289 Norwegian Epic Entertainment Cruise Reviews

We liked the itinerary, and ship looked very good. Arriving as we did midweek into Rome was a big mistake, Only about 450 people get on at this point with only a few hundred arriving into the Airport that day. Norwegian do not want to ... Read More
We liked the itinerary, and ship looked very good. Arriving as we did midweek into Rome was a big mistake, Only about 450 people get on at this point with only a few hundred arriving into the Airport that day. Norwegian do not want to arrange transport for every flight so they made us wait 3 hours until they had enough passengers to fill a coach. Once on board you really are a 2nd class passenger as everybody else got on 3 days earlier in Barcelona and had the welcome aboard parties etc and have booked up the weeks events already. Ok well when they all get off at least you will have the jump on all the new passengers so you can book all the entertainment then, Wrong ! they shut down the booking system until midday by then you are ashore and most of the new passengers have arrived and making their reservations. On the day of leaving for most "Barcelona" the ship reverberates to constant announcements for disembarkation times. However when its time for the Rome passengers to leave on the Wednesday their are no announements just a letter telling you to be off the Ship by 6.30 or you will have to find your own transport. We were then left at Rome Airport 5hrs prior to our flight leaving, some people had a longer wait. The entertainment on board was very good, We managed to book a Soul show one night in headliners which was sold out, but once the show started the doors were unlocked for safety reasons and at least 60 more people came in and just stood in front of those who had booked blocking our view. Food is average, although the restaurants with cover charge were much better, especially Cagneys which was excellent, made even better by our waiter Warner who it was a real pleasure to meet. Staff on board are generally very friendly (Govind in headliners, brilliant barman), however as a general rule the female bar staff could be very Rude and miserable which was a shame. The big down side for me on-board was the smoking the whole casino deck which also has the main entertainment areas around it was horrible to walk through as was the area on deck 15 as you walk to the garden restaurant you are forced to walk through smoke, this area could be moved up to the quarter deck next to it. Our cabin (13285) was nice with plenty of storage but the large balcony was wasted as the whole right side view was blocked by a large machine for cleaning the ship bolted down beside it, blocking entire view from that side. Massive shame when in port and you cant see or take pictures. All in all a nice cruise but nothing special, would go on Epic again if the Itinerary was what I wanted but otherwise probably not. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary along with another couple celebrating their honeymoon. We have wanted to do a Mediterranean cruise for some time. We selected NCL because the itinerary closely matched where we wanted to ... Read More
My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary along with another couple celebrating their honeymoon. We have wanted to do a Mediterranean cruise for some time. We selected NCL because the itinerary closely matched where we wanted to go. They gave us a great deal with free onboard dining at specialty restaurants and free taxes and port charges plus a free all inclusive beverage package. The ship was big and well layed out. You may want to reserve a balcony on the 10th and higher floors because the lifeboats jut out and I was on deck 8 and it blocked most of my views of the ocean. The staff were adequate but not legendary. The bar tenders at the pool were some of the most rude employees on a cruise I have ever encountered. They acted like it was an imposition to serve us. The dining and cabin staff were nice but no one person stood out to make this cruise special for us. I am not sure I enjoyed the concept of Freestyle cruising because they seem to nickel and dime you for everything. You had to pay for bottled water, you had to pay for some shows. There was a host of things that had an extra charge attached to it that it almost made it aggravating. I think in future I will spend a little more money and go with a cruise line that offered a little more personal service touches. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was my third NCL cruise in as many years, on the third class of ship - Epic being by far the biggest of the three (Jade and Star being the other two)....and that, frankly, was the key issue - and this was a concern amongst MANY of my ... Read More
This was my third NCL cruise in as many years, on the third class of ship - Epic being by far the biggest of the three (Jade and Star being the other two)....and that, frankly, was the key issue - and this was a concern amongst MANY of my fellow NCL passengers cruising on Epic for the first time. The 'smaller' ships (if a 2000+ pax ship can be called small) all have the excellent NCL range of speciality restaurants....Epic was no different in range, however the restaurants were not scaled-up sufficiently for a 4100 pax ship; as a result the restaurants were booked days in advance. Similarly, the a la carte complimentary dining rooms (Taste & Manhattan) were very good, but there was regularly an hour's wait for a table - this is OK when you have planned for it and have the time to while away in the bar, but not good if you are aiming to get to one of the evening shows. The enduring memory from the ship is that it is configured not for families (ie kids) but rather for revenue generation....for example:, an entire deck of this monster vessel was dedicated to the casino and the key selling points (ie the ice bar, circus etc) were all at additional cost. The other key points, such as the HUGE aft screen, were totally underutilised and only served to provide the world's biggest parasol for the suntan deck! The standard NCL good 'bits', ie service/cabins/packages etc, were as you would find on any NCL ship....therefore, you should discount them from your decision process regarding what ship to choose. Therefore, your decision is simply do you want to sail on a ship as big as this (with the port limitations that it brings) and sample the 'extras', albeit at extra cost? For me the answer is simple, the 'extras' did not offset the issues created by the ship having more pax than the facilities could cater for. NCL remains a favorite, simply because of the freedom of dining - but because you get that on ANY NCL cruise, Epic didn't add any extra 'value'. Ultimately, this was a really disappointing cruise on what should have been the star of the fleet....of course the cruise was saved by the outstanding destinations visited each day - unfortunately, the ship was simply the transport that got us there. Shouldn't it have been sooo much more? Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Good Points: amazing food, recommend the Brazilian food, well worth the money. very clean everywhere, staff are constantly cleaning. Evening show- Priscilla queen of the desert was hilarious and well worth seeing. pools were ... Read More
Good Points: amazing food, recommend the Brazilian food, well worth the money. very clean everywhere, staff are constantly cleaning. Evening show- Priscilla queen of the desert was hilarious and well worth seeing. pools were warm Bad points: my partner has done over 20 cruises, and found this cruise not to be up to the quality of others, as many other people on the ship also found. Many trips are cancelled, due to not enough participation, so ideally arrange your own trips to avoid disappointment. Trips are also incredibly expensive. When the cheaper trip we booked on to was cancelled as on a ship of 4000 passengers, not 20 wanted to take part, the less than helpful staff advised we book a more expensive trip (over $100 more each) without any compensation. Ship has a strange lay out, the atrium feels like some seats on the edge of a corridor, there is not many windows, there are 2 tiny pools surrounded by a wet play area and no large pool anywhere, which was very disappointing as I was looking forward to swimming. queued for over 2 hours to get on board the ship at the start of the holiday, where in my partner's previous experience you are straight on board and greeted with juice or champagne, which we were not. No welcome music or anything either. Sail away party was also disappointing. On attending the canvas painting activity, as 8 people were there, there was no more room for anyone else, could have been held in a larger space as many people were turned away. We took part in a photoshoot session on board, they took beautiful pictures, however the cost for a memory stick of the photos was over $1200 dollars, which we were not informed of until we had had all pictures taken and seen them all. There was no option to buy any less than 15 photos which on a memory stick was well over $500. This is outrageously priced for a memory stick, and we dread to think what a canvas would have cost. This was my first ever cruise, and my partners first time on the EPIC. We picked it as it was a large ship and we thought it would be a great experience for my first cruise. It was however, disappointing, and in future we will not be cruising with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We belong to RCI travel club, they recommended this cruise. We have been on several cruises before and this by far has been the worse. The food was inferior and the choices of food was not good, if you didn't like pizza or pasta ... Read More
We belong to RCI travel club, they recommended this cruise. We have been on several cruises before and this by far has been the worse. The food was inferior and the choices of food was not good, if you didn't like pizza or pasta most days you were out of luck. There was not much variation of food. Seems like every other day the menu was the same. The service was mediocre at best, the entertainment was practically none. You had to make reservations for any of the shows you wanted to see which was very inconvenient. There were not enough lounges with comfortable seating and affordable drinks to just relax and enjoy some grown up music. The price of a glass of wine being $10.00 is just not affordable. Seems most of the emphasis was on gambling and smoking. This was not an enjoyable cruise for us, this is the second one on Norwegian and will be our last. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We cruise the epic 3 years ago and it wasnt good at all. I deciced to give it another chance when i seen the itinery i liked . We just returned april 1st 2017 and it was much better but its still lacking in a few areas. The service was ... Read More
We cruise the epic 3 years ago and it wasnt good at all. I deciced to give it another chance when i seen the itinery i liked . We just returned april 1st 2017 and it was much better but its still lacking in a few areas. The service was great the food very good and we had the best room steward ive had on any ship... Mr ariston . The entertaiment was below average. There is hundreds of plays on braodway and ncl chosses priscilla the drag queen of the dessert. Yuk... The acting was very good but the story line not for everyone and several people left 30 mins in as we did . The epic beatles were teriffic. They looked and sounded like the beatles. I cant say enough we seen them 3x . Burn the floor is a old production that needs to go. We wanted to see a comedy show but ncl wont let you reserve online so the day we boarded we were suppose to book immediatly ( who knew) we got locked out. Water slides not open til late day not good.. Cagneys awesome as always . Casino a real waste mostly penny machines and it took $1 per pull not exactly vegas . This ship has so much potential and doesnt live up to the other ships the rooms are aweful and they knew it since 2010 that why they changed them on the getaway/ breakaway . No privitacy.... The bathroom and shower are a bad design. All and all i give this cruise a b- it achieves that grade thanks to the service and food or it would have been a c the cruise director scott in visable the whole cruise unless you were in the sexy legs contest. tyler is the best thats why hes on the best ship escape. Ncl needs to get crusie directors that like their job most very boring. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The cruise was not bad - but it wasn't exceptional. I will start with the strengths: the entertainment options and quality were terrific, the choices and organization of dining meant no lines and lots of options, the non-smoking ... Read More
The cruise was not bad - but it wasn't exceptional. I will start with the strengths: the entertainment options and quality were terrific, the choices and organization of dining meant no lines and lots of options, the non-smoking portion of the casino was great, there seemed to be more elevators and so there were few lines and waiting, the staff was very friendly. Now...the weaknesses: the public areas were all in the main traffic flow and seemed very crowded, the stateroom arrangement was weird and uncomfortable, the stateroom lighting was horrible and the tv was TINY, our cabin did not have robes (our attendant was good and found me one...but really???), and our stateroom did not seem to be up to the same level of cleanliness that we have come to expect from other cruises. I would definitely cruise with Norwegian again, but am not sure that I would go on the EPIC (especially in an inside stateroom). Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose this cruise because of the special deals available. I chose a Spa Balcony room (identical to the regular balcony rooms except different color bed covering. We were in room 14141, which has a unique larger balcony shaped like a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the special deals available. I chose a Spa Balcony room (identical to the regular balcony rooms except different color bed covering. We were in room 14141, which has a unique larger balcony shaped like a trapezoid. We asked our cabin steward, Perfecto, for lounge chairs and he brought two down for us. The only downside to the larger balcony was that it didn't offer as much privacy. If you stepped out of the square area you could see the other balconies next to you and below and they also could see you. It was right below the pool deck so we heard some chairs being moved around in the mornings but only if we were out on the balcony or had the door open. The room was pretty soundproof if the doors were shut. I've always wanted to cruise on a big ship with lots of activities but most of those are 7 day itineraries and so when I saw this 3 day cruise I was intrigued and excited. I read the reviews before hand about the unusual design of the cabins and was not daunted. I was traveling with my husband but if I had been traveling with a girlfriend it would have been awkward showering and using the toilet because it's just frosted glass. There is a curtain but if someone opens the door to the cabin you are there on the toilet for the hallway to see. Embarkation: The embarkation was pretty smooth but began the negative comparisons to other cruises I've been on. Fortunately the Epic was the only ship in port that day or it would have been worse. Took us about 30-45 minutes from the time our shuttle dropped us off to go through security and get on the ship. Ship Design: The ship itself was underwhelming. I only felt like I was on a big ship when I got in the elevators or had to wait for them. I've only cruised on smaller Royal Caribbean ships before, this was our first cruise on NCL. I missed some of the standard things on those ships like the Atrium area, usually open to 5 or more floors with sweeping staircases and glass elevators. The Atrium on this ship was pretty small and consumed by a huge screen TV over 2 floors. There was a three story open area over the Taste dining room but it was just okay. The other big negative for me was that most of the 6th floor was consumed by the Casino and was open to the 7th floor. For some reason the 5th floor was not accessible from one side of the ship so elevators dropped you off at the 6th floor and you had to walk through the casino to get to the other side of the ship to go down to the 5th floor. The smoke smell was everywhere. If we needed to go from one side to the other on the 6th floor we'd walk up one floor and then back down again to avoid it. The pool deck was nice and slides were great. There was not really a good dance area on the pool deck for the sail away party because everyone was standing at the bar to get drinks. Entertainment: The quality and quantity of choices was good, but getting a seat was difficult. For such a big ship they have pretty small venues and so they 'sell out' of tickets pretty quickly and only the main shows are available to book in before boarding. If you don't have a ticket you can wait in a standby line until 10 minutes before the show starts, so even if you have a ticket and you don't arrive 10 minutes in advance you may not get a seat. The main shows are Burn the Floor, a sexy ballroom show. I'm not sure what the 'plot' of this show was, it tried to have a plot but it was really just an excuse for dancing, and the dancing was really good. I don't know how they have the stamina to dance like that for 45 minutes! We did not see the Priscilla show due to it's content (drag queens) but I was glad that was mentioned up front and in the cruise daily the show was rated PG-16. Would have much rather seen the Blue Man group that was formerly on this ship. We saw a good, family friendly comedy routine but missed our reservations for the comedy/magic show because we had to wait to get a seat in the main dining room (Before the cruise I had made reservations at 6:30 originally for dinner and the show was at 7:30 so we tried to go earlier but because we didn't have reservations we had to wait to get into the main dining room and missed the show). We did get to see the Epic Beatles, which were great. There was also an 'Escape Room' activity in the Spiegal Tent. We couldn't get tickets to it before hand but we stood in the standby line and were able to get in. It was a magic themed escape room activity, about 45 minutes of trying to solve puzzles and link together clues to figure out the magic words to release us from the room. We were broken up into teams of 8, maybe about 10 teams? I'd never done an Escape Room before and it was a unique addition to the activities, especially for the day at sea. We also did a samba class led by one of the dancers, held on the atrium floor. It was crowded and hot but we had a good time. Because it was just a 3 day cruise we didn't get to enjoy some of the other activities like Rock Climbing. My husband was hoping for a basketball tournament or shoot out or something but there was nothing planned, just open play on the court. The best part of the cruise for us was enjoying the Spa Thermal rooms. Because we booked the spa balcony room ($429 when regular balcony was $399) we were just steps away from the spa and had passes to use the whole cruise (if you were not in the spa cabins you could purchase a 3 day pass for $129, but only a limited number were available to purchase before the cruise and the first day). There was a changing area with robes, 4 saunas, 3 hot steam rooms, a large balcony on the back of the ship with loungers, flavored water and teas and fruit, heated thermal tile loungers, and a large thermal pool with different areas to rest and relax. We loved the jets you could stand under to have a massage, but didn't like how it sprayed everywhere. It was great to have a place to get away from the crowds. The pool deck was always busy and the 'pool' in the adults only area was kind of a joke. It could fit about 4 people in it without feeling awkward. I can see why people pay extra to be in the Haven suites with their own dining and pool and spa. Dining: When we booked we got the Ultimate Dining Package 'free' (just had to pay the $20 of taxes). It came with three meals in their specialty restaurants. I booked one reservation when I booked the cruise but going back to the website a few days before the cruise there were no more reservations available to book. When we got on board at 1pm we went to the desk to book reservations and were able to get a table at Cagney's, but not until 8:45. Teppenyaki was booked up for that night. After eating at O'Sheehans (good, but just okay) we went back to the room to try and make other reservations on our TV in the stateroom, easier than standing in the line. There was not much available on the 2nd night and only a few slots available the third night for our specialty dinners. I'd booked Moderno for the 2nd night but was trying to work around the comedy show so I ended up booking Teppenyaki at 5:00 and Moderno at 8:45 for the third night. If it sounds stressful with all these bookings, that's because it is! When the third night came around we couldn't make it to Teppenyaki by 5pm and tried to get our reservation for Moderno moved up to no avail. We waited for about an hour right after they opened but they did not have any cancellations until a few moments after we'd left. We tried to get into Shanghai's but they had a 30 minute wait and so we ended up having to go up to the Garden Cafe for some appetizers because we were so hungry. So we only ended up using two of our three meals at specialty places. The pros were that they were the best two meals we had on ship. Our appetizers at Cagney's were incredible. Even though it's 'al a carte' if you have the specialty package you can choose one appetizer, one soup/salad, one main dish and two sides (not sure if dessert was included, we were too full to ask). Sadly, my filet mignon was dry but my husband liked his, but the creamed spinach made up for it. Moderno the Brazilian steakhouse was very good, hubby enjoyed all the meats. We did find out that we could have used our UDP towards the sushi place, just paying an extra $7 each for unlimited sushi, and I think it also was good towards the Cirque show because online before hand it gave me reduced prices for that show, but we did not opt to see it. Dinner in the Manhattan was just okay. Since we were having steak and meats on the other two nights I was hoping for a fish dish and was sad there was no salmon on the menu. I ended up getting the breaded flounder and hubby got the tilapia. Mine was just upscale fish sticks. Dessert was wonderful, his tiramisu and my chocolate lava cake were amazing. Crowd: Epic's schedule offers very few 3 night cruises. They were offering a lot of specials and low prices when I booked. I think many people chose the Ultimate Beverage Package as one of their 'free' items and were determined to get the most out of it. It was also spring break time but we encountered lots of drinking and inappropriate conduct. I asked a lady to take our picture and then she went on to tell us all about the very rude people they ate with at Teppenyaki. The woman telling me the story had been drinking and told me how the family they ate with were so bigoted and were getting mad because their group was loud (and probably obnoxious), even going so far to say they had said if they had guns they would shoot them all. Yikes! Made me glad we didn't eat with either of those groups! We politely thanked her for the picture and moved on. People in the elevator were cussing and then realizing the presence of kids they tried to 'use good language because of the babies'. I felt uncomfortable leaving a 12 year old girl in an elevator on her own with four guys. One guy was vomiting on the tender boat after spending the day ashore drinking. Honestly I was glad to get off the ship to be away from all the drinking and smoking. I get that it's vacation, and we had a few drinks too, but it seemed like drinking and partying was the main reason most people were there. There were very few families or older couples. Ports: We only had one port, Great Stirrup Cay. They were doing some construction on the end of the island near the cabanas and so I felt bad for the people who had spent a lot of money on a cabana sitting next to a construction site. I think they stopped the beeping around 10am though, thankfully. The island was nice, the self guided snorkeling was okay, nothing much to see except the wildlife. They don't have anything like on Cococay where there are rest areas and markers showing the sunken plane/cannons, etc. Food was fine on the island, the taco bar line took too long. And no shredded cheese? What kind of taco bar doesn't have cheese? Should have had two areas for the toppings. Excursions: We booked a parasailing excursion (bucket list!) and were so excited about it. Online it looked like we needed to take an early tender and that the parasailing was from 8/9-10am. But when we got our tickets in the room it said to meet at the info booth between 10am-noon to book a time and that it was first come first served. Since we wanted to be back on the boat around 2 or 3 we wanted to get an early slot so we got to the info desk a little before 10am. We were so disappointed to find out that all the 10, 11, noon and 1pm slots were already taken and the earliest we could get was 2pm! The lady said that they had people showing up earlier and because the weather was good they had some groups go early so they couldn't tell people to wait to sign up. I pointed out that I had followed the directions and was basically penalized for it. It really messed up the plan for our day and I ended up not getting pictures of our parasailing because our underwater camera needed to dry out after snorkeling. They offered to refund our money but this was a bucket list item and we still wanted to go, just bummed that we couldn't do it when we'd wanted to. Summary: Everywhere I saw it talked about Freestyle Cruising, 'Feel free to follow the sun instead of a schedule'. The fact is that if you wanted to be able to go to anything (specialty restaurants, shows) you needed to make a schedule and stick to it in order to not sit around waiting to get into dinner or shows. Throughout the cruise we kept saying, 'I liked how Royal Caribbean did this or that better' and so we probably won't return to this ship or NCL for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The good: Getting on and off the boat great job Norwegian! we had the free drink package and Meal upgrade with our cruise, this was really nice and the food at the upgraded restaurants was awesome! The shows that we were able to make ... Read More
The good: Getting on and off the boat great job Norwegian! we had the free drink package and Meal upgrade with our cruise, this was really nice and the food at the upgraded restaurants was awesome! The shows that we were able to make were really good maybe the best that we had seen on a ship. The Bad: The rooms, read my comment below about the rooms. Getting to the bars because of everybody having the drink package was almost impossible a lot of times especially around the pool. The food in the main dining area was a little below average to me. It also didn't seem like the boat had enough activities going on at the same time so people were crowded into certain areas at the same time so it felt like the boat was always very crowded. My opinion: If you're wanting a cruise to drink a lot, good food and to just to carry you from port to port you can't beat this Cruise. If you were looking for activities maybe having kids alone with you or you would like to do things on the boat then I would say choose another Cruise Line or different ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Enjoyed the Eastern Caribbean stops at St. Tomas and Tortola (Virgin Islands). The last stop at their private island in the Bahamas was a bust, since some swells were enough for them to stop tender service and evacuate the island (not ... Read More
Enjoyed the Eastern Caribbean stops at St. Tomas and Tortola (Virgin Islands). The last stop at their private island in the Bahamas was a bust, since some swells were enough for them to stop tender service and evacuate the island (not dock, and terribly designed man-made port for the tenders). The boat is nice, and well maintained, although an odd layout - it feels a bit chopped up and there are no large public spaces. The main pool are in particular feel extremely crowded, and there is no separate adult pool. Enjoyed the Freestyle Dinning options and the entertainment was good, with the Priscilla show being the best we've seen on any ship (highly entertaining)! Service at the restaurants was friendly but slow. Bar service was mostly very good. The rooms are terrible! We were in a balcony room. They are small and cramped and the bathroom layout (separate toilet and shower spaces with frosted glass enclosures, and the sink in the room!) is horrendous. The beds are too short for a tall person (I am 6'3"). Whomever came up with this "wave" designed should be fired! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this 7 day eastern Caribbean cruise because it stopped at 2 places we have never been before, Tortola BVI and Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas. Let me break down this review by categories. Port and Embarkation: The Port of Canaveral ... Read More
We chose this 7 day eastern Caribbean cruise because it stopped at 2 places we have never been before, Tortola BVI and Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas. Let me break down this review by categories. Port and Embarkation: The Port of Canaveral is TOO crowded! There are 3 ships that leave and come back on the same day at this port and it is too small to handle it. Embarkation was over 2 hours late because the cruise before was over an hour late returning. Once we boarded everything was fine. Ship: The Epic was the first "mega ship" built by NCL and is a one of a kind for a good reason, the ship layout is TERRIBLE! NCL admits they had design flaws in this ship and they took the good from and as they went forward building new ships. There is no deck to walk along outside the entire ship. Only a small walking track that is in the middle of the shuffleboard games and ends in the employee smoking area. NOT GOOD NCL! It took a couple days to get the layout of the ship down. After that we learned when and where to navigate and it was ok the rest of the week. Room: We were in mid ship balcony room 12233. I personally liked the layout of the room but several other reviews do not like it. Our bed was near the balcony door which was the better of the 2 layouts. I also liked having the toilet and shower separated. Entertainment: The main shows were FANTASTIC! Pricilla Queen of the Desert and Burn the Floor were top notch shows and we very much enjoyed both of them. The comedians were also great. Just know you only need to see them once because the show has the same stuff each time. Howl at the Moon was awesome!! This is a dueling piano bar that goes on 3 or 4 nights during the week and it was great. My biggest disappointment on this cruis was the lack of activities during the day on sea days. With 2 straight sea days to begin with and 1 sea day returning, there was not much to du during the day. The deck chairs was all taken by 9 AM so good luck finding one on sea day. On other cruises there has been so many activities offered we could not get to everything. On this cruise, there was very little offered and that was a huge letdown! Food: We ate at the main dining rooms most nights. We preferred Taste over Manhatan but can't say exactly why, just did. We did not do any speciality restaurants. The buffet was great for breakfast and lunch. A couple times we visited it for dinner and it was disappointing. Especially on seafood night, it was just shrimp everything, felt like Forest Gump!!! The Irish Pub food was HORRIBLE! Ports: St. Thomas: We have been here once before so this time we took the ferry to St. John island and went to Trunk Bay. It was supposed to have great snorkeling but was disappointing. The beach was beautiful and not too crowded but snorkeling was not what we expected. Coki Beach was better for snorkeling. Also last time we were there we docked near the downtown shopping area. This time we were at a different dock that required a cab to go downtown shopping so we did not shop this time. Tortola BVI: We read a lot of reviews on what to do here. We decided to take the ferry to Virgin Gorda and visit the Baths. This was amazing. Beautiful to see and navigate. This is a must see if you go here. Great Stirrup Cay: This is NCL private island. I was not looking forward to this because I thought it would be too crowded and set up for NCL to get as much money from you as possible. I was pleasantly surprised. We rented a clamshell for $39 for the day. This included 2 beach chairs. This was very nice. The beach was not very crowded. The snorkeling was the best we have seen since Belieze. Also, our unlimited drink package worked on this island she we were able to drink without extra charges. The food was also good and pleantiful. I would go back here again just for the snorkeling. Overall, this was a good cruise but I will not go on the Epic again unless it was almost given to me. But as I say, any day on a cruise is better that any day at work!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
So, I am a relative rookie when it comes to cruising. I am also very spoiled as the first cruise I took was on one of the most expensive lines, on a really new boat. This was only my second cruise. But even with this I am not so naive to ... Read More
So, I am a relative rookie when it comes to cruising. I am also very spoiled as the first cruise I took was on one of the most expensive lines, on a really new boat. This was only my second cruise. But even with this I am not so naive to think the Norwegian Epic is a great ship. The design is terrible, there are no views except from the top deck. So on deck 5, where customer service and photos are, there are 3-4 windows where you can see the ocean without being in a specialty (meaning pay extra) restaurant. On Deck 6 there are no public windows that I remember. 6 is also the casino deck, with the casino laid out in no particular pattern, across the entire center of the deck. There is nothing like not being able to transverse a deck without being totally covered in cigarette smoke and having to squeeze between people shoving their way to slot machines. Then on deck 7, again no windows except if you are in a specialty restaurant. Then decks 8-14 are cabins, with the spa and kids care squeezed onto deck 14. Finally on deck 15 is the pool deck, where EVERYBODY is as it is the only deck with: a view, coffee/water stations, the buffet, the pool(s), the adult lounge in the aft. So basically of the 4000 or so people on board, at any given time during the day about 3000 of them are on deck 15. On top of this deck being way overcrowded ALL the time, there is ONLY TWO BARS!!! One in the middle and one way at the back, again trying to serve 3000 people, at least half of which are wet, just EPIC (pun intended). Oh yeah, because only deck 15 holds anyone's interest everybody is trying to get here on the elevators. I waited once 36 minutes on deck 8, where my cabin was, to get an elevator that had enough room in it to get in. This was on day 6 at sea and I did it out of spite just to sea how long it would take. Fortunately I am still a young athletic guy who didn't mind 7 flights of stairs every time I wanted to get to deck 15 in less than 45 minutes. And one last thing, this one really blew my mind, the only deck with and outside walking area is Deck 7 but your only view on deck 7 is of the life boats which totally obscure the ocean. While sitting in the different ports we saw a couple of Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Celebrity. Not a single one of them put the life boats in front of the walking deck. They were all immediately above or below the walking deck, except one other ship did block that deck, the NCL Escape, their NEWEST SHIP!!!!!!! Guys, do you actually have anyone who knows how to design a ship that promotes the ocean it is in??? Royal seems to be the only one that gets it as they has giant atriums in their ships that got from top deck to admin deck with matching windows on both sides. NCL, your ships travel the oceans blue, try letting people see that! The part that really confused me was that this ship is neither old nor neglected as it was built in 2010, and refurbished in 2012. But they obviously had someone travel through time, pluck an interior designer from 1976, and used them to color coordinate the ship. It is dark brown everywhere. The main "atrium" in the casino has a chandelier I am pretty sure hung in Liberace's house in Vegas in '73. The cabins are REALLY AWFUL, they tried some wavy design that totally kills any usable space. Cabins are small, we get it, but NCL trying to give the impression of more space by using curved walls that crush the ROUND bed against the sink/counter area, unwise. Also they put the toilet right next to the head of the bed. I love my spouse, but there are something we don't, and honestly don't need to, share in the morning. The shower was the only part I liked because it used a round, glass door instead of a curtain. I am a big guy, and fighting off a curtain while showering in a small shower is a pain, so this they got right. The other big issue I had was they don't seem to obey ANY normal rules of running a hotel or entertainment venue. I had read reviews of this boat that said the staff were very rude. In all honesty I found that to be completely false. The staff were awesome, it was their hours and being wildly understaffed that wears on them. No joke, the bartender on Deck 5 across from the customer service counter was there at 11:30AM, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, and 11:00PM when the bar closed EVERY DAY. If I worked a 12 hour day 7 days in a row, with hardly any breaks, in the ONLY bar on deck 5 (which is also wildly understaffed) I might occasionally be rude too. Being observant of this, I made sure to never be demanding when seeking a beverage, as I could see she was trying to keep up with demand as best she could. Our room porter, Raul, was awesome but the poor guy was the only person I ever saw on our side of our deck and he was working at 8 am and still cleaning rooms and getting stuff done at 10 pm. This must be another reason these ships never fly the US flag, none of them obey our labor laws. It is awful nice of them to take US money but ignore US laws with their staff. As for the entertainment, most was very good to excellent, but the venues so dated and their reservation system was pointless, they never validate anyone has a reservation. and the WORST, ABSOLUTE WORST situation was The Beetles show in their Cavern Lounge, this was a REALLY popular show and the room was at capacity every show. You couldn't get reservations for this, there was no one controlling how many people were in the room. I promise you the room was wildly over fire code every show. People were pushing and shoving to get in the room, fights were on the verge of breaking out everywhere. Our Hotel manager, Mustafa, walked by once, looked inside and just shrugged. I asked him if he would do or say something about it and said "No" and walked away from me????????? So in recap the NCL Epic is an awfully designed ship, BUT it is a ship in the ocean that has lots of alcohol that was the CHEAPEST cruise I could find other that Carnival, that goes to the Virgin Islands for 7 days. The crew is very nice as long as you are nice to them. The captain did a very good job in rough winter seas. The ports of call were awesome, and the shopping assistance was also awesome. These are all things I expect, what I didn't expect is the ship's deep desire to be JUST a hotel that happens to be on the ocean. If drinking, gambling, and waiting for elevators in the dark brown'ess of the 70's is your thing then this isn't the WORST choice, as for me I will save up a bit more and make a more ROYAL choice next time... Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise to be with friends and the Rick Strickland Band with Lesa Hudson. There was 85 in this group of Carolina Beach Music/Shag Dancers. There were 21 close friends in this group of 85 so we had a great time just dancing, ... Read More
We chose this cruise to be with friends and the Rick Strickland Band with Lesa Hudson. There was 85 in this group of Carolina Beach Music/Shag Dancers. There were 21 close friends in this group of 85 so we had a great time just dancing, listening to music and being together and meeting new friends. We booked through a travel agent who had organized this trip with the band and NCL. Embarkation was a hurry up and wait event. The Epic was an hour and a half late arriving into port from it's previous cruise. Our original time scheduled to leave the hotel was 10:30 AM. We were picked up around 2:00 PM. Ugh. Four ships were in port so the traffic was awful. The process of registering to board the ship was pretty easy but the tone of the day had been set by the long long wait. Finally we were allowed to board the ship around 3:30 PM. No one greeted us. (Last May on our very first cruise with Celebrity on a Baltic Cruise we were greeted with champagne.) We are gold status with NCL and we just had to find our own way to our cabins and then immediately we were required to do the lifeboat safety drill. I appreciate that there was a safety drill but we had not had lunch or time to even catch our breath before we were out of the cabin again. We had the perk of the drink package and had to pay gratuities upfront on the drinks. This seemed to give the bar staff the right to ignore us, be rude and not be attentive. Not all bar tenders had this attitude but enough of them did. We also learned that we prefer the smaller ships with 2000-2500 passengers. This was the largest ship we've been on. We did have a good vacation because we were with friends but not because of anything special NCL did which is disappointing because we have cruised with this line at least 7 times. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Big ship with lots of people means long wait times for everything from elevators, to tables, to drinks, and shows are always over-crowded with no seats. Had to wait for 20 to 45 minutes for a dinner table almost every night. There ... Read More
Big ship with lots of people means long wait times for everything from elevators, to tables, to drinks, and shows are always over-crowded with no seats. Had to wait for 20 to 45 minutes for a dinner table almost every night. There wasn't really a highly organized formal night. The boat was large, but the staterooms were deplorable. The bathroom at the front door is the poorest design of any boat I've been on. I didn't think about it at the time of booking, but when we ordered room service, neither of us felt like we could use the bathroom until our food was delivered. Same thing happened when we asked for towels to be delivered. That wasn't something I thought about until it happened. But the idea of cramming as many people into the smallest rooms possible and overcrowding a huge ship made for a very congested experience. There are far better ships out there, and I would strongly recommend looking at other options. Having cruised several times before, I was least impressed with this ship and the overall experience we had. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My husband and I chose this ship because of good price of balcony stateroom, never visited islands of Tortola and St. John. Embarkation was easy for us because we arrived at port after the mad rush of people rushing to board. We have been ... Read More
My husband and I chose this ship because of good price of balcony stateroom, never visited islands of Tortola and St. John. Embarkation was easy for us because we arrived at port after the mad rush of people rushing to board. We have been on many cruises, Royal Carribean being our favorite cruise line. Again, price was a factor for booking this cruise on NCL. Strange when you board this ship, no one to greet you and first thing you see are the elevators! No grand Atrium or happy crew members. After reading many comments about the staterooms, we totally agree the set up of shower, toilet, sinks and rounded corners of beds are awful. We had the drink package, but strange, bottled water is not included. The entertainment was the very best we have ever seen on a cruise. Had dining package, LACUCINA, ,- OK, LE BISTRO - OK, but the Moderno was the very BEST. Not worth the extra money for the dining package or the drink package. The O'Sheans restaurant, food was awful, cold and service BAD. Claimed to be open 24 hours, went there at11:00AM to get coffee and danish, told us they were closed. Would open at 11:30. As far as service , you get that feeling they really don't care for the passengers. Disembarkation wasn't too bad, after all, over 4000 people can't wait to leave..took us about 45 minutes to get off. I don't think we would book NCL again, only if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary. Contrary to what I had read about the November 2016 embarkation, ours went very well. It was the usual line of people yet the wait time wasn't bad. Once on the Epic, we went immediately to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary. Contrary to what I had read about the November 2016 embarkation, ours went very well. It was the usual line of people yet the wait time wasn't bad. Once on the Epic, we went immediately to our room. I did my research on the room and knew what to expect. The actual experience left me even more disappointed. We booked a balcony room and yes, it had the wavy walls. These rooms are very tight for moving around. Only one person at a time past the bed. The head of our bed was near the commode so we decided "no flushing" during the night! The shower and commode are opposite each other when you enter the room. You actually step out into the small hall way to dry off and dress. It is too tight in the shower to dry off. Our sink was at the foot of the curved bed so each time it is used water would drip on the floor. We had to keep a towel on the floor at all times. I will not go on the Epic again due to the very poor design of the balcony rooms. The best outcome was our room person, Elisa, who always was smiling and singing while she cleaned. And she always addressed us by our name. The trip from Port Canaveral to Tortola took 2 sea days. The waters were very rough and this large ship rocked the entire 2 days. I along with fellow cruisers were seriously tired of maneuvering the Epic. I don't know if it was due to the time of year (December). The Lido buffet is another poorly designed area. You wait in cafeteria style and very long lines for your food. If you have been on other NCL ships, you know that the food areas are broken into small kiosks according to food types. With as many people as the Epic held, there should have been kiosks and this ship really needs two Cafeteria to accommodate the large number of people. Food was mediocre. Breakfast was fairly tasty. I found the omelet line much shorter as it is located on the side walkway between the seating areas and the pool area. We visited the dining rooms. The food was good and service good also. Service was very poor in the other free dining venues. We booked shows for Cirque Dreams and Priscilla. Shows were very entertaining but the food served in the Cirque show was subpar. It was not worth $30. Our view in standard seating was good so you don't really have to pay the extra $10 for up front seating. Loved Priscilla. If you are offended by different lifestyles and vulgar talk, I suggest not going. Otherwise don't miss it!. Also, what you don't read about is having to book a seat for the rest of the entertainment on board. I suggest you find the show desk to sign up. This is my 5th time on NCL but the first time I have encountered very rude customer service. And don't waste your time on the IConcierge app. It only works half the time. And if you try to complain about it or get it fixed, the line for the one person working the line is very long. As usual, NCL charges ridiculous prices for everything on board. I recently went on Carnival and was able to purchase 6-pack bottle water delivered to my room for $6.99. NCL charges $29.99 for the same. The app on Carnival (to talk to people who sign up also) costs $5.99 pp and it worked every time. NCL charges $9.99 pp. and rarely worked. We took excursions in Tortola, St. Thomas and Great Stirrup Cay. Our original excursion in Tortola was cancelled due to rough waters. We were able to book a tour on the countryside. Not a lot to see. Our guide took us up to the top point of the island and then back down. We took the Virgin Gorda trip to the Baths on our last trip here and I highly recommend it. Otherwise don't waste your money on an excursion around Tortola. In St. Thomas, we took an excursion to St. John's island. Very interesting place. Wish we could have spent more time here. One important point I have to make is the vehicle we were driven in had balding tires and a couple of plugs in the tires. St. John's is very hilly with several switchbacks and narrow roads. I was a little apprehensive riding in this vehicle. Great Stirrup Cay is a NCL owned island inhabited by only caretakers on the island. The locals travel by boat from other islands for tour excursions and the selling of wares. We took a Marine Life boat tour. Saw a few marine life in shallow waters. I will say this tour was ok. Debarkation actually took longer. Very long lines to get out of the terminal. They allowed several color coded tags debark at once. It made for a very crowded situation trying to retrieve your luggage. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert show is about two drag performers and a transgender woman travel across the desert to perform their unique style of cabaret. This is not the description on their website. The Burn the Floor show was pretty ... Read More
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert show is about two drag performers and a transgender woman travel across the desert to perform their unique style of cabaret. This is not the description on their website. The Burn the Floor show was pretty good and so was the dueling Pianos. I enjoyed the Deal or No Deal Game Show. Food in the two main dining rooms were tasteless but the buffet was great. O'Shannons and the Noodle Bar is included for free and were both good options. Cabin was great except for the bathroom. Upon entering the cabin, you have a small area with a toilet and frosted glass doors on one side and a tub with frosted glass doors on the other side. Then you have a curtain you can pull to make it a little private, but remember to put the do not disturb sign out or you could surprise someone. This was our first time with NCL, been on four other Carnival Cruises. I would take a lot for me to try NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I should have taken a cue from the long lines we stood in to even get checked in and onto the ship. My 2 daughters and I had a mini balcony suite (with emphasis on mini). It was tiny. I cannot imagine what the interior staterooms ... Read More
I should have taken a cue from the long lines we stood in to even get checked in and onto the ship. My 2 daughters and I had a mini balcony suite (with emphasis on mini). It was tiny. I cannot imagine what the interior staterooms were like. Whomever designed those rooms should be stripped of whatever title they hold. The bathroom is right in the room with only a smoked glass rounded-shaped slider to put into place to use the toilet and another one to use the shower. They are about the size of the facilities in an RV. There is absolutely no privacy since you can certainly see (and hear) the person inside through the glass and see when they stand, sit or whatever. Ours had a curtain, but other people told me they did not even have that. There is barely room to walk in the cabin....tiny, tiny, tiny. This is a huge ship and with the tiny rooms it holds a lot of people, but does not have enough elevators to accommodate them, so expect a long wait time. You cannot even take sealed bottled water on-board unless you have a "written" statement from your doctor. If you want water, you must purchase it on-board for the low price of $7.95 per bottle or $26.95 for HALF a case (that's 6 bottles, mind you). The very first night on-board we asked our cabin steward for coffee packets (there was a coffee maker which made one cup at a time in the room, but no coffee). He informed us that they were out of coffee packs but we could order room service coffee at no charge. When I called, they said room service coffee was $9.95 (after breakfast) and we could only get complimentary coffee in the morning. Next morning I was on hold for 35 minutes and was told it would be 30 to 45 minutes wait and $7.95. We told them it was supposed to be complimentary because we had no coffee in the room. We had to hold again until they could confirm that. Our cabin steward was great and did everything possible to make our stay enjoyable. He was always at our beck and call and was always friendly. The staff on the common areas were not nearly so friendly. I have been on cruises where EVERY staff person ALWAYS spoke. No so on this cruise; most of those "in charge" did not even appear to notice us guests. Another thing, it was my understanding that if you dined in the complementary dining rooms, you could order anything on the menu....not so anymore. The "better" entrees now have a hefty up-charge. And, there are more up-charge restaurants than complementary ones. We bought the 3 meal up-charge package and I must say the three up-charge restaurants we chose (Cagneys, LeBistro, & Moderno Chiaroscuro) were excellent. I am not a prude and go to NY and Atlanta to see Broadway shows. However, the show in their big theater, "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," was so vulgar and offensive we could not sit through it and got up and left. Why a cruise line would book that kind of show for a cruise (other than gay men) is beyond me. However, the show "Burn the Floor" was exciting and well done by a talented cast. We thoroughly enjoyed it. This was my first cruise with Norwegian and it may very well be my last. If their other ships are like the Epic, I am not interested in sailing with this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
 Such smooth sailing you could have taken a canoe across.  If I never see the epic again or ncl again for that matter it will be soon enough. Out of my  69 cruises the epic is the one ship I am most anxious to get off.  It appears ... Read More
 Such smooth sailing you could have taken a canoe across.  If I never see the epic again or ncl again for that matter it will be soon enough. Out of my  69 cruises the epic is the one ship I am most anxious to get off.  It appears over crowded With over 4000 passageners.   No forward facing lounge. Few windows, lots of interior spaces.  On the positive side, the shows were exceptionally good and the food is better.  Our mini suite cabin is attractive with a nice size balcony. Not fond of separate bath,toilet, and sink in room. Beds wouldn't separate and were short.  Our cabin is delightfully quite.  One almost whole floor of casino.  We have a trainee for a room stewards and he is really a novice who is hard to find.  Strange group of passengers, Many frumpy European middle class retired. No where the class of a holland America or celebrity cruise nor the fun of a carnival.  Cheap! Everyone seems to talk about how cheap the cabin.  Drinks are expensive. It seems as though you are nickled and dined to death.  Room service cost $7.95.  Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We did Transatlantic thinking the ship is massive and will keep us occupied and oh god we were wrong :( Couldn't access Spa, sauna(fully booked), Couldn't access Posh lounge area(fully booked), Couldn't book specialty ... Read More
We did Transatlantic thinking the ship is massive and will keep us occupied and oh god we were wrong :( Couldn't access Spa, sauna(fully booked), Couldn't access Posh lounge area(fully booked), Couldn't book specialty restaurants last 4 days were fully booked since NCL decided to throw free passes to their loyal customers. Only show we liked was Priscilla and cirque. All others were similar to the one found from cheap resorts and were boring. All those Bars were next to each others and all the pensioners never moved from their seats and no where to sit! Ships space is wasted by having too many casinos and not many was playing! plus installing Haven area on this ship made the ship more small for other fellow cruisers. There is no ocean connection like sitting and having a drink from the bar overseeing the ocean. TBH you get that only in one area on the Spice H20 and always crowded. Only good thing was the food. We loved the variety of food on-board. Spa should be opened to everyone first come basis for everyday so everyone can have a go. NCL shouldn't allow private booking to few groups for the Posh area. It should be opened to everyone on daily basis All these restrictions made the ship feel small cramped and boring after a week of sailing. Wish we did Transatlantic on a different ship but hey its life we learn from mistakes lol Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Its my 75th Birthday so we decided to fly to Barcelona and take the western Mediterranean cruise and back to back to port Canaveral. We had the Haven which was so nice but of all the ridiculousness's in the world the placement of ... Read More
Its my 75th Birthday so we decided to fly to Barcelona and take the western Mediterranean cruise and back to back to port Canaveral. We had the Haven which was so nice but of all the ridiculousness's in the world the placement of the haven split between floors and ends of the ship created a lot of running around.we thought the haven meant all those suites are in the same area, but they are not. it seems really dumb to have to leave your room on 14, go to 15, cross from the back of the ship to the front, get on another elevator go to 16 and then you are in the Haven office and restaurant and spa. The regular Spa, is on the 14th floor and we were told by spa personnel, we did not have access, yet we had the key cards that said spa suite. We lost 4 days of spa time because they were not informed of the split. After speaking to David Contreras we were then issued entrance to the spa. New help / Or just not informed I don't know but I wished I had let David know this earlier. I do not like to be billed for Gratuities. Not everyone meets up to the above and beyond service and deserves it. Some should pay me, like the witch hostess in La Cucina. I want to have the pleasure of handing out the tip to those that have helped me and been of excellent service. After all those in the back ground might be doing a great job but they should be paid by the ship, I'm not the employer. I think this is insulting the guests. This ship is poorly laid out. difficult to navigate and hard to get a sense of where you are. Once we started on the transatlantic portion of this trip we were getting better oriented with it but if it wasn't for wanting to get home by ship and not air we would have never chosen the Epic. We love the getaway and the Breakaway and the Spirit. We did book the Haven leaving Copenhagen for next year. Now all I have to do is find a ship that will go to Europe and we will cruise Norway and or the Baltics . Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I went on this cruise just to get away from the cold weather in Sweden. Almost everything was great on our cruise. We were not so lucky with the weather, so we could not stay outdoors to much. So the great SPA came in handy with it´s ... Read More
I went on this cruise just to get away from the cold weather in Sweden. Almost everything was great on our cruise. We were not so lucky with the weather, so we could not stay outdoors to much. So the great SPA came in handy with it´s indoor pools. I enjoyed the Broadway style shows, especially "Precilla" queen of the desert. Burn the floor was OK and the Circus was very good. What I DID NOT LIKE, was the pricing of drinks on board. A glass of house white wine Usd12, so to get the most out of it it was better to buy a Long Island Ice Tea at Usd 15, Pricing on water and drinks was just to much. I tried to get a price list from Norwegian, prior to booking my cruise. But they could not supply one. Next time i go on a cruise i will definitely check the drinking price list, or buy a drink package. On top of the cruise price i paid an extra Usd 450 for drinks for 1 week Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We choose the NCL Epic from previous experience on the Jade few years ago that was very good for family with kids. But the Epic was very disappointing, the room was tiny and not comfortable. We ordered a balcony room for family and the ... Read More
We choose the NCL Epic from previous experience on the Jade few years ago that was very good for family with kids. But the Epic was very disappointing, the room was tiny and not comfortable. We ordered a balcony room for family and the shower is in the entrance of the room with only curtain that gives you privacy. The sink is in the middle of the room. After opening the bed there is no way to the balcony. And if got stuck outside the room 30 min until maintenance came to change batteries in the lock. The show except the circus are not for kids. And if you want to see something in the circus show you have to pay 50$ for person to see something. The bowling is fron age 6 and cost 7$ for a player which not written anywhere until you get there. The buffet is ok but not something to remember. As I wrote at rhe beginning we choose the NCL because they are known for their freestyle cruises and spouse to be for families but except for the youth program (Splash) and few slides at the pool we didn't find something truly exciting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised on NCL many times. The Breakaway is an awesome ship with solid service. The Epic is the opposite in every way. Service is awful and staff, especially front desk, is rude, condescending and scattered (e.g. the first rep ... Read More
We have cruised on NCL many times. The Breakaway is an awesome ship with solid service. The Epic is the opposite in every way. Service is awful and staff, especially front desk, is rude, condescending and scattered (e.g. the first rep we talked with had no idea what the Posh Beach Club is). BTW, Posh is nothing like the amazing Vibe Beach Club on the Breakaway. It has no hot tub, just a boring, hot deck for which a pass costs way more than it's worth. The Epic cabins are old, musty and poorly designed; with the toilet separate from the sink which is unfortunately the first thing you see. The cheap glass door makes sounds & smells from the toilet a constant nuisance. The gym had two of three exercise bikes "out of order," the ice machines were constantly broken and the Garden Cafe was closed too many times to count. Great itinerary (Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Cannes, Palma) but overall, this is the worst NCL cruise we've ever taken. Epic Failure! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarkation ----------------- Embarkation was easy and as I'm disabled, we got to skip the line. Was nice and smooth. Stateroom -------------- I had an inside cabin. I also peeked into other cabins as they were being ... Read More
Embarkation ----------------- Embarkation was easy and as I'm disabled, we got to skip the line. Was nice and smooth. Stateroom -------------- I had an inside cabin. I also peeked into other cabins as they were being cleaned so I got a look at oceanview and balcony ones too. In general , they were a lot smaller than other ships I've been on. I also wasn't keen on the bathroom set up. Basically, the toilet is to the left of the door when you enter the room, and the shower is to the right. There's a curtain you can pull across that will cover them both up. I was sharing with my dad so showering was a bit challenging if he wasn't in the room, as I was always worried that he'd enter and be able to see me naked! I had requested twin beds but this didn't seem to reach NCL (maybe my agent didn't pass it on). On other ships I've been on, the stateroom attendant happily changed it, but the one we had on this ship was obviously really annoyed and almost lectured us for not requesting it at the outset. When we looked in our mini-bar, there was an empty can of soda. I obviously didn't want charged for this to advised guest services. I think that made the stateroom attendant hate us for the rest of the trip! Bars and Restaurants ----------------------------- One thing I did like was that there was a choice of restaurants included, not just the main or buffet restaurants. There was an Asian restaurant, 2 main restaurants, a buffet one that was much calmer than Royal Caribbeans, with more seats available, and an Irish bar. This gave the potential for more variety without having to spend more money. When we ate at the Manhattan Room, I was really disappointed that the jazz band stopped playing shortly after we got there. This band doesn't seem to be utilised anywhere else so why not have them playing for the whole time the restaurant is open. It went from having a really nice atmosphere to a horrible one as there wasn't even any other background music turned on. I'd have liked to have been able to view the menus from the restaurants in one place so I didn't have to walk all over the ship to compare them. You have the interactive boards where you can book restaurants for future dates, but you can't seem to do it for that night, which is a real pain. They also don't seem to show the menus. I'm used to being able to view the menus on my TVs, but you don't seem to have that feature. The service at the pool bar was atrocious! We regularly waited 25 minutes to get served. This was mainly because there weren't enough staff based there, but also because those that were didn't have the ability to remember which customers had arrived first. One guy kept only serving those who were right in front of them, anyone outside his initial field of vision just had to keep waiting, getting more and more frustrated! I was disappointed with O'Sheehans. It was really noisy because you had noise coming from the atrium venue, the bowling alley, the casino, and the bars above when they had live music. It all clashed into a horrible racket. I was also really disappointed that the menu, at least for dinner, never changed. It felt like there were often dirty tables when you tried to get a seat. I struggled with there being a lot of high tables as I can't use them being disabled. It was also weird that you couldn't eat at the table that's facing down to the atrium, but you can at the same type of seating that's at one of the speciality restaurants. That doesn't make any sense. Entertainment ------------------- On sea days, there literally wasn't ever any day time activities I was interested in doing. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean have way more variety, e.g. colouring classes, table tennis tournaments, board/card game sessions, etc., with multiple free activities happening at each time slot so that there was something for everyone. I was extremely disappointed by the evening entertainment. I am used to there being a stage show every night, with 2 performances per night on every cruise I've done previously. What was on felt dated, e.g. I saw Priscilla on Royal Caribbean last year. Howl at the Moon was on far too much - there needs to be more variety. I can't believe that the Headliners Comedy Club never once had any comedy on! Royal Caribbean have musicals, ice shows, comedians, game shows, etc. every single night, and we often struggle to fit them all in, whereas on this cruise I often found myself bored as there wasn't any entertainment I was interested in! One activity we were actually interested in was karaoke. The bar was always full when it was on and everyone was having a good time. However, as soon as it ended, the bar emptied. This shows that it should definitely be on for a longer duration, even all night, as it was so popular! The first time we went, the entertainment staff member running it (I don't know his name - I think he was Japanese) could not have sounded more depressed! I have never been to karaoke before where the host wasn't standing on the stage in person, which gives more energy and a personal touch, but even offstage, he needed an injection of energy and personality. He was honestly monotone and sounded like he'd rather be anywhere else! The guy that did it the next time we went was more enthusiastic, thankfully! In general, the ship was very noisy. I'm used to bars being like the Cavern Club where you go into them and enter the atmosphere of that bar, whereas the majority on Epic are out in the open so you have the noise of the casino, the bowling alley, music from other venues, people walking past, etc. The atrium was a particularly horrible venue for drinks and entertainment. I felt like I couldn't find a quieter spot that was comfortable. The day we were doing search and rescue, I really wanted a bar that had comfortable sofa style seating where I could relax but still get brought drinks, and that really just didn't exist. I'm also used to their being some themed nights on the cruise that everyone gets involved in, like 80s night or white night, etc. There wasn't anything like this on Epic. I understand why they have people boarding and leaving at different ports in that it increases sales as it fits in with everyone's vacation dates, however what it does do is change the dynamics on board. I'm used to everyone being in a real party mood when we sail away and then there being a final night party too. I appreciate that's not something you can change, but it did change it for me. Pools & Spa ----------------- I had booked a spa offer that said it gave a mini facial and access to the thermal suite. However, I felt it was missold to me as it actually was sitting in a room with other people getting sold Elemis products and getting tests of these to put on our faces ourselves. That's not a facial in my book! Another thing I wasn't expecting was that there was no sauna or steam room available to all. On other ships I've been on, these were accessible to everyone in the fitness suite. Another reason why it wasn't good value for money. I normally enjoy using the hot tubs on the ship pretty much every day to easy my aching muscles. However, I found that the ones on Epic were barely luke-warm so I often quickly got cold and had to leave. I think this is the first cruise I've been on where the sauna and steam room wasn't accessible to everyone. The thermal suite is really nice, but it's expensive - 60 USD a visit or you can buy a package - so that made the cruise seem like less value. Drinks Package --------------------- The drinks package covered drinks up to 15USD. It didn't include the mini bar or the atrium cafe, which did speciality teas, coffees, and cakes. I was disappointed that bottled water wasn't included in my premium beverage package either. These have always been included on other cruises, so this reduced the feeling of value for money on the drinks package. Also, all previous cruises have given you a large drinks cup so that you could get it refilled at machines yourself or at bars, which makes it easier for you as a guest, but also is more environmentally friendly, and it's something you can take away as a souvenier, which adds value to your drinks package. Casino ---------- It felt like the casino was too big, dominating almost an entire level. Travelling with someone who's had a gambling problem in the past, it was challenging as it felt impossible at times to avoid the casino! You could smoke in the casino if you were playing games. Shopping ------------ I couldn't believe there wasn't any duty free on sale on the ship. I now understand why this is (when it's entirely within Europe, they're not allowed to sell it), but a sign telling us that before we boarded would have been useful so that we could have chosen to buy cigarettes in the duty free shop at Barcelona. The sales staff for jewellery were very in your face whenever you passed through the shops as you couldn't avoid the shops if you were on that level. Ports of Call ----------------- This is the first cruise I've done in Europe. You visit a port most days and the port days tend to be long hours. You're walking a lot in the European cities too so it's generally a pretty tiring week. We didn't book any shore excursions with the cruise line as they're really expensive. I did pre-book a couple of tours with 3rd parties. One for Florence and Pisa as it was just the same price as making your own way there, and one for the Vatican in Rome. We made our own way to Rome by taking the port shuttle to the town, then a local bus to the train station, and finally, a train to Roma St Peters. We walked from there. The tour started at 10am and we were just able to get there on time by getting off the ship as soon as it was ready for debarkation. We did have a problem getting back though as the train was delayed. There were about 14 people on that train with us, and thankfully, some of them were on a ship organised tour so the boat waited for us (we were about 40 minutes late in the end!). I'd therefore say if you're doing Rome on your own, make sure you're at the train station by 3.30pm for a 6.30pm all aboard time. The tenders were really badly organised. To not be given any indication of when your colour might be called was a nightmare because it meant we had to be up and ready early then sitting around for hours when we could have been having a long lie! I have never had a tender done this way before. Service ---------- On all the other cruises I've done, the staff have been really happy and friendly, always trying to pre-empt your needs, and nothing you asked was too big of a problem. The stateroom attendant didn't look happy whenever I saw her, though that's maybe because she may have gotten into trouble when we had to report that there was an empty can of Sprite in our mini bar from the previous guests! She took away one of our pool towels and never replaced it too. I also expected our bedding to be changed at least a couple of times during our trip, but I know it wasn't as there was a dirty mark on my duvet cover from near the beginning of the cruise, and it remained there throughout. One of the hostesses at O'Sheehans also looked miserable, and I felt like I was causing her a problem by asking for a table, particularly when she had to clean one for me. When all the staff seem to be unhappy, it makes me question how life is for them on the ship, and how they're treated. Value for Money --------------------- I felt like I was constantly being pushed to spend more money. It was very in my face, way more than any other cruise I've been on. It felt like most of the activities during the day I might have been interested in doing were at an additional cost, which means what had initially seemed a good price for the cruise, actually wasn't great value. Again, on the theme of being pressured into buying things, it was really hard to make the photography staff take no for an answer. Getting on and off the ship, they were jumping in front of you and following you even after you'd said, "no thanks" several times! Disembarkation -------------------- We had to get our luggage tags the day before disembarking from guest services. We could choose the time we got off as long as the corresponding colour of tag was still available. Bags had to be placed outside the room by 11pm the night before departure unless you were going to take them off yourself in the morning. The one positive about not everyone's cruise ending on the same day was that we could take our time having breakfast and getting off the ship as it was staying in port all day. Overall Impression ------------------------- For me, this cruise was really disappointing when I compared it to the others I've done (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Celebrity). The entertainment was particularly poor, I didn't like constantly being hassled to buy more/spend money, and I didn't get the energetic, enthusiastic, friendly, and helpful crew I'm used to. It's put me off sailing with Norwegian again in future, and I won't be recommending them to anyone else. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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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