14 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Bahamas

Me and my boyfriend booked a four night Bahamas cruise on the Epic for our first cruise. We are both college students on spring break in our early 20's, we got the drink package and it was well worth it. The first night we were very ... Read More
Me and my boyfriend booked a four night Bahamas cruise on the Epic for our first cruise. We are both college students on spring break in our early 20's, we got the drink package and it was well worth it. The first night we were very impressed, we thought the staff was very friendly and attentive. The first full day we stopped in Nassau and has a great time at Atlantis. The second day we were supposed to go to Norwegians private island, Great Stirrup Cay, where we were excited to have a relaxing beach day. However, that morning the caption announced we would not be going to the island due to adverse weather conditions. Since this cruise only had two stops, we were extremely disappointed. I understand that they cannot control the weather, but what we found to be strange was that the weather seemed fine. It was sunny, blue skies, and the water was calm. The cruise line must be very cautious to even small waves due to elderly or maybe drunk passengers, which is not fair to those capable of riding the boat to the island. We ended up being on the boat the last few days instead and ran out of things to do since most onboard activities cost money. The water slides were fun but the pools were gross and crowded. We found the dining to be very good and loved that we could eat when we wanted to, but ended up having to repeat some food options. We had a family balcony cabin which we loved. However, I will say the bathroom is not very private. Being a couple, we did not mind this at all as we share a bathroom at home but I could see how it could be awkward for some people. Lastly, the disembarkation was VERY disorganized and it took an hour for us to get off the boat. There were no clear lines and the staff was standing around doing nothing to help people where to go. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose this cruise as our family vacation for the year. We enjoy beach type vacations and have enjoyed cruises in the past. We choose the Epic because it looked like it had a lot to offer our whole family. Unfortunately, we could ... Read More
We choose this cruise as our family vacation for the year. We enjoy beach type vacations and have enjoyed cruises in the past. We choose the Epic because it looked like it had a lot to offer our whole family. Unfortunately, we could not have been more wrong. The ship was severally under staffed. Everything had massive time consuming lines. For example, the boat offered 3 water slides, but they typically only ran 2 at a time because they didn't have enough staff to run them all at the same time. We only saw the rock wall open twice and both times it had huge lines. The climbing tower and trampoline never opened. The 2 small pools were extremely overcrowded. The sprinkler system that was supposed to offer splash pad type of setting was broken. They only had about 15 tubes out for the tube slide, which resulted in another huge line. I watched a teenager pass out waiting for a tube. The cruise medics took more than 30 minutes to respond. This was the 3rd time that I have been on a Norwegian cruise, and the 3rd time that I was disappointingly informed that the sea was too rough to get on the tender boats. It was a beautiful day with very calm waters considering we were on an ocean. This resulted in an overcrowded boat with a insufficient staff and amenities. The staff did not seem too shocked as a few informed me that during the last 5 months, they only made it to the island 3 times. The cruise directer responded by offering a few additional activities, most of which required additional fees. The boat was also under construction and we were not informed that the massive rock wall would be unavailable for our cruise. The drinks seemed to be watered down. I weigh under 140 pounds and did not catch even the slightest buzz after drinking 20 mixed drinks (Miami Vices, BBCs, Mango Melt Downs). I am a lightweight when it comes to drinks and I did not feel any effects from these beverages. Boat departure took 3 hours, seriously 3 hours. We missed our shuttle to the airport and nearly missed flights. Once again the cruise director managed to find a place to let the blame fall; she went with port authorities this time. Although my friends managed to get off much quicker due to dumb luck and had no trouble with port authorities or customs. By the third day much of the boat smelled of septic. The other attractions such as Escape the Big Top and the Circus De Sol la booked very quickly and were nearly impossible to get into. The comedian on board made fun of guests to obtain pity laughs rather than relying on wit and originality. Much of the food on the buffet was cold and repetitive. They encourage hand washing, yet many of their bathroom sinks and soap dispensers would not work. I am very upset that our family wasted our vacation time and money on this horrible experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We love the Epic for many reasons--but the biggest reason is because we got married onboard last year. We decided to go this year for our one year anniversary. I do love this ship--great food, great drink package, and lots to do! My ... Read More
We love the Epic for many reasons--but the biggest reason is because we got married onboard last year. We decided to go this year for our one year anniversary. I do love this ship--great food, great drink package, and lots to do! My biggest complaint is the pool bar service. You have to wait and wait to get a drink. Even at the adult-only pool, there is ONE person walking around taking drink orders and usually they disappear. If I could fix one thing--it would be more bartenders. They are very overworked and you can tell by their service and attitudes. Here are some drink package tips we learned: You can not get 2 drinks at a time on one card, but you can get a double. Specialty coffees are not included unless you get a shot of Bailey's or some sort of alcohol--crazy, right? I do wish water bottles were included. Our balcony stateroom was very comfortable and the layout is very different and unique. Our room steward, R.C. was so nice and accommodating. As far as dining: We ate dinner in the specialty dining rooms each night. La Cucina is nothing to write home about. Moderno and Cagney's on the other hand were OUTSTANDING!! I highly recommend them both. I'm not a buffet person, so we ate breakfast at Taste (very good) and lunch at O'Sheehans (I like the wings!) If a mega ship is not for you, I would not recommend it. If you like a TON of dining options, activities, and new people to meet--I highly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our first time on NCL and we were not disappointed. Easy on and easy off. Stateroom was roomy for the 2 of us and had enough storage for about everything I own in life! First time with a balcony and now spoiled going forward. ... Read More
This was our first time on NCL and we were not disappointed. Easy on and easy off. Stateroom was roomy for the 2 of us and had enough storage for about everything I own in life! First time with a balcony and now spoiled going forward. Had dining plan and ate at Italian, French, and Steakhouse restaurants which were all excellent....French was the best. Also spent a few extra $ for the Cirque dinner show which is a must do. This is a small intimate venue and all seats offered a great view of the show. A big surprise to us was that this was a spring break cruise....I'm old... what would I know. So along with this we got loads of young kids drinking and all that comes with that. However the ship is so huge we easily managed to find pockets of quiet. The main shows were superb. Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a show about drag queens and if you are not offended you should go see it. Broadway style talent for sure. Burn The Floor is a high energy dance show. Very entertaining. NCL has you make reservations for all the shows. We made reservations online rather than wait until onboard. Saves loads of time and frustrations. All crew members with which we had interactions were pleasant and worked extremely hard to please us. We did have some very minor complaints but they're not even worth mentioning. Overall the Epic is a nice ship and worth every penny Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
First, we’d like to tell you that we are generally positive/go with the flow type of people and tend to see the glass “half full” vs. being negative. So we would prefer writing a letter of praise instead of a letter like this. That ... Read More
First, we’d like to tell you that we are generally positive/go with the flow type of people and tend to see the glass “half full” vs. being negative. So we would prefer writing a letter of praise instead of a letter like this. That said, we feel obligated to give our full opinion. Our hope in sharing this is to make you aware of some very inappropriate happenings and inefficiencies on the ship and suggest you look at other cruise lines. We returned last Wednesday from a Norwegian Epic cruise. Sail dates were 03/10/18-03/14/18. The experience onboard was shocking and as far from a “vacation” as you could imagine. So much so that I was in tears for portions of the trip, and our children asked if we could get off and go somewhere else or come home. That should never happen. We are a family of four (children ages 10 and 16) and chose this cruise based on reviews, photos, amenities and from talking with NCL staff and the consultants at Vacations to Go. We’ve only ever cruised on Disney and Regent previously but thought we would try Norwegian after talking with the consultants and reading reviews on Vacations to Go website. The consultants suggested that NCL is very family friendly and this turned out to be very misleading. From the moment we began the (very long) process of boarding the ship, we could tell there would be a high number of college age students celebrating their spring break. We realize that NCL has zero control over who chooses to cruise, but also feel certain that their staff knows what to expect this time of year. We would definitely suggest explaining to families in advance when they are considering a cruise in March that there will likely be a high number of college-aged people, and that the experience might vary from other times throughout the year. Due to these college students, we experienced vulgarity, incredible inappropriate dress and basically just a feel of being at a trashy fraternity party no matter where we were onboard. The exception to this was the quiet area that we found after finally asking a crew member how to get away from it all. At the peak of our frustration, we called to see what the process was to debark if we chose to do so and not return to the ship. The operator who answered NEVER ONCE asked why we might want to do so. He simply said, “you can debark but you need to decide now and let us know because we sail shortly and there’s a process. You also won’t get any type of refund.” I cannot imagine any staff member that wouldn’t be concerned about why a guest might want to debark and at least ask if everything was okay! Since we couldn’t get our Wifi to work (I’ll share more about that later) we were not able to check flights fast enough to decide if this was a viable option. We stayed aboard and wished we had not. We also purchased some type of ultimate dining and beverage package for ourselves and “unlimited soda” for our children. The lines at the bars were a minimum wait of 10-30 minutes for one drink. And thanks to the inappropriate clothing and comments from the college kids who swarmed all bar areas, we couldn’t even let our kids wait in line for a soft drink. So, the “unlimited packages” were anything but - and were completely wasted on responsible guests. When we asked why the service was so slow and if the ship was understaffed, we were told the service was slowed down by design so “guests wouldn’t overdrink”. Wow! What about the responsible people aboard the ship? We were also appalled that the staff would consider serving girls wearing thong bikinis at the bars INSIDE the ship! We are not uptight but these were not pool bar areas. This was completely inappropriate and disgusting from our perspective and MANY other guests. Guests should be required to wear proper attire – even if it’s a simple cover-up - when standing at a bar inside the ship. The inappropriate attire continued and was ENCOURAGED by a Norwegian employee who was leading a “game” of some sort around 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the 13th. The activity took place on the stage area between the (jam packed) bars leading to the pool. It was broadcast on speakers all around so the young children by the slides and play area were also subject to the repulsive language and suggestions. The Norwegian crew member had a group of college aged students crowded around him with men standing on the stage wearing other guest’s bikini tops. We were not there for all of the show but while we were there, he asked what the men what their fantasy stripper name would be and what their favorite (sexual) position was, all while encouraging them to take shots. He also asked girls to come on the stage and provide lap dances. And when we finally thought we couldn’t stand it anymore, he asked which of the girls would like to “pop the cherry” of a college aged young man on stage who was a virgin! We distracted our children who wanted to go down the slides while this was going on and finally just decided to leave the area when our 10 year old asked about lap dances. Had this “activity” taken place after 11:00 p.m. or in a more private setting, we would have never seen it and not have been bothered. But this was the CENTER OF THE POOL area! This man represents the Norwegian brand and should be fired in our opinion. It was absolutely repulsive and so tasteless. One couple next to us commented that this was “worse than a Carnival cruise”. I don’t think that is a compliment in the industry. There were hiccups in the photo area, hour-plus waits for room service, long lines EVERYWHERE and after standing in another VERY long line to purchase a “premium” Wifi package for $120, it barely worked the entire cruise. We could go on and on but feel certain you get the point by now. In an effort to find some positive comments, we would like to share that the food was quite good and the Cirque-style show was very entertaining. Our room attendant, Clockson, was also very attentive and kind. The people in guest services also said they appreciated our concerns about the lines and inappropriate Norwegian employee – apparently they had already heard about it from others. But at least they seemed appreciative. When you spend over $6,200.00 (airfare included) on a vacation that turns out like this, it’s heartbreaking. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND NCL Epic based on this experience! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our second Norwegian Cruise- the first was on Norwegian Sky which was a terrible experience as well but we blamed the weather for the most part. We have been on almost a dozen of other cruises between Carnival & the most ... Read More
This was our second Norwegian Cruise- the first was on Norwegian Sky which was a terrible experience as well but we blamed the weather for the most part. We have been on almost a dozen of other cruises between Carnival & the most recent on the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas. We thought we would give Norwegian a second chance on the Epic- which looked like an amazing ship! 2 days into the cruise and my husband and I decided it would be our last Norwegian Cruise! Getting on the boat was just like every other cruise- we were on by 12-1pm. There was no entertainment by the pools- not a dj not a band. The Sail away party was a complete bust! There wasn't one!! There was a small space in between the 2 pool bars and the deck to walk through into the buffet area which was always a hassle to get through- especially with 2 children under the age of 10. Moving onto the inside of the boat- which was very nice! Always clean- however the staterooms were the size of a walk-in closet- and that may be exaggerating a touch. You walked into the room and to your left was the shower with a frosted glass door and to your right was the toilet with a frosted glass door as well- the sink which was no bigger than 12" wide was at the end of your bed! Super weird!! You had to take turns walking through the room because two people could not fit through the end of the bed and the cupboard/dresser area at the same time. These were by far the smallest rooms we have ever seen! There was definitely not enough storage for 4 people! Our stateroom was a balcony and we have never stayed in a interior room but I have to believe there are interior rooms bigger than this balcony room! The entertainment on this boat was good- I was very impressed with the amount of different music blends. However there was hardly any entertainment by the poolside! No activities by the pool and very rarely was there a dj or band. The bar service on this boat was AWFUL! If you tried to get a drink by one of the two pool side bars you would wait for atleast a half an hour! There was hardly any waiters throughout the pool deck offering drink service. This was our last Norwegian cruise- never again!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This review includes Tips and Tricks from the NCL Epic sailing date March 10, 2018. The cruise was during Spring Break and there were a lot of Spring Breakers on the cruise. Three large groups were on the ship, a podcast group (Tom and ... Read More
This review includes Tips and Tricks from the NCL Epic sailing date March 10, 2018. The cruise was during Spring Break and there were a lot of Spring Breakers on the cruise. Three large groups were on the ship, a podcast group (Tom and Dan), a board gamers convention (CruisieCon 8), and a poker players group. Some 550 people were from the Tom and Dan podcast which is a humorous, adult oriented morning type show. This group will be on the same cruise in 2019. In general, the passengers were cool and chill and which made this cruise awesome. The people make the cruise. I heard an estimate that 75% of the adults got the Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP). NCL offered many passengers a freebie and most took the UBP. But keep in mind you still have to pay gratuities/taxes which comes out to ~$71 for a 4 night cruise, when booking through the NCL website. On NCL, 18-20 year olds may drink outside of the port. I enjoyed having the Spring Breakers on board. Now on to some tips and tricks. Many things take reservations including shows, tenders, and some restaurants. The shows can be reserved online before the cruise with the exception of the comedy shows. Many of the things that take reservations you don't really need reservations for. But I would recommend making reservations for the 18+ comedy shows and restaurants for dinner. When first getting on the ship, I would recommend grabbing the Freestyle Daily on Deck 5 that has the daily schedule and head over to the Headliners comedy club to make reservations for the shows. For embarkation, NCL starts letting passengers on the ship at 11:30 a.m. When booking cruise you pick a boarding time with the earliest at 9:30 a.m. Not sure if I see any value to the pre-selected boarding times as embarkation is just a big herd of people lined up to get on the ship at 11:30 a.m. Using the porters to take your bags is a good idea but keep the things you need until late afternoon when bags are delivered to your door. Had to wait until all cabins were cleaned before the passengers could go to their cabins ~2 pm. The Howl at the Moon dueling piano bar is popular so I would recommend getting there 10-20 minutes early. As for smuggling alcohol on board, NCL Epic are really tough about this and it would be very difficult to smuggle alcohol on board. They do not allow water bottles on board. What they catch is returned on the last day of the cruise at 5 p.m. at the Towel Station on Deck 15 as long as it is a sealed container. When I returned from Nassau, the x-rays caught many passengers with alcohol in their bags; beer had to be disposed of but hard alcohol returned on the last of cruise. Passengers who bring bottles of wine at embarkation are charged $15 corkage fee for each 750 mL bottle. NCL has the iConcierge App for smartphones. The app only works while connected to the ship's Wifi but you can use the app with the ship's Wifi for free; no need to purchase the Wifi package. Wifi signal on the ship is spotty, understandably due to all the steel walls. NCL is known for innovation and NCL Epic is the only ship of its design. The ship first sailed in 2010 but is in excellent shape. I did sneak up to the Haven and just peaked into the lounge and the small dining room. These areas are nice and upscale. To sneak up there wait at the elevators on Deck 15 outside the buffet area and jump in an elevator that is already going up. There is a neighborhood for solo travelers with a Solo Lounge which is awesome. This has a bartender from 5-7 pm each night with Vladimir, the best bartender on the ship. In general this area is busy with people socializing and making friends each evening from 5-7 pm but otherwise is slow. The cruise staff, Ruby, helps organize and reserve a table for solo travelers each evening. The lounge also has cookies, breakfast muffins, cereal, orange juice and coffee. A high end coffee machine freshly grounds coffee beans and coffee drinks with frothy milk. I am a coffee drinker but was not really big on this machine; also did not see this machine being used often. As for the shows, the comedy shows are mostly clean / family shows but there were two 18+ shows. The headliners were good. If you like drag shows, you will like Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Burn the Floor was an excellent dance show. The ship no longer has Blue Man Group. Many passengers were ordering mixed drinks, there were long wait times for drinks and the bartenders were slow. Overall, a great cruise and I'm booked again for the same cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The service was not very good. Called guest services for distilled water when arriving on ship. Never got till the next day when I asked the cabin boy for it. He had for me within 5 minutes. My husband needed it for his sleep apnea ... Read More
The service was not very good. Called guest services for distilled water when arriving on ship. Never got till the next day when I asked the cabin boy for it. He had for me within 5 minutes. My husband needed it for his sleep apnea machine. Because there were 1600 spring breakers on the ship it was very hard to get a drink. Each bar only had 2 bartenders and they seem to cater to the young ones. Ship needed to be more prepared for the young drinking crowd. A cudos to the crew for recovered the person who fell overboard. They did an awesome job retrieving her in the pitch dark blackness of the ocean. The ship was way to large for us as we kept getting lost trying to find our room. Will definitely use a smaller ship next time and not during spring break ever again. Thanks for asking my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My husband and I booked this cruise not realizing it fell on Spring Break for some colleges in Florida. The cruise ended up being filled with Spring Breakers. We didn't mind - but we also didn't plan to hang out at the main pool ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise not realizing it fell on Spring Break for some colleges in Florida. The cruise ended up being filled with Spring Breakers. We didn't mind - but we also didn't plan to hang out at the main pool much. College students dominated the main pool area. Also our itinerary was affected by a nor-easter so the Great Stirrup Caye port was cancelled. The Nassau Port was pushed back a day. We basically cruised in circles. Since we had a balcony we still enjoyed the cruise. We may have gotten a little stir crazy if we had booked an interior room. Ship - the ship overall was how we expected from reading other reviews. The layout is odd, the Epic doesn't flow like other cruise ships we've experienced. For example, the deck above the main pool doesn't connect with the deck on the front of the ship.You have to climb interior stairs or use the elevator by the outdoor buffet to get to the front area. Bring your own drink because once you do get there a bar is not easy to get to. That area does have nice loungers and is quiet. Cabin - we had a balcony on the 11th floor. As stated in other reviews, the bathroom situation is odd. We didn't mind the toilet and shower being separate but could understand how others would not prefer that set up. The room had a ton of storage areas which was nice. Dining - We ate at the Garden Café Buffet for breakfast and lunch. We were satisfied with the options. If you want a quiet place to eat at the buffet and are willing to walk down stairs - go to the front of the ship and walk down to La Cucina. The restaurant is open seating for the buffet during breakfast/lunch. We ate at Taste once, the food was above average and the service average. We ate at Cagney's 2x and Wasabi once with our dining package. The crab cakes were our favorite at Cagney's. All of the sushi at Wasabi was delicious, there was a small upcharge. We thought it was worth it. We tried to eat at the Manhattan Room the last evening. We thought there would be something prime rib for the final night (or something comparable) and were disappointed. We ended up checking out the Garden Café Buffet instead and found pretty good prime rib on the buffet. We were impressed with the options on the evening buffet. Bars - The bar service was greatly affected by the Spring Breaker crowds. There were long lines at the bars on the main deck. There were several people from the main deck that were riding the elevators up and down to the lower floors to get drinks at the other bars (Maltings/martini bar/etc) because it was quicker to get a drink that way! We also found that the Martini Bar wasn't using martini glasses and would put "martinis" in plastic cups. Again we didn't mind but we heard others complaining about it. Overall we were not impressed with the bar service. We've experienced various ships and cruise lines and thought the bar service was below average, even when the bars were not busy. We usually find a bar or two that we really enjoyed on each ship but none stood out on the Epic. Entertainment and Activities - We spent a lot of time in the Cavern Club in the evenings. We loved listening to the band Siglo. They were the best cruise band we have experienced. There were a few other bands that played in the Cavern as well. We enjoyed the rock climbing wall. It was open for a few hours every full day. There were never too many people waiting to climb. The provide shoes and chalk. We were pleasantly surprised that some of the route options were quite challenging. Even though the cruise didn't end up being what we expected, we had a great time. We will cruise Norwegian again and would consider trying the Epic again, but probably not around Spring Break. If you are considering the Epic feel free to watch our vacation videos from this trip on youtube channel Explorcation: Epic Cruise: https://youtu.be/iBxOtS8EEi0 Rock Climbing on the Epic: https://youtu.be/C52ZJvXtt3M We always enjoy watching others' vacation videos when preparing for our cruises. We also have videos of the Norwegian Escape. Happy Cruising!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
As a first time cruiser I was very excited and had such high hopes and expectations. But man was I disappointed. We were not able to go to the private island due to wind, which I understand is not their fault. Then the next day we were ... Read More
As a first time cruiser I was very excited and had such high hopes and expectations. But man was I disappointed. We were not able to go to the private island due to wind, which I understand is not their fault. Then the next day we were suppose to go to Nassau and couldn't again due to wind and pushed Nassau off to the next day. For the amount we paid for a 4 day cruise, going to only one stop was absolutely not worth the money we paid. Very disappointed. The cruise was incredibly under staffed. It took 20-30 minutes to be even acknowledged at the bar then another 10 minutes to get the drinks. Also, since they were under staff they were working so quickly to make the drinks and serve people they were not taking any time to make the drinks, so when you did finally get your drink it was poorly mixed and did not taste good at all. Again, with the money we paid for the trip it was a huge disappointment. When you hear talk about their cruise you always hear about how amazing the food is. The food on the Epic was also another huge let down of the trip. Food was always dry and not flavorful. Breakfast was the only time we ever had good food from the Garden Cafe (the buffet). The only time we had decent food for dinner was when we had dinner in Taste one night. The services we had in Taste was not great but was better than some of the other areas on the ship but the food was amazing. Very flavorful, fresh, and delicious. The Manhattan Room was just like eating in the buffet but with a server. The food was also dry, no flavor, and not satisfying. I had the country fried chicken in the Manhattan Room, the chicken was so unbelievably dry I could not even eat it. Even the dark meat on the chicken was dry which is hard to dry out dark meat chicken. The bars were not the only areas under staffed, the whole ship was. Housekeeping suffered tremendously. Our housekeeper had 25-30 rooms that were a mixture of interior and balcony rooms assigned to him to clean everyday twice a day. We would leave our room around 9-10am each day and would not return until 3-4pm. When we did return our room was not done yet and wasn't even touched. Our housekeeper was not even close to being to our room. This was extremely annoying since we were gone for hours. The ship also does not have much to do. Since we were at sea for 3 days, one can only lay out by the pool for so long until they get restless. The ship does not have many amenities for their passengers to do during the day. All games, activities and events on the ship all cost money to do. To play bingo or deal or no deal on the ship to participate it cost $25-$50. After we spent $1200 for two people to go on a 4 day cruise we did not want to spend more money to do the extra activities. So we did get very board on the ship. Overall, I would NOT recommend Norwegian Cruise Line. I personally will never cruise with Norwegian as well. It was a huge disappointment all around for our vacation and are very disappointed on what we received with how much we paid. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this cruise because of the special deals available. I chose a Spa Balcony room (identical to the regular balcony rooms except different color bed covering. We were in room 14141, which has a unique larger balcony shaped like a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the special deals available. I chose a Spa Balcony room (identical to the regular balcony rooms except different color bed covering. We were in room 14141, which has a unique larger balcony shaped like a trapezoid. We asked our cabin steward, Perfecto, for lounge chairs and he brought two down for us. The only downside to the larger balcony was that it didn't offer as much privacy. If you stepped out of the square area you could see the other balconies next to you and below and they also could see you. It was right below the pool deck so we heard some chairs being moved around in the mornings but only if we were out on the balcony or had the door open. The room was pretty soundproof if the doors were shut. I've always wanted to cruise on a big ship with lots of activities but most of those are 7 day itineraries and so when I saw this 3 day cruise I was intrigued and excited. I read the reviews before hand about the unusual design of the cabins and was not daunted. I was traveling with my husband but if I had been traveling with a girlfriend it would have been awkward showering and using the toilet because it's just frosted glass. There is a curtain but if someone opens the door to the cabin you are there on the toilet for the hallway to see. Embarkation: The embarkation was pretty smooth but began the negative comparisons to other cruises I've been on. Fortunately the Epic was the only ship in port that day or it would have been worse. Took us about 30-45 minutes from the time our shuttle dropped us off to go through security and get on the ship. Ship Design: The ship itself was underwhelming. I only felt like I was on a big ship when I got in the elevators or had to wait for them. I've only cruised on smaller Royal Caribbean ships before, this was our first cruise on NCL. I missed some of the standard things on those ships like the Atrium area, usually open to 5 or more floors with sweeping staircases and glass elevators. The Atrium on this ship was pretty small and consumed by a huge screen TV over 2 floors. There was a three story open area over the Taste dining room but it was just okay. The other big negative for me was that most of the 6th floor was consumed by the Casino and was open to the 7th floor. For some reason the 5th floor was not accessible from one side of the ship so elevators dropped you off at the 6th floor and you had to walk through the casino to get to the other side of the ship to go down to the 5th floor. The smoke smell was everywhere. If we needed to go from one side to the other on the 6th floor we'd walk up one floor and then back down again to avoid it. The pool deck was nice and slides were great. There was not really a good dance area on the pool deck for the sail away party because everyone was standing at the bar to get drinks. Entertainment: The quality and quantity of choices was good, but getting a seat was difficult. For such a big ship they have pretty small venues and so they 'sell out' of tickets pretty quickly and only the main shows are available to book in before boarding. If you don't have a ticket you can wait in a standby line until 10 minutes before the show starts, so even if you have a ticket and you don't arrive 10 minutes in advance you may not get a seat. The main shows are Burn the Floor, a sexy ballroom show. I'm not sure what the 'plot' of this show was, it tried to have a plot but it was really just an excuse for dancing, and the dancing was really good. I don't know how they have the stamina to dance like that for 45 minutes! We did not see the Priscilla show due to it's content (drag queens) but I was glad that was mentioned up front and in the cruise daily the show was rated PG-16. Would have much rather seen the Blue Man group that was formerly on this ship. We saw a good, family friendly comedy routine but missed our reservations for the comedy/magic show because we had to wait to get a seat in the main dining room (Before the cruise I had made reservations at 6:30 originally for dinner and the show was at 7:30 so we tried to go earlier but because we didn't have reservations we had to wait to get into the main dining room and missed the show). We did get to see the Epic Beatles, which were great. There was also an 'Escape Room' activity in the Spiegal Tent. We couldn't get tickets to it before hand but we stood in the standby line and were able to get in. It was a magic themed escape room activity, about 45 minutes of trying to solve puzzles and link together clues to figure out the magic words to release us from the room. We were broken up into teams of 8, maybe about 10 teams? I'd never done an Escape Room before and it was a unique addition to the activities, especially for the day at sea. We also did a samba class led by one of the dancers, held on the atrium floor. It was crowded and hot but we had a good time. Because it was just a 3 day cruise we didn't get to enjoy some of the other activities like Rock Climbing. My husband was hoping for a basketball tournament or shoot out or something but there was nothing planned, just open play on the court. The best part of the cruise for us was enjoying the Spa Thermal rooms. Because we booked the spa balcony room ($429 when regular balcony was $399) we were just steps away from the spa and had passes to use the whole cruise (if you were not in the spa cabins you could purchase a 3 day pass for $129, but only a limited number were available to purchase before the cruise and the first day). There was a changing area with robes, 4 saunas, 3 hot steam rooms, a large balcony on the back of the ship with loungers, flavored water and teas and fruit, heated thermal tile loungers, and a large thermal pool with different areas to rest and relax. We loved the jets you could stand under to have a massage, but didn't like how it sprayed everywhere. It was great to have a place to get away from the crowds. The pool deck was always busy and the 'pool' in the adults only area was kind of a joke. It could fit about 4 people in it without feeling awkward. I can see why people pay extra to be in the Haven suites with their own dining and pool and spa. Dining: When we booked we got the Ultimate Dining Package 'free' (just had to pay the $20 of taxes). It came with three meals in their specialty restaurants. I booked one reservation when I booked the cruise but going back to the website a few days before the cruise there were no more reservations available to book. When we got on board at 1pm we went to the desk to book reservations and were able to get a table at Cagney's, but not until 8:45. Teppenyaki was booked up for that night. After eating at O'Sheehans (good, but just okay) we went back to the room to try and make other reservations on our TV in the stateroom, easier than standing in the line. There was not much available on the 2nd night and only a few slots available the third night for our specialty dinners. I'd booked Moderno for the 2nd night but was trying to work around the comedy show so I ended up booking Teppenyaki at 5:00 and Moderno at 8:45 for the third night. If it sounds stressful with all these bookings, that's because it is! When the third night came around we couldn't make it to Teppenyaki by 5pm and tried to get our reservation for Moderno moved up to no avail. We waited for about an hour right after they opened but they did not have any cancellations until a few moments after we'd left. We tried to get into Shanghai's but they had a 30 minute wait and so we ended up having to go up to the Garden Cafe for some appetizers because we were so hungry. So we only ended up using two of our three meals at specialty places. The pros were that they were the best two meals we had on ship. Our appetizers at Cagney's were incredible. Even though it's 'al a carte' if you have the specialty package you can choose one appetizer, one soup/salad, one main dish and two sides (not sure if dessert was included, we were too full to ask). Sadly, my filet mignon was dry but my husband liked his, but the creamed spinach made up for it. Moderno the Brazilian steakhouse was very good, hubby enjoyed all the meats. We did find out that we could have used our UDP towards the sushi place, just paying an extra $7 each for unlimited sushi, and I think it also was good towards the Cirque show because online before hand it gave me reduced prices for that show, but we did not opt to see it. Dinner in the Manhattan was just okay. Since we were having steak and meats on the other two nights I was hoping for a fish dish and was sad there was no salmon on the menu. I ended up getting the breaded flounder and hubby got the tilapia. Mine was just upscale fish sticks. Dessert was wonderful, his tiramisu and my chocolate lava cake were amazing. Crowd: Epic's schedule offers very few 3 night cruises. They were offering a lot of specials and low prices when I booked. I think many people chose the Ultimate Beverage Package as one of their 'free' items and were determined to get the most out of it. It was also spring break time but we encountered lots of drinking and inappropriate conduct. I asked a lady to take our picture and then she went on to tell us all about the very rude people they ate with at Teppenyaki. The woman telling me the story had been drinking and told me how the family they ate with were so bigoted and were getting mad because their group was loud (and probably obnoxious), even going so far to say they had said if they had guns they would shoot them all. Yikes! Made me glad we didn't eat with either of those groups! We politely thanked her for the picture and moved on. People in the elevator were cussing and then realizing the presence of kids they tried to 'use good language because of the babies'. I felt uncomfortable leaving a 12 year old girl in an elevator on her own with four guys. One guy was vomiting on the tender boat after spending the day ashore drinking. Honestly I was glad to get off the ship to be away from all the drinking and smoking. I get that it's vacation, and we had a few drinks too, but it seemed like drinking and partying was the main reason most people were there. There were very few families or older couples. Ports: We only had one port, Great Stirrup Cay. They were doing some construction on the end of the island near the cabanas and so I felt bad for the people who had spent a lot of money on a cabana sitting next to a construction site. I think they stopped the beeping around 10am though, thankfully. The island was nice, the self guided snorkeling was okay, nothing much to see except the wildlife. They don't have anything like on Cococay where there are rest areas and markers showing the sunken plane/cannons, etc. Food was fine on the island, the taco bar line took too long. And no shredded cheese? What kind of taco bar doesn't have cheese? Should have had two areas for the toppings. Excursions: We booked a parasailing excursion (bucket list!) and were so excited about it. Online it looked like we needed to take an early tender and that the parasailing was from 8/9-10am. But when we got our tickets in the room it said to meet at the info booth between 10am-noon to book a time and that it was first come first served. Since we wanted to be back on the boat around 2 or 3 we wanted to get an early slot so we got to the info desk a little before 10am. We were so disappointed to find out that all the 10, 11, noon and 1pm slots were already taken and the earliest we could get was 2pm! The lady said that they had people showing up earlier and because the weather was good they had some groups go early so they couldn't tell people to wait to sign up. I pointed out that I had followed the directions and was basically penalized for it. It really messed up the plan for our day and I ended up not getting pictures of our parasailing because our underwater camera needed to dry out after snorkeling. They offered to refund our money but this was a bucket list item and we still wanted to go, just bummed that we couldn't do it when we'd wanted to. Summary: Everywhere I saw it talked about Freestyle Cruising, 'Feel free to follow the sun instead of a schedule'. The fact is that if you wanted to be able to go to anything (specialty restaurants, shows) you needed to make a schedule and stick to it in order to not sit around waiting to get into dinner or shows. Throughout the cruise we kept saying, 'I liked how Royal Caribbean did this or that better' and so we probably won't return to this ship or NCL for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Perfect little 3-day Spring Break get-a-way Trip down to Great StirUp Cay only. Cabin with Balcony was excellent. Food was very good. EPIC gets a bad rap for being a "different" ship but I saw no problem with the layout at ... Read More
Perfect little 3-day Spring Break get-a-way Trip down to Great StirUp Cay only. Cabin with Balcony was excellent. Food was very good. EPIC gets a bad rap for being a "different" ship but I saw no problem with the layout at all. I am 8-cruise veteran of Carny & RCL and EPIC was one of the better ships I've ever been on, The cabin was a little tight but not over-bearing, I always recommend getting a Balcony suite anyway. The whole thing about Epic and shower/sink/restroom in room facilities is way over-blown if you ask me. Get the combined drink and all paid gratuities package if you can. I was single traveler on Spring Break. The Crowd was easy going and I met a lot of other people. I would recommend a Norwegian cruise and the Epic as a step above anything in the Carnival fleet and on par with RCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Norwegian your free free to choose whatever you want when you want. is there claim to fame Good luck with that so long as you don;t ask for anything. Because you can;t get service anymore, My wife is disabled and we reserved a ... Read More
Norwegian your free free to choose whatever you want when you want. is there claim to fame Good luck with that so long as you don;t ask for anything. Because you can;t get service anymore, My wife is disabled and we reserved a wheelchair to help assist her she was forced to walk thru the cruise terminal thru security screening ;then walk up stairs till we finally reached check in then it took 45 minutes to finally get one, 10 minutes later we finally got on the ship.our cabin was a mini suite. the third guest in our room had to sleep on a curved couch not a sofa bed or pullman only covered with a sheet. We had several issues in the main dining rooms one server did not know what creme for our coffee was served us milk 3 times instead. another night i ordered my prime rib medium rare and was served a well done end cut sorry i could go on but it's not worth it I have completed 2 post cruise surveys since our return expressing my concerns and no one from norwegian seems to care Like i said your free just don;t ask or complain Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The ship looks like it's large but once you get on board it feels like there are only 4 places to hang out. All the additional dining options and experiences that require an upcharge dominate the space on the ship. Our interior ... Read More
The ship looks like it's large but once you get on board it feels like there are only 4 places to hang out. All the additional dining options and experiences that require an upcharge dominate the space on the ship. Our interior cabin wasn't bad but the opaque glass on the shower and toilet doors is visible to the room and makes for some interesting situations. Never did any of the dining options that were a la carte or flat up charges because the food in the main two dining rooms was mediocre at best. I was severely disappointed in the food quality and didn't want to pay extra with the chance that I would be disappointed again. The buffet was your standard cruise buffet, nothing awful or stand out. I wish they had more outdoor activities during the day at the pool or anywhere that you got sunlight. The way the ship is designed any activities on deck 5, 6, or 7 either don't have windows or has life boats in the way of seeing anything. The service was the worst part about this cruise. Not once did I feel that any cruise staff cared about their job or providing an enjoyable experience. This is the reason that I will never book a NCL cruise if given the option. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
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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