6 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Canary Islands

Really enjoyed this cruise other than the weather but this is not the fault of Norwegian Cruise Lines Despite previous reviews, the longest we had to wait for a table to eat in any of the restaurants (having being supplied with a pager) ... Read More
Really enjoyed this cruise other than the weather but this is not the fault of Norwegian Cruise Lines Despite previous reviews, the longest we had to wait for a table to eat in any of the restaurants (having being supplied with a pager) was twenty minutes. We waited in a nearby bar until it went off. The food was good in all the restaurants, sometimes a little cold in the Garden Cafe and we never went into the speciality restaurants. The adult pool and bar H2O was a suntrap which was welcome as it was cool, but you had to fight for a bed. All the bars were good and the bar staff were very accommodating. The things I disliked about the ship were firstly O'Sheehans bar and grill. When we first boarded we thought great, a proper pub, but after being in it a while it was dreadfully noisy as you have all the casino noise nearby and the noise of the games machines in O'Sheehans bar itself. Also when there is a film on in the Atrium you can watch it from O'Sheehans as the screen is big enough to cover both floors. However if you didnt want to watch a film and just have a drink in the pub, it was extremely noisy with all the other activities going on around it. It would have been best to build O'Sheehans as a pub with a duke box/music perhaps and keep it separately away from the noisy areas. We stopped going in it in the end and enjoyed the martini bar and whisky bar. Bliss Lounge wasnt for us but it was always full so each to their own. By the end of the holiday the lifts were annoying but you should expect this on a large ship with 16 floors. All the staff were nice but again the noise from the atrium and O'Sheehans made it difficult to hear the customer services staff at guest services. I would definitely go on this ship again to other destinations as we tend to not go to the same places twice if we can avoid it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We probably took this cruise at the wrong time of year for us as we will explain further on, but certainly learned from the occasion. The trip was at Easter and took in Barcelona (embarkation), Tangier, Canary Islands, Madeira and ... Read More
We probably took this cruise at the wrong time of year for us as we will explain further on, but certainly learned from the occasion. The trip was at Easter and took in Barcelona (embarkation), Tangier, Canary Islands, Madeira and Malaga. Embarkation was very smooth and quick. We arrived a little early but were aboard within 45 minutes of check in opening, even though we had to go through the obligatory process of staged photographs before making our way aboard. Cabins weren't ready until around 1400 but we were allowed to leave our things (water etc) outside our cabin door before exploring the ship. The ship itself is huge but quite easy to find your way around. The casino area is very big and at times smelt stale as cigarette smoking was allowed in there. You sometimes have to walk through this area to reach levels where some of the lifts did not stop. We never had any problem with waiting for the lifts to arrive as has been reported in previous reviews even though the ship was full with over 3000 passengers. On boarding the ship and in every entrance to the food halls there are The crew were superb, probably the best we have sailed with. They were helpful, polite and cheerful, much better than I would have been with some of the things I saw them deal with. Our cabin steward (Bagus) was extremely friendly and helpful and left a different towel design on our bed every night....(the monkey was great!). Free style dining was wonderful. To be able to chose when to eat and not clock watch waiting for your allocated dining time was so relaxing. We ate at the Garden Cafe (buffet style) for the first four evenings, and although at times it was difficult to find a free table we never really had cause to complain. The food was varied and in the main very enjoyable, especially when you think of the number of passengers that have to be catered for. The best for me was the beef curry and the puddings!! Nearly every night there was a specialty meal of some sort.......apart from an English evening! We also had breakfast in the same place every day and what a joy to have a freshly fried egg or omelette if you so desired. The only downside was the last night of the trip when it seemed as though the chef was trying to use up all his left overs. Disappointing, so next time we would probably go to one of the restaurants. The other complimentary dining ares we tried were Taste (service a bit slow and disjointed), O'Sheehan's (superb and open almost 24/7) and Great Outdoors (the biggest minute steaks I have ever had!). We had a 3 meal dining package as well, so tried Cagney's, excellent service and good food, La Cucina, which we both found disappointing and Teppanyaki, which again we did not enjoy. We did hear good reviews about Le Bistro from other passengers, but never went. We could not fault the entertainment aboard, and would say that some of it was West End or Broadway quality, especially Priscilla and Burn the Floor while Cirque Dreams should not be missed. All the shows were quality and a small tip would be to book them up on line well beforehand, as they can quickly become fully booked. Now the problem.........finding somewhere to sit and chill out, both on sunny days and on chilly days. We encountered something that we have never done before, and to this day I don't know whether it is the size of the ships and passenger numbers or because it was holiday time. We could not find anywhere to sit and just read a book or whatever due to seats, deck chairs etc being reserved with towels and bags. Seating was being reserved early in the morning and left empty for 2-3 hours at times,while families went to breakfast or even ashore! One passenger told us that when he asked someone "if this was not really on" after 3 chairs were left "reserved" on deck for nearly 3 hours, he was told to "mind his own business!" I can understand this happening to a certain extent in the family pool areas, but hot tubs and adult only areas....no! It is mainly due to this that we are seriously considering not travelling with the Epic again, even though there are a lot of positives. The ports of call were varied, as was the weather. We did not take part in any organised trips, and found our way around quite easily. The only town that we ever bothered in was Tangier. We were expecting this as there is a preview on board in the Theatre about all ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The ultimate drinks package at $79.95 per day is dreadful value. You can't get water coffee or juice. The rooms are a really bad design with a sink at the end of bed and glass doors on both toilet and shower. When our cabin ... Read More
The ultimate drinks package at $79.95 per day is dreadful value. You can't get water coffee or juice. The rooms are a really bad design with a sink at the end of bed and glass doors on both toilet and shower. When our cabin attendant knocked we couldn't answer the door or my husband would have been on show to anyone passing. Book everything before you travel or you won't be able to see any show unless you queue for a very long time and then have to stand through performances. There is a problem after dinner as there are not enough seats. There is an entire deck for the empty casino but nowhere to sit in the evenings. The service is dire unless you eat at the beginning of mealtime. Should you like to eat at the end of service the staff just want you out as quick as possible. The food is excellent, the facilities good ( except lack of seating) but I will never travel with n c l again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Have cruised with a number of other cruise lines but first time and last with NCL. THE Epic is just too big and too crowded especially when the weather keeps people in doors. There is just no where to just sit and chill. Very difficult to ... Read More
Have cruised with a number of other cruise lines but first time and last with NCL. THE Epic is just too big and too crowded especially when the weather keeps people in doors. There is just no where to just sit and chill. Very difficult to find any seating in the evenings unless you are a gambler. The casino which takes up over half a deck had hundreds of machines and tables free and an area you could not really avoid walking through the smell of stale tobacco. Seemed a total waste of space. Drinks were on the expensive side. Service at the complimentary Taste and Manhatten restaurants was on the whole good but on occasions was poor. eg. One Breakfast took 40 minutes from coffee and ordering to the first food turning up. Dinner at Taste on the first night took over 2 hours. The cabins are somewhat bizarre. Glass doors on toilet and shower with a curtain to draw across the room( you need to be very familiar with your room mate!!!) and a very SMALL wash basin set in the main cabin dressing table . Hated this. There are some positive aspects. The standard of food was good but often came luke warm to cold. Enjoyed the two meals at the Chinese which was complimentary but not a great deal of choice. The ship is clean and the cabin steward was excellent and kept the room spotless and well equipped. Embarkation and disembarkation was good. The queue on embarkation was daunting but surprisingly did not take that long. The various entertainment around the ship was good although only saw one show. Always difficult to find seats but admit that I was with a group of 8. I really liked the idea of being able to book the time of dining in the evening and did not find it difficult to find acceptable times. You can also pre book your shows. If NCL want to improve in my opinion they need to reduce the casino size and introduce quiet areas. Give some thought to the facilities in the cabins and look at a way to serve hot food on a regular basis. Most of all they need to reduce the number of guests as the big no no for me was the over crowding. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We had a quite an enjoyable cruise overall, our spa balcony suite was lovely and the food was fairly good. Would I go on the Epic again? I would certainly think twice. For us, the embarkation process took around two hours for no ... Read More
We had a quite an enjoyable cruise overall, our spa balcony suite was lovely and the food was fairly good. Would I go on the Epic again? I would certainly think twice. For us, the embarkation process took around two hours for no apparent reason. The queue just did not move and queuing it seems was a daily ritual on the Epic. The Garden Café was just horrendous, never anywhere to sit, we would walk round and round and round it was hopeless. The ship could not cater for the huge volume of guests. Tempers were frayed, arguments ensued - just chaos. We didn't fare much better of an evening, twice we managed to book a table but other than that, the wait was anything from 20 - 45 minutes. Fortunately I had booked the shows on line before the cruise but heaven help those who don't. Once they are booked there are stand-by seats only available and yes, the queue for standby seats is extremely lengthy. If you do succeed it is standing room only. Having said all of the above there are a couple of points to mention. We didn't have particularly good weather which meant it was not always possible to dine outside - had this been the case this would have solved some of the Garden Café seating problem. I did meet a gentleman who had sailed on the Epic in November on a Western Med cruise who told me the ship was very quiet and he had encountered no such problems at that time. In summary, the food is good (not outstanding compared to Holland America IMO), the cabin was lovely, the shows were first class but just make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Here is my breakdown of my experience on this cruise on the Norwegian Epic from Barcelona to Morocco and Canary Islands. EMBARKATION. As we arrived there early from the airport there werent many people at the port so embarkation ... Read More
Here is my breakdown of my experience on this cruise on the Norwegian Epic from Barcelona to Morocco and Canary Islands. EMBARKATION. As we arrived there early from the airport there werent many people at the port so embarkation was handled very smoothly and there were plenty of agents to keep the line moving. STATEROOM. We had studio staterooms on deck 11, and although small were fully equipped with hairdryer and TV etc. There was very little storage space however just two small hanging spaces, (one which was made shorter by having the safe in it) and no drawer space just a couple of small boxlike shelves beside the sink, which was very small but adequate. A drawer unit could easily have been fitted into the space underneath the television. The corridor on deck 11 was poorly maintained and badly needs freshening up with paint. especially the entrance part from the lifts. The studio lounge was very nice, but the coffee machine didnt work. People reported it, but it never seemed to get fixed. ENTERTAINMENT. The two shows, Burn the FLoor, and Priscilla, were outstanding. The stage sets, costumes and performers could not have been better, however the entertainment ended at that. The cruise director, Pedro, has as much charisma and enthusiasm as a cardboard box. The comedians were okay, but the so called comedic magician was dreadful. He was very annoying and his act was more talk than tricks, none of which were impressive. He was certainly no comedian. Karaoke competition in Bliss was fun but the final was held halfway through the cruise and after that it was just the same people singing over and over again so bliss was out. SWIMMING POOLS. This has to have been a joke. for a ship holding a full capacity of over 4500 people, there were two tiny pools like oversized baths. It didnt matter on our cruise as the weather was too cold, but in summer on a very hot day with 4500 people all wanting to swim there is no way. How this deemed acceptable in planning I cant imagine. CASINO. I have been on many cruises and this casino is the worst I have ever encountered. It is spread out in four directions in the middle of deck 6, and has the tightest slot machines ive ever experienced. If it was on land it would have closed down for lack of customers. As it was the dealers sat at empty tables night after night as the people stopped going in after the first couple of days. This is my second trip on the Epic, (first four years ago) and can confirm that it was the same four years ago so the payout on the machines has not changed in my experience. I saw one lady win 106 free spins on one machine and at the end of the free spins she had clocked up only $26. I usually love to spend an hour or so in the evening playing the slots but the machines were so tight I quit after the first couple of nights and judging by the emptiness of the place so did a good many others. a lot of people were complaining. FOOD In the garden buffet Although there was a good variety of food it was always tepid or even cold. There was never enough seating, and always involved a lot of walking around to find a place. We ate in Manhattan and it was okay, but food still cold, and also in Taste which was the same. We had a meal in the Shanghai restaurant, and it was okay, but our dishes were practically pulled from in front of us and the next one put down. We were finished and out the door in less than 45 minutes having had a 3 course meal. No lingering there. PORTS. We first docked in Morocco, which was a very shabby rundown port and the scene didnt get any better on the walk into town, which was full of beggars and people asking if we wanted a guide into the city. There wasnt anything to do in the immediate vicinity and as we were warned not to venture far on our own, we ended up going back on board after only two hours. In Tenerife, we had to pay 15 dollars return for a shuttle bus and when we got to the dock, around the corner there were free shuttle buses. In Arricfe, Lanzarote as it was Sunday everything was closed, and it was another unappealing area. Very rundown. Funchal Madeira, was a delight after the other places. It was beautiful, vibrant and clean and, a pleasure to spend the day there. Malaga was a lovely port lined with restaurants and a few shops. Very nice. SHOPPING. there were a couple of very small shops, which had overp[riced goods and on the day of the $10 sale we couldnt get in with the crush of people all clamouring to see the goods. we couldnt get near it. OVERALL SUMMARY. There was a 30 second power outage on board a few days into the cruise and this resulted in us having no TV for nearly three days. No announcements were made regarding the progress of the repairs or if they were working on it. For such a long time not working, an update would have been appreciated. The NCL habit of nickel and diming so much stuff on board made the days at sea quite boring when the best of the entertainment during the day was to get more of your dollars. The quizzes far from being for fun had questions you wouldnt hear on Mastermind. I am very well read and highly educated, but I was astounded at the questions being asked. People going to these quizzes expect a bit of a laugh maybe some trick questions, but this was big time, and the ambience was not enhanced by the dour Pedro. so after a couple of trys this was crossed off too. 11 days cruising is quite a long time when you have seen the two shows and the two comedians, and the stupid magician, and everything is being repeated in headliners, and the ports are unappealing, and the weather does not permit sunbathing, most days unless you are willing to spend, there was little to do. We did not have the drinks package as we were told that even if we bought it there would be a $99 charge per person in stead of paying gratuities for each drink, This is on top of the gratuities per day for being on board. We paid $22 for two beers. Unbelievable. and cannot be justified. I have sailed many times on Royal Caribbean, and although they charge for some things, by comparison are the better line to cruise with. I have always found them fair and have had a wonderful time on all their ships I have cruised in and the itineraries. I have sailed on the Norwegian Jade, and the Breakaway, and also a couple of carnivals, and Celebrity cruises. After my first cruise on NCL I would have rated them pretty good, but since then, having experienced other cruise lines and itineraries, both in the Med, the caribbean, Alaska, etc, they have gone considerably down my list. Will I use NCL again. NEVER. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
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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