Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by smd8z
- Sail Date: March 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
EMBARKATION: Easy but long lines. Lucky for us, we were traveling with someone who was on a knee scooter so we were able to use the elevator and not wait in the line for the escalator. We arrived at 11:30am and were on the ship by 12:45pm.
CABIN: We were in a handicap accessible cabin (8188) which was much bigger than most balcony cabins. There was plenty of storage, drawers, hangers, etc. Definitely bring an adaptor because there are only 2 plugs (one European and one American). Our only issue was with the bathroom. The water did not fully drain after showers so there was still water on the floor in the bathroom which made it difficult for people to use the toilet without getting their feet wet.
DINING: We took advantage of the "free" 3 night specialty dining plan. We ate at Cagneys (OK) and Le Bistro (AMAZING! So much so, that we went back a second time). Cagneys did not blow us away like we thought it would (our steaks were overcooked). However, at Le Bistro , all of our meals were amazing! The Frisse salad, Scallop appetizer, Mushroom soup, Onion soup, Escargot, Filet, Scallops (main course), Veal, the vegetable puff pastry dish and every single dessert we had were wonderful. The only complaint we had was that it is situated under Cirque so sometimes you would hear a huge BOOM!, and it was the acrobats on the deck above us. We also dined at Taste one evening and Manhattan one evening. Both were good but not nearly as good as the Specialty restaurants. We ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch, and the food was fine. The coffee at the buffet, by the way, was as good as the specialty coffee shop. Don't waste your money.
ENTERTAINMENT: Pricilla and the dance show were both very good but definitely not appropriate for kids. I was surprised at how many people brought their young kids to these shows. Mandy who was our cruise director, the Dailies, etc did a great job of warning parents of the content of the shows. The talent of these dancers, singers and actors was amazing. We were unable to get into Howl at the Moon, etc. If you didn't line up 45 mins ahead of time, you couldn't get in (they didn't take reservations).
FREESTYLE CRUISING: Norwegian likes to pride itself on its Freestyle Cruising but it really isn't true Freestyle Cruising. We had done our research ahead of time and knew that if you didn't make dinner and show reservations before you boarded, you probably weren't getting in. Example: We waited to book the Cirque show until we got on the ship, and it was too late. We also went to the Spa at around 3pm on embarkation day to book massages and the only day we could get in was a port day in the afternoon. Sea days were already booked. We met people who didn't book anything until they got onboard and they didn't get to eat all of their 3 specialty dining restaurants nights because they couldn't get in anywhere. My suggestion would be to book everything you can weeks before you board.
EXCURSIONS: We did the Dolphin Encounter at Cozumel which was nice but not as nice as the one at Atlantis in the Bahamas. We also did the Stingray excursion on Great Stirrup Cay. That was amazing! Our guides were so knowledgable and helpful. I would highly recommend it.
SPRING BREAK: We went during college Spring Break so we were prepared for utter mayhem. And it was! The pool deck was beyond capacity, as was the pool bar. Even though we are early birds, we rarely got a lounger at the pool (deck 18-non Haven side was Ok the first 2 days but then everyone else caught on). All the bars on deck 6 were packed all day long. Deck 7 bars were much more manageable, especially during the day.
SERVICE: We had read horror stories about service on the Epic and how none of the employees were happy, etc. We had a totally different experience thank goodness! Our room stewart was so friendly, everyone we passed in the hallways said hello to us, the bartenders (although very over worked) were friendly, and all the servers in the restaurants were very nice and helpful. I think if you have a positive outlook, smile and are friendly to the employees, they will be friendly to you.
DEBARKATION: Super easy. We walked off with our luggage at 7:45am and were on the bus at 8am. Side note: we highly recommend Go Port Canaveral for either a Park and Ride or Stay and Ride package. We flew into Orlando Airport, stayed at the Embassy Suites Airport and were picked up the next morning but the Go Port Canaveral bus at 10:30am. The same bus drove us back to the airport after the cruise. All of that was included for one price (~$100 per person).
Overall, we had a great time on the Epic. Yes, it was crowded and yes it was crazy with the Spring Breakers, but we had fun! The one thing we missed from other cruises (RC and Disney) is the outdoor decks. The Epic is very dark and closed off. There is no place to walk outside to get away on the Epic (unless you go to the pool deck which is always crazy). The Epic also has very small theaters, etc. The Headliners club should have been built much bigger, etc. Would we go again? Probably but we would definitely try a different Norwegian ship first.
250,000+ people have entered their email
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Dolphin Swim & EncounterFun place and buffet and drinks are included.View All 415 Dolphin Swim & Encounter Reviews
Stingray EncounterAmazing! Our tour guides were so helpful and knowledgable. We had such a great time walking around with the stingrays, petting them and feeding them.View All 30 Stingray Encounter Reviews