A week to remember: Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by esp13

Norwegian Epic 5
Member Since 2010
216 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

A week to remember

Sail Date: November 2010
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
I just returned from a week on the Epic and found it to be a wonderful ship and a wonderful cruise. I traveled with my mother and it was our third cruise together and the second on a NCL ship. Before I left, I read many of the reviews on this site and it was pretty obvious that I was either going to love or hate it, as there seems to be very little in between when it comes to the Epic. Well, I loved it.

To start with, we used NCL for the hotel in Miami the night before (we were traveling from the Northwest, so we had to arrive on Friday) as well as the transfers from the hotel to the ship and from the ship to the airport. We were booked into the Hotel Sofitel and found it to be quite nice. The transfer process was very smooth and convenient.

Once we arrived at the cruise terminal, everything was very quick and efficient and we were on board the ship in approximately 20-30 minutes. It was much quicker than any other cruise I had been on.

Once on the ship, we More walked around a bit to get a lay of the land and then stopped by the sushi bar for lunch. The sushi is ala carte, but very reasonably priced as two of ate lunch for less than $10 total. We then headed for the deck and soaked up some sun until our room was ready at a little after 2:00pm.

I know there has been a lot of discussion about the rooms, but it worked well for us. We had a regular balcony stateroom on the Deck 10. I loved the separate shower and toilet areas. Privacy was not an issue for us and the separate areas allowed both of us to get ready for dinner or start the day at the same time. The sink did splash a bit, but nothing that was difficult to deal with. The beds were comfortable, but I can see how they would be more difficult for a taller person (I'm 5'5 and my feet did hang off the end occasionally, although I don't mind that). I loved all of the storage space and while the narrow walk area between the beds and the counter does create some issues, we found them easily resolved and more than a fair trade for the other things we liked about the cabin. The only issue we had at all was with the lighting which is not great. And the switches took some getting used to as well. But, all in all, I thought the New Wave stateroom was great.

We ate at several of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed them all. Cagney's was particularly good as was Moderno (the Brazilian restaurant). Moderno has a fantastic salad bar and I would recommend taking a big appetite with you as they serve a lot of food. Shanghai's and La Cucina were also excellent meals.

We also did the Cirque Dreams and Dinner. The first thing people need to know is that even if you have purchased your tickets, it is first come, first seated. So, if you arrive at 8:40 (5 minutes before the start) you will be lucky to find seats together. We had paid for the premium seating but the only seats together were in the second level. We took the discount and sat upstairs and it was fine. The couple in front of us who arrived at the same time were not happy and left. It was a little frustrating that you could be left without seats you paid for (or at least without them together), but it was also my fault for not reading the information provided and realizing we needed to be there sooner. The staff was very friendly and apologetic and it really wasn't a big deal to me. But, I know others have different takes on that type of thing so I wanted to provide that information.

The dinner itself was okay, but was probably the worst food we had all week. There are no choices, everybody gets the same thing. But, the entertainment was great and that's what the whole thing was really about anyway. Also, the show will be cancelled if the seas are too rough. I think they cancelled two or three shows the week we sailed.

For other entertainment we saw the Blue Man Group which was very fun and the Legends in Concert which was also entertaining. Both are included in the cruise and we enjoyed them.

We did excursions on St. Maartens, St. Thomas, and Nassau, all through NCL and they were each well done and very enjoyable.

The casino is huge which is nice because it was easier to find an open seat at a table or slot machine. The staff was extremely nice and made an effort to learn and remember our names.

We spent two of the sea days at the H2O Spice deck at the aft part of the ship. It's an adults only section and was very popular. Finding lounge chairs if you arrived after 10:00am was difficult, but getting a spot at a table was not. They have a large number of bar staff constantly circulating and there is food at the bar for lunch and snacks. There is also a big screen TV which shows scenic pictures most of the time and football games on Sunday. The music was a nice mix of adult contemporary tunes that both I and my 60 year old mother enjoyed. The pool is small, but more than sufficient for a quick dip to cool down. We had a lot of wind both days (all week really), but the decks provide some protection and it wasn't that bad even on the windiest day. We didn't spend any time at the main pool or slides, but I heard others say the slides were really fun. We also met some people who did the rock climbing and rappelling and said both were great.

To sum up, it was really a great experience. Our steward was wonderful and knew or names from the first time she saw us and always greeted us with a smile and asked if we needed anything. O'Sheehans is a great addition with lots of seating, games, and 24 hour food service. The Garden Cafe is a good buffet option and even at the busiest time we never had trouble finding a seat. The shopping was good and we're not even big shoppers. We found the ship very easy to get around with so many things centrally located and the colors (orange for port, blue for starboard) making it even easier to find our way around.

Disembarkation was also really easy. There was an option of just walking off with your luggage, but because we had an NCL transfer to the airport, we got tags and put our bags out the night before. Because our flight was early afternoon, we were part of the first group off. It was very smooth and we were off and through customs in less than 15 minutes. The transfer was fairly quick and we were at the airport by 9:15am. If I had it to do over, I probably would just do a cab. Not because the transfer was bad in any way, but just because it was so efficient that we were at the airport quite early for our flight. I would have rather had another hour or two of sleep and a last jaunt around the ship.

We definitely look forward to another cruise on the Epic in the future. Less

Published 12/01/10
Helpful? Thank esp13

Cabin review: BB10190 Mid-Ship Balcony

Great location (midships, least obstructed by the lifeboats). The only downside was that the elevators are forward and aft, so it was a bit of a walk to the elevators from the cabin in either direction. Nice size balcony, lots of storage space. Lighting could be better.

Read All Mid-Ship Balcony (BB) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

In Nassau, we did the Blue Lagoon Beach excursion. Again, we met the tour right off the ship, but things seemed a little more disorganized, maybe just because there was such a big group. We waited for what seemed like a long time before we got going. Then we had a fairly long walk to catch the boats to take us to the island. The boats were crowded and not great for seeing the area unless you got next to a window. The island was a private lagoon where there were lounge chairs and non-motorized water toys for swimming. It was nice, but not what I expected for the price. Plus, we only had about 2 hours there. The price did include lunch which was basic (hamburger, chips and drink) but good. It wasn't bad, just nothing extraordinary either.

Read 5044 Nassau Reviews

We did the Golden Eagle Sail excursion on St. Maarten's. We met the tour right on the pier next to the ship and had a fairly short walk to the catamaran. We had a short trip to the snorkeling spot. There passengers could snorkel or just play in the water for about an hour. After the snorkel, we had another short sail to a beach. We anchored just off the beach and could swim around the boat or into the beach (rides to the beach were also provided on a dingy). They provided an in-water bar service and we had a little over an hour at that spot. Then it was half hour or so and then it was time to head back. They served rum punch once the snorkeling was over and champagne and sandwiches on the trip back to the ship. It was a very casual, but very fun day. St. Maarten's was beautiful and the water was warm and inviting. Definitely recommend this excursion.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I missed the excursion in St. Thomas and the only part of the port I saw was the part that I could see out my balcony. I came down with a cold (likely something I brought with me) and it hit hard on the day we were in St. Thomas. So, I slept all day while my mother went on our planned excursion which was another catamaran sail and snorkel at St. John's. She said it was a lot of fun and very beautiful, even more than St. Maarten. She also said the ride back (by vehicle) was great because the road went high up on the hill and gave them a great view of the island and harbor. The part I could see from my balcony was absolutely gorgeous and I really regret that I missed out on seeing more of this island and of St. John's. This was my mother's favorite port of call though.

Read 4002 St. Thomas Reviews

Compare Prices on Norwegian Epic Eastern Caribbean Cruises

Read more Norwegian Epic cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Norwegian Epic Review >>

Compare Prices on Norwegian Epic Eastern Caribbean Cruises

Member Since 2010
216 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Norwegian Epic deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Norwegian Epic 63% Loved It

7-day Western Mediterranean From Barcelona
See all Norwegian Epic Deals >>