Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by honest_D
- Sail Date: December 2017
- Destination: Western Caribbean
1. Housekeeping Services: Our steward was friendly and attentive, and always had a smile.
2. Food and drinks: Average quality, readily available. Crowds to get them both were considerable, but not outrageous.
3. Variety: Lots of it. Casino, on board activities, shows, teen club, pools, hot tubs, waterslides, all available. all well done.
4. Price: Average. Not overly expensive. About same as other cruises.
5. Teen Club: A great idea, well executed. Kept our kids busy, and they had a blast with it.
6. Embarkation - Smooth, not overly long.
7. Ports - Nassau (we had to visit twice as private island we could not tender do to weather) was nice, Jamaica wonderful, Grand Cayman very fun.
The Bad and Ugly:
1. Services/Facilities: In general, too little for the population on the cruise. Standing and waiting for a place to sit to eat at the buffet was frequent. Getting a pool deck chair was near impossible on sea days unless you got up at sunrise and put your towels on them. By 8AM they were all "reserved" with towels. Given there was no official reserving of said chairs, pool attendants that could remove such towels when left unattended for more then an hour would have been nice.
2. Special (but complementary) Dining: The food was reasonable, but unless you booked seating a day in advance, you were looking at waiting from 30-90 minutes to get a table between 530 and 8PM.
3. Entertainment Availability: There was a variety, but just like the special dining, if you didn't book it 1-2 days in advance, most were fully booked and unavailable.
4. Casino Location: NCL has located their casino, on the Epic, on the 6th floor between two of their more popular specialty dining areas. As a result, you MUST pass through it to get from one side of the 6th floor to the other, unless you want to go to a different floor, cross, and then come down on the other side. Also, as the casino is SMOKING, a non smoker must put up with the stench and cough inducing smoke as they do.
5. "Nickel and Dime"ing: This was pretty bad. Whether it was having to pay tax on our "free" drinks (ultimate drink package), or the tack on fees for some of the specialty restaurants and shows, it seemed like every time we looked to doing something outside of the pale, there was an additional fee.
6. Staff Demeanor: Apart from our housekeeper/steward (who was fantastic), and the hand washing attendants (happy happy, washy washy) the demeanor of the staff was horrible. Waiters rushing us out of the restaurant at breakfast because the kitchen was going to close. Bartenders who would walk away from you or ignore you, even when you call to them, or clearly indicate you want a drink. Very few smiles, very few welcomes, very little friendly.
7. Overcrowded: The Epic is a huge ship, but also holds a lot of people. 4500 plus passengers when full, and it must have been full for our cruise. Everything had a line, and often a long line. Shows, dining, bars, all with huge crowds.
8. Disembarkation: Long, chaotic, butting in lines, inadequate supervision/organization.
Some of you reading this might dismiss our complaints as those of naive, first time cruisers, but as I said, we had two other families with us who were VERY experienced cruisers, and we all agreed on most if not all of the above issues.
Take Away: If spending a week in a busy, congested shopping mall is your thing, then you'll love the cruise we went on. If you enjoy a lack of attention and begrudging customer service, then you'll enjoy this cruise. If your want leisure, relaxation, and service with a smile, then you might want to cruise with someone else.
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