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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
The cruise from Roma to Miami was fantastic. Our first time Transatlantic and it was delightful. The entire staff, from Captain Andersson to our steward Wei Linn, were special. Even when we came into contact with back-of-house utility ... Read More
The cruise from Roma to Miami was fantastic. Our first time Transatlantic and it was delightful. The entire staff, from Captain Andersson to our steward Wei Linn, were special. Even when we came into contact with back-of-house utility staff and housekeeping staff, they would engage us in conversation, most always with a smile, asking hour our experience was. Thoroughly enjoyed the Noon addresses by Captain! The food was delicious, fresh, well prepared, seasoned and presented...from the morning breakfasts of fresh fruit, oatmeal and much-appreciated various curries in the Market Place, to the scrumptious hamburgers poolside, to the fantastic experiences in Cagney's, Moderno, Teppanyaki, Versailles and Sushi. The food and service, under Kevin's guidance, was appreciated, especially with the wide variety of food and service available for the 15-night cruise. The beverage program, though a bit pricey, was first rate. The generous pours and the cheerful tenders and cocktail servers were knowledgeable, efficient and pleasant. We enjoyed Norwegian's partnership with Robert Mondavi family of wines...also enjoyed the wine tasting seminar - - the sommelier was fantastic! We took advantage of the Thermal Spa package and did not regret it. The staff and facilities were outstanding...especially the quiet relaxation rooms after our workouts, with that gorgeous view aft! Nice, clean facilities and well-maintained. Cruise Director Tom and staff were spectacular...they Shined the entire cruise. Loved the shows, trivia, bingo, painting class, choir and many other activities. We look forward to our next sailing with Norwegian!! (Washie-washie!) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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
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
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
I’ve been on 20+ cruises; this was my 3rd time on the NCL Epic. This was the transatlantic / repositions cruise from Barcelona to Port Canaveral with a one day stop in Malaga (Spain) and a one day stop in the Azores. In total 10 ... Read More
I’ve been on 20+ cruises; this was my 3rd time on the NCL Epic. This was the transatlantic / repositions cruise from Barcelona to Port Canaveral with a one day stop in Malaga (Spain) and a one day stop in the Azores. In total 10 days were spent at sea. EMBARKATION: Quick and efficient. I was on the ship within 20 minutes after arrival at the port. DISEMBARKATION: One word… NIGHTMARE. I was supposed to be called at 10:15am to disembark; I eventually got off the ship closer to 1pm. It would have been later was it not for my insistence to disembark with another group. I almost missed my flight (I arrived at the check-in gate a mere minute before they were about to close it). THE SHIP: It offers so much to do. The waterslides, rock climbing wall and bowling were lots of fun. Although we experienced a lot of rough seas and cold days (the weather turned better the more South we sailed), I never felt bored. The ship was clean and NCL maintenance staff was seen all over the ship always making sure she is well maintained. Some of the carpets and walls have seen a good amount of wear and tear. One thing I do DISLIKE very much is the stale smell of smoke emanating from the casino. So many people complain about this on the NCL ships yet NCL seems to ignore this. NCL does not have a closed off smoking section in the casino so smoke drifts throughout the ship. The H2O area for adults is great, it has a pool, two jacuzzis and lots of deck space and a bar. It is a pity the big screen is at the back of the ship blocking what could be the best view of the ocean. The gym is big and well equipped. The spa area is great. THE SOLO CABIN: I’ve only ever cruised in solo cabins on the NCL Epic. I love the solo cabin, although small, it is well designed with enough storage space. The solo lounge is great and manned by a fantastic barman and activities coordinator. I do find that the solo cabins are not necessarily the cheapest option for a solo traveller. Make sure that you constantly monitor the NCL site; if they drop single supplements on other cabin categories you may find that a balcony cabin may be cheaper than a solo cabin. I was in cabin 12560. Although clean, the carpet needs to be replaced. It was vacuumed everyday but it had stains all over and was discolored. At times there were areas on the ship which smelt like sewage. Many cabins near mine, including my cabin had to call maintenance to fix drains. ENTERTAINMENT: Overall the entertainment was excellent, HOWEVER, for a 13 day transatlantic cruise NCL did not provide enough entertainment in the afternoons. They also had the same shows repeated over and over in different venues. There could have been a bigger variety. If this was a 7 day cruise the shows would have been sufficient, not for a 13 day cruise. Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The best show at sea that I have seen. The content is of an adult nature. NCL makes sure that everyone onboard is aware of this, those complaining that it was not suited for their kids are bad parents as they should not have allowed them in this age restricted show in the first place. Well done NCL on this brilliant Broadway production. The costumes, décor, the actual bus on stage and performers were world class. This show is the right show for this ship as Priscilla is EPIC! Burn the Floor – The show is excellent. The two lead dancers from South Africa are spellbinding. The show is of an extremely high caliber; regrettably the female singer is below this standard. I did not see the end of the show as it was stopped early due to very rough seas. The 30min or so that I did see was full of energy, precision and passion. Cirque Show – The show is excellent. To watch these talented performers in such an intimate space is very special indeed. I preferred this show to the many big circus production shows I’ve seen on land. I do not like the fact that one has to pay extra for this show. Divas – good fun, excellent voices and a very enjoyable show. Magician – His close-up show was impressive, however his other shows would be more suitable to children’s birthday parties. NCL has phenomenal magic / illusion shows on other ships like the Jade, so NCL knows how to present impressive large scale magic shows. Unfortunately the magic show on this cruise was not Epic. Dance parties – all good fun. Bliss lounge on the Epic is so much nicer that the Bliss lounges on the newer NCL ships. Game shows – most are held in the atrium which is an overcrowded and noisy space. It would be better to host those in the theatre. One negative regarding entertainment / activities: NCL hosts many talks and seminars on topics of health and well-being. Do not be fooled by these, they were not as educational I thought they would be. NCL uses these seminars to nickel and dime you into signing up for acupuncture, spa treatments, gym classes, to sell products and much more. FOOD: Overall I found the food very good in all the complimentary restaurants. I also ate in three specialty dining restaurants, these were La Cuchina (the food is good but not worth the extra money), Le Bistro (excellent food and worth the extra money) and Cagney’s (I had shrimp and it was just ok, but my friend thought the steak was excellent). SERVICE: I’ve read many reviews where people say the staff is rude and service is slow??? I only have praise for the staff I encountered on this transatlantic cruise. They were extremely friendly, helpful and good at their jobs. FINAL THOUGHTS: I’ve heard someone say the NCL Epic is like Marmite / Vegemite; you either love it or hate it. I do like the Epic and will cruise on her again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Thoughts in no particular order: Seats in Stardust Theatre are too close together with knee knockers. Seats in Stardust Theatre are sloped down so you slide down your and off. Bathroom stalls in public areas are old and rusted ... Read More
Thoughts in no particular order: Seats in Stardust Theatre are too close together with knee knockers. Seats in Stardust Theatre are sloped down so you slide down your and off. Bathroom stalls in public areas are old and rusted with paint over the rust, need complete overhaul . Waiter is too busy to follow up on things you might need. Need asst waiter. Attention to detail is lacking. Theater shows were very good. Do not provide a paper list of amenities you receive in the suite (paper in suite), need to guess. Buffet on deck 12 is like a hospital cafeteria, needs complete overhaul. Fruits like cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, are cut up but you get the rind and must cut it off yourself. Other cruise companies cut the melons into squares or balls ( no rinds). Pool towels are large, fluffy and plentiful. Plenty of space to lay out in the sun, deck chairs are so-so. Staff was very friendly, customer service personnel were great. La Cucina restaurant is very nice inside. VERSAILLES restaurant is nice with old style interior . Aqua restaurant interior is boring. Ship has seen better days and needs to be sold. Overall, good value for the money due to transatlantic cruise. Water slides closed for no reason, opened on last day. On tv they have a navigation channel which shows ships position and weather and other items; the time is shown twice and don’t match, the pool temperature shows 28 celsius when the pool is empty, while sailing thru the Bahamas it shows we are in Spain: other words YOU cannot trust it Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We wanted to see Rome and take a transatlantic cruise. Well, we saw Rome. Traffic is terrible. Remember the old saying, "when in Rome do as the Romans". Well, if we drove like the Italians insurance rates would be astronomical. ... Read More
We wanted to see Rome and take a transatlantic cruise. Well, we saw Rome. Traffic is terrible. Remember the old saying, "when in Rome do as the Romans". Well, if we drove like the Italians insurance rates would be astronomical. Bumper to bumper, stop light to stop light. Took excursions to skip the line, Sistine Chapel. Must walk 1/2 mile to enter and then steps, steps, and more steps. Definitely not for old or infirmed. Rome at night was great. Saw many wonderful sights that are usually too full during the day. Saw Spanish Steps, Tivoli Fountain, Pantheon. Had a meal that was incredible and the gelato is to die for. All shuttle services were right on time and enjoyable. Would recommend learning a little Italian do converse with drivers or tour guide. Embarkation was pretty smooth. Had to transverse through the rainstorm to get on the ship. But, Norwegian did offer plastic raincoats to shelter from the rain. Had a medical emergency 2nd night with significant other having low blood sugar during the night. Had to call 911 and used nurse and doctor to stabilize her. Could not enjoy any excursions because the doctor was afraid of sugar problem recurring. He did not know what caused the problem. Melodic trio playing in Grand Atrium delivers 50's and 60's music along with more current selection.Can either sit in the coffee lounge or eat up in O'Sheehan's. The other enjoyment for me was the art auctions presented by Park and West. Got free champagne and looked at wonderful artworks, Max, Dali, Benoit, Kincaid, and many others. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Not a moment of peace unless you retreat to your stateroom. This ship's layout is a nightmare, the reception area/atrium has a stage where many activities take place all day and night. For example, Aerobic classes take place in the ... Read More
Not a moment of peace unless you retreat to your stateroom. This ship's layout is a nightmare, the reception area/atrium has a stage where many activities take place all day and night. For example, Aerobic classes take place in the atrium/reciption area ....meaning everyone and his brother goes by while you're sweating it out. The casino unlike other ships is also in the middle of the main "hallway" on deck 7.....this means you either avoid the entire floor or subject yourself to smoke and endless ding dong noise if you want to go to one of the main resturants. Overall, public areas are very poorly designed (unless you enjoy yelling all day for your partner to hear you). There is a small designated quiet area outdoor on deck 8 but you are out of luck if the weather is bad . The library located next to the reception/atrium area is pathetically small and you are hit with the outside rackets every time someone opens the door. On a positive note, state room was spacious, quiet and kept spotless by our room attendant. The food was mostly very nice in quality, presentation and varieties. Entertainment was poor except for the dancers which were exceptional. This ship is way oversized in terms of number of passengers and as a result you must wait everywhere ....resturants, theaters and so on. Overall, the entire staff was very friendly and did a great Job but is a real pity they have to work on such an unpleasant tanker! Overall I would not recommend this big ship if you are not into 24/7 of noise and crowds. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The ship was nearly at capacity. As on all huge ships, it's like walking around Times Square on a Saturday afternoon getting around the common areas and waiting for dining. All the main activities (except for the buffet and pools) are ... Read More
The ship was nearly at capacity. As on all huge ships, it's like walking around Times Square on a Saturday afternoon getting around the common areas and waiting for dining. All the main activities (except for the buffet and pools) are located on three concurrent floors in the center of the ship which makes everyone congregate together. The atrium is small with not enough chairs for such a large ship. The rooms are larger than on the epic and much better laid out. As we've come to expect on NCL, the food was delicious in all the restaurants and buffet, the entertainment was fabulous with Burn the Floor, the Million Dollar Quartet, Howl at the Moon and other variety of entertainers and the service staff was great. One issue we had was that we won a bottle of red wine and asked later on at one of the bars to trade it in for a white wine equavalent. We were told it is not NCL policy to do that. I found that quite petty. Disembarcation in Miami was challenging because there were three ships that came in at the same time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
I went on this cruise as a Solo Travler. I loved the Solo Lounge, amazing experience. The entire staff on this ship is second to none, polite, confident and always willling to help you. The Entertaininment was amazing. the food, ... Read More
I went on this cruise as a Solo Travler. I loved the Solo Lounge, amazing experience. The entire staff on this ship is second to none, polite, confident and always willling to help you. The Entertaininment was amazing. the food, WOW.....Amazing. The Garden Buffett was awesome and the spaecialty dinning was fantastic. I had a 4 Meal speciality dinning package and it was great. As for Embarkment and Disembarkment, went smooth as can be. The Cruise Director Siles was constantly giving updates on the progress of what was occurring during the Disembarkemnet, what a consummate professional, great job. This was my second cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines and as far as I am concerned they have earned my business for future cruise. I cannot wait until my next adventure on NCL. I am thinking April 2018 Norwegian Pearl 21-Day, Panama Canal. I also am thinking of doing a cruise on the Bliss with my Adult Daughter and Grandaughter. Read Less
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