March 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Epic
I booked this cruise last minute to get away from frozen Northeast for a week. Did not like the split bathroom design in the rooms-- there seemed to be no privacy. Ship was dirty-- public bathrooms especially on pool floor were filthy. Someone threw up on our balcony from above(we had an uncovered balcony on 8th floor) but the walls which had splatter on them were not touched. In fact there were potato chips stuck to our balcony floor from previous trips that were still there at the end of the cruise. All glass was filthy and never cleaned during the trip. The bathroom dividing curtain in our stateroom had many stains and since the sink is outside the toilet area, I wondered what the stains were. Pool area was terrible -- pools dirty and small- and not enough area to lay out unless you go to 18th floor away from pools. Adults only (Spice H2O) area was always full of children even though it was clearly marked. Also adults only venues were also full of kids at all times. And children were always running around unsupervised bumping into people or knocking older people out of their way with no intervention from crew members
Food in dining rooms and O'Sheehan's was very good-- better than alot of cruises I have been on but the buffet had a bad layout and was always very congested. Cruise line ran out of things like Italian dressing on the 2nd day of the cruise and didn't seem to care. Only complaint about dining rooms is that Mahattan Room makes men wear long pants and collared shirts but women and young girls are allowed in with all body parts hanging out , no panties under micromini skirts see thru blouses and dresses ,and soiled and torn Daisy Duke shorts.
Saving grace on this trip was the crew except for the bartenders who often ignore customers who have the ultimate drink package on their sea pass. If you want better service at the bars cover the sticker with your finger until you are waited on. I do think there were too many mid level crew managers who wear the dark blue uniforms and seem to be managers . They were always standing around doing basically nothing but getting everyone's way. Also. compared to other cruise lines, I never even knew who the cruise director was until the 3rd day of the trip--he never introduced himself. We have been on 15 cruises on 5 different lines and there was much to dislike on this ship.
This is my 2nd trip on Norwegian and poor pool areas seem to be normal for this line. If pools are your thing--stay away. If you want cleanliness--stay away. If you want a balcony that you can use even when it rains and you don't want to be on display for everyone above you--stay away from the 8th floor.
If you just want to relax and get away from bad weather without spending much money-- consider this ship. But don't expect much.
Brightest spot was the wonderful gym with lots of equipment although a litlle cramped.