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Norwegian Epic Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
4208 reviews
24 Awards

Good Time with Friends

Review for Norwegian Epic to the Caribbean
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Spyder49
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

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Additional details

Sail Date: Jan 2022
Cabin: Aft-Facing Penthouse with Balcony
Listening to Don Juan play the piano and sing songs from the 50's, 60's and 70's.
The Haven Restaurant
Shete Boka National Park on Curacao
Willemstad, Curacao
Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge -Willemstad
General pool deck and entertainment.
Hilton Caribe Hotel used by NCL in San Juan. Built in 1949 on 17 acres which looks great. However, the rooms need serious maintenance. We had no hot water for two days during our stay. I would not stay here again.

This was our first cruise on NCL. There were three other couples in our group. All of us were in the Haven which is the only way to go on a ship like this. Guests in the Haven have a private restaurant, a private pool, reserved seats at the main theater show and other amenities. For our cruise, there were only 1000 passengers on a ship with a 4100-passenger capacity. This was great, but I am sure it would be a totally different experience if the ship was at capacity. NCL limits capacity to 65% during Covid. Our service was exceptional. The entertainment was great which is something NCL is known for. Our meals were mixed. We had very good meals in the Haven restaurant. Our meals in Le Bistro and La Cucina were excellent. My least favorite meal was in Shanghai's. I was expecting something like P.F. Chang's, and it wasn't even close. This was a seven day cruise going to Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Lucia and St. Kitts. We could not get into St. Lucia due to high winds. Curacao was our favorite island. I was not impressed with our excursions. What we enjoyed most was the Sheta Boka National Park and walking around Willemstad.

I would book NCL for the entertainment and the Haven experience. The ship is the destination. We have a cruise booked on the NCL Prima when it comes through Galveston, Texas in 2023 on its way to San Juan for the winter. I prefer a ship with 2500 or fewer passengers most of the time, but with the reduced number of passengers sailing, it was a nice experience.

Cabin Review

Aft-Facing Penthouse with Balcony

We had a 2-bedroom suite on the top deck. The pool and restaurant are on deck 16. There were high winds two nights during our cruise, and there was a lot of noise. Not sure what caused the noise, but friends on deck 16 said they heard nothing. We enjoyed this cabin. When we checked-in, the main toilet would not flush, but it was promptly fixed. The thermostat in the spare bedroom did not work. Our cabin steward said it had been reported, but parts were not available. The cabin was comfortable, and except for wind noise, it was quiet. If I booked this cruise again, I would probably get a cabin on deck 16.

Port Reviews

Aruba

Took the excursion to De Palm Island for snorkeling. High winds and rough water made snorkeling almost impossible. Spent our entire time lounging under a cabana. We could have stayed on the ship and done this.

Bonaire

Short stop in Bonaire. Ship departed at 1:00 pm. We had an ATV 4x4 tour planned, but it was cancelled. Never got off the ship. Bonaire is known for its scuba diving.

Curacao

This was the most developed and nicest island in my opinion. We took the "Let's Take a Selfie" tour which included Sheta Boka National Park, Hato Caves and the town of Willemstad. The Hato Caves were a waste of time. The Sheta Boka National Park was scenic and a good photo opportunity. Also enjoyed walking the town of Willemsted.

St. Kitts (Port Zante)

Lots of poverty. The train tour is the #1 rated thing to do, but I would recommend a sailing only excursion. The train ride is terrible and most of what you see are the signs of the poverty on the island.

San Juan

Enjoyed two days in San Juan. Toured Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo de San Cristobal. Avoid the restaurants around the port and Old San Juan. They are tourist traps with high prices and mediocre food. We were booked at the Hilton Caribe Hotel by NCL, but I think the hotels along Condado beach and the Parque area are a better choice.

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