1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Norwegian Epic
First, we’d like to tell you that we are generally positive/go with the flow type of people and tend to see the glass “half full” vs. being negative. So we would prefer writing a letter of praise instead of a letter like this. That said, we feel obligated to give our full opinion. Our hope in sharing this is to make you aware of some very inappropriate happenings and inefficiencies on the ship and suggest you look at other cruise lines. We returned last Wednesday from a Norwegian Epic cruise. Sail dates were 03/10/18-03/14/18. The experience onboard was shocking and as far from a “vacation” as you could imagine. So much so that I was in tears for portions of the trip, and our children asked if we could get off and go somewhere else or come home. That should never happen. We are a family of four (children ages 10 and 16) and chose this cruise based on reviews, photos, amenities and from talking with NCL staff and the consultants at Vacations to Go. We’ve only ever cruised on Disney and Regent previously but thought we would try Norwegian after talking with the consultants and reading reviews on Vacations to Go website. The consultants suggested that NCL is very family friendly and this turned out to be very misleading. From the moment we began the (very long) process of boarding the ship, we could tell there would be a high number of college age students celebrating their spring break. We realize that NCL has zero control over who chooses to cruise, but also feel certain that their staff knows what to expect this time of year. We would definitely suggest explaining to families in advance when they are considering a cruise in March that there will likely be a high number of college-aged people, and that the experience might vary from other times throughout the year. Due to these college students, we experienced vulgarity, incredible inappropriate dress and basically just a feel of being at a trashy fraternity party no matter where we were onboard. The exception to this was the quiet area that we found after finally asking a crew member how to get away from it all. At the peak of our frustration, we called to see what the process was to debark if we chose to do so and not return to the ship. The operator who answered NEVER ONCE asked why we might want to do so. He simply said, “you can debark but you need to decide now and let us know because we sail shortly and there’s a process. You also won’t get any type of refund.” I cannot imagine any staff member that wouldn’t be concerned about why a guest might want to debark and at least ask if everything was okay! Since we couldn’t get our Wifi to work (I’ll share more about that later) we were not able to check flights fast enough to decide if this was a viable option. We stayed aboard and wished we had not. We also purchased some type of ultimate dining and beverage package for ourselves and “unlimited soda” for our children. The lines at the bars were a minimum wait of 10-30 minutes for one drink. And thanks to the inappropriate clothing and comments from the college kids who swarmed all bar areas, we couldn’t even let our kids wait in line for a soft drink. So, the “unlimited packages” were anything but - and were completely wasted on responsible guests. When we asked why the service was so slow and if the ship was understaffed, we were told the service was slowed down by design so “guests wouldn’t overdrink”. Wow! What about the responsible people aboard the ship? We were also appalled that the staff would consider serving girls wearing thong bikinis at the bars INSIDE the ship! We are not uptight but these were not pool bar areas. This was completely inappropriate and disgusting from our perspective and MANY other guests. Guests should be required to wear proper attire – even if it’s a simple cover-up - when standing at a bar inside the ship. The inappropriate attire continued and was ENCOURAGED by a Norwegian employee who was leading a “game” of some sort around 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the 13th. The activity took place on the stage area between the (jam packed) bars leading to the pool. It was broadcast on speakers all around so the young children by the slides and play area were also subject to the repulsive language and suggestions. The Norwegian crew member had a group of college aged students crowded around him with men standing on the stage wearing other guest’s bikini tops. We were not there for all of the show but while we were there, he asked what the men what their fantasy stripper name would be and what their favorite (sexual) position was, all while encouraging them to take shots. He also asked girls to come on the stage and provide lap dances. And when we finally thought we couldn’t stand it anymore, he asked which of the girls would like to “pop the cherry” of a college aged young man on stage who was a virgin! We distracted our children who wanted to go down the slides while this was going on and finally just decided to leave the area when our 10 year old asked about lap dances. Had this “activity” taken place after 11:00 p.m. or in a more private setting, we would have never seen it and not have been bothered. But this was the CENTER OF THE POOL area! This man represents the Norwegian brand and should be fired in our opinion. It was absolutely repulsive and so tasteless. One couple next to us commented that this was “worse than a Carnival cruise”. I don’t think that is a compliment in the industry. There were hiccups in the photo area, hour-plus waits for room service, long lines EVERYWHERE and after standing in another VERY long line to purchase a “premium” Wifi package for $120, it barely worked the entire cruise. We could go on and on but feel certain you get the point by now. In an effort to find some positive comments, we would like to share that the food was quite good and the Cirque-style show was very entertaining. Our room attendant, Clockson, was also very attentive and kind. The people in guest services also said they appreciated our concerns about the lines and inappropriate Norwegian employee – apparently they had already heard about it from others. But at least they seemed appreciative. When you spend over $6,200.00 (airfare included) on a vacation that turns out like this, it’s heartbreaking. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND NCL Epic based on this experience!

EPIC Failure!!!

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by TALFoster

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
First, we’d like to tell you that we are generally positive/go with the flow type of people and tend to see the glass “half full” vs. being negative. So we would prefer writing a letter of praise instead of a letter like this. That said, we feel obligated to give our full opinion. Our hope in sharing this is to make you aware of some very inappropriate happenings and inefficiencies on the ship and suggest you look at other cruise lines.

We returned last Wednesday from a Norwegian Epic cruise. Sail dates were 03/10/18-03/14/18. The experience onboard was shocking and as far from a “vacation” as you could imagine. So much so that I was in tears for portions of the trip, and our children asked if we could get off and go somewhere else or come home. That should never happen.

We are a family of four (children ages 10 and 16) and chose this cruise based on reviews, photos, amenities and from talking with NCL staff and the consultants at Vacations to Go. We’ve only ever cruised on Disney and Regent previously but thought we would try Norwegian after talking with the consultants and reading reviews on Vacations to Go website. The consultants suggested that NCL is very family friendly and this turned out to be very misleading.

From the moment we began the (very long) process of boarding the ship, we could tell there would be a high number of college age students celebrating their spring break. We realize that NCL has zero control over who chooses to cruise, but also feel certain that their staff knows what to expect this time of year. We would definitely suggest explaining to families in advance when they are considering a cruise in March that there will likely be a high number of college-aged people, and that the experience might vary from other times throughout the year. Due to these college students, we experienced vulgarity, incredible inappropriate dress and basically just a feel of being at a trashy fraternity party no matter where we were onboard. The exception to this was the quiet area that we found after finally asking a crew member how to get away from it all. At the peak of our frustration, we called to see what the process was to debark if we chose to do so and not return to the ship. The operator who answered NEVER ONCE asked why we might want to do so. He simply said, “you can debark but you need to decide now and let us know because we sail shortly and there’s a process. You also won’t get any type of refund.” I cannot imagine any staff member that wouldn’t be concerned about why a guest might want to debark and at least ask if everything was okay! Since we couldn’t get our Wifi to work (I’ll share more about that later) we were not able to check flights fast enough to decide if this was a viable option. We stayed aboard and wished we had not.

We also purchased some type of ultimate dining and beverage package for ourselves and “unlimited soda” for our children. The lines at the bars were a minimum wait of 10-30 minutes for one drink. And thanks to the inappropriate clothing and comments from the college kids who swarmed all bar areas, we couldn’t even let our kids wait in line for a soft drink. So, the “unlimited packages” were anything but - and were completely wasted on responsible guests. When we asked why the service was so slow and if the ship was understaffed, we were told the service was slowed down by design so “guests wouldn’t overdrink”. Wow! What about the responsible people aboard the ship? We were also appalled that the staff would consider serving girls wearing thong bikinis at the bars INSIDE the ship! We are not uptight but these were not pool bar areas. This was completely inappropriate and disgusting from our perspective and MANY other guests. Guests should be required to wear proper attire – even if it’s a simple cover-up - when standing at a bar inside the ship.

The inappropriate attire continued and was ENCOURAGED by a Norwegian employee who was leading a “game” of some sort around 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the 13th. The activity took place on the stage area between the (jam packed) bars leading to the pool. It was broadcast on speakers all around so the young children by the slides and play area were also subject to the repulsive language and suggestions. The Norwegian crew member had a group of college aged students crowded around him with men standing on the stage wearing other guest’s bikini tops. We were not there for all of the show but while we were there, he asked what the men what their fantasy stripper name would be and what their favorite (sexual) position was, all while encouraging them to take shots. He also asked girls to come on the stage and provide lap dances. And when we finally thought we couldn’t stand it anymore, he asked which of the girls would like to “pop the cherry” of a college aged young man on stage who was a virgin! We distracted our children who wanted to go down the slides while this was going on and finally just decided to leave the area when our 10 year old asked about lap dances. Had this “activity” taken place after 11:00 p.m. or in a more private setting, we would have never seen it and not have been bothered. But this was the CENTER OF THE POOL area! This man represents the Norwegian brand and should be fired in our opinion. It was absolutely repulsive and so tasteless. One couple next to us commented that this was “worse than a Carnival cruise”. I don’t think that is a compliment in the industry.

There were hiccups in the photo area, hour-plus waits for room service, long lines EVERYWHERE and after standing in another VERY long line to purchase a “premium” Wifi package for $120, it barely worked the entire cruise. We could go on and on but feel certain you get the point by now.

In an effort to find some positive comments, we would like to share that the food was quite good and the Cirque-style show was very entertaining. Our room attendant, Clockson, was also very attentive and kind. The people in guest services also said they appreciated our concerns about the lines and inappropriate Norwegian employee – apparently they had already heard about it from others. But at least they seemed appreciative.

When you spend over $6,200.00 (airfare included) on a vacation that turns out like this, it’s heartbreaking. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND NCL Epic based on this experience!
TALFoster’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Norwegian Epic price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BD 12060
Room was spacious and nice overall. Missing a curtain that was supposed to hang and allow privacy to the shower/toilet area. Also needs a little TLC with paint, cleaning fabric on the couch, etc. But a decent room with ample space for two.
Deck 13 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Great Stirrup Cay
    Getting on the tender boat to get to the island was a HUGE nightmare! We stood in line for 45 minutes with many drunk college kids. The island itself is okay. The water is very pretty! But the island itself is no where near as well kept as Disney's Castaway Key - the common areas and paths are not well maintained/groomed. The cabanas are nice - we would have gladly paid quite a bit for one but they all seemed to be taken. Lines for drinks (just like on the ship) ranged from 20 - 40 minutes to get a drink! Yikes! NCL needs more help during Spring Break. Our first (and last) experience.
    View All 1,187 Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Review
  • Nassau
    We would have taken the Atlantis excursion for the day but NCL suggested we wait since the weather was iffy. Thankful they did since it turned out to rain most of the day. We did get off (easy to do so in Nassau) in the afternoon and had a nice time shopping. Great shops!
    View All 5,971 Nassau Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Nassau Cruise Port Review