Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by blancoryan
- Sail Date: September 2019
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Family Balcony
Firstly, this was only our 2nd cruise. The first was on the Celebrity Silhouette. If it wasn't for that cruise, we would think that Norwegian was pretty good. But Celebrity blows Norwegian out of the water!
There were SO MANY stupid little annoying things on Norwegian that added up. When you are on vacation, you don't want to be irritated by things like the following:
-We booked a balcony room thru Norwegian. They didn't allow us to pick our room, nor have a say on where it was located. They only way to do this is to $$$ Upgrade (of course).
-As soon as we booked the trip, Norwegian immediately started sending "upgrade now" emails. So I guess whatever you get isn't good enough.
-Most (but not all) of the employees on the ship didn't seem very happy...just going thru the motions. Chris (our room steward) was the only one on NCL that was enjoyable to chat with. This was a stark contrast to Celebrity, where it was fun to talk to the crew.
-Very Impersonal: one thing about Celebrity that is awesome is that you have a specified mealtime and table every night (although you aren't obligated to be there). You get the same two waiters every night, and they were so great and fun to be around. You also get to know your fellow cruisers, since everyone sits in the same spot. This made our dinnertime something to look forward to and a great part of the entire experience. NCL is not like that at all. While the food is great and the wait staff provides great service, it's more like going to a random restaurant to eat.
-They tell you you need to make a reservation for a specialty restaurant. This can be done on your TV or the touchscreen outside of the elevator. But then when you do that, it says nothing is available. Then we went to the restaurant anyway, only to get hassled by the gal at the podium because we didn't have one. You would think it's because the restaurant was completely booked, but it wasn't. There were tons of empty seats when we got there, and plenty when we were done.
-Shows: every night there is a great show in the Epic Theater. But for one of the shows, "reservations" were required. This was similar to the restaurant fiasco above. This time, both shows were shown to be "sold out." Bummer, right? But if you get there 10 minutes early, you can get on the "standby list", which we did. But then they let us right in?! It turns out the show was NOT sold out after all. There were about 100 extra seats (maybe 20% of the theater was empty). Why would NCL do this? Do they not want people to see the shows? Are they just trying to annoy their paying customers? Well they did!
-Repeating of shows: for the 7 days cruise, the 5 shows were all pretty great. But the last 2 days had the first 2 shows repeating themselves already! Did they run out of performers? It was like groundhog day.
-The "cruise director" Mandy seems pretty fake. Not sincere. She says nearly the same thing every time she makes an announcement or talks on the mic...like a broken record.
-Embarkation: there was always a long line to get back on the ship. They are very inefficient with the security screening. Part of it was lack of enough x-ray machines, part was employees not caring about a speedy boarding process (standing around talking to each other).
I would surely not cruise Norwegian again. We felt like a number, not a customer. There are surely better cruise ship companies out there who would make sure the little things don't get in the way of a great vacation!
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