4 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Caribbean - All

We were originally booked to go on the Oasis of the Seas the same week, but a crane colliding with the ship ended that and we were desperate to get away so we broke ranks from our friends who were doing an itinerary we've been on a ... Read More
We were originally booked to go on the Oasis of the Seas the same week, but a crane colliding with the ship ended that and we were desperate to get away so we broke ranks from our friends who were doing an itinerary we've been on a few times already and decided to book the Epic because of the the stops in Tortola and Great Stirrup Cay. Two places we had never been. The other stop was St. Thomas. We were excited to get down to Orlando and get out to sea as it had been a long winter and both of our jobs were ramping up for a busy summer season. What a surprise we were in for. Below is my review that I sent on my survey. I'm not a cruise newbie by any means. This was my 7th cruise. It was our first time on Norwegian. To be honest something just seemed off from the get go. The Norwegian staff at embarkation in Port Canaveral was rude. The man telling us what counter to go to, actually rolled his eyes at my husband because we stepped too close to spot 23 rather than 22. Everyone was jammed in and there was no where we could go, so we fanned out as the clerk finished with the group in front of us. This man rolled his eyes in disgust and looked at me and said, i told you to go to 22. He was an unpleasant piece of work. ! Next, we walk down to find a place to sit at the port before they started boarding and there were so many seats reserved for "priority" guests, that there was no room for those of us low lifers that were not priority. The woman who wouldn't let us sit in the priority section was completely ignorant and rude. We've never experienced such a ridiculous boarding of a ship. The staterooms were not ready, everyone was crammed into the Garden Cafe like cattle, with again no where to sit and we were stuck with our carry on bags. The whole process was poorly executed and indicative of what was to be an ongoing theme the entire week. We nicknamed this experience the Epic Failure. Once we got to the rooms, we found the layout utterly disgusting. This is our fault for not researching, but who wants a bathroom area split from the shower and separated by a curtain from the sleeping area? Disgusting. I thought Norwegian was upper crust of the cruise industry. Once I saw this, I doubted that and was only provided more proof as the week went on. NCL advertises the free style cruising, but dining areas are always packed and crowded and you wait forever! The way you have to reserve seats for shows and plan reservations just to see them is ridiculous. We were told by hosts at the restaurant doors that we had to have reservations, but you couldn't make reservations online. I called the dining number to make a reservation and was told I couldn't make a reservation. Our other issue was the constant up charge for everything. You want to see a cool show, up charge. You want to use the hotubs in the spa, up charge. You want to set foot in the ice bar, up charge. You want a full face mask for your snorkeling expedition, up charge! I mean seriously, it became our running joke. There were not many fun free activities. Not everyone wants to get drunk. The open air spaces were totally lacking. Come on, you have 4000 people on the ship and you cram them all onto one upper sun deck and one pool deck? There were hardly ANY open chairs in any of the open areas. We spent half our time holed up in a small area near the humidor lounge just to find seating and to stay out of our room. The whole atrium is stuffy and crowded. We tried to make reservations for the Escape the big top game and couldn't get in, we tried to see the musicals and could only get late late times and frankly the whole entertainment crew just seemed off and tired. Speaking of crew and staff, I was rudely and literally yelled at by some bus person on the Garden Cafe straight out over the bridge who told me I should go down stairs to the Italian restaurant instead of waiting for an open table. He then took his time to clear the 20 dirty tables that were in the area. I wasn't leaving that deck and losing touch with my husband, sorry. The only positive encounters I had on the ship with the crew were the interactions we had with Borgy our room steward (who by the way is the sole reason I do not give this sailing an absolute fail rating) and the young lady who greeted everyone in the cafe (washy washy, yummy yummy, coffee coffee) and a lovely woman who took some time to talk with us each morning and literally brought us juice to our table. The rest of the crew just seemed surly and angry at the world. We just didn't have that feeling of being welcome that we have on other cruise lines. Now, let's talk about the worst of it. Debarkation day. What an ABSOLUTE disaster!!! We literally spent 2 hours in a stairwell trying to get off the ship with all of our luggage. We were on Deck 11 trying to make it to Deck 6 and could not get an elevator so we decided to hoof it down the stairs. No big deal, until we were stuck at Deck 9 and could not get down any further. People were fighting. Babies were screaming. All we wanted to do was get off that god awful ship. Then when we finally go to the right deck, someone told us we had to go down to deck 5. We then had to march the entire length of the ship in some mouse trap maze and back to where we just came down from, go through security and then deal with more security in the port. The entire process to get off your ship was over 4 hours! There is something really wrong there! What if you had had an emergency at sea?? I would be scared for my life. You can’t handle embarkation or debarkation, how would that crew handle a disaster? With all this in mind, I am not saying we would never sail with NCL again, but it would have to be one absolute hell of a deal and never ever, ever again on the Epic. That ship ought to be sent that ship to the boneyard. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I have cruised with NCL for my past 3 cruises and always had a great experience. So this year we wanted to stay with NCL and go with EPIC. It was 13 of us traveling together. I had invited my friends and their family and my in-law and his ... Read More
I have cruised with NCL for my past 3 cruises and always had a great experience. So this year we wanted to stay with NCL and go with EPIC. It was 13 of us traveling together. I had invited my friends and their family and my in-law and his family. Needless to say, I was very upset with the cruise. One, the employees, bartenders, guest service people acted as if I were a bother when looking for assistance. We going to the different bars, no one was friendly at all. Didn't care to engage in conversation or nothing. Made my drink and just left it there, took my card, swipe and no thank you or nothing. The lack of entertainment was bad. When cruising you expect to hear music playing you know picture much throughout the ship. My brother-in-law actually brought out his portable speaker and played music and we had a few guest walked by and danced a little. The food was not the greatest. I know you can't expect a 10 from everything but I would expect at least average on most of the stuff. I will say the only place besides going out to the ports that I enjoyed was The Martini Bar. The bartender there was the only nice bartender on the ship. I am in the processing of looking for a cruise for next year and was hoping to stay with NCL but I think its time to go back to Royal Caribbean or try Carnival. Oh I almost forgot, the setup of the room, I am not sure about the curvature thing but its a bad idea. I don't understand why the extra bed is not by the sliding glass. I takes away a lot of space in the already small mini suite. The bed even had a curve. You have a lot of drawer space for no reason. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have such mixed feelings about this cruise. I will summarize into Pro and Con. Cons: Packed- over 4500 people on the ship and it felt like it. Spring break-almost half of these people were kids., I love kids-when people watch them ... Read More
We have such mixed feelings about this cruise. I will summarize into Pro and Con. Cons: Packed- over 4500 people on the ship and it felt like it. Spring break-almost half of these people were kids., I love kids-when people watch them and they are behaved. Many of the kids were unsupervised, they were allowed to go where they wanted and do what they wanted. I have never seen so many kids unsupervised=parents felt they were on a break and their kids were the ships problems. There were kids in the pools, the hot tubs, the lounges...etc. I sat next to 2 pre-teens at the bar-they had Cokes but it was weird to sit next to a child at an adults bar. I complained and I left. Their were kids in the hot tubs playing and throwing drinks/sodas. The excursions were the same way-too many rude people. This was the absolute worse- the room service. The 1st time we had it, we were told 30 minutes and it came in 47-uhhhhhhh, do you like your eggs cold and chewy.We also missed our first ship to the excursion because they were late. The 2nd- they were late again , the eggs were colder and lousy. We went to Scuba w/o any food. Do not do room service, it really is that bad. Our last breakfast at O'sh. was terrible. if they want us off the ship, shouldn't they give you a good breakfast fast. They didn''t. It was slow and lousy. Why would your last meal be a hit, not a late, lousy, greasy mess. The website was a mess. I ordered trips and shows that never were booked. We were confirmed for the trip but never received our check in papers. We arrived at the pier with no way to mark our luggage and thousands of people in line, this was not a good way to start our trip. We had called the day before and we were told to go straight to the bronze line, they would take care of everything. Every time we mentioned the bronze line, they looked at us like we were crazy. The NCL rep.going on to the ship was downright rude to us. Pros-The staff was amazing. When our "booked" shows didn't materialize, the gentleman took care of everything. The food was very good at most places and excellent at many The shows were very good.The room was a good size even though it was laid out strange. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was my seventh cruise with NCL and my second on the Epic. I find that every time I travel with NCL my opinion of them decreases. I believe NCL should be advertised as a family and children friendly cruise line and discourage ... Read More
This was my seventh cruise with NCL and my second on the Epic. I find that every time I travel with NCL my opinion of them decreases. I believe NCL should be advertised as a family and children friendly cruise line and discourage adults without children, or who are not in their 20s from travelling with them. On this trip to the Caribbean there were many unsupervised children - they were throwing food, changing the signage on the cabin doors (to do not disturb so the cabins didn't get made up), swimming in the hot tubs, throwing stuff overboard, and screaming at one another across the balconies, to name a few things. Parents seemed happy to ignore these activities. The 20 year olds weren't much different, getting seriously drunk and screaming at each other, and occupying the hot tubs for hours at time without letting others in. The food was good but on several occasions (especially during breakfast) our orders were incorrect (missing and incorrect food items). Cagney's was quite good though. On the second sea day we were up on deck at 830 and there were no chairs to be had, as people had set there stuff down and even though they did not occupy their seats for hours the did leave their towels on chairs so as to let others know they were theirs. We had the 'free' drinks package which was handy and the bar service was very good. Our cabin was very cramped and I did not like the frosted glass bathroom as it was obvious what was going on in there - and the frosted glass offered little soundproofing. The sink is also in the main cabin which can make washing a bit challenging if travelling with friends. The Epic is not very wheelchair friendly making access to the Taste dining room quite difficult as one of the two sets of elevators does not go to the fifth floor where it is located. Also included in our package was 250 minutes of 'free' wifi. While I thought this would be useful to stay in touch with family, there were so many people on board using wifi that it would take up to 5 minutes for a webpage to load, if it loaded at all. So I image of the time I spent using the wifi plan, I probably spent 20 minutes on the internet, the rest was 'page loading' or 'this page cannot be displayed' time. As we have experienced previously, the customer service from the guest services staff is terrible. There was a charge on our account that we did not make and we went to guest services to address it. The gentleman at guest services was rude and basically said it wasn't his problem. We've had previous problems with NCL guest services, including being yelled at for completing a guest survey they didn't like about the spa services. One of our stops was to Great Stirrup Cay which is an NCL owned island (I assume). We tendered over which took approximately 45 minutes from waiting for the tender, boarding hundreds of people and disembarking. The area was nice but the water was challenging to get around in due to the rocky bottom. Lunch was provided there but the lineup was giant. We did not wait for food but we were told by another guest that he waited 45 minutes for his tacos. The entertainment was okay but as we'd travelled on the cruise before we had seen all of the shows. The Beatles, Burn the floor, Pricilla were all repeats of the cruise we took a year ago. However, Pricilla was still pretty good. I do think they could add a few more games (trivia etc) and perhaps some new shows as there wasn't much going on that didn't require an extra fee. While I have enjoyed NCL over the years, I think it's time to move up to a more adult-friendly cruise line. I am not a big fan of having food thrown at me or listening to screaming children or drunken college kids while on vacation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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