This was the 25th cruise for both hubby and I, and our 4th NCL cruise in the last two years. We booked this cruise because we have been to most ports many times, but had never been to Tortola and Great Stirrup Cay.
We flew into Orlando the night before and took an Uber to the port. (about $50) Because of a gangway issue, we waited in line for over 2 hours. It was cold and damp then started to rain. At one point there was no cover. We didn't seem to mind so much, but there were handicapped people with walkers and canes standing and waiting that long. NCL should have had someone out there in the lines to help those people.
After finally getting on board, and still in good spirits, we found our room. This ship was built in France and the room layout was very strange. There was a ton of storage, but only one closet had hangers and they couldn't be moved. The room we had was equipped with a jacuzzi tub on one side, and a toilet on the other, both behind frosted glass. We didn't know our room would have a tub and you had to climb into it to shower. After knee replacements and a broken femur, this task was too difficult for me. We had to ask our room steward to get us a stool so I could maneuver in to shower. Having a glass door on the toilet area allowed NO privacy. We have been married for 47 yrs, but still need our privacy! The sink was tiny and in the room. The rest of the room was hard to walk around, very tight spaces. You get used to it after the week, but the layout is strange.
On the 2nd day out, the engines trouble started and we sat dead in the water for over 2 hours. This was followed by canceling our ports and changing it to Puerto Rico, instead. We limped to Puerto Rico and got in to port in the late afternoon of day 3. Upon entering the port, we hit the gangways and standing on our balcony we watched them crash into the water. The new ship, EDGE was berthed next to us, and people on that ship cheered as we crashed our way in. ( You can watch this on YouTube.....we are actually standing on our balcony in the video). We stayed overnight in Puerto Rico and left the next day, hopefully with a repaired engine on our way to Great Stirrup Cay. Nope. The original 50% off a future cruise was now upped to 100% because now we were heading back to Port Canaveral...….and we would be 8 hours late. This didn't affect us that much, because our flight back to PHL was the following day. We only had to cancel a car rental and contact friends. Others were in a panic trying to cancel flights and get hotel rooms. NCL did offer $300 per person for flight change charges but the lines to use the phones were hours long. We also had the option of staying on board an extra night, but because of custom laws, everyone had to get off the ship, then come back on. Debarkation, although hectic, was smooth and considering the issues and crowds, not bad. Although this cruise had so many issues, we had a fun time. Everyone was so friendly and every time we got in the elevator there was chatter about what was going on. Many jokes and everyone had a story to tell when they got home. We met so many incredible people who were just going with the flow. Everyone was happy about the 100% future cruise credit and although we did hear that some people were unhappy, we never ran across those people. (They were probably down at Guest Services, complaining). We felt that we had a week of fun, sun, great food, and some great adventures all for free. We will be booking our next NCL cruise soon.....but not on the Epic.
Strange layout. Hated the bathroom situation. Be aware, this cabin has a tub/shower.