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Norwegian Epic

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Price: $     Size: XL     Built: Jun 2010    

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"Heaven" from hell

alexzdesign reviewed 9 days ago

What people said about this ship:

"we loved the meals, the dining rooms, blue man , circ, etc, everything was good except one thing......" in 73 reviews.

"And the main dining rooms were awful!!" in 24 reviews.

"Tried several good specialty restaurant s and the entertainment is top-notch Blue Man..." in 10 reviews.


Recommended Reviews


jftaylor11
Third Mate

Traveled As:
Singles/Friends

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
7+ cruises

2 star
2 star
empty star
empty star
empty star

Good luck!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Epic | Sail Date: Jun 01, 2014

Carrying over 4000 passengers at full capacity, the Norweigian Epic is one of the largest ships at sea.  While that may sound impressive,  it presents a number of problems for both NCL and ALL THOSE PASSENGERS.  The ship boasts an impressive array of over 20 restaurants,  but most choose not to use them.  Instead,  passengers crowd the ship's two main dining rooms, leading to long lines and wait times.   Waiting to eat dinner night after night was not on my list of "musts" for a great vacation!   Nor was making a "reservation" to see one of the ship's "free" performances,  such as Blue Man Group.   Spaces fill quickly, and at every turn you will find yourself jockeying for a position on this ship.  We even had to reserve space on a tender to get to shore in Cannes.  And because we didn't get our name in the pot soon enough,  we wasted hours trying to get off the boat.

 

To NCL, I would simply say this:  If you are going to serve 4000 people, then SERVE them.   Don't make your guests scramble for a spot at every table and every show.  The entire experience was the absolute antithesis of what an enjoyable vacation should be! 

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jcornell32
Third Mate

Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
4-6 cruises

3 star
3 star
3 star
empty star
empty star

Mediterranean Cruise: Beautiful Places, Cruise leaves something to be desired

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Epic | Sail Date: Jun 18, 2014

First let me start by saying my wife and I are some what snobby when it comes to food, we consider ourselves to be "foodies".  We boarded the cruise and went straight to the main buffet and found had one look at the meat which they served and knew we were in trouble.  The hamburgers looked like it was basically a "Bubba Burger" or something close to that low quality, the deli meats looked to be lower quality than those meats used at Subway or Oscar Myers and the chicken and beef used for the chinese food was worse than your low-end neighborhood chinese restaurant.  So upon seeing this we went straight to the front desk and upgraded to the "Ultimate Dining Package", thinking that the speciality restaurants served different food, higher quality, since they are charging you extra for it.  To our suprise this was not the case, the food at these restaurants were not of higher quality, only provided a set menu for the cruise whereas the main dining halls offered revolving menu's each day.  We did find however one good meal during our time on the cruise which was at Le Bistro, the french restaurant on board.  The whole dining experience there was good except for the cirque du soleil going on above us during our meal.  You could hear everytime anyone jumped, the music, everything.  So overall, the food was a major disappointment and not at all worth the upgrade to the "Ultimate Dining Package".  If we would have known the food was going to be this low quality when we spent this much money for the cruise we would have definately made an effort to find the closest Disney Cruise in the area!! 

The ship overall was modern, had many ammenities, and was acceptable.  The thing which caught us off guard was the missing pool.  The ship had about 3 to 5 pools on the entire ship (which is fine, but the size of these were ridicolous).  The pools were the size of most kiddie pools you would find anywhere.  The layout was not very accomodating, I have been on many smaller cruise ships which had much better layouts with a much better pool set up.  This was disappointing as we were on the ship a good time going port to port.  

The shows, were a bright spot for us on the cruise.  We elected to purchase the dinner show for Cirque du Soleil and found it to be very good.  You could definately tell that you were in Europe in regards to the show as it was a little risque, but overall was very well done.  The dinner on the otherhand, I will not discuss as I have talked about the overall food earlier (Lets just say it was not the best).  The Blue Man Group was good, same show as it is in Orlando, Florida or I suppose anywhere else.  The other entertainment was good, the casino was large and seemed to pretty well set up.  

The duty free shop on board due to it being a cruise within the EU was a joke due to the issue of having a VAT tax of 20% on all goods.  So these shops did not make any since unless you were spending large sums of money on overpriced goods that you could get back home or at the airport without the tax.  

The room, was good but not great.  Let me explain, we elected to upgrade to a balcony which we found the balcony to be nice and accomodating.  The interior of the room left somethings to be desired though.  The room was very narrow due to the TV and bathroom sink to be about a foot to the end of our bed not allowing much room to pass by to get to your closets as well as balcony.  Overall the room was good, much better than any Carnival or older Royal Carribean Ship I have been on but not to the standards of a Disney or one of the New Royal Carribean ships. 

This last thing really got me, this cruise elected to charge passengers $5 for 24 hour dinning per order.  This was the first time I had ever heard of such a thing, the next thing was that most to almost all cruises I had been on before had a large, expansive room service menu which you were allowed to order the entire night.  This cruise did not have any of that.  They really did not offer any late night dinning options (anything past 12 am) which I found very odd, as all other cruises had plenty.  Also, they did not offer breakfast in the dining halls for an actual sitdown breakfast, the only offering was for you to eat the breakfast buffett (which was not an option by the end of the 3rd day, we ended up electing to eat breakfast as soon as we got off the ship at each port).

 

Overall, we were pretty unsatisfied of our experience on the Norwegian Epic.  I would go as far as that we will not be embarking on anymore "Freestyle Crusing" most likely ever again.  

 

I will say that one bright spot on the cruise was Norwegians staff and customer service was definately the best part of the cruise.  All staff were very friendly, easy to find and took notice of all guests problems that we encountered.  

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Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Suite

Experience:
7+ cruises

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Epic vacation

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Epic | Sail Date: Jun 08, 2014

I had a Haven Spa Suite Cabin 14139, which gave us the ability to use the spa facilities and thermal pools as much as we wanted, while still having access to all the amenities of the Haven area on Floors 16 and 17, including a butler.  The concierge service was the best!  Ryan and Roel were very hands on in getting dinner and show reservations for us, and they were always on the dock each morning to ensure we got to our tour buses.  We also received priority tendering back to the ship after our tours.  On port days, Haven guests also had use of an express elevator.  With almost 5000 people on the ship, this is a great perk! The Haven Restaurant served great food, and there never was a wait.  The Haven Staff was the best on the ship.  

 

I also ate in 3 Specialty Restaurants.  Cagney's Steakhouse had great steaks, but slow service.  The Cucina Restaurant was one of the worst Italian food restaurants I have ever been to.  I ordered spaghetti and sausage, which was not served with a red sauce, but instead an olive oil which did not have enough sauce.  The service was also very slow.  This was not worth the $15 per person up charge. The French Restaurant, Le Bistro, had great food and fast efficient, friendly service.  For an extra $10, we ordered a great lobster tail meal, which came with 2 tails.  The staff, including the management made great effort to make all dining experiences positive and memorable.  

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Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
7+ cruises

4 star
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Amazing once-in-a-lifetime cruise location

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Epic | Sail Date: Jul 02, 2014

We booked the Epic in Europe for our honeymoon and it was an amazing trip. The biggest note worth making is to sign up for shore excursions if you want to "do it all" (either through the boat or through cruisesonly). We got on the boat in Rome, which we highly recommend, because with 4,000 passengers, only 1,000 are boarding in Rome. In addition, most are spending the day in Rome (the port is actually 1 hour from the city) so you have the opportunity to explore the boat and avoid the crowds.

 

Bottom line up-front: We felt that this cruise was all about location. The stops, time in port and shore excursions were the reason we would recommend it to friends.

 

Boat details:

Despite the size, we never felt overwhelmed by the amount of people on the boat. There definitely is not enough pool space, but we had no issues with chairs at 7:30 AM (started filling up around 8:30 AM). We felt day time activities were lacking (esp. with 4,000 guests onboard) and this was apparant during our day-at-sea where the weather was not ideal.

 

The evening entertainment was fantastic. We saw blue man group, which was great. The ice bar is fun, and we spent several nights at Howl at the Moon signing along with the Dueling Pianos. We were also fortunate enough to be on the boat during the World Cup and the boat was able to broadcast the games in the evening outdoors at H20.

 

The bathrooms in the staterooms are unique in that they have seperated the toilet from the shower and the sink is in the cabin. It does not leave a lot of privacy, but it does appear they have figured out how to add more storage space, which was a plus.

 

The dining rooms were our biggest complaint. The lines were enormous anytime after 7:30 (even for two) and the wait staff seemed overwhelmed. They have removed the concept of drink waiters, so waiters and their single assistant are responsible for both. This ends up causing long waits for drinks, meals, clearing tables and coffee at desert (we waited 20 minutes AFTER receiving our desert for coffee to be served multiple times). The food itself was very good and offered a wide-selection.

 

Itinterary:

In Livorno we did the Florence tour (including David statue) and Pisa tower climb. It was amazing.

In Cannes we just shopped. It rained, but it was fun. The good majority of cruisers seemed to either visit Monte Carlo or walk the streets for shopping.

In Palma, we rented bikes. There are no signs or advertisements, but about 1 mile from the boat is Palma on Bike. There is a bike path along the entire coast and you can bike on the path to the church, beautiful beaches, restaurants and gelato stores.

In Barca, we shared a cab with another couple and visited La Sagrada Familia. Cab is about 20 euro. We highly recommend buying tickets in advance for La Sagrada Familia. The line is very long and times begin selling out. We were able to find Wifi nearby and bought the tickets online :).

 

In Naples, we did a shore excursion through cruises only for the Amalfi coast and Pompeii. It was amazing. We could not recommend this more as it was our favorite stop.

 

 

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Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
1 cruise (first)

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Epic Post-Cruise Survey

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Epic | Sail Date: Jul 09, 2014

This was my first time taking a cruise with my wife.  We have been wanting to go on a cruise for years, and decided to do the Western Mediterranean with the Norwegian Epic as my brother recommended it to me.  I was pleasantly surprised overall, with the quality of the food, especially in the main (garden cafe) buffet.  I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone else.  The only criticism that I have of Norwegian is that the Spice H2O area, which was supposed to be the "Adult Zone" until 6pm daily on the boat, often was not enforced except for on one day.  It was nice, relaxing, and romantic for my wife and I to hang out at Spice H2O when it was the "Adult Zone" and there were no kids present in the pool or hot tub.  Other than that, the cruise was fantastic, and was everything and more than we ever imagined.  I would cruise again with Norwegian.  

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More about Norwegian Epic


Cabins

Norwegian Epic has 2114 cabins and 43 categories. Explore each cabin type and read cabin reviews from the community.

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Deck Plans

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Dining

Explore the 21 dining options including complimentary and up charge restaurants.

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Entertainment

Explore the 38 entertainment options on this ship.

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Popular Tips for Norwegian Epic


We wish the ship would have allowed us to buy pictures at a later date online. They are very expensive and most of the time at the end of the ship you have spent all your money. We know we would have bought online at a later time if we had the opportunity to do so.

Get a room near the front, the forward elevator goes right into the buffet, and don't miss the free liquor tasting each night at 8, they give out increasingly better scotch in the liquor shop each night.

the ship itinery was excellent . it would show who and what going on. my suggestion for first timers is to bring your luggage aboard with them so they can change and be comfortable and not wait till 6pm for the luggage to arrive by staff, theyre to many passenger to expect luggage to be in room.

Roll Calls


Norwegian Epic
45
Members on Cruise

14 Night Transatlantic Westbound (Barcelona To Miami)

Sail Date: Oct 26, 2014
Ship Name: Norwegian Epic
Imflyinghi
JFK56
+ 43 Ship Mate app members

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Norwegian Epic
17
Members on Cruise

7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail Date: Nov 16, 2014
Ship Name: Norwegian Epic
BaliLover
+ 16 Ship Mate app members

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Norwegian Epic
15
Members on Cruise

7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail Date: Mar 08, 2015
Ship Name: Norwegian Epic
Ballinaah
+ 14 Ship Mate app members

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