15 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Canary Islands

We have been wanting to cruise on the Epic since we were on the Jade in 2011 and watched the video presentation of this latest ship in the NCL fleet. Since then, we've looked at many reviews of the ship, and finally we found an ... Read More
We have been wanting to cruise on the Epic since we were on the Jade in 2011 and watched the video presentation of this latest ship in the NCL fleet. Since then, we've looked at many reviews of the ship, and finally we found an itinerary that suited us. We had a balcony room just forward of mid-ship on the starboard side (10075). It was the second balcony where the side of the ship flares out, so it was wider at one end than the other, and I would say slightly bigger than the rectangular balconies. We had initially been assigned a 'handicapped' room--which we did not ask for nor need. It may have been somewhat roomier than regular rooms, but there has been so much controversy over the shape and configuration of the Epic staterooms that we wanted to experience it ourselves. As we suspected, there was absolutely no reason for complaint about the room at all. We were on back to back cruises and had to change rooms for the second cruise (Room 12125) but they were essentially identical (we chose the configuration where the bed is by the balcony.) We do not understand all the negative comments about the bathrooms or anything else about the rooms. There was lots of storage for the two of us. Having the toilet separate from the shower is a big plus. The shower was much better size than those in the smaller ships, and had glass doors rather than a curtain that clings to you while you are showering! The only 'lack' in the room was power outlets. We always bring a power bar along so that solved that particular issue. However, the head of the bed was on the opposite side of the cabin from the outlet, which meant there was no way to have your phone or tablet by your bedside, charging overnight. There really should be an electric outlet on that side of the room or at least USB ports by each side of the bed. Ordinarily I also bring an extension cord, but for some reason didn't this time. That may have been a solution to that particular problem, but then might also have caused a tripping hazard! And the extension cord would have needed to be extra long too. As usual the NCL staff was excellent. We've sailed 8 of our 9 cruises on NCL and I don't think we have ever had a bad experience with their staff. We had a piece of luggage that did not make it to Barcelona with us, and was supposed to eventually get to us on the ship. Very long story short, we never saw our luggage until we got back home, but NCL has staff that continually follow up with this type of thing and they were very helpful and accommodating. They also gave us free laundry service which helped immensely. On the first of our two (back-to-back) cruises we had unlimited specialty dining (a booking perk--we did not purchase it) so we took advantage of it and ate at Cagney's (twice), Modernos (twice), La Cucina, Le Bistro and Cirque Spiegel. Each meal was very good and service excellent. Food and service in the main dining rooms was very good as well and we had breakfast lunch and dinner at those venues. We ate lunches several times at O'Sheehans and we also enjoyed our food there. We were a bit surprised at that, as we had eaten at O'Sheehans on the Jewel (2015) and its predecessor (Ocean Blue? something like that) on the Jade in 2011, and were not impressed by the quality of food there at all. So it was a nice place to grab a bite instead of going to the buffet (I don't like buffets very much!) That being said, we did eat at the buffet for some breakfasts and maybe one dinner. The food was varied and excellent. We have never felt the buffets deserve the negative reviews they sometimes receive. I just don't like going all over the place to find what I want, then finding a table and balancing drink and plate and by the time I get to the table my food is no longer hot. I prefer to be served! We also had the unlimited (ultimate?) beverage package. That sure is the way to go--no worries about a bar bill at the end. All drinks at all bars are not created equal! I found it surprising that the liquor brands were not consistent at each bar, and the same drink ordered at different bars could be quite different. So you need to try them all out and figure out where to go to get what you particularly want. Some bartenders were more generous with measuring the alcohol than others. We also found inconsistencies as to how the bartenders would handle the ordering when you have the beverage package. Some would not let you order a double, others would. Some made you show 2 key cards if you were ordering 2 drinks, others didn't. Since we were just 2 couples travelling together and all of us had the package, we were not trying to get away with anything. It was just a convenience to sometimes order a double, and if you are heading to your room for the evening, you should be able to order a couple of drinks each to take with you. We found that for the most part the system operated as it should and was very convenient and accommodating. I understand that on the first day they want to see a key card per drink, but they relaxed after that. Sometimes the bars were really busy and you had to wait awhile to be served, but that was not an issue. One could wish that there were more choices for wines by the glass, esp for white wine drinkers. We do have one complaint about NCL's ultimate beverage package and that is that it does not include all drinks--and by that I mean you still have to pay for fresh squeezed juices, bottled water and specialty coffees (expresso, latte, etc.) That just doesn't make sense to me when you are paying USD $80 a day per person!! Since we are from Canada, it was more like $110 a day per person. I don't think any day did we ever actually drink the number of drinks it would take to spend that amount of money, so when you pay that amount just for beverages, it should include everything. This is an example of the one major flaw of NCL: they do nickel and dime you and it is sort of irritating. However, we love freestyle cruising so we take the good with the bad. If NCL wants to improve, we suggest that would be a big plus to most people. Beverage packages with some of the other cruise lines include everything, some for a lower price. I think the ship had been refurbished some time in 2016 so there was nothing to complain about in the ship itself. Everything was in good repair and clean. We didn't get to all of the entertainment. The Cavern Club's 'house band' Siglo was just excellent and we saw them most nights. We did not go to see the main theatre show. It was Priscilla Queen of the Desert--and was the only choice for a main show to see. Our group thought it in very poor taste to present that show on a family cruise. Everyone can make their own entertainment choices, but presenting that particular message front and center to 4500 passengers is just not politic in my mind. Obviously many agree as I have read other reviewers with the same comments. Neutral family entertainment, please. I don't want someone's agenda forced on me. Burn the Floor was very entertaining. The one Epic Beatles show we went to at the Cavern Club was nothing spectacular. I think they had an alternate show in the main theatre which we may have enjoyed more, but we didn't get to it. We enjoyed the two or three shows we saw at the Headliners venue. We never sat in on Howl at the Moon--went by it one night and peeked in for a minute or two, but was disappointed in the quality of the singing we heard so didn't bother making an effort to go back another time. As far as activities during the day, we felt them somewhat lacking from other NCL trips. We didn't like the use of the atrium cafe and big screen as a main venue for trivia and other games as it is an area where everyone walks through. We have always enjoyed the quietness of an unused bar area (for example) during the day for things like origami, towel and napkin folding, trivia, language lessons, and so on. And hands on activities are better than just demonstrations. Our cruises were a 9 day Canary Islands and 7 day western Mediterranean, April 14-30, back-to-back, both departing from Barcelona. This was spring break in Europe. The ship was over-full because of many families travelling. The Epic seemed like a good ship for children and teens. And I'm sure the staff that look after these age groups were grateful to have something to do. However, we will make sure we don't travel at that time of year again. Just way too many people, and the kids took over much of the outdoor activities. We deliberately returned early to the ship on a port day in the Canary Islands so that we could hope to have a lounge chair and be able to try out the water slides. That was the only day we could do that. Because of the crowded pool deck, Spice H2O , the adult outdoor venue at the back of the ship, was also always full. We anticipated spending outdoor time here on the Epic but so did everyone else. So we never spent more than a lunch here (same day we did the water slides) and one drink one evening. If we were travelling with children (and yes we do have children and grandchildren!), we would have had a different view of things. But since we weren't, we prefer our cruises to have less children running around, so we will plan future sailings with that in mind. Usually, we travel the first two weeks of May and that seems to be a better time from that point of view. We also didn't appreciate children, and babies, being in bar/entertainment venues (like the Cavern Club and Headliners) in the evenings. We did the Ice Bar! That is a pretty 'cool' offering and worth the price of admission. They don't tell you this, but if you want to put your drink down on the counter, place it on one of the napkins there! Otherwise, the cup just slides right off the ice onto the floor.... For the number of passengers (4500+), the Epic did not seem to have enough room for everyone. All the space seemed confined. Other than the pool deck, and the poor excuse for a jogging track on deck 6 or 7 (you can only run back and forth a short length on that deck!!) there is no way to actually get outside. And the way the decks are configured, you can't walk all the way around the ship on one level. There is no large space with windows where you can go during the day to just chill and read or whatever. On smaller NCL ships, we spend a lot of quiet time during the day at the Spinnaker Lounge or the Observation Lounge. There was no venue like that on the Epic. Also, we had bad seas a couple of days and we missed a port (Malaga) and the outside decks were not open. So everyone was stuck inside and there was just nowhere to sit. We found a quiet area in the lounge outside Cagneys/Modernos and we played some cards there and one of our group laid on a couch. We were the only people there and there were other empty chairs and couches. A large family came in and decided their choice was to sit in the area where our friend was lying and they asked him to move. Two issues here: presumably the family couldn't find a place to spend time together elsewhere and felt compelled to ask someone to give up their space--which is the fault of the Epic designers; but, secondly, who does that?? I can't imagine asking someone to move so I could have their spot. I thought that was very rude, but we came across several instances of this type of behaviour and were quite flabbergasted at people's nerve. I digress. Continuing on with the space issues: There was no multi-level atrium--there were a couple of places that had 2 floors connected, but no grand open space. The atrium level had a 2 storey tv screen, that you could look down onto from O'Sheehans above, but the rest of that area was just one level in height and it seemed the ceiling was really low. We would agree with past reviews we've read that it seems like the Epic was built just to pack in as many people as it could. In doing so, they sacrificed personal space for everyone. If the ship hadn't been over-capacity (over 4500 passengers, instead of 4100) we may not have felt the pinch quite so badly. But we most likely aren't going to sail the Epic again to find out. The fitness center was huge! We thought we would use it, but we did so much walking on shore excursions, we didn't feel the need for more exercise, and besides, we were on vacation! We did get treated to use of the spa for our second cruise of 7 days. After dinner, we would go there and sit in the steam room for awhile, then go into the hydrotherapy pool, then into the hot tub, then relax on the heated loungers, looking out the aft of the ship. It was a beautiful way to wind down before bed. I had my best sleeps of my vacation those nights. Speaking of sleeping, the beds were good. Having the rounded corners at the foot of the bed took away some sleeping area--my husband is 6'2" and I'm 5'5", so he had to sleep a little on the diagonal. So if 2 very tall people were sleeping together the length of the bed might be an issue. But it was fine for us. I won't comment much on the ports. We had been to some on past cruises, and some were new to us. We chose the itinerary because of the ports, and I expect everyone to have their own take on that. That being said, if you have never taken a Mediterranean cruise or seen Italy, then our second cruise would be great for you as it hits all the high points: Barcelona, Naples, Rome, Pisa/Florence, Cannes, Majorca. It was a 7 day cruise with 6 port days, so if you want to get off the ship and see all those ports, it will be quite tiring for you. There was only one sea day and that was the first day. We like to see new things, but we also need rest (we work full time), so a port every other day is actually ideal in our minds. The 9 day Canary Islands cruise was better from that point of view: Barcelona, Tangier, Las Palmas, Lanzarote, Malaga (which we had to skip due to weather). We did not do any NCL excursions this time. We arranged our own excursions at Tangier (Tours by Said), Lanzarote and Naples. The rest of the ports we just did our own thing. The Cruise Critic roll call is excellent for arranging excursions outside of the ship's. We bought internet time (as we usually do) USD$125 for 250 minutes, plus we had 120 free minutes because of our Platinum status (30 minutes for each Platinum member for each cruise--which you could put all on the same account). The internet access seemed worse on this ship than we have previously experienced on other ships. The only 'good' connection we experienced was in our rooms. Trying to use it at other venues was a big frustration, and waste of paid internet time. We also used the iConcierge application in our group for messaging. There was a charge of USD$9.99 per person for that. It was decent, but we did find messages were delayed, or you had to remember to often close and reopen the program to keep it working. I think that if you are paying for internet access, the iConcierge messaging should be included and not an additional separate charge. One nice thing was that we were not charged for each cruise, we just paid once. Weather for our trip was much better than we thought we might encounter for that time of year. I would say almost every day was sunny, except for the 1-2 days on the ship where seas were high and we had to miss Malaga. Temps. were warm, not hot, maybe 15-20 (C). So it was very pleasant. All in all, our 2 cruises were great. We were just a little disappointed in the Epic, and probably will not deliberately seek her out for another cruise, unless it is a 2 week long cruise, that is not during a school break (read: way less kids/people on board). There were just way too many passengers for the room on the ship. NCL--we still love this cruise line, and bought the future cruise credits again (as we do each cruise we go on). Just wish they would make a couple of adjustments in what they charge you for. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Was a little unsure having read some negative reviews and seeing as we were travelling during Easter school break worried it may be over crowded and hectic what with 4000 people onboard,we were pleasantly surprised to find there was little ... Read More
Was a little unsure having read some negative reviews and seeing as we were travelling during Easter school break worried it may be over crowded and hectic what with 4000 people onboard,we were pleasantly surprised to find there was little to worry about. After a short flight to Barcelona we boarded fairly quickly,to find a sunny pool deck, and a nice cold beer waiting for us. Cabin was spacious, kids beds one was a sofa bed, and an upper bunk dropped down from the ceiling above,functional, and enough space for our four suitcases to be tucked away. Lovely comfy bed,massive albeit a little short for longer legged folk.nice balcony,handy for keeping a fresh breeze through the cabin. Seperate toilet and shower which suited us as a family of 4, and a curtain too to seperate from the main cabin, as its quite close to the bed, but fine all the same.Our Cabin steward kept our room immaculate with little surprises of towel animals, he was so cheerful and friendly.(Mardi) We had Prosecco and strawberries for my husbands birthday.such friendly staff in all places. We loved the shows, priscilla! Burn the floor,(make sure you book these before you go to guarantee seats) and our favourite of all, was the cavern club, Beatles tribute act were superb. Had a little boogie in the disco.(Bliss lounge) Real fun times on board,good atmosphere,good vibes.plenty to keep you occupied.kids loved the pools,and slides,no great queues, and they did rock climbing frequently.dining was so easy and loved the freedom of eating wherever took your fancy. manhatten was our favourite,steaks were huge! Had some lovely cocktails And coffees in the Atrium bar, and cavern club. Was impressed by the variety and quality of food in the buffet, even at busy times, you could trot downstairs into La cuchina for a nicer calmer place to sit and eat, at lunchtime. Seating wasnt a problem too much only a couple of times we had a bit of a struggle to find a table, due to 2/3people sitting on a big table mainly. We ate at the Manhattan on a few evenings, never had to wait for a table, brilliant organisation, although wasnt too impressed with the Shanghai Asian, it just lacked something that the others offered.Didnt feel the need to pay for speciality dining as all the free dining options offered fantastic food. Wasn't over impressed with the ports of call, however this wasn't a huge issue for us.we were happy to just soak it up, have a little wander and enjoy time back on board.excursions proved too expensive for four of us,so gave the tours a miss.we were lucky to have the free beverage package, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, decks space was fine,although on sunny days you did have to be pretty quick to choose the optimal sun beds,but never went without.there was no main middle atrium centre peice, as such,which is different to other cruises we have taken, and no real promenade as such to walk around, but it's just a different design. KIds weren't too bothered in the clubs,so didn't use this facility as they were in separate aged clubs, they just stayed in the pools and sports etc, it could do with a general kids area that could accommodate 11-15yrs perhaps. all in all, we would definitely book onto this ship again, perhaps a more interesting itinerary in sunnier months next time. We have mainly cruised P&O, Carnival and RCI, and we found this was a good mixture between good dining of P&O and Fun atmosphere of RCI, so we were impressed and found it very easy to navigate too. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This is only my 2nd cruise so not much to compare against after going away last year on P&O Azura - my sister found an excellent deal for the family on Norwegian Epic which included the free drinks package - too good to be true for a ... Read More
This is only my 2nd cruise so not much to compare against after going away last year on P&O Azura - my sister found an excellent deal for the family on Norwegian Epic which included the free drinks package - too good to be true for a party of 11. We found Norwegian Epic to be an amazing large ship and enjoyed the freestyle cruising life it had to offer. Embarkation was very smooth as we had stayed 3 days earlier in an apartment in Barcelona and took a 5 minute walk to get the Port Bus for only a few euros each. Then after dropping off luggage a short wait in line before checking in, then onto the ship to try and find your way around. Disembarkation was equally as smooth walking off the ship after breakfast with no queues or waiting other than a 20 minute wait for a taxi. Kids Club: We signed my daughter into the kids club - surfers for my 9 year old and she made many friends and had lots of activities whilst being entertained, she usually only went in the evenings as she spent her days with us but enjoyed it very much, on a few occasions I was told off for collecting her too early. Dining: We paid extra a few weeks earlier for the 5 speciality dining restaurants and dined in Cagneys Steakhouse (lovely steaks), went to La Cucina (lovely Italian restaurant) meal was spoilt as ship was a little rocky this evening and children not feeling well, loved the dining experience of Teppanyaki and fun time had, Moderno Brazilian Steak Restaurant was another dining experience with a difference. The last speciality meal was the Cirque of Dreams which we had an amazing view (food was OK) but it was dark so could not see what you were eating! The normal restaurants are very good but by having a different restaurant every night made it so much more fun and exciting going out to dine. We did eat in the Garden Buffet sometimes for convenience but often walked around looking for a table and felt it was too busy. We booked our speciality dining restaurants prior to leaving and despite being 11 in the party we could only book the meals for tables of 6 and 5 but it was not trouble asking the restaurants on the day to change it to a table of 11 - very accommodating in the restaurants. Bars: Drinks package included was exceptionally good with bottled beers, wines, cocktails, spirits, soft drinks, juices etc all included. At times you did have to be a bit forceful to get served at the bars but eventually if you were patient then you got served soon enough. Ice Bar; On the last evening we decided to try the Ice Bar out as the child/teen & elders all wanted to see what it was like, so for $20 per person you get 2 drinks, wear a big coat & gloves and see how long you can stay in the cold - not too long when you have sandals on! Another experience never done before. Entertainment: Amazing and booked a few shows, hard to book some of the shows saying fully booked, they must keep a number of seats back for the stand by and because of no shows as I always managed to get in by either asking as walking in or by using the option of Stand By. I saw some amazing shows; Burn the floor, Priscilla, Cirque of Dreams, Motown (4Ever), Magician and Classics show. We joined in the Bingo and had lots of fun with the family - even had 2 winnings within the family. Pool/Slides: Due to the weather not being great I never ventured into the pool but the children 9 & 16 went on the slides a few times and had great fun, I'm sure in the better weather they would have large queues. We always found a sun bed or 2 around the top of the pool area, if not, then we ventured to the front of the ship and managed to get sunbeds in the quiet area. We did not book any tours/excursions and ventured off ourselves and found most of the port of calls to be very good, if only the weather was better then more beach days would have been had. I must recommend the cable cars in Funchal followed by the Toboggan Wicker Basket ride down the hill - very funny. Norwegian Epic was a huge ship and not for everyone, myself and family really enjoyed the cruise and eventually found our way around, love the freestyle dining, loved the drinks package, entertainment, children’s club, pools etc - Didn't like the weather - but that’s NCL's fault! Norwegian iConcierge; Between the family we downloaded the NCL app that enabled you to communicate to each other whilst on the ship a cost of $7.95 but worth it to let members of your group know where you are. Please be aware that not all shows/entertainment details are up to date. Finally, lovely to hear the announcements each morning about the port we were in but it would have been nice to have a review of the weather as we were in an inside cabin we had no idea until we got dressed and went out. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We embarked from Barcelona and were on board within 40 minutes despite managing to time our arrival with what seemed to everyone else who was sailing. Our bags were brought into our cabin by Norman, our steward, within an hour of boarding. ... Read More
We embarked from Barcelona and were on board within 40 minutes despite managing to time our arrival with what seemed to everyone else who was sailing. Our bags were brought into our cabin by Norman, our steward, within an hour of boarding. This was just the start of Norman's great and friendly service. Within 2 hours we were unpacked and ready to meet up with our friends. That's nothing short of a miracle as we do not travel light ( 4 large cases and 4 small cases, the contents of which were stored away easily in the generous storage that our cabin offered). First impressions of the ship was that it is massive. However the layout is pretty much in line with every other ship I've sailed on and I soon got my bearings (although I still manage to get my port and starboard mixed up). We were a large group, 12 of us but this rarely caused any problems if you planned ahead a little. The freeform dining worked well and for such a large party the longest we waited for a table was 20 minutes. The staff in the restaurants were all very friendly and helpful. I do have one small gripe. The Garden Café buffet shut at 10 p.m. every day and the only source of food after this time was in O'Sheehans pub. This is the first ship I've travelled on that didn't have the buffet open 24/7. I have to single out the entertainment in the Cavern Club. I am a self confessed music buff and I have to praise NCL for booking the Starlight's band. They played every night for 4 hours and produced some of the best entertainment I have ever had on a ship. The band were so friendly and much to my complete surprise and gratitude played a cover of Pink Floyd' 'Another Brick in the Wall' specifically for me. I subsequently learned that they had discovered that I was Pink Floyd fanatic and they spent their own time rehearsing this song and played it on the last night of the cruise. What a great thing to do and what a fabulous way to end my vacation. My thanks go to Cornel, Chester, Rick and Sasha who are the Starlight's band. We went to the two big shows, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Burn the Floor. I'm not a lover of this type of entertainment but both were very well performed and full of energy. If I had to pick a favourite it would be Burn the Floor (once the first 5 minutes is out of the way) My other minor gripe is that the area around O'Sheehans and the Atrium is to too open and noisy especially if the weather isn't too good and people are forced inside. On most sea days the entertainment staff held quiz's and games in this area and at times it was really difficult to hear the questions. We never take ship organised excursions, preferring to organise ourselves. These were my highlights; Tenerife. My son who is a fluent Spanish speaker negotiated a great deal with a local taxi driver to take us to the summit of Mt. Teide. The landscapes and views were spectacular. We had a great day and were able to stop wherever we wanted on the journey. We got the trip for 120 Euro's for four people. Madeira. We walked to the cable car and took a ride to the top and then got the toboggan ride back down This was great fun and totally exhilarating. I'd recommend this to everyone. Malaga. Got the train from Malaga to Benalmedena. We left really strong winds behind in Malaga and spent hours on the beach at Benalmedena. Really nice resort with a super harbour. Disembarkation was as easy as getting on board. We were off the ship with all of our luggage within 30 minutes and on the way to the airport. All in all a super holiday. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I have spent the last year quietly watching blogs and message boards and gathering information to help with our first cruise with Norwegian cruise line. I choose the ship because we were traveling with my two children. I have to say I did ... Read More
I have spent the last year quietly watching blogs and message boards and gathering information to help with our first cruise with Norwegian cruise line. I choose the ship because we were traveling with my two children. I have to say I did not believe the brochure when it said "your children will not want to leave the ship" but it is so true. My girls age 5 and age 8 both asked " Mummy when can we go back to our ship " at each and every port ! and we had tears when it was time to leave. Embarkation was as organised as it could be we arrived on a bank holiday so it was an unusual day with the port closed until 2pm. We got a bonus tour of Barcelona which was lovely but we were all so tired after being up all night to get there to enjoy it. It also meant that all these coaches touring in the morning all headed to the dock at the same time which meant for long queues to check in. We didn't use the specialty restaurants the choice in the garden cafe was really good and changed daily . We found a seat everytime in the garden cafe but after reading on here about food going cold we made sure we had a table before even looking or getting food. We loved to sit and over look the front of the ship two evenings we were treated with dolphins playing .We did book two of the other included more formal dinning venues that were included in the price so we had some special nights . We all had drinks passes which were free as we booked early. They were strict with measures but the choice was amazing you could pretty much have anything you wanted at any time of day . Yes you do pay for bottled water and posh coffee but there are plenty of water stations and regular tea and coffee stations on deck that you don't need too. The entertainers were really good very professional and worked hard . The circus show is awesome and well worth the extra charge,my 5 year old sat still for the whole two hours and was mesmerized ! I had no problems booking any shows at all! Although I did read up and take advise from fellow travelers and book the bigger ones Presilla and burn the floor at home before we set sail. The web site is very good but as I was booking for several rooms I also know there customer service phone line will book them for you too ,shows are available to book 3 months before you sail. I did use the TV in the cabin to book smaller shows like the comedian which saved the queues at the box office. I am not sure why the ice bar is not on any on the online booking systems in cabin or web site but it was easy to book in person with the desk outside the bar itself. Bowling is first come first served so no booking needed for that one ,we only had to wait 20 mins for a lane. We loved our daily family organised activity as well as time in the pools and flumes in the afternoon .The girls both enjoyed the club and asked to go in it so we were able to have free time as adults which was great and guilt free as we knew they were well looked after and happy.On the first day you are allowed in and are shown around ,there after you sign them in and out with keycards but dont see what they get up too .The space itself is huge. We had passes for the thermal suite which was well worth its money ,we spent colder mornings and some late evenings in there . One time I had the whole place to myself and at most there were about 20 people in there. It does get busy its all about picking your time. We went on organised shore excursions at all ports and enjoyed them all. I would say with kids the beach trip on Gran Canaria was a great place but not long enough most of the time was on the bus travelling. We had 2 hours in Morgan and the tour guide didn't even mention a beach only markets for shopping. By the time we found the beach the girls only had an hour before we had to walk back to coach. The dunes are awesome but we only got half an hour there. Some elderly people on the coach barely got down to see them before having to walk back to the coach. The best trip for the kids was Loro Park spectacular shows and well looked after animals. We booked all our shore excursions before our trip on the web page. I was surprised to find one cancelled in Morocco , the one place I did not want to go on my own. All the less expensive trips were fully booked so only the more expensive were available so book trips early. The ship is not formal at all .My husband did take a suit but he didn't feel the need to use it only a shirt and tie. Some nights you saw people in full sequin gowns and black tie .Its entirely down to the group you are with . We did take out the unlimited wifi .It doesn't allow for multiple devices so it was a pain logging one of and another on. It did allow for the kids to have quiet time and for us not to panic over them running up big bills. We also used iconcierge app with such a big ship it was a god send to be able to use our phones on the wifi network. It also meant that we could give the kids staff our phone numbers . With the best will in the world you can say where your going to be but plans change and the ship is huge. My mother in law had a single studio suite not far from our cabin . I was really impressed i think she had more space than we had and I had a sneaky peak in there coffee lounge, it was brilliant . I had to pay for my posh coffee upstairs and they could just go and get one .The only thing was with all the fancy lighting in her room we couldn't work out how to just get just a regular light as it scrolled threw colours but that could just be us. That said she spent a lot of time on our balcony or upstairs so that didn't matter. Disembarkation was very smooth we literally walked of ship at our set time only a handful of other people around ,found our bags and got on coach for airport. It took a little while for the coach to fill up but not long. I have seen lots of comments about extra charges on board ship . Yes they do add up but and this is a big but this cruise was a fraction of the quotes I had from other ships for similar cruise this year and even with the extras .Note to parents with smaller children the key cards given out to the kids allow them to spend money. The games in the bar are swipe cards! We allowed our girls to play table hockey but only with us $1.50 each game . There is a form you can ask for that will stop them spending money you need to sign and return to guest services. I can't comment on the gym we never found it in 10 days ,but I didn't look for it either. Would we travel on the Epic again Absolutely!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Easter break with family. Embarkation was smooth staff v good. We had wait until announcement that cabins where ready but acceptable. Happy with cabin layout and location. First night ate in cagneys was really good experience felt ... Read More
Easter break with family. Embarkation was smooth staff v good. We had wait until announcement that cabins where ready but acceptable. Happy with cabin layout and location. First night ate in cagneys was really good experience felt good start to holiday. Sadly other nights dining there not good, service poor, long waits. Far too long in dining room with 3 children. Bistro faired better apart from last night which was shame as was our last night. Buffet dining bit of pain trying to get table. It was Easter break and ship was full. Too many people for staff to cope. The bar service was worse part of holiday, although great to have UBP to get a waiter to get drink was nigh impossible. And one bar man on ship on two occasions was very rude. Went to burn the floor and loved it, and Priscilla was amazing, very entertaining. Other entertainment when we managed to get into venue was good, only problem again was too small venues and too many people wantin too few places. The epic is nice ship but with some bad planning. The casino area is way too big takes almost full deck, there are too few sitting places both inside and out. And to allow smoking in casino area really bad if you are asthmatic. Ö shenanigans was really good with excellent wait staff and decent food. We had few issues on cruise reported to guest services that were not dealt with well. Sadly our experience of guest relations poor service has continued on our return. I have waited over 5 weeks for a promised refund that I was told would be 15 days and trying to get email or any kind of response from NCL is harder than speaking to the queen! The weather on cruise was not as good as we would have liked but we made the most if it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This review is for all the reviews I have read that are nitpicking the NCL Epic and it's enormous size. It's a big boat. True. It will require some walking to get around. True. You know it's a big boat when you book the ... Read More
This review is for all the reviews I have read that are nitpicking the NCL Epic and it's enormous size. It's a big boat. True. It will require some walking to get around. True. You know it's a big boat when you book the cruise, so you're not allowed to complain about how big it is in your review. Now, let's get to the review. This was a fantastic family cruise for us in every possible aspect. I'll break it down quickly by categories. Food - We did not use any of the specialty restaurants, as we have young kids, but I felt as though I ate very well with a good variety of well prepared dishes every night. A special thank you to the staff of Taste, as the service was especially good. Beverages - We had the drink package for this cruise, and while some people complain about what is doesn't include, we were very satisfied with all that it did. The only weird thing was that the mini-bar in the room wasn't included, even though the same drinks were included if you were in a bar/restaurant. Splash Academy - Fantastic, utterly fantastic. To all the staff, our sincere thanks for entertaining our kids everyday and allowing us to have some lovely adult time for dinners and drinks. Our kids didn't want to leave to go to meals, we practically had to drag them out they were having so much fun. Shore Excursions - We always book our own, but the ship has a good variety of trips for every port if you choose to use them. Service - Impeccable from everyone. I didn't see one staff member that wasn't smiling, saying hello or offering to help you with something. From the waiters clearing breakfast dishes to the bartenders to the guest services staff, everyone was extremely pleasant, professional and friendly. Entertainment - We did not go to the shows except for "The Beatles", which was enjoyable, because that's not part of why we vacation/cruise in general. From other people we met, the general feedback is that the shows were better than average, but don't expect a Las Vegas/Broadway quality show. Again, that is just feedback from other people. Summary - This is a lovely, clean, well appointed boat which can easily appeal to a broad range of tastes. The jogging track outside is a bit of a joke, but the fitness centre is state of the art. We would definitely recommend this boat to anyone looking for a getaway to any of its destinations. We are already looking into a Caribbean cruise for the two of us in Jan of 2017 as an anniversary getaway. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I sailed first time with NCL with my aunt, her husband and their adult daughter(my cousin). This was my third cruise. I found out i was going just a month ahead. I flew by myself to Barcelona and met my relatives there at the airport. We ... Read More
I sailed first time with NCL with my aunt, her husband and their adult daughter(my cousin). This was my third cruise. I found out i was going just a month ahead. I flew by myself to Barcelona and met my relatives there at the airport. We stayed at the Gaudi hotel one night and the next afternoon we boarded the Norwegian Epic. The employees at the desk were really nice and everything went smoothly. I didn't go to the teen zone until a couple days into the cruise since i thought it would be empty, turns out it wasn't that empty. The staff was so nice and funny and the activities turned out to be really fun. I liked that they were strict about no adults or under 13 years old and that they had 13-17 years in the same group. The food was really good too, but i do think RC have better food onboard but that might just be me. We tried all te resturants and i liked Taste the best, i thought the food was best there and the service as well. At the Manhattan room the service was pretty slow. The ports the boat visited was Tangier, Las Palmas, Tenerife, Funchal and Malaga. Most of the excursions were great but the tour guide could have been better on most of the tours. My personal favorite port would be Funchal or Tenerife. In Funchal we got to take the cable car up and the view was amazing. Then we walked a bit and got to ride a wicker sledge downhill. Later on we also visited a viewpoint "Eira Do Serrado" and it was truly beatiful. Whilst in Tenerife i got to see the vulcano Teide where there was snow and also a really beautiful view. All places were really beautiful in their own way though. The cabin, i lived in a midship inside with my cousin. It was pretty tiny but since we only slept and changed there it didn't really matter. One thing i didnt like was that there wasn't really a bathroom. There was a small shower cabin and on the oppesite side there was room where the door didnt really close(it was some kind of sliding door but at the top and bottom there were a few centimeters open) so if the other person was in the room, they could hear you. And outside that room was where the sink was. It was easy to use the wardrobe and safe. It was also very handy to be able to push the suitcase under the bed since in some places that is not possible for some reason. Overall i liked it though i do like RCCL better in some cases. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Since we already went on a cruise with Norwegian Epic before, I was convinced that the vacation would be great. Well I don't know what happened with this ship in a few years time, but I can honestly say that I will not be cruising ... Read More
Since we already went on a cruise with Norwegian Epic before, I was convinced that the vacation would be great. Well I don't know what happened with this ship in a few years time, but I can honestly say that I will not be cruising with NCL again. The buffet restaurant (Garden Cafe) was way too crowded. Everyday we had to walk around for at least 15/20 minutes to find a table with our son of eight months. Also to go on the elevator from one floor to another took a lot of time, due to the large amount of people. I saw some bugs on the salade more than once and when the tv was not working for 2 days, they did nothing to compensate this. In the shop on deck 7, I saw a dress that I liked and asked for anoter one same size as it had a stain lipstick. When the girl noticed that the one we had was the last one in that size, she asked her manager if they could clean the one with the stain..she replied to her and us:'' No we don't do that and we also do not give discount, take another one. That was the rudest thing ever!!! The shows on board were so so, also not like the the last time. When I asked the guy in the restaurant if he could clean our table, because there were still plates glasses from the people before us he screamed: I will when I have time! All in all horrible service and not worth the money that we paid for this trip. I am only positive about the guy who cleaned our room, he was very friendly. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We have just got of the epic and sitting in airport meet a lady in swimming pool called sue I think hi there she told me to join We had a 8 year old that has loved this cruise from start to finish with slides and entertainment and wow ... Read More
We have just got of the epic and sitting in airport meet a lady in swimming pool called sue I think hi there she told me to join We had a 8 year old that has loved this cruise from start to finish with slides and entertainment and wow kids club was amazing. all staff very friendly. queuing for drinks was sometimes long but hey I'm on holiday did not bother me. we loved all shows especially graffiti classics and howl at the moon food was amazing and all bad reviews I have read are so untrue in my opinion. room was lovely with balcony. alch ol was all top brands same as food. all ports where nice apart from morroco which I hated. very dirty and with wife and child felt uncomfortable we only stayed of and 1 1/2 and hour was walking town and back. the people on this cruise was very friendly. this is up there with some of best cruises I have done. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Background: This was cruise number 6 for us and we have cruised on NCL before (Jade) and had a marvelous time so we decided to holiday on the newer Epic with our 17 month old son. First the positives: We enjoyed the ports we visited, ... Read More
Background: This was cruise number 6 for us and we have cruised on NCL before (Jade) and had a marvelous time so we decided to holiday on the newer Epic with our 17 month old son. First the positives: We enjoyed the ports we visited, namely Las Palmas in Grand Canaria, Malaga and Santa Cruz in Tenerife (be sure to get the shuttle bus for the latter). There was a good array of activities taking place in the central Atrium area for the vast majority of the time that the ship was docked. The ship was clean, had pleasant decor and was easy to navigate and we had a nice size balcony in our mini suite. Embarkation was a pleasant experience. Now the negatives: Food: As a vegetarian I really struggled to eat anything other than junk food (pizza and veggie burgers) on this ship. Whoever in head office is in charge of designing the menus and buffet ought to be fired. On Christmas day I was offered a side dish of vegetables and a potato... seriously! In the evenings there was always a vegetarian dish on the menu but not at lunch time. The vegetable soups also all contain beef or chicken stock and there is no indication on the menu what is suitable for vegetarians and what is not. The staff told me they had never heard a complaint about the food before but having read the reviews I can see it is a massive issue. The waiting staff were mostly incompetent and it wasn't unusual to speak to 3 different waiters during a meal as one had disappeared or got an order wrong or forgot to bring something or had to re-take our order because they'd lost it. We actually walked midway out of two disastrous meals where practically everything had gone wrong. One of the breakfasts they made us wait 30 minutes for our baby's food (banana and yoghurt). It was seriously a disgrace and there was never any ownership of the issues or apologies. We've never experienced this on any or our other cruises yet it was a consistent problem on this ship. One MaitreDe, Sascha was the only person on the ship who seemed to care about our culinary experience. On our penultimate night he arranged for food to be delivered from the restaurant straight to our cabin as he didn't want us to bear the brunt of any more waiting staff cock-ups. At one point he literally had his head in his hands when i explained the actions of the waiting staff during a couple of our meals. He was genuinely embarrassed. We tried room service once and agreed to the $10 charge. The food came cold and undercooked. We sent it back. Seriously they just couldn't get anything right and we really aren't that hard to please. Casino: The casino took up the majority of one floor and was sandwiched between a restaurant and theatre. Its obviously a massive money generating attraction for NCL. It stank of cigarettes and we were very uncomfortable being on that floor at all with our baby. Communication: Repeatedly we got letters delivered to our stateroom for an art auction addressed to my husband. Seeing as I was the one who booked the cruise and was the key contact on the account, I can only assume that they saw the male to be the person with the purchasing power. I mentioned at the reception desk that I found it offensive and they said that I was allowed to go too! Seriously what century are we living in? Rip offs: Unfortunately during our cruise, our baby had an ear and throat infection. The onboard doctor charges $149 during working hours. He only worked TWO hours a day... that's it just two hours! All other times were considered out of hours and they bumped the price right up. On our 'sea' day we wanted to make sure that the baby drank mineral water and we were charged $5.85 for a one litre bottle of water PLUS 18% service charge. That was the same price as our antibiotic prescribed medicine. How can these people in good conscience charge so much? Cabin: We had a min-suite. They had incorporated a wave design which comprised of a curved mattress with an ill-fitting bed base (which we kept walking in to) and a labyrinth of mini cupboards (no drawers) which didn't hold very much at all. The TV had no channels or films to watch (unless you paid). I know other people commented on the odd bathroom design with a sink next to the bed. Kids club: I think we were spoilt when we cruised on the P&O Britannia 6 months ago as they had a babysitting service, state of the art kids club and Ofsted registered staff who engaged and interacted with the children. "Guppies" on the Epic for children aged 0-3 was a non purpose built room with a few toys shoved in it. Seriously that was it. The activities were at really odd times 7-7:30pm every day (just when you're putting them to bed) and were run by a couple of inexperienced, disengaging staff who struggled to get the kid's attention. The whole experience was decidedly lackluster. Oh and no babysitting or night nursery at all which made going to any evening entertainment impossible. Reception: Staff were masters at evasiveness, would never apologise for anything and their strapline was "I'll let someone know" as they looked over my shoulder to signal for the next person to come with their complaint. Save your money, enjoy your holiday and DON'T travel on the Epic, we most certainly wont. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
On a negative here sadly. My wife and I have done 20 plus cruises and this was our first NCL , it will likely be our last with these folks , sadly. We booked a mini suite which seemed identical to our friends standard balcony, ... Read More
On a negative here sadly. My wife and I have done 20 plus cruises and this was our first NCL , it will likely be our last with these folks , sadly. We booked a mini suite which seemed identical to our friends standard balcony, perhaps a slight oversell but I could live with that. The complimentary drinks package was appealing but bottles of water were excluded as were coffees???? Again the above I can live with . Service levels however were shockingly bad,staff didn't seem to care , likely as they knew we had packages , no excuse however, and there was a dire shortage of waiting staff in the public bars. The casino takes up way too much room with huge gaps at tables, many of which were empty, bars were too small for the ships capacity and people could not get into their favourite spots at night, badly designed and laid out is my opinion here. Our room attendant was fabulous, helpful, polite and very keen to please so there's a plus. Entertainment was very poor , live shows average at best and I'm being kind here. The Beat,Es show was allegedly good but as Cavern was small we could never get in. Movie options in cabin were fine however. We have never had such poor entertainment and service in all of our cruises and feel cheated as we really looked forward to this. The itinerary was clearly designed to keep us spending onboard with 5. Yes 5 days at sea, incredulous snot it?? Sorry NCL I won't be recommending you Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my second cruise on Epic and I had high expectation of it being of the same high standard as my cruise in June 2014. I had booked some ten months in advance and in the Summer my son and his family decided to join me from their ... Read More
This was my second cruise on Epic and I had high expectation of it being of the same high standard as my cruise in June 2014. I had booked some ten months in advance and in the Summer my son and his family decided to join me from their home in Dubai. Problems began when the flight from Heathrow was changed from 8a.m. to 6.20 a.m with British Airways. All documentation stated we had to be at the airport three hours prior to departure and on arriving at 3.15 a.m. found that the B.A. check in desks do not open until 5 a.m. so had to stand in a long queue for nearly two hours. I was then told that wheelchair assistance (which I had pre-booked) would not be available until 5.45am - had I sat and waited for this at the check in desk there was no way I could have got through security and to the gate in time. I therefore had to walk and with my mobility problems this was a huge effort and very tiring. On arrival at Barcelona I could not fault the arrangements made for wheelchair assistance at the cruise terminal and I was on board by 10.45 and able to meet up with my son and his family who were waiting for me in one of the lounges. I had a studio cabin (12539) on Deck 12 and my steward Woody was excellent. He kept the cabin spotless throughout the cruise, was efficient and very friendly at all times. Although small the cabin had plenty of storage space and was ideal for a solo traveller. My son and his family had a family balcony on deck 13 (13146) which was very nice although a little cramped when the bunk beds for the twins were down of an evening. Their steward was also very efficient. As I occupied a studio cabin I had access to the Studio Lounge where I met up with others travelling alone. The Studio Lounge co-ordinator, Ve, was so helpful, did his job efficiently and made sure the solos could get together for dinner and for the shows. Having family on board I did not go to many of the solo gatherings each evening but did link up with several of them at various venues during the cruise. Our roll call had a Meet & Greet in the Cavern Lounge on the first sea day which was well attended and several of the ship's officers came along to meet up with us. We had a Secret Santa for both the adults and children which was great fun. It was a friendly group and we would often meet up around the ship. Having been advised to make our theatre and dining room reservations prior to sailing we did just that and arranged early dining so that we were not eating too late for the twins. On board we received letters saying all the times and dates for the shows had had to be changed. This meant all our forward planning was for nothing and some of the new dates and times were unacceptable and we then had to re-schedule all our on board dining and show bookings. Thanks to Maria in the Box Office we managed to sort things out but it was still a hassle. Entertainment on board was excellent and the shows very good. Even with pre-booked seats it was necessary to queue for ages before the start of a show and often those without reservations who had gone along on stand-by were unable to get in as the theatre is far too small and the same problems existed in the Headliners Lounge. Why the theatre was not built on two levels I do not know - most other cruise lines have two storey theatres. The entertainment staff worked tirelessly to ensure everyone enjoyed themselves and there was always something happening around the ship to please everyone. It was often difficult to choose as many events clashed/overlapped each other. The Carol Singing on Christmas Eve was fantastic and the Midnight Mass Service was well attended and a wonderful start to the Christmas. The appearance of Father Christmas on Christmas morning brought such happiness to children and adults alike. The whole ship looked very festive with splendid decorations everywhere. The gingerbread villages in the dining rooms and the Garden Buffet entrance were true works of art. Food on the whole was acceptable. The Garden Buffet offered so much choice and the food there was served hot. The same cannot be said for the Tastes restaurant, where on two occasions food was sent back as it was stone cold. Our meal in the Shanghai restaurant was excellent with first class service from efficient and friendly staff. We did not eat in any of the speciality dining venues as we were not willing to pay surcharges just for the privilege. The Cirque Dreams show was magical and meal very enjoyable. We were glad we booked Premium Seating and were sat upstairs from where we had a perfect view. We also enjoyed meals we had in O'Sheenans although the service tended to be slow. Service in the dining rooms was poor - more so in Tastes than Manhattan. One evening we were shown to our table for five and it was laid up with only one wine glass and two water glasses and on two places settings items of cutlery were missing - there is no excuse for this when we were early into the dining room and perhaps the first ones at that particular table. We were rarely offered a wine list, had to ask for drinks and then wait ages for them to come. We got the impression that there were a lot of new staff and it seemed as though they had not had sufficient training in dining room etiquette. The Maitre'D was hovering around one evening and was asking questions which made us think some complaints had been lodged. The Christmas Day evening dinner was advertised as a Traditional Christmas Dinner. It was perhaps the worst meal of all. The turkey was OK but the meal was in no way traditional - sweet potato mash with turkey -Yuk! and no roast potatoes, cranberry sauce or any other traditional trimmings. NCL is an American owned company and Americans certainly go to town with their turkey dinners for Thanksgiving so surely NCL should know what constitutes a real traditional turkey meal. I have enjoyed some great Formal Night Dinners on other cruise lines and this Christmas meal on Epic was a huge disappointment. Service in the bars and lounges was hit and miss depending where you went but more often than not it was impossible to find bar staff walking around ready to take orders from your table. Staff behind the bars could not cope with the numbers of people waiting to be served at the bar. The best lounge for service was in Bliss where staff were pleasant and efficient and after visiting the lounge a couple of time they would remember what drinks you liked. Other bar staff could learn a lot from them and Bliss became a favourite venue thanks to the staff and the good entertainment there. I had reason to make a complaint about a member of staff in one of the retail shops. She completely ignored my enquiry, showed no interest in serving me and was too busy cutting up price tickets and I was, in fact, told to wait. I eventually made my purchase, albeit at her convenience. My complaint was dealt with by the Head of Retail Sales who met me at Guest Services, took details and apologised assuring the matter would be dealt with. This type of bad service was certainly not in evidence on Epic last year. The pool areas are far too small for the size of the ship but they were kept very clean. The water slides proved very popular with my twin grandsons but they did not manage to persuade me to try them out! The children's club activities were very good and the staff efficient. The cost of bowling was an outrage at $7 per person per game, WiFi far too expensive, I feel coffee should be complimentary throughout the ship and the shuttle buses should be free in every port of call. Photograhs although expensive were of good standard and we have some lovely photos to remind us of our Christmas cruise. Although overall I enjoyed the cruise and it was nice to be with family over the Christmas period instead of being far away from each other, I do feel that standards have dropped dramatically. It was a shame my son and his family had to experience the poor service as I had given them glowing reports of my cruise the previous year. We all agree that the ship is too big for us and it would have to be a very good price and an interesting itinerary for us to travel on Epic or any other NCL ship in future. Unless this happened I will have to forego the studio cabin experience, which I enjoyed immensely, and resign myself to paying the dreaded single supplements and cruise with some of my other preferred cruise lines like MSC, RCI, Princess or Thomson where I know service will be good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My wife and I had been on many NCL cruises before. This time we went all out for our 25th wedding anniversary and stayed in a Penthouse suite in the famous NCL Haven (ship withing a ship). We had stayed in a Penthouse suite before but ... Read More
My wife and I had been on many NCL cruises before. This time we went all out for our 25th wedding anniversary and stayed in a Penthouse suite in the famous NCL Haven (ship withing a ship). We had stayed in a Penthouse suite before but never in the Haven. We picked the NCL Epic because of the size, event and location to Morocco and the Canary Islands. We cruised out of this port before and expected about the same line, which they were. Not too many delays because this port seems to be active and organized. Our concierge escorted us to the Haven where we were seated in the lounge and given about a 20 minute tour of the Haven advantages. We then went on our own to the room. When we first walked in we noticed 2 things. 1: A terrible smell of mold in the room 2: how small it was compared to the other Penthouse suite we had on the NCL sun. We called the concierge and reported the smell and they came up immediately and said they didn't notice the smell...fyi, I'm SUPER allergic to mold and have extra sensitive smell to it. Thinking it was my imagination, I went on like I didn't smell anything but asked the to spray daily some type of chlorine to remove the smell. During the cruise, the smell got worse. They called up plumbing and they lifted on the drain areas and put down air fresheners. It improved the smell but the mold was still there. Then from day one, the TV would not work, it kept shutting off not allowing us to use the new Aliance system that you can schedule dinners, excursions, etc. on it. We lost our day at sea waiting for IT to fix it since we had to be in the room while it was being looked at. If you understand the layout of these new rooms on the Epic, there was no privacy to use the bathroom or to shower so we had to use public restrooms. The TV wasn't repair until the 2nd to the last day of the cruise. Finally, about 5 days into the cruise we noticed the floor being wet. We though that maybe the cabin steward spilled some water of something cleaning the room. Over the next couple of days, the spot got larger and larger and finally the whole carpet was wet and they found a leak and the mold under the tub enclosure. NOTE: They wanted us to leave the room for 4 hours while they could dry it? They eventually moved us the last night to another room. Didn't even help us move our stuff. In the end, the Hotel Director gave us $500 credit on our bill and apologized. The room cost us over $1200 per night. As far as the excursions, they were average and it seemed like the tour operators were bothered that they had to work over Christmas and didn't seem to like Americans. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I would like to say right at the beginning that this is not the first cruise we've taken. our previous cruises were with Celebrity. NCL is not in that standard. If you are looking for standard this is not the right cruise line. ... Read More
I would like to say right at the beginning that this is not the first cruise we've taken. our previous cruises were with Celebrity. NCL is not in that standard. If you are looking for standard this is not the right cruise line. The main reason for picking this cruise was the destination. With this it was a big success, all the tours and embarkation ports were very interesting. The team conducting this operation on the ship and in port were very professional and friendly. So, from that point of view we got what we wanted. Here is the rest of my impressions: 1. Checking in - was very slow and very noisy. It was difficult to hear the announcements. 2. Entering the ship upon arrival - since I was used from my other cruises to a big entrance hall & a welcome drink, I felt disappointment when we entered into a dark corridor full of people trying to get a lift to their floor. 3. Lifts - One of the biggest problem on the ship was the time one needed to wait for a lift. Most of the time it was so full that you squeezed your self in like a sardine! The "Best" was at our last day for disembarkation, it was so bad that most of the passengers with their hand luggage decided to use the stairs! 4. Cabin - We had a veranda Cabin, size of this room is good and the storage areas are good. be aware no perks:no cosmetics, no shower cap,no bath robe no slippers. Don't forget to bring your supply especially of moisturizers. The lady responsible for our room was very nice and helpful, any request i had was answered in a very short time and with a big smile. 5.Dining - NCL came up with the idea of "Free style dining", it give you the choice to eat anywhere casually. We are "old school" so we missed the evening dinners and the formal dinner that we got used to in our previous cruises. Yes, there are a lot of restaurants without extra charge but the menus are almost the same every night. As vegetarians we had difficulties in finding selection of things that usually shouldn't be a problem for instance: Most of all the ready made salads had some meat of sea food on top of them as garnish. Soup - every day they offered 2 kinds of soup but most of the time both were made on the base of chicken stock. When we asked to speak to one of the head chefs, one of them did come to speak to us but his answer was that it is not his responsibility since the menu is being dictated by the head office and he can't do a thing! Another shameful incident was at the outdoor restaurant, we asked for a veggie burger but the chef refused to make it (we knew from a day before that they have it) after we complained to one of the person in charge we got it after 10 minutes. During breakfast it was in the buffet area like a war zone people were running around trying to catch tables when i asked one of the supervisors to direct me to a vacant table she simply said: "Go sit outside no place here"! another thing that i found unsuitable was the fact that the plates were made out of plastic! All in all food wasn't a great experience for us. 6. Entertainment - We enjoyed the shows especially "Prescilia Queen of the Desert" great show and good cast. make sure to book on-line the dates and hour you would like to see the shows. The music ensembles in the lounges were not so professional. The entertainment team was good and friendly. 7. Casino - The casino operates around the clock like in Vegas, you simply can't avoid it since it takes a lot of space. 8. Pool & gym - no indoor pool only at the gym and this is extra fees. Public areas and lounges - very small area is dedicated for this it wasn't easy to find a chair or a couch to sit. My conclusion is: I don't think that we'll cruise again with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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

Find a Norwegian Epic Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click