55 San Juan to Caribbean - All Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for it's Southern Caribbean stops. It's a very big ship and with that are challenges different than other cruise ships. From the start, things were weird. We had 11 people in 4 cabins working with an NCL ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's Southern Caribbean stops. It's a very big ship and with that are challenges different than other cruise ships. From the start, things were weird. We had 11 people in 4 cabins working with an NCL agent to reserve. We saw that friends and family travel free - not so much. We understand that there's a per person fee, but we found that to get 4 people in a room, we had to upgrade to a family room and the cost difference nearly used up all of the "free" for our 2 people. You can get a glass of wine with your drink package, but don't get a bottle - that's not covered. We were told that, when we called to make a reservation before embarking, the $50/$100 per room is applied, as opposed to making the reservation on-line. Not so. We had to pay the full price for each excursion and the Bonus was applied only after the excursion was taken. A letter explaining this was provided on day 3. This meant that my family who budgeted based on the reduced rate had their Credit Cards rejected because they did not have enough in that account to cover the full price and had to come up with $300 cash for their account. It all resolved by the end of the cruise, but having the information before hand would have helped. The cabin setup is just weird and cramped. There are actually many storage areas, under couch, in wall cabinets...so take time to find them all. Still, even with the bunk up, on the family floor 13, it's a very very cramped area. With the bunks down, movement is nearly impossible, with the bunk ladder in place, movement was impossible. Food was not as good as on other NCL ships - even in specialty restaurants, much of the food was dry and overcooked or either bland or SPICY. Note that there is only 1 menu for children (the same at all restaurants) and using that is free but if your child is bored with PBJ, Hotdog, tenders or burger and wants some of the specialty items from adult menus, you get to pay for that food ala cart. Knowing this ahead of time would have made a difference in our planning. Service at restaurants was often slow or missing or crazy. My 7 year old order came out, in total, before even our appetizers arrived. One of us missed dinner to go with her once she was done - since there was then nothing for her at that restaurant. At Moderno, a drinking glass broke. A waiter picked up the big piece but left the mess and the rest of the glass on the table. We never saw him again. Teppanyaki was kind of fun, but so loud. Only one section of the Cafe and O'Sheehans were open late night/all night. Spice H2O was a total bore - even before the rain on White night - there was virtually nothing happening. The setup at that location was crazy. Stadium seating surround the pool turned dance floor - so adults were on display when swimming. Getting to the Sports area meant kids had to go through Spice - despite big signs saying "must be 18". The Spider slide was for kids over 42" and under 120# and was broken. The sports deck is obviously under used. Climbing wall needs some organization. The Repel site is not used. The smaller climbing walls were not used. My 7 year old made it to ring a bell and then froze and for nearly 20 minutes clung to the wall - in tears. One crew member finally got her to let go and slowly slid her down, but we couldn't figure out why someone didn't go up and get her. Splash for my 7 year old was so bad she didn't want to go. With more boys than girls - the special events turned into high energy gym for kids - no fashion show, no paparazzi. Bliss music was so loud (guess that means high energy) we couldn't talk and it's too loud to dance. Entertainment was slightly different than we found on other ships, but essentially the same shows with different performers; worth seeing once but not more. Neighbors openly smoked in their cabin. When they didn't stop we complained but nothing was done until we were able to prove that they were actively smoking by staying in our cabin until they smoked and then called. The odor was so obvious that the steward " should have" reported. Trip hazards exist on several stair landings. These we reported but none were repaired and no warnings or closings were provided. Elevators on our floor had 2 broken and once set of buttons broken. Waits were often very long. While the music deckside was fun, the fun ended at 10 or so. On other cruises, the fun competitions mid-ship were packed - not so much. Bars had few common drinks, so finding one we liked required going to back to only that bar. Excursion team was great. Excursion experience - not so much. Several NCL excursions were not as advertised. Moderate effort "Touch the Piton" was a walk through a garden - with a few steps. Moderate "Virgin Baths" received warnings that the lines were long and if you didn't get to the baths before it was time to leave, no refund is provided. Pirate ship didn't have planks to walks, nor cannons to shoot. Some snorkeling had fish and turtles because they feed them when we were out. Others didn't feed - but still saw creatures. Descriptions did not define their plan. Some snorkeling crews provided boundaries with what to expect within each, other held us tightly packed in one area. 20 days before we left, we get the letter telling us to get notarized signature from both parents for our granddaughter. No explanation in the letter or from reservation staff for how to handle it with her missing mom, but most of the service group was very friendly, quick and helpful. We did have trouble leaving the ship on 3 occasions because neither mom nor dad were with us. Took a while to resolve even though we explained that all approvals and authorizations, including temporary power of attorney were on file with this ship. Once, they didn't want to let her off the ship. Embarkment and disembarkment were smooth. Crew was in the right places, helped, directed, smiled, sang. All in all, though the cruise had some wonderful moments and we had a generally great time, we won't be going back because the food, entertainment and much of the crew were not good or fun. Certainly don't want to see the same things, again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise for its itinerary, many nice good ports. Food is pretty good, most of the people are nice. This is a pretty large ship but it’s like being in a marathon wherever you go. I like cruising for the nighttime options, you ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary, many nice good ports. Food is pretty good, most of the people are nice. This is a pretty large ship but it’s like being in a marathon wherever you go. I like cruising for the nighttime options, you can usually walk around to different bars and shows throughout the evening and find what you like, not here, everything is packed, nowhere to sit or watch a show unless it's on deck at night or maybe get lucky once in a while, mostly standing room only, if that. Over 4000 people on our boat, you need reservations for everything except the main dining room if you get there before 6pm, food is really good. Specialty restaurants and main shows are mostly sold out before the cruise starts. You’re not allowed to bring water on board but can buy a case for $53 plus 20% tip. Well drinks average $11-$13 each. Internet is really expensive compared to other lines, crazy! There is a 20% tip added to everything on board and a $15 daily service fee per person, the highest of the major lines that I have seen. Deck space and chairs are near impossible to find if you don’t get outside early. Our cruise had a Latin theme with Latin music and Latin subtitles on the movies even though the passengers were 95% Caucasian from Canada. You can bring wine onboard the first day but are charged a $15 corkage fee even if it’s consumed in your cabin. Today was the last straw when I returned back to the ship with my sealed $$$water bottle that I bought from the ship and wasn’t allowed to bring back on. I will never cruise on Norwegian again, absolutely worst value of any of the 15 ships I’ve sailed, I can’t state enough how how disappointed I am in this vacation!. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this for the 11 day itinerary with only one sea day. I was very disappointed in the food. We were parked next to carnival on a couple of days. I asked them if they still got shrimp cocktails as appetizers and a steak lobster ... Read More
We chose this for the 11 day itinerary with only one sea day. I was very disappointed in the food. We were parked next to carnival on a couple of days. I asked them if they still got shrimp cocktails as appetizers and a steak lobster dinner. Yes they did. I never saw one shrimp cocktail or any lobster. They had one night with salmon. We did not pay the extra 39 pp for the up charge restaurants. We did try the Chinese once. Decent spring rolls but could not eat the rest. O Sheehan’s was okay but portions very small. I ordered one mudslide for $12 plus tip. It tasted like a slurpee from 711. Every activity was overcrowded and not enough seats. The atrium was full 40 minutes before deal or no deal. The movie screen at night was nice but the chairs get put away. No place to sit. I will go back to an all inclusive hotel anywhere. This experience left us with no desire to repeat. Husband lost 2 pounds. We missed the washers for customers. Norwegian will do a laundry bag for $20 and return it 3 nights later. The pools were like oversized bathtubs. 3 of them for 4100 people. Room key didn’t work. Had to stand in a long line to replace it. Coffee machines always empty. Unorganized lines to get off ships on several days. Felt like cattle being herded. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I are very experienced with over 25 cruises. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise very much and would recommend it noting the below issues. Pros * variety and quality of on board musical entertainment. Also, many different ... Read More
My wife and I are very experienced with over 25 cruises. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise very much and would recommend it noting the below issues. Pros * variety and quality of on board musical entertainment. Also, many different locations. * Very positive staff attitudes. Almost everyone greets you with a smile. * Ship is kept very clean - everywhere we could see. * Great itinerary. Wide variety of experiences in many different ports. Cons * Ship needs updating - old furniture, etc. * very funky/different balcony stateroom layout (be warned). * A large number of the gym equipment is in need of repair or replacement. * Main pool area is greatly undersized - one small bar and limited open area. Wide number and variety of ports was the key point in why we selected this cruise, but we have been on the Epic twice before and enjoy this ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because of the 11 day southern Caribbean itinerary which was nice. The good, the ports were nice, the service was good and the drink package did include most everything we wanted to drink. There were a lot of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the 11 day southern Caribbean itinerary which was nice. The good, the ports were nice, the service was good and the drink package did include most everything we wanted to drink. There were a lot of bars and normally we only waited 5 minutes or so to get service. The entertainment was good and the variety was nice. Burn the floor was exiting and sexy. Priscilla queen of the desert was different however the singing and dancing was good. We really liked the 4 Blue band and there was a piano bar, acoustic music and a couple of other 2 person bands. The food was good, most of the salads and vegies were fresh. The best was O`sheehans 24 hour restaurant. Very good wings and the services was good. The specialty dining was good for the most part however if it wasn`t included with your cruise the price was $75 dollars or more per person. The bad, getting on and off the ship was a pain. Not enough gang planks and only 1 or 2 metal detector lines open when getting back on the ship. When you had a ship excursion they would heard you into the Epic theater and have you sit anywhere. Then they would call 2 to 4 groups and people and folks would be walking into each other to go down the steps and end up in a line with other folks trying to get off the ship. Instead of having people sit in color coded areas and calling them together they would just call out different numbers and most folks would just go since it was so crowded. We found it was easier and safer to just leave the ship and find the excursion line on the pier. Once you found your excursion group they normally had you stand in the sun for 30 minutes waiting to board your bus, boat or shuttle. The sun is very strong and you could get sun burnt while waiting. We had 9 ports of call and it seemed like every time we would return to the ship most of the food areas were closed. The ones that were open were packed since the ship only carries 4100 customers! The lay out of the staterooms is very odd. When you walk into your room the shower is on 1 side and the toilet on the other. The sink is in the room next to the bed and its so small you can`t wash your hands without making a mess or hitting the fawcett. We had a mini suite, I can`t imagine what a regular cabin would have been like. The ugly, we were on the ship during the Superbowl. They did make it festive with viewing areas with snack food. The Casino did block pools which always makes the score interesting except for how Norwegian did them. The ship took 20% of the money without giving anything away or having anything to lose! There were 6 pools at $20 per block times 100 and the ship STOLE 20%! The ship STOLE $2,400 before the game was even played! I complained to the Casino manager and all she did was smile and mumble in foreign language. The worse, one night my wife and I were cleaning up to go to dinner and she was dressing in the space between the shower and toilet. A ship Stewart entered our room without knocking on the door! I also had do not disturb indicated outside our door. He said he was there to pick up laundry which we didn`t request and I said what are you doing in here and he turned and took off without saying anything. I did file a complaint and the deck master was very sorry however this was not except able. The funny thing is, this was our 3rd Norwegian cruise and it was the best of the 3. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Why when booking the Air-Included Package would they place the "two" individuals traveling together in different rows and completely apart from one another on the airplane? This situation was "only" corrected by ... Read More
Why when booking the Air-Included Package would they place the "two" individuals traveling together in different rows and completely apart from one another on the airplane? This situation was "only" corrected by contacting the airlines and paying EXTRA for adjoining seats... WHY? WHY? WHY? After the original booking, I noticed on-line that the "exact" same cruise that I had booked, offered a 'reduced' price? Upon a lengthy discussion with NCL, I was "given" an up-grade. This room ended-up being a balcony room, as was originally booked. The room was near the end of a dead-end hall and on the 14th deck. As mentioned in a previous review, our telephone light, likewise, 'flashed' for the entire eleven days! I basically have NO COMPLAINTS in regards to our room steward or any of the other ship's personnel. The embarkation a-l-w-a-y-s seems to be a disaster due to 4,000 individuals on-board! WHY cannot NCL 'stagger' its embarkation with a number or color-coded tags? This appears to work well for the airlines. However, this needs to be enforced! The Internet package, which was included, was most confusing! After several attempts to talk with the Internet 'specialist,' it still did not work! Thankfully, we did not purchase a larger package! The waits for the elevator were e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y long and m-a-n-y times, they exceeded the weight limit! Under the circumstances considering a possible Norovirus out-break and the new 'scare' of the Coronavirus, the foods in the buffet should have been served by the crew from day 'one!' Instead, the first few days, the foods were self-serve and without any explanation this changed to the food being served by the staff. This continued until the last day and it was switched-back to like it was in the first few days. Did this mean that NCL no longer cared about its passengers once they were about to leave the ship? As for the entertainment, it left a lot to be desired, in comparison to our other cruises with NCL. For one thing, the sixteen-year-age-limit certainly should have been eighteen-years-of-age! Several of the shows appeared to cater more to the minority of the passengers than to the majority! 'Burn The Floor' was more than exceptional! While we will, no doubt, choose to travel with NCL in the future, we will be more selective in our choice of ships and entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our first cruise ever for our 30th anniversary and I cannot find enough words to say how much we loved it. Yes, I read reviews prior to our leaving and did have a knot in my stomach before stepping onto the Epic since most of the ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever for our 30th anniversary and I cannot find enough words to say how much we loved it. Yes, I read reviews prior to our leaving and did have a knot in my stomach before stepping onto the Epic since most of the reviews were bad. I am not an experienced cruiser and cannot tell you if this cruise was better than any other one, but I have traveled for most part of my life and I can tell you why our experience on Epic made us fall in love with cruising. We went on the cruise that started out of San Juan on January 26th, 11 days to the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. I do follow instructions given and our instructions were to get to the ship between 2:30 - 3:00 pm, which we did and the embarkation went so smoothly that we were impressed - no line ups whatsoever! Cannot imagine that any other ship could have done a better or smoother process. We have booked inside cabin and I did know the layout of washroom beforehand. We were more than fine with it, kind of even liked that if one of us was taking a shower, the other did not have to wait to use washroom if needed and even found that it made for faster getting out in the mornings. Size of room and storage was more than enough for us, we unpacked on first day and never had any problem with storage - we had two big suitcases and two carry -ons and everything fit perfectly. Entertainment we loved - Burn the Floor was our favorite show, went to see it twice, Howl at the Moon we went to see 3 times - Rhonda blew our minds with her singing and Priscilla was amazing and received standing ovation from public who obviously liked it very much. We loved parties on deck, our favorites were the Glow and Sail Away party and the team that made sure everybody was dancing and having a great time was great as well - shout out to Gorana and Patricia, both are amazing and genuinely nice and fun! Cirque Dreams got overbooked on the night we have booked it and it was due to computer glitch. We have paid for standard seats and when we were told about overbooking, all of us were offered premium seats for the next night and we even got a refund! I was more than happy about it. Performance was amazing and it is great to see such artists in a smaller venue, it makes the experience even more memorable. I had Thermal Spa pass and enjoyed it immensely - highly recommend. Many of bad reviews were mentioning poor customer service, I have absolutely nothing bad to say, everybody we dealt with had a smile on their face and was very nice and polite to us. Our steward Conrad was amazing and very helpful. We ate breakfast in the buffet every day and we found we were quickly in and out and had no problem finding a lot of options we liked. For dinner I preferred dining rooms to buffet, found that food was prepared better and loved options that we had - and yes, loved being served on. We did not find that service was that slow, I think it was faster service in Taste dining room than in Manhattan and had some really good food there - my favorite was the red snapper. The only specialty restaurant we went to was Tepanyaki and it was fun and very pleasant and tasty experience. Beef Tenderloin was the star and the chef was funny and professional and made it our favorite meal of the whole cruise. Destinations were the best possible if you want to see the Caribbean. Favorite beach destinations were Aruba and Antigua, favorite excursion (booked privately) was in Barbados - Harrison's Cave, Hunte's Gardens and Bathsheba Beach. When I am on vacation, I value my time and my experiences and this experience could not have been better. I had fun every single day and would go back in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We just returned from our 11 day cruise on the Epic, January 26-February 6, 2020. Had a great time with some great friends! Here is my review. Embarkation/Disembarkin in San Juan: Quick, easy and painless! Arrived at 11:45 a.m. Onboard ... Read More
We just returned from our 11 day cruise on the Epic, January 26-February 6, 2020. Had a great time with some great friends! Here is my review. Embarkation/Disembarkin in San Juan: Quick, easy and painless! Arrived at 11:45 a.m. Onboard at 12:15. Disembarking equally painless. Ship: Big ship probably due for dry dock for some upgrading and cleaning! Hallway on Deck 9 to our cabin smelled awful. Pool bar and entertainment area of pool deck was great but way too small and grossly warm swimming pools. Would have been disappointing if we had more than one day at sea. Overall, did not find elevators to be a problem as many reviewers have mentioned. Plenty of bars with differing themes. Service was great. Entertainment: Entertainment venues were “cozy” and so small we missed some shows because we did not have the patience to wait 30-60 minutes for a seat. Beatles show in the main Epic theater was great. The nightly Atrium shows with audience participation were fun…especially the Dance show. Some of our friends won decent $ in the casino. Loved the bands on the pool deck. Food: Taste dining room dinner food and service was average for a cruise. Also enjoyed lunch one day in this dining room which was awesome. LeBistro had great food and service. Cagney’s service was lacking with long delays between seating and courses. T-Bone steak there was amazing though. Teppanyaki was fun fun fun with great food! We went twice! Buffet was average. O’Sheehans was good. Itinerary: By far this was the best part! Aruba: We did the Reflexions Beach Bar. Great beach and our group had a blast in the Swim-up bar, dancing in the pool to rocking music. Curacao: We went to the Renaissance hotel on a $40 day pass which included chair and umbrella as well as $20 food/drink credit per person. You have to see this “man-made” beach to believe it. On the second floor, complete with a large beach and an infinity pool leading out to the open ocean! A very short walk from the ship. BonAire: Snorkeling with the Woodwind catamaran excursion. Amazing! Best snorkeling ever! Wonderful small group guide, drinks and delicious lunch. St. Lucia: We arrived late to the island and were greatly delayed during disembarkation with long slow lines off the ship. We did a tour to the mud baths, waterfall and beach. Day was a bit disappointing due to the delayed disembarkation and boat troubles on the way out to the baths. Glad to have seen the mud baths and waterfall but would not go again or recommend. Very rushed and the sulfur smell stayed with us through the next day. Beautiful island though next time I will just find a beach. Barbados: Carlise Bay Beach. Best beach. Turquoise water with waves and a family of sea turtles playing in the surf that you could watch from the shore. Cheap local beer and great food at Penny Diver’s Bistro. Skip the crowds at Boatyard and make your way down here. Antigua: Another beautiful beach! Ffryes Beach. Sit near the Dennis Cocktail Bar for live music. St. Kitts: Breathtaking views along winding roads. There is a spot you can see both the Atlantic and Caribbean oceans on either side of a mountain. Worth the drive alone but got a bonus from our day at Cockleshell beach with it’s quaint little beach shack bars. Tortola: Took a beach and snorkel tour with Kurula tours on the Kurula Too motor boat. Two great snorkel stops then off to Jost Van Dyke and the famous Soggy Dollar for a few hours. My favorite day! Josh and Johnny were great with Kurula and the drinks were bottomless! St. Thomas Megans Bay: A bit disappointing but maybe because we have been there several times before. Overpriced, unfriendly locals and overcrowded. Stopped at the Doghouse Pub near cruise terminal on way back. Great food, drink and appetizers. Overall, a dream vacation! So sorry it is over! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We (2pp in 30s) cruised with carnival before. We are heavy travelers. We enjoy dining very much. I will compare Norwegian with my past carnival, because Norwegian was more expensive so I expected more with my money, but we were ... Read More
We (2pp in 30s) cruised with carnival before. We are heavy travelers. We enjoy dining very much. I will compare Norwegian with my past carnival, because Norwegian was more expensive so I expected more with my money, but we were disappointed. We did not purchase special dining so this review is for people who would think the same. Spend min money on boat, max money on shore excursions. Start with bad:(if you think you are okay with these, this cruise is for you) 1. Room is small. (Too small, if you want to go with your kids, Don't, you will hate yourself) We had at B2 family room category(but we are 2pp). If you put luggage on sofa, there is no place to eat or sit in the room. The bed is short too, 180cm tall person had to squeeze to the top otherwise feet is out. The sink is a joke, wash face or hands, water everywhere, because its on the counter beside the TV. (Check room photo). Balcony chair cannot be layed down, sitting position only. Carnival room was big enough to have sofa with a mini table in the room so you can have friends over and sit and chat. 2. Dining is bad. (Again for Complimentary, we didn't felt it would justify to spend 90 usd to have some salty shrimps) The majority people on boat were white elders around 60-70s. Norwegian must be fooling those poor elders. The food tasted salty. Reason? Salty food needs a drink, so they can sell alcohol. A. Buffet- they have different themes of buffet every night, but that just the names. The dishes were almost the same every night and selection is limited. No shrimp for all 11 nights. 1 thin fish dish per night. Carnival buffet is what the main dining has for the night (except lobster) but just not pretty. Carnival had shrimps and more fish dishes and more meats on buffet. B. Main dining- bread was cold!!!!! same classic main meals, only change chef special every night, but salty salty salty. (Talked to crew members, they said when they sometimes had leftovers, salty too). No shrimps no lobster for 11 night!!!! I couldn't believe it, carnival menus changes every night and also had 2 nights with lobster and every night there is a shrimp dish and all complementary. Norwegian wants you to pay pay pay. C. Shanghai dining (included). This Chinese restaurant taste is just bad. We travelled alot and sometimes we might have a higher expectations on food, but we met some Korean folks(also from Toronto), they said the same thing. They said the same thing. D. Stateroom delivery (24hr), not free either. All delivery comes with 9.95 service charge and gratuity. Carnival is free. E. Alcohol are expensive. I know people usually purchase their drink package (700 CAD for 2 for the cruise) but that only covers drinks below 10? (I could be wrong but there is a limit), gratuity 20% extra. 3. Pool deck smoking area. Designated smoking area is right beside the pool (deck 15). Oh man, that smoke is blowing everywhere if you want to spend sometime beside the pool. Bad for non-smokers and kids. 4. Cruise director (Clay). This guy had no passion on announcement. I mean he literally was reading off the script. Clay also disappeared after day 5? Never heard him again. You be the judge on this one. 5. App function limited. The app does not show any dining menu and booking any shows must be done as soon as you are on boat day 1, otherwise is all booked. 6. Pay pay pay everywhere. Even with the drink package and dining package, the pricing structure will ensure people have a big bill at the end. Free food sucks so you need to spend money on expensive special dining, and you found food are salty so you want a drink other than water. $$$$$$$ way to go Norwegian. 7. Racism against Chinese. Recent announcement from Norwegian said anyone holding Chinese honkong Macau passport not allowed on boat (due to coronavirus), but this includes the crew members too!!!!! A. Decision not fact based. Holding Chinese passport does not equal contracting virus. Norwegian thinks passport contains virus, not the people travelled to China. Some permeant resident of Canada never been to China for years were banned. B. Some crew members were chinese on this cruise. They were banned too. they signed and were serving their 8 month contract with Norwegian and now they are banned? Those guys never left the boat for 5 months and also worked so hard every day (we all see that). Now you turn your back on your employee just because they hold a certain passport? Unreal. Now, if you thinks above were acceptable and I will discuss the good. 1. Room sound proof was good. Pretty quite throughout the cruise. Hardly hear neighbors. 2. The stops were good. This was the main reason we chose this cruise. Aruba Bonaire and Curacao. 9 stops for 11 nights. 3. Main dining has 2 person tables. So you don't have to sit with strangers. More private. 4. Boat is Morden and clean. 5. Nice gym. All sorts of equipment and cleaned every day. Conclusion. We are not going to sail with Norwegian ever again, because the food taste bad and don't want to starve again. The way they treat their employees during tough time sickens us. Of course I am sure Norwegian doesn't care about us. Their target customers are old elders who cannot eat alot or eat well and can be easily fooled. I was counting days when I was on the boat. If you are 30s-50s, take carnival. People see carnival as party boat, but if you stay at that spacious balcony, no noise at all. Plus, you will eat well and healthy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We always choose cruise based on itinerary and we loved this southern Caribbean sailing. We had sailed the Epic several years ago so we knew her flaws. There is a reason there is no Epic two. Despite what we had read on CC before we left ... Read More
We always choose cruise based on itinerary and we loved this southern Caribbean sailing. We had sailed the Epic several years ago so we knew her flaws. There is a reason there is no Epic two. Despite what we had read on CC before we left staff was excellent across the board. Our mid ship balcony was what we remembered from prior cruise. Enough has been already stated about the design and we agree the layout is awkward. However, plenty of storage and hot water. Balcony is a little larger than many newer ships so that is a plus since we use it often. We had a five meal specialty restaurant package and with our platinum benefits ate most dinners in these restaurants. Moderno is definitely under staffed and it really shows up with the initial rush upon opening. Staff could not work any harder, but there is only so much you can do. The manager at Moderno is very hands on and really went over and above to deal with some of the issues we experienced. We actually never complained but he was aware of what we were experiencing. Cagney’s was great as well as Le Bistro. We eat very little red meat at home, but enjoyed the quality and service at these two restaurants Tappenyaki was okay, it was 40 years since our last experience at such a restaurant. We enjoyed it, but that will hold us for awhile. Shanghai noodle bar is usually very good and we frequent it often on other ships. However, except for spring rolls everything was lukewarm at best. Emmanuel the manager insisted we return and he would make it better, but we ran out of time. We cruised three times in the past year and our buffets on Princess and Royal were superior. NCL is slipping with fresh fruit and veggies compared with other lines, as well as variety of items besides the usual sweets and meats. The comedians were great, so of best we’ve seen, but on an 11 night cruise they should have been rotated out and new ones brought onboard halfway through. We did not do production shows. Lounge singers were typical. We frequented the Martini bar nightly and my wife rated martinis as best ever. Bar staff was great and bartenders put on some amazing shows mixing a pyramid of six different cocktails at once and each one was perfect without a drop spilled. Like many others we had imultiple issues with our room keys not working and spent too long in line getting new keys. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Epic review This was our 3rd cruise with 3 different lines this past year. We have been on approx 14 cruises, 4 different lines. I decided on this cruise mainly for the itinerary. We live in Minnesota so leaving from San Juan ... Read More
Epic review This was our 3rd cruise with 3 different lines this past year. We have been on approx 14 cruises, 4 different lines. I decided on this cruise mainly for the itinerary. We live in Minnesota so leaving from San Juan means warmth right from the start! We also had 2 cruise next certificates to use so NCL was our choice. 11 day Southern Caribbean, 9 islands. I was a little concerned about the Epic and all the bad reviews but we are pretty easy going cruisers so we booked. We stayed at the Hilton Caribe the night before and headed to the ship around 12:15. We had debated on spending the day at the Hilton and heading to ship at around 4 but in the end we just headed over. They are starting to have staggered check ins which have obviously worked, because once we were through security we walked right up, registered, got our room keys, and then right on to ship. We are Platinum so we didn’t have to choose a checkin time but they did send letter and luggage tags out that recommended 1:00 arrival. We had lunch at o’Sheehan’s (Excellent) and had a couple drinks before our room was ready. On our way to our room we saw our suitcases in the hallway so we grabbed them and took them with us. We had balcony 10001, the most forward cabin that was a closed hull. We have never had a closed hull balcony before and i will not book one again. I love sitting and watching the ocean, I had to stand. Loved the forward cabin, we could look all the way forward. Cabin was tight but comfortable with tons of storage!!! There is a camouflaged drawer under sink, under couch and back of couch. The last day I even found storage above the bed. There were 2 closets and 4 drawers for the two of us. We are light packers so everything was 1/2 full or not used. I will go on record that I didn’t think we would mind the bathroom setup but we did in the end. I missed having an enclosed space to go to in the middle of the night that I could close the door and turn on the light. I was constantly trying to be quiet looking for cough drops and cold meds without turning on light. I had to be very prepared before bed! There is nowhere to store anything by toilet or shower area. Sink, counter and storage is on bedroom side of curtain. I had to retreat to the balcony during coughing spells, hopefully I didn’t wake up anyone else! We had 4 specialty dining package plus the two platinum. We ate at Cagney, moderno, 2 Le Bistro, la cucina, teppanyaki, sushi, Shanghai (free), 1 Manhattan (free), 1 buffet for our evening meals and a Super Bowl buffet in h2o area. We only had 1 meal that was not up to par. In the manhattan room I had a chicken pineapple skewer and the chicken was over marinated and had broken down to a tofu consistency. Yuck. The rest of my meal and my husbands steak was very good. Our last meal in Le Bistro was a little heavy on the salt which was not the case the first visit. To all the people who say the pizza is bad I disagree!! We loved it. Crispy crust, great pepperoni and cheese that stays melted. Breakfasts is our favorite meal of the day. We had a couple in taste and the rest we ate in the great outdoors. Everything was delicious. We always timed our breakfast around docking. We either ate early or after everyone went ashore. We never had to wait for an omelet station. I love NCL’s set up for freestyle dining. On celebrity and carnival a table for two is really only 3 inches away from the next table for two and so on!! So you rarely ever are not talking to the tables with you because that would be very uncomfortable or rude. On NCL, they are set up like regular restaurants that have tables staggered throughout the dinning room. We had excellent service the whole trip the only crabby or whiny people were some guests. 1 lady was irate that she had to attend the safety drill. She announced that this is her 44th cruise. We went to the Cavern club the first night to hear the Beatles group and encountered a lady leaving upset because there were no seats available. She was mad and stated “ first night of the next 10 of not getting a chair”. Seriously she had made up her mind before even stepping on the ship that it wasn’t going to work for her! Sad. We found a spot to stand and had a great time. People started dancing and it was a great atmosphere. We met some amazing people during our week! We love dueling pianos. They were very good and you could always find chairs if you waited a couple minutes. People come and go. Music around the ship was good but we usually find a bar that has music we cant miss. We did not find that on this ship. Had I been feeling better I might have a different opinion but we were in bed pretty early most nights! We found loungers in the shade everyday. Only one day did we have to go aft of the pool next to rock climbing wall. We love the activity of the pool area. NCL is unique in that you cannot have your drink while you’re in the pool. Bummer! But after thinking about it further it makes sense. People come and go out of the pool area more frequently when they have to go to their drink , when they have it in the pool they stay there all day Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose those cruise because of the itinerary. I was worried going on a ship this size, and my worries were evident during our 10 day cruise. The food was not good. We found ourselves dumping the entire salt shaker on our dishes ... Read More
I chose those cruise because of the itinerary. I was worried going on a ship this size, and my worries were evident during our 10 day cruise. The food was not good. We found ourselves dumping the entire salt shaker on our dishes morning, noon and night. Breakfasts were often times cold and the eggs like soup. There were never enough seats and on days we came back on board a little After lunch time the back up on the deck buffet wrapped around the pool deck. The service - down right awful. Employees would not acknowledge us when on the pool decks - We were on the upper level looking over the pool, and the bar servers we saw maybe 4 times the ENTIRE cruise. That is not exaggerating either. The one server got our order wrong 4 times and we waited an hour for 2 diets Pepsi’s. We purchased the soda package, but still charged us numerous times! For whatever reason. Our room attendant was not helpful and some of them were just down right rude and not seeming to want to help. There was a vacations to go crowd on the ship that were obnoxious and thoughts they ran the ship, and wanted everyone to cater to them. The Cabin - hated the layout. The toilet and shower were behind a curtain instead of in a room. Which was great for ventilation, but the sliding door hiding the toilet was SO cramped that we ended up using restrooms around the ship. And only used the room bathroom when we absolutely had too. I will never do another huge ship after the experience on the Epic. I did the Pride of America in March and even though it was an older ship, experience was way better. Entertainment was decent but didn’t have enough variety for. 10 days cruise, things got repeated day after day. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our second time on the EPIC and eight NCL Cruise.Both of us are avid cruisers who choose itineraries rather that the ship when making a decision to cruise . We flew into San Jaun two nights prior to embarkation and so glad we did. ... Read More
This was our second time on the EPIC and eight NCL Cruise.Both of us are avid cruisers who choose itineraries rather that the ship when making a decision to cruise . We flew into San Jaun two nights prior to embarkation and so glad we did. Old San Juan was a wonderful place to explore prior to the cruise. Both embarkation and disembarkation was the smoothest we have seen in all our cruises. One of the things we do prior to a cruise is to research and plan ahead, it makes for a much better vacation and the tips from other cruisers have really assisted us when making choices especially when it comes to ports. Since this was our second time on the ship we knew exactly what to expect. Once on the ship we headed to the Garden Cafe Buffet, collected our meal and a glass of wine and headed downstairs to La Cucina for a quiet lunch.They keep La Cucina open as a seating area for breakfast and lunch and its a quiet spot (most times :).A great way to relax while waiting for our room to be ready. Having a carry on with our bathing suits was also a plus as we were able to head to the Mandera Spa and enjoy the thermal suite. We booked a SPA MINI SUITE on the 14th deck and this was included in the package . This is always a high light of our NCL Cruises. The cabin was spacious with a lot of storage. Some people had concerns with the washroom facilities in the cabin. My husband and I had none. Plenty of room in the toilet area. Large soaker tub and shower combo. There is something for everyone on the ship. Our favourite entertainment was the Beatles in the Cavern Club which we saw twice. You have to make sure you arrive early to get a seat. Burn the Floor was excellant. Shakers and the Whiskey Bar always had entertainment to enjoy prior to and following dinner. Can not say enough about the fantastic staff. Customer service was exceptional from Jonathon our room steward to Nyoman our bartender at Shakers and Furtoso Gonsalves restaurant manager at Cagneys who ensured that medium rare was medium rare. Speaking of dining : The BEST food we have ever had on NCL. We do miss the days of the Soufflé's but they raised the bar this cruise in every aspect. We had eight dining package meals. Cagneys, Bistro,La Cucina, Moderno Churrascaria. All were in our minds 5 star both in service ,presentation and taste. We ate in the Manhattan for the other two nights and they too were awesome. The buffet had everything you could ask for and more. Hubby enjoyed the omelette station. We did make our dinner reservations two months prior to the cruise so that we could plan our shows around the times. I mentioned we chose the ship because of the Ports and we were not disappointed and so glad we did our research, read reviews etc. and planned ahead. St. Kitts was one of our favourites as we booked a private tour. Brimstone Hill Park was so beautiful. Breath taking views and well worth the climb. Aruba was a beach day at Reflections Beach Resort. Bonaire was a snorkelling tour...awesome staff. We rented a car in Curacao and went to Shete Boka National Park and stopped at some beaches on the way. Breathtaking views. The city itself is a UNESCO world heritage city with its beautiful pastel buildings and rich history. In Bridgetown we shared a taxi with another couple and had a tour around the island. Tortola we had another beach day on Beef Island. St Thomas , we chose to do a walking tour around the port in the morning. It is known for its shops and did not disappoint. We enjoyed ourselves so much we are looking forward to another NCL Cruise on the Bliss next year. Already researching and planning as this one is 16 days . Lots to look forward too. HAPPY TRAVELS. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and we like to go somewhere warm after the holidays. We have been on the Epic many times before but after reading some of the reviews I must admit we were a bit apprehensive about this one. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and we like to go somewhere warm after the holidays. We have been on the Epic many times before but after reading some of the reviews I must admit we were a bit apprehensive about this one. People had been writing that the crew was not friendly and the service was terrible. We did not find this to be the case at all. The crew was very friendly and the service was very good. The waitstaff and bartenders in Shakers always had a smile and always stopped to say hi and call us by our names. I really think if you treat them with the respect they deserve you will always be treated well. We also found the waitstaff in all the restaurants to be friendly and attentive. Diogo and Monerose, Edwin,Edgar and Andres are only a few of the crew that need to be singled out. There were many others but I can't remember them all. We dined in Taste,Manhattan,Shanghai,O"Sheehans,Moderno,Teppanyaki,Cagneys and LeBistro and found the service to be attentive and the food was very good. We also had lunch at the buffet and have admit that was disappointing. I feel they need to improve the choice of food. I cannot comment on embarkation because we flew to Puerto Rico and didn't get on the ship until late afternoon and by that time we walked right on. We also had a tour at the end of the cruise. Since we have been on the Epic before we did not go to Priscilla and we wish they would change that show since it's been on the ship for so long. Burn the floor was very good but we've also seen that several times. As always the Beatles was the best show and they really get the audience going. My only comment is I wish they had more activities during the day. Not a lot going on. Our cabin was fine. We had a minisuite with plenty of storage. The Epic is an older ship and can use a bit of TLC but overall we found her to be clean and well cared for. We had a wonderful cruise and are going on the Epic again in April on their Transatlantic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise because we had 8 ports in 10 nights. Generally, I was very pleased with all the ports and the amount of time that we had at each of them. My only disappointment was that we did not have enough time in Bonaire. I would ... Read More
I chose this cruise because we had 8 ports in 10 nights. Generally, I was very pleased with all the ports and the amount of time that we had at each of them. My only disappointment was that we did not have enough time in Bonaire. I would have preferred that we spend all day there, and skipped St. Lucia and replace that with a sea day. The customer service on the ship was horrendous. This was my first time on Norwegian, and it will be my last because of the customer service. While my cabin attendant was very friendly, he did not speak English at all, so we had to communicate via notes. That worked out fine… He kept the cabin exactly as I liked it, but I really would have preferred being able to speak to each other. Also, no one greeted me when I got to my room the first night — which is completely different than any experience I’ve had on Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and celebrity. Norwegian makes you buy this disgusting boxed water, rather than selling plastic bottles. I realize that box water is more environmentally friendly, but the water tasted disgusting. Also, the majority of staff on the ship avoided talking with the passengers. This is in stark contrast to Royal Caribbean, where everyone who works on the ship is extremely friendly and goes out of their way to ensure you have a great time. This was a very impersonal cruise. I felt like no one on the ship cared about me or the experience I was having. In the Garden Cafe, Everything is self serve… No one brings you water or drinks. In the main dining rooms, the servers are completely uninterested in the passengers or doing their jobs. The phone Operator actually hung up on me purposely. The soap dispensers in the women’s restroom on the pool deck were always broken. While I really enjoyed the comedian Keon at headliners (I saw him 3 times), It seemed like the schedule kept changing and the other comedians never showed up. The live performances were all excellent…Burn the Floor, the magician, and the juggler. Food was mediocre everywhere, except in the Chinese restaurant, which was very good. There are very few quiet outdoor spaces to hang out. About 95% of the passengers are Caucasians in their 60s to 70s. I prefer to go on a more diverse cruise, meeting people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and ages. There was very little “fun.” The bands were poor, and there weren’t many people dancing. Things got pretty dead at night. I think Norwegian gives you a lot of value for your money, and that would be the primary reason to cruise on it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I read all the negative reviews prior to travelling and I was a little worried we had made a mistake, I took all the comments onboard and decided to make up my own mind and make the most of it.. I didn’t need to be worried at all we ... Read More
I read all the negative reviews prior to travelling and I was a little worried we had made a mistake, I took all the comments onboard and decided to make up my own mind and make the most of it.. I didn’t need to be worried at all we loved every minute. We had originally booked an aft facing balcony then decided to pay the difference after final payment and upgrade to Haven 2 bedroom suite again wondering if it would be worth the extra.... and wow it was we was blown away. We did spend a lot of time away from the Haven also and spoke to many people who was enjoying themselves I guess the Epic is a ship you either love or hate. We found the lifts could sometimes have a 5 minute wait but that never bothered us or we took the stairs. The vast majority of staff we encountered were friendly, we had drinks offered to us by the main pool by servers and never had a problem waiting for drinks or service. Yes it was busy at times but we knew this by booking a large ship. I was also expecting less open spaces as a lot of reviews have said the Epic doesn’t have many areas you can look out to sea but we had deck 15 from front to back, deck 7 the running track is next to the life boats but also has gaps you can look out of, also I don’t think many people knew about deck 18 opposite the posh club a door leads you out onto a vast open deck with loungers and sea views open to anyone but it was always quiet up there. Embarkation was a breeze from getting out of the taxi to boarding was 15 minutes as soon as we got out of the taxi they saw our priority tags and they took us through security, check in then to the haven lounge for refreshments, we was then taken upto the Haven given a tour and then taken to lunch whilst our room was getting ready. The room was ready by 1.30 and luggage dropped off not long after that. Our room was amazing definitely had the wow factor so much room for 2 adults and a toddler, both our butler and steward were outstanding. The food in the haven restaurant was on another level excellent every time and the staff again outstanding. Because the food was so good in the haven we did find the speciality restaurants not as good, we did eat in the garden cafe a few times and found so much choice, fresh and warm food. The Chinese we didn’t like not much choice and tasteless, osheehans was fine we just had a late night meal there once. Our child went to the kids club a few times and absolutely loved it, we enjoyed all the nightly entertainment especially the cirque dreams show. The casino area didn’t bother me we enjoyed walking through it and watching people win or lose, I’m not a smoker and I only smelt smoke twice. All I can say is this was our first NCL cruise and definitely won’t be our last Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
To be upfront we are Princess Cruisers but when our dear friends asked us to join them on this cruise we were more than happy to do so. Former Norwegian Cruiser myself I knew a bit of what to expect but I didn't recall my prior ... Read More
To be upfront we are Princess Cruisers but when our dear friends asked us to join them on this cruise we were more than happy to do so. Former Norwegian Cruiser myself I knew a bit of what to expect but I didn't recall my prior experiences being this poor. We like interior rooms so chose to book one on this cruise and were extremely disappointed in the room. With no real separate bathroom, it had one sink that was the size of a wet bar sink for the whole room. The toilet was incredibly loud and the shower whined when in use. As for the staff, few of them seemed to enjoy their job. We know they are under long contracts and work long hours but it seems Norwegian needs to treat their team members much better to ensure they are happy for the guests. This whole cruise seemed to nickle and dime us to death. Norwegian seems like the Spirit Airlines of the cruise world where everything was an upcharge. Yes at the beginning it was a really great deal but when you buy the highest drink package and are still charged for mini bar items this seems excessive. The O'Sheehans Bar service was absolutely horrible. Staff was unhappy and it took more than 30 mins for food to get delivered every time. The Volcanic Mud Bath Excursion was over priced, not accurately advertised and not worth the time. The guides were great but Norwegian needs to improve their communication a ton for everything including the excursions. This excursion is not for those with motion sickness as the 2.5 hour drive was winding, fast, and up high hills. The bath was crowded and muddy and requires water shoes. The location had no running water so restrooms were horrible and there was no where to shower after bath. DO NOT RECOMMEND this excursion at all. Not everything was bad. The staff at Maltings Whiskey Bar were outstanding!! Freddy, Christian, Aileen and the whole staff were fantastic. Always happy and with a smile ready to get your favorite beverage. The Casino Bartender, Renszi, was fabulous. We enjoyed chatting with him. Our room Steward, Ahmad, was incredible and very accommodating. The photographer, Aisara, was very professional and seemed to really enjoy her job. If not for these individuals the cruise would have been a complete bust. Will definitely go back to cruising with Princess from now on. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I am a Platinum Member with NCL and am struggling with what is wrong with them. I hope it was just the Epic, but I am not really sure as it may be fleet wide. This was the worst cruise I have ever experienced and it all centered around ... Read More
I am a Platinum Member with NCL and am struggling with what is wrong with them. I hope it was just the Epic, but I am not really sure as it may be fleet wide. This was the worst cruise I have ever experienced and it all centered around services paid for were not given and NO ONE at NCL was willing to address that they dropped the ball and fix the problem. We were traveling with NCL Air a day early to San Juan to the El Caribe Hilton. Which could've been great if I experienced it from more than a few hours of sleep. Due to weather we missed our connecting flight to San Juan, which was not NCL's fault. We had to arrive 12 hours late at 1am in the morning. I called NCL Air and the "Emergency" Help Line. Well NCL did not care. The Help line is only open during business hours Monday - Friday. Reread the last sentence and think what is wrong with that policy? I did get someone from NCL on the phone who argued with me about being picked up at the airport for the hotel. She said, "No way you can get picked up at 1am" - and "we don't pick up from the airport". I know from past experience both were incorrect, but she had NO clue. Surprise when we arrived at the airport someone was there to pick up someone for NCL just not us. This was rather upsetting considering how much we had paid for this service. WARNING - They roll everything into one package price so you can't get a refund on what they do not provide to you!! (This is what I come to understand) We Ubered to the hotel and found that the Hotel knew who I was, but had no information about the pickup and transport to the ship (in a few hours at 2am in the morning). Not even that a pickup would even occur. Our info on the letter from NCL said "we would be provided this information upon arrival at the hotel". We are still waiting? We called the Emergency number and guess what - CLOSED till 8am EST - 9am where we were. I called at that time and got a gentleman on the phone who still didn't understand the problem or seem to care. He did eventually call the transportation company and said someone will be there at 10:30am. So I went and found the lady in charge of transportation and guess what I was not on the list to be transported. Seems like NCL would've already check that? I had a boarding pass with all the fees paid but someone did not put us on the list so, no one knew to pick us up. (I assume it was NCL since they will not tell me otherwise) She guaranteed that she would've been there at 2am to pick us up but we were not on the list. I got a copy of the list to verify (which did no good. So we had to still Uber to the port and tried to deal with the issue for an entire 10 day cruise. Made 5 lengthy trips to the Hotel Desk and got a different response each time. Was told - "you didn't pay for it"; "The travel agent didn't pay for it", "Your boarding pass was incorrect" and 'finally we can't do anything on the ship because it happened on land". I was given a card to email NCL when home and guess what - received a form letter letting me know how many years of great service they have provided. Well guess what for 10 days they basically made my vacation a task of trying to find out WHAT I paid about $600 for? They were terrible at customer service. Ruined the whole 11 day vacation for me. NO ONE EVER SAID. "We are sorry, we made a mistake. What can we do to make things right. This could've solved everything on the 1st phone call to the Miami Office and on every encounter for well over 10 days. Unfortunately, I do already have the same services paid from on the Getaway in Europe in June. I am actually concerned now that I will be left at the airport in Rome again and no one from NCL will care and of course no help line on European time. I am in charge of that CC Meet and Mingle certainly would expect to be treated at least fairly or it will be a very interesting Meet and Mingle for sure. Due to this issue it was the worst cruise of our lives. Spent hours waiting in line and making phone calls and NEVER found anyone from NCL that actually cares. We have two more NCL cruises already booked, but seriously are considering changing to another line that will accept our Platinum Status and treat us fairly and with respect. One last shot in June - Then I can let you know. Sorry if this was boring to anyone. But if it were to happen to you, you would probably feel differently. Thanks, for reading. Caveat Emptor We did not see San Juan this time - due to the flight delay. Though it is a great port. All the other ports were good. We loved Bonaire - so glad we went sailing and snorkeling there. We really only went on the Epic this time due to the itinerary. It was not worth the trade off. Had constant problems two years ago on the Epic and spent a lot of time at the Hotel Desk then too. We have never complained about anything on ANY OTHER ship. Embarkation was done in a way to remove our Platinum Status. We were told in writing to not come prior to 1pm or we would be on the street waiting. So, surprise they were letting 1st time cruisers on the ship at 10:30. This was done on purpose. So what do we get for Platinum???.. A chance to have the Posh Deck sold out to first time cruisers is what. The EPIC is a very dark and dismal ship. The cabins have no storage at least our aft balcony did not. Did a cabin crawl and found that the Haven Cabin and Studios were wonderful. But in the other, there is no light in the aft cabin - you will need a flashlight if you want to shave or put on makeup. I think the interior rooms have more light. The weird Bathroom configuration is not a problem to us. The bed however, is not made for anyone taller than 5'10" - You can't pull it out from the wall in this room or you can't walk in front of it to get to the bathroom. You will have to sleep sideways. There was a problem with the phones on almost the whole ship were the message light flashed for the whole cruise. Everyone was asking for it to stop. They could not stop it. So you never new if you had a message as you always had a message and the way to turn off the flashing orange light was to cover with a towel. Dining in the Specialty Restaurants is very good except on the 2nd time in Le Bistro I had to sit on a bench that was worn out - The table was just below shoulder level. I told the manager and he either did not care or does not understand English. The 1st meal was great and with great service. The rest of the specialty restaurants were all 5 stars. Love Cagney's. The Taste has really POOR actually unacceptable service. We had to ask the manager to get the waitress to take our drink order for dinner. Breakfast will take you over an hour - don't order an Omelette they will tell you it will take even longer. The breakfast staff was pleasant, but it should not take 1 hour to sit and eat eggs and toast. Did this twice same time. The food is okay if you can get it. The Great Outdoors Area is great if it doesn't rain. If it does there is a mad dash inside and you will find NO Place to sit and eat if you can even get to the buffet. So breakfast on the Epic can and will be a problem. Found that a different days there was NO coffee 2 days and 1 day No coffee cups. I don't mean they had to go get some. There was NO Coffee cups available. When the coffee was out, it was out from two machines for all of breakfast. Oshean's is a good place to eat and we found it was much less crowded. Advice let the other stand and wait at Taste - go there. We enjoyed the Magician and the Juggler onboard. The comedy we saw was really not that funny, but it was okay. Priscilla is a walk out, a waste of time. They have the Beatles, But if you want to see them in the Cavern, you will have to camp out all day like a new Iphone is being released. There is NO ROOM in the CAVERN. They do perform a couple of times on the big stage. They are okay, but not a great cover band. The musicians that we witnessed around the ship seemed to always start late and take their breaks early. So there was a lot of silence in the bars and public areas. This was really not a good experience. Our room steward was excellent. The laundry was excellent. The bartenders at the Maltings Bar were as good as any on any ship. The bartenders at the Posh seemed to be hiding in the kitchen most of the time. At times if there is inclement weather you will find that they will not open up bars below on the ship. You will just be out of luck. Disembarkation was actually very good. I would not take this cruise on the EPIC for any price ever again. I WILL NOT SAIL ON THIS DISMAL, POORLY RUN SHIP EVER AGAIN. Though the itinerary was awesome, you should at least have great service and get what you pay for! It is easy to provide customer service when everything is going well, however on this ship, when something went very wrong - NO ONE WAS WILLING TO DEAL WITH IT. Vacations are times to rest, not to try to get what you have paid for the entire vacation and even weeks after. I am extremely displeased with how we were treated. Caveat Emptor - Beware - you take this ship, but sail at your own risk as there will be little to no help if they screw up your vacation!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
An interesting itinerary was the main factor for choosing this cruise as well as previously positive experiences with NCL (we have been on more than 5 cruises with them before). Besides, we had a birthday to celebrate. After we boarded ... Read More
An interesting itinerary was the main factor for choosing this cruise as well as previously positive experiences with NCL (we have been on more than 5 cruises with them before). Besides, we had a birthday to celebrate. After we boarded the ship, and throughout the cruise, we could not help but notice a complete lack of enthusiasm by the crew - even including the cruise director. As if they weren't happy to be where they are, as if they wished to be somewhere else but ended up on a cruise ship instead. Stunningly, the morale was so low and the atmosphere so toxic, we could not wait for the cruise to end and to abandon this ship... Did I mention they forgot we had a birthday to celebrate? Even after we reminded them? We should have paid attention to the early warning signals. First, NCL dropped one of the ports (Bonaire) - shortly after we booked the cruise. Then, the cabin prices for the cruise plummeted below $50 per day - even including the premium cabins. While we paid well above that, NCL did not even upgrade our cabin (!) though we've been their platinum guests... Then, during the cruise, the Italian captain running the ship cancelled two more ports (Antigua and St Kitts) due to bad weather while other ships (including Norwegian) have successfully called the ports the same dates!!! Obviously, all onshore excursions and plans were ruined. An hour before departure from San Juan, the power and the lights went down on the entire ship. The backup generators provided dimmed emergency lights but the restaurants could not cook and there was no announcements from the captain for more than 30 minutes after the lights went off. The communication could definitely use improvement. The food quality and variety was not great. It was okay but nothing what it used to be like on NCL cruises even a couple of years ago. The specialty Moderno restaurant has a great concept but was extremely slow to deliver. By the time the food arrived to the table is was almost cold. The French and Chinese restaurants were a joke. The ship is not big enough for 4,200 passengers. The wait times for elevators are 4-5 minutes. Casino tables are squeezed into the main deck so have to go around them. The swimming pools are more like soaking baths. Lots of wasted space on the top deck. The entertainment was worse than we expected. Also, because the theatre is undersized, we had to choose and book tickets to see a show in advance. Most of the shows throughout the entire cruise were fully booked on the first day though. The same for the restaurants - the few good ones were fully booked on the first day of the cruise. All in all, this cruise was an epic fail and we are cancelling our next cruise we had booked with NCL. I think we shall stay away from NCL for awhile now. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I am a loyal NCL customer so I did not check the reviews prior to cruising and wish I had done so. I have been on many NCL vessels and have never had a concern or problem, but in my view the Epic was designed purely for profit at the ... Read More
I am a loyal NCL customer so I did not check the reviews prior to cruising and wish I had done so. I have been on many NCL vessels and have never had a concern or problem, but in my view the Epic was designed purely for profit at the expense of customer comfort. From the unusual layout to the cabins its simply put not a comfortable ship. Everything else is fine from the staff to the food to the ports and excursions, but something is missing and that is comfort!!! The hallways appear small than usual. To get many places you have to walk deck 6 through the casino. To get to deck 5, guest services/excursions/restaurants etc. You have to go to deck 6 and then take an escalator down to 5. A week into the cruise folks were getting on the elevator and wondering what happened to the button for 5!!! If you are in an aft cabin and dining in La Cucia you have to take elevator to the pool deck walk across it and into the buffet and thru that area completely to a set of stairs completely forward to get to the dining room. Not a fun experience when experiencing some rocky seas!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Had a great cruise on the Jan 5th to the 16th! There was enough talk about the balcony suites before I left so there was no surprise. We actually found it convenient to have the toilet, shower and sink separated. And, no, ... Read More
Had a great cruise on the Jan 5th to the 16th! There was enough talk about the balcony suites before I left so there was no surprise. We actually found it convenient to have the toilet, shower and sink separated. And, no, agreed... tighter than usual for passing. Our embankment was about perfect! Exactly an hour from hotel to being onboard the ship searching out the buffet! (11:30-12:30) Our captain changed two ports to avoid the gale force winds we encountered. We were disappointed to miss the scheduled St Kitts and Antigua however happy to have them replaced with others so that we didn't loose port days I wouldn't have enjoyed the terribly rough seas resulting in neither shore days at all. We heard no one complain, but I'm sure there were a few... The food was as good as expected - never a shortage or variety. The Buffet always had scads of food for the enormous loads of hungry people. The hardest thing was to see all the waste. I enjoyed every bite! And, so appreciated the washy washy Sweetheart that you encountered every time you approached the Buffet. Never heard of anyone being sick on our tour. There may have been. We both found every staff member extremely friendly, courteous and so helpful. Our room attendant Vincent, introduced himself immediately and happily rewarded us our every whim. All staff went out of their way to be happy and helpful. And we couldn't thank them enough. We found the entertainment to be really good. In fact, I sensed that the general feeling was that of entertainment overload. We all had a feeling that there should be something epic happening every hour. The shows were excellent, however it was a bit dicey trying to get into them if one didn't book previous to the cruise. We did get to see most. The two big shows were great, we especially enjoyed Priscilla, the cirque dreams in the tent was exciting (although I don't feel there should have been an extra charge), the Beatles and the comedians and the piano duel were all well worth attending. My big complaint there though is the fight to get into them. It's our opinion that the venues are all too small for the number of folks on the ship. Thankfully the Beatles went from the Cavern to the showstage, otherwise we would have missed them. And, even then every night there was standing 3 and 4 deep. Even when you did get to a venue more than 1/2 hour prior to show, it became uncomfortable because of the number of people crammed in. And trust me, these people are ruthless. I'm in my 60's and realize that they don't make men like they used to. I'd been trampled on and pushed back on every occasion. I'm short, so to stand without a seat was hopeless even when i started out with a good spot. This was our 7th cruise, the first on NCL. I would not hesitate to recommend NCL or Carnival or RCL to anyone. Not so much MSC, just a personal opinion. In our younger years we chose resorts as they were usually less money and offered all we wanted. In later years we developed a love for cruising. No driving or work of any kind, more food than you could ever want, someone cleaning up behind us whatever we did. Often a new port to experience upon waking. Amazing excursions to experience, gambling, top shows... Personally, our biggest hurtle is coming from Canada, it becomes costly with the dollar difference and flights. Our experience with cruising on the Epic was fabulous. If the itinerary is to your liking then don't hesitate! She's a great ship with great staff onboard! There is most often being offered these perks for drink pkgs and excursion rebates, etc as was ours. We are not alcohol drinkers, so we didn't go for this. We did 3 excursions with NCL and others were on our own. Good to do the Speciality Restaurants, of course. I would take a soda pkg definitely but never a water pkg. Take along a cup and use the ice and water from the buffet area. It's good drinking water. Best advice is to book everything in advance - your shows, dinner dates and excursions! That way you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
8th cruise with Norwegian and 2nd cruise on the Epic. Very crowded in all public areas. Elevators crowded. Food on buffet was barely warm. Dining room food had good selection but was not on the level of past cruises. Staff was nearly ... Read More
8th cruise with Norwegian and 2nd cruise on the Epic. Very crowded in all public areas. Elevators crowded. Food on buffet was barely warm. Dining room food had good selection but was not on the level of past cruises. Staff was nearly running to serve people but meals still took a long time. Casino spans half of 7th floor and smells like a smoke pit. Bars always overcrowded to the point you couldn’t get a drink. Deck bar service was impossible because of all the people who purchase the all you can drink packages. Tv had sufficient channels but no guide to what was coming on at a given time. Embarkation fast. Room Stewart good. The “Priscilla Queen of Desert” was a Broadway production not to be missed. Cagneys was good. Noodle Bar good. Disembarking was easy. Ports were fine. In summary I felt like I was on a Carnival ship with an older demographic. Quality was lacking. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were taking my mother-in-law on her first cruise, and my husband’s great aunt on her first cruise since 1980. (She’s 87, so we had to pay more attention to accessibility and other concerns than we normally do - she’s totally ... Read More
We were taking my mother-in-law on her first cruise, and my husband’s great aunt on her first cruise since 1980. (She’s 87, so we had to pay more attention to accessibility and other concerns than we normally do - she’s totally mobile, but has some vision issues.) We wanted to check out some new islands, and this seemed like the perfect relaxing itinerary. Getting to the ship was challenging, as Royal also had an Oasis ship in port. But, once we got there, embarkation was a breeze. The Epic is a lovely ship, and the crew was outstanding. The food was excellent, and the entertainment great! My only real beef with the ship is the lack of access to the water. Most of the windows are in areas not generally accessible to passengers, such as dining rooms, duty free areas, and crew areas. The only places you can actually be outside to look at the water are in two small gaps between the lifeboats on deck 7 (the jogging track and the shuffleboard area), the top sun deck, and your own balcony. There is no access to see the water fire or aft. My beef with NCL is over door decorations. Normally we don’t bother, but with an 87yo with macular degeneration, we had two 6” round magnets that stuck flush to the door, to help her find our cabin and her own out of 2000 identical doors. We were asked to take them down, which is ridiculous. Some people go way overboard, but really? Ours was functional, not decorative. Due to rough weather, we had two port changes. I was impressed with NCL’s ability to quickly change based on circumstance, and they were even able to pull together a reasonable group of shore excursions in both Martinique and Guadeloupe, which are not among their normal ports of call. Really, kudos to the staff on board and at HQ for doing their best to keep us safe and entertained. Debarkation was a bit of a cluster. Self-disembarking passengers were supposed to be released at 6, but they couldn’t go until 6:50. We had tags for 8:15, and weren’t released until 9. Wasn’t an issue for us as our flight wasn’t until 3, but not sure what the holdup was - the ship docked at just after 4am. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise for its itinerary of Barbados, St. Kitts, Tortola, St. Lucia and St. Thomas to share with my 19 year old son and his 20 year old girlfriend- the itinerary was awesome. That being said, on board the ship it was ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary of Barbados, St. Kitts, Tortola, St. Lucia and St. Thomas to share with my 19 year old son and his 20 year old girlfriend- the itinerary was awesome. That being said, on board the ship it was completely dysfunctional. The day of embarkation, the process was very smooth getting on the ship where it took us about 30 minutes to board where our room was ready when boarded about 4:00p.m. luggage arrived around 9:00p.m. That being said, we were delayed for almost 6 hours in Puerto Rico's port where no one on staff knew the reason why and there was no announcements where some were concerned that it could be about the recent earth quakes in PR and the Tsunami warnings; however, Carnival and RCL left well before us heading in the same area. The cabin and balcony were OK, not so clean where the phone did not work. I selected a drink package and only in some restaurants/bars could one get a glass of wine under the package or have to pay the difference for a Premium drink which was very frustrating. In Cagney's, they wanted to charge me $10 more for a glass of wine that should have been available in the restaurant, the waiter went to a bar to grab me a glass of wine under my plan. Excursions on board the ship were completely different than what was offered on-line where on board was much nicer than on-line but we didn't want to stand in the lines that were over 1 hour long so we did our own excursions in all the ports including my favorite Virgin Gorda- "The baths". Ironically enough, the 3 of us paid $114 for a round trip ferry ride that the cruise was offering for $360 for 3 people just for transportation and used the same ferry. St. Lucia was beautiful especially at Pigeon Beach that was my second favorite island to visit. Regarding the Internet, there was no documentation on how to use the internet so we had to go meet with the internet team to get things set up where most of the passengers were very frustrated in that area and just to get access to Wifi where I am in IT. The entertainment on board during the night was good with live bands- lots of options. However, the DJ's in the club's and outside were horrible playing downloads from you tube where my 19 year old son is a professional DJ and was super frustrated with the poor quality of music. Additionally, the music during the day either at sea or when leaving the port clearly catered to a Latin Audience with no American music (or European)- many non- latinos were very disappointed by the 3rd day. I did think the activities in the lobby were pretty fun, especially when they played "Deal or NO Deal." For disembarkation, no documentation nor video was provided where they woke us up at 7:00am to leave the ship where we sat in the lobby of the boat for 3 hours. I was pleasantly surprised that the buffets were a very good variety and nicely made especially for breakfast and lunch- the deserts on the cruise in non specialty areas were not so good. I have cruised over 10 times, but never with NCL, can’t imagine I would use them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We married on a Friday and flew into Puerto Rico the next day around 1730. We took a taxi from the airport to the Sheraton Hotel & Casino. Getting a taxi was extremely easy. The attendant asked how many passengers, how many bags, and ... Read More
We married on a Friday and flew into Puerto Rico the next day around 1730. We took a taxi from the airport to the Sheraton Hotel & Casino. Getting a taxi was extremely easy. The attendant asked how many passengers, how many bags, and where was our destination. The fees were transparent and a copy was given to us. The cab fare was $24 and a $6 tip, so a total of $30. From the airport to the hotel was approximately 15 minutes. Check into the hotel was extremely easy as well! Our stay was wonderful and dinner was amazing. The next morning we took an Uber, which we were advised against, but decided to try it out anyway. Our Uber driver was awesome, he placed our luggage in the trunk and was very pleasing to converse with. Getting onto the ship was very fast and efficient. My wife, whom has cruised before, stated that with other cruise lines the onboarding process has been a nightmare. Once on the ship we explored until our room was available. We were both in awe at the magnitude and beauty of the ship. Our room was very spacious and comfortable. We had no issues with storage space. The shower was big as well and our balcony was nice. The only negative thing I can say about the room is that I wish the area around the toilet was a bit bigger. We spent a lot of time in the casino, the spa, and the specialty restaurants. We did explore other areas of the ship such as the theaters, club, and bars. Everything about the bars was great! We did experience an issue with some bars not being able to make certain drinks and were told to go to another bar, but ultimately that wasn’t a problem. Some bars did not have certain alcohol or frozen drinks. The entertainment on the ship was great! We highly recommend the burn the floor show. The dancers were extremely talented and kept you at the edge of your seat! The cirque epicurean show was fantastic! Wonderful performers! We did not eat the food at the show because we had to go back to Cagneys for one last dinner! However, the food looked alright. Nothing too special. Alyssa Harris performed a show one evening. She is a wonderful singer, highly recommend! We thoroughly enjoyed the howl at the moon dueling pianos as well as the comedians! As far as speciality dining, we tried Teppanyaki, Cagney’s, And Moderno. Our favorite by far was Cagneys! I had a ribeye one night and a porterhouse the other night! I highly recommend the ribeye! My wife had the grilled fisherman’s platter. She said it was amazing! She is not really a steak eater so she was happy that there were other options. The crab cake and lobster bisque were phenomenal! The potatoes au gratin were amazing! Teppanyaki was entertaining and delicious. We had a bit of a wait even with a reservations but they kindly presented us with champagne for the inconvenience. Moderno was also tasty! However, we are Texans and partial to Texas De Brazil! The complimentary restaurants (e.g. Taste, Manhattan, and Garden Cafe) provides some great selections as well. The overall hospitality on this ship was fantastic! Special shoutout to Chris, our housekeeper who was excellent and very friendly! All the waitstaff worked extremely hard to provide excellent service! As far as shore excursions, we mostly booked city tours and beach transfers. We highly recommend these in any port. In Barbados, we did not book an excursion. We got off the boat and found a taxi to take us to the beach. We went to the ”Boat Yard” beach. It was a 5 dollar taxi ride there and a 25 entrance fee per person which included a beach chair, a welcome drink, security, WiFi, and a taxi ride back to the boat! It was a beautiful beach! The tour in St. Lucia was fantastic! Our tour guide, Angus, was very informative and kind. We went to a public beach, which was not what we expected. Still a nice excursion overall. The tour in St. Kitts was also nice. The beach was interesting. Good excursion overall. We were not impressed with Tortola, but that was our fault. We got off the boat and walked around. Not much to see. However, we met several people who enjoyed this port. The baths were a hit as far as shore excursions. In St. Thomas we went to Magens Bay and did some downtown shopping. Magens bay is gorgeous! We will definitely be back! Downtown shopping was okay. Some store owners were very pushy. The only negative part of our trip was that our room cards were declined when we tried to get a drink. We found a note in our room that stated, “you selected cash as your method of payment and the card you have on file is invalid. Due to insufficient funds, we now require another method of payment.” This ordeal took two hours to solve. I explained that the card I gave them is the only card I have. We gave guest services two $50 American Express gift cards we had as wedding gifts to try to cover some of the account. The attendant returned and said the cards were declined for $50, but they worked for $40. When we checked the balance on the cards we discovered that $48 was taken from each card, but only $80 was credited to our account. We were told to contact our bank. (I had notified our bank of our travel arrangements prior to traveling) We did and discovered that our account was active and open with plenty of sufficient funds available. When I relayed this information to the attendant, she made a quick phone call. After the phone call, the attendant said all is well and ”sometimes this happens because the bank will turn the off card.” Obviously this was false and we later discovered our card was run numerous times. What I do not understand is that if this ordeal, “sometimes happens,” then why not try to fix it before bringing it to our attention and interrupting our trip. The transparency about the fees and charges was nonexistent and we did not receive the most help that is to be expected. We would advise to research the fees, credits, and charges prior to embarking and to either pay a deposit of $1000 in cash or give them a credit card instead of a debit card. Overall, aside of the two hours with the financial ordeal, our trip was amazing and we would definitely travel with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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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