Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by mostlyrobots
- Sail Date: January 2018
- Destination: Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Studio
Speaking of which, the crowd was decidedly older retirees on my cruise. Most of them seemed to live in Florida and book last-minute fares when the price drops are most extreme. A lot of them were first time Epic cruisers and about half were repeat Norwegian customers. Everyone universally complained about the long waits. There were a few singles and families with kids but they made up a very small minority of this January cruise.
The layout of the ship is terrible. Everything about the ship focuses attention inward. Even on the lido deck the view of the surrounding sea is obstructed by very large heavily tinted glass. They left slots in so you can peek through but the only place you can really enjoy the open views are from your stateroom balcony. There are no padded loungers available and the lido deck space just continues to feel overcrowded.
The Epic has no atrium, what it does have is a rather boring hole in the floor near O'Sheehan's pub that extends just a single deck down, there are few windows in the space, and everywhere on the lower decks feels very closed in and claustrophobic. Reach your arm out from your side while standing anywhere on this ship and I promise you're going to hit someone in the side. The exceptionally large casino covers most of deck 6.
The main dining rooms had decent food most nights, but the service was so slow one night we missed our show waiting for our entrees. I think you have to consider what other people will be doing in order to hit the dining rooms on times where they are having lulls in order to get really good service. If there's a show at 7 and 10pm, go at 7:10pm and it will be almost empty. This is my first experience with "freestyle" cruising and one thing that I didn't really like was having different waitstaff every night. You can't even request to be seated in the same section as a particular server.
The entertainment was actually really good. A few older people didn't really like the content of Priscilla but they should have known what they were signing up for. The main shows were great. The other shows, comedians and cirque were just okay. It was hard to get a good seat if you didn't reserve on day one.
I think a lot of people were nervous about missing out on entertainment and made reservations for things they didn't plan to attend. This meant that as long as you were willing to wait in the standby line you could get a decent seat for most performances.
There was the feeling of being nickle-and-dimed on board this ship. I had a beverage package and I have to stress that if you are considering boarding a NCL ship without one be warned that the per drink prices are exceptionally high and have extremely low value. The glasses they use are typically 10oz and the typical price is $11. If you have more than a couple of drinks per day that is going to add up really fast. Which is probably why the bar lines are so long. I'd say 90% on board had the UBP.
I would not recommend a cruise on this ship unless it is a rock bottom last minute price and even then you are really going to have to be okay with large crowds and long waits.
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The shower is smaller than interior or balcony showers and it is square shaped instead of having one side as a half circle. I think that little extra space probably helps a lot.
There is no real closet space in the studio. The Epic's other staterooms have a thoughtfully designed closet space with racks attached to the doors. The studios have a bookshelf with a sliding door.
The corridor for the studio rooms is only accessible by those with studio room keys. I found this to be annoying because that common door would almost never read my key. The common area for studio people to hang out in was fine I guess, but I never really used it except to get expresso in the morning.
If you wait until the very last minute to book you can get an single occupancy interior for less than a studio, and I would recommend the interior over the studio any day.