457 Norwegian Epic Romantic Cruise Reviews

For our 10 year anniversary, we decided to do a trip on board the EPIC with the Western Caribbean itinerary. Just a few things to consider as you read my review. We love the larger ships, but know larger ships are not for everyone. With a ... Read More
For our 10 year anniversary, we decided to do a trip on board the EPIC with the Western Caribbean itinerary. Just a few things to consider as you read my review. We love the larger ships, but know larger ships are not for everyone. With a larger ship there will be a lot of people, there will be a wait or two, there will be people you find annoying and there will be people you like. At times, the staff will seem flustered, as you never know what may have just happened with a guest they dealt with before they now had to deal with you. (I watched a Maître D' get ripped a new one by a passenger that was obviously operating under liquid courage and the problem is something he created, not the crew member). Did I mention there will be a lot of people? Also know, I am an avid researcher of the trips I book, so I know what to expect going in when it comes to ship layout, room layout, etc. I learned there are people out there who all a TA to do everything, never do any research, and then run in to surprises when they arrive. In today's world of Tech, we have all the information needed to be prepared for a trip. We booked all of our dining reservations as soon as I could online. I believe it was 120 days out. Due to this, we never waited for a table. Always walked right up and was seated immediately. We did not do any of the shows in the EPIC theatre. We have seen numerous Burn the floor shows and Priscilla is not our cup of tea. If I had one recommendation, it would be to have a more appealing show in place of Priscilla, but not a deal breaker. Below will be an in-depth review of our Trip on the EPIC April 6th -13th. At the end I will cover the themes from the week. Embarkation: We drove into Port Canaveral Friday and stayed at the Homewood Suites about 2 miles for the port. The hotel was great. If you need a dinner place, Rising Tide Tap and Table was amazing. We waited for about 40 minutes to sit on the patio, but worth it for the view and the great food. They also had a great selection of beer choices from local breweries. We decided to park at PC. Yes it is a little pricey, but we built that into our vacation budget. I really like the control of when I can arrive and being able to walk off the ship, load the car, and to be headed back home. Arrived at Port Canaveral 9am Saturday and were in line by 9:15 (number 20 in line) doors opened at 930AM, was checked in a seated by 945 am with a group 1 boarding pass. (side note: they recently hired a bunch of new NCL port agents, so pack some patience as some information is mismatched from one agent to the next). The agent who checked us in was quite a delight and set the tone for a great trip. Boarding started a little passed 1130am, I was standing at guest services at 1142am. We were probably around the first 20-30 people on board and I am not priority, yet. Got POSH passes - worth it since the ship was sailing at capacity ($118 for the two of us for the week). More on POSH later. Once on board and finished at Guest Services, we went to headliners. Waited in line for about 5 minutes and made a couple adjustments to book the two restaurants I could not book online (Moderno and Shanghai's). After headliners we got our bearings until Taste was open, which we jumped into at 12:05 pm. Lunch was great and fast. After lunch we headed up to POSH for the first drink of the cruise (Red Stripe for me and something fruity for the Mrs.). Rooms were open and ready at around 2:00 pm. We had our first bag at 4:10 pm and the last three were there when we got back from the muster drill. We were planning to watch sail away from our aft balcony, but We were delayed due to medical emergency and according to a person in the affected party, it was a legit emergency. We pulled out at 8:03 pm (while we were at dinner). Did not affect anything, except a few dollars of taxes on the alcohol we consumed while still in port and a one hour late arrival to GSC, but the Captain extended our stay in GSC by an hour, so nothing lost. There were actually two more medical emergencies on our trip. One was handled when we arrived in Jamaica (we passed the EMTs walking up the gangway as we left the ship). There was also one in Grand Cayman that delayed tendering a little. Dinner was in Moderno and this is a favorite of ours. We did not have the dining package, so this was the only specialty restaurant we hit all week, but worth it for the pineapple. Great food and service as usual. I liked we kicked our cruise off with specialty before getting to the "I am not sure I can eat another thing" place of a cruise. Once we finished dinner we were able to jump back to our balcony and watch sail away, which honestly was really neat as there was quite the thunderstorm in the distance so mother nature gave us a great light show. Day 2, GSC: I was prepared for a 50/50 chance of going to GSC, but we made it. Not much to say here, but it is a beautiful island, so I hope everyone gets to experience it. Having the ship perks carry over like the beverage package and then the free food made it that much better. Being off early helped us tremendously as we go on the island, got great seats under a palm tree and did not move much. I was about 20 10 yards from a bar, but there were also servers walking around. As the day went on, the lines at the bar got a little longer but never waited longer than 10 minutes. I would suggest to go to the outskirt bars and not the ones in the middle right by the port dump off point. We did the Taco bar for lunch and waited in line for that about 10 minutes (ate around 12:15 pm). Excursion at GSC: We bought the snorkeling package ahead of time. We did the $50 shore excursion credit so with that and my Silver status discount, cost me about $9.00 or something like that. Worth it for priority tendering and not having to book my tender reservations. Snorkeling was okay, but you get the stuff for the day. Saw a few fish, but after an hour we had our $9 worth. Dinner this night was in Taste. The food was good, cannot remember what I had. I was going to do the whole photo journalism thing, but decided to leave my phone in the room. Service was friendly and fast, maybe one hour and 15 minutes total and we went around 7:30pm. We hung out in Howl at the Moon for a little bit, which is always fun. Day 3, Day at Sea: I will use this spot to talk about POSH. For us, this was totally worth it. Being our 10 year and having no kids with us, we wanted a little quiet the best we could get on a boat of 4000 people. If we didn't get passes, we would have been fine with Spice or the Deck 18 sun deck (I noticed they set up a small bar on the deck 18 sundeck at sea days, which is a nice touch. Back to POSH. This was worth it because we never saw more than 20 people when we were up there. It was quiet, the sun was always warm and there were umbrellas if it was not too windy. The loungers are padded and are covered with towel covers that hold because of elastic corners. There was always a strong breeze, so even though the sun was hot. The bar staff were awesome, remembered our names and took great care of us. You get a pitcher water on days you are up there, which for water drinkers like my wife and I, was almost worth the price of admission. I am not a tip ahead of time kind of guy, but I will tip with great service, and did. We grabbed some pre-dinner sushi and it was some of the best I have had. Price averaged around $8 a roll and I felt worth it. We then did a later dinner in Manhattan, so we dressed up a bit and enjoyed ourselves. Day 4, Jamaica We had a great time in Jamaica. There is shopping right off the pier that was decent. There is a market about a half a mile from the pier, but be advised, the are quite aggressive and stuff not really special to what you could get at the other shops. Your typical straw market goods. There is a jerk chicken street vender right inside the shopping mall area that is amazing. It is a good size portion too that can be shared between two people for a lighter lunch/ heavy snack. It was $10 and came with some of the best rice and peas I had, along with some of the best chicken I have had. Excursion: We did the Zip Line and Bobsled. This was worth every penny and we had a blast. The staff was hilarious, the zip line was through the beautiful forest and the lift ride to the top gives you some great views of the ship and the forest as you ride up. The bobsled is a lot of fun and a special thanks to the guys for joining me in the "Cool Runnings" bobsled send off. If you don't know, time for you to go rent the movie. We did a late lunch in O'Sheehans. We did have to wait about 10 minutes for a table, but it was worth it. The wings were excellent. For Dinner this night we ate in Shanghai's. You HAVE to make reservations, so be sure to do that asap. The food was great and service was fast and friendly. Only downside for us was we were still kind of full from eating lunch at O"Sheehans when we got back from port. So come hungry, if that is possible on a cruise. Day 5, Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman was a great port. We had an excursion, so tendering was not an issue and we took our time getting off the boat to go. We did a little shopping in GC, but not much. Excursion: We did the Taste of GC or what I will call the Grand Cayman Booze Tour. This was a lot of fun and our bus driver/ tour guide was pretty funny and very knowledgeable about the island. We went to the Brewery, the Rum Cake Factory, and the Rum Distillery. I will say, this is all tasting alcohol. It is great alcohol, but that is really all it is. You get to see the island, you get to hear history from your guide, but if you are not really a big fan of tasting great alcohol, this is not for you. You will get a buzz, so eat a big breakfast. We got back on board and all we wanted was so good Pub food because of all the alcohol we took on. So O'Sheehans it was. Great burger for some soaking up. We laid low the rest of the night. Day 6, Cozumel. Cozumel is a great port. The Pier goes right into a great shopping mall, where you can get a lot of great deals and things for your friends and family back home. We got off early, did some shopping, and then went and met for our excursion. Excursion: We did the Cozumel Taste and Cooking Experience at Playa Mia Beach Park. This was one of the best excursions I have done while on a cruise. My wife and I had so much fun and made some great food. If you like to cook, or like Mexican cuisine (I am a lover of both), you have to do this excursion. Your drinks are included and you get to eat a fabulous meal that you cook. You also get some time to hang around and use the amenities of Playa Mia Beach Park and there is some shopping there as well. Worth every penny. Dinner this night was in Manhattan. It was great and service was fast and friendly. Day 7: At Sea. You can see above about our At Sea days and how we spent them. I will add that we loved had our last day being at Sea. We got to relax from a busy three days in port. We honestly felt like it was our first day on the boat, and never felt the last day blues. Day 8: Time To Go Disembarkation: We decided to do the 9:30 am luggage tags. Got a great breakfast in taste and then we were in the lobby waiting at 8:20 am. (side note: this is a great place to people watch with guest services and people freaking out over what seems to be insignificant.) We got antsy and decided to walk off 8:45 AM. Was off the boat in about 10 minutes, as they have seemed to really work this issue out. There was a defined line to walk and staff spaced all throughout the walk to get off the boat. Found a porter, slipped him a $10 and we were in our car ready to pull out about 9:05 am. Final Comments: Dining: Food was good to great. I made all my reservations online, went to headliners to make a couple of adjustments. Never waited for a table. Highlights were Moderno (a favorite of ours), the sushi (best I have had), Shanghai's, O'Sheehans wings and the burger and the prime rib the last night. We only ate in the Buffet twice for lunch and once for breakfast - everything else was a sit down. Side note: I live in Charleston, SC and consider myself a foodie as we have an embarrassment of riches here in Charleston for food. The ever looming engines: There was never an issue with engines. The last night we were doing 22kts. Bar Waits: -When not using the Bar in Posh, I never waited longer than 5 - 7 minutes for a drink (including pool bar and the atrium bar). Cleanliness: -Boat was spotless. Room was spotless (Aft Balcony 13282). There is some construction going on aboard the ship and it seems the are trying to get things in order for going back over across the big pond. Was not a bother for us. The Crowd: Yes it was packed and busy, but this is a big ship. If you do not like crowds, never go on a big ship. You will wait from time to time for an elevator (we take the stairs a good bit to help with the food guilt as every calorie burned is one we can consume). Also, some people just have bad attitudes. Have a drink, you are on vacation. The Beverage Package: This was great to have and I did not have to worry about watching my bill all wee on what I was spending on drinks. Yes, some "premiums" are not included, but for me it did not make a difference. Cigar Lounge: It is worth mentioning they monitor and kick cigarette smokers out. Yes this is a big deal. Cigar smoke and cigarette smoke are completely different. Final Thoughts: My five star review is not inflated. I came to review to give a honest look at how great NCL can be. Yes, I get it is all about perspective, but its vacation, always pack some patience. We had a great time and I would go on the EPIC again. We never felt smoke was heavy, but maybe once, when passing through Casino. The ship does have a different layout than most, but do some researching and you will be just fine. We were really low key on this trip, as it was our first cruise just the two of us. We did a couple dance parties, some of the game shows, some of the music. Our best night was spent at Maltings listening to the Manhattan Band and having drinks. We got a treat with a member of four blue walking up and singing a couple songs and being awesome and doing my yell out of "Fly Me to the Moon" as he had a very distinct Sinatra feel to his voice. Our last night ended with us slow dancing to this song. Perfection. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My husband and I had never been on a cruise before and we definitely will be back! So I guess we can’t make comparisons. The staff and crew were friendly and helpful. The food was so awesome and the choices were great! We ate at three of ... Read More
My husband and I had never been on a cruise before and we definitely will be back! So I guess we can’t make comparisons. The staff and crew were friendly and helpful. The food was so awesome and the choices were great! We ate at three of the specialty restaurants with Moderno being our favorite. I have to have a gluten free diet and they had it noted. I didn’t even have to mention it. Lots of places make you feel like a freak when you have dietary restrictions. They even had special bread, which I didn’t expect. We saw several shows including the Cirque Epicurean show. Dinner is included and I think it was my favorite show! Burn the floor, Priscilla and the Beatles show we also saw and they were great! A really nice surprise was the awesome band in the Cavern Club? I believe the name was Blue 4? I apologize if I have it wrong because they are wonderful. The ship is like a city on the ocean. The cruise director Mandy is adorable and has a great voice for the announcements. She truly was born for that position! The one thing that was not great was our Best of Ocho Rios excursion that we bought through Norwegian. I won’t go into details, but I expect it to be up to the same standards as the cruise if I buy it through them. Thanks to all the staff and crew of the Epic for making our thirtieth Anniversary Epic! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This ship is terrible. There's hardly any water in the one pool, no room in the other .There arent enough loungers for all passengers because of chair saving at 730am.The top quiet deck is a lawn chair on a deck, so crowded its like ... Read More
This ship is terrible. There's hardly any water in the one pool, no room in the other .There arent enough loungers for all passengers because of chair saving at 730am.The top quiet deck is a lawn chair on a deck, so crowded its like you're at the jersey shore AND NO POOL. Not all rooms have coffee makers. The coffee shop is an extra charge even with the unlimited drink package. This ship nickles and dimes you to death. Bingo costs money, shows cost money, tips have to be paid in advance. Drinks in the mini fridge come at an astronomical charge. Wi-Fi,astronomical charge. Bottled water isnt included in the drink package. $5.40 for a basic bottle of water. This is ludicrous especially for a ship that cant even depart on time! Our departure time last night was 7pm, the ship left at 1040, so the slot machines were locked for hours. This was my first cruise and surely my last. You couldn't pay me to do this again. The only thing saving my experience is the food and the islands visited. But even that is a rip off. You have to be back onboard by 1:30 for one of the destinations, not even a full day to explore. Debarkation is a nightmare, no organization. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were first time cruisers and picked NCL for the freestyle cruise option and free drink package. We should have done more research! The boat is very clean and most staff was very pleasant and helpful but are overworked. The kids program ... Read More
We were first time cruisers and picked NCL for the freestyle cruise option and free drink package. We should have done more research! The boat is very clean and most staff was very pleasant and helpful but are overworked. The kids program was terrible and more like a poor daycare with not much going on. Our kids hated it! Pools were small and if you weren’t up on the deck by 6 am you wouldn’t get a seat! Never saw the cruise director, not much really going on. If you are prone to motion sickness this is not your ship! It moves and rocks a lot! Customer service was terrible and did nothing to help anything. The stops were poor as in St. Thomas you barely had three hours. The stop at NCL’s own island was the worst. The tender process was not explained and was grossly unorganized and took forever. We didn’t get to the island until after noon after we spent three hours waiting inside the theater for the tender boat. When we did get there no chairs or shade were available and the lines for food and drinks were over an hour long. This is NCL’s island you would think they have a better handle on this. Customer service did not care to hear any complaints or do anything. Disembarking on the last day was also Completely a mess. None of the staff knew what was going on and no communication with guests was given. Staff were rude and flat out ignored questions asked directly to them. We will most likely never do a cruise with NCL again. Seems like the other cruise lines offer much more. We were very disappointed in this vacation which was also our honeymoon. Please do a lot of research before choosing this cruise line and ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Embarkation was quick as we were the last bus coming from airport. We heard the lines were extremely long prior to us boarding. Once onboard it was a little chaotic at first. Cabin was mid ship, starboard side. Close to elevators, only ... Read More
Embarkation was quick as we were the last bus coming from airport. We heard the lines were extremely long prior to us boarding. Once onboard it was a little chaotic at first. Cabin was mid ship, starboard side. Close to elevators, only 2 elevator banks so this was a plus. We didn’t mind the layout of the cabin with toilet and shower separate it was convenient to get ready. We only did complimentary dining, Taste and Manhattan dining rooms both had great service and great food. Garden Cafe was good if you like to eat with 1000 people too crowded. Entertainment was top notch! Must see Priscilla Queen of the Desert but you need reservations. Howl at the Moon, Epic Beatles, Comedy shows, Fire & Ice all fantastic too. Room Steward Ronald was the best, towel animals daily. Also after 3 days trying to get a chair on deck, without having to get up at 6am I asked for a deck lounger for balcony and he delivered. We also tip daily, it helps. Not enough chairs on pool decks and people hog them, they leave there towels all day empty. They do try to police this but it’s all over and rampant. This was a huge turn off, not sure if we will cruise again. Too many people, felt like cattle. Disembarkation was terrible, we waited 2 hours to get on prearranged transportation in the hot sun, never again. If there is a next time I will book my own. Overall it was a good cruise but just ok. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I will start out with the positive... getting onto the ship was a breeze. The last time we sailed from NY it was a complete disaster so I was super pleased with the level of professionalism and efficiency from all involved. Walking into ... Read More
I will start out with the positive... getting onto the ship was a breeze. The last time we sailed from NY it was a complete disaster so I was super pleased with the level of professionalism and efficiency from all involved. Walking into the ship it was clean, inviting and exciting. As always we made a quick dash to get band for the “vibe” or on this ship “posh” Our very first cruise was I. This ship so I was excited to sail on it again. We were able to get to our stateroom very quickly and bags arrived in a fairly timely manner. Upon meeting our cabin steward he was one of the best we have ever had. Not the least bit overbearing and always did a phenomenal job. We had booked 2 special days for our parents for their anniversary and my mother’s birthday. He excited both with precision and detail which we so greatly appreciated. When we were settled my family and I all decided to check out the posh as we like to spend a good chunk of our time there. From the get go there was not a good vibe up there, pun intended. Normally the staff is always happy smiling and knew our names by the second day. This was not the case with posh. We get this “upgrade” so we always have a place to go for some quiet and that extra special service. The space was loud because of its close proximity to the main pool deck. We were brought water only once and never offered a cocktail or fruit plate. Each time We wanted a refill on water or a cocktail we would have to get up and go to the bar and order and retrieve it ourselves. While not the end of the world I found myself questioning why we paid extra for essentially nothing. On top of that the staff was not friendly there. I was highly disappointed and decided to spend my time elsewhere. Waiting at all bars was almost unbearable but I do understand that there are only so many bartenders and many guests in the ship. When checking into Le Bistro we were again met with an unfriendly face. The hostess did not seem accommodating or kind at all. When dining we decided to indulge in a bottle of wine not included in our package. The sommelier was one the most knowledgeable and kind we have ever met. He absolutely made our experience at Le Bistro much better. Without him the meal would have been sub par. The dealers in the casino were great fun. I found myself looking for the same ones day and night as they made the experience of losing money a little but better with their humor and small talk. I decided one night to use the salon for a blowout. I scheduled the appointment for 730 so I would have enough time to get ready before dinner. After waiting 20 minutes after checking in I approached the front desk to see what the deal was. I was met with “oh no one came for you yet?” After attempting to reschedule for the next day, the stylist irina appeared. From my understanding of my talk with both the front desk and Irina, I was double booked with another haircut she was performing before me. I once again did not feel like I was a priority in the least bit. She styled my hair and I was able to make dinner by the skin of my teeth. I must say that experience was extremely disappointing to me. Bar service in the casino was also extremely lack luster, however the male and female bartenders at the casino bar were beyond kind and committed my name and drink order to memory. Priscilla queen of the desert was a highlight of the cruise. The cast was PHENOMENAL. We were lucky enough to meet some of the cast and they were so kind. As regular cruiser we look forward to meeting other LGBT friends at the Friends Of Dorothy gathering. The name change of the meeting is not my favorite. The location for the meeting this cruise was not the most desired spot, we much preferred it when it was held at shakers. One of the most disappointing things to happen was at great stirrup cay. One of the main reasons I went on this cruise was to swim with the pigs. I understand that the tide is beyond NCLs control but a warning of such might have been nice before we went to check In. The Epics layout overall is not my favorite and I’m happy to see that other ships have not been modeled after it. Overall the cruise was ok, nothing to write home about. As loyal NCL cruisers we will return as guests but I think we may explore other lines after the lack of customer service. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We had fabulous weather. The ports were very nice and of course the crew were exceptional as always on a NCL ship. However, the ship is too large and too crowded to really give everyone the attention they deserve. Embarking was like ... Read More
We had fabulous weather. The ports were very nice and of course the crew were exceptional as always on a NCL ship. However, the ship is too large and too crowded to really give everyone the attention they deserve. Embarking was like herding cattle. Not like any haven embarkation I've ever seen. Especially since we are platinum latitudes level. Even though we had a haven suite we were unable to enjoy the haven pool area as it was so crowded and filled with children. The elevators were jam packed. The haven epic club restaurant was fabulous. Staff and food were excellent. In fact I would forego the specialty dining and just eat there if I had to do it over again. There are just way too many haven passengers to make you feel you are getting your money's worth for anything other than the restaurant. The concierge, David, never came to our room to introduce himself or check on our needs. If you visited him at his desk there were often long lines. However, his assistant, Lillian, was fabulous. I gave her the tip. Singh, our Butler was exceptional. He took care of everything we needed and was available anytime I needed something. I did not go to any show. Apparently with so many people you had to make reservations. And some were an extra charge. What is up with that??? Even the musicians and singers at the smaller bars were so crowded you couldn't get a seat. I like the ultimate beverage package but it seems that with so many people having this option the servers are no longer coming to take your drink orders. The lines are so long as a result. All in all I was not impressed and felt I did not get much value for the amount I spent on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose Norwegian because we had not sailed with them before and had big time expectations since we’ve sailed several times on their cheaper competitors. In many ways they delivered on our high expectations and on others not so much. ... Read More
We chose Norwegian because we had not sailed with them before and had big time expectations since we’ve sailed several times on their cheaper competitors. In many ways they delivered on our high expectations and on others not so much. We arrived at the port a couple hours before embarking. The lines were very long but we were near the front luckily. When the embarkation process started, it went very smoothly with no problems at all. After standing still waiting for the process to start for an hour, once it started moving, we were aboard 30 min later. Our first impressions of the ship was this was a really nice one and super clean. We were immediately offered a couple sprays of disinfectant and saw several automatic dispenser stationed around the ship. We made our way to our cabin on the 12th floor. It was exactly what we expected. Maybe a little odd to have the toilet and shower kinda out in the open each using frosted glass. This area can be curtained off to separate from the rest of room. We found the storage to be plentiful with cabinets all over and high and low. The bed was comfortable and big enough for a couple adults. In case an additional sleeping spot is needed, the couch can roll out into a narrow bed. We really enjoyed just how dark the room could be when the curtains were shut. The balcony was also exactly what I expected, not too big or too small. We were excited to hit the buffet and bar so we head to the garden cafe on 15. As we walk towards it, we are offered hand disinfectant from the happiest human we’ve ever met. She becomes a very quotable person by several patrons. As she so happily sprays away the germs, she says “washy washy, happy happy” with a big genuine smile. The staff was accommodating and friendly and professional! The food options are nice for just about any dietary restrictions/desires/preferences. However as much as we would like to rave about the food, it was only ok in our opinions. The highlight was Teppanyaki - we didn’t try the steakhouse or Italian restaurant. It was overpriced for the quality of food. By no means are we foodies, but the value just wasn’t there. Cons... Outdoor bars during “at sea days” were super crowded (a couple rows deep) but the indoor bars didn’t have a wait. Beware - lounge chairs are VERY limited on “at sea days”. Get out there early to claim yours! They only offer laundry service - no washers & dryers avail for guests. Communication could have been better for the following THREE things: embarkation (waiting an hour due to prior cruise having trouble getting off boat - facial recognition issue), tendering to private island (1hr wait with zero communication as to why and what the procedure was), and disembarkation (we choose the earliest at 0700 but had zero guidance as to what floor or where to get in line... the line went in a complete circle from the back of ship to the front and we disembarked from the back. It was chaos! We didn’t know where to go or how long we would be waiting, once there. Our last gripe is a big one. The duration at port in st Thomas was drastically too short. Our excursion to St. John and trunk bay was excellent but it took up the entire time. We got back at 1pm and stood in line to board the ship by 1:30. We had no time to pick up a souvenir. The comedians were great and the broadway show (about drag queens) was quality but a touch on the inappropriate side. Overall we enjoyed, and while we would keep our options open to trying a different cruise line, we would go again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose this cruise because we had taken the Alaskan cruise on the Norwegian Pearl and had a wonderful time. The cruise was not worth the money we had to pay. First there were problems with the ship which delayed us 6 hours. There were ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we had taken the Alaskan cruise on the Norwegian Pearl and had a wonderful time. The cruise was not worth the money we had to pay. First there were problems with the ship which delayed us 6 hours. There were college students everywhere. We had to stand in long lines to get a drink. Loud partying all night in the halls and on the balconies. Forget getting a specialty dinner at a decent hour unless you want to eat at 9-10 pm at night. Had to wait in long lines for regular dining. Forget getting a sun cot on the pool deck. I saw a line of 6 to 7 cots open and asked the young lady if they were free. No, of course not. She was saving them all for her friends. Finally we decided to stay in our room most of the time instead of fighting the crowds. Also had to skip Stirrup Cay because of rough sea. So out of the 7 days we were at sea 5 of them. Not a good time at all!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We wanted this cruise because the balcony rooms and being able to go to St. Thomas. We did have a balcony room, and I can say I enjoyed the room, even if the layout is strange. That was about the only thing I can say I ... Read More
We wanted this cruise because the balcony rooms and being able to go to St. Thomas. We did have a balcony room, and I can say I enjoyed the room, even if the layout is strange. That was about the only thing I can say I consistently enjoyed. The food was a crap shoot: Tempanyaki was amazing and the staff was great, The Noodle Bar, also great, the steak house, Cagney's, perfect and again, the staff was killer. The Brazilian Steak house was just meh, the staff, not friendly, the main dining room and Taste were just ok, and the staff had other places they wanted to be. It isn't like we were sneaking in right before closing, we had reservations. The always open restaurant was just the buffet food plus wings. The buffet was ok, just ok. I understand and did see horrible guests that make working service jobs a pain, so I get that some days you are not on your A-game, but it was all the time. We bought the soda package and I am not kidding, we got maybe 10 sodas a piece, max. You had to wait behind all of the people at the bar, even kids did, to get a soda. Maybe it was because on my last cruise on Symphony of the Seas, you got a special magnetized cup which allowed you to a soda machine to fill your cup without waiting in line forever at the bar. What a total waste of money that was. The internet was sketchy at best. We left several hours late due to "scheduled maintenance", and while it did not effect our arrival in Tortola, it did mean we really had nothing to do for all of those hours, no shops could be open, nothing. When we were in port one day, more maintenance, they were cleaning our balcony, then at 7 om a knock on the door to do a state room check, then we didn't stop at all on their private island, and we find out that that seems to be a very common theme. The pool area was super small. All together, it was very disappointing, three scheduled maintenance things on one cruise? Not being able to get things you paid for and having staff be crabby or just not being able to find anyone if you had a question? I'd not go on this ship again and am not sure if I will go on NCL again. Other lines have it so much more together and easy. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I have only cruised one other cruise line prior to this one, OMG was it different. Debarkation was horrible and the bed in my cabin slept like I made a pallet on a mountain of rock. The bed separated down the middle and made it very ... Read More
I have only cruised one other cruise line prior to this one, OMG was it different. Debarkation was horrible and the bed in my cabin slept like I made a pallet on a mountain of rock. The bed separated down the middle and made it very uncomfortable and restless. I was pretty tired and had back pain when I got back. On another note mostly everything else was good. I liked the cleanliness of every place even the restrooms outside of our rooms, and the buffet dining areas. KUDOS!!! THE FOOD WAS AMAZING!!!!! The beverage and dining packages were an added plus, we were able to try some exceptional cuisine. Being that this was my first Norwegian cruise I had no idea that I had to book my dining or entertainment prior to the cruise for optimum access, but I won't make that mistake again. I wanted to try so many things that were sold out like Escape the big top, send the cirque dinner show ( I paid 47.00 but the show's after mine were 36 dollars) I heard no idea why. My first NCL experience wasn't bad, the bed situation took it down a little because I had to work on my back when I got back, but overall the experience was pretty good. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We just returned from sailing on NCL Epic (3/11-3/16/19). This was our 8th cruise overall and the 2nd time sailing with NCL. We were blown away by the mind-numb robots posing as NCL Crew members. Hardly any of them acknowledged our ... Read More
We just returned from sailing on NCL Epic (3/11-3/16/19). This was our 8th cruise overall and the 2nd time sailing with NCL. We were blown away by the mind-numb robots posing as NCL Crew members. Hardly any of them acknowledged our presence during the 5-night cruise. I do have to say that our cabin steward on deck 13, Wilbert, was always pleasant to talk with and exceeded our expectations. The rest of his colleagues should take notes from him on how to interact with the people paying their salaries. Somehow, the staff in all areas of the ship from the Departure terminal in Port Canaveral, to the Garden Café, Exercise room, Customer Service Desk, and officers walking around to the ship forgot how to be nice and pleasant to the passengers. The people at the Customer Service Desk were the least helpful and disingenuous people we have ever met on a cruise. We were awe- struck in the terminal when boarding started. One of the NCL Terminal workers directing people started screaming at the us to “GET IN THE RIGHT LINE AND STAY IN A SINGLE FILE”. The folks scanning our room cards to board the ship looked at us with blank stares. We thought it might be due to the stress of swapping out 10,000 passengers in 5 hours’ time, but their attitudes and lack of interest in passengers continued to decline the entire week. The “Unlimited Adult Drink Package” needs to be tossed overboard! Just know that it will cost you half of your cruise in time, waiting to get served. Average wait time was 20 mins during peak hours on the pool deck regardless of what you are drinking (this includes non-alcoholic drinks as well). If you hate waiting, you will hate the fact that they will only give you two alcoholic drinks at a time, and that is after you have already waited 20 mins. They do not sell buckets of beer anymore. Finally, the canned beer is warm by early afternoon, because they never refilled the ice in the coolers holding the cans. Even though it is unlimited drinks, they still only give you one measured shot per ingredient in the mixed drinks. It was college spring break for many and as hard as they tried, most of them were not able to get drunk. I guess that could be viewed as a benefit to rest of us who were not there to be drunk for 5 straight days. There were only 2 roaming servers on the pool deck on day 1. However, they were both on the same side of the ship, which was the opposite side that we were sitting on. Day 2, never saw a server until 2 pm. We finally flagged her down, so we could place an order. She told us “I am really, really, really, really busy” and then walked away. Yet she walked by us 10 times to pick up empty cups and cans, but only rarely brought drinks to the other passengers by us. Amazing! A server finally came by and took our order a few times on the third day. What really blew our mind is that NCL did not even have servers roaming the venues before the big shows. There was one server in the comedy club, but he only served the first couple of rows of people before the show started, then they closed the bar. NCL is very good at controlling the flow of beverages, so the Unlimited Packages they offer (both with or without alcohol) are not what they may seem. BTW, you will pay full price for any of the beverages in the mini-bar located in your room. We prefer to order breakfast and lunch in the main dining rooms. The food was good and hot. The service was not. The hostesses never greeted us, just asked how many were in our party. We had to constantly ask for coffee or water refills. We would ask them to hold the potatoes at breakfast yet ended up with plates full of potatoes every day. We asked for 1 slice of toast each and they still brought 2 slices per person. NCL needs to hold additional training courses on how to listen to people. No sense in bringing food that we asked you not to bring. If you order bacon at the dining room, you will end up with a pile that probably weighs at least 1 pound. YES, WE GET IT. THE FOOD IS UNLIMITED. That does not mean we need waste it all. O Sheenagan’s bar had very good (made to order) foods. All four of us enjoyed everything we ate there. We enjoyed the specialty dining restaurants like Cagneys, Teppanyaki, and La Cucina. The foods were wonderful, and the service was excellent. With unlimited drink packages and prepaid tips for serving staff, there is zero incentive for the them to go above and beyond anymore, to be pleasant, or to exceed passengers’ expectations. It is a shame, as our first NCL cruise 5 years was one of the best we have ever been on. I hope this feedback reaches NCL as there is a lot they could do to change this experience for others without costing them any money. Unfortunately, it will be a long time before we will consider taking another cruise on NCL. See you on the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE! Started off from usually getting a bottle of sparkling wine in the stateroom since I’m a rewards member.. no bottle. When I asked why they said it was too short of cruise for one. Next they had us trapped on the ship ... Read More
HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE! Started off from usually getting a bottle of sparkling wine in the stateroom since I’m a rewards member.. no bottle. When I asked why they said it was too short of cruise for one. Next they had us trapped on the ship the whole time since they claimed at one of two ports the waters were too rough to tender (they were just as calm the day before we were at port) they did nothing for us! They easily could have rerouted us or asked us to wait a few hours before the waters were up to their standards. They got on the intercom and said how they planned a bunch of new activities to make up for it(yeah right) I had a first time cruiser with me as well and you can imagine his first impression! He never wants to cruise again! We felt so trapped with no where to go! The food was ok but if you wanted a drink at dinner forget about it! I had to wait until I almost had my dinner before a drink even showed up! If I wanted another I had to order as soon as the first one arrived. One last thing is our room attendant was very nice but when we would leave and move the thing to “make up cabin” on 2 different occasions we came back to it on “do not disturb” and an unmade cabin and no fresh towels- I had to track someone down for fresh towels. (Probably some kids in the hall) but they should only have these buttons available from inside the stateroom so no one can change it. We are paying a service fee for what? I made my own bed 2nd. Overall I had a horrible experience I’m really not sure if I will cruise Norwegian again.... it was definitely an EPIC FAIL Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We have never cruised before and this looked and sounded amazing. We flew in the morning of and out the afternoon we got back. Embarkation ad disembarkation went smoothly. Much of this ship has been renovated, some they are working on. Our ... Read More
We have never cruised before and this looked and sounded amazing. We flew in the morning of and out the afternoon we got back. Embarkation ad disembarkation went smoothly. Much of this ship has been renovated, some they are working on. Our Balcony stateroom was nice but every single time I went to enjoy our balcony, someone was smoking on another balcony. This was a huge disappointment as I absolutely hate smoke/fumes of any kind. I was bummed I hadn't thought of this being a possibility, I may have saved some money by not getting a balcony. Most activities on the ship cost extra money which is very unfortunate. We did enjoy ping pong which did not cost extra. The bowling is $7/game and they have a bunch of games/contests/raffles but they all seemed to cost money to try to win. We enjoyed Atlantis in Nassau. Our second stop was cancelled. They announced the morning of that the weather was too dangerous to take the tenders to the island 'as we could see' which was not the case, the weather looked absolutely gorgeous and the island looked awesome. We weren't aware prior to cruising that we would have to take a tender to get to that island and it really was never clear to us that the weather was bad. I would always rather be safe than sorry but it seemed like they were making money off of the cruisers as many activities were added for an extra fee that day. The APP was a joke. It let me make a reservation in the main dining room Manhattan for a jazz brunch for Sunday so that's what we planned on only to find out there was no such thing and to have to run to the buffet to try to get some breakfast as they were clearing all of the food away. We spoke to 7 different people and no one ever really acted like they were sorry, it was just like oh well we don't have such a thing. I was like well I didn't make it up, you can see that I made a reservation that someone else created as an option. Finally the 7th person said he would email someone in hopes that it doesn't happen to somebody else. One of the previous people stated that she had heard of it happening before. No credits or anything to try to make anyone feel better about anything else. I was hurt in the room, the tissue box holder fell out onto my knew. I called and they said they would send an ice pack right away, it never came. Our toilet was backed up at one point and I called and someone was supposed to come, the next time we were in the room a few hours later, no one had come so I called again. The main dining rooms had excellent food. The service was usually fine but most workers on the ship do not smile or say you're welcome no matter how many times we said thank you. A few did. The entertainment was not amazing. We liked a singer/piano player, Arvin. The Ice Bar is a huge rip off, $25/person to stand in an old freezer and drink two terrible drinks. The guy who sold it to us said the drinks were unlimited for an hour and the guy on the inside said it was just two drinks per person. Several times on our trip, one employee would say one thing and another would say something different. It would have been nice if everyone was on the same page. It was just my husband and I, our kids stayed home. We might cruise again but if we do it would definitely be with another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My husband and I picked this for our 2nd year wedding anniversary. While we overall still had a nice time, the staff really didn't seem to be able to keep up or pay attention to the guests. Most of the bartenders we ran across ... Read More
My husband and I picked this for our 2nd year wedding anniversary. While we overall still had a nice time, the staff really didn't seem to be able to keep up or pay attention to the guests. Most of the bartenders we ran across seemed rather cranky and only half paying attention. I ordered 2 drinks at one point and my husband ordered 1. The bartender acknowledged all 3, then only brought back one and seemed annoyed at having to go make the other 2 when he asked again if I needed anything. There were also several occasions where food was ordered, took a good while then came to us incorrect. Either condiments missing or just completely wrong. I ordered a steak from cagneys medium with peppercorn sauce and it came well done with no sauce but by that time we had already waited a good while and I didnt feel like waiting any longer. My mother in law coincidentally ordered another cut of steak well done and it came medium rare the first time so she sent it back just to be put on for a little while longer and they brought back a fresh one that was even more rare than the first. Similar thing happened at osheens. ordered fries with a side of ranch. Fries came 30 minutes later with no ranch. Granted these are minor things but when it seems to happen every time several days in a row it can get rather discouraging. I think it all boils down to the staff being overwhelmed and therefore just throwing the stuff out there. It was all good food, dont get me wrong, but it's not always what we ordered and the portions were usually very small for the price. Entertainment on the other hand was top notch. We really enjoyed the comedians as well as the cirque dinner show and the teppenyaki hibachi restaurant. The pools...well...I'll never understand why they would only have 3 very small pools for people outside the haven to access on a cruise with 4 thousand people. Unless you wanted to sit on a stranger's lap you weren't getting in. Which was a bit disappointing but we found a nice set of lounge chairs on the deck near spice h20 to spend our time. I would say it's worth a shot if you have patience like I do. I rather enjoyed the cruise. But if you have limited patience like my mother in law, you'll really want to be careful of when you go because 2-3 bartenders in a crowd about 6 people deep all around the pool bar can be a bit painful. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Me and my boyfriend booked a four night Bahamas cruise on the Epic for our first cruise. We are both college students on spring break in our early 20's, we got the drink package and it was well worth it. The first night we were very ... Read More
Me and my boyfriend booked a four night Bahamas cruise on the Epic for our first cruise. We are both college students on spring break in our early 20's, we got the drink package and it was well worth it. The first night we were very impressed, we thought the staff was very friendly and attentive. The first full day we stopped in Nassau and has a great time at Atlantis. The second day we were supposed to go to Norwegians private island, Great Stirrup Cay, where we were excited to have a relaxing beach day. However, that morning the caption announced we would not be going to the island due to adverse weather conditions. Since this cruise only had two stops, we were extremely disappointed. I understand that they cannot control the weather, but what we found to be strange was that the weather seemed fine. It was sunny, blue skies, and the water was calm. The cruise line must be very cautious to even small waves due to elderly or maybe drunk passengers, which is not fair to those capable of riding the boat to the island. We ended up being on the boat the last few days instead and ran out of things to do since most onboard activities cost money. The water slides were fun but the pools were gross and crowded. We found the dining to be very good and loved that we could eat when we wanted to, but ended up having to repeat some food options. We had a family balcony cabin which we loved. However, I will say the bathroom is not very private. Being a couple, we did not mind this at all as we share a bathroom at home but I could see how it could be awkward for some people. Lastly, the disembarkation was VERY disorganized and it took an hour for us to get off the boat. There were no clear lines and the staff was standing around doing nothing to help people where to go. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my third Norwegian cruise and up to now have been very impressed and satisfied. I have always given excellent reviews to friends and family on the excellent service and entertainment of Norwegian Cruise Lines and have influenced ... Read More
This was my third Norwegian cruise and up to now have been very impressed and satisfied. I have always given excellent reviews to friends and family on the excellent service and entertainment of Norwegian Cruise Lines and have influenced several people to choose Norwegian. I had a very special friend whom I had talked into going with me for his first cruise. I gave him wonderful reviews of my past cruises on the wonderful food and excellent service and attention. I gave glowing reviews of the on board shows and entertainment. Sadly, there were only two shows, instead of a different show each night as expected. Other show were available at additional expense. Shows were great but just two was very disappointing. Bartenders and wait staff acted as if they totally hated their jobs and could not even muster up a smile for the passengers. Bartenders totally ignored you while you were waving your cards right in front of them. Bartenders only made one drink at the time, even if four of the same drink was ordered. Very slow and non responsive. I may have to check out another cruise line for my next cruise. Food was not outstanding at all. Nothing at all like my last two cruises. Not much to choose from unless you paid for the specialty restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My husband and I had cruised once before, with another cruise line, on a big ship similar to the Epic. We wanted to give Norwegian a shot just to make sure we weren't missing anything. Embarkation was very smooth (as was ... Read More
My husband and I had cruised once before, with another cruise line, on a big ship similar to the Epic. We wanted to give Norwegian a shot just to make sure we weren't missing anything. Embarkation was very smooth (as was disembarkation-no problems either time), but I was already a bit put off that I couldn't reserve everything (e.g. boat tour, some entertainment) ahead of time online, so we had to waste our time onboard the first day booking things instead of getting in the pool. The good: we got a thermal spa pass for the week and it was a WONDERFUL place to relax away from the crowds. Heated pool, saunas, steam room, peace and quiet! There was one super friendly woman who worked at the buffet spraying hand sanitizer (the "washy-washy, happy-happy!" lady) who was always upbeat and smiling. "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" was an awesome show! The food in the specialty restaurants was really great, especially the Brazilian steakhouse and the Japanese steakhouse. The fitness center was pretty nice, too. The bad (pretty much everything else) : While we did NOT care for the cabin layout with the weird bathroom (as you will read over and over again in reviews) our main complaint was that the staff seemed very disinterested in general. Service was quite slow in all of the bars and was very inconsistent in most of the restaurants (specialty restaurant staff was better, but not great, overall). Staff throughout the ship (outside of our cabin steward and spa staff) were not friendly. People rarely had smiles on their faces, were abrupt when asked questions and in general did not seem to want to be there. We frequently commented to each other that we felt like a burden to the staff (and in general we are quiet, easy to please people who honestly don't ask for anything out of the ordinary). There was no attention to detail. People forgot to take your orders, didn't consistently bring bread or other small items like that at restaurants. We saw a band-aid by a stairwell for three days that no one every picked up. (I might have picked up a stray piece of paper for good karma, but not someone's used band-aid!!) We REALLY didn't like being forced to walk through the smoky casino to get anywhere. That was not our experience with the other cruise line we were on. The bars all just felt like they were part of one big corridor, and didn't really have their own identities, so everything seemed loud and busy, not cozy and personal. Food in the main dining room was mediocre in general. I don't think that I finished any of the meals (or even desserts) I was served. Even you if you had a tender "reservation" you had to wait in line for 30 minutes to an hour, and since no one ever actually checked your tender ticket or reservation time, making the effort to get a reservation was completely worthless. There are more things little things that we didn't care for, but honestly with all these other negatives I don't know that they're worth mentioning. It was really disappointing, seeing how we had enjoyed our first cruise so much and had spent so much money on this one. We will not cruise with Norwegian (on any ship) again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I chose this cruise to try something other than Carnival. I found myself missing Carnival,,, much more festive atmosphere, better food on Carnival. The entertainment on the Epic was good, except Burn the Floor had a gay theme in the ... Read More
I chose this cruise to try something other than Carnival. I found myself missing Carnival,,, much more festive atmosphere, better food on Carnival. The entertainment on the Epic was good, except Burn the Floor had a gay theme in the beginning that was a turn-off. Loved the Beatles tribute band.The Garden Cafe was subs-standard food. We discovered the Manhattan to escape the bad food. Desserts in particular were tasteless at the Garden Cafe. It also seemed a cruise that catered to a lot of geriatric and disabled passengers. I didn't feel like I was among my peers. Our stateroom was wonderful. Tendering from the ship to port also was smooth. Somewhat of a language barrier, as we ended up with a different shore excursion than we intended to sign up for. We were unable to attend some events (Beatles) because the venue was small and there was no reserve seating. I would prefer reserve seating for all events. The embarkation and disembarkation went about as smoothly as expected. Our cabin steward was very friendly and took good care of us. We did have a problem getting fresh beach towels to take into port. After 3 requests we gave up and checked towels out from the pool area. The best port of call was St. Thomas, yet we had the shortest amount of time there. The ports of call were all beautiful. On Great Stirrup Cay (owned by Norwegian) they could use some netted tents to protect food from all the flies. We were pleasantly surprised to find available lawn chairs, even though we arrived late morning. Wear lots of sunscreen!! In Tortolla we were ripped off by a beach vendor who charged us about $20 more than advertised for two drinks. We figure it was because we did not rent his $20 lawn chair and chose to sit on the sand. Buyer beware! We used the gym onboard...very nice, not too crowded, state of the art equipment and NICE VIEW!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We took this cruise to try out the Epic. We were greatly disappointed due to engine problems;;;floor plan of cabin...crowded elevators....crowded garden cafe. We had to wait a long time just to get on ship. Because of engine ... Read More
We took this cruise to try out the Epic. We were greatly disappointed due to engine problems;;;floor plan of cabin...crowded elevators....crowded garden cafe. We had to wait a long time just to get on ship. Because of engine problens, we were not able to visit the islands of St Thomas. and Tortolla. Also. we were not able to go to Norwegians private island. To top things off. we arrived back at Port Canaveral. The crew worked extra to try to make up for the many problems. the entertainment was not the best. We did enjoy the Beatles presentation. The other to shows were not to our likeing. The food was very good. Many selections allowed us to choose what we liked. The wait staff seemed friendly but always in a hurry. Our cabin housekeeper was fantastic. He cleaned the room promply and alwas was available to help with any concerns Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We booked this trip to Tortola, St Thomas, and Great Stirrup Cay because it offered a great way to combine relaxing days at sea with some fun adventures on the beaches of the Caribbean. Leaving Colorado in February for warmth and ... Read More
We booked this trip to Tortola, St Thomas, and Great Stirrup Cay because it offered a great way to combine relaxing days at sea with some fun adventures on the beaches of the Caribbean. Leaving Colorado in February for warmth and relaxation made it the perfect vacation for us, and it the first vacation vacation without kids for me in almost 20 years. Wahoo for a cruise that included Valentine's Day!! The ship didn't "feel right" from the moment we left port, with an odd shuddering periodically in addition to the normal rock and hum of a cruise ship. On our second day at sea, it was announced that "power issues" were going to divert us from our scheduled itinerary, and we'd be sailing slowly to San Juan for repairs. We docked with a bang, crashing into two dolphin piers and sinking them into the harbor. We were told we'd have a 50% credit on a future cruise, and that they hoped to make repairs quickly to get us underway to Great Stirrup Cay as scheduled. It's important to note that information was difficult to get - the captain was unintelligible, the cruise director that always repeated his message was vague - and doled out with an eye-dropper. Each day was a new variation on "not at all what you planned for." Our tour company was told that we'd be leaving in the evening, although the sign when disembarking said 5:30pm. We were halfway through our tour when we were rushed back to the ship because they wanted to leave at 5:30. We boarded and they closed the hatch behind us, but we didn't sail for several hours, as we needed a tugboat to take us out of port. Once underway, we were told that we would not sail to GSC as planned, but would in fact go back to Port Canaveral. The next day, we were told we'd arrive at 8pm, which was the final injustice. Frantically changing airline plans and transport plans, the wifi and phone systems were overwhelmed. It was helpful that the cruise director gave the wrong code to get a landline in the announcement... it made it easier for those of us who asked at Guest Services to use the right one, but led to a massive crowd in a very warm atrium as a result. Many passengers had change fees and flight costs in excess of $500 per person because they were buying much more expensive tickets two days ahead of flying than those they'd purchased well in advance. The cruise line reimbursed them a maximum of $300 per person. Transport fee changes were not reimbursed at all. More importantly, since the cruise for the following week would be cut short, they were rescheduled to a 5 day cruise to Nassau (rather than a 7 day cruise to Jamaica), given a 50% credit AND a 50% refund, as well as the option to not sail and receive a full refund. We asked for a refund or the ability to use the credit on one of Norwegian's other cruise lines, and received a form letter in response that they were sorry we were "disappointed" but they stood by their offer of a 100% credit to be used within 24 months. A six page letter from me was answered via a form letter. "Disappointed" was not a word I would use. The engine problems and propeller problems were out of their control, but communication was horrible, consideration for guests who suffered significant financial hardship, and their complete failure to adjust the onboard schedule so that people wouldn't have run out of things to do by Thursday (virtually all Sea Days will do that) was absolutely in their control. Without valid data, when traveling at 10-12 knots with one propeller, people tend to fill in the blanks themselves. Anger, fear, panic attacks... that's not a vacation. It was a nightmare. It was being kidnapped with a buffet. Speaking of buffets and speaking of food... the specialty restaurants were incredible. I'm grateful we took advantage of the "3 free" offer. The main dining rooms can best be described as "dorm food." Steaks are too thin to truly be cooked to order, chicken was rubbery, seafood was overcooked and oversauced, the buffet food suffered from too much time under warming lamps, and portions were small and often disproportionate (picture a "Philly Cheesesteak" which has a large bun with a minimal amount of filling). Finally, not once did I see anyone changing out the serving utensils in the buffet lines. Hand sanitation standards on this ship were much lower than what I've experienced on others. I've been on ships where you were not permitted to enter a dining area until you'd taken a hand wipe. It was very much optional and often inconveniently located on the Epic. The rooms are smaller than I've experienced on other cruise lines and oddly laid out. The "queen bed" was far shorter than a standard bed. so prepare to sleep with your feet hanging off the end. One closet had no hangars, so be sure to bring your own. The other closet has those "unstealable" hangars that hang from a holder on the bar in the closet which can't be removed (or moved to the other closet). Finally, "freestyle cruising" means that rather than tipping individuals based on your service experience, you are charged a daily service fee that requires a form to change... and I couldn't increase it, only decrease it. My apologies to Marco, our cabin steward, who deserved more than the standard but wasn't able to get it because of the process. The ship is very large, with insufficient elevators for the number of people aboard. It was rare to be able to board the first elevator that stopped, as they were often full. It wasn't unusual to wait 10+ minutes to have an elevator you could ride, particularly from 6pm-10pm. In short, our experience on the Epic was #EpicFail. I would not recommend it to others. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
On the second day we lost 2 engines, so we could not go to Tortola or Saint Thomas as we were supposed to, but instead were rerouted to San Juan for repairs. On the way in, we hit the dock twice. We left the next day to hit our final ... Read More
On the second day we lost 2 engines, so we could not go to Tortola or Saint Thomas as we were supposed to, but instead were rerouted to San Juan for repairs. On the way in, we hit the dock twice. We left the next day to hit our final stop of the Bahamas, but the engines went out again and we were told we were going straight back to Port Canaveral. We were told we would arrive at 8 PM instead of 8 AM, but during the night they made an unscheduled stop in the Bahamas, without telling us, to pick up a part. That got us back to port Canaveral at 11 AM, after everyone had already changed their plans. Look, stuff happens, but it’s how you recover from it that’s important. The communication aboard the ship it was terrible, they slowly fed us information, and not complete information. They gave us a 100% credit for what we paid just for the cruise. In my opinion, this is a good start, it’s what they owe us. I’ve asked them what else they are going to do to keep us as customers, and so far have not received a response. The service of the crew was fantastic, as was the entertainment. One change I would recommend is not offering movies right below the noisy bar. Use the theater instead. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Was going to call this Epic Fail, but everyone else will. I will start with the good because I’m sure plenty of reviews will focus on the negative. This was our second cruise, both on Norwegian. The food was as expected, pretty good. ... Read More
Was going to call this Epic Fail, but everyone else will. I will start with the good because I’m sure plenty of reviews will focus on the negative. This was our second cruise, both on Norwegian. The food was as expected, pretty good. Manhattan and Taste were better than the buffet. We didn’t do any of the ‘Pay’ restaurants this time around. We had on previous cruise and they were great. Room This was the first time we tried and inside room and loved it. Last one we had a balcony that we never used. It was perfectly dark for sleeping, which was roughly the only time we were in the room. Lots of storage space and we liked the toilet being separate from the shower. Shows The Cirque show was great. How they do what they do on a moving boat is incredible. The meal was quite good as well. Pricilla was a blast. They warn you about the adult themes yet some moron brought his kid. Howl at the Moon was fun, although scaled back from the one we went to in Indianapolis. We skipped Burn the Floor Service We were very happy with all the service except as related to the issues on the ship. Cons We weren’t crazy about the layout. It’s an older ship and doesn’t have The Waterfront which is great. Mechanical Issues We were a day away from Tortola when they told us we had mechanical issues and would not be going to Tortola or St. Thomas but would be going to San Juan. At this point they told us we would get a 50% credit. We later found out there were issues before leaving. When we left they had not been able to fix the engine (not told to us) but would make Great Stirrup Cay. We didn’t and we’re in fact late getting to Port Canaveral. We’re we covered up to $300 per person for changes to flights and 100% credit on next flight. We were making the beat of it all, but my biggest issue was the communication. That had to have known we would never get to our last port but waited until the last minute to tell us. That was my single biggest issue. I will sail Norwegian again, just never on the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I'll try to keep this as brief and informative as i can. First, this was the cruise that experienced engine problems, missed all our ports and arrived late back to Port Canaveral, but this is a review of our experience on board and ... Read More
I'll try to keep this as brief and informative as i can. First, this was the cruise that experienced engine problems, missed all our ports and arrived late back to Port Canaveral, but this is a review of our experience on board and more importantly, the ship itself. This was our 7th cruise among several different lines, so the ship as a whole we really enjoyed. It's big, the food was very good comparability to other cruises, and we really liked the design of the cabin, we read lots of reviews critical of the separate shower/toilet and sink in the room. My wife and i found this cabin design very convenient. We had an aft balcony cabin, we enjoyed the view, however, there is noise on the balcony, it's not engine noise, it's noise from the wake of the water, we didn't find it annoying at all, but it was noise. there also is a slight spray from the wake that left a sea salt residue on the balcony, this also did not annoy us as we love the Sea and thought it was neat to have sea salt on our porch. We had the drink package and found it was well worth it as cruise ship drink prices are high, we did find it sometimes difficult to get a drink quickly as the bars are often busy and there could be more of them(bars) on the ship. The water slides were great, we took advantage of them while docked in San Juan for some engine repairs, most of the 4100 passengers were on land, which finally opened up the pool area for us and a few other passengers to enjoy(it's typical on cruise ships to not get a nice chair by the pool, as they're always crowded and there is a wait in long lines for water slides). A piece of advice, if your going to bring the 1 bottle of wine per person on board, NCL will charge you a $15 per bottle cork fee, i suggest you sneak it on in your checked luggage, the "cork" fee was pretty tacky. Overall it was a really good cruise, NCL did their best to keep the passengers informed and entertained on a disrupted cruise, and they gave us credit towards our next cruise, which we think was fair, in fact we already booked our next one . Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was my sixth cruise second time with Norwegian and my 30th wedding anniversary, I understand that up keeping on a vessel is necessary but arc welding and grinding off tie downs that were in the wrong place on the deck and closures of ... Read More
This was my sixth cruise second time with Norwegian and my 30th wedding anniversary, I understand that up keeping on a vessel is necessary but arc welding and grinding off tie downs that were in the wrong place on the deck and closures of areas on the pool deck, very inconvenient. The specialty restaurants we did was La Cucina, Cagney's Steakhouse and Teppanyaki. All three were excellent. We also did the cirque dreams epicurean dinner , we enjoyed that show. Burn the flood was good, the comedians were funny, did not like Priscilla queen of the desert, Howl at the moon was also good. Buffets are buffets, the food so so. The bar tenders Won't make a frozen rum runner, but the drink package came in handy. Here is a good tip take the elevator on deck 15 outside the buffets up to deck 18 where there is padded deck chairs and hardly anyone around walk up to the front and enjoy. Wished we found that earlier in the trip. I don't understand why they don't have music in H20 during the day they have a big screen showing diving spots of the world. Wife did a few spa treatments she was happy with that. Not sure about doing that big of a ship again. Or at least that one, Port Canaveral is very easy on and off the ship. When getting off the ship Use the porters to get you and your bags to the front at customs. It's worth the tip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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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