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I promised myself I would write a review after this cruise after reading so many negative reviews before my trip. Is the Epic really that bad? No it is not. Just for context my husband and I are in our mid-50’s and have been on at least a dozen cruises. This was our 3rd NCL trip. Embarkation was a breeze – we went later in the afternoon around 3pm and walked right on with no line at all. Staff was very friendly and helpful, everyone smiled and said hello. A few minor requests we had were attended to promptly. We were very surprised that for a large ship, we did not feel like things were far apart. Yes the ship is missing elevators in the middle, but we did not seem to do more walking than we have on smaller ships. After all that food, it is good to walk as much as possible so we have no issues with that. Another bonus is there is a ton of public washrooms, most of the time, I had them to myself. Food was decent – on par with our other cruises. We had the bonus package which gave us 5 specialty dining options. We enjoyed Cagney’s and Teppanyaki the best. The main dining room options were good, no issues. With only one sea day, it was unfortunate that the main dining room was only open one day for lunch. I would have preferred more options as we are not fans of buffets. O’Sheehans was also very popular and sometimes had a wait time. (Tip – order your drink before you go – it was often a long wait time for drinks from the wait staff). It was disappointing that the ship did not stock more beer variety. We are Canadian and enjoy good beer :) On our last NCL cruise we enjoyed Pilsner Urquell but this ship did not have it. We had a forward balcony cabin. We were so far forward that our balcony was part of the hull and not glass. It was not in description of the room, I would have liked to have known that. We did not have an issue with the bathroom layout. It is awkward but not a deal breaker. It would be better to have the configuration with the bed next to the balcony because it would give you more room by the sink, that part was tricky with the bed there, no extra room. In addition, the lighting for the mirrors was not sufficient. One little LED light is not enough for shaving/makeup etc. Otherwise the cabin was comfortable. One of the reasons we like to cruise with NCL is for the entertainment. We enjoy going to shows and out to dance sometimes as well. The theme nights were very popular, I wish they did 70’s and 80’s more than once. The glow party (formerly white night) was a hit as well. We did enjoy the variety very much. Loved the Cirque show and Burn the Floor. Priscilla was very well done but not something I would want to see again and not something that will appeal to everyone. The magician and comedians were also very good. Loved the Epic Beatles, very good cover band and a lot of fun but the Cavern Club venue is horrible. It is small and the seating is very limited. There are large couches that seat two people – if they replaced with chairs – there would be room for 6-8 people. The second night we went 40 min early to get a seat and it was already standing room only. We were not about to go 1 hour before – it is just a cover band people! On another night, another guest very rudely grabbed a chair from me and slammed it down. I blame NCL for creating this situation where people just get frustrated in such a small space. Who cares if it is the original size! This is a very popular entertainment option – create a proper venue for it with adequate seating. They also did not utilize the Bliss lounge at all, they could have had a lot of events there instead of the atrium – better seating if they did the Beatles there as well. It was very underutilized not sure why. Yes the pools are small but they usually are on a cruise ship so I am not sure why there are complaints about that. If you want to hang out in a big pool – go to a resort! There was plenty of space and available deck chairs (away from the pool area). We also found a spot in the back in H2O or at the front on deck 18 which was super quiet and a great place to relax with only a handful of people there. It was a busy itinerary with only one sea day out of 11 days but the southern Caribbean does not disappoint. If you can, spend some time before or after in San Juan. There is lots to explore. Overall we enjoyed the EPIC and had a great time. I would have no issues recommending this ship to others.

No need to worry - the Epic is a great ship

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by jojo99

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
I promised myself I would write a review after this cruise after reading so many negative reviews before my trip. Is the Epic really that bad? No it is not. Just for context my husband and I are in our mid-50’s and have been on at least a dozen cruises. This was our 3rd NCL trip.

Embarkation was a breeze – we went later in the afternoon around 3pm and walked right on with no line at all.

Staff was very friendly and helpful, everyone smiled and said hello. A few minor requests we had were attended to promptly.

We were very surprised that for a large ship, we did not feel like things were far apart. Yes the ship is missing elevators in the middle, but we did not seem to do more walking than we have on smaller ships. After all that food, it is good to walk as much as possible so we have no issues with that. Another bonus is there is a ton of public washrooms, most of the time, I had them to myself.

Food was decent – on par with our other cruises. We had the bonus package which gave us 5 specialty dining options. We enjoyed Cagney’s and Teppanyaki the best. The main dining room options were good, no issues. With only one sea day, it was unfortunate that the main dining room was only open one day for lunch. I would have preferred more options as we are not fans of buffets. O’Sheehans was also very popular and sometimes had a wait time. (Tip – order your drink before you go – it was often a long wait time for drinks from the wait staff).

It was disappointing that the ship did not stock more beer variety. We are Canadian and enjoy good beer :) On our last NCL cruise we enjoyed Pilsner Urquell but this ship did not have it.

We had a forward balcony cabin. We were so far forward that our balcony was part of the hull and not glass. It was not in description of the room, I would have liked to have known that. We did not have an issue with the bathroom layout. It is awkward but not a deal breaker. It would be better to have the configuration with the bed next to the balcony because it would give you more room by the sink, that part was tricky with the bed there, no extra room. In addition, the lighting for the mirrors was not sufficient. One little LED light is not enough for shaving/makeup etc. Otherwise the cabin was comfortable.

One of the reasons we like to cruise with NCL is for the entertainment. We enjoy going to shows and out to dance sometimes as well. The theme nights were very popular, I wish they did 70’s and 80’s more than once. The glow party (formerly white night) was a hit as well. We did enjoy the variety very much. Loved the Cirque show and Burn the Floor. Priscilla was very well done but not something I would want to see again and not something that will appeal to everyone. The magician and comedians were also very good.

Loved the Epic Beatles, very good cover band and a lot of fun but the Cavern Club venue is horrible. It is small and the seating is very limited. There are large couches that seat two people – if they replaced with chairs – there would be room for 6-8 people. The second night we went 40 min early to get a seat and it was already standing room only. We were not about to go 1 hour before – it is just a cover band people! On another night, another guest very rudely grabbed a chair from me and slammed it down. I blame NCL for creating this situation where people just get frustrated in such a small space. Who cares if it is the original size! This is a very popular entertainment option – create a proper venue for it with adequate seating.

They also did not utilize the Bliss lounge at all, they could have had a lot of events there instead of the atrium – better seating if they did the Beatles there as well. It was very underutilized not sure why.

Yes the pools are small but they usually are on a cruise ship so I am not sure why there are complaints about that. If you want to hang out in a big pool – go to a resort! There was plenty of space and available deck chairs (away from the pool area). We also found a spot in the back in H2O or at the front on deck 18 which was super quiet and a great place to relax with only a handful of people there.

It was a busy itinerary with only one sea day out of 11 days but the southern Caribbean does not disappoint. If you can, spend some time before or after in San Juan. There is lots to explore. Overall we enjoyed the EPIC and had a great time. I would have no issues recommending this ship to others.
jojo99’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BF
Cabin had bed by the sink - would have preferred the other configuration. Balcony is in the hull of the ship - no glass.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins