The entertainment onboard the Epic is the BEST at sea!! Production shows, musician, and variety of entertainment are all amazing!!! The staff is also wonderful... very attentive, helpful and friendly. The ship's layout is very ... Read More
The entertainment onboard the Epic is the BEST at sea!! Production shows, musician, and variety of entertainment are all amazing!!! The staff is also wonderful... very attentive, helpful and friendly. The ship's layout is very poor. There is no mid-ship elevator... and either end elevator is missing at least one floor, meaning you frequently have to walk from one end of the ship to the other to take the elevator to your destination. For anyone with any difficulty walking the 1000+ feet length of the ship (as is the case with my mom), this ship is VERY difficult to navigate.
Port Canaveral doesn't have any wheelchairs available until you've already gone through security (read: long line standing and waiting), and walked the length of the entire terminal and gone through your registration process... THEN you can get a wheelchair to board.
The only specialty restaurant we dinned at was Shanghai's... the service was great, the food was marginal at best. The buffet was loud, crowded, and food was average to poor. BUT... we ate MANY means in The Manhattan Club and O'Sheenahan's. Service in both of these restaurants was great and the food in Manhattan Club was spectacular!!! Plus they have live music, a dance floor and avery quiet/upscale atmosphere. Taste serves the exact same menu as Manhattan club, but is less formal. Taste is also much louder and we didn't enjoy it as much. The outdoor dinning was impossible to enjoy because there was always so much wind up there. One morning we ate there, and the wind blew the coffee out of the cup!!! Breakfast ANYWHERE on the ship is marginal at best, and basically is over at 9 or 9:30am. There is a large 'gab' mid-day when the only place to dine is O'Sheenahan's (but their food is great).
DON'T MISS Burn The Floor!!! It is amazing!! Also the dueling pianos in Howl at the Moon were great!! Priscilla Queen of the Desert was a hoot, with amazing costumes, wigs, music, etc... but it is NOT for those who are easily offended. Cirque Dreams was a wonderful show, but the food was poor. Buy the standard ticket & skip the meal. DO try to take part in the activities in the atrium... game shows, dance lessons, singing contests, etc. At first I thought this was silly and didn't want to go... but once I DID, I wished I'd gone sooner! The staff makes these shows amazing! Plan on attending the "GLOW PARTY"... it is REALLY FUN!!! No matter your age, you'll find it a real trip. Also, this is the first ship I've been on that specifically made accommodations to help single travelers meet fellow passengers.
We were in a Family Balcony Mini-suite. The room was quite large and has TONS of storage!! We put everything away and still had several empty cupboards!!! The bathroom wasn't as bad as I thought it might be... BUT our 'shower' was in a tub and it had a VERY high side (much higher than yours at home would). VERY difficult to get in and out of. The balcony was large but the chairs were in poor shape, and one was broke, plus only table there was a tiny little side table... not room to eat there. The hallways are a bit confusing, but what ship isn't?
Some other thoughts:
Additional charges: THIS was one of the real bug-a-boos on this cruise... I felt like I was being nickle and dimed to death!!!! The beauty of cruising is it's all inclusive... not with Norwegian! Even the "complementary" restaurants have menu items that require an 'up charge'. And of course, there are about half the restaurants that are specialty and require an additional charge. PLUS... if you want a Pepsi (they don't have Coke) anywhere, be prepared to pay! I hate the way they bill the gratuity, daily/per person on the bill. It makes your bill VERY lengthy and it felt like every time I looked at it it was another page long!! Many of the onboard 'activities' required an additional charge, and even the Cirque Dreams show (without the meal) requires an additional charge. AND... although they sell this as 'free style cruising'... you must make a reservation to do anything!!! I understand that with 4000+ people on the ship, but it really removes any option for being spontaneous. Also... there is no central atrium... no mid-ship elevator... and the elevators that are there, are totally enclosed and dark!!! When I saw the first one open, I felt like I was stepping into an elevator in Las Vegas in 1980!
Overall the ship's entertainment and staff were AMAZING and in many ways made up for the defects of the ship itself. However I doubt I would take Epic again... the ship was too big and had too many people on board. Read Less