Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by sixty8wildcat
- Sail Date: March 2017
- Destination: Bahamas
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
The room was a little weird with its curved shaped. Our bed was located next to the balcony, alternating rooms have the bed next to the door. The bed was rounded at the top and bottom which made it short if you slept on either side. I am 5'9" and my feet were hanging off with my head just about touching the headboard. There is plenty of storage room, pretty much every panel opens, including the back cushions on the couch. There is no dedicated bathroom, just opaque glass enclosures on both sides of the entrance, 1 for the toilet and 1 for the shower on the opposite side. The sink was right in the main cabin area and there was a curtain to separate those areas from the main area. Basically your bathroom was right inside the main cabin door, so if someone was using the shower or the toilet you wouldn't want to open the cabin door. This could be very interesting for people in a new relationship, you'd get to know each other pretty quickly, so don't expect any privacy from the people that you share the room with. We never met our room attendant and have no idea who it was. Even worse was the day that my wife went back to use the bathroom in our room and couldn't because she was surprised by NCL employees working out on our balcony. There was a rope across our door saying working in progress, no prior notice and I think all they were doing was painting, not like it was an emergency or something.
The main pool area was another problem. On sea days it was very crowded and noisy, you had to get seats very early or forget about it. There is one bar area on deck and with the free ultimate beverage package promotion it was very challenging to get a drink unless of course you were a pretty blond. I stood at the bar for close to a half hour while cute girl after cute girl squeezed in and got served. Now I'm not shy by any means, but I was totally ignored. We had 1 port day and that day the pool deck was much more accessible. That day we also found that there is an adult only area in the very back of the ship on deck 15, which is also where the outside video screen is. The slides were fun and again, could get very crowded on sea days.
Another thing that was strange for us being the first time on a NCL ship, is that the casino runs pretty much the whole length of deck which is also where several other things are. This whole deck was always crowded and noisy.
The food was acceptable, not spectacular but OK. This seems to be the common theme with all cruise lines now days though. The presentation and the names of the dishes are nice but the taste is just OK, not like in the early days of cruising when you expected and received higher end meals in the main dining room.
Oh and for those that are participating in the ultimate beverage package. You should know that the premixed drinks like the "Pain Kill", "Mai Tai" and several others have minimal alcohol in them. Even after 4 glasses of wine (1 before dinner and 3 during) I never felt a buzz. You are better off to drink rum and cola (they have Pepsi products) or drinks on the rocks if you want the effects of the liquor.
One area that we were really impressed was the 2 main stage shows that we saw. The showroom was 1 level with stadium seating, but there were no seats with obstructed views. "Burn the Floor" was mostly dancing and the dancers were top caliber. "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" was spectacular and had a nice message. It is a story about and containing Drag Queens, so you have to be open minded. We saw several people walk out. My advice is to get over yourself if you have a problem with that kind of thing and sit down and enjoy the show. They also offer a Dueling Piano Show called "Howl at the Moon," which was lots of fun. This show changes as it is all ad-lib and based on audience suggestion and participation.
Another thing to keep in mind on the larger ships such as this is that you NEED to make reservations whenever possible and as soon as possible, otherwise you will be standing in a stand by line and may not get to see the shows or get into a specific dining area. People that know this book things pretty quickly.
My overall opinion of this ship was just OK, I think I enjoy my time on other lines a bit more. I do feel that certain things about any ship can change depending on things like the head chef, shows being offered and of course the mix of passengers on any given trip.
I choose cruises mainly based on the ship and not really the itinerary, so I don't include port experience in my view/opinion of the ship.
Just for clarification, this particular sail date was being offered as part of a 3, 7, or 10 day cruise. We only sailed the first 3 days. It left Port Canaveral on 3/8 and came back on 3/11, which was the 3 day portion. On 3/11 those sailing the 10 day offering kept their cabin while the 3 day people left and the new 7 day people boarded.