173 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Transatlantic

For a trans Atlantic cruise, this itinerary had great ports of call. Started in Barcelona, a great city in itself, and then 6 more ports of call, before we started on our crossing. We then had another 2 ports of call before docking in ... Read More
For a trans Atlantic cruise, this itinerary had great ports of call. Started in Barcelona, a great city in itself, and then 6 more ports of call, before we started on our crossing. We then had another 2 ports of call before docking in San Juan! Although we enjoyed ourselves, this was the largest ship we have been on in 13 cruises, and would really have to give thought to a ship this large in the future, and probably for sure, not the Norwegian Epic again. Whomever designed the bathroom layout in the cabins must of had a grudge to settle with Norwegian. And who would of approved such a design.? I cannot imagine anyone thinking this a great design. Elevators were continuously overcrowded and often had to wait in long lines in the buffet for average just barely warm food. Had several occasions were our toilet would not flush for several hours at a time. Beds are short for a 6 foot tall person like myself. High marks for the entertainment, especially Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Burn the Floor, along with the Cirque show. Disembarkation in ports of call seemed to be fairly efficient, however the same cannot be said for the initial embarking. Did not appreciate that water was not included in drink package, and could not bring on board so much as a couple ounces left in a bottle from a shore excursion. Seems like nothing but a money grab to me. All drink stations had a sign asking you not to refill water bottles, which I blatantly ignored. Bar staff, did their best, but at many times definitely overworked, or under staffed. Before we ever sail on Norwegian Epic again, these issues would have to be addressed.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this ship after reading so many reviews, but during my time onboard I fell in love with this ship and wouldn’t hesitate to go on the Epic again. We boarded in Barcelona, and were met with long ... Read More
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this ship after reading so many reviews, but during my time onboard I fell in love with this ship and wouldn’t hesitate to go on the Epic again. We boarded in Barcelona, and were met with long lines checking in at the terminal. While I found this a bit of a speed bump to the start of our cruise I didn’t let it bother me. Everyone was doing their best to get us onboard as quickly as possible, and let’s face it sometimes that takes time. The layout of the ship didn’t bother me too much. Every ship has its own quirks. I did miss the lack of windows and quiet spaces to sit during the day, but they do make the specialty restaurants available to use when they are closed so there are still plenty of quiet places to go. I also missed the running track, but this ship has the biggest and best set up gym I’ve seen on any ship. I found it easy to find my way around the ship. I agree they are missing a bank of elevators, but I have no problem taking stairs. Also if you don’t mind walking a little you can usually find elevators that aren’t busy. The food was fantastic, and the service was amazing in the restaurants. I didn’t eat at the buffet because I just am not a buffet person. My only time up there was to get ice cream and I have no complaints there. Disembarking was a bit of a process. Not sure what happened but they halted disembarking for at least an hour just as we were going to get our stuff out of our cabin. Our cabin steward told us to just stay there and relax until they started to allow people off the ship again. Which was sweet that he offered this to us. We left our luggage in our cabin and walked around the ship a little so they could still get in and do as much as they could to get the cabin ready. When it was time to get off the ship we were off in 15 minutes. I think the crew got handed some tough situations on this cruise with the embarkation and disembarkation, but I feel that they handled everything as best as they could and very professionally. I was very impressed. I would also like to add that I haven’t see a crew work together so well and genuinely like each other. You could tell these guys are all family. Like I said earlier I wouldn’t hesitate to book a cruise on the Epic again. I loved my time with her and the crew. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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
My husband and I arrived 5 days prior to the start of our cruise and loved Barcelona, giving us the opportunity to explore many of the sites there. We were excited about trying NCL, not ever having cruised with them before (we have ... Read More
My husband and I arrived 5 days prior to the start of our cruise and loved Barcelona, giving us the opportunity to explore many of the sites there. We were excited about trying NCL, not ever having cruised with them before (we have cruised on Holland and Princess before for a total of 10 cruises). The price of this cruise was fabulous and included free specialty restaurants, excursion credit in each port, free WiFi minutes, a free drink package and onboard credit of $150. However, the ship was not as we had hoped. Our embarkation took over 3 1/2 hours of standing in line, and then when we got to our cabin, the layout is different than what we’ve experienced on other ships with the bathroom divided, the toilet is on one side and the shower is in the other with only frosted acrylic doors that don’t provide ANY privacy and rattle when the seas are at all rough. The storage cabins are not deep, thereby limiting what fits in them. The couch and headboard are both curved so sitting on either is not comfortable. We knew the layout was different but did not expect it to be as unwelcoming as it was. In addition, the bed itself squeaked and the mattress was not very comfortable. The tv options are limited, the lighting is poor if you are trying to apply makeup, and the water temperature fluctuated to sometimes scalding levels. We always book a mini suite cabin because we like to relax in our own space. This particular cruise had 5 sea days crossing the Atlantic and were looking forward to spending time on our balcony or relaxing in our cabin, but this cabin layout is not conducive to that at all. As for the cruise itself, we liked the Free Style option with no set dining times and no formal evenings unless a person chose to dress formally. This type of cruising allowed us to try different restaurants on board, all wonderful, and plan our excursions or attend the on board shows, which we fabulous, how we wanted to arrange them. Even with 4100 passengers, we never felt overwhelmed with crowds because the layout of the ship has lots of areas to hangout in. The excursions offered by NCL were good and were reasonably priced. The cruise staff was very good and the only problem was trying to get a minibar change which wasn’t ours, reversed, that took 5 trips to Customer Service and 3 phone calls to Housekeeping and even when we left the ship, we still didn’t know till the final charge to our credit card if they had reversed the charge. We disembarked in Puerto Rico and again, this process was not very efficient and we had a 2 hour delay. We were told that the cruise line doesn’t manage this process and that the city is in charge of those arrangements but it’s still a reflection on the cruise line especially if someone is trying to make a flight, which were weren’t. Because we did like most of the cruise and the staff, we will entertain cruising again on NCL but will NOT EVER chose to go on the Epic in the future, it is thankfully the only ship with the cabin layout described above. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We've never been on a transatlantic cruise or to Barcelona, so when we saw this cruise at a good price, we couldn't resist. We spent several days in Barcelona - a great city - before getting on the ship. I've been on ... Read More
We've never been on a transatlantic cruise or to Barcelona, so when we saw this cruise at a good price, we couldn't resist. We spent several days in Barcelona - a great city - before getting on the ship. I've been on about twenty cruises; this is the first with Norwegian. I don't know whether this is typical of the line, but embarkation was very bad. We arrived about twenty minutes before the beginning of boarding (scheduled for noon) to a huge line and it took about three hours to get on the ship. Thankfully it had stopped raining earlier that morning; because there was no cover and it took about two hours before we were able to enter the building where we were processed. On previous cruises on different lines we were given an hour window when to show up and were on the ship in about a half hour. When we were finally on the ship we couldn't go to our cabin because it wasn't ready. We chose an MX category mini-suite (the line chose the cabin - it was significantly cheaper than choosing our own location) and that was spacious and clean with plenty of storage. The negatives of the cabins on the Epic are legend; the sink is next to the bed, the toilet and shower were on either side of the entry, making it noisy and less than private - but we were prepared for those negatives. Another issue is that the beds are short. Anyone taller than about 5'8" would have there feet hanging off the bed. The ship itself felt crowded and noisy, particularly 5th and 6th levels where most things happened. There were very few places that you sit quietly near a window and read. My biggest complaint was with the food. Unless you ate at specialty restaurants - at a significant extra cost - items typical at no extra cost on other ships I've been on (Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean) were not available in the main dining rooms. No lobster tails, crab cakes, prime rib, filet mignon, escargot or shrimp cocktails; salmon was on the menu once in 16 days. And what was available was on the bland side. The buffet was also lacking, with meat generally overcooked and dry. I saw no eggs benedict or smoked salmon (available daily at the buffet on my last Princess cruise), Perhaps they were available in the dining room, but that was only open for two hours and fairly early even on sea days. Entertainment was great and varied except the movies which were older and not very good. The Broadway show Priscilla Queen of the Desert was a delight. There were numerous musical venues, comedians, a magician and hypnotist. The singer NIcola Ward was fantastic. The casino was better than most, with plenty of machines and table games. However, when you made a room charge to play (who carries cash these days?), the charge was 3%. So $100 would cost $103 - $500 would cost $515, This is only time I've been charged a casino fee of this kind to make a room charge on a cruise. Considering a ten year CD pays less than 2% I found the charge exorbitant. Unfortunately I'm a cigarette smoker. There were only two areas, both outside and only one covered that one could smoke. The cigar lounge was banned to cigarette smokers - a first on any cruise I've been on. That means on cold and rainy days it was pretty miserable. Smoking was allowed in parts of the casino, but only when it was open and only if gambling. Service was fine. We were happy with our cabin steward Charles, and with the various waiters in the dining rooms. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Trans Atlantic and stops at three island groups to which we had not been as well as departing from Barcelona to which we have not been - we choose cruises based upon itinerary first. We think the ship is too large and prefer smaller ships. ... Read More
Trans Atlantic and stops at three island groups to which we had not been as well as departing from Barcelona to which we have not been - we choose cruises based upon itinerary first. We think the ship is too large and prefer smaller ships. The cabins (we had aft-facing balcony) were smaller than normal and cramped. The food was not as good as expected. However, the crew/staff made everything worthwhile - they were great! We spent 3 days in Barcelona before the cruise. We should very much like to return. We took 2 TripAdvisor tours and were surprised at how good they were - very pleased. We applaud Max & Natalia (TripAdvisor). Embarkation was awful because of disinfecting the ship from previous problems. It seems hardly possible, but disembarkation was worse apparently because Norwegian failed to estimate baggage (we were told anyway) - delayed several hours. We were concerned about making our flight, but did so; however, we know some missed flights including a couple of friends. There was a high percentage of passengers who were local and the disembarkation should have been controlled instead of pandemonium allowing passengers with flights off first and then locals. Entertainment was good, but especially "Howl at the Moon" - the best I've ever seen on a cruise. The crew and staff were extraordinary and made things enjoyable. We have been 6 times with Norwegian and would go again but on a smaller ship (whatever cruise line as we are itinerary based)' Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We have sailed Norwegian once before (The Jade). Our cruise started with a 1/2 hr line to drop off our luggage and then 2 1/2 hours in line to checkin. Luckily it was not a rainy day but it was hot. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We have sailed Norwegian once before (The Jade). Our cruise started with a 1/2 hr line to drop off our luggage and then 2 1/2 hours in line to checkin. Luckily it was not a rainy day but it was hot. No adequate explanation- just blamed the port people. With 4100 passengers on board elevator access was often an issue. On disembarkation day there was over a 2 hour delay getting off due “to terminal congestion”. We had most of our breakfasts in the dining room and all dinners in the Taste dining room. We never had to share a table unless we wanted to. All dining staff were very good. We thoroughly enjoyed the Cirque Epicurean dinner show, Pricilla Queen of the desert and the dance troupe Burn the Floor. The Beatles cover band in the Cavern was very popular but seating was full typically an hour before show time. Over all entertainment was very good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Although I have done many cruises with different cruise companies, this was my first time with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It started off very poorly. It took us over 2 hours standing in line, with my partner who has mobility issues, to get ... Read More
Although I have done many cruises with different cruise companies, this was my first time with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It started off very poorly. It took us over 2 hours standing in line, with my partner who has mobility issues, to get registered for boarding. We had an issue with our beverage package which was not accepted although I showed them the paper work. Guest services was not very helpful and just kept saying that they will send a note to head office. I had to get our travel agent involved and it still took 7 days to totally resolve. The highlight of the cruise was the very good entertainment available. Every evening there were a number of choices of live music or shows to attend. There were a number of good speciality restaurants however the Brazilian restaurant was excellent both is service and quality of food, I highly recommend everyone to try it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
As I said, we particularly like cruises with time at sea. Also, I have always wanted to go to Spain, so this was a perfect combination for us. Additionally, The Haven (for us) is worth the additional cost. It's like being on a ... Read More
As I said, we particularly like cruises with time at sea. Also, I have always wanted to go to Spain, so this was a perfect combination for us. Additionally, The Haven (for us) is worth the additional cost. It's like being on a small ship if you choose to stay in that area, but if you want to enjoy the entertainment that's available on a large ship, you can do that. The Haven Our cabin was perfect for us -- a two bedroom suite. We have traveled in that type of a cabin before so we knew we would like it. The dining room for The Haven is delightful and the servers recognized us after the first day. The concierge & his assistant were very helpful as were the butler & cabin steward. We really enjoyed the entertainment. We went to most of the shows which were available. My favorite was "Burn the Floor". The only problems were the embarkation & debarkation. The Spanish gov't did not have enough customs officials to expedite the process & at debarkation we were not allowed to leave the ship because of some problems with customs Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise for the Itinerary, price and perks. Have enjoyed NCL in the past (platinum member) but this cruise was different. The embarkation was a disaster, 21/2 to 3 hours in line, with no communication as to what was going on! ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the Itinerary, price and perks. Have enjoyed NCL in the past (platinum member) but this cruise was different. The embarkation was a disaster, 21/2 to 3 hours in line, with no communication as to what was going on! And lack of communication was evident at other times during the cruise. The crew was hit and miss on friendliness, and we unfortunately had an outright unfriendly room steward, which is a 1st. The balcony room had plenty of storage but did not like the small sink out in the bedroom area. We found the specialty restaurants good, but the regular dining just Ok. And finally disembarkation was another disaster with long delays and lines.I prefer to do only positive reviews but this was a disappointment. I think NCL needs to look at how they operate. Communication on what is happening was lacking on this cruise and should be improved. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
First of all, starting from embarkation we came across with the same problem, again and again, we have Turkish special passport holders which do not require us to obtain a visa for certain countries. We told it each time to the embarkation ... Read More
First of all, starting from embarkation we came across with the same problem, again and again, we have Turkish special passport holders which do not require us to obtain a visa for certain countries. We told it each time to the embarkation personnel and passport officers but they cause us to wait sometimes 2 hours in order to get confirmation. Sometimes they do not accept official letters from embassies. So, they must update the visa requirements checklist including special passport holders. As a frequent traveler, I do not want to be treated as a missing visa issue again and again. Because I do not need to have a visa. Furthermore, as a premier guest, we experienced a lot of problems, some restaurant managers trying to tell me that there are 2000 platinum plus members staying on the ship. Therefore they can not give us a priority in the restaurants. Later I learned that this was a total lie. I reported the situation to the general hotel director and asked him that if I can not get any priority why do I need to choose Norwegian again. I received no response. Therefore you can not receive any priority even if you are too loyal to the cruise line. For thermal suite packages, the ship sold more than the available limits in the spa area. Everybody who finds the door open just jumps in. Everybody start having an argument about sitting in lounge chairs. I was assaulted twice by other passengers. I also reported this situation to the general director but nothing changed. The spa personnel most of the time left the door open or some other guests invite others to use spa for free. Therefore the majority f the passengers get really angry for why they paid extra for thermal spa if everybody can jump inside freely. At last, during the disembarkation process, everything becomes chaotic. The ship personnel can able to collect and make passport stamps while we are on the ship and inside the European premises for one week we traveled to Portugal and Spain ports. But they preferred to do EU entry passport stamps on our own during disembarkation at Barcelona. I have to wait a lot of lines, ship exit line, passport stamp line, baggage collection line and taxi stand time. It takes a complete 3 hours. I have been cruised many times but have not seen such a thing in Barcelona for the recent 10 years. I have been many times cruised with Norwegian but their loyalty seems to be nothing more than 2 free special dinners which are limited to 25 USD max order per cabin not per member. I expect them to give unlimited internet or some more dining night for free but once you get platinum, do not try to get higher because once you reach plat plus only thing you get is a dinning chance with an officer as a group of 3-4 staterooms in a main dining room. Especially in this cruise from Cape Canaveral to Barcelona, most of the passengers are really annoyed because only three shows were presented as unique for 15 days. For other days they repeat the shows again and again. Everybody goes to bed at 7 pm after dinner. So we call the ship as a ghost at late times. Epic is a good ship I have traveled with her 4 times in the past. But it was managed well and the level of the service and fun was great. Use to be Burn the floor took a showplace in Manhattan but no more. I have never heard someone playing the piano in the taste also. Furthermore, the waiters are not trained most of them newly joined to the company. Sometimes you have to wait 2-3 hours for a 3-course meal. For even the laundry they keep saying that every day they receive 5000 bags of laundry, they work so hard, they have no time to rest etc. I do not understand why are they acting like this. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
A friend recommended a transatlantic cruise since my husband was retiring. We had not cruised in years, never transatlantic, and never been to Spain. It was a spur of the moment decision without the research I normally do on every ... Read More
A friend recommended a transatlantic cruise since my husband was retiring. We had not cruised in years, never transatlantic, and never been to Spain. It was a spur of the moment decision without the research I normally do on every vacation we take. When I found the time to look into it further, I was a bit concerned with some of the reviews I read of the Epic, but knew we would make the best of it especially with the deal we got for a sail away balcony. I can honestly say that we got more than we paid for with the Epic. We were in cabin 11012 which is the 4th from the front and has the total metal surround on the balcony so when sitting down you cannot see the ocean. But this blocks the strong sea breeze crossing the Atlantic. The balcony is huge and we had a chaise, 2 chairs, and a small table with room to spare. I agree with other reviewers about the configuration of the cabin being a bit odd and probably a bit tight for larger people, but it was not an issue with us. We had storage we did not use. My husband likes to use the pool and hot tub area but I like to read and watercolor in a quiet place. We were both happy with the facilities. We ate the majority of our meals in the dining rooms but did not utilize the specialty restaurants. The food was consistently good. We did eat some meals in the Garden Cafe which was also pretty good. We did not have the beverage package as we only drink a glass or so of wine daily but we did buy the wine package on board the first day. I think that is the only time it is available. We enjoyed some of the entertainment but did not bother with anything labeled “not for the easily offended.” We enjoyed meeting others on board as it was just the two of us. There were many other couples traveling alone. In short, we really enjoyed the cruise and have, in fact, booked the same cruise for next April. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The worst designed ship ever. entertainment was terrific but venues and theatre were too small...long line-ups. yoga ($12) and art classes ($35) cost extra but prices are not listed, line- up at front desk for those (called operator many ... Read More
The worst designed ship ever. entertainment was terrific but venues and theatre were too small...long line-ups. yoga ($12) and art classes ($35) cost extra but prices are not listed, line- up at front desk for those (called operator many times, no answer ever). Bottles of water in room are not free - $5 each. Had room attendant clear out the booze and water from the room. If not on a drinks package, You pay US$16,19 and 23 per drink NCL offers daily drink at $9. At the The Garden Cafe on the 15th floor be prepared to be welcomed by a high pitched irritating greeting of “WASHY, WASHY, HAPPY, HAPPY, YUMMY, YUMMY” every single time you enter this place, shame on NCL for needing their staff to act so juvenile. The buffet meals are tepid at best, and staff behind the counter need to be reminded to replenish the food in the serving dishes. The Manhatten and Taste restaurants have the same menus and the smallest portions you have ever seen. Shanghai is the best free restaurant with great service and good sized portions. Half the warm chairs in the Spa weren’t working... and it doesn’t face the sea or anything, not worth the extra $$. Continuous marketing and nickel & diming you. Most surprising: Day 4 newsletter quote: “Very Important Guest Advisory: Additional taxes may apply while in certain ports and whilst the ship is sailing in territorial waters.” : sail route on TV screen showed an unscheduled sail to Rabbat (Morroco). Also, if you’re a Canadian passenger NCL will convert your invoice from $US to $Cdn plus a 3% margin...and charge this to your credit card - another NCL cash grab! Thank goodness I met and enjoyed some great people on this cruise, but that’s a usual experience on any cruise. Forget this ship...There are far better others out there... Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have looked forward to a transatlantic trip and the itinerary was great. We were hesitant to book such a large ship but wanted to give it a try. Boarding was the easiest ever! But once on board, things started to grind slowly. We tired ... Read More
We have looked forward to a transatlantic trip and the itinerary was great. We were hesitant to book such a large ship but wanted to give it a try. Boarding was the easiest ever! But once on board, things started to grind slowly. We tired quickly of standing in lines to watch a show ( in a WAY to small theater), get dinner, or ride an elevator. Many people enjoyed the ship and really enjoyed the free drinks package. The cabins were odd. The frosted glass free standing toilet and shower were poorly thought through. Lighting in the cabin was dull. The short bed was curved at the bottom and my feet extended a good 6” off the end! The meals were good but we found the speciality restaurants left a little to be desired. The service was good and a few times we were really impressed by the attentiveness of the servers. Even though we had several complaints about the ship, We still had a wonderful time. But, we won’t be on the Epic again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
If you can cope with the strange cabin layout, love trivia games and slots machines, don't mind lining up, even for things you reserved, and like paying for services, then this ship/hotel is for you. Be prepared: Your shower and ... Read More
If you can cope with the strange cabin layout, love trivia games and slots machines, don't mind lining up, even for things you reserved, and like paying for services, then this ship/hotel is for you. Be prepared: Your shower and seperate toilet are immediately inside the cabin door. You will be visible and struck by anyone opening the door once you step from either glass doored facility. Make sure you travel with companions who do not mind seeing you performing your toilet functions. There is no basin in the toilet, there is a tiny one in the cabin area. If you use it, be careful not to strike your face on the tap which juts into and up from the sink. There are only 2 power outlets in the cabin. You will need to crawl under and reach inside the vanity to access them. The shaver outlet is inside a mirrored cabinet. Once you plug in a razor, you cannot close the mirrored door. The lighting levels are low with LED fixtures controled from various locations. The overhead storage is above the bed and sofa and cannot be reached. There is no place to store shoes. Cabin balcony doors are tight access. If any vanity drawer is opened a bit, you will not be able to get into the cabin from the bacony without climbing over the bed. The bed is curved and short. If you are over 5'10", your feet will overhang. There is nowhere in the cabin that 2 people can pass each other. There is no promenade deck going around the outer decks, if you like walking or a jog the best you can do is back and forth on one side deck. The fitness centre does not have steam rooms or saunas, yoy must pay $340.00 to use the spa area. The freestyle thing seems to be mostly an inconvenience. You still have to line up for everything, you will just be in a separate bigger lineup than guests without reservations. Hotel staffs try very hard to mitigate the quirky arrangements and do what they can to cope. Food is of good quality but often not hot enough, service is generally friendly and adequate with a lot of supervisory staffs drifting around not doing much of anything. Entertainment scheduling is progressive, so only one venue is open at a time which causes crowding. Anyone taking a trip on Epic needs to be accepting and open to something unusual. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were asked to join a couple for their anniversary cruise. The cruise ship was very overcrowded with more than 4,000 rude and inconsiderate guests. There were very, very few quiet spaces anywhere except our nice but tiny stateroom. ... Read More
We were asked to join a couple for their anniversary cruise. The cruise ship was very overcrowded with more than 4,000 rude and inconsiderate guests. There were very, very few quiet spaces anywhere except our nice but tiny stateroom. Food was like eating in an army mess hall with people crowding in line and reaching in front of you for something they wanted. The food was poor unless you like mac and cheese. Many people using the dining hall had no manners or courtesy. After paying $2,000 each for this cruise, we got the mess hall dining experience unless we wanted to pay $25-$40 per meal each to eat in a "special" restaurant, a couple of which were nice. Most of the crew staff were surly, but our cabin steward was nice and did a good job. There were poor entertainment offerings. We went to a dinner theatre and ordered a tenderloin steak, medium rare, and it came to me well-done and dried out. Pools and deck spaces were overcrowded. The best parts of the cruise were the shore times at Mallorca, the Axored, and other stops reroute to Barcelona. NCL? Never again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was a repositioning cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida to Barcelona. We had never cruised on a large ship, and won’t do so again, primarily because of the noise level. Why is trivia played in the atrium, where the sound of the ... Read More
This was a repositioning cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida to Barcelona. We had never cruised on a large ship, and won’t do so again, primarily because of the noise level. Why is trivia played in the atrium, where the sound of the microphones reverberate throughout two floors? The plus sides of this trip include: 1. Medical care (ear infection not responding to prescribed treatment). 2. Ports of call 3. Excursions (four out of four get thumbs up) The food in the Manhattan dining room was better than expected. The service there was excellent. The room configuration while unique, was acceptable. What wasn’t good about the room was the shortness of the bed. If anything, having a non-standard-length bed seemed bizarre. The worst part of the cruise was the noise. The card/game room had stone floors (voices and chairs scraping reverberated), and the room was much too small for a cruise of 4,000 plus passengers. We were allowed games in one of the private restaurants until 3:00 pm; but evening card or board games were just out of the question. The focus of this ship is casino and alcohol and constant noise. The pool is incredibly small, and again, there is always a band or DJ, so no escaping the noise there, either. Overall, we conclude “average”. Much better than prior Azamara cruise, but far below our favorite Oceania trips. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose the Transatlantic because we only had to fly one way across the Atlantic ocean.. Spent the night before the cruise in Orlando, and took am shuttle to ship. Got to Port at 11:00am. It only took 15 minutes after being dropped off, ... Read More
We chose the Transatlantic because we only had to fly one way across the Atlantic ocean.. Spent the night before the cruise in Orlando, and took am shuttle to ship. Got to Port at 11:00am. It only took 15 minutes after being dropped off, to sitting down and ordering lunch in the Haven. Fastest ever. Had just about all our meals in the Haven restaurant. We had the 4 specialty meal package, and 2 more for being platinum members. Used 2 each at Cagney's, La Cucina, and Le Bistro. All 3 were good! The haven had a snack bar by the pool. That was nice for the time after shore excursions and before dinners. Had some room service breakfasts, and the Butler delivered afternoon snacks daily to the suite. Ate 1 meal in the Chinese Restaurant, and once in Cirque of Dreams show. The entertainment on board was good. The main problem was the theatre was way too small for just the 2 shows, with 3,950 cruisers. Had to get to the shows at least 30 minutes before it started, to get a decent seat. And the smaller venues for other smaller shows was way too crowded, too. You can book reservations before cruise for some of the shows. Don't wait until boarding, unless you are in the haven. Ms. Google gave talks about the ports. Their history, things to do, pictures, etc. Not much else to do on 7 sea days. Those were given in the theatre and always full. About the only activity we participated in was gambling in the casino. It has a big casino compared to most other ships, and located right in the middle of ship. If smoke bothers you - dodge it if can. Everybody onboard goes there to smoke. Nelson (Hotel Director) knows about this problem and is working on it. OK! The machines pay out very little. So, NCL probably rakes in a pretty good profit from the casino. Like I said before the ship seems very crowded every where you go. There is no outside deck that goes completely around the ship. Not very much outside space at all, except at the top of the ship. That's the great outdoors and recreational area. The weather was kind of cool to be using the shallow pool, though there were sunbathers out most days. Just glad we were in the Haven where it wasn't so crowded. We booked our shore excursions with NCL for the ports. Platinum Members got 10% off, plus we had 2 $50 shore excursions per cabin per port. That made the prices very reasonable! Most of the tours were longer than the scheduled time allotted for them. Thought they were well worth what we paid. Well satisfied. Disembarking was a big mess! We had a 8:30am tour scheduled for Hop On / Hop Off Bus and drop off at Catalunya Square. We were over 2 hours late getting through cruise terminal to our bus. Then had to wait longer at bus before leaving, waiting for the tardy ones hung up in the cruise terminal. Purchased our cruise over a year out, for a very good price, with the extras. Wanted to be in the 2BR Haven, to be able to get away from the crowd. Liked the idea of having to fly only one way across the Atlantic. Also, had read reviews about the toilet and shower behind headboard, and sink in room. Heard a lot of cruisers complaining about that set up on board. We really enjoyed this cruise. Probably won't ever be back on the Epic again, though. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Just got back from the TA cruise to Barcelona. We cruised with Norwegian 3 times before, but first time on Transatlantic. Despite many negative reviews on Epic I have to say everything was almost perfect and exceeded our expectation. ... Read More
Just got back from the TA cruise to Barcelona. We cruised with Norwegian 3 times before, but first time on Transatlantic. Despite many negative reviews on Epic I have to say everything was almost perfect and exceeded our expectation. Embarkation took 5 min. because we spent the morning by the pool at a hotel and didn't come to the terminal until 2.30 pm. Nobody in the terminal by that time, of course. Went straight to our cabin that was ready waiting for us. The cruise was sold out, so we kind of worried about the crowds on board, but there was literally no lines nowhere except maybe at the pool bar in some afternoons, but even then the wait was like 5 min at the most. After a couple of days we were puzzled about where all the people are and even asked different crew members how many passengers were on board. The answers were consistent - about 4,320. So it was sold out, but it didn't really feel at all. Maybe has to do with the demography, but we never regretted that! All bars and restaurants were good. The music bands were awesome! Didn't see any of the shows in full, but sneaked in a couple of times to stand in the back and watch for a few minutes. Nothing really exciting as we've seen them before. The service was phenomenal with almost no exceptions. The crew did their best to accommodate the guests, and they succeeded in that in my opinion. Overall an awesome trip and a beautiful ship! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Our first time in Haven on Transatlantic Cruise this April 2019. We had such high expectations based on everything I had read. Took two days until we met our Butler - were we supposed to track him down? Snacks we preordered before the ... Read More
Our first time in Haven on Transatlantic Cruise this April 2019. We had such high expectations based on everything I had read. Took two days until we met our Butler - were we supposed to track him down? Snacks we preordered before the cruise were never delivered. Did not prebook anything - was told to wait and let the Concierge do it. Finally met him on 2nd day and got 2nd choice on 3 of the 6 dining venues we wanted. Should have just done it myself prior to cruise. The food in Haven is quite excellent but on a 15 day cruise the Chef has got to change the menu up a bit!! It is an excellent menu but the same, day after day. There are two soup choices and three desserts for lunch and dinner. Can't the chef use some creativity and vary that up a bit. Ice cream - vanilla or chocolate -and we found out from a different waiter, also macadamia nut. Can also get lemon sorbet daily. We wandered thru the buffet one lunchtime and saw gelato and so many other flavors, that we can't get! A few more Butler issues- why did it take a guest on day 7 to tell us about the "express" elevators or day 10 when a guest explained to us about the special phone in our cabin? We only asked our butler for one thing. After a week of daily snacks - we asked for fruit and some chicken, egg or tuna sandwiches. We specifically said no chocolates, cakes,or ham or pork. Within the next week we got our request once and then back to the ham and chocolates again. Shore excursions were fine except for when our tour in Mallorca was cancelled. At Shore Excursions we picked out another tour and was put on the waiting list -#19. Settled for our third choice. Question - if NCL cancels a tour, shouldn't we be bumped to the top of the waiting list? We did make it down to #9 so there were some cancellations. Complained but told "Sorry, Corporate Policy"!!! There was one lecturer on board, a very dry British lady telling us about each port. After attending her first lecture, we had enough and waited until the Epic decided to show her lectures on the TV so we could watch from our bed. Would we go Haven again? If I'm on a 4100+ passenger ship, definitely yes! Would I ever go on the Epic again - never!!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have sailed with Norwegian twice before on the Pearl and the Spirit and enjoyed both. The Epic was a huge disappointment. We wanted to experience a larger ship but will not make that choice again. The Epic certainly accommodates a ... Read More
We have sailed with Norwegian twice before on the Pearl and the Spirit and enjoyed both. The Epic was a huge disappointment. We wanted to experience a larger ship but will not make that choice again. The Epic certainly accommodates a lot more people but it does not match that increase in numbers with amenities on board. There are no lounges to sit indoors like the other ships. Seating is all outdoors with minimal shade available. I hate to think what would happen if there was bad weather on an Epic cruise! You hardly ever get to see the sea when inside the ship. It is very dark and gloomy. All views are only avasilable in dining areas but not all. We love O’Sheanans on the Spirit and the fact that booths looked out over the water, not on the Epic. Very dark and closed in. You don’t feel like you are on a ship. It felt more like a casino that manages lighting so you don’t know what time of day it is. It’s was hard to tell where the casino started or ended. Slot machines everywhere. So much space is wasted in shops. There could be lounges for passengers instead. Norwegian never stop trying to squeeze another dollar out of you. The theatre seemed smaller than on the Spirit that carries half the number of people) We never got to see one show because they were sold out before we boarded. We were told we could queue and wait on standby for a seat. Thanks but no thanks. The theatre is so small that even information sessions had to be broadcast to 2 other venues to accomodate people. The lifts were a nightmare and often out of service. There are only 2 lift wells on a ship this size? It was chaos getting on and off. Bad luck if you couldn’t manage a lot of stairs, you will spend a lot of time waiting for a lift. There is no promenade deck. The walking track is a section on one side of the ship with a 2 way path painted on it. We missed the games and bingo etc that are usually held in the lounge on other ships. Everything centred around the atrium (with little seating), which by the way is not what it is on other ships. No grand stair cases on the Epic. On this cruise we shared every port with the Star. That meant that around 6,000 Norwegian guests hit the port at the same time as all the other ships. The ship and the ports were way too crowded. I think it has put us off cruising all together. This particular cruise had a real discounted feeling about it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have done 27 cruises but this has to be the worst designed ship we have sailed on, we picked this cruise for the terrific ports of call which did not disappoint plus NCLs ad 4 FREE AT SEA allowing us a free premium booze package pp. ... Read More
We have done 27 cruises but this has to be the worst designed ship we have sailed on, we picked this cruise for the terrific ports of call which did not disappoint plus NCLs ad 4 FREE AT SEA allowing us a free premium booze package pp. -4 free dinners at a specialty restaurant of choice- Free WIFI- AND $150.00. OBC. well 3 weeks after booking flights hotels etc. we received an email stating NCL was charging my CC $385 for gratuities on the booze dinner package don't know if this is legal paying for services you have not had yet and to add insult to injury you had to pay$3.00. for water as NCL does no cover this even on a premium booze package this seemed to be the theme with NCL nickel and dime you to death for everything. We had a family suite on Deck 13 unlucky for us the cabin as you opened the door had a toilet on the left when I sat down my head hit the wall overweight patrons beware its tight also the shower bath directly across had see thru frosted glass and a stupid privacy curtain connecting both, behind this was an open wash basin in the middle of the circular theme cabin? with a uncomfortable to sit round sofa and a circular bed where your feet hung out the bottom, on the other wall were circular cabinets and hidden electrical sockets underneath on the wall that was very hard to reach the person who designed these cabins and the ships layout should get fired. There were far to many people on this ship 4,200. so there were queues all the time for everything especially the complaints desk on deck 4 if you could find it? as the elevator did not have a deck 4 you had to get off at 5 and walk through the Casino to an escalator down to get to 4, the lines here were unreal the longest was the complaints, we gave up, most of the crew did an excellent job trying to keep the peace but just to many things going wrong to list here. The Buffet food was just the usual and cool I stuck to having fresh made omelets daily which were very good the special dinners were very good especially the Teppanyaki went here twice there again the maître de came with a bill with no charge on it but was he was looking for another tip ? the Italian restaurant you had to go all the way to the front of the ship and walk through the main buffet to a narrow stairway down a deck, the waiter here was quite rude and must have been new as he had no idea what he was doing but the food was good. On the plus side the Asian maître de in the MDR was so helpful the food and service here was excellent considering the size of the dining room also the casino bar is located at the entrance to the MDR so when it opened there was always a queue and everyone in the queue wanted a drink I was amazed at how the Head Barman and his crew served up the drinks and kept a every one happy, extra gratuities we left for this guy. The Beatles show was very good in the main theatre as the cavern club was small and always full up . Also this is the first time ever we never got an evaluation report card to fill in after the cruise. We will be going back to the Celebrity Millennium& Solstice Class ships from now on with fewer people and much better food and service no nickel and dime stuff with them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
A transatlantic cruise is on my husband’s bucket list and this timeframe and ports worked for us. I provid more detail below in the cabin review section as I did not realize I was to place it here. PLEASE SEE THIS SECTION FOR ... Read More
A transatlantic cruise is on my husband’s bucket list and this timeframe and ports worked for us. I provid more detail below in the cabin review section as I did not realize I was to place it here. PLEASE SEE THIS SECTION FOR SPECIFIC DETAILS Cabin - good, no lounger on balcony Food - poor Service - mixed, from poor to good Shows - excellent Ship layout - Fair, swimming pools look so odd compared to RCL. They are really unappealing to the eye. Itinerary - great ports considering a transatlantic cruise Time change - no time change for 3 days and then a change 3 days in a row. I think this could have been spread out more. Dining experience - freestyle means no reservations in the main dining rooms; this does mean you will wait from 5-30 minutes for a table. Cleanliness - good Fitness - good selection of classes; exercise area is a little too warm Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had never done a trans Atlantic and it won't be out last. Seas were calm and blue the entire trip. We chose this due to the many sea days and access to several unusual ports. A travel partner had relatives immigrate from Madeira ... Read More
We had never done a trans Atlantic and it won't be out last. Seas were calm and blue the entire trip. We chose this due to the many sea days and access to several unusual ports. A travel partner had relatives immigrate from Madeira and I have family to visit in Seville. Then add on Malaga, Cartagena, Palma, Barcelona and oops forgot Delgato! We had a marvelous lady give us advice about the history and how to see each port to our best advantage. Her chats were so popular they filled the Epic Theater and were broadcast in the Atrium and nearby bar. Staff from top to bottom, beginning to end, were all super friendly and excellent at their jobs. We had many activities to choose every day but mainly we relaxed, visited or people watched. Never were we prodded into participation. Problems in ports were never due to NCL but the number of ships being in small ports at one time. Hopefully limits will be set and held in the future. I left feeling like I had truly seen Spain aND been relaxing at a resort. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We booked this cruise a second time because of the solid value offered, and the generally friendly and active passengers we experienced last year. Numerous people remembered us this time as we went about activities and dining, and all were ... Read More
We booked this cruise a second time because of the solid value offered, and the generally friendly and active passengers we experienced last year. Numerous people remembered us this time as we went about activities and dining, and all were repeat passengers for multiple past cruises. The big values for us were the Burn the Floor dancers that performed in the Manhattan dining room, Epic theatre, and ballroom dance classes. Amazingly fast and complicated moves appeared effortless except for the heat they generated. Many other talent balanced out the performances, including more comedians than last year. Standout hospitality from Roderick in keeping our cabin in perfect shape, even though our schedule was a bit erratic, and from all the food servers in the Shanghai and Manhattan rooms were really appreciated. Wallfredo managed our wine selections with insight and attention, and we have only good memories of many Manhattan dinners. We were laughing one night about what a comparable dinner, Broadway show, late night disco, and hotel in New York would have required; compared to just strolling around the ship for a few minutes and saying thanks for the experience. That’s value. Counterpoints were the smokey casino right in the middle of the ship and the three amenities floors that NCL has not safely ventilated to protect their employees and non-smoking passengers like me. That’s a prime reason for choosing other ships. Secondly, although you can find some healthy foods, they’re re mixed in with hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, sweets and ice cream. Some deserts were labeled “No Sugar Added” but does that mean they are loaded with sugar-alcohols or toxic artificial sweeteners instead. More informative labeling or online ingredient lists would be greatly appreciated. Finally, the entertainment staff needs to expand their playlists to eliminate obnoxious repeats of over-played classics like “Hotel California.” Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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