Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Doc Tom
- Sail Date: January 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Spa Mini-Suite with Balcony
We've been on a number of cruises but have never experienced a ship that bounced and swayed and rocked like the Epic -- even even a mild wind or a modest chop. Be forewarned: the Epic bobs like a cork. My poor wife never did get her sea legs (or tummy).
We were in a Spa Mini Suite (14171), starboard aft. The cabin is spacious with lots of storage. I'm sure you've read the complaints about Epic's shower/tub and head being on opposite sides of the cabin and somewhat exposed. That was not a problem for us; it actually seemed to save space. The pillows, linens, and bed are very comfortable except the bed is not as long as a standard queen (perhaps because the first half dozen inches are attached up under the headboard). I'm only 5' 11'' (1.8 m) an my feet hung off the bottom of the bed. The "sofa" with its curved back is so incredibly uncomfortable the only time we used it was to sit for a moment while putting on shoes.
Having a Spa Mini Suite did grant us unlimited us of the thermal spa, which we used many times. The spa is big, clean, and peaceful with nice robes and plentiful towels. We loved soaking in the different types of tubs and relaxing & reading on the loungers. We never found the spa to be overly busy.
Dining on the Epic is hit & miss. In the complimentary class: The two main dining rooms, Taste (more casual) and Manhattan (less casual), were good but not exceptional. Also complimentary: Shanghai, an Asian themed eatery, was fair -- no better than your neighborhood Chinese takeout back on land. Also complimentary: O'Sheehan's had more hits than misses with its food and is a good spot for a light meal or a snack but it is oddly broken into two sides (port & starboard) by a corridor running through the middle which ruins any feeling of being in a friendly pub. The Epic's buffet is just okay. Hits include good made-to-order omelets, good made-to-order pasta dishes, and excellent cookies. Misses include unimaginative pizza (on par with grocery-store frozen pizza), dried-out pre-cooked burgers, tiny Indian & Asian stations that were substandard.
For fee specialty dining was mostly good. In the Cirque Dreams Epicurean the steak was inedible but the show was excellent. La Cucina, Epic's Italian restaurant, was good -- the pastas were excellent while the sauces good. Moderno Churrascaria was a fun experience although the food was just okay. The French-themed Le Bistro was a treat -- very good food and very good service. Above and beyond all the other eateries is Cagney's. Cagney's steaks and seafood are truly outstanding, as is the attentive professional service. We went to Cagney's twice!
We love to play trivia but were disappointed on Epic. The very short trivia games are not consistently scheduled (with the exception of the everyday "Early Risers Trivia"). The trivia hosts, sadly, had limited English language skills which made playing quite difficult. Also, avoid the "Cruise Next" trivia as it is nothing more than a slow advertisement for booking future cruises.
Overall, the staff on the ship were very good -- friendly, positive, and happy. Our room steward, E Wayan, was excellent.
We only did one ship-sponsored shore excursion, Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Deluxe in Costa Maya. It was well done. Our guide "Daniel Jaguar" was very good. In Grand Cayman we volunteered for the day at the Cayman Island Humane Society -- this was the highlight of our trip -- and we highly recommend it. On Cozumel we connected with a local woman who does walking touring of the town of San Miguel. That was an excellent day (google it).
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