42 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Caribbean - Western

Chosen for relaxing and dancing. They list ballroom dancing in Main dining room but put tables on 80% of the dance floor. And band played dinner jazz. They didn't know what a Rhumba beat was. Too many people on this ship. Everything ... Read More
Chosen for relaxing and dancing. They list ballroom dancing in Main dining room but put tables on 80% of the dance floor. And band played dinner jazz. They didn't know what a Rhumba beat was. Too many people on this ship. Everything felt crowded. Buffet food was just so so. Main dining room was good food though. Overall, no desire to cruise on this ship again. First ship we've been on that did not have a walking/jogging deck. Okay, they did if you wanted to go back and forth on one side with a view of the lifeboats. Discover Cayman tour is way over rated. Private island had little to offer unless you spent money. Best part of trip was Ocho Rios Blue hole and tubing (Karandas tour). Ship groups looked very crowded. Really got tired of them always pushing their 'cruise next' program. Will definitely look for 'Burn the Floor' show when they go on US tour. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were on the Epic Spring Break and we were very, very disappointed! First, our room was a sardine can...you walked in and the toilet was on the right shower on the left...sink at the foot of the bed. TINY, TINY....to get to these rooms ... Read More
We were on the Epic Spring Break and we were very, very disappointed! First, our room was a sardine can...you walked in and the toilet was on the right shower on the left...sink at the foot of the bed. TINY, TINY....to get to these rooms it was like a corn maze!! The balcony was nice..good size. Another big WHAT, REALLY...you couldn't order certain drinks at the restaurants. We've been on 12 cruises we have never had that happen. Also, they had a convenience charge of $7.95 on room service. Entertainment was Great!! You have to know to make reservations for EVERYTHING! Not so Freestyle!! There were not enough chairs on the decks for sunning. The layout.....not enough open decking....near the ice bar and piano bar there was a very narrow passage...two people at a time and this is a main area on the ship. He casino is huge and open to the others floors all the smoke came righ tup and down in the dining area. Learned the first nigh not to eat there. Cagney' Steak was fabulous. Also, to tender off to the private island you need a number!! We didn't get off until 12:30. It was terrible, we ended up with chairs in the back on the private island looking at the back of other chairs. Over all we'd never go on this ship again and we'd rethink NCL! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise for two reasons. 1) we went on the escape 2 years ago for spring break and had an amazing experience. Great food, drinks, service was amazing and workers so friendly. 2) We chose the epic because we liked the itenerary ... Read More
I chose this cruise for two reasons. 1) we went on the escape 2 years ago for spring break and had an amazing experience. Great food, drinks, service was amazing and workers so friendly. 2) We chose the epic because we liked the itenerary to gsc, Jamaica, grand cayman and Cozumel and were hoping for a similar experience. I want to start off saying it was not a terrible cruise. We had a great time still, but the overall vibe on the ship seemed to be dull and the workers did not seem happy. We even tried additional tipping and it was met with an expectation, not an appreciation, even though we were already tipping a mandatory 20%. The staff also seemed overworked and there were not enough bartenders to handle everyone and in the casino it was very difficult to get a drink. Our balcony room was fine...small, but what was expected. The bathroom set up is strange, but it was fine. We were rarely in our room. Food was good and we enjoyed all three of our specialty dining at cagneys, moderno and tappenyaki. Cirque show was great and we enjoyed burn the floor and Pricilla as well. For excursions I recommend Mr. Sanchos in Cozumel for a beach day. Great value for money and we had a great time there. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were on 7 day cruise. A local band from our town, Buffalo NY was on board along with 165 of us also from Buffalo to support them. There's so much to do on the ship, Bingo, Pool activities, complimentary shows/entertainment, they ... Read More
We were on 7 day cruise. A local band from our town, Buffalo NY was on board along with 165 of us also from Buffalo to support them. There's so much to do on the ship, Bingo, Pool activities, complimentary shows/entertainment, they have an awesome sports bar, casino, spa, fitness room, lots to do for the kids! Rock climbing, water slides, tube raft slide, basketball court, ping pong tables, kids buffet, cookies all day long, unlimited self-serve soft ice cream or counter top ordering hard ice cream, kids playroom & kiddie splash park, Most of the staff was super friendly, many food options daily/nightly. Lots of food options for even the picky eater. My party had the unlimited alcohol package - hands down awesome! we also chose the gratuity package. The beds in cabins are very comfortable, room steward was efficient & took care of our needs. Everything was great! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, we have been to Great Stirrup Cay and Cozumel before and wanted to go back. We had never been to Ocho Rios Jamaica and Georgetown Grand Cayman and were looking forward to seeing both ports. Below are ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, we have been to Great Stirrup Cay and Cozumel before and wanted to go back. We had never been to Ocho Rios Jamaica and Georgetown Grand Cayman and were looking forward to seeing both ports. Below are the comments I made at the end on our post cruise survey. I came home feeling relaxed and refreshed, however I didn’t rate as excellent because of a few issues. First, I was very disappointed with the communication by ship staff regarding our delay in leaving Port Canaveral. We had only one brief announcement by the captain early in the evening. Second, I was very disappointed in missing Great Stirrup Cay and wonder if part of the reason was our late departure. Third, although we had two lovely meals at La Cucina, there was garbage on the floor beside our table that was left from guests who ate breakfast in the venue. Fourth, because of the location of venues on the ship, movement and flow was very dysfunctional. Because of this we never ventured to eat in The Manhattan Room. Fifth, there was a poor selection of NCL branded items in in a small and hard-to-find gift shop area. Sixth, all of the dining areas were noisy because of proximity to high traffic flow areas. In many of the specialty dining areas they are close to either main dining rooms, buffet, or atrium where the noise level is high and intrusive. There is no quiet tranquil place to dine on this ship. I also have a few positive things to say. First, the Latitudes reception was the best I have ever attended. Second, maître d’s, servers and staff in the dining rooms were helpful, friendly and attentive. Third, I had a wonderful time at the Bliss Karioke event, it was low key and lots of fun! Fourth, it was nice to have deck loungers in an area that was shady all day and still had a great view (near the climbing wall and chessboard). I like cruising with this line, but I probably won’t choose this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The only good thing about Norwegian were the excursions, which you can get through other cruises too. Most of my interactions with staff were unhelpful at best and downright rude at worst. There seems to be a very prevalent "not my ... Read More
The only good thing about Norwegian were the excursions, which you can get through other cruises too. Most of my interactions with staff were unhelpful at best and downright rude at worst. There seems to be a very prevalent "not my job" mentality where staff will go out of their way to avoid helping you or answering your questions. The rare few crew members who are actually pleasant are overworked to the point you'll only see them once or twice on your trip. The rooms are tiny and cramped, and if you're tall forget about taking a decent shower. Rooms are services at least 3 times a day, which can be overwhelming and inconvenient when you're trying to relax or rest up after an excursion. It's also a huge inconvenience to have to use a room key in order to use the lights. The shows on the ship are fantastic, I will give them that. If you're unfortunate enough to be on a Norwegian cruise make sure to check those out! Other than the shows though there isn't much to do on the ship except eat and go to the casino. Save your money, cruise elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I was a little nervous about cruising on the Epic because of the many mixed reviews. We booked a 5 night cruise to Cozumel & Great Stirrup Caye (Norwegian's Island) because it was a really great price. We were in cabin 14048 which ... Read More
I was a little nervous about cruising on the Epic because of the many mixed reviews. We booked a 5 night cruise to Cozumel & Great Stirrup Caye (Norwegian's Island) because it was a really great price. We were in cabin 14048 which is a "Family Mini Suite Balcony" cabin. We were right around the corner form The Splash Academy so I was a little worried about noise. My husband and myself have NEVER slept as good on any other cruise! No noise at all. Our room was at the end of the hallway (I think there were only 2 cabins passed ours) and I think that greatly reduced the traffic by our cabin. The close location to The Splash Academy was perfect for my 10 year old. Being on the 14th floor we were one floor away from The Garden Cafe, pool, arcade & Entourage (Teen Club) which was convenient for all of us especially my 13 year old who had a blast in the Teen Club. Yes the elevators were slow at times & we chose to mostly take the stairs to help burn off all the fantastic food we were eating. But at other times we easily got onto an elevator when heading down to decks 5,6 & 7 for dinner. The first night we ate at Moderno which is a Brazilian-style steak/meat restaurant (we had the upgraded dining & adult drink pkg included). It was great & we over ate for sure! The next night we ate at LeBistro, the French restaurant. We both were tired from being in the sun all day at sea and we almost did not go as we are not big fans of French food. We were both so glad we went! The food was AMAZING! We loved it so much that we made reservations for the next night & invited our relatives to join us (we treated them since they did not have the dining pkg). We had the escargot & warm goat cheese salad, filet & sole & the most amazing desserts! The second night was just as amazing as the first. We also ate at Wasabi for sushi. It was soooooooo good! The Rock N Roll roll was amazing!! So great that we ate their a send time as well. We did not eat in the two main ding rooms, but our family did and they said it was good but a little slow on the service side (2.5 hrs for dinner). We ate several times in the Garden Cafe and it was all very good. Even when it was busy we never had a hard time finding seats. We did not see any of the shows as my family was not interested in them but I heard other passengers raving about them. The Cavern Club has an outstanding Beatles cover band & it is a cool bar to chill out with friends after dinner. The martini bar made amazing drinks!!! Now about the pool bar "Waves".....as previous reviewers have mentioned, the line was insane & seemed to move very slow. That is not to say that the bartenders were not working hard (they worked non-stop) but it was just too busy for the few bartenders they had. You could get pre-mixed frozen drinks from a cart & that line was usually much shorter. Our drink pkg was included but if I had paid for it I would have been upset at the time I would have to spend getting drinks on sea days while laying out in the sun. We are not big drinkers so one drink during the day was fine for us. We happened to be on a ship with an overwhelming amount of college Spring Breakers. I had expected it to be over run with young children, but not 2 thousand 20 year olds. For the most part they were pretty respectful. By 5:00 in the afternoon there were hundreds of drunk guys & gals dancing & grinding on the pool deck, but that's when we go in to get ready for dinner so it did not bother us too much (just trying to walk through them with my two children to get to our room was a little annoying). The other thing I realized is that I am now an old lady & am completely unaware that 20 somethings show their entire rear-ends these days in their bathing suits. Having a 10 & 13 year old boys it was a little uncomfortable & I wanted to put blinders on my 13 year old (although I am SURE he was LOVING the scenery). LOL The cabin (which seems to be a big sticking point with other reviewers) was fine for us. A little tight since we are a family of 4 but not too bad. The bathroom set up was totally fine with us. I love the toilet & shower being separate so two can use them at the same time. I also loved the shower having doors. Previous cruises I am always grossed out when the moldy plastic shower curtain touches me. Mariced our cabin steward was very nice & our room was always clean & stocked with ice. All of the staff we encountered were always smiling & happy to help (the Washy Washy girls were our favorite!). I never had a problem getting lounge chairs on the deck, but we are an early to bed early to rise family. I did see others looking for chairs after 10:00 a.m. The main problem is that people save 10 chairs and then leave for several hours. On the 2nd sea day the staff started putting stickers with times on them. I am also a courteous passenger & only save 3 seats for our total of 7 in our group. The kids did not need a chair & my hubby only stays in the sun for an hour or so. Other passengers were not as courteous. We did the Passion Island beach excursion. It was nice. The all inclusive drinks were not very strong but the service was great. I never had to go to the bar to get a drink as a fella came by every few mins (which was nice because the glasses were tiny). We just hung out on the beach at Great Stirrup Caye. My sister-in-law booked paddle boards for my boys. They have never paddle boarded before & unfortunately the staff that rented them gave no instruction. They did not inform us (maybe they did not know) that there was an extremely strong current before you reach the bouy markers that you were not suppose to pass. My 10 year old was carried out very far & between the wind & current he could not turn around (he had no instruction on the bast way to do so either). A life guard (who was VERY nice) saw him in distress and jumped on a jet ski & towed him in. Obviously he was very upset & shaken. Doubt he'll want to get on a paddle board ever again. This was 100% on Norwegian as this is their island & it is staffed by crew members. When we attempted to inform Guest Services about it we were told "go to the Excursion Desk" which is directly across from Guest Services and the staff member could clearly see that no one was there (it was the last day & there was no one working the Excursion Desk because there were no more excursions). We were not asking for our money back or a credit. We only wanted to make them aware of the liability & hope that this will not happen to someone else on a future cruise. That was pretty disappointing. That incident aside, we truly did enjoy our cruise and the food. We liked the boat even if it's set up and deck plans are a little odd compared to others. For the price it was a great deal. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Embarkation process was very slow, the Lady helping us check in didnt seem to be very knowledgeable on anything i asked. she wasnt too sure of what floor the food was being serviced and just handed me a map and said "it should be on ... Read More
Embarkation process was very slow, the Lady helping us check in didnt seem to be very knowledgeable on anything i asked. she wasnt too sure of what floor the food was being serviced and just handed me a map and said "it should be on here you can look for it". the ship itself was very nice. the cabin's layout was not very logical. the bathroom was not a separate room and if you want to get dressed you have leave you clothes on the floor because there is no counter behind the counter to lay your clothes on. all the dining experiance we had was TERRIBLE SERVICE. i have been on numerous cruises (with other company's) and have never had such terrible service as i did with Norwegian.teh servers in all dining areas never made eye contact with you and would vanish before you can even ask them for butter (which was not on our table) or ask them for anything. they would take your order and then leave. they were never present for you in case you needed something. we cruise in a party of 12 and everyone in my party had the same experience! TERRIBLE SERVICE. the bar by the pool was VERY UNDERSTAFFED it took me one time 45mins to get a drink. there were no pool attendants walking around getting drink orders. at the pool there was only two bartenders at the bar i remember their names clearly because i received the worst service from them! Edgar and i believe Noely. i asked like three times for a lemon and the flat out ignored me. they took others drink order before mine and i was there for 45mins! i had my uncle and aunt come up to the bar and they aswell made no eye contact and then said " your key card does not work" yet i had saw him take drink orders and not even scan some key cards from other people. i then had to go all the way down to customer service and come to find out there was nothing wrong with my card at all!!! the crew members on the ship were not knowledgeable with the ship, they did not know where bathrooms where and also seemed to have difficult with the language barrier. i also had a massage service done, the massage it self was ok, but the lady kept making noise by the sink and spent more time "preping" the creams to apply on me then actually massaging me. she seemed new and also not knowledge with the performance of the service she was giving me. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our 9th cruise at Spring break and never have we been disappointed like we were on this cruise. The ship, our balcony cabin, entertainment and the food were excellent. The restaurant service was very good and our room streard ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise at Spring break and never have we been disappointed like we were on this cruise. The ship, our balcony cabin, entertainment and the food were excellent. The restaurant service was very good and our room streard was over the top great. However the bar service was dreadful, and this was the theme at every bar. Either the bartenders are poorly trained or just quite simply miserable. They never smiled, barely gave eye contact, unfriendly and pretty much treated you like you were invisible. Average time waiting to be served was 30 min. Basically unable to access ships pools as totally taken over by college kids. Norwegian staff has no control over unruly college kids, they were left to do whatever they wanted and no one ever intervened. Felt unsafe most of the time. I am just happy I was not sailing with young children, as witnessing the college kids and their horrible behaviour and language would have been horrifying. Unable to use our cabins balcony, as no smoking on balcony not inforced whatsoever. Tried to report this to staff but when you called the Ships Operator no one ever picked up the line. It took 2 hours of lineups to get on the Ship and another 2 hours of line-ups to get off the Ship. Actually witnessed a man asleep sitting up at a restaurant with his head on the table. Not one Norwegian staff approached him to see if he was sick, sleeping or deceased. He was like this for 20 minutes. Our last cruise on a Norwegian ship was Spring break 2018 and we had absolutely none of the issues we experienced with this cruise. What’s even more disappointing is that the Online survey I completed immediately following the cruise has not been addressed, it would appear that following up with guests is not their priority. Spoke to many other guests who reported similar issues and everyone was disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Boarding the ship the 1st day, was organized and went well The overall food on the ship was very good. The specialty restaurants where very good! I don't think the ship has enough shows, and you need too get tickets ahead of time for ... Read More
Boarding the ship the 1st day, was organized and went well The overall food on the ship was very good. The specialty restaurants where very good! I don't think the ship has enough shows, and you need too get tickets ahead of time for most shows and some have an additional fee. Service, the cabin steward was very good room was clean, the wait staff in the sit down restaurants where very good. The clearing of tables in the buffet was slow. The bar service around the pool was Very slow at best, and they did not have many waiters around servicing the pool area. The "family cabin" was very small. We traveled with a 16 and 13 YO's for a Christmas week. The ship was not really decorated for Christmas, only a few Christmas trees around the main areas. Disembarkation was very smooth, you put a colored luggage tag on and they call your color while you have breakfast. We would not go on the Epic again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We loved our cruise and the staff. We were on the ship for 7 nights, and then the ship was going to continue onto Europe. The ports were amazing (Ochos Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Great Stirrup Cay). We took advantage of the booking ... Read More
We loved our cruise and the staff. We were on the ship for 7 nights, and then the ship was going to continue onto Europe. The ports were amazing (Ochos Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Great Stirrup Cay). We took advantage of the booking special that was free unlimited beverage package. It was so nice to not worry about having a large bill at the end of the cruise. There were 8 of us, 4 moms and 4 daughters. Very relaxing to take a girls' trip on a cruise ship! Highly recommend it!! We took advantage of one of the specialty restaurants: Tepinyaki (sp?) Definitely recommend it - - best filet mignon I have ever eaten. We loved everything about the cruise except the following: Inside stateroom lighting stinks - - book a balcony Tender reservations process wasn't clear - - book tender's early to get off the ship at a decent time in Cayman. Casino is rather large and I didn't gamble. Smoking allowed in Casino as well which I didn't prefer. But otherwise, food, cleanliness, staff, atmosphere, were perfect. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
After cruiseing with Princess for the last eight years we decided to try Norweigan Epic for a cuise March 25 -Through April 1,The cabin right off was not what we thought it would be.We where expecting a mini sweet with a balconey, This ... Read More
After cruiseing with Princess for the last eight years we decided to try Norweigan Epic for a cuise March 25 -Through April 1,The cabin right off was not what we thought it would be.We where expecting a mini sweet with a balconey, This mini sweet does not compare to the mini sweets on princess, Poor lighting, The so called queen bed was two singles pushed together and my wife who is 5-3 had her feet hanging over the edge,And the fact that we traveled with my daughter and her husband and we had side by side cabins which on princess they would allow us to open the balconey door between the two cabins so we could visit with going out into the hall, Not allowed on Norweigan whats that about?Dining in the Garden Cafe. Should be called a free for all not freestyle ,The lines at the buffet Were coming from all directions with people crowding in all the time.,And eating at the irish pub, The food was good and we thought we made a good choice until we relized that we had been seated beside and active bowling alley, Have you ever tried to hold a coversation with people screaming and bowling beside you? And getting clean towels or the cabin cleaned was a real challenge . I guess freestyle means you clean the cabin yourself, And why the cleaning lady would call me at 8:oo am while i am still asleep to ask me if I enjoyed my breakfeast why would she do that? Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary and departure date since we were limited to Spring break. I felt "price gouged" traveling during the holiday, and nickel and dimed for everything (we were pre warned by others) The ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary and departure date since we were limited to Spring break. I felt "price gouged" traveling during the holiday, and nickel and dimed for everything (we were pre warned by others) The ship was booked to capacity and our only complaints were crowds and lines everywhere and embark and debark were extremely long. Our cabin attendant ERI was sweet and accommodating and met our needs with a cheerful attitude. We had a good variety of food, lots of choices and good service despite the crowds. We traveled with our young adult kids ages 17,19 and 23. Everyone had a great time and there was plenty to do with the exception of the 17yr old. He felt a little left out when the older kids would go to the lounge in the evenings. I would recommend breaking up the teen group into ages like 13-15 and 16-18. My 17 yr old son would not go near the teen club since he was the oldest age. We enjoyed all the deck parties at night under the stars, and all the activities around the pool in the days. Overall a great time and we would love to do it again! No regrets! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was only our third cruse, the first two being on RCL. We are 58 & 62 yers old. Our extended family booked Epic for a small reunion during March 2017. Since it was the dreaded spring break window, we were a little concerned with ... Read More
This was only our third cruse, the first two being on RCL. We are 58 & 62 yers old. Our extended family booked Epic for a small reunion during March 2017. Since it was the dreaded spring break window, we were a little concerned with having the ship over run with teens & kids, but this was rarely an issue. There were not many college kids, the one's that were there were of the more mature variety than a typical Carnival party boat, and the less mature one's were friendly and humorous anyway. For kids: one cousin & spouse had their 7-8 year old. She had a blast in the special kids zone. It was reported to be well supervised and kept her happy while mom & dad could go on excursions & do cocktails & dancing until the kid zone let out at 9 PM. A lot of people must have taken advantage of this option, because except for the pool the ship was not overrun with kids. My wife & I never went in the main pools. We booked the Thermal Spa for the week. The price wasn't bad online pre-cruise. The spa is awesome. Never overcrowded, spotless and comfortable and nice 18+ oasis. NCL seems to have a larger variety of smaller hangouts than the two large RCL ships we've been on (Adventure & Quantum) You can't go anywhere without tripping over a bar / lounge, and the variety & quality are good. O'Sheenhans was hopping on St Patrick's Day and the night before. Shows: The Beatles imitators were great! Good musicians in their own right. Burn the floor is very good and has different themes each night. We didn't see Pricilla, we live in NY, we can see it in real life :) One thing: the tables could use more bussing (pick up used items & wipe down the table) This was a full ship and they weren't always prepared for the volume of people using the lounges. The staff is very friendly. We never encountered a negative person. Some confided in us that Epic was one of their favorite ships to work on. The cabins are as advertised, small, weird bathroom setup in our bargain interior room. But we had enough storage space. Next time we go back to balconies unless the interior is a really good deal. We did get to see the Solo Studios. They are really nice small rooms! Our two solo travelers with us were very satisfied. Tendering is by reservation. That kind of stinks, because if we want to get up at O God AM and wait on line to get off early we should be able to, we shouldn't have to book a tender two days in advance. I had to go complain to get on an earlier boat & not miss a shoreexcursioneer.com trip we booked. Bottom line: fun ship, lost of smaller spaces to hang out, no Spring Break drama, very good staff. They could have kept up with table bussing and more wait staff a little better, but everyone was industrious & friendly. Would recommend it for families, older couples and mature singles. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We had a mini suite w/balcony, which is definitely not a suite. The rooms are small comparing to Carnival. The bathroom layout is bizarre. Why would it seem like a good idea to put a sink in the middle of the counter in the room - where ... Read More
We had a mini suite w/balcony, which is definitely not a suite. The rooms are small comparing to Carnival. The bathroom layout is bizarre. Why would it seem like a good idea to put a sink in the middle of the counter in the room - where water is splashed on the floor anytime the sink is on. I would give the overall experience a rating between terrible and poor. But because of the below average service, that is why I went with the poor rating. The very first day other cabins room service stayed in the hall all day long that my 4 year old son even noticed it cause we passed it 4 times. I don't feel this cruise line is for kids 5 and below my son wasn't able to bowl and he is 4 and he was crying about that. Then one of the other kids I was with was harassed about not having socks on after 20 minutes of bowling. For it to have been the Nickelodeon cruise they should have been around the boat more, I could have paid to have pics taken at home in NY and saved my money. The older kids Ages 7-9 was tired of playing with blocks in the kids academy their not babies they said! There should have been more for them to do!!!! They never changed the sheets even after the kid peed the bed one night. My room wasn't cleaned after coming form the ports and I was tired all day being in the hot sun. so I sat in a friends cabin. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my 13th cruise (3rd with NCL). We were excited because we had never before received a drink package as an incentive. However, I think EVERYONE received the drink package, which lead to no service whatsoever. It literally took 30 ... Read More
This was my 13th cruise (3rd with NCL). We were excited because we had never before received a drink package as an incentive. However, I think EVERYONE received the drink package, which lead to no service whatsoever. It literally took 30 minutes to get a drink as the service was so horrible. The bartenders were nice, but they didn't have enough help. There were lines of people trying to get drinks. Second worse thing - dining room service. The actual food service was ok, but I felt like I was putting the waiters out by asking for things. I actually even had one roll his eyes at me for asking for a empanada for my daughter after she liked mine so much. In past cruises, they would know our names, smile, and get it with joy! I felt like I was causing problems for simple requests. Our shower drain didn't work for the first two days. We had to complain to have it resolved without word. Our toilet wouldn't flush and same thing - resolved without word. No "I'm sorry," No "we fixed it and let me know if there are additional concerns..." Nothing! Nada! The elevators service was ridiculous. They only have two banks of elevators for 4000+ people. Dumb. We mostly took stairs because waiting for an elevator was ridiculous. You had to ride up to go down. Positives - food was very good, buffet service was great, kids programs were good, schedule was great, and ports were fantastic! Also - embarkation and debarkation were spot on! I am done with NCL after this one. Service just lacking and TOO MANY PEOPLE! When I cruise next, I'm going to go back to Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I can't believe the complainers on this site. Our family vacation was fanstatic on the epic out of Miami April 5th. The food was amazing, the entertainment was the best I've ever seen on any ship hands down. The service was ... Read More
I can't believe the complainers on this site. Our family vacation was fanstatic on the epic out of Miami April 5th. The food was amazing, the entertainment was the best I've ever seen on any ship hands down. The service was great as well. Guess what, our bathroom smelled a bit too but if you use a bit a poopurii you are good to go. Nothing to complain about just deal with it. I hate that people bash it becasue they don't know how to have fun on their own vacation. NCL freestyle dinner is great, I hate having to be ontime for dinner on my vacation. We never had to wait more than 5 minutes to be seated at any time we showed up. My only complaint would be that the rooms need to be about 6 inches wider. It would make a world of difference getting around the room with 2 adults and 2 kids in it. But by the 3rd day we got use to it and were fine. The balcony was great on the 14th floor and wonderfull to have the cafe one flight up. I would go on NCL again in a heart beat. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I took my 13 year old twin boys on this cruise. We sailed on the Getaway last year and the kids loved it. They couldn't wait to get on the epic. The good news is that there is a lot to do on board, for all ages. We had the ... Read More
I took my 13 year old twin boys on this cruise. We sailed on the Getaway last year and the kids loved it. They couldn't wait to get on the epic. The good news is that there is a lot to do on board, for all ages. We had the ultimate dining and ultimate beverage packages. Dining was excellent. Dinner was the highlight of most days on the boat. We ate at la cucina once. Garfield was an outstanding server. Food was good. We at at Moderno and Cagney once as well. The quality of food at Moderno was better than expected. Nice variety good service. Kids loved it. Cagney's was good as well, but not great. Not steakhouse quality, but dinner and sides were tasty. Service from Krisma was outstanding. Teppanyaki was the favorite. The show was great. The food was much better than any Japanese steakhouse I have ever been to. We went back twice! The pool was very nice, but finding a lounge chair was always difficult. Also, I didn't like that the stage faced away from the pool and towards the buffet. Always seemed like it was taking energy away from the pool. The kids liked the water slides, but lines for the plunge got up to 45 minutes a few times during the cruise. Entertainment: The cirque show was excellent. All of us really enjoyed it. The murder mystery lunch was awful. Not even mildly entertaining. The band in fat cats was very good, and we saw them a few times. Howling at the moon was also entertaining, though I didn't like how aggressively they were asking for money with each song request. The caribbean band, Jamrock was ok, but they need a new lead singer. I didn't think she was very good. Service: This was the very surprising part of the trip. We had a few servers that really stood out as I mentioned in the restaurants. However, general service within the ship (pool waiters, o'sheehans, room stewards, buffet, etc.) we're just average at best. Nobody seemed to really like their job. In fact many performers and even staff mentioned how long they had left in their contract on the boat. That just shouldn't happen. The room: The kids really hated the bathroom layout. Also the room (spa balcony) seemed very small. We were constantly tripping over each other and there was nowhere to keep your shoes. Overall, it was a fun time. We were on a cruise ship with great weather, traveling with other people enjoying their vacations, and visiting great destinations. How can you not have fun? Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Our family has been on 15 cruises since the late 1990's. This was my son's Senior Spring break trip during Easter week. I understand that the cruise would cost more during the Easter break but we sure did not get our ... Read More
Our family has been on 15 cruises since the late 1990's. This was my son's Senior Spring break trip during Easter week. I understand that the cruise would cost more during the Easter break but we sure did not get our money's worth. First, to save their energy costs on the Norwegian Epic, you need to keep your sail card (room key) in a slot inside the cabin door or the electricity will not stay on. So, if I went on deck to get drinks, (using our sail cards to retrieve the drinks) while my wife got ready for dinner, lights went out! We eventually were able to get a 3rd card from purser's desk to keep our lights on. There's got to be a better way to conserve energy. Which brings me to the Beverage Package. We are Latitude's members but were not given an option of a complimentary beverage package. This is our second cruise on NCL and when speaking to several other passengers (including first timers),their beverage packages were included. In essence, we paid just under $1000 more for our cruise than these other passengers. That's not fair. Beware! Insist on complimentary beverage package before booking with NCL. As for the Buffet, lines were way longer than past cruises and would take 20 minutes to get through the line. After looking for an available table which would take 5 minutes, our food would be cold. We ate in the Dining Rooms as much as possible. It would also take several minutes to get a drink at one of the pool bars. We side tipped the bartender and waiter which sped things up a hair. Even though the ship is huge, there was never enough lounge chairs on deck. Chairs were reserved by passengers (towels and a book on it) by 7:30 AM. Definitely could not sleep in on days at sea This is an issue on other ships but by far not as bad. The staff as on all past ships were very helpful and friendly. I did go to the purser's desk to inquire about the Beverage Package and the customer service woman was disinterested on my complaint. In summary, this ship has too many passengers to accommodate everyone, is probably too big if your hoping not to get lost, average food, ( no shrimp cocktails, better cuts of beef, etc...) and definitely not a value for your money. I did write a letter to NCL Customer Relations who replied and gave reasons / made excuses for every issue I presented to them, and did not urge us to give them another chance. I will not give his name but he probably could have tried to sell NCL to us better. We like the Freestyle cruising but will never sail with NCL again. For the value, Carnival, RCL or Celebrity will be our choices. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My wife and I headed to the Western Caribbean aboard the Epic during spring break. It was our second cruise, both on Norwegian. A week prior to departure, we were offered an upgrade deal to The Haven Suite that I could not pass up. Only ... Read More
My wife and I headed to the Western Caribbean aboard the Epic during spring break. It was our second cruise, both on Norwegian. A week prior to departure, we were offered an upgrade deal to The Haven Suite that I could not pass up. Only reason I wish I had is, now that we've experienced The Haven, we are now spoiled and will have a hard time going back. Arriving at the Port of Miami and getting aboard was a breeze. We pulled up to our noted terminal, dropped off our luggage, parked our vehicle in Garage C and walked back across the street to the terminal. If you're worried about safety or security in the parking garage, don't be. There are security guards roaming around in the day and vehicles can only come and go on cruise embarkation/debarkation days. Otherwise, it's basically closed and vehicles aren't coming out. We parked a brand new vehicle there without issue. You will first go through security, just like at the airport. One difference is they let you bring liquids through as long as they have NOT BEEN OPENED. You can bring any non-alcoholic beverages you want on board, but they will toss them in the trash if they have been opened. You can also simply check a case of bottled water with your luggage (just tape a luggage tag that you print out right to the case and it will find its way to your room.) After security you get in line to check-in. We were directed to a small room for Haven customers to check-in. Once it's your turn, you show them your passports and reservation document. They will take your photo so security and ship personnel know it's you when your card is swiped. They will also ask you for a credit card to settle your bill with when you return. After that they give you your cards (used as your room key and to pay for anything on board.) At this point we waited for a gentleman to escort us up to the ship entry. For non-Haven guests, you’ll follow the line around to get your first vacation photo taken in front of a painting of the ship then reach a waiting area until they call your group number to board. Another brief wait and you get your card scanned and are allowed on the ship. For Haven customers, you get escorted up to the Haven Lounge where one of the concierges gives you a tour of the Haven Suites Area . It truly is a ship within a ship. After the tour of the Haven, we grabbed lunch in the Haven restaurant. I often laugh at how many people on Cruise Critic get so critical of the food at various restaurants on the ships. Guess that's where the “Critic” piece comes in. I'm yet to experience bad food on a cruise ship. We had the dining pass this week that let us eat at all the restaurants. If you're debating getting the dining pass, I'd say it's great to experience the different restaurants as a change of pace, but I would say if you are on a budget, you aren't going to miss out by having to eat lesser food at the complimentary locations. We went without the dinner pass last year as a family and loved every meal we had (a bit too much I'd say.) They announced all rooms were ready around 1pm. For you first timers, know that your luggage isn't going to show up until mid to late afternoon, so if you want to layout or swim, put a change of clothes in a carry on bag to change into. After lunch, we dropped off our carry on bags in the room and went off to explore all the floors of The Epic so we could find everything. We like the layout on the Breakaway far better, but that's why they build newer ships – so they can improve them each time, right? I read many complaints about the Epic layout, but honestly it seems simple enough to me. If you have a choice of what level you want to stay on any ship, I'd pick somewhere between decks 9-11, right in the middle. Then it's an easy walk either way on the stairs. Last year we were on 5 and always had to wait to go up top where we spent most of our time. This year we are on 17 and most of the Epic events are down on decks 5 – 7, so we wait again in reverse. Not a big deal, just pointing it out for efficiencies sake. After exploring and taking a tour of the “largest spa at sea,” we went to our room to unpack as our luggage had arrived by then. We had a ton of storage space in the room and our large suite cases easily slide under the bed. This will be true in all cabins. After unpacking, we headed up to the Haven sun deck to enjoy the sail away party as we left the dock. It was a breezy day leaving Miami, the sun was out, but the breeze was a bit cool. Sure beat the snow in the Midwest though! We grabbed a casual dinner in the Garden Café as I didn't want to lock down early dinner reservations and not get out in time for our 7pm show. We caught The Blue Man Group, which was top notch. A great show for all and every bit as good as their Vegas routine. I believe their run on the Epic ends in the next week or two, so unless your on the Epic here in early April, you're out of luck. Afterwards we hung out at Headliners to listen to the Howl at the Moon Dualing Pianos. This was my favorite activity last year on the Breakaway and continues to be a great time here on the Epic. I could just sit and enjoy this activity all night. Day two started late as we casually headed down to breakfast at the Garden Café around 10am. After a quick breakfast, my wife ran off to the spa for an appointment and I attended an overview of all the upcoming excursions. A bit disappointed that I didn't learn anything more than I did watching the same videos on the tv in the room the day before. Just a side note that the excursions fill up fast, so pick them before you leave or do it on the day the ship leaves. Kind of pointless for the guy to talk about all the great excursions which, “by the way”, were sold out. Next I stayed in the Epic theater for the next seminar about shopping in all ports of call. My wife joined me at that point, of course, as I certainly wasn't there for my own benefit. Every ship has these sessions and their on board “shopping consultants”. I get a kick out of all the energy they bring into these presentations and the whole shopping experience. They are far better than watching the shopping channel. :-) How do you get a gig as a shopping consultant anyway? While I am poking fun, I will be honest in telling you that these “shopping consultants” know their stuff and all the little secrets about every single shop in all the stops along the way. I make fun, but I'll tell you the ones we've experienced on both cruises are GOOD. Ask them anything. The seminar is really geared towards those of you looking to make major purchases like watches, gems, jewellery, etc. They can really help you out if you are looking to by a big ticket item. If you're looking for trinkets, etc. they can point you in he right direction as well, but their focus is on “the good stuff”. Next, it was time for some lunch again up at the Garden Café and then some exploring in the onboard shops. I was disappointed to hear they didn't carry a large model of the ship as I had hoped to add to my collection of one. Might have to search eBay or something I guess. I ran off for a mid-afternoon “Elimis Pro-Collagen Grooming Treatment w/Shave.” I thought I was getting more of scalp, shoulder, arm and hand message. While that was part of it, it just wasn't really relaxing to me. First, I thought it would be in the spa but instead it was in the barber shop 7 decks down. The barber shop is a small, two chair shop on level 7 near the casino area. So instead of listening to soothing sounds of the spa, I got to listen to slot machines and people talking. Second, I do not like getting a message by a guy. No offense to any guy messagers out there, but it's just not something I enjoy. Third, I didn't shave that day knowing I'd get a shave in the afternoon. Bad move…he just about killed me shaving me against the grain with his razor blade. Ouch! Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the guy did exactly what he was supposed to do and he was a nice gentleman who I could tell knew his stuff. I would probably get a fantastic haircut there, but this experience just wasn't what I thought it would be. After the barber shop experience, it was back to the room to hang out on the balcony to relax awhile. We had dinner in La Cucina, which was our favorite meal last year on the Breakaway. It was good. We then got dressed up (completely voluntary on Norwegian) and took some photos. Got to meet the captain, who seemed like a really nice man from Norway. We saw the comedy show later that evening at Headliners...wasn't really all that funny. I'd have to give it a C+. For Day 3, we had a casual day to lounge about. We hit the spa for a message. This time it was better than yesterday's experience in the barber shop. We had an excellent dinner at Cagney's Steakhouse seated at an aft window. We also saw The Legends in Concert performance later than evening. Amazing how close to the real performers these folks sounded. We had Jimmy Buffett, Adele and Aretha Franklin. We later learned these folks come straight from The Legends show in Vegas. They do a 6 month tour on the ship, then switch out entertainers. For Day 4, we had to get up “early” today to catch our excursion in Ochoa Rios, Jamaica. Grabbed a quick breakfast in the Garden Café and headed down to the Epic Theater to catch our tour. Today we did the ATV tour. It had been raining the night before, so we all got muddy, but it was a blast. At the end of the tour they take you to a rocky cliff-like area (volcanic rock) and let you dive into the ocean from about 15 – 20 feet up. It's a great spot for photos. This is the perfect activity if you are wanting a little adventure and still have lots of time for shopping afterwards. It had been sprinkling off and on all morning. When the tour got back to the ship the rain became harder. We grabbed lunch back on the ship, grabbed the umbrella out of our room, and headed out to find some gifts for our kids. It was absolutely pouring rain the entire afternoon. Felt bad for any of the longer excursions that were still out there. That evening we had an excellent meal at Shanghai's and wandered about the ship checking out various activities, shops, etc. By Day 5, we figured we'd start this day by making better use of our butler by placing our breakfast order the night before. Why fight the morning breakfast crowd when you can have whatever you want brought to your room with no added cost, right? So after a fantastic breakfast on our balcony looking over George Town, Grand Cayman, we headed down to catch our excursion. This was our first experience with a tendering port, which was interesting. For those who aren't familiar with “tendering”, there is no dock in the Grand Cayman, so the cruise ships all have to drop anchor and then tender you across in small boats. For the Epic, those tender boats are the lifeboats hanging on the side of the ship. I couldn't stop thinking about how different our modern day lifeboats are versus the “rowboat” style found on ships like the Titanic. Pretty impressive. We had a fantastic time in Grand Cayman. We did a kayaking and snorkelling excursion in the crystal clear waters off of Seven Mile Beach. Had a little bit of time to shop before getting on the shuttle craft back to the ship. We learned about another nice perk staying in the Haven – you get to cut to the front of the tender line, which wrapped down and around the Main Street circling the bay. Must have been 200 yards long. Back aboard we grabbed a quick snack as we hadn't eaten lunch. Then it was up to the room for a shower to get all the salt and sand washed off, took a quick nap and then it was time for dinner at Moderno’s (Brazilian cuisine). It was fantastic as I expected. Loved the fried banana and the pineapple flam. Wandered about the ship a bit, catching parts of Deal Or No Deal in the Atrium, checking out our photos for the day, and checking out the big “sales” in the shops. Tonight was the White Hot party, which is a ton of fun, but to be honest, we were both whooped by 10pm. Oh to be in our 20’s again… :-) We awoke on Day 6 to another beautiful day in the Epic, this time from Cozumel. After another excellent breakfast served by our butler on our balcony, we headed down to Manhattan’s to meet our excursion group. We were a little late into port this morning, maybe by about 30 minutes. No worries though, none of the tours were impacted. We headed to Tulum to see the Mayan Ruins. This requires taking a boat to the mainland (Cozumel is on an island in case you weren't aware). The boat ride is about 45 minutes and it's moving at a good pace. Once there, we connected with our guide who lead us to the bus to take to the ruins. The bus was a very modern air conditioned tour bus...like a Greyhound Bus. The ride is a total of about 50 minutes along a modern freeway. Half way it stops at a nice gift shop to pick up the typical touristy stuff. I recommend you get your souvenirs there rather than at the ruins because they'll take your US dollars and give you US dollars in change. At the ruins they'll take your dollars, but you get pesos back. Just something the guide helped us with. We had an excellent tour guide, I believe his name was Meto. He spoke the entire way there giving us the history of the area and other advice. Upon arrival he took us on a 30-45 minute tour. You are then free to roam. We had an hour before bus departure, so we walked down the cliff to the ocean, then headed back towards the bus for some lunch. There are tons of shops at the main entrance…they all looked like they were selling the exact same items. We had lunch at a place the guide recommended, fish tacos and quesadillas. Great lunch and they were fast. After that it was back on the bus, back on the ferry and finally back on the Epic. A lot of the tours were late today, so we actually were walking on the ship when it was supposed to depart. We had 6pm dinner reservations that we missed, but a quick stop to speak to Omar at the Haven concierge desk remedied that issue, getting us in at 7:30pm. We enjoyed Shanghai so much the other night that we had to go back again tonight. It was excellent and surprisingly quiet for 7:30pm. People must have been wiped out from their day or in the early shows. After dinner we had to check out the big jewellery sale at Tradewinds. This had become a daily activity for us as my wife is a professional shopper. (Guys, just go with it, it's a losing battle). :-) As I've mentioned, I love just watching people. As I was standing there against the wall for about 30 minutes while my wife perused the selection (this is one of those countertop locations right in the middle of the main hall so everyone passes by) I got a kick out of how much energy and fun the employees were having strumming up business with the passerbys. One slightly intoxicated guest joined in singing songs with them on a little ukulele. Meanwhile a Russian employee down the hall was having little luck getting folks into the Ice Bar. He reminded me of the Russian guy, Drago, that Rocky fought in Rocky 4…needed to lighten up a bit there to draw in those customers or maybe just take the “get in here or I'll smash your face in” approach. :-) After my wife acquired the goods she was seeking, we went down to the Art Gallery to listen to a session about the works of surrealist painter Salvador Dali, who was good friends with Walt Disney back in his day. I felt a bit "cultured" after sitting through the 45 minute session, it was actually really interesting. We were then off to check out more photos that had been taken in the past day and to get our photo selections organised so we can easily get them ordered on Saturday. The common package choices are 10 photos for $129 or 20 photos for $199. These are mostly high quality 8x10’s although some are 5x7’s depending on the activity or event. I add on the digital copies on a flash drive for $20 more. After looking at the photos, it was back to the room. We were exhausted having spent part of the day walking around the Mayan ruins in 95 degree heat. Our final day at sea started again with breakfast on the balcony. We then headed down to meet our small group for a special "behind the scenes" tour of the ship. It was fascinating. We got to see one of the main kitchens, the laundry, the recycle center and best of all...the bridge. The tour itself is pretty pricey ($79), but well worth it as one of those "things not many people get to do" tours. You get a free photo put into a large book however, that you get to keep at the end. The rest of the day included another trip to the spa (probably one too many times), getting packed, dinner at Teppanyaki (which was probably our favorite meal of the week), more packing, then the 10pm show for Nadeen - Comedy Hypnotist. The show seemed a bit too cheesy to me, hard to tell if they were all real. All depends on the personalities you get from the crowd I guess. Having later researched Nadeen's work, I know she is highly recognized in her area of expertise. Just seemed like an off night for the show I guess. We put our luggage outside our door around 11:15pm and went to bed. Finally, our trip concluded with us pulling into the Port of Miami early Sunday morning. One last breakfast from the balcony as we watched some of the early risers who wanted to carry their own luggage off the ship on their own so they could be the first ones off. Nothing wrong with that...if you want to get up early. Went down to the concierge desk where they walked us to the front of the line to exit the ship, went through customs (which has to be the easiest customs process ever experienced), and headed to the car. In summary, we had an excellent time aboard the Epic. As I had researched the ship here on Cruise Critic in advance, I had a sense of what we would be experiencing and it honestly surpassed my expectations. We love the layout of the Breakaway/Getaway far better as there is more room to outside and away from people on multiple decks. But we had no problem adjusting to the layout of the Epic. With multiple activities every hour of the day, one cannot get bored. We were able to relax and just enjoy being together for the week without having to take care of the kids. We love the freedom to eat whenever you want and not have to worry about dress codes that you find aboard all Norwegian ships. We're already looking forward to experiencing the new Escape next year! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my review. I am writing this knowing that there may be some in Cruise Critic land that may pile on me for writing this. It is my hope that by writing this it is more of a buyer be where. ... Read More
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my review. I am writing this knowing that there may be some in Cruise Critic land that may pile on me for writing this. It is my hope that by writing this it is more of a buyer be where. So here goes nothing. I booked a 7 night western Caribbean cruise aboard the Norwegian Epic. The sail date was 3/29/2015. Ports of Call were Jamaica/Grand Cayman/Cozumel Mexico. The room we stayed in was a Mini Suite 10264. We arrived at in Miami on 3/29/2015 at about 12:15am and spent the very short night at the Red Roof Inn located by the airport. While Red Roof was not my 1st choice I went with the mindset that it was a place to sleep and with getting in so late all that I wanted was a place to sleep. Check in to the Red Roof went fine as we already had prepaid for the room via Expedia. As we were heading to the room via the pool area I noticed that the door to our rooms was propped. There were people smoking dope in the pool area. Considering the time we checked in I was not wanting to deal with anything like that. Wake up was at 8:00am. They had a "limited breakfast" consisting of toast/bagels/juice. We were given a pickup time for the free shuttle to the port for 1:00pm with a checkout time of 11:00am. At 11:00am we checked out and hung out in lobby along with the rest of the masses waiting to go to the port. Luckily at about 12:00pm someone missed their time and we were able to take the shuttle then. The shuttle to the port was about 20 minutes. We checked in at the port going through Terminal C. Thankfully prior reading of Cruise Critic made me aware to make sure to go to the right terminal as there are multiple ones. Checking in took about 15-20 minutes and we were given a boarding number. In the area where everyone waits it took about 30 minutes till our boarding group was called. Once our number was called we boarded the Epic smoothly. Since our luggage and room was not ready we went to O'Shienans for lunch. Lunch was usually bar food but at that point we were hungry so didn't matter. Along with the lunch we also ordered some drinks. Not knowing that while the boat is still docked in Miami that you have to pay tax on the drinks (So much for the UBP). After that we then went to the room. We arrived in the room at about 1:30pm. We started putting away our belongings for the cruise. When my wife attempted to secure our valuables in the safe provided in the room she was unable to do so as the safe would not work. Upon observing this we contacted guest services. Guest services advised us that they would send someone up right away. About 15-20 minutes later someone from maintenance arrived at our stateroom. He believed that it was a faulty battery and went to get different batteries to replace the ones that were dead. At about 3:00pm he returned to our stateroom to replace the batteries. After the batteries were replaced he advised us that the safe was working fine even though the front of the safe was held together with only 1 screw (the other screw was broken and placed on the shelf) and you could move the face of the safe (where the digital combination was located). After he left the room we attempted to use the safe only to find out that it still did not work. I contacted guest services advising them of the situation and that I would like for someone to return back to our stateroom to fix the safe. They advised me that there would not be anyone available till after 6:30pm. We agreed to meeting with them at that time. At about 6:30pm we returned back to our stateroom only to be advised by our cabin steward that they were in a meeting and would not be available until after 8:00pm or we could contact them the next day. The steward also advised us that in order for the safe to be fixed that we needed to be present in the room. We decided that since we had dinner and show reservations (that if canceled outside of the allowed time frame we would be charged) to wait till the next day to have them fix the safe. On 3/30/2015 at about 10:00am we called guest services to make another request for the safe to be fixed. Guest services advised us that they would send someone again to our room to fix the safe. About 30 minutes later someone from maintenance arrived at our room to put a screw in the safe. The maintenance worker attempted to put a screw in the safe but it didn't work. He then decided to replace the safe with a new one. About 30 minutes later he returned with a new safe and swapped out the old one. On 4/3/2015 when we woke up I observed a bite mark under my sons’ right arm by his arm pit. After seeing this I then looked at the sheets further and noticed 3 straight line stains at the foot of our bed which looked similar to stains left by bed bugs. After seeing this I started pulling the sheets back only to find red and black specs on the sheets. I also found pieces of glass on my side of the bed. After finding this I immediately went down to the customer service desk to make them aware of the situation. They contacted housekeeping along with pest control. I then returned back to our room. At about 9:00am housekeeping along with pest control arrived at the room to check the room. At that point our cabin steward had already started cleaning the room and I was unable to take the necessary pictures needed to show the stains. One of the housekeepers who identified himself as Jo Jo (assistant head housekeeper), advised me that an inspection was needed to be done to check the room for bed bugs. I stated to him that I would like to be present for the inspection but due to the time being what it was and having to be on shore for a paid for excursion that I would not be able to be there. Jo Jo advised me that it was ok and that they would still do the inspection and report back to us when we returned what the findings were. At about 4:00pm we returned back to the boat and met with Jo Jo. He advised us that the inspection was done of the room and no bed bugs were found. He also stated that in regards to glass that broken, that glass was also found under the bed. It was as if he was making it sound as though we broke the glass. I advised him that under no circumstances did we break any glasses in the room and I felt as though he was questioning my integrity about reporting the issue. He then attempted to offer to buy us a dinner as compensation for our troubles but we refused as we already had the dining plan. He then departed our room and returned shortly. He then advised us that he would like to offer us a 100.00 ship board credit for our troubles. I agreed to the offer as I know that was probably all that could be done at the present time while the ship was at sea. During the night of 4/4/2015 while sleeping, I constantly felt something biting my feet and legs. On 4/5/2015 I pulled back the sheets to find similar things as far as the specks and stains that I found the morning of 4/3/2015. Since it was the last day of the cruise I did not contact guest services as I felt from the previous contact regarding this issue it would not be addressed. Now that we are home I and my wife had to spend most of the day (on 4/6/2015) doing laundry outside of our home at a laundry mat as well as having to buy new luggage. The reason why is because we did not want to take any chances with bringing the bed bugs into our home. Things I take away from the experience is the cruise itself was fun. We ate in numerous restaurants like Cagney’s/Teppanyaki/the Italian restaurant along with both MDR's. The food choices were many. Entertainment aboard was good and many different options. It is too bad that 3 incidents that happened overshadowed what could have been a great vacation because NCL almost had me convinced of it being a good product. Since getting off the boat I have made numerous attempts to get in contact with their guest relations to voice my displeasure about what has happened to us on the cruise. When we got back on 4/6/15, I drafted a letter to their Customer Relations Department in hopes to call their attention to the issues we experienced. The 1st attempt on 4/6/15 the attachment to their online form was lost and it wasn't until 4/9/15 that I was made aware that they didn't receive it. On 4/13/2015 another attempt was made to send the letter via fax. It was received but each time I speak with someone in Customer Relations they seem very unhelpful and not willing to listen. As much as I hate to say it NCL is a "Dirty Word" in our house after the things we experienced on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Like any of you, we were very psyched about our upcoming vacation. We're seasoned travelers and we've been around. We like cruising because of it's relative ease and we've cruised more than half a dozen times on ... Read More
Like any of you, we were very psyched about our upcoming vacation. We're seasoned travelers and we've been around. We like cruising because of it's relative ease and we've cruised more than half a dozen times on Carnival and Norwegian ships. Truth be told, we've never found Norwegian to be particularly good or accommodating or responsive in terms of customer service, but because they conveniently cruise out of Manhattan, we've used them a few times. This time, we flew to Miami to catch the Epic. We originally booked a plain 12th deck balcony room, but as our date approached and prices for 'mini suites' dropped, being a sucker for an upgrade, we got a 'free upgrade' to an 8th floor 'mini suite'. Now, I'll preface this whole thing by saying we didn't like the Epic for a number of reasons, mostly starting with lost luggage on day one (it appeared later that night). We ended up kind of unhappy with the cabin and based on my experience in the wavy little room, I cant imagine how unhappy we would have been in our plain-jane, maybe less equipped balcony room. I have to say, the room was fine (for the most part) and loaded with terrific storage space, but by no means would I classify it a 'mini-suite'. It was a standard cabin with a small balcony. A big issue for me was the fact that both sides of the ship have large rescue tenders hanging off the sides two levels below us for the length of the ship. You step out on the balcony to look at the sea and you're looking at bird poo on top of the emergency boats. Maybe the people above us were less annoyed. Be that as it may, the problem lies in that horrible bathroom system. I'm not going to mince words here, I found the toilet situation nothing short of deeply disturbing. To expand on this ridiculousness, in this set up, you're also showering in the cabin. I don't know about you, but I shave when I finish showering. In a standard cabin bathroom with *a door* you step out of the shower to the mirror to shave. In this floating comedy, you step out of the shower into your air conditioned room to a small dentist's sink IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM to shave. You drip and freeze and shave in the dark mirror in the middle of your room. Not easy. Not fun. However, it's been out there for over four years, all of this has been heard before. In terms of the rest of the Epic trip, some of it was fine, some of it was a massive annoyance, most of it is probably nitpicking, but in the end, we enjoyed the Epic less than any cruise we've been on. PS, nothing that follows will be as amusing as my bathroom woes, but it's all off the top of my head honest. Entertainment- Pre-booking shows and dinners (which includes pre-paying) a month & a half before boarding is a little bit of a ballache. If you didn't pre-book Blue Man Group, good luck once you're onboard. We prebooked and happened to miss our reservation and that was it, no opportunity to catch it again. Our fault, obviously, but I had no desire to stand in line for standby seats the only other night it was available. I have no idea why you're paying $39 a head for the Cirque and Dinner show- at $39 a head, the cheapish, non-menu 'Surf & Turf' dinner (a small sirloin steak, 3 shrimp and fries), was just plain unimpressive. The show was very nice, but nothing about the experience demonstrated a need to surcharge this small & simple entertainment. I find this type of cheesy 'add on' is just the way the cruise industry is headed. Fares haven't gone down, just what they used to buy is now an add-on. Legends in Concert, pre-booked, is kind of okay. Three acts, an Adele imitator, a Jimmy Buffet imitator and an Aretha Franklyn imitator. To my taste, a third of the show devoted to Jimmy Buffet is way too much non-entertainment. Everyone loves Margaritaville, but it's the other 10 or so numbers that I didn't know and that this same guy was playing by the pool all weeklong that made me glaze over. Ultimate Beverage Package- It's certainly a bargain if you're a drinker, but try getting a drink. Long waits for bar staff to serve, long waits for receipt printing (that requires both cards present when ordering a drink for my wife and I). Wait staff, forget it. It's virtually nonexistant- and if you're not adding tips on top of the already charged tip, really forget it. You're not seeing that waiter again. It was a little (too much) work getting your drinks. And PS, UBP is non-applicable to your mini bar. If you want a glass of water in your room, bring it aboard or make your way to a bar somewhere. The Aquafina in the fridge is about $3. Drinking water! Specialty restaurants- We're from NYC. We cook, we eat well at home and out. Since our very first cruise about 15 years ago, we've noticed a steady decline in standard cruise fare as the years go by. NCL is particularly frugal with the upscale fare and the bottom line is this, you won't see much shrimp, crab, lobster- shell fish, better steaks, Wellington or souffle anywhere on the the boat unless you're visiting the specialty (surcharged) restaurants and even then, you won't notice much of a difference from the fairly good main dining rooms. We've done Le Bistro in the past, it's just OK. The Chinese food is a ridiculous surcharge, the ala-carte Sushi (included with regular fare on Carnival) is ridiculous and the Olive Garden-ish Italian is also a curiously ridiculous surcharge. You're surcharging me for Fettuccine Alfredo?? We didn't do the churrascaria, so I can't comment on it, but we did Cagney's again and it hasn't improved any from our last NCL voyage. In fact, it kind of got worse. We had the misfortune of having the worst waiter we've ever found at sea (no reflection on the other great people serving) and it was a tedious two hour suckfest facilitated by this particular nincompoop. I can say with certainty that, like the rest of the ship, the food has just gotten noticeably cheaper or/or more carelessly prepared. Steaks are kind of tasteless (I don't know how they accomplish this), garlic mash is instant, which is fine, however, if you're not adding 'fats' like milk or butter and just mixing flakes with dried chicken broth and perhaps a little garlic powder, you're serving dreck. And a bunch of other needless little culinary nitpicks that just kind of made it a useless expense. I was looking down at the regular dining room wishing I was there throughout the Cagney's experience. Regular Dining- I was able to get a prime rib one night in O'Sheehans, this ship's chicken wing spot. Again, almost tasteless, but appreciated nontheless. Pasta. Who doesn't love pasta? I love it and need it at least once a week. The regular restaurants served a serviceable Spaghetti Bolognese daily, however, if you wanted some grated pecorino or reggiano or even a nice parmesan with your pasta, you're out of luck. Again, I've cooked for a living- they're actually serving a cheap, artificial parmesan powder that made joyful pasta consumption nearly impossible for me. I know many of you love the buffet on the pool deck, me? I always hate Garden Cafe, but my wife doesn't. People en masse are awful and ill mannered to begin with, but even worse around community food. I don't like waiting in line to eat in general. I don't like buffet eating and I really hate my food getting cold as I wait for the imbecile in front of me to figure out how to ladle soup into a bowl and carry two other heaping plates at once, but, as we sunned by the pool for these many days at sea, we lunched there almost daily. It's eh at best. Plenty of cheap, rehashed stuff to fill up on (this is where last nights chicken reappears as something else). Odd tasting coldcuts, gross looking desserts, bad stewed dishes, etc. The best of it being some asian soup stations. The available beverages to lunch with are hard to find and deplorable. The coffee, kind of strong, kind of sucked. Juices were sweet, cheapish...nothing good to say about cruise ship buffet eating. The Boat Itself... My wife said it best, 'bigger boat isn't a better boat'. Service tends to vary on NCL boats, but the service staff virtually always rise to the occasion. It's never far from my mind how hard these people work to please the ridiculously spoiled, overfed and questionably mannered guests. What I don't see is NCL giving a sht from the top down. I never get the sense that care whether you cruise NCL again or not. No matter what you question, complain about or need change on, all you'll get from suited boat management is 'oh, soo sorry...there's nothing we can do at this time.. Soo sorry.' 'Sooo sorry' is not customer service. Our starboard cabin vent the chicken wing fryers. You couldn't keep the balcony doors open without smelling chicken wings. I can sniff chicken frying anywhere in Manhattan at no charge and that's a big deal when you fully planned to sleep in the ocean air with your doors open at night. I asked for a new room within an hour of boarding and never got anything but 'oh, so sorry...'. You get nothing except to take it on the chin. Good luck with your issues. You'll never see them rebate, make good, refund or giveaway anything no matter what goes wrong with your vacation. Me, I'm going to stay of NCL for a while. I've spent tens of thousands of dollars with NCL over the years (four kids, the in-laws and three or four two or more cabin cruises) and in the end, I get a crappy Bronze Lattitudes level membership (which gets you virtually nothing) and 'oh, sooo sorry, Mr Christopher...' for any concern, major or minor. They don't care what your problem is- you're only as good as the money you can hand them today. That's the truth.also had the misfortune of being on the side of the boat where they Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We had a spa mini suite, didn't like the room or bed at all. The room steward wasn't the best at cleaning he did the basic made the bed towel animals and that was it. This was our second time on the Epic and definitely our last. ... Read More
We had a spa mini suite, didn't like the room or bed at all. The room steward wasn't the best at cleaning he did the basic made the bed towel animals and that was it. This was our second time on the Epic and definitely our last. The service wasn't the best either and the food was horrible. Cold to lukewarm food throughout the whole ship. Major cutbacks all over and increased prices. Glad its leaving to Europe. Big difference from when we sailed the Epic last year. Not sure we will give Norwegian another chance we might try another line and we were very loyal to them. The entertainment in all the public areas was horrible compared to the other new builds. Legends was good as BMG.The gym was crowded everyday couldn't get a machine. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This Cruise is so impressive. It is a amazing ship for families wanting to get the kids busy with the amazing waterslides. The NCL Freestyle crusing was so great weather it was about dinning or onboard activities. This is a must on every ... Read More
This Cruise is so impressive. It is a amazing ship for families wanting to get the kids busy with the amazing waterslides. The NCL Freestyle crusing was so great weather it was about dinning or onboard activities. This is a must on every cruisers bucket list! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Embarkation
 I arrived to the port onboard the Disney Wonder. While onboard the Disney Wonder, I talked to several people that been on the Epic and had nothing but great things to say about the ship. I literally walked off the ... Read More
Embarkation
 I arrived to the port onboard the Disney Wonder. While onboard the Disney Wonder, I talked to several people that been on the Epic and had nothing but great things to say about the ship. I literally walked off the Disney Wonder and on to the Norwegian Epic. No driving, no shuttles, no taxi, and no spaceships. Just walked. It was awesome! Upon arrival at the terminal for the Epic was pretty much where the awesomeness stopped. It was a total madhouse at the terminal. For starter, there are 2 terminals for the Epic, terminal B and terminal C. Make sure you enter in the terminal based on what it says on your cruise documents or be prepared to be yelled at by shoreside personal. To make it even more confusing, there were people waiting for tours outside terminal C so it was hard to tell where the line started. 

I arrived to the correct terminal but was yelled at almost right away by a guy in an NCL shirt stating that I was in the tour line and that the line into the terminal was over there. As I approach the terminal door, people in front of me were being redirected to terminal B because thats where they were suppose to go based on their cruise documents. Eventually the person working the door into the terminal just started yelling at everyone in line saying that if you’re cruise document says terminal B you need to go to terminal B. This wasn’t a simple trying to be informative announcement trying to tell people what to do, it was a angry and frustrated type of yelling. Than another guy came out telling us as we walked in that we’re lucky on NCL because NCL is the ONLY cruise line that would let people board the ship before the published boarding time. I only mention this because we didn’t even start boarding till 15 minutes AFTER our boarding time. Normally it’s not a big deal but because they made it a big deal, I figure I should include that little tidbit in my review. 

Check in went smooth and so did going through security. Took my cruise picture than ended up in the waiting room. As boarding time came near, announcements were made to prepare for boarding. There was a small delay in boarding the ship but when the time came to board the ship, there were yelling again, this time over the PA, for people to keep the boarding door clear and that only people holding certain cards may board. I was number 11 so I waited for my turn to board. At this point, I was not impress with NCL’s handling of the boarding process. It wasn’t the delay, it was more the shoreside’s idea of customer service.

One thing NCL need to realize is that first impressions do matter. I was excited to give NCL a try and was in a great mood after disembarking the Disney Wonder. I was looking forward to the Epic because of all the ship’s amenities. I also love large ships. I’ve been on larger ships and enjoyed the experience very much. With that in mind, first thing you see when you walk into the Epic is a closed casino with all the lights off as you navigate through the smoky scented casino tables and machine and into a brightly lit Atrium. I was so disgusted by the smell of the casino, that I didn’t even know what to think of rest of the ship. It looked nice but it felt more like a Vegas casino than a cruise ship. 

 Than there was the buffet, it was pure chaos with kids running around and people cutting in line. I took one look at the mad house and left and went down to Taste for lunch. I was traveling by myself and was having lunch by myself. By this time I had dismissed my experience entering the ship through the Casino and was excited for lunch. However, I waited about 25 minutes before the waiter came over with a menu. He said he though I was waiting for someone to join me. The person that sat me at the table for 2 removed the 2nd setting, leaving the other side of the table empty. To me thats the international sign of no one else is coming to this table. I was like ok, simple misunderstanding, so I ordered my food with the waiter. Than it was more waiting. 30 minutes for the starter to come out, another 30 minutes after I was done with my starter for the entree to come. The waiter did clear the plate as soon as I was done with each course… but than I waited and waited for dessert. Eventually I gave up and got up and left about 30 minutes of waiting. A lunch where I only order 3 items plus an iced tea (with no refill) took almost 2 hours and I didn't even get the 3rd item. 

I than proceed to the ship drill and it was a madhouse. They keep making announcements to not use any electronic devices such as phones and cameras… no one listened. The crew did nothing to enforce the rules. Everyone was chit chatting and talking loudly during the drill maybe less than 1/2 were paying attention to what was going on. Of my 41 cruises, this is the first time I actually felt the drill was a waste of time because it was obvious that no one cared.. I could of easily just checked in and left and no one would of noticed. 
 
 Stateroom 
I got a studio stateroom because I really wanted to try it. I went in expecting it to be small and packed accordingly. Everything was functional and you’ll need to spend the first few moments looking around the room because there are plugs and storage compartment in places where you don’t expect them. For example, outlets and light switch for the sink was hidden by the towels. 

The big problem I had with the room is the lighting. If you can’t sleep with light in the room, good luck in NCL’s studios. The door doesn’t extend all the way down so light from the hallway leak in. Also above the bed are 2 buttons lit by blue lights that control the reading light / night light and the buttons are bright enough to lit up the entire studio with all the lights out. There room appear to be built more for looks than for functionality. 
 For the studio, I’ll just have to say just because you did it first doesn’t mean you did it well. I only say this because I’ve been in a studio on Quantum of the Seas and Royal Caribbean did a much better job with the studio concept than NCL. 

 Entertainment
 Blue Man Group was amazing! It was very similar to the Blue Man Group show on land. I’ve seen the Blue Man Group in Las Vegas, New York, and Boston in the past, several times. Although the acts are the same or similar, you’ll always see something that you may not of seen before. 

Cirque Dream Dinner was a total joke. NCL reservation agents would try to promote it as a Cirque Du Soleil type show, some will even say theres a Cirque Du Soleil show onboard the ship. Although the show was decent, if you go in there thinking you’re going to watch Cirque Du Soleil, you WILL be disappointed. It was more like those circus that visit your town every year and you’ll probably save money going to that than paying the cover charge for Cirque Dream. 
 The service is just as bad, I understand the waiter only have a given time frame to serve and clear the table. The problem I have is that I was seated, along with everyone else at the table 30 minutes prior to the show. We sat down and open the menu, before we even get a chance to look at the menu, the waiter comes over and take the menu away. He than proceeded to tell everyone at the table that theres no point in looking at the menu because everyone get the same food. He only instructed us to order drinks. If they don’t want us to look at the menu, than don’t put it out there as a tease. 

 Dining Room
 After my experience with Taste during lunch on Embarkation day, I did not even go back to the main dining rooms (Taste and Manhattan) for dinner. So there isn’t much to review. 
The buffet was decent, the taste was good…. but the crowd was so uncivilized that it ruined the experience. This is no fault of NCL, but never had I seen so many kids running wild around the buffet line and people of all ages cutting in line. At least say excuse me or something. Every time I went in there, I’ll be waiting in line with everyone else and someone would come in and push me aside and grab what they wanted and leave. It’s like these people never seen food before.

Specialty Dining
 So this happen. One 2 separate occasion I wanted a second entree and told them I am willing to pay a 2nd cover charge or an up charge for a second entree… they say it can’t be done and eventually did it and saying that there will be a charge. It’s not like I expected the food to be free and was willing to pay for the extra food. 

 The topper was Moderno, the waiter was more interested in the order I ate my food than me enjoying the experience. On several occasion he would come over and flip my card from Green to Red, thinking I wasn’t ready for more meat. He didn’t ask, he just did it. I don’t know why he think I don’t want meat, all I had on my plate was the fried banana he bought out along with the rice, beans, and mashed potatoes. Than at the end of the meal when I switched the card to red, he comes over and switched it to green because my plate was empty. I feel like I’m on an episode of Punk’d and was just waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out and say “You’ve Been Punk’d!”

 As for the Teppanyaki, the cooks are very talented. The chefs are on par with those on land at similar teppanyaki restaurants. It was fun and all, however, I believe the chef need to adjust their jokes based on who’s sitting at the table. There were a couple kids at the table, along with more kids at an adjacent table. While the Chef was putting scallions on the fried rice, he referred to it as “Japanese Marijuana”. The chef at the adjacent table said the same thing to his group of guests. One kid asked her parent “What’s Marijuana?” I normally don’t get offended by the jokes but there are stuff you just don’t say in front of kids. It’s like you don’t expect a comedian making adult jokes in a family show. 

Ship Amenities
 Big ship, big crowd, small room. That is basically the best way to explain it. A lot of the shows and events are standing room only, not because it’s popular, it’s more because the public areas are tiny for the ship this big. And walking around the ship makes you feel like you’re in Time Square for New Years Eve, except more crowded.

 Also if you’re going to spend your day inside on deck 6 and 7, be prepare for cigarette smoke because the casino surround the atrium at deck 6 and I smell smoke and felt like I was choking every time I try to walk from one end to another end of the ship on deck 6 or 7. 

 After being on the ship for a week, I now understand why some of my friend that went on NCL Epic as their first cruise never want to cruise again. It was the first time in all of my cruises where I actually consider disembarking at one of the ports and just fly back, the problem was finding the flights on such short notice at the start of spring break. 
 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

Find a Norwegian Epic Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click