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Norwegian Epic Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
4,228 Reviews

Great itinerary and superb staff

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by cookingfor5

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Inside

We chose this cruise for the itinerary and ship size (not too big but amenities of a larger ship). The itinerary was excellent, although we missed a port (Bonaire) and were annoyed with “after final payment” changes.

Tip: We flew into San Juan a day early and stayed right in the Airport Hotel. Sooooo convenient and only needed 1 taxi ride directly to the port the next day. It was clean and had an excellent complimentary breakfast, and hotel staff/manager was great help.

Embarkation and Debarkation were better than any other cruise we’ve been on. No lines at all.

Ship: I found the layout fine. The casino was huge but we could avoid it by taking a different floor. The smoke wasn’t ridiculous but it would be better if the casino was more contained since it does open up to the center of the ship. The ship was clean and well maintained. Deck space on sea days is definitely an issue. There is not enough space for 4,000 people. We dealt with this by booking the Thermal Spa for the week. Worth every penny. Great amenities including saunas overlooking the ocean, jetted pool, and a private outdoor lounge area.

Tip: booking the Thermal Suite cost less than upgrading to a regular balcony. By booking an interior and the Thermal Suite, we had outdoor space that was quiet and great amenities to stay relaxed plus an uncrowded heated pool.

Cabin: we actually really loved the inside cabin set up. I was worried that they would be too small, but there was ample storage. I liked a separate shower and toilet. The shower was the biggest I’ve ever had at sea. Only problem was the lighting is WAY too dark. It was difficult to see to put on makeup.

Dining: very pleased with the dining options. Only bad meal was in the main dining room for lunch. All specialty dining was excellent, main dining dinner was good, and breakfast and lunch in the buffet was great. The service was excellent. Smiles from everyone, even when we could tell they were under staffed and working hard.

Activities and Entertainment: lots to do. The funnel slide was super fun although it was busy so we only did it on embarkation without a wait. Rock climbing wall was good size and sport court was nice. We even played shuffle board and ping pong. The theatre shows were very good but not for the easily offended. Unfortunately we could not see some of the other shows because the venue space was way too small. There were lots of trivia and game shows we enjoyed. Plus dance classes and a fun escape room that all was free. No need to pay for entertainment to keep busy.

Shore Excursions:

Aruba took excursion with a local company called ABC Excursions. Excellent company and great price. saw EVERYTHING in one day and included lunch.

Curacao ship excursion to the Hato Caves and City Tour. Professional and comfortable. Caves were interesting. We would have liked more time to shop in town but they did the best they could with time constraints. It is a beautiful city to explore walking distance from the port.

St. Lucia best excursion with the ship! Took a catamaran cruise “between the Pitons”. Got to snorkel, take pictures, and dance on the boat. Clean bathrooms too! Highlight was that this was a late port so we got to see the sunset on the way back to port. Gorgeous island views. Definitely recommend.

St. Kitts taxis are easily organized and accessible so no need to book a beach excursion through the ship for double the cost! We like snorkeling, so we went to Regae Beach Bar on Cockleshell Beach ($14 pp taxi ride + $20 for 2 beach chairs and an umbrella). Felt very authentic Caribbean and had good snorkeling. We saw star fish and a huge sting ray. Left time for shopping.

San Juan we booked ship excursion to the Rainforest that included the airport transfer. It was a long drive but absolutely beautiful with great views. Norwegian did a great job with picking excursion companies.


cookingfor5's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Inside

Great location choice to be close to the Spa and fitness center that we used every day. I like being at the end of a hallway because it isn’t hard to find your cabin and was close to the stairs and elevators. Restaurants are on this end of the ship too. Comfortable beds but could use better lighting in the vanity area!


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Rainforest

Great way to get a transfer to the airport and do some site seeing in beautiful scenery.

View All 129 Rainforest Reviews
Island Tour

ABC Tours was amazing. Loved the all day Ultimate Jeep Safari. Natural Pool is a must and loved snorkeling at a Baby Beach. They also served a very good lunch.

View All 248 Island Tour Reviews
Cave Tour

Would have liked more time. The Hato Cave was interesting and the City Tour was beautiful, but it would have been nice to shop.

View All 81 Cave Tour Reviews
Catamaran Day Sail

Late in port made this a sunset cruise. Gorgeous island and fun seeing the Pitons.

View All 87 Catamaran Day Sail Reviews
Beach

Just took a taxi to Cockleshell Beach. Ask for Regae Beach Var if you want to snorkel.

View All 171 Beach Reviews

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cookingfor5
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