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This was a last-minute switch when the Oasis of the Seas was hit by a crane in dry dock. I was traveling “solo” with my two sons, 12 and 16. The moment I found out the sailing had been cancelled, I called and found that there were still a few staterooms on the Epic sailing out of Port Canaveral that weekend. We flew out from Boston and arrived in Cocoa Beach around 2 am. We stayed at the Sheraton Four point which is built in to the RonJon surf complex, and was two blocks from the beach. We’d planned to have a whole day here but the Epic sailed on Saturday rather than the Sunday that the Oasis was scheduled to depart. Across the street were a CVS and a Walgreens, so in addition to sunglasses and water shoes from RonJon, we were able to get all the last minute items. We’d rented with Hertz, which returned a few miles up the road and took the shuttle to the port. It was cool to see the differences between Carnival, Disney, and NCL as passengers were dropped off on all three lines. Embarkation was pretty smooth—a long, yet constantly moving line. We’d all worn our swimsuits under our clothes so we could hit the pools and water slides first thing once aboard. The kids found the sports court (a little confusing because you had to go through the “adults-only” SpiceH2O bar to find it. I finished up booking entertainment (booking so late didn’t leave many openings in the online schedule). I got a spot at the Cirque Dreams show that night and for the Escape Room later in the week. By the time that was all set, they’d announced that the rooms were available. So we dropped our stuff and headed to the Garden Cafe, which was clearing out in anticipation of the muster drill. Figuring out where to go was a little chaotic-there was a code on your key card, but no indication of where the code group met. We figured it out and eventually got all the information. My son loved the cirque show—later in the cruise he commented that he’d do anything to see it again. It did, however, make for a long night with dinner and the performance. I think I may have missed the opportunity to get the kids launched into the teen program and the kids program. They weren’t thrilled about having to be in two different programs, so they never took advantage of them. Overall, we enjoyed the food. The kids loved the buffet and access to the soft-serve machines. We hit Moderno, Teppanyaki, Le Bistro, and La Cucina as part of our 4-meal specialty dining package. While the food was generally great, the portions were on the small side, and the waitstaff were pretty curt: nothing above taking the order and delivering the food. Le Bistro was the biggest offender here—really rushed, unhelpful staff. We also tried Shanghai’s and Taste for the included restaurants. Shanghai doesn’t accept reservations so you get a buzzer—which went off nearly an hour later. The food was good, but the individual portions were small. We had reservations for Taste, but it was pretty much the same experience. Long waits for drinks and big gaps between courses. Altogether the restaurants were kind of a miss—I think the kids would have preferred the buffet and I didn’t think they delivered on the time and extra expense invested to get a quality experience. It was, however, easy to get good food throughout the day. I was especially fond of the tacos served outside during the afternoon. Also, Wasabi’s was excellent. Even though it took a while, the rolls that came out were gorgeous and delicious. The bars below deck were great—Maltings, in particular, had great service and awesome drinks. Poolside bars were generally slammed and the basic drinks were too watery (margaritas) or way too sweet for my taste (strawberry daiquiris/piña colada’s). The ice bar was fun. (Yes even with the kids—they have alcohol-free options). The only obscure part seemed to be figuring out how to book this experience—when it was open, they took reservations, but it’s not clear you could do this when they were closed or in advance online. One upgrade that was really worth it was the thermal suite. The views from the saunas and the back deck were great and the ability to take a relaxed, full-sized shower was a good escape from the kids. The staff kept it immaculate and well stocked. The entertainment was stellar. Priscilla was clever, fun, familiar, and daring. Burn the Floor was also stunning. I tried one of the cha-cha classes and it was cool to see the instructors in action at breakneck speed. Poolside singers were fun, personable, and talented. I enjoyed the live music found all over as well. “Howl at the Moon” was a riot. Mandy, the cruise director, was everywhere, always pumping up the crowd and making things fun. Her staff did a great job with all the evening parties. Afterwards, Bliss was a great way to meet other vacationers enjoying their evenings. We tried our hand surfing in Tortola—beautiful beach. We went Scuba diving in St Thomas. Unfortunately we were only in port until 1:30 pm so didn’t get to do any more exploring Great Stirrup Cay was nice. It was impressive to see how hard the staff worked to keep everything clean and well stocked. Really enjoyed the Taco bar—we didn’t make it to the larger buffet—but it was a very relaxing day. Disembarkation was chaos. It was pretty clear that most guests packed up, headed for the buffet, then headed out at approximately the same time. There were several intertwined lines that were constantly being cut, etc. once you were through though, it was really no big deal. We spent the remainder of the day at the Kennedy Space Center and the following day at Discovery Cove. Overall, an excellent vacation.

Great food, Great Shows, but too many passengers

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by ArlingtonMatt

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Family Balcony
This was a last-minute switch when the Oasis of the Seas was hit by a crane in dry dock. I was traveling “solo” with my two sons, 12 and 16. The moment I found out the sailing had been cancelled, I called and found that there were still a few staterooms on the Epic sailing out of Port Canaveral that weekend. We flew out from Boston and arrived in Cocoa Beach around 2 am. We stayed at the Sheraton Four point which is built in to the RonJon surf complex, and was two blocks from the beach. We’d planned to have a whole day here but the Epic sailed on Saturday rather than the Sunday that the Oasis was scheduled to depart. Across the street were a CVS and a Walgreens, so in addition to sunglasses and water shoes from RonJon, we were able to get all the last minute items.

We’d rented with Hertz, which returned a few miles up the road and took the shuttle to the port. It was cool to see the differences between Carnival, Disney, and NCL as passengers were dropped off on all three lines.

Embarkation was pretty smooth—a long, yet constantly moving line. We’d all worn our swimsuits under our clothes so we could hit the pools and water slides first thing once aboard. The kids found the sports court (a little confusing because you had to go through the “adults-only” SpiceH2O bar to find it. I finished up booking entertainment (booking so late didn’t leave many openings in the online schedule). I got a spot at the Cirque Dreams show that night and for the Escape Room later in the week.

By the time that was all set, they’d announced that the rooms were available. So we dropped our stuff and headed to the Garden Cafe, which was clearing out in anticipation of the muster drill. Figuring out where to go was a little chaotic-there was a code on your key card, but no indication of where the code group met. We figured it out and eventually got all the information.

My son loved the cirque show—later in the cruise he commented that he’d do anything to see it again. It did, however, make for a long night with dinner and the performance. I think I may have missed the opportunity to get the kids launched into the teen program and the kids program. They weren’t thrilled about having to be in two different programs, so they never took advantage of them.

Overall, we enjoyed the food. The kids loved the buffet and access to the soft-serve machines. We hit Moderno, Teppanyaki, Le Bistro, and La Cucina as part of our 4-meal specialty dining package. While the food was generally great, the portions were on the small side, and the waitstaff were pretty curt: nothing above taking the order and delivering the food. Le Bistro was the biggest offender here—really rushed, unhelpful staff. We also tried Shanghai’s and Taste for the included restaurants. Shanghai doesn’t accept reservations so you get a buzzer—which went off nearly an hour later. The food was good, but the individual portions were small. We had reservations for Taste, but it was pretty much the same experience. Long waits for drinks and big gaps between courses. Altogether the restaurants were kind of a miss—I think the kids would have preferred the buffet and I didn’t think they delivered on the time and extra expense invested to get a quality experience. It was, however, easy to get good food throughout the day. I was especially fond of the tacos served outside during the afternoon. Also, Wasabi’s was excellent. Even though it took a while, the rolls that came out were gorgeous and delicious.

The bars below deck were great—Maltings, in particular, had great service and awesome drinks. Poolside bars were generally slammed and the basic drinks were too watery (margaritas) or way too sweet for my taste (strawberry daiquiris/piña colada’s). The ice bar was fun. (Yes even with the kids—they have alcohol-free options). The only obscure part seemed to be figuring out how to book this experience—when it was open, they took reservations, but it’s not clear you could do this when they were closed or in advance online.

One upgrade that was really worth it was the thermal suite. The views from the saunas and the back deck were great and the ability to take a relaxed, full-sized shower was a good escape from the kids. The staff kept it immaculate and well stocked.

The entertainment was stellar. Priscilla was clever, fun, familiar, and daring. Burn the Floor was also stunning. I tried one of the cha-cha classes and it was cool to see the instructors in action at breakneck speed. Poolside singers were fun, personable, and talented. I enjoyed the live music found all over as well. “Howl at the Moon” was a riot.

Mandy, the cruise director, was everywhere, always pumping up the crowd and making things fun. Her staff did a great job with all the evening parties. Afterwards, Bliss was a great way to meet other vacationers enjoying their evenings.

We tried our hand surfing in Tortola—beautiful beach.

We went Scuba diving in St Thomas. Unfortunately we were only in port until 1:30 pm so didn’t get to do any more exploring

Great Stirrup Cay was nice. It was impressive to see how hard the staff worked to keep everything clean and well stocked. Really enjoyed the Taco bar—we didn’t make it to the larger buffet—but it was a very relaxing day.

Disembarkation was chaos. It was pretty clear that most guests packed up, headed for the buffet, then headed out at approximately the same time. There were several intertwined lines that were constantly being cut, etc. once you were through though, it was really no big deal.

We spent the remainder of the day at the Kennedy Space Center and the following day at Discovery Cove.

Overall, an excellent vacation.
ArlingtonMatt’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Family Balcony
Cabin B4 14000
Cabin was fine for the three of us. The couch was a bit longer than the queen/twin bed, so I slept on it. The kids kept commenting on how comfy the bed was and why didn’t they have pillows like that at home?
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews