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History: 3 cruises with NCL, 3 cruises with Princess, 3 cruises with Royal Caribbean, 3 cruises with Celebrity, 1 with Carnival all over the last 17 years. We usually travel to Puerto Rico in the winter but this year the place we rent had to cancel us in November after Maria so I booked this late for DH and myself. We already knew the itinerary changes because of the Hurricanes so no surprises about that. We were GSC, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Stayed in a B6 9024; excellent large balcony cabin, we had a very good steward even though we basically never saw him. Left him a note on the first day for my request and received all of them (even got Spa bathrobes instead of the thin ones :-)). Florida was cold (for Florida) on arrival so didn't get warm weather until the first full day of the cruise but had it all the way back since Florida had warmed up. Embarkation was fairly smooth. We arrived close to our scheduled time of 10:30. A little confusion of where to drop off our bags (we were dropped by Avis Shuttle); even had security/staff yelling at people bringing their luggage up the escalator because they had missed the drop off area. Once in the building, they use the chairs you sit in as lanes so was messy walking between people to figure out your lines. We are just plain cruises (no special privileges) so got in line, took maybe 20 minutes and we were done. Finding a seat was a little difficult and then we waited till about noon to Board (#15). Only thing that upset me was we had to dump our water (I knew this) and I didn't see anywhere to get more while we sat. We had a B6 balcony 9024 which we loved. Wave rooms have some irritants, main one for us was how tight it was to walk through the room (Bed near bathroom). The Bathroom didn't bother us but is noisy going to bathroom in the middle of the night. The phone in the room is a great nightlight btw. Sink in the room is a little weird but okay, could have used a towel holder close to the sink. Coffee Maker in the room, worked fine. Outlets are in a cabinet near the stool-vanity table (it took me a bit to find them). The balcony was deep and great but they have the drainage channel near the slider (not at the end of the balcony); this caused the balcony to almost always be wet. We placed a towel inside the door and the steward left it the whole time so this must be very common. Our shower had plenty of hot water and pressure; and the room a/c worked fine. We had SDP, so we ate in Taste, Wasabi (paid), La Cucina, Cagney's and Le Bistro. We also ordered room service one day for lunch; since we had to pay the $8 we also ordered the cheese plate for snack later (stuck it in the frig). Taste was okay to very good, service was always excellent, food ranged from lukewarm to the best meal we had, we never waited but I had booked reservations prior to the cruise. All the specialty restaurants had service issues; things like not clearing dirty dishes, not filling water glasses, no silverware, etc. I did write a note but I didn't report anything at the time because I didn't want anything from them. I let them know that paying 20% tip in the States is for very good service and that I felt at La Cucina the service was extremely subpar and I wouldn't have tip if I had been home. Also, wouldn't have given more than 5-10% for the other 3. As far as food goes, the only one that surpassed the regular dining room was Wasabi. La Cucina is an okay Italian place but I can get a lot better on land, Cagney's food was good, Le Bistro's not so much which was a big disappointment to me. We also at at O'Sheehan's for breakfast and lunch once, service really is poor here (I had read the reviews prior to our trip); we had room service breakfast twice both times fine but delivered a little late so be careful on busy morning. Used Buffet for breakfast and snacks, one lunch; it was fine, we just aren't big brunch people. Finding the cookies is tough and the crepes are excellent. The ship is too big with no where to walk; there is no promenade deck, the walking track has no view and both directions are on the same side. The best walk is inside the ship down the hallways but no views :-). The gym is good but missed just being able to walk around. Lounges have very limited seating which is common on these big ships. Since we had our balcony we don't sit inside much unless the weather is bad. This ship is very chopped up and it is confusing to get from Point A to B a lot of the time. The casino was a little smokey but not that bad. We always found a lounger on the pool deck when we wanted one. They didn't have a lot of activities that interested us on sea days and a lot of the shows were either very early or very late which limited what we could see (we are early to bed, early to rise). Their main show venues are the Atrium (extremely limited seating-no tickets), Headliners (need tickets, they make the stools taller in the back but still hard to see), Theatre (good seating, need tickets). Spice and the Pool Deck at night had entertainment by the Irish Group on board and we enjoyed their music multiple nights because it was better than the ship's. It can be hard to get tickets, especially since you can book multiple ones on the same night. We discovered that many just do not show so always consider being standby. We got reservations for Burn the Floor one night (only about 20 seats left when I got them). We show up and only about 2/3 of the Theatre was full when the show started. We went to Priscilla by showing up about 5 minutes before start time and walking in. Anything in the Theatre I would think you can do this with, not so sure about Headliners. Shows were very good with great staff; Magician not that good, couldn't get into Comedy show. We did Shore Excursions with NCL because we had the $50 Credit. Enjoyed all of them but the Cooking Class in Cozumel Playa Mia is Excellent; others were snorkeling, kayaking, tubing. Ports were all fine, and no issues in any port with feeling unsafe. Tendering went smoothly for us, never had to wait but we did have excursions. Just a note on the UBP and service. I'm pretty sure there has always been 2 bartenders at most bars. The big difference is how many people have the packages these days so yes it can be a wait to get drinks. There were people who paid (tipped) to get better service and it worked for them because we would be ignored while they were served. Best advice is to try and avoid the really busy bars if you can (walk a little further). Didn't get our money's worth out of the beverage package so in future would probably not get it but that's because I just don't drink enough (a few sodas and cocktails). We saw many do their best to get their money's worth. Still like NCL, still not a fan of big ships, and would skip most of the specialty dining.

Good Trip - Still not a fan of large ships

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by spny84

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Large Balcony
History: 3 cruises with NCL, 3 cruises with Princess, 3 cruises with Royal Caribbean, 3 cruises with Celebrity, 1 with Carnival all over the last 17 years.

We usually travel to Puerto Rico in the winter but this year the place we rent had to cancel us in November after Maria so I booked this late for DH and myself. We already knew the itinerary changes because of the Hurricanes so no surprises about that. We were GSC, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Stayed in a B6 9024; excellent large balcony cabin, we had a very good steward even though we basically never saw him. Left him a note on the first day for my request and received all of them (even got Spa bathrobes instead of the thin ones :-)).

Florida was cold (for Florida) on arrival so didn't get warm weather until the first full day of the cruise but had it all the way back since Florida had warmed up. Embarkation was fairly smooth. We arrived close to our scheduled time of 10:30. A little confusion of where to drop off our bags (we were dropped by Avis Shuttle); even had security/staff yelling at people bringing their luggage up the escalator because they had missed the drop off area. Once in the building, they use the chairs you sit in as lanes so was messy walking between people to figure out your lines. We are just plain cruises (no special privileges) so got in line, took maybe 20 minutes and we were done. Finding a seat was a little difficult and then we waited till about noon to Board (#15). Only thing that upset me was we had to dump our water (I knew this) and I didn't see anywhere to get more while we sat.

We had a B6 balcony 9024 which we loved. Wave rooms have some irritants, main one for us was how tight it was to walk through the room (Bed near bathroom). The Bathroom didn't bother us but is noisy going to bathroom in the middle of the night. The phone in the room is a great nightlight btw. Sink in the room is a little weird but okay, could have used a towel holder close to the sink. Coffee Maker in the room, worked fine. Outlets are in a cabinet near the stool-vanity table (it took me a bit to find them). The balcony was deep and great but they have the drainage channel near the slider (not at the end of the balcony); this caused the balcony to almost always be wet. We placed a towel inside the door and the steward left it the whole time so this must be very common. Our shower had plenty of hot water and pressure; and the room a/c worked fine.

We had SDP, so we ate in Taste, Wasabi (paid), La Cucina, Cagney's and Le Bistro. We also ordered room service one day for lunch; since we had to pay the $8 we also ordered the cheese plate for snack later (stuck it in the frig). Taste was okay to very good, service was always excellent, food ranged from lukewarm to the best meal we had, we never waited but I had booked reservations prior to the cruise. All the specialty restaurants had service issues; things like not clearing dirty dishes, not filling water glasses, no silverware, etc. I did write a note but I didn't report anything at the time because I didn't want anything from them. I let them know that paying 20% tip in the States is for very good service and that I felt at La Cucina the service was extremely subpar and I wouldn't have tip if I had been home. Also, wouldn't have given more than 5-10% for the other 3. As far as food goes, the only one that surpassed the regular dining room was Wasabi. La Cucina is an okay Italian place but I can get a lot better on land, Cagney's food was good, Le Bistro's not so much which was a big disappointment to me. We also at at O'Sheehan's for breakfast and lunch once, service really is poor here (I had read the reviews prior to our trip); we had room service breakfast twice both times fine but delivered a little late so be careful on busy morning. Used Buffet for breakfast and snacks, one lunch; it was fine, we just aren't big brunch people. Finding the cookies is tough and the crepes are excellent.

The ship is too big with no where to walk; there is no promenade deck, the walking track has no view and both directions are on the same side. The best walk is inside the ship down the hallways but no views :-). The gym is good but missed just being able to walk around. Lounges have very limited seating which is common on these big ships. Since we had our balcony we don't sit inside much unless the weather is bad. This ship is very chopped up and it is confusing to get from Point A to B a lot of the time. The casino was a little smokey but not that bad. We always found a lounger on the pool deck when we wanted one.

They didn't have a lot of activities that interested us on sea days and a lot of the shows were either very early or very late which limited what we could see (we are early to bed, early to rise). Their main show venues are the Atrium (extremely limited seating-no tickets), Headliners (need tickets, they make the stools taller in the back but still hard to see), Theatre (good seating, need tickets). Spice and the Pool Deck at night had entertainment by the Irish Group on board and we enjoyed their music multiple nights because it was better than the ship's. It can be hard to get tickets, especially since you can book multiple ones on the same night. We discovered that many just do not show so always consider being standby. We got reservations for Burn the Floor one night (only about 20 seats left when I got them). We show up and only about 2/3 of the Theatre was full when the show started. We went to Priscilla by showing up about 5 minutes before start time and walking in. Anything in the Theatre I would think you can do this with, not so sure about Headliners. Shows were very good with great staff; Magician not that good, couldn't get into Comedy show.

We did Shore Excursions with NCL because we had the $50 Credit. Enjoyed all of them but the Cooking Class in Cozumel Playa Mia is Excellent; others were snorkeling, kayaking, tubing. Ports were all fine, and no issues in any port with feeling unsafe. Tendering went smoothly for us, never had to wait but we did have excursions.

Just a note on the UBP and service. I'm pretty sure there has always been 2 bartenders at most bars. The big difference is how many people have the packages these days so yes it can be a wait to get drinks. There were people who paid (tipped) to get better service and it worked for them because we would be ignored while they were served. Best advice is to try and avoid the really busy bars if you can (walk a little further). Didn't get our money's worth out of the beverage package so in future would probably not get it but that's because I just don't drink enough (a few sodas and cocktails). We saw many do their best to get their money's worth.

Still like NCL, still not a fan of big ships, and would skip most of the specialty dining.
spny84’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Large Balcony
Cabin B6 9024
Bed is near the bathroom. Wonderful deep balcony. Can't really hear the neighbors. Great Shower. Very tight walking through the room
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel
    A lot of fun, excellent teacher. You get to cook your lunch and then eat it. Had Adobo Shrimp and Sopes, Fish with Tamarind Sauce and vegetables, and Plantains and Chocolate-Tequila Sauce. They will swap out the shrimp/fish for iguana (chicken :-)) for those that don't like or are allergic. After Lunch you get to use the facilities for about an hour before you get bused back. Playa Mia wasn't anything special IMO but really enjoyed the class.
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  • Snorkeling
    This was really one trip with Sting Ray City. Way to crowded. Visibility was good and was good snorkeling.
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  • Stingray Swim
    This was really one trip with Snorkeling. They didn't overcrowd the boat which nice but there were many other boats to make if feel very crowded.
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  • Kayaking
    Okay, we enjoyed. Gave us something to do to be active, water was to cold to swim at GSC.
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  • River Tubing
    We enjoyed the Tubing on the White River. Not impressed with company. Driver was excellent but guides not so much. They were constantly screaming orders and unfortunately with their accents it was tough to distinguish what they were saying.
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