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I was a little nervous about cruising on the Epic because of the many mixed reviews. We booked a 5 night cruise to Cozumel & Great Stirrup Caye (Norwegian's Island) because it was a really great price. We were in cabin 14048 which is a "Family Mini Suite Balcony" cabin. We were right around the corner form The Splash Academy so I was a little worried about noise. My husband and myself have NEVER slept as good on any other cruise! No noise at all. Our room was at the end of the hallway (I think there were only 2 cabins passed ours) and I think that greatly reduced the traffic by our cabin. The close location to The Splash Academy was perfect for my 10 year old. Being on the 14th floor we were one floor away from The Garden Cafe, pool, arcade & Entourage (Teen Club) which was convenient for all of us especially my 13 year old who had a blast in the Teen Club. Yes the elevators were slow at times & we chose to mostly take the stairs to help burn off all the fantastic food we were eating. But at other times we easily got onto an elevator when heading down to decks 5,6 & 7 for dinner. The first night we ate at Moderno which is a Brazilian-style steak/meat restaurant (we had the upgraded dining & adult drink pkg included). It was great & we over ate for sure! The next night we ate at LeBistro, the French restaurant. We both were tired from being in the sun all day at sea and we almost did not go as we are not big fans of French food. We were both so glad we went! The food was AMAZING! We loved it so much that we made reservations for the next night & invited our relatives to join us (we treated them since they did not have the dining pkg). We had the escargot & warm goat cheese salad, filet & sole & the most amazing desserts! The second night was just as amazing as the first. We also ate at Wasabi for sushi. It was soooooooo good! The Rock N Roll roll was amazing!! So great that we ate their a send time as well. We did not eat in the two main ding rooms, but our family did and they said it was good but a little slow on the service side (2.5 hrs for dinner). We ate several times in the Garden Cafe and it was all very good. Even when it was busy we never had a hard time finding seats. We did not see any of the shows as my family was not interested in them but I heard other passengers raving about them. The Cavern Club has an outstanding Beatles cover band & it is a cool bar to chill out with friends after dinner. The martini bar made amazing drinks!!! Now about the pool bar "Waves".....as previous reviewers have mentioned, the line was insane & seemed to move very slow. That is not to say that the bartenders were not working hard (they worked non-stop) but it was just too busy for the few bartenders they had. You could get pre-mixed frozen drinks from a cart & that line was usually much shorter. Our drink pkg was included but if I had paid for it I would have been upset at the time I would have to spend getting drinks on sea days while laying out in the sun. We are not big drinkers so one drink during the day was fine for us. We happened to be on a ship with an overwhelming amount of college Spring Breakers. I had expected it to be over run with young children, but not 2 thousand 20 year olds. For the most part they were pretty respectful. By 5:00 in the afternoon there were hundreds of drunk guys & gals dancing & grinding on the pool deck, but that's when we go in to get ready for dinner so it did not bother us too much (just trying to walk through them with my two children to get to our room was a little annoying). The other thing I realized is that I am now an old lady & am completely unaware that 20 somethings show their entire rear-ends these days in their bathing suits. Having a 10 & 13 year old boys it was a little uncomfortable & I wanted to put blinders on my 13 year old (although I am SURE he was LOVING the scenery). LOL The cabin (which seems to be a big sticking point with other reviewers) was fine for us. A little tight since we are a family of 4 but not too bad. The bathroom set up was totally fine with us. I love the toilet & shower being separate so two can use them at the same time. I also loved the shower having doors. Previous cruises I am always grossed out when the moldy plastic shower curtain touches me. Mariced our cabin steward was very nice & our room was always clean & stocked with ice. All of the staff we encountered were always smiling & happy to help (the Washy Washy girls were our favorite!). I never had a problem getting lounge chairs on the deck, but we are an early to bed early to rise family. I did see others looking for chairs after 10:00 a.m. The main problem is that people save 10 chairs and then leave for several hours. On the 2nd sea day the staff started putting stickers with times on them. I am also a courteous passenger & only save 3 seats for our total of 7 in our group. The kids did not need a chair & my hubby only stays in the sun for an hour or so. Other passengers were not as courteous. We did the Passion Island beach excursion. It was nice. The all inclusive drinks were not very strong but the service was great. I never had to go to the bar to get a drink as a fella came by every few mins (which was nice because the glasses were tiny). We just hung out on the beach at Great Stirrup Caye. My sister-in-law booked paddle boards for my boys. They have never paddle boarded before & unfortunately the staff that rented them gave no instruction. They did not inform us (maybe they did not know) that there was an extremely strong current before you reach the bouy markers that you were not suppose to pass. My 10 year old was carried out very far & between the wind & current he could not turn around (he had no instruction on the bast way to do so either). A life guard (who was VERY nice) saw him in distress and jumped on a jet ski & towed him in. Obviously he was very upset & shaken. Doubt he'll want to get on a paddle board ever again. This was 100% on Norwegian as this is their island & it is staffed by crew members. When we attempted to inform Guest Services about it we were told "go to the Excursion Desk" which is directly across from Guest Services and the staff member could clearly see that no one was there (it was the last day & there was no one working the Excursion Desk because there were no more excursions). We were not asking for our money back or a credit. We only wanted to make them aware of the liability & hope that this will not happen to someone else on a future cruise. That was pretty disappointing. That incident aside, we truly did enjoy our cruise and the food. We liked the boat even if it's set up and deck plans are a little odd compared to others. For the price it was a great deal.

So Much Better Than We Expected!

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by GoBuckyBadger

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Family Mini-Suite with Balcony
I was a little nervous about cruising on the Epic because of the many mixed reviews. We booked a 5 night cruise to Cozumel & Great Stirrup Caye (Norwegian's Island) because it was a really great price. We were in cabin 14048 which is a "Family Mini Suite Balcony" cabin. We were right around the corner form The Splash Academy so I was a little worried about noise. My husband and myself have NEVER slept as good on any other cruise! No noise at all. Our room was at the end of the hallway (I think there were only 2 cabins passed ours) and I think that greatly reduced the traffic by our cabin. The close location to The Splash Academy was perfect for my 10 year old. Being on the 14th floor we were one floor away from The Garden Cafe, pool, arcade & Entourage (Teen Club) which was convenient for all of us especially my 13 year old who had a blast in the Teen Club. Yes the elevators were slow at times & we chose to mostly take the stairs to help burn off all the fantastic food we were eating. But at other times we easily got onto an elevator when heading down to decks 5,6 & 7 for dinner. The first night we ate at Moderno which is a Brazilian-style steak/meat restaurant (we had the upgraded dining & adult drink pkg included). It was great & we over ate for sure! The next night we ate at LeBistro, the French restaurant. We both were tired from being in the sun all day at sea and we almost did not go as we are not big fans of French food. We were both so glad we went! The food was AMAZING! We loved it so much that we made reservations for the next night & invited our relatives to join us (we treated them since they did not have the dining pkg). We had the escargot & warm goat cheese salad, filet & sole & the most amazing desserts! The second night was just as amazing as the first. We also ate at Wasabi for sushi. It was soooooooo good! The Rock N Roll roll was amazing!! So great that we ate their a send time as well. We did not eat in the two main ding rooms, but our family did and they said it was good but a little slow on the service side (2.5 hrs for dinner). We ate several times in the Garden Cafe and it was all very good. Even when it was busy we never had a hard time finding seats. We did not see any of the shows as my family was not interested in them but I heard other passengers raving about them. The Cavern Club has an outstanding Beatles cover band & it is a cool bar to chill out with friends after dinner. The martini bar made amazing drinks!!!

Now about the pool bar "Waves".....as previous reviewers have mentioned, the line was insane & seemed to move very slow. That is not to say that the bartenders were not working hard (they worked non-stop) but it was just too busy for the few bartenders they had. You could get pre-mixed frozen drinks from a cart & that line was usually much shorter. Our drink pkg was included but if I had paid for it I would have been upset at the time I would have to spend getting drinks on sea days while laying out in the sun. We are not big drinkers so one drink during the day was fine for us.

We happened to be on a ship with an overwhelming amount of college Spring Breakers. I had expected it to be over run with young children, but not 2 thousand 20 year olds. For the most part they were pretty respectful. By 5:00 in the afternoon there were hundreds of drunk guys & gals dancing & grinding on the pool deck, but that's when we go in to get ready for dinner so it did not bother us too much (just trying to walk through them with my two children to get to our room was a little annoying). The other thing I realized is that I am now an old lady & am completely unaware that 20 somethings show their entire rear-ends these days in their bathing suits. Having a 10 & 13 year old boys it was a little uncomfortable & I wanted to put blinders on my 13 year old (although I am SURE he was LOVING the scenery). LOL

The cabin (which seems to be a big sticking point with other reviewers) was fine for us. A little tight since we are a family of 4 but not too bad. The bathroom set up was totally fine with us. I love the toilet & shower being separate so two can use them at the same time. I also loved the shower having doors. Previous cruises I am always grossed out when the moldy plastic shower curtain touches me. Mariced our cabin steward was very nice & our room was always clean & stocked with ice. All of the staff we encountered were always smiling & happy to help (the Washy Washy girls were our favorite!). I never had a problem getting lounge chairs on the deck, but we are an early to bed early to rise family. I did see others looking for chairs after 10:00 a.m. The main problem is that people save 10 chairs and then leave for several hours. On the 2nd sea day the staff started putting stickers with times on them. I am also a courteous passenger & only save 3 seats for our total of 7 in our group. The kids did not need a chair & my hubby only stays in the sun for an hour or so. Other passengers were not as courteous.

We did the Passion Island beach excursion. It was nice. The all inclusive drinks were not very strong but the service was great. I never had to go to the bar to get a drink as a fella came by every few mins (which was nice because the glasses were tiny). We just hung out on the beach at Great Stirrup Caye. My sister-in-law booked paddle boards for my boys. They have never paddle boarded before & unfortunately the staff that rented them gave no instruction. They did not inform us (maybe they did not know) that there was an extremely strong current before you reach the bouy markers that you were not suppose to pass. My 10 year old was carried out very far & between the wind & current he could not turn around (he had no instruction on the bast way to do so either). A life guard (who was VERY nice) saw him in distress and jumped on a jet ski & towed him in. Obviously he was very upset & shaken. Doubt he'll want to get on a paddle board ever again. This was 100% on Norwegian as this is their island & it is staffed by crew members. When we attempted to inform Guest Services about it we were told "go to the Excursion Desk" which is directly across from Guest Services and the staff member could clearly see that no one was there (it was the last day & there was no one working the Excursion Desk because there were no more excursions). We were not asking for our money back or a credit. We only wanted to make them aware of the liability & hope that this will not happen to someone else on a future cruise. That was pretty disappointing. That incident aside, we truly did enjoy our cruise and the food. We liked the boat even if it's set up and deck plans are a little odd compared to others. For the price it was a great deal.
GoBuckyBadger’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Family Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M2 14048
Great cabin. Tight but fit our family of 4 well. Lots of storage. Beds were very comfortable but a little short (my hubby is 6 foot and his feet hung off when he stretched out). We did not mind the split bathroom set up.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Beach
    All inclusive on Passion Island. Took a boat to the island (35 mins each way). Food & drink were included. We were the first to arrive & that added to the wow factor. The beautiful beach was empty & it was amazing. It got crowded later, but plenty of chairs & tables to eat at. Food was good & the drinks were ok. Just not very strong & a little watered down. The beach is beautiful & the facilities are nice.
    View All 601 Beach Reviews
  • Great Stirrup Cay
    As I stated in my full review, my son was carried very far out by the strong current and wind and a life guard had to take a jet ski to go get him & tow him in. There was no instruction about the paddle board, no info on his to stand, turn, etc and no mention of the very strong current (it's the cruise line's island so they certainly should be aware). When we tried to inform the staff on the ship about the potential liability we were blown off. We never asked for our money back or for a credit. We only wanted to prevent this from happening to another future passenger.
    View All 12,636 Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Great Stirrup Cay Cruise Port Review