EPIC 10/30/10 Family Cruise ... Loved it!: Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by chiapet

Norwegian Epic 5
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EPIC 10/30/10 Family Cruise ... Loved it!

Sail Date: October 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami

* DH, DW, 2 DS (12 & 7) from South Jersey

* traveling with friends & family ages 5-55

* lots of previous cruise experience


La Quinta Inn & Suites - Miami Airport East

+ clean & inexpensive hotel with comfortable bedding

+ FREE airport & pier shuttles

+ FREE breakfast with lots of choices

+ Bennigan's within walking distance

~ 2 double beds were small

~ noisy from planes & HVAC

~ temperature changes from A/C cycling

~ lines/waits for FREE pier shuttle so we took $24 taxi instead


Terminal C at Port of Miami

+ NO wait at x-rays or check-in upon 10:30am arrival

+ seated waiting area with water & OJ offered

+ no boarding #s but seated according to arrival time

+ boarding promptly started at NOON

~ 2 possible terminals B or C More depending on your cabin location/deck

~ usual welcome-aboard glass of champagne not offered


Family Balcony 14077 (cat. B1)

+ great location near Kids Crew, Buffet, Pool, Spa/Gym, Elevators/Stairs

+ lots of room for storage esp. 2 very deep drawers under the sofabed

+ 2 beds pushed together seemed even larger than normal

+ lots of fluffy pillows & comfortable bedding

+ standard balcony seemed deeper than on other ships

+ had connecting int. door & balcony partition door also opened

+ roomy showers & excellent water pressure/temperature

+ tiny magnets on curtains ensured no early AM light

+ large flat screen with interactive iTV to see acct, book shows, view shorex, etc.

+ full-sized hair dryer & large medicine cabinet w/ mirror

+ large basket under sink kept wet towels out of the way

~ very hard to maneuver around cabin with 4 people

~ ceiling pullman bunk bed had sharp corners where kids hit their heads

~ sink was indeed small so remember to not turn water up too much

~ toilets were loud esp. in the middle of the night

~ shower area caused a problem when someone was at the door

~ door clings we brought for privacy didn't stick to the frosted shower/toilet doors

~ lighting was dim & some switches were hidden so look under cabinets

~ our interior connecting door eliminated a section of possible storage space


Garden Buffet

+ action stations reduced lines

+ so many options incl. Indian & Chinese

+ 8 different ice cream/sherbet flavors to choose from

+ also had soft-serve in addition to regular ice cream

+ plenty of seating esp. in the front of the ship so walk around

+ lots of omelet stations to reduce wait time

~ some items repetitive but there were still lots of options

~ breakfast items were the same every day

~ required cover-up so don't wear your swimsuit in

Great Outdoors Buffet

+ great location for access while at pool

+ soft-serve ice cream easily accessible here

+ lots of outdoor seating some shaded & was close to pool action

+ 2 locations to get drinks were close to the pool too

~ 2 buffets usually had pizzas/calzones, sandwiches & salads

~ could have used some variety

O'Sheehan's (24/7)

+ burgers were excellent here

+ great for late night munchies

+ plenty of seating always available

+ eat & bowl here at the same time

+ watch big screen in atrium while eating here too

+ could request take-out to bring back to cabin

~ limited hi-top seating with views of big screen

~ wings were a little soggy & not very crispy

~ could use more options on the menu

Manhattan Room (MDR)

+ usually had availability even if walking in w/o reservation

+ rotating menu choices were pretty good

+ loved having 2 different types of lamb here

+ Tues. night lobster was excellent

+ dancing was offered here with a band during dinner

~ steak was average

~ could only make reservations up to 6:30 & after 8:30

Taste (MDR)

+ smaller & more intimate

+ menus were similar to Manhattan Room MDR

~ harder to get a reservation but walk-ins were available

~ could only make reservations up to 6:30 & after 8:30

Moderno Brazilian Steakhouse ($18)

+ nice location next to Cagney's & above Manhattan Room

+ 8-10 different types of meats served tableside

+ extensive salad bar w/ an excellent chowder

+ served with 4 different sides

+ dessert choices were light & complimented well

~ 2 sauces offered needed more seasoning

~ meats also lacked seasoning but were good

Le Bistro French ($20)

+ french onion soup, escargot, scallops, bouillabaisse were all great

+ same great Le Bistro consistency as on other ships


Blue Man Group

+ 7pm show on embarkation day was pretty empty

+ excellent show for kids young & old

+ 1st couple of rows were given ponchos just "in case"

+ kids loved the ponchos, show, music … everything

+ hey … it's FREE

~ some parts a little slow … but still awesome

Cirque Dreams Dinner ($20/$30)

+ premium seating buys you possible audience participation

+ excellent show for kids young & old

+ so much action it was hard to watch everything

+ optional kids menu of chicken fingers was appreciated

+ unbelievable talent esp. on ship that's moving

~ set menu with little deviation but it was adequate

Murder Mystery Lunch ($20)

+ Second City performance was good

+ eclair desserts were tasty

~ chicken was bland but extra marsala sauce made it better

~ not as much audience interaction/participation as before

~ not really for kids

~ would probably skip this next time

Nickelodeon at Sea

+ Slime Time LIVE show was enjoyable for entire family

+ get there early to be possibly get picked?

+ Nick LIVE Poolside was also enjoyable

+ Nickelodean Arts & Crafts included coloring Spongebob bandana

+ lots of Nickelodeon shows on TV in cabin but were repetitious

Second City Comedy

+ lots of shows on various nights at 7, 9 & 11 pm

+ late-night adult show was the best

+ you may reserve more than 1 night while onboard

~ improv shows were only as good as audience suggestions

Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos

+ 3 pianists were all awesome

+ rotated into 2 pianos along with 1 drum set

+ no reservations … first-come first-serve seating … so get there early

~ shared venue w/ Second City but we could have listened to them every night

Fat Cats Blues Bar

+ Roadside Louie & the Dusters were very good

+ no reservations … first-come first-serve seating

+ plenty of seating & never overly crowded

+ some space for dancing if you are so inclined

~ only 1 blues band


Pool - Waterslides

+ 4 jacuzzis in the main pool area were accommodating

+ 2 separate smallish pools in main pool area (one w/ kids 2” splash area)

+ starboard side was smoke-free (as noted on tables) … not sure about port side

+ start with purple slide which is short but entirely dark

+ green slide is longer with a portion dark & a portion open

+ 2-3 baby pools some in shade next to main pool area

~ toilet-bowl slide requires raft p/u at bottom of slide & carrying it up

Spice H20 (adult only)

+ jacuzzi & a small pool in aft of ship

+ large TV screen was huge

+ food & drinks available here

+ water always available at the side of the bar

~ crowded during sea days

~ hot with little shade

Kids Crew Program

+ great location near family balconies deck 14 forward

+ entry from either side of elevator banks

+ open continuously from 9am-1:30am every sea day

~ check-in/out process was chaotic & sometimes disorganized

~ actual activity rooms for each age group were small & cramped

Fitness Center

+ 8:45am spinning $20/class or $45/all 3 on sea days was great

+ plenty of new equipment w/ personal TV screens attached

~ most classes were an add’l fee

~ free classes were just ok

~ only 1 access thru spa at aft elevator banks on deck 14


+ lots of tables & games available

+ dealers were very friendly

~ parts of casino were in the main walkway on deck 6

Other Activities

+ bowling $5/game in Bliss or O’Sheehan’s

+ rock climbing w/ 3 difficulty levels were fun

+ rappelling included climbing up a long enclosed ladder first

+ extreme climbing up the rappelling wall was intense & very difficult

+ 2 chess tables in Bliss

+ 2 ping pong tables deck 15 aft

Cruise Consultant - Latitudes Party

+ 2 cruise consultants onboard

+ Juan was extremely friendly & nice

+ wine & usual drinks offered but could request anything from open bar

~ latitudes reception for silver & up members on Wed. night

~ reception in Fat Cats was crowded so get there early for seating

Cruise Director

+ Paul Scally was very personable & energetic

+ entertainment director Julie (a former CD) was awesome

~ CD was not as visible b/c the ship is so darn big


COSTA MAYA - Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

+ informative Mayan guide on 1 hr A/C bus ride

+ soda & water offered

~ very MUDDY when caught in a downpour … yuck!

~ fairly small site & could not climb up on any of the ruins

~ guide tried to sell us on too many souvenirs

* FREE pool at port looked nice with some shopping/bars too at docked pier

ROATAN - Mayan Reef Clear Kayak & Beach Snorkel

+ short 20 min A/C bus ride to Gumbalimba Park

+ extensive guided 2-person clear kayaking in beautifully calm ocean

+ extensive guided snorkeling off beach saw lots of fish, coral, etc…

+ extra time at small beach and/or pool for remainder of day

+ could return to ship at our leisure on continuously running shuttles

+ could add wildlife park for add’l $10

~ didn’t see anything in clear kayaks b/c we avoided the reefs

~ beers & food were fairly expensive

~ lots of little no-see-em gnats at the beach … got bit a lot

* some shopping/bars at docked pier

COZUMEL - Dune Buggy & Beach Snorkel

+ 4-person manual dune buggies right at the pier

+ drove on roads along the water with very little traffic

+ saw a good part of the island

+ beach stop included lunch w/ empanadas, nachos, taquitos … all mostly fried

+ large margaritas/drinks were only $6 & very tasty

~ did not go off-road at all

~ no snorkeling due to rough surf

* lots of shopping/bars inside & outside docked pier area within walking distance


Easy Walk-Off

+ all ship services were extended due to anticipated late arrival into MIA

+ woke up late & had a late buffet breakfast without feeling rushed

+ final statement was fine esp. with periodically checking iTV

+ 2 deck 6 mid-ship (Terminal C) or forward (Terminal B) gangways

+ easy walk-off was one of the first ones called

+ TVs in all public areas showed the groups/colors called

+ easily carried/wheeled off all our luggage with no waits at all

+ customs/immigration lines moved quickly

+ lots of taxis waiting outside for $24 ride to MIA airport from pier


* bring a swimsuit to use the pool/waterslides right after embarkation … there are no lines and the pool area is pretty empty

* check out the Bridge Viewing Room on the starboard side of deck 13 forward

* big screen in atrium with comfy chairs was great for movies & football games … you can even get FREE popcorn & coffee … but seating is limited

* tickets for reserved shows are on your keycard … keycards will be scanned upon entry to shows

* complete the liability release for yourself & kids only once when it’s not crowded … and then use your keycard for continued access to rock climbing/rappelling, giant spider web, epic bounce, etc… but you’ll need to have your keycard to participate

* first sea day was crowded at pools … get your loungers early … or walk around to the sides toward aft or go up to deck 16

* no access to deck 5 from aft elevator banks

* no access to Epic Theater on deck 5 … must use deck 6

* only access to sports deck is via pair of aft stairs above Spice H20 bar


New ship cruising with family & friends for 7 days … what’s not to like? Less

Published 11/12/10

Cabin review: B214077 Family Balcony

Connecting room door in the cabin meant that a whole section of drawers/hanging space was eliminated ... but still plenty of space. Some 4AM noises from crew setting up the deck chairs above us. Altho balcony was standard, it seemed deeper than normal. Great location near Kids Crew & elevators.

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