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

We chose this cruise for my 50th Birthday. It was the first cruise for both of us and I was very nervous because of reading a lot of negative reviews. But we had a great time! We knew there would be crowds and lots of kids because my ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my 50th Birthday. It was the first cruise for both of us and I was very nervous because of reading a lot of negative reviews. But we had a great time! We knew there would be crowds and lots of kids because my birthday was the week before Easter, so we booked a Spa Balcony room so we would have a quiet retreat. Best decision ever! We truly enjoyed the thermal suite and never found it to be overly crowded. We had the UBP and three nights of Specialty Dining. We chose Le Bistro, Cagneys, and the Cirque Show. Food and service was great in all three! We enjoyed the shows, Priscilla, Burn the Floor, and the Epic Beatles in the Epic Theater. Unfortunately we did not get to the smaller venue to see the Beatles in the Cavern Club in time to get seats, which was our own fault. We had great food and service in both of the main dining rooms and also in O’Sheehans. Loved the wings!!! Our room steward, Jingles, was amazing! He kept our room and balcony stocked and spotless at all times and made the best towel animals! We were fortunate to get extra time in Tortola for planned maintenance on the ship. Wished the port time in St. Thomas had been longer, but it’s just a good excuse to go back. Great Stirrup Cay was fabulous. Rented a clamshell near the tacos and tequila... need I say more?!? We will definitely be planning more cruises with Norwegian! We loved the freestyle cruising concept. We honestly had nothing to complain about. We heard all of the horror stories about embarkation and debarkation, but we were on the ship within 45 minutes of our arrival at the port and walked off with our luggage before 7:30 a.m. Truly one of the best vacations we have ever been on! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We learned a lot on this trip. This was our first big ship experience, and we learned that we definitely like the smaller ships better. We like the feel of the concierge and butler knowing every single person, and them always being there ... Read More
We learned a lot on this trip. This was our first big ship experience, and we learned that we definitely like the smaller ships better. We like the feel of the concierge and butler knowing every single person, and them always being there even when you don’t call. Since the Epic is a bigger ship with more Haven suites, you don’t really get that feel as much as you might get it on a Jewel Class ship. We like the feel of the personal service. It’s just impossible to do that with all of those people in The Haven. Another big thing is that the elevators were so busy and in such high demand that it took forever to get one. Even when just going up one deck. Elevators are vital to transport Emily in her wheelchair, and it’s really annoying to have to wait. (And yes we know about The Haven room card slot, but it didn't always work. We liked Bowen the concierge, but didn’t get know him as much as we did Omar last year. Once again, this is simply because Bowen was taking care of too many people to get to know all of them personally. Omar is actually taking over for Bowen in a few weeks, and we cannot believe we missed him! The layout of the Epic is very interesting. It’s the only ship of its kind, as NCL had to cancel the order for her sister ship due to a dispute with the ship builder, STX. It was the only ship that has not been built by Meyer Werft since the Windward in 1993. The view of the outside deck on deck 7 is completely obstructed by life boats. This means that you can’t stand and watch the ocean flow by. There is also no access to an aft facing deck, since the aft is completely filled with aft facing rooms. These are some things that I absolutely love and look for in cruise ship. Sometimes it’s just nice to stand at the aft and watch the calm wake of the ship. The only place you can actually kinda see the wake is at Spice H2O on deck 15, and even then your view is somewhat obstructed. As far as entertainment on board, we loved all of the shows and parties. The Cirque Dreams show was excellent and very entertaining. We also really liked Priscilla Queen of the Desert! I really liked how they had themed parties at night at Spice H2O at the back of the ship where the big screen was. One night they had the 70’s dance party where they played music from the 70’s and everyone from that era danced along. They also held an 80’s dance party. One especially cool party that I did not get a chance to personally attend was the Glow Party where they paint your face and hand out glowing cups and glow sticks. As for service, it was always very fast. Whether we were in the Haven Restaurant, or a specialty restaurant, we always got what we wanted very quickly. I found that this time around the crew wasn’t very welcoming and happy as usual. They kinda seemed burnt out and tired of their jobs. They still did an amazing job. Better than any other cruise line we’ve been on! We had never been to any of the ports of call on this itinerary except for Cozumel. I'd have to say that Grand Cayman was my favorite port because of how beautiful it was. We never felt unsafe or threatened in any of the ports. I don't think we will be booking an itinerary with Great Stirrup Cay anytime soon. We liked it, but it just wasn't as great as it's all hyped up to be. I think that NCL took everything they did wrong on GSC, and fixed it on Harvest Caye. We thought Jamaica was fun too, but probably wouldn't rush back there anytime soon. When booking in The Haven, you get all five Norwegian “Free” at Seas perks. We ended up upgrading the free 1GB of internet to unlimited, and adding 2 additional dining packages so that the other two of us would have it. Only two of us had the Ultimate Drink Package (one of the perks), and that seemed to work out just fine for all of us. We used our shore excursion credit to pay for $50 of the beach club in Jamaica. I know that’s only four, but the friends and family sail free perk did not apply to our sailing. A complaint that we had that had nothing to do with the ship or the cruise line was the loud and rowdy kids in The Haven. I get it, it’s spring break, but after 10 PM it’s just reckless and obnoxious. The people in the suite next door were up yelling, screaming, and blasting music into the late hours of the night. One night we even called security, but they were still really loud. We might have been a little bit petty and banged on the walls at night and in the morning while they were trying to sleep. Disembarkation was FAST! It was within the blink of an eye! I looked at my watch in our stateroom at 7:33, and when we were on the curb at 7:49. 16 minutes. Way to go Norwegian! We also had a little surprise waiting on the curb. We had booked a limo to come pick us up a couple months back. It was so cool! I’ve never been in a limo. It kinda lightened the blow of having to get off the ship. Now that it’s over, we keep doing things like waiting for someone to put napkins across our laps at places like McDonald’s or Olive Garden, and waiting to be escorted to the front of long lines. I even tried to pay with my ship card somewhere! It didn’t work if you didn’t already know. Whoops. Back to reality, am I right? We’re headed home and the Norwegian Epic is headed to Barcelona on a 15 night transatlantic cruise for her summer cruising season. I would like to say a huge thank you to Norwegian Cruise Line for another unforgettable cruise! Even though we don’t have another cruise booked YET, we will definitely be sailing with them again in the near future! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We did our first cruise ever on the March 24th to March 31st Epic Cruise to the eastern Caribbean including stops in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Bahamas. Embarkation was a bit confusing and it was a heck of a lot of lines. We booked our ... Read More
We did our first cruise ever on the March 24th to March 31st Epic Cruise to the eastern Caribbean including stops in Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Bahamas. Embarkation was a bit confusing and it was a heck of a lot of lines. We booked our flights, airport transfers, and everything through NCL The transfer was fairly painless from the airport, but upon arrival there were a lot of lines to go through. We got off the bus and got in a long, but fairly fast moving line to go up to the first set of security checking out papers/identification, then another line to go through security (metal detectors, x-ray carry on luggage, etc), then another line to check in. Upon check in the computers were a bit fritzy and it took a bit to get checked in, and then finally on the ship. Overall it was probably about an hour and a half to two hour process. Not terrible, but definitely a long process. However, with 4500+ people to board on a fully booked ship, it's not unrealistic. The cabin was a balcony on the 13th deck. Felt a little cramped, but enough storage to work well and the balcony was great. The only entertainment we did was the Cirque show. The show was great, but with premium seating our seat was under an overhang far enough that when they did aerial work we couldn't see everything. Otherwise the food was fantastic and the show was good. The on board activities were plentiful and there was enough to keep us and out 8 year old son busy when needed. In particular, the rock wall, the spider climb, the water slides were our son's favorites not including the Splash Academy. The Splash Academy itself was amazing. The staff was fantastic and our son loved every minute. They had tons of activity and themes including Pirate Parades, Glow Party, free play, Pajama Party, and a Circus performance for the kids to put on in the theater. It was amazing and I would highly recommend it. The food was for the most part fantastic. We had little to complain about. Even the buffet was good. The ports were also fun and we had some great excursions. We did the dolphin swim and Dunn River Falls in Jamaica, we did Turtles, Turtles, Turtles in Grand Cayman, and then we did the Stingray City at Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas. We loves each and every one. Though I admit there were times we felt a bit rushed, but otherwise it was amazing. The service on the ship was top notch with smiling faces, happy greetings, and we have nothing but positive things to say about anyone we met. Depsite the fact that it was Spring Break and a fully booked ship, it was a really great vacation and you would have hardly known it. I would definitely do it again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We really loved NCL's Epic. It is huge. We had an accessible mini-suite which was huge and so comfortable. The balcony was extra-large too. It had two chairs plus a lounge chair. In fact, one day when it was very windy and ... Read More
We really loved NCL's Epic. It is huge. We had an accessible mini-suite which was huge and so comfortable. The balcony was extra-large too. It had two chairs plus a lounge chair. In fact, one day when it was very windy and cloudy, I sat on the lounge chair reading and catching rays. There is so much to do on this ship. Entertainment, restaurants, and just plain fun. The Svedka Ice Bar is so worth the cost. It was $28/per (includes taxes and gratuities). You get two drinks but best of all you get to spend a freezing half hour in one of only 18 ice bars and the only ice bar on the ocean. It was very a lot of fun. Everything (other than floor and ceiling) is made of ice. It was 11 degrees fahrenheit when we were there. At night, everything is wiped down with vodka because it doesn't freeze and it makes everything smooth. The ice sculpture, chairs and bar are replaced every 8 months and they come from Orlando. If you go, wear long pants and closed toe shoes, but definitely go. We ate at Cagney's Steakhouse, La Cucina, and Tepenyaki. All were very good. Cagney's was probably my favorite. The only negative was how disorganized the shore excursions were. We did two planned shore excursions and both starting times were pushed back several hours. This meant less time on the beach for us and this was very disappointing. Also, the meeting place and time was very unorganized also. It didn't really seem that anyone knew what they were doing. You also had to have tender reservations which is fine but some people had to have the tender reservations in order to get off the ship to get to their shore excursion and assumed that their reservation was included in shore excursion. There were many, many unhappy people at guest services on those days. We later found out that the ship was short staffed. Regardless, all of the staff were so friendly and fun that it really made up for that. All in all, we really had a great time and would cruise on the Epic again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Took me a few days to get the swing of taking a cruise. lots of lines initially to wait in. Difficult to get chairs by the pool etc...Once we booked out dinners and entertainment that was out of the way. The ability to book thru the ... Read More
Took me a few days to get the swing of taking a cruise. lots of lines initially to wait in. Difficult to get chairs by the pool etc...Once we booked out dinners and entertainment that was out of the way. The ability to book thru the mobile application and TV in the cabin did not work. if alternative booking methods were available this would have made the situation much better. Purchased the ultimate drink package but it was difficult getting service. Not that the crew was not working but not enough staff Food was very good. enjoyed the shows. the staff was always friendly. I would go on a cruise again so my overall experience was very good just not excellent Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I have been on a number of cruises with and without the kids. This one was pretty standard in terms of kids’ stuff, on-board activities and those same 5 line dancing songs played over and over. The ship itself was well maintained and ... Read More
I have been on a number of cruises with and without the kids. This one was pretty standard in terms of kids’ stuff, on-board activities and those same 5 line dancing songs played over and over. The ship itself was well maintained and clean. There were a couple of instances where an amenity was not working like a pool or the water slides but these were quickly remedied. People on board (the passengers) were nice and seemed happy. The crew was outstanding from a customer service point of view. Meaning they really seemed like they cared and were accommodating. However, there were several instances where they did not seem to know what or where or when something was going on and provided inaccurate information which was frustrating. The most frustrating part of the ship is the lack of clocks. There is an itinerary and a schedule. I for one do not use a watch and onboard do not use a phone so figuring out the time was a very big challenge. The gym was clean and up-to-date and had a number of activities that one could attend. The running track on the other hand is only on one side of the ship so it was not as nice as some other ships and the turn on the ends was not pleasant. Shopping on-board was limited but then again it depends on what you are looking for I guess. The layout of the ship was ok meaning you can find things but in general, to me, it just seemed to be one long corridor with “areas” along the way not really destinations if you will. The upper deck was also designed in a way where it was not circular so to go from one side to the other you have to go down a deck and then back up. Very non-user-friendly layout. Rooms are small. Smaller than usual I think. However, they have a design that the shower and toilet areas are separated which is good for getting ready with others. Getting on and off the ship in all cases was quick and efficient. This was the best experience compared to other ships. This includes when docked or tendering. The food. The included dining rooms were nice. The food was ok in them. The buffets however were outstanding for all meals. There are a number of selections in types of foods (the Indian was a big winner). There are themes each day and I cannot think of anything I did not like. Seating in the buffet was limited but we always found a seat. Hours are good too. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our second spring break cruise trip with the kids (15 and 9). We went on Carnival Conquest last year and decided to see the Epic before is disappeared for good! I'm glad we did. This ship is HUGE! It had plenty of activities ... Read More
This was our second spring break cruise trip with the kids (15 and 9). We went on Carnival Conquest last year and decided to see the Epic before is disappeared for good! I'm glad we did. This ship is HUGE! It had plenty of activities and food options to appease most everyone on board. The embarkation, and all entering/exiting of the ship was handled amazingly well. I was nervous about how they would handle so many people, but I never waited in line, even for a tender. Well done NCL! The kids were a little apprehensive to join the camps and they wanted to just run free for the week. However once they did try the activities we couldn't peel them away! The entertainment was so-so, we tried the comedy shows a few times and left. The Blue Man Group was boring as well to me, but the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy watching these men silently make a big mess with paint. The Cirque show was my favorite, but buyer beware...opt for the premium seating and arrive early. We arrived 20 min before the show started and got the last seat over in the corner. My head was on the table trying to watch the aerial acts. The DJ's frankly got on my nerves because they played the same 5 line dance cruise ship songs every time they would come out to try to get people to dance. The service was a mixed bag...everyone was friendly but also confused. We would ask questions about when things were and no one would know. I saw 2 menus in the window at the Taste restaurant so I asked it was the lunch menu and they said yes. We went and were told at our table that the menu outside was for dinner! I tried to attend a class at the gym, and when I showed up they trainer had a PT session and told me he would try to reschedule it for tomorrow. Oh and there are no clocks on the ship! Only on a few passing televisions. I understand their theme is to have no agenda, but thats a bit much! The food was outstanding, we mostly ate at the buffet because it had everything and was just so tasty and convenient. The restaurants required 90 min (walking right in), which was usually hard to do and see a show. Never had to wait for a table though and the servers were great. We booked our excursions on our own to save money. Hired a driver for the day in Jamaica, he took us everywhere for the same price they wanted just for a single trip up the mountain. Tip...walk away from the main hub of taxis, the prices get cheaper as you get farther away...and don't be afraid to haggle! We went snorkeling and swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman with Captain Marvin. This was our second time with him and I highly recommend it. Then finally we decided to rent a Jeep in Cozumel. Which again we got for half the price as what the shore excursion desk wanted. It was a great day to just explore on our own, visit the beaches and ruins. All in all, we are addicted to cruising. Its a one stop shop to drop your bags off, put your phone in the safe and kick back for a week without worrying about anything. No cooking, laundry, cleaning, etc! Already planning for next year's new itinerary...what shall we try next! Read Less
Sail Date March 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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