287 Norwegian Epic Entertainment Cruise Reviews

Such a big ship......state rooms were really comfortable only thing being toilet had a glass door with a pattern in which was a bit embarrassing when a steward knocked at the door to inform you of something and one of you was in there.... ... Read More
Such a big ship......state rooms were really comfortable only thing being toilet had a glass door with a pattern in which was a bit embarrassing when a steward knocked at the door to inform you of something and one of you was in there.... The food and restaurants were fantastic. and as for the nightly entertainment it was superb - we had the Motown men......a magician who was excellent. A meal with something like Cirque du Soleil performing... a west end show - Priscilla queen of the Deserts and a dance troupe.....totally excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation went really smoothly and cases were waiting a the correct time. The staff were excellent - they all work so hard they are amazing.... Even if you did not want to get off the ship - there was so much to do on board every day. An amazing cruise experience which we cannot wait to do again... Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was my first cruise for pleasure - had previously been on the PO Oriana and Aurora for business and I have to say I much preferred the Epic. Went on this cruise with my sister. Fantastic ship, on this cruise we had an inside ... Read More
This was my first cruise for pleasure - had previously been on the PO Oriana and Aurora for business and I have to say I much preferred the Epic. Went on this cruise with my sister. Fantastic ship, on this cruise we had an inside cabin, it wasn't small but decor made it seem bit dull but we didn't spend to much time in the cabin. Loved the "casual cruising" style - no fixed dining room, set table or times for eating - eat where and when you pleased. We pre purchased 3 speciality meal deal and the choice of restaurants is fantastic we chose - Cagney's Steakhouse, the Teppanyaki and the French Bistro - on these nights we chose to get dressed for dinner and the food was second to none. In saying that the other restaurants on board were great with the Chinese restaurant being another of our favourites. We also had unlimited use of the Spa and this helped make our holiday was so relaxing. We also had the ultimate drinks package included in our holiday so had cocktails every night - wouldn't go on these cruises without this. The entertainment on this line is second to none we saw Priscilla Queen of the desert and dance show Burn the floor. We enjoyed the cruise so much we have booked again to go again June 2017 and have booked a cabin with a balcony this time. We didn't go on any of the excursions as we wanted the experience of the ship - plus we have already visited all the ports the ship visited. Would recommend this cruise line and especially the ship the Epic to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise because it was value for money and it was my wifes birhday and our wedding anniversary in the same week. Every day and night was an adventure.We went on all the shore tours at every port. Each one was perfectly timed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was value for money and it was my wifes birhday and our wedding anniversary in the same week. Every day and night was an adventure.We went on all the shore tours at every port. Each one was perfectly timed and organised. The onboard entertainment was top shelf quality. I have reommended this cruise to so many people as an awesme experience. We went to Rome ,Mt Vesuvious, Piza, Barceona, Miorca, The pools were fantasic day and night. Our cabin was one on the port side and had a balcony so every time we docked we could watch the whole procedure.In the cabin we had a double bed and large tv also a sitting area. We met another couple and dined with them each evening in a different restaurant after having our pre coctails. Even though this cruise was such a fantstic experience I dont think I could go on it again because it would spoil the memoroble experience we had Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
I am writing this review as a second time cruiser with NCL (I did the NCL Star last year): we are a couple in the thirties and have been on this 7-day cruise departing from Barcelona and enjoyed it very much overall I must say! ... Read More
I am writing this review as a second time cruiser with NCL (I did the NCL Star last year): we are a couple in the thirties and have been on this 7-day cruise departing from Barcelona and enjoyed it very much overall I must say! Embarcation was very fast, we did the check-in online so it was a matter of being given the card to enter the ship and that was it. Took about 15 minutes from the taxi to the Atrium in Deck 5. At the time we enter the ship our cabin was ready to go so we did the unpacking straight away. Food Food was not a surprise since we cruised with NCL before, so we felt like almost the same dishes were being served but it did not matter for us, it was tasteful enough, waiters were helpful in general, no disappointments. Just a little thing, the two times we dined in the Manhatan the waiters were not as kind as in the Taste somehow, it felt like they were rushing us to finish our meal. I would say it might have been bad luck for us or something, but nothing to worry too much to be honest. Entertainment Burn the Floor - Outstanding! We enjoyed it very much! Priscilla - OK but too long for my taste. Cirque - We bought the non-premium seats and we could enjoy all the performances without any obstructions. The food was very nice, we thought though that the food would be served during the performance but we ended up to eat before the show started. The only problem was the lack of room to accommodate 6 people in such a small sized table. It got to the point the person next to my wife did not know which water cup belonged to. I liked the fact that some performances were assisted by random cruisers in the tent to perform in the comedy show, it was very funny and entertained us a lot! Epic Beatles: I'm not a big fan of them although I must admit they do a very good show! my wife loved them. We saw 3 shows with them and enjoyed a lot. The show with the violin and the mascarenhas/dancer performers (can't remember their artistic names) was mind blowing we attended 2 shows, excellent!! Aqua park Water tubes were awesome! but be sure to be there early in the morning as the queue can build up quite quickly. My preferred (more intensive) was the green tube then the one were we could ride with the inflatable donut style. Swimming pool were lightly heated so you might not expect a thermal shock as I normally have. Jacuzzis were not as crowded as we expected and we could be there til late as we pleased. We felt rules were relaxed in terms of bringing drinks to the jacuzzi as many people did it without beeing asked not to, which is nice. It was also very easy and quick to find sun loungers too. Overall: Despite a lot of negative reviews about this ship in this forum we could not find any issues pointed out perhaps this might be because at this time of the year there are not many kids around so the vessel is not that crowded and noisy. No long queues anywhere for us, no seats finding problems on the shows either, nice food, great staff. Next cruise on the way with NCL again for sure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it was our 20th anniversary and it was on our bucket list to do this cruse. Overall, a very good trip, all ports were exciting. The ship: the bartenders at the Whiskey Bar, Joseph, Z, and Freddie were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was our 20th anniversary and it was on our bucket list to do this cruse. Overall, a very good trip, all ports were exciting. The ship: the bartenders at the Whiskey Bar, Joseph, Z, and Freddie were amazing, excellent service. There are a few things I think could be better, with the drink package, things like a latte, fresh squeezed juice should be included. Also, the buffet is very boring, and some of the staff that serves in the buffet are rude and lazy. The other restaurants were good. Again, the menus were not very blah. I have been on other cruises where the food is much much better. We tried the sushi place, which was La carte, that was very good, There were other la cartes but we didn't try them. Freestyle dining is nice they just need to work on the menu a bit more. Other than than, most of the staff work very hard to ensure everything is good and they take care of you. The Bliss nightclub is very nice and the DJ is awesome. Nice place to hang out We had a balconey cabin, it was very comfortable. The beds were very comfortable. Enetertainment crew were good, Mandy the crusie director is good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my first Mediterranean Cruise, but not my first experience with NCL. I found the Epic to be quite a glorious ship. Plenty of activities on board the ship to keep you busy if you chose to do so as well as plenty of quite spaces. ... Read More
This was my first Mediterranean Cruise, but not my first experience with NCL. I found the Epic to be quite a glorious ship. Plenty of activities on board the ship to keep you busy if you chose to do so as well as plenty of quite spaces. There was a variety of food, my choice for breakfast/lunch was the Garden Buffett, the food was always hot and good. My favorite restaurant was the the night we saw the Cirque Dream Epicurean(cover charge applies) the food and entertainment superb. O’Sheehan’s is a must for the fish&chip and Burgers. The Taste and Manhattan restaurants has great ambiance. I recommend as many shore excursions as possible, they are well organized and provide a good overview of each country Visited. I didn’t visit Rome because I had been there before, But do recommend Sorrento and Naples, Monaco and the View from Eze and Palma in death. Enjoy the Epic, Entertainment, and especially the views from the shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I laugh when I read some of these reviews from various experiences had by passengers. As in life, you can't please everyone. I am not moking anyone, just making a point that a cruise full of people will have various experiences. ... Read More
I laugh when I read some of these reviews from various experiences had by passengers. As in life, you can't please everyone. I am not moking anyone, just making a point that a cruise full of people will have various experiences. About myself, I cruised several times on 3 other NCL ships and Princess before including the beautiful Escape last summer to Bermuda. I am a male, 52 and travel with my Lady. I should also mention I was on a casino at sea cruise meaning it was comped by my affiliation with a casino so isaved some money and caught some nice promo's including reduced air. I did my research prior to booking knowing it was still summer weather in early September so everyday was as anticipated. Simply gorgeous! Most kids were be back at school so it was an older crowd. The destinations were spectacular for a 7 day cruise and we took advantage at every port. A quick rundown of everything related... We had a midship balcony. It was clean and served it purpose. I don't cruise to stay inside but it's nice to hang on the balcony before dinner or catcha sunrise or sunset. Dining was overall pretty good. We went to several restaurants including the specialty ones. Buffet food is as expected, good for a quick bite and readily available. Getting on the ship was near perfection. I walked up at 3:30 and was on the ship 10 minutes later. They don't load the ship completely at this port and there was only another ship or 2 in the port. Getting off took a little longer but moved along. took about 20 minutes. Activities and Entertainment is what you would expect on a typical cruise today. There are a few standouts like the Beatles cover band playing in the Cavern bar. They really packed them in with this crowd of English and American folks reliving the live music of an iconic band. The Cirque show was also entertaining as well as Burn the floor. The headliner bar had fun shows and a very good violinist show. The cruise director and staff get things rolling at sea with the live shows. This ship has a spectacular gym at sea. Plenty of everything to keep the weight down. A full basketball court and waterpark type water slide was present and never too busy to enjoy. Chairs were available on deck and the quiet space up top was a greatfind. I never felt the 4000 plus passengers on this sold out cruise to be an issue. I did plan ahead for the specialty restaurants and ate in a different place each night. Public areas were kept clean for the most part. Some bathrooms needed a little more attention later in the evening after shows let out. The casino was humming nightly and the smoke wasn't an issue. In fact, they had a great cigar lounge that I used daily and purchased a few cigars from the ship when I didn't feel like running back to the room for my own. Elevators were busier as expected during peak times and disembarktion. A ship this size could use a 3rd set for sure. Service was good to excellent depending on where you are. The lounges and outside bars kept things moving. The dining areas at peak times were a little slower for drink service now and again but overall pretty good. We arrived a day earlier to take the edge off the long flight and experienced Barcelona in a very nice hotel by the beach. We hired a private guide to see Gaudi's work of 3 projects including the Sagrada Familia which is a must see from inside. We used the ships excursions for 2 days in Rome visiting the catacombs and the beautiful Cinque Terre, booked my own on another 2 in Naples seeing the Amalfi coast and tour of Nice, Eze, Monaco and Montecarlo and rented electric bikes in Mallorca which was a great deal at 26 Euro a piece. We rode 10-12 km each way along the beach on a nice bike trail and made several stops for pictures, lunch and Gelato. All Great experiences. All in all, it was an excellent experience with few complaints and we were pleasantly surprised. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have just finished an amazing cruise on the Epic. We went with our two kids aged 10 and 7. This was our first cruise with kids but have done a couple of Cunard cruises with the two of us. Embarkation couldn't have been better - ... Read More
We have just finished an amazing cruise on the Epic. We went with our two kids aged 10 and 7. This was our first cruise with kids but have done a couple of Cunard cruises with the two of us. Embarkation couldn't have been better - we were on board within 30 minutes of getting out of the taxi. Thought the food was great throughout (although much preferred the sit down dining to the buffet as this was a bit hectic). I also really enjoyed the all inclusive beverage package with a great range of drinks available (including Newcastle Brown Ale on draught which I have never seen in the UK!) and delicious wine with lunch. The entertainment was fantastic - Priscilla was genuine west end standard, loved Burn the floor and all the other musicians and singers on board were really talented (especially Howl at the moon). It was busy on deck around the pool but we always got loungers and really enjoyed the waiter drinks service on deck. We did our own thing at the ports of call, which probably meant we missed the majority of the queues getting on and off - this was never really a problem for us. The cabin was comfortable but a too small for the four of us - there was very little space when the bunk bed was down but we didn't spend that much time in there so not too big a problem. All the EPL games were on TV which is a bonus if you like football. We booked most of the restaurants in advance but it was hard to walk up and get a table after about 8:30 (no issues earlier on) so we never managed to eat at Shanghai. The kids didn't want to do the kids clubs so just came along to all the entertainments with us - they loved it all too. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with ... Read More
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with Carnival. Like many of my cruises, I sailed with my 76 yr old father who has some health issues. —And although, it’s a cruise to spend some father/son time together as we live in different states, he usually goes to bed quite early, and I enjoy the night life well into the wee hours of the morning… So, inevitably It ends up becoming a “singles” cruise for me. Before I describe the ship and everything else about this amazing cruise, I think it’s important to point out a Difference with Norwegian as I see them.... First off, this is not going to be a doom and gloom review... As I do view this cruise, and ship very favorably.... But I’ll start out with a fundamental disagreement that I have overall with NCL. As Compared to the other lines that I’ve sailed with....(Twice now with NCL), they are the Kings and Queens of overly casual. Very few people dress up. I guess that I’m a rare traditionalist millennial when it comes to this opinion....I wear a sport coat often to work, and that’s in south Louisiana where it’s needless to say, quite warm for most of the year. I also, as a bachelor enjoy when women take the time dress up. Cruising is the last romantic way to vacation. There’s something about going to sleep at 2AM with a bottle in your hand in the middle of a beautiful ocean and awaking in an exotic location somewhere in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Buuuuttt, in a nutshell, I guess that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “Freestyle Cruising”. —It’s not so much the dress attire that turns me off, it’s the fact that very little if anything is structured at all. For instance, virtually every other cruise line particularly my 2 favorites (Celebrity and MSC) have two main entrainment shows per night. —You organize your dinners(whether it’s a specialty restaurant, or one of the main dinning rooms around whichever show that you choose to attend.) —It’s a real simplistic way to cruise. There’s no overthinking it...It comes a little more natural. Freestyle cruising is more like trying to decide most of your shows, dinners, and evening hour activities on the first day of the cruise or even pre-cruise. Nothing is actually “freestyle” about it... You’re forced to decide your show times, or speciality restaurant times or even dinning room times in some cases by the end of the first evening unless you want your dinner at 11pm. I get what Norwegian is trying to do with freestyle cruising. —I understand that they want to give passengers options...And I truly see why they’ve had so much success doing this... **But I also see why other lines have been reluctant to head in their direction. And I get it now. ON TO THE POSITIVES: The EPIC might be the perfect cruise ship for the Mediterranean. It’s not quite Norwegian’s best or biggest ship. As I thought that the ESCAPE(which I sailed in 2017 was nicer and much more updated and had better social gathering points and creature comforts and cabins). But it has all of the things that modern cruisers want(including me). Plus your itinerary, and getting to see some of the cradles’ of civilization(especially those in Europe) is something to greatly credit. Although the ship holds over 4000 passengers, you rarely ever feel crowded. That’s a small advantage to a ship that was built 10 years ago, as opposed to some of the newer ships that are only a few years old that I’ve taken recently. The ship was also refitted 5 years ago... So you hardly notice any wear and tear at all. The ship also flows very well. Unlike some of the newest ships, there’s very few instances to where you can’t walk from one end of a deck to the other. —It really helps with getting around. EMBARKATION: A+ If you’re reading this about to take a Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona or Civitavecchia, do yourself a favor and opt-in on the transfer from the airport to the cruise port. —You can do this directly on the NCL website. Well worth the $50(round trip) per person. So $100 total for two people. We were sailing out of Barcelona and took the transfer charter bus from the Barcelona Airport to the cruise port(which took around 20-25 mins or so with traffic). —It’s only about 10 miles apart. It really is the easiest route to go. The cruise port check-in was a breeze. Maybe 20-25 mins from entering the port to stepping on the ship. Barcelona only has 3 cruise ships on a Sunday, so it doesn’t seem to back up with people quite as much as Miami, or Lauderdale. Also, we arrived pretty early at the port as our flight was a red-eye into Barcelona. (We were on one of the first transfer buses from the airport to cruise port)....And credit to Norwegian for allowing you into your stateroom by noon. It was great to set down cary-on bags and get a view of the stateroom before exploring the ship. THE SHIP ITSELF OVERALL: A- I found the ship pretty easily navigable. My advice would be to take the time to really explore the ship on the first day, and you should be pretty good to go by day two. I tend to explore any ship that I sail as much as I can on the first day and make it a point to have a drink at every bar. —That usually gets you around pretty well ;) My advice, if you’re sailing the Mediterranean, and flying in that day from the U.S., make sure to do a little exploring around the ship before you pass out for your cat nap before the vacation begins. STARTING FROM THE TOP The Pool Deck(s): A+ The Pool Deck is spacious, and really has A TON of deck chairs that they’ve found every nook and cranny to put in. Like most cruises, deck chairs fill up quickly with towel clips, bags, and magazines holding chairs for sometimes hours before they’re actually occupied. But, I legitimately found very little overcrowding on any of the pool decks(including the actual pool deck 15). There was always available lounge chairs at any time of day(including sea days). Like the majority of newer NCL ships, slides and kiddo pool areas take up a large portion of the deck, but they really weren’t a nuisance(even if you’re looking for less kids and more relaxation).... If somehow the slides or kid areas near the main pool do bother you, EPIC smartly made “Spice H20” which is a smaller pool deck towards the back of the ship also on deck 15. —It’s an adult only pool. But I seriously found plenty of relaxing areas in the main pool area. Spice H2O also has several nighttime parties throughout the cruise. There’s also a Pool deck up high(even if you’re not a Haven passenger) on Deck 18. You access this via the main pool deck right near the outdoor part of the Buffett. Not much on 18 except deck chairs. The Bars/Lounges/Clubs: A- EPIC really does have a solid variety of bars to satisfy most tastes. I really enjoyed “Shakers Martini Bar” as the best overall bar itself. VERY VERY good drinks. It’s also near several of the speciality restaurants on Deck 7, and is right above the casino and near the theater. “Shakers” also has several pianists who play sing along music in a subtle non-annoying way. My other favorite drinking spot on the ship was “Bliss Ultra Lounge”. It typically starts off in the evening as a karaoke bar, and transcends later in the night to a full night club. Trust me, if you’re young and single, this is most likely where you’ll find your cruise romance lol. There were other honorable mention bars as well. The main pool deck bar(name escapes me as I write) is one of the largest pool deck bars at sea. Although it’s probably one of the most crowded on the ship, again you rarely have to wait more than a min or two before your drink order is taken. Also, if you’re a big craft beer person, O’Sheeans Irish Pub is very popular. O’Sheeans also has bar food like wings, cheese sticks ETC... Casino, Shops, and General Areas B+  As it’s well published, NCL EPIC has one of, if not THE largest casinos at sea. It seems to go on over half of the entire Deck 6. Stretching from Manhattan Main Dinning Restaurant(rear of the ship) all the way to O’Sheeans Irish Pub(which is mid-to-forward of the ship) If you like the tables, slots, or simply watching the action like me, It’s truly a massive entertainment center of the ship. If you’re a player, this is YOUR SHIP. SHOPS: Some of you might not care much about the shopping of the ship considering the destinations within your itinerary. I found the shops decent. (Not great/not bad)… The best store in terms of variety on the ship is the cosmetics and fragrance store(don’t remember the name). The watch store also has a pretty good variety. Other than that, nothing really comes to mind. Seems to have fewer shops and duty free alcohol stores or much smaller than ships equal of Epic’s size. —Not a big deal as like me, I’m sure very few of you choose a ship for the shopping. GENERAL AREAS: The general areas on Epic are pretty good minus one glaring exception…The vast majority of newer ships have main promenades(which serve as the central gathering points of the interior of the ship). —You’ll typically have bars, a dance floor, restaurants nearby, and a view of either 3 or 4 decks at one time. --Those of you who like Celebrity know that that area of the boat is near the martini bar on Solstice Class ships, and the Edge. Those who like MSC know that that area is around the Swarovski Staircases. NCL EPIC doesn’t seem to know where to send people in the interior, and it almost spreads people out too thin, limiting the action and interaction between passengers. Again, seeming to cater to the “Freestyle” cruising idea. In other words, “you choose wherever you wanna go”....Even Norwegian’s newer ships like the ESCAPE do a better job having a true main promenade. Again, some of you might roll your eyes at that, or think that I’m knit-picking on that one. But, if you cruise often like me, and aren’t necessarily entirely loyal to one line, you might get what I’m trying to say. The interior of the ship is very very nice though with lot’s of variety. No complaints at all about the condition of the ship, or the décor. All very nice! –I’m sure that this was improved during the refitting in 2014-2015. THE FAMED AND CONTROVERSIAL EPIC STATEROOM LAYOUT DEBATE: B+ Like pretty much all cruise ship cabins, it was small and served it’s purpose. Like I said earlier, I am a 32 year old bachelor... and although I always get a balcony room on any ship that I sail on, I can’t tell you that I ever spend much time in my state room other than to sleep and get dressed. But, for what it’s worth, the state room was very nice, and modern. You are on a cruise ship to have a good time, and be around other people, and get some sun. —You can’t do any of those things by staying in your room. One huge plus is the closet/drawer space. —Amazing for your sized stateroom. On to the big debate about the bathroom lol... I’m sure that most of you have read the controversy over the bathroom set up. There is no doubt that many others have nailed the fact that it is definitely unconventional....The toilet is on one side of the entrance of the stateroom with a sliding fogged glass door for privacy. And the shower is virtually a twin copy of that on the other side. Then, the sink is just outside of the shower openly in the stateroom. —I really think people overly pan this situation unfairly. —It’s really not that bad. One big argument to play the devils advocate for those hatters of this situation is that if you’re a married couple, one spouse can shower while the other is using the sink to get ready without being on top of each other like you’d be in a regular cruise bathroom. Also throw a kid into the room with that couple, and it’s logical and realistic that a wife can be doing her makeup at the sink, the husband is showering, and the kid can still use the bathroom all at the same time without stepping on each other. What other conventional stateroom can you do that in??? It’s really NOT THAT BAD. Buuuuutttt, strange layout nonetheless. THE PASSENGERS AND CREW: A+ This cruise had a very fun crowd! I was absolutely shocked at how many millennials and Gen-“X”ers were on this cruise considering the expense for American’s to take a Mediterranean cruise, and the added costs associated with traveling to get to Europe in the first place. But, there were many young professionals on the ship. Norwegian seems to do a great job at attracting younger passengers without stooping to the spring break Carnival college kid crowd. Although there were lots of younger people on the ship, NOT ONE AGE GROUP seemed to dominate the masses. One of the most balanced cruise crowds that I’ve ever seen. I was shocked at how balanced the crowd was. Also, tons of single millennials on the ship to hang out/flirt with. I’m not saying that I was necessarily looking for a “target rich” environment… But It certainly makes things more interesting if you catch my drift haha. ***Although, I have no data to back up my numbers…. I would guess that the age of passengers on the ship was: 30% Gen X, 25 % Millennials, 20% Baby Boomers, 15% Seniors, 10% Gen Z/Children Nationalities on board were: 45% of passengers were American, 40% European, 10% Latin-American, 5% from other parts of the world. Crew: I cannot say enough great things about the EPIC staff! These people, no matter whether they’re a stateroom attendant, buffet bus person, or an officer were simply perfect. They’ve mastered the art of service. I would give you specific examples, but we’d be here all day. One thing that I’ll point out was the bartenders were great! All were friendly, fast, and after a few days would remember your drink. —Truly remarkable for thousands of people circulating in and out week after week. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS, MAIN DINING ROOMS, AND BUFFET My father and I ate at 5 of the 7 speciality restaurants on board. This isn’t super typical of everyone who adds speciality dinning to their cruise, as most people will eat at between 2 or 3 restaurants. In no particular order, opinions/grades on the 5 that we ate at: * Le Bistro (French) B+ The food at Le Bistro was pretty good. Not great. I heard several others sitting around us that they were really enjoying the cuisine but there’s a huge caveat for me with the fact that I’m from Louisiana and live in New Orleans. Please understand that I have access to some of the best French food available in the US on a daily basis. * La Cucina (Italian) A+ The food at La Cucina was excellent! Great starter salads, beautiful charcuterie board/antipasto and ton’s of Italian favorites. I had the veal and it was excellent! * Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant B- The meal was decent. But Not nearly the best Chinese food that I’ve had at sea. Much better Chinese on Celebrity Equinox....Called “Silk Harvest”. Their biggest problem is that they are missing some of the American favorites of Chinese. No General Tso Chicken and many other thing’s that Americans would expect from a Chinese restaurant. * Cagney’s Steakhouse D+ Unfortunately one of the worst meals that I’ve ever had at sea. I ordered my ribeye “medium”, and it came out still mooing. Also, the ribeye was 50% fat. I love ribeyes and cook steak often at home, and understand that that cut of meat will have extra marbling, but this was absurd. My father ordered his steak medium-well, and it came like a piece of leather. We both ended up just eating our salads and sides(which were fair at best), and cast aside the steaks. —The staff tried to make it right though. (Plain and simple, Cagney’s just sucks. Tried it on the NCL Escape as well, and thought the exact same thing). —You’d think a steakhouse would be one of the easiest to operate. * Teppanyaki (Japanese hibachi) A+ This was the second best meal that we had behind La Cucina. The food was excellent, as was the enjoyment of the hibachi experience. And the hibachi chef’s were entertaining and hilarious. The food was excellent. Great variety of Steak, chicken, shrimp, muscles, veggies, and rice. ***As you can see from above, 4 of the 5 were good, with 2 being great. Very disappointed in Cagneys on both the Escape and the Epic. MAIN DINNING ROOMS: A+ There are two main dinning rooms on EPIC. “Manhattan” and “Taste”. Manhattan is a little dressier with a little bit more formal setting. Whereas Taste is a little more laid back with more of a traditional menu. We only ate at Manhattan once, and both really liked it. —Very similar menus and atmosphere to other comparable ships. BUFFET: A+ Good choices for breakfast and lots of variety. Pretty typical for a mega ship buffet, but added variety. They seem to a little better job on breakfast than other lines (particularly with omelette stations)... They have omelette stations and other quick to order stations all over to try and get it to you fast. Although we only ate lunch once at the buffet, again there was a good variety of American favorites and various salad bars, and other ethnic cuisine. One thing that we loved was the burger/grilled items outside near the pool deck. Easy to grab lunch and to get back to your deck chair. ENTERTAINMENT: B+ If you remember my opening, you know that I don’t particularly care for “freestyle cruising” because of having to schedule everything so early... Nothing is more prevalent of that than the main theater shows on EPIC. THE SHOWS: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Burn the Floor," are the Two main headliner shows in the theater. Both were entertaining and high energy. Really liked “Burn The Floor”. Drag isn’t necessarily my thing, but still thought Priscilla was hilarious. Unlike most cruise lines, I do give NCL a lot of credit for their (what I call) “sub-shows”. —Which are smaller venues with comedians, or other shows within smaller venues around the ship. The best show on the ship hands down was called “Cirque Dreams Epicurean” Held in the “Spiegel Tent”. —Which a smaller dinner theater near the main theater. Given the small theater and the rapid changing of the various stages, you feel like the actors and acrobats are right on top of you! It’s interactive as well! There is a charge for this show as they serve dinner as well. It was about the price of a specialty restaurant. Book early! The shows fill up rapidly and were sold out for most of the cruise. Another “sub-show” was “Howl At The Moon” located in Headliners Comedy Club —Free and open to anyone, three musicians play various instruments and take requests from the audience for hours... They were AWESOME! Plus, you can come and go as you please. They typically play for about 4 hours. 8-11PM is clean in case kids are there. After 11PM is uncensored(which is more enjoyable) Speaking of Comedy....One MASSIVE negative which robbed my ENTERTAINMENT GRADE OF BEING AN “A” was no comedy show at all! —Not Even in the comedy club! —I’m not sure if this was just for this cruise, or whether NCL plans on ceasing comedy shows or what the deal was??? MISCELLANEOUS POSITIVES: -I found a lot less nickel & diming on EPIC. -One of the biggest varieties of speciality dinning, along with free speciality dinning options. -The ship really does well with excursions which is important when you’re in Europe given the language differences. -NCL Might have the best premium drink package on earth! Way less expensive than Celebrity and MSC, and you can order virtually anything. They also don’t “drink count” as I call it. In other words, if I ordered two drinks at a time, I didn’t need two cruise cards. They just did it(Believe me my friends, that is rare) MISCELLANEOUS NEGATIVES: -The WiFi was the worst I’ve ever had at sea. Mind you that both my father and I bought the premium unlimited packages on that. Had to constantly re-boot and try for sometimes 7 to 8 times to just to sign on. I get it, I was on vacation and some of you will say that I should’ve unplugged. But, I’m in management with a media company and have to check my email once a day during weekdays for emergencies even when on vacation. -No free bottled water. —Seriously. With a premium drink package, you can order all the Patron, Grey Goose, or Johnny Walker Blue Label you want, BUT NOT bottled water unless you want to pay out of pocket. Otherwise, you get a glass of tap water. Never seen that on 17 cruises except this. IN CLOSING: This cruise was amazing because of the three main factors. 1.) The itinerary, 2.) the people on the ship 3.) the crew. Yes, the ship is nice. But you’d be dazzled by some of the newer ships that other lines have come out with recently. I give the overall grade of B+ to the entire cruise. Inconsistencies in the food, the WiFi, freestyle cruising and a few lesser things narrowly cost EPIC an “A”. —Still a great cruise. Cheers to you on your next voyage! -Matthew from New Orleans, Louisiana Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my first NCL cruise and I booked through Costco Travel which offered a couple of perks (two complimentary premium dinners) in the process. I also booked the premium beverage package and the daily spa package which made the ... Read More
This was my first NCL cruise and I booked through Costco Travel which offered a couple of perks (two complimentary premium dinners) in the process. I also booked the premium beverage package and the daily spa package which made the cruise a bit more expensive but well worth the cost. The Epic is a large ship staffed with a great crew that always seemed committed to offering gracious and friendly service. Traveling with a friend, we were able to book and hold a handicap-equipped cabin which gave us a bit more floor space as well as the balcony which was great. The only down side was that the door to the combined restroom/shower was broken so we had to make due with a curtain hung by velcro -- not exactly the best privacy set up but we were advised that the repair was planned for shortly after our trip. Pro's: Amazing fitness center and Spa -- we opted for the daily spa access and took advantage of both the workout area and jacuzzi every day. The food was always good and because of the variety offered, even the most picky eaters will find ample options. The kids on board seemed to really love the pizza and I agree -- it's very good! The water flume rides are fun and the wait times were reasonable. The entertainment was also top notch. Con's: Very few issues to mention but here are a couple: the ice machines in the restaurants were overwhelmed at times and sometimes the crew could not keep up with the demand for clean cups. The piped in relaxation music in the spa is just one short tune played over and over. They really need to add more relaxing music because the monotonous one song detracts from the calming experience. While the public restrooms were kept clean, there were some metal support pieces in the toilet stalls that seem dingy and need to be polished. I also noticed that some painted surfaces outside the dining room windows that were showing rust. Lastly, the swimming pools themselves are very small for such a large ship. The water in the pools was also very warm and not refreshing. The ports of call on this trip were interesting and the excursion options were plentiful. To be able to visit three countries in 7 days and only unpack once is definitely a great reason to cruise and overall the NCL Epic was a fantastic vessel for my summer vacation! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had fabulous weather. The ports were very nice and of course the crew were exceptional as always on a NCL ship. However, the ship is too large and too crowded to really give everyone the attention they deserve. Embarking was like ... Read More
We had fabulous weather. The ports were very nice and of course the crew were exceptional as always on a NCL ship. However, the ship is too large and too crowded to really give everyone the attention they deserve. Embarking was like herding cattle. Not like any haven embarkation I've ever seen. Especially since we are platinum latitudes level. Even though we had a haven suite we were unable to enjoy the haven pool area as it was so crowded and filled with children. The elevators were jam packed. The haven epic club restaurant was fabulous. Staff and food were excellent. In fact I would forego the specialty dining and just eat there if I had to do it over again. There are just way too many haven passengers to make you feel you are getting your money's worth for anything other than the restaurant. The concierge, David, never came to our room to introduce himself or check on our needs. If you visited him at his desk there were often long lines. However, his assistant, Lillian, was fabulous. I gave her the tip. Singh, our Butler was exceptional. He took care of everything we needed and was available anytime I needed something. I did not go to any show. Apparently with so many people you had to make reservations. And some were an extra charge. What is up with that??? Even the musicians and singers at the smaller bars were so crowded you couldn't get a seat. I like the ultimate beverage package but it seems that with so many people having this option the servers are no longer coming to take your drink orders. The lines are so long as a result. All in all I was not impressed and felt I did not get much value for the amount I spent on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Three of us, ages ranging from 42-75, traveled on the Epic for a 5 day cruise (Cozumel and Great Stirrup Cay). We had done our research ahead of time which really paid off! Here are our take aways: EMBARKATION: Easy but long lines. ... Read More
Three of us, ages ranging from 42-75, traveled on the Epic for a 5 day cruise (Cozumel and Great Stirrup Cay). We had done our research ahead of time which really paid off! Here are our take aways: EMBARKATION: Easy but long lines. Lucky for us, we were traveling with someone who was on a knee scooter so we were able to use the elevator and not wait in the line for the escalator. We arrived at 11:30am and were on the ship by 12:45pm. CABIN: We were in a handicap accessible cabin (8188) which was much bigger than most balcony cabins. There was plenty of storage, drawers, hangers, etc. Definitely bring an adaptor because there are only 2 plugs (one European and one American). Our only issue was with the bathroom. The water did not fully drain after showers so there was still water on the floor in the bathroom which made it difficult for people to use the toilet without getting their feet wet. DINING: We took advantage of the "free" 3 night specialty dining plan. We ate at Cagneys (OK) and Le Bistro (AMAZING! So much so, that we went back a second time). Cagneys did not blow us away like we thought it would (our steaks were overcooked). However, at Le Bistro , all of our meals were amazing! The Frisse salad, Scallop appetizer, Mushroom soup, Onion soup, Escargot, Filet, Scallops (main course), Veal, the vegetable puff pastry dish and every single dessert we had were wonderful. The only complaint we had was that it is situated under Cirque so sometimes you would hear a huge BOOM!, and it was the acrobats on the deck above us. We also dined at Taste one evening and Manhattan one evening. Both were good but not nearly as good as the Specialty restaurants. We ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch, and the food was fine. The coffee at the buffet, by the way, was as good as the specialty coffee shop. Don't waste your money. ENTERTAINMENT: Pricilla and the dance show were both very good but definitely not appropriate for kids. I was surprised at how many people brought their young kids to these shows. Mandy who was our cruise director, the Dailies, etc did a great job of warning parents of the content of the shows. The talent of these dancers, singers and actors was amazing. We were unable to get into Howl at the Moon, etc. If you didn't line up 45 mins ahead of time, you couldn't get in (they didn't take reservations). FREESTYLE CRUISING: Norwegian likes to pride itself on its Freestyle Cruising but it really isn't true Freestyle Cruising. We had done our research ahead of time and knew that if you didn't make dinner and show reservations before you boarded, you probably weren't getting in. Example: We waited to book the Cirque show until we got on the ship, and it was too late. We also went to the Spa at around 3pm on embarkation day to book massages and the only day we could get in was a port day in the afternoon. Sea days were already booked. We met people who didn't book anything until they got onboard and they didn't get to eat all of their 3 specialty dining restaurants nights because they couldn't get in anywhere. My suggestion would be to book everything you can weeks before you board. EXCURSIONS: We did the Dolphin Encounter at Cozumel which was nice but not as nice as the one at Atlantis in the Bahamas. We also did the Stingray excursion on Great Stirrup Cay. That was amazing! Our guides were so knowledgable and helpful. I would highly recommend it. SPRING BREAK: We went during college Spring Break so we were prepared for utter mayhem. And it was! The pool deck was beyond capacity, as was the pool bar. Even though we are early birds, we rarely got a lounger at the pool (deck 18-non Haven side was Ok the first 2 days but then everyone else caught on). All the bars on deck 6 were packed all day long. Deck 7 bars were much more manageable, especially during the day. SERVICE: We had read horror stories about service on the Epic and how none of the employees were happy, etc. We had a totally different experience thank goodness! Our room stewart was so friendly, everyone we passed in the hallways said hello to us, the bartenders (although very over worked) were friendly, and all the servers in the restaurants were very nice and helpful. I think if you have a positive outlook, smile and are friendly to the employees, they will be friendly to you. DEBARKATION: Super easy. We walked off with our luggage at 7:45am and were on the bus at 8am. Side note: we highly recommend Go Port Canaveral for either a Park and Ride or Stay and Ride package. We flew into Orlando Airport, stayed at the Embassy Suites Airport and were picked up the next morning but the Go Port Canaveral bus at 10:30am. The same bus drove us back to the airport after the cruise. All of that was included for one price (~$100 per person). Overall, we had a great time on the Epic. Yes, it was crowded and yes it was crazy with the Spring Breakers, but we had fun! The one thing we missed from other cruises (RC and Disney) is the outdoor decks. The Epic is very dark and closed off. There is no place to walk outside to get away on the Epic (unless you go to the pool deck which is always crazy). The Epic also has very small theaters, etc. The Headliners club should have been built much bigger, etc. Would we go again? Probably but we would definitely try a different Norwegian ship first. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I must preface this review with the fact that this particular cruise was a combination of many freak incidents. We had mechanical engine issues and stopped at none of the 3 ports on our itinerary. So I cannot comment on any excursions or ... Read More
I must preface this review with the fact that this particular cruise was a combination of many freak incidents. We had mechanical engine issues and stopped at none of the 3 ports on our itinerary. So I cannot comment on any excursions or ports. The one port we stopped at, San Juan, we hit 2 smaller docks that sunk...check it out on YouTube :) All this to say, we spent almost our entire vacation on the ship. So thank God the ship was massive and had a ton to do! The restaurants were fantastic. We particularly liked getting breakfast at O'Sheehans and dinner at The Manhatten. Service and presentation were excellent at The Manhatten. Varied between bars on how strong the drinks were. Entertainment: we loved the dueling piano bar -- so much talent and so much fun! The comedians on board were fantastic and did a good mix of family shows and adult later night shows. Side note: the comedians had a ball with making fun of our ship's mechanical issues which actually helped relieve everyone's anger and stress over the situation. What can you do but laugh and have another drink?! Cabins: we were on an inside state room...we honestly don't care that much about the room as we spent most of the time in other areas of the ship. But for 2 of us, it was more than enough room. Service: overall it was good and the crew were incredibly patient and calm while dealing with thousands are angry cruisers. The only thing I wish they had done was communicate a little more information regarding the situation and updates. The captain and cruise director would give important updates over the PA system which was spotty in many areas. So many people were clueless to what was happening until receiving a letter to their stateroom a few hours later. It's been almost 3 weeks since returning with no communication from NCL on the refunds and credits we were promised. We are hopeful that they will provide information to our claim within the next month but again, I feel like customer service and communication could be much better for a situation like this that affected 4000 guests. Everyone we talked to who were veteran cruisers said that this has never happened to them and to do another NCL cruise. We most likely will...because we'll receive a huge credit for a future NCL cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our second cruise with Norwegian, so we now have two ships to compare. We took the Breakaway in May 2018, and the Epic in January 2019. Transfers from the airport and embarkation: Transfers from the airport were a bit slow: we ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Norwegian, so we now have two ships to compare. We took the Breakaway in May 2018, and the Epic in January 2019. Transfers from the airport and embarkation: Transfers from the airport were a bit slow: we waited 2.5 hours from the time our flight landed until we could catch the shuttle to the port. We found the transfer shuttle quickly – it just took a long time for a bus. The embarkation process once we arrived at the port was quick and very efficient - maximum 30 minutes from the time we arrived at the port until we were on the ship. Disembarkation and return to the airport was quick. We disembarked on time with our luggage and were waiting on the bus within 30 minutes. We waited on the bus for about 45 minutes (we don’t know why – it was full) before returning to the airport, but still arrived with plenty of time to check-in, eat lunch, and make our flights. The Epic’s rooms were slightly more dated than the Breakaway’s rooms. The largest issue we had with the entire cruise was the bathroom situation. Rooms don’t have a bathroom per se: there is a toilet room, a shower, and then a curtain dividing the front of the room from the back. There is a sink-vanity combo on the backroom side of the curtain. This was really tight and awkward, and would have been even moreso for non-couples staying in the room together (siblings, parents-kids, friends, colleagues, etc). Frankly, you can see and hear everything the person is doing on the other side of the curtain! However, the Epic’s rooms had significantly more closet storage than the Breakaway. We had tons of drawers, cupboards, shelves, and hangers so we were both easily able to fully unpack and hide our luggage for the duration of the cruise. Our cruise director Mandy was friendly but not as visible or approachable as our previous cruise director Dan Dan. Many of her announcements were pre-recorded, whereas Dan Dan would actually make the announcement in a public place. Our room steward Kevin was friendly and accessible. He recognized us and we saw him almost every day. Unfortunately, our room seemed to be getting cleaned later in the day, as we would return from excursions around 1-3pm and our room still hadn’t been cleaned. We had the pleasure of running into Shirley from the cruise director’s staff, whom we first met on the Breakaway. She remembered us and we remembered her. She was still bubbly, happy, and energetic whenever we saw her. As others have mentioned, the three pools are too small for a cruiseship holding 4000+ people. No more than 100-200 people could swim between these pools. However, we never had an issue finding a lounge chair or deck chair. One amenity that we quickly missed was the ability to dry our clothes. As a Caribbean cruise, you’re obviously swimming and wet every day: you need to dry off and have your clothes dry in a reasonable timeframe. Unfortunately, air circulation in the rooms was poor, even if you hung your clothes in the shower with the vent and clothesline. As a result, our room quickly gained a damp and musty smell from our constantly wet clothes and towels. We had to take our clothes to dry on the deck in the sun; otherwise the smell would have only gotten worse. Other cruiseships have pay-per-use laundry machines; the Epic only offered to do laundry once – a single laundry bag for USD$20, to be returned a few days before the end of the cruise. We’d like to see better laundry services. As expected, all of the entertainment was great. The Broadway shows Priscilla and Burn the Floor were incredible. The Cirque dinner and show were amazing. The impressionist, comedian, and magician were great. The hypnotist and vocalist were different, but something entertaining to watch. The outdoor theatre was great. The screen is a good size and the staggered layout allowed for dozens of lounge chairs and deck chairs to be used to comfortably watch a movie. The Atrium needs to be doubled or maybe tripled in size: the existing chairs were always full, leaving most guests to stand and watch the entertainment. The entertainment there is amazing! The competitions and gameshows were always fun to watch. It being full is a good thing, but something needs to be done about seating. There are two photo studios next to the Atrium that we never saw being used; perhaps they could be removed to make additional Atrium room. Alternatively, we’ve heard that other cruiselines have a dedicated “gameshow theatre” – a second theatre just for what Norwegian would do in the Atrium. Guest Services in the Atrium were quicker than the Breakaway. There were never long line ups more than 3-4 people. One issue we had was with Grand Cayman: due to wind we were dislocated from the primary port to another port about 20 minutes away. The wind is not Norwegian’s fault; however, it should have been Norwegian’s responsibility to get us where they agreed to take us. Instead, they simply announced taxis were available for USD$6 per person, one-way. Because of this, we were late for an excursion, which resulted in additional costs for us to find the excursion part-way through as well as us missing about an hour of the excursion. All of the food was good. The variety was excellent and we certainly never went hungry. The Garden Café again had theme nights for supper every night. One thing they could have done better was use and highlight the local cuisine. The ship was clearly very American-centric, so many of the ‘themes’ were just American food: American night, western country night, etc. We were sailing in the Caribbean and I would have liked to see authentic local Caribbean food (jerk chicken, fresh coconut, pineapple, mango, avocado, tacos, etc). The Epic has one less restaurant than the Breakaway (Breakaway also has Savour). This added a lot of pressure to the remaining restaurants, resulting in longer line ups and wait times. We would recommend making reservations early in the day. We had issues with O’Sheehans Pub again, as we did on the Breakaway. Once again, wait times were long and service was slow. It’s disappointing, especially since it’s literally the same pub menu every day. Why aren’t there always burgers, wings, and nachoes cooking and ready to go? We also had an issue with Taste Restaurant early in the cruise. Our total dinner service took more than two hours! It took a very long time to order, and then we waited almost an hour between appetizers and main courses with the appetizer plates still at our table. It felt like our server forgot about us. We had to ask him where our main courses were, and remind him multiple times that we still needed a room key returned after ordering wine. We missed a show and let him know we were too exhausted for dessert. Thankfully, when we complained about this issue, both the Food and Beverage Director and Manager called us to apologize, ask for our feedback, and gave us free chocolate-covered strawberries. Both of Norwegian’s private islands on this cruise (Great Stirrup Cay and Harvest Caye) were phenomenal. Truly paradise. It rained for the morning of Great Stirrup Cay, but so what? Go swimming and you’re going to be wet anyway. Both had tons of beach space and everything you could need. The fresh tacos at Great Stirrup Cay were a nice touch; the massive pool at Harvest Caye is unforgettable. The crew talent show on the final night was nice: it let us appreciate their skills and talents beyond just being crew members. We saw a singer, band, magician, and baton thrower among them. The Epic’s farewell event was not as nice or formal as on the Breakaway. The Epic’s was simply a 10 minute farewell video tacked on following the magician on the second-last night: it felt rushed and didn’t give the crew the recognition they deserved. Overall, the Epic is more dated than the Breakaway. It has much warmer wood tones and it’s darker in a lot of areas. It borders between warm and cozy and too dark at times. For example, the Atrium on the Epic had fewer windows than the Breakaway. As another example, the Breakaway had fish on the carpets that ‘swam’ toward the front of the ship. You don’t realize how helpful they are until they’re gone! As a result of the comments above, the Breakaway was 5/5 but the Epic was 4/5. It was still a great cruise and Norwegian was still excellent, save for the issues and opportunities above. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Embarkation It was smooth and we got on the ship quickly. Ship This is second time we have been on the Epic. It is a poorly designed ship with weird bathroom set up and no middle elevators but the price was right. The Disney ... Read More
Embarkation It was smooth and we got on the ship quickly. Ship This is second time we have been on the Epic. It is a poorly designed ship with weird bathroom set up and no middle elevators but the price was right. The Disney Fantasy follow us through out the cruise and it was 3-4 k more expensive. We enjoyed Deal or No Deal and Bingo. We also enjoyed Burn the Floor. We would have like to seen Priscilla but was not suitable for our 10 year old, it would have been helpful to this information on the NCL website. We would have liked to seen more children friendly entertainment especially over the Christmas/ New Years break when there are lots of children. We ate at the Garden Cafe, I would have liked to see sushi, better tasting Chinese and Indian food but it general most of the food was very good. I would have like to seen better labeling of the food. We ate at Taste and Manhattan both were good. Manhattan was slow on New Years Eve. The cabin was fine and Francis our cabin steward was great. We had a hard time finding lounge chair. One guy was very rude and would not let me sit on a lounge chair. Andre the cruise director was good we saw he around and he said hello to the kids at the kids club. At Garden Cafe Pushcard (sp) was very nice. Information session with Jake. My daughter and I went to the information session with Jake. We were promised a free set of earring afterward. We only got a coupon to pick up at Diamonds International. The DI at BVI did not have them. The DI at St. Thomas did not have them. We had to go to downtown St. Thomas to get them. It was very misleading advertising and shame on NCL. Splash Academy My daughter was happy with all kids of the ship and she met a lot of kids. The activities were ok, she enjoyed going to the teen club. In general the staff were lacking and made some strange comments and did babyish games. The kids club was better of RCCL and Celebrity. Ports We enjoyed all the Ports. We went to Cane Garden Bay beach which was great. If you want to take a shower afterwards bring a quarter. At GSC, bring your own water shoes the beach is rocky and snorkeling equipment. The snorkeling was good and food at the buffet on the beach was good also. Disembarkation Was a little slow, it took about 45 minutes. Using a porter, we cleared customs faster. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was the 2nd of 2 back-to-backs, Dec. 22 and 29, 2019. Having been on Caribbean cruises before, we did not make plans for off-ship organized tours, as we were warned of the slow disembarkation, especially by tenders, making it ... Read More
This was the 2nd of 2 back-to-backs, Dec. 22 and 29, 2019. Having been on Caribbean cruises before, we did not make plans for off-ship organized tours, as we were warned of the slow disembarkation, especially by tenders, making it necessary to get into line early!!!. NCL did its best to make this easier, but it was still an hour and a half, with an arranged tender time, to get off ship at Great Stirrup Cay. A fault here for the process is that no one ensured that those with a scheduled tender were those who got on it. Around us were a number of people with later tender times, or not scheduled times, getting on the tender we were to get on. On the flip side, we were part of number of cruisers doing back-to-back and the process for us was well handled and well explained, and we received some special handling to make our mid-cruise disembarkation, US Customs, and reboarding as easy as it could be. We had full access to our cabins and the ship if we chose to "stay onboard". A disappointment for us was that there was no indoor lounge overlooking the sea, so to watch the sea pass by as you sailed meant an outdoor space, in the wind. This ship is not designed to allow one to just enjoy a quiet space to watch the world go by. Another annoyance was the need to pass through the Casino, with its smoking area, to get to the Atrium from aft elevators, or to access some of the restaurants. Gamblers can find a casino, others should not have to suffer its presence. In another review, I discussed the very oddly designed and cramped cabin (deck 9, balcony), but obviously this was part of NCL designing a ship to carry the maximum number of passengers, and ensure that their attention was always on the onboard action. The result is a ship that from onshore is as ugly as any container vessel, and onboard is lacking a mid-ship elevator bank so the forward and aft ones are very busy and patience trying. We had few issues with the specialty restaurants and found the food quality in them very good. The main restaurants we found noisy and the staff seemed to be too few for the number of tables they dealt with, so food arrived on the cool side and waits tended to be, at times, long. On the positive side, we found the food tasty and variety was good, although desserts can be skipped, as they tend to be pretty bland. On these cruises, the entertainment was fantastic, especially Burn the Floor, and Priscilla, both of which we saw a second time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We've cruised several times with NCL in the past, but only on shorter cruises and smaller ships . Based on our past experiences, we were really looking forward to our 10 days on the Epic. Our cruise started off on a really bad ... Read More
We've cruised several times with NCL in the past, but only on shorter cruises and smaller ships . Based on our past experiences, we were really looking forward to our 10 days on the Epic. Our cruise started off on a really bad note. We arrived at Port Canaveral just after 11am, and there was already a long line. We got into line and soon realized the line wasn't moving, and nobody was being allowed into the terminal. Busloads of people continued to arrive, and without any authority to guide the situation, the line soon turned into just a mob. Several lines formed, some people knowingly or unknowingly cut into lines, and the crowd became vocally unhappy. Still no official from NCL or the Port was present. Eventually, some of the passengers found some line stanchions that weren't being used, and on there own tried to make some lines. It was truly chaos outside. It was quite windy and cold outside. Eventually, the line started to slowly move. It took us more than 3 hours of standing in line to get onboard the ship, and it was really all most people were talking about. Once onboard, things got quickly better. Good things about cruise: Crowds were reasonable considering ship was full (4100 people). Staff was awesome. Restaurants and bars were great. We enjoyed O'Sheehan's being open 24 hours for snacks. Ship seemed clean and well maintained. The best bathroom ever on the pool deck. Water slides were a lot of fun. Lots of good entertainment, especially Epic Beatles. Good ports of call with lots to do. Lots of places to go to escape crowds. Not so great things about cruise: Didn't get to go to Great Stirrup Cay due to rough weather. We've been scheduled to go to Great Stirrup Cay 4 times, but have only made on the island twice. I realize it's a safety decision, but it's still disappointing. In humid weather, the tile floors in buffet got quite slick. Bathrooms in staterooms a bit weird. Cavern Club venue not big enough to hold Epic Beatles crowd. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Cabin - was fine plenty of storage - yes bed is not long enough but not terrible for people under 5' 6". Food - food in specialty restaurants was good. Service a little slow - seems like not enough servers. Japanese ... Read More
Cabin - was fine plenty of storage - yes bed is not long enough but not terrible for people under 5' 6". Food - food in specialty restaurants was good. Service a little slow - seems like not enough servers. Japanese restaurant was my favorite - was fun and the food was very good. Though again it is really dragged out. O'Sheehans -hit or miss - most of the time they did not bring out the right food or brought out some of it and the rest a good 30 minutes later. Service terribly slow on the bar side - not sure what the difference is why it was so slow on that side. The quality of the food was not that great either - but my husband loved the wings so we had to go a few times!! Entertainment - shows were pretty good. Sadly I didn't stay up for most of the entertainment that was after 10pm. Wish some of the dancing things started early. Didn't like where they did the 'entertainment' in the main pool area. If you wanted to watch what was going on you had to stand around the area and it was three deep or more most of the time. Didn't like this layout for that area at all. The Dawn and the Breakaway were much better for this type of entertainment. Embarking - confusing when getting off the shuttle - too many others trying to crowd to get on the shuttle back to the AVIS rental - terrible traffic so shuttle to and from Avis was really bad. Person loading luggage on the 'carts' to bring to the ship was an old guy that we didn't trust to ensure the bags got on. We had some that was trying to leave on the shuttle we just got off of try to take one of our bags!! Was such a mess. But once we got into the terminal it was fine - plenty of seats for everyone to wait. disembarking is always a pain - was painful at Port Canaveral since they only had 2 customs people for the over 4000 leaving the ship. Plus the way the lines are mixed into where you have to search for your luggage made it confusing and terribly disorganized. I do not recommend the 11 day cruise for people 16 thru 25. There were very few teens to early 20's on the cruise. There were lots of walkers and scooters and people with canes! Also I just don't recommend the EPIC - too big - not enough seating for everyone - didn't like the pool setups at all in either the main pool area or the H20 pool -terrible ladder to get into the H2O pool and the water was way too warm. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We booked this cruise a second time because of the solid value offered, and the generally friendly and active passengers we experienced last year. Numerous people remembered us this time as we went about activities and dining, and all were ... Read More
We booked this cruise a second time because of the solid value offered, and the generally friendly and active passengers we experienced last year. Numerous people remembered us this time as we went about activities and dining, and all were repeat passengers for multiple past cruises. The big values for us were the Burn the Floor dancers that performed in the Manhattan dining room, Epic theatre, and ballroom dance classes. Amazingly fast and complicated moves appeared effortless except for the heat they generated. Many other talent balanced out the performances, including more comedians than last year. Standout hospitality from Roderick in keeping our cabin in perfect shape, even though our schedule was a bit erratic, and from all the food servers in the Shanghai and Manhattan rooms were really appreciated. Wallfredo managed our wine selections with insight and attention, and we have only good memories of many Manhattan dinners. We were laughing one night about what a comparable dinner, Broadway show, late night disco, and hotel in New York would have required; compared to just strolling around the ship for a few minutes and saying thanks for the experience. That’s value. Counterpoints were the smokey casino right in the middle of the ship and the three amenities floors that NCL has not safely ventilated to protect their employees and non-smoking passengers like me. That’s a prime reason for choosing other ships. Secondly, although you can find some healthy foods, they’re re mixed in with hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, sweets and ice cream. Some deserts were labeled “No Sugar Added” but does that mean they are loaded with sugar-alcohols or toxic artificial sweeteners instead. More informative labeling or online ingredient lists would be greatly appreciated. Finally, the entertainment staff needs to expand their playlists to eliminate obnoxious repeats of over-played classics like “Hotel California.” Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My daughter and I are 1st time cruisers so didn't know what to expect. The staff and cabin crew were excellent and I must mention "washy washy happy happy the Epic cruisers will know what this is. We ate most of the time in the ... Read More
My daughter and I are 1st time cruisers so didn't know what to expect. The staff and cabin crew were excellent and I must mention "washy washy happy happy the Epic cruisers will know what this is. We ate most of the time in the Garden Café which was well set out and the food was excellent however, not much for vegetarians . All the public places on the ship were very good and the entertainment and shows were excellent. We had a balcony state room, which overall was ok however, the curtain on the balcony was falling off on quite a few places as was the curtain which separated the toilet and shower. The shower was good and the room was cleaned at least twice a day a very compact cabin but ok for 2 people. The ports of call were stunning and beautiful we had amazing weather. I will mention , my mobility is not a 100% and I personally struggled a bit and I found the public places on the ship very hot. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Overall this was a fantastic trip. All of the ports were awesome with embarkation and disembarkation really smooth with the exception of Naples. Getting back onboard was a chore. The ship itself was awesome. I’ve cruised in the past ... Read More
Overall this was a fantastic trip. All of the ports were awesome with embarkation and disembarkation really smooth with the exception of Naples. Getting back onboard was a chore. The ship itself was awesome. I’ve cruised in the past and I often found myself with nothing to do, or entertainment that wasn’t entirely entertaining. Not the case with the Epic. The shows were fantastic and the dining options were endless. I traveled with a large group and there were plenty of options for us to get together as a group for dinner or a show. The only thing that wasn’t 100% was the quality of the rooms. The ship is a little bit older and the wear and tear was pretty apparent in some places. There were a few spots throughout where it looked like a quick fix was in place, but it was nothing that would have turned me away from sailing on the Epic, or any Norwegian ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Check in at the Barcelona port was relatively easy. Took less than an hour total from when we got there and when we were physically on the ship. You enter the ship in the casino area, so it's tacky and smells like smoke but don't ... Read More
Check in at the Barcelona port was relatively easy. Took less than an hour total from when we got there and when we were physically on the ship. You enter the ship in the casino area, so it's tacky and smells like smoke but don't let that get you down, it gets better. Room was fine, balcony was great (I saw 4 shooting stars at night!) and there was a lot of salt all over the balcony that I wiped down. I agree the room's bathroom is not great, and the bathroom door can rattle so you have to be very precise making sure it's in a good spot not to rattle all night. The couch in the room takes up too much space- we never sat on it, but that's being picky. Room was clean, and attendant was great- laid back but happy to provide excellent service. There are two smoking areas- one in the casino and one near the family pool. Other than that no one should be smoking on the ship. Also note- they give you a shampoo/conditioner combo that is not that great- fine for a week but if you prefer to have your own stuff then you should bring what you want. Bring a USB charger/outlet. Our room manager gave us extra hangers upon on our request. We downloaded the app, tried to familiarize ourselves with the ship. You can use the app even if you don't have any wifi package. They really should have a ship map available on the app, or show you where your reservations are- so the app could use some work, hopefully that will improve soon. We wanted to watch NFL but they didn't show any of the games - they showed European Football. They also show cruise-event shows that can be embarrassingly hilarious. The "Mr. Sexy Legs" competition that we didn't see in person happened to be on the TV, so did a couples show and a dance show from the ship- funny and awkward stuff, if you sign up to be a contestant, just remember you might be broadcast to the entire ship! Dining was fine, better than I could make for 4000 people. Buffets were to be expected and main dining was nice but forgettable. The Manhattan Room had live music so if you like that I recommend heading there. Teppanyaki was pretty much the same you would find in any American Teppenyaki restaurant. I loved the freestyle dining though. I would sail NCL just because of how great the freestyle dining is, eat when you want. Also, they have dress codes such as no shorts in Manhattan but it's more of a suggestion and they let plenty of people in that were wearing shorts. We liked eating at O'Sheehans after an excursion, they are open all the time and the servers were fantastic. We never had to wait long for any of our food. Entertainment- as a former entertainer, I make sure to catch the shows. Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Epic Theater) was hilarious and I loved it- that cast has a damn good time out there, costumes and makeup are fantastic. If you have a sense of humor, make sure you check it out. Burn the Floor (Epic Theater) had some amazing dancers, Cirque (Spiegel Tent) was pretty good but very limited in what they can do, it's more like a few interesting acts, and if you sit close you may get wet because one guy has a weird bathtub act- Food was not good for the Cirque show, they just asked if Surf and Turf was good (I said yes) and that's what you get- no other choices unless there was a dietary restriction but they probably would have accommodated if I wanted something else. My favorite entertainment though was the Beatles cover band "The Epic Beatles". I wish I knew about these guys so I could have checked out all their shows, I was only able to catch 2. These guys were phenomenal and fun, my favorite was the one who played John Lennon- extremely talented, I wish I knew who he was. They play in the Cavern Club and had a show in the main Epic Theater (plenty of seating for this). The Cavern Club is pretty small and you had to get there at least 45 minutes before the show to get a seat. Otherwise you were stuck with a bunch of people off to the side hardly able to see anything. I think they could improve the seating in the Cavern Club or take away some of the large seating so more people can stand in there. A few folks got up to dance and it was a great time for all of the Epic Beatles shows. I liked the Beatles show so much I actually went to find all my old Beatles CDs and they have now made their way to my car so my kids can learn all the songs. (It's way past time for me to take out the Hamilton CD when my 4 year old knows the words) We paid for the spa pass and I think it was worth it- however I wouldn't do the spa if I had kids with me since you wouldn't get as much time to be in the spa. Spa was clean, had great showers, and a balcony in the back. The Mandara spa staff will walk you through everything spa has to offer. This cruise only had one sea day- we used Italytours.eu for our Best of Rome and then Best of Florence/Pisa days. This is a small family company that relies on Cruise Critic and word of mouth to get customers, so they really want travelers to have a good experience. I would definitely book with them again, everything went smooth and was as expected (they give you a lot of heads up info beforehand). The drivers and tour guides were friendly, knowledgeable and patient with us tourists. One of our drivers had free wifi in his car, so that was a hidden bonus. For Cannes and Palma de Majorca we wanted to have easy days. Cannes we just took their little train tour around and then walked around the area/checked out the yachts. Since we were lazy this day, we just took a later tender, they run often. Other people took the train to Monaco but we didnt have that ambition in us. For Palma de Majorca we took a taxi to Palmanova- a beach about 10 minutes away. Heads up - people in Spain aren't afraid of being naked so act cool. We rented chairs and an umbrella there (total about 14euro cash), there was also a nearby bar that we could grab some drinks at. Fantastic weather and taxis easy to get. The service is great on the ships- the people we met genuinely seemed to like being in the service industry and making sure our vacation was wonderful. I used the laundry service -they had a midweek special for a bag of laundry for about $20- ask your room manager for info if you don't see it. Disembarkation- if this was my first cruise I would have been very confused. We received no information on disembarkation and trying to get anyone on the phone is very hard. So when I finally got the info from Guest Services- you have to either take all your stuff off with you, or pick up some colored tags at Guest Services that have a designated disembarkation time for example 7:30-7:45am (and have your luggage outside your room midnight the night prior)- however if you don't make the exact time you'll be fine as long as you're close to it. We were late because we had breakfast. They just have the luggage waiting there when you do get off the ship. Taxi line is long but not horrible. We stayed in Barcelona and even though there are warnings about pick pockets, I felt very safe throughout the city and while using the subway. As for the whole experience- I would sail this ship again and I would sail NCL again. My preferred cruise line has always been Disney but if NCL has the price, entertainment, and destinations I'm interested in I will use them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Chose this cruise for the wealth of entertainment to suit my husband and I and adult children whilst celebrating my 60th birthday. The studio single persons cabins were a bonus too. Found booking, embarkation and disembarkation a ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the wealth of entertainment to suit my husband and I and adult children whilst celebrating my 60th birthday. The studio single persons cabins were a bonus too. Found booking, embarkation and disembarkation a breeze and loved the itinerary around the Med.Entertainment was good quality and plentiful particularly liked Maltings whisky bar and the staff there. Cabin was OK I didn't mind the unusual separate WC and shower arrangement and I particularly appreciated the coffee machine . I have done the Med before and so didn't go on the organised tours but the costs were prohibitive and I would suggest booking online with an independent tour operator prior to your cruise.Anything outside your "package deal" is also expensive 5 items of laundry cost approx 40 pounds sterling and a bottle of wine with dinner was also expensive. I have cruised with Royal Carribbean previously and the difference between Norweigan and RCCL in terms of service was notable. The majority of staff were lovely but some of those in the buffet restaurant were rude reaching across the table without saying excuse me or acknowledging passengers. I watched one guy go from table to table replenishing cutlery reaching across people as they were eating. Indeed in O'Sheehans one member of staff cleared the table as I was still eating! The gym instructor was late for a 5pm Ryde class. But he was around as I could hear the spa staff urging him to hurry up and apologising on his behalf .He left 3 of us waiting until the other 2 gave up and I did the class on my own. Most staff were very nice polite and helpful, the ship had a good entertainment schedule and was very clean with decent food. However its Royal Carribbean for me next time!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because our cruise last year on the Norwegian Star was absolutely wonderful, so we thought we’d try NCL a second time. We brought our daughter and her boyfriend (1st time cruiser) with us this time. I read a number ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our cruise last year on the Norwegian Star was absolutely wonderful, so we thought we’d try NCL a second time. We brought our daughter and her boyfriend (1st time cruiser) with us this time. I read a number of bad reviews about the ship a month or two before our sail date and was hoping it wasn’t true (comments about the stateroom design, ugly ship, etc.). Well, although I did like the NCL Star better for the shows, the Epic was still wonderful. While other reviews didnt like the bathroom layout, we preferred the shower and toilet separate. The sink on the outside of the bathroom was fine, we had no issues with it being there, in fact I preferred it. You didn’t have to wait for the other person to come out of the shower if you needed to use the toilet. The service was excellent in all areas of the ship, and the food choices were endless. I like how the pub was open 24 hours. Buffet food isn’t always the best no matter where you are, but there were enough choices that there was no way anyone would be without something to eat. I preferred the shows on the Star but these shows were very good too. You had to reserve a date and time for some of the shows. The staff work very hard, morning till night and they really do want to ensure you’re enjoying your time on the ship. We didn’t book shore excursions through NCL, too expensive. Instead you can find the same excursions through the web or when you get off the ship. We had a great vacation and my daughter’s boyfriend had a fantastic time on his first cruise. He will sail again and so will we. A few tips, take the train from Rome to Civitachecchia, it’s cheaper and very efficient. You can catch it at a number of the stations in Rome. You then pay 2 euro for a bus shuttle to the port from the station right to your ship, We took a ferry from Naples to Sorrento, you can buy your tickets in advance or at the port. Be sure to take your proof of purchase to the ticket window going to and from Naples. Sometimes the printed reservation accepted, sometimes you have to go pick up your tickets. Book tours through Tuscany Bus rather than NCL when docked in Liverno, much more cost effective. Also, we stayed one night in Civitachecchia after the cruse but noticed that there are a lot of companies waiting to take passengers to Rome or the airport for only 20euto a person, most companies charge 150euro online for 4 passengers and luggage. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because of the great itinerary, going to places we have never been and wanted to visit. This cruise offered two locations for embarkation, and we chose Rome. There were several places that we wanted to visit in Rome ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the great itinerary, going to places we have never been and wanted to visit. This cruise offered two locations for embarkation, and we chose Rome. There were several places that we wanted to visit in Rome and this gave us the opportunity to arrive in Rome a few days early and spend some additional time there. The City of Rome is actually quite a drive from the cruise port so using this as one of our ports would not have allowed enough time to see everything that we wanted to. The cruise port here in Civitavecchia had just opened so everything was brand new and the process went very smoothly. There also were not as many people embarking here as in Barcelona. so we were able to avoid the crowds. The ship was a bit different than others that we have been on. but there were no major issues. The toilet was in it's own little closet, as was the shower which was on the other side of the door of the cabin. The sink was in the room. The bed was comfortable for my husband and myself, but could be a problem for a tall person. There was plenty of storage in the cabin but very little walking room. One thing that we missed was a walking deck that went around the outside of the ship.There was a small "track" that went up and down one side of the ship on one deck. The upper deck and a few small pools, hot tubs, waterslide and climbing wall. The Garden Cafe Buffet was our choice for breakfast each morning and the food was excellent. We had a promotion for 3 nights of dining in the specialty restaurants and the food options offered were excellent. The regular dining room did not seem to offer very interesting options. The entertainment on the ship was very good, though several required reservations. This was a very enjoyable trip and I would highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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