8 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Canary Islands

We have been wanting to cruise on the Epic since we were on the Jade in 2011 and watched the video presentation of this latest ship in the NCL fleet. Since then, we've looked at many reviews of the ship, and finally we found an ... Read More
We have been wanting to cruise on the Epic since we were on the Jade in 2011 and watched the video presentation of this latest ship in the NCL fleet. Since then, we've looked at many reviews of the ship, and finally we found an itinerary that suited us. We had a balcony room just forward of mid-ship on the starboard side (10075). It was the second balcony where the side of the ship flares out, so it was wider at one end than the other, and I would say slightly bigger than the rectangular balconies. We had initially been assigned a 'handicapped' room--which we did not ask for nor need. It may have been somewhat roomier than regular rooms, but there has been so much controversy over the shape and configuration of the Epic staterooms that we wanted to experience it ourselves. As we suspected, there was absolutely no reason for complaint about the room at all. We were on back to back cruises and had to change rooms for the second cruise (Room 12125) but they were essentially identical (we chose the configuration where the bed is by the balcony.) We do not understand all the negative comments about the bathrooms or anything else about the rooms. There was lots of storage for the two of us. Having the toilet separate from the shower is a big plus. The shower was much better size than those in the smaller ships, and had glass doors rather than a curtain that clings to you while you are showering! The only 'lack' in the room was power outlets. We always bring a power bar along so that solved that particular issue. However, the head of the bed was on the opposite side of the cabin from the outlet, which meant there was no way to have your phone or tablet by your bedside, charging overnight. There really should be an electric outlet on that side of the room or at least USB ports by each side of the bed. Ordinarily I also bring an extension cord, but for some reason didn't this time. That may have been a solution to that particular problem, but then might also have caused a tripping hazard! And the extension cord would have needed to be extra long too. As usual the NCL staff was excellent. We've sailed 8 of our 9 cruises on NCL and I don't think we have ever had a bad experience with their staff. We had a piece of luggage that did not make it to Barcelona with us, and was supposed to eventually get to us on the ship. Very long story short, we never saw our luggage until we got back home, but NCL has staff that continually follow up with this type of thing and they were very helpful and accommodating. They also gave us free laundry service which helped immensely. On the first of our two (back-to-back) cruises we had unlimited specialty dining (a booking perk--we did not purchase it) so we took advantage of it and ate at Cagney's (twice), Modernos (twice), La Cucina, Le Bistro and Cirque Spiegel. Each meal was very good and service excellent. Food and service in the main dining rooms was very good as well and we had breakfast lunch and dinner at those venues. We ate lunches several times at O'Sheehans and we also enjoyed our food there. We were a bit surprised at that, as we had eaten at O'Sheehans on the Jewel (2015) and its predecessor (Ocean Blue? something like that) on the Jade in 2011, and were not impressed by the quality of food there at all. So it was a nice place to grab a bite instead of going to the buffet (I don't like buffets very much!) That being said, we did eat at the buffet for some breakfasts and maybe one dinner. The food was varied and excellent. We have never felt the buffets deserve the negative reviews they sometimes receive. I just don't like going all over the place to find what I want, then finding a table and balancing drink and plate and by the time I get to the table my food is no longer hot. I prefer to be served! We also had the unlimited (ultimate?) beverage package. That sure is the way to go--no worries about a bar bill at the end. All drinks at all bars are not created equal! I found it surprising that the liquor brands were not consistent at each bar, and the same drink ordered at different bars could be quite different. So you need to try them all out and figure out where to go to get what you particularly want. Some bartenders were more generous with measuring the alcohol than others. We also found inconsistencies as to how the bartenders would handle the ordering when you have the beverage package. Some would not let you order a double, others would. Some made you show 2 key cards if you were ordering 2 drinks, others didn't. Since we were just 2 couples travelling together and all of us had the package, we were not trying to get away with anything. It was just a convenience to sometimes order a double, and if you are heading to your room for the evening, you should be able to order a couple of drinks each to take with you. We found that for the most part the system operated as it should and was very convenient and accommodating. I understand that on the first day they want to see a key card per drink, but they relaxed after that. Sometimes the bars were really busy and you had to wait awhile to be served, but that was not an issue. One could wish that there were more choices for wines by the glass, esp for white wine drinkers. We do have one complaint about NCL's ultimate beverage package and that is that it does not include all drinks--and by that I mean you still have to pay for fresh squeezed juices, bottled water and specialty coffees (expresso, latte, etc.) That just doesn't make sense to me when you are paying USD $80 a day per person!! Since we are from Canada, it was more like $110 a day per person. I don't think any day did we ever actually drink the number of drinks it would take to spend that amount of money, so when you pay that amount just for beverages, it should include everything. This is an example of the one major flaw of NCL: they do nickel and dime you and it is sort of irritating. However, we love freestyle cruising so we take the good with the bad. If NCL wants to improve, we suggest that would be a big plus to most people. Beverage packages with some of the other cruise lines include everything, some for a lower price. I think the ship had been refurbished some time in 2016 so there was nothing to complain about in the ship itself. Everything was in good repair and clean. We didn't get to all of the entertainment. The Cavern Club's 'house band' Siglo was just excellent and we saw them most nights. We did not go to see the main theatre show. It was Priscilla Queen of the Desert--and was the only choice for a main show to see. Our group thought it in very poor taste to present that show on a family cruise. Everyone can make their own entertainment choices, but presenting that particular message front and center to 4500 passengers is just not politic in my mind. Obviously many agree as I have read other reviewers with the same comments. Neutral family entertainment, please. I don't want someone's agenda forced on me. Burn the Floor was very entertaining. The one Epic Beatles show we went to at the Cavern Club was nothing spectacular. I think they had an alternate show in the main theatre which we may have enjoyed more, but we didn't get to it. We enjoyed the two or three shows we saw at the Headliners venue. We never sat in on Howl at the Moon--went by it one night and peeked in for a minute or two, but was disappointed in the quality of the singing we heard so didn't bother making an effort to go back another time. As far as activities during the day, we felt them somewhat lacking from other NCL trips. We didn't like the use of the atrium cafe and big screen as a main venue for trivia and other games as it is an area where everyone walks through. We have always enjoyed the quietness of an unused bar area (for example) during the day for things like origami, towel and napkin folding, trivia, language lessons, and so on. And hands on activities are better than just demonstrations. Our cruises were a 9 day Canary Islands and 7 day western Mediterranean, April 14-30, back-to-back, both departing from Barcelona. This was spring break in Europe. The ship was over-full because of many families travelling. The Epic seemed like a good ship for children and teens. And I'm sure the staff that look after these age groups were grateful to have something to do. However, we will make sure we don't travel at that time of year again. Just way too many people, and the kids took over much of the outdoor activities. We deliberately returned early to the ship on a port day in the Canary Islands so that we could hope to have a lounge chair and be able to try out the water slides. That was the only day we could do that. Because of the crowded pool deck, Spice H2O , the adult outdoor venue at the back of the ship, was also always full. We anticipated spending outdoor time here on the Epic but so did everyone else. So we never spent more than a lunch here (same day we did the water slides) and one drink one evening. If we were travelling with children (and yes we do have children and grandchildren!), we would have had a different view of things. But since we weren't, we prefer our cruises to have less children running around, so we will plan future sailings with that in mind. Usually, we travel the first two weeks of May and that seems to be a better time from that point of view. We also didn't appreciate children, and babies, being in bar/entertainment venues (like the Cavern Club and Headliners) in the evenings. We did the Ice Bar! That is a pretty 'cool' offering and worth the price of admission. They don't tell you this, but if you want to put your drink down on the counter, place it on one of the napkins there! Otherwise, the cup just slides right off the ice onto the floor.... For the number of passengers (4500+), the Epic did not seem to have enough room for everyone. All the space seemed confined. Other than the pool deck, and the poor excuse for a jogging track on deck 6 or 7 (you can only run back and forth a short length on that deck!!) there is no way to actually get outside. And the way the decks are configured, you can't walk all the way around the ship on one level. There is no large space with windows where you can go during the day to just chill and read or whatever. On smaller NCL ships, we spend a lot of quiet time during the day at the Spinnaker Lounge or the Observation Lounge. There was no venue like that on the Epic. Also, we had bad seas a couple of days and we missed a port (Malaga) and the outside decks were not open. So everyone was stuck inside and there was just nowhere to sit. We found a quiet area in the lounge outside Cagneys/Modernos and we played some cards there and one of our group laid on a couch. We were the only people there and there were other empty chairs and couches. A large family came in and decided their choice was to sit in the area where our friend was lying and they asked him to move. Two issues here: presumably the family couldn't find a place to spend time together elsewhere and felt compelled to ask someone to give up their space--which is the fault of the Epic designers; but, secondly, who does that?? I can't imagine asking someone to move so I could have their spot. I thought that was very rude, but we came across several instances of this type of behaviour and were quite flabbergasted at people's nerve. I digress. Continuing on with the space issues: There was no multi-level atrium--there were a couple of places that had 2 floors connected, but no grand open space. The atrium level had a 2 storey tv screen, that you could look down onto from O'Sheehans above, but the rest of that area was just one level in height and it seemed the ceiling was really low. We would agree with past reviews we've read that it seems like the Epic was built just to pack in as many people as it could. In doing so, they sacrificed personal space for everyone. If the ship hadn't been over-capacity (over 4500 passengers, instead of 4100) we may not have felt the pinch quite so badly. But we most likely aren't going to sail the Epic again to find out. The fitness center was huge! We thought we would use it, but we did so much walking on shore excursions, we didn't feel the need for more exercise, and besides, we were on vacation! We did get treated to use of the spa for our second cruise of 7 days. After dinner, we would go there and sit in the steam room for awhile, then go into the hydrotherapy pool, then into the hot tub, then relax on the heated loungers, looking out the aft of the ship. It was a beautiful way to wind down before bed. I had my best sleeps of my vacation those nights. Speaking of sleeping, the beds were good. Having the rounded corners at the foot of the bed took away some sleeping area--my husband is 6'2" and I'm 5'5", so he had to sleep a little on the diagonal. So if 2 very tall people were sleeping together the length of the bed might be an issue. But it was fine for us. I won't comment much on the ports. We had been to some on past cruises, and some were new to us. We chose the itinerary because of the ports, and I expect everyone to have their own take on that. That being said, if you have never taken a Mediterranean cruise or seen Italy, then our second cruise would be great for you as it hits all the high points: Barcelona, Naples, Rome, Pisa/Florence, Cannes, Majorca. It was a 7 day cruise with 6 port days, so if you want to get off the ship and see all those ports, it will be quite tiring for you. There was only one sea day and that was the first day. We like to see new things, but we also need rest (we work full time), so a port every other day is actually ideal in our minds. The 9 day Canary Islands cruise was better from that point of view: Barcelona, Tangier, Las Palmas, Lanzarote, Malaga (which we had to skip due to weather). We did not do any NCL excursions this time. We arranged our own excursions at Tangier (Tours by Said), Lanzarote and Naples. The rest of the ports we just did our own thing. The Cruise Critic roll call is excellent for arranging excursions outside of the ship's. We bought internet time (as we usually do) USD$125 for 250 minutes, plus we had 120 free minutes because of our Platinum status (30 minutes for each Platinum member for each cruise--which you could put all on the same account). The internet access seemed worse on this ship than we have previously experienced on other ships. The only 'good' connection we experienced was in our rooms. Trying to use it at other venues was a big frustration, and waste of paid internet time. We also used the iConcierge application in our group for messaging. There was a charge of USD$9.99 per person for that. It was decent, but we did find messages were delayed, or you had to remember to often close and reopen the program to keep it working. I think that if you are paying for internet access, the iConcierge messaging should be included and not an additional separate charge. One nice thing was that we were not charged for each cruise, we just paid once. Weather for our trip was much better than we thought we might encounter for that time of year. I would say almost every day was sunny, except for the 1-2 days on the ship where seas were high and we had to miss Malaga. Temps. were warm, not hot, maybe 15-20 (C). So it was very pleasant. All in all, our 2 cruises were great. We were just a little disappointed in the Epic, and probably will not deliberately seek her out for another cruise, unless it is a 2 week long cruise, that is not during a school break (read: way less kids/people on board). There were just way too many passengers for the room on the ship. NCL--we still love this cruise line, and bought the future cruise credits again (as we do each cruise we go on). Just wish they would make a couple of adjustments in what they charge you for. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
In cruising, as in life, some things you like, some you don`t and the NCL Epic is no exception, but the good far outweigh the bad. So, let`s get rid of the negatives straight away. The design is odd; from the well documented ... Read More
In cruising, as in life, some things you like, some you don`t and the NCL Epic is no exception, but the good far outweigh the bad. So, let`s get rid of the negatives straight away. The design is odd; from the well documented toilet/bathroom arrangement in the staterooms to the fact that the lifts are at either end of the ship. Also the casino area, even if you`re a gambler, is far too big and a lot of the tables are empty a lot of the time, so the staff could be better employed. The size of the ship is not a major issue, however, it`s all relative. We`ve sailed on the Jade and the Spirit, both of which are half the size of the Epic, so initially it looks a bit of a beast, but you soon get used to it, and it never feels overcrowded. So, now, let`s look at the positive side. The entertainment is fantastic, from the glittering stage shows and dance routines of Priscilla and Burn the Floor through to an excellent Motown show, a superb group of singers called 4Ever, and a couple of very funny comedians. Most of the shows have to be prebooked(unless you want to queue up on standby) as the theatre is really too small for a ship this size, although the acts do appear at different times throughout the cruise. Some of them also appear in another venue on the ship so you should be able to catch them at some point. There is also the Cavern Club where you will find the Epic Beatles, among others. Their sound and mannerisms are brilliant but you`ll need to be in early as it gets pretty packed. The comedy club is another venue with terrific entertainment and great atmosphere from some first class musicians. The one slight downside was the Cirque Sol for which we paid extra. What they did was very good but I was expecting trapeze rather than mainly ground based acts. Not quite what it said on the tin! I cannot fault the food. We ate in both the main restaurants, Taste and Manhattan, and thoroughly enjoyed all the meals, although the menu, particularly the starters should have had a better choice. In the Garden Cafe and O`Sheehan`s the food was equally as appertising. The service, overall, was faultless, very efficient, friendly and professional. And the cleanliness, amazing! We spotted on one occassion in the Manhattan an inspection of the tables down to the minutest detail that you would not find in a lot of top class establishments. Our steward, Rhayan, was magnificent; always available and kept the stateroom immaculate. Everytime I saw him it looked as though he`d just finished a 10 mile run. So, all in all, a very enjoyable cruise. Everbody has an opinion but don`t be put off by negative reviews. Thanks to all the crew on the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Being a cruise addict for many years I looked forward to trying this 'highly acclaimed' ship. The reality was somewhat different. Embarkation was smooth and efficient, but as the ship filled up the crush of people became ... Read More
Being a cruise addict for many years I looked forward to trying this 'highly acclaimed' ship. The reality was somewhat different. Embarkation was smooth and efficient, but as the ship filled up the crush of people became oppressive. Poor weather drove people indoors and overloaded the Garden cafe during most of the trip. searching for a table for a group of 4 was a long job. Food was ok, but often chilly. Cabin (13246 inside) was very small and the glass doors on toilet and shower gave no privacy. Tiny basin in vanity area was a joke. In only moderate seas, the motion and bumps were very unsettling and made sleep for my wife very difficult. Lots of vibration throughout ship when maneuvering or getting underway made me wander what was faulty! I have never felt this way with RCI or P&O. Entertainment was ok, but having to prebook shows in small venues, then stand in long ques so you got your seat before it was given to other passengers in separate standby ques was annoying to say the least. At sea with poor weather and nobody using the pool deck, the lack of indoor space and seating became another annoyance. In summary, Potentially a good ship spoilt by squeezing too many people in. Probably better when it goes to Caribbean, but don't forget to book your entertainment from home before you travel to avoid disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We have just returned from this cruise and hope that any one with mobility problems will find this review helpful. We were a group of 4, both husbands have Parkinsons, one uses a rollator(walking frame on wheels) and the other is ... Read More
We have just returned from this cruise and hope that any one with mobility problems will find this review helpful. We were a group of 4, both husbands have Parkinsons, one uses a rollator(walking frame on wheels) and the other is wheelchair bound. My husband and I have been on many cruises, usually about 2 per year,but it was the first cruise our friends had ever taken so I wanted to make sure it would be a good experience. I made many enquiries before booking the cruise to ensure that it would be suitable. We had enjoyed a cruise on Jade some years ago, the only problem being the queue for dinner so I was pleased that we were able to make table reservations beforehand to avoid this problem. Buffet service is very difficult for us so I asked if a waiter service restaurant (complimentary) would be available every lunch time, and was told YES. Mobility in the mornings is very limited for people with Parkinsons so it was good that complimentary room service was available for breakfast.The all inclusive arrangement sounded an excellent option and it was a great advantage to be allocated accessible state rooms. So we were all looking forward to a relaxing holiday in comfortably adapted cabins, enjoying fine dining and trying various cocktails in one of the many bars. How different was the reality. 1)Firstly the state rooms; they were well adapted and spacious, but no table to eat on and only 1 chair. How were we ( or anyone with mobility issues ) supposed to eat this complimentary breakfast? We asked our room steward but he looked dubious and, knowing the limited powers of room stewards, I rang Tamara in Guest services and indeed an extra chair and suitable table eventually appeared. But that should be standard in an accessible room. 2)The bars; on the first evening we found seats in The Maltings and enjoyed a cocktail before dinner. But we subsequently realised that was because people were still embarking/unpacking. Apart from that evening we were never able to find 4 seats together, especially negotiating a wheelchair and rollator between the packed seating arrangements. So our friends gave up trying to join us in a bar before or after dinner. My husband and I managed a few times to get seats in Atrium and Bliss, but such a long way from our cabin and certainly not the relaxing quality time with friends. 3)Port Days; -waiter service restaurants were NOT open on Port days, contrary to what we had been told. Twice the comparative calm of a buffet in Moderno was available but mostly we had to face the rugby scrum of the Garden Cafe. Yes there were helpful staff who tried to find us a quiet table, and we eventually discovered that there were waiters to fetch drinks for us, but it was far from the elegant lunch experience we had anticipated. -We decided to stay on board at the first port ( Tunisia)to enjoy a less crowded ship.What we failed to realise was that the ship itself closed down. We found comfortable seats in Shakers only to find that it was closed... as were all the other bars! The only place open was the Garden Cafe and Snacks, what a disappointment! We thought about ordering room service for lunch but that would have incurred charges and, more important, our little table was too small for us all to eat together. -We decided to get off at Lanzarote so checked with Excursion desk the arrangements for accessing the town. We were told that wheelchair accessible shuttle buses would be available for $15 per person. So we got ready to go ashore, found the correct elevators and gangway with great difficulty, and waited for the shuttle. But it was NOT wheel chair accessible .... except that the chair could have been put in the luggage hold if our friend could have climbed onto the bus . But he cannot walk. So we had to get back on board the ship and endure the Garden Cafe again. -We were told the same story at Las Palmas, but again no wheelchair access bus. This time I managed to find a Port official who spoke sufficient English to understand our problem. He was kind enough to call a large taxi who was able to convey us all + chair to town centre. 4) On Deck; again difficult to find seats. We liked the back deck and by accident discovered a disabled lift between decks 15/16/17 BUT it wasn't working. We tried it a few days later and it worked but the cafe/bar was closed. My husband and I tried again when it was open BUT GOT STUCK IN THE LIFT. We were there for 15 mins and were so shaken by the experience we didn't feel like staying there or trying it again. 5) Dinner with Officer; we were all very pleased to receive this invitation and looked forward to discussing life on board from an "insider". We arrived promptly but rather surprised that we all had to wait in a line for quite some time. Our "officer" was in fact a cosmetic consultant from the Spa, a charming lady but not quite what we had expected. The other young couple at our table spoke little/no English so conversation was laboured. The bistro type chairs were very small, hard and uncomfortable. If those are normal chairs for Spiegel Tent I'm glad we didn't book dinner there. So another slightly disappointing evening, BUT the food and service was excellent. 6) Illness; the final blow was falling ill. I contracted a respiratory infection for which I saw the Doctor on March 3 and spent the rest of the cruise feeling very unwell. Luckily my husband was not affected but our friends came down with a stomach upset on March 4 so just kept to their cabin and drank boiled water. 7) Accessibility; -The disabled elevator for decks 15/16/17 didn't work. -There are no instructions to operate the doors in Disabled Restrooms. One evening my husband needed to go to the toilet before the Burn the Floor show and we couldn't get out!We couldn't work out the correct sequence of pressing buttons and panic set in. We eventually got out but weren't allowed to go to the show. We booked for another night but that was the night I was ill so we never managed to see this wonderful show. -The aft lifts did not go to Deck 5 so to access Taste or Atrium we had to go to deck 7 walk the length of the ship to forwd lifts go down to deck 5 and walk all the way back to aft. Then repeat the process to return. -There were no clear instructions on which lifts to use to reach the gangway in Port. This is most frustrating when you are pushing wheelchair/ rollator. -There were designated Disabled seats in Garden Cafe but these were always full In conclusion the ship is badly designed AND land based staff do not give the correct information and/or are insufficiently knowledgeable. The public lounge and bar areas are woefully inadequate to cope with the volume of people. We were so disappointed not to be able to listen to the music in the Cavern, or acts in Headliners but we could never get in. We had to avoid Deck 6 as it presented such a problem to get through the whole area. We felt that as disabled passengers, we were discriminated from participating in much that the ship had to offer and from enjoying the package we had paid for. We had been looking forward to experiencing all the bars and eating areas so publicised in the Ship's information but most were either closed or overcrowded. I have only once before been ill on a cruise and that was when we docked at Istanbul and it could have been something I ate ashore. There were a great many people suffering from illness on this cruise and I am convinced it is due to overcrowding, too many people breathing the same air and spreading infection. BUT it was not all bad! I would like to say that the food and service in Manhatton and Taste were excellent. Our room steward Renato was a gem. The shows we did manage to see were first rate. I have sent this full report to NCL in the hope that they can make some improvements to make the cruise experience less fraught for future disabled passengers. I will let you know if we get any reaction Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
First of all, let me say that having booked this cruise for a very cheap price,( about half the price that we are used to paying on some other ships so I have to be fair with my review which relects what I have paid for what we got. ... Read More
First of all, let me say that having booked this cruise for a very cheap price,( about half the price that we are used to paying on some other ships so I have to be fair with my review which relects what I have paid for what we got. Having completed over 40 previous cruises, my wife and I have come to the conclusion that if all of us cruisers were to collectively put our heads together we could come up with the perfect ship, but we have not found a perfect one yet!! The Epic is by no means the perfect ship but it has got quite a few things right and some things no so right. The Pros We were surprised that the complimentary food in general was quite tasty and acceptable, after the first few days people realised that the buffet in the garden cafe was not the only place to eat, you could also eat in the manhatten and Taste, and O'Sheehans for most meals. The entertainment choices were very good and quite extensive. one of the better Beatles I've seen, Burn the floor dancers, prisila Queen of the desert, the four Stations(La Diva), Three dream girls, and two very good comedians to name just a few. We had the complimentary alcohol beverage package and I beleive that it is one of the best we have had, a good selection of draft and bottled beers cider and lagers were available as were an extensive selection of spirit,s and some quality wines all of which flowed like a waterfall and was maybe why this seemed to make this a very happy ship and most people were quite happy to comunicate with each other. Our port side Family Balcony cabin 14032 was small but quite comfy and located on deck 14 and was fairly close to the forward elevators which was located just below the cafe garden and was very convenient and just one flight of stairs from the main pool deck. The Epic is in a fairly good condition depite being 6 years old. and most of the staff were very friendly. The Cons Every ship that we have ever been on has some cons. Being a very large ship which was quite full like 4000 thousand people on board and because it seemed that everybody arrived at the port to board the ship at the same time on the first day made boarding quite horendous, perhaps they need to take a look at this problem. We pre booked our main complimentary dining times to coinside with the two main shows that we were also allowed to book, we were not allowed to book all of the other shows until we were on board and these must be booked very quickly on the first day or you could be out of luck because the show venues are quite small compared to other main lines. On sea days when the weather was not to good it was quite a task to find available comfortable seats, The separate see through toilet and shower compartments in all of the cabins are not to everyones taste. In conclusion We did quite enjoy our first experience with NCL , would we cruise with them again definatelly yes, but would like to try some of thier other perhaps smaller ships with less people. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Our Canary Island cruise overall was very poor. The only great value for money is the shows and complimentary restaurant's. The staff were amazing and very accommodating but if you have a problem with booking via Miami watch out the ... Read More
Our Canary Island cruise overall was very poor. The only great value for money is the shows and complimentary restaurant's. The staff were amazing and very accommodating but if you have a problem with booking via Miami watch out the staff at Customer Services are not empowered to help you. With over 4,100 passengers there is not enough sitting room in the Garden Market buffet is appalling and by the time you find the stations of the meal that you require if hot, by the time you then find a seat and even if you share with other passengers the food is cold. Long line ups and restaurant's if you wanted to eat early. Buffet times very short eating times, and very changeable times in the schedule There is no swimming pools that really you can swim in but great water slides and features for kid in you to use. Found on deck 7 the whole deck is for casino use, great if you are a casino addict there are no areas for quite time on decks 5,6,7 and if the weather is poor the only main area is the Market Garden buffet. Gratuities are outrageous and any drinks plus 18% so be careful of that. On the whole not a great ship to cruise on. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We struggled at first with the size of the ship but after a couple of days we had acclimatized to it. When everyone was on the top deck it was crowded. However, the food was excellent, we dined in the Chinese restaurant, ... Read More
We struggled at first with the size of the ship but after a couple of days we had acclimatized to it. When everyone was on the top deck it was crowded. However, the food was excellent, we dined in the Chinese restaurant, O'Sheen's bar and the garden buffet. Tea and coffee available all day up on the top deck. The prawns/shrimps were plentiful and fantastic. For my partner it was the Prime Rib. We have previously cruised twice on the NCL Jade but now the drinks package (excellent) is available we came back to NCL. There was no discrimination between those on the drinks package and those who were paying. We had an adapted cabin so my partner could bring his scooter on board and everything was excellent with the cabin and the staff who were very helpful. There is reserved seating are in the buffet restaurant for those with mobility issues. Overall the staff were excellent, polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is also very clean. There is something for everyone, we didn't go to the shows because we like to go in without booking but that was our choice, later in the cruise there was fewer crowds going in to the shows. For smokers there is an open area on the top deck, a closed room on deck 7 and access to deck seven (unless sea is rough) from several doors. Passengers came from all over the world which we enjoy as we like to meet and chat to other nationalities. You don't have to pay the tips if you feel that you do not want to. We always tip the cabin steward and bar staff whether we have paid the surcharge or not. Overall a very good trip and would recommend, but keep an open mind as we do. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
About the Reviewer: I’m a 33 year old male who traveled with two friends I made on a previous cruise in the studios. This was also my 33rd cruise overall and my 21st Norwegian Cruise Line cruise. I’ve been on other lines including ... Read More
About the Reviewer: I’m a 33 year old male who traveled with two friends I made on a previous cruise in the studios. This was also my 33rd cruise overall and my 21st Norwegian Cruise Line cruise. I’ve been on other lines including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and twice on Carnival with my last cruise being on the Carnival Inspiration. I sailed on the Norwegian Epic in 2011. The Epic recently underwent an extensive refurbishment so some comparing may take place in the review from the way she was before to now. The following is a review surrounding the Norwegian Epic’s 10 day Canary Island itinerary which departed on November 29, 2015 from Barcelona, Spain and returned on December 9, 2015 and is done in the order of which the ports, entertainment and specialty restaurants were done. Pre-Cruise Stay: H10 Raco del Pi I arrived one day early and stayed at the H10 Raco del Pi. After a cab ride from the airport to the hotel, check-in was fast and efficient. I stayed on the first floor in an astoundingly spacious suite for the price paid. The room had a balcony which overlooked the street below and featured his and her sinks, Jacuzzi tub with shower and huge bathroom for European standards. Cost was $100 USD for the night. I was surprised by the size of the room for the price paid. Day 1 – Embarkation Day – Sunday, November 29, 2015 I shared a cab from the hotel to the pier and arrived shortly after noon for check-in. The check-in lines were split with new comers to the cruise line in one queue, lower tier Latitudes (past guests) in another queue, Gold and Platinum Latitudes in another queue, Casinos at Sea in another queue and lastly the Haven and Suites guests in the last queue at the end. There was no one in the queue for the Platinum Latitudes which I was so I got waited on very quickly but had to wait for my two friends who were in the much longer Bronze and Silver Latitudes line. Overall, everyone’s check in was fairly fast and smooth or so I thought. We headed up the gangway. On the way up cruise staff were by the escalators greeting us and welcoming us to the Epic for the week. When I boarded the ship and was to be swiped in, my photo and keycard were not working already! I couldn’t get swiped on and had to go to guest services immediately and get a replacement keycard. Since we were on our way to lunch at Taste Restaurant, this was on our way there. There was no line at guest relations and we were on our way in a jiffy to Taste for a cruise kick off lunch. I had a philly cheese steak without the bread. During our lunch which was no closer to 1:45 when we finished, the cabins were announced as ready. Cabin 11570 – Studio Cabin The Norwegian Epic was the first ship in the Norwegian fleet to have solo studio cabins. The original is always the best as the studio cabin featured four multi-lighting schemes over the block containing the sink and closets. Featuring the colors of white for day, blue for night, red for love and green for the sake of it, the color change feature is missing on the newer Breakaway class ships. As a 100 square foot room, if you know how to pack it right, you have plenty of space to move about. The room was well maintained and the bed was soft to sleep on. I would NOT recommend staying in this specific cabin if you’re a night owl as when the ship pulled into port you were vibrated out of bed and definitely awakened. As a side note, this room was not a connecting room so I could blast my music from a portable speaker as loud as I wanted to. The room was so far aft that it had its own separate entrance from the aft elevators with separate keycard access. Given the amount of vibration felt in the cabin during the morning hours, I will not pick this room again as I like to be up late. Touring the Ship After dropping off the carry-on bag, it was time to explore the ship and see what changes were in store. I was excited to see the newly re-done Bliss. Gone are the cages on the side of the stage where you could get in and dance if you wanted to. The color scheme was also brightened so it was not as dark as I remembered. The lights could be raised and lowered depending on what event was being held in there. The bowling alley was also removed in favor of more seating. The lighting refresh also included low to the ground tables by the ramps which had housed lamps. On a previous cruise a passenger tripped over the table and crushed the lamp. The tables are a huge trip hazard at the end of those ramps and should be removed. While I didn’t encounter any issues with them, several of the other passengers on the sailing did trip and end up with bruises on their shins and almost falling. It was mentioned to the cruise staff a few times during the nightclub hours but nothing ever came of it. Other areas of the ship changed but the most noticeable was the change at LaCuccina which was not open the first few days of the voyage as they had to finish up some of the tile work which was not done during the dry dock. The large tree and the Olive Garden décor was replaced with marble and a fountain sink in the middle of the floor to wash your hands. Moderno also had two sinks installed for handwashing during dry dock as it has the buffet. Carpeting was refreshed everywhere and you could tell by how plush it was and it was shedding in some places. The casino seemed a lot less smoky this cruise compared to the last time I sailed on the Epic. I don’t know if they added more air purifiers or what but they were always on, even when the casino was closed to help make sure the smell of smoke stayed in the casino only. The shops received a refurbishment as well and I would pass through the center shop every night heading from my aft cabin to Bliss Lounge forward. Ship Demographics It was noticeable early on in the cruise that there were several ethnicities on the ship as the announcements were coming in English, Spanish and German. The number one country represented was the UK followed by the US. Israel, Germany and Japan all rounded out the top five ethnicities on the ship. Why this was important is because the different cultures have a different way of doing things and putting them together meant some ruffled feathers amongst other passengers. There were also far less children on this sailing. The average age was much higher as well. The 10 day length probably helped that. Nightly in the studio lounge at 6PM is the solos meet and greet hosted by a cruise staff member. This weeks was hosted by William. Lots of people showed up and we met some new people. This cruise had a diverse set of solos ranging in age from 29 on up to late 70s. Most people were just looking for dinner companions and maybe people to share a game or two with. I had dinner companions already but we found a new one this night and would dine together and hang out together for the rest of the cruise. After the solos gathering, it was time for the Friends of Dorothy gathering or the GLBT gathering at the Shaker’s Martini Bar. This is nightly and unhosted from 7PM to 8PM. The first night’s turnout was amazing and so big in fact that we ended up taking over the whole bar seating area. There was a nice bar waiter from Argentina who took very good care of us during the cruise. SPECIALTY DINING: Shanghai Restaurant Our first dinner on the Epic was at the fairly new non-cover charge Asian restaurant. We ordered all the appetizers to share at a table of four of us. We had several of the main dish plates including the General Tsao’s chicken, sweet and sour chicken, veggie rice and some seafood dishes. Thereafter, it was late so I checked out Bliss Lounge for the first night’s social mixer and welcome aboard party. The opening hour of the nightclub featured beats by DJ Alegre who played some interesting mash ups and kept a constant beat going with awesome transitions. When the DJs switched, it was noticeable. I approached the DJ Alegre and told him that I appreciated the mixes and looked forward to hearing him more during the cruise. Sadly, the other DJ who was just hired and came from RCCL (can’t remember the guy’s name) sucked and killed the vibe so I cleared out by 1AM. Day 2 – Sea Day – Monday, November 30, 2015 I was up early and decided to head to the gym to catch the Fab Abs class at 7:30AM. It was tight but I made it and had a nice abs workout augmented by using some of the other resistance machines in the gym. I did a 1.5 hour workout. The gym was well appointed and all the equipment was in good working order. After grabbing breakfast at the buffet and dining outside in the windy and somewhat chilly Mediterranean air, it was time to freshen up for the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet. Held at 11AM in Bliss due to the size of our Cruise Critic group, the officers stopped by and said hello. I saw some of the officers I recognized from previous sailings and talked with them briefly before the CC roll call leader did a raffle for answers to random roll call questions. It was very well done by the Group Service Coordinator on the ship. After the CC Meet and Greet, the group of us grabbed some lunch and visited the box office to fix the shows. We had pre-booked the shows before sailing but when we arrived we had discovered the show times were all changed and conflicted with dinner plans and other social events happening during the evening hours. After getting that straightened out, it was time for lunch in Taste before heading out for some cold sun and scoping out the top decks for the best place not to freeze to death. Tonight was Norwegian’s Night Out and after having dinner in the Manhattan dining room, it was time to go to Bliss Lounge. For the second night in a row, Bliss seemed to be stuck in a 70s / Latin circular setup with no changes to anything remotely close to Top 40. It was a complete buzz kill and I turned in early as I had to get up early for the next day’s tour. Day 3 – Tangier, Morocco – Tuesday, December 1, 2015 NCL Shore Excursion: Cap Spartel & Tetouan The full day tour started with a narrated bus ride to Cap Spartel for a brief stop for photos before heading to Tetouan. Unfortunately the guide failed to mention how far Tetouan was from the first stop resulting in several passengers needing to use a bathroom. The tour bus did not have a bathroom on it and passengers were in need. At one point the bus pulled over to let male passengers get out and pee on the side of the road. Classy with the rest of the bus looking on. Eventually there was a stop made at a restaurant for ladies to use the facilities. The tour continued into Tetouan and we arrived at the School of Traditional Arts and Crafts where artisans of all ages are making traditional handicrafts to be sold later. Across the street you enter old medina surrounded by a wall and several little streets within. A traditional Moroccan lunch was served in a restaurant which provided entertainment of a belly dancer, percussion band, string band and a fire dancer. On the way back to the ship, the driver let us all sleep and did not provide much narration. The cost of this tour raised since I booked it. It was a good tour but highly overpriced. Back on the ship, it was another dinner in the Manhattan room with great service followed by a short stint at karaoke before Bliss turned over to the nightclub. Tonight’s theme night in Bliss was the 50s and 60s Sock Hop Party. Unfortunately the party was only supposed to last 1 hour but carried on well past midnight so I went to bed at 1AM. Day 4 – Sea Day – Wednesday, December 2 Another early start to a relaxing day at sea. The weather had finally started to warm up a bit and since I was up early, I figured I would head to the Fab Abs class at 7:30AM. I made it up there with time to spare and when the stretch class ended, a group of people from the tour group went right in and ignored the line. I was forced to be outside the door due to the rudeness of these passengers. I was not happy but still managed to enjoy the workout anyway. Latitudes Perk: BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR: The rest of the morning was taking a behind the scenes tour for Platinum Latitudes members. The tour featured stops in the provisions, recycling, laundry and main dining room galley. This tour was the most informative tour I’ve taken in a while and went way beyond the time it was scheduled to because of it. George Kassis, the CruiseNext Manager, led the tour and explained what we were seeing along the way and how the crew lives. The provisions master explained how they stored the fruit for a 10 day cruise since the ship only provisions in Barcelona on such voyages. The head chef in the galley tour brought us to all the stations in the kitchen and explained how it worked for the menu preps. He was very thorough in his explanations and when I told him I loved strawberries, he arranged for me to get some whenever I dined in the main dining room (breakfast or dinner). It was very nice of him to do! On this sea day and every sea day that Moderno restaurant had a themed buffet lunch. Today’s theme was Mexican cuisine with burritos, rice, soup and salad offered. It was a nice buffet lunch! After a leisurely afternoon attempting to get some sun while not freezing in the crosswinds up on deck, it was time for an arranged birthday party in the studio lounge. Some of the solos on the Cruise Critic roll call arranged a birthday party for those who just had, were having or about to have birthdays! One person brought cards and had all the officers sign them at the Cruise Critic meet and greet earlier in the voyage so it was really personalized! What an awesome thing to do! Latitudes Perk: LATITUDES COCKTAIL PARTY: Held at 7PM in the Bliss Lounge this cruise it combined many of the latitude tiers because there were so few higher tier members on the ship. I was able to go with my friends who had not yet attained their Platinum status. We hung out at the bar and mingled with the cruise director and hotel director. Both of them were open and receptive to some suggested changes for Bliss and making the music a little more current. It was nice that they were listening and taking the comments to heart. Tonight’s dinner was in Taste Restaurant which ran really late. After it was over I checked out the FABBA party which ran from 10:30PM to 11:30PM before the rest of the night being the Glitter Ball 70s party. I went to bed early as I was feeling exhausted and the music was just more of the same in Bliss as it had been since embark night. Day 5 – Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands – Thursday, December 3 Today’s port call featured touring via the public transit system. My friends and I hopped city bus number 30 direct to Masoplomas in the southern part of Gran Canaria to see the beach, dunes and ride the camels. The bus pass cost $12.50 EU for the entire day with as many uses as you wanted. When we arrived in Masoplomas, there was a brief walk to the camel vendor. The camel ride was $12 EU per person. The camel ride lasted about 40 minutes and took you through the dunes. It was a nice jaunt and the camels were extremely photogenic. The guy leading the camels took pictures with people’s cameras if you asked which was nice of him. We had a brief lunch at a shopping mall close to the bus terminal and bought some souvenirs. We headed back to Gran Canaria and went into the supermarket inside the huge shopping mall right at the pier to get some goodies. Just a note during our bus ride at one of the stops, a pick pocketer tried to steal a tourist’s wallet. This guy happened to get caught doing it and the bus driver chased after him. It was an older gentleman with salt and pepper hair. Just be careful with your wallet at this stop. SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: Teppanyaki Tonight the solos went out to celebrate the birthday of William, the Cruise Staff overseeing the solos for the week. Teppanyaki is dinner cooked before your eyes with a show. The chef put on a show and did a great job. Unfortunately the waitress took forever to return with the dessert and the check. She pushed it so late that I barely made the show and had to stand in the back. EPIC Entertainment: OTHER GUYS: The late show was at 9:30PM and featured tunes from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The performance was great for standing room only audience and last approximately 45 minutes. I stayed the whole performance as it was enjoyable. They would play again at Headliners at other times during the cruise as well. After the show ended, I went up one deck to Bliss Nightclub for a 90s music hour with DJ Alegre. Thankfully tonight’s one hour of dance songs was amazing and I FINALLY got out on the dance floor. I was sure to thank Pedro, the Cruise Director and the Hotel Director for taking the disco out of the 70s it had been stuck in during the preceding nights of the cruise. It was a long day so I retired around 12:30A when the other DJ took over and threw us back into the same 70s and Latin music that was heard the other nights of the cruise. Day 6 – Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands – Friday, December 4 Today was another independent tour day which featured the Hop On, Hop Off Bus. The bus takes you around Tenerife with a narrated tour in different languages that you use ear buds for. It was cost effective and gave you history of the city while dropping you at different sites to visit. I enjoyed the large park. There was a large department store also during the route which had very reasonably priced souvenirs for sale. It was the perfect thing to do at your own pace. The problem was that the busses were crammed with people as there were three other large ships in port with us. Make sure you get off the ship early in this port to avoid lines for the bus. Cost was $18 EU. EPIC ENTERTAINMENT: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert What an amazing performance by the cast. Keeping the musical true to the actual movie, the show flowed seamlessly. A small technical glitch with the computer that ran the LED wall for visuals gave the audience a few moments pause between acts but the show went on with the same energy and vigor that was in the first half. The show features two drag queens and a transsexual who head on a bus to the center of Australia to perform with the lead character hiding the fact that he was married and had a kid waiting there. The show has some suggestive scenes and at times some raunchy language so it’s definitely not for the easily offended and not for children either. With that said, it was a perfect show for adults and it is very progressive of NCL to offer such a show at sea. I LOVED IT! I sat second row center for this performance and it was so good I had to go back again! SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: Le Bistro We were sat promptly at a window seat at 9PM for our reservation. This was the Latitudes perk dinner with some friends who also attended the show prior with me. I had escargot, the lamb and crème brulee. It was a nice dinner service. I tried another person’s scallops and they tasted horribly fishy like they had gone bad. It was the first time I had tasted bad food while at sea. Dinner service was great and attentive though and food was always hot and presented nicely. Tonight was 80s night at Bliss. I didn’t even bother going and just went back to the room and to bed. Day 7 – Funchal, Madeira, Portugal – Saturday, December 5 A Cruise Critic member organized a huge private tour group with David Madeira Taxi with four separate tour busses. The cost was $18 EU per person and featured all the major stops the ship tour was doing. If you wanted to do the cable car up to Monte it was additional and the toboggan ride back down was also additional but still far less than what the ship was offering. We drove all over the island to amazing heights and along the side of mountains. Since I have a fear of heights, my anxiety level was elevated the whole tour. The tour operator Sergio spoke perfect English and was very knowledgeable about the island, the places we were visiting and what was best in the short time we had at some of the stops. My favorite part was the little fishing village we stopped in. The tour was just over 5 hours long. SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: Moderno For $20 it’s an all you can eat meat fest! I love Moderno restaurant. The salad buffet has an extensive selection, not just of make your own salad but other salads as well. Picanha, garlic beef, filet mignon, chorizo are all my favorites and I had plenty of them while dining off to the side. In dry dock they did put handwashing sinks in this restaurant since it includes a buffet. Very neat but poorly used by the guests. We spent just about 2 hours in this restaurant eating. The papaya cream dessert is amazing too! Shout out to Melvyn, the restaurant manager, and the maître ‘d who got us attentive service so we could make the second show of… EPIC ENTERTAINMENT: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Yes, the girls and I went back to see the show again at 10PM. This time the show went straight through with no intermission and it was just amazing. It was the last show of the cruise for the Priscilla cast. They truly brought their A game after performing many times already in the week. It was hilariously enjoyable and I sat stage left in the third row back. Great sightlines no matter where you are in the theater. The tunes are catchy and it’s a toe tapping good time! Glad I got to check it out again and my friends tagged along as well. They were not intending on seeing it a second time but after the first time they wanted to as well! It was just THAT good! Tonight was Country Western Night in Bliss so after the show and stopping up briefly, the vibe wasn’t there so I took off to bed. Day 8 – Sea Day – Sunday, December 6 It was a quiet day at sea. Not too much was going on except getting some sun while bundled up to stay warm. It was chilly on the top deck with highs in the 60s in the sunlight without a cross wind, which there was one. The buffet lunch in Moderno was Mediterranean cuisine with an extensive selection of Spanish and Portuguese items available. After lunch it was back up to the sun deck for a little while longer before a disco nap. Dinner tonight was in the Manhattan dining room with service which was fast and efficient until dessert. I don’t know why when you ask for coffee and dessert, service seems to slow to a crawl. It happened every night coffee or tea was asked for. It made some of the people I dined with miss the show. EPIC ENTERTAINMENT: Burn the Floor I barely made it into the show. It was standing room only at the back. During the opening number, a female dancer missed her mark and fell. The audience gasped. She got up and continued as gracefully as she could. It set a bad tone for the entire production. I don’t know if it was the format of it but for burning the floor, the production lacked passion, fire and a desire to engage the guests. They had a high energy Burlesque number and it was so subdued it seemed tortured. I love the Burn the Floor production on the Norwegian Breakaway but this one was just awful. I stayed until the end hoping it would get better but it never did. When you have songs with a beat, it helps if the cast is actually bringing it. The group choreography was also off. Being up the back and in nose bleed gave me the vantage point to observe it all from a distance. The singers, who were from the Priscilla cast were great but the dancers and the routines need some help. Breakaway’s Burn the Floor production blows this one out of the water. EPIC ENTERTAINMENT: White Hot Party The White Hot Party kicked off with the obligatory line dance songs for the first hour and really rolled into a huge dance party with DJ Alegre taking over for after hours at 11:30PM. I stayed up much later than I had planned as the music was on point. It was the BEST night of the disco the whole trip second to the 90s night. DJ Alegre didn’t disappoint and I was happy the night stayed true the south Florida roots of the White Party from which it was based upon. Well done DJ Alegre. I stayed in the disco until 2AM, having wings afterward and being up late enough to catch the ship transiting the Strait of Gibraltar at 2:45AM. Day 9 – Malaga, Spain – Monday, December 7 After sleeping in most of the morning, it was time to get off the ship for a walking tour or so I thought. It turned out we were an hour off from when we thought to meet and didn’t make it. An alternative was the hop on, hop off bus around the town of Malaga. Once again the HOHO bus was on point with history lessons between the stops of what we were driving by and about the upcoming stop. For $21.50EU, it was a good deal for the day. Most of the stops worth seeing are coupled in the Eastern side of Malaga with the Western side being more for connecting to other methods of transportation. For lunch we dined at El Pimpi, a famous tapas restaurant in Malaga. Get there prior to 2PM as locals tend to queue up at that time to get a table. We sampled some of their signature wine along with some tapas. I got the pallela for lunch with calamari and clams. It tasted great and it was a great time to sit down and have an outside piazza style lunch. We walked all over the old town afterward before I headed back on the HOHO to other stops I missed. On Malaga beach there’s a sign that’s a good photo op. Back on the ship I got to enjoy a special dinner with my friends who I made during the Breakaway cruise the previous year. It was a great dinner arranged by Grace, the Hotel Directors Secretary and meant to be special. It’s not often that you can reconnect with people you’ve cruised with in the past. It rarely happens that schedules can come together like they did on this voyage. Thanks to Grace for the special evening and the Hotel Director for having her arrange it for us. EPIC ENTERTAINMENT: Four Stations The 9:30PM show in the theater featured four guys from four different cities in Spain. A tribute group to Il Divo largely but included some Spanish favorites and Spanish covers to other popular English songs. It was a good show. Keeping with the Latin theme, it was Latin night in Bliss. I was exhausted so I just went to bed. Day 10 - Sea Day – Tuesday, December 8 A leisurely day at sea meant having a leisurely breakfast in the Taste Restaurant. It was far too cold to be topside for sunning so after a nice breakfast in Taste, it was the future cruise presentation with some friends to try and plan a reunion cruise. Lunch was in the Moderno restaurant again with a Spanish style buffet featuring Spanish rice and salad bar. It was a very nice lunch. It was a quiet afternoon which became the evening and time to say goodbye. I missed the studio lounge solos gathering but my friends made it and got the contact info for me. It was the last night for the GLBT meeting as well so everyone was exchanging information to keep in touch. We dined in the Manhattan room one last time with some of the new solo guests we had befriended during the voyage. The dinner ran later than expected and then it was time to head to Bliss for one last night. DJ Alegre took over at 11:30PM and did a great job to close out the cruise. Day 11 – Barcelona, Spain – Wednesday, December 9 – Debarkation Since the ship vibration woke me up in every port of call, I felt our arrival shortly after 5AM local time. NCL was not joking around about getting the passengers off the ship either. I had breakfast in Taste Restaurant. Debarkation started with easy walk off very early on around 7AM and all passengers were off the ship by 10:30AM at the latest. We got off the ship around 9:30AM and they were calling all the passengers off shortly thereafter. It was a fast and efficient process. While NCL was offering a bus transfer for $30 USD per person to the airport, if you had friends going like I did, the $39 fare for a taxi was a much better deal being split 3 ways. NCL did offer varying departure time busses depending on when your flight out was. Debarkation was fast and efficient. It’s not a good cruise without the crew being there. It’s important to thank the good crew members in a review so they get the recognition they deserve. Some of these folks were given a Vacation Hero card on the ship as well. With that said, these crew members made the trip an amazing experience: Quimson Aquino, Bartender at Spice H2O and Bliss. Quimson recognized me and I him from the Norwegian Jewel which I sailed on quite a few times in 2010. George Kassis, the Cruise Next Manager for helping out with a special request and for an incredibly informative behind-the-scenes ship tour. He also provided the tape I needed to fix my luggage which was destroyed during embarkation. Grace, the Hotel Director’s Secretary for being available and making our reunion dinner one to truly cherish and remember. DJ Alegre for being a great DJ when he had the late night slot in Bliss. With two DJs you never know who had the late night slot but when DJ Alegre had it, he did a phenomenal job. Jaime on the Cruise Director’s staff for being a positive energy experience no matter where I saw her out and about on the ship. Melvyn Lobos, Restaurant Manager for helping get our dinner service going so we didn’t miss any shows and the Moderno restaurant manager (female – can’t remember the name) who really stepped up that night. A ship is only as good as her crew… by and large this crew was super friendly! Overall, this cruise was a good cruise. It wasn’t great for reasons stated already throughout the cruise but it wouldn’t stop me from sailing on the Norwegian Epic or Norwegian Cruise Line again. The warm welcome back by familiar faces is one driving factor which keeps me returning to NCL. The fellow passengers and their behavior was out of the control of the cruise line so I can’t fault them for it, however, it did annoy the heck out of me at points during the vacation. Priscilla is not to be missed and the cast members who were out and about in the ports were equally nice and friendly to talk to. The show is something truly progressive at sea and I’m happy NCL offers it. It’s my favorite production show now on NCL (replacing Elements). This itinerary was a cold weatherand it’s something I knew going in but it is not an itinerary I would likely repeat at the same time of the year. It was far too cold but warm service from the crew and staff helped to make it a good experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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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