86 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - All

Cruise NCL almost exclusively. Like their loyalty program. Love Breakaway class. Second time on the Epic. Was more naive the first time and didn't find as many annoying things; this time, much more experienced cruiser and felt ... Read More
Cruise NCL almost exclusively. Like their loyalty program. Love Breakaway class. Second time on the Epic. Was more naive the first time and didn't find as many annoying things; this time, much more experienced cruiser and felt everything had gone downhill. Was most disappointed in the Specialty Dining. We ate at Cagney's, Moderno, Teppanaki, La Cacina, and the Cirque show. All were average at best, both in food quality and service. The Manhatten Room didn't even have an Easter menu offered. All reservations were made prior to departure and thought things would go smoothly for group of 12. Had Special Events confirmation e-mails for everything. Don't believe it! The most blaring mistake was made by the Cirque show manager and box office manager. I was never alerted to get to the theater earlier than 7 p.m. for reserved seats for 12. At 6:45 p.m. not one table was available for our group since people had come at 5:30 and gotten front row seats. Evidently confirmation e-mails mean nothing to them. Since we attended the show the last evening of the cruise, it left a very bad impression on the family. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first family cruise and we had a blast. I was a little nervous choosing the EPIC due to recent negative reviews but we really enjoyed our cruise and had no complaints. Embarkation was smooth, and even though the line was ... Read More
This was our first family cruise and we had a blast. I was a little nervous choosing the EPIC due to recent negative reviews but we really enjoyed our cruise and had no complaints. Embarkation was smooth, and even though the line was long when we arrived to port around 11:15 it really didnt take all that long until we boarded the ship. Disembarkation took a little longer than I anticipated and we chose to carry our bags off. We went to the Western Caribbean and enjoyed all our port stops. It was windy the day we went to Great Stirrup Cay and tendering took long but I was happy to get on the island and we kept busy playing ping pong until our tender was called. We really enjoyed the food - we ate first night in Manhattan, 3 nights in Taste, one night at the buffet. We ate at O'Sheehans for lunch twice although the service was awful the 2nd day. We had breakfast every morning at the buffet and we always found something everyone in our family liked. We saw Burn the Floor, did the Cirque dinner one night and watched the Beatles band in the theatre one night as well - we enjoyed all 3 of these shows. We were in a family mini suite with our two teens and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of storage in our room. While some people complain about the split bathroom etc, that configuration actually worked in our favor. Someone could get ready behind the curtain, someone could brush teeth or put contacts in while someone else was showering etc. We can't wait to cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
After reading so many negative reviews, I wasn't even looking forward to our cruise. However, we couldn't cancel it, so I decided to prepare as much as possible and follow tips from previous passengers. We had never cruised on a ... Read More
After reading so many negative reviews, I wasn't even looking forward to our cruise. However, we couldn't cancel it, so I decided to prepare as much as possible and follow tips from previous passengers. We had never cruised on a ship this size before, and found that it was like visiting a big city versus a small town. We enjoyed the perks of a big city, such as entertainment, activities and good food, but also had to deal with rush hour and long lines. If you are scheduled to go on this ship, book all your shows, specialty dining and excursions as soon as you get your booking number. If you can't book online, call NCL and they will take care of it then email your confirmations. Many people were upset because they had waited till the week of the cruise, or the day of the cruise and everything was sold out. With reservations, we showed up about a half hour before showtimes and had no problem getting seats. If you do an excursion with NCL, you will get gold tickets in your stateroom which allow you to get off the ship first, no waiting for them to call a certain number. For the restaurants, we showed up at the time scheduled. BTW, you can also reserve seating in the main dining rooms. With our package, we were able to dine at 3 specialty restaurants and chose Teppanaki, Cagneys and Le Bistro. Le Bistro was by far the best. Service was outstanding and the food was delicious and beautifully presented. I wish we ate there all 3 nights! The steak at Cagneys was delicious, but service was horrible. Teppanaki was delicious and entertaining, but very loud and way too much food. Taste and Manhattan had the same menu, but we preferred the ambiance of Manhattan much more. We tried to avoid the Garden Cafe (buffet) as much as possible. It's so loud and difficult to find seating. A tip for the buffet, you can go to the back of the restaurant, there is a staircase leading down a level to La Cucina where they allow you to sit for breakfast and lunch. It's much prettier and quiet. Bring your food down there to eat in peace. Entertainment was outstanding on this ship. We went to the Cirque show the first night and were so amazed at the talent these people had. It was jaw dropping! Do not miss it. We also loved Priscilla the Desert Queen, but I wish they had chosen a musical that was more family friendly. They had several signs discouraging children under the age of 16. Burn the Floor was awesome as well. They also had a Beatles tribute in the Epic Theater which was outstanding. We went to Howl at the Moon and the Cavern Club for shows as well. Get there at least 45 minutes early and order some drinks or you'll be standing the whole time. They do not have reservations. Again, fantastic entertainment like you'd find in NYC! Although booking shore excursions through NCL allowed us to get off the ship quicker, they were not too good. We did the jet skis on the private island which was fun, but the island itself isn't worth the hassle of getting on and off the ship via tenders. In Jamaica, we did the Martha Brae bamboo rafting. While the rafting was peaceful and beautiful, what NCL doesn't advertise is that it is an hour and a half drive to get there. UGH. So that was 3 hours of our short day wasted in a bus. We also did the stingray and turtle adventure in Grand Cayman. That was a good one, but the bus that took us there smelled like cat litter and the tour guide mainly pointed out fast food restaurants as we drove. Not too educational. I would recommend booking your own shore excursions with smaller groups, but keep in mind that it takes forever to get off the ship without the gold tickets. TIP: during busy times, especially when getting on and off the ship, get on the elevator going up to go down and vice versa. If you wait for a certain direction, you'll be there a long time. When you aren't going ashore, I thought the ship had plenty of activities to offer. If you're a gambler, you'll be in heaven. The casino is huge and unlike other reviews, I didn't think the smoke smell was that bad. The pools are tiny but the waterslides are terrific. They also have a rock climbing wall, bowling alley and bungy trampoline. If you are having trouble finding a deck chair, or just want some quiet time, take the elevator from the deck 15 pool area up to deck 18. Then walk all the way to the front of the ship. They have brown wicker loungers there with thick cushions. They also have waiters and a cart of cold beers and other drinks. Speaking of drinks, I recommend ordering a double each time. It may be a long time before someone comes along for another drink order:) Another tip is to bring a Brita water bottle you can fill up in your room. They charge for water bottles, even if you have the unlimited drink package. Activities for children were plentiful. That's another bonus of this big ship. Our 16 year old son came with us and had a blast at the Teen Club. We didn't see him much except at meal times and some shows. I was worried because he was without his siblings, but he made a lot of friends at the club. He still keeps in touch with several of the kids he met on the cruise. Keeping in touch on the ship was easy with the NCL app. Be sure to download the app prior to getting on the ship! Once on board, the internet was spotty. The best part of the app was being able to text our son. You have to pay about $10/person/cruise for this feature, but it was worth it. We had unlimited texting while on the ship with him. This is only for texting and calls with other passengers on board, it is not for getting ahold of people back home. Our cruise package also came with 250 minutes of internet. This was enough for me to check my email daily. To use it, you have to login and logout each time. If you forget to logout, you could get a huge bill at the end of your vacation! All in all, it was a great cruise. However, because it's such a huge ship, way too much time was spent researching and making reservations. Also, getting on and off the ship was a nightmare. I felt like I was at Disney in those long lines. This ship is better for staying on board. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The variety of ports of call were the mail reason we selected this cruise. I feel that most of the entertainment was geared to adults, so there was not much evening entertainment that I felt comfortable taking my 12 year old to. We were ... Read More
The variety of ports of call were the mail reason we selected this cruise. I feel that most of the entertainment was geared to adults, so there was not much evening entertainment that I felt comfortable taking my 12 year old to. We were pleased with the staff and the crew. The cabin was comfortable and we were not put-off with the layout, as several other guests commented about. The dining was very good (we used the main dining rooms). I was very disappointed that they chose to close one of the 2 pools (for maintenance? cleaning?) on our last day at sea? People were packed into the one small pool. Also, the water features at the pools (the things that spray water when you walk under them) did not work for the entire trip. The excursions that we chose were fun, interesting, and a good value. In total, we had a very good trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Why too many guests for the size of the ship. There were not enough pool side chairs. No sitting in the buffet area. The disembarkment was a disaster. I have always self check out, the time given for this was between 7:30 and 8:300. ... Read More
Why too many guests for the size of the ship. There were not enough pool side chairs. No sitting in the buffet area. The disembarkment was a disaster. I have always self check out, the time given for this was between 7:30 and 8:300. We left our room at 8:00. Took over an hour and a half just to get off the ship. Where was the pool??? The only pool was kid size, the adult pool was smaller than my truck. The service and food in the Manhattan room the first night was the worst. It did get better on other nights. My wife has limited mobility, not handicap. Trying to find seating at lunch and breakfast was very difficult, too difficult for a cruise. The time moving, very slowly, through the disembarking was way too stressful on her. THIS IS THE LAST TIME I WILL TAKE THIS SHIP!!!!! Taking NCL is questionable, if this is the way they run a ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My husband and two kids age 5 and 7 and myaelf cruised with a family group of 10 ranging in ages 5-80 to the eastern Caribbean. We all had a blast. The kids loved it and want to go again. They didn’t do any of the kids club stuff, wanted ... Read More
My husband and two kids age 5 and 7 and myaelf cruised with a family group of 10 ranging in ages 5-80 to the eastern Caribbean. We all had a blast. The kids loved it and want to go again. They didn’t do any of the kids club stuff, wanted to stay with us. They had a blast eating whatever they wanted each day and swimming all day. We all wanted to stay another week and would go again. The Epic was a great ship and didn’t feel overcrowded like I was worried it would during Easter week. They did a great job having enough to do and open space for the amount of people it holds! I will try to cover below everything I wanted to know before going. Embarkation: quick and painless. We arrived around 11:45am and the line moved quickly. We were all checked in, had stopped at our room and were laying on the pool deck by 1pm. Food: excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed the meals each night and couldn’t stop talking about the quality. I’m an experienced foodie and still rate it very high. We ate mostly at Garden Cafe buffet for breakfast and lunch and Manhatten Room for dinner. Also tried Taste. All were excellent. Buffet had so many quality choices including amazing salad bar, and freshly made to order pastas, noodle soups with veggies and omlets. Entertainment: wow! The Beatles band was a hit for all 10 of us and so much fun singing and dancing. Burn the Floor was amazing and so were the comedians, dueling pianos and other bands that played at dinner, pool deck and at night. Never a lack of fun entertainment each night. Cabin: always clean and even though it was small there was lots of storage space. My 5’11” husband found the beds a little short. Balcony was spacious and perfect for us. I liked how the shower was separate from the toilet. Room steward was very nice and attentive. Did a great thorough job. Excursions: took taxis on Tortola and St Thomas to beaches. Gorgeous water and sand. $8pp per way. Very reasonable. Felt safe. tried to do stingray excursion on private island but it was too windy so seas were rough and we didn’t go. Beach there was great and plenty of chairs. Could have used umbrellas and more chairs with shade but it’s so windy there I can see why they don’t have umbrellas. They had palm trees scattered for some shade. Other: Pools are open as soon as you get on the ship so if you have kids with you, wear your bathing suits. Make tender reservations ASAP when you can. We were told morning of that next available tender was at noon! I didn’t make a reservation because I figured we could just walk on. The night before we got on the ship we stayed at the Radisson Resort at the Port. Fabulous hotel and restaurant and great pool. Would def stay there again and even add an extra day to just swim and enjoy it more. Shuttle to cruise booked through the Radisson but had to wait over an hour from our reservation time. Next time would skip that and take an Uber. The Epic was a fabulous time for all ages and we’d all go again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Our experience with this cruise was so disappointing in every area. If you're cruising, please do yourself a favor and go with ANY other company! Food/Dining:  The food was terrible. Truly. The pizza was like frozen from a ... Read More
Our experience with this cruise was so disappointing in every area. If you're cruising, please do yourself a favor and go with ANY other company! Food/Dining:  The food was terrible. Truly. The pizza was like frozen from a grocer’s freezer  section, apple pies were like rubber, and every other dessert I tried had no flavor and came out  of a box.   Our food on Carnival (only other cruise we’ve taken) was AMAZING. We still talk about how  fresh, hot, and plentiful it was, and especially how we never had to wait in line.    Breakfast buffet—10-15 minute lines for everything, even cereal, and that was often half-stocked  so then I’d have to go to another cereal line on the other side of the dining area. Customers were  heard each day remarking that they had never had to wait EVER for food on Norwegian before this particular cruise.    The ship itself was terribly overcrowded and we received very poor dining service in every  venue. We didn’t eat one meal without having to hear a customer complaining about wait time,  tables sitting not bused, lines, or supplies being out—water, ice, silverware, plates, cereal,  etc.—or without experiencing for ourselves some, or all of those problems EVERY MEAL.    There was rarely, if every, any ice ever in any drink, except those with alcohol. We got the  beverage package upgrade and consistently stood in line for at least 15-20 minutes each time  for every single drink. If you got a drink, you then had to wait while the bartender processed  several cards at once and then that drink was melted completely down.  Drinks were over-poured every time to the point that they were hard to swallow because they  were so strong. The flip side of this situation was that many who booked early received the  drink package as an upgrade, but the bartenders couldn’t keep up with the demand. Perhaps  they over-poured to make it worth the wait?? Try to keep some people happy? Once we found  two different mixed drinks on two different days but then were told after one drink that the  machine froze up, they ran out of strawberries, and ran out of limes. Seriously?     We also had the dining upgrade package for 3 specialty meals. However, even with 24 hours ahead of time calling for the steakhouse dinner reservation, there were none one left except one  for 7:30. Thank goodness we jumped at that one, because there were NONE available for the  Japanese restaurant or Cagney’s AT ALL DURING THE LAST THREE DAYS of the cruise.    Even on port days—one in particular when we were docked an additional 5 hours for “routine maintenance,” and most people were on Tortola for even part of the day, there was STILL a 20  minute wait for us to get a table for lunch at O’Sheehan’s...at 3:25! Three tables sat there cluttered and full of dirty dishes that just needed to be cleared. We just kept looking at the host and he looked at us. Then he finally took us to a table. It was dirty and we then had to stand and wait for him to wipe it off with a cloth that only served to make the table sticky and gummy after  he left. While we ate, two different tables of customers complained about poor service and bad food.  Entertainment: Speaking of reservations, the shows were as bad as the wait for food. They were all advertised  as “acclaimed,” but we never got to have an opinion because they were all always sold  out--every 24 hours! A few signs said some were on “stand-by,” but we were never told what  that meant in terms of your chances to get a ticket. With all of the other endless lines all week,  we didn’t want to waste another hour or two of our vacation trying to MAYBE see one. As a  result of every single one being booked every day, we did not get to see ONE show the entire  cruise! SO disappointing!    Ship/Accommodations: Our stateroom had a balcony and that aspect was comfortable in size & privacy.  However, inside the room, pulling the bed down from the ceiling was a ridiculous way to sleep 4.  We all hit our heads trying to access the closet, balcony, tv, & bathroom every evening. The room was so unbelievably narrow that often times each day someone had to step out into that  balcony just so we could all change, move suitcases, or even dry our hair. There was literally  room for one person at a time to walk through.    Our room for two on Carnival with only one small round window looking out was twice as large and twice as wide. I would have much preferred to be in THAT room this week with all four of  us. It was obvious again that Norwegian cares only about the profit, not the consumer. Even an extra foot of space would have made a world of difference, despite meaning fewer people sailing each week.    As for the boat itself, it rocked and swayed EVERY DAY, and was worse that the Carnival ship that was one third the size. We saw countless people wearing seasickness patches behind their  ears.    No tables were ever open for any buffet meal. There were no deck chairs open at ANY time of  day. Each time we wanted one, even in the “adult only” section, we had to stand and watch for  people to leave to ask for their chairs. Ridiculous.  The elevators were ridiculous to wait for as well. They were full of people half the time you  actually had one stop and open the door. They also stopped on every single floor bc everyone  had pushed the buttons, then gotten frustrated and took the stairs.  Waits for ship’s bathrooms were also consistently that long—for both genders! And at times, the  stall floors were a mess with water, paper, etc. and it was evident that they hadn’t been properly  cleaned in many hours.    I paid $178 for the wi-fi service and was also sorely disappointed. It was very unreliable & never strong enough to access anything from basic news websites to email. The only thing that came  in was Facebook, but not strong enough to upload more than one or two pictures at a time.    In terms of ports, the first two were good (minus an INCREDIBLY brief time at St. Thomas and  another RIDICULOUSLY long line to re-board the boat that day). However, the private island was  another story entirely.  We never knew the Epic didn’t pull into a port there and that we had to arrange transportation for  ourselves. Luckily another traveler told us the night before.  We signed up for tender #3 and followed the announcements made to board, but those on other  tenders (4, 5, etc.) lined up whenever they wanted. No Norwegian employee stopped them or  made them go back to the back of the line for line jumping, even though the video on the cruise  tv channel said this would happen. Once again, those of us who followed the policies were  penalized for doing so. It took 36 minutes in line to get seated on a tender, never mind the travel  time to get to the island.    Once on the island, we were disappointed again. Just like on the ship, there were not enough  chairs and we had to RENT a beach mat? My son waited the entire trip to get to rent a jet ski or a  paddle board and there were none running that day or being rented with ZERO explanation given  as to why. Meanwhile, we looked over at the Royal Caribbean island right next door and they had  water slides, kids rides, zip lining, jet skis, AND a pier so no one had to tender over. Does Norwegian seriously not think consumers won’t compare options??     Disembarkation: This was the icing on the cake for our week. Not only was this complete and total chaos, but it  was SO UNSAFE.    It took us more than 2 HOURS of lines to leave the ship. This caused us to miss our scheduled  9:00 shuttle to the airport and we then had to wait an ADDITIONAL 1:36 MINUTES SITTING ON  THE SIDEWALK and coordinate with TWO COMPANIES to finally get another shuttle.     Meanwhile, new cruisers were already boarding the Epic all around us for their “adventure.” We  wanted to tell them all to just turn around and walk away. Norwegian cares nothing about its customers because we were STILL THERE, unhappy and without help, but here were new paying  customers! Good luck to them, is all I had to say.    We were hoping for great service at a great value. We wanted family fun without the hassle, hot  & tasty meals, and relaxation. Unfortunately, we only experienced every opposite.      I honestly feel like my husband and I threw away and completely wasted our time and the money that this week cost us for the cruise, flight, hotel stay, & shuttles.    Our trip on the “Epic” was an “epic” failure.  Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first experience on a very large ship and we were attracted to the variety of offerings it had for children. I didn't quite appreciate that the volume of people onboard would feel so apparent. Almost everywhere you went ... Read More
This was our first experience on a very large ship and we were attracted to the variety of offerings it had for children. I didn't quite appreciate that the volume of people onboard would feel so apparent. Almost everywhere you went there were crowds, lines and bustling activity. The interior/decor was nice but not luxurious. Our ports of call were Tortola, St. Thomas and Great Stirrup Cay. All were good, but the schedule in St. Thomas had us leaving at 2pm which was too soon and meant we couldn't do many activities on that island. For positives -The ship does offer a lot. There are many restaurants/bars/entertainers/areas of the ship. By the end of 1 week you still feel like you haven't spent much time in many areas. -Entertainment was amazing, especially Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Best show we've ever seen at sea. -Plenty of deck chairs/space. Even in the shade we were able to get chairs without too much trouble. Plenty of people meant chairs were frequently opening-up throughout the day. There are quiet and loud areas, but all the quiet areas are in full sun. -Splash Academy: my kids love this! The staff and activities were excellent! I could not cruise without this program. Period. -Bars: lots of great options, hardworking staff. Beverage package makes this easy. -Embarkation/debarkation - very smooth and hassle-free -Waterslides/pool - generally good but also very crowded -Food in the free restaurants was good -Glow/White-hot party, ship activities and games were all fun. More of these on the top decks would have been nice. -Nightlife, this is the 1st ship we've been on where there is actually fun entertainment later into the evening and it doesn't feel dead. Negatives: -Service in the restaurants was very slow in all areas, both the amount of time it took to order drinks & food and for the food to actually arrive -Extreme business of the staff, especially at restaurants/bars really reduced your interaction with them. We didn't get to know the staff like we have in previous cruises. -Lines/crowds for popular entertainers, such as dueling pianos, comedians, Beatles cover band, made it impossible to find seats or even see what was happening. You had to plan ahead and wait for venues to open to ensure a seat. -Having to walk through a smoky casino to a restaurant or through the smoky H2O bar to the sports deck isn't ideal when with children -The whole H2O/adults-only area felt underutilized. It's a big outdoor space that essentially served as a smoking section. -Billing/tracking of onboard credits is sketchy. This is the 2nd Norwegian cruise in a row where they've messed-up our final bill. Make sure you have details of credits in writing. Overall our trip was a lot of fun and we had a good time. I think Norwegian does a very nice job and I would continue to sail with them. I wouldn't rush back to the Epic or to any other mega ship now that I know what they feel like. But if you do want to sail on a large ship and you're not looking for a quiet experience, I think the Epic provides good value and a fun atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was a last-minute switch when the Oasis of the Seas was hit by a crane in dry dock. I was traveling “solo” with my two sons, 12 and 16. The moment I found out the sailing had been cancelled, I called and found that there were ... Read More
This was a last-minute switch when the Oasis of the Seas was hit by a crane in dry dock. I was traveling “solo” with my two sons, 12 and 16. The moment I found out the sailing had been cancelled, I called and found that there were still a few staterooms on the Epic sailing out of Port Canaveral that weekend. We flew out from Boston and arrived in Cocoa Beach around 2 am. We stayed at the Sheraton Four point which is built in to the RonJon surf complex, and was two blocks from the beach. We’d planned to have a whole day here but the Epic sailed on Saturday rather than the Sunday that the Oasis was scheduled to depart. Across the street were a CVS and a Walgreens, so in addition to sunglasses and water shoes from RonJon, we were able to get all the last minute items. We’d rented with Hertz, which returned a few miles up the road and took the shuttle to the port. It was cool to see the differences between Carnival, Disney, and NCL as passengers were dropped off on all three lines. Embarkation was pretty smooth—a long, yet constantly moving line. We’d all worn our swimsuits under our clothes so we could hit the pools and water slides first thing once aboard. The kids found the sports court (a little confusing because you had to go through the “adults-only” SpiceH2O bar to find it. I finished up booking entertainment (booking so late didn’t leave many openings in the online schedule). I got a spot at the Cirque Dreams show that night and for the Escape Room later in the week. By the time that was all set, they’d announced that the rooms were available. So we dropped our stuff and headed to the Garden Cafe, which was clearing out in anticipation of the muster drill. Figuring out where to go was a little chaotic-there was a code on your key card, but no indication of where the code group met. We figured it out and eventually got all the information. My son loved the cirque show—later in the cruise he commented that he’d do anything to see it again. It did, however, make for a long night with dinner and the performance. I think I may have missed the opportunity to get the kids launched into the teen program and the kids program. They weren’t thrilled about having to be in two different programs, so they never took advantage of them. Overall, we enjoyed the food. The kids loved the buffet and access to the soft-serve machines. We hit Moderno, Teppanyaki, Le Bistro, and La Cucina as part of our 4-meal specialty dining package. While the food was generally great, the portions were on the small side, and the waitstaff were pretty curt: nothing above taking the order and delivering the food. Le Bistro was the biggest offender here—really rushed, unhelpful staff. We also tried Shanghai’s and Taste for the included restaurants. Shanghai doesn’t accept reservations so you get a buzzer—which went off nearly an hour later. The food was good, but the individual portions were small. We had reservations for Taste, but it was pretty much the same experience. Long waits for drinks and big gaps between courses. Altogether the restaurants were kind of a miss—I think the kids would have preferred the buffet and I didn’t think they delivered on the time and extra expense invested to get a quality experience. It was, however, easy to get good food throughout the day. I was especially fond of the tacos served outside during the afternoon. Also, Wasabi’s was excellent. Even though it took a while, the rolls that came out were gorgeous and delicious. The bars below deck were great—Maltings, in particular, had great service and awesome drinks. Poolside bars were generally slammed and the basic drinks were too watery (margaritas) or way too sweet for my taste (strawberry daiquiris/piña colada’s). The ice bar was fun. (Yes even with the kids—they have alcohol-free options). The only obscure part seemed to be figuring out how to book this experience—when it was open, they took reservations, but it’s not clear you could do this when they were closed or in advance online. One upgrade that was really worth it was the thermal suite. The views from the saunas and the back deck were great and the ability to take a relaxed, full-sized shower was a good escape from the kids. The staff kept it immaculate and well stocked. The entertainment was stellar. Priscilla was clever, fun, familiar, and daring. Burn the Floor was also stunning. I tried one of the cha-cha classes and it was cool to see the instructors in action at breakneck speed. Poolside singers were fun, personable, and talented. I enjoyed the live music found all over as well. “Howl at the Moon” was a riot. Mandy, the cruise director, was everywhere, always pumping up the crowd and making things fun. Her staff did a great job with all the evening parties. Afterwards, Bliss was a great way to meet other vacationers enjoying their evenings. We tried our hand surfing in Tortola—beautiful beach. We went Scuba diving in St Thomas. Unfortunately we were only in port until 1:30 pm so didn’t get to do any more exploring Great Stirrup Cay was nice. It was impressive to see how hard the staff worked to keep everything clean and well stocked. Really enjoyed the Taco bar—we didn’t make it to the larger buffet—but it was a very relaxing day. Disembarkation was chaos. It was pretty clear that most guests packed up, headed for the buffet, then headed out at approximately the same time. There were several intertwined lines that were constantly being cut, etc. once you were through though, it was really no big deal. We spent the remainder of the day at the Kennedy Space Center and the following day at Discovery Cove. Overall, an excellent vacation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had the most EPIC vacation on the Norwegian Epic (pun totally intended). The ship had a great layout, the service was great and we really, really loved the food. The Chinese restaurant was the biggest surprise. This restaurant, along ... Read More
We had the most EPIC vacation on the Norwegian Epic (pun totally intended). The ship had a great layout, the service was great and we really, really loved the food. The Chinese restaurant was the biggest surprise. This restaurant, along with the buffet, Irish bar and two main dining rooms, are included in the price of the cruise. The noodle bar that is part of the Chinese restaurant was great!! We ate there every other night. My six year old also loved the child care. The theming was amazing! He attended the pirate, spy and outer space nights and loved them. He even cried when we tried to pick him up early...he was having too much fun with all of his new friends. My only advice for next time would be to book specialty dining early. We enjoyed the Cirque show but would have loved to dine at the Japanese restaurant. It was booked completely. Also, if you are going to the private island, make sure you make a reservation for the tender to the island. We could have had an extra hour or two of island time if we had figured that out sooner. Don’t feel like this was clearly publicized. Overall we will book Norwegian again!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We like NCL, but this ship proves that bigger is not always better and that it may be virtually impossible to provide a consistently positive experience for 5000 passengers. This is the fourth NCL ship we have sailed on and we will not be ... Read More
We like NCL, but this ship proves that bigger is not always better and that it may be virtually impossible to provide a consistently positive experience for 5000 passengers. This is the fourth NCL ship we have sailed on and we will not be sailing on it again. We were in 8064 port toward the front pretty close to one of the two banks of elevators on each deck. Pretty good location for me and my two boys. Even though the cabin will technically sleep three, it is small even for two and has this undulating interior design that is truly weird. The bathtub/shower is directly to the right as you enter - with accordion glass doors. On the left side is a smallish toilet ( Class C RV size)t with a glass door as well. The sink is exposed to the cabin next to the toilet enclosure. A strange set-up. The third person basically sleeps on the undulating couch which calls for a somewhat unnatural sleeping position. The main bed is over by the sliding glass door to the balcony and is comfortable enough for two. There is plenty of storage everywhere. There are only two electrical outlets in the cabinet under the TV. Not very convenient. The balcony is fungible with two cheap web chairs and a couple of small metal end tables. The balcony overlooks the lifeboats so there is no direct view down to the sea - everybody on the port side has the view. To call this a "minisuite" is hyperbolic indeed except for the "mini." The food was, overall, mediocre particularly for NCL where we have traditionally found pretty decent fare. The breakfast buffet was standard and you can get eggs/omelets to order and the usual array of pre-cooked eggs, meats, fruits etc. You can get fresh juice for extra $. Dinner at Cagney's steakhouse was subpar - my porterhouse was comparable to something you might find at Kroger for $9.99 a pound. Teppanyaki was similarly uninspired. Cuccina was the best of a bad lot with a nice view and good pasta. My boys convinced me to eat one "Asian" dinner at the Garden buffet - I found that experience the worst of the lot. The Manhattan restaurant was nicely decorated in a subdued way and served up pretty decent (but not really good) fare, albeit generally warm instead of hot. The other "main" restaurant Taste we found unattractive (many of the tables can be observed from the deck above) and tried to avoid it. There are bars everywhere and the bar staff is competent and can make a good martini. On that subject, get the Ultimate Beverage Package - it includes high end liquor and other drinks so long as there is not a lot of mixing involved. Grey Goose vodka comes with that package, for example. The wines by the glass are pretty good. All of the staff we encountered were pleasant, professional, overwhelmingly Asian and spoke pretty good English. Some inanities are memorable - one of my boys scraped his knee on the pool deck and the towel meister directed us to get a band aid from the front desk where, in turn, we were advised to go to deck 10 and pay 25 cents in some machine for a band aid. Really? On ship days, you had better get your butt up to the pool deck early and "reserve" a lounge chair because there are insufficient numbers of them. The pools and hot tubs are tiny for such a mob. The boys liked the water slides. Music blares endlessly up on the pool deck. Many passengers in varying states of inebriation on a daily basis - getting the most from their Ultimate Beverage Package. The kid's package is not worth it - after a day or two, most of the bars did not even require you to show ID to get a soft drink. We found it impossible to get reservations at a kid-friendly time for the coveted entertainment shows, many of these are reprised on the television to you are not entirely cut out. Bingo was a total mob scene most days so that was limited. The boys enjoyed bowling which, at $7 per person per game was not unreasonably priced. The dopiest part of the design of this ship, though, has to be deck 6 which you cannot traverse without succumbing to a huge casino operation in the middle reeking of stale smoke - it almost makes you gag. One of the "free" restaurants, O'Sheehans, is proximately situated to the casino and suffers from the same chronic malodorous miasma. This is not a good thing. The Wifi was easier to sign onto than normal, but it had a strange habit of refusing to log you off even though pretending you were logged off, so I wound up in a daily routine of visiting the internet manager who credited back my minutes without complaint. The Ice Bar is a silly distraction that winds up costing much more than it is worth. The shopping is the standard shopping and the at-sea artwork seemed worse than normal. Overall, I am disappointed to say that I didn't like this ship much. It lacked the surprisingly good food of the Pearl, the Jade and the Sky; the dining rooms lacked the elegance of the Pearl and the Jade; the crowds were everywhere, and it had sort of a cheap carnival atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I have cruised with NCL for my past 3 cruises and always had a great experience. So this year we wanted to stay with NCL and go with EPIC. It was 13 of us traveling together. I had invited my friends and their family and my in-law and his ... Read More
I have cruised with NCL for my past 3 cruises and always had a great experience. So this year we wanted to stay with NCL and go with EPIC. It was 13 of us traveling together. I had invited my friends and their family and my in-law and his family. Needless to say, I was very upset with the cruise. One, the employees, bartenders, guest service people acted as if I were a bother when looking for assistance. We going to the different bars, no one was friendly at all. Didn't care to engage in conversation or nothing. Made my drink and just left it there, took my card, swipe and no thank you or nothing. The lack of entertainment was bad. When cruising you expect to hear music playing you know picture much throughout the ship. My brother-in-law actually brought out his portable speaker and played music and we had a few guest walked by and danced a little. The food was not the greatest. I know you can't expect a 10 from everything but I would expect at least average on most of the stuff. I will say the only place besides going out to the ports that I enjoyed was The Martini Bar. The bartender there was the only nice bartender on the ship. I am in the processing of looking for a cruise for next year and was hoping to stay with NCL but I think its time to go back to Royal Caribbean or try Carnival. Oh I almost forgot, the setup of the room, I am not sure about the curvature thing but its a bad idea. I don't understand why the extra bed is not by the sliding glass. I takes away a lot of space in the already small mini suite. The bed even had a curve. You have a lot of drawer space for no reason. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I wanted this cruise to be better than Carnival and at least approach my first cruise experience with Disney Cruise Lines. It fell short. Carnival was a "Las Vegas on Water" experience, and it's a great party option for ... Read More
I wanted this cruise to be better than Carnival and at least approach my first cruise experience with Disney Cruise Lines. It fell short. Carnival was a "Las Vegas on Water" experience, and it's a great party option for the least amount of money. The accommodations were average, but our service was fantastic. The food was okay, but again, the service was fantastic. Disney exceeded every expectation I didn't know I had, in every area. Norwegian had a nicer and more classy/formal feel and appearance than Carnival. The staterooms were definitely nicer and more comfortable. The complimentary food was a little better than carnival, but the service was not good. Twice we waited for two hours to finish dinner in the main dining rooms. Every night but one we were told there was nothing available at the specialty dining rooms that had been "perks" added to our reservation. We called in advance to make sure there was chocolate milk available on the boat for our 3 year old. We had to ask every day but one on the cruise for it, and nearly every time we were told it was only available through room service at an additional service charge. The add ons on Norwegian were an absolute waste and I felt cheated. We were the only 2 people in our group of 20 that got to enjoy any of the specialty dining rooms, and even then we only got to go to ONE. It was great, so it was an added negative instead of positive that this perk wasn't really available. We also purchased the unlimited soda beverage package for three people - - we consumed less than one six pack the entire 7 days. It was hard and painful to get a soda, and when we did it was often flat. Half of the time the soda we asked for was "unavailable", and when we asked if we could take an extra can back to our room we were told it was $4 per can. Our unlimited wifi only worked half of the time and not enough to stream anything for more than about two minutes. I would NEVER purchase an add on package on Norwegian again based on this cruise experience. Sadly, the 4 or so five start staffers we met were drown in a sea of "I don't care" staffers and attendants. In short, the look and feel of the ship didn't come close to matching the service or overall experience. Overall, just OKAY is the best I can give. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was my first Caribbean cruise and my third time on the Epic. I say great job to the employees of the Epic!! Everything was excellent. The ship was beautiful, clean, comfortable, and packed with many things to do and activities to ... Read More
This was my first Caribbean cruise and my third time on the Epic. I say great job to the employees of the Epic!! Everything was excellent. The ship was beautiful, clean, comfortable, and packed with many things to do and activities to participate in. Unfortunately I didn't realize beforehand this was spring break time and the ship was filled with teenagers. However, the kids were well behaved and we had a wonderful time. Our excursions were "off the chain" and well worth it. We had so much fun on the wave runners at Great Stirrup Cay and our cabana was worth the investment. Grand Cayman is a beautiful island - even though we didn't book an excursion through the ship, we hopped over to seven mile beach and there was plenty to do there. In Ocho Rios we did water tubing and the Dune Buggy and snorkeling tour in Cozumel. Back on the ship, we had the specialty dining package and the specialty restaurants onboard the Epic were top notch. All of the servers were so nice and went out of their way to make sure we were happy. Our cabin was spacious and the bed was so comfortable. I only have to two things negative in nature to say. First, the pool on the Epic could stand to be a bit larger. During sea days, they can tend to be a bit crowded. Secondly, logistics of getting back on the ship at tender ports can take some time if you wait until the last minute. Too many of the excursions are scheduled to get back too close to departure time of the ship. But, all in all, this was a wonder cruise and I can't wait until my next one. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We learned a lot on this trip. This was our first big ship experience, and we learned that we definitely like the smaller ships better. We like the feel of the concierge and butler knowing every single person, and them always being there ... Read More
We learned a lot on this trip. This was our first big ship experience, and we learned that we definitely like the smaller ships better. We like the feel of the concierge and butler knowing every single person, and them always being there even when you don’t call. Since the Epic is a bigger ship with more Haven suites, you don’t really get that feel as much as you might get it on a Jewel Class ship. We like the feel of the personal service. It’s just impossible to do that with all of those people in The Haven. Another big thing is that the elevators were so busy and in such high demand that it took forever to get one. Even when just going up one deck. Elevators are vital to transport Emily in her wheelchair, and it’s really annoying to have to wait. (And yes we know about The Haven room card slot, but it didn't always work. We liked Bowen the concierge, but didn’t get know him as much as we did Omar last year. Once again, this is simply because Bowen was taking care of too many people to get to know all of them personally. Omar is actually taking over for Bowen in a few weeks, and we cannot believe we missed him! The layout of the Epic is very interesting. It’s the only ship of its kind, as NCL had to cancel the order for her sister ship due to a dispute with the ship builder, STX. It was the only ship that has not been built by Meyer Werft since the Windward in 1993. The view of the outside deck on deck 7 is completely obstructed by life boats. This means that you can’t stand and watch the ocean flow by. There is also no access to an aft facing deck, since the aft is completely filled with aft facing rooms. These are some things that I absolutely love and look for in cruise ship. Sometimes it’s just nice to stand at the aft and watch the calm wake of the ship. The only place you can actually kinda see the wake is at Spice H2O on deck 15, and even then your view is somewhat obstructed. As far as entertainment on board, we loved all of the shows and parties. The Cirque Dreams show was excellent and very entertaining. We also really liked Priscilla Queen of the Desert! I really liked how they had themed parties at night at Spice H2O at the back of the ship where the big screen was. One night they had the 70’s dance party where they played music from the 70’s and everyone from that era danced along. They also held an 80’s dance party. One especially cool party that I did not get a chance to personally attend was the Glow Party where they paint your face and hand out glowing cups and glow sticks. As for service, it was always very fast. Whether we were in the Haven Restaurant, or a specialty restaurant, we always got what we wanted very quickly. I found that this time around the crew wasn’t very welcoming and happy as usual. They kinda seemed burnt out and tired of their jobs. They still did an amazing job. Better than any other cruise line we’ve been on! We had never been to any of the ports of call on this itinerary except for Cozumel. I'd have to say that Grand Cayman was my favorite port because of how beautiful it was. We never felt unsafe or threatened in any of the ports. I don't think we will be booking an itinerary with Great Stirrup Cay anytime soon. We liked it, but it just wasn't as great as it's all hyped up to be. I think that NCL took everything they did wrong on GSC, and fixed it on Harvest Caye. We thought Jamaica was fun too, but probably wouldn't rush back there anytime soon. When booking in The Haven, you get all five Norwegian “Free” at Seas perks. We ended up upgrading the free 1GB of internet to unlimited, and adding 2 additional dining packages so that the other two of us would have it. Only two of us had the Ultimate Drink Package (one of the perks), and that seemed to work out just fine for all of us. We used our shore excursion credit to pay for $50 of the beach club in Jamaica. I know that’s only four, but the friends and family sail free perk did not apply to our sailing. A complaint that we had that had nothing to do with the ship or the cruise line was the loud and rowdy kids in The Haven. I get it, it’s spring break, but after 10 PM it’s just reckless and obnoxious. The people in the suite next door were up yelling, screaming, and blasting music into the late hours of the night. One night we even called security, but they were still really loud. We might have been a little bit petty and banged on the walls at night and in the morning while they were trying to sleep. Disembarkation was FAST! It was within the blink of an eye! I looked at my watch in our stateroom at 7:33, and when we were on the curb at 7:49. 16 minutes. Way to go Norwegian! We also had a little surprise waiting on the curb. We had booked a limo to come pick us up a couple months back. It was so cool! I’ve never been in a limo. It kinda lightened the blow of having to get off the ship. Now that it’s over, we keep doing things like waiting for someone to put napkins across our laps at places like McDonald’s or Olive Garden, and waiting to be escorted to the front of long lines. I even tried to pay with my ship card somewhere! It didn’t work if you didn’t already know. Whoops. Back to reality, am I right? We’re headed home and the Norwegian Epic is headed to Barcelona on a 15 night transatlantic cruise for her summer cruising season. I would like to say a huge thank you to Norwegian Cruise Line for another unforgettable cruise! Even though we don’t have another cruise booked YET, we will definitely be sailing with them again in the near future! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This is my third NCL cruise, but first on the Epic. I picked this particular cruise as I had little options due to my kids spring break week and I don't like to go to the same place twice. This is what NCL had to offer and I was ... Read More
This is my third NCL cruise, but first on the Epic. I picked this particular cruise as I had little options due to my kids spring break week and I don't like to go to the same place twice. This is what NCL had to offer and I was excited to go on a mega ship. Here is my summary Embarkation, quite smooth especially as it was right at 11:30 when we arrived at the port. Cabin, two aft balconies 8210 and 8212 they were ready by 2pm. Clean and some what spacious. Shower was good but the toilet was loud to flush and no privacy. Norman our cabin steward was amazing, he even fixed the heel on my shoe Dining, so many choices but you have to time some restaurants right. I pre booked my three specialty dining restaurants months before we set sail. Teppanyaki was our favourite of the three we went too. Garden Cafe buffet was great for what it is, always found a seat. We like Taste this best for breakfast, lunch and dinner. O'Sheehans Irish Pub was the worst, for some reason no matter what time of day or night the service was always super slow. Entertainment: great variety, loved Priscilla Queen of the Desert show. Wish I booked Cirque De Soleil show before we boarded as it was fully booked every night. We watched some of the quizzes in the Atrium, you need to arrive early to get a seat before these game shows/quizzes. Service: Norman the cabin steward was a great guy and a pleasure to have as our steward. Most restaurants and bars we visited had wonderful service, my only complaint is the service in the O'Sheehans Irish Pub just so slow and not very friendly staff. I had the unfortunate visit to the medical center with stomach flu on the first night (not caught on the ship but in Florida). the Medical center staff were great and the Dr was very understanding and gave me two shots and some tablets. The rule is you have to stay in your cabin for 24hrs after your last episode of vomiting or diarrhea which sucks but totally understandable as you don't want to infect everyone else on board. Splash Academy: the kids club staff were amazing and I felt extremely safe leaving my 3 year old in their hands, they are the best part of the ship. They take the time to get to know your child and are very friendly, and work super hard to make the kids love going. Ports: Great Stirrups Cay, kids had a good time food was ok, weather wasn't great so we only spent a couple of hours on the island. Ocho Rios, we hired a guy Chris from www.chrisjamicatours.com. Great guy, I told him where we would like to go and he drove us. First stop Mystic Mountain Bob Sled. Chris helped us get our tickets and told us where to go. We went up the mountain in the chair lift with stunning views of the bay. There was a long line for the bob sled ride which was a shame. However the ride itself was fun, I wish it was cheaper as it doesn't last long at all. Then we called Chris who picked us up and took us to Dunns River Fall a 600ft waterfall you climb up with a guide. I think everyone who got off the four cruise ships in town that day where in the falls, the place was packed and it ruined the trip. We waited an hour to get a guide and then the joined the 100's of people climbing. Not fun, but we paid so we had to do it. I was a little nervous and took the 3 year old with us but he was great and managed the climb. We arranged with Chris a time to pick us up and take us for lunch. he choice a his local restaurant, he called ahead with an order as it was very busy. When we arrived he found us a table, ordered our drinks and the food came quick. It was delicious. Chris then drove us back to the port, he was a great tour guide and highly recommend him. Grand Cayman, Georgetown. I didn't book anything so after searching for 15 minutes for a taxi we finally to one to a beach resort on Seven Mile Beach, taxi cost $4 per person, entrance to resort was $2 per person and you can use all their facilities, pool, beach, showers, toilets, bar and restaurant. A little crowed at first but people soon cleared out. I have never seen such clear water in all my travels like the water here. Warmish, calm and some beautiful fish. My 13 year old loved snorkeling here. Lots of taxi's waiting outside to return people back to the port. Cozumel. I booked an excursion through NCL as I didn't want to be stuck like we where in Grand Cayman looking for a taxi. I already knew we wanted to just hang out a beach. We choose Playa Mia day pass. It takes a long time to get off the ship and on to the bus to take you to the beach for some reason, then a good 40 minute drive. By the time we arrived there was only a handful of sun loungers left and no umbrellas. The weather was overcast so didn't matter too much. The ocean wasn't that pleasant with lots of little pieces of seaweed and stuff floating around, not great for snorkeling. The only good parts where the splash pad for the 3 year old, the inflatables in the ocean for the big kids, the kayaks and pedalos. Food was mediocre, water in the pool and hot tub was cold. Over crowded and not worth the $40 each person. Disembarkation: AWFUL 2 hours to get off the ship, through customs and to the parking lot. Main issue was there was only 2 custom officers working, checking all 4100 passengers. Disgraceful and so unnecessary. They have the same amount of people to get off every week they need more staff. I still like NCL because of there Freestyle dining, kids club staff and their variety of things to do onboard. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chose the cruise because of the advertised dining, shows and club experience. Great experience boarding and unboarding which is not an added value. It was the in-between that was dissapointing. Steward was rude with smart comments thru ... Read More
Chose the cruise because of the advertised dining, shows and club experience. Great experience boarding and unboarding which is not an added value. It was the in-between that was dissapointing. Steward was rude with smart comments thru out the cruise. Unsupervised kids misbehaving. Unable to attend shows and specialty dining because they were booked the entire cruise. Ship ran out of towels and wash rags. Liquor store closed on 3rd day of cruise with limited supply to purchase. Cruise experience did not cater to the minority crowd. We upgraded to a balcony room which made this cruise doable. The Norwegian Epic has been relocated to the Medeterian perhaps the standards are lower there. I must say The Carnival Experience on a much older / smaller ship was wonderful. Norwegian need to take note. Unsure if we will cruise Norwegian again. I can not recommend this cruise to anyone. Very dissappointed. Feel robbed and cheated! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
As someone who enjoys cruising I often read the reviews here on Cruise Critic. I find it hard at times reading the different opinions of passengers who were all on the same ship on the same sailing. Some had a great time while others ... Read More
As someone who enjoys cruising I often read the reviews here on Cruise Critic. I find it hard at times reading the different opinions of passengers who were all on the same ship on the same sailing. Some had a great time while others thought it was a complete disaster. Just a little about me, I'm a 53 year old male and have been on many cruises in the past such as carnival, holland america, celebrity ,MSC and norwegian. With that being said, this is my first time writing a review on any cruise. I want to start out my review with how it started with our arrival to port Canaveral. We arrived at about 9:45 very little traffic, easy access to parking and plenty. Super easy park car and walk a few yards over to the porters to check in luggage. NO wait. We were directed to the first security check in (their are two) very quick moving and i would say maybe 6 people in front of us. Second security stop moved just as fast. Now on to reception for check in . Easy! No problems.. very friendly staff. No wait. After check in we were in the second group to board. We headed to the Garden Cafe for lunch and it was 11:30 not bad at all. By 1:00 we were in our cabin and already unpacking. We had a (hull balcony) deck 12 in the front of the ship... Loved it, so private and very quiet. This was a cabin we got after taking part in the upgrade offer from Norwegian, so glad we put in the offer for an upgrade from our inside cabin. The cabin was nice ,plenty of room for two with plenty of storage. Everyone finds it a strange layout with the separate bathroom layout but, honestly its not a big deal and by day two you dont even give it a second thought. Ok,, now on to the bed that everyone says is too short, well.... due to the shape of the wall/headboard the mattress has about 3 to 4 inches that are under the headboard. Hard to believe that no one has realized that you can grab the handle at the end of the frame.. and pull it out just a few inches and add all the lenght you need and still have plenty of room to walk by, Im 6'1 and my feet did not hang off the bed. Slept great very comfortable and the cabins A/C worked great. The cabin was clean and well stocked at all times by our steward Dominick. (great job) As always passengers and crew must participate in the muster drill, and nothing to it if you paid attention to directions ... you could see the confusion on many passengers faces due to the fact that most didnt pay attention. No fault of crew people just dont listen. Sail away party on pool deck was crowded and is to be expected with a ship of over 4000 The Epic is a huge ship and I found it to be clean and in pretty good shape for ist age. We enjoyed the food in Taste and the Manhattan, both were nice and we had no waite at all every night of our cruise. The service did seem rushed at times and I get it... they have a lot of passengers to feed in a timely manner. yes, some staff were overworked and it showed but, no one was rude. The garden Cafe had plenty to offer for breakfast, lunch and dinner. no issues finding a table there is always one available. Enjoyed the circus dreams dinner show... set menu, food was good and the show was good. Worth the price. As for entertainment.... we really enjoyed Prisclla queen of the desert! Burn the floor was just ok... ive seen this show several times in the past and it seems to have changed "alot" Honestly couldnt wait for it to be over,. The 80,s party at spice H20 was alot of fun. ( can you say drink package) (oh my) ok.... the pool... yes! it does get crowded, yes there are chair hogs! Ive never been on a cruise that didnt have chair hogs... little secret you can go up to, i think its deck 15 and there are plenty of empty chairs... and yes you can also order a drink the servers are always coming by. ( this deck was a well kept secret) and it was heaven getting away from all the crazyness of the pool area. As for the ports... they are what you make of them. your on vacation(enjoy) Disembarkation - we did the self assist, walked off the ship with our luggage and was in our car and had our parking paid by 8:30am (we really lucked out because lines were starting to form. All in all we really enjoyed ourselves, no complaints... with the ship or crew IS it big, yes! Are there over 4000 passengers yes! A little planning helps ,book things of interest and you will not be disappointed. i would sail with norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
So our first night there we had to separate the beds, and in doing so there was broken glass under the beds. Then my daughter cut her foot on more glass even when we had house keeping clean the room. Then in going to one of the shows, Burn ... Read More
So our first night there we had to separate the beds, and in doing so there was broken glass under the beds. Then my daughter cut her foot on more glass even when we had house keeping clean the room. Then in going to one of the shows, Burn the Floor, a staff member was extremely rude. Even getting in our face about no children in the front row. Except it was only my husband, myself, and our 18 year old daughter. Immediately after the show we reported the staff member to guest services. The next day we went back to see what they were going to do to make this right. The guest services personal called the asst. Cruise director JoJo and he was off solving it was to say I'm sorry and give us raffle tickets. I explained to him that this was our last big trip with our daughter because at the end of summer she leaves for the air Force. She was very upset because this was not the first time they had questioned her about her age and we're rude. So she was just staying in her room. Norwegian ruined her last vacation with us and they didn't even care, just said sorry like that made everything better. We will never said with them again and I hope they realize that their customer service is awful. JoJo you didn't make it right, nor did you really try. Plus Norwegian was letting you book excursions in Mexico knowing that the ferry had been recently boomed, and didn't even inform us. They put my family in potentially a dangerous situation Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was my seventh cruise with NCL and my second on the Epic. I find that every time I travel with NCL my opinion of them decreases. I believe NCL should be advertised as a family and children friendly cruise line and discourage ... Read More
This was my seventh cruise with NCL and my second on the Epic. I find that every time I travel with NCL my opinion of them decreases. I believe NCL should be advertised as a family and children friendly cruise line and discourage adults without children, or who are not in their 20s from travelling with them. On this trip to the Caribbean there were many unsupervised children - they were throwing food, changing the signage on the cabin doors (to do not disturb so the cabins didn't get made up), swimming in the hot tubs, throwing stuff overboard, and screaming at one another across the balconies, to name a few things. Parents seemed happy to ignore these activities. The 20 year olds weren't much different, getting seriously drunk and screaming at each other, and occupying the hot tubs for hours at time without letting others in. The food was good but on several occasions (especially during breakfast) our orders were incorrect (missing and incorrect food items). Cagney's was quite good though. On the second sea day we were up on deck at 830 and there were no chairs to be had, as people had set there stuff down and even though they did not occupy their seats for hours the did leave their towels on chairs so as to let others know they were theirs. We had the 'free' drinks package which was handy and the bar service was very good. Our cabin was very cramped and I did not like the frosted glass bathroom as it was obvious what was going on in there - and the frosted glass offered little soundproofing. The sink is also in the main cabin which can make washing a bit challenging if travelling with friends. The Epic is not very wheelchair friendly making access to the Taste dining room quite difficult as one of the two sets of elevators does not go to the fifth floor where it is located. Also included in our package was 250 minutes of 'free' wifi. While I thought this would be useful to stay in touch with family, there were so many people on board using wifi that it would take up to 5 minutes for a webpage to load, if it loaded at all. So I image of the time I spent using the wifi plan, I probably spent 20 minutes on the internet, the rest was 'page loading' or 'this page cannot be displayed' time. As we have experienced previously, the customer service from the guest services staff is terrible. There was a charge on our account that we did not make and we went to guest services to address it. The gentleman at guest services was rude and basically said it wasn't his problem. We've had previous problems with NCL guest services, including being yelled at for completing a guest survey they didn't like about the spa services. One of our stops was to Great Stirrup Cay which is an NCL owned island (I assume). We tendered over which took approximately 45 minutes from waiting for the tender, boarding hundreds of people and disembarking. The area was nice but the water was challenging to get around in due to the rocky bottom. Lunch was provided there but the lineup was giant. We did not wait for food but we were told by another guest that he waited 45 minutes for his tacos. The entertainment was okay but as we'd travelled on the cruise before we had seen all of the shows. The Beatles, Burn the floor, Pricilla were all repeats of the cruise we took a year ago. However, Pricilla was still pretty good. I do think they could add a few more games (trivia etc) and perhaps some new shows as there wasn't much going on that didn't require an extra fee. While I have enjoyed NCL over the years, I think it's time to move up to a more adult-friendly cruise line. I am not a big fan of having food thrown at me or listening to screaming children or drunken college kids while on vacation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Wow, what a great cruise! I sailed with my wife, 16-year-old daughter, her best friend and another couple in a total of 3 cabins. We embarked on March 24th and arrived back at Port Canaveral this morning a very tired group. Embarkation was ... Read More
Wow, what a great cruise! I sailed with my wife, 16-year-old daughter, her best friend and another couple in a total of 3 cabins. We embarked on March 24th and arrived back at Port Canaveral this morning a very tired group. Embarkation was very quick. We arrived at10:30, spent about 10 minutes getting our sea cards and the rest of the time waiting for our group to be called at 11:30. Overall, the food on the ship was fabulous. Our favorite meals were at La Bistro and Shanghai’s. Cagney’s was pretty good, but I don’t understand all of the hype I have been reading. The restaurant itself was amazing, but the food was about a 7 out 10. I got the porterhouse and my wife got the filet which were both about the quality you might get at outback. O’Sheehan’s was a very cool place to be as far as atmosphere, but the food was definitely on the lesser side of our favorites. They seem to have a bad habit of bringing out cold food that would probably be very good if it were hot. Service was also very hit or miss, mostly miss. We ate at Cirque Dreams and had a very nice meal here, especially considering it being “show food” and coming out all at once for the entire restaurant. The show itself was amazing. The food on all of the buffets was always fresh and very tasty. We also had a sushi snack at Wasabi’s and was very impressed. Entertainment on the ship was some of the better we have ever seen. All of the theatre shows were worth seeing. We became groupies of “Siglo” who plays everything from contemporary rock to classic rock and are spot on with all of the songs they sing. Unfortunately, this was there farewell week on the Epic and they are on a plane right now to Germany to become the headliner on the Bliss. I would book my next cruise just to see these guys, they were that good. The band even helped me with a customized souvenir by autographing a broken bass drum. Epic Beatles is definitely worth seeing as is Howl at the Moon. We did not do the comedy club, but I heard it was great. During sea days, the pool is VERY busy and the Epic does not have a lot of hidden areas like you see on many cruise ships to get away from the crowd. I was told when we checked in at the port that our sailing had the second most number of passengers ever, so that did not help the crowd issue. The pool bars do become very busy but if you tip the bartenders and the waiters bringing drinks, they will definitely pay you more attention. If we sail again on the Epic, we’ll most likely upgrade to the Haven to be guaranteed a place to get away from the crowd. Our 16 year olds were not impressed with the teen club. That being said, all of the younger teens we spoke with loved it. Ours are just the age where they want to meet new people and "hang out", which was mostly done by the pool. The feedback from both of them was an awesome cruise. Overall, We really liked the Epic and would sail again. If you have specific questions, comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We booked this cruise because of the itinerary , the stop to Tortola was the main reason because I wanted to go back there. Well hurricanes changed that for us. Not real happy with Falmouth and Grand Cayman as this was almost identical ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the itinerary , the stop to Tortola was the main reason because I wanted to go back there. Well hurricanes changed that for us. Not real happy with Falmouth and Grand Cayman as this was almost identical to our cruise 2 years ago. First, let me start with checking in ...Nightmare... the worst of the 12 NCL cruises that I have ever had we were in "the line" for 3 hours, our cards did not work the first time we tried to get on the ship. We skipped the pictures because we were ready to eat, got on the ship just at 3pm and the only place to eat was the pub. Rooms were okay, actually our steward was the nicest employee we dealt with. I made sure to get our bed closest to the balcony as to not have the toilet by the bed. FOOD.... we ate at 4 special dinning places. We had to wait a lot at all except for Teppanyaki. They have made changes to the menus and not for the good, no longer steak for lunch at main dinning rooms, no pizza or chicken parm at LuCina , Cagney's was good the 2 times we ate there, one of our waiters was so sour and unpleasant at Cagneys we kind of made fun out of how sour she was. Buffet was very crowded and they seem to take the food away just as many were getting on after being ashore. Most of the staff was not friendly or even smiled. Kids club for my 12 year old was great, he loved it and he will really miss kids club as this is his last year now it is on to the teen club which is mostly teenagers saying as many cuss words as they can in one week. The shows were not of my taste but loved the Ledgend group. Internet was terrible we were given the 250 mintues as a promotion, I would have hated to pay 125.00 for this as it hardly worked. We have been on many different NCL ships, the Pearl, Jewel, Star, Spirit and the Dawn and even on the Epic once before and all were better cruises than this one. Like I said, I know NCL can do better. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We did our first cruise ever on the March 24th to March 31st Epic Cruise to the eastern Caribbean including stops in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Bahamas. Embarkation was a bit confusing and it was a heck of a lot of lines. We booked our ... Read More
We did our first cruise ever on the March 24th to March 31st Epic Cruise to the eastern Caribbean including stops in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Bahamas. Embarkation was a bit confusing and it was a heck of a lot of lines. We booked our flights, airport transfers, and everything through NCL The transfer was fairly painless from the airport, but upon arrival there were a lot of lines to go through. We got off the bus and got in a long, but fairly fast moving line to go up to the first set of security checking out papers/identification, then another line to go through security (metal detectors, x-ray carry on luggage, etc), then another line to check in. Upon check in the computers were a bit fritzy and it took a bit to get checked in, and then finally on the ship. Overall it was probably about an hour and a half to two hour process. Not terrible, but definitely a long process. However, with 4500+ people to board on a fully booked ship, it's not unrealistic. The cabin was a balcony on the 13th deck. Felt a little cramped, but enough storage to work well and the balcony was great. The only entertainment we did was the Cirque show. The show was great, but with premium seating our seat was under an overhang far enough that when they did aerial work we couldn't see everything. Otherwise the food was fantastic and the show was good. The on board activities were plentiful and there was enough to keep us and out 8 year old son busy when needed. In particular, the rock wall, the spider climb, the water slides were our son's favorites not including the Splash Academy. The Splash Academy itself was amazing. The staff was fantastic and our son loved every minute. They had tons of activity and themes including Pirate Parades, Glow Party, free play, Pajama Party, and a Circus performance for the kids to put on in the theater. It was amazing and I would highly recommend it. The food was for the most part fantastic. We had little to complain about. Even the buffet was good. The ports were also fun and we had some great excursions. We did the dolphin swim and Dunn River Falls in Jamaica, we did Turtles, Turtles, Turtles in Grand Cayman, and then we did the Stingray City at Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas. We loves each and every one. Though I admit there were times we felt a bit rushed, but otherwise it was amazing. The service on the ship was top notch with smiling faces, happy greetings, and we have nothing but positive things to say about anyone we met. Depsite the fact that it was Spring Break and a fully booked ship, it was a really great vacation and you would have hardly known it. I would definitely do it again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We still had lots of fun even though this was the worst ship I’ve sailed on so far. We had a balcony room. The balcony was pretty good size but the room was smaller than any other I’d had. The funky curved wall made the bed ackward ... Read More
We still had lots of fun even though this was the worst ship I’ve sailed on so far. We had a balcony room. The balcony was pretty good size but the room was smaller than any other I’d had. The funky curved wall made the bed ackward with my feet sticking off the end of the bed. The bathroom is very weird and the toilet room and shower are very small. You had more room to do your business in the public bathrooms than you did your cabin. The layout for the elevators are terrible you can only pick 4 at a time to stand by and hope everyone else isn’t trying to use them too. Plus Haven guests get priority on all elevators so whenever any of them are on you wait even longer. They seem to be getting chinseyer on the food in the main dining we even had some things repeat on the rotating menu. What they had wasn’t bad just not up to par with what I’ve come to expect on a cruise. We did do Monderno one night and it was very good, but considering we paid extra for that it should be. And like some of the other ships the casino is in the middle you have to walk through and smell the smoke because it’s all open and opened to other floors. And for such a large ship the pools was rather tiny for all the area they took up plus the splash areas and fountains evidently don’t work. They also overbooked our cruise so I’m sure that added to the congestion. All in all we still had fun but we won’t be cruising on the Epic again Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Had a percentage off and decide to go. It was a very noisy trip and the layout was terrible. I use a scooter and picked an accessible cabin near the aft elevators. You cannot get to the dining rooms without going all the way down to the ... Read More
Had a percentage off and decide to go. It was a very noisy trip and the layout was terrible. I use a scooter and picked an accessible cabin near the aft elevators. You cannot get to the dining rooms without going all the way down to the forward elevator and then all the way to the back. Why put a restaurant in the middle of the ship that goes all the way across. The same was true of the casino. Never again. Food was good. As was the entertainment. It was just too noisy. The pools were too crowded. Towels laying everywhere but hardly anyone sitting there. The stewards were ok. Not great. Couldn’t engage in a conversation. 2 days room was never touched. And why does ncl take you to their private island that has no pier???? Those with wheel chairs or scooters could not go ashore. Never ncl again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

Find a Norwegian Epic Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click