16 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - All from San Juan

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
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
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
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
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
My family and I do a cruise every other year. We usually do Royal or Carnival Cruise (Carnival is a Fun Ship for All Ages) but this time I wanted us to try Norwegian to see what the hype was about. Read all the reviews and they are all ... Read More
My family and I do a cruise every other year. We usually do Royal or Carnival Cruise (Carnival is a Fun Ship for All Ages) but this time I wanted us to try Norwegian to see what the hype was about. Read all the reviews and they are all lies because the food is not the best. Its actually all repetitive and centered around Asians and Indians. You wake up to the same food daily for breakfast lunch and dinner and its not the best. Its bland, flavorless and sometimes dry looking. Most times its like reheated and not fresh. All the restaurants serve the same food so there is no way to get around it unless you pay for specialty dining. Everything is an additional cost for them. To watch a play you have to pay extra. All entertainment such as bowling, rock climbing and all the features they advertise on the boat are additional cost. Its not worth the high price you pay to cruise honestly. Yes the boat is kept spotless however the rooms are tiny, lets not even talk about the bathroom it is not built for anyone that's curvy or over 100lbs. Again entertainment was very poor, most nights there was nothing to do after dinner. Music was really wack and boring. From being on other cruises after returning home you need a vacation from the vacation and there is so much memorable moments or food that you wish you could continue enjoying without having to prepare if yourself, after returning home; but not this one. Everyone is so disappointed. There was no magic in this vacation. No pictures on the ports. Embarking stairway is always so steep and uncomfortable to climb up on. Their no liquid on the boat rule is only for selected few as the rule is only sometimes applied. I was not allowed to walk in with a bottle of water I just bought and was drinking but was able to walk in with a full bottle of Henesy White Rum or I was harassed for my water as I watched others pass through with theirs, SMH. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My son that we went with picked this cruise...said Norwegian was one of the top 10, but I totally disagree. Food--Atrocious...I cook better than we ate and that's not saying much, because I hate to cook. Was very disappointed ... Read More
My son that we went with picked this cruise...said Norwegian was one of the top 10, but I totally disagree. Food--Atrocious...I cook better than we ate and that's not saying much, because I hate to cook. Was very disappointed there was never any shrimp on the ship, nor lobster. It was offered on every other cruise I had been on Entertainment---disgusting, even though the actual entertainers were good, just the subject line for a family cruise? We would have had to pay for the best one and we have never had to pay for any entertainment on our other cruises. No real organized activities for the kids ages 10-17...so excited to go on this cruise with them to watch them compete in tournaments on the sport court, or the rock climbing wall, and not a one for us to watch. Basketballs were bulging and almost impossible to play with. Need to have new ones for every cruise as much as they're used daily. The boys just played pickup basketball the whole time. Boring!!!! Only 2 waterslides working and the only "at sea" day, they were completely shut down. Ran out of soft ice cream and some sodas on the second to last day. Really??? Always lots of lines everywhere, from trying to dine in any area, to breakfast and lunch in the buffet...to getting off and on the ship at every port. At one port, St. Kitts, they wouldn't let me get on the aft entrance to the ship which was closest to my room, made me go clear down to the front of the ship and then walk clear back to my room even though I explained how old I was and that I had a sore foot and back. They were the most unfriendly people. I think because they don't really encourage tipping, but slap you with a $15.00 per day, per person service charge, the employees are not likely to go out of their way to be friendly and get to know people. I went the last day and took off the service charge and told them I would just pay the two people I felt deserved a tip that money. No one else I felt deserved it, especially the dang hostesses at the dining rooms...they were downright unfriendly. And since you go on a cruise especially for the food, I was utterly and completely disappointed in the food we were served. You need a new chef!!!! The best part of the whole cruise was the embarkation and disembarkation...went perfect and fast. Was pleasantly surprised actually:) But after cruising with Princess first, then Crystal, then Holland America, and Royal Caribbean before going on Norwegian, I would recommend any of those to anyone, except Norwegian. Worst cruise I've been on!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We took our first cruise in June - an aft facing Haven suite on the Norwegian Joy from Seattle to Alaska. We enjoyed that cruise so much that we decided to spend our holiday break cruising the Caribbean in an aft facing Haven suite on the ... Read More
We took our first cruise in June - an aft facing Haven suite on the Norwegian Joy from Seattle to Alaska. We enjoyed that cruise so much that we decided to spend our holiday break cruising the Caribbean in an aft facing Haven suite on the Norwegian Epic. Never again. For the most part, the restaurants are the same on both ships and even the menus are the same. The resemblance stops there. On the Joy it was a pleasure to go to the Haven restaurant - most families ate there many times. On the Epic the menu is exactly the same but we only ate there three times during the entire cruise because the food was so bad. The service was slightly worse. Of the Speciality restaurants, Le Bistro was the biggest disappointment. Teppanyaki was a mountain of bland fried rice that that many people sent back. Cagney’s was ok (this was our favorite restaurant in the Joy), but it was annoying having to stand in the slowest line of all time at the hostess stand for our pre-booked reservation. We also saw the Cirque Dreams dinner theater show. The show itself was fun but it was inaccurate to describe it as dinner theater, because we had to wait for everyone to finish all three courses before the show started. The food was surprisingly bad - literally everyone in my line of sight sent back all their shrimp (it was a set menu), and I wondered how many times that had to happen before the crew noticed and made adjustments. We were on the boat over the Christmas break and I guess that meant that people over-indulged. I was Haven with a premium plus drinks package, and I was literally unable to get one beer the entire cruise (they ran out on day three). On day 6, my wife, my daughter and I ordered three separate drinks with lunch, and not only were lunch items unavailable but all three of our different drinks had run out. Who runs out of ginger ale and beer? I asked Nelson - the ‘customer service’ manager if he wanted to refund the beverage package for the days when they didn’t have beverages but he declined to respond. I guess new cruisers who book two Haven suites in a seven month period aren’t customers he values. Or maybe he was busy putting out fires - there were two on board during our 7 day cruise. There were four highlights in this otherwise dismal experience (best first): - getting off the boat was efficient and it was great to finally get a beer - our Haven butler and our room steward were outstanding - the Moderno restaurant was delicious - the best breakfast of the whole cruise was at O’Sheehan’s Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I am very dissatisfied with my trip. I thought that the boat was veryyyy clean and the staff were very respectable. However, I do have several complaints. First, I didn't appreciate all the cost. I feel like its a lot we pay to cruise ... Read More
I am very dissatisfied with my trip. I thought that the boat was veryyyy clean and the staff were very respectable. However, I do have several complaints. First, I didn't appreciate all the cost. I feel like its a lot we pay to cruise and we should have certain accommodations. I found the $300 hold to be a bit excessive! Second, I was very dissatisfied by the food. At times, the food was VERY BLAND AND UNSEASONED. The buffet had basically the same thing for all times of the day. Felt like the menu was catered to kids in terms of mainly burgers and fries. I had a specialty dining package and didn't get to use it because all the restaurants were booked from day 2. I think that's ridiculous being that it was something that ive paid for. In terms of drinks, I felt like all the drinks I had were watered down. Even when I paid for extra shots , it still was watery. Third, I feel like I was on a Latin cruise. Being that we were on a Caribbean destination Cruise, I felt like we should be embracing the caribbean culture. I UNDERSTAND a latin night but there was NOOOOOOO other music on the boat but Spanish music and an occasional house. I was very disappointed with that especially be on a CARIBBEAN CRUISE. How? With no Soca, Reggae, Calypso Music! That is Crazy! Fourth, feel like the Rooms are tiny! thank God I got a Balcony. I understand the separation of the shower and toilet but the toilet was the tinest space ever. If your hips were wide or a big person it would have been hard to fit. Even the shower was a bit constricting. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
There is significant room for improvement in several areas, when compared to my past cruises on NCL’s Gateway and Dawn, and other cruise lines as well. On this particular Epic Cruise we were a 4-member family traveling in two separate ... Read More
There is significant room for improvement in several areas, when compared to my past cruises on NCL’s Gateway and Dawn, and other cruise lines as well. On this particular Epic Cruise we were a 4-member family traveling in two separate interior cabins. Not our choice, but budget only allowed for that, as the cost of the cabins were very high compared to other cruises we’ve taken out of SJU and MIA. Here is my honest feedback on this cruise: The Cruise director and team are under par in terms of keeping a festive and energetic environment constant, compared to other NCL cruises we’ve taken before. He should get in shape and spend a week sailing with Paquito at the NCL Gateway... Moderno Churrasqueria had an extremely slow flow of meat options during our meal. We saw only 5 options brought to our table in the 1hour 15 minutes we had our coaster on green. This is a serious problem at the restaurant, and very disappointing experience for a specialty dining restaurant. If we would’ve known, we would’ve chosen La Cucina or the Teppanyaki instead. Vessel design is very confusing, with very tight corridors, and very overcrowded main corridors due to casino tables, slots, sitting tables occupying space of such corridors. Unorganized bar/restaurant, entertainment venues, and lounges queues. Very long waits for elevators to show up available (4-5min +). Confusing corridors in mostly passenger stateroom decks, including finding the correct elevators and stairs to take, and sometimes just finding them. Inside Corridors had foul smell always (seemed as all cabin bathrooms had no extractor fans, or the corridor access panels had no effective insulation to prevent odors exiting to the corridor. This was a pervasive situation in all passenger decks). Internet access and speed was almost inexistent, even though we paid for the Premium access option with streaming. Throughout the whole cruise we were unable to stream at all in any area of the cruise, and just sending an email or trying to open a web page was a more than a 10-15 minute ordeal. We went several times to the internet cafe to fix it, but the person in charge told us that the ship was at full capacity. I will be claiming a refund, because the service advertised is totally misleading and a waste of money and time, and extremely overpriced for what you end up getting. This situation was not an isolated case, as all other passengers trying to use the service experimented the same experience. Port disembarking and embarking in St Thomas was a disaster. Extremely long queues to exit and to get back, Long waits for prepaid NCL sponsored excursions, an no protection from rain while we waited for bus to arrive... 35min under the rain... this contrast very poorly with the other ports of call, which were perfectly organized and clean. Being the last port of the itinerary, it leaves you with a very sour impression of the whole cruise, an a disservice to the rest of the ports visited. San Juan port facilities are the worst of all the ports visited in the itinerary. It is shameful that this is the originating port and NCL SHOULD either invest, pressure the local government, or move to other facilities in SJU port, in order to address this situation asap. We live in Puerto Rico and this is our second NCL sailing originating here, and will be our last with NCL, unless improvements are made. I have to point out that other cruise lines have much better facilities in other piers in the San Juan Port. I have to make NCL responsible for this, as NCL SHOULD DEMAND better facilities. Just accessing the pier was a 110 minute ordeal, due to the poor access roads and taxis monopolizing the access road lanes, both in and out of the pier. As a final note, the above situations make a big disservice to the crew, stewards, show cast members and talent onboard, waiters, cooks, bartenders, and in general all human capital that comes in contact with passengers, and those who behind the scenes make things happen, notwithstanding the above shortfalls. We will take a break from NCL for a while, as we experiment other cruise lines available. Hopefully improvements will be made in the future... until then... good luck Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our first ever Christmas Cruise, and a return to NCL after 22 years sailing Disney and Holland America. Departure and return port was San Juan. We had a great vacation, but would not sail this ship again and this experience makes ... Read More
This was our first ever Christmas Cruise, and a return to NCL after 22 years sailing Disney and Holland America. Departure and return port was San Juan. We had a great vacation, but would not sail this ship again and this experience makes us question booking NCL. It was also our first megaship, and we will most likely go back to mid-size in the future. The dates and origin port made this a very Latin cruise, dominating the entertainment. It was FULL: 4800+ passengers embarked. We arranged all port excursions independently. There are many reasons no one has built another ship in the Epic class, and the NCL staff freely admit it is a "weird design." Things that do not work well in the ship layout: 1. Only two sets of slow, hot, elevators in the ship. We have been on much smaller ships with three sets. 2. The main thoroughfare on deck 6 between restaurants and entertainment is through the smoky casino which stretches for half the ship. 3. No separate bathroom within staterooms. I get the concept of space utilization, but it felt like showering and using the toilet in an RV. 4. Very limited free in room entertainment. On other ships we have had lots of on-demand movie choices. On Epic it is $10 a movie. Overall service was much worse than our experience on other lines. It was not terrible, but certainly much less than we were used to from other cruises. Our impression was that the boat was understaffed for the number of passengers. 1. Hard to get a drink on the pool deck without going to the bar. Floating waiters were very scarce. 2. Multiple pool deck bars ran out of mint (mojitos) and pina colada makings on the first full day. How does that happen? 3. Breakfast in the main dining room was consistently extremely slow, to the point of frustration. 4. Had to ask the cabin steward for things multiple times. Never had to do that on other lines. 5. Asked for a vegetable substitution for an entree in the main dining room. Was acknowledged twice, never happened. Food quality was excellent in the specialty restaurants, good in the main dining room and at O'Sheehans, and mediocre to poor on the topside buffets. Scheduling was OK, but prime time was always crowded and not much of a Freestyle option really so we ate early or late. We ate in the French, Italian and Brazilian restaurants. All were excellent. In theory NCL allows 18-21 years olds to consume beer and wine aboard ship. In practice this is a huge hassle for a young adult. Our 19 year old had consistent trouble getting bartenders to accept his card. Multiple trips to the front desk did not solve the problem. When they did not want to serve him they just said he did not look like his picture. Port call timing was surprise. We would arrive and be able to disembark by about 0830, with all-aboard at 1630. This seemed unusual. No evenings in any ports. We could not tell if this was driven by local port staff or a desire to get the casino running each day. It was not needed for our itinerary. Sailing from Tortola to St. Thomas we literally sailed in circles to make the times work. There were a number of things we missed on this cruise that seemed pretty standard on others. Almost all of them are trivial but add to our sense of a cruise. 1. No sail away parties. Since the ship tossed its lines at 1730 daily, there was plenty of opportunity. 2. Never saw peel and eat shrimp of the buffet. Kind of a standard for us. 3. If there was a lobster night in the main dining room we missed it. 4. No bedtime mints or towel animals. These are certainly not a deal breaker but an indicator of the lack of attention to detail that we saw. Both Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Burn the Floor were great shows. For me the best was the ad hoc Christmas show the entertainers did. It felt like their own. Other positives: amazing fitness center, good comms app for the phones ($10 per), super easy embarkation and disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This year my family and I decided to take a cruise to celebrate the Christmas holiday. We took the 7 day our of Puerto Rico. We had a total of 12 people (6 Adults and 6 Children). Here is the review. Check in: Be aware that this ... Read More
This year my family and I decided to take a cruise to celebrate the Christmas holiday. We took the 7 day our of Puerto Rico. We had a total of 12 people (6 Adults and 6 Children). Here is the review. Check in: Be aware that this takes time. The road to the cruise terminal is a two lane street. Prepare yourself that it takes about an hour before you get on the ship. Once you get to the terminal, its fast. Food: The food was great as always. Really enjoyed the complementary restaurants as well as the specialty restaurants. Whats awesome about the Epic is the Chinese restaurant is included. Very nice. The Manhattan room was our favorite in terms of atmosphere. French is our favorite for the specialty restaurant. Beverage: The open bar feature is the best at sea. Almost all call brands are included, and they allow you to get 2 drinks at a time. Plenty of options and service is fast. Best value at sea. Cabin: Our cabin was an inside room with plenty of room for two people. Three or Four maybe a little tight. Everything worked and it was very clean. The beds are very comfortable. Service: This is really one of the best part of our trip. The service was excellent. Everyone was in a great spirit. The hotel director (Nelson) was always interacting with guests and making sure everyone was having a good vacation. Bartenders and Servers went above and beyond your expectations. Entertainment: The kids loved the watersides and the bowling alley. Kids club kept them occupied and they met some new friends. The Shows are great and are similar quality of what you find on Broadway. Ports: This was a very heavy port focused cruise. We enjoyed all of the islands and was nice to see islands that we normally wouldn't go to. Overall, we all had a great time. Very nice to be on the boat during the holiday season. The cruise line made a big effort to spread the holiday cheer. Will do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
1. The Main Dining areas are crowded, slow to order and receive food, hard to get a cup of coffee and overall very poor quality of food. 2. The staff at the pool will not bring you a cup of coffee, you have to pay for it or walk over to ... Read More
1. The Main Dining areas are crowded, slow to order and receive food, hard to get a cup of coffee and overall very poor quality of food. 2. The staff at the pool will not bring you a cup of coffee, you have to pay for it or walk over to behind the bar and get it yourself. 3. The shows quality was good, but overcrowded seating and though you have the ability to make reservations they let the stand by people in the same time the reserved people get to come in so many people with reservations were turned away. 4. The water slides were only opened and very limited times with no explanation as to why. 5. The staff appear to be wishing they were on a different boat, except for our stateroom attendant. He was the only positive figure on the ship. 6. Barely saw the cruise director, not sure what his role really is and obviously not to meet and greet the people on board. 7. When arriving to port late, some concessions should be made so you are not forced to be rushed on your excursion and cut short. 8. The pool bar ran out of straws Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I have been on several cruises with Norwegian and have had very positive experiences, until now. We had never been to the Southern Caribbean ( A, Band C) islands and found this to be the perfect opportunity. Embarkation ... Read More
My wife and I have been on several cruises with Norwegian and have had very positive experiences, until now. We had never been to the Southern Caribbean ( A, Band C) islands and found this to be the perfect opportunity. Embarkation went very well with our rooms being ready about 3pm. we were to leave port (according to itinerary) out of Puerto Rico at 9:00 pm. We finally left port at 12;30 am. As far as arrival and departures of ports almost none were as described in the itinerary given. We had a balcony room which was extremely tight. If someone was sitting on the end of the small bed the other person could not get by. The tiolet and shower were on either side of the entry door with a privacy curtain near the bed. The sink and medicine cabinet were actually in the bedroom area away from the toilet. There was plenty of storage area but only one electrical outlet area. The elevators were continually overcrowded and very warm. There were very long lines at the outdoor buffet when coming back from port usually because the indoor buffet was closed for changeover to dinner. Going to O'Sheean's was of no use because there was 1/2 wait to be seated at that time. We waited at the outdoor buffet in line from 3:340 pm until 4:50 pm to get to the front of the line. This was a common occurrence on this cruise. When we asked if there was any where that may be less busy we were told "sorry but we are very busy". The specialty restaurants were very good. The ship itself showed many sides of age with rust and faded features. A metal footstool at the bar was broken but was fixed the next day. We were on the top deck near the pool one afternoon when a gentleman leaned against the rail, the wooden rail broke off and the gentleman feel over the railing and onto his back on the deck. We were about 20 feet from the bar and many people so this happen. No one from the ship approached him to even ask if he was alright. The Epic for us was unlike any other Norwegian cruise we have been on. We Have always found the staff to go out of their way to be pleasant and accommodating. This was not the case on the Epic. I could go on but I think you get the point by now. My wife and I will continue cruise Norwegian because we have had only positive experiences on the other ships. Until something drastically changes on the Epic we will avoid that ship or sail with another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
You don’t go to Bonaire. According to the port authorities in Bonaire, the Epic is not registered to port there ever. The port is being sold as part of the curies package next month, Jan. 2020, but this ship is not allowed to port in ... Read More
You don’t go to Bonaire. According to the port authorities in Bonaire, the Epic is not registered to port there ever. The port is being sold as part of the curies package next month, Jan. 2020, but this ship is not allowed to port in Bonaire, apparently because of its size. It was sold to us as part of the package but 60 days out we received a letter that we would instead, enjoy our balconies’ for an extra day. This is fraud! Our first day at see was spent in the harbor. When I complained I was told, “You’re on the ship so it counts”. Not in my book. Our seven day cruise was cut short to 6 days without compensation. Then there is the part everyone else is talking about. The heinous way were treated at the port. Over a mile backup in traffic, five hour delay getting boarded, no help from crew or security. People jumping line, passengers finding wheel chairs for the elderly and a few people passed out and one in front of me was injured. I was told by a member at the Latitudes counter that the ship had been boarded one day before and the Coast Guard required the papers of all crew members. It was not stated but implied that many of them were not legal. Then the Coast Guard again boarded the same day we were to ship out. According to the latitudes representative they searched and the crew had to present papers again. This set them behind by 12 hours. I have no way to neither prove nor disprove his accounting. Beyond this, our excursion reservations were lost, and when we reported this to Haley, we were told it was our fault for not taking care of it the day we launched. Everyone else in our group got theirs but not us. We also found out we were supposed to get a bottle of champion , but that never came. When I asked for it I was then made to feel like I was asking for an extra bottle. Here is what the company needs to hear from me. My wife and I were planning on surprising our family with a cruise with Norwegian for May or 202. Because of the discount of booking on while on board we decided to wait until we were at sea to book this trip, total of 6 tickets, three rooms. Because of the inability of Norwegian to live up to its reputation we have decided to go with another company. I know this will not break the company and it is all about the money. But you have lost a total of 12 customers for life because of you ham-handed dealings with me and my family. A few odd things also happened. Our first morning I opened the drapes and a pair of men’s red under-wear came falling out at my feet. That was strange. Our apps failed and internet use was unreliable. Three contracts I wrote on the ship never made it to the recipients. After eating in the Garden café we noticed each day that stewards were staring agape out the windows as if this was their first day away from their home. While they were mesmerized at the vista our plates piled up and we ended up moving tables. I found it odd that there was not a single comfortable seat on the entire ship. it was as if it is a concerted effort to keep you moving. I was told that the black jack seats were very comfortable. I didn't play. One more odd thing. At the ice/water stations we were not allowed to fill out water bottles. Ice stations were usually empty of ice and when we asked for ice we were pointed to another station at a different part of the chip or another deck for ice. One last warning. Don’t fall for the “please take a towel with you” trick. They plan on your losing your towel and then charging you $25 for every one that does not come back. Look at your cabin number on the sing out sheet as they sign you out a beach towels. Right beside that you see “price $25.00” I do want to say that the entertainment was good and the food was good. I really enjoyed Doug, guitarist, and the dance company, Burn the Floor. I was put off by the main event being a drag show. Drag queens are not appropriate for family friendly cruises. I don’t know why the leadership at Epic doesn’t know this. If I ever do cruise this line again it will never be out of PR nor will it be a big ship. It’s just not worth the overcrowding and lines after lines. 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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