112 Norwegian Epic Romantic Cruise Reviews

The itinerary and timing met our needs, so we chose the Mediterranean as the destination for our honeymoon. Our knowledgeable travel agent suggested NCL.. The ship was in overall very good condition. Service ranged from fair to ... Read More
The itinerary and timing met our needs, so we chose the Mediterranean as the destination for our honeymoon. Our knowledgeable travel agent suggested NCL.. The ship was in overall very good condition. Service ranged from fair to excellent. We were fortunate to have a superb Room Steward, and encountered others who were very good. Food was good but nothing special, even the specialty restaurants. Our favorite part of the cruise was the shows, particularly Burn the Floor that we attended twice! Shore excursions were numerous and varied, but over-priced... The ports were very good, and we enjoyed visiting all of them. Fortunately only one port required the use of a tender...and that process was quite cumbersome and slow. But the disembarkation process was even worse!!! It took more than more than an hour to leave the ship, feeling like we were being herded like cattle at the end of an otherwise pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose the cruise for the timing and itinerary. We doubted our choice because of the size of the ship. While we still prefer the 2500 passenger size we didn’t feel completely overwhelmed by the size. We did however hate the ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the timing and itinerary. We doubted our choice because of the size of the ship. While we still prefer the 2500 passenger size we didn’t feel completely overwhelmed by the size. We did however hate the bed...my husband is 6’2 and his feet stuck over the edge of the curvy design so he ended up sleeping down the middle...not so great! We also really missed the promenade deck. We still love NCL and will stick with them, but probably not on the Epic again...but only for those two reasons. We loved the entertainment! We used our three specialty dining reservations at the spiegel circus tent. Contrary to past reviews the food was very good and the entertainers took our breath away. Amazingly talented! We also went to Cagneys and Le Bistro...both of which were very good and didn’t disappoint. The shows were very good and we especially enjoyed Priscilla. But our favourite venue was the howl at the moon piano bar. We usually go to bed pretty early but we closed them down three nights at 1:00 a.m.! We just couldn’t leave in case we missed another great song! We did on your own shore excursions to Florence and Pisa, Monaco and Monte Carlo and Pompeii....if you go to Pompeii make sure to get a map or you will easily get lost in the myriad of streets and if possible a guidebook before you go. The rest of the ports we walked off the ship and wither just walked or did the hop on hop off bus tours. We sailed out of Rome and were lucky to have four days there before we sailed out of Civitavecchia to really be able to take in all of the sites and see most of everything that amazing city has to offer. All in all...we had a great cruise....but where are the towel animals...none to be seen Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise. My, now, Husband and I thought it would be a great trip for our honeymoon as a first time experience and to see the world. We had a wonderful experience. The cruise was great, the staff was friendly and the food ... Read More
This was our first cruise. My, now, Husband and I thought it would be a great trip for our honeymoon as a first time experience and to see the world. We had a wonderful experience. The cruise was great, the staff was friendly and the food was super good! We planned excursions at each port with Norwegian and we are so glad we did. The excursions were set up so nicely and we felt we got to see all the important things at each place. Being first time cruisers, we were never sure how anything really went, but Norwegian was so structured and organized for everything they did, it made us never stressed and always knew we were headed the right direction or doing the right thing. Food is very important to me, and I was very please with all the food choices that were give on Norwegian Epic. We had some truly amazing staff members from our cabin steward to some servers in different restaurants and that made the trip more special. Norwegian even left us a special card with a free dessert in any of the restaurants to celebrate our honeymoon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I laugh when I read some of these reviews from various experiences had by passengers. As in life, you can't please everyone. I am not moking anyone, just making a point that a cruise full of people will have various experiences. ... Read More
I laugh when I read some of these reviews from various experiences had by passengers. As in life, you can't please everyone. I am not moking anyone, just making a point that a cruise full of people will have various experiences. About myself, I cruised several times on 3 other NCL ships and Princess before including the beautiful Escape last summer to Bermuda. I am a male, 52 and travel with my Lady. I should also mention I was on a casino at sea cruise meaning it was comped by my affiliation with a casino so isaved some money and caught some nice promo's including reduced air. I did my research prior to booking knowing it was still summer weather in early September so everyday was as anticipated. Simply gorgeous! Most kids were be back at school so it was an older crowd. The destinations were spectacular for a 7 day cruise and we took advantage at every port. A quick rundown of everything related... We had a midship balcony. It was clean and served it purpose. I don't cruise to stay inside but it's nice to hang on the balcony before dinner or catcha sunrise or sunset. Dining was overall pretty good. We went to several restaurants including the specialty ones. Buffet food is as expected, good for a quick bite and readily available. Getting on the ship was near perfection. I walked up at 3:30 and was on the ship 10 minutes later. They don't load the ship completely at this port and there was only another ship or 2 in the port. Getting off took a little longer but moved along. took about 20 minutes. Activities and Entertainment is what you would expect on a typical cruise today. There are a few standouts like the Beatles cover band playing in the Cavern bar. They really packed them in with this crowd of English and American folks reliving the live music of an iconic band. The Cirque show was also entertaining as well as Burn the floor. The headliner bar had fun shows and a very good violinist show. The cruise director and staff get things rolling at sea with the live shows. This ship has a spectacular gym at sea. Plenty of everything to keep the weight down. A full basketball court and waterpark type water slide was present and never too busy to enjoy. Chairs were available on deck and the quiet space up top was a greatfind. I never felt the 4000 plus passengers on this sold out cruise to be an issue. I did plan ahead for the specialty restaurants and ate in a different place each night. Public areas were kept clean for the most part. Some bathrooms needed a little more attention later in the evening after shows let out. The casino was humming nightly and the smoke wasn't an issue. In fact, they had a great cigar lounge that I used daily and purchased a few cigars from the ship when I didn't feel like running back to the room for my own. Elevators were busier as expected during peak times and disembarktion. A ship this size could use a 3rd set for sure. Service was good to excellent depending on where you are. The lounges and outside bars kept things moving. The dining areas at peak times were a little slower for drink service now and again but overall pretty good. We arrived a day earlier to take the edge off the long flight and experienced Barcelona in a very nice hotel by the beach. We hired a private guide to see Gaudi's work of 3 projects including the Sagrada Familia which is a must see from inside. We used the ships excursions for 2 days in Rome visiting the catacombs and the beautiful Cinque Terre, booked my own on another 2 in Naples seeing the Amalfi coast and tour of Nice, Eze, Monaco and Montecarlo and rented electric bikes in Mallorca which was a great deal at 26 Euro a piece. We rode 10-12 km each way along the beach on a nice bike trail and made several stops for pictures, lunch and Gelato. All Great experiences. All in all, it was an excellent experience with few complaints and we were pleasantly surprised. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We celebrated are 30th anniversary by cruising this ship. We have cruised 4 times previously on Royal Caribbean and Carnival all in the Caribbean. This is our first time on a ship of this size. We chose our itinerary first, ... Read More
We celebrated are 30th anniversary by cruising this ship. We have cruised 4 times previously on Royal Caribbean and Carnival all in the Caribbean. This is our first time on a ship of this size. We chose our itinerary first, Mediterranean, and then picked from the available cruise lines. This ship had the best stops in our opinion. Livorno/florence, Cannes, Majorca, Barcelona, Naples and one day at sea. I was pleasantly surprised that given the amount of cruisers it never felt crowded even though i was told ship was at 90% capacity. the uniqueness of this particular itinerary is that the ship on boards people in 2 different ports. some people get on in Barcelona and sail Sunday to Sunday, we got on in Civitavecchia/Rome and sailed Wed to Wed. I was told that of the 4000+ passengers 2/3 get on in Barcelona 1/3 in Rome. that being said check in in Rome could not have been easier. from the time we got to the port to the time we walked into our room was about 20min. very well organized. we didn't find the ship layout confusing unlike others. different as there is no mid-ship elevator. and getting to the 5th floor where guest service is as well as the atrium means going to 6th floor and taking staircase or escalator down to that floor. restaurants are spread out between mid-ship and aft. with theater and dinner theater locations in the forward part of ship. first time we have been on ship with so much freestyle dining which was perfect for us. not being relegated to a particular sitting as 5 of 7 nights we were on excursions during the day so was nice not to be the relegated to the older 6:30/9:30 dining room options. definitely a positive change by the cruise industry in general. We ate in the Manhattan main DR room (aft)twice, and the Taste(near atrium) once for dinner but 3 times for breakfast. food was good. service was good for most part. waiter in the Taste was a little off her game the night we were their. We purchased the AI beverage package as well as 3 specialty dining meals. Cagney steakhouse, Moderno Churrascaria, La Cucina. all three were very good. Cagney and Moderno share the same space right about the Manhattan room on deck 7. Moderno is a brazilian steakhouse where they walk around brining different meats to your table until you tell them to stop Italian was the fanciest and is forward with views right out into ocean on the 14th floor. you actually access it by walking through the garden cafe buffet to the front of it and down the stairs. O Sheehans bar/grille which is on deck 6 midship is very popluar congregating place. Open 24 hours for food(fixed bar/pub food menu) but stops serving booze at 3am. food is just average. has a little game room with pool tables, arcade games and 3 lanes of ten pin bowling. We found the selection of alcohol was very good and pretty consistent among all bars. maybe a little less likely to find exactly what you want at the 2 pool bars. our AI beverage package got us everything that was $15/drink or less. so bicardi, grey goose, kettle one, bombay sapphire, jack daniels,bulleit, patron all part of the plan. next level up we would have had to pay surcharge. all beers were less than $15 and there were enough wines to choose from $15 or less as well. spent our ship time at the SPICE H2O pool bar and grill which during the day (to 6pm) is adults only. this was nice. always manage to get a seat. in chair waiter service was really good here. server to cruiser ration much better than around the main pool bar where we spent 1 afternoon. Really like the Maltings beer and whiskey bar as well as the Martini bar. We also participating in Sky vodka ice bar which was an additional $25/person. this got you the outerwear and 2 vodka drinks once in side. we had never been in one and wanted to try one. it was interesting and glad we did it. we did 3 cruise sponsored excursions. Livorno/florence we did the Pisa & a Taste of Tuscany excursion. 40 minute ride and then you spend the morning in Pisa. then 40 min ride you go to Lucca, mountains to a winery where you get a little tour about the place/process. then you sit down to a meal with the ability to sample the wines they make there, both red and white. We really liked this excursion. very well organized by Norwegain EE's. In Cannes we did a tour of Monaco/Eze/Monte Carlo. you bus to each of these location spending 1-2 hours in each location. Monaco was good and Eze was fantastic. Monte carlo was a waste of time as really nothing there but the famed casino and you can't even get in without paying a fee. on the way to Monaco we drove by/thru the seaside town of Nice. It was really nice and wish that was on the itinerary over Monte Carlo. Naples we did the Mt Vesuvius & Pompeii. This was really good. see the active volcano and the city it buried in ash back in 79 AD. really picturesque and really historical. In Barcelona and the island or Palma, Majorca we went on our own. all ports off and on boarding very well organized. We didn't do any of Epic theater shows except the Beatles tribute band. other offerings just not our style. went to Headliners couple of nights which had various musical acts, told that when this ship cruises out of US the actually have comedians mixed in with musical acts. Bliss lounge had karaoke most nights. they don't in Mediterranean due to language barrier/issues. Dueling piano show at this venue a really good take. All in all we were really pleased with the cruise. We would definitely sail aboard this ship again and given our liking of this ship would definitely cruise Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised on Norwegian 2 other times. We love the packages that are included. We did the Cruise next program too. While most of the staff on this ship were fabulous, we did encounter more than we ever have before of staff ... Read More
We have cruised on Norwegian 2 other times. We love the packages that are included. We did the Cruise next program too. While most of the staff on this ship were fabulous, we did encounter more than we ever have before of staff that were not friendly and some that were down right rude. My husband and I like to enjoy the casino at night. Now we are realistic, we know we are eventually going to lose, but as long as we have fun and can play for awhile, we don't mind. Part of that experience is a fun staff of dealers. Well not on this ship. Except for a couple of dealers, the majority on this ship were terrible; they seemed bored or annoyed. No conversation, no playing around and one man was so rude my husband reported him. He ruined our last night. They really need to do some training with that group. While we were not super fans of the buffet, we loved the specialty restaurants. Le Bistro was perfection. Only flaw is the bowling alley is right over the restaurant. Dumb design. The staff gets an A+. Also kudos to the Spa staff and facilities. Loved it. Yes, it is pricey, but you expect it. Did NOT like getting up at the crack of dawn for excursions, but that can't be helped as most of the places to visit require a long bus ride to get there. Honestly, book them online - the prices are much better than on the ship. Would we go with Norwegian again, probably but not this ship. Several areas needed a new paint job. Again, loved our cabin but not the casino staff!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise for my 50th Birthday. It was the first cruise for both of us and I was very nervous because of reading a lot of negative reviews. But we had a great time! We knew there would be crowds and lots of kids because my ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my 50th Birthday. It was the first cruise for both of us and I was very nervous because of reading a lot of negative reviews. But we had a great time! We knew there would be crowds and lots of kids because my birthday was the week before Easter, so we booked a Spa Balcony room so we would have a quiet retreat. Best decision ever! We truly enjoyed the thermal suite and never found it to be overly crowded. We had the UBP and three nights of Specialty Dining. We chose Le Bistro, Cagneys, and the Cirque Show. Food and service was great in all three! We enjoyed the shows, Priscilla, Burn the Floor, and the Epic Beatles in the Epic Theater. Unfortunately we did not get to the smaller venue to see the Beatles in the Cavern Club in time to get seats, which was our own fault. We had great food and service in both of the main dining rooms and also in O’Sheehans. Loved the wings!!! Our room steward, Jingles, was amazing! He kept our room and balcony stocked and spotless at all times and made the best towel animals! We were fortunate to get extra time in Tortola for planned maintenance on the ship. Wished the port time in St. Thomas had been longer, but it’s just a good excuse to go back. Great Stirrup Cay was fabulous. Rented a clamshell near the tacos and tequila... need I say more?!? We will definitely be planning more cruises with Norwegian! We loved the freestyle cruising concept. We honestly had nothing to complain about. We heard all of the horror stories about embarkation and debarkation, but we were on the ship within 45 minutes of our arrival at the port and walked off with our luggage before 7:30 a.m. Truly one of the best vacations we have ever been on! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We 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
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
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 chose this cruise because we've never been on a 10-day and we wanted to see Harvest Cay in Belize. Harvest Cay was amazing to say the least. We didn't have one bad day of weather except for the last day at Sea with Gale force ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we've never been on a 10-day and we wanted to see Harvest Cay in Belize. Harvest Cay was amazing to say the least. We didn't have one bad day of weather except for the last day at Sea with Gale force winds returning to FL. This was our 12th cruise with NCL and we were very disappointed with the Latitudes Members Group. No announcement of the cocktail party, & the Cruise Next deals are not as good as they have been in the past, so we didn't book another one. We thoroughly enjoyed and had great relationships with the Photography staff, especially Marco. Not too "salesy", and always too great pics of us! The buffet was great with a lot of variety at each meal. It would be nice if the pool deck food bars would open sooner for lunch on "At sea days" and close breakfast earlier. People were always waiting for lunch there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Our third cruise, others were Carnival and most recently (before this on) Holland America. Cons: The epic is huge with 5000 passengers. Will go on a smaller (2500-2800) ship next time. For us just too big, too many people, everywhere was ... Read More
Our third cruise, others were Carnival and most recently (before this on) Holland America. Cons: The epic is huge with 5000 passengers. Will go on a smaller (2500-2800) ship next time. For us just too big, too many people, everywhere was crowded and lots of emphasis on the casino, you couldn't get away from it. If I want to gamble, I'll go to Vegas. Stood in line for all shows, no real "drop in" nightclub or club where you could come in, hear/see some entertainment and come and go. The rooms were smaller than our other cruises, no table to enjoy breakfast coffee or an afternoon/evening drink, and my feet hung off the bed (only 6' tall). Closet hangers were right out of Motel 6. Halls were narrow and always filled with cleaning carts. No real public area for people to meet, have conversations, play cards, etc. so they did so in buffet dining seating area leaving diners to stand with their food. Upon inquiry, was told by crew they were told to leave alone, bad policy. Their private islands are an embarrassment, especially Stirrup Key. Would have preferred a real stop at a real port. Pros: The food was good in all venues and Cagney's Steak house was one of the best steaks we have ever had, rivals Ruth's Chris. Cabin service was friendly and attentive. Entertainment was good, especially Cirque and a group called D'Soul Duo. Overall a good experience and good value for the money, especially the open bar, internet and specialty dining perks. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We've cruised several times with NCL in the past, but only on shorter cruises and smaller ships . Based on our past experiences, we were really looking forward to our 10 days on the Epic. Our cruise started off on a really bad ... Read More
We've cruised several times with NCL in the past, but only on shorter cruises and smaller ships . Based on our past experiences, we were really looking forward to our 10 days on the Epic. Our cruise started off on a really bad note. We arrived at Port Canaveral just after 11am, and there was already a long line. We got into line and soon realized the line wasn't moving, and nobody was being allowed into the terminal. Busloads of people continued to arrive, and without any authority to guide the situation, the line soon turned into just a mob. Several lines formed, some people knowingly or unknowingly cut into lines, and the crowd became vocally unhappy. Still no official from NCL or the Port was present. Eventually, some of the passengers found some line stanchions that weren't being used, and on there own tried to make some lines. It was truly chaos outside. It was quite windy and cold outside. Eventually, the line started to slowly move. It took us more than 3 hours of standing in line to get onboard the ship, and it was really all most people were talking about. Once onboard, things got quickly better. Good things about cruise: Crowds were reasonable considering ship was full (4100 people). Staff was awesome. Restaurants and bars were great. We enjoyed O'Sheehan's being open 24 hours for snacks. Ship seemed clean and well maintained. The best bathroom ever on the pool deck. Water slides were a lot of fun. Lots of good entertainment, especially Epic Beatles. Good ports of call with lots to do. Lots of places to go to escape crowds. Not so great things about cruise: Didn't get to go to Great Stirrup Cay due to rough weather. We've been scheduled to go to Great Stirrup Cay 4 times, but have only made on the island twice. I realize it's a safety decision, but it's still disappointing. In humid weather, the tile floors in buffet got quite slick. Bathrooms in staterooms a bit weird. Cavern Club venue not big enough to hold Epic Beatles crowd. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This is my 4th cruise on Epic (previous cruises include 3 TA's). I shared a cabin w/a former SO and invited two friends in a separate cabin. We both were in balcony cabins; although we didn't spend a lot of time on the balcony, ... Read More
This is my 4th cruise on Epic (previous cruises include 3 TA's). I shared a cabin w/a former SO and invited two friends in a separate cabin. We both were in balcony cabins; although we didn't spend a lot of time on the balcony, it was worth the extra money. Because I had experienced Epic, I was excited to introduce my friends to NCL. Upon getting on Epic, we got in line to make reservations for dining (we doubled up our dining by eliminating the internet package - smart move!); with our reservations set (so we thought), we found a spot by the window for some drinks and snacks at the Irish Pub. Where we sat in the Irish Pub we were able to view a rocket launch from the Cape. What an incredible way to start a cruise~! Somehow, the reservations we set up were lost in the computer, so we had to go back and try to correct the issues - HUGE problem. On a full ship, the "ideal times" get booked up fast. At first, the staff seemed to show no concern, nor did they apologize. My SO and her friends were frustrated and upset and the comments about how this would never happen on RCCL (they're sold on RCCL and their offerings). Because I had been on Epic (three weeks prior on my third TA), I knew a members of the management team on Epic. They did an amazing job and helped to correct the situation. There were other issues on the ship, most of them were minor issues due to staff attitudes (they are human and NCL works them hard!), so a smile can go a long way (along w/showing some empathy). While in the MDR most of the food was tasty. All in all, we had a great time experiencing all Epic has to offer. Great staff from the room attendants, wait staff and the entertainment was great. From Howl @ The Moon, to the comedy - all was great (be careful later at night, the songs and the jokes are adult theme). The Epic theater was great as usual. The evening at Cirque was a lot of fun - even if the dinner was less than stellar. The Specialty dining was enjoyed by all in the group and we highly recommend it. My SO wanted to do the French cuisine @ Le Bistro and La Cucina were okay (La Cucina staff were infinitely nicer); Teppanyaki was a lot of fun and tasty!; Moderno and Cagney's were excellent (as usual); Shanghai's/Noodle Bar (not specialty dining) are worth a visit (or two); Manhattan seems to be a step up over Taste ( try to get a table in the back - it's a great view); O'Sheehan's Irish Sports Bar is great for snacks and drinks; can't comment on Wasabi - never tried. Did the Ice Bar on the final night - not sure if it was worth the extra $; still a good experience (AND COLD - make sure you dress appropriately, even with their supplied coat~!). Our first port was the NCL private island Great Stirrup in the Bahamas - because of winds/weather, we did not stop. More than one person was upset we didn't stop and I've heard they miss this stop about 1/3 of the cruises. Port Two: Ocho Rios, Jamaica - We signed up for Dunn River Falls followed up with a kayak tour. While we had a good time, expect to pay double in tips from everyone that "helps" you. From getting off of the tour bus @ the Falls all the way to turning in your kayak, everyone expected a tip (AND they reminded you all the time). My advice: wait until the end of the Falls to tip AND at the end of the kayak tour (if you decide to tip). After the excursion, we ended up in town (AND hungry). Stopped for food and drinks combined with shopping. In the shops DO NOT PAY the price listed - haggle with them. Be careful about purchasing liquor here. We enjoy Bumbu Rum - they wanted $125 (US) for a bottle we pay $35 (US) in Florida. Port Three: Georgetown, Grand Cayman - Because it was Sunday, the Rum Factory was closed, so we took the local bus to the beach. We brought our own snorkeling gear, but the water was less than ideal. Beer and food on the beach was fun - expensive, but you're on vacation, right? Port Four: NCL's Harvest Caye in Belize - The drink package we purchased onboard did not apply here so, pull out your wallet. We chose to do the zip lines - an excellent choice~! While we had a good time, NCL should make the drinks package accessible while at their own location. Port Five: Costa Maya Mexico - We did a non-NCL excursion and toured ruins and visited a small village where we had the BEST TIME!! They taught us how to make tortillas from scratch and fed us the best food! Port Six: Cozumel - The three ladies paid to go to a beach and I opted to rent a scooter and toured the island. I stopped at a roadside taqueria and enjoyed local food. I drove along the shore on the loop and stopped along the way to check out the beaches and local watering holes. If you like to explore on your own and off the beaten path, I recommend this. All in all, Epic is one of my favorite ships to cruise on. IF you prepare ahead of time (reservations for shows, and dining), do some research before you get on Epic, your investment (time) will be rewarded. Expect crowds on these large ships; Epic is a quirky ship (only one of it's kind - the other two NCL planned on building were never built/commissioned) and you can get lost on Epic. Don't worry, you'll find your way and enjoy the exploring while you're on your Epic journey~! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We booked this cruise a second time because of the solid value offered, and the generally friendly and active passengers we experienced last year. Numerous people remembered us this time as we went about activities and dining, and all were ... Read More
We booked this cruise a second time because of the solid value offered, and the generally friendly and active passengers we experienced last year. Numerous people remembered us this time as we went about activities and dining, and all were repeat passengers for multiple past cruises. The big values for us were the Burn the Floor dancers that performed in the Manhattan dining room, Epic theatre, and ballroom dance classes. Amazingly fast and complicated moves appeared effortless except for the heat they generated. Many other talent balanced out the performances, including more comedians than last year. Standout hospitality from Roderick in keeping our cabin in perfect shape, even though our schedule was a bit erratic, and from all the food servers in the Shanghai and Manhattan rooms were really appreciated. Wallfredo managed our wine selections with insight and attention, and we have only good memories of many Manhattan dinners. We were laughing one night about what a comparable dinner, Broadway show, late night disco, and hotel in New York would have required; compared to just strolling around the ship for a few minutes and saying thanks for the experience. That’s value. Counterpoints were the smokey casino right in the middle of the ship and the three amenities floors that NCL has not safely ventilated to protect their employees and non-smoking passengers like me. That’s a prime reason for choosing other ships. Secondly, although you can find some healthy foods, they’re re mixed in with hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, sweets and ice cream. Some deserts were labeled “No Sugar Added” but does that mean they are loaded with sugar-alcohols or toxic artificial sweeteners instead. More informative labeling or online ingredient lists would be greatly appreciated. Finally, the entertainment staff needs to expand their playlists to eliminate obnoxious repeats of over-played classics like “Hotel California.” Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Overall this was a fantastic trip. All of the ports were awesome with embarkation and disembarkation really smooth with the exception of Naples. Getting back onboard was a chore. The ship itself was awesome. I’ve cruised in the past ... Read More
Overall this was a fantastic trip. All of the ports were awesome with embarkation and disembarkation really smooth with the exception of Naples. Getting back onboard was a chore. The ship itself was awesome. I’ve cruised in the past and I often found myself with nothing to do, or entertainment that wasn’t entirely entertaining. Not the case with the Epic. The shows were fantastic and the dining options were endless. I traveled with a large group and there were plenty of options for us to get together as a group for dinner or a show. The only thing that wasn’t 100% was the quality of the rooms. The ship is a little bit older and the wear and tear was pretty apparent in some places. There were a few spots throughout where it looked like a quick fix was in place, but it was nothing that would have turned me away from sailing on the Epic, or any Norwegian ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Overall we had a delightful experience aboard the Norwegian Epic. However a few things to keep in mind if you have limited mobility: 1 - Rent a travel scooter before coming - this will give you full mobility on and off the ship. ... Read More
Overall we had a delightful experience aboard the Norwegian Epic. However a few things to keep in mind if you have limited mobility: 1 - Rent a travel scooter before coming - this will give you full mobility on and off the ship. 2 - Most of the excursions through the ship (even level 1) are not conducive for anyone with limited mobility 3 - Get a scooter that can collapse to keep in room - will make it easier than having guest services take overnight to charge (but this is a good alternative) If you can - definitely upgrade to the Haven suites. We booked the Haven spa suite and I was able to walk around the room easily because there were things to hold onto. Not conducive for wheelchair though. I also was able to get a shower chair to avoid soapy slippery floors. At worst case, you can get wheelchair assistance on and off the ship. Based on all of this, we did not know we could rent a scooter beforehand and ended up renting one on the ship for a large price (could have bought one for slightly more than we rented one) but I was grateful the ship had this as an alternative. Also very grateful to the Haven concierge team for their help with our excursions and ensuring that I could get around. Loved the Haven and Specialty restaurants as well as the afternoon treats brought to our cabin each day. Delicious food and great ambiance. As a couple traveling, this offered us wonderful romantic meals, a fabulous balcony off our room to enjoy the views, have quiet space to read and disconnect with each other and see amazing sunsets each day. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because we have cruised on Norwegian Cruise Line before and have always been happy with our choice. This was no exception, everything was great-food, entertainment, helpful happy staff except for one thing, Shore ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have cruised on Norwegian Cruise Line before and have always been happy with our choice. This was no exception, everything was great-food, entertainment, helpful happy staff except for one thing, Shore Excursion called Nice & Little Train booked through Norwegian. It started fine (on the actual date of our 50th anniversary, Sept. 7th) we met our tour bus and they drove us to Cannes. They stopped the bus and said the 1st part of this cruise you walk about 1 mile into the center of Cannes to shop or have coffee for about an hour (this is a Level 1 tour which should have minimal walking)then walk back to where you were dropped off to meet up with the little train or tram. Since my husband had suffered a stroke in April & had difficulty walking we just sat and had coffee at a little café near the bus drop off spot. We then met the little train & it went down hill from there. You had to put earphones on & choose the language you needed and that is while driving around in train you listened (or tried to listen) to a recording of the sites. It was nearly impossible to understand because it was very garbled. We had no stops until we reached the top of a hill and we were allowed to get off of train to take pictures or have coffee in the little store. If you needed to use the bathroom, it was a very long walk (about 1/2 mile down a hill). My husband needed to use the restroom and thank God I dicided to go with him because when we came out of the restroom everyone was already gone back to the train & my husband & I turned the wrong direction & got very lost. My husband was having trouble breathing & walking such a long distance & no one that we saw spoke English to help us find our way back to the train. I thought we would never get back, was crying & very upset & my husband was extremely tired. Finally, a young girl was jogging & I asked if she spoke English & she said she did but didn't know the area. I explained to her that we went to the restroom & got lost after exiting it. She (our angel) jogged until she found the restrooms & asked there how to get to train on the hill & came back to us telling us which way we had to go to get back to train. She then jogged all the way up the hill to tell train driver where we were & they came down to meet us.Our friends said that the train driver was getting ready to leave without us but they insisted they wait for us. I thought if you took a tour booked through the cruise line they could not leave without you! The driver was not very nice saying they were there only to show views not take care of us! Tour guide was a little nicer but not very caring.This could have ended very badly but "our angel" saved us! DO NOT waste your money on this tour, it is not worth the money they charge. After we got back on the bus, we were stopped in the middle of Cannes and the tour guide said you should shop in the shops & have some lunch in the great restaurants but never gave anyone the opportunity to leave the bus instead took us back to the port & we had to pay a taxi to take us right back to center of Cannes to shop & have lunch. During the cruise we had some wonderful meals, our specialty restaurant dinner for our anniversary celebration was at LaCucina Italian Restaurant and it was just perfect, the food, wine & atmosphere was great. They even sang to us an anniversary song while surprising us with a cake. Many other diners also wished us well & it was a fun night. Another evening specialty dinner was at Cagney's Steakhouse & it also was wonderful, we ate there to celebrate our friend's 50th anniversary & again food, wine & ambiance was great although no singing allowed there to go along with the cake they provided. The other special dinner was at Spiegel Tent for the Cirque Dreams-Epicurean and it also was great as was the show which we really enjoyed! The dinners in The Manhattan Room was ok not great. The ship also surprised us with a bottle of champagne in our cabin to celebrate our anniversary which was a very nice touch. Not too happy with the buffet which was often very crowded & hard to find seats.I can't forget to mention the excellent way the ship tried to keep everyone healthy with someone always there with hand santizer wherever you were "Washy,Washy, Happy, Happy"! The casino was another fun place for us even though none of us were big winners. Lots of shopping was done by us including souveniers & beautiful jewelry. Other then the tour mentioned above all of the other port excursions were wonderful but we did not book them through the ship. One little thing that we thought was outrageous was a shave my husband had in the salon, it cost a whopping $53.10. He had it done at my request because since his (above mentioned) stroke he really hasn't been able to get a really close shave & so he was willing to pay that price for me! We would recomment this cruise to all family & friends, it was a fun although very tiring time for us celebrating a wonderful 50 yrs together! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because our cruise last year on the Norwegian Star was absolutely wonderful, so we thought we’d try NCL a second time. We brought our daughter and her boyfriend (1st time cruiser) with us this time. I read a number ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our cruise last year on the Norwegian Star was absolutely wonderful, so we thought we’d try NCL a second time. We brought our daughter and her boyfriend (1st time cruiser) with us this time. I read a number of bad reviews about the ship a month or two before our sail date and was hoping it wasn’t true (comments about the stateroom design, ugly ship, etc.). Well, although I did like the NCL Star better for the shows, the Epic was still wonderful. While other reviews didnt like the bathroom layout, we preferred the shower and toilet separate. The sink on the outside of the bathroom was fine, we had no issues with it being there, in fact I preferred it. You didn’t have to wait for the other person to come out of the shower if you needed to use the toilet. The service was excellent in all areas of the ship, and the food choices were endless. I like how the pub was open 24 hours. Buffet food isn’t always the best no matter where you are, but there were enough choices that there was no way anyone would be without something to eat. I preferred the shows on the Star but these shows were very good too. You had to reserve a date and time for some of the shows. The staff work very hard, morning till night and they really do want to ensure you’re enjoying your time on the ship. We didn’t book shore excursions through NCL, too expensive. Instead you can find the same excursions through the web or when you get off the ship. We had a great vacation and my daughter’s boyfriend had a fantastic time on his first cruise. He will sail again and so will we. A few tips, take the train from Rome to Civitachecchia, it’s cheaper and very efficient. You can catch it at a number of the stations in Rome. You then pay 2 euro for a bus shuttle to the port from the station right to your ship, We took a ferry from Naples to Sorrento, you can buy your tickets in advance or at the port. Be sure to take your proof of purchase to the ticket window going to and from Naples. Sometimes the printed reservation accepted, sometimes you have to go pick up your tickets. Book tours through Tuscany Bus rather than NCL when docked in Liverno, much more cost effective. Also, we stayed one night in Civitachecchia after the cruse but noticed that there are a lot of companies waiting to take passengers to Rome or the airport for only 20euto a person, most companies charge 150euro online for 4 passengers and luggage. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Norwegian Epic: We chose this cruise because we wanted to go back to Ocho Rios and George Town. We were concerned about the size of the ship and if it would be too crowded. But the ship itself is very nicely decorated, it seems to have ... Read More
Norwegian Epic: We chose this cruise because we wanted to go back to Ocho Rios and George Town. We were concerned about the size of the ship and if it would be too crowded. But the ship itself is very nicely decorated, it seems to have plenty of room, and it didn't feel crowded at all. All the staff was very friendly, pleasant, and helpful. We always got seated right away at the restaurants, the food was good, and we didn't have to wait a long time for our food. The cafe was very nice and had a good variety. We really enjoyed the shows and entertainment, and the cruise director was nice and friendly. We were impressed how they run the photo gallery now. You don't have to search for your pictures anymore. You are assigned a bookcase and binder number, and they put all your pictures in your binder. The only thing that wasn't easy was embarking and disembarking. With that many people on the ship it was a very long line to wait in both times. However, getting off the ship at the different ports for excursions was very organized and was not a problem. The only bad experience we had was in George Town trying to get back on the ship after our excursion. The line for the tender boats to take us back to the ship was so long and you were standing in the hot sun the whole time. There were about 4 or 5 cruise ships there at the same time and they didn't have enough tender boats for that capacity. If we knew that was going to happen we would have bought hats and cold water before we got in line. And when we finally got to the NCL tent, they had cold water to give us, but they only had about an inch and a half of water in each cup! We all so hot after standing an hour and a half in the hot sun that we could have drank a whole cup of water. Overall we were very pleased with the ship and staff, and we had a good experience. Our excursion at Great Stirrup Cay was the beach and snorkel. The beach was clean, the water was very beautiful, and there were plenty of beach chairs. It was a relaxing day to just walk around, snorkel, and soak up some sun. We enjoyed the free buffet lunch and there was a bar if you wanted to purchase any alcoholic beverages. We didn't see very many fish when we were snorkeling like we did when we were there many years ago, but the water was pretty cool that day so we didn't stay in for very long. In Ocho Rios we did the Bobsled and Dunn's River Falls. We took a very nice chair lift up to Mystic Mountain through the rain forest. The views of the coast and water was beautiful. When you got to the top you got to ride the Bobsled down. It was very fun. It may have only lasted about 2 minutes, but then the track automatically took you slowly back up to where you started. You could ride it as many times as you wanted and there was an infinity pool you could swim in that had an amazing view of the coast. However, we had to keep track of our time since we still had to go to Dunn's River Falls. When we got to the falls it was very crowded and our group had to wait for quite a while before we got our guide. There were many groups and many lines going up the falls, but it is still a very fun experience. I would recommend just doing one of the excursions instead of combining them. That way you can get there first thing in the morning so that it won't be so crowded and you would have more time to spend at the location. In George Town we took the Turtles, Turtles & More Turtles tour. This was a great excursion there you got to see a lot of sea turtles of various ages. There were huge ones swimming in a big area with a board walk around it. They also had different pools with some younger turtles, and some pools with baby turtles that you could actually pick up and get a picture with. They were very cautious and had you sanitize your hands before and after touching the turtles. They also had an aviary that had several different kinds of birds you could look at and feed. But the best part of all was actually being able to swim with the turtles! Be sure to bring your water cameras to get the best pictures up close of these beautiful sea turtles. Finally, our last excursion was in Cozumel where we did the Speed Boat, Snorkel & Beach. That was awesome fun! After a brief training we got our gear and got into a two person speed boat. We followed our guide through the beautiful caribbean waters for about 20 minutes. Then we got out and snorkeled for about 20-30 minutes. After that we got back in the speed boats and did some more racing over the water for another 20 minutes. When we got back to the beach we had a delicious lunch. They gave you the option to purchase pictures of you in the speed boats, but before we could purchase ours we had to get on the bus to go back to the port. Before getting back on the ship we had plenty of time to do some shopping. This was a very enjoyable cruise and the ship was very nice! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Wow, what a great cruise! I sailed with my wife, 16-year-old daughter, her best friend and another couple in a total of 3 cabins. We embarked on March 24th and arrived back at Port Canaveral this morning a very tired group. Embarkation was ... Read More
Wow, what a great cruise! I sailed with my wife, 16-year-old daughter, her best friend and another couple in a total of 3 cabins. We embarked on March 24th and arrived back at Port Canaveral this morning a very tired group. Embarkation was very quick. We arrived at10:30, spent about 10 minutes getting our sea cards and the rest of the time waiting for our group to be called at 11:30. Overall, the food on the ship was fabulous. Our favorite meals were at La Bistro and Shanghai’s. Cagney’s was pretty good, but I don’t understand all of the hype I have been reading. The restaurant itself was amazing, but the food was about a 7 out 10. I got the porterhouse and my wife got the filet which were both about the quality you might get at outback. O’Sheehan’s was a very cool place to be as far as atmosphere, but the food was definitely on the lesser side of our favorites. They seem to have a bad habit of bringing out cold food that would probably be very good if it were hot. Service was also very hit or miss, mostly miss. We ate at Cirque Dreams and had a very nice meal here, especially considering it being “show food” and coming out all at once for the entire restaurant. The show itself was amazing. The food on all of the buffets was always fresh and very tasty. We also had a sushi snack at Wasabi’s and was very impressed. Entertainment on the ship was some of the better we have ever seen. All of the theatre shows were worth seeing. We became groupies of “Siglo” who plays everything from contemporary rock to classic rock and are spot on with all of the songs they sing. Unfortunately, this was there farewell week on the Epic and they are on a plane right now to Germany to become the headliner on the Bliss. I would book my next cruise just to see these guys, they were that good. The band even helped me with a customized souvenir by autographing a broken bass drum. Epic Beatles is definitely worth seeing as is Howl at the Moon. We did not do the comedy club, but I heard it was great. During sea days, the pool is VERY busy and the Epic does not have a lot of hidden areas like you see on many cruise ships to get away from the crowd. I was told when we checked in at the port that our sailing had the second most number of passengers ever, so that did not help the crowd issue. The pool bars do become very busy but if you tip the bartenders and the waiters bringing drinks, they will definitely pay you more attention. If we sail again on the Epic, we’ll most likely upgrade to the Haven to be guaranteed a place to get away from the crowd. Our 16 year olds were not impressed with the teen club. That being said, all of the younger teens we spoke with loved it. Ours are just the age where they want to meet new people and "hang out", which was mostly done by the pool. The feedback from both of them was an awesome cruise. Overall, We really liked the Epic and would sail again. If you have specific questions, comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Beautiful ship. Clean, shiny common areas with comfortable seating. Plenty of bars, restaurants and shopping. Could use more seating in the atrium since they hold many popular events here like trivia, Deal or No Deal and the crew ... Read More
Beautiful ship. Clean, shiny common areas with comfortable seating. Plenty of bars, restaurants and shopping. Could use more seating in the atrium since they hold many popular events here like trivia, Deal or No Deal and the crew talent show (go, Crystal!) I was very surprised to find only two smallish pools, especially for a 4k passenger ship. Plenty of loungers except that the practice of "reserving" them is all too common and allowed when the people claiming them are nowhere in the area, so despite the abundance of loungers, none are ever available. Food was delicious on the buffet, restaurants and Cagney's. The Cirque show is excellent - Go! Our balcony cabin had TONS of very useful storage. More than we could use. Bed is comfy but short (feet hang off the end). Staff and crew were friendly and helpful. Our shower was dismantled on the last day because of a leak. Communication there could have been handled better. Nice cruise but not my choice for a repeat. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We love the Epic for many reasons--but the biggest reason is because we got married onboard last year. We decided to go this year for our one year anniversary. I do love this ship--great food, great drink package, and lots to do! My ... Read More
We love the Epic for many reasons--but the biggest reason is because we got married onboard last year. We decided to go this year for our one year anniversary. I do love this ship--great food, great drink package, and lots to do! My biggest complaint is the pool bar service. You have to wait and wait to get a drink. Even at the adult-only pool, there is ONE person walking around taking drink orders and usually they disappear. If I could fix one thing--it would be more bartenders. They are very overworked and you can tell by their service and attitudes. Here are some drink package tips we learned: You can not get 2 drinks at a time on one card, but you can get a double. Specialty coffees are not included unless you get a shot of Bailey's or some sort of alcohol--crazy, right? I do wish water bottles were included. Our balcony stateroom was very comfortable and the layout is very different and unique. Our room steward, R.C. was so nice and accommodating. As far as dining: We ate dinner in the specialty dining rooms each night. La Cucina is nothing to write home about. Moderno and Cagney's on the other hand were OUTSTANDING!! I highly recommend them both. I'm not a buffet person, so we ate breakfast at Taste (very good) and lunch at O'Sheehans (I like the wings!) If a mega ship is not for you, I would not recommend it. If you like a TON of dining options, activities, and new people to meet--I highly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our first time cruising. My wife and I have been to all inclusive islands and enjoy the fact that once you are at the resort everything is included. We were married 23 years ago in Las Vegas and make at least one trip out there ... Read More
This was our first time cruising. My wife and I have been to all inclusive islands and enjoy the fact that once you are at the resort everything is included. We were married 23 years ago in Las Vegas and make at least one trip out there a year. My wife has always dreamed of going on a cruise, but I have been vary wary of getting seasick (more on that later). We chose Norwegian because of the freestyle dining, and the Free at Sea promotions and chose the unlimited drink package and the specialty restaurant package. We chose the Epic due to the size of the ship and the itinerary it offered. We stayed In a mini-suite Balcony mid-ship... again for the seasickness thing LOL. Pre-Cruise Hotel: We stayed at the Inn at Cocoa Beach. This hotel is a hidden jewel on the beach. it is 15 minutes by Uber to the port. It cost us $18.00 by Uber for a ride to the port. Please do yourself a favor and read the reviews on Trip Advisor about this Hotel. What an incredibly relaxing way to start our adventure at sea. A quick 10 minute walk to a pub called Sanbarbar Sports Grill. Best Fish Tacos I have ever had. Live music and a great friendly atmosphere. Try the Hurricane.. they have cat 1-5. The category 5 was perfect. Embarkation: We sailed out of Port Canaveral. We chose the 10:00-10:30 am check in time and arrived at the port at 10:15. We were met at the curb by a porter that took our bags. A quick walk across the road to the far side walk and up the elevator and we entered security. Security was breeze. The check in process was very fast and well organized. Even for us first time cruisers we never felt lost or worried we were in the wrong spot. We received boarding party 10 passes and were on the ship and eating at O'Sheehan's in no time at all. Cabin: I read all the reviews about the cabin set-up and quite frankly was a little apprehensive. However, in my opinion the rooms were beatiful and just perfect. Plenty of storage and closets to hang your clothes. Comfortable bed and the bathroom set up (european) was just fine. there is a curtain to pull for extra privacy if needed. The Woosh of that toilet flushing was the only thing that scared the hell out of me.... LOL> Pools: Epic has 3 pool sections. One is the main pool that has several hot tubs and two dipping pools. one of the pools has a section that is very shallow to allow sunbathing. The second section is where the chidrens pool area and water slides are located. The final section is the 18 and over section called Spice H2O. This section is in the back of the boat and has two hot tubs and a dipping pool that raises at night to become a dance floor. We spent most of our time at spice. We spent one day at the main pool when we stayed on the ship during a port day. On Sea Days... Get to the pool early if you want a lounger in the sun. I read about Chair Hogs. I know about crowded pools in vegas and thought it would be the same thing... NOT!!! on our last sea day I observed a lady "reserve" 10-12 loungers at spice at ~ 8:30 am. at 11:00 am she returned and started yelling at a young couple that had the "audacity" to "steal" her chairs. Mind you the other 10 were still empty. NORWEGIAN PLEASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS! Food: The food was good. We did notice that the same basic staples and dishes repeated throughout the ship as the week went along. For instance the Buffet each night had a different theme... such as asian night, Italian night, sea food night. Those same dishes but single servings were at the two main dining rooms and believe it or not in several cases the premium restaraunts. I don't think we would do the specailty dining if the package was not included. the food was excellent and the service was great but everything is al carte priced. So the same shrimp cocktail you can get multiple servings of at the main dining room.... you are restricted to one at the specialty restaraunt. Not a complaint, but if you are looking for value pick the main dining rooms. -Tepanyaki: I would definately visit this specialty dining option again. You are seated as a group of 8 around a grill. The food was excellent. Filet Minot and shrimp grilled with rice. The drinks were excellent. the highlight was the chef. He had us all lauging and playing along. -Cagney's: This is the signature dining option on the ship. We both had steack and it was done to perfection. Very nice. -Moderno Brazilian Steakhouse: The servers come to your table and carve freshly cooked meat. Lamb, steack, chicken, pork are all offered. For starters they have a salad bar that has several different salads, sushi and cheeses. O'Sheehan's: We had breakfast here a couple of times and it was excellent. open 24 hours a day and serving pub food that was very, very good. Get the wings!!! Entertainment: You have several options on the Epic. Comedians, dueling pianos, two broadway style shows and most bars on the ship have live entertainment every night. The two main shows at the Epic theater were very well done. Don't panic if the show is "sold Out" EVERY venue we went to said it was sold out. Make reservations if you have a large party that wants to be seated together. Otherwise you will have no problems if you just wait for stand by seating. We chose the latter and got seats at or near the front row each time. The highlight for us was a band called SIGLO in the cavern club. they stole the show from the Epic Beatles. Shore Excursions: We read the articles about staying away from ship excursions and using the locals. Being a first time cruiser and worrier... lol. We chose ship sponsered excursions. I will say that we experienced a couple of advantages. 1st the tenders are prioritized for those of us taking a ship sponsered excursion. Secondly we never worried about getting left behind.... in Jamaca that exact thing happened to a group of 10 on our boat. 1. Great Stirrup Caye: Norwegians private island. the drink packages work on the island and the food is included. the beaches are pristine and there are plenty of chairs for all. we went to the last beach. The beaches are on your right hand side as you get off the tender. the 1st beach fills quickly and has a croweded feel to it. however just keep walking down the path past the large tower and there is a secluded beach by where most of the cabanas are located. quiet and relaxing... the water itself has several large rocks in it so beware. 2. Grand Cayman Island: We took the first tender to the port and had several hours to shop before our excursion. Safe, relaxing and friendly british island. we had coffee in a small cafe and walked the streets shoppping. No one hassling for sails, just extremely friendly folks at every shop. We did the Sting Ray City tour on the catamaran sail boat. you are taken out to the city and then get to feed and hold the stingrays whiles several swim around and through your legs. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED> What a great time and lunch was included. 3. Cozumel: We did passion island. 30 minute baot ride to the island and then you spend about 3.5 hours on the island before retruning to the pier. Beautiful secluded beach with several free activities. drinks and lunch are provided. they stagger the times that folks arrive so the island never feels crowded. Service: I purposely put this at the end of my review because I think it is important to note that the issues we encounter in no way detered us from having and absolutely incredible time!!!! So please do not read too much into them. Everyone on the ship was friendly, smiling and greeted us as soon as they saw us. However, I must mention them because when I talked to others on the ship they concured. 1st our room Steward ADRIAN was rude, condescending, and no where to be found after the first time we met. We had an issue with our room being cleaned as did several on our floor the second day. Someone had flipped our signs to do not disturb... NOT his fault however, blaming me and making me feel like I was asking him for the world was not acceptable. He almost had me thinking maybe I did mess up until several other guests in our vicinity had the same issue. the young lady that eventually cleaned our room said this happens alot. I asked here if it happens alot only on ADRIANS floor and she said yes. Yikes!!! Secondly the service is very poor at the pools. The servers are way understaffed and we found that just walking up to the bar was more efficient. Lastly there seems to be a discrepency in knowledge and training of the staff. Some were top notch others had no clue. However outside of Adrian everyone else met us with a smile and greeted us with hello! Tip: Preventing seasickness: I get seasick in the bathtub. I can't watch videos on a phone, lay on my back, ride in the backseat of a car, ride roller coasters, look out a window on a plane.... I used the behind the ear patch prescribed by my doctor. I also took Bonine each morning. We booked a mid ship room with a balcony. We did book a higher deck and I would recomend a lower mid ship deck. We also chose one of Norwegians largest ships because I had heard from several friends that you won't even feel the boat moving on a large ship. That is not true... the height of the ship will cause the ship to sligtly rock side to side. The aft and forward sections of the ship exaperates this motion. However, with all that said I did not get queezy even one time on the ship.... well other than my nerves using the water slides....LOL!! My point is medicate and take the appropriate measures and don't let your fears prevent you from cruising. Summary: If you are someone that loves Las Vegas like my Wife and I do..... Then you will fall heads over heals for Cruising!!! The Norwegian Epic was a blast. Sun and Fun during the day. Great entertainment each and every night including comedians, broadway style shows, bars with musicians, dueling pianos, live bands and yes.. a casino. Several good dining options with plentiful choices for everyone' taste. It's like vegas in small package with the added benefit of watching a beautiful sunset over the ocean every night, and waking up on a different most mornings. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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