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

Good price on this cruise, plus the ports were good. Issues started on embarkation. Only 2 TSA agents showed up for work. No communication to any passengers waiting over 3 hours to board. My main issues are around the food quality, ... Read More
Good price on this cruise, plus the ports were good. Issues started on embarkation. Only 2 TSA agents showed up for work. No communication to any passengers waiting over 3 hours to board. My main issues are around the food quality, taste and some service. The food in the buffet was horrible. The roast beef was so tough they could not cut it one night. No taste, same things over and over , night after night. They had no cream on the entire ship for 10 days for coffee. How is that possible? They don't offer shrimp cocktail, escargot, lobster night. The quality of the steak and prime rib was thin. Unless you paid to go to Cagney's you got a very simple cut of meat. The wait staff at Shanghai's were excellent. In the main dining room, never once in 10 days asked if I wanted my wine glass filled up. No butter on the table. Didn't ask if I wanted sour cream on my baked potato, didn't ask if I wanted cheese on my pasta. None of these things ruined this cruise. The entertainment was excellent. I liked the cruise director. Burn the Floor musical a must see. I had the liquor package and I was not able to get a soda in a can, only out of the fountain pop. Does this make sense? I can get a $15 glass of wine, but not a $2 can of pop. They told me I would have to purchase the soda package to get a can of pop. NCL is know as the nickel and dime cruise, and it really is. They were taking water and pop off passengers on embarkation, not allowing them to even bring 1 bottle of water on board. I've never seen so many guests upset around the ship. It will be a long time before I cruise NCL again. Going back to what I know is 5 star cruising with Celebrity and Royal. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I booked this cruise for my family because I'd had really good experiences with Norwegian. This was quite the exception. From the start of having no one to greet us to taking 3 hours to get on the ship due to lack of employee ... Read More
I booked this cruise for my family because I'd had really good experiences with Norwegian. This was quite the exception. From the start of having no one to greet us to taking 3 hours to get on the ship due to lack of employee knowledge, system errors and just plain laziness, to the room flooding, to having no accessibility in the room for my handicapped dad to the wheelchair that was recommended by ncl's rental company not fitting in the room to poor customer service. This was the worst cruise I'd been on. After all the things that happened my parents were given $100 each on board credit. The food, food staff, ports, shows and room attendants were very lovely but the customer service desk used standard lines and showed no comparison. They knew a water pipe burst at 8pm and didn't bother to check the rooms. Then they expected my elderly parents to walk in the water throughout the night because they weren't going to fix it until the morning. If you are staying with a friend in the room beware that there is no privacy for showers and bathroom except a curtain and then you can't leave the room if the other is in the shower. Awkward. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our son chose this cruise to help them get away after a horrific year of enduring Hurricane Michael. They are a military family and had their home decimated and the base in which he is based was destroyed. We all needed to give their ... Read More
Our son chose this cruise to help them get away after a horrific year of enduring Hurricane Michael. They are a military family and had their home decimated and the base in which he is based was destroyed. We all needed to give their family a break. We made lemonade out of lemons. But it was just terrible. Getting on board the person who registered us did not even know what she was doing. Before getting on board we had to go through the whole process again! I met other persons who had the same experience. Whoever designed the cabins on this ship should never be employed again. Yes it was that bad. The shower and bathrooms had translucent doors so whoever entered the cabin or were in the cabin could see the person going to the bathroom or taking a shower. We had grandchildren in our cabin for the first 3 days and never had any privacy. We just hated it. Had I known about this before the cruise we would have never cruised NCL Epic. The passenger capacity was 4100 and we felt it. Long lines and crowds everywhere. Loud music constantly and a poor selection most of the time. Bartenders were over worked and understaffed making for more of a feeling of being overcrowded. We had a drink program with our fare but the wait times out by the pool area made it prohibitive to even get a drink. We could never find a quiet space on this ship. It was overwhelming how crowded it was. The pools were so tiny you would have thought they were designed for a small home. Tenders: At one port it took us 51 minutes from the time we entered the tender line until we were back on the ship. Holland America used their own tenders and there was no lines! Poor service on NCL! Our first day on board the buffet lines were way too long and when they opened up the main buffet room they did not even know what they were serving! This was not a vacation! It was a grueling event! I met other people on board who could not wait to get home. It was that bad. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This cruise was recommended to us. We have been saving and preparing for this trip for over a year. This was my wife's birthday week. The checking in and boarding process was long and hot. Designated arrival times do not even matter. ... Read More
This cruise was recommended to us. We have been saving and preparing for this trip for over a year. This was my wife's birthday week. The checking in and boarding process was long and hot. Designated arrival times do not even matter. Every restaurant/ buffet/ cafe that was included was mediocre at best. If you wanted to see shrimp, and lobster, and other expected cruise ship foods, you will have to get it from the ocean on this cruise. Outside of the cabin Stewart, Casino staff, and some wait staff, the service was terrible. The ship layout has the main buffet dining at the top of the ship, so prepare to walk stairs a lot, because elevators are not efficient unless you go to breakfast at 6AM. My wife went to the spa to have her hair styled for dinner, and the person who did her hair made some insensitive comments about her hair and face that brought my wife to tears when she got back to the cabin. Excursions are chaotic and stressful with a lot of waiting. Recommend going onshore by yourself and doing the same activities at your pace. Felt like a retirement community by 11PM. That's when the bars on the ship start to close up, except Bliss, which smelled like urine, H2O, and the casino. Prepare to go to bed early on this boat. We disembarked with our luggage, and got off very quickly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
From the moment we stepped on the ship and saw the filthy windows everywhere that we looked I was concerned about the EPIC. Last year we took a cruise on the ESCAPE and had such a wonderful experience that we immediately put money down on ... Read More
From the moment we stepped on the ship and saw the filthy windows everywhere that we looked I was concerned about the EPIC. Last year we took a cruise on the ESCAPE and had such a wonderful experience that we immediately put money down on another cruise with Cruise next. This year we didn't. The Epic was a huge disappointment. Unlike The Escape, not once were any of the windows/balconies cleaned while we were in port. Our room was filthy and the bathtub was filled with mold. The room steward never refilled anything like sugar, shampoo, lotion, soap etc. The boat was so noisy and shuddered continuously. So much so that the glass doors on the tub and the toilet rattled all night, every night. The first time I went into the room and used the toilet, there was a piece of glass and I cut my foot open...not a great start!! The television had so little options with channels and we had to keep watching the same 10 minutes of a crappy cartoon in between shows. We never knew that the first port in the Bahamas was a private NCL island and that we had to get a tender, communication was terrible!! Whereas Harvest Caye was beautiful last year, Great Stirrup Caye is in need of a major facelift. The port of call in Jamaica at Ocho Rios should just stop. The beaches are so rocky getting into the water that I was almost over my head in the ocean before I finally felt sand. It was very painful. After speaking to many other guests that went to other excursions on the island they all had the same experiences. During the trip, we spoke to a lot of other people and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM HAD THE SAME COMPLAINTS! Almost every one of them said that they would never use NCL again, as of right now we aren't sure if we ever will either. If it wasn't for the wonderful experience that we had on the Escape we definitely wouldn't. We saw discrimination against a gay couple by the assistants to the cruise director that made us sick! The glow party was ruined for practically everyone because little kids were allowed to run around and knock over drinks and constantly bump into adults trying to dance and have fun, it wasn't the place for kids. It was brought to the attention to the cruise director by multiple people and he couldn't have cared less. Because of all of this and other reasons I rated this cruise poor...only because it was the lowest option available. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I was excited to take this cruise. I wanted to love it - people tell me how nice cruises are. I didn't have the same experience. from when we first arrived we had issues. my husband is Danish but has a us permanent resident card. the ... Read More
I was excited to take this cruise. I wanted to love it - people tell me how nice cruises are. I didn't have the same experience. from when we first arrived we had issues. my husband is Danish but has a us permanent resident card. the lady didn't know how to check him in and had to ask 2 people before we were able to proceed. Then once on the ship, the cards they issued my parents didn't have the meal and beverage packages on them so they were getting charged for all the drinks and food. It took 4 trips total to sort it out, two to get them to fix the card and two more to reverse the charges they said they'd do after the second meeting. Then they needed us to come up to fix whatever they did wrong for my husbands check in so we had to go back to guest services and wait in line again. Also, and the absolute worst thing is that my daughter was scratched on the stomach by two stray dogs when the excursion bus driver stopped inexplicably at a roadside souvenir shop. she was bleeding and the bus driver didn't have a first aid kit so we had to clean it with water and a towel. Then when we got back to the ship, they were claiming there was not rabies on the island, but were getting a verification from them and they'd let us know if she needed a rabies shot or not. we NEVER heard back. guest services followed up the next day - they asked how she was and if we needed anything. I told them I needed a follow up from the doctor, they said ok - again I never heard back. lastly I went to settle my bill for my massage and I found that they charged us $15 a day per person to be on the ship - after paying over 3k for a tiny cabin. so, basically I spent the majority of my vacation in line at guest services or in the medical center. Don't book Norwegian - they are the worst. for what we spent we could've gotten a villa with a driver and a chef in some ritzy neighborhood on the beach in south America with fewer crowds and more room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Would not recommend this cruise to anyone. Went on the ship with a group of 56. All of us had the same experience so it did not VARY at all in terms of quality, service or expectations. We had first time cruisers and experienced cruisers ... Read More
Would not recommend this cruise to anyone. Went on the ship with a group of 56. All of us had the same experience so it did not VARY at all in terms of quality, service or expectations. We had first time cruisers and experienced cruisers and all felt the same disappointment. I have extremely low expectation and am very easy to please, but this cruise couldn't even cut it. Having cruised on NCL, RCI, Canirval and Celebrity, NCL now ranks at the bottom of my list and will never cruise again. Where to begin... Will try to do point form to make it easier and faster to read the important details Embarkation: Checking in took quite a while, very unorganized. - There were 2 lines, one for lattitude (past cruisers) and another line for everyone else. - We have cruised NCL before so we were put in the supposedly faster latitudes member line. This ended up taking double the time as the regular line as our other group members who went to the regular line were long gone way before us. It came to a point where our line was still backed up while the regular line was completely empty. No one there to direct people either so it was chaotic. Rooms: - Were smaller than average cruises, our fridge had some half empty pop and water left from previous guests. No complaint there, mistakes happen. - The sink is extremely small, and water splashes everywhere, I already read many reviews regarding this so I expected it. The bubbling floors goes to show the effect on it LOL. Ship Layout: - TERRIBLE, the main attraction on this ship is the CASINO!!!. You pretty much have to go thru the casino to get to almost everything. I tried what other reviewers mentioned by going the floor above or floor below and thats just plain waste of effort.  The smoke is terrible but is worse when you have to take your 1 year old through it. - This ship is designed for Casino players only. Or partyers. Even the partying is poorly organized because they put it at the back of the ship in the Spice H2o which is such a small area and can barely fit anyone. Too overcrowded. - Too much wasted space on the ship - Trust me when i say this, THEY WILL Nickle and dime you on every attraction or I should say EVERYTHING on the ship - Heard from another guest onboard that the ship was designed like a sail boat and every little wave causes some major nauseating action. Guess it was true, lots of people were seasick and there weren't many waves or windy conditions. For a ship this size, it rocked like crazy. Infant & Toddler Room: - They call it the GUPPIES club. It's basically a hidden room in the end of the ship behind a brown door with a bunch of toys for them to play, nothing special. It's located at the worst part of the ship if you have any sort of waves + the ship being prone to rocking you will get sea sick for sure. Water Slides: Long lineups, the toilet bowl ride was the best. Try to go on them during port days as the line ups are shorter. Don't bother on sea days. Restaurant: - LONG LINE UPS for everything - We tried the 2 freestyle restaurants offered (at no charge). First one is called the Taste. First night we waited about 1.5 hours for our food. Was told that it was extra busy because it was the first night and not to worry it will be faster. We didn't make it to desert, had to walk out after our main course, Table of 14 First night out was Surf and turf. The steak itself was terrible, was a very small portion, the size of a loonie. Asked for medium rare. Was told they dont cook steaks to preference. Only well done. Accepted it. 2nd night, Went to The Manhattan this time, same thing but this time it was 2 hours before our food came out, we didn't make it to desert, had to walk out after our main course. Table of 8 3rd afternoon we tried to do lunch, figured less people, there was practically no one in the restaurant so w were a bit more enthusiastic. Waited another 1.5 hours, no bread to start (server forgot it). Table of 4 + table of 8 (we split it up this time to make it easier on them). Never had out water's refilled. Food was terrible, your better off at the buffet. Never tasted food so bland. Had to walk out before desert as it was taking way to much time out of our vacation. Gave up on the restaurant. Then we decided to try it one last time on the last night. Finally did a table 4, service was good from the one waiter but the food was lacking. I ordered a chip and dip and got 3 tiny pieces of chips on 1 plate, portions are very strange. - One of our other members asked for a table for 5 instead of a table of 4 and was told they had to wait another 1.5 hours again. No comment there. - OSheenhan's Bar & Grill (no-fee restaurant) had better food than the other 2 freestyle dining options. Chicken wings were the smallest little chicken wings I have ever seen. Only 1 flavor, buffalo style LOL. - We ordered pot pie but they didn't give us the PIE? was told they ran out and were cooking them for tonight. Whats the point of giving us pot pie if you are just going to give us the soup? LOL I didn't understand their logic. At least tell us before we order, the server didn't even realize it was missing. It was just the pie filling. Unbelievable. Takes about 30-45 minutes to get a seat (never had to wait this long on any other cruise line). -Spice H2o at the back of of the ship had the best food. Mostly asian / thai food, some sort of pad thai, deep fried wontons, chicken fritters etc. -Garden Cafe Buffet is decent food, pretty much ate here most of the time because food quality was acceptable and it's help yourself so no need to suffer from the terrible service. Fitness Center: Probably the nicest thing they have. Found the THX thing was a waste of space. Entertainment: Blue Man Group - Was very good, we enjoyed it, our 15 month daughter enjoyed it as well. Get there early to pick a good seat. The ending was a blast. Cirque of Dreams - was also very good but the service was HORRIBLE. Person directing us in was so rude, we had lots of complications getting in because the person at the door wasn't competent enough to put my group together. We paid for premium seats but the seats are right beside the standard seats. So basically, dont pay for the premium, its pretty much the same. The show was very good, I was picked to be one of the volunteers so that was a bonus. If you are on the premium seats they will usually pick 6-8 from the audience to participate. Legends in Concert was good. We had an Elvis, Katy Parry and a rock fella (i forgot his name) impersonators. They were very good and entertained the crowd Other than the shows, there was absolutely not entertainment on this ship. Compared to RCI this ship was lacking a lot. Or you had to have deep pockets to make use of the pricey stuff. Shopping on Board: pushy sales people, but expected. However we did buy some NCL memorabilia and was told that we would get 10% off for being a lattitudes member. So we enquired when purchasing and was told we had to be a PLATINUM member to get 10% off. So we told the cashier that we got a letter in the room stating any past NCL guest or lattitude member gets it. Instead he rudely told us to prove it to him and show him the letter (Which we threw out). I wasn't going to argue with someone over 10% (waste of my time). So we went to guest services to verify dispite the small discount we didn't need. They also argued with us and told us it was only for platinum members, so what real benefit did you have being a past guest? NONE AT ALL LOL. Longer line ups and no real discount or benefit. Then we found another cashier who stated anyone with lattitude on their guest card gets it!. WOW, either poor training or very very bad service in general. Arcade: Sad as well, we had to call guest services because one of the games (teddy bear claw game) failed to drop the toy after winning. Had to wait about 30 minutes for someone to come down to fix it. Disembarkation: Worst I have ever seen on any cruise, we asked for some luggage tags and was rudely told (whatever is there) in the tray basically. We needed more but they were holding back on them. After we left and came back, they restocked them. - Got sick on the last night. Noticed a lot of people coughing all over the buffet food so that probably explains it. Another member of my group also got sick on the ship. Not the ships fault but I guess because its November, a lot of people were sick going on. My recommendation: RCI Oasis or Allure. They know how to manage a ship of this size. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
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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