Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by shiroisakana
- Sail Date: October 2019
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
- The app to message people around the ship was $10.
- Most of the restaurants you had to pay for ($40-$50/person)
- The best entertainment you had to pay for.
- All drinks except water you had to pay for. (other ships I have sailed with let you get a soda or lemonade or something similar with your dinner.)
2. Daily Disembarking - it was difficult to know what time we could begin disembarking each day. We knew when we arrived at the port, but not when we could disembark. And each day it was in a different location on the ship. It would have been helpful to have listed that on the daily newsletter, in the app, and with signs throughout the ship.
3. Laundry - I really wish they had washing machines we could use on the ship! That is a big deal for me when I choose who to sail with. I did find out that we could do a bulk laundry service near the end of our time on board (which I was NOT able to learn through ANY of the NCL information, I learned about it through Cruise Critic). I did use the service while sailing, and it was a good service. We sailed Wednesday to Wednesday. We had to put the laundry out by Friday morning and it was returned Sunday/Monday (2 of our cabins received it Monday, 3 of our cabins received it on Monday.) The bulk service is a discount from their high prices - everything you can fit in the bag for $20. The bag is just smaller than a regular pillowcase, but it is a flat paper bag. I used a suggestion I found on Cruise critic, where I brought with me a large garbage sack, put all of my clothes in it and then slid the plastic bag into the paper bag. It helped because I was able to close the garbage sack with the draw string and then I didn't have to close the paper bag. It was slick! The laundry came back folded in a small basket waiting for us in our room.
4. The App was NOT worth the $10! All it did was allow us to text one another. They didn't use it to push information to us! This app could have let us know about disembarking times and locations, when we need to be back on the ship, it could have showed me my excursion details and my dinner reservation locations and times. But it didn't. It wasn't interactive at all. If you have a large group and need to communicate, then I guess it's worth paying for, but other than letting you text, there is a static map of the ship and that's about it.
5. Dining - MAKE RESERVATIONS EVEN FOR THE MAIN DINING ROOMS! The main dining rooms get really busy, so if you want to eat at a certain time, make sure you make reservations for your party well in advance, otherwise you will wait in a huge line for a table to open up! I really didn't like the "Free Style" dining. On other cruises with set dining times, the waiters got to know our table, our habits, our drinks, our favorite appetizers, etc.. and had things ready and waiting when we arrived. With Free Style cruising, each dining experience had different waiters, so we didn't get the personal attention I've received on ALL of my other cruises! Additionally, since we were a party of 9, had I not known that I needed reservations, dinner would have been a nightmare!
6. Stateroom Layouts. I stayed in 8149. We were lucky we had odd numbered state rooms because that side of the ship was able to view most of the port coast lines! My party stayed in cabins 8149, 8155, 8157, 8159, 8161. The layouts for 8149, 8157, and 8161 were all the same. The toilets were next to the bed and the couch was on the far side of the room next to the balcony. The walkway was so tight that two people couldn't pass the bed without one of them either getting onto the bed or walking to the other end of the room. The layouts for 8155 and 8159 had the bed at the far end of the room and the wider space to move up front in front of the couch and by the bathrooms. It's a MUCH better layout!! The bathrooms don't have a door. The toilet and shower area are frost covered glass enclosed on either side of the door into the cabin. So if someone knocks on the door and you answer it while someone is using the toilet or showering, then there isn't much privacy. This area is separated from the main living area by a curtain. The sink was in front of my bed, so when I used the facilities during the night, it woke up others sleeping in the room. I've stayed in interior cabins before with more room! This "suite" was smaller than other rooms I've stayed in! (minus the balcony of course.)
7. Embarkation and Disembarkation were SUPER smooth. It was one of the easiest I've done (I've sailed 7 times.)
Overall the ship was nice, the staff was wonderful, and the food was terrific. But I think I'd rather not sail with NCL again. If I did, the price would have to be a steal to get me to go through the headaches again.
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My parents-in-laws are larger people, had the same cabin layout as I did (8161), and my OLD father-in-law had to crawl across the bed (with a new knee replacement) to get from one side of the room to the other to get around his wife (who uses a walker). It was ridiculous!
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