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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a large-scale family vacation - we had 8 people on board, occupying 4 cabins. Of the 8, 4 were newbies to the cruise industry, and 1 had been on 2 prior cruises. For the people in my immediate family, I would qualify us as ... Read More
This was a large-scale family vacation - we had 8 people on board, occupying 4 cabins. Of the 8, 4 were newbies to the cruise industry, and 1 had been on 2 prior cruises. For the people in my immediate family, I would qualify us as "seasoned cruisers." In saying this, I mean that we know what to realistically expect, having been on approximately 10 cruises, across all of the major family lines. I will break this down into 3 sections - the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. THE GOOD: The featured entertainment was terrific. We attended 3 shows in the main theater. While dance shows are not necessarily my thing, Burn the Floor was a very solid production. The dancing was terrific, and the featured musicians (guitar, bass, percussion) were all exceptional. The production of Priscilla was Broadway quality in production value, costume, acting and singing. Mind you that this is coming from an individual who lives in NYC, and is comparing it to real Broadway productions. The "Epic Beatles" were sensational. We had the opportunity to sit front row at their show in the Epic Theater, and it was fabulous. I regret that we could not see other shows in the Cavern Club because it was IMPOSSIBLE to get in. The Dueling Pianos (Howl at the Moon) were also terrific. THE BAD: Some of this has already been said, but it needs to be restated. The layout of the room (we had a "suite") is just strange. The shop only has 2 elevator banks - fore and aft. Any large ship we have ever been on in the past has 3 banks. This led to extended waits for the elevator. The main pools are way too small for a ship this size. Factor in that twice during the cruise one pool had to be shut down, and it amplifies the situation. There was way too much smoking on board, both in the casino and on the pool deck. Unless you had prior reservations, it was IMPOSSIBLE to get a seat at ANY of the "specialty" dining or show experiences. This included all of the restaurants, the "Cirque Dreams and Diner", and the "Escape the Big Top" event. THE DOWNRIGHT UGLY: And ugly it was. We had purchased all of our travel arrangements through NCL. I found out at 1:30AM on Saturday, April 20 that all of our flights had been cancelled. NCL's emergency travel service could not place us on a flight anywhere near NYC. After I spoke with a representative for Delta, I was informed about options out of Hartford. I promptly reached back out to NCL, and they booked us on the flight out of Hartford. I should not have to be the one handling the alternate travel arrangements, and the, "Sorry, we cannot do anything to help you" attitude didn't really fly with me (no pun intended). There were issues with our return flights as well. Guest services assured us that only 2 people in my party would be returning via Hartford. Delta had other thoughts in mind, and this led to some issues with the kids we were traveling with. The cruise director, Mandy, and her staff did a poor job of engaging the guests. It was disheartening to see one of her staff members struggle to find 10 people to participate in a game pool side on the last sea day. The piece de resistance, however, was the failure by anyone associated with NCL to apologize / make things right when members of the CD staff accidentally spilled a full glass of wine on my wife. No offer to replace the drink, no offer to clean the damage clothing, no assistance in cleaning up, not even an apology. I spoke with guest services, who contacted the assistant CD, Sandra. I was told she would be down to talk to us in "5 minutes." 5 became 15, and 15 became, "She cannot make it down, but she will call you in your cabin tomorrow morning at 8." In a word, unacceptable. With cruising as our vacation of choice, I can safely say that we will cross NCL off of our list when considering future cruises. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose this cruise on the spur of the moment. First time with Norwegian, we have cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean but there are only so many times you can go back to the same Caribbean islands and Norwegian had Grand Cayman and Ocho ... Read More
Chose this cruise on the spur of the moment. First time with Norwegian, we have cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean but there are only so many times you can go back to the same Caribbean islands and Norwegian had Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios which we had not been to. I give it average 3 stars more for the layout of the staterooms and the small pools on deck 15 and H2O, on one of the sea days we could not get a sun-bed anywhere and yet towels were left on them with no one anywhere to be found and that continued all around deck 15 and 16 we could have checked up higher but we were hoping to see some of the entertainment and deck 18 is kinda blah for atmosphere, and a dip in one of the pools would have been nice. Food was good both on the buffet and the Irish bar, we did not go to the dining rooms as my husband had been unwell with some treatments he had been receiving before the cruise and dining different courses was going to be too much for him so we stuck with the buffet and the Irish bar/restaurant. Very impressed with Grand Cayman stop,Ocho Rios was just okay and Cozumel we had been to before, but we do like Cozumel. Norwegian private island did not look to have as much to do as the other cruise lines private island that was docked without having to tender in. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We took a cruise to the Western Caribbean aboard the Norweigan Epic. There were pros and cons. Being it was a really huge ship, the common areas on the ship were very crowded. They did offer various shows and activities. If you wanted ... Read More
We took a cruise to the Western Caribbean aboard the Norweigan Epic. There were pros and cons. Being it was a really huge ship, the common areas on the ship were very crowded. They did offer various shows and activities. If you wanted to see a show you have to go to the box office to reserve your place. On another competitor you merely had to show up to see a show. (no reservations) I liked that arrangement more. The room we stayed in had about 2 ft. of space to walk between the bed/sofa and the storage areas, desk area. Being a balcony room you would think there'd be a little more space to move around. I agreed to pay for my gratuities ahead of time to the tune of over $200 and was charged for daily service charge. I asked what that was for, and they said gratuities to the staff. When I mentioned that I paid for that in my reservations, they didn't acknowledge this. I feel like I was double charged. So, watch it! The Casino was down the main floor and in two little rooms off to the sides on Deck 6. The rooms filled up with smoke as this was the designated smoking area. In the main aisle where some of it was located was the non-smoking area. However, you always had people pushing by as you tried to enjoy your machines or table games. The waiter in Cagney's (specialty dining) was very cold and matter of fact. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a last minute cruise. Booked a family mini suite deck 14. The ship was late leaving port on Saturday. Because they were loading heavy equipment and it was windy. The bar servers that the pool deck were kept busy this week. ... Read More
This was a last minute cruise. Booked a family mini suite deck 14. The ship was late leaving port on Saturday. Because they were loading heavy equipment and it was windy. The bar servers that the pool deck were kept busy this week. We never went to the main dining room. We eat in the garden buffet. One morning the wife wanted a bowl of cereal, got a box and a carton of milk. She took a spoon full and ended up spitting it out. She looked that the date on the carton of milk. It was 9 days past expiration date. Food was either over cooked or it was luke warm. First port of call was grand stirrup cay it's their beach day. Since I live in Florida I didn't go. Stay about an hour later, because they took a little while to get the ship in position because of some wind. Second port of call was ocho rios Jamaica, been here several time just got off the ship and walked around the port. Third port of call was Georgetown Grand Cayman this is a tender port, not sure why the Epic has such a time to get people off the ship but they do. More on that later. Fourth Port of call is Cozumel Mexico the wife and I went to town and she did some shopping. We've been to these ports so many times that we don't do shore excursions. As for self service by taking your own luggage off the ship we got in line at 7:10 am and was off the ship by 8:45am. the worst time ever. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Cruise NCL almost exclusively. Like their loyalty program. Love Breakaway class. Second time on the Epic. Was more naive the first time and didn't find as many annoying things; this time, much more experienced cruiser and felt ... Read More
Cruise NCL almost exclusively. Like their loyalty program. Love Breakaway class. Second time on the Epic. Was more naive the first time and didn't find as many annoying things; this time, much more experienced cruiser and felt everything had gone downhill. Was most disappointed in the Specialty Dining. We ate at Cagney's, Moderno, Teppanaki, La Cacina, and the Cirque show. All were average at best, both in food quality and service. The Manhatten Room didn't even have an Easter menu offered. All reservations were made prior to departure and thought things would go smoothly for group of 12. Had Special Events confirmation e-mails for everything. Don't believe it! The most blaring mistake was made by the Cirque show manager and box office manager. I was never alerted to get to the theater earlier than 7 p.m. for reserved seats for 12. At 6:45 p.m. not one table was available for our group since people had come at 5:30 and gotten front row seats. Evidently confirmation e-mails mean nothing to them. Since we attended the show the last evening of the cruise, it left a very bad impression on the family. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose this cruise for a five year couples trip. Got the "included" unlimited drink package in the cruise fare. (The one that doesn't include bottled water or coffee by the way-- absurd). We regularly cruise Royal Caribbean ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a five year couples trip. Got the "included" unlimited drink package in the cruise fare. (The one that doesn't include bottled water or coffee by the way-- absurd). We regularly cruise Royal Caribbean and Carnival but had an amazing experience with Norwegian on the Pearl a few years ago to Alaska. Chose the Epic based solely on the Pearl experience. Sadly, there was no similarities between these trips other than the Norwegian logo on the side of the ship. Lows of the trip: - Ship was extremely over crowded and has one of the poorest layouts I have ever experienced. Seriously- so unbelievably crowded. We couldn't attend most activities. - The Epic was tired with wear and tear seen throughout. I heard 5 years since dry dock from other passengers. - There was zero deck space nor enough chairs to accommodate even a fraction of the people onboard. Sea days are typically a highlight, but a nightmare on the Epic. - The adults "Spice H20" is a complete disappointment when compared to the Solarium on Royal Caribbean ships. The pool was tiny and it did not feel upscale or premium at all. - The evening entertainment options were lacking for a ship of this size and the venues could not accommodate the demand from passengers. - Disembarkation was nothing short of horrendous. It took one hour and forty minutes from the time we walked out of our state room to the time we made it back on land. (Think day after Thanksgiving shopping crowds on a cruise ship with luggage) We stood in one overcrowded stair wells for over 30 minutes before Norwegian staff encouraged people to board elevators going up only to ride back down. It was an embarrassment and so unprofessional. I walked off the Carnival Conquest and the RCCL Oasis of the Seas last year no sweat so I have no idea why this chaos existed on the Epic. - Received a $60 bar charge (remember we had a drink package) on my invoice the day of departure which lead to an additional 20 minutes at guest services to dispute and resolve. Pro's: - Room attendant was polite and attentive - Dining was acceptable overall and timely - Priscilla Queen of the Desert was edgy and fun - Facilities were enjoyable on port days when everyone else was off the ship - Maltings Bar was peaceful and had good service - Buffet handled capacity well and could always find a seat. I recommend that you all weigh your options before you put down your hard earned vacation dollars on the Norwegian Epic. Norwegians innovations and concepts were flawlessly executed on its smaller ships like the Pearl. I don't think they were able to scale their services adequately on these newer mega ships and therefore I'd look elsewhere. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first family cruise and we had a blast. I was a little nervous choosing the EPIC due to recent negative reviews but we really enjoyed our cruise and had no complaints. Embarkation was smooth, and even though the line was ... Read More
This was our first family cruise and we had a blast. I was a little nervous choosing the EPIC due to recent negative reviews but we really enjoyed our cruise and had no complaints. Embarkation was smooth, and even though the line was long when we arrived to port around 11:15 it really didnt take all that long until we boarded the ship. Disembarkation took a little longer than I anticipated and we chose to carry our bags off. We went to the Western Caribbean and enjoyed all our port stops. It was windy the day we went to Great Stirrup Cay and tendering took long but I was happy to get on the island and we kept busy playing ping pong until our tender was called. We really enjoyed the food - we ate first night in Manhattan, 3 nights in Taste, one night at the buffet. We ate at O'Sheehans for lunch twice although the service was awful the 2nd day. We had breakfast every morning at the buffet and we always found something everyone in our family liked. We saw Burn the Floor, did the Cirque dinner one night and watched the Beatles band in the theatre one night as well - we enjoyed all 3 of these shows. We were in a family mini suite with our two teens and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of storage in our room. While some people complain about the split bathroom etc, that configuration actually worked in our favor. Someone could get ready behind the curtain, someone could brush teeth or put contacts in while someone else was showering etc. We can't wait to cruise again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My cruise on the Epic departed Port Canaveral, Florida, April 20th, 2019, 7nt cruise. Really bad ship do not bother and here is why. My room and the corridor smelt of urine, yes a toilet the whole time despite several complaints. ... Read More
My cruise on the Epic departed Port Canaveral, Florida, April 20th, 2019, 7nt cruise. Really bad ship do not bother and here is why. My room and the corridor smelt of urine, yes a toilet the whole time despite several complaints. The tv did not work and had to be fixed. The room safe kept opening by itself. The excursions were disorganised both embarkation and disembarkation. We were questioned about our lack of visas in our passports when the visa procedures have been changed and you no longer require the esta to be in your books. You would think immigration would be aware of this. There were not enough elevators and some were broke. People got sick of waiting for them. People were sick I the pool and it had to be drained, someone defecated in one of the hallways. Classy The staff spoke poor English and had a lack of knowledge about everything and anything. There were never any seats at the buffet area no matter what time you went. Our room phone didn't work and it took them the whole cruise to fix it. We were late leaving nearly every destination due to late arrivals. The local entertainment act howling at the moon only sang the songs that people left on their piano if they had money on them. Whilst people were waiting for hours for their songs to be played and didn't happen despite birthdays or anniversary's. Shame on you all three of you. And yes that was us that walked out that you had a go at. Very professional, NOT. Problem with that? come see me. The singing sounds like howling hence their name. Some waiters were rude because the tip is built in with the price they no longer have to give you good service. Swimming with the Pigs excursion was a joke and sold out immediately upsetting many passengers and they refused to put more trips on. Only things good were the room steward Gilbert. We got an apology for the room and were given a bottle of red wine which we cant drink and chocolate strawberries. Some shows were awesome like the Beatles and I'm not even a Beatles fan but that's how good they were. The comedians were great as was the Priscilla Show. When leaving the ship everyone was colour coded to leave at different times. Self checkouts such as me were to leave first b/w 0730 and 0830 but for some reason known only to the thousands of rednecks on board everyone tried to leave at the same time causing chaos and mahem with people waiting over an hour for a lift and once you arrived at your deck you couldn't get off the lift because the queues were directly outside of them. We found out later that it took some people 3.5 hours to get off the ship. Just a very bad ship, old, tattered and not much to do and you have to pay for EVERYTHING. They even tried to charge my account for photos that I didn't even have taken on the ship. I honestly cant see myself going with Norwegian ever again.. Try someone else. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
The variety of ports of call were the mail reason we selected this cruise. I feel that most of the entertainment was geared to adults, so there was not much evening entertainment that I felt comfortable taking my 12 year old to. We were ... Read More
The variety of ports of call were the mail reason we selected this cruise. I feel that most of the entertainment was geared to adults, so there was not much evening entertainment that I felt comfortable taking my 12 year old to. We were pleased with the staff and the crew. The cabin was comfortable and we were not put-off with the layout, as several other guests commented about. The dining was very good (we used the main dining rooms). I was very disappointed that they chose to close one of the 2 pools (for maintenance? cleaning?) on our last day at sea? People were packed into the one small pool. Also, the water features at the pools (the things that spray water when you walk under them) did not work for the entire trip. The excursions that we chose were fun, interesting, and a good value. In total, we had a very good trip. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
After reading so many negative reviews, I wasn't even looking forward to our cruise. However, we couldn't cancel it, so I decided to prepare as much as possible and follow tips from previous passengers. We had never cruised on a ... Read More
After reading so many negative reviews, I wasn't even looking forward to our cruise. However, we couldn't cancel it, so I decided to prepare as much as possible and follow tips from previous passengers. We had never cruised on a ship this size before, and found that it was like visiting a big city versus a small town. We enjoyed the perks of a big city, such as entertainment, activities and good food, but also had to deal with rush hour and long lines. If you are scheduled to go on this ship, book all your shows, specialty dining and excursions as soon as you get your booking number. If you can't book online, call NCL and they will take care of it then email your confirmations. Many people were upset because they had waited till the week of the cruise, or the day of the cruise and everything was sold out. With reservations, we showed up about a half hour before showtimes and had no problem getting seats. If you do an excursion with NCL, you will get gold tickets in your stateroom which allow you to get off the ship first, no waiting for them to call a certain number. For the restaurants, we showed up at the time scheduled. BTW, you can also reserve seating in the main dining rooms. With our package, we were able to dine at 3 specialty restaurants and chose Teppanaki, Cagneys and Le Bistro. Le Bistro was by far the best. Service was outstanding and the food was delicious and beautifully presented. I wish we ate there all 3 nights! The steak at Cagneys was delicious, but service was horrible. Teppanaki was delicious and entertaining, but very loud and way too much food. Taste and Manhattan had the same menu, but we preferred the ambiance of Manhattan much more. We tried to avoid the Garden Cafe (buffet) as much as possible. It's so loud and difficult to find seating. A tip for the buffet, you can go to the back of the restaurant, there is a staircase leading down a level to La Cucina where they allow you to sit for breakfast and lunch. It's much prettier and quiet. Bring your food down there to eat in peace. Entertainment was outstanding on this ship. We went to the Cirque show the first night and were so amazed at the talent these people had. It was jaw dropping! Do not miss it. We also loved Priscilla the Desert Queen, but I wish they had chosen a musical that was more family friendly. They had several signs discouraging children under the age of 16. Burn the Floor was awesome as well. They also had a Beatles tribute in the Epic Theater which was outstanding. We went to Howl at the Moon and the Cavern Club for shows as well. Get there at least 45 minutes early and order some drinks or you'll be standing the whole time. They do not have reservations. Again, fantastic entertainment like you'd find in NYC! Although booking shore excursions through NCL allowed us to get off the ship quicker, they were not too good. We did the jet skis on the private island which was fun, but the island itself isn't worth the hassle of getting on and off the ship via tenders. In Jamaica, we did the Martha Brae bamboo rafting. While the rafting was peaceful and beautiful, what NCL doesn't advertise is that it is an hour and a half drive to get there. UGH. So that was 3 hours of our short day wasted in a bus. We also did the stingray and turtle adventure in Grand Cayman. That was a good one, but the bus that took us there smelled like cat litter and the tour guide mainly pointed out fast food restaurants as we drove. Not too educational. I would recommend booking your own shore excursions with smaller groups, but keep in mind that it takes forever to get off the ship without the gold tickets. TIP: during busy times, especially when getting on and off the ship, get on the elevator going up to go down and vice versa. If you wait for a certain direction, you'll be there a long time. When you aren't going ashore, I thought the ship had plenty of activities to offer. If you're a gambler, you'll be in heaven. The casino is huge and unlike other reviews, I didn't think the smoke smell was that bad. The pools are tiny but the waterslides are terrific. They also have a rock climbing wall, bowling alley and bungy trampoline. If you are having trouble finding a deck chair, or just want some quiet time, take the elevator from the deck 15 pool area up to deck 18. Then walk all the way to the front of the ship. They have brown wicker loungers there with thick cushions. They also have waiters and a cart of cold beers and other drinks. Speaking of drinks, I recommend ordering a double each time. It may be a long time before someone comes along for another drink order:) Another tip is to bring a Brita water bottle you can fill up in your room. They charge for water bottles, even if you have the unlimited drink package. Activities for children were plentiful. That's another bonus of this big ship. Our 16 year old son came with us and had a blast at the Teen Club. We didn't see him much except at meal times and some shows. I was worried because he was without his siblings, but he made a lot of friends at the club. He still keeps in touch with several of the kids he met on the cruise. Keeping in touch on the ship was easy with the NCL app. Be sure to download the app prior to getting on the ship! Once on board, the internet was spotty. The best part of the app was being able to text our son. You have to pay about $10/person/cruise for this feature, but it was worth it. We had unlimited texting while on the ship with him. This is only for texting and calls with other passengers on board, it is not for getting ahold of people back home. Our cruise package also came with 250 minutes of internet. This was enough for me to check my email daily. To use it, you have to login and logout each time. If you forget to logout, you could get a huge bill at the end of your vacation! All in all, it was a great cruise. However, because it's such a huge ship, way too much time was spent researching and making reservations. Also, getting on and off the ship was a nightmare. I felt like I was at Disney in those long lines. This ship is better for staying on board. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Not even sure where to start for this review. Let's start with embarkation process, normal and not to bad. This ship had 4100 guests on it. By far more than anyone needs to deal with. Every restaurant we ate at was at least a 2 plus ... Read More
Not even sure where to start for this review. Let's start with embarkation process, normal and not to bad. This ship had 4100 guests on it. By far more than anyone needs to deal with. Every restaurant we ate at was at least a 2 plus hour dining experience. Once you received your food you never saw your waiter again. It took forever for them to take your order and then forever to receive your food and then you never saw staff again. I understand that with 4100 people there will be a wait with anything you do. Entertainment: The shows themselves were Excellent! Priscilla and Burn the Floor were absolutely amazing!! BUT no matter what you do on this cruise you HAVE to have reservations or you will most likely not be able to see it. The comedy shows we waited in line over 45 minutes PRIOR to the show and still only standing room only. The Room: We had a balcony. GORGEOUS views but the toilet and shower were literally surrounding the front door so if someone was showering you can't leave unless you expose the person in the shower. The disembarkation: a literal safety hazard. Took us over 2 hours to leave and we were all stuck in the stairwells. Terrible. Excursions: We felt rushed on everyone of the excursions. There were to many people and we were all kicking and pushing each other when trying to snorkel. Overall, I would try NCL again but never a cruise ship with this many people. Having to get to a comedy club an hour or more before it starts just to get a seat is ridiculous. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted to try NCL for their "freestyle cruising". First the embarkation was great. It was fast and efficient. The cabin was standard size for a cruise ship (we have cruised several); however, the beds were too short. I am ... Read More
We wanted to try NCL for their "freestyle cruising". First the embarkation was great. It was fast and efficient. The cabin was standard size for a cruise ship (we have cruised several); however, the beds were too short. I am 5'3" and my feet were hanging of the bed - my husband is 6'2" need I say more. His back was bothering him by the end of the cruise. Toilet is way too small. If you close the door, you have limited space to take care of business. Cabin lighting was horrible. Husband had a hard time shaving and I had a hard time putting on makeup. No make up mirrors. Free entertainment was okay; however, you had to pay for the really good shows. Bingo was expensive compared to Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Some activities were not available as the ship was under construction getting ready to cruise to Spain. Best service received was in the gift shops (of course); otherwise, we were not impressed with the service at all. On one excursion day, we took an afternoon nap and did not awaken until around 8 p.m., I asked for cabin service and was told that they were off duty, which I would not expect from my cabin steward! Good choice of ports. Shore excursions were very nice. Prices for excursions were reasonable and as expected. Took the Dunns River Falls, was nervous at first, but the guide was very good and patient. Would definitely recommend doing that excursion. Most of the free food was not tasty to us, but edible. Debarkation was a nightmare. Elevators were shut down with no notice or as to why. Crew members had no answers as to what was going on so they could not give clear direction. They had you in a line winding around different levels on the ship to leave. We were standing for about an hour and 15 minutes dragging our carry-on's all the way. NCL is more expensive, but not better service. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Why too many guests for the size of the ship. There were not enough pool side chairs. No sitting in the buffet area. The disembarkment was a disaster. I have always self check out, the time given for this was between 7:30 and 8:300. ... Read More
Why too many guests for the size of the ship. There were not enough pool side chairs. No sitting in the buffet area. The disembarkment was a disaster. I have always self check out, the time given for this was between 7:30 and 8:300. We left our room at 8:00. Took over an hour and a half just to get off the ship. Where was the pool??? The only pool was kid size, the adult pool was smaller than my truck. The service and food in the Manhattan room the first night was the worst. It did get better on other nights. My wife has limited mobility, not handicap. Trying to find seating at lunch and breakfast was very difficult, too difficult for a cruise. The time moving, very slowly, through the disembarking was way too stressful on her. THIS IS THE LAST TIME I WILL TAKE THIS SHIP!!!!! Taking NCL is questionable, if this is the way they run a ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I have been on several Norwegian cruises (Escape and Jade) and decided to go on the Epic. The good: embarkation process took about 30 minutes -buffett food was decent - most of the staff we dealt with were ... Read More
My husband and I have been on several Norwegian cruises (Escape and Jade) and decided to go on the Epic. The good: embarkation process took about 30 minutes -buffett food was decent - most of the staff we dealt with were friendly-comedians were hilarious-food allergy attendants were very knowledgeable- main dining restaurants were very good- The Beatles musicians were fantastic The bad: The shows were terrible and there were no family appropriate show options. All of the game shows were held in the attium where the seating was cramped and it was difficult to hear. The casino was right in the middle of the ship so you had to walk through smoke to get to restaurants, shops, etc,. The few options that were family friendly cost an additional fee and were always booked. Disembarkation was the most unorganized thing that I have ever seen. Lines in every direction without any guidance from staff. It took us three hours to get off the ship. We were oin our disignated area at 7:45 when rhey called for us and did not get through customs until 10:45. It was a complete nightmare people breaking in line and no one there to direct you where to go. When we asked where to go we were told to follow the line. The design of the staterooms was terrible. The toilet area was tiny and and there was no privacy. My husband and I kept waking each other up because the toilet was so loud when flushed. The bed was wide, but it’s curved which makes it shorter. I am 5”8 and my feet were hanging off the end of the bed. The ugly:The ship was dirty- our stateroom 11179 was disgustingly filthy. When we entered our stateroom there were crumbs on the bed, the floor and the carpet was stained. We asked our steward to vacuum our room and he apologized and cleared the crumbs. I noticed a stain by the bed where someone had thrown up on the wall and it had obviously ran down to the carpet. I showed the wall to our steward and he said “oh that is an old stain, but I will try to clean it”. As he was cleaning the stain and the dead bug that was smooshed on the wall he picked up a sleeping mask and handed it to me. I explained that the mask did not belong to me and he apologized. In summary, I will continue to cruise , but I will never go on the Epic again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first experience on a very large ship and we were attracted to the variety of offerings it had for children. I didn't quite appreciate that the volume of people onboard would feel so apparent. Almost everywhere you went ... Read More
This was our first experience on a very large ship and we were attracted to the variety of offerings it had for children. I didn't quite appreciate that the volume of people onboard would feel so apparent. Almost everywhere you went there were crowds, lines and bustling activity. The interior/decor was nice but not luxurious. Our ports of call were Tortola, St. Thomas and Great Stirrup Cay. All were good, but the schedule in St. Thomas had us leaving at 2pm which was too soon and meant we couldn't do many activities on that island. For positives -The ship does offer a lot. There are many restaurants/bars/entertainers/areas of the ship. By the end of 1 week you still feel like you haven't spent much time in many areas. -Entertainment was amazing, especially Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Best show we've ever seen at sea. -Plenty of deck chairs/space. Even in the shade we were able to get chairs without too much trouble. Plenty of people meant chairs were frequently opening-up throughout the day. There are quiet and loud areas, but all the quiet areas are in full sun. -Splash Academy: my kids love this! The staff and activities were excellent! I could not cruise without this program. Period. -Bars: lots of great options, hardworking staff. Beverage package makes this easy. -Embarkation/debarkation - very smooth and hassle-free -Waterslides/pool - generally good but also very crowded -Food in the free restaurants was good -Glow/White-hot party, ship activities and games were all fun. More of these on the top decks would have been nice. -Nightlife, this is the 1st ship we've been on where there is actually fun entertainment later into the evening and it doesn't feel dead. Negatives: -Service in the restaurants was very slow in all areas, both the amount of time it took to order drinks & food and for the food to actually arrive -Extreme business of the staff, especially at restaurants/bars really reduced your interaction with them. We didn't get to know the staff like we have in previous cruises. -Lines/crowds for popular entertainers, such as dueling pianos, comedians, Beatles cover band, made it impossible to find seats or even see what was happening. You had to plan ahead and wait for venues to open to ensure a seat. -Having to walk through a smoky casino to a restaurant or through the smoky H2O bar to the sports deck isn't ideal when with children -The whole H2O/adults-only area felt underutilized. It's a big outdoor space that essentially served as a smoking section. -Billing/tracking of onboard credits is sketchy. This is the 2nd Norwegian cruise in a row where they've messed-up our final bill. Make sure you have details of credits in writing. Overall our trip was a lot of fun and we had a good time. I think Norwegian does a very nice job and I would continue to sail with them. I wouldn't rush back to the Epic or to any other mega ship now that I know what they feel like. But if you do want to sail on a large ship and you're not looking for a quiet experience, I think the Epic provides good value and a fun atmosphere. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and two kids age 5 and 7 and myaelf cruised with a family group of 10 ranging in ages 5-80 to the eastern Caribbean. We all had a blast. The kids loved it and want to go again. They didn’t do any of the kids club stuff, wanted ... Read More
My husband and two kids age 5 and 7 and myaelf cruised with a family group of 10 ranging in ages 5-80 to the eastern Caribbean. We all had a blast. The kids loved it and want to go again. They didn’t do any of the kids club stuff, wanted to stay with us. They had a blast eating whatever they wanted each day and swimming all day. We all wanted to stay another week and would go again. The Epic was a great ship and didn’t feel overcrowded like I was worried it would during Easter week. They did a great job having enough to do and open space for the amount of people it holds! I will try to cover below everything I wanted to know before going. Embarkation: quick and painless. We arrived around 11:45am and the line moved quickly. We were all checked in, had stopped at our room and were laying on the pool deck by 1pm. Food: excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed the meals each night and couldn’t stop talking about the quality. I’m an experienced foodie and still rate it very high. We ate mostly at Garden Cafe buffet for breakfast and lunch and Manhatten Room for dinner. Also tried Taste. All were excellent. Buffet had so many quality choices including amazing salad bar, and freshly made to order pastas, noodle soups with veggies and omlets. Entertainment: wow! The Beatles band was a hit for all 10 of us and so much fun singing and dancing. Burn the Floor was amazing and so were the comedians, dueling pianos and other bands that played at dinner, pool deck and at night. Never a lack of fun entertainment each night. Cabin: always clean and even though it was small there was lots of storage space. My 5’11” husband found the beds a little short. Balcony was spacious and perfect for us. I liked how the shower was separate from the toilet. Room steward was very nice and attentive. Did a great thorough job. Excursions: took taxis on Tortola and St Thomas to beaches. Gorgeous water and sand. $8pp per way. Very reasonable. Felt safe. tried to do stingray excursion on private island but it was too windy so seas were rough and we didn’t go. Beach there was great and plenty of chairs. Could have used umbrellas and more chairs with shade but it’s so windy there I can see why they don’t have umbrellas. They had palm trees scattered for some shade. Other: Pools are open as soon as you get on the ship so if you have kids with you, wear your bathing suits. Make tender reservations ASAP when you can. We were told morning of that next available tender was at noon! I didn’t make a reservation because I figured we could just walk on. The night before we got on the ship we stayed at the Radisson Resort at the Port. Fabulous hotel and restaurant and great pool. Would def stay there again and even add an extra day to just swim and enjoy it more. Shuttle to cruise booked through the Radisson but had to wait over an hour from our reservation time. Next time would skip that and take an Uber. The Epic was a fabulous time for all ages and we’d all go again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a last-minute switch when the Oasis of the Seas was hit by a crane in dry dock. I was traveling “solo” with my two sons, 12 and 16. The moment I found out the sailing had been cancelled, I called and found that there were ... Read More
This was a last-minute switch when the Oasis of the Seas was hit by a crane in dry dock. I was traveling “solo” with my two sons, 12 and 16. The moment I found out the sailing had been cancelled, I called and found that there were still a few staterooms on the Epic sailing out of Port Canaveral that weekend. We flew out from Boston and arrived in Cocoa Beach around 2 am. We stayed at the Sheraton Four point which is built in to the RonJon surf complex, and was two blocks from the beach. We’d planned to have a whole day here but the Epic sailed on Saturday rather than the Sunday that the Oasis was scheduled to depart. Across the street were a CVS and a Walgreens, so in addition to sunglasses and water shoes from RonJon, we were able to get all the last minute items. We’d rented with Hertz, which returned a few miles up the road and took the shuttle to the port. It was cool to see the differences between Carnival, Disney, and NCL as passengers were dropped off on all three lines. Embarkation was pretty smooth—a long, yet constantly moving line. We’d all worn our swimsuits under our clothes so we could hit the pools and water slides first thing once aboard. The kids found the sports court (a little confusing because you had to go through the “adults-only” SpiceH2O bar to find it. I finished up booking entertainment (booking so late didn’t leave many openings in the online schedule). I got a spot at the Cirque Dreams show that night and for the Escape Room later in the week. By the time that was all set, they’d announced that the rooms were available. So we dropped our stuff and headed to the Garden Cafe, which was clearing out in anticipation of the muster drill. Figuring out where to go was a little chaotic-there was a code on your key card, but no indication of where the code group met. We figured it out and eventually got all the information. My son loved the cirque show—later in the cruise he commented that he’d do anything to see it again. It did, however, make for a long night with dinner and the performance. I think I may have missed the opportunity to get the kids launched into the teen program and the kids program. They weren’t thrilled about having to be in two different programs, so they never took advantage of them. Overall, we enjoyed the food. The kids loved the buffet and access to the soft-serve machines. We hit Moderno, Teppanyaki, Le Bistro, and La Cucina as part of our 4-meal specialty dining package. While the food was generally great, the portions were on the small side, and the waitstaff were pretty curt: nothing above taking the order and delivering the food. Le Bistro was the biggest offender here—really rushed, unhelpful staff. We also tried Shanghai’s and Taste for the included restaurants. Shanghai doesn’t accept reservations so you get a buzzer—which went off nearly an hour later. The food was good, but the individual portions were small. We had reservations for Taste, but it was pretty much the same experience. Long waits for drinks and big gaps between courses. Altogether the restaurants were kind of a miss—I think the kids would have preferred the buffet and I didn’t think they delivered on the time and extra expense invested to get a quality experience. It was, however, easy to get good food throughout the day. I was especially fond of the tacos served outside during the afternoon. Also, Wasabi’s was excellent. Even though it took a while, the rolls that came out were gorgeous and delicious. The bars below deck were great—Maltings, in particular, had great service and awesome drinks. Poolside bars were generally slammed and the basic drinks were too watery (margaritas) or way too sweet for my taste (strawberry daiquiris/piña colada’s). The ice bar was fun. (Yes even with the kids—they have alcohol-free options). The only obscure part seemed to be figuring out how to book this experience—when it was open, they took reservations, but it’s not clear you could do this when they were closed or in advance online. One upgrade that was really worth it was the thermal suite. The views from the saunas and the back deck were great and the ability to take a relaxed, full-sized shower was a good escape from the kids. The staff kept it immaculate and well stocked. The entertainment was stellar. Priscilla was clever, fun, familiar, and daring. Burn the Floor was also stunning. I tried one of the cha-cha classes and it was cool to see the instructors in action at breakneck speed. Poolside singers were fun, personable, and talented. I enjoyed the live music found all over as well. “Howl at the Moon” was a riot. Mandy, the cruise director, was everywhere, always pumping up the crowd and making things fun. Her staff did a great job with all the evening parties. Afterwards, Bliss was a great way to meet other vacationers enjoying their evenings. We tried our hand surfing in Tortola—beautiful beach. We went Scuba diving in St Thomas. Unfortunately we were only in port until 1:30 pm so didn’t get to do any more exploring Great Stirrup Cay was nice. It was impressive to see how hard the staff worked to keep everything clean and well stocked. Really enjoyed the Taco bar—we didn’t make it to the larger buffet—but it was a very relaxing day. Disembarkation was chaos. It was pretty clear that most guests packed up, headed for the buffet, then headed out at approximately the same time. There were several intertwined lines that were constantly being cut, etc. once you were through though, it was really no big deal. We spent the remainder of the day at the Kennedy Space Center and the following day at Discovery Cove. Overall, an excellent vacation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for my 50th Birthday. It was the first cruise for both of us and I was very nervous because of reading a lot of negative reviews. But we had a great time! We knew there would be crowds and lots of kids because my ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my 50th Birthday. It was the first cruise for both of us and I was very nervous because of reading a lot of negative reviews. But we had a great time! We knew there would be crowds and lots of kids because my birthday was the week before Easter, so we booked a Spa Balcony room so we would have a quiet retreat. Best decision ever! We truly enjoyed the thermal suite and never found it to be overly crowded. We had the UBP and three nights of Specialty Dining. We chose Le Bistro, Cagneys, and the Cirque Show. Food and service was great in all three! We enjoyed the shows, Priscilla, Burn the Floor, and the Epic Beatles in the Epic Theater. Unfortunately we did not get to the smaller venue to see the Beatles in the Cavern Club in time to get seats, which was our own fault. We had great food and service in both of the main dining rooms and also in O’Sheehans. Loved the wings!!! Our room steward, Jingles, was amazing! He kept our room and balcony stocked and spotless at all times and made the best towel animals! We were fortunate to get extra time in Tortola for planned maintenance on the ship. Wished the port time in St. Thomas had been longer, but it’s just a good excuse to go back. Great Stirrup Cay was fabulous. Rented a clamshell near the tacos and tequila... need I say more?!? We will definitely be planning more cruises with Norwegian! We loved the freestyle cruising concept. We honestly had nothing to complain about. We heard all of the horror stories about embarkation and debarkation, but we were on the ship within 45 minutes of our arrival at the port and walked off with our luggage before 7:30 a.m. Truly one of the best vacations we have ever been on! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was given to us from a casino, we chose to take this one because the port was convenient to us, and we had never been to the Caribbean. Because both of us got a "free" cruise, we combined the two and upgraded to a ... Read More
This cruise was given to us from a casino, we chose to take this one because the port was convenient to us, and we had never been to the Caribbean. Because both of us got a "free" cruise, we combined the two and upgraded to a balcony cabin. The ship was extremely crowded. The smoking area and main pool bar, was at the kiddie pool area, We paid for an all inclusive drink package: did not cover water bottles, but we were given casino drink cards that did, while you were in the casino. We also paid for 3 specialty dining package: there were no pretravel reservations made for the specialty dining and we just happened on someone making reservations for passengers on the ship, so we stood in line and made those ourselves, with no idea what the different restaurants offered. All of the specialty restaurants we ate at had superb service. The food at the Moderno (Brazilian) was good, but the menu says they offer so much more than they brought around, and they were extremely slow in bringing the selections. The buffet offered very bland food, unless you had the chefs cook-to-order food, at the stations that offered that, or you ate at the kiddie food stations, that food was always fresh and hot! We met many passengers that only ate hot dogs and macaroni and cheese and french fries that whole cruise...what does that tell you? The buffet shut down at 9pm. The only 24 hour dining option, O'Sheehans, shut down as well, and if you wanted to eat or have a drink in the wee hours, you could choose from the weird sandwiches and pastries they left on the counter, no restaurant service. Room service was also 24 hours, but we didn't want to try and eat in our room, didn't think there was sufficient space. We ate(not really) at Taste, one of the complimentary main dining rooms one evening. The service was mediocre, the food we ordered was wrong and the steak was purple raw, we walked out of there, without taking one bite. We advised the supervisor, and he made us reservations for a later time, and assured us it would be better, we didn't go back. There were other passengers that complained about the raw steak too. The entertainment on the pool deck was poor. We played bingo once, basically to pass time. We paid for our tickets, and when we got in, noticed there were kids in there, the kids were allowed to play, FOR FREE. with their parents, and allowed to win...guess who won?! the kids for the most part won the bingo and the gift prizes, 2 of the 3 kids picked their own parents' tickets for prizes...hmmmm. That was insulting to the people who paid to play. We didn't play again. The casino was extremely outdated, as far as the slots that were offered. There were a select few newer games, and those were rarely available. We also witnessed a few jackpots, and seemed to be the same people...another hmmmm. Table games were abundant, but closed seemingly early. There were times when there was not one attendant any where in the casino. I watched a passenger win $1900. on a slot at 7 am, and had to wait for someone to pay him until 9:30 am...needless to say, he was not happy. The cabin stewards were extremely friendly and helpful. The cabins were clean as far as bathroom and linens, but there were visible hand and fingerprints on the closet doors from who knows how many previous cruisers and I can't imagine what germs lurked there. The shore time was extremely short, when we did finally get to port. Seemed as though it was very rushed. We were at sea 95% of this 7 Day cruise. We did find it easy to get off and on the ship at the different ports. The shopping was fun and different, if you like that, but a lot of the stores were not handicapped accessible. The last port, which was the ship's private island, was accessible by tender only, so the passengers in wheelchairs were not able to go. Just putting that out here, because we thought that was crappy. My husband was excited to see the waterslide and pools on the island, until he realized that was another ship's island, and our island was the dirt patch on the other side, with lighthouses. You had to pay for chairs to sit on the beach, and all excursions were cancelled at that stop due to weather conditions, and you weren't told that until you got to the island, by tender. We booked a shore excursion, or so we thought, in Torola, through the interactive tv, which we really wanted. When we didn't receive tickets for it, we enquired at the excursion desk, and were told that we had to sign a release form(which was not mentioned, when we booked), and now it's full. Basically, sorry for your luck. Very disappointing! I guess we are just out that $50. credit. It was all around an expensive disappointment, even though we were given the cruise from a casino, it was extremely costly and we will never sail Norwegian again, even for free!!! And free is not free! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Our experience with this cruise was so disappointing in every area. If you're cruising, please do yourself a favor and go with ANY other company! Food/Dining:  The food was terrible. Truly. The pizza was like frozen from a ... Read More
Our experience with this cruise was so disappointing in every area. If you're cruising, please do yourself a favor and go with ANY other company! Food/Dining:  The food was terrible. Truly. The pizza was like frozen from a grocer’s freezer  section, apple pies were like rubber, and every other dessert I tried had no flavor and came out  of a box.   Our food on Carnival (only other cruise we’ve taken) was AMAZING. We still talk about how  fresh, hot, and plentiful it was, and especially how we never had to wait in line.    Breakfast buffet—10-15 minute lines for everything, even cereal, and that was often half-stocked  so then I’d have to go to another cereal line on the other side of the dining area. Customers were  heard each day remarking that they had never had to wait EVER for food on Norwegian before this particular cruise.    The ship itself was terribly overcrowded and we received very poor dining service in every  venue. We didn’t eat one meal without having to hear a customer complaining about wait time,  tables sitting not bused, lines, or supplies being out—water, ice, silverware, plates, cereal,  etc.—or without experiencing for ourselves some, or all of those problems EVERY MEAL.    There was rarely, if every, any ice ever in any drink, except those with alcohol. We got the  beverage package upgrade and consistently stood in line for at least 15-20 minutes each time  for every single drink. If you got a drink, you then had to wait while the bartender processed  several cards at once and then that drink was melted completely down.  Drinks were over-poured every time to the point that they were hard to swallow because they  were so strong. The flip side of this situation was that many who booked early received the  drink package as an upgrade, but the bartenders couldn’t keep up with the demand. Perhaps  they over-poured to make it worth the wait?? Try to keep some people happy? Once we found  two different mixed drinks on two different days but then were told after one drink that the  machine froze up, they ran out of strawberries, and ran out of limes. Seriously?     We also had the dining upgrade package for 3 specialty meals. However, even with 24 hours ahead of time calling for the steakhouse dinner reservation, there were none one left except one  for 7:30. Thank goodness we jumped at that one, because there were NONE available for the  Japanese restaurant or Cagney’s AT ALL DURING THE LAST THREE DAYS of the cruise.    Even on port days—one in particular when we were docked an additional 5 hours for “routine maintenance,” and most people were on Tortola for even part of the day, there was STILL a 20  minute wait for us to get a table for lunch at O’Sheehan’s...at 3:25! Three tables sat there cluttered and full of dirty dishes that just needed to be cleared. We just kept looking at the host and he looked at us. Then he finally took us to a table. It was dirty and we then had to stand and wait for him to wipe it off with a cloth that only served to make the table sticky and gummy after  he left. While we ate, two different tables of customers complained about poor service and bad food.  Entertainment: Speaking of reservations, the shows were as bad as the wait for food. They were all advertised  as “acclaimed,” but we never got to have an opinion because they were all always sold  out--every 24 hours! A few signs said some were on “stand-by,” but we were never told what  that meant in terms of your chances to get a ticket. With all of the other endless lines all week,  we didn’t want to waste another hour or two of our vacation trying to MAYBE see one. As a  result of every single one being booked every day, we did not get to see ONE show the entire  cruise! SO disappointing!    Ship/Accommodations: Our stateroom had a balcony and that aspect was comfortable in size & privacy.  However, inside the room, pulling the bed down from the ceiling was a ridiculous way to sleep 4.  We all hit our heads trying to access the closet, balcony, tv, & bathroom every evening. The room was so unbelievably narrow that often times each day someone had to step out into that  balcony just so we could all change, move suitcases, or even dry our hair. There was literally  room for one person at a time to walk through.    Our room for two on Carnival with only one small round window looking out was twice as large and twice as wide. I would have much preferred to be in THAT room this week with all four of  us. It was obvious again that Norwegian cares only about the profit, not the consumer. Even an extra foot of space would have made a world of difference, despite meaning fewer people sailing each week.    As for the boat itself, it rocked and swayed EVERY DAY, and was worse that the Carnival ship that was one third the size. We saw countless people wearing seasickness patches behind their  ears.    No tables were ever open for any buffet meal. There were no deck chairs open at ANY time of  day. Each time we wanted one, even in the “adult only” section, we had to stand and watch for  people to leave to ask for their chairs. Ridiculous.  The elevators were ridiculous to wait for as well. They were full of people half the time you  actually had one stop and open the door. They also stopped on every single floor bc everyone  had pushed the buttons, then gotten frustrated and took the stairs.  Waits for ship’s bathrooms were also consistently that long—for both genders! And at times, the  stall floors were a mess with water, paper, etc. and it was evident that they hadn’t been properly  cleaned in many hours.    I paid $178 for the wi-fi service and was also sorely disappointed. It was very unreliable & never strong enough to access anything from basic news websites to email. The only thing that came  in was Facebook, but not strong enough to upload more than one or two pictures at a time.    In terms of ports, the first two were good (minus an INCREDIBLY brief time at St. Thomas and  another RIDICULOUSLY long line to re-board the boat that day). However, the private island was  another story entirely.  We never knew the Epic didn’t pull into a port there and that we had to arrange transportation for  ourselves. Luckily another traveler told us the night before.  We signed up for tender #3 and followed the announcements made to board, but those on other  tenders (4, 5, etc.) lined up whenever they wanted. No Norwegian employee stopped them or  made them go back to the back of the line for line jumping, even though the video on the cruise  tv channel said this would happen. Once again, those of us who followed the policies were  penalized for doing so. It took 36 minutes in line to get seated on a tender, never mind the travel  time to get to the island.    Once on the island, we were disappointed again. Just like on the ship, there were not enough  chairs and we had to RENT a beach mat? My son waited the entire trip to get to rent a jet ski or a  paddle board and there were none running that day or being rented with ZERO explanation given  as to why. Meanwhile, we looked over at the Royal Caribbean island right next door and they had  water slides, kids rides, zip lining, jet skis, AND a pier so no one had to tender over. Does Norwegian seriously not think consumers won’t compare options??     Disembarkation: This was the icing on the cake for our week. Not only was this complete and total chaos, but it  was SO UNSAFE.    It took us more than 2 HOURS of lines to leave the ship. This caused us to miss our scheduled  9:00 shuttle to the airport and we then had to wait an ADDITIONAL 1:36 MINUTES SITTING ON  THE SIDEWALK and coordinate with TWO COMPANIES to finally get another shuttle.     Meanwhile, new cruisers were already boarding the Epic all around us for their “adventure.” We  wanted to tell them all to just turn around and walk away. Norwegian cares nothing about its customers because we were STILL THERE, unhappy and without help, but here were new paying  customers! Good luck to them, is all I had to say.    We were hoping for great service at a great value. We wanted family fun without the hassle, hot  & tasty meals, and relaxation. Unfortunately, we only experienced every opposite.      I honestly feel like my husband and I threw away and completely wasted our time and the money that this week cost us for the cruise, flight, hotel stay, & shuttles.    Our trip on the “Epic” was an “epic” failure.  Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We've been on 12 cruises with all different cruise ships in the past. We will never go with NCL again. It is clear from the way they treated the paying guests of this cruise that they are in it to gouge the customer and offer as ... Read More
We've been on 12 cruises with all different cruise ships in the past. We will never go with NCL again. It is clear from the way they treated the paying guests of this cruise that they are in it to gouge the customer and offer as little service as possible. There were enormous lines for EVERYTHING. You could barely move in the public areas of the ship because of the number of people crammed in waiting in line for bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. You would have to wait in a line 3-4 people deep just to get a drink (almost anytime of day or night), and it was much, much worse for restaurants. Even the buffet had lines of 10 mins or more just to get a burger, with no seating available once you finally got some food. The main dining room offered the exact same lunch menu every day it was open AND it wasn't very good. They've made the cabins so small (we had a balcony) that it wasn't even fit for 1 person to be in. There was only one tv (non news) channel and one nonpay movie channel (which wouldn't have been a problem had we been able to get into a show which we did not). It was a 7 night cruise with only three stops (one of which was their crappy overcrowed island which you had to tender for). There were no spaces left on the popular excursions even a month in advance. Their internet service package was a joke. Most of the staff were barely polite in the dining areas and some of the ship's officers were down right rude. We couldn't wait to get off of this cruise but they even made that a hassle. It took us 2 hours and 30 minutes to get off this ship! They had passengers in a line that winded around the ship several times carrying our own luggage to get off! Definitely do not recommend this cruise! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I just completed a 7 day cruise on NCL’s ship the “Epic” (April 13-20, 2019). The cruise was out of Port Canaveral. We were extremely disappointed. As a former U.S. naval officer, I know the problems we encountered were ... Read More
My wife and I just completed a 7 day cruise on NCL’s ship the “Epic” (April 13-20, 2019). The cruise was out of Port Canaveral. We were extremely disappointed. As a former U.S. naval officer, I know the problems we encountered were not the result of the ship’s design or condition or even that of the crew. It must rest solely on the shoulders of the officers. I have been on more than 20 cruises including Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian. This cruise was the worst I have been on. The most notable problem is the general lack of supervision by the management team. This has allowed a number of problems to fester. Taken in their totality, these minor problems add up to a poorly run cruise ship. Examples of these minor problems are discussed below. When we got into our cabin, there was something obviously wrong with the beds. The mattress pads are designed to be zippered onto the mattresses. Ours were not attached to the mattresses because they were mis-shapen (shrinkage from washing?) and would not fit. Instead, the mattress pads were turned upside down and more or less centered on the mattresses before the sheets were added on top. Not only could you feel the unevenness of the pad underneath the sheet, but they moved and bunched up during the night if you moved in the bed. After going to guest services and explaining the problem, a housekeeping supervisor checked the situation and new pads were properly placed on the bed and zippered into place. The cabin steward knew the pads were not placed on the bed properly and would not fit. But obviously this is a condition that is lived with by the crew. It is a problem that is so frequent it has become “normal” to just make do and hope the guest doesn’t complain. Another example or poor supervision is the cleanliness of the public areas around the deck. At certain times throughout the day crew members would go around to pick up the numerous glasses, cans, plates, and towels left behind on or near the deck lounge chairs. In between these “assigned” times, crew members would walk by and not bother to pick up the mess. This has lots of ramifications. One being that clean towels are not always available because they are not washed throughout the day, only when they are gathered up. Another is that that you do not know if a chair or lounger is being saved or not because used towels are on the chairs. Finally, how relaxing is it to look at a mess (plates, glasses, and cans on the deck) when you are trying to catch a few relaxing moments? The crew needs to be in a constant cleanup/pickup mode of operation. Officers walking around and observing the mess should ensure resources are made available. But more importantly, a crew mind set needs to be established so they do not have to be directed to do the correct thing. Once again, inadequate management oversight and training of the crew is the problem. While watching an evening movie in the Spice H2O area I needed a cold Miller Lite. I walked up to the area bar where several guests were already waiting for service. The bar maid was cleaning the bar by moving all the liquor bottles and bar supplies to wipe everything down. She did not pause to see if she could get a beer out of the cooler or even smile and tell us she would be right with us. Another couple walked up an asked if they could have a couple wine glasses for their bottle of wine they were holding. The bar maid did not respond or even look at them. She just continued cleaning the bar. By this time there were 6-7 people just standing there waiting for some service. The bar maid obviously forgot or did not know why she was there. It wasn’t to clean and set up the bar, it was to make the customers happy. No officer or management was around, just this one person ignoring the guests. Having another bar tender present would allow both things to proceed uninterrupted. But again, the crew member thinks this is just normal operations. When she is ready, she will attend to the guests. Period. On 3 different occasions, the ice machines in the Garden Café buffet area were either not working or empty of ice (1 out of 4 may have been working). I even mentioned this to crew members placing glasses in the drink area. Nothing was done. Usually the same area had drink dispensers that were out of drink mix and only water came out of the dispensers. This inattention to detail is again the result of low expectations from the management team. Finally, the ultimate example that Epic’s management team has no clue on how to run a cruise ship. Disembarkation for self-assisted guests was a fiasco. We stood along with hundreds of other guests in the stairwells waiting to get off the ship for over an hour. No officers or management was anywhere to be seen. Not only was it just a disembarkation left to happen on its own, it was a serious safety issue if medical help or an emergency occurred and people had to get around the ship. The stairwells were totally blocked by people wanting to get off the ship. The only announcements came from the Cruise Director who read from a script saying what color luggage tags could now leave the ship. It was a total farce. Could this be the first time this ship ever had guests disembark? This next concern may or may not be related to the management team. I have not decided the cause, but the food onboard this vessel was at best, mediocre. The Chinese restaurant was anything but Chinese food. It was bland and tasteless. The food in the buffet was always the same and also uninspired. We did have 3 good meals. The Japanese steak house (Teppenyaki), the French restaurant (Le Bistro), and the meal served before the Cirque de Dreams show in the “tent” were very good. I looked at the history of the Norwegian Epic when I got back home. It has had more than its share of serious mechanical problems and other issues like hitting a mooring while docking, guests and crew members falling overboard or dying onboard. Norwegian needs to change out the entire officer staff of this ship in order to turn its dark past around and make it worth the money. It will take drastic measures to fix this ship. I may continue to cruise with NCL on other ships, but only if the problems I encountered on the Epic haven’t spread to the other NCL ships. Attention to detail is a mind set. If the crew and officers don’t have it, it is not being demanded at the highest levels of the Company. In my opinion there is a model of success in the cruise industry. The Carnival cruise line has over the last 10 years or so created a cruise line that far exceeds expectations. The food is some of the best I have experienced onboard a cruise ship. The crew is always smiling and ready to do what it takes to make the cruise a success. Norwegian can learn a lot from Carnival. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were originally booked to go on the Oasis of the Seas the same week, but a crane colliding with the ship ended that and we were desperate to get away so we broke ranks from our friends who were doing an itinerary we've been on a ... Read More
We were originally booked to go on the Oasis of the Seas the same week, but a crane colliding with the ship ended that and we were desperate to get away so we broke ranks from our friends who were doing an itinerary we've been on a few times already and decided to book the Epic because of the the stops in Tortola and Great Stirrup Cay. Two places we had never been. The other stop was St. Thomas. We were excited to get down to Orlando and get out to sea as it had been a long winter and both of our jobs were ramping up for a busy summer season. What a surprise we were in for. Below is my review that I sent on my survey. I'm not a cruise newbie by any means. This was my 7th cruise. It was our first time on Norwegian. To be honest something just seemed off from the get go. The Norwegian staff at embarkation in Port Canaveral was rude. The man telling us what counter to go to, actually rolled his eyes at my husband because we stepped too close to spot 23 rather than 22. Everyone was jammed in and there was no where we could go, so we fanned out as the clerk finished with the group in front of us. This man rolled his eyes in disgust and looked at me and said, i told you to go to 22. He was an unpleasant piece of work. ! Next, we walk down to find a place to sit at the port before they started boarding and there were so many seats reserved for "priority" guests, that there was no room for those of us low lifers that were not priority. The woman who wouldn't let us sit in the priority section was completely ignorant and rude. We've never experienced such a ridiculous boarding of a ship. The staterooms were not ready, everyone was crammed into the Garden Cafe like cattle, with again no where to sit and we were stuck with our carry on bags. The whole process was poorly executed and indicative of what was to be an ongoing theme the entire week. We nicknamed this experience the Epic Failure. Once we got to the rooms, we found the layout utterly disgusting. This is our fault for not researching, but who wants a bathroom area split from the shower and separated by a curtain from the sleeping area? Disgusting. I thought Norwegian was upper crust of the cruise industry. Once I saw this, I doubted that and was only provided more proof as the week went on. NCL advertises the free style cruising, but dining areas are always packed and crowded and you wait forever! The way you have to reserve seats for shows and plan reservations just to see them is ridiculous. We were told by hosts at the restaurant doors that we had to have reservations, but you couldn't make reservations online. I called the dining number to make a reservation and was told I couldn't make a reservation. Our other issue was the constant up charge for everything. You want to see a cool show, up charge. You want to use the hotubs in the spa, up charge. You want to set foot in the ice bar, up charge. You want a full face mask for your snorkeling expedition, up charge! I mean seriously, it became our running joke. There were not many fun free activities. Not everyone wants to get drunk. The open air spaces were totally lacking. Come on, you have 4000 people on the ship and you cram them all onto one upper sun deck and one pool deck? There were hardly ANY open chairs in any of the open areas. We spent half our time holed up in a small area near the humidor lounge just to find seating and to stay out of our room. The whole atrium is stuffy and crowded. We tried to make reservations for the Escape the big top game and couldn't get in, we tried to see the musicals and could only get late late times and frankly the whole entertainment crew just seemed off and tired. Speaking of crew and staff, I was rudely and literally yelled at by some bus person on the Garden Cafe straight out over the bridge who told me I should go down stairs to the Italian restaurant instead of waiting for an open table. He then took his time to clear the 20 dirty tables that were in the area. I wasn't leaving that deck and losing touch with my husband, sorry. The only positive encounters I had on the ship with the crew were the interactions we had with Borgy our room steward (who by the way is the sole reason I do not give this sailing an absolute fail rating) and the young lady who greeted everyone in the cafe (washy washy, yummy yummy, coffee coffee) and a lovely woman who took some time to talk with us each morning and literally brought us juice to our table. The rest of the crew just seemed surly and angry at the world. We just didn't have that feeling of being welcome that we have on other cruise lines. Now, let's talk about the worst of it. Debarkation day. What an ABSOLUTE disaster!!! We literally spent 2 hours in a stairwell trying to get off the ship with all of our luggage. We were on Deck 11 trying to make it to Deck 6 and could not get an elevator so we decided to hoof it down the stairs. No big deal, until we were stuck at Deck 9 and could not get down any further. People were fighting. Babies were screaming. All we wanted to do was get off that god awful ship. Then when we finally go to the right deck, someone told us we had to go down to deck 5. We then had to march the entire length of the ship in some mouse trap maze and back to where we just came down from, go through security and then deal with more security in the port. The entire process to get off your ship was over 4 hours! There is something really wrong there! What if you had had an emergency at sea?? I would be scared for my life. You can’t handle embarkation or debarkation, how would that crew handle a disaster? With all this in mind, I am not saying we would never sail with NCL again, but it would have to be one absolute hell of a deal and never ever, ever again on the Epic. That ship ought to be sent that ship to the boneyard. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I picked this cruise to compare against other cruise lines. The 1/2 truths started before I even finished paying and didn't stop there. * Oh, we have this and that, but never stated that will cost THIS & THAT... extra. Agent ... Read More
I picked this cruise to compare against other cruise lines. The 1/2 truths started before I even finished paying and didn't stop there. * Oh, we have this and that, but never stated that will cost THIS & THAT... extra. Agent bragged about Circ-Du-Soleil, but didn’t say a word that it costs extra. Then they say the shows are all booked when you are on-board, but you can get a seat on standby. Funny enough when 30 seats are waiting on standby, they fill them all (higher price), and still have many empty seats left. It was just a scam to sell the higher priced seats. I was told that if the price went down after booking, we would be given back the difference. When I called about the $300 price drop, 3 different people continued different lies, until they went and listened to the original recording. We still didn't get our $$$ back, but a different cabin. Cabins were the same, perhaps 2 feet longer... which means NOTHING. Sliced off the top of the knuckle on my big toe on a ladder going into the pool on day 2. Was so sharp, I didn't realize I had been bleeding until I got out of the pool. I reported it to customer service. Not once during the trip did anyone follow up on how I was doing. And no, not well. The infection took 8 days to clear and heal. Meanwhile the pool is filled with my red DNA. Hamburger on Private island was 100% RAW in the middle. At least that they appeared to care about when I reported it. Private island is a money grab with nothing to do and anything you want, they charge you for it, except for the raw food of course. Oh, and extra taxes for the drinks to add onto the pain of your extra charges. Final day disembarkation was a nightmare. ONE staff was seen in a lineup that went 3 lengths of the ship. It was mayhem. No one knew what was going on. 1 person missed their bus to the airport which meant they missed their flight. People were being served too much booze... i.e. 1 drunk tried to start a fight at howl at the moon. Staff didn't even care. Another fell and cracked open her head… blood everywhere. Final dinner meal at Fancy restaurant didn't even serve us what we ordered. I guess he felt one chicken item is the same as the next. Got charged for going to a show, I was not even at. Did get $ back, but should never have been charged in the 1st place. Got more emails about upgrading our room than anything else, prior to the trip. No briefing on night one (or any other night) where to find things/places, how to organize our trip, no help at all. I never did get into the Ice Bar, which was always closed. I tried 5 times over the trip and it was not open once. Box office is only for a little of the time, it should be at customer service if they are not open during all day. App sucks. Shows you a title of what's happening, but no details. I'm sorry but “Extravaganza” means NOTHING. We should be able to click on it, or on the TV in the cabin, for details or a mini advertising video. Called ZERO from the cabin and ½ of the time, the information given was wrong. ***************************** The guy looking after our room was the only staff member that appeared to care about us at all. He greeted everyone by name from the fist to the last nights... with a smile, despite being way-way over worked. ***************************** I passed a message to the Entertainment Director on night #1 and was told that she would contact me the next day. Two days after, I found her and not even an apology for never returning my message. Even that conversation, she came across as I as taking up her time and she had better things to do and eventually just walked away from me during mid-sentence. Cleanliness was missing 1 important thing: Paper towel leaving he public restrooms and a garbage to dispose of it after exiting so the handles to the restrooms are not passing on germs. I have many other examples but I think this gives you a good picture of our trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was the worst cruise we have ever taken, to many people on this ship and not enough staff. It would take over 30 minutes to get a drink at any of the bars on the ship. The ship was dirty, no one taking drink orders at the adult ... Read More
This was the worst cruise we have ever taken, to many people on this ship and not enough staff. It would take over 30 minutes to get a drink at any of the bars on the ship. The ship was dirty, no one taking drink orders at the adult pool, the food was the worst and to get into a specialty restaurant was impossible. All of the shows were sold out and you could not get into them if you didn't go an hour early for them. Everything was closed during the day, unable to get sushi until 5:30 and then you would have to wait over an hour. It was not fun and all we could not wait for it to be over. The brazilin steak house was just nasty, if you go there tell them no salt, it was so bad. I would never take this cruise again much better things to spend my money on. Read Less

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