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Cruise Ratings
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I was celebrating a big birthday in April and our wedding anniversary in May so we decided to do something different - we usually do golfing vacations or visit family back in the U.K. So, we chose a 15 day cruise from Port Canaveral ... Read More
I was celebrating a big birthday in April and our wedding anniversary in May so we decided to do something different - we usually do golfing vacations or visit family back in the U.K. So, we chose a 15 day cruise from Port Canaveral finishing in Barcelona. I did extensive research and also found the Roll Call on Cruise Critic invaluable as other passengers had great information to share. There were negative remarks on the internet about the design of the cabins, the wavy walls and especially the bathroom set up so I looked up videos on YouTube - we did not have a problem with the design - both the toilet and the shower are in cubicles of frosted glass and there is a privacy curtain to pull across if needed. There isn't a lot of space between the bottom of the bed and the units making it impossible for 2 people to pass at the same time, but you organize yourself .. Plenty of storage space, I was surprised. We found the food to be excellent and liked the freestyle dining very much - you didn't have to sit at the same table at the same time every evening and they offered the possibility to share tables with others, which we found to be very enriching as we spoke with people from different parts of the world and it was a very pleasant way to spend most mealtimes. Entertainment catered for all tastes, although we understood from others that it was easier to see shows on smaller ships. We saw what we wanted to with the exception of a couple of things that we fully booked. On board is a "replica" of the Cavern Club in Liverpool - they have a Beatles tribute band playing there, so obviously only a very limited number of people can fit into it at a time, so they had the band perform one evening in the main theater which gave many more people the opportunity to watch and listen. There were activities, not that we participated much, although I used the exercise room every day and all treadmills and bikes look out to see, very pleasant. The pool wasn't very big but neither was it ever full, maybe different when the children are off school and on vacation. The service was great in every aspect, the crew extremely polite and pleasing. We were told there are 74 different nationalities on board. The itinerary is what attracted us to the cruise, we had been to some of the ports many years' ago and it was a delight to re-visit and see the changes. We only took one excursion, which was from Cadiz to Seville, the rest we did on our own, using the hop on hop off buses mainly. As far as embarkation and disembarkation were concerned, again, no problems. We stayed for a couple of extra nights in Barcelona, again to re-visit. As we live in Florida we did not explore the departure city. Wi-fi. We chose the most expensive option as we needed to remain in contact with our business and found it worked perfectly, we even streamed a movie one evening without interruption. One important thing to remember as far as we were concerned, the sea was calm for the entire duration of the cruise. This obviously influenced in our enjoyment level, because had it been rough and we'd been sea sick, we would not have enjoyed the culinary delights, especially the specialty restaurants, in the way we did. The whole thing for us, was a very positive experience and we have definitely made some beautiful memories. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
I was first on the Epic in February of 2014. We loved the "new" NCL so much we went on the Getaway in October of 2014 and we are booked on the Escape in 2015. Needless to say I am saying goodbye to my old friend Princess ... Read More
I was first on the Epic in February of 2014. We loved the "new" NCL so much we went on the Getaway in October of 2014 and we are booked on the Escape in 2015. Needless to say I am saying goodbye to my old friend Princess Cruises (17 cruises) and moving to NCL. Freestyle is my idea of how cruising should be. If you want to dress up, do it but don't expect others to do so. From everything to the Garden Cafe (buffet) to Cagney's (high end steak house) the food is really good and continues to improve every time we sail on NCL. My favorite is the Bistro. I have tried all the restaurants except the Cirque Dreams and Dinner. The main dining rooms are very good and so is the buffet. You could easily travel on a budget not go to a specialty restaurant and be happy. I love the Epic's controversial cabin design but I guess I am in the minority. I did not have the best cabin attendant this time. Last time Winnie was WONDERFUL! My cabin was not dusted and there were items left by the previous passenger in the drawers. My room was never made up until very late in the day. I had to ask several times for a room service menu. I don't let this stuff detract from my cruises and I got it resolved. There were very few children on board and I don't have any so I don't know about the youth programs. I LOVE the water slides and rode them every day. Alas the Epic is now stationed in the Med so she won't be as easy for this S. Florida boy to jump on at the last minute with a smokin deal. Happy Landings! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Left Miami April 19th. This was my second cruise and my second time on the Epic having taken it from Barcelona to Miami Oct 2014. I had booked early in 2014 but changed my reservation in Jan 2015 for a balcony cabin when they were ... Read More
Left Miami April 19th. This was my second cruise and my second time on the Epic having taken it from Barcelona to Miami Oct 2014. I had booked early in 2014 but changed my reservation in Jan 2015 for a balcony cabin when they were having a promotion. I didn't really care about the balcony cabin but it turned out less exp"nsive due to the onboard credit included in the promotion - and the extra space was nice. For me this cruise was an improvement over the previous TA. The cabins were sold out but the ship seemed less crowded and the people better behavd in terms of not putting a towel on a chaise longue and never showing up to use it or in ignoring the slight dress requirements for the Manhatton. They added personnel to run bridge games (in theory ACBL sanctioned) and there were more than 50 participants every day. There were also lectures for Learning bridge in the morning. All of the shows I saw in the Epic theatre were of good quality as well as the Divas in Headliners. I did not care for the Hypnotist show and was totally disappointed by Second City. The Bar/Lounge entertainers were all good. I avoid the buffet if possible as it is not my sstyle and my past experience was that nothing was ever warm. Somehow the wait at Manhatton and Taste was greatly reduced compared to the prvious T/A. The service was always good. They seem to be asking more frequently if you are willing to share a table and I always say yes as I was solo. For every meal but one I was seated with other guests and met some very interesting people and had quite a bit of fun. All the staff, as usual were top notch. My cabin steward got a standing ovation for his paarticipaation in the crew talent show. So all in all a pleasant journey. I will return to the US on the Star from Dover in October and am looking forward to seeing how it is with half the passenger capacity. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
We chose this cruise for the rest we truly needed. Embarkation in Miami was a bit chaotic as you can imagine 3500 people getting on. The TA itself was very calm and the weather was perfect. We had the Ultimate Dining Package, and made ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the rest we truly needed. Embarkation in Miami was a bit chaotic as you can imagine 3500 people getting on. The TA itself was very calm and the weather was perfect. We had the Ultimate Dining Package, and made good use of it. We truly enjoyed dining at Cagney's (try the Wagyu Beef Sliders mmm) and Le Bistro (for escargots), Moderno was great and so was Teppanyaki (good show). Shanghai which is now free was the least of our favorite, not up to par. The Garden Café (buffet) was great for breakfast, lots of choice and great view at the front of the ship, lunch was had at the Taste dining room which was relaxed and excellent. Our Cabin Steward Dandee was amazing, always greeting us with a smile and keeping our cabin tiptop clean. Most crew members greeted us with a smile, especially Marybeth at the Garden Café, always with a greeting and disinfectant for our hands... Entertainment was excellent, especially Burn the Floor, the Sephoras (2 girl violinists) amazing not to be missed, loved Legends in Concert and Cirque Dreams. We were kept really busy during the TA, never a dull moment. Our excursions to Madeira organized by a Roll Call member was great, Barcelona always beautifull, we used the Port Shuttle (3E round trip) and visited La Pedrera and walked down Passeig de Gracia all the way to the port area, truly a great day. Palma de Malloraca was also organised by a Roll Call member was our favorite, especially the stop in Valldemossa (breathtaking so is the country side). At the end of our cruise, disembarkation was very smooth, color coded for the time you needed to get off. We decided on a late color coded disembarkation at 8h30 which was great, not too many passengers. A prearranged shuttle took us to the airport in 30 minutes. Great shopping in Barcelona Airport. We truly enjoyed this TA, the cabin was great, the food outstanding, entertainment excellent and meeting new cruising friends memorable. We were truly rested after the cruise and would love to repeat in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was a bit of a last minute booking by us in July and things were certainly eventful leading up to the sailing date. Communication has been a major issue throughout, starting with no formal notification of a change in itinerary from 7 ... Read More
This was a bit of a last minute booking by us in July and things were certainly eventful leading up to the sailing date. Communication has been a major issue throughout, starting with no formal notification of a change in itinerary from 7 to 6 nights, an earlier departure time than first indicated and the reimbursement for our lost day. Anyway, we planned to make the most of what we considered was a good deal in respect of the holiday price and stayed in Southampton for 2 nights prior to leaving on 19th October for our 6 night cruise ending in Barcelona. We arrived early on Monday morning at the cruise terminal in Southampton. We had no idea where the Epic was sailing from but luckily our hotel was across the road from the allocated terminal and we could easily walk to it. Check in was messy but we boarded the ship in good time and had immediate access to our state room which was fantastic. We had a balcony room and were very pleased with it, although the layout was unusual, but we had no complaints. The Norwegian Epic is a big ship, which we do prefer, but because there were so many people in what seemed limited space in the bars and Garden Cafe in particular, it was impossible to get a drink from the bars. We liked the new Cavern Club very much but with one barman and two waiters, we were waiting up to 50 minutes for a drink at one point which is ridiculous. The same happened in the buffet cafe, it was "every man for himself" and a stressful experience, ending up in cold food, beverage machines not working so you had to go to another one, and queues just about everywhere. We did enjoy our meal in the Taste restaurant and should have gone there more often. The staff were very pleasant too, although this was not a common factor throughout the ship. We didn't see any shows as we weren't aware you had to book in advance but heard they were very good. The entertainment staff were quiet compared to what we have experienced on other ships and there wasn't much going on to suit our tastes. All in all, it wasn't the best cruise we have been on but we met some lovely fellow guests which kept us positive. Nevertheless, NCL need to up their communication skills to get us to come back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
We were shocked at the poor service levels on board the Epic. Cabin attendants did not clean cabin properly or even on time ie one day they went in at 7.30pm. Food was cold in Sheehans bar on 3 ocassions with very poor service there ... Read More
We were shocked at the poor service levels on board the Epic. Cabin attendants did not clean cabin properly or even on time ie one day they went in at 7.30pm. Food was cold in Sheehans bar on 3 ocassions with very poor service there especially. Toilets were not cleaned regularly all over the ship. We have contracted athletes foot since leaving the ship. The staff in Bliss lounge (nightclub) were rude and their so called service was awful. The zen zone had kids in it even though they were not allowed in there! The dining rooms were closed during port calls which we found very dissapointing as with other ships they are open to give choice to the passenger. Finally the ship is poorly designed as one cannot see out anywhere on deck as they have tinted glass blocking ones views! Overall not a good ship and poorly managed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
Wow . . . I just returned from my Christmas Cruise Marathon! I managed to do 12 laps around the Epic --- which after the starters whistle blew upon getting on board, included slaloming thru the Garden Cafe mass of humanity on a daily basis ... Read More
Wow . . . I just returned from my Christmas Cruise Marathon! I managed to do 12 laps around the Epic --- which after the starters whistle blew upon getting on board, included slaloming thru the Garden Cafe mass of humanity on a daily basis ---- the UFC battle for a hot tub (compounded because half of them were broken) ---- the sprint for deck chairs ---- dash for the open table in the free restaurant (NOTE: EAR PLUGS ARE NOT INCLUDED TO REDUCE THE LEVEL 9 NOISE VOLUME) and final all out "cram em in" elbow swinging into the elevator free for alls after the mandatory 8 minute wait. Then there were the bath rooms in your cabin (I had a Mini-Suite). Talk about getting close to your family. I mean, I want to monitor what my kids are doing -- but that should not include mandatory viewing them in the privacy of sitting on the toilet. Just plain uncomfortable! The foggy glass that "serves" as privacy glass is anything but (maybe I should spell that butt!) Hey Norwegian . . . . you can see thru them!!!!!! Talk about a WOW moment on the ship! To help reference all of this -- I have been on close to two - dozen cruises so this isn't a matter of "not being accustomed to life on a ship". This was just a blatant case of minimizing everything that would make a cruise special. Oh --- we did get that special meal and moment, etc., AFTER dropping an additional $1,800 on "Specialty Dining" / "Tour Excusions" (to escape the absolute sardine impact of being squeeeeezzzed onto this moving "Blue Light Special" / and "Tips" for mediocre non-enthused service I have to wonder just what does the initial fees pay for. The Epic was poorly designed, with too many people crammed into too little space. The ship lacks sizzle and creates a real sense of "cabin fever". It felt like "corners were being cut" at every angle. It was great to include the "Blue Man Group" and "Legends in Concert" -- but what about a Welcome Show? What about additional entertainment? The Cruise Director was, unfortunately "missing in action" and honestly when we say "bi-lingual" shouldn't one of those languages include speaking understandable English. (The staff could use lessons in English as well --- they simply didn't speak it! To conclude: Too Much Money for Too Few Memories (Save for the image of my son sitting on the toilet) for me to recommend Epic, or Norwegian, again for that matter. We have always found ourselves saying "can't wait for our next cruise" -- but certainly not this time. I was glad to finally cross the finish line - when debarkation arrived . . . . and finally get a chance to relax (without having to reach back into my wallet!). I'm still recovering!   Read Less
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