32 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - Southern from Port Canaveral (Orlando)

BE WARNED the stage show Priscilla is R rated and it ties up the main theater for several nights of th cruise. I’m not a prude but the ship’s write up did not warn it was r rated. I took my family and we were very uncomfortable. ... Read More
BE WARNED the stage show Priscilla is R rated and it ties up the main theater for several nights of th cruise. I’m not a prude but the ship’s write up did not warn it was r rated. I took my family and we were very uncomfortable. Just be aware. Otherwise the production itself is well done and the costumes were fabulous The public areas are crowded and noisy. The atrium where they have many of the seminars is open to the middle of main hallway at midship right across from guest services— a very busy and noisy intersection The Taste dining room is also very noisy. Its difficult to carry on a conversation. The food is good but service can be slow The casino, which allows smoking, is also open to a main hall midship on deck 6 and to get from one end of the ship to the other you have to walk through the smoking area. Since the midship area is open from deck five to deck seven, you can smell smoke in much of the public area on decks 5, 6 and 7 Other than the 3 shows the Epic promotes, there isn’t alot of family evening entertainment unless you go to one lounge or another Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose Norwegian because this was a family trip and we had sailed on Norwegian several times before. We have also cruised on other lines such as Celebrity, Windstar, Holland America, Regent and AMA. I was somewhat anxious when we ... Read More
We chose Norwegian because this was a family trip and we had sailed on Norwegian several times before. We have also cruised on other lines such as Celebrity, Windstar, Holland America, Regent and AMA. I was somewhat anxious when we booked the cruise because the ship is so large, but it was for a family vacation so I thought it would be okay. One of the reasons we chose Norwegian is for the Haven Suites. When cruising on a large ship, I prefer to have a suite where I have space to get away from the larger crowds on deck and have breakfast away from the hectic buffet. In the past, Norwegian has been great with the Haven Suites. We had two small children traveling with us, ages 6 and 2, but they were not staying in the Haven Suites. When I booked the cruise and during the initial tour of the Haven Suites, we were told that the children could swim in the Haven Suite pool as our guests. We were also told they could come eat with us two times as our guests during the week cruise. We brought them on a port day to swim after we returned from our excursion and for some lunch. I took them to the informal area so they wouldn't be a nuisance in the more formal dining area. The female concierge came over and said we were limited to bringing them and they would charge us $20 a person for the lunch. Okay, that is fine, no biggie. They swam for about an hour. There were very few people in the Haven Suite area and only one other child in the pool. Everyone seemed to have a good time. The next time we brought them to the pool, it was in the morning. There were only two other adults in the whole pool area and no one in the pool. The female concierge came and told us they could not swim there, that only Haven Suite members could swim. I said this is not what you said the day of the tour or yesterday when they were swimming. She said that is the rules. I asked to see these rules as it is not in the contract, she said it is not a written rule. I spoke to the male concierge and then the Asst. Hotel Manager. They said it is a discretionary rule, there is no written rule. Unbelievable!!!!! I honestly can say in all the times I have cruised, I have never encountered a person as rude as the female concierge. Along with this incident, the whole cruise was a disappointment. The service was very slow particularly in the restaurants and to getting your room cleaned. There were multiple times we would return to the room in the evening after the show and my daughter's room had not been turned down, which had to happen since they were using one of the beds that fold into the ceiling. The Haven Suite cabins are very small. Nothing like what we have had on other Norwegian ships or on Celebrity or Holland America. The food was below average in the main dining room. Stay out of there. The food in the specialty restaurants was good, but again, extremely slow service. In the SPA, they seem to be more interested in selling you additional services then doing a good job on the service you did purchase. And if you tell them you don't want any additional services, they become rude. The one bright spot of the cruise was the entertainment. The Cirque show and the Burnin the Floor Show are outstanding!!!! But the entertainment alone didn't make up for the unpleasantness of the rest of the cruise. I was a Norwegian advocate up to this cruise, now we will not cruise on Norwegian again, the experience was just that bad :( And unfortunately, we were not the only ones, we heard many passengers complaining about the service. It seemed the crew was really struggling. Very unfortunate. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Elevators were a total disaster! More later. Disembarkation at Port Canaveral was a disaster. Full cruise package for Internet was a rip-off. Frequently simple news pages would not load at all. Availability of information before ... Read More
Elevators were a total disaster! More later. Disembarkation at Port Canaveral was a disaster. Full cruise package for Internet was a rip-off. Frequently simple news pages would not load at all. Availability of information before and during was poor. There was almost no description of shows. Instructions of how to use amenities was sparse of totally non-existent. Food was mostly good, sometimes outstanding, but occasionally bad taste wise. Entertainment was good and bad. I really didn't like Priscilla of the Desert. Cirque de Soliel was highlight of my trip. British Virgin Islands tour was poor. Included full hour at an unappealing beach and outdoor shops. Most of the staff was very friendly, but I frequently had communication problems. Elevators. (I am 64 and overweight.) I frequently had to climb multiple flights of stairs because elevator lack of availability. At least 3 times I climbed 5 or more flights. Once, I was excluded from 2 consecutive elevator cars because of overcrowding and climbed 8 flights. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise for the good incentives, it was a Norwegian ship that we had not sailed before and it left at a different port than we had experienced before. Port Canaveral was great. It was easy to embark the ship, there were the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the good incentives, it was a Norwegian ship that we had not sailed before and it left at a different port than we had experienced before. Port Canaveral was great. It was easy to embark the ship, there were the usual lines, but things kept moving and it was well organized. The ships design IS AWFUL. The designers "pranked" the public with the cabin design. The toilet has a light plastic door (and a curtain) separating it from the the room and one cannot pee, poop or fart without being heard by everyone in the room. There was TRASH in the light above the bed, shelves were broken. The LIGHTING was HORRIBLE, it was what I would expect in a bordello. I had to put on my make up during the day because the light bulbs were SO DIM that it was impossible to during the evening when there was no natural light. The brightest light in the room was in the closet and there were no mirrors in the closet. The balcony was ok, the closet space was good, the room attendants were responsible. We were disappointed that the photo packages have changed, O'Sheehans had a different menu as there were no specials, general navigating the ship was unusual: something we do not have an issue with on the other Norwegian ships. If this had been the first Norwegian Cruise we had been on we would be somewhat reticent about cruising Norwegian again, but as we are platinum we have experienced far better ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our 4th cruise together (with my better half having 4 more) and we all agreed that it will be the LAST cruise on this size ship. "Bigger ain't better", as the saying should go. Let's start with the ship ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise together (with my better half having 4 more) and we all agreed that it will be the LAST cruise on this size ship. "Bigger ain't better", as the saying should go. Let's start with the ship itself. It's dark. It's loud. Oh, and it's big. Basically the ship is a design disaster. Lines were everywhere. We lined up to: eat dinner, to get drinks, to even see shows. Thank goodness my mother-in-law had the smarts to book as many reservations as possible. I feel bad for anyone who didn't book in advance because of all the lines. Once we just gave up waiting, and we were pretty good about keeping ourselves occupied with games or conversation to make the wait time pass. Now for enjoying the sun on a Caribbean cruise. What sun? The promenade deck was essentially unusable because of scant doors to it, and there was no natural light coming into the dining and entertainment decks either, then add all the people going to dinner and shows on those decks and the ship quickly becomes a dark, noisy trap box. The quiet sundeck towards the forward section was a pleasure to find (because it was away from the pools, had it's own bar staff, and was _quiet_) but basically inaccessible because of a hidden elevator and single, small stair leading to it. The aft "sun deck" was really an outdoor theater with massive, loud TV blocking the gorgeous views. I'm not sure how folks enjoyed sitting in the hot spas back there ... plenty of alcohol helped, for sure. One more point on ship design that speaks volumes: Need to potty? Best to go back to your room and use your own because the public bathrooms were full during dinner and show times. The toilet situation and long lines speak volumes to the ship's design failure. On the other hand, if you stay in your state room, order in for dinner, and watch your personal TV, then you're all set! Hah! Now for the good stuff: we went for the ports and our excursions made memories. And the staff. The wait, bar tending, and room stewards were all great! Not sure why others are complaining about the staff. We made sure to become repeat customers of the best waiters/waitresses and bartenders, and tipped them! By the end of the cruise they would come up to us with smiles / small-talk and put in our orders without us even asking!! Our room steward had difficulty with English but we were still able to get an extra pillow top for the bed from him, and the room was always spotless when he finished cleaning up our mess. :) Also the entertainment was top notch. The sheer talent of the actors and circus, plus the volume of costume changes and props was outstanding. The performers got well deserved applause and shout outs throughout. Others have complained about one show being not-family friendly / rated-R, and "gay", but did folks not read the Freestyle itinerary? It clearly states which entertainment is family friendly and its content. This is like someone going to the Guppies and complaining about alcohol-free drinks (at a kids event!). So why did we cruise on Epic? For the ports, like others said. It's not like we didn't know the ship was big, but we won't be going on it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I wanted to take our 3 children and nephew on a pre-Christmas cruise. We had the 2 bedroom villa in the Haven and my son and nephew had a balcony cabin. The staff was not nearly as friendly compared to the previous cruises ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to take our 3 children and nephew on a pre-Christmas cruise. We had the 2 bedroom villa in the Haven and my son and nephew had a balcony cabin. The staff was not nearly as friendly compared to the previous cruises we’ve taken with NCL. This was our 3rd time getting the 2 bedroom villa in the Haven. My daughter and I decided to go up to the Haven’s private area where it was quiet. A NCL staff member walked over to us, (we’re African American) and asked if we’re supposed to be up there. I asked him how many of the Caucasian people did you ask if they belong? He immediately started back peddling. I was embarrassed for myself and my daughter. Our family has sailed NCL since 2011. We have NEVER been treated so disrespectfully. I will NEVER sail Epic again. I waited to post my review because I wanted to give NCL time to respond to my complaint and I have heard nothing back. When people who work hard to provide a great life for their family go on vacation and spend the money to relax, they should not have to get to the middle of the ocean and be humiliated for their skin color, religion, beliefs or sexual orientation. By the way, the Haven 2 bedrooms for 4 people is not a cheap thrill. It’s EXPENSIVE!!! I have to rethink my stance of only traveling NCL after this. It’s hurtful that you can be loyal to a brand but they’re not loyal to their long standing customers. Ports: The ports were ok, I don't if repairs were still going on due to the storm that hit September 2017. We did enjoy the stop in Tortola. Our children chose to do the Virgin Gouda Baths and my husband and I chose to do the speed boat tour around Tortola. Ship: This was the first time since 2009 I had a complaint about the ship. The ship was ok, not what I expected at all. The interior decor, especially in the Haven areas were nicely furnished. I loved the whole Haven experience being away from the crowd and relaxing in the air conditioned lounge. Thumbs up for that. Dining: Surprisingly enough, the food was not that great on this ship. We were highly anticipating going to our favs. We went to Cagney's and the food wasn't good at all. The next night we went to the Italian restaurant and they didn't have the lasagna anymore, the food we chose was not good. After 3 nights of bad experiences and customer services, we opted to eat in the buffet and room service. Disembarkation: Horrible with a capital H. Again, I have NEVER had a complaint since 2009 with NCL. It took us 2 hours to disembark. We did not understand why we didn't have the same experience getting on than getting off. When we arrived, as promised, we had someone escort us to our cabins. Getting off, we were with the general public and had to stand in long lines. As a Haven Suite customer, I would think that we would get to have a certain privilege to disembark. Children: We brought our 21, 20, 20 and 18 year old children with us. They mainly played basketball and stayed in the arcade. After 3 days they were bored and just watched movies and played on their phones. They did say for them, the best part of the cruise was the port visits where they could roam and not be confined to the ship. If you have older children, let them choose some of the excursions that they like to do. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was planned well in advance with 4 couples and 2 adult children. This is our 11th cruise and this one would rate only about 3.5 stars to us. Food was excellent, staff we encountered were excellent, room was well kept. Now the ... Read More
This was planned well in advance with 4 couples and 2 adult children. This is our 11th cruise and this one would rate only about 3.5 stars to us. Food was excellent, staff we encountered were excellent, room was well kept. Now the downside. We went 12-15-2018 to 12-22-2018, the ship was packed. Not sure you could have shoehorned another person on board. Many of the activities you had to either wait in line a long time or miss out completely (escape room) . We spent a lot of time just waiting in lines, shows, food, disembarking at ports, activities at the atrium. Just a lot of people. We didn't care how the casino was laid out, very crowded. The casino point system is worthless, my wife played all cruise and when it came time to collect rewards she had amassed a grand total of approximately $4. No $5 black jack. No incentive to play . When it came time to leave it took us over 2 1/2 hrs to disembark and leave the terminal on the bus. Because of weather we missed one port, but that's not their fault, better safe than sorry, but we were suppose to have a $50 credit at each port and didn't see where they credited us that amount. Sometimes bigger isn't always better. Special thank you to NiJonie, and Darwin, our waitstaff, they were excellent and made dining so enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had an awesome family vacation on the NCL EPIC, sailing December 15-December 22 in a 2 bedroom Haven cabin. This was our first experience in the Haven and will definitely cruise the Haven in the future. Our butler, Richard and room ... Read More
We had an awesome family vacation on the NCL EPIC, sailing December 15-December 22 in a 2 bedroom Haven cabin. This was our first experience in the Haven and will definitely cruise the Haven in the future. Our butler, Richard and room steward, Elisa were wonderful making sure that we had anything we needed. The second day my son ordered a turkey sandwich from room service, once Richard found out how much he enjoyed the sandwich he would bring one each afternoon with our afternoon snack. It was the little things like this which made our cruise special. Omar, the EPIC Haven concierge, was great! Omar made sure to talk with us each day, making sure that we had everything we needed and would arrange show/dinner reservations. PJ is the best bartender by far!! This cruise was scheduled for 3 sea days, with stops in Tortola, St. Thomas, and Great Stirrup Cay. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty rough on the last 2 days which prevented us from stopping at GSC. Even with pretty heavy winds/seas we noticed very little movement on the EPIC, there was some but not bad considering the wind strength. We were originally scheduled for a short day in St. Thomas which was extended by 4 hours since we were no longer stopping at GSC. This was our first time visiting Tortola and opted for a trip to Jost Van Dyke. I would highly recommend booking the Rebel Yell to Jost Van Dyke. We enjoyed our day with Captain Claudia and her crew Taz, Johnny, and Justin. They made sure we had plenty of water and rum punch on the boat ride and checked in with us several times while on the island. We will definitely book this excursion again. The ship entertainment was top notch, we enjoyed all the shows. This is a big ship and was fully booked, but the only time we waited was for the elevators was when shows were letting out which is to be expected with 4200 people onboard. The EPIC has a unique design, but not a problem and will cruise her again if the itinerary is one we want. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Good price on this cruise, plus the ports were good. Issues started on embarkation. Only 2 TSA agents showed up for work. No communication to any passengers waiting over 3 hours to board. My main issues are around the food quality, ... Read More
Good price on this cruise, plus the ports were good. Issues started on embarkation. Only 2 TSA agents showed up for work. No communication to any passengers waiting over 3 hours to board. My main issues are around the food quality, taste and some service. The food in the buffet was horrible. The roast beef was so tough they could not cut it one night. No taste, same things over and over , night after night. They had no cream on the entire ship for 10 days for coffee. How is that possible? They don't offer shrimp cocktail, escargot, lobster night. The quality of the steak and prime rib was thin. Unless you paid to go to Cagney's you got a very simple cut of meat. The wait staff at Shanghai's were excellent. In the main dining room, never once in 10 days asked if I wanted my wine glass filled up. No butter on the table. Didn't ask if I wanted sour cream on my baked potato, didn't ask if I wanted cheese on my pasta. None of these things ruined this cruise. The entertainment was excellent. I liked the cruise director. Burn the Floor musical a must see. I had the liquor package and I was not able to get a soda in a can, only out of the fountain pop. Does this make sense? I can get a $15 glass of wine, but not a $2 can of pop. They told me I would have to purchase the soda package to get a can of pop. NCL is know as the nickel and dime cruise, and it really is. They were taking water and pop off passengers on embarkation, not allowing them to even bring 1 bottle of water on board. I've never seen so many guests upset around the ship. It will be a long time before I cruise NCL again. Going back to what I know is 5 star cruising with Celebrity and Royal. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I booked this cruise for my family because I'd had really good experiences with Norwegian. This was quite the exception. From the start of having no one to greet us to taking 3 hours to get on the ship due to lack of employee ... Read More
I booked this cruise for my family because I'd had really good experiences with Norwegian. This was quite the exception. From the start of having no one to greet us to taking 3 hours to get on the ship due to lack of employee knowledge, system errors and just plain laziness, to the room flooding, to having no accessibility in the room for my handicapped dad to the wheelchair that was recommended by ncl's rental company not fitting in the room to poor customer service. This was the worst cruise I'd been on. After all the things that happened my parents were given $100 each on board credit. The food, food staff, ports, shows and room attendants were very lovely but the customer service desk used standard lines and showed no comparison. They knew a water pipe burst at 8pm and didn't bother to check the rooms. Then they expected my elderly parents to walk in the water throughout the night because they weren't going to fix it until the morning. If you are staying with a friend in the room beware that there is no privacy for showers and bathroom except a curtain and then you can't leave the room if the other is in the shower. Awkward. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because it departed from Port Canaveral, a smaller port than Miami, but as we have now found out one that is not capable of handling large crowds. We waited outside for 2-3 hours in bad windy weather, with verbal and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it departed from Port Canaveral, a smaller port than Miami, but as we have now found out one that is not capable of handling large crowds. We waited outside for 2-3 hours in bad windy weather, with verbal and physical fights to the point the sheriff's officer had to be called. The ship seemed unprepared for its guests, the casino had most its machines down the first two days, there was no band on board, the singer in the theatre had to sing to tapes, and the trio's on board were spread thin. The food was sub-par with very little variety, the same desserts over and over. Once the buffet snack in the casino was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!! REALLY!!??? The ship in general lacked a happy vibe which I guess is the fault of the cruise director. The cruise ended the way is started, long lines to get on and long lines to get off!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I normally cruise with RCCL but took two cruises on Norwegian Escape. The first one was June 2016 and it was amazing, to a large degree because of the cruise directory and assistant cruise director (Tyler G and Andre ... Read More
My husband and I normally cruise with RCCL but took two cruises on Norwegian Escape. The first one was June 2016 and it was amazing, to a large degree because of the cruise directory and assistant cruise director (Tyler G and Andre respectively). The second one was February 2018. We had fun, traveled with 2 other couples, and thoroughly enjoyed the ship, but the cruise directory was boring. It makes a difference but still, we had a good time and the ship was great. We especially loved The District. So we booked this 10 day cruise on the Epic and overall it was a little disappointing. We had a good time - we were on a cruise, how could you not have a good time?? - but we have definitely had better experiences. The ship is very dark. Unlike Escape, which has tons of outside seating via restaurants, there is very little outside seating other than on deck 15. So if you are walking around the ship on the inside, you rarely see daylight. When you walk into the cabin you are basically standing in the bathroom. It is the strangest design I have seen so far. You walk in and the toilet is on the left, then a sink next to it, and the bathtub/shower is on the right. There is a curtain you can pull shut to separate this area from the rest of the cabin, but there really is no privacy or no separate bathroom as such. We had booked a mini suite and on Escape, in a mini suite, we had a beautiful, big bathroom, which double sinks, and a nice shower. There was enough room for both of us to get ready. I am really not sure what the big difference was on Epic regarding the mini suite vs a regular cabin. The food at Cagney's was amazing, Moderno was just ok, and the food at the Garden Cafe was really disappointing. There was a much better selection at the Garden Cafe on Escape and the food tasted better. We were excited to see that Andre (the assistant cruise director from Escape) was actually the cruise director on this ship, but even this was disappointing. On EScape we constantly ran into Tyler and Andrew, they were hilarious, and they interacted with the passengers. While Andre mentioned at the end of every announcement his made that it was his mission to meet each and every one of us, we rarely saw him on the ship. My husband and I were actually discussing going back to RCCL. WE have a lot of loyalty points accrued with them, but after our first Norwegian cruise we were so thrilled we decided to give them another try. However, after the last two Norwegian cruises we decided to stick with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The smoke on deck 6 made us sick, had to see the onboard doctor, which really messed up our cruise. We love the Cavern club, but it was so packed that we couldn't enjoy it. People went to the show before and just hung out. Food from ... Read More
The smoke on deck 6 made us sick, had to see the onboard doctor, which really messed up our cruise. We love the Cavern club, but it was so packed that we couldn't enjoy it. People went to the show before and just hung out. Food from the Cirque was not good at all. The meat was cold. The biggest disappointment was that they only had two scuba (we are advance divers) excursions. They did not have any for Cayman or Belize which are amazing dive sites. We had to do our own for Jamaica, Cayman, and Belize. That was a huge disappointment. When we travel on Carnival they are working with us on the ship to schedule dives if they do not have any set up. Norwegian staff would not. The TV vacation planner did not work. We would have things schedule and it would not show up and then we didn't think we had it when we did. This happened in regards to a show and in regards to a dinner reservation. The iConceirge Ap said there was an upgrade and I was never able to use it. We did the Blackjack tournament and asked to get into the one of the rounds on a table that was not filled up and she said it was after 12 when our watches said 1158 and she would not budge even showing her the time. I was penalized in the Blackjack tournament for pushing two stacks of chips in one move onto the betting space when the lady running it told me I could not and then the next lady that took over told people to do it. Bathrooms on deck (not in the room) were often out of paper towels. The embark and disembark were nightmares. I've never had that kind of problem on any other ship. My wife said she would never want to travel on Epic again but I probably would (but not without her). After the experience, I prefer Carnival and the way they do things. I wanted to like Norwegian more. The stateroom and ship and staff were awesome. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Recommended by family to choose NCL. Scary and long check-in to board the ship in Orlando, it took over 3 hours. There was no organization at all and at times the public became verbally abusive to others cutting in the line-ups. In ... Read More
Recommended by family to choose NCL. Scary and long check-in to board the ship in Orlando, it took over 3 hours. There was no organization at all and at times the public became verbally abusive to others cutting in the line-ups. In fact, it was very scary at times! Once on board, our room a mini-suite was incredible. Very spacious with plenty of storage. However, I fear that there may be mold nestling under the carpets in the rooms due to the very humid climates. I am very allergic to mold and developed a serious sore throat and terrible cough which was always worse when I was in my cabin at night. The staff, food, entertainment I would rate as excellent! Some improvements need to be made with regard to the lack of space on sea days on deck 15 around the main pool area. The pools are much too small and not enough sun-beds around the pool for everybody. Pools could also be added to deck 18 on the sun decks to increase the number of pools for everybody to use. Making dinner reservations for a la carte restaurants was a nightmare!!! We paid for the additional 3 meals, impossible to choose the meal times you wanted!! This is not acceptable when you have paid extra for these restaurants! Also, if you do not have the alcohol package two glasses of house wine is over $20 USD which is absolutely ridiculous!! Also NCL add 18% gratuity onto everything, so don't tip extra!! NCL NEED to lower the alcohol drink prices this is a rip-off! Overall we had a fabulous vacation and I am just giving you and NCL an honest opinion. We will sail with them again but making sure we choose the all-inclusive beverage package and I will avoid the small port in Orlando to board the ship. I might even choose a smaller ship which better pools. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Overall, the trip was nice it was my first time cruising on Norwegian. Main purpose of booking this cruise was for the ports, which were AMAZING!! The only complaint I have regarding the ports were that 2 of the stops you needed to book a ... Read More
Overall, the trip was nice it was my first time cruising on Norwegian. Main purpose of booking this cruise was for the ports, which were AMAZING!! The only complaint I have regarding the ports were that 2 of the stops you needed to book a tendering time which wasn't told to us until hours before reaching the first destination, so be sure to check on that when you first embark the ship. The cabin was nice. It served its purpose (to sleep) we had a balcony room which was more than enough room for 2 people. Dining was ok nothing great. Towards the end of the cruise the grand buffet area was shut down earlier than the times listed on the daily papers that were given out each morning. We did eat at the Manhattan and Taste restaurant a couple of times. The food was eatable nothing grand. Be sure that they direct you in the correct lines; we had reservations and many people who didn't were sat before us because of course they had us in the reservation line! Entertainment and activities on the ship is AMAZING!! From Burn the Floor, Priscilla, The Beatles Show, comedy,etc. everything was great. Be sure to be in line 30-45 before the showtime if you want seats. Book reservations for Burn the Floor and Priscilla before boarding the ship they are reservation only shows and once everyone gets on the ship they start booking everything. Service on the ship was the absolute worst I've ever experienced. In guest services you have maybe 2/3 people that weren't hostile, listened to your concerns, and actually knew what they were talking about. Cabin Key Cards are the absolute worse way to spend money on any ship (not just Epic). One situation, we chose cash as a payment type thinking maybe it would be like carnival where you can just add money on the card and thats that, well thats not the case my fiance's card went into the negative $9 and it was paid right back off, but due to their "rules" (that of course you cant find anywhere) after the 4th day if you don't have the drink package or put at least $50 back on the account you CANNOT open that account up! Very confusing and nobody could explain this to me so we just used my card for expenses. We accidentally left a $4.00 voucher on the vanity area came back it was gone I'm not sure if the steward took it or what but make sure you double check behind yourselves and use the safe! I would definitely book another cruise with Norwegian the pros outweighed the cons just be sure if you haven't cruise Norwegian do your homework ask around because they are a lot of unknowns. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our third cruise on Epic and we’re planning another for early 2019. In order to maximize our experience on any NCL ship of this size or larger, we choose a Haven stateroom; by staying in the Haven, we reduce a mega ship into a ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Epic and we’re planning another for early 2019. In order to maximize our experience on any NCL ship of this size or larger, we choose a Haven stateroom; by staying in the Haven, we reduce a mega ship into a mini ship but still have access to all that a megaship has to offer. Must commend our Butler Jensen, Room Steward Bianca, bar tenders JP, Norman, and George; they all were spectacular and a credit to NCL. This was a “port-intensive” itinerary and left no time for boredom! Fabulous ports, easy disembarkation, and excursions that didn’t disappoint! On -board entertainment was plentiful and we thoroughly enjoyed Priscilla, Cirque, and Burn the Floor. We had loads of fun, and a wee bit of luck, in the casino with friendly Dealers and some cooperation from the slots. The night we chose to participate in Howl at the Moon was a drag-half empty and not much energy. The guy and gal at the pianos wanted pay-to-play your request and if they didn’t know your song, they just pocketed the cash and threw away the request. We contributed $11 to NOT hear our songs. We didn’t hang around but about 40 minutes. We dined in the traditionally fine Haven restaurant, Cagneys, LeBistro, and LaCucina. All were excellent except LaCucina which was horrible this evening. I felt sorry for the waitperson because he really tried hard, was attentive, and efficient but the food was gross. We were traveling with our adult son and daughter-in-law so had a Family Villa and the two bedroom/two bathroom setup made the entire voyage comfortable and enjoyable giving all private space and room to hang out together as well. All-in-all, this ship, accommodations, service, and itinerary made for an excellent vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our son chose this cruise to help them get away after a horrific year of enduring Hurricane Michael. They are a military family and had their home decimated and the base in which he is based was destroyed. We all needed to give their ... Read More
Our son chose this cruise to help them get away after a horrific year of enduring Hurricane Michael. They are a military family and had their home decimated and the base in which he is based was destroyed. We all needed to give their family a break. We made lemonade out of lemons. But it was just terrible. Getting on board the person who registered us did not even know what she was doing. Before getting on board we had to go through the whole process again! I met other persons who had the same experience. Whoever designed the cabins on this ship should never be employed again. Yes it was that bad. The shower and bathrooms had translucent doors so whoever entered the cabin or were in the cabin could see the person going to the bathroom or taking a shower. We had grandchildren in our cabin for the first 3 days and never had any privacy. We just hated it. Had I known about this before the cruise we would have never cruised NCL Epic. The passenger capacity was 4100 and we felt it. Long lines and crowds everywhere. Loud music constantly and a poor selection most of the time. Bartenders were over worked and understaffed making for more of a feeling of being overcrowded. We had a drink program with our fare but the wait times out by the pool area made it prohibitive to even get a drink. We could never find a quiet space on this ship. It was overwhelming how crowded it was. The pools were so tiny you would have thought they were designed for a small home. Tenders: At one port it took us 51 minutes from the time we entered the tender line until we were back on the ship. Holland America used their own tenders and there was no lines! Poor service on NCL! Our first day on board the buffet lines were way too long and when they opened up the main buffet room they did not even know what they were serving! This was not a vacation! It was a grueling event! I met other people on board who could not wait to get home. It was that bad. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This cruise was recommended to us. We have been saving and preparing for this trip for over a year. This was my wife's birthday week. The checking in and boarding process was long and hot. Designated arrival times do not even matter. ... Read More
This cruise was recommended to us. We have been saving and preparing for this trip for over a year. This was my wife's birthday week. The checking in and boarding process was long and hot. Designated arrival times do not even matter. Every restaurant/ buffet/ cafe that was included was mediocre at best. If you wanted to see shrimp, and lobster, and other expected cruise ship foods, you will have to get it from the ocean on this cruise. Outside of the cabin Stewart, Casino staff, and some wait staff, the service was terrible. The ship layout has the main buffet dining at the top of the ship, so prepare to walk stairs a lot, because elevators are not efficient unless you go to breakfast at 6AM. My wife went to the spa to have her hair styled for dinner, and the person who did her hair made some insensitive comments about her hair and face that brought my wife to tears when she got back to the cabin. Excursions are chaotic and stressful with a lot of waiting. Recommend going onshore by yourself and doing the same activities at your pace. Felt like a retirement community by 11PM. That's when the bars on the ship start to close up, except Bliss, which smelled like urine, H2O, and the casino. Prepare to go to bed early on this boat. We disembarked with our luggage, and got off very quickly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
From the moment we stepped on the ship and saw the filthy windows everywhere that we looked I was concerned about the EPIC. Last year we took a cruise on the ESCAPE and had such a wonderful experience that we immediately put money down on ... Read More
From the moment we stepped on the ship and saw the filthy windows everywhere that we looked I was concerned about the EPIC. Last year we took a cruise on the ESCAPE and had such a wonderful experience that we immediately put money down on another cruise with Cruise next. This year we didn't. The Epic was a huge disappointment. Unlike The Escape, not once were any of the windows/balconies cleaned while we were in port. Our room was filthy and the bathtub was filled with mold. The room steward never refilled anything like sugar, shampoo, lotion, soap etc. The boat was so noisy and shuddered continuously. So much so that the glass doors on the tub and the toilet rattled all night, every night. The first time I went into the room and used the toilet, there was a piece of glass and I cut my foot open...not a great start!! The television had so little options with channels and we had to keep watching the same 10 minutes of a crappy cartoon in between shows. We never knew that the first port in the Bahamas was a private NCL island and that we had to get a tender, communication was terrible!! Whereas Harvest Caye was beautiful last year, Great Stirrup Caye is in need of a major facelift. The port of call in Jamaica at Ocho Rios should just stop. The beaches are so rocky getting into the water that I was almost over my head in the ocean before I finally felt sand. It was very painful. After speaking to many other guests that went to other excursions on the island they all had the same experiences. During the trip, we spoke to a lot of other people and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM HAD THE SAME COMPLAINTS! Almost every one of them said that they would never use NCL again, as of right now we aren't sure if we ever will either. If it wasn't for the wonderful experience that we had on the Escape we definitely wouldn't. We saw discrimination against a gay couple by the assistants to the cruise director that made us sick! The glow party was ruined for practically everyone because little kids were allowed to run around and knock over drinks and constantly bump into adults trying to dance and have fun, it wasn't the place for kids. It was brought to the attention to the cruise director by multiple people and he couldn't have cared less. Because of all of this and other reasons I rated this cruise poor...only because it was the lowest option available. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I was excited to take this cruise. I wanted to love it - people tell me how nice cruises are. I didn't have the same experience. from when we first arrived we had issues. my husband is Danish but has a us permanent resident card. the ... Read More
I was excited to take this cruise. I wanted to love it - people tell me how nice cruises are. I didn't have the same experience. from when we first arrived we had issues. my husband is Danish but has a us permanent resident card. the lady didn't know how to check him in and had to ask 2 people before we were able to proceed. Then once on the ship, the cards they issued my parents didn't have the meal and beverage packages on them so they were getting charged for all the drinks and food. It took 4 trips total to sort it out, two to get them to fix the card and two more to reverse the charges they said they'd do after the second meeting. Then they needed us to come up to fix whatever they did wrong for my husbands check in so we had to go back to guest services and wait in line again. Also, and the absolute worst thing is that my daughter was scratched on the stomach by two stray dogs when the excursion bus driver stopped inexplicably at a roadside souvenir shop. she was bleeding and the bus driver didn't have a first aid kit so we had to clean it with water and a towel. Then when we got back to the ship, they were claiming there was not rabies on the island, but were getting a verification from them and they'd let us know if she needed a rabies shot or not. we NEVER heard back. guest services followed up the next day - they asked how she was and if we needed anything. I told them I needed a follow up from the doctor, they said ok - again I never heard back. lastly I went to settle my bill for my massage and I found that they charged us $15 a day per person to be on the ship - after paying over 3k for a tiny cabin. so, basically I spent the majority of my vacation in line at guest services or in the medical center. Don't book Norwegian - they are the worst. for what we spent we could've gotten a villa with a driver and a chef in some ritzy neighborhood on the beach in south America with fewer crowds and more room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our experience on the Epic wasn't great. Kids Club. The kids club staff were poor. We traveled in a family group, and we had been assured cousins of the same age would be allowed to pay together. The kids clubs staff insisted on ... Read More
Our experience on the Epic wasn't great. Kids Club. The kids club staff were poor. We traveled in a family group, and we had been assured cousins of the same age would be allowed to pay together. The kids clubs staff insisted on separating them. This resulted in our kids refusing to go back to the kids club since they (quite reasonably) wanted to play with their cousins they don't get to see often. Dining. The food was generally adequate. However, we had some very discouraging experiences. Twice we made reservations for one of the main dining rooms. Twice they failed to actually set aside enough chairs to seat us all together. On one of those nights they made our group wait an hour and twenty minutes before we were served our appetizers. What a mess. The wait staff were not understanding or apologetic. They were distant and frankly rude. "Freestyle" seems to mean downgraded service when it comes to dining. Fitness. The track on the Epic is badly designed. It does not go all the way around the ship like many on-board jogging tracks do. Even worse: there were always a group of Norwegian employees smoking on one end of the track. Seriously? Here's a hot tip, Norwegian: people getting a cardio work out don't want to be forced to run through a thick cloud of cigarette smoke! Ship Design. It's not just the track. The Epic lacks an inviting central space. The Epic is built around a smoky casino. In my opinion, it sucks being forced to walk through this casino multiple times a day to get anywhere on a ship. Space on the pool deck was scarce and competition for spots was fierce. Many people put towels on deck chairs and disappeared for hours resulting in an odd situation in which many deck chairs were not actually in use (except as towel holders) and many passengers were unable to find a place to sit down and relax. Entertainment. One night we showed up on time for tickets we had reserved only to be informed they had given away our reservation 10 minutes earlier. That was very strange. Nobody told us we had to be 10 minutes early! Generally, the entertainment was not family friendly. Priscilla Queen of the Desert may be a great show for a certain audience, but it lacks broad appeal/is not a kid friendly show. Same thing with Burn the Floor and the comedians on the ship. The Beatles cover band was excellent however. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have a large family spread out among several states, but some of us always try to gather for Thanksgiving. Cruising is great because the women aren't stuck cooking all week! This was our first experience with NCL, and all 13 of us ... Read More
We have a large family spread out among several states, but some of us always try to gather for Thanksgiving. Cruising is great because the women aren't stuck cooking all week! This was our first experience with NCL, and all 13 of us agreed, it would also be our last. We were all so disappointed in the food. Too many dining options were an added cost, so it left us with little variety. The dining room food was mediocre at best, and wasn't even hot most nights. Aside from our cabin steward, service was terrible. We had one server for a table of 13 and it took about 2.5 hours every night for 3 courses. It also took so long to get drinks, anytime, anywhere. Hardly any waiters on deck, long lines at all of the bars. They are leaving TONS of money on the table here. Activities left us very frustrated. Too many things we wanted to do had an extra cost or you had to sign up the previous day (and that wasn't communicated AT ALL). Too many of the kids activities like the water slides and rock walls were only open during limited hours which meant really long lines. This combination left us with bored kids. A LOT. Everything and everywhere felt like there weren't enough staff. We couldn't even find out what night the formal night was. I tried several times to reach customer service via my cabin phone and no one ever answered. Every other cruise I've ever taken, the service was a stand out and it seemed the staff couldn't help you enough! This was so odd. We had fun at all of our stops and our family always enjoys being together, so that saved our vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Back in 2013, my wife and I took a 7-day Mediterranean cruise. We had been on several other cruises with different cruise lines, but no real loyalty to any of them. After the trip, this was the ship and experience that sold us on the ... Read More
Back in 2013, my wife and I took a 7-day Mediterranean cruise. We had been on several other cruises with different cruise lines, but no real loyalty to any of them. After the trip, this was the ship and experience that sold us on the Norwegian experience. Since 2013, my wife and I generally took 1-2 cruises a year with Norwegian. Fast forward to this year and we saw the Epic was going to Port Canaveral, which was exciting. We were going to take the Epic cruise over Thanksgiving with friends and family. It should have been a sign of the ‘unique experience’ we were in for with the embarkation process. While I cannot completely fault Norwegian for this, it would appear that a large ship like the Epic was unable to accommodate the number of passengers traveling over Thanksgiving. While we were waiting for the ship to clear out the previous guests, there were so many new guests waiting that people were left standing around or sitting on the floor. This also caused craziness with guests still trying to check in. Once on board, we continued to run into issues. The average meal time took about ~2.5 hours for 6 people. The worst offender was ‘Taste’. There were times that our food would come out room temperature or slightly colder. Eggs Benedict should have poached eggs and not hard boiled eggs. While most staff were helpful, there was a lot of flirting between crew members. Things such as making dinner plans or talking about when to call each other while guests were waiting for service. The shower area in the Spa had black mold growing on it. The spa also had a band-aid that was stuck to the side of a hot tub that managed to stay on the entire trip. This was reported to staff every day along with pictures. Any time these challenges were discussed with officers, they generally brushed it aside and would say that it’s Thanksgiving and we are busy. The staff made us feel like we were in their way and did not want to help. Again, it is not that they wouldn’t help, they would sigh and run tasks lethargically. There were places on the ship where things ran smooth and our time was enjoyable. Shanghai restaurant, La Cucina, The Whiskey Lounge, and the Martini Bar were all fantastic spots to hang out. The level of excitement the staff in these areas exhibit was the exact reason we bought into the Norwegian brand back in 2013. It is unfortunate that their enthusiasm isn’t wide-spread on the ship. Excursions: We got off at every port. Our stops were Great Stirrup Cay, Jamaica, Grand Caymans, and Cozumel. - Great Stirrup Cay: o We just hung out on the beach. Since the beverage package worked here, we found the beach an enjoyable time with our kids. The water temperature was perfect and our kids didn’t want to leave the water. - Jamaica: o We went to the Dunn River Falls hike with our kids. This was a blast. We were climbing up a water fall, which was pretty strong at places. However, the guides for our group were awesome and helped out when necessary. - Grand Caymans: o We did the sunken ship snorkeling. This was an amazing experience. There were barracuda ~20 feet down that were 4-5 feet long. There were several schools of fish swimming around. The water was salty enough that you could float without the need to inflate the snorkeling vest. This made it easier to swim around and dive under the water. - Cozumel: o We just went shopping at the mall outside the port. This was more of a lazy day for us. When we went back to the ship around lunch, the pool deck was mostly empty. We used this time to play on the slides and in the pool with family. As it stands, we will not be traveling on the Epic again with the current staff in charge. I can handle an older ship, but they clearly do not meet typical standards. It was almost like we were on a totally different cruise line. Could it be that they send the good staff and officers to the newer ships? That’s definitely what it feels like. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Went on family vacation to celebrate parents anniversary. Group of 12 including 2 teenage kids. Ship is huge, told it was sold to capacity ~4500 +1700 staff Service is decent for the most part. They add extra service $$ charge per ... Read More
Went on family vacation to celebrate parents anniversary. Group of 12 including 2 teenage kids. Ship is huge, told it was sold to capacity ~4500 +1700 staff Service is decent for the most part. They add extra service $$ charge per person daily depending on your room type. It is supposed to cover tips, but frequently were told that money gets siphoned by NCL (not sure how true that is), so we did give extra tips to some of the staff. Food large buffet type restaurant on top deck, other sit down places that are free as well, and Specialty dining- good luck trying to get a reservation at a decent time with a ship thats sold to capacity....so some of our dining vouchers went to waste. Eating at the buffet more that we really wanted to made it not so enjoyable. When you are on vacation, you would like to sit down for at least dinner. Were able to do that 1/2 the nights due to the crowding on the ship. Entertainment was good, went to see Priscilla queen of the desert- great performance. Saw magic show and comedy that was decent. Also went to Cirque dream 45min show that was quite good, but not sure why we had to pay 45$ pp extra for it??? Guess thats how they drain your on board credit. Amenities- Pools were mostly all tied to water slide, so essentially unusable for adults. OVERALL: Ship is OK, to many people for my liking. Think it would have been much more enjoyable with less people on board...so perhaps dont go over a major holiday? Hearsay, but many people we overheard say boat was way too crowded. Which made getting to shows and dinner a challenge/race every night...something you dont want to have to do on vacation. Would I go again on this cruise- NO. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Lines, lines, and more lines. Compared to other cruises I have been on, this vessel seemed grossly understaffed and the ones that were there were poorly trained for the most part. A COMPLETE FAILURE (dare I say an EPIC FAILURE) of ... Read More
Lines, lines, and more lines. Compared to other cruises I have been on, this vessel seemed grossly understaffed and the ones that were there were poorly trained for the most part. A COMPLETE FAILURE (dare I say an EPIC FAILURE) of management. The food service was terrible. You got seated and waited for everything. Dinner took on average 1.5 to 2 hours with the food eventually coming out cold. The buffet ran out of food and didn't get replaced in any type of expeditious manner. Many people, including ourselves missed scheduled shows because of the very long waits. Excursions? Getting off the boat for our excursions was a nightmare when we had to meet in the theater as there was only one person directing groups off the boat and he became so overwhelmed that he just let off eveyone at one time. Close to 125 people easily. The real EPIC FAILURE though was that this was a problem from the very second we got to the port to get on the boat. Once on board the experience was made worse as no one from Norweigan seemed to care that service was drastically lacking and did nothing to improve any of it during the full 7 days. We will NEVER cruise with Norweigan again. Not worth the risk to get on a boat where the crusie staff is just not interested. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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