457 Norwegian Epic Romantic Cruise Reviews

We sailed the Norwegian Epic two days after Thanksgiving last year from Port Canaveral for a 7-Day cruise to: Tortola, British Virgin islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. We zipped through embarkation and ... Read More
We sailed the Norwegian Epic two days after Thanksgiving last year from Port Canaveral for a 7-Day cruise to: Tortola, British Virgin islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. We zipped through embarkation and went straight to the buffet for an early lunch. The food was fine. We each had a rolling bag that is international carry-on size, so they were manageable. Checked our room early, found that it was already cleaned and dropped off the bags before we went exploring. As the week went on, the food seemed to go downhill and the crowds waiting for elevators seemed to grow. I thought the entertainment was good, though. My husband was disappointed that there weren't fun little side activities as he enjoyed on Princess, such as putt-putt by the lobby or ring toss, where the winner gets a bottle of champagne. (Yes, he won both games and gave a bottle away.) Or line dancing lessons with professional dancers from the shows. (I really enjoyed that!) Pros: I loved the beautifully contemporary cabin decor, that the sink was separate from the toilet and I could pull a curtain for privacy at the sink and enclosed toilet/shower area; staff was everywhere with spray bottles of sanitizer and I never felt ill from food; photographers were polite and not pushy; Christmas decor made the ship very festive and great for our own photo ops; entertainment in the Manhattan Room (MDR), from a guitarist to the sizzling preview of the "Burn the Floor" show; Shows: "Burn the Floor" had fabulous dancers and really good singers; "Cirque Dreams" was a small, intimate venue. Pretty cool as we sat right next to the stage and had a wonderful time watching such talented performers up-close-and-personal!; the islands were lovely to view; the night glow party on the adult top deck was great! They passed out foot long glow tubes that everyone waved to the fun music in the dark!; the ice cream machine was outside so I could still get some when the restaurants locked up for the night; there was Indian food, one of my faves; Le Bistro has the best food!!! Cons: We're from Texas and we say, "Hi" to everyone, but we never, ever saw our steward to say that. Our room would be cleaned, his name was on the board. We had to track down another steward and get items we wanted or needed filling. Near the end of our stay, we're told he wasn't on board and another steward was in charge of our room - another ghost steward.; we couldn't understand the same (Filippino?) host for a couple of pretty big sized quizz and such games. One, we gave up trying to decipher the words and left.; the hours allotted to Tortola and St. Thomas should have been switched. Tortola was the longer visit, but the island is 3/4 national forest. There were many more things to see and do in St. Thomas but we didn't have enough hours to enjoy the rides and activities that required more time.; many, many others agreed with us about the long elevator wait times as we packed the space between elevator banks. It was a constant throughout the cruise.; and the #1 reason we may not cruise on Norwegian again is ... the quality of food! The food was average in the dining areas. I think it was better at the buffet as they were constantly refreshing it. What really bothered me was the food at two of the three specialty restaurants we tried. Cagney's and La Cucina food should be head and shoulders above the regular fare. Sadly, they did not deliver. Good, fresh food is important to me, period. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I should have taken a cue from the long lines we stood in to even get checked in and onto the ship. My 2 daughters and I had a mini balcony suite (with emphasis on mini). It was tiny. I cannot imagine what the interior staterooms ... Read More
I should have taken a cue from the long lines we stood in to even get checked in and onto the ship. My 2 daughters and I had a mini balcony suite (with emphasis on mini). It was tiny. I cannot imagine what the interior staterooms were like. Whomever designed those rooms should be stripped of whatever title they hold. The bathroom is right in the room with only a smoked glass rounded-shaped slider to put into place to use the toilet and another one to use the shower. They are about the size of the facilities in an RV. There is absolutely no privacy since you can certainly see (and hear) the person inside through the glass and see when they stand, sit or whatever. Ours had a curtain, but other people told me they did not even have that. There is barely room to walk in the cabin....tiny, tiny, tiny. This is a huge ship and with the tiny rooms it holds a lot of people, but does not have enough elevators to accommodate them, so expect a long wait time. You cannot even take sealed bottled water on-board unless you have a "written" statement from your doctor. If you want water, you must purchase it on-board for the low price of $7.95 per bottle or $26.95 for HALF a case (that's 6 bottles, mind you). The very first night on-board we asked our cabin steward for coffee packets (there was a coffee maker which made one cup at a time in the room, but no coffee). He informed us that they were out of coffee packs but we could order room service coffee at no charge. When I called, they said room service coffee was $9.95 (after breakfast) and we could only get complimentary coffee in the morning. Next morning I was on hold for 35 minutes and was told it would be 30 to 45 minutes wait and $7.95. We told them it was supposed to be complimentary because we had no coffee in the room. We had to hold again until they could confirm that. Our cabin steward was great and did everything possible to make our stay enjoyable. He was always at our beck and call and was always friendly. The staff on the common areas were not nearly so friendly. I have been on cruises where EVERY staff person ALWAYS spoke. No so on this cruise; most of those "in charge" did not even appear to notice us guests. Another thing, it was my understanding that if you dined in the complementary dining rooms, you could order anything on the menu....not so anymore. The "better" entrees now have a hefty up-charge. And, there are more up-charge restaurants than complementary ones. We bought the 3 meal up-charge package and I must say the three up-charge restaurants we chose (Cagneys, LeBistro, & Moderno Chiaroscuro) were excellent. I am not a prude and go to NY and Atlanta to see Broadway shows. However, the show in their big theater, "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," was so vulgar and offensive we could not sit through it and got up and left. Why a cruise line would book that kind of show for a cruise (other than gay men) is beyond me. However, the show "Burn the Floor" was exciting and well done by a talented cast. We thoroughly enjoyed it. This was my first cruise with Norwegian and it may very well be my last. If their other ships are like the Epic, I am not interested in sailing with this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We choose this cruise because it was 7 days and went to Tortola which was a desirable island for us. We had never cruised on Norwegian before and were excited about being on one of the "mega" ships. Our first encounter ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was 7 days and went to Tortola which was a desirable island for us. We had never cruised on Norwegian before and were excited about being on one of the "mega" ships. Our first encounter unfortunately was the boarding process. We were asked to pick a time to arrive. We choose between 12:30 - 1:00pm. We got there at 12:45. There was a very long long and it looked so daunting. We got in line and stood in line in the hot sun for an hour and 1/2. Once inside the actually building - things didn't get much better! They literally had 2 security lines....for 4000 guests that had to check in. We didn't get on board the boat and in our cabin to drop off our bags until 3:45pm. All we wanted was some lunch and a cold drink - but guess what....all food and beverage had been halted due to the safety briefing that we had to attend at that moment. When I say that my husband was irritable, hungry and thirsty - is understated! He went to Guest Services to complain - but all they said was "we are sorry". It's only the second time they have used that terminal and things just didn't go as planned. We went up to the pool deck - which had the 2 smallest pools I've ever seen on a boat. The 1 bar they have on the pool deck had 2 bartenders and 2000 people trying to get a drink! It was so ridiculous! After watching the boat sail away - we went to our cabin to shower and get ready for dinner - only to find out that our air didn't work in the cabin. We notified the room steward and they said it would be the next day before things could be fixed. Then the shower didn't drain - we stood in dirty water while shower. Again - they promised to fix it. One the plus side - the air did get fixed. The drain never got resolved - even though we told them several times about the issue. Pros of the Cruise: Cagneys Steakhouse - wow this the best food on the boat! The steaks were so amazing, the sides were great and the servers very nice! Moderno - this Brazilian Steakhouse was good - a bit too much food - but excellent and a great ambiance! Tappenyaki - the hibachi grill was so much fun! Everything you love about Hibachi grills was there along with great food! The Spa and Fitness Center - FIRST CLASS! we had many spa treatments and took advantage of some of the fitness center opportunities. For sure a must do while on board! The Cirque Circus Show - WOW!!! These performers were breathtaking! This is well worth the cost it takes to attend the show! Burn The Floor Down - Dance Show - Again - WOW! They danced their way into everyones hearts - they were so passionate and personable! Makes you want to just get out and dance! Cons of the Cruise: Terrible Pool Deck Designs - the pools are too small, a lot of wasted space Only 1 bar on the pool deck - you need more bars!! The boat is poorly laid out - very compartmentalized and feels cramped and crowded instead of spacious and large. They nickel and dime you for everything! We had the drink package - but red bull wasn't included, specialty coffee wasn't included, and buckets of beers were included. Drinks are inconsistent - we ordered a painkiller at 4 different bars and had 4 very different drinks! No place to dance - unless you want to stay out until after 11. The boat has many bars - but no place to dance. This made us sad! Overall we had a good time - because my husband and I could have fun anywhere - but we won't go back to the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My husband and I have been looking forward to this cruise for months. It was a huge disappointment. The staff was RUDE, the food was worse (except for Le Bistro), the onshore excursions (tenders) completely unorganized and took hours! I ... Read More
My husband and I have been looking forward to this cruise for months. It was a huge disappointment. The staff was RUDE, the food was worse (except for Le Bistro), the onshore excursions (tenders) completely unorganized and took hours! I would have rated this a little better than one circle; however, I just found out that the thumb drive that I paid $20 for to be loaded with our pictures is EMPTY! That was the last straw! This is really too bad....the entertainment was excellent and I can's say enough nice things about the bartenders Sherwin, Nur, Ahlan...at Atrium Cafe Bar! Le Bistro was delicous and the service was excellent - totally different from the other restaurants! Our couples massage was amazing but we asked three times for additional information about the sauna and the spa and never did get anything else. Thanksgiving dinner was a disaster! Food was cold, our wine finally got to the table about 15 minutes before we finished. Wait staff was nasty! Very disappointed overall! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Embarkation was mass confusion. It made me think that this was the first time Norwegian did this. Chaos everywhere. The woman taking our picture for the card took way too long and the result was that we eventually had to get our pictures ... Read More
Embarkation was mass confusion. It made me think that this was the first time Norwegian did this. Chaos everywhere. The woman taking our picture for the card took way too long and the result was that we eventually had to get our pictures taken again onboard. I had to go to guest relations everyday for the first four days because my card had a problem - nothing I did, Norwegian just kept screwing something up. They announced our cabins were ready and we found ours - it was not touched at all. We found the steward and he said he wasn't in ours yet and it would be about 10 more minutes. He was awesome by the way. We paid for the Beverage package, so it was quite the inconvenience when you're trying to get a drink on deck 15 aft and you have to go to Guest Services on Deck 5 center, wait in line and get card fixed. Did I mention this happened on the first 4 days. And to our surprise, guess what is not included in the Ultimate Beverage Package? Water! This basic beverage is NOT included. It's also very pricey to purchase onboard and they will not let you bring it on. Entertainment is excellent but the venues tend to be small and at times you can't get in due to capacity issues. It was very obvious that the ship was understaffed. It took way too long to get drinks from the bartenders and the bar wait staff was run ragged. Restaurant wait staff was hit and miss with much better friendly service in the latter half of the cruise. We liked the "freestyle" approach to cruising with no set eat times. Our friends had a huge issue on the cruise that convinced me to take insurance in the future and shows that the cruise line does not care about individual passengers. The husband got sick (turns out it was confirmed to be the Norovirus - you get it on cruise ships). He was dehydrated and needed IV fluids from sickness on both ends so to speak. We were docked in Jamaica at Ocho Rios when he went to the infirmary on the morning of day 4. The head doctor wanted him to get a CAT scan that the ship couldn't provide before administering IV. The couple explained that he has had in the past dehydration and he only needed the IV. The doctor would not administer it before the CAT scan. The doctor stated it would be $1000 cash at a Jamaican clinic. He would need to leave the ship. If it was negative, he could come back and be treated with IV for 3 days at $1000 per day. If there were any complications with the CAT scan, he would not be allowed back on. The couple decided to try to fly to Orlando since the husband could be seen at a VA hospital instead of cash payments in a Jamaican clinic of unknown quality. Who carries that much money anyway? The doctor stated that guest services would help with arrangements - they did almost nothing. We helped them pack and about 5 minutes into packing, their phone was ringing asking if they were done yet - Norwegian couldn't get them off the boat fast enough - no concern for health or disruption of a vacation, just get off NOW. We went to Guest Services where the only help they got was an escort to a back room, so other travelers didn't get the scoop on what was happening, and they basically gave the wife a phone and internet access to make arrangements. Luckily, she is a part time travel agent and was able to get a taxi for a 2 hour drive to the airport and an overnight hotel stay for a flight the next night out to Orlando. Did I mention this is Wednesday just before Thanksgiving so travel is a nightmare. Norwegian made sure they escorted them to customs and then left them on their own. We later found out that the taxi driver was great and helped them get a flight out that night. The US doctors said it was a good thing they didn't wait because he was severely dehydrated and could have died if they didn't get to the hospital then. After they left, we heard many people saying they were sick with the same symptoms. Out of our party of 11, 6 of us got sick. However, unless I was in severe medical need, I would never go to the ship's medical facility. They want you off the ship immediately so they don't have to deal with it. With that said, I may sail with Norwegian again, probably not on the Epic with it's strange layout, poor traffic flow and sparse and hidden bathrooms. But the food was good, drinks were good and the entertainment was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Overall the cruise was great, compared to others we found more activities and lots more to do mostly in the evenings. The evening shows like newlywed not so newlywed, the perfect couple, celebrity dance off, cirque de soliel, burn the ... Read More
Overall the cruise was great, compared to others we found more activities and lots more to do mostly in the evenings. The evening shows like newlywed not so newlywed, the perfect couple, celebrity dance off, cirque de soliel, burn the floor, comedians were amazing. I didn't care for the Pricilla Queen show, waste of time. The check in was a disaster took hours no clear signs or staff around to guide people, messy. The daytime activities even on sea days were lacking, I saw past schedules from people you recently went on other Norweigan ships- they had more interesting things like cupcake decorating class, interactive cooking demos... we didn't have much of that more like bingo and some poolside contests, the fun stuff like wine and chocolate was an additional cost, we pay enough for the cruise there should not be an extra cost. The cruise director Scott and assistant cruise director she was british were very friendly, smiling always and they made the ship more fun. There was options for everyone for food, however we did ask for a special diet menu and a few nights were very disappointed, one they made a huge error and brought us shrimp in our pasta we saw it and sent it back as strict religious vegetarians, next clean plate as we started eating we found another shrimp hidden, we were disgusted. I called the executive chef. At Thanksgiving dinner we were just given a potato cake with spinach it wasn't enough food and the apps were always salad which consisted of few pieces of lettuce, onions and few cucumbers, surely you can do better than that with a salad, we indicated we ate dairy so goat cheese and beets or candied walnuts something more original especially on thanksgiving would have been nice. I think there were too many people so the service lacked a little especially since on every other cruise I have been on they went above and beyond with our special diet to make us amazing tasty filling dishes, here we were more of an after thought. they need more adult pools and kids should not be allows in hot tubs, one day they put bubble bath in the hot tubs and made a mess, the kids stayed in the hot tubs for hours, this should be for adults only. the H2o pool was so small, need bigger adult pool, rock climbing was closed everyday when I checked. The tender boats in Bahamas were also a big issue and we had to wait hours to get to the island. The pros: activities and most shows were good, princess was so bad in this aspect. Kunal our service at the taste restaurants was excellent. Rayz the maître de was good he definitely made an effort. Praveen the chef did come to our table to apologize for the shrimp incident, the executive chef also apologized which was nice of them. Cruise director and assistant cruise director were excellent at entertaining people. Most staff were friendly. and the washy washy ladies were very nice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Ala in all we a a great time, but the ship, the balcony cabin we had was nice, and had a lot of storage area. The food and service was a BIG disappointment compared to other cruises I've been on. Long waits (up to an hour and a half ... Read More
Ala in all we a a great time, but the ship, the balcony cabin we had was nice, and had a lot of storage area. The food and service was a BIG disappointment compared to other cruises I've been on. Long waits (up to an hour and a half to get your food once crdered, and the food was not good at all. I did not finish a single meal. And don't get me started on the bread. Any of the bread served, from bus to table bread was old and stale, it just crumbled under a butter knife. Tendering to the islands needs fixed. They only had 3 tenders, and the process to get of the ship had to be booked. I only have a few hours on Grand Cayman due to this. Outside of the poor food, service and processes to get off at the ports, we did have a great time. We met many wonderful people onboard. The shows that we were able to get tickets for were great, and they played a lot of fun games at various times of the day. The ports of call are OK, eastern Carrie Ian is nickers, but the private island was surprisingly nice. Food and beverages are all included while on the island. The only drawback was getting on and off the ship, heard again, have 3 tenders for 4100 people is no where near enough. The off and on boarding was terrible. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Getting on the boat took 1 hour 20 min to start with, even though they had assigned times. Got to the room short bed (at 5 foot 3 I hung off the end), very small shower and toilet area separated by a curtain. The balcony was awesome, ... Read More
Getting on the boat took 1 hour 20 min to start with, even though they had assigned times. Got to the room short bed (at 5 foot 3 I hung off the end), very small shower and toilet area separated by a curtain. The balcony was awesome, was enclosed so offered privacy. Waiting for the elevators was a hassle because with 5000 people on the ship it was faster to take the stairs. Making reservations for the restaurants was a joke, the hostess was the one who also seated you. So it took extra time to do both. They should have had a hostess plus someone to seat you. The restaurants all seemed to be short staffed with servers. One place had to come back and ask what our sides were, then brought the baked potato toppings AFTER we finished eating. The drink package was great except they ran out of mudslide mix on the second day. The shows were pretty good, Cirque Dinner show was great, dinner was OK. The ports were good had good excursions, that were well organized. Getting off was easier than getting on. Overall, just very disappointed with the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
A great ship and a good value, but do not expect any crew member to ever answer the simplest of questions.An extremely unorganized crew who at best could not run a pay toilet at the county fair. I am being a lot more polite than is ... Read More
A great ship and a good value, but do not expect any crew member to ever answer the simplest of questions.An extremely unorganized crew who at best could not run a pay toilet at the county fair. I am being a lot more polite than is warranted and if they can get the staff trained and motivated this will again be a cruise ship to enjoy. I know you cant please everyone and they have a lot of passengers, but I could not believe how some of staff rudely treated passengers. I felt I had to be careful of confronting any staff with an attitude as they all seem to stick together and remember they are serving you food and beverages,and you don,t want eye drops in your wine.The cabin was in need of a pro clean.The public toilets in casino gross.The casino staff(all) very arrogant.The bar staff is very slick,and double billing the Ultimate cards.I never met so many unhappy passengers.Norwegian must be in the process of something, no one in this economy runs a business this way unless they are in the process of selling it.I went on this cruise as a checking point before booking the Barcelona cruise on the Epic, I would not do that after this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Worst embarkation of our 18 cruises for sure..We embarked after 3hoopm with thousands of others out of port Canaveral..We were so late to embark that we had to assist at the muster drill at 1hoopm the day after with hundreds of others.. ... Read More
Worst embarkation of our 18 cruises for sure..We embarked after 3hoopm with thousands of others out of port Canaveral..We were so late to embark that we had to assist at the muster drill at 1hoopm the day after with hundreds of others.. Now for the ship...room we had an inside was terrible..the designer should get fired..sink,shower and toilet all separate in a 128sq/ft room..lol... is all I can say. The ship design with it's 155,000 tons feels more like 60,000 because of poor designs and closed places with absolutely no flow for crowds and giving long lines everywhere.Even having a deck chair anywhere was an ever ending task as there not enough deck space..Disembarkation was also a disaster.We litteraly had the "easy walk off option" and we had to take our 50lbs luggage down the stairs to be able to get to our shuttle by 10h30am.Nothing easy about it..just no flow and room for all the passengers leaving! On the positive side the shows were great and the food was also wonderful.Didn't like to have to book the shows because the theatre is soooo small like all other venues for over 4000 persons. Cabin stewart wasn't very attentive..Dust was very present for sure.Sadly one of the worst cruises we've been on.. Thanks! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have been on many cruises (Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Radisson) and this was by far the worst cruise experience we have ever had. It took us over 3 1/2 hours standing in lines just to get on the ship. The ship was supposed to leave ... Read More
We have been on many cruises (Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Radisson) and this was by far the worst cruise experience we have ever had. It took us over 3 1/2 hours standing in lines just to get on the ship. The ship was supposed to leave at 2 but never left until after 4:30. The service by the wait staff in the dining rooms was non existent by all but one of the servers we had. I had meals that were so bad that I could not eat them and the server never asked if they could get something else. It was also disappointing that all of the pools on the ship were not fully functional. Getting off of the ship was another nightmare with thousands of people rushing to the deck to disembark at the same time. The lines were from one end of the ship to the other with no organization by the ship's staff. We almost missed out flight because the staff did nothing to organize or control the people. I would encourage people to not sail on the Norwegian Epic as this cruise was a total disaster. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We did Transatlantic thinking the ship is massive and will keep us occupied and oh god we were wrong :( Couldn't access Spa, sauna(fully booked), Couldn't access Posh lounge area(fully booked), Couldn't book specialty ... Read More
We did Transatlantic thinking the ship is massive and will keep us occupied and oh god we were wrong :( Couldn't access Spa, sauna(fully booked), Couldn't access Posh lounge area(fully booked), Couldn't book specialty restaurants last 4 days were fully booked since NCL decided to throw free passes to their loyal customers. Only show we liked was Priscilla and cirque. All others were similar to the one found from cheap resorts and were boring. All those Bars were next to each others and all the pensioners never moved from their seats and no where to sit! Ships space is wasted by having too many casinos and not many was playing! plus installing Haven area on this ship made the ship more small for other fellow cruisers. There is no ocean connection like sitting and having a drink from the bar overseeing the ocean. TBH you get that only in one area on the Spice H20 and always crowded. Only good thing was the food. We loved the variety of food on-board. Spa should be opened to everyone first come basis for everyday so everyone can have a go. NCL shouldn't allow private booking to few groups for the Posh area. It should be opened to everyone on daily basis All these restrictions made the ship feel small cramped and boring after a week of sailing. Wish we did Transatlantic on a different ship but hey its life we learn from mistakes lol Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
First of all I have no idea what the architect that designed this ship was thinking when he made the balcony cabins! My hubby and I had a "family" balcony stateroom which was barely enough space for the two of us so I can't ... Read More
First of all I have no idea what the architect that designed this ship was thinking when he made the balcony cabins! My hubby and I had a "family" balcony stateroom which was barely enough space for the two of us so I can't imagine a family of four squeezing themselves in that small space for a week! There is no actual bathroom but instead there is a small cubby space that houses the toilette another cubby space that holds the shower and for privacy you get to pull a curtain across while you can hear what's going on, on the other side. Unbelievable. Oh and the shallow sink was at the end of the bed! The policies or "rules" on board the Epic were not the same as what I've experienced on board the Breakaway or the Getaway that departed from U.S. Ports to the Caribbean. For instance, when we went to O'Sheehan's late to order food to take back to our cabin we were told No, you can't do that. You must eat here or be charged $7.95 room service fee to carry the food back to our room or have them deliver the food to us for the same charge! I was shocked because we were able to take food back to our cabin from any of the dinning rooms in the evening including O'Sheehans. There are other rules on board the Epic that also differ from what we were accustomed to on other Norwegian ships leaving out of the States but I won't get into all of them. We made the best of it and overall had a good time. The shows were good, and our cabin steward was excellent! The itinerary was pretty good although the prices of excursions through the cruise line were overpriced. We went with other local tour companies in Barcelona and Italy for a fraction of the cost and had a wonderful time. The food was just average which was disappointing as we usually look forward to eating at all of the dining rooms. All in all I would do this itinerary again but most likely with a different cruise line and not on the Epic ever again Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our first cruise with NCL chosen as it was a 'Cruise with John' cruise. (John Cooper is a presenter of the TV cruise programme Vision Cruise). The Epic had also been recommended to us by fellow passengers on an earlier ... Read More
This was our first cruise with NCL chosen as it was a 'Cruise with John' cruise. (John Cooper is a presenter of the TV cruise programme Vision Cruise). The Epic had also been recommended to us by fellow passengers on an earlier P&O cruise. Embarkation was quick and efficient. As we were about to walk on to the ship, our hand luggage went through yet another scanner and our small, sealed bottle of water was confiscated. Company policy apparently! No beverages are allowed on the ship which we can accept for alcohol but water? (Crew members however take bottled water on board!). We had booked a guaranteed inside cabin, which at 128sq ft seemed very small. (We were told, by our travel company, that all initial bookings are 'guaranteed' cabins only, which are subsequently allocated by NCL, so you can be placed anywhere on the ship & not necessarily in the best sited cabins). On viewing the deck plan, our allocated cabin (9089) was situated by the stairs & lifts so we requested an upgrade costing £250pp extra! We were told that even if we changed to another inside cabin, we wouldn't know where that would be until NCL allocated it, therefore chose reluctantly to upgrade. We were then told our cabin number over the 'phone as we upgraded. Our balcony stateroom (11016) was long & very narrow with very little space to negotiate around the bottom of the bed to reach the rest of the cabin. There are no bedside cabinets but there are small, narrow shelves which just about hold a travel clock & a book. The bed was somewhat firm but on request, we were provided with a mattress topper which solved the problem. Although we didn't watch the TV, the only place it could be seen, was from the bed & not the settee. There was plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. When sitting on the oversized settee, the wardrobes were within 2 feet of us.Too close and not much to look at! The shower was excellent. It was a large shower with sliding opaque glass doors. We also preferred the separate toilet. That too had sliding glass doors to match the shower. Not much privacy but there was a thick curtain that could be drawn to hide the shower & toilet area thus making it more private. The hand basin however is at the bottom of the bed & set into the shelving running along from the mirror & hairdryer area. This was tiny & shallow & could only be used for hand washing. Face washing was not so easy.The balcony was a large metal box with a window cut out. The balcony itself is very large but there is a lot of wasted space. The two chairs & the small table looked 'lost'. The chairs did not recline. Neither was there a foot stool or a sunlounger despite there being so much space. When sitting on the chairs, we could just about see the surface of the sea! (Look at a picture of the ship and the metal strips with windows cut out are clearly visible, both aft and forward). Due to the metal box balcony, the cabin appeared very dark, unless the sun was directly on the balcony. In general, although there were plenty of lights in the cabin, they weren't very bright apart from the toilet light which floodlit the cabin so was quite useful. There was a coffee machine in the cabin & tea & coffee bags were provided & replaced. Fresh ice cubes were also provided & the ice bucket was filled daily. As usual, the cabin steward was excellent. He (William) went over and above his duties and in over 30 cruises, we consider him one of the best, if not the best. Well done William. The cruise included the Ultimate Drinks Package but this did not cover bottled water. (Presumably that is why water is confiscated on boarding - even those purchased on board before leaving the ship). Neither did it include the speciality coffees such as lattes & cappuccinos, therefore, the word 'Ultimate' should be removed from the drinks package description. The food in the Garden Cafe was very good, both for breakfast & afternoon snacks. There was a good, wide variety of food, with themed evening meals - Italian, Spanish, Chinese etc.. We chose to eat in the Manhattan Restaurant in the evenings, at no extra charge. The food there was excellent, apart from pasta dishes which were lukewarm on arrival. The spaghetti with chicken consisted of spaghetti in a tomato sauce and a breaded chicken fillet! Staff in the Manhattan also excellent considering they may only see you once. Staff serve different tables each night so you don't usually get the same staff. You do, however, have to be prepared to wait and even if you arrive at the restaurant at 5.30pm, as it opens, the main course wasn't served until around 6.30! That wasn't a problem as we weren't in a hurry! The 'Welcome Aboard' letter on arrival in our cabin advised us about the reservation of show tickets. Huge queues built up on deck 6 but booking a show does not allocate a seat, therefore, once booked, passengers queue again at the theatre to get the best seats! Once the queues reduced, we checked for seats to discover no availability. We therefore saw none of the 'free' shows. We were aware of 'stand by' seats but again, this involved standing around with no guarantee of a seat. We therefore paid to see Cirque Dreams in the Spiegal Tent. Excellent visual non stop entertainment & although the meal was good, it was a set menu. The only choice we had was between steak or chicken for the main course. Although very enjoyable, it cost over $94 for two! Smoking is allowed throughout the whole of the casino area which covers a large part of deck 6. Access to bars, eateries etc is through the casino and as the area surrounds the atrium, smoke drifts above & below the deck. Not pleasant for non smokers. Announcements are made in English, Spanish, German and Italian due to the variety of nationalities travelling. Despite reviews showing that gratuities are mandatory, they are not. They can be removed/altered by contacting reception staff. Excursions are VERY expensive. For example, Ultimate Rome, including the Sistine Chapel & inside the Colosseum, $399 (£306) per adult. Rome, on your own, by train, organised by the ship, $179 (£137) per adult. There is a shuttle bus taking you from the ship to Marseilles, costing $15 per person return. Understandably, the queues were huge but there are taxis available at a cost of €20 for 4 people, each way. There is no queueing and it is much faster and more pleasant. The taxi also takes you further into Marseilles than the coach. The most reasonably priced excursions appear to be from Marseilles, possibly because Marseilles is a beautiful city with such a lot to see. A word of warning, we were advised that as we were travelling to countries within the EU from a Spanish port, NCL & retailers on board are required, by law, to charge a value added tax of 21% on most products sold on board, with the exception of bar sales which are taxed at 10%. Additionally, VAT of 10% is added to the. speciality restaurant cover charge. The Cirque Dreams speciality restaurant therefore increased from $39.99 per person to $47.19 per person. The price of a coffee latte also increased. Non EU passengers can reclaim a portion of the taxes paid but only for merchandise taken with them when exiting the EU. Overall, the cruise did not start too well. The cabins are small (cosy) but have everything you need. Corridors are very narrow too. It seems that space has been forfeited in order to get as many people squeezed into the space available. There are queues everywhere. It's not so easy to find a nice quiet spot, particularly if you want to sit in the Atrium cafe having a coffee. Generally, noisy and busy. Bar staff are extremely busy as most, if not all passengers appeared to be all inclusive, so more queueing at bars. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose NCL Epic because of the freestyle way of cruising. This gave us the freedom to do as we liked when we liked and dressing casual while doing it. We found the ship to be very big, with plenty of restaurant's and bars. We had ... Read More
We chose NCL Epic because of the freestyle way of cruising. This gave us the freedom to do as we liked when we liked and dressing casual while doing it. We found the ship to be very big, with plenty of restaurant's and bars. We had the Ultimate Drinks Package thrown in on the price which saved us quite a lot. We spoke to another couple who didn't have the UDP and their on-board account was over $2000 with still half the cruise to do. Our cabin 10196 was more than adequate for our needs and the bed was so comfortable. Having the balcony added to the enjoyable experience as we got up early on a couple of morning's as we came into port. The food was amazing, we did 2 speciality dining at tepanyaki and modern again couldn't complain about the food or the service. We got off at every port apart from Cannes because the sea was to rough to run the tender boats. All in all a great holiday and we will definitely be going with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Norwegian is a terribly inconsistent product. I have been on 3 of their ships, with a different experience each time. The customer service has been consistently poor, however. On the Epic, as with all our cruises, we had a mini suite ... Read More
Norwegian is a terribly inconsistent product. I have been on 3 of their ships, with a different experience each time. The customer service has been consistently poor, however. On the Epic, as with all our cruises, we had a mini suite with a balcony. We were told to ask about a Haven upgrade, but the epic literally has a full time metal sign (oh yeah, they went all out) at their front desk saying "We are sailing at capacity. Room upgrades are not available." Clearly, they just put this sign out there to control the masses, because they don't want to hassle with giving you an upgraded room. Greedy. We got to our room. There was no bathroom. Yeah, the genius group of Ivy League MBA's who undoubtedly designed this ship managed to squeeze every single penny out of it. There was no bathroom. There was a toilet pod and a shower pod right there in our room. With frosted glass. Try going to the bathroom in privacy... not gonna happen. On other ships with mini suites, this was no the case. Again, NCL is a very inconsistent product and you never know what you will get ship to ship. I've come to learn there is nothing "Norwegian" about the company. This company is an elaborate floating tax avoidance scheme. Lets see how many countries are involved in it: 1. The line is called Norwegian. You'd think it would have something to do with Norway? No. 2. The ship is based out of Nassau, Bahamas (Bahamas is its own country). Obviously for tax strategy. 3. Most of the passengers are American, paying with American dollars. 4. The majority of employees are from the Philippines, Croatia, and other developing nations. Gotta have those super-low wage employees to keep the company profitable, right? One server told us he made $1370 per month. Another who just boarded the ship said going home was "like a dream". 5. The company, or the shell company, that owns the line, is based in Bermuda (that's another separate country. 6. It has 3 major owners, one is the Genting Group, which is a Malaysian conglomerate. This company clearly caters to Americans, as most of their customers are American. Yet uses every tax advantage scheme possible. We asked several employees if they were getting American minimum wage. Of course not. $4.62 per hour in wages was what we calculated after talking to one employee. I probably would have looked the other way on all this tax avoidance stuff, and the low wages, and just had a good time, but Norwegian has screwed with my vacation and travel plans for the last time. I'll probably never sail with Norwegian again because of this last cruise on the Epic. I bought the Ultimate Beverage Package, which is a joke because it doesn't even include decent coffee. They charge extra for Espresso. You can have all the Glenlivit whiskey you desire. But coffee is gonna cost you. That's not very "ultimate". The brewed coffee aboard the Epic is so weak and nasty it's like toilet water. Thank goodness we got off in Italy and I was able to get some real coffee on this trip. Norwegian messed with our travel plans. Big time. I even had the opportunity to talk to Richard Janicki, the Hotel Director of the ship, and he gave me the standard Norwegian run-around. This was my 3rd (and final!) cruise with this company. The reason I am writing this review is because they pulled some seriously shady stuff on us and some other passengers, and I don't feel like big billion dollar companies should get away with wrecking havoc on people's vacations to save a buck. Let me get to the real beef: they canceled our shore excursion with airport transfer, thus wrecking havoc on our plans. We're planners and we don't appreciate having to make 11th hour travel plans on our trip because Norwegian messed up. And when they knew they messed up, they didn't fix it. Hence now you get me dishing all the dirt on your shady company. Should have solved our problem, Richard Janicki. But you didn't. Perhaps you were too concerned with that internal Norwegian Corporate poster on your office door with Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 mantras. What was day 14? Was that the day where the employees focus is "Upsell"? If you are boarding the Epic in the Mediterranean, watch out. It's not so much a cruise, as it is a Water Taxi. This thing picks up and drops off people in Rome, Cannes, Barcelona, etc. We made the grave mistake of getting on in Rome, and our 7 night cruise was centered around the port of Barcelona, their big port where they board thousands. They only board a couple hundred in Rome, where we got on. We got on the ship, and the shore excursion that we looked forward to (with the airport transfer) was missing. Huh?? We called the Shore Excursion desk and they said "It will not be visible until we arrive in Barcelona, sir. Please check back then." Ok that's weird, I thought. I had yet to realize that "my cruise" was actually just a pit-stop for the Barcelona passengers. They got balloons, special dinner, and all the pomp and festivity. The cruise centered around Barelcelona boarding. And the real problem was that the Shore Excursion clock was set around them too. So we arrive in Barcelona. That morning we try to book our Rome Shore Excursion with Airport transfer. We needed to see Rome, and we needed a convenient way to get our luggage from Civitavecchia (the Rome cruise terminal) to the airport. Rome is all spread out in a terribly inconvenient way for cruising. The cruise terminal is an hour and fifteen minutes from downtown historic Rome, and the airport is another 30 minutes from that. You need to do some serious planning if you board here. Unfortunately, we were stuck with a $150 private taxi ride because Norwegian screwed with our plans. We had planned on taking this Rome tour with transfer months in advance because it was the only sane way to get ourselves and our bags to the airport. So... back to the story. We attempted to book it the morning of Barcelona and it wasn't showing up.... Still. We walk down to the customer service desk and there is another couple our age having the same problem. They tell us that the Rome with Airport tour has been canceled.... BECAUSE NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE SIGNED UP. Clearly, nobody had the chance to sign up because their stupid computer system was not showing it as an option. Of course, this was because the whole darn schedule is centered around Barcelona. Don't get on anywhere else or you get a 2nd class experience. Although they are in a heated conversation with customer service, who is giving them the standard Norwegian run around. Norwegian is the kind of company that will fight you tooth and nail, down to the nitty gritty cent, before they do the right thing. I have noticed their cruises are fine if you sit back, shut up, and do what you are told. The moment you have an issue to bring to their attention they prattle off some horrible pre-rehearsed script and start to argue with you. Each of my cruises I have had something go awry, and each time dealing with Norwegian became a serious hassle and stressor to my vacation. We solved this problem by buying ships internet, and booking a $150 private taxi ride to the Rome Airport. We completely missed out on seeing Rome. Richard Janicki, the Hotel Director had a solution... we could take the regular tour of Rome which would dump us and our bags in downtown Rome. We would then have to scratch around and find our way to the airport ourselves. We had 6 bags and this was not going to happen. Did he reinstate the tour that was promised and heavily advertised? No. The REAL KICKER is that the night before we disembarked we got a newsletter touting the "LEGENDARY" tour of Rome with airport transfer. When we spoke to Richard, he admitted it was not supposed to go out and that it was "embarrassing". Surely. But he didn't solve our dilemma. Ship: The ship is mammoth. The name "EPIC" says it all. It's all about size, and not really so much about quality. The look of the Epic is kind of actually ugly and cube-like if you look at it from port. The back of the ship is a strait drop into the water. Very boxy. The ship is a mass market experience targeted toward middle America. The Epic has the standard tacky Norwegian kitsch. There is a casino, and I don't gamble, so to me I just have to put up with SMOKERS. And smoke wafting to other areas of the ship. Disgusting. Putting a Casino on your ship is a class-less thing to do, but I am sure Norwegian loves it because they can bilk so much money out of their customers. Like all Norwegian ships I've seen, the Epic has an art gallery with terrible overpriced "art" either painted in China in the art villages, or the tacky Thomas Kincade stuff I've come to despise. Dining: I got so sick of their breakfast food, which was low grade and the same each day, that I wanted to puke by day 5 of 7. The coffee, as I mentioned, is this awful watered down nonsense that tastes like toilet water. The Manhattan Room was the only decent dining we had. This is like going to a 5-star restaurant with white linen table service. However, the greedy ship designers put the restrooms to this "grand dining room" outside. So you basically have to take a nice long trek outside the restaurant and smell the Casino if you want to pee during your meal. Annoying. The Garden Cafe buffet was like a bunch of hungry hogs going to the trough. It seems like when free endless food is put out, people forget their manners and trample each other like greedy animals. Disgusting. Never again. You people are greedy and you don't care about customer service. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our 19th cruise and 3rd on NCL. This was the first one on NCL in Europe, however, and on the newly refurbished EPIC. We like freestyle cruising, with open dining, and lots of options to eat. This ship was very well laid ... Read More
This was our 19th cruise and 3rd on NCL. This was the first one on NCL in Europe, however, and on the newly refurbished EPIC. We like freestyle cruising, with open dining, and lots of options to eat. This ship was very well laid out and the food was very good. We did hear some horror stories from other passengers but we did not have any issues. One thing however is the staff on board, as nice as they were, did have many issues with their mgmt and the moral was not good. It did not impact our overall likeness of cruise, however. We just felt for them, as they had to deal with a lot. The Entertainment was also a large variety and overall very good. The one thing everyone will need to understand before getting onboard an NCL now is since they purchased Oceania and Regent, they are trying to bring their line to be much more "upscale" and more like a Celebrity or high end line. The drinks were the most we have "ever" spent on a cruise, and the drink package was just outrageous. It had to be at least twice what any of the comparable ships are doing so that was a bit of a disappointment. Did not bother us, as we just did not drink on board much. The ports out of Barcelona were great, as we have been to them several times before but love going back. Be aware that when cruising to European cities on NCL, they will charge an additional 10% VAT to everything on board. The drinks had a 28% tax on every drink for instance. They were not allowing to bring on your own wine, or water. Just an FYI. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Just back from our third cruise, but only now signing up to cruise critic so this is our first review. My wife and I have just returned from a 7 day Mediterranean Cruise on board Norwegian Epic. We are a young married couple in our early ... Read More
Just back from our third cruise, but only now signing up to cruise critic so this is our first review. My wife and I have just returned from a 7 day Mediterranean Cruise on board Norwegian Epic. We are a young married couple in our early 30's. We made our own way to Barcelona. The Aerobus from El Prat Airport will take you to Playa Cataluyna costs €10 weekly return, From Playa Cataluyna we took a casual 10 minute walk down La Rambla. At the end of La Rambla there is a shuttle bus that will take you to the terminal for €3 - we priced a taxi and estimated cost was €40 each way The shuttle bus ride was approx 7-8 minutes to the terminal. Our luggage was tagged up pretty quickly and taken away as we entered into the main terminal. The check in process was very quick and smooth. We boarded the Epic at approx 2pm where we ate lunch at The Garden Cafe. The selection was plentiful. Pizza, hotdogs, burgers, fries, chicken, salads, sweets, the list is really endless. We stayed in a balcony room on the 10th deck. The room was initially, disappointingly small. we got used to it over the week and we had read reviews about the rooms previously but it was disappointing. There is no traditional bathroom, its a cubicle - the wash basin is in the main body of the bedroom. A cubicle shower is also seperate. The shower and toilet can be concealed from the main body of the bedroom by a curtain - we found this not relevant for us seeing that we are married but we thought it may be awkward if your sharing with a parent or friend. The bed itself was two singles pushed together, the mattresses were soft. There was additional pillows and quilts if required stored in the rear of the pull out couch. The couch I'd imagine could also be used as a pull out bed. There is sufficient storage for your belongings. The TV has a number of channels including a sports channel where I was able to watch a game. BBC news is also on the TV along with the other usually typical cruise information channels. Our balcony was pretty big. The cabin itself was very clean. There is shower gel and shampoo supplied. Regarding the ship: Large and very spacious, lots of nooks and crannies - plenty to see and do. Overall a very clean and well maintained ship. 17 decks but the top deck is for the Haven cruisers. The ship appears to have everything, tennis courts, soccer, rock climbing walls, slides, we were of the opinion that it was a great ship for kids. Also there is an entourage club for kids/teenagers that have their own activities. The restaurants that we ate in were top notch, except for Cagney's Steakhouse, we were just very disappointed with the standard of food in there. Top Recommendations would be Teppinyaki and Moderno. Shanghai's is a pretty good Chinese too but there is typically a 30 minute wait due to its popularity. The entertainment, for us, was the best part of the week. Burn the Floor was jaw dropping amazing, Priscilla Queen of the Desert was belly achingly funny...The Epic Beatles, Men of Mowtown, Spanish Rumba Kings, Dueling Pianos at Howl at the moon were all nothing short of outstanding. I could go on and on for another hour complementing the staff, the ship, the entertainment etc etc but I still could probably not do it justice. US Dollars is the currency on board, bottled water or specialty coffees are not included in the Ultimate Drinks Package and these have to be paid separately. The swimming pools are very small and are easily overcrowded. The nightclub was pretty cool, good DJ and the bar remained open until 3am. O'Sheehan;s Irish bar is 24hrs but don't serve alcohol after the club :) . Gratuities can be removed on board if you bring it to Guest Receptions attention in the first day or so, so if you prefer to tip employees yourself then there is no requirement to pre pay gratuities. First and most certainly not last cruise on NCL. Enjoy your time if you get on board. Norwegian Epic, Mediterranean, October 2016 MSC Musica, U.A.E / Oman, February 2016 Celebrity Solstice, Australia / New Zealand, November 2014 Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise for the ports of call, and wanted to tray a new line since we have cruised on Carnival, RCCL, Princess and Celebrity for prior vacations. Embarkation and Debarkation were great, probably the only think that was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call, and wanted to tray a new line since we have cruised on Carnival, RCCL, Princess and Celebrity for prior vacations. Embarkation and Debarkation were great, probably the only think that was great. The ship has a horrible layout. The cabins are small and the beds, I'm 5'8" tall and my feet hung off the end. Also, when we checked in our cabin there were dirty socks in the drawer and the dirt/sand also in the cabinets. the toilet offers no privacy with a glass door. The sink is in the main body of the cabin. Most areas of the ship are crowded. They have shows/talks next to the guest services desk so you can't hear anything, again poor design. The main theater is tiny, hence everything you do requires a reservation. Rarely can you walk in and see a show. Dining was average, probably the worst tasting food of any cruise we have been on prior. The choice of restaurants is okay, but again the food is just average. The only great thing was the Cirque dinner show. The ports of call are good, and even though limited, the excursions are adequate. PLEASE NOTE: on our excursion to Pisa, Italy, we were told to leave all bags on the bus they would be secure. Well when we got back, our bags were gone. Camera, personal items, etc. The bus driver said he was only gone for a minute, but he left the back door of the bus unlocked. Hopefully we will be reimbursed, still working on that. The cruise staff has been very helpful to date. None of the staff, except for a few seamed friendly or happy to be there. We will not choose Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Why Norwegian Epic - we chose the Norwegian Epic, as we found a package deal on it with one of the travel agents in Dublin. Both of us have been curious about cruise holidays in recent years, so figured this was a good way time to give it ... Read More
Why Norwegian Epic - we chose the Norwegian Epic, as we found a package deal on it with one of the travel agents in Dublin. Both of us have been curious about cruise holidays in recent years, so figured this was a good way time to give it a go! Check in and embarkation - very quick, dealing with courteous helpful staff along the way - very welcoming! We checked in our main luggage on arrival at the ship and just kept our hand luggage with us - keeping a pair of shorts and tshirt and swim wear had we felt like hitting the pool, was handy in the end as others had previously advised - our main luggage was at our room later that afternoon, not as late as we thought it would have been - good organisation on Norwegian's part! After emabarkation - we were able to use the pool area and bar and Courtyard/Garden Café buffet area as soon as we embarked on the ship. We grabbed lunch and a drink and chilled out in the Barcelona sun. The Daily paperwork which we were given on embarkation stated that the cabins are usually ready by about 1.30pm - we went with this time and decided to go check out our cabin (9246). Cabin (9246) - ready at 1.30pm (as we had read on the Daily) and our luggage was sitting outside the door awaiting us. We had selected an inside cabin as we felt we would not be in the room too often to gain full benefit from a balcony room or a cabin window. This was fine for the most part in the end - the only negative I found to the inside cabins was the lighting for applying make up etc. The darkness of the cabin in the mornings allowed for sleep in's where they were required (we're more the relaxing holiday type than the up early for sightseeing each day type). I survived though and don't think I scared too many away with my makeup in the end!!! :) The room size was fine with room under the bed to store empty suitcases once I had unpacked things into the considerably spacious storage in the room. The toilet was in a cubicle to the left as we walked in and there was a very spacious shower cubicle to the right - the shower I must say was great, brilliant power in it. There is a red curtain separating the entry door/toilet cubicle/shower cubicle area from the rest of the room which contains the wardrobe, other storage, sink, mirrors and bed. The bed consisted of two single beds pushed together but has to have been the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in on holiday! The room was always kept very clean and tidy by our cabin steward, Eva - not sure the same could be said for myself and my boyfriend!!! Food - we found the food in all areas good. I particularly loved the selection and quality of food in the Garden Café. My boyfriend was excited to try some of the deserts on offer here but wasn't that impressed by many of them in the end. I loved the whipped chocolate ice cream available in numerous parts of the Garden Café / Courtyard (outdoor area). We also tried other food areas as follows: Manhattan Dining Room - this was a nice setting, nice menu, however I think they try to go a little over the top. My pasta was a little on the lukewarm side and I wasn't overly impressed by the fish starter I got either. My boyfriend wasn't raving about the food afterwards either. However, we did enjoy the setting and the band playing in the background, and the service was pretty good. Taste Dining Room - the menu and setting here is quite like the Manhattan Dining Room. Again, we were not overly impressed but would still return for one night if we were on the ship again. The service here was a little on the slower side but they did seem very busy that night. And the waitress couldn't have apologised more for any delay. Spiegel Tent (for the Cirque Dreams show) - the three course meal we had here was lovely. The starter of bruschetta was nice, the steak was cooked perfectly and the selection of mini deserts was lovely also. Shangai Chinese - I loved this, almost moreso for the atmosphere in it. The food is good, although my boyfriend wasn't as fussed. Service is ok, not as friendly as some other parts but nothing to complain about either. This, I believe was a speciality restaurant in the past, but due to its popularity, is now complimentary. O'Sheehans - the food her was good. We ate here on two occasions, getting nachos, hot dogs, fish/chips. Nothing amazing, but perfectly edible. As this was 24/7, one of the nights my boyfriend stayed up later than myself, he decided to drop in and order a burger before finishing up for bed. The waiter took his order and came back with his pint of beer. A few minutes later, my boyfriend decided to go to the bathroom - when he returned his beer was gone and two women were sitting at his table. There was no sign of his burger. He spoke to the manager on duty about this who offered to put in a new order for a burger and get him another pint of beer but at this stage, he decided it was just bed time. Entertainment - we checked out the following: Cirque Dreams - this was amazing and combined with the three course meal included in the price, it is definitely worth the extra money! I am so glad we did this - it was probably the highlight of my week. The acrobats and acts have some skills and talent! Priscilla Queen of the Desert show - this was very disappointing. I had heard from friends at home that this was in Dublin before and was worth seeing - I am just glad we had not paid extra for this one! Epic Beatles - had heard lots about these and we managed to see them in the Cavern Bar towards the end of our week on the ship. They were very good but I think I had built my expectations a little too high. If you're keen on going to see these, be sure to be there to avail of a good seat at least an hour before they're due to play - this tiny little bar gets very busy! Spice H2O party nights - we went to the White Night party here, as well as the Fabba and Latin night - each of these were very good. This bar is at the back of the ship and you are at sea while they are on so best to bring a cardigan/little jacket. There also tends to be a bit of a toilet/pipes like smell at times there but it bothered my boyfriend more than me! Duelling Pianos act in Headliners - we only caught these on our very last night on the ship and were sorry we had to cut our night short there due to an early rise the next day to disembark. Benji in particular in this act is brilliant and very entertaining - definitely check this out! They can literally sing any song requested of them! Other musicians in bars inside - Shakers Martini Bar seemed to have good musicians playing at it and there was a guy playing guitar at Maltings Whiskey and Beer Bar that was good too. Overall service - we found that there weren't really many staff in particular that really stood out to us bar one in particular. Gede at the Cascades bar made the biggest impression on us, and just because of his polite, quiet but friendly manner. Whent the bar was quieter, he made more of an effort to come back to our side and chat to us - he knew when to leave us to ourselves and knew when to chat to us about our day, etc. We got on great with him and miss the chats! Disembarkation - this was super quick and very well organised also. Only negative point here is, we just did not want to leave the ship!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We choose the epic for the date and port stops. We have previously cruised on Royal Caribbean and Carnival and thought Norwegian would be a new change. The first thing we came across was our cabin which was a pleasant surprise.. it was ... Read More
We choose the epic for the date and port stops. We have previously cruised on Royal Caribbean and Carnival and thought Norwegian would be a new change. The first thing we came across was our cabin which was a pleasant surprise.. it was very roomy and provided all kinds of unique storage and nicer décor than we have previously seen in any cruise ship cabin. The housekeeping staff was very friendly and helpful. That was the extent of the pleasantness of our experience. Elevators were crushed with people and slow to get, there are way too few on board. The bars and restaurants had terrible waits and service was slow and apathetic. Bartenders were constantly complaining that there were not enough of them to help customers. We ate mainly in the Manhatten Dining Room and had terrible service. Got served the wrong meal twice, once to be replaced with a meal that had been sitting in front of another customer for 5 minutes, medium rare sliced steak had well done pieces underneath, crème brulee was not bruleed, was told that escargot was mushrooms (not what I ordered!), coffee never filled, etc....it was the same in Taste dining room as well. Buffets were usual subpar cruise ship buffet food. We tried the Teppanaki one night and were not that impressed, overly salty and slow service. There is now a charge for all room service as well. The ship despite its enourmous size was packed every where with people and loud music. It seemed half of the ship was closed off to cruisers who did not upgrade to the all access package. All of this along with the over priced excursions packages (not worth it, get a cab for faster service, longer time in the place you want to go, all for less than half the price!) ensured that we are never going to sail on this cruise line again. The cirque d'soliel type show that we paid to attend had an obstructed view (could not see the top half of the show). Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our second time on the Epic. In general, we have enjoyed the ship. Most of the shows were great. The second time the Beatles tribute band played, they should have been in the Theater again rather than the little Cavern club. ... Read More
This was our second time on the Epic. In general, we have enjoyed the ship. Most of the shows were great. The second time the Beatles tribute band played, they should have been in the Theater again rather than the little Cavern club. People were packed in like sardines. The magician was personable but not amazing. Burn the Floor was fantastic. Don't miss the Italian singer. Our cabin steward (Roderick) was the best we have ever had. (We've cruised many times and on other lines, too.) We had dinner twice in Cagney's and once in Moderno. Cagney's was top notch. Moderno was good, but (believe it or not) the "salad bar" was not as elegant or bountiful as it was on the Jade. There seems to have been a problem in the kitchen of the main dining room. Perhaps they were understaffed? The waitstaff was attentive, but the food took a loooooooonnng time to arrive. Even then, it was only warm rather than hot. We love the giant waterslide! Yes, adults go on it...so, go ahead! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Such a big ship......state rooms were really comfortable only thing being toilet had a glass door with a pattern in which was a bit embarrassing when a steward knocked at the door to inform you of something and one of you was in there.... ... Read More
Such a big ship......state rooms were really comfortable only thing being toilet had a glass door with a pattern in which was a bit embarrassing when a steward knocked at the door to inform you of something and one of you was in there.... The food and restaurants were fantastic. and as for the nightly entertainment it was superb - we had the Motown men......a magician who was excellent. A meal with something like Cirque du Soleil performing... a west end show - Priscilla queen of the Deserts and a dance troupe.....totally excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation went really smoothly and cases were waiting a the correct time. The staff were excellent - they all work so hard they are amazing.... Even if you did not want to get off the ship - there was so much to do on board every day. An amazing cruise experience which we cannot wait to do again... Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
1. Water Epic doesn't allow you to bring water on board. You must purchase theirs. It costs almost $5 per litre 2. Service In general, restaurant service is ok but be prepared for 2 or 3 poor occasions. Too many customers and ... Read More
1. Water Epic doesn't allow you to bring water on board. You must purchase theirs. It costs almost $5 per litre 2. Service In general, restaurant service is ok but be prepared for 2 or 3 poor occasions. Too many customers and not enough staff. Plus they don't pay attention and bring you the wrong food. This can happen multiple times. And you wait and wait and wait. If you want to use the buffet instead, be ready for the crowds. Its ridiculous. 3. Prices Shockingly expensive. Drinks and tours are simply crazy. Generally about 3 times the fair price. You will face a monster bill at the end of the week even if you don't buy much. Be warned. They charge for everything and you pay through the nose. $15 for a 5 minute shuttle bus to town. 4. Packed This ship is over full. no sunbeds. No space to move. You wait in line for everything. I have been on NCL before but after this cruise I won't be back. Others such as Celebrity are so much better. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We just returned from a fantastic cruise on the Norwegian Epic! This was our first cruise and we had a blast and can't wait to do another one. There was so much to do on the ship itself and all of the crew members were so nice. They ... Read More
We just returned from a fantastic cruise on the Norwegian Epic! This was our first cruise and we had a blast and can't wait to do another one. There was so much to do on the ship itself and all of the crew members were so nice. They all work so hard and do a great job. The food was great as well, if you can't find things to eat on this ship, then you have problems. Our favorite things onboard: 1) O'sheehan's bar - this was our favorite bar and we were there every night. The main reason for this was the bartenders: Christian, Apollo, and Paul, are the best! They make great drinks and always knew what we wanted. I was drinking Mojitos all week, a drink I've never been a big fan of, but they made the best ones! They were also very friendly and made you feel welcome. You never felt rushed as you were at the other bars. The Rueben sandwich at O'Sheehan's pub was the best! You must have one while on board. 2) Howl at the Moon, was a lot of fun. Hubby and I went there several times for singing and dancing. 3) The Cavern Club - great time! The Beatles band was awesome, sounded just like them and a lot of fun. Everyone was singing and by end of show the dance floor was full. There is another bland that plays there each night, Siglo I think they are called. Very talented group who play lots of classic rock and 80's stuff. Check it out. 4) we missed Priscilla, but heard it was great. We did see Burn the Floor and Cirque Dreams, both awesome!! The performers were amazing. I do agree that the dinner at Cirque wasn't the best, but we were there for the show. You can always go eat something else afterwards. For food, we really enjoyed the Manhattan Room and Taste, and if you are a small group, reservations are NOT needed, you can just show up and you will be seated very quickly, usually right away. We were a family of three and never waited more than 5 minutes. The food was great and remember, you are not limited to one app, entree and dessert. You can order multiple items. The servings aren't huge, so one night my husband ordered two entrees and it was no problem. One thing we didn't know, when looking at the menu, some items have prices listed- these are the surcharges you have to pay for these items. Ate breakfast in the Garden Cafe, buffet style, each day. It can get pretty crowded, so I suggest going out to the pool area - plenty of tables out there and you get to sit outside. Unfortunately, I discovered this toward the end of the trip. Friends of ours tried Taste dining room one morning and said it was great. Each afternoon upon returning from our excursions, I would go up to the pool area to relax in the sun. Often it was difficult to find an empty bed. I found the area in front of the basketball court on deck 16, usually had open seats. Was little noisy with the kids playing, but having children myself, I've become very good at tuning them out! We didn't do any shore excursions thru the ship but rather booked private tours or did our own thing. One thing to note, if you decide to go on your own there are plenty of cabs outside the ship that will take you where you want to go and the ship sometimes has shuttles going into the city center. Read the newsletter they leave you each night, and it will give you details on any available shuttles. In Barcelona, the city has a bus that takes you from the ship to the end of the port, it's €3 per person and worth it as it would be a very very long walk! Be sure to book your tender spot for Cannes early, especially if you have booked a tour. Cannes is the only port that they cannot dock at a pier, so you must take a tender (actually it's the lifeboats). If you need to be off before 11am, you need a reservation which you can't do on the TV in your room or at Guest Services on deck 5 we weren't sure how we were going to get from the ship to the airport, but once we got off the ship there were plenty of taxis waiting. Cost us €140 which was much cheaper than the ship's option-$85 per person. The only negatives I have were the pools , tiny!! For so many people I was so surprised at how smal they were. The water looked gross by afternoon, there was no way I would have gotten in. And the other complaint was some of the fellow passengers. One particular group of Europeans were the rudest people I have ever encountered in my life. I won't mention them by name, but can tell you it wasn't the French, Italians, Germans, or Brits. If anyone is going on this cruise and has any questions, I would be happy to answer. You can contact me directly: wmpierce1@comcast.net Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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