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1,994 Norwegian (NCL) Port Canaveral (Orlando) Cruise Reviews

We have done transatlantic 3 years running and fancied a change this year. It was also a good deal with drinks and gratuities package. We booked inside and were contacted a few weeks before departure and were delighted to secure a balcony ... Read More
We have done transatlantic 3 years running and fancied a change this year. It was also a good deal with drinks and gratuities package. We booked inside and were contacted a few weeks before departure and were delighted to secure a balcony cabin albeit chosen by NCL. Arrived and embarkation process and buffet all great. I will review issues with cabin separately. The interiors of public areas Including elevators were very dark and We found it quite depressing it was very gloomy during the day and low lighting in evening. The food was good but only just warm and service was sporadic in the restaurants. We found the best was the buffet, which is a sad indictment of the Main restaurants. Only hot food on voyage was in speciality restaurants. Entertainment was best we have seen on cruise ship. Special mention to singers and dancers. Favourite was Howl at the moon duelling pianos. The free style dining is not working. Some nights we could walk in others we didn’t stand a chance. At the end of it we would go back if the deal was good but comparisons with others probably not. On balance only getting 1 out of 3 main things right is not good. Food not good, cabin not good,a glass door on a toilet. Entertainment brilliant but theatre not big enough. Ironically everything eating is freestyle but entertainment you have to book? Didn’t do there shore excursions but looked plentiful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I wish there were a 3 1/2 star option for the rating, as the cruise was good (not very good or average). NCL is our favorite cruise line and this was our 25th anniversary, so a Transatlantic cruise was a no-brainer. First off, we did enjoy ... Read More
I wish there were a 3 1/2 star option for the rating, as the cruise was good (not very good or average). NCL is our favorite cruise line and this was our 25th anniversary, so a Transatlantic cruise was a no-brainer. First off, we did enjoy many facets of the cruise, but there are some things that need improvement. 1. Food was great whether you were in the Garden Cafe, Taste, Manhattan Room or O'Sheehans. Service was also excellent wherever we went. (The prime rib the last night was PERFECT!) 2. Cabin service was great. Inachino was our cabin steward and we could not be happier. We kept him guessing on when we would be in the cabin because we spent a lot of time in there (more on that later), so it was hard for him to get in to clean when we set the sign for "make up cabin" - but he took great care of us. 3. Common areas are generally clean and in good repair and the crew evidently do a good job keeping everything "ship-shape" (sorry, couldn't resist). 4. The fitness center is quite large (as it should be for 4000 passengers) and the free weights and machines are in good shape and are of good quality. However, when it comes to the elliptical machines, treadmills and bicycles need some attention. At least 3 out of 4 of the elliptical machines need repairs of some kind. Just in one section of 4, one had a "thunk" on the right side, one had a video screen that did not work at all and one had no audio in the audio jack (not the headphones, as they worked fine in my tablet and other elliptical machines). Frankly, for a premier ship, this is unacceptable. 5. Entertainment: The one show we were able to get into was good (Fly Boys). This is where there is a TON of room for improvement! It is nearly impossible to get into a show. If you do not reserve a show as soon as you get onto the ship, forget about getting into one. (Never had this issue on the Dawn, Star, Pearl, or Sky). We could not get into a show, but I overheard several people mention that they got into shows several times. That is a poor system. Hence, why we spent a good bit of time in our cabin - well, at least on the balcony. 6. Spa: We bought the Thermal Suite package (as we do whenever we cruise on NCL). My understanding is that they are only supposed to sell 120 spaces. I can say definitively, that is NOT the case. We usually spent an hour to an hour and a half at a time, and over 15 days I saw WAY more than 120 different unique individuals in that spa. I strongly suspect it was over-sold. There was one thing that was unsettling to me. I am going to preface this by saying that I harbor no ill feelings toward homosexuals. Their life, their choice. That being said, there was a group of about 6 homosexual men that were ever-present in the spa and at times their public displays of affection were disturbing. (I would have had a problem with a heterosexual couple doing what these folks were doing in a public area). If you are going to do that, go to your cabin and do what you will. It seemed to me that they WANTED someone to say something so that they would have an axe to grind. It was also disconcerting that a couple of them spent an inordinate amount of time trolling (for lack of a better term) in the men's locker room. The closest I can describe it is if a man were to walk into a women's locker room and start walking about checking out the undressed/half dressed women. Again, I do not hate homosexuals, but as a heterosexual man who does not leer at women, I think some decorum is a reasonable thing to expect - regardless of your sexual orientation. Really nothing NCL can do about this, but I felt it needed to be mentioned. I hope this came across in the vein it was intended and not hateful. If I did something that made someone uncomfortable, I would want to know. 7. Ship: I realize the race is on for each cruise line to build bigger and bigger ships. The only problem is that bigger does not equal better. Elevators were regularly packed to the extreme and lines for dining and standby for shows were beyond ridiculous. There is a limit to how big you can make a cruise ship before it becomes foolish. Frankly, I think Epic is there. When you factor in The Haven and the space it takes up, the rest of the available area on the ship is not that much bigger than a ship the size of the Dawn or Pearl - so you are packing over 4000 people into an area that should accommodate about 2200 - 2400. 8. Sell, sell, sell: I felt a little like I was at a time share sales pitch at times with all of the art auctions, cruise "sales", and jewelry sales being hawked over the intercom. A little less sell, sell, sell, would have made the cruise more enjoyable. 9. Cabin: The cabin was clean and comfortable. The shower was a little small for me, but I am a fairly big guy (6' 2" and 230 lbs). My wife had no issues with the shower. The balcony was bigger than on other balconies on other NCL ships, which was great. We spent a lot of time on the balcony enjoying the ocean and the sound of the waves and wind. 10: Excursions: We did an excursion at every port and had a great time. A couple of times the Epic Theater was very crowded and confused - but that was not the crew's fault. A lot of folks showed up over an hour early for their excursions which caused the crowding. In all fairness, one morning, the local port officials took longer than expected to clear the ship. An announcement could have been made that folks could show up 30 minutes later than originally scheduled. I do not want to come across as saying that we hated the cruise. Far from it! We had a lot of fun and have some great photos and video and found a couple of places we want to go back to visit. However, I did want to mention the areas of concern and where there is room for improvement. I would cruise with NCL again in a heartbeat - but probably not on the Epic. Not because the crew was lacking, but because of the problems that come with being on a ship this size Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chose the cruise for the great ports of call. Was disappointed in the ship itself: casino smoke was pervasive - with no easy way to avoid it (huge 6th floor casino area) when going to either main dining room. Food was mostly very good - ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the great ports of call. Was disappointed in the ship itself: casino smoke was pervasive - with no easy way to avoid it (huge 6th floor casino area) when going to either main dining room. Food was mostly very good - but sometimes did not match the menu description. Buffet always had a great variety. Entertainment was very good - if you could get a reservation or were willing to waste a lot of time in the "stand-by" line. Theater was sized for a ship half the size of Epic. Staff seemed under-trained: disembarkation was disorganized, small things like green tea were often unavailable in dining room, washcloths were not replaced. Our room steward was sick but still on the job; we both got sick too. Not sure they knew how to service a ship as large as Epic. This was the first time in over a dozen cruises that we could not wait to get home instead of wanting it to go on. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have taken many NCL cruises. This ship has been a real letdown. Never had to have reservations to see any shows on any other cruises. You had to have reservations. The lines to get in were extremely long, and waiting times were long. ... Read More
We have taken many NCL cruises. This ship has been a real letdown. Never had to have reservations to see any shows on any other cruises. You had to have reservations. The lines to get in were extremely long, and waiting times were long. The bathroom we had in our room was like something we never had experienced. Only a shower and toilet. When showering, the entire floor in the bathroom gets soaked. When my husband showered, I had to use the toilet, and had to stand in water. This WAS A HANDICAP ROOM ! REALLY SAFE! The sink is in the room area, tiniest sink ever. One chair in room , had to sit on bed to watch TV, Ship can only cater to one fourth of its guests. No elevators in Mid ship, had to walk quite a distance to get to the Forward or Aft elevators Entertainment at Pool, pretty much the same everyday Embarkation and disembarkation was fine, Ports of call were fine, staff very pleasant, food was OK, same menu most of the time. Did not go to special dining restaurants, although some of our crowd did, and they said it was OK, nothing special. We love cruising, have Platinum status with NCL, but this ship is too big, and does not have the ambiance of their smaller ships. In a nutshell, They cannot handle 4500 passengers . Love cruising, but we will never take a ship of this size again Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Norwegian Cruise Line, Ship Epic, Category H6 / Stateroom 10326 Haven Suite 15 night transatlantic cruise, Florida to Barcelona Seasoned cruisers with 34 cruises under our belt. Summary: This ship offers Haven suites in the back ... Read More
Norwegian Cruise Line, Ship Epic, Category H6 / Stateroom 10326 Haven Suite 15 night transatlantic cruise, Florida to Barcelona Seasoned cruisers with 34 cruises under our belt. Summary: This ship offers Haven suites in the back of the ship. They were NOT worth the extra $3,000 we spent on them. I DO NOT recommend these rear facing Haven suites. This is a designer suite that probably won an award for looking cute, HOWEVER, they didn't have to stay in it. If you want a Haven suite get it in the front of the ship. You will spend more money but not be disappointed. When staying in the rear of the ship we tended not to go to the Haven as much since it was at the front of the ship. Details of room: Positives; On balcony, Two chairs with cushions, two loungers with cushions, more than adequate. Shower is ok, good pressure and plenty of hot/cold water; plenty of room in bathtub/shower combination, two people can take shower together. Adequate storage for clothes, suitcases fit under the bed. Negatives; Balcony noisy from propeller wash, 24/7 when underway. Also at night when sleeping you get a harmonic vibration thru the bed from the engines. Bathroom has odor from drain. Room noisy from creaking furniture when in small swells, we never got into rough seas. One side of bed hard to get around, need to walk sideways. This is a round bed with a round mattress, head part is ok but your feet hang off the side unless you move them to the middle, your spouse will do the same and feet touch. The bathroom has a sliding door with no latch, this is ok in calm seas, however in mild and rough seas the door will self open causing the motion activated light to come on: this is ok during the day, however when sleeping the light will awake you numerous times during the night. I tied a towel (each night) between the door handle and towel rack to keep the door from opening. Light switches by bed did not work. Not enough lighting in room, light switches all over the place. TV flat mounted against wall so at an angle to the bed, need tilt mechanism. Bathtub/shower difficult to get into and out of, if you are over 60 you will need to sit on the edge and lift one leg into the tub and then the other while pivoting on your behind, opposite getting out. Could be dangerous for older people. The sink is a bowel that is difficult to use. The medicine cabinet is large and useful. The vanity area is small with poor lighting. Haven area in front of ship: Positives: Food in Haven dining room was excellent, had prime rib to die for and surf and turf (shrimp). Service staff was terrific in dining room. Concierge service in Haven main room was excellent. At the end of the cruise we peeked into the forward Haven rooms and found the two bedroom suite to be quite nice. Negatives: Haven outside spa area is very nice, however noisy from intake/exhaust fan 24/7, need ear plugs or ear buds to listen to music. Very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We are seasoned cruisers, and this Trans-Atlantic cruise was our 20th, but first time on NCL. Below are a few things that we found troubling. It wasn't all bad and I will note the positives as well. My wife and I are both retired ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers, and this Trans-Atlantic cruise was our 20th, but first time on NCL. Below are a few things that we found troubling. It wasn't all bad and I will note the positives as well. My wife and I are both retired and this is just our opinion regarding our experience. I am sure others will have differing opinions. 1. This was a massive ship (4,100 passengers). If you don't like crowds, you might want to consider something smaller. Seating at the buffet (any meal) was challenging. It appeared that the main atrium had been removed to accommodate more state rooms. There was zero elegance and the central elevators do not exist .... only forward and aft. This means lots of walking just to get to an elevator. Based on the location of our stateroom, we had to trudge through the smoke filled casino several times each day. Major TURN-OFF. However, for Trans-Atlantic travel, a huge ship is the way to go, our cruise was smooth sailing all the way at 14 knots 2.. We have never had to make reservations for shows! By the time we figure out that we needed to do this, most all of the shows were sold out. Very disappointed that we didn't get to see many of what was offered. However, the shows we did watch did not seem to hit the mark for an older generation. 3. The staterooms were laid out strange. We had a balcony and the bathroom blended into the main cabin. The sink was next to the convertible sofa. You do get "used" to it after a while, but the number one negative on the stateroom was there were only TWO 110v outlets! Our stateroom attendant was outstanding. Like ghosts, they seem to always have the room picked up even when you leave for a few minutes. Our man, Felix was an All-Star when it came to making animals with towels. 4. The food was hit and miss. Mostly good tasting, but after 15 days on board, the same meals were offered over and over again. Several people at our table (main dining) sent back their steaks as they were like shoe leather. However, to their credit, when you feed 4,100 people, a few things will go wrong. Tried to be open minded. 5. Never used any of their shore excursions. We find them to be too pricey. Have had many great experiences on our own. Excellent experience with the art auctions, fun and entertaining. Great experience with the Photo Department. Wile very overpriced, the staff was friendly and warm. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first trans Atlantic cruise and we were excited to choose the Norwegian shiping line following our amazing cruise on the Norwegian Spirit around the Greek Islands. The Epic in our mind left a lot to be desired. It is ... Read More
This was our first trans Atlantic cruise and we were excited to choose the Norwegian shiping line following our amazing cruise on the Norwegian Spirit around the Greek Islands. The Epic in our mind left a lot to be desired. It is advertised as a quirky boat but that does not account for deficiencies in some basic comforts for e.g. we had a balcony room on the 11 floor and our feet hung out the end of the bed. Other passengers had the same issues, luckily our cabin attendant was able to extend the bed but this resulted in the walkway passing the bed being perhaps 10 inches. The entertainment was fantastic however the Epic theatre was too small for the number of passengers which resulted in passengers booking seats and arriving 40 minutes prior and trying to reserve many seats for their friends. All seating is unallocated. The Atrium was a sad affair, it reminded us of a shopping mall. No pazzaz at all, no staircase, no amazing lighting and a huge projector screen that covered onewall. No view of the ocean and once again too small. Extra chairs were brought from other areas howeverthese impinged on the thoroughfare. The Garden cafe had a large amount of open areas and the food overall was good. This was the only area from where you could see the front of the boat. Only the Haven passengers had access to the front deck. It was easy to embark and disembark the ship at all ports except the first port when too many passengers were squeezed into one area for disembarkation. A large number of the crew seemed to be in training and were not sure in their roles, however most were friendly. The itinerary worked well in relation to days at sea and ports of call. A few other points to note the lifts were extremely dark, two thirds of level 6 is covered by the casino, you cannot escape walking through this area which leads into the Manhatten dining room. Every day this area smells of cigarettes. The spas at the rear of the boat were often under heated. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have ever done a transatlantic cruise before and thought it might be a good thing to try I suggest that no one should book a cruise out of Cape Canaveral. We had to queue first for an hour at the car park/drop off,just to get on the ... Read More
We have ever done a transatlantic cruise before and thought it might be a good thing to try I suggest that no one should book a cruise out of Cape Canaveral. We had to queue first for an hour at the car park/drop off,just to get on the shuttle bus to the boat. We then had to queue for almost two hours in direct sunshine and heat (all of this standing up). The ship gave no indication of why this was such an awful way of treating 4,000 people many of them who looked rather distressed and I would be amazed if someone didn’t suffer with heat stroke. First impressions very poor and awful lack of respect for clients. Now if you are on a cruise that offers free dining, this means you can eat more or less when you would like to, not so on Norwegian. We arrived at the main diningroom at approximately 7.30pm and were told a table would be available for four people in approximately an hour time ? The shows that Norwegian like to talk and talk about, we didn’t even get to see they were fully booked every night, so be very aware, book before you cruise or you won’t see any. We were told we could go stand by and yes by that they mean queuing for an hour or so before the shows start and maybe and it’s only a maybe you will get in to see one if people who have pre booked don’t turn up. This is so not correct when your advertising is so filled about fabulous shows that you can see free. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Friends made arrangements for this trip and asked if we'd like to join them. Boarding was the first clue that NCL needs to hire a Disney crowd/line management team to get it together. We waited in the parking lot line for over an ... Read More
Friends made arrangements for this trip and asked if we'd like to join them. Boarding was the first clue that NCL needs to hire a Disney crowd/line management team to get it together. We waited in the parking lot line for over an hour to get on board when we had arrived as scheduled . Fortunately our friends had made "reservations" for most meals and evening entertainment as we had not experienced this set up on prior cruises. We refused to pay for an evenings entertainment, in addition to the higher than regular amounts for the cruise we pay on other cruise lines, so I cannot speak to the "headliner shows" A reservation allowed you to stand in one line about 20 minutes before show times so you could join a free for all to get a seat. Those without reservations waited about 35-40 minutes to see if any reservations were a no-show. The venues are too small for this many people (over 4,200 passengers). The specialty dining - especially Tappenaki - were very good as were the dining rooms. The buffet area for breakfast was nice a s well. This is too many people in not enough space - elevator waits called for a second drink on some occasions - however the crew and staff wee very friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My wife and I took the Norwegian Epic out of Port Canaveral on April 7, 2018. I was forewarned that the rooms were poorly lighted (as they were: I did my shaving on the balcony when there was sunlight), that the beds were curved so my ... Read More
My wife and I took the Norwegian Epic out of Port Canaveral on April 7, 2018. I was forewarned that the rooms were poorly lighted (as they were: I did my shaving on the balcony when there was sunlight), that the beds were curved so my feet would hang off the bed (which they did: I’m only five-eleven, but it’s form before function, you know), and that the toilet and shower had opaque doors (tacky but what the hey). But should you think I’m a jaded traveler (which I am), the ship had many positive features: The theater had no obstructed views and I loved it. The Irish pub is a great place for lunch. The pool tables broke up the long days at sea. The food was tasty. Our room was well tended. Bar staff was generous. Things I didn’t know: !. Lines for food; lines for shows (and if you didn’t know in advance you needed to make reservations for shows, tough.); lines, lines and lines. But it is a large and crowded ship. Think New York sidewalks at 5 pm or malls at Christmas time or the mega-sized cruise ships, in general. 2. People incapable of taking a walking tour are allowed if not encouraged to do it anyway. It seems the cruise line ignores its guidelines when selling tours and fails to weed out the disabled when loading the buses for an excursion. I paid good money for tours in towns with cobblestone streets, walls and stairways. I didn’t pay to hear the complaints of the walking dead about the terrain and the pace. Most excursions were too hampered by the frail for the objective of the tour to be realized. Yes, I’m a grandpa, and yes, my wife has difficulty walking. But she didn’t join me on those trips inappropriate for her physical state. 3. Cruising is a waste of my travel dollars and my time. I just canceled a 33 day cruise around South America Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We were looking to go to Barcelona without flying there. Our goal was to spend some time in Europe when we got there, then board a ship from a different line to get back to the US. NCL used to be our favorite line. We hoped that our ... Read More
We were looking to go to Barcelona without flying there. Our goal was to spend some time in Europe when we got there, then board a ship from a different line to get back to the US. NCL used to be our favorite line. We hoped that our experience in Hawaii with them last year where the food and service was non existent, was an anomaly. Unfortunately, it was not. They don't have enough staff to sneeze at and while most try to at least be nice to you, all have their hands out for tips. Why? Even though we paid gratuities in advance, they will tell you they get none of that. Instead, that's their compensation. Our stateroom on the Epic was awful. They have some sort of wavy design, so the room is much smaller than it should be. The beds have this same weird oblong design and if you are over 5"10, your feel will hang off the bed. If you are 5'5" like me and you move from the center of the bed, your feet will hang off the bed. The lighting is horrible. My husband had to hope for a sunny day and take a mirror outside to shave. You weren't reading in there unless you had a back lit kindle. The bright spot in the room...the balcony. Loved the sliding door! The dining...I have always loved the freestyle concept and it works better on NCL than any other cruise line. But once again, staffing was problematic. I've never seen so many lazy waiters in one space. Service was horribly slow. We had one who would disappear until she found another staff member to talk to. We didn't get water, coffee and most of our food that night. Yes. We reported her. Other wait staff was friendlier, but equally slow. You should not have to spend 2.5 hours in the dining room every night. Entertainment...Who would know. What we saw was good and their main theater was nice without obstructions. But we didn't know until day 2 that you had to sign up for any type of entertainment and at that you had to fight for seats when you got there. Most were filled when we got to them, but we were able to get a couple of things in Unfortunately one was the comedians who admittedly wrote his show that day and it was so bad that most of the audience walked out. I would have loved to go to the specialty restaurants, but they have a weird pricing thing where everything is overpriced and priced separately. We found it not to be worth our time. The one really good experience was the onboard pub, O'Sheehan's. The food was good; the service was good; the lines were always long. The Casino reeked of cigarette smoke which permeated everything around it. The second hand smoke on this ship could kill you. We would normally use the casino, but not on this ship. The shore excursions, while well priced, were terrible. We signed up for the tour to Granada from Malaga, Spain and the tour to Seville from Cadiz, Spain. These were long, 9.5 hour bus tours but worth the time to see the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcazar in Seville. After we arrived, we found that tickets were not included in either, but were told we could check them out in our spare time (1 hour) and that waits just to get the tickets were upward of 2 hours! Add that to the number of people who should not have been on either tour. Both involved at minimum, 2 hours of walking over cobblestones and uneven pavement. yet people showed up who complained that there was too much walking. They, for whatever reason, left their wheelchairs and walkers behind thinking they would get wheelchairs there. Of course they couldn't so the rest of us waited for them to move along and missed at least half of each tour. NCL's descriptions did mention these things, but marked each tour as 'easy', which is the only thing these folks saw. NCL really needs to get its act together. Just about everything has an up charge or a surcharge. Me? I've been nickle and dimed to death from them for the last time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We are a couple on our late fifties that have cruised nine times previously. We have long looked forward to being able to choose cruises based on itinerary or price instead of choosing what is available during our time off. Since we are ... Read More
We are a couple on our late fifties that have cruised nine times previously. We have long looked forward to being able to choose cruises based on itinerary or price instead of choosing what is available during our time off. Since we are both now fully retired, this was our first time choosing a cruise without constraints. It was our first NCL cruise having cruised Royal Caribbean, Princess and Carnival on the past. We chose this itinerary due a very low teaser rate. Despite fees and taxes nearly doubling the quote, it was still a bargain. My mother and aunt decided to join us so we were a group of four all very pleased with our fare. We booked inside cabins on deck 12. Embarking in Port Canaveral was smooth. We had difficulty getting a commercial taxi from our pre-cruise hotel and ended up taking Lyft. No problems dropping us off right in front of the ship. We dropped our bags and headed in. Lines were moderate and moved quickly. In less than a half hour, we were through the process. We were very happy to find the sit down dining room, Taste, open for lunch. We read all the Epic reviews before we booked so we knew what to expect with the unusual cabin configuration. The cabin was fine for us and we probably wouldn't have even remarked on the arrangement of the commode, shower and sink. We found the sink small but had no issues with splashing into the room. The beds were comfortable and we had plenty of room for our luggage ( for the two week cruise, two weeks in Europe and two weeks cruising back). Most importantly, the air conditioning worked well. It was very comfortable and we enjoyed it for the entire cruise. Our cabin steward, Victorino, was fantastic. We found the food very good to excellent. The sit down breakfasts and lunches in the Taste dining room were very good and a nice pace of service on sea days. Dinners in Taste and The Manhattan dining room were usually excellent. We also had specialty dining in the Bistro, Moderno, Cucina and Cagney. I had steak at all of them and each was beautifully prepared. The skewered meats at Moderno were all very good, especially the beef tenderloin and lamb chops. Our only issue was with extremely slow service at Bistro. The manager on duty apologized several times and comped a bottle of wine. The meal was outstanding when it arrived. Normally, we are not buffet people and we have been on a number of cruises where we never set foot in one. One this transatlantic, we took a lot of breakfasts, lunches and even one dinner at the buffet. We found the offerings varied, hot, tasty and of good quality. Hand washing was enforced on entry ( albeit by a charming girl spraying and singing washy-washy). Once we figured out the booking procedure for shows, we were able to see what we wanted. The best show was Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. We also saw the Epic Beatles, a comic/magician, and Burn the Floor. Did not care for the last. The crew also put together a special show call Women who Rock which was excellent. We very much enjoyed the dueling piano bar as well as bar entertainers such as Zoe and Aldo. I played a lot of trivia and enjoyed it. Sometimes it was held in the Atrium where there is too much else going on and it is distracting and difficult to get a seat. Also attended a lecture series from the Brunel Museum in London. The professor's presentations were excellent but often oversubscribed and people had to stand. My wife purchased a fitness package with unlimited classes. She liked TRX, yoga and Pilates. We both did morning stretch before I went out to run on deck 7. The running track is usable but extremely inconvenient with just an up and back with a tight dog bone loop at each end. With so many sea days, there seemed to always be a crowd. Traffic bottlenecked frequently, especially when shows were letting in or out. Outdoor spaces were ice and well maintained but seemed lacking in comparison to the size of the ship. I tried all the water slides and loved them...lots of fun. The ship, despite its size, is quirky. Perhaps that is why she is in a class by herself. Externally, she is ugly. I've seen better looking container ships. The public areas are tight and outdoor areas limited. Still, the crew was ne of the best we have seen. The bartenders were great, especially Alan at Maltings,Kumasi at Shakers and Javier at the Atrium. All of the waitstaff at the food venues were also excellent. I also enjoyed speaking with the folks that were always sweeping, mopping, dusting or polishing everything. We loved the crossing and we're blessed with great weather and smooth seas. Except for rain in Bermuda and overcast in Malaga, we couldn't ask for better weather. We are already looking forward to our return transatlantic on Carnival Horizon in two weeks. Overall, we will sail NCL again ( we already put down two deposits). We would avoid the Epic unless it is once again a super value or a unique itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Great transatlantic cruise. I believe the ship was full which adds to congestions of elevators and shows. It is important to know to book your shows early. If not on line then do it first thing on the ship. Many people feel this is not the ... Read More
Great transatlantic cruise. I believe the ship was full which adds to congestions of elevators and shows. It is important to know to book your shows early. If not on line then do it first thing on the ship. Many people feel this is not the "free style" concept but with 4,000 passengers there has to be some sort of planning. the real problem comes with free shows. People will line up 1 hour before the show. Oh well There is a lot going on so just enjoy. I would not recommend cabin 13076 as it is below splash academy. I liked the location on deck 13 which 1 floor below the spa/gym anly 2 floors below dining room but in 13076 there is alot of thumping from splash academy above. Manhattan dining room service is slow. Keep that in mind dfor plans. We were told it was because kitchen was faraway. Also hints on le bistro. They are under the Tent where a major show of is. In the area we sat there were periodic loud thumps. The nterfered with a relaxing dinner. Ask to sit in a different area. The crew staff were all GREAT Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We found a good price for this cruise and are tired of going to the same old places in the Caribbean, so we booked and inside room, and then upgraded to a mini-suite. The room was good in our opinion. There were many who did not like the ... Read More
We found a good price for this cruise and are tired of going to the same old places in the Caribbean, so we booked and inside room, and then upgraded to a mini-suite. The room was good in our opinion. There were many who did not like the "split" bathroom, but it worked fine for us. Our issue with the ship is the lack of inside seating space. The top deck is great if the sun it out and it's warm, but the wind was blowing and it was fairly cool out during our crossing, so staying on deck for a significant amount of time was not an option. Inside community seating space is EXTREMELY limited, so it's hard to find anywhere to go if you want to play a board game, etc. There is a large amount of floor space on decks 5,6 & 7 that are idle or entirely too large for the use that they are attributed for. The art gallery area is nice, with a fair amount of wall space afforded for display. The best way to attend dinner and shows goes against the concept of "Freestyle Cruising", in that it's a good idea to make reservations or you risk not making it into the shows, or getting a seat when you want to eat in the "regular" dining rooms, since even after making reservations, you should show up at least 30 minutes early to make sure you get a good seat at a show. I had one outstanding customer service experience however. Una worked at the coffee shop, and I bought an espresso after asking if they were good; it wasn't even close. I told her what she needed to do to fix the issue, and to maintain the quality of the shots into the future. She didn't know how to make the adjustments needed to the equipment to attain good shots, but she found the person who could help her, and the espresso went from quite awful to very good overnight. I contacted the hotel manager and let them know that I appreciated her efforts, and let them know that she was interested in learning how to adjust the machines and keep them in the best shape possible, which they may incorporate into the training for the coffee shop staff. I overheard quite a few comment after the changes were made that the coffee was so good after, so I felt good about helping Una and improving the quality of the coffee for everyone on the boat. We will book on Norwegian again, but not on this ship. Everyone we talked with about other Norwegian ships said that the others are much better laid out and more "cruiser friendly" than the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was my second TA on Epic and although the food wasn't 5 star, the people I met were A LOT OF FUN~! Cruise Critic's team on the Epic TA was excellent Geri & John (JW) along with others made this a holiday to remember. ... Read More
This was my second TA on Epic and although the food wasn't 5 star, the people I met were A LOT OF FUN~! Cruise Critic's team on the Epic TA was excellent Geri & John (JW) along with others made this a holiday to remember. Meet & Greets, Bar Crawl(s), Cabin Crawl was informal and enjoyed by all. It was crowded and the passengers were older than I had anticipated (lots of scooters to watch out for), and most of the people were happy to be on Epic for the 15 days. New ports for me included: Bermuda, Funchal, Gibraltar, Cadiz; re-visits of Malaga and of course Barcelona. Most ports were visited independent of the NCL Excursion. The people met on board made this trip one of my favorite vacations ever. I stayed in an inside cabin with excellent service from my Cabin Steward and team. Taste was "meh" - I prefer Manhattans. Most people say they have the same menu - I'm not sure about that. Getting a seat in Manhattans in the back gives you a view Aft (back of the ship) where many pictures were shot watching the sun set on another "Epic" day at sea. The Noodle & Rice Bar (free option) was really good. O'Sheehan's Sports Bar was our nightcap for wings, fries and a recap of the day. They serve ordered food until 4 AM then it's snacks until they start with breakfast. Most of the bartenders were attentive to most needs - the staff works hard and tries to do all they can. There were a couple of mistakes made - hell we're all human AND we're on vacation, right? Entertainment on the ship was fun - Epic Beatles in the Cavern, the shows (Burn the Floor, Priscilla) they have a good team. The only negative I heard was shows were full. There are so many activities so you could do OR do nothing at all. Bliss (the dance club) played until 3 AM - even on the last night, so if you like to dance - head there. Want to sing along to some songs? Howl at the Moon - they played it all. The comedy I saw late at night was great. Gina also did the farewell show - did a great job. Oh yeah, the hypnotist was interesting to watch. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this ship for the exceptionally itinerary which was great ! This was 2nd cruise on the EPIC out of 67 other cruises. After boarding I remember why 4 years ago I swore I would not sail on it again; even on that cruise were were ... Read More
We chose this ship for the exceptionally itinerary which was great ! This was 2nd cruise on the EPIC out of 67 other cruises. After boarding I remember why 4 years ago I swore I would not sail on it again; even on that cruise were were treated great. We are both Platinum Plus members which has it's advantages about wait list but even then the crowds were overwhelming. Let me say this first great food, great shows, great staff. Got lots of exercise because the lack of adequate number of elevators. Most people only took elevators up, they/we would even walk down 10 decks rather than wait for ever Get off the ship slow slow slow. This gave me a concern that if there were an emergency it would be a disaster and jumping over the side would be preferential to be trampled. Let be explain my feelings on the Mega Ships. Take a small ship add and extra four or five decks of cabins and you still have the same amount of deck and common area space, more service staff but the same number Executive Officers who have to many guest to deal with. Total lost of the personal touch we came to enjoy. The smaller ships have a lot of heart. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first cruise with Norwegian, and overall we were very pleased. The crew/staff were all very nice and friendly, the food was better than I was expecting. The spaces onboard were clean and nicely laid out, the ride was smooth, ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Norwegian, and overall we were very pleased. The crew/staff were all very nice and friendly, the food was better than I was expecting. The spaces onboard were clean and nicely laid out, the ride was smooth, even when the seas were a bit rough, and there was a generally cheery feel aboard the ship. The cruise director had plenty of activities lined up for the days at sea. The shows were fantastic, better than I was expecting by far. The rooms were clean and the beds were comfortable. Negatives - Though they were clean and nicely laid out, the rooms were small and dimly lit. Did not care for the glass doors on the toilet. The central areas, particularly around the atrium and the BBQ place were often very crowded and very noisy. Though the theater shows were great, they were much louder than necessary. Luckily we carried ear plugs which helped a lot. We were not prepared to have to reserve shows. This was new to us, and luckily someone told us about that early on and we were able to get most of the shows we wanted. There were times when crowd control was a bit of a problem when lines formed and people tried to wander/squeeze in instead of going to the back of the line. Valentina, the show/activities director was a huge help with this. Kudos to her and her staff. We thought the cruise director was amazing, and our room steward was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We had done a repositioning cruise on the Epic 3 years ago from Miami to Barcelona. We had a wonderful time. It had only one stop on Island of Madeira. This repositioning had many stops, most of which we had not been to. We had a ... Read More
We had done a repositioning cruise on the Epic 3 years ago from Miami to Barcelona. We had a wonderful time. It had only one stop on Island of Madeira. This repositioning had many stops, most of which we had not been to. We had a balcony room on both cruises. We found the facilities on the ship to be excellent. We like fine dining and opted for the dining package that gave us 4 specialty dining nights, we purchased 5 more for a total of 9. We had dinner almost every night we weren't in port. Our first stop was Bermuda and we didn't find an excursion that we liked. We took the ferry into Hamilton, walked around town, had a magnificent lunch, and took the bus back to port. We were then on to Madeira and a 4 wheeling adventure in the mountains with local drinks. Cadiz was our next stop and we just did a city tour which was very good. On to Gibraltar, what a pleasant surprise. We did a tour to St Michael's cave, The siege tunnels, ape colony, and Europa point. I thought it was just a rock! We were on to Malaga and took advantage of a tour to Granada and the Moorish castle "Alhambra". Outstanding to say the least. If you port for the day in Malaga, by all means do a day trip to see the castle. It is approx. 2 hours away, so book it thru the ship. We were then on to Barcelona where we departed the ship and spent 4 days. Life on the ship was excellent. Our cabin steward, Gerom treated us very well. Specialty dinners were superb. The only thing I missed was lobster tails, of which I could find none on the ship. Casino was good and not real smoky. They have a full workout facility and a deck walking track. Entertainment was very good. We particularly like the Cirque dinner show. The was an offer of a bag of laundry for $12.99 wash and fold that we took advantage of. They offered many things in the atrium from cake decorating to deal no deal, music, informative talks, etc. This was our second cruise on the Epic and would highly recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We love NCL!!! However, Port of Canaveral experience was single point of failure for embarkation. With bottle-neck entrance, little signage, no provisions for separate entrance for Platinum and above guests, everyone waited in the line ... Read More
We love NCL!!! However, Port of Canaveral experience was single point of failure for embarkation. With bottle-neck entrance, little signage, no provisions for separate entrance for Platinum and above guests, everyone waited in the line from Hades - we waited for more than 2 hours to gain entrance to the building! It was hot, windy, dusty, with the noxious bus fumes burning our throats. Given the length of the line, it would have been great to have some water stands with small cups available. Since you can no longer board with bottles of water, this would seem to be an essential part of the pre-boarding process. We were very impressed with NCL's changing the opening hours for restaurants after listening to complaints the first couple days - very responsive and appreciated! Had one instance of being told to go from Manhattan (since there was a 20-30 minute wait) to Taste since there was no line at Taste, which would have been fine, except there was a 45 minute wait for Taste! The smell of cigarette smoke spoiled the entire dining experience since it permeates your hair and clothing so rapidly, just walking through the casino area was horrible! But also due to the smoke merging into the open areas, by the time we were seated in a restaurant, we smelled as though we had been smoking! Meaning only one wearing per item of clothing - NOT good for a 15 day cruise! Need to make arrangements for more shore excursion availability for popular ports/tours - Gibraltar was pretty much sold out well in advance of the port call. Realizing the Epic is such a large ship, still did not like the reservation process for shows. The roped off areas for Suites and Haven guests should also include Platinum Plus and Ambassador guests. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have done this before. Twice we sailed from Barcelona, west with final stops either in Miami or Cape Canaveral. This trip took us the other way and it gave us some stops in ports (Cadiz, Gibraltar, Malaga) we were not familiar with and ... Read More
We have done this before. Twice we sailed from Barcelona, west with final stops either in Miami or Cape Canaveral. This trip took us the other way and it gave us some stops in ports (Cadiz, Gibraltar, Malaga) we were not familiar with and two stops in places we have been to before and enjoyed (Bermuda, Funchal). If you ever plan on doing a TA...check to make sure we are on it...42 days under our tighter belts and we have always enjoyed clam seas and fantastic weather. The ship was basically "sold out" (a few empty inside cabins according to hotel director Nelson) and I think the days of light loads on TAs are in the past. More of us seem to enjoy the sea days. However, there was a higher percentage of solo travelers in regular (non studio) cabins so the Epic was not truly at capacity. And, that's what I felt. It did not feel as crowded as I thought it would. Weather and crowd covered, here's some details: Embarkation. Smooth. We arrived at the port around 11:30am and we were on the ship by noon. I've heard, read, some horror stories about Cape Canaveral and our only experience boarding there in the past was on Disney so this was a pleasant first. Food. We did not have a bad meal and we had many meals. Some meals were better than others, some risottos were memorable and some filets were just OK but overall, the food was fantastic. We ate in every specialty restaurant (4 UDP plus two Platinum meals makes 6...we doubled down on Cagneys). No Spiegel this time but we've done it before and the meal was good. The service at all the restaurants was also great. Except...La Cucina. Long wait to be seated, looooong wait to place order. Longer wait to get meal. But the veal was perfection. Can't speak to the Garden Café buffet food with much authority. We did some breakfasts and a few light lunches and they were all good but we never ate dinner there. We did, however, stop by for Nutella crepes and ice cream. E.V.E.R.Y. Night! (the ying to all this food yang coming up under the spa and fitness portion of this review). Shoutout to Soledad (hostess), Ronnie Castillo (waiter), Julie-Anne (cagney waitress), Roberto at Le Bistro, and the nice hostess at the Garden Café who welcomed us every night at 9:30pm with "you're back for a crepe" and a smile and zero judgement! Entertainment. We've seen Burn the Floor and Priscilla and they were awesome before and awesome again. Special for this cruise, the cast of Burn and Priscilla put together two shows-- a tribute to women in music and a Broadway Cabaret and they were both phenomenal. Particularly the Broadway show tunes show. You could tell that they put a ton of work into it and their excitement, investment and enjoyment of the performance came across every piece. Juggler, comedian, hypnotist, howl at the moon, bar musicians were OK. Some better than others (for example, the Howl at the Moon guys were good but we've seen better). Shout out to Hector of the teal shirt and grey suit entertainment reservation staff. Always professional and helpful. Fitness/Spa. This gets it's own heading because 1) we always purchase the spa pass and 2) we go to the gym every day. (we also never take the elevators---pardon the brag!--and as I write this...maybe those were crowded and well...who knew?!). The spa (we call it our water park time) was as good as we remember. Quiet, peaceful, steamy, bubbly, heaven. We end most of our late afternoons there and because of the 14 out of 15 sunny days...we went from pool side to heated lounger and thermal spa every day. The spa ladies said they had "sold out" but I only had to wait for a heated lounger a couple of times and it did nothing to bring down my bushwacker, cuba libre, sangria, dark and stormy mood. (shout out to Vladimir--Serbia wants it's best bar tender back). The gym was likewise never overly crowded (maybe it had something to do with the higher age average on the ship or we just got lucky). The staff was great (shout out to Rohit in the gym and Suzette at the spa reception). Clean, well maintained and. in case you have never cruised on the EPIC, the gym is ginormous. Cabin. You've read the "what were they thinking?" reviews I am sure. Who puts the toilet and the sink where the nightstand and the closet should go? And why do you have to walk thru the shower to get in the room? It's not that bad (and the last two sentences were meant to be funny people). Yes, it's weird and if I were sharing a cabin with a stranger or my smelly teenager...it would be an issue. But check you tube, look at floor plans and realize that the guys who designed this ship were crazy and came up with a funky, curved cabin, cubicle shower/tub toilet French j'ai nes sais quois. Embrace the uniqueness (meaning nobody has done it again and never will). We don't mind it. The bed was super comfortable, our balcony was perfect and there's almost too much storage space. Of note for Epic newbies...because the staterooms have these curved shapes, some have the bed closer to the door and some have the bed closer to the balcony. Closer to the balcony is better if you want/need some distance between the bathroom(s) and your pillow. Our steward was THE BEST. Shout out to Victor. Epi(c)logue. (Ha. I kill me) Service was almost perfect and you should never expect perfection. The crew was attentive, friendly and helpful. It's a long crossing with some long days for them (I was not going to mention that the turning of the clocks forward six times was painful...but there it is). We did not do any shore excursions thru NCL, we did not need to go to guest services, we did not gamble and we did not have anything to do with the youth program staff or the medical staff but every other department gets a solid A (even with the small La Cucina service blip). The only ugly (and I don't mean physically) people we came across were some of the passengers but that's normal. When you witness someone being rude to a staff member, stop, let them move on and then do something or say something nice to the staff member. It's the right thing to do. Call me preachy. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We were a group of 12 friends that decided to go on a transatlantic cruise together. Norwegian Epic seemed to have everything we were looking for - lots of sea days, fun and interesting ports, good reviews on the ship's restaurants ... Read More
We were a group of 12 friends that decided to go on a transatlantic cruise together. Norwegian Epic seemed to have everything we were looking for - lots of sea days, fun and interesting ports, good reviews on the ship's restaurants and entertainment and the price was fair. We also all live near the embarkation port - unfortunately we had to fly home since the ship wasn't returning to that port and that wasn't nearly as fun as the ship. The ship was huge but we all got the hang of the layout quickly. We all had balcony rooms and I will say, the rooms were great! Bed was comfy - and we had more than enough storage. Bathroom layout was a little strange but we got used to it easily enough. The speciality restaurants that we went to were really wonderful - food was delicious and service was very efficient. We preferred Taste to Manhattan - the MDR... and really enjoyed the buffet. We appreciated all the hand sanitizing stations - they are available everywhere! The shows were so good - loved Priscilla, Queen of the Desert... the talent was amazing. Also enjoyed the smaller entertainment venues - comedy, magic, music. The staff on the ship were helpful and friendly.. the Cruise Director Andre was talented and so humorous..just an asset to the ship. We enjoyed the ports and tours - we scheduled them before the cruise through the ship and one we scheduled while on the ship... they were well worth the price and very enjoyable.My favorite was in Malaga - the Vintage Auto and Fashion Museum .. or maybe it was in Gibraltar - The Rock by taxi. It was my first cruise and I can say I am already looking for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This is our second time on the Epic doing a transatlantic and would do it again. The first few days are at sea. So relaxing is key. We got passes to the spa which is a must for true relaxation. The spa is large enough to never feel crowded ... Read More
This is our second time on the Epic doing a transatlantic and would do it again. The first few days are at sea. So relaxing is key. We got passes to the spa which is a must for true relaxation. The spa is large enough to never feel crowded except maybe noon to 4 pm which is the time we would not go. Mornings at the gym and spa were the best times to go. We order fruit and danish in our cabin as a wake up everyday which is free. Just fill out the card and leave outside the door in the evening. We are at the Manhattan dinner most evenings. Remember to make a reservation 90 days out online for the no charge restaurants. But wait till on board for the pay restaurants. Also the sooner you make reservations for the different shows on board the better. We do it first thing. The food on board is very good. Taste for lunch is a nice sit down restaurant but the menu stays the same all week. The cabin is fine just the bathroom is a little odd with translucent glass. Shows are good and there is something to do everyday if you want or just go sit in a bar. Shakers was our favorite with a piano player most nights. All employees are pleasant and helpful. The ports are great and ending in Barcelona which is a fun city. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The 15 day cruise in April 2018 was FANTASTIC! Stops in BERMUDA, MADIERA, GIBRALTOR, CADIZ, & MALAGO WERE THE BEST, The ship is easy to maneuver around, it has many dining options that are included in the fare. The bowling alleys ... Read More
The 15 day cruise in April 2018 was FANTASTIC! Stops in BERMUDA, MADIERA, GIBRALTOR, CADIZ, & MALAGO WERE THE BEST, The ship is easy to maneuver around, it has many dining options that are included in the fare. The bowling alleys and climbing walls and pool slides were a lot of fun. The balcony cabin is spacious and has lots of storage. The bathroom configuration is funky, but the shower room size is FANTASTIC. My friend actually had a bath tub, but it was steep and difficult to climb into because she had short legs. Beds are very comfortable. I made a suggestion to the Cruise Director to move the Epic Beatles to the theater from the small bar because the place was too small and he listened and created 2 afternoon shows that filled the huge theater and the shows by the impersonators were fantastic.The special circus is excellent & worth the price. We will definitely cruise on NCL again soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
What a great experience on our first TA Cruise! We were celebrating our retirements and our 40th anniversary. It was our second time on the Epic so we were aware of the little quirkiness of the ship...but that's what gives the ship ... Read More
What a great experience on our first TA Cruise! We were celebrating our retirements and our 40th anniversary. It was our second time on the Epic so we were aware of the little quirkiness of the ship...but that's what gives the ship it's "character"! The food was FANTASTIC...with Cagney's and Moderno being much better experiences than we had on previous NCL ships. The entertainment was PRIMO...as long as you were patient and made reservations. Service was "spot on"... with our cabin steward, Noel and Cha Cha in Shaker's being our favorites! The crew all seemed happy & helpful. Andre was a great cruise director. (I hope he met everybody!) Marj had some minor internet problems but they were corrected quickly. We made many new friends,as we usually do on our cruises. There were plenty of quiet areas for some murder/mystery novels too. We were at the gym every day and had no problem getting on the equipment. The room was very comfortable with plenty of storage...again we already knew of the quirkiness of the bed and bathrooms, so no surprises there! We considered the curved walls and the bed just part of the Barcelona "Gaudi" experience! We enjoyed the bars and the musicians and the wine selection was pretty good. In Cagney's they had I-Pads that showed all the available wines with pics of their labels. GREAT IDEA...maybe consider doing that at all the restaurants/bars! The itinerary was all new for us and the shore excursions were well planned and interesting...Loved Madeira, Gibraltar and Seville! The tour guides were all excellent with maybe the exception of Igor at the "Caves of Nerja". (I think he was having a bad day). The debarkation was a breeze...probable the quickest and easiest we ever got off a ship! THANKS NCL FOR A WONDERFUL TIME!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My wife and I chose this cruise on the recommendation from friends to join them. It was an amazing experience. The shore excursions where the highlight for us as it was our first time in Europe. I had no idea what history awaited us in ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise on the recommendation from friends to join them. It was an amazing experience. The shore excursions where the highlight for us as it was our first time in Europe. I had no idea what history awaited us in Seville, Spain. Visiting the Tomb of Chrisopher Columbus was an experience we will never forget. My wife was overwhelmed with the religious history at the cathedral in Seville. The next day walking amoung the apes at the top of Gibralter was another day of rich memories that we will share for a lifetime. Walking the streets of old Barcelona was a fun and enriching experience. The Norwegian staff could not have been more friendly. The food was excellent. I had one of the best meals of my life at Cagney's Steakhouse on board. On a 15 day cruise I didn't expect to run out of time to explore everything on the ship but we did. All in all it was a great value for an amazing adventure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
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