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Firstly the booking and pre-visit information was good, everything we needed to know was available prior to boarding. Checking in ready to board was a nightmare, they had 3 sets of desks open and still we were waiting for about 1 hour, their systems went down and we were left stood with no information about how long it would be to rectify. The cabins, we were in 3 cabins travelling as a family of 6, the cabins were small but adequate. One cabin was a disabled accessible one and was a lot bigger and gave more room to manoeuvre around each other. Our cabin steward was Donnalee and she was amazing, going over and above and sorting out what we needed when we needed it. She was always smiling, polite and courteous. The ship was over crowed and on day one there were no sun loungers available, we opted to spend our time in the adults only section as it was more relaxing, less shouting from children and a bar close at hand. We had older teenage children with us, so therefore they wanted to relax too and not race around in the pool area. There were 2 hot tubs in this area and a small pool. the hot tubs were smaller than the main swimming section, allowing only 6 people in them, this caused a lot of overcrowding and was not always a pleasant experience. The slides were good fun, be the organisation could have been better, we have to wait in line for the inflatable rings for one slide and then wait again for the slide itself, younger children were not always wanting to wait and would rather try and push past everyone in order to get in sooner. There are many bars on board, some great and some not so, we found the biggest problem in the evening was the music battles, satin the whiskey bar you had the guitar playing, in the next bar area (one step to the side) you have a piano playing, then from the ceiling speakers you had other music playing - causing a clash of sounds, so if you wanted to have a quiet drink and a chat about your day, you would be totally out of luck. O'Sheehans bar was similar to this, the atrium could be heard from the bar (films and noise) one side and then the bowling alley the other side and with that a few arcade style games, whilst these are great things to do and we participated in some of them, they added to the general noise and again you couldn't hear what your party members were saying. The food hall was renamed 'The Bun Fight Cafe' by our group, you literally had to fight your way to find a table and fight for food and drink, it was not a pleasant experience and we are glad to say we found Taste, the more formal dining, after one meal, so only had breakfast in The Bun Fight Cafe. The selection on offer was great, just the volume of people and their arrogance and ignorance was the failing part on this. There were big booths, suitable for families and you'd get people on their own sitting there while leaving tables for 2 and 3 for larger families. Taste was great for evening meals, we ate there a lot and they changes their specials, we had breakfast here once, but the service was so slow it spoilt the experience. We also ate at O'Sheehans, it was lovely, food, noisy but not changed so was limited on what to eat. We always ate at the Shanghai restaurant, this was delicious and can highly recommend eating here. I tried the running track and was disappointed that half of it was closed due to maintenance, it would have been nicer if it was the whole deck (like on other ships) and went around outside so you could see the sea and scenery. I also tried the fitness centre, it was massive and catered for every fitness fanatics requirements. We opted for walking up and down the stairs more of the time as the lifts were very busy and despite there being plenty of them, you could be waiting a while for them to arrive. We didn't book any excursion with NCL direct, we booked all ours with Shore Excursions, these were amazing, we had some great private tours that were cheaper than the cruise ships and found that we had knowledgeable guides who showed everything we wanted to see, and more. I recommend shopping around for these, I heard one complaint at least where they had to wait for people on the tour, which cut their excursion time down considerably. We had the ultimate beverage package which was a little strange at times, firstly some bar tenders ask for every card for every drink and others ask for just a couple, no consistency there. You can only have coffee when you are eating, otherwise you pay, strange concept as each bar has a coffee machine. Beverages of $15 you get charged the difference, fair enough and in many cases they say, there will be a change for this. Although we had a good time, we would not go on the Norwegian line again, we would go back to Royal Caribbean.

Not a patch on Royal Caribbean.

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by ssbz079

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Firstly the booking and pre-visit information was good, everything we needed to know was available prior to boarding. Checking in ready to board was a nightmare, they had 3 sets of desks open and still we were waiting for about 1 hour, their systems went down and we were left stood with no information about how long it would be to rectify.

The cabins, we were in 3 cabins travelling as a family of 6, the cabins were small but adequate. One cabin was a disabled accessible one and was a lot bigger and gave more room to manoeuvre around each other. Our cabin steward was Donnalee and she was amazing, going over and above and sorting out what we needed when we needed it. She was always smiling, polite and courteous.

The ship was over crowed and on day one there were no sun loungers available, we opted to spend our time in the adults only section as it was more relaxing, less shouting from children and a bar close at hand. We had older teenage children with us, so therefore they wanted to relax too and not race around in the pool area. There were 2 hot tubs in this area and a small pool. the hot tubs were smaller than the main swimming section, allowing only 6 people in them, this caused a lot of overcrowding and was not always a pleasant experience.

The slides were good fun, be the organisation could have been better, we have to wait in line for the inflatable rings for one slide and then wait again for the slide itself, younger children were not always wanting to wait and would rather try and push past everyone in order to get in sooner.

There are many bars on board, some great and some not so, we found the biggest problem in the evening was the music battles, satin the whiskey bar you had the guitar playing, in the next bar area (one step to the side) you have a piano playing, then from the ceiling speakers you had other music playing - causing a clash of sounds, so if you wanted to have a quiet drink and a chat about your day, you would be totally out of luck. O'Sheehans bar was similar to this, the atrium could be heard from the bar (films and noise) one side and then the bowling alley the other side and with that a few arcade style games, whilst these are great things to do and we participated in some of them, they added to the general noise and again you couldn't hear what your party members were saying.

The food hall was renamed 'The Bun Fight Cafe' by our group, you literally had to fight your way to find a table and fight for food and drink, it was not a pleasant experience and we are glad to say we found Taste, the more formal dining, after one meal, so only had breakfast in The Bun Fight Cafe. The selection on offer was great, just the volume of people and their arrogance and ignorance was the failing part on this. There were big booths, suitable for families and you'd get people on their own sitting there while leaving tables for 2 and 3 for larger families.

Taste was great for evening meals, we ate there a lot and they changes their specials, we had breakfast here once, but the service was so slow it spoilt the experience. We also ate at O'Sheehans, it was lovely, food, noisy but not changed so was limited on what to eat. We always ate at the Shanghai restaurant, this was delicious and can highly recommend eating here.

I tried the running track and was disappointed that half of it was closed due to maintenance, it would have been nicer if it was the whole deck (like on other ships) and went around outside so you could see the sea and scenery. I also tried the fitness centre, it was massive and catered for every fitness fanatics requirements.

We opted for walking up and down the stairs more of the time as the lifts were very busy and despite there being plenty of them, you could be waiting a while for them to arrive.

We didn't book any excursion with NCL direct, we booked all ours with Shore Excursions, these were amazing, we had some great private tours that were cheaper than the cruise ships and found that we had knowledgeable guides who showed everything we wanted to see, and more. I recommend shopping around for these, I heard one complaint at least where they had to wait for people on the tour, which cut their excursion time down considerably.

We had the ultimate beverage package which was a little strange at times, firstly some bar tenders ask for every card for every drink and others ask for just a couple, no consistency there. You can only have coffee when you are eating, otherwise you pay, strange concept as each bar has a coffee machine. Beverages of $15 you get charged the difference, fair enough and in many cases they say, there will be a change for this.

Although we had a good time, we would not go on the Norwegian line again, we would go back to Royal Caribbean.
ssbz079’s Full Rating Summary
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