6 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - Southern

We had an awesome family vacation on the NCL EPIC, sailing December 15-December 22 in a 2 bedroom Haven cabin. This was our first experience in the Haven and will definitely cruise the Haven in the future. Our butler, Richard and room ... Read More
We had an awesome family vacation on the NCL EPIC, sailing December 15-December 22 in a 2 bedroom Haven cabin. This was our first experience in the Haven and will definitely cruise the Haven in the future. Our butler, Richard and room steward, Elisa were wonderful making sure that we had anything we needed. The second day my son ordered a turkey sandwich from room service, once Richard found out how much he enjoyed the sandwich he would bring one each afternoon with our afternoon snack. It was the little things like this which made our cruise special. Omar, the EPIC Haven concierge, was great! Omar made sure to talk with us each day, making sure that we had everything we needed and would arrange show/dinner reservations. PJ is the best bartender by far!! This cruise was scheduled for 3 sea days, with stops in Tortola, St. Thomas, and Great Stirrup Cay. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty rough on the last 2 days which prevented us from stopping at GSC. Even with pretty heavy winds/seas we noticed very little movement on the EPIC, there was some but not bad considering the wind strength. We were originally scheduled for a short day in St. Thomas which was extended by 4 hours since we were no longer stopping at GSC. This was our first time visiting Tortola and opted for a trip to Jost Van Dyke. I would highly recommend booking the Rebel Yell to Jost Van Dyke. We enjoyed our day with Captain Claudia and her crew Taz, Johnny, and Justin. They made sure we had plenty of water and rum punch on the boat ride and checked in with us several times while on the island. We will definitely book this excursion again. The ship entertainment was top notch, we enjoyed all the shows. This is a big ship and was fully booked, but the only time we waited was for the elevators was when shows were letting out which is to be expected with 4200 people onboard. The EPIC has a unique design, but not a problem and will cruise her again if the itinerary is one we want. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our third cruise on Epic and we’re planning another for early 2019. In order to maximize our experience on any NCL ship of this size or larger, we choose a Haven stateroom; by staying in the Haven, we reduce a mega ship into a ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Epic and we’re planning another for early 2019. In order to maximize our experience on any NCL ship of this size or larger, we choose a Haven stateroom; by staying in the Haven, we reduce a mega ship into a mini ship but still have access to all that a megaship has to offer. Must commend our Butler Jensen, Room Steward Bianca, bar tenders JP, Norman, and George; they all were spectacular and a credit to NCL. This was a “port-intensive” itinerary and left no time for boredom! Fabulous ports, easy disembarkation, and excursions that didn’t disappoint! On -board entertainment was plentiful and we thoroughly enjoyed Priscilla, Cirque, and Burn the Floor. We had loads of fun, and a wee bit of luck, in the casino with friendly Dealers and some cooperation from the slots. The night we chose to participate in Howl at the Moon was a drag-half empty and not much energy. The guy and gal at the pianos wanted pay-to-play your request and if they didn’t know your song, they just pocketed the cash and threw away the request. We contributed $11 to NOT hear our songs. We didn’t hang around but about 40 minutes. We dined in the traditionally fine Haven restaurant, Cagneys, LeBistro, and LaCucina. All were excellent except LaCucina which was horrible this evening. I felt sorry for the waitperson because he really tried hard, was attentive, and efficient but the food was gross. We were traveling with our adult son and daughter-in-law so had a Family Villa and the two bedroom/two bathroom setup made the entire voyage comfortable and enjoyable giving all private space and room to hang out together as well. All-in-all, this ship, accommodations, service, and itinerary made for an excellent vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Boyfriend’s mom booked cruise barely a week before we set sail. From booking to disembarkation, everything was out of this world! Food was phenomenal, customer service was outstanding! Not a single thing I could complain about and the ... Read More
Boyfriend’s mom booked cruise barely a week before we set sail. From booking to disembarkation, everything was out of this world! Food was phenomenal, customer service was outstanding! Not a single thing I could complain about and the family agrees! Staff was knowledgeable and friendly. The food was consistently delicious and always different. Never had an issue with too many children although it was kid friendly. They had their own section as did the adults so crossing paths was never overwhelming or distracting. The on board shows were super entertaining and the main attraction cirque de solel precormanxe was insane! Unbelievable talent and poise from the performers with just the right amount of comic relief. Throw in a little audience participation and one of the best prepared meals we had on board and you have a night for success. Needless to say, we are planning next years Norwegian adventure already! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The ship was large and in good condition. The unusual bathroom layout wasn't a problem for us as it was just me and my daughter and it allowed us space to get ready in separate spaces. We dined mostly in the main dining rooms ... Read More
The ship was large and in good condition. The unusual bathroom layout wasn't a problem for us as it was just me and my daughter and it allowed us space to get ready in separate spaces. We dined mostly in the main dining rooms and there was always something that we liked. We have had specialty dining on prior cruises, and I thought I would get bored with the options, the it was fine. It was Thanksgiving week and the ship was full. Luckily, we had booked reservations for the main dining rooms and shows online prior to departure. I think it really helped this time. I preferred eating in the main dining rooms because they are less hectic. Our steward, Gabriel, was the best we've ever had, and this was our 4th cruise. I have found that the steward can really make or break your experience. I can say enough about how welcome he made us feel and how well he took care of us. The onboard entertainment was fun, particularly Priscilla Queen of the desert and Burn the Floor. It was hard to get my teenage daughter to leave the Entourage teen club she liked it so much! Embarkation, got through security and check-in quickly, but then had to wait much longer than in the past to board. Latitudes category didn't seem to help. Disembarkation was not managed well enough for those doing walk off. Many of us lined up early, then there were really rude people trying to cut line. In future, the cruise members should set up ropes and manage the crowd better. Enjoyed all the ports, including Great Stirrup Cay. Teenage daughter particularly liked the Reggae Party Boat and Dunn River Falls climb in Jamaica. Most of all enjoyed peacefully having my coffee and continental breakfast delivered to our stateroom on my balcony! I would overall give the cruise an A, and any complaints above are merely blips. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The Epic was EPIC I loved this ship I had been on it the prior year and will again this April. The crew is wonderful the food is excellent and ez to get around we took an excursion off ship in jam with know jamacia they picked the ... Read More
The Epic was EPIC I loved this ship I had been on it the prior year and will again this April. The crew is wonderful the food is excellent and ez to get around we took an excursion off ship in jam with know jamacia they picked the 5 of us up at the port and took us to the Blue Hole, to a one man ceramic artist, lunch with the island flare and to around the island. the trip tp grand cayman was well grand cayman went snorkeling lunch, rented a jeep in Cozumel and had a great beach day at the caye, I will never tire of the Epic. I hope u enjoy relax eat drink and be so very merry! if you go try the sushi bar, the speciality resturants, the ice bar The cirque, burn the floor was amazing. All the different bars and lounges were great also ENJOY! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I am not going to get into alot of depth that some reviewers do as I am wanting to hit the highlights of our trip and offer some advice for parents with a child who has autism so that they can maximize family enjoyment. My family who ... Read More
I am not going to get into alot of depth that some reviewers do as I am wanting to hit the highlights of our trip and offer some advice for parents with a child who has autism so that they can maximize family enjoyment. My family who cruised on the Epic over Thanksgiving on Eastern Caribbean which included my mom and stepdad (in 60s), my single aunt (50s), hubby and myself (30s), our 2 kids - 13 yr old girl and 10 yr old son with asperger's syndrome (mild), and my 3 nephews - ages 14,12,9. We also had another family we are great friends with join us (in their 40s) with 12 yr old son. Now on with the show... Embarkation was very smooth. We stayed in a hotel in Tamarac night before cruise and used Premier Cruise Parking Port of Miami. My hubby and stepdad dropped off the women and kids with luggage while they parked and caught the shuttle back to the port. This was smart to do as it helped them to get on first shuttle while other families not wanting to get split up had to wait for one with room for all. We waited in the comfy chairs at the port until they went through security to join back up with us - took about 30 min tops. Got on boat before noon. Bought soda packages for kids at the bar in front of Taste first thing and went in Taste to eat our first meal - restaurant was nowhere full, plenty of open seating. Dining Room summary -I now have to comment that service providers were very nice but SLOW, embarkation day lunch was our first "taste" of how slow each night would be in main dining rooms and after cruising with at least 5 different lines I can say this was the slowest I have ever experienced. Food was usually very good so I almost hate to add this comment in, but families with kids should know in order to plan accordingly. It was ROUGH trying to get to early shows (7pm ones). We thought being in line ready to walk into restaurant at 5:30 would be ok, but we learned quickly that we had to either buffet it on a show night or skip dessert in the mdr. The kids got bored with sitting and we had to stay on top of them to keep good behavior which takes away from the whole fancy dining experience. My son was particularly well-behaved despite the wait times and we used this time as practice for encouraging eye contact with wait staff while he ordered and to stretch his conversational skills. Vacation is one of the best times to help him grow in this area. AND FYI lobster night is the first night of dining and they were VERY tasty. Lots of folks missed out on it and it was only this one night. And a final comment, the dessert was not too great. Cookies and ice cream are a homeroom but not too much else. Carnival's choc melting cake is the winner in my book. Shows/Entertainment - I LOVED the entertainment. My fav was the cirque dinner - great steak and the actors/performers were awesome. I like a variety act so it was my cup of tea. The volume was a nice level so my son could enjoy it too but he did begin to grow bored after about 45 min into the show (pretty good for him) but I was able to convince him to stay. Also, I bought premium seating and got there early to sit up top. He enjoyed the distance and not being too close to action (however they pack in the folks VERY TIGHT so expect to know your neighbor well up there). Now the Blue Man Group is another story. Holy smokes...while entertaining to most adults and kids (nephews and friend had a blast) to asperger child it was a nightmare. The sounds were too loud for him even with his earplugs and when the act started interacting with the audience when the strobe light part of the routine began (and blowing toilet paper roll over audience) it was a major meltdown. I had to grab him because he was about to take off like a rocket out of there. It was far too dangerous though for him to try to walk up steps with the light effect and moving ship so I hung onto him until that part was over and then let him go to the room (yes, I give my children some freedom to walk about ship without me every second judge if you want to but they have been responsible with it). I should have listened to my instincts to not make him try to attend but I hoped their silly slap-stick humor would win him over. Epic fail on my part and a warning to parents with kids who have sensory difficulties. I didnt even attempt to take him to Legends though myself and the other kids enjoyed that as well. The volume is very high so keep that in mind! The Nick Slime Time show was somewhat enjoyable to him since we sat at the vary back of the theater and there was no chance he would be picked for participation. My 13 yr old daughter loved the dance parties onboard and especially Murder Mystery Lunch that we attended. None of our kids would go to kids' club - no fault of NCl they just have their own little group so they wanted to aggravate each other. And the bowling was pretty fun too -our kids were terrible and it was so funny to watch. Like sitting inside the Irish pub and watching them roll gutters,lol! Also liked the movie outside under the stars on the big screen. Popping popcorn for movie-goers was a nice touch Ncl! Water slides - Awesome. I didnt ride as I can NOT take closed in tubes but son and hubby rode off a layer of plastic,lol The best time was a night party they had and the slides were wide open. I sat in the hot tubs and watched them run around getting on it. The pool is too small IMHO but it seems none of the ships have larger pools for amount of guests. The kids swam mostly at evening to have it freed up from crowds. And at least one adult from our group made sure to be hanging around them to ensure safety. Room - We were able to find a deal for small rooms on Expedia where the cost of 2 rooms with 2 in each of them was less expensive than all 4 of us in a single room ;) We enjoyed that and so did the kids. We did have to keep dropping by to ensure clothes were picked up and son wasn't spending all of his time on tablet games. He enjoyed slipping off the buffet a good bit to nibble as he felt hungry and then return to room or meeting place that we designated. Our room steward was awesome and we appreciated Rita looking after kids and letting us know when 2 of our nephews were cutting up and ended up losing some freedom as a result. Passengers Onboard - Some of you may laugh at this but here goes...The kids onboard were 100% politer than the adults. The kids would hold elevator doors, smile, and involved us with some of their youth games (scavenger and dare) while adults would break in front of you in any and every line you could think of. I was shocked as I expected the opposite. I have taught school for almost 20 years so I am no stranger to kid behavior in different settings and what I saw was very complimentary to the next generation of our country. Shame on the adults that would cut in line at the elevators, gripe about silly things at dinner, etc... Just my 2 cents.. Casino - Lots of fun but no big winners in our crew. My mom and aunt had a great time walking around and people watching as they played. My hubby loved the quarter game and we met some nice folks who had their own strategies for winning (none seemed to be enough for big winnings) but we did win a bottle of bubbly,lol! The kids were dying to play and the crew politely kicked them out. I totally understand but don't really see how we gamble is much diff than the arcade where they gamble for prices...hmmm...lol Ports- St Maarten was awesome - loved our tour guide Dennis with Amigo Tours. Enjoyed an air-conditioned customized Chevy van for our family of 10. He took us all over and made sure to stop for beach time. Warning alert - Maho Beach was a great time with airplanes so close to you and rough surf for older daredevil boys. I should have known better to bring earplugs but son insisted he didn't want to wear them. He goes through spells when differences bother him and he wanted to try to overcome noise sensitivity. However, this is NOT the place to experiment! The smaller planes didn't bother him but when a big one was roaring for take-off - Good Grief!! It took myself and middle nephew to grab him to calm him down or he probably would have run straight up bank into the road. I almost dropped my camera in the whole process and ended up soaking wet in the ocean. After that one had passed, my son quickly calmed down and went back to swimming and having a great time. Children with more severe forms of autism probably would not have bounced back at all. I am so thankful our day wasn't ruined by that as it could have. It shows that my son is growing in his ability to soothe and roll with the punches and I also learned that I need to follow my gut and over-prepare to be safe. St Thomas was ok. It was about to rain so it was very muggy and my son was aggravated at how uncomfortable and thirsty he was. We went to Senor Frogs and he did fair, we have gone before so he knew the noise level to expect and we ate outside so it was more tolerable there. The food was good but service was sooo slow. The kids and adults loved the balloon hats, it is fun to act silly sometimes and the cool drinks coupled with the fun helped to pep up the fun again. Disembarkation - It was fine. Breakfast was so good and relaxing to eat at a later time since we drove. We did have to wait in line for about 20 min to walk off ship (and yes we had our bags taken off so no self-assist but we weren't in a rush either) so that had my son acting up some. He still struggles with change and instead of talking about feeling different it results in him making some strange looking faces and flapping of his arm to show he is not dealing well with change. He also wanted to act a bit extra neg toward his sister who in turn gave it right back to him so we had to put out that fire. We were happy to see the porter who quickly gathered our bags once off ship and had them walked outside for hubby and stepdad to get car from parking garage. Summary - A fantastic time. Lots of GREAT entertainment, fun conversations, beautiful island scenery, and relaxation. And all in all my son had a great time and grew more in learning to overcome the obstacles that he faces socially. The Epic is a great boat to vacation on and make memories. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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