We've cruised several times with NCL in the past, but only on shorter cruises and smaller ships . Based on our past experiences, we were really looking forward to our 10 days on the Epic.
Our cruise started off on a really bad note. We arrived at Port Canaveral just after 11am, and there was already a long line. We got into line and soon realized the line wasn't moving, and nobody was being allowed into the terminal. Busloads of people continued to arrive, and without any authority to guide the situation, the line soon turned into just a mob. Several lines formed, some people knowingly or unknowingly cut into lines, and the crowd became vocally unhappy. Still no official from NCL or the Port was present. Eventually, some of the passengers found some line stanchions that weren't being used, and on there own tried to make some lines. It was truly chaos outside. It was quite windy and cold outside. Eventually, the line started to slowly move. It took us more than 3 hours of standing in line to get onboard the ship, and it was really all most people were talking about.
Once onboard, things got quickly better.
Good things about cruise:
Crowds were reasonable considering ship was full (4100 people).
Staff was awesome.
Restaurants and bars were great. We enjoyed O'Sheehan's being open 24 hours for snacks.
Ship seemed clean and well maintained.
The best bathroom ever on the pool deck.
Water slides were a lot of fun.
Lots of good entertainment, especially Epic Beatles.
Good ports of call with lots to do.
Lots of places to go to escape crowds.
Not so great things about cruise:
Didn't get to go to Great Stirrup Cay due to rough weather. We've been scheduled to go to Great Stirrup Cay 4 times, but have only made on the island twice. I realize it's a safety decision, but it's still disappointing.
In humid weather, the tile floors in buffet got quite slick.
Bathrooms in staterooms a bit weird.
Cavern Club venue not big enough to hold Epic Beatles crowd.
We had originally booked an inside room, but through NCL's auction process, were upgraded to a family balcony. The room, while a bit weird, was roomy with lots of storage. Since the toilet, shower, and sink, are all separated, bathroom privacy is almost impossible. The shower seemed larger than other NCL ships we've been on. But the sink is literally at the end of the bed. It would be very awkward for friends sharing a room. The bed seems a little short. I'm 6'4" tall, and my feet hung off the bed a good 6". This weirdly put my feet just a few inches from the sink. None of this really bothered us though, as the balcony was awesome.
Seemed completely unprepared for so many passengers.
Too rough to tender to island. Didn't get to go to the island...again.
Short bus ride to Shaw's beach. Nice relaxing beach. A little bit rocky, water shoes are helpful. Be advised - next to a nude beach. Not really close enough to be an issue.View All 97 Beach Reviews
About an hour bus ride to ruins. Very interesting and informative tour of Mayan ruins. Not much walking. Not allowed to walk very far up temples. Spent about 90 minutes at site.View All 418 Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Reviews
Enjoyed Harvest Caye. Awesome beach and pool. Super easy to return to ship for lunch and drinks.
Walked to 7 mile beach. About a 2 mile walk. Hung out at Royal Palm Beach Club. Awesome hunk of beach. Water is perfect. Order a couple of beers and you can stay at the beach club for hours.