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My boyfriend and I are avid cruisers, and we have pretty high expectations for cruise lines. He and I went on Royal Caribbean's Oasis last December and absolutely loved it. We have never been on Norwegian, so we thought we would give the Epic a try. I doubt that we will ever go on it again unless we find an exceptional deal. I will list the Epic's good features first with the problems to follow. PROS of the Epic: Great entertainment! I loved Blue Man Group, Second City, and Legends, best entertainment at sea. We did not see Cirque Dreams based on other cruisers' reviews; however, we did meet a guy on the ship who said he loved it. He said the food was terrible, but that the act was a lot of fun and pretty amazing for a cruise ship. Great buffet! The Garden Cafe (the equivalent to the Windjammer on Royal Caribbean) was very good. It is a buffet, which I generally do not like, but the food quality was the best I've seen on any cruise ship buffet. Great bar service! Never once had to wait for a "paid for" drink. Bar staff were everywhere. Great cabin layout! Yes, we actually liked the controversial restroom set up. We had a basic inside cabin, and it was nice for the two of us to be able to get ready at pretty much the same time. The sink did not bother us at all! The only thing I didn't like was that the separate toilet area was cheaply made (plastic wall and floor). If you want privacy, there is a heavy curtain that you can pull between the shower/toilet area and the rest of the cabin. Clever "message" board outside cabin door! Why didn't someone think of this sooner? After the steward cleans your room, he or she turns the message board to "Welcome." In the morning, you can turn it to "Make Up Room," and in the evening, you can turn it to "Turn Down Room." Of course, there is a "Do Not Disturb" message, too. This is a great idea because then the steward knows when you are gone and can come in to clean the room. Reasonably priced "extras"! We bowled in the Bliss lounge for $5 each. Where we live, bowling is much more expensive! Billiards was only $1.50. Beautiful out-door movie screen in Spice H2O! I also have this listed in my CONS section, but here is the good part: the screen is huge and unbelievably bright and clear. My boyfriend owns a custom AV business, and he was pretty impressed with the quality. CONS of the Epic: The main dining rooms! Taste and Manhattan were less than thrilling. The food was pretty average, and the service was poor to fair (one night I had to ask twice for my ice tea to be refilled). We do not like "freestyle" cruising at all; we prefer to have the same table with the same wait staff. It is so much more personal that way. We ate dinner in Manhattan twice, and we were lucky we didn't have to wait. After 6:00 there was always a crowd of people waiting to be seated. What's disappointing is that there were plenty of empty tables. The Atrium! One afternoon, Blue Man Group was in the Atrium giving a talk (without their makeup!) but it was near impossible to hear them. The Atrium is a pretty neat place (two story tall video screen - very cool!), but the acoustics are awful! The customer service area is on one side and a coffee bar is on the other. You constantly hear coffee grinding and people talking in customer service. Also, the space is open to the floor above it which is the Irish bar (can't remember the name). The bar has two pool tables and an air hockey table. The air hockey table is incredibly noisy, which normally would be fine in a bar, but when you are trying to listen to a program, it is annoying. It is surprising how rude people are. There was a huge crowd there to see Blue Man, but people continued to slam the puck around. Anyway, people were getting very upset and leaving the Blue Man presentation because they could not hear anything they were saying. ALSO, there are METAL FOLDING CHAIRS in the Atrium. It is so bizarre. They have beautiful chairs up front, but then ugly church-basement folding chairs behind them. TACKY Smoking! I wasn't at all surprised to see smoking in the casino. There are lots of air purifiers, but the smoke can still be a bit heavy in places. BUT we liked going to Spice H20 and you can smoke anywhere there! We thought that the starboard side of the ship was nonsmoking (there is no smoking at the tables near the Spice H20 buffet on the starboard side), but a waiter brought a guy sitting right next to us in the lounge chairs an ashtray to smoke. YUCK. Usually, you would expect to have one side smoking and the other side non-smoking. Not on the Epic. The Epic Theater! The entertainment is very good, but the theater itself is shockingly small and ugly. There is only one "floor" (well, it takes up floors 5 and 6) that slopes down to the stage. The ceiling seems very low and you can see all the pipes, duct work, lighting etc. Also, the seats are poorly designed. After dinner, we like to have a drink while we're waiting for the show, but the cup holders are so angled that my drink actually fell out. No movies on the out-door movie screen in Spice H2O! During the day, they showed the "window" channel. At first, this is pretty neat because they show "vistas" of different outdoor areas (like Tahiti, Philippines,Hawaii etc). Really beautiful. But after a while, it gets pretty boring. One day they did show a live NFL game there, but we're not football fans. It would be so much better to show a movie in Spice H2O in the afternoon on at least one day at sea. OVERALL RECOMMENDATION: If you find a great price on an Epic cruise, then take it. Otherwise, I would recommend Royal Caribbean's Oasis.

Doesn't Compare to the Oasis

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by CruizenAmy

Trip Details
My boyfriend and I are avid cruisers, and we have pretty high expectations for cruise lines. He and I went on Royal Caribbean's Oasis last December and absolutely loved it. We have never been on Norwegian, so we thought we would give the Epic a try. I doubt that we will ever go on it again unless we find an exceptional deal. I will list the Epic's good features first with the problems to follow.



PROS of the Epic:

Great entertainment! I loved Blue Man Group, Second City, and Legends, best entertainment at sea. We did not see Cirque Dreams based on other cruisers' reviews; however, we did meet a guy on the ship who said he loved it. He said the food was terrible, but that the act was a lot of fun and pretty amazing for a cruise ship.



Great buffet! The Garden Cafe (the equivalent to the Windjammer on Royal Caribbean) was very good. It is a buffet, which I generally do not like, but the food quality was the best I've seen on any cruise ship buffet.



Great bar service! Never once had to wait for a "paid for" drink. Bar staff were everywhere.



Great cabin layout! Yes, we actually liked the controversial restroom set up. We had a basic inside cabin, and it was nice for the two of us to be able to get ready at pretty much the same time. The sink did not bother us at all! The only thing I didn't like was that the separate toilet area was cheaply made (plastic wall and floor). If you want privacy, there is a heavy curtain that you can pull between the shower/toilet area and the rest of the cabin.



Clever "message" board outside cabin door! Why didn't someone think of this sooner? After the steward cleans your room, he or she turns the message board to "Welcome." In the morning, you can turn it to "Make Up Room," and in the evening, you can turn it to "Turn Down Room." Of course, there is a "Do Not Disturb" message, too. This is a great idea because then the steward knows when you are gone and can come in to clean the room.



Reasonably priced "extras"! We bowled in the Bliss lounge for $5 each. Where we live, bowling is much more expensive! Billiards was only $1.50.



Beautiful out-door movie screen in Spice H2O! I also have this listed in my CONS section, but here is the good part: the screen is huge and unbelievably bright and clear. My boyfriend owns a custom AV business, and he was pretty impressed with the quality.



CONS of the Epic:

The main dining rooms! Taste and Manhattan were less than thrilling. The food was pretty average, and the service was poor to fair (one night I had to ask twice for my ice tea to be refilled). We do not like "freestyle" cruising at all; we prefer to have the same table with the same wait staff. It is so much more personal that way. We ate dinner in Manhattan twice, and we were lucky we didn't have to wait. After 6:00 there was always a crowd of people waiting to be seated. What's disappointing is that there were plenty of empty tables.



The Atrium! One afternoon, Blue Man Group was in the Atrium giving a talk (without their makeup!) but it was near impossible to hear them. The Atrium is a pretty neat place (two story tall video screen - very cool!), but the acoustics are awful! The customer service area is on one side and a coffee bar is on the other. You constantly hear coffee grinding and people talking in customer service. Also, the space is open to the floor above it which is the Irish bar (can't remember the name). The bar has two pool tables and an air hockey table. The air hockey table is incredibly noisy, which normally would be fine in a bar, but when you are trying to listen to a program, it is annoying. It is surprising how rude people are. There was a huge crowd there to see Blue Man, but people continued to slam the puck around. Anyway, people were getting very upset and leaving the Blue Man presentation because they could not hear anything they were saying. ALSO, there are METAL FOLDING CHAIRS in the Atrium. It is so bizarre. They have beautiful chairs up front, but then ugly church-basement folding chairs behind them. TACKY



Smoking! I wasn't at all surprised to see smoking in the casino. There are lots of air purifiers, but the smoke can still be a bit heavy in places. BUT we liked going to Spice H20 and you can smoke anywhere there! We thought that the starboard side of the ship was nonsmoking (there is no smoking at the tables near the Spice H20 buffet on the starboard side), but a waiter brought a guy sitting right next to us in the lounge chairs an ashtray to smoke. YUCK. Usually, you would expect to have one side smoking and the other side non-smoking. Not on the Epic.



The Epic Theater! The entertainment is very good, but the theater itself is shockingly small and ugly. There is only one "floor" (well, it takes up floors 5 and 6) that slopes down to the stage. The ceiling seems very low and you can see all the pipes, duct work, lighting etc. Also, the seats are poorly designed. After dinner, we like to have a drink while we're waiting for the show, but the cup holders are so angled that my drink actually fell out.



No movies on the out-door movie screen in Spice H2O! During the day, they showed the "window" channel. At first, this is pretty neat because they show "vistas" of different outdoor areas (like Tahiti, Philippines,Hawaii etc). Really beautiful. But after a while, it gets pretty boring. One day they did show a live NFL game there, but we're not football fans. It would be so much better to show a movie in Spice H2O in the afternoon on at least one day at sea.



OVERALL RECOMMENDATION: If you find a great price on an Epic cruise, then take it. Otherwise, I would recommend Royal Caribbean's Oasis.
CruizenAmy’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IF 9061
Either our cabin had excellent sound proofing or our cruise wasn't full because we very rarely heard anyone outside our door. Like I said in the main review, we liked the layout. The bed was pretty comfortable (I have a bad back); probably one of the more comfortable cruise beds that I've slept on.
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