29 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Transatlantic

I have been on previous repositioning Epic cruises. My cousin traveled with me and she has been on 9 repositioning Epic cruises at this same time of year. It seemed like a sure thing....BUT surprise! This cruise was a nightmare from ... Read More
I have been on previous repositioning Epic cruises. My cousin traveled with me and she has been on 9 repositioning Epic cruises at this same time of year. It seemed like a sure thing....BUT surprise! This cruise was a nightmare from start to finish! Embarkation was a nightmare. We are both disabled and the embarkation staff didn't know what to do with us. Then my cousin was asking for a wheelchair and she waited 3 hours for one. People were still boarding the ship during the lifeboat drill. Epic tried to blame this mess on the immigration staff, but they were the ones responsible for getting wheelchairs and helping disabled passengers through the line and they were non existent! The cruise only went downhill from there. As a disabled cruiser, I have always found NCL accommodating and helpful. Not this time! Hallways were exceptionally cluttered and impossible to navigate. Elevators were packed (with only 8 total elevators and 4000 passengers). Staff from those in the theater to excursions knew nothing and treated us rudely. There are many examples of this...while waiting for our excursion in the theater, one poor lady was begging for a chair and in pain. A crew member herded us in the corner and no one helped her, despite my efforts on her behalf! They never gave us instructions and we all finally left the ship on our own, found our way through the terminal and to the buses, no help from NCL at all! Our first excursion was a bus to the "city" for sightseeing and shopping. It ended on a 4 lane highway, a mile from the cathedral and no shops in sight. I returned to the ship via a different bus and had to retrieve my own walker from under the bus! Second excursion was no better. No one at all to help disabled people at entrance to theater, and we went on our own to find bus again. This is after battling elevators for 20 minutes. The tour was labeled activity level 1, minimal activity. Actually it involved a brisk 45 min.walking tour over a mile and included steps. With other passengers helping on steps, I managed, but my cousin had to sit and wait for us. The one good part was the shore excursion manager, Catalina...she refunded the first trip and half of the second, then personally looked out for us at the buses for the remainder of the trip. She was having quite the time training her new staff! Shows in the theater on deck 6 had a roped off seating area marked disabled for us. But no staff to move the rope and heavy stand. Our first show in the theater a crew member berated an elderly couple and said they couldn't sit there because they weren't in a wheelchair...they were very clearly unable to navigate steps! The rest of the trip crew stayed away, and healthy young people (not part of a disabled person's party) took over the area! Finally, I booked an excursion and asked the crew member if I was allowed to use my walker, showing him that the tour description said no wheelchairs due to space limitations. He glibly said sure that should be fine, but days later I got a call from the manager that I couldn't go on the tour. Totally disorganized, and with the exception on the wonderful manager, uncaring! The ship was filled to capacity and was as noisy as a school cafeteria in the atrium and dining areas. I couldn't attend many functions that didn't require reservations, despite early arrivals...just no space anywhere. It was like being a sardine in a can with screeching dolphins! Supposedly the ship was not filling up and since it was their first debarkation in Puerto Rico, they pushed deals there. 3200 Puerto Ricans came onboard, packing us to capacity. Most were large groups of celebrating families and friends, raising the noise level to intolerable levels. Let me tell you, I tolerate a lot of noise, as a former elementary teacher, but this was unreal!! I tried 3 times before I could squeeze into the cavern club for their Beatle group. Packed to the brim, even then. The entertainment for such a long cruise was pretty good, I will say. Different musicians, hypnotist, comedy, magic, etc. Nice variety. The standards were Priscilla and Burn the Floor. Those required tickets ahead of time. The first Priscilla was cancelled due to mechanical problems. Speaking of mechanical problems, the midship escalator was broken the first few days, which only added to the crowded elevators! Many crew were new to the ship and confused. Service was spotty everywhere, even in specialty restaurants. Food was inconsistent, not cooked to order, cold, someone else's order, you name it! Not what you'd expect for all of the extra fees. Oh, speaking of food, I had to order room service on my first night! I couldn't get in an elevator despite 45 min. of trying. They didn't charge me the service charge for the order, but it was a disappointment for my first night onboard. Communication was poor. NCL seems to only care about making money at this point. Phones flashed messages with ads for purchasing trip credits, attending functions, shopping, money, money, money! I felt it was an invasion of privacy. The ship announcements by the captain were difficult to understand due to his accent and impossible to hear from the dining room or atrium due to noise levels. On our last night we were delayed in port with police boats at our bow and stern for 6 hours! No announcements were made and passengers got quite concerned. Now for the medical situation...a letter was issued at embarkation saying that the norovirus had been present on the last cruise and they were disinfecting the ship. If anyone wanted to cancel their cruise, they would receive credit for a future cruise. OK, here is the issue...I was not told of this notice, only reading it after boarding the ship. Plus, I had traveled overnight for many hours, flying to Barcelona. Still, I might have elected to not travel if I had known before boarding. I definitely would have not gone if they had been courteous enough to notify me before I left home. With a serious heart problem and upcoming surgery it would have not been worth the risk. Naturally, they didn't tell us a day before because they would lose money! Now it gets interesting...onboard there were many sick passengers, some with norovirus, some with upper respiratory issues. Coughing was heard all over the ship. I was afraid to breathe! Norovirus patients were confined to cabins and given free medical care, not the others. My cousin was perfectly healthy upon arrival, but a week into the cruise she fell victim to the respiratory illness. Her trip to the sickbay netted her a bill of $2500, which was even more for her in Canadian dollars. Sure, she has insurance, but this bill had to be paid before disembarking and now she has to go through the insurance headache. AND the dr. visit didn't help. She was wheezing and having difficulty breathing the rest of the time. Getting a wheelchair to disembark was only available by traveling to the cavern club and began a 8 am, but her bus left at 7:45. Front desk replied, That's our policy. Sheesh! Some compassion, NCL! I hope you appreciate all the money passengers spent on medical care this trip! Debarkation in Puerto Rico was a disaster. 3 large ships in port, and no room in the terminal. After part of the first group headed for early flight departures had disembarked, they halted all disembarkation for 3 hours. It ended with free alcohol on deck 5 to compensate. Just what they needed with everyone packed on that deck, shoulder to shoulder, sprawled all over the floor, waiting to get to deck 4 to get off the ship. Drunk passengers should help that situation a lot...way to go NCL! I stayed on deck 15 with the patient, quiet few! Overall, if this is the new normal for NCL I will part ways with them gladly. Cruising has always been a joy, but I was never so glad to be back on land and at home. I did send NCL a poor review and asked for management to respond to me. We will see. My cousin had already booked the same cruise for next year, but says now she will cancel. It is such a shame. Cruising NCL at one time was a delight. Now I guess only the Haven passengers can expect a good cruise. Before you say anything, my hubby and I were in the Haven twice and loved it, but also have had many other wonderful cruises on lower decks! I am not a grumpy passenger and have never posted a poor review. Shame on you, NCL for this horrendous trip! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I like NCL cruise line just was not happy with this cruise experience this has not been my first cruise with the company. I do enjoy some things like free at sea that they offer and i didn not enjoy other this like they could have done ... Read More
I like NCL cruise line just was not happy with this cruise experience this has not been my first cruise with the company. I do enjoy some things like free at sea that they offer and i didn not enjoy other this like they could have done more activities during the sea days but it was kind of monotone thru the sea days. I was really disappointed with the glow party i was expecting a little more in the party. What i was the most disappointed was the fact that the club was separated with Latin music and the regular american music. We felt a little discriminated.The overall food was very decent, We enjoy very La cucina was my favorite and Moderno restaurant.. The music selection was awesome in howl at the moon and Sabor latino was amazing.The only negative i would have to say for very long days at sea they needed more activities. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have tried many cruise lines before and thought we would give Norwegian a try!! It was worse decision! We came away very disappointed and sad that we traveled at greatt cost only to have bad experience. We have always really enjoyed our ... Read More
We have tried many cruise lines before and thought we would give Norwegian a try!! It was worse decision! We came away very disappointed and sad that we traveled at greatt cost only to have bad experience. We have always really enjoyed our cruises and this was cruise number 18 for me and never have I come across issues like this cruise line. First of all the ship had very little entertainment other than what you had ton pay for to see! when they did have free entertainment it was in such small area only about 100 guest out of 4000 could get in to see it. Nightly shows in theatre that was free was repeated same show up to 3 nights to let all on ship seeing the show. So that meant no show for ones who already seen it so that was disappointing. Main dinning was only offered for evenings and not the 3 meals a day. Buffet was awful same food everyday other than 1-2 items. Not even close to what’s offered on Royal, Princess, Celeberty or Carnival. Staff in buffet area was awful no service at all. If we asked for drink they would point out where to get it ourselves. We were not use to this from our other cruise experiences. Even with the highest drink packages we were told we are not allow serve you can pop or squeeze orange juices it’s not included in the package yet when we got the package we were told everything was covered up to drinks 15.00 each. I don’t think can Soda or glass juice is over 15.00. Daily Activities were limited on board not much at all. Maybe 30 minute game rest was trying sale you something. The final end to our worse cruise experience ever was I bought jewelry from on board shop only to come back to our room from off the ship and find it missing. We were treated terrible they made us feel like we were trying rip them off. They told us they would have to search our room make sure it wasn’t there. I told them it wasn’t there before contacted them I had search everywhere. They said they had to it’s policy so I said ok thinking they were looking like on floor, dresser things like that. NO! They ripped our room apart leaving no privacy at all. Even pulled empty suitcases from under our beds checked inside. I think They actually thought i said it was missing to rip them off. I told them if I was going pretend something got stolen I would gotten nice diamond ring not cheap 300 dollar jewelry. Three of them in uniform invated our privacy over 289 value missing item while telling us we must misplaced it because their staff checks all garbage so it couldn’t be in garbage by mistake and their staff would never take it. So at that point I ordered them out of my room as they were now insulting me by as good as telling me I am lying if the room attendant didn’t take it then we were only others that could have it. Unbelievable treatment to first time customers looking to check out their cruise lines. It was a family cruise and all three rooms booked all said they would never return. We have done many cruises and never claimed missing item before so it really insulted me to have them make us feel like we were scamming them. End result they told us put claim in with insurance so we never did get our missing jewelry back after missing day of our vacation dealing with it. Final day getting off the ship was nightmare took over an hour and 1/2 in lineups getting off ship. It was experience we never want have again. Lesson learn, if it looks like good deal there’s reason for it. If they are posting specials get new customers what’s the point if treated like this. I was not the only disappointed guest I heard many complaints from other guest over the two weeks. I would advise looking else where when picking cruise line if you want to have fantastic vacation. We made the best of it since we were on vacation but very disappointed over the quality of service we received on Board. In closing I have to add my positive. The evening main dinning The server there was awesome and the photo gallery was awesome. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our second time on Epic sailing transatlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Both times we had the best experience. All staff from officers to waiters to house keeping are excellent. Ship is very beautiful. We loved the ship so much that ... Read More
This was our second time on Epic sailing transatlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Both times we had the best experience. All staff from officers to waiters to house keeping are excellent. Ship is very beautiful. We loved the ship so much that we are going back in February 2019 again. Entertainment is excellent. Staff is friendly and welcoming always. Variety of drinks is excellent. Public lounges are nice. H2O adult pool are is excellent for those who want to have a quiet time. No problem finding chairs around pool areas. Garden cafe buffet has big selection of dishes and different themes dinners each and every night. Traditional main dining rooms are excellent. No problem getting a table when you want to. Just a little wait time. Great entertainment in the Epic theatre. Bliss lounge is very lively. Large casino area. Specialty dining restaurants are excellent especially le bistro restaurant. Excellent excellent experience on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I gave "Very Good" for this cruise because the price was awesome: 1450$ for 13 day transatlantic cruise in balcony room. Ship and cabin: + unique ship design, everyone is looking on it + nice stylish rooms + nice ... Read More
I gave "Very Good" for this cruise because the price was awesome: 1450$ for 13 day transatlantic cruise in balcony room. Ship and cabin: + unique ship design, everyone is looking on it + nice stylish rooms + nice location of buffet: great view in front of the ship + even if ship was full, there are was always free place near the pool - separate wc and bath (and the fact that wc is designed like a shower corner is terrible) - some furniture was broken, nothing special, very minor - shower was broken (water leaking) and this was not fixed during whole cruise Dining; + Super testy asian restaurant and noodle bar. And it is for free, without additional payments. +/- main dining restaurant was good, but nothing special. Food was pretty the same day by day - buffet food was of limited variety and of intermediate quality (comparing to italian Costa, where you get salami, spanish jamon, variaty of expensive cheese etc): burgers, pizza, chip cheese, fruits are of limited variety Service: + friendly personnel + 2 time per day cleaning of rooms Activities: + different activities across all day: live music, comedians, funny shows in atrium, theater. All was good enough to not be bored in 13 day cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We booked both the spring cruise from Port Canaveral to Barcelona earlier this spring and then did the opposite Barcelona to Port Canaveral 11/4. This review is the later Barcelona to Port Canaveral. First I will say both very good. Many ... Read More
We booked both the spring cruise from Port Canaveral to Barcelona earlier this spring and then did the opposite Barcelona to Port Canaveral 11/4. This review is the later Barcelona to Port Canaveral. First I will say both very good. Many venues for entertainment. Food good, service good. Room well looked after. Could have done another 2 weeks. I love the thermal suite on this ship. Very relaxing. The gym is big and I never had a problem using the machines. They have several pay classes for the gym or I can buy a package deal and attend as many as u want. The pool water was so warm. I don’t know if that’s typical or because we were crossing The Atlantic. Embarkation and disembarkation can be challenging. Try to avoid peak times for embarkation Also need patience for elevators. People that can use the stairs should give Consideration to those who can’t. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The major issues I will address are 3 areas: 1. Pool and Children Access 2. Lounge Chair Availability 3. Staff and Service 1.Having a child under the age of 5 was problematic on this boat. If you wanted to watch them in the ... Read More
The major issues I will address are 3 areas: 1. Pool and Children Access 2. Lounge Chair Availability 3. Staff and Service 1.Having a child under the age of 5 was problematic on this boat. If you wanted to watch them in the splash area of the pool deck you had no where to sit and were isolated from the rest of the world. There were no lounge chairs in this area and it was cramped. 2. Accessing lounge chairs was a joke. The first day at sea we never did find a lounge chair for even 1 of our family of 4. People put personal belongings on chairs but actually never even sat in most of these chairs. Any chairs that were even remotely close to the children spaces were NEVER available and people with no children monopolized this area so a parent had to literally stand the entire time their children played in the splash pad and/or pool. The last day at sea I woke up before 8 and looked for 2 lounge chairs to reserve when we would come to breakfast with the rest of the family at 9. NOT ONE chair was even available. And the pool didn't even open for over 2 more hours! All chairs had stuff on them on EVERY deck in every knook and cranny on the ship. I literally walked around until 1:30 in the afternoon before finding one chair. I eventually had 2! Wow.. by 3 pm. Most of these seats had no people in them the ENTIRE day and they were just marked with their belongings. I was tempted to just move their stuff. My suggestion would be to follow other cruise ship protocol. If someone is not physically in their chairs after the 1st hour a pool attendant moves their stuff. It's gluttonous to never sit in a chair and reserve it for the entire day. Also, why do the bar tenders NEVER come to kiddie area to serve drinks? Parents would like to exercise their drink packages as well as the teenagers at the bar. In fact, we need it more! :) 3. Staff in the restaurants always made it seem like they were in a rush to get everyone out of there. I guess the service is subpar now that the gratuity is built in but I felt like most of the service was very robotic and lacked any kind of personality whatsoever. I wish I would have recorded the names of the few individuals we encountered that had personalities. It's been a while since I've been on a cruise and the last was in the Mediterranean, but I remember the staff being a lot more friendlier and actually having a personality. Maybe they were working for a bigger tip and that is not the case now. Either way, we felt rushed along each and every meal. After the first drink was served rarely was there even an offer for another. Overall, the cruise was great and my family had a good time, but we are easy to please although the above seems like we aren't. These were crucial details though that are definite holes in the cruise line. Luckily the cruise we went on only had 2 days at sea and 5 at port or we would have gone nuts with the pool area. In talking with other people similar to our demographic they experienced the same problem. At ports,when discussing these issues with others on other lines, like Celebrity, Royal Carr., and Carnival this was not the case to give you some comparative notes. Also, why are pools so SMALL on cruise ships? Especially ones with 4000 people? Just wondering. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We are a couple on our late fifties that have cruised nine times previously. We have long looked forward to being able to choose cruises based on itinerary or price instead of choosing what is available during our time off. Since we are ... Read More
We are a couple on our late fifties that have cruised nine times previously. We have long looked forward to being able to choose cruises based on itinerary or price instead of choosing what is available during our time off. Since we are both now fully retired, this was our first time choosing a cruise without constraints. It was our first NCL cruise having cruised Royal Caribbean, Princess and Carnival on the past. We chose this itinerary due a very low teaser rate. Despite fees and taxes nearly doubling the quote, it was still a bargain. My mother and aunt decided to join us so we were a group of four all very pleased with our fare. We booked inside cabins on deck 12. Embarking in Port Canaveral was smooth. We had difficulty getting a commercial taxi from our pre-cruise hotel and ended up taking Lyft. No problems dropping us off right in front of the ship. We dropped our bags and headed in. Lines were moderate and moved quickly. In less than a half hour, we were through the process. We were very happy to find the sit down dining room, Taste, open for lunch. We read all the Epic reviews before we booked so we knew what to expect with the unusual cabin configuration. The cabin was fine for us and we probably wouldn't have even remarked on the arrangement of the commode, shower and sink. We found the sink small but had no issues with splashing into the room. The beds were comfortable and we had plenty of room for our luggage ( for the two week cruise, two weeks in Europe and two weeks cruising back). Most importantly, the air conditioning worked well. It was very comfortable and we enjoyed it for the entire cruise. Our cabin steward, Victorino, was fantastic. We found the food very good to excellent. The sit down breakfasts and lunches in the Taste dining room were very good and a nice pace of service on sea days. Dinners in Taste and The Manhattan dining room were usually excellent. We also had specialty dining in the Bistro, Moderno, Cucina and Cagney. I had steak at all of them and each was beautifully prepared. The skewered meats at Moderno were all very good, especially the beef tenderloin and lamb chops. Our only issue was with extremely slow service at Bistro. The manager on duty apologized several times and comped a bottle of wine. The meal was outstanding when it arrived. Normally, we are not buffet people and we have been on a number of cruises where we never set foot in one. One this transatlantic, we took a lot of breakfasts, lunches and even one dinner at the buffet. We found the offerings varied, hot, tasty and of good quality. Hand washing was enforced on entry ( albeit by a charming girl spraying and singing washy-washy). Once we figured out the booking procedure for shows, we were able to see what we wanted. The best show was Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. We also saw the Epic Beatles, a comic/magician, and Burn the Floor. Did not care for the last. The crew also put together a special show call Women who Rock which was excellent. We very much enjoyed the dueling piano bar as well as bar entertainers such as Zoe and Aldo. I played a lot of trivia and enjoyed it. Sometimes it was held in the Atrium where there is too much else going on and it is distracting and difficult to get a seat. Also attended a lecture series from the Brunel Museum in London. The professor's presentations were excellent but often oversubscribed and people had to stand. My wife purchased a fitness package with unlimited classes. She liked TRX, yoga and Pilates. We both did morning stretch before I went out to run on deck 7. The running track is usable but extremely inconvenient with just an up and back with a tight dog bone loop at each end. With so many sea days, there seemed to always be a crowd. Traffic bottlenecked frequently, especially when shows were letting in or out. Outdoor spaces were ice and well maintained but seemed lacking in comparison to the size of the ship. I tried all the water slides and loved them...lots of fun. The ship, despite its size, is quirky. Perhaps that is why she is in a class by herself. Externally, she is ugly. I've seen better looking container ships. The public areas are tight and outdoor areas limited. Still, the crew was ne of the best we have seen. The bartenders were great, especially Alan at Maltings,Kumasi at Shakers and Javier at the Atrium. All of the waitstaff at the food venues were also excellent. I also enjoyed speaking with the folks that were always sweeping, mopping, dusting or polishing everything. We loved the crossing and we're blessed with great weather and smooth seas. Except for rain in Bermuda and overcast in Malaga, we couldn't ask for better weather. We are already looking forward to our return transatlantic on Carnival Horizon in two weeks. Overall, we will sail NCL again ( we already put down two deposits). We would avoid the Epic unless it is once again a super value or a unique itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We found a good price for this cruise and are tired of going to the same old places in the Caribbean, so we booked and inside room, and then upgraded to a mini-suite. The room was good in our opinion. There were many who did not like the ... Read More
We found a good price for this cruise and are tired of going to the same old places in the Caribbean, so we booked and inside room, and then upgraded to a mini-suite. The room was good in our opinion. There were many who did not like the "split" bathroom, but it worked fine for us. Our issue with the ship is the lack of inside seating space. The top deck is great if the sun it out and it's warm, but the wind was blowing and it was fairly cool out during our crossing, so staying on deck for a significant amount of time was not an option. Inside community seating space is EXTREMELY limited, so it's hard to find anywhere to go if you want to play a board game, etc. There is a large amount of floor space on decks 5,6 & 7 that are idle or entirely too large for the use that they are attributed for. The art gallery area is nice, with a fair amount of wall space afforded for display. The best way to attend dinner and shows goes against the concept of "Freestyle Cruising", in that it's a good idea to make reservations or you risk not making it into the shows, or getting a seat when you want to eat in the "regular" dining rooms, since even after making reservations, you should show up at least 30 minutes early to make sure you get a good seat at a show. I had one outstanding customer service experience however. Una worked at the coffee shop, and I bought an espresso after asking if they were good; it wasn't even close. I told her what she needed to do to fix the issue, and to maintain the quality of the shots into the future. She didn't know how to make the adjustments needed to the equipment to attain good shots, but she found the person who could help her, and the espresso went from quite awful to very good overnight. I contacted the hotel manager and let them know that I appreciated her efforts, and let them know that she was interested in learning how to adjust the machines and keep them in the best shape possible, which they may incorporate into the training for the coffee shop staff. I overheard quite a few comment after the changes were made that the coffee was so good after, so I felt good about helping Una and improving the quality of the coffee for everyone on the boat. We will book on Norwegian again, but not on this ship. Everyone we talked with about other Norwegian ships said that the others are much better laid out and more "cruiser friendly" than the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have ever done a transatlantic cruise before and thought it might be a good thing to try I suggest that no one should book a cruise out of Cape Canaveral. We had to queue first for an hour at the car park/drop off,just to get on the ... Read More
We have ever done a transatlantic cruise before and thought it might be a good thing to try I suggest that no one should book a cruise out of Cape Canaveral. We had to queue first for an hour at the car park/drop off,just to get on the shuttle bus to the boat. We then had to queue for almost two hours in direct sunshine and heat (all of this standing up). The ship gave no indication of why this was such an awful way of treating 4,000 people many of them who looked rather distressed and I would be amazed if someone didn’t suffer with heat stroke. First impressions very poor and awful lack of respect for clients. Now if you are on a cruise that offers free dining, this means you can eat more or less when you would like to, not so on Norwegian. We arrived at the main diningroom at approximately 7.30pm and were told a table would be available for four people in approximately an hour time ? The shows that Norwegian like to talk and talk about, we didn’t even get to see they were fully booked every night, so be very aware, book before you cruise or you won’t see any. We were told we could go stand by and yes by that they mean queuing for an hour or so before the shows start and maybe and it’s only a maybe you will get in to see one if people who have pre booked don’t turn up. This is so not correct when your advertising is so filled about fabulous shows that you can see free. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Barcelona to Pt Canaveral. We chose this for the price ... we got free gratuities ... 4 specialty dinners and A MINI SUITE for 13 days for $899. per person. Spectacular! Except the boat is awful. We've have taken 23 NCL cruises and ... Read More
Barcelona to Pt Canaveral. We chose this for the price ... we got free gratuities ... 4 specialty dinners and A MINI SUITE for 13 days for $899. per person. Spectacular! Except the boat is awful. We've have taken 23 NCL cruises and made the mistake of booking The Epic a second time. It won't happen again. They put the Casino on the 6th floor in the middle of this ship. One of the main dining rooms is directly below the casino. There's no ceiling on the dining room so you can look into the dining room from the casino above ... and, THE CASINO PERMITS CIGAR AND CIGARETTE SMOKING so the smoke easily finds it's way into everything. The problem of smoke on this ship will affect you and there's nothing you can do about it. If you'd like to go to one of the free performance shows, you must make a reservation! The problem you'll find is that many passengers book tickets to everything but never show up! They built the ship's exhaust system to empty onto the 7th floor walking track. If you want to walk, don't breathe because you will be inhaling the kitchen exhaust and the Casino smoke. Incidentally, on the opposite side of the ship, on Deck 7, there isn't an exhaust problem but it is the designated smoking area! The ship's designer didn't get the memo about smoking. Line-ups at dinner in the main dining rooms are awful. Like these people have never been schooled on how to move people. One good, experienced restaurant manager could resolve this problem quickly. Leaving the ship on the last day was a disaster. We are "first-off" because of our NCL frequent flyer status. It took almost 3 hours to make it to the street from the boat and they have no special consideration for handicapped folks in walkers and wheel chairs -- a huge disservice to people who need some special care. Even for a repeat of the $899 price, we would never, ever go back to the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This is a Haven Experience.....I'm sold. Don't let bad cruise reviews scare you off from cruising on the EPIC. This was a re-positioning cruise. Too crowded I didn't find it. Waiting in line for food at the buffet,, ... Read More
This is a Haven Experience.....I'm sold. Don't let bad cruise reviews scare you off from cruising on the EPIC. This was a re-positioning cruise. Too crowded I didn't find it. Waiting in line for food at the buffet,, they have several stations for breakfast on the EPIC for example...... one line had 10 people waiting for omelettes but if you walked toward the other entrance no waiting for breakfast omelettes. . Haven restaurant... best restaurant on the ship and bar too.. Service was fantastic. Crew members helpful. Ship was clean...... the food was fantastic. Plenty to do on the ship. Drink package was a great deal. My thirteen year old had a great time with the Entourage club. The 18 year old, well he is 18,,,, enough said. He loved all the movies that he could watch in the room, I quit counting after his 10th movie. College is just 4 months away. WOOT Yes it's a big ship and sometimes it can be noisy. Our suite was aft facing and the band was playing during the day and POSH over head. Deck chairs didn't bother us and the noise didn't bother us either. I found the crew to be extremely helpful and patient. The only rudeness I found was from other needy and rude passengers. I can wait to travel again and hope the other NCL ships are as much fun as my experience with the EPIC VACATION Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We did Transatlantic thinking the ship is massive and will keep us occupied and oh god we were wrong :( Couldn't access Spa, sauna(fully booked), Couldn't access Posh lounge area(fully booked), Couldn't book specialty ... Read More
We did Transatlantic thinking the ship is massive and will keep us occupied and oh god we were wrong :( Couldn't access Spa, sauna(fully booked), Couldn't access Posh lounge area(fully booked), Couldn't book specialty restaurants last 4 days were fully booked since NCL decided to throw free passes to their loyal customers. Only show we liked was Priscilla and cirque. All others were similar to the one found from cheap resorts and were boring. All those Bars were next to each others and all the pensioners never moved from their seats and no where to sit! Ships space is wasted by having too many casinos and not many was playing! plus installing Haven area on this ship made the ship more small for other fellow cruisers. There is no ocean connection like sitting and having a drink from the bar overseeing the ocean. TBH you get that only in one area on the Spice H20 and always crowded. Only good thing was the food. We loved the variety of food on-board. Spa should be opened to everyone first come basis for everyday so everyone can have a go. NCL shouldn't allow private booking to few groups for the Posh area. It should be opened to everyone on daily basis All these restrictions made the ship feel small cramped and boring after a week of sailing. Wish we did Transatlantic on a different ship but hey its life we learn from mistakes lol Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This is a lovely ship with good food, nice staff and great entertainment. The worst part was the cabin. Amazingly there is no bathroom! The sink is in the bedroom and there is a toilet cubicle and separate shower cubic, behind the cabin ... Read More
This is a lovely ship with good food, nice staff and great entertainment. The worst part was the cabin. Amazingly there is no bathroom! The sink is in the bedroom and there is a toilet cubicle and separate shower cubic, behind the cabin door. If you need any privacy there is a curtain to separate the 2 cubicles from the rest of the cabin. So if someone gets up in the night to use the loo they have to put the light on to wash their hands in the cabin! The lighting is hopeless too, the only way I could do my make up was to stand in the shower and balance a small mirror and a make up bag.Our hairdryer only blew cool air and the steward said that it couldn't be changed, this resulted in me not using the pool because it then took so long to dry my hair. Being vegetarian I found that although the food was good, there was very little choice. The main veggie course in the Taste restaurant one evening was soup. O Sheens had no veggie option and the buffet was often limited, especially at lunchtime. The entertainment was excellent, but it ran out before the end of the cruise resulting in us watching one show 3 times. This wasn't really a problem as it was the "Barricade Boys" who were amazing. Priscilla, burn the floor, cirque and howl at the moon were wonderful, as were 4ever and the hypnotist. We didn't like the American comedian at all. My only other criticism was the stop in Puerto Rico which was where we cleared border control. The whole operation was poorly managed and resulted in a 2 hour queue, because groups were called to the queue before there was space. I would use NCL and travel on the Epic again because the entertainment and drinks package were so good. But beware of the awful cabins. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our first Transatlantic cruise and our first time on the Epic. We decided on this cruise to get away from all the hustle and bustle (both electronic and non electronic) of life. All of our previous cruises have been stacked with ... Read More
This was our first Transatlantic cruise and our first time on the Epic. We decided on this cruise to get away from all the hustle and bustle (both electronic and non electronic) of life. All of our previous cruises have been stacked with excursion after excursion so that when we got back onboard, we were exhausted. Embarkation at Barcelona. I would have to agree with one of the reviewers that the embarkation was efficient and moved quickly considering the number of passengers. Stateroom on deck 11 demonstrated an efficient use of space. We like the separation of the shower and toilet areas. Complementary dining: About as expected. Overall the food was good however, the wait sometimes was quite long. One thing that I did miss from previous cruises with NCL was having "Broiled Scottish Kippers" in the morning at breakfast. Speciality dining: We visited - Moderno, Cagneys, Shanghai, Tepanyaki, Le Bistro twice and La Cucina once. Our favorites were Moderno and Le Bistro. Entertainment: Excellent...Burn The Floor Presentations and Lectures: We were delighted with the variety of presentations and lectures. We attended a documentary called "Magellan's Lost Fleet", in addition to four lectures on The History of Naval Aviation presented by Major K. P. Ferguson USMC (Ret), and four lectures by Jason Rich's Classes & Lectures (www.http://jasonrichclasses.com) on computer security, tips on the usage of smart phones, etc. Public areas: Nice but all geared towards spending, spending and more spending. Things that were complimentary on our previous cruised with NCL such as gym classes etc. are now charged for. The wife and I were joking (we hope) that on the next cruise they will charge for toilet paper. The cost of drinks and the cost of internet are ridiculous to say the least. If I were trying to dry some folks out after an AA meeting, I would send them on this cruise. They will be on the wagon unless they pony up for the drinks package. One suggestion vis a vis the internet...in Santa Cruz de Tenerife just some 150 ft. or so from the ship was a small internet kiosk that only charged 1.5 Euros for 1 hour of usage. They were located at: Locutorio Telefonica, C.B. Naon, Muelle Sur Norai, 19-21 38002 Santa Cruz De Tenerife...Lebarna Ciber Puerto No. 5. Pool and deck area: Nice, however, get you chaise early...very early. Overall: Quite good. We are thinking of doing a repositioning cruise(s) again as we thoroughly enjoyed the downtime away from phones and computers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Transatlantic Cruise on Norwegian’s Epic, October 26 through November 9, 2014. Barcelona Spain to Miami with stops in Madeira (Funchal), St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Miami. Let me start by saying that I am American, and an overweight one ... Read More
Transatlantic Cruise on Norwegian’s Epic, October 26 through November 9, 2014. Barcelona Spain to Miami with stops in Madeira (Funchal), St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Miami. Let me start by saying that I am American, and an overweight one at that, with platinum status on NCL. Please remember that when you read some of my comments. Embarkation went very smooth upon our arrival at 11:00 am. However, I was disappointed with NCL and my American friends for not following (enforcing) the procedures for Latitude members. I overheard guest saying that NCL did not check to see if you were a gold or platinum member so get in that line, you’ll get checked in faster. They were correct, NCL did not check, and in fact encouraged guests to get in whatever line they wanted. There are very few benefits to being a gold/platinum member that are worth anything, but having priority boarding for me is a nice perk. NCL allowed this perk to be taken from me. Bummer. We were able to go straight to our cabin (10275) and found the room bigger than our hotel room in Barcelona (a pleasant surprise). I had read many reviews concerning the cabins and found that we could not ask for anything better. The storage area was huge and the room well laid out. We had no issues with the shower, toilet or sink, it is different, but for us no problem. The hotel staff was fantastic (as they’ve always been). Luggage was delivered by 3:00pm. My recommendation would be to book a room on deck 9 or above, otherwise people above you can see into your balcony or you’ll have the lifeboats blocking your view. Deck 10 was perfect and those above would be just as good. The ship: Yes, it is big, but I found it to be well laid out. The biggest disappointment was no track/walkway that went around the ship. Deck 7 has an outside track on either side, but you cannot walk all the way around like most other NCL ships. I had read about the casino and all the smoking and yes, you will walk through the casino on a regular basis, but on our cruise those that smoked (and there were not that many) seemed to go out of their way not to bother those that don’t. That included the pool area too. Pools: Three, with plenty to do and the water was “bath water” temperature in all of the pools. Hot tubs were a bit on the cool side. If you’re traveling with little ones, they will love the pool area and all the slides. For those working on their tans, this is where I was embarrassed for my American friends. You had to be in the pool area by 7:00am to stake claim to a couple of chairs. Rules are rules and as the Captain stated several times, they have to rely on people doing the “right thing” in saving chairs. I saw too many people arguing with others on who owned the chair as some would put towels on chairs and not use them for several hours. If this continues, look for the cruise companies to start charging for a couple of reserved chairs. It will become a money-making machine for the company and will alleviate the saving of chairs issue. I hope we will learn to self police ourselves and stop this rude behavior. Elevators: I thought they were more than adequate. We never waited more than a minute or two to catch a ride with the longest wait being after a show let out. Electricity: Two outlets for 110 volts. I recommend bringing a power strip if you’ll need to charge your portable electronic devices. Room lighting: Another source of a few complaints. It was more than adequate for us, but the lighting is not bright. (Come on, you’re on a ship that has to make its own electricity) Shopping: Some of the biggest shopping areas that I’ve seen onboard a ship. They had some great deals too. Wait for the end of the cruise to get the best deals. Restaurants: This ship has many, many options. We chose to eat in the Main dining room, the “Manhattan Room” each night. The food was great and if you choose the chef’s special you’ll be treated to an awesome dinner each night and not have to worry about eating the same thing every night that some reviews have suggested. It is here that once again a small handful of my American friends let me down. The dining staff works harder than any place I’ve eaten on shore and I’ve been all over the U.S.A. Yet I heard these people complaining about where they were seated, what was on the menu, how it was prepared or presented, the timing of the two or three appetizers ordered, the main dish and the two or three desserts that get ordered and sometime never eaten. The wine was never good enough or at the right temperature. Yet (and I’m guessing because most looked like me) when home they spend most of their time in McDonalds. I found those of us that said please or thank you were treated like the Queens and Kings that the others demanded. Every one of the staff we dealt with made sure our experience was perfect. I would recommend eating at 5:00 pm if you’re going to catch the 7:00 pm shows. Seating was immediate and you do not have to rush to catch the show. Waiting to eat until after the show will result in your waiting in line. Breakfast and lunch at the buffet was as expected. Lots to choose from and very good! Shows; normally 45 to 50 minutes long: Blue Man------You’ll love it or hate it. I enjoyed the experience as it was nothing like what I was expecting. Being a percussionist myself, I thought there would be more drumming but the show surprised me and I would go back. They also held a “Meet the men behind the Blue Man” that was very informative. Comedian Bud Andersen-----Fantastic! This man has been with NCL for 17 years and there is a reason they keep him. He is one of the best. We saw him twice as he agreed to do a last minute show when the “Supreme Dreamgirls” could not go on because of an illness towards the end of the cruise. Supreme Dreamgirls----They were very good when we saw them at the beginning of the cruise. I hope whoever got sick is feeling better. Hypnotist Nadeen-----Show needs some work. Started slow and finished slow. She did not get the best audience members to help her and with an older crowd, they just did not get into the show. Thus the show suffered, but Nadeen could’ve done a little better working the show. Comedy Magic of Christian Miro----Very good, very funny. Would love to see him again sometime. Second City----Again, very well done and very worthwhile. Show changes daily. Legends in Concert----Shakira, Prince, Diana Ross (First week of the cruise) Very good and with a live band that were just as good. The drummer was one of the best I’ve heard in a long time. Howl at the Moon----- A piano bar with three entertainers, all three were outstanding and with standing room only, the place was rocking all night long. I could go there every night, but I’m old and must retire early most nights. Beatles Tribute-----Outstanding! Someone in charge finally realized that this group should be playing in the main theater. Once there, it was standing room only! Legends in Concert----Jimmy Buffet, Adele, Aretha Franklin (Second Week of the cruise) Again very good, they used the same band who really know what they’re doing. Hats off to the musical director! There were other entertainment throughout the ship with all having good crowds, so I’m guessing were just as good as the entertainment mentioned above. Medical Staff----Very good. I ended up with second degree sunburn while on the beach in St Maarten. My fault, but they did take care of me. FYI that visit ran close to $150.00, including medications, but on that day, it was worth it. They also handled a medical emergency that required the ship to turn around after leaving Madeira. A couple was airlifted from the ship once we got within the range of the helicopter. I was told the medical staff could not have responded better during the emergency and I believe it. Cruise Director----Does a nice job, made it to all the events that I attended. I do wish he would’ve told us the embarkation procedures the night before when we were arriving in the various ports. Had he came out a few minutes early (All the shows started 5 to 10 minutes late) he had a captive audience that he could’ve explained the procedures. This has been done on all the other cruises I’ve been on and it’s helpful. Captain----Funny guy at the various events he attended. Very approachable and obviously in command of the ship but for unknown reasons, he chose not to make any PA announcements during the day. I did miss the weather reports and the trivia information that some Captains share with daily reports. FYI, the medical emergency occurred sometime in the middle of the night after we left Maderia. I’m guessing we were a good five to six hours out when we turned around. Most of us woke up and found us about 40 miles from Maderia and turning southeast. No explanation was given, so many were quite concerned on why we had turned around. The cruise director made the announcement on his daily intercom briefing but had he or the Captain used the ships message board, or “iConcierge” it would’ve solved this unnecessary worry. Weather: It was beautiful throughout most of the trip. Mid to upper 70’s to mid 80’s. Very little rain and the ocean smooth as could be. Disembarkation: It was about as easy and as fast as I’ve ever seen it. Luggage (Red Tag) was waiting for us when got there! Results: Overall, I give the cruise 4.5 stars out of 5. I did purchase four cruise rewards and plan on taking 16 family members on a cruise next year. Dollar for dollar, you cannot beat the cruise experience and in my opinion, NCL is one of the best. Nice Job!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
The first thing that you notice about the Epic, is that it is a big,big ship. When you are in the lower levels, you would not know you are on a ship. It is more like being at a resort. We thought we would miss not having production shows, ... Read More
The first thing that you notice about the Epic, is that it is a big,big ship. When you are in the lower levels, you would not know you are on a ship. It is more like being at a resort. We thought we would miss not having production shows, but we did not. There is so much entertainment going on that you do not miss them. The "Blue Man Group" and "Legends in Concert" were outstanding. We felt that some of the singers were better than the originals. The comedian Bud Anderson was hilarious and the "Supreme Dreamgirls" were incredible. The Garden Cafe Buffet was the best buffet we have experienced on a cruise.This was our fourth transatlantic and we have been on 21 cruises. There are two main dining rooms. We preferred the Taste dining room. It reminded you of a wine cellar and was very charming. The food was excellent and the menu gave a large selection of choices. We liked the design of the cabins. I wish more ships had separate shower and bath areas. Our shower was huge. It could have been three feet smaller and still been larger than showers on most cruise ships. The beds were very comfortable and the room was very quite at night. Interesting enough there is a deck 13 on the ship. The "White Hot Party" ,where most people wear only white, was great. The Spice H2O at the back of the ship was a swinging place at night, with music videos on the big screen. The water slides were fun and the area around the pools was very spacious, but did get crowded at times.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We have cruised on NCL ships many times but this was our First time on the 4000 passengers plus 1800 crew members EPIC on a Transatlantic cruise. Had a wonderful/marvelous time. Even thought we only stopped at 3 ports but the activities ... Read More
We have cruised on NCL ships many times but this was our First time on the 4000 passengers plus 1800 crew members EPIC on a Transatlantic cruise. Had a wonderful/marvelous time. Even thought we only stopped at 3 ports but the activities they offered were non stop. We never had a boring moment to say the least. GYM on the ship is huge, you can spend hours there. There is the big Water Park with three water slides, fun for all ages. We love the entertainment area, Besides one huge main theater, there are many small and medium size theaters set up like night clubs. The only inconvenience was you need to book early for the shows you like to see. But there were always seats available for walk-in. We hardly missed any shows. they were all outstanding!!! Food on the ship was outstanding (one of the best among all the NCL ships we have sailed). From Buffet to formal dinning room, the menu changed every day. Even the simple pizza they made them so delicious!!! We had one of the best vacation at sea. Special thanks to Richard the Hotel/Food/Beverage Director who not only answered the phone in person (when we had some request) but also invited us to the special preview of the Cirque Dream show (unbelievable performance). He is the most friendly, easy going, happy and hard working high rank staffs we have ever met. If you like sun bathing, please go to the deck early because by 10 am all the chairs/lounges were taken. We would love to sail on this ship again soon!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
As we were on the April 27 crossing, followed by the 3 day B2B and then on to Rome for another 3 days, we stayed aboard for 3 separate cruise 'groups'. I was a bit disappointed as I felt that the 'casual' dress ... Read More
As we were on the April 27 crossing, followed by the 3 day B2B and then on to Rome for another 3 days, we stayed aboard for 3 separate cruise 'groups'. I was a bit disappointed as I felt that the 'casual' dress Norwegian discusses had degenerated to 'sloppy'. There seemed to be much less dressing up than on previous NCL cruises we've taken. I don't see any good reason for allowing shorts in the dining rooms even on embarkation day. And, unless I somehow missed them, no 'formal' nights were called for except for the night that photos with the captain were offered. Particularly on the crossing, there could have been many more lectures on a variety of interesting subjects. Neither did I feel that the entertainment was quite on par with previous cruises. That is not to say that several were not great -- they were! Duo Yalba, Grafitti Classics, Vocalist Jennifer Fair and Cirque Dreams were especially good, with pianist Taylor Kundolf being extremely good! Cirque Dreams would be much nicer if there were NO dinner included and better seating were provided. Craning your neck to see around others if you are seated in a table on the floor was quite uncomfortable. I think people would still pay to see this talented group perform, especially if they could see better and not have to eat at the same time. I do not plan to sail on the Epic again, as I have finally learned (this was my 2nd Epic cruise) that I don't really care for many of their 'spaces'. I really like a real library, a game room and a room or rooms where more people can sit comfortably (such as what they have on the Pearl). The food was outstanding but perhaps my appetite is getting smaller, as I felt portions were rather large (of meats). However, MANY people would have liked to see many more vegetables served everywhere. Other than grilled zucchini, I never saw squash. Corn was never served except for small cobs; eggplant was scarce, etc., etc. Our balcony stateroom was great, as was our attendant. We had more than enough room for all we brought (too much!). Elevators were no problem, jogging track was no problem; they didn't push photos, internet was almost non-existent! iConcierge did not work to talk to one another while on board. We did manage to use it for a few phone calls back home. I'll not pay for it again. It should be free and billed as 'Beta' version! All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our 17 days aboard ship and all the great people we met. Following our cruise we spent a week in Italy, then a week in New York, visiting family. Having been home for 3 days now, I thought it was finally time to write about our experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
After a week touring Italy, we embarked our first TA from Rome's port of Civitavecchia. We used RomeCabs for transport several times during the land-based portion of our holiday and we highly recommend them for any transport and tour ... Read More
After a week touring Italy, we embarked our first TA from Rome's port of Civitavecchia. We used RomeCabs for transport several times during the land-based portion of our holiday and we highly recommend them for any transport and tour needs you might have while in Italy. We arrived at the port at 12:30, and boarding was a breeze! We were escorted to our cabin to drop our carry-on bags and then taken on a tour of the Haven prior to being seated for lunch in the Haven Restaurant. Based upon our overall experiences on this cruise, booking a Cabin in the ship's Haven area is well worth the money. From start to finish, attentive service was provided and logistics made extremely easy from this area of the ship. Our cabin steward, Delma, and our Butler, Joha, were a pleasure to encounter several times each day while they provided fast, friendly and superior service. Any special requests we made were fulfilled ASAP. The Haven Concierge, Anoop Bhanu, and his assistant, Karen, we're efficient and professional. Haven guests are personally escorted into the "show" venues via a service elevator and seated prior to general admittance. This procedure made moving around the ship very easy and relaxing. Speaking of shows, Blue Man Group is extremely entertaining; Legends in Concert (included in cruise fare) is worth attending...first group (Tom Jones (ridiculous wig) Adele (very good) and Tina Turner (lacked the energy and enthusiasm of "real" Tina Turner); second group (after St Thomas) included Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) was EXCELLENT, Katy Perry (tried hard) and Elvis (actually, the best, thin, young Elvis impersonator we've ever seen). Go see them because you paid for them anyway and you might be pleasantly surprised! The Cirque show was disappointing. Some of these performers are very talented, but the venue seemed way too small to really let them strut their stuff. Surprisingly, the dinner was pretty good. We were in a two-bedroom cabin on the seventeenth deck situated right around the corner from the Haven exercise room and spa. This area is truly a haven from crowds. The exercise room is well equipped with ten workout machines, hand weights, Pilates balls, water, towels, and hand sanitizer machines. We exercised there every sea day and never had to wait for a machine. The spa area is tranquil and very relaxing with a coed sauna, his and her locker rooms with a steam room each and treatment rooms where spa personnel will come for your various treatments if you prefer not going to the main spa and salon. Wonderful pampering! Mary Joe was my masseuse and I highly recommend her. Our cabin was 500+sq ft (including adequate-sized balcony), no curved walls, and we had no issues with the raised sinks as they were in their own bathrooms and medium water flow prevented any splashing out onto the tile floor. The first of the two bedrooms with private bath is inside and small, but perfect for husband's clothes and plenty of storage for his stuff and provided privacy for him while shaving and preparing for the day or a night out. This arrangement left the master bathroom and closets for me and my stuff (YAY!) and was a joy to not be tripping over each other while "making-up" and dressing. The master suite is separated from the living/dining areas and able to be closed off with a sliding door. The best feature of this suite are the two huge windows, one over the soaking tub and one fronting the port side of the shower. These windows afforded a beautiful view of the water/sunrise from the bed situated on the opposite wall. I loved waking up to that view! There are three televisions/DVD players with complimentary movies available at the concierge desk. When we first explored the cabin, we were delighted to see that the land concierge had everything in place that we had prearranged with her a month before embarkation. Our large espresso machine was stocked with the items I had requested including specialty teas, honey, lemons, decaf coffee pods and hot chocolate packets. Upon our bed were the pillows previously chosen from the pillow menu and a basket for shoes to be sent out for shining! We commonfolk felt like royalty! Now...THIS is the beginning of an exceptional cruise experience. Our itinerary after embarkation included consecutive port days of Florence, Marseille, Palma de Majorca, and Barcelona. Our NCL Florence excursion was excellent. We took the one entitled "Florence, Shopping & Leisure". This WALKING tour covers the highlights of Florence with adequate time to shop, lunch, and independently explore. I emphasize walking because there is much and the "activity level" is every bit a "3", IMO. We were prepared for the reasonably brisk pace, but some were not and found it difficult to keep up with the guide who was informative, but not very willing to accommodate those lagging. My advice to those who really want to get the most from the NCL excursions they book is to seriously consider the activity level rating on the available tours before booking one that might prove to be too strenuous. Our excursion from the port of Marseille, France was NCL's "Avignon & Aix en Provence". This tour was relaxing, did involve approx. 3 hours of walking, but the pace was slower with adequate time for exploration of these two areas without throngs of people to maneuver around like what we encountered in Florence. These two areas in France are beautiful and the drive to/from very scenic and enjoyable. The next day, we arrived in Palma and opted to do a City Sightseeing HOHO. One loop around of about 90 minutes was adequate to see what there was to see! Sunday's adventure was the NCL excursion entitled "The Best of Barcelona & Gaudi". Outstanding tour, fast pace, excellent guide-"Mar" and stunning architecture. The inside of the Sagrada Familia is breathtaking and well worth visiting again and again. We had gorgeous weather throughout the day and the visit to Gaudi's Park Guell was very enjoyable. If you are in good walking shape, we highly recommend this excursion as well. The other two ports on this itinerary before arriving in Miami are Madeira, Portugal and St. Thomas USVI. We did a private tour in Madeira and on-our-own in St Thomas (since we know this area well). Regarding Epic's pay/per person restaurants: Our experiences were 2 excellent, 1 mediocre, and 1 horrible. Le Bistro (French) was overall excellent! Service was excellent, atmosphere was lovely, quiet, and relaxing. Our chosen courses were all delicious, appetizing temperature, and beautiful presentation. Particularly delicious is the mushroom soup and the Coq au Vin. Cagney's Steakhouse was a pleasant surprise. We had read some negative reviews but decided to try it anyway. All my comments about La Bistro apply to our experience at Cagneys except the atmosphere is different...not bad, just as different as one would expect between a French restaurant and a Chicago steakhouse. La Cucina (Italian) was so-so, edible but not delicious. Wouldn't spring for the extra charge again. Ahhhhhh, what positive am I able to say about Moderno. Ummm, a big, fat nothing. Horrible service, bloody (I mean almost tartare!), cold meat that all tastes the same indistinguishable between pork, beef, chicken...yuck. Oh, I thought of something ..the rolls are pretty yummy and the chorizo, although cold, is tasty. One glass of water...no refills handy. Save your money. As far as the food included in cruise price, we found O'Sheehan's great for late night nibbles, the Garden Buffet offered a plethora of choices and almost everything we chose was above standard buffet fare. The 24 hour pizza not so good...our one order arrived undercooked bordering on mushy. The Epic restaurant was consistently a winner and provided choices not on the menu...all we had to do was ask. Halloween dinner was Surf & Turf and all three lobster tails were deliciously prepared tender and succulent. The waitstaff in this chic dining room are to be commended. The casino was fun, drink servers available without being pesky, and we did not have a problem with air quality. Spice H2O is an adults only pool area (aft) that has a retractable dance floor over the pool and a huge projection screen behind the pool. Numerous dance parties (including a fun Halloween party) were held there various nights throughout the cruise. Fun place to mingle. Top deck, aft, offers sporting activities such as basketball on a regulation-sized court. Although we were not traveling with children, we did see the various activity areas designed for them, and they are plentiful. Drugstore type shop attendant guy was jovial, even dispensing free Stoli samples one afternoon. Prices in there on limited sundries are, as expected, way too high. Had several exchanges with Guest Services personnel and all we're very helpful. The onboard Cruise Consultant lady was a joy to work with and very accommodating. One outstanding aspect of this ship was its cleanliness. Considering the multitude of public spaces and the amount of passengers it carries, we never saw any area that was less than immaculate. All in all, our first TA was a truly wonderful experience and we're looking forward to doing another one with NCL in Haven accommodations.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We joined the Norwegian Epic in Barcelona for a 13 night transatlantic cruise to Miami. As a party of seven '" 5 adults and 2 children, we had 3 Balcony cabins next door to each other on Deck 9. My husband and I had cruised on ... Read More
We joined the Norwegian Epic in Barcelona for a 13 night transatlantic cruise to Miami. As a party of seven '" 5 adults and 2 children, we had 3 Balcony cabins next door to each other on Deck 9. My husband and I had cruised on the Epic last year on a Med cruise and enjoyed the ship and its facilities. Our holiday started with an overnight stay at the Holiday Inn, (Povey Cross) Gatwick. We did the stay, park and fly deal, and the cost was around the same for the overnight stay as it was for the long-stay parking costs, so this is also recommended. Our BA flight arrived in Barcelona around 10:00am local time. This is where we encountered a major problem our bags did not arrive. We later learned that 3,000 bags had been delayed/re-routed due to a baggage handling system failure in Gatwick. I won’t go into the trauma and issues we suffered in detail here, although it spoiled the start of our holiday, it would be unfair for it to reflect on our cruise experience. However, we were without our bags until they arrived on-board in Funchal on 4 days later. Sadly, our planned early start and embarkation onto the ship didn’t happen and as we had to hang around the airport we were nearly the last to board. The Epic staff were brilliant at assisting us to with our missing bags, especially as the flights were booked independently, NCL had no responsibility for our delayed baggage. They issued us with an ‘emergency pack’ which included a t-shirt, deodorant, razor etc. We spent the first evening trawling the on-board shops purchasing clothing and toiletries. Lesson learned here: always pack a carry-on with a change of clothing, underwear and toiletries in case of emergency. So back to the cruise…………the ship is huge and has a lot to offer, we had booked our shows and speciality restaurants pre-cruise, (with the exception of Cirque). The décor and general upkeep was good, but in places tired. The cruise was full, but there was never a problem with waiting for lifts. The weather was really good, really hotting up after Funchal and as usual, the sun-bed hogs were up at the crack of dawn bagging the best sun-beds. Of course, to reserve a nice spot you have to follow suit! Cabins: we had 3 Balcony staterooms on deck 9 9076/9072/9068. The rooms with the bed by the door, were tight on passing space at the end of the bed. Our Cabin Steward was great and overall the rooms comfortable. Cabin 9072 suffered a lot of creaking and rattling noise during the first nights, (the seas were rough) and an alternative cabin was offered, but this was just as bad. The solution was to stuff bedding and cushions between the spaces above the wardrobes/fitted cupboards and ceiling, and this seemed to work. Luckily by the third night, the seas had calmed and the noises reduced. We heard no noise from neighbours or from the hallway and these cabins were close to the lifts, so we were pleased with our choices. Dining: Taste and Manhattan are the complimentary formal(ish) dining venues. We ate here around 5 nights. The wait staff were mostly very friendly, engaging and attentive. However, the service was slow and the food luke-warm at best. We often noticed that just after our starters arrived, the mains were sitting on the serving counter, stacked under the plastic covers…waiting for us! I hope NCL can make improvements to the serving process. The choices in both restaurants are generally the same, with daily additions/specials to each course, but the choice is repetitive. On a positive note, when we arrived at Manhattan during a busy time and had to wait for more than 20 minutes, a voucher for a glass or Champagne was given; we felt this was a very nice touch. O’Sheehans  we loved this informal venue, which served burgers, chicken tenders, pot-pie etc and a daily new option. Service was speedy and the food cooked and served fresh. We also chose this venue for breakfast as again, the food was cooked to order. Garden Buffet  I feel NCL do an outstanding job here with the variety of food choices. As with all buffets, the problem seems to be locating a table and fighting a path through the bottle-necks. However, for late breakfasts and lunches and early dinners, it was fine. We especially liked the Crepes to order, the omelette station and ice cream. Shanghai Asian chargeable $15. We had a great meal here and the choices were very nice, it’s a pity they don’t offer Crispy Duck pancakes, or it would have been perfect! Teppanyaki Japanese  chargeable $25. We had a super night at this restaurant, our chef was amazing and the food incredible, would highly recommend a visit. Moderno Churrascaria  chargeable $20. Go hungry and enjoy the unlimited cooked meats and steaks. The salad bar has a wonderful selection on offer. Muder Mystery Lunch  Spiegel Tent, chargeable. We enjoyed the show by Second City and the food was good too. Entertainment: there was lots to choose from and the headliner acts mostly good. Legends had a changeover of performers after Funchal, so we saw 2 shows. Especially good were Adele, Elvis, Tina Turner and Steve Tyler. Duelling Pianos were excellent and so talented, a great end to the evening. Second City performed Improv comedy in Headliners and it was funny in parts, good in parts and sometimes a bit off, but worth a watch nevertheless. The comedy magician was dire '" nuff said. The hypnotist very good. Blue Man - subjective, definitely worth seeing this act to make your own mind up. Music on-board in the Atrium and bars was great, sometimes the same old tunes were being belted out, but who can’t blame them for repeating the repertoires after 13 nights. The Deal/No Deal and ad-hoc daytime shows were very good as was the fruit/vegetable carving and informative talks. In fact, there was a lot going on and a full itinerary of shows and events, we didn’t have time to do everything. As part of Cruise-Critic, we attended the Meet & Mingle on the second day. Thanks to those who organised this, there was a good turnout. The senior staff also made an appearance, unfortunately, no Captain. We met some lovely people at the group and attended the ‘slot-pull’ which was good fun and the lunch. Hi to Al & Craig. The ship had an impressive Halloween party for kids and adults, with lots of activities to do for families, this was great night. We did make the effort to dress up '" my husband was the ‘wolf-man’ if anyone remembers '" he certainly scared a few older ladies that evening! Pools and outdoors: we had some fabulous weather on the crossing. As mentioned before, sun-beds in the best locations were all reserved before 10:00am, but saying that, there always seemed to be spare sun-beds if you looked around in the further afield locations. The water slides and pools were popular and great fun. The kids enjoyed the spider-climb and Epic Bounce. In fact, the Kids Club was at very low capacity due to this particular sailing; the staff were excellent and the children really enjoyed attending, when they could be dragged out of the pool. Ports of call: Funchal  we had hoped to see the sights here, but alas due to our delayed luggage, spent most of the day shopping for clothes and toiletries and returning to the ship to check on the situation. However, this Island was extremely pretty with lots to see and do. St Thomas  we got caught up in the Immigration Process, this stop being US territory, meant all passengers had to go through Immigration/Esta checks. Non-US/Canadian guests had more thorough checks to endure. The ship had a process whereby passengers with NCL Excursions were offloaded early. 5 of our party had snorkelling arranged and were off by 10:30am. However, as we had visited this Island previously, we decided to do our own thing. Mistake! Our call time for Immigration was 11:15am and by the time we queued and got processed, an hour and a half had passed. I would recommend anyone doing this transatlantic with a US Port en-route book the cheapest NCL Excursion possible, so you can exit the ship before lunchtime. Disembarkation: we chose ‘Easy Walk-off’ with our luggage (not wanting to lose sight of those bags again!). This looked like a good option…not! Once the Port Clearance had been announced, we headed to the lifts (grid-lock, but what we expected) and then to the exit level. Unfortunately, passengers awaiting their call-time were lined up in the hallways, stair-wells, stairs and open areas just waiting for their call. NCL staff didn’t seem to have a handle on the situation and passengers should have been held in the Theatre, but no-one seemed to be giving directions. Happily, after crowd-surfing our way to the exit, we just breezed through border control. Overall, for the price we paid for this cruise, we felt it was excellent value for money. Of course drinks prices are hiked up, but to be expected. The drinks packages may be a good option if you enjoy having drinks with all meals/cocktails for most of the day. We didn’t purchase any photos on-board or other up-sell items/options and felt that the speciality restaurants were good value for money. As mentioned previously, the main dining selection and service could be improved and I hope NCL are monitoring this situation. We also provided this feedback on their online Questionnaire. If the chance arose in the future, we would have no hesitation sailing on the Epic and are planning our next cruise on the Breakaway.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was my 12th cruise & most have been on NCL, because we loved them first for the freestyle dining concept. This was our 2nd time on the Epic, the first being of the Caribbean out of Miami 3 years ago. This was our 1st time ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise & most have been on NCL, because we loved them first for the freestyle dining concept. This was our 2nd time on the Epic, the first being of the Caribbean out of Miami 3 years ago. This was our 1st time cruising transatlantic, and we were at first worried that we would be bored with so many at sea days & only 2 stops, and we also worried that the seas might be rough. Well, our worries were completely unjustified, and NCL provided us with 1 of the best vacations ever! We were not ready to disembark after "only" 13 nights of complete relaxation and wonderful food, service & entertainment. We spent 5 nights in Barcelona ahead of time and stayed at the Hostel BCN Port, just a few minutes from the port. The hotel is well managed, and the reasonable rate ($59-$79 euros/night) included a free continental breakfast that knocked our socks off! We will surely return to Barcelona & will definitely stay at the BCN Port again. Our room rate also included a free cab ride to the port! If I have so say anything negative about the hotel, it would be that the beds were very hard. We had to put extra blankets under the sheet to try to make them softer. Embarkation could not have been easier. Very organized. We showed up early (10:15am) and boarding began at 11:00am. We got on quickly & went straight to Taste for an outstanding lunch. If you've cruised with NCL before, go to the line for Latitudes members, but both lines were moving quickly at the time we were there. Our cabins were ready early when we finished lunch. But just in case, I suggest carrying dinner clothes, a bathing suit, and your toiletries in your carry-on bag, since I've seen people not receive their luggage until after dinner on other ships. We don't like to take that chance. Our bags showed up within a couple of hours, so that was not a problem here. Tip for not getting sick on a ship: bring Lysol & disinfecting wipes & completely wipe down your cabin before unpacking. Wipe everything! The 1 time we didn't do that, 4 out of 6 of us caught a stomach bug & couldn't enjoy the cruise. If you go to medical, they will quarantine you for 3 days. We always sanitize now & wash our hands non-stop & no one gets sick. People..use the hand sanitizer before you eat! It's there for a reason! Use it all the time onboard, for your sake & ours! My parents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, so they had a balcony on deck 9, starboard side. Their only complaints were the curved bed, which kept my Dad's feet hanging off & that they were on the starboard side, so the wrong side for seeing the ports coming & going. That's not always the case, I believe, but it was on this cruise. Other than that, the cabin was great, very roomy, with plenty of closet, drawer, cabinet & shelf space to store everything away, and the luggage fit under the bed. We were in an interior cabin on deck 9, and though we definitely had "balcony envy", we absolutely Loved our cabin! The beds were so comfortable, we couldn't wait to go to sleep each night. And it was crazy how much storage space we had, between the closet with hanging and shelf space, as well as baskets on the door, plus all the shelves, cabinets & drawers around the cabin. Our cabin had 1 more electrical outlet than my parents' did. And we were able to use them all, because we had a European AC/DC converter, which allowed us to use the plug behind 1 of the beds. Since this was my 6th NCL cruise, I achieved "silver" status, and I was very surprised to find a bottle of wine waiting for me in the cabin! And that night, there were chocolate covered strawberries waiting when we returned from dinner! There's always a returning cruiser cocktail party, but I've never attended 1 of those. Our stewards were so kind and helpful, as were all the staff onboard. NCL charged $12 per person per day for gratuity, and it was worth every penny for the service we received. The ship seemed very large at first, and it always seemed that we were on the "wrong" side of the ship, no matter where we wanted to go, but we quickly learned our way around. It seems you have to go through the casino to get wherever you want to go, but at least that helped us figure out which way we were headed. The size of the ship and the stabilizers really helped on the 2 days we had semi-rough seas. We really didn't feel much at all, and the rocking put us to sleep at night. The rest of the time we were pleasantly surprised at how calm the Atlantic was. The ship never seemed all that crowded, even though there are tons of people onboard, because it is so large, and there were many things to do that kept people spread out most times. The only times it got crazy in our experience were the art auctions. Tons of people would show up for a free glass of champagne, and it was held in a restaurant area that could not accomodate everyone. Once they got the champagne handed out, most people would disappear & it wasn't that bad. We lucked out with the weather, and we spent most of our time at Spice H2O, the adult pool area, which is quiet and very relaxing. The only complaints I would have about it would be that people show up early in the morning & put towels down to reserve the lounge chairs ALL DAY, whether they ever show up or not. Sometimes we wouldn't have a lounger until later in the day when some people cleared out. During those times, there were always tables and chairs though, or I just stayed in the jacuzzis. Second bummer, wait staff didn't come around often enough to the jacuzzis. They concentrated on chairs & loungers, and we would have to flag them down. Other than that, Spice H2O was heavenly, and I came home with a wonderful tan. The main pool area has the water slides, which are Super fun & a great way to get some exercise, climbing all those stairs. The slides are a blast! There seemed to always be something going on in that area...live music, dance lessons, etc. Other than that, the only other activities we did during the day were Bingo (expensive), the art auctions & a few seminars on hypnosis & history. There were trivia games & other things going on all day, so I think it's impossible to be bored. We did not visit the Spa, because they're always over-priced in my opinion, and I was disappointed in the gym, because I'd forgotten there's a fee for all of the exercise classes. This ship doesn't have as much deck space for walking as other ships, but we made it work, and climbing stairs instead of using the elevator is a great way to work off the calories. As far as evening entertainment, the Epic is not our favorite ship. We missed not having a nightly show. I understand they are trying to provide Broadway or Vegas style entertainment, but you have to reserve most shows, and there's not something to see every night. So that caused us to go to bed earlier than intended most nights, because we are not ones to hit the disco. Howl at the Moon with the dueling pianos was fun, and the blues/jazz club seemed cool, but we never made it. Be smart & book your shows ahead of time online. That way you for sure get as much as you want, at the times you want. Otherwise you'll end up in a long line the 1st day or daily at the Box Office. We knew from last time that we were not interested in Blue Man group. We saw them last time, and it was too loud and too long. They drag the same joke on & on & on, very repetitive. We loved that we had both Legends in Concert shows, since it was a 2 week cruise. They were both very good. The only negative I would mention is that Katy Perry is Not a Legend. Many cruisers commented neither is Adele, but I love her & the lady that does her Rocked! Terrance B the hypnotist is amazing! We went to his show at night & 2 of his seminars. Loved him. We could have done without the comedy magician. He wasn't anything to write home about. But Graffiti Classics was a very pleasant surprise and really should be done in a larger theater. They were amazing! Second City was fun, and we saw them twice. They do 3 different shows and were really funny. We paid for the murder mystery lunch, because we knew they would do it well, and they did. We enjoyed the improv comedy & the food the murder mystery lunch. We did not pay for Cirque Dreams dinner, because it didn't seem worth it to us. Speaking of food....loved it! We spent most evenings at Taste, the main dining restaurant. Manhattan is almost exactly the same, menu-wise, but the ceilings are lower there & with the live music, it was too loud for us. The dinners were excellent, as was the service. We only had to wait a couple of times to be seated, and even then they would give us a voucher for a free glass of champagne at the bar next door while we waited! We ate breakfast at Taste every morning too, which kept us usually too full for lunch. On the days we were hungry for lunch, the Irish Pub was incredible! Chicken Pot Pie, Fish & Chips, Shepherds Pie...yum! I normally avoid buffets like the plague, but this 1 was actually pretty good. It was great for just grabbing a quick lunch while hanging out by the pool. There seemed to be a variety of foods, and the things I tried were fresh & tasty enough. The only other meal we paid for was Moderno, the Charascaria, all you can eat Brazilian steakhouse. It was delicious & a carnivore's dream come true. The only complaint I had was that we got there too early I believe, since my parents like to eat early. The skewers of meats didn't come often enough, and they really seemed to speed up right as we were finishing. So I would suggest a 7:00pm reservation or later. Every night we placed the door card out for morning room service. It was wonderful to have our coffee & any other goodies we wanted ready right away in the morning. Room service is always free, except in the middle of the night when there's a small fee - just be kind & give them a small tip. And room service Pizza is available 24 hrs for $5 each. We didn't try it, but that's a good deal. This cruise had 2 stops: Madeira (an island that belongs to Portugal) & St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands). We've learned the hard way not to book excursions through ships. Only do that if you've completely paranoid about the ship leaving without you. Otherwise, prepare to be overcharged & disappointed. We have learned to walk off the ship & find the same types of excursions sold right there at the port. Just make sure to stay on "ship time" (Not local time) & get back in plenty of time. In Madeira we took the provided shuttle into the lovely town of Funchal, and from there you can eat/walk/shop and use the free WiFi. We grabbed a cab, and for $45 euros per person (there were only 2 of us) we had a private tour guide for several hours, who took us quickly to the highlights & all around the island, explaining the history and all kinds of info. He let us know that the excursion would have taken us to the crowded gondola ride, that's more expensive, and the tabogan ride downhill that would have required another cab ride to get back up to the return gondola. Instead, he took us to a smaller gondola ride that was only $5 euros each & went straight down the cliff to the ocean for amazing views, and we had the entire area all to ourselves! Then we rode the tabogan down the hill & he met us at the stopping point. The tabogan was a blast! It was exciting & we giggled like kids the whole way & saw some amazing views on the way down. Our driver took us to a lovely fishing village where Winston Churchill used to visit & paint, and we tried the local drink (poncha de Madeira), which they call "fishermans' viagra". It was delicious! Passion fruit, honey & rum - what's not to like?! We were also provided with some fresh, organic banana & passion fruit drizzled with the local honey, and it was to die for! For $90 euros + tip I believe we had the same private experience the ship would have charged us $995 dollars for! St. Thomas is 1 of our favorite ports, and we always go to Magens Bay, because it's absolutely gorgeous, relaxing & inexpensive. Get there early to claim a picnic table or sandy area under 1 of the shade trees. The water is so crystal clear & calm, you'll never want to leave. It's just 4 dollars for the bus ride each way & another couple of bucks per person to get into the beach area. It's a Must-See beach - amazing! Here are some tips for the cruise: you'll learn to find your cabin quickly if you remember that blue carpet means odd #s and red carpet means even #s. Put your luggage under the bed. Bring a plastic hanging shoe holder so your toiletries & sunscreen/sunglasses etc. are easily accessible & off the counter tops. Smuggle liquor on board in a water bottle in your checked bag. Liquor costs a fortune on the ship & they will find it in your carry-on and hold it until the end of the cruise. Or you can bring wine onboard & they'll charge you a $20 per bottle corkage fee - no thank you! A previous reviewer stated you can buy wine after the security checkpoint in Barcelona & take it onboard with you, but that's risky, since we were not Xrayed by NCL at embarkation, but my parents were. There's a mini-fridge in the cabin. Ask your steward to empty it out at the beginning of the cruise, so you can use it to chill drinks/snacks. Download the iConcierge app to your mobil device ahead of time so you can track daily activities and reservations onboard after you register using your TV in the cabin. You can also use the TV to make reservations & check your bill daily. Don't forget to keep a change of clothes & your toiletries the last night - don't put everything in your checked bags the night before. Or if you can, don't check your bags - carry them off yourself & get off the ship earlier. Bring wire hangers, because there are never enough in the closet. Disembarkation in Miami was a breeze. Usually hubby & I do easy walk-off by carrying our bags off, not putting them out the night before. But my parents had to check bags, so we did too. We waited in the cabin until they called our color, instead of waiting in the lobbies and seating areas, causing a traffic jam like everyone else did. But once we got in line, it moved quickly. And our bags were very easy to spot in the terminal. The line for customs & immigration moved quickly as well. Everything was very organized. Years ago I swore I would never again cruise out of Miami, because trying to catch a cab along with 8,000 other people was such a nightmare, but that's no longer the case. There's a cab stand in the middle of the parking lot, and they do a good job of organizing people. We were in a van within 5 minutes & if they hadn't circled around to get more passengers we would have made an earlier flight. But oh, well. There's lots to look at in the MIA airport, so no biggy. This was an absolute dream of a vacation. We learned that we Can relax for 2 weeks, we Can be on a ship for 2 weeks and not feel trapped, the Atlantic ocean was not rough or scary, and the Epic was exactly that, an Epic way to cruise home from a lovely European vacation. Thank you, NCL and Epic!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Our cruise on the Norwegian Cruise Line`s largest ship, Epic, started at Rome`s Civitavecchia cruise terminal. We did consecutive cruises: western Mediterranean (Rome to Barcelona), Barcelona to Miami repositioning, and seven days Eastern ... Read More
Our cruise on the Norwegian Cruise Line`s largest ship, Epic, started at Rome`s Civitavecchia cruise terminal. We did consecutive cruises: western Mediterranean (Rome to Barcelona), Barcelona to Miami repositioning, and seven days Eastern Caribbean (round trip Miami) in October-November 2013. The cruise ticket was very reasonable; the price was right. Only inside cabins were available though we booked well in advance and the ship was fully booked well before sailing. Dining Large cruise ships usually have a couple of dining rooms with a cover charge. The Epic has 13 restaurants with cover charges! (While other cruise lines endeavor to maximize discretionary spending by passengers, Norwegian does it with a vengeance). While the food in the regular dining rooms, including the cafeteria, is good, it is not up to the standards of the non-surcharge restaurants we have found on other cruise lines. Norwegian does not assign passengers to dine every day with the same group of fellow diners, which suits us fine. There no formal nights requiring a suit or tux for the men and formal gowns for women. That facilitates packing for the cruise. Manhattan Dining Room The Manhattan is Epic`s main dining room. It is on Deck five at the stern, over the propulsion system. The first thing we noticed was the noise and vibration. A small band with vocalists started playing. This drowned out the engine noise (which I suspect was the purpose) but the instruments also drowned out their own vocalists (one male, one female). We preferred the Buffet Restaurant, and Taste Restaurant over the Manhattan. There is a lack of acoustic tile in the restaurants. The noise level increases as the diners endeavor to be heard above the ambient noise. Meeting Rooms The meeting rooms are mostly too small and have pillars that obstruct the guests’ view of presenters or performers and projection screens. Epic`s Library A cruise ship’s library is usually a spacious reading area with a good assortment of books, including reference books, newspapers, and magazines provided by the ship. Epic’s library is small room, open at the hallway end. It does not appear on the map of the ship, you have to ask to find it. The only newspapers or magazines were those dropped off by passengers. The Epic is a huge ship, and with 4,200 passengers, it`s library is a joke. It has four (partially filled) very small bookcases, with a small assortment of books, about half of which are in languages other than English. There is no organization to the randomly shelved, pathetic collection in the bookcases. The library’s only redeeming feature is a brisk trade in books dropped-off by other passengers. I never saw any staff members looking after the library. Hey, the library is not a profit center, why spend money on it? Decor of the Ship There is a notable lack of art works (paintings, sculptures, etc.) and architectural features inside the ship. The atrium is the least impressive I have seen on a cruise ship. Epic emphasises such things as the water slides and rock climbing wall. In Cabin Safe In some hotels and ships the safes are surprisingly complicated to operate. The safes on the Epic are the simplest and most intuitive I have encountered, top marks for Epic`s safes. The in-cabin telephone also has a very user friendly interface. On Board Activities There are a lot of sea days on a repositioning cruise, and most cruise ships have so many interesting activities that it is hard to choose between them because of conflicting choices. On the Epic, there were few movies, almost no lectures, but lots of trivial activities and activities designed to increase passenger spending. There was only one lecturer on the repositioning. He spoke about ships. His lectures were interesting, and well attended, almost filling the 700 seat theater. The ship only provided a room for half the lectures he had prepared, one of which was in a room far too small for his audience. These lectures were the only intellectual activity, and half were canceled for lack of a venue. Most much smaller cruise ships have a much larger theater. The range of performances was quite limited and there was a cover charge for some of the performances. We have not seen that on other cruise lines. Shops The on-board shops created discount events that resembled a shopping frenzy. Fitness The Gym was well equipped. Instructors sometimes attended the classes they were scheduled to instruct. Laundry There are no laundromats on the Epic. The in-cabin sinks are very small, perhaps to discourage washing of clothes, and encourage sales of the laundry service. Studio Cabins Unlike other cruise ships, the Epic has `studio` cabins for solo passengers, who do not have to pay double fare. This option is worth considering by solo cruisers. A lounge adjoins the studio cabins to facilitate socializing with other solo passengers. Good marks to Norwegian for accommodating solo passengers. Conclusion Service by the cabin and dining staff was very good. Overall we enjoyed our cruise, as we always do, but it could have been better. There is nothing to appeal to the intellect, The Epic’s entertainment catered to the lowest common denominator. Norwegian`s cruises are bargain priced, but you get what you pay for. While we might possibly cruise Norwegian again, this trip confirmed their rating as last choice of the lines we have cruised so far.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This is a review of the Norwegian Epic on the Transatlantic sailing from Miami, FL to Barcelona, Spain, with a stop in the port of Funchal, Madeira (Portugal). Stateroom: We stayed in a 2 bedroom Suite in the Haven (category B6-S4) in ... Read More
This is a review of the Norwegian Epic on the Transatlantic sailing from Miami, FL to Barcelona, Spain, with a stop in the port of Funchal, Madeira (Portugal). Stateroom: We stayed in a 2 bedroom Suite in the Haven (category B6-S4) in stateroom 16017. The room was very spacious for my husband and I and our 2 sons (6 & 8 at the time of sailing). Our favorite feature in our suite was the master bathroom where the shower & garden tub over looked the ocean with large glass windows. There was ample closet space and drawers in the master and second bedroom for 2-1/2 weeks of belongings for four. The entire concierge team was outstanding and escorted us around to shows and off the ship with speed & ease. As for our butler, Jonathan, he was just an amazing person who we were very luck to get to know on our trip. We wish him and his family well wishes. The Haven: The exclusiveness of The Haven was a wonderful change of scenery to the business of the open parts of the ship. It was literally a ship within a ship. We have stayed in the suites on all the cruise lines that we have traveled on (not every time... but most of the time), and The Haven has won us over. The Haven had an exclusive restaurant, pool, hot tubs, gym, bars. lounge, sunning deck... everything but the casino... but even that, you can do right on the TV in your suite. Even when we would go to the shows or to specialty dining they would arrange everything or take us there for special treatment. They could even hi-jack the elevators for only us Haven guests with the Haven card. Even to get into the Haven we had to swipe our cards for entry to the iron gated hallway. I can't wait for our next Haven Suite! If you can swing the cost, by all means... do it! Restaurants: We ate wonderful 5 star food in the Haven most days... but we did try Tepanyakki, Moderno's, the Chinese restaurant (name?), Cirqué of Dreams & Nickelodeon's Pajama Jam. I think there was one more... but I can't recall which one... it was a year ago. I do remember that Moderno's has a wonderful view of the ocean on the back of the ship.... so make sure to make your reservation for about 30-40 minutes before sunset and sit by the windows. Tepanyakki is a typical Japanese hibachi dining experience. We didn't so much care for the Chinese restaurant. Cirqué of Dreams was a pretty good show, but the show on Getaway is better (from my opinion) and the food was a similar if not the same menu on each ship for their show... but the food quality was WAY better on Gataway. The Pajama Jam that we experienced on Epic was a tasty served sit down breakfast that was very small and simple and located in Cirqué, where as it was a huge blow out on Getaway with buffet style food located in the Tropicana Room. There were not many children on the Transatlantic crossing is the only reason we could pin on why we had such an intimate setting for Epic. So please don't expect what we experienced. We also went to the Ice Bar while on board... I suggest to remember to bring WARM clothing for this. The complementary food around the ship is something we really didn't experience much of, although we did eat late night snacks at O'Sheehan's and we ate late breakfast in the Garden Café in the mornings sometimes. Entertainment: We LOVED the entertainment of The Blue Man Group and Legends in Concert on Epic! There is nothing more to say ion that... it was just phenomenal! Things to do: Plenty of things to do on the ship from the water slides (including a HUGE drain style one), the splash and play water park for the kids (bigger than Getaways), largest casino on the ocean (sadly lost $3k... so it's machines are pretty tight and the craps table didn't help either, but it was still fun), my boys LOVED the kids club (again bigger than Getaways), and all the typical NCL things to do and plenty of shops for shopping. My husband even won a $1,500 watch at the end of the cruise in a drawing that we were entered into after I bought a watch a few days into the cruise (I guess that made up for a little $ we lost in the casino). We still had a wonderful time on Epic and can't wait to experience her again in the future. Ports: We only stopped at Funchal and we did the island tour that had the sledge ride... which we recommend very much! Then our final stop was in Barcelona and we did do a tour with the ship to Monserrat... which was something we'll never forget. If you find yourself there and don't go... you'll be missing out on an amazing place. The inside of the Basilica will bring tears to your eyes. It's also home of the Black Madonna. Highly, highly recommended. Overall: The ship is one of our all time favorite ships! Clean, fresh, modern, entertaining... can't ask for much more. *I'm writing this a whole year after we were on the ship, so the details aren't super fresh anymore. When we go on the ship i the future... I'll be sure to update this review. I'll also try to pull some pics of the suite and ship from my shutterfly account to post on here for you all. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
This was an anniversary trip from our sons and family. One son and daughter in law went with from Barcelona to Miami with us. Luggage arrived quickly and we toured the ship with 4,000+ other travelers. Interior of the ship's ... Read More
This was an anniversary trip from our sons and family. One son and daughter in law went with from Barcelona to Miami with us. Luggage arrived quickly and we toured the ship with 4,000+ other travelers. Interior of the ship's hallways was unusual. The make up/colon counter was in center of the floor surrounded by shops. There was limited room to move. Sales in shops VERY BALDLY RUN. All other cruises we have ever taken hold clearance sales in a closed dinning room, theirs were in the tiny shops. People broke through the roped off areas, shoveling items into their plastic baskets with no regard for others. Watch and jewelry sales also took place in the center of the only passing corridor on that level. There was no place if, God forbid, there were an accident or someone getting ill they would be trampled. Elbows were thrown, people acted like they never saw a T shirt from a place they went to, or a watch reduced in price. Now the food........ The English pub located next to the $5 per line bowling alley had very bad service, 45 mins. and we got a glass of water while others got service. Our family left and went to the buffet. We tried again and got beverages in juice glasses, uncooked fish and chips and a pot pie that was 1/2 way up in the dish. If you went to ANY of the special restaurants, service was better, same for the food. Service UNTIL we got one FANTASTIC set of servers, was also bad in the TASTE. Things escalated so much we spoke to the Maiter'D to see if we were expecting too much. He was a gem, He even went so far as to secure us nightly reservations with the same two servers and presented us with a complementary beverage He listened to us and even took a suggestion for servers offering a second cup of coffee during breakfast at the buffet. It is not NCL practice fearing they might insult passengers who were capable of securing their own. We assured him the wheelchair bound, blind passengers and people using canes as well as the man with the service Newfoundland dog would appreciate not spilling hot beverages on themselves or others.. But to continue -- The information desk LACKED INFORMATION. Simple questions could not be answered and they looked several times at the daily bulletin for answers. DAH! If the answer was in there I would not have gone to the desk. We enjoyed the cruise director and staff. However, in one barroom, from 2-2:45 a spa talk on feet was given. Same room we had 3-3:45. At 2:55, some players began to enter the room since the spa presentation was over and they were packing up. The spa speaker EXPLODED at the PASSENGERS!!!!!! Our poor Cruise Staff host (20 yrs old) was beyond words and tried to make light of it. One couple was so insulted they left before we began our trivia. Afterwards, 5 players went to the desk and asked to speak to a spa representative. She listened but who knows what ever happened. Our cruise staff person asked us not to fuss since they (staff) all have to get along. We then learned that the spa is not staffed by NCL so no responsibility for any liable is on NCL. As far as the decor, PLASTIC PLANTS REALLY!!!! No receptacles for trash except at elevators so on the plastic plant stands were napkins, nose tissues, and plastic glasses. UCKIE!!! It seemed, if you had the beverage package and went to any of the bars, each served a different size glass, from juice glass to even a ginger ale in a beer glass! More...... When the crew had the Crew Show, there were no seats left in the theater so they closed the doors and told everyone they would broadcast it on the 2 story screen in the atrium and on deck. Don't hold your breath on either place...we went from one to the other and back again then to the information desk and the answer we got was, "I'll look in the newsletter!" So........ After all the things that did and didn't happen on this cruise, we are considering not selecting this line again. We met wonderful people from the Peace Corps to singles, couples in the exclusive HAVEN, to lots of people from all over the world. These people made our trip memorable, not the service, food or ship itself. But after such a bad time for the four of us, we will probably stick with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 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

Find a Norwegian Epic Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click