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We were looking forward to this cruise as we've been on two other Norwegian ships (Jewel, Jade) and had fantastic experiences. Unfortunately we didn't enjoy the Epic as we did the others. We will not seek to sail the Epic again. The layout of the ship lead to several bottle necks where the crowds flowing through a deck often came to a stand still because of tight areas or lines of people waiting to get into a restaurant or show. The choice to use the Atrium as the main area for game shows/presentations, IMO, was a poor choice. The acoustics and sight lines were horrible making it near impossible to follow along. Not to mention the Atrium is open to the guest services and excursion desks so the added noise from those areas and other passengers passing by made it more difficult to enjoy a show. Knowing that this is a larger ship (4100 passengers) than we were used to we expected crowds and dealt with them accordingly. The issue is that there are only a limited amount of excursions available. I'm not sure the exact number of people that didn't get to go on an excursion they wanted or settled for less, but I spoke with several families that were unhappy with the excursion options. The guest services experiences was less than impressive too. I had to visit the GS desk several times and the women i dealth with were the most unpleasant people on the ship. The one gentlemen I dealt with went out of his way to ensure my needs were met. This is what I expect from the guest services desk not patronizing and lies so they can move on to the next person in line. I was not impressed with the daily entertainment options as most of the ones I would attend were held in the atrium (see above). The pool, as expected, was packed each day and the lack of wait and bar staff made it near impossible to get a drink the first couple of days. Day three they opened some satellite stations to get a beer or a couple of mixed drinks that helped a little. The shows we attended were fantastic! Kudos to the cast and production crews! Dining options are excellent. While we tend to stick with the Garden Cafe we did visit two restaurants and enjoyed all of the food. The staff in "Taste" were very confused all evening and tried to serve us wrong meals and drinks all night (maybe they were new), but this didn't detract from a good meal. Portions were a bit small, but taste was there. The excursion we went on were overpriced for what you get out of it. We did the Kon Tiki boat and beach tour on St Thomas. The boat crew were nice and entertained, but the public beach we went to has rocky. Not to mention the time in St Thomas was very limited. We were allowed off the ship around 730a and had to be back on board by 130p. Not much time to explore. Tortola was beautiful, but beware of the crazy taxi rides up and down the mountains! We did not get to go to Grand Stirrup Cay due to the oceans waves making the tenders unsafe to operate. Very dissapointing, but a common occurence i hear. Disembarking was a nightmare! We chose the option to leave early with our luggage in tow and ran into an unruly mob of people doing the same with next to no direction from Norwegian staff (only three staff on deck 7 to direct passengers). The confusing part was there were two different ways to disembark. Those with passports and those that had a birth certificate or were Canadian. We were told to go to deck 7 and get in the passport line. The issue is there were soooo many people leaving at the same time and, again, the poor layout of the ship, you couldn't tell where one line ended and another started. The situation could have been averted had there been more than three Norwegian staff on deck 7 to help direct people.

Fantastic Destinations (almost), Average Ship Experience

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by wfsticht

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
We were looking forward to this cruise as we've been on two other Norwegian ships (Jewel, Jade) and had fantastic experiences. Unfortunately we didn't enjoy the Epic as we did the others. We will not seek to sail the Epic again. The layout of the ship lead to several bottle necks where the crowds flowing through a deck often came to a stand still because of tight areas or lines of people waiting to get into a restaurant or show. The choice to use the Atrium as the main area for game shows/presentations, IMO, was a poor choice. The acoustics and sight lines were horrible making it near impossible to follow along. Not to mention the Atrium is open to the guest services and excursion desks so the added noise from those areas and other passengers passing by made it more difficult to enjoy a show.

Knowing that this is a larger ship (4100 passengers) than we were used to we expected crowds and dealt with them accordingly. The issue is that there are only a limited amount of excursions available. I'm not sure the exact number of people that didn't get to go on an excursion they wanted or settled for less, but I spoke with several families that were unhappy with the excursion options.

The guest services experiences was less than impressive too. I had to visit the GS desk several times and the women i dealth with were the most unpleasant people on the ship. The one gentlemen I dealt with went out of his way to ensure my needs were met. This is what I expect from the guest services desk not patronizing and lies so they can move on to the next person in line.

I was not impressed with the daily entertainment options as most of the ones I would attend were held in the atrium (see above). The pool, as expected, was packed each day and the lack of wait and bar staff made it near impossible to get a drink the first couple of days. Day three they opened some satellite stations to get a beer or a couple of mixed drinks that helped a little.

The shows we attended were fantastic! Kudos to the cast and production crews!

Dining options are excellent. While we tend to stick with the Garden Cafe we did visit two restaurants and enjoyed all of the food. The staff in "Taste" were very confused all evening and tried to serve us wrong meals and drinks all night (maybe they were new), but this didn't detract from a good meal. Portions were a bit small, but taste was there.

The excursion we went on were overpriced for what you get out of it. We did the Kon Tiki boat and beach tour on St Thomas. The boat crew were nice and entertained, but the public beach we went to has rocky. Not to mention the time in St Thomas was very limited. We were allowed off the ship around 730a and had to be back on board by 130p. Not much time to explore. Tortola was beautiful, but beware of the crazy taxi rides up and down the mountains! We did not get to go to Grand Stirrup Cay due to the oceans waves making the tenders unsafe to operate. Very dissapointing, but a common occurence i hear.

Disembarking was a nightmare! We chose the option to leave early with our luggage in tow and ran into an unruly mob of people doing the same with next to no direction from Norwegian staff (only three staff on deck 7 to direct passengers). The confusing part was there were two different ways to disembark. Those with passports and those that had a birth certificate or were Canadian. We were told to go to deck 7 and get in the passport line. The issue is there were soooo many people leaving at the same time and, again, the poor layout of the ship, you couldn't tell where one line ended and another started. The situation could have been averted had there been more than three Norwegian staff on deck 7 to help direct people.
wfsticht’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Family Balcony
Cabin B2
Our cabin (family balcony) was very tight. The bed was small and my feet hung off the end and considering I'm less than 6 feet tall I'm sure others had more of an issue than I did. The rooms are so tight that you can't get around a family standing at the foot of the bed without crawling on the bed. There is plenty of storage. Bath and shower (separate areas) are tight, but manageable. Balcony was deeper than I was used to so that was nice. The staff was phenomenal; very attentive and quick without comprising service.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Kon Tiki Boat
    The overall experience was average and quick due to the limited time we had on St Thomas. Beach was just OK. Crew were very entertaining. Priced too high which led to the average rating.
    View All 59 Kon Tiki Boat Reviews