Overall my wife and I have a great time on this particular cruise. It was mainly due to the ports we stopped at. However, there were a few areas that really bugged us. The embarkation process was took longer than in Miami. When we arrived in the morning there were very few people outside the terminal to give us assistance. Even when we were about to enter the terminal the gentleman standing next to the escalator looked totally asleep and was telling people to go up the escalator even though there was no room at the top of the stairs. The main thing that really bothered us about this particular cruise is that NCL decided to bypass Great Stirrup Cay even though the weather was beautiful. They said the tenders couldn't do there thing safely. This really surprised me since the water was no rougher than any other time we needed to be tendered in. From the CC and You Tube reviews I have looked at it seems NCL skips GSC all the time, so I wondering if there really is a tender issue or they do some revenue calculations to keep people on the ship to gamble or spend more money. Hopefully that is not the case, but it was a beautiful sunny day when we were supposed to go to GSC.
The ship itself is ok, but it's my least favorite of the NCL ships my wife and I have been on. There were many areas that needed maintenance, including the bathrooms. Many soap dispensers and faucets worked or barely worked. I also saw water on the floor a lot of the times I used the bathrooms. The decor is very dated and looked more like an old Carnival ship. There were very few bars which made getting a drink a challenge most of the time. Many times I had to wait at least 10-15 minutes before got our drinks. The bars seemed to be understaffed at times too. The food was good as usual though, but the Manhattan room was a nightmare most times we dined there. A couple times it took two hours to get through dinner. Two of the nights we didn't see a waiter for 15-20 minutes. That had never happened to us on any other NCL cruise. Plus some of the staff in the Manhattan looked terribly disinterested in working, which again was really odd for an NCL ship. The specialty restaurants were great as always. The staff in Cagney's and Teppanyaki were awesome! I did notice the steaks were much smaller and thinner than our last NCL cruise :-), but everything still tasted great and quite honestly the food was plenty for me.
Some of the guests were saying there was a lot of training going on, which may be the reason for the bad service in the Manhattan room. These guests said one of the crew members said the training was the reason we didn't go to Great Stirrup Cay, which I'm not sure I believe. Something was definitely up since the service on this ship was definitely inferior as compared to the newer ships. The communication on the ship seemed to be poor too. We rarely heard announcements on the ship and when I called the front desk with questions they gave me wrong answers each time. The told us that self-disembarkation was on the 6th floor, but it was actually on the 5th floor. That made it a little tough when trying to get back on the elevator and we lost our place in line. Even the staff located on these two floors really didn't seem to know which was the right floor.
Even though I pointed out some negative items on this cruise, my wife and I still had a good time on the ship, but an even better time off the ship. We're booked on a couple more NCL cruises, so we hope the bad service etc was a one-off and won't happen in 2019. We may cruise on the Epic again, but maybe after they refurbish it again. It definitely needs a lot of work. Oh, btw....they had part of the ship fenced off while they did some pipe work. The grinding and sanding was not exactly music to my ears, nor was the burnt metal smell.
I hope this information was helpful and good luck on your next cruise!
As many people know, the Epic's cabins are very different. We somewhat got use to the bathrooms, shower and sink being in the room, but we could never get use to the small bed. I'm only 5'9" and my wife is 5'3", and both our feet were hanging off the rounded bed. Plus my sheets never stayed on the mattress. Our balcony was great through. There was enough storage for our clothes. The power plugs were totally worn out and our charger plug kept falling out by themselves. They definitely needed to be replaced. Our cabin steward (I Punto) was great!
NCL skipped GSC :-(
We stayed on the ship. There weren't many good beach excursions, which is what my wife and I enjoy.
We love Grand Cayman and enjoyed some of the public beaches on 7 mile beach.
HC is a great place, but it was a cloudy day, which made the day not as enjoyable, but still a great day!
We love it here! Enjoyed the beach.
Loved the beaches here. Can't wait to go back!
Port Canaveral is a simple and easy port to cruise out of. Looking to cruise out of here again, but waiting for one of the newer ships.