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My son and I disembarked from the Epic only yesterday and I'm reviewing it while it's all fresh in my mind. We booked through a travel agent over a year ago so that we could pay over a long period of time and save up some spending money too, and this worked well for us. The Epic, as has been noted before, is immense. It was fully occupied last week and I was surprised to learn that there were only 600 Americans on board. There seemed to be a lot from the UK but I'm fairly sure that "other European" made up the biggest proportion of guests. This, in my view, changed the dynamics on the ship as Spanish seemed to be the first language and I'm sure we would have got chatting to a lot more people in other circumstances. We had an inside cabin which was very comfortable and suited us very well - the bathroom / curtain arrangement worked for us and we didn't have a problem with the basin! Storage space was plentiful and, with the twin bed arrangement, we had lots of room to move. One comment I would make, and it's not a complaint but an observation, is that although there are many light fittings, they were mostly low wattage and inadequate for things like putting on makeup. I probably went out looking like a drag queen occasionally... The shower was great, there was always hot water, and we didn't require the use of air fresheners (!) because the air conditioning was very efficient. My son used the kids crew tweens section and enjoyed most of the activities although he said they got shouted at a lot for being too noisy. That didn't stop him going back although he avoided the PJ party. Being a tween he was able to sign himself in and out (for a minimum of 2 hours) which was great from both our points of view. We were booked to see both the Blue Man Group and the Cirque Dreams and Dinner, and I ended up going to both on my own. The Blue Man Group were amazing, as expected - we tried to book again at a time which didn't clash with some important tween activity, but they got fully booked very quickly. The Cirque was even better - I was seated on the balcony and I'm sure there's a better view from the cheap seats. The food was pretty good in my opinion although I'm aware that they've changed the menu (as well as the show) since the first reviews which slated it. We also went to a Slime Time Live performance which was greatly enjoyed by my son. We saw a few other Nickleodeon events - Nick Live by the pool and a couple of meet and greets elsewhere - there was more Nickleodeon presence on the ship than I had imagined there would be, which was great for the kids. My son also went bowling with a group of other lads, and spent time in the video arcade where he ran up his part of the bill! He also made use of the climbing wall, spiders web and sports court. Unfortunately the bungee trampoline thing was out of action the week we were there. We didn't use all the facilities on the ship by any means. Most of our time was spent by the pool. On sea days the sunbeds were crowded but we always managed to find at least one. On the second sea day a member of staff came round squirting mists of water on those who were sitting in the sun which was very welcome. The pools were small and got crowded too, but unless you were wanting to swim laps this wasn't a problem - they were great for just cooling down in. The green and purple flumes were pitch black inside, which I wasn't expecting, which was a bit unnerving in the green one at least, which twisted more. The Epic Plunge was great fun! There were queues on sea days but you didn't have to wait too long on port days. We weren't very adventurous in our choice of restaurants, eating mostly in the buffet, twice in Taste and once in O'Sheehans. All the food was of a very high standard, in my opinion. Of particular note were the scrambled eggs at breakfast, the garlic mushrooms in Taste, and the cookies which were available at the outside buffet by the pool in the afternoons. I tried the buffalo wings in O'Sheehans which I had read rave reviews about elsewhere, and they were ok but nothing to write home about! I also sampled all the cocktails of the day (my bar bill was our biggest expense other than the excursion...) except the one involving ginger beer, and all were fabulous! The bar staff at the Waves bar by the pool deserve mention for their cheeriness. We stayed on board at most of the ports, going on only one excursion at Naples, to climb Vesuvius and visit Pompeii. This was all very well arranged and executed. Our guide was a lovely Italian lady who referred to us all as her children and was a mine of information. The climb was hot and sticky but not as bad as we had anticipated and the views at the top were worth the effort. Pompeii was hot and busy - but again not as bad as we had thought it might be. I'd always wanted to go there and it was amazing. I'd read loads of comments about "too hot" and "no shade" and can only imagine that they went to different areas than us, as there was plenty of shade if you looked for it, plus a number of taps/troughs where you could rub water up your arms etc to cool down if necessary. To summarise, we had a great time. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat if I could afford too but, as it was a very expensive holiday for us, it won't happen again for a long while! We kept within our budget easily - you don't have to spend money on the ship if you don't want to. We didn't feel that we were missing out by not eating in the restaurants with cover charges, nor by not having a balcony. Water and ice were always available, as were tea and coffee, and juice was available most of the morning by the pool too. It's not a budget holiday option by any means, but it doesn't need to break the bank either.

Entirely Epic

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Itzhappyme

Trip Details
My son and I disembarked from the Epic only yesterday and I'm reviewing it while it's all fresh in my mind. We booked through a travel agent over a year ago so that we could pay over a long period of time and save up some spending money too, and this worked well for us.



The Epic, as has been noted before, is immense. It was fully occupied last week and I was surprised to learn that there were only 600 Americans on board. There seemed to be a lot from the UK but I'm fairly sure that "other European" made up the biggest proportion of guests. This, in my view, changed the dynamics on the ship as Spanish seemed to be the first language and I'm sure we would have got chatting to a lot more people in other circumstances.



We had an inside cabin which was very comfortable and suited us very well - the bathroom / curtain arrangement worked for us and we didn't have a problem with the basin! Storage space was plentiful and, with the twin bed arrangement, we had lots of room to move. One comment I would make, and it's not a complaint but an observation, is that although there are many light fittings, they were mostly low wattage and inadequate for things like putting on makeup. I probably went out looking like a drag queen occasionally... The shower was great, there was always hot water, and we didn't require the use of air fresheners (!) because the air conditioning was very efficient. My son used the kids crew tweens section and enjoyed most of the activities although he said they got shouted at a lot for being too noisy. That didn't stop him going back although he avoided the PJ party. Being a tween he was able to sign himself in and out (for a minimum of 2 hours) which was great from both our points of view.



We were booked to see both the Blue Man Group and the Cirque Dreams and Dinner, and I ended up going to both on my own. The Blue Man Group were amazing, as expected - we tried to book again at a time which didn't clash with some important tween activity, but they got fully booked very quickly. The Cirque was even better - I was seated on the balcony and I'm sure there's a better view from the cheap seats. The food was pretty good in my opinion although I'm aware that they've changed the menu (as well as the show) since the first reviews which slated it.



We also went to a Slime Time Live performance which was greatly enjoyed by my son. We saw a few other Nickleodeon events - Nick Live by the pool and a couple of meet and greets elsewhere - there was more Nickleodeon presence on the ship than I had imagined there would be, which was great for the kids. My son also went bowling with a group of other lads, and spent time in the video arcade where he ran up his part of the bill! He also made use of the climbing wall, spiders web and sports court. Unfortunately the bungee trampoline thing was out of action the week we were there.



We didn't use all the facilities on the ship by any means. Most of our time was spent by the pool. On sea days the sunbeds were crowded but we always managed to find at least one. On the second sea day a member of staff came round squirting mists of water on those who were sitting in the sun which was very welcome. The pools were small and got crowded too, but unless you were wanting to swim laps this wasn't a problem - they were great for just cooling down in. The green and purple flumes were pitch black inside, which I wasn't expecting, which was a bit unnerving in the green one at least, which twisted more. The Epic Plunge was great fun! There were queues on sea days but you didn't have to wait too long on port days.



We weren't very adventurous in our choice of restaurants, eating mostly in the buffet, twice in Taste and once in O'Sheehans. All the food was of a very high standard, in my opinion. Of particular note were the scrambled eggs at breakfast, the garlic mushrooms in Taste, and the cookies which were available at the outside buffet by the pool in the afternoons. I tried the buffalo wings in O'Sheehans which I had read rave reviews about elsewhere, and they were ok but nothing to write home about! I also sampled all the cocktails of the day (my bar bill was our biggest expense other than the excursion...) except the one involving ginger beer, and all were fabulous! The bar staff at the Waves bar by the pool deserve mention for their cheeriness.



We stayed on board at most of the ports, going on only one excursion at Naples, to climb Vesuvius and visit Pompeii. This was all very well arranged and executed. Our guide was a lovely Italian lady who referred to us all as her children and was a mine of information. The climb was hot and sticky but not as bad as we had anticipated and the views at the top were worth the effort. Pompeii was hot and busy - but again not as bad as we had thought it might be. I'd always wanted to go there and it was amazing. I'd read loads of comments about "too hot" and "no shade" and can only imagine that they went to different areas than us, as there was plenty of shade if you looked for it, plus a number of taps/troughs where you could rub water up your arms etc to cool down if necessary.



To summarise, we had a great time. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat if I could afford too but, as it was a very expensive holiday for us, it won't happen again for a long while! We kept within our budget easily - you don't have to spend money on the ship if you don't want to. We didn't feel that we were missing out by not eating in the restaurants with cover charges, nor by not having a balcony. Water and ice were always available, as were tea and coffee, and juice was available most of the morning by the pool too. It's not a budget holiday option by any means, but it doesn't need to break the bank either.
Itzhappyme’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Service
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IF 9069
Cabin 9069 - not enormous but big enough (seemed more roomy with twin bed arrangement than double bed) - plenty of storage space. Very little noise - none from Bliss lounge below (which had been a worry), just a little occasionally from the corridor. Bathroom / shower / curtain across arrangement worked very well. Lighting a little low - could have been improved by mirror above sink for putting on makeup etc.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins