not "trapped" on this unbelievably bad ship, but fun nonetheless. After talking with several other cruisers, some of whom have cruised with NCL before, they were just as displeased if not more. One couple even informed us that this was their 3rd NCL cruise but this was the worst cruise they had ever been on. They told us that other ships and crews were much, much better than this ship

This is without a doubt the worst cruise I've ever been on. When I pay thousands of dollars I have a standard of service I expect and this cruise, in no way shape or form met that standard. From the many people I've already expressed this discontent with, it seems to be just this ship and I truly hope so. This ship, the crew, the service, the food- everything is an embarrassment to the NCL reputation. As I said, this was our first NCL cruise and will unfortunately probably be our last because I don't feel like chancing thousands of dollars just be disappointed. I have never regretted spending $3000 in my life until now, I feel like I was swindled out of my money and given crap in exchange. I definitely expressed concern to the appropriate outlets at NCL but I seriously doubt they will even respond.

Overall, we'll stick with any other cruise line over NCL, the Epic was that bad.
klmaruca’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Family Balcony
Cabin B3 14045
The cabin was just average. It was decorated nicely but highly inefficient. The "king bed" was actually just 2 twin mattresses pushed together which was super awkward and uncomfortable. The stones that they provided as pillows were horrendous. I called twice to exchange pillows and they were all just as bad. We both ended up using sweatshirts as pillows the whole cruise. There is no way in hell I could stay in that room with anyone besides my husband. The bathroom situation is ridiculously uncomfortable.The toilet compartment has no ventilation and is just a toilet with a fogged glass door. I felt odd and it was just my husband in the room, I couldn't imagine sharing with anyone. The balcony was actually really spacious albeit dirty and smelling like an ashtray. The worst part was how dark it is in the room if the sun isn't shining in. It seriously lacks in lighting.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Nassau
    We were re-routed here from Great Stirrup Cay due to weather. Because we weren't able to plan properly we weren't able to make the most of the day but it was still fun and the people of Nassau are such friendly and outgoing people.
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  • Snuba
    Holy awesome experience!!! I have only snorkeled and as much as I would like to learn to scuba my ears just don't allow for it. This was such a cool combination of snorkeling a scuba diving. You basically get all the benefits of scuba diving (except only to 20 feet) but you don't need any experience. You get a rebreather. mask, fins and weight belt and as long as you can swim its pretty easy. My husband was looking forward to diving deep but it was nice I could stay a little closer to the surface. There was so much to see and the guide, Glenn, was great. I'd recommend this to everyone, its awesome.
    View All 19 Snuba Reviews
  • Tortola
    We decided against an excursion as we had been to Tortola before. We rented a jeep and drove around the island to Smugglers Cove and it was an absolute blast!! I can't wait to go back just to do it again. The beach was quiet and wasn't filled with cruisers. It was by far the most fun I had on the cruise.
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