March 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Epic
My wife and I just returned from our 30th Anniversary cruise on the Epic that we were so looking forward to. I hesitate to write this review because we’re Only NCL cruisers and if we were to judge NCL on the Epic experience we would have to switch cruise lines. Thankfully this is our fourth cruise although it was the first time I couldn't wait to get off the ship. We have been on the Sky, Dawn and Getaway and have had fantastic times on all three.
Let me start with the things we liked about this cruise. • The balcony – much larger than most ships • Moderna • LaCucina • The Manhatten Room • Taste • Cirque Dream dinner show • Blue Man Group • Legends in Concert • The comedian (although he was only there on the last day of the cruise) • The Duet Singers • The Bowling Alley – not scoring great, but a lot of fun to play • The Grand Caymans – • Cozumel – we did the beach excursion at Mr. Sancho’s, fantastic, and I would highly recommend it. • Jamaica – We did the bobsled tour which was lots of fun and the Dunns Fall which is much more difficult then they led you to believe. Glad we did that so that is off the bucket list.
Now let me state the things that we were totally disappointed with
Armen the Cruise Director was very Vanilla Flat/Boring. No enthusiasm at all compared to our past cruise directors. The cruise director can really make your cruise a great experience this wasn't happening. That thought was shared by several couples we spoke with this past week. • The Garden Cafe – the seating was a nightmare and could never find a seat and the Food was a C- at best. The Garden Cafe on the Getaway was tremendous you wouldn't think it was the same cruise line. • The cabin Steward – This is the first time we had a cabin steward that did the basics of his job and not a thing more. We were out of our room for 4 hours in the morning and when we got back the room still wasn't done. We asked about the pools towels (that should have been in the room) and he said he would see what he could do, well that took two days and in the end we went to put a $25 deposit to get extra towels, although to us they were our first set of towels. • Customer service. We had a problem with our air conditioner, refrigerator and hair dryer. It was hotter in our room then outside in the heat. When maintenance finally came he said that someone must have requested to have the air flow turned off (that could only be done inside the unit in the wall by the door). We were told the hair dryer was working...for about 5 seconds at a time. Our steward insisted to my wife that this was normal...the correct response should been to see what he could have done. We were forced to go to the front desk after housekeeping never answered their phone only to be left a message that there were no hair dryers on the ship to replace the non working one. My wife had to go to the front desk again to ask the question that on a ship of this size there are no spares? After much time they finally brought a hairdryer that worked. No sorry for your inconvenience, just the hair dryer. We are not people that need to be pampered or waited on hand and front, but for the money we paid for a balcony room, we expect the basics to work. • The Room – The round bed was horrible. It was the first cruise we have been on that the two beds kept separating and it was built for very short people. • The toilet and shower area is ridiculous which I am sure NCL was aware of since they never continued with this concept. • The flow of ship - most things were hidden and the fact that you had to walk through the casino all the time was crazy. • The musty smells almost like and outhouse on both ends of the ships on the 6th and 7th floors was horrible. • The three water slides were NEVER open. • Overall the WOW factor was not on this ship. I know most people say you get what you put into your cruise, but that wasn’t it. I felt like I was on an extremely old ship that needed a facelift. • The Manhattan Band singer in the band was horrible, she couldn’t hold a note and was painful to sit and listen too which was extremely disappointing.
I remember walking onto the Dawn for the first time and being in awe of the atrium. The Getaway was outstanding and the Sky was very nice as well. This ship was alright at best which surprised me since at present it is the largest ship in their fleet and I would think they would want this to be their showcase ship.
I have to say that I am glad it is going to Barcelona and I never have to worry about being on it again. I look forward to going back on the Getaway and am excited about the Escape coming this fall.