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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
A friend had booked and we were joining him so we did not select the cruise. We spent 8 nights in Rome prior to the cruise. Norwegian is a familiar name to us and it was our first cruise with them. We were impressed with all of the ... Read More
A friend had booked and we were joining him so we did not select the cruise. We spent 8 nights in Rome prior to the cruise. Norwegian is a familiar name to us and it was our first cruise with them. We were impressed with all of the activities. when the itinerary was changed and we were 8 days at sea it didn’t feel like it to me. There were lots of things to do. I especially liked the choices for dining and tried some of the specialty restaurants using the dining plan. Service was superb. Everyone we came in contact with made us feel they wanted us to enjoy our trip. We are both retired from a 4 Diamond hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan after over 40 years In the hospitality industry and we felt the staff was well trained, hardworking and met all expectations. The housekeeping department was awesome. 5ank you for a fun, relaxing vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
This was planned before Hurricane Irma and the loss of st thomas made a gigantic mess for immigration which both our government and ncl made no seen attempt to repair. I chose this for my first transatlantic and it might be my last. A ... Read More
This was planned before Hurricane Irma and the loss of st thomas made a gigantic mess for immigration which both our government and ncl made no seen attempt to repair. I chose this for my first transatlantic and it might be my last. A combination of being on these for almost 40 years and 20 during the last 4 with different lines I thought I could do no wrong I trusted NCL and they put me right under adult splash which meant little running feet above head until all hours of the night just for a start. The ship is a one off french creation and backwards just like their aviation creations, weird with lots of wasted space and no direct lighting where that is needed to dress in the inside cabins. I went to book onboard to find they had dropped a great benefit; double points when you book 9 months ahead so added to the overcooked food, too much salt, times when there was no teabags or cups at the buffet. The cabin was almost all bathroom with the sink almost unusable and splashes on all our writing papers. steward locked the refrigerator 15 hours too early and the management tried to make us pay tips twice. The seats in bliss are engineered to get you right in your funny bone and the taste restaurant had the hardest seats found anywhere so after an hour I head to leave. activities were almost enough to keep all busy with extra costs in great abundance. I immediately asked for a wheelchair to get off the ship and the dammed ramps are almost more the a plus 6 foot tall guy to handle, indeed I pulled muscles in my right arm which will take months to repair. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
NCL EPIC Never again 2 Stars: Did Not Meet Expectations The Atrium: LOUD The pool deck: LOUD The shows in Headliners: LOUD The Cavern Club: LOUD The Atrium: LOUD (bears repeating) The Atrium: What a ... Read More
NCL EPIC Never again 2 Stars: Did Not Meet Expectations The Atrium: LOUD The pool deck: LOUD The shows in Headliners: LOUD The Cavern Club: LOUD The Atrium: LOUD (bears repeating) The Atrium: What a disappointment. On other NCLs I’ve been on - and I’m an NCL fan - the Atrium was the ideal gathering place - with they coffee/sweets bar in the centre and a lounge bar off to the side. Usually, there would be acoustic or lightly-simplified music groups. Not on the Epic. The Atrium, which is only two stories high compared to 5 or 7 on other ships I’ve been on, is the only place on the ship with an area big enough for games, demos, and audience-participation events. (Ironic for a ship this large.) The Atrium is almost constantly in use for bingo, dance lessons, games. And LOUD is an understatement. When trying to chat with the CruiseNext staff on the other side of the Atrium, we both had to use big voices to be heard. Same when talking with the customer service desk. Similar to other NCLs, O’Sheehan’s, which is my go-to place when I don’t want to eat anywhere else, is right on top of the Atrium and open to it, which means all the noise of the Atrium blasts into O’Sheehan’s. It is difficult to listen to music via earbuds or have any quiet moments in O’Sheahan’s. It is equally difficult to have a conversation with friends at the same table. The Atrium in a word: AWFUL As for the other venues, either the sound guys have been to way too many raves or they think the clientele is semi-deaf. In some of the shows, I put my earbuds in to tone down the distortion and volume. One singer, in particular, had a great, clear, powerful voice. She could probably have filled the theatre without any amplification but the volume was turned sky-high which made her physically painful to listen to at times. When there were games and performances on the pool deck, they were so loud that the Great Outdoors, which connects the pool area with the Garden Café, was no place for conversation or listening to music. On to other observations. For dinner in either of the main restaurants or O’Sheehan’s, expect to queue - at almost any time. Same for lunch and, unlike my previous experiences, even at breakfast. Noise and smoke pollution is a problem in the (main) Taste restaurant as well. The central section of Taste is 2 stories high and a nice space - except that there are times when the music from the bar two decks above is so loud that it interferes with dinner-table conversations, and the casino is on the deck immediately above and open to Taste below. Stale cigarette smoke is evident in the central section of Taste which doesn’t make for the nicest of dining experiences. This is not a problem in the side-wings of the restaurant. Oddly, for such a huge ship, there are only two lift banks, albeit 8 lifts in each. There is one well forward and one well aft - and none in the middle. Same for stairs. I had a balcony cabin. Compared to balcony cabins I have had on other NCLs, this one seemed cramped. While I didn’t measure, I would say it certainly “feels” narrower than others. While I didn’t measure it myself, I was chatting with another passenger who said the balcony cabin is 9 feet wide. Also, with the curved headboard to match the curved walls and the rounded edges of the mattresses, the beds are short. I opted for the sofa by the door and bed by the balcony layout. I would select the opposite if I had the choice again. The sofa faces the closet and is not a place one would “lounge” IMHO. Good for sitting down to put on socks. The TV is at the foot of the bed and not aligned with the sofa. This layout feels a little claustrophobic. Now, on to more positive comments. The ship was immaculate and the crew always friendly, esp in the two main dining rooms. One of the fun things to do is find all the storage areas in the cabin. Hint: including over the bed and under sofa. I confess: I’m an over-packer and, still, I didn’t use half the available storage space, not by a long shot. The Spice/H20 aft is a great place. No music. Adults only. Terraced seating at both lounge chairs and tables. A plunge pool and two Jacuzzis. Definitely my go-to place in the sun. The lounge chairs do fill up early - by 9:30 or 10, of not earlier, and getting a sunny one can be a challenge. There didn’t seem to be a lot of reserve-and-leave-it going on as most were occupied all the time. Reservations for dinner: tho I am a solo traveller, I had made online reservations for two for a number of dinners. Several positive points: they never questioned me when I showed up as a solo tho the booking was for two. (The website doesn’t offer an option for singles.). Also, I missed a dinner reservation, and no one said anything. On a couple of occasions, I showed up 15 minutes early and was seated right away. Not reserving can mean, during peak times, queuing for a buzzer, waiting 20-25 minutes, and then queuing again for the table. Reserving in advance is highly recommended. You can always cancel or no-show. And you can skip the buzzer queue for sure. Garden Café: while my experience of the Garden Café on other ships was that it was a scrum with few places to sit, the Garden Café on the Epic is huge. It wraps itself around the whole front of the ship like a giant U with windows running down both the port and starboard sides AND across the whole bow. At times, the overflow area is la Cucina, the Italian speciality restaurant, with direct stairs and more windows on the bow. I always found a seat, and the Great Outdoors is a huge, mostly covered area, immediately adjacent. There are at least 4 self-serve ice cream machines on the Epic. SUMMARY: This cruise was an experiment on two fronts: transAtlantic and the Epic. I will definitely do a transAtlantic again (I’ve booked the Star for 2018 already) but definitely not on the Epic or any of the other larger ships. A footnote or three: if departing from Barcelona, the staff was taking luggage as fast as you could feed it to them. Tho there will likely be a long queue to go through security, the line moved really quickly. Once past security, when your number is called, be aware, if you are transAtlantic, there is a separate section/door for US and Canadian passport-holders and much shorter lines. Easy to miss the sign but worth looking for it. On the ship: Port side preferred if westbound. If in balcony or ocean-view, the port side is the side for sunrises, sunsets, and sunny balconies. Sailing through the Straits of Gibraltar. The straits are much, much narrower than I would ever have thought, and the ship sails rather closer to Africa than to Europe. If the observation deck (13 fwd, starboard) is not open, there are great views from the Great Outdoors and pool deck. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Chose for itinerary and value. They say you either like or dislike the ship, we disliked. Embark was long, slow and no priority for Platinum guests. Because one in our party had a cane we were taken to other side for disabled line which ... Read More
Chose for itinerary and value. They say you either like or dislike the ship, we disliked. Embark was long, slow and no priority for Platinum guests. Because one in our party had a cane we were taken to other side for disabled line which took forever, only one agent. Disembark a nightmare, we were told by Lattitude staff we could get off anytime so we started at 7 and got off at noon. Misinformation everywhere. Missed flight had to pay out of pocket, insurance says its NCL problem. If you could fine a seat in a bar good luck and if there-s a waiter even better. Understaffed and over crowded, with a casino and smokers that runs almost entire length of ship with clubs and restaurants entry at same. Specialty restaurants continue to be very good. Entertainment very good, if you want to line up for hours. Room steward a gem. Service overall, rushed and in public areas almost non existent. Bottom line bigger ships a nightmare for us. Have already cancelled spring cruise and rebooked our fall cruise as well. Sorry NCL we have to go back to Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Barcelona to Pt Canaveral. We chose this for the price ... we got free gratuities ... 4 specialty dinners and A MINI SUITE for 13 days for $899. per person. Spectacular! Except the boat is awful. We've have taken 23 NCL cruises and made ... Read More
Barcelona to Pt Canaveral. We chose this for the price ... we got free gratuities ... 4 specialty dinners and A MINI SUITE for 13 days for $899. per person. Spectacular! Except the boat is awful. We've have taken 23 NCL cruises and made the mistake of booking The Epic a second time. It won't happen again. They put the Casino on the 6th floor in the middle of this ship. One of the main dining rooms is directly below the casino. There's no ceiling on the dining room so you can look into the dining room from the casino above ... and, THE CASINO PERMITS CIGAR AND CIGARETTE SMOKING so the smoke easily finds it's way into everything. The problem of smoke on this ship will affect you and there's nothing you can do about it. If you'd like to go to one of the free performance shows, you must make a reservation! The problem you'll find is that many passengers book tickets to everything but never show up! They built the ship's exhaust system to empty onto the 7th floor walking track. If you want to walk, don't breathe because you will be inhaling the kitchen exhaust and the Casino smoke. Incidentally, on the opposite side of the ship, on Deck 7, there isn't an exhaust problem but it is the designated smoking area! The ship's designer didn't get the memo about smoking. Line-ups at dinner in the main dining rooms are awful. Like these people have never been schooled on how to move people. One good, experienced restaurant manager could resolve this problem quickly. Leaving the ship on the last day was a disaster. We are "first-off" because of our NCL frequent flyer status. It took almost 3 hours to make it to the street from the boat and they have no special consideration for handicapped folks in walkers and wheel chairs -- a huge disservice to people who need some special care. Even for a repeat of the $899 price, we would never, ever go back to the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We like the transAtlantic cruises as they are relaxing and affordable. We chose the Epic because it is a bigger ship to make for a more stable crossing. The staff is great especially Yuting Gao from the guest service as she helped us out ... Read More
We like the transAtlantic cruises as they are relaxing and affordable. We chose the Epic because it is a bigger ship to make for a more stable crossing. The staff is great especially Yuting Gao from the guest service as she helped us out with issues with our luggage caused by the airline. There was a lots of activities but we could not participate with most of them as they were taking place in the Atrium and there was nowhere to sit. Most indoors bars and restaurants are located between the 5th and 7th floors. The 6th floor has a very big casino where anyone can smoke, causing the smoke smell to be shared with the 5th and the 7th floors. There is even a cigar bar causing more cigarettes/cigar odours. So I would highly recommend this ship for smokers as for us (non-smokers) the Epic is out of question! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We boarded the EPIC in Barcelona for the Transatlantic trip to Florida. Barcelona is a great place to stopover with lots to see , do , eat and drink. The Ferry terminal is easily reached by Taxi from the city and is modern and well ... Read More
We boarded the EPIC in Barcelona for the Transatlantic trip to Florida. Barcelona is a great place to stopover with lots to see , do , eat and drink. The Ferry terminal is easily reached by Taxi from the city and is modern and well organized. It took about an hour to check in from the point of joining the queue to getting on board. That starts with about 20 mins standing in line outside so be prepared with water and hat. Once inside the building it was a little chaotic getting clear directions on which line to join and when but once at the check in desk it was very smooth. Its our 4rd trip with NCL but our first on the EPIC so our impressions … it has all the usual bars , restaurants and entertainment that you would expect. We have the curved state room with a balcony that is much talked about. We like it , plenty room for two and the split bathroom is fine. If you have never cruised before you will find it small. The shower is surprisingly good as well. One of the mirrors in the room has a crack , and another has staining , and some or the cabinets have damaged edging. Nothing too serious but worth noting. Now the ship. We were looking forward to regular jogs around the ship – but the jogging track is embarrassingly small and only on one side of the ship..a bit strange. For a larger ship it does feel like you have less external deck access than usual. But the Fitness Centre is large and well equipped however. Other stuff – once it was announced the room were ready on day 1 we were happy to get there and relax – but it wasn’t ready. Minor thing. We had room service breakfast on the first day and it was very good except it arrived 2.5 hours late after 4 phone calls. The manager claimed they brought it and got no answer – not true , but anyway , it meant we had no lunch which was probably a good thing. The main buffet place , Garden Café , has a large selection of good quality food but it gets too busy at peak times and is clearly a bit small for a ship of this size.Other food places are good as well. Shows – we took in 3. The Spiegel Tent was great , Burn the floor was also very good. Priscilla Queen of the desert wasn’t at all our thing – its like a cross between Dame Edna Everage and The Sound of Music minus the gladioli. If you like to watch boys in bikinis then this is for you. In a few areas its clear that NCL are saving money by understaffing. Queues at the Service desks can be long and getting served at the Irish bar takes too long at peak times.All of the staff we have dealt with have been great – positive attitude and very helpful. Disembarkation at Port Canaveral took 2 ½ hours from the point of joining the line on the ship to exiting the immigration hall. ( 1 hour on the ship , 1 ½ hrs waiting in immigration line ). Not fun – our bus to the airport left with 6 passengers … the rest were still waiting for Immigration. Lesson here – carry your own bags off and you will be first off the ship to immigration , and avoid the chaos of trying to find your bags in the baggage hall. In conclusion , great cruise , great ship , excellent staff. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
This was my first cruise on NCL and I booked it for the solo cabin that I was fortunate to find. The price was right as was the sailing date. I flew over from Denver on Norwegian Air as many other passengers did. ( Norwegian Air is not ... Read More
This was my first cruise on NCL and I booked it for the solo cabin that I was fortunate to find. The price was right as was the sailing date. I flew over from Denver on Norwegian Air as many other passengers did. ( Norwegian Air is not related to Norwegian Cruise Line). Service is virtually non-existentant on Norw. Air - bring your own blanket and pillow. But the airplanes are brand new 787's. And the airfare is great for one way travel. Check in for the cruise in Barcelona was quick and orderly. I ended up in an inside cabin even though I had booked a solo cabin. Even the inside cabins are very small, about 110 sq. ft. OK for a single person occupancy - no chair, coffee table or settee. However the cabin was very quiet. The ship is enormous and from the exterior is for lack of a better word, ugly. It appears that two different architects designed the ship - one from the rear and the other from the front. Looks like someone placed an egg crate at the very front of the ship. The decor is gloomy with lots of faux dark wood paneling throughout. The Garden Cafe is Walmart retro - egg shell white throughout with matching white plastic chairs and chrome Christmas tree lighting. At least there are windows in the cafe whereas all other public decks are inside. So much for the negatives! The solo traveler program is absolutely first class. Every evening the solo's meet for cocktails, karaoke, or games. After the social hour it was off to dinner with our host and then to the theater for a show. So you got to meet many fellow solo's and many friendships developed. I can't say enough about the solo program. Food on the ship exceeded my expectations. With so many passengers there is an unending variety to choose from. Dinner in the MDR varied from so so to excellent. The service, however, takes place at a snails pace - two hours minimum for dinner. In the Garden Cafe service is exceptional with tables cleaned and bused immediately. If you go up for a second cup of coffee, your table will be cleaned before you get back. And there are always crew to assist. All venues with music suffer from extreme sound- bring your earplugs. The smaller rooms for the bands are simply too small so the sound becomes deafening as it does at the pool area. On the other hand deck 18 forward is a quiet area with lots of deck lounges so you can escape the constant din on deck. All in all, this cruise was wonderful. Good weather and the crew more than makes up for the shortcomings of this backward ship. Never been on a cruise ship where the food is in the front and the entertainment is aft. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Fourth time on the Epic. We enjoyed re-connecting with other repeat cruisers and with some familiar NCL staff. We particularly noticed an improvement in food and beverage on this trip throughout all venues. We have never been ... Read More
Fourth time on the Epic. We enjoyed re-connecting with other repeat cruisers and with some familiar NCL staff. We particularly noticed an improvement in food and beverage on this trip throughout all venues. We have never been disappointed, but there was a noticeable distinction throughout this trip. The NCL smiles: Hussein at the pool bar, Alvin and Lee in Taste, our steward Christian and many others. Entertainment....superb! Very professional, from the production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to players and crooners throughout the ship. Disembarkation in Port Canaveral was difficult for everyone due to issues in customs; the guests and the staff. The crew did a great job of accommodating the delayed and frustrated guests. Announcements were made to alert everyone of the delays and invite them to the Garden Cafe for another meal. This was a lesson to us: do not make plans to fly on disembarkation day. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
EMBARKATION / DISEMBARKATION Embarkation in Barcelona was fine, disembarkation in port canerval was not, it was a crazy, took two and a half hours and that was easy walk off! Not a good way to end the cruise. SHIP. Quite an ugly ... Read More
EMBARKATION / DISEMBARKATION Embarkation in Barcelona was fine, disembarkation in port canerval was not, it was a crazy, took two and a half hours and that was easy walk off! Not a good way to end the cruise. SHIP. Quite an ugly ship from the outside but beautiful inside. I thought the layout was good, nicely decorated and spacious. Be warned there is no middle lifts so if you have trouble walking, don’t get a cabin in the middle of the ship! We never had a problem finding a sunbed. The pool area was fine, quite spaced out compared to some cruise lines. One thing that continually annoys me though is when people seem to spend their entire cruise glued to the buffet and play cards and games in there when people are trying to find a seat to eat their meal, NCL should stop this. It’s so annoying. CABINS Most bizarre really. Much prefer the normal square cabins with a normal bathroom. Had a balcony cabin and easiest the smallest we ever had. Lots of storage but very narrow so limited as to what they can hold. Bed comfy but too short. Big sofa but no coffee table so sat on the bed instead. Nice to have a coffee/tea maker in cabin. Won’t go on about the bathroom situation, just to say it’s weird and hope they never let that designer near a ship again! Was reasonably clean, although not near the standard of other cruise lines I’ve been on. FOOD excellent. Never had a bad meal. Buffet, the Chinese, dining room, O’sheehans, Cagneys all good. I do question why they did not do the BBQ at lunch around the pool area, I loved that on my previous NCL cruise, ENTERTAINMENT. Very good. Priscilla was by far the best show I have seen at sea and Burn the Floor was good. The comedian was good, as was the singer, Nicola Ward. Really enjoyed the rock band, Siglo, very talented bunch and it was so good to have a different type of band on board unlike the usual classical, piano stuff ! Also loved the Howl of the Moon. Two complaints 1) is that there is a movie channel on the tv but there Is no listing so if you fancied a quiet evening watching a film, you don’t know what’s on. And why do they not play movies on the screen in Spice in the evening, would be a much better use of space 2) you have to reserve your shows, so ends up not really being freestyle as you have to book so far in advance. STAFF. Excellent as always. PORTS. Only the two on this crossing. Loved Malaga, was so surprised at the city, really enoyed it. Really loved the Azores too although a rainy day but still saw the stunning scenery. I do question why there were only two ports as they could easily had another as we went sooooo slow! Read Less
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