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My family and I just returned back from a recent cruise on Norwegian Epic. We have sailed multiple times on other cruise lines including Disney and Royal Caribbean. This was by far my worst cruise experience and will definitely be my last on Norwegian cruise lines. My mother whom had traveled on Norwegian four previous times said she would no longer sail with Norwegian either because of this experience. We booked two rooms since we had six people traveling, three children and three adults. One of the rooms was originally an inside room and for our "free" offer we chose the premium drink package. My mother did decided to surprise us and paid for an upgrade prior to our cruise and when she spoke to a representative they informed her she now got to choose an "additional" two offers on top of our drink package so she chose premium dinning and excursion credit even though she knew we would not be able to do any excursions since the kids were too young for many of them. We get a drink on board and we were charged for the drink, the bartender said our card does not say we have a drink package and we would have to take it up with guest services. We went to guest services and there was a lady in front of us with the same issue. They told us when we upgraded our room, we voided our original drink package (even though we had a receipt to show we booked it) and they would not be able to figure it out until Monday when the corporate office opened. It was Saturday when we embarked. We informed the service representative that it didn't make any sense since we have the receipt showing where we booked it and the representative on the phone told us we we still have the drink package, they said there was nothing they could do since they needed an account to charge the drink package to. We got a voicemail in our room on Monday which simply stated "we checked with our office and this was the package you booked so we can't do anything for you, sorry". When we arrived to our room it was the smallest room I have ever seen. We had my 10 month old daughter with us and we asked for a pack and play which their response was "if we put a pack and play in the room it will be really cramped". Our thoughts were.... Of course it was cramped, they designed the rooms after watching my tiny house. There was no storage to even put our clothes away so we just lived out of our suitcase for the week. We booked their premium internet so our kids could use their tablets at night while we were in the room. The internet was advertised as unlimited internet for 4 devices. When we tried to get on a second device it stated we exceeded our device. We returned to the internet manager whom stated only one device could be used at a time and that was their highest package for internet. So basically we had to have someone log off before another kid could use it. Inside the room, my wife and I typically watching TV while we get our kids to sleep. Once you turn on the tv you find out there are only two actual channels. "Favorite TV" and "Favorite Movies". Everything else you have to pay for. Favorite TV and Favorite movies are essentially just rotating shows/movies they choose and you are stuck with watching. Even when you have a tv show your kids or you enjoy, it cuts off before it ends but you don't have to worry because that same episode or movie will be back on later that day only slightly longer or shorter. So you are stuck watching reruns of the same episodes of the same shows over and over again. On the ship the pools were always in repair. They drained the main pool twice during our seven day cruise for repair. The kids pool was closed during the entire day at sea with no one actually working on it. The food was mediocre at best in the general dining rooms. We had premium dinning which would have been nice except when we tried to book our meals (you only get three), all the times were booked before 9:30 pm. This was extremely frustrating since we tried to book the very first night on the ship. So our dining package went to waste completely. The ports of call were good. The process of tendering at the ports of call was terrible. Norwegian has you "book" your tenders and then calls you up by tender numbers. Probably good in theory but terrible in reality. We found out later that no one in the lines actually go by their tender numbers and some simply don't book or make any reservations. If you are trying to get to shore then you have to wait for your tender group to be called meanwhile everyone else in line is simply jumping in line. Our group was called and we couldn't even get off the ship for an additional hour because the staff was letting everyone who didn't make a reservation or book a tender get on the tender boats. Simply do away with the tender reservation and make it first come first serve like the other cruise lines, it makes it easier and less frustrating. Norwegian will nickle and dime you to no end. We found this out when my wife booked a art instruction class where they tell you what painting they will do in the itinerary and you show up to paint it as part of the class. It is an extra $35 which she thought was ridiculous since typically on cruises most activities are free unless it involves drinking and this did not. The "instructor" showed up, gave zero instruction and simply told the class to attempt to paint the painting but did not tell anyone how to do it. It was like seeing a professional portrait and simply telling a non artist to paint what they did. They might as well put on Bob Ross and had the class listen to him give instruction. To top off the experience, they were supposed to paint the Northern lights and the instructor had them painting a dark sunset. Needless to say everyone in the class was upset and also needless to say, Norwegian offered zero help or solution to the problem. Our stateroom attendant was very friendly but very slow. We had multiple days where our room was not cleaned because he had not gotten to it in time. It would be 9pm and it was not turned down at all. He would later knock on our door after our kids were almost asleep to ask if we needed anything and when we didn't since we didn't want to wake up our kids, he would simply give us the itinerary for the next day. For what you pay for on a cruise you should expect better service and more professional staff that actually care about customer service. I can deal with any and all issues if the staff is willing to make it right in any way possible. When we went to guest services one time they actually told us they are used to hearing complaints and are used to it which is why they let them off every six months. They would not help at all and I never once had a positive experience when I went to the desk. I returned to work and everyone asked me how my cruise was and I have been completely honest about my experience.

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Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by mrunnels

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My family and I just returned back from a recent cruise on Norwegian Epic. We have sailed multiple times on other cruise lines including Disney and Royal Caribbean. This was by far my worst cruise experience and will definitely be my last on Norwegian cruise lines. My mother whom had traveled on Norwegian four previous times said she would no longer sail with Norwegian either because of this experience.

We booked two rooms since we had six people traveling, three children and three adults. One of the rooms was originally an inside room and for our "free" offer we chose the premium drink package. My mother did decided to surprise us and paid for an upgrade prior to our cruise and when she spoke to a representative they informed her she now got to choose an "additional" two offers on top of our drink package so she chose premium dinning and excursion credit even though she knew we would not be able to do any excursions since the kids were too young for many of them. We get a drink on board and we were charged for the drink, the bartender said our card does not say we have a drink package and we would have to take it up with guest services. We went to guest services and there was a lady in front of us with the same issue. They told us when we upgraded our room, we voided our original drink package (even though we had a receipt to show we booked it) and they would not be able to figure it out until Monday when the corporate office opened. It was Saturday when we embarked. We informed the service representative that it didn't make any sense since we have the receipt showing where we booked it and the representative on the phone told us we we still have the drink package, they said there was nothing they could do since they needed an account to charge the drink package to. We got a voicemail in our room on Monday which simply stated "we checked with our office and this was the package you booked so we can't do anything for you, sorry".

When we arrived to our room it was the smallest room I have ever seen. We had my 10 month old daughter with us and we asked for a pack and play which their response was "if we put a pack and play in the room it will be really cramped". Our thoughts were.... Of course it was cramped, they designed the rooms after watching my tiny house. There was no storage to even put our clothes away so we just lived out of our suitcase for the week.

We booked their premium internet so our kids could use their tablets at night while we were in the room. The internet was advertised as unlimited internet for 4 devices. When we tried to get on a second device it stated we exceeded our device. We returned to the internet manager whom stated only one device could be used at a time and that was their highest package for internet. So basically we had to have someone log off before another kid could use it.

Inside the room, my wife and I typically watching TV while we get our kids to sleep. Once you turn on the tv you find out there are only two actual channels. "Favorite TV" and "Favorite Movies". Everything else you have to pay for. Favorite TV and Favorite movies are essentially just rotating shows/movies they choose and you are stuck with watching. Even when you have a tv show your kids or you enjoy, it cuts off before it ends but you don't have to worry because that same episode or movie will be back on later that day only slightly longer or shorter. So you are stuck watching reruns of the same episodes of the same shows over and over again.

On the ship the pools were always in repair. They drained the main pool twice during our seven day cruise for repair. The kids pool was closed during the entire day at sea with no one actually working on it.

The food was mediocre at best in the general dining rooms. We had premium dinning which would have been nice except when we tried to book our meals (you only get three), all the times were booked before 9:30 pm. This was extremely frustrating since we tried to book the very first night on the ship. So our dining package went to waste completely.

The ports of call were good. The process of tendering at the ports of call was terrible. Norwegian has you "book" your tenders and then calls you up by tender numbers. Probably good in theory but terrible in reality. We found out later that no one in the lines actually go by their tender numbers and some simply don't book or make any reservations. If you are trying to get to shore then you have to wait for your tender group to be called meanwhile everyone else in line is simply jumping in line. Our group was called and we couldn't even get off the ship for an additional hour because the staff was letting everyone who didn't make a reservation or book a tender get on the tender boats. Simply do away with the tender reservation and make it first come first serve like the other cruise lines, it makes it easier and less frustrating.

Norwegian will nickle and dime you to no end. We found this out when my wife booked a art instruction class where they tell you what painting they will do in the itinerary and you show up to paint it as part of the class. It is an extra $35 which she thought was ridiculous since typically on cruises most activities are free unless it involves drinking and this did not. The "instructor" showed up, gave zero instruction and simply told the class to attempt to paint the painting but did not tell anyone how to do it. It was like seeing a professional portrait and simply telling a non artist to paint what they did. They might as well put on Bob Ross and had the class listen to him give instruction. To top off the experience, they were supposed to paint the Northern lights and the instructor had them painting a dark sunset. Needless to say everyone in the class was upset and also needless to say, Norwegian offered zero help or solution to the problem.

Our stateroom attendant was very friendly but very slow. We had multiple days where our room was not cleaned because he had not gotten to it in time. It would be 9pm and it was not turned down at all. He would later knock on our door after our kids were almost asleep to ask if we needed anything and when we didn't since we didn't want to wake up our kids, he would simply give us the itinerary for the next day.

For what you pay for on a cruise you should expect better service and more professional staff that actually care about customer service. I can deal with any and all issues if the staff is willing to make it right in any way possible. When we went to guest services one time they actually told us they are used to hearing complaints and are used to it which is why they let them off every six months. They would not help at all and I never once had a positive experience when I went to the desk. I returned to work and everyone asked me how my cruise was and I have been completely honest about my experience.
mrunnels’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages Under 3
Ages 3 to 6
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Family Balcony
Cabin B2 13252
Smallest cabin room I have ever been in. They could barely fit a pack and play in the room and there was no storage to put anything away. We basically had to pile it on the counter/desk area
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins