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Twenty years ago we spent our honeymoon on a Norwegian ship. It was an excellent experience. We decided to try Norwegian cruise line again with the Epic. It was a complete failure. The design of the ship is laid out badly and confusing. There are only elevators at the front and the back of the ship. There is always long lines and crowds for the elevators. What makes it worse is the crowds pile in the elevator which has no air conditioning. It is like standing in a packed sauna. The ship decor and staterooms have a very dark paneling which gives it a bad lighting atmosphere. The ship was so overcrowded that it wasn't relaxing. It was like standing in long lines at Disney World just to get on a ride. You had to arrive at restaurants and shows at least one hour prior to their scheduled times because long lines formed early for each event. Nobody made it clear that you needed to book showtimes and non specialty restaurants reservations before boarding the ship. To add to the frustration all show activities are located in the same area of the ship. You couldn't move because long lines formed early for each show. You always had to wait in lines for everything and make sure you got there early. For the shows you didn't reserve, there was still long lines and standing room only crowds. The comedian acts repeated their same shows. Had we known we wouldn't have waited for the same show in standing room only crowds. The juggler Dan Bennett and the magician were the only good shows. While Priscilla had wonderful costume changes and singers, the show was definitely not appropriate for a cruise ship audience. Especially as the main entertainment show. The bad design of the ship also included very small pools that were more like the size of a bath tub especially with over 3000 cruisers onboard. The sports deck did not include the traditional miniature golf course that is featured on all other cruise ships. The bad design of the ship also involved being forced to walk through smoked filled casino areas to get to other venues and restaurants on the ship. This is very harmful for non smokers. While sitting in the Taste Restaurant you could even smell the smoke from the Casino above. We were also very unhappy to find out that even with the beverage package, you could not get bottled water for free. Why? We are not heavy drinkers and I am sure bottled water is cheaper than alcohol. As long time cruisers, we enjoy booking the spa suite balcony level or higher. The only redeeming factor on the Epic is the Thermal Suite Hydrotherapy area in the spa. Access to it is included in a spa level stateroom. This area provides the much needed stress relief from the constant crowds and lines in all areas of the Epic ship. The balcony in the spa area is the quietest area on the ship even with the roar of the rear engines. Again though this area would become so crowded because everyone agreed it was the only place to escape the craziness of this ship. We booked this vacation for my husbands birthday. His favorite food is Italian. We choose La Cucina for that reason. We both were very sadly disappointed with this restaurant. How does an Italian restaurant not offer pasta selections? My husband left the restaurant without eating. The waiter felt so bad that he gave us pizzas to eat later. This cruise was an "Epic" failure. We will never book Norwegian again. Celebrity cruise line has shown that they treat their passengers royally with better ship features, indoor, and outdoor facilities, and entertainment while having comparable prices. I noticed in other posts where they mentioned catching a bad cold at the end of their Epic cruise. We had the same problem. We were not sick when we got on the Epic but left our vacation with a bad cold despite constant hand washing. We noticed many other cruisers were coughing by the end of the cruise.

Norwegian Epic is an "Epic" failure

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by andreaj160

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Spa Mini-Suite with Balcony
Twenty years ago we spent our honeymoon on a Norwegian ship. It was an excellent experience. We decided to try Norwegian cruise line again with the Epic. It was a complete failure. The design of the ship is laid out badly and confusing. There are only elevators at the front and the back of the ship. There is always long lines and crowds for the elevators. What makes it worse is the crowds pile in the elevator which has no air conditioning. It is like standing in a packed sauna. The ship decor and staterooms have a very dark paneling which gives it a bad lighting atmosphere. The ship was so overcrowded that it wasn't relaxing. It was like standing in long lines at Disney World just to get on a ride. You had to arrive at restaurants and shows at least one hour prior to their scheduled times because long lines formed early for each event. Nobody made it clear that you needed to book showtimes and non specialty restaurants reservations before boarding the ship. To add to the frustration all show activities are located in the same area of the ship. You couldn't move because long lines formed early for each show. You always had to wait in lines for everything and make sure you got there early. For the shows you didn't reserve, there was still long lines and standing room only crowds. The comedian acts repeated their same shows. Had we known we wouldn't have waited for the same show in standing room only crowds. The juggler Dan Bennett and the magician were the only good shows. While Priscilla had wonderful costume changes and singers, the show was definitely not appropriate for a cruise ship audience. Especially as the main entertainment show. The bad design of the ship also included very small pools that were more like the size of a bath tub especially with over 3000 cruisers onboard. The sports deck did not include the traditional miniature golf course that is featured on all other cruise ships. The bad design of the ship also involved being forced to walk through smoked filled casino areas to get to other venues and restaurants on the ship. This is very harmful for non smokers. While sitting in the Taste Restaurant you could even smell the smoke from the Casino above. We were also very unhappy to find out that even with the beverage package, you could not get bottled water for free. Why? We are not heavy drinkers and I am sure bottled water is cheaper than alcohol. As long time cruisers, we enjoy booking the spa suite balcony level or higher. The only redeeming factor on the Epic is the Thermal Suite Hydrotherapy area in the spa. Access to it is included in a spa level stateroom. This area provides the much needed stress relief from the constant crowds and lines in all areas of the Epic ship. The balcony in the spa area is the quietest area on the ship even with the roar of the rear engines. Again though this area would become so crowded because everyone agreed it was the only place to escape the craziness of this ship. We booked this vacation for my husbands birthday. His favorite food is Italian. We choose La Cucina for that reason. We both were very sadly disappointed with this restaurant. How does an Italian restaurant not offer pasta selections? My husband left the restaurant without eating. The waiter felt so bad that he gave us pizzas to eat later. This cruise was an "Epic" failure. We will never book Norwegian again. Celebrity cruise line has shown that they treat their passengers royally with better ship features, indoor, and outdoor facilities, and entertainment while having comparable prices. I noticed in other posts where they mentioned catching a bad cold at the end of their Epic cruise. We had the same problem. We were not sick when we got on the Epic but left our vacation with a bad cold despite constant hand washing. We noticed many other cruisers were coughing by the end of the cruise.
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Cabin Review

Spa Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M9
Cabin was very clean but laid out strangely. As you enter the stateroom the shower is behind a glass sliding door on the left and the toilet is behind a sliding glass door on the right. There is little privacy if there is more than a couple in the room as there is no bathroom door. A curtain is provided to separate the shower and toilet area from the rest of the cabin. The cabin is very dimly lit and has dark paneling throughout. There are plenty of cabinet and storage places. The balcony is small and contains only two chairs and a small table. No loungers.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins