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This was a large-scale family vacation - we had 8 people on board, occupying 4 cabins. Of the 8, 4 were newbies to the cruise industry, and 1 had been on 2 prior cruises. For the people in my immediate family, I would qualify us as "seasoned cruisers." In saying this, I mean that we know what to realistically expect, having been on approximately 10 cruises, across all of the major family lines. I will break this down into 3 sections - the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. THE GOOD: The featured entertainment was terrific. We attended 3 shows in the main theater. While dance shows are not necessarily my thing, Burn the Floor was a very solid production. The dancing was terrific, and the featured musicians (guitar, bass, percussion) were all exceptional. The production of Priscilla was Broadway quality in production value, costume, acting and singing. Mind you that this is coming from an individual who lives in NYC, and is comparing it to real Broadway productions. The "Epic Beatles" were sensational. We had the opportunity to sit front row at their show in the Epic Theater, and it was fabulous. I regret that we could not see other shows in the Cavern Club because it was IMPOSSIBLE to get in. The Dueling Pianos (Howl at the Moon) were also terrific. THE BAD: Some of this has already been said, but it needs to be restated. The layout of the room (we had a "suite") is just strange. The shop only has 2 elevator banks - fore and aft. Any large ship we have ever been on in the past has 3 banks. This led to extended waits for the elevator. The main pools are way too small for a ship this size. Factor in that twice during the cruise one pool had to be shut down, and it amplifies the situation. There was way too much smoking on board, both in the casino and on the pool deck. Unless you had prior reservations, it was IMPOSSIBLE to get a seat at ANY of the "specialty" dining or show experiences. This included all of the restaurants, the "Cirque Dreams and Diner", and the "Escape the Big Top" event. THE DOWNRIGHT UGLY: And ugly it was. We had purchased all of our travel arrangements through NCL. I found out at 1:30AM on Saturday, April 20 that all of our flights had been cancelled. NCL's emergency travel service could not place us on a flight anywhere near NYC. After I spoke with a representative for Delta, I was informed about options out of Hartford. I promptly reached back out to NCL, and they booked us on the flight out of Hartford. I should not have to be the one handling the alternate travel arrangements, and the, "Sorry, we cannot do anything to help you" attitude didn't really fly with me (no pun intended). There were issues with our return flights as well. Guest services assured us that only 2 people in my party would be returning via Hartford. Delta had other thoughts in mind, and this led to some issues with the kids we were traveling with. The cruise director, Mandy, and her staff did a poor job of engaging the guests. It was disheartening to see one of her staff members struggle to find 10 people to participate in a game pool side on the last sea day. The piece de resistance, however, was the failure by anyone associated with NCL to apologize / make things right when members of the CD staff accidentally spilled a full glass of wine on my wife. No offer to replace the drink, no offer to clean the damage clothing, no assistance in cleaning up, not even an apology. I spoke with guest services, who contacted the assistant CD, Sandra. I was told she would be down to talk to us in "5 minutes." 5 became 15, and 15 became, "She cannot make it down, but she will call you in your cabin tomorrow morning at 8." In a word, unacceptable. With cruising as our vacation of choice, I can safely say that we will cross NCL off of our list when considering future cruises.

Issues Dampen A Spring Break Cruise

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by nrosenb

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Family Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was a large-scale family vacation - we had 8 people on board, occupying 4 cabins. Of the 8, 4 were newbies to the cruise industry, and 1 had been on 2 prior cruises. For the people in my immediate family, I would qualify us as "seasoned cruisers." In saying this, I mean that we know what to realistically expect, having been on approximately 10 cruises, across all of the major family lines. I will break this down into 3 sections - the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

THE GOOD: The featured entertainment was terrific. We attended 3 shows in the main theater. While dance shows are not necessarily my thing, Burn the Floor was a very solid production. The dancing was terrific, and the featured musicians (guitar, bass, percussion) were all exceptional. The production of Priscilla was Broadway quality in production value, costume, acting and singing. Mind you that this is coming from an individual who lives in NYC, and is comparing it to real Broadway productions. The "Epic Beatles" were sensational. We had the opportunity to sit front row at their show in the Epic Theater, and it was fabulous. I regret that we could not see other shows in the Cavern Club because it was IMPOSSIBLE to get in. The Dueling Pianos (Howl at the Moon) were also terrific.

THE BAD: Some of this has already been said, but it needs to be restated. The layout of the room (we had a "suite") is just strange. The shop only has 2 elevator banks - fore and aft. Any large ship we have ever been on in the past has 3 banks. This led to extended waits for the elevator. The main pools are way too small for a ship this size. Factor in that twice during the cruise one pool had to be shut down, and it amplifies the situation. There was way too much smoking on board, both in the casino and on the pool deck. Unless you had prior reservations, it was IMPOSSIBLE to get a seat at ANY of the "specialty" dining or show experiences. This included all of the restaurants, the "Cirque Dreams and Diner", and the "Escape the Big Top" event.

THE DOWNRIGHT UGLY: And ugly it was. We had purchased all of our travel arrangements through NCL. I found out at 1:30AM on Saturday, April 20 that all of our flights had been cancelled. NCL's emergency travel service could not place us on a flight anywhere near NYC. After I spoke with a representative for Delta, I was informed about options out of Hartford. I promptly reached back out to NCL, and they booked us on the flight out of Hartford. I should not have to be the one handling the alternate travel arrangements, and the, "Sorry, we cannot do anything to help you" attitude didn't really fly with me (no pun intended). There were issues with our return flights as well. Guest services assured us that only 2 people in my party would be returning via Hartford. Delta had other thoughts in mind, and this led to some issues with the kids we were traveling with.

The cruise director, Mandy, and her staff did a poor job of engaging the guests. It was disheartening to see one of her staff members struggle to find 10 people to participate in a game pool side on the last sea day. The piece de resistance, however, was the failure by anyone associated with NCL to apologize / make things right when members of the CD staff accidentally spilled a full glass of wine on my wife. No offer to replace the drink, no offer to clean the damage clothing, no assistance in cleaning up, not even an apology. I spoke with guest services, who contacted the assistant CD, Sandra. I was told she would be down to talk to us in "5 minutes." 5 became 15, and 15 became, "She cannot make it down, but she will call you in your cabin tomorrow morning at 8." In a word, unacceptable.

With cruising as our vacation of choice, I can safely say that we will cross NCL off of our list when considering future cruises.
nrosenb’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Ages 10 to 12
Service
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Cabin Review

Family Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M4 11087
Strange layout. Lots of storage space though.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins