7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
As someone who enjoys cruising I often read the reviews here on Cruise Critic. I find it hard at times reading the different opinions of passengers who were all on the same ship on the same sailing. Some had a great time while others ... Read More
As someone who enjoys cruising I often read the reviews here on Cruise Critic. I find it hard at times reading the different opinions of passengers who were all on the same ship on the same sailing. Some had a great time while others thought it was a complete disaster. Just a little about me, I'm a 53 year old male and have been on many cruises in the past such as carnival, holland america, celebrity ,MSC and norwegian. With that being said, this is my first time writing a review on any cruise. I want to start out my review with how it started with our arrival to port Canaveral. We arrived at about 9:45 very little traffic, easy access to parking and plenty. Super easy park car and walk a few yards over to the porters to check in luggage. NO wait. We were directed to the first security check in (their are two) very quick moving and i would say maybe 6 people in front of us. Second security stop moved just as fast. Now on to reception for check in . Easy! No problems.. very friendly staff. No wait. After check in we were in the second group to board. We headed to the Garden Cafe for lunch and it was 11:30 not bad at all. By 1:00 we were in our cabin and already unpacking. We had a (hull balcony) deck 12 in the front of the ship... Loved it, so private and very quiet. This was a cabin we got after taking part in the upgrade offer from Norwegian, so glad we put in the offer for an upgrade from our inside cabin. The cabin was nice ,plenty of room for two with plenty of storage. Everyone finds it a strange layout with the separate bathroom layout but, honestly its not a big deal and by day two you dont even give it a second thought. Ok,, now on to the bed that everyone says is too short, well.... due to the shape of the wall/headboard the mattress has about 3 to 4 inches that are under the headboard. Hard to believe that no one has realized that you can grab the handle at the end of the frame.. and pull it out just a few inches and add all the lenght you need and still have plenty of room to walk by, Im 6'1 and my feet did not hang off the bed. Slept great very comfortable and the cabins A/C worked great. The cabin was clean and well stocked at all times by our steward Dominick. (great job) As always passengers and crew must participate in the muster drill, and nothing to it if you paid attention to directions ... you could see the confusion on many passengers faces due to the fact that most didnt pay attention. No fault of crew people just dont listen. Sail away party on pool deck was crowded and is to be expected with a ship of over 4000 The Epic is a huge ship and I found it to be clean and in pretty good shape for ist age. We enjoyed the food in Taste and the Manhattan, both were nice and we had no waite at all every night of our cruise. The service did seem rushed at times and I get it... they have a lot of passengers to feed in a timely manner. yes, some staff were overworked and it showed but, no one was rude. The garden Cafe had plenty to offer for breakfast, lunch and dinner. no issues finding a table there is always one available. Enjoyed the circus dreams dinner show... set menu, food was good and the show was good. Worth the price. As for entertainment.... we really enjoyed Prisclla queen of the desert! Burn the floor was just ok... ive seen this show several times in the past and it seems to have changed "alot" Honestly couldnt wait for it to be over,. The 80,s party at spice H20 was alot of fun. ( can you say drink package) (oh my) ok.... the pool... yes! it does get crowded, yes there are chair hogs! Ive never been on a cruise that didnt have chair hogs... little secret you can go up to, i think its deck 15 and there are plenty of empty chairs... and yes you can also order a drink the servers are always coming by. ( this deck was a well kept secret) and it was heaven getting away from all the crazyness of the pool area. As for the ports... they are what you make of them. your on vacation(enjoy) Disembarkation - we did the self assist, walked off the ship with our luggage and was in our car and had our parking paid by 8:30am (we really lucked out because lines were starting to form. All in all we really enjoyed ourselves, no complaints... with the ship or crew IS it big, yes! Are there over 4000 passengers yes! A little planning helps ,book things of interest and you will not be disappointed. i would sail with norwegian again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Chose the cruise because of the advertised dining, shows and club experience. Great experience boarding and unboarding which is not an added value. It was the in-between that was dissapointing. Steward was rude with smart comments thru ... Read More
Chose the cruise because of the advertised dining, shows and club experience. Great experience boarding and unboarding which is not an added value. It was the in-between that was dissapointing. Steward was rude with smart comments thru out the cruise. Unsupervised kids misbehaving. Unable to attend shows and specialty dining because they were booked the entire cruise. Ship ran out of towels and wash rags. Liquor store closed on 3rd day of cruise with limited supply to purchase. Cruise experience did not cater to the minority crowd. We upgraded to a balcony room which made this cruise doable. The Norwegian Epic has been relocated to the Medeterian perhaps the standards are lower there. I must say The Carnival Experience on a much older / smaller ship was wonderful. Norwegian need to take note. Unsure if we will cruise Norwegian again. I can not recommend this cruise to anyone. Very dissappointed. Feel robbed and cheated! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We have such mixed feelings about this cruise. I will summarize into Pro and Con. Cons: Packed- over 4500 people on the ship and it felt like it. Spring break-almost half of these people were kids., I love kids-when people watch them ... Read More
We have such mixed feelings about this cruise. I will summarize into Pro and Con. Cons: Packed- over 4500 people on the ship and it felt like it. Spring break-almost half of these people were kids., I love kids-when people watch them and they are behaved. Many of the kids were unsupervised, they were allowed to go where they wanted and do what they wanted. I have never seen so many kids unsupervised=parents felt they were on a break and their kids were the ships problems. There were kids in the pools, the hot tubs, the lounges...etc. I sat next to 2 pre-teens at the bar-they had Cokes but it was weird to sit next to a child at an adults bar. I complained and I left. Their were kids in the hot tubs playing and throwing drinks/sodas. The excursions were the same way-too many rude people. This was the absolute worse- the room service. The 1st time we had it, we were told 30 minutes and it came in 47-uhhhhhhh, do you like your eggs cold and chewy.We also missed our first ship to the excursion because they were late. The 2nd- they were late again , the eggs were colder and lousy. We went to Scuba w/o any food. Do not do room service, it really is that bad. Our last breakfast at O'sh. was terrible. if they want us off the ship, shouldn't they give you a good breakfast fast. They didn''t. It was slow and lousy. Why would your last meal be a hit, not a late, lousy, greasy mess. The website was a mess. I ordered trips and shows that never were booked. We were confirmed for the trip but never received our check in papers. We arrived at the pier with no way to mark our luggage and thousands of people in line, this was not a good way to start our trip. We had called the day before and we were told to go straight to the bronze line, they would take care of everything. Every time we mentioned the bronze line, they looked at us like we were crazy. The NCL rep.going on to the ship was downright rude to us. Pros-The staff was amazing. When our "booked" shows didn't materialize, the gentleman took care of everything. The food was very good at most places and excellent at many The shows were very good.The room was a good size even though it was laid out strange. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Norwegian Epic: We chose this cruise because we wanted to go back to Ocho Rios and George Town. We were concerned about the size of the ship and if it would be too crowded. But the ship itself is very nicely decorated, it seems to have ... Read More
Norwegian Epic: We chose this cruise because we wanted to go back to Ocho Rios and George Town. We were concerned about the size of the ship and if it would be too crowded. But the ship itself is very nicely decorated, it seems to have plenty of room, and it didn't feel crowded at all. All the staff was very friendly, pleasant, and helpful. We always got seated right away at the restaurants, the food was good, and we didn't have to wait a long time for our food. The cafe was very nice and had a good variety. We really enjoyed the shows and entertainment, and the cruise director was nice and friendly. We were impressed how they run the photo gallery now. You don't have to search for your pictures anymore. You are assigned a bookcase and binder number, and they put all your pictures in your binder. The only thing that wasn't easy was embarking and disembarking. With that many people on the ship it was a very long line to wait in both times. However, getting off the ship at the different ports for excursions was very organized and was not a problem. The only bad experience we had was in George Town trying to get back on the ship after our excursion. The line for the tender boats to take us back to the ship was so long and you were standing in the hot sun the whole time. There were about 4 or 5 cruise ships there at the same time and they didn't have enough tender boats for that capacity. If we knew that was going to happen we would have bought hats and cold water before we got in line. And when we finally got to the NCL tent, they had cold water to give us, but they only had about an inch and a half of water in each cup! We all so hot after standing an hour and a half in the hot sun that we could have drank a whole cup of water. Overall we were very pleased with the ship and staff, and we had a good experience. Our excursion at Great Stirrup Cay was the beach and snorkel. The beach was clean, the water was very beautiful, and there were plenty of beach chairs. It was a relaxing day to just walk around, snorkel, and soak up some sun. We enjoyed the free buffet lunch and there was a bar if you wanted to purchase any alcoholic beverages. We didn't see very many fish when we were snorkeling like we did when we were there many years ago, but the water was pretty cool that day so we didn't stay in for very long. In Ocho Rios we did the Bobsled and Dunn's River Falls. We took a very nice chair lift up to Mystic Mountain through the rain forest. The views of the coast and water was beautiful. When you got to the top you got to ride the Bobsled down. It was very fun. It may have only lasted about 2 minutes, but then the track automatically took you slowly back up to where you started. You could ride it as many times as you wanted and there was an infinity pool you could swim in that had an amazing view of the coast. However, we had to keep track of our time since we still had to go to Dunn's River Falls. When we got to the falls it was very crowded and our group had to wait for quite a while before we got our guide. There were many groups and many lines going up the falls, but it is still a very fun experience. I would recommend just doing one of the excursions instead of combining them. That way you can get there first thing in the morning so that it won't be so crowded and you would have more time to spend at the location. In George Town we took the Turtles, Turtles & More Turtles tour. This was a great excursion there you got to see a lot of sea turtles of various ages. There were huge ones swimming in a big area with a board walk around it. They also had different pools with some younger turtles, and some pools with baby turtles that you could actually pick up and get a picture with. They were very cautious and had you sanitize your hands before and after touching the turtles. They also had an aviary that had several different kinds of birds you could look at and feed. But the best part of all was actually being able to swim with the turtles! Be sure to bring your water cameras to get the best pictures up close of these beautiful sea turtles. Finally, our last excursion was in Cozumel where we did the Speed Boat, Snorkel & Beach. That was awesome fun! After a brief training we got our gear and got into a two person speed boat. We followed our guide through the beautiful caribbean waters for about 20 minutes. Then we got out and snorkeled for about 20-30 minutes. After that we got back in the speed boats and did some more racing over the water for another 20 minutes. When we got back to the beach we had a delicious lunch. They gave you the option to purchase pictures of you in the speed boats, but before we could purchase ours we had to get on the bus to go back to the port. Before getting back on the ship we had plenty of time to do some shopping. This was a very enjoyable cruise and the ship was very nice! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This is my third NCL cruise, but first on the Epic. I picked this particular cruise as I had little options due to my kids spring break week and I don't like to go to the same place twice. This is what NCL had to offer and I was ... Read More
This is my third NCL cruise, but first on the Epic. I picked this particular cruise as I had little options due to my kids spring break week and I don't like to go to the same place twice. This is what NCL had to offer and I was excited to go on a mega ship. Here is my summary Embarkation, quite smooth especially as it was right at 11:30 when we arrived at the port. Cabin, two aft balconies 8210 and 8212 they were ready by 2pm. Clean and some what spacious. Shower was good but the toilet was loud to flush and no privacy. Norman our cabin steward was amazing, he even fixed the heel on my shoe Dining, so many choices but you have to time some restaurants right. I pre booked my three specialty dining restaurants months before we set sail. Teppanyaki was our favourite of the three we went too. Garden Cafe buffet was great for what it is, always found a seat. We like Taste this best for breakfast, lunch and dinner. O'Sheehans Irish Pub was the worst, for some reason no matter what time of day or night the service was always super slow. Entertainment: great variety, loved Priscilla Queen of the Desert show. Wish I booked Cirque De Soleil show before we boarded as it was fully booked every night. We watched some of the quizzes in the Atrium, you need to arrive early to get a seat before these game shows/quizzes. Service: Norman the cabin steward was a great guy and a pleasure to have as our steward. Most restaurants and bars we visited had wonderful service, my only complaint is the service in the O'Sheehans Irish Pub just so slow and not very friendly staff. I had the unfortunate visit to the medical center with stomach flu on the first night (not caught on the ship but in Florida). the Medical center staff were great and the Dr was very understanding and gave me two shots and some tablets. The rule is you have to stay in your cabin for 24hrs after your last episode of vomiting or diarrhea which sucks but totally understandable as you don't want to infect everyone else on board. Splash Academy: the kids club staff were amazing and I felt extremely safe leaving my 3 year old in their hands, they are the best part of the ship. They take the time to get to know your child and are very friendly, and work super hard to make the kids love going. Ports: Great Stirrups Cay, kids had a good time food was ok, weather wasn't great so we only spent a couple of hours on the island. Ocho Rios, we hired a guy Chris from www.chrisjamicatours.com. Great guy, I told him where we would like to go and he drove us. First stop Mystic Mountain Bob Sled. Chris helped us get our tickets and told us where to go. We went up the mountain in the chair lift with stunning views of the bay. There was a long line for the bob sled ride which was a shame. However the ride itself was fun, I wish it was cheaper as it doesn't last long at all. Then we called Chris who picked us up and took us to Dunns River Fall a 600ft waterfall you climb up with a guide. I think everyone who got off the four cruise ships in town that day where in the falls, the place was packed and it ruined the trip. We waited an hour to get a guide and then the joined the 100's of people climbing. Not fun, but we paid so we had to do it. I was a little nervous and took the 3 year old with us but he was great and managed the climb. We arranged with Chris a time to pick us up and take us for lunch. he choice a his local restaurant, he called ahead with an order as it was very busy. When we arrived he found us a table, ordered our drinks and the food came quick. It was delicious. Chris then drove us back to the port, he was a great tour guide and highly recommend him. Grand Cayman, Georgetown. I didn't book anything so after searching for 15 minutes for a taxi we finally to one to a beach resort on Seven Mile Beach, taxi cost $4 per person, entrance to resort was $2 per person and you can use all their facilities, pool, beach, showers, toilets, bar and restaurant. A little crowed at first but people soon cleared out. I have never seen such clear water in all my travels like the water here. Warmish, calm and some beautiful fish. My 13 year old loved snorkeling here. Lots of taxi's waiting outside to return people back to the port. Cozumel. I booked an excursion through NCL as I didn't want to be stuck like we where in Grand Cayman looking for a taxi. I already knew we wanted to just hang out a beach. We choose Playa Mia day pass. It takes a long time to get off the ship and on to the bus to take you to the beach for some reason, then a good 40 minute drive. By the time we arrived there was only a handful of sun loungers left and no umbrellas. The weather was overcast so didn't matter too much. The ocean wasn't that pleasant with lots of little pieces of seaweed and stuff floating around, not great for snorkeling. The only good parts where the splash pad for the 3 year old, the inflatables in the ocean for the big kids, the kayaks and pedalos. Food was mediocre, water in the pool and hot tub was cold. Over crowded and not worth the $40 each person. Disembarkation: AWFUL 2 hours to get off the ship, through customs and to the parking lot. Main issue was there was only 2 custom officers working, checking all 4100 passengers. Disgraceful and so unnecessary. They have the same amount of people to get off every week they need more staff. I still like NCL because of there Freestyle dining, kids club staff and their variety of things to do onboard. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We had sailed on Royal Caribbean both times in the past and absolutely loved it- in particular the Oasis. We did upgrade to the Haven and that was fabulous. I'm not sure if we would have liked it as much, had we not upgraded. The ... Read More
We had sailed on Royal Caribbean both times in the past and absolutely loved it- in particular the Oasis. We did upgrade to the Haven and that was fabulous. I'm not sure if we would have liked it as much, had we not upgraded. The customer service in the Haven was excellent! I would do it again in a heartbeat. We ate breakfast in the Haven each morning- tried the general buffet once, but we were not impressed. The specialty restaurants were excellent - particularly the French Bistro. The Haven also had a private sun deck which we loved- it was only for adults so it was quiet and relaxing. We love the bigger boats with more options. We were not too fond of the smoke in the casino which was actually everywhere on that floor. Norwegian's private island was awesome- it was very clean and they put on a lovely lunch. Looking forward to trying out one of their other large boats sometime! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We learned a lot on this trip. This was our first big ship experience, and we learned that we definitely like the smaller ships better. We like the feel of the concierge and butler knowing every single person, and them always being there ... Read More
We learned a lot on this trip. This was our first big ship experience, and we learned that we definitely like the smaller ships better. We like the feel of the concierge and butler knowing every single person, and them always being there even when you don’t call. Since the Epic is a bigger ship with more Haven suites, you don’t really get that feel as much as you might get it on a Jewel Class ship. We like the feel of the personal service. It’s just impossible to do that with all of those people in The Haven. Another big thing is that the elevators were so busy and in such high demand that it took forever to get one. Even when just going up one deck. Elevators are vital to transport Emily in her wheelchair, and it’s really annoying to have to wait. (And yes we know about The Haven room card slot, but it didn't always work. We liked Bowen the concierge, but didn’t get know him as much as we did Omar last year. Once again, this is simply because Bowen was taking care of too many people to get to know all of them personally. Omar is actually taking over for Bowen in a few weeks, and we cannot believe we missed him! The layout of the Epic is very interesting. It’s the only ship of its kind, as NCL had to cancel the order for her sister ship due to a dispute with the ship builder, STX. It was the only ship that has not been built by Meyer Werft since the Windward in 1993. The view of the outside deck on deck 7 is completely obstructed by life boats. This means that you can’t stand and watch the ocean flow by. There is also no access to an aft facing deck, since the aft is completely filled with aft facing rooms. These are some things that I absolutely love and look for in cruise ship. Sometimes it’s just nice to stand at the aft and watch the calm wake of the ship. The only place you can actually kinda see the wake is at Spice H2O on deck 15, and even then your view is somewhat obstructed. As far as entertainment on board, we loved all of the shows and parties. The Cirque Dreams show was excellent and very entertaining. We also really liked Priscilla Queen of the Desert! I really liked how they had themed parties at night at Spice H2O at the back of the ship where the big screen was. One night they had the 70’s dance party where they played music from the 70’s and everyone from that era danced along. They also held an 80’s dance party. One especially cool party that I did not get a chance to personally attend was the Glow Party where they paint your face and hand out glowing cups and glow sticks. As for service, it was always very fast. Whether we were in the Haven Restaurant, or a specialty restaurant, we always got what we wanted very quickly. I found that this time around the crew wasn’t very welcoming and happy as usual. They kinda seemed burnt out and tired of their jobs. They still did an amazing job. Better than any other cruise line we’ve been on! We had never been to any of the ports of call on this itinerary except for Cozumel. I'd have to say that Grand Cayman was my favorite port because of how beautiful it was. We never felt unsafe or threatened in any of the ports. I don't think we will be booking an itinerary with Great Stirrup Cay anytime soon. We liked it, but it just wasn't as great as it's all hyped up to be. I think that NCL took everything they did wrong on GSC, and fixed it on Harvest Caye. We thought Jamaica was fun too, but probably wouldn't rush back there anytime soon. When booking in The Haven, you get all five Norwegian “Free” at Seas perks. We ended up upgrading the free 1GB of internet to unlimited, and adding 2 additional dining packages so that the other two of us would have it. Only two of us had the Ultimate Drink Package (one of the perks), and that seemed to work out just fine for all of us. We used our shore excursion credit to pay for $50 of the beach club in Jamaica. I know that’s only four, but the friends and family sail free perk did not apply to our sailing. A complaint that we had that had nothing to do with the ship or the cruise line was the loud and rowdy kids in The Haven. I get it, it’s spring break, but after 10 PM it’s just reckless and obnoxious. The people in the suite next door were up yelling, screaming, and blasting music into the late hours of the night. One night we even called security, but they were still really loud. We might have been a little bit petty and banged on the walls at night and in the morning while they were trying to sleep. Disembarkation was FAST! It was within the blink of an eye! I looked at my watch in our stateroom at 7:33, and when we were on the curb at 7:49. 16 minutes. Way to go Norwegian! We also had a little surprise waiting on the curb. We had booked a limo to come pick us up a couple months back. It was so cool! I’ve never been in a limo. It kinda lightened the blow of having to get off the ship. Now that it’s over, we keep doing things like waiting for someone to put napkins across our laps at places like McDonald’s or Olive Garden, and waiting to be escorted to the front of long lines. I even tried to pay with my ship card somewhere! It didn’t work if you didn’t already know. Whoops. Back to reality, am I right? We’re headed home and the Norwegian Epic is headed to Barcelona on a 15 night transatlantic cruise for her summer cruising season. I would like to say a huge thank you to Norwegian Cruise Line for another unforgettable cruise! Even though we don’t have another cruise booked YET, we will definitely be sailing with them again in the near future! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
This was my first Caribbean cruise and my third time on the Epic. I say great job to the employees of the Epic!! Everything was excellent. The ship was beautiful, clean, comfortable, and packed with many things to do and activities to ... Read More
This was my first Caribbean cruise and my third time on the Epic. I say great job to the employees of the Epic!! Everything was excellent. The ship was beautiful, clean, comfortable, and packed with many things to do and activities to participate in. Unfortunately I didn't realize beforehand this was spring break time and the ship was filled with teenagers. However, the kids were well behaved and we had a wonderful time. Our excursions were "off the chain" and well worth it. We had so much fun on the wave runners at Great Stirrup Cay and our cabana was worth the investment. Grand Cayman is a beautiful island - even though we didn't book an excursion through the ship, we hopped over to seven mile beach and there was plenty to do there. In Ocho Rios we did water tubing and the Dune Buggy and snorkeling tour in Cozumel. Back on the ship, we had the specialty dining package and the specialty restaurants onboard the Epic were top notch. All of the servers were so nice and went out of their way to make sure we were happy. Our cabin was spacious and the bed was so comfortable. I only have to two things negative in nature to say. First, the pool on the Epic could stand to be a bit larger. During sea days, they can tend to be a bit crowded. Secondly, logistics of getting back on the ship at tender ports can take some time if you wait until the last minute. Too many of the excursions are scheduled to get back too close to departure time of the ship. But, all in all, this was a wonder cruise and I can't wait until my next one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
I've sailed Norwegian four times. This was my first on Epic. I was reading reviews prior to the cruise and was slightly apprehensive. It took me a good day or two to learn my way around the ship. A strange layout. And yes, the ... Read More
I've sailed Norwegian four times. This was my first on Epic. I was reading reviews prior to the cruise and was slightly apprehensive. It took me a good day or two to learn my way around the ship. A strange layout. And yes, the bathroom is not the best set up. I was prepared for that. And the complaints about not being able to get a lounge at or near pool is true. But this was nothing that ruined my cruise. The crew were all very pleasant. Ship was clean. Food was plenty. If you couldn't find anything you liked, i think its a taste bud issue. Entertainment was enjoyable. Don't miss Cirque Dreams. Its worth the extra $. How am at the Moon is a MUST! They are fabulous. Embarkation went smoothly. Disembarkation, not so much. Took forever. But again, you have to expect these things and just go with the flow and not let these things ruin what should be a great vacation. Read Less
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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