Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by TruthTraveler
- Sail Date: March 2018
- Destination: Caribbean
We were in 8064 port toward the front pretty close to one of the two banks of elevators on each deck. Pretty good location for me and my two boys. Even though the cabin will technically sleep three, it is small even for two and has this undulating interior design that is truly weird. The bathtub/shower is directly to the right as you enter - with accordion glass doors. On the left side is a smallish toilet ( Class C RV size)t with a glass door as well. The sink is exposed to the cabin next to the toilet enclosure. A strange set-up. The third person basically sleeps on the undulating couch which calls for a somewhat unnatural sleeping position. The main bed is over by the sliding glass door to the balcony and is comfortable enough for two. There is plenty of storage everywhere. There are only two electrical outlets in the cabinet under the TV. Not very convenient. The balcony is fungible with two cheap web chairs and a couple of small metal end tables. The balcony overlooks the lifeboats so there is no direct view down to the sea - everybody on the port side has the view. To call this a "minisuite" is hyperbolic indeed except for the "mini."
The food was, overall, mediocre particularly for NCL where we have traditionally found pretty decent fare. The breakfast buffet was standard and you can get eggs/omelets to order and the usual array of pre-cooked eggs, meats, fruits etc. You can get fresh juice for extra $. Dinner at Cagney's steakhouse was subpar - my porterhouse was comparable to something you might find at Kroger for $9.99 a pound. Teppanyaki was similarly uninspired. Cuccina was the best of a bad lot with a nice view and good pasta. My boys convinced me to eat one "Asian" dinner at the Garden buffet - I found that experience the worst of the lot. The Manhattan restaurant was nicely decorated in a subdued way and served up pretty decent (but not really good) fare, albeit generally warm instead of hot. The other "main" restaurant Taste we found unattractive (many of the tables can be observed from the deck above) and tried to avoid it. There are bars everywhere and the bar staff is competent and can make a good martini. On that subject, get the Ultimate Beverage Package - it includes high end liquor and other drinks so long as there is not a lot of mixing involved. Grey Goose vodka comes with that package, for example. The wines by the glass are pretty good.
All of the staff we encountered were pleasant, professional, overwhelmingly Asian and spoke pretty good English. Some inanities are memorable - one of my boys scraped his knee on the pool deck and the towel meister directed us to get a band aid from the front desk where, in turn, we were advised to go to deck 10 and pay 25 cents in some machine for a band aid. Really? On ship days, you had better get your butt up to the pool deck early and "reserve" a lounge chair because there are insufficient numbers of them. The pools and hot tubs are tiny for such a mob. The boys liked the water slides. Music blares endlessly up on the pool deck. Many passengers in varying states of inebriation on a daily basis - getting the most from their Ultimate Beverage Package. The kid's package is not worth it - after a day or two, most of the bars did not even require you to show ID to get a soft drink.
We found it impossible to get reservations at a kid-friendly time for the coveted entertainment shows, many of these are reprised on the television to you are not entirely cut out. Bingo was a total mob scene most days so that was limited. The boys enjoyed bowling which, at $7 per person per game was not unreasonably priced.
The dopiest part of the design of this ship, though, has to be deck 6 which you cannot traverse without succumbing to a huge casino operation in the middle reeking of stale smoke - it almost makes you gag. One of the "free" restaurants, O'Sheehans, is proximately situated to the casino and suffers from the same chronic malodorous miasma. This is not a good thing.
The Wifi was easier to sign onto than normal, but it had a strange habit of refusing to log you off even though pretending you were logged off, so I wound up in a daily routine of visiting the internet manager who credited back my minutes without complaint. The Ice Bar is a silly distraction that winds up costing much more than it is worth. The shopping is the standard shopping and the at-sea artwork seemed worse than normal.
Overall, I am disappointed to say that I didn't like this ship much. It lacked the surprisingly good food of the Pearl, the Jade and the Sky; the dining rooms lacked the elegance of the Pearl and the Jade; the crowds were everywhere, and it had sort of a cheap carnival atmosphere.
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