My review of the December Epic cruise:
FOOD - Most of the restaurants (except I was disappointed in O'Sheehan's - terrible food!!!) served very good food. Although, I was disappointed at times because the food wasn't ... Read More
My review of the December Epic cruise:
FOOD - Most of the restaurants (except I was disappointed in O'Sheehan's - terrible food!!!) served very good food. Although, I was disappointed at times because the food wasn't served as hot as expected. In general the serving staff at the restaurants were great. I especially liked the dinner in The Manhattan Room and the breakfasts at Taste. The Garden Cafe buffet was "tolerable" but left much to be desired since I lot of the food was pre-prepared. I saw them dump reconstituted eggs from a carton and nearly vomited!.
DRINKS: The bars were very good and so many! I was on the "unlimited beverage package" (got a real deal on it!). I'm not a big drinker but to be able to have a mimosa at breakfast, a margarita at lunch (and on the upper deck) and wine at dinner (even one or two at the dance party) and know that I'm not paying any extra WAS GREAT! I also was impressed that the bartenders made strong drinks. And if I asked for extra alcohol (tequila, vodka, rum) the bartender didn't hold back!
ENTERTAINMENT: The shows I saw were anywhere from "very good" to "great." My two favorites were "Burn The Floor" (unbelievable dance moves) and "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." I saw "Priscilla" on Broadway (NYC) and the show on the Epic was just as good. I thought they might do a shortened version but they didn't! I later saw a couple of the lead actors up on the sunning deck and told them how well they did. He was very polite and humble, saying thank you... then asked me what kind of drink I had. Chatting, friendly and not caught up in himself. The magician, Christian Miro, was good, too... but I'm not much of a magic guy.
CABIN: I've already written below what I think of the solo cabins - WONDERFUL IDEA. In addition to great price (for a single man like me) I would add that having the solo cabins in a special locked area is a wonderful thing. We "solos" had our own lounge, bar/bartender, coffee machine (espresso was GREAT) and our own "coordinator/concierge". It makes it so much easier to meet others that way. Many times small groups of people would be sitting together drinking coffee or a drink and talking. On my last cruise (2014) I met several people that I had a great time with. My disappointment this time was that the "coordinator" was not as good as the one in 2014. He did not put any great effort in making sure we were getting acquainted, like the guy in 2014 who was SUPER. I was highly disappointed that this time they did not offer the option of signing up on a list for going out to dinner the next night. This was one of the major reasons why some of us "clicked" on the last cruise. When asked this time, the coordinator said, "We don't do that anymore!" Very disappointing!!!
SHORE EXCURSIONS: The two I went on (The Caves/Baths at Virgin Gorda & The Tiki glass bottom boat trip in St. Thomas) were well worth it. I especially had fun on the Tiki. Great guys as crew and a wonderful time at the private beach. Unfortunately, I was too sunburned to get off at Great Stirrup Cay but I hear from others it was "the best" place of the whole trip.
ONBOARD EXPERIENCE: Yes, the ship is big but I was able to navigate the elevators and stairs well. The only part I did not like was the casino area. Very noisy and smoke filled. I really couldn't believe that they allow for smoking onboard the ship!
EMBARKING/DEBARKING: Although there were long lines (I hate lines!!!) they moved fast. I think making a reservation time for boarding is a very good idea. That, more than the exiting, was done very efficiently.
PORT CANAVERAL: I really liked the experience in Cocoa Beach (stayed overnight because I always go a day early in case delay in flight) was very good. The Marriott Courtyard had a great deal for one night stay PLUS transportation (only $40 for round trip to Orlando airport). I give kudos to Cocoa Beach Shuttle (used by several hotels) for their great drivers and on-time schedule. I was picked up at airport within minutes and, once back to Port Canaveral, the van was waiting for us within minutes.
In general, I think the Norwegian Line is great! Clean, efficient and cost effective for a single guy like me. I had a great time except for the weather in the first couple of days. But that's not Norwegian's fault. And, of course, I could have done without the sunburn (I feel asleep on the sunning deck). All in all: A VERY NICE TRIP! Read Less