Second Mate

Hometown: Florida
Joined: 04/21/2014
Helpful Votes

About HappyCruiser79

Life's a cruise just waiting to be sailed on... it's all about who you choose to sail it with. I personally enjoy my cruising with my husband and our two sons or family and friends!



Cruiseline: Disney Cruise Line

Cruiseline: Norwegian Cruise Line

Cruiseline: Royal Caribbean

HappyCruiser79's Past Cruises

Disney Wonder

October 2014 - Disney Wonder to Caribbean - Western

Norwegian Getaway

September 2014 - Norwegian Getaway to Caribbean - Eastern

Carnival Liberty

June 2014 - Carnival Liberty to Caribbean - Eastern

Enchantment of the Seas

May 2014 - Enchantment of the Seas to Caribbean - Bahamas

Not my favorite... by far.

Myself and two of my best friends stayed in junior suite #8158. The room is worn down badly, even though it looks like the whole ship (including the staterooms) received new carpeting, that does nothing for how rough everything else was. As soon as we walked into our hallway heading toward our JS in the aft of the ship there was a strong sewage smell (it was there all weekend... even with the heavy amounts of air freshener they tried to cover it up with). Big nose turner. Then we made it to our room, which was plenty big enough for three women, it was just not nearly up to my standards. All the wood in the room was peeling it's varnish, the bed sheets had stains and the balcony was dirty with chairs that had random screws that were placed in the chairs to hold together the broken parts, instead of replacing them. There was a creepy door on our balcony... right out of a horror movie. Needless to say we didn't spend any time on the balcony. The bathrooms needed better maintenance and it seems that the plumbing needs some work too, as it worked sometimes, and not others. We even had the toilet flush itself at 3 o'clock in the morning with a non-stop whooshing noise, until I got up and pressed the button to make it stop. I have to say I have never been on a Royal ship that needed so much work. Even all the beach towels at the towel station were stained... EVERY ONE OF THEM! With what... I don't know... but gross! I can't really comment on their island this go around, as we didn't get to go on the island, due to bad weather they evacuated the hundred or so people before we got a chance to take the tender over. And Nassau... well, it's just Nassau and I've been there enough that we stayed on the ship and sunbathed instead. I'm only 3 points away from being an Emerald points member, but I don't know if I'm wanting to go anymore, definitely not on the older ships. Even their food was heavily lacking on this ship... I once thought their food was one of my top three cruise lines to eat on, but not anymore (not this ship). Their buffet food was greasy, unhealthy and lacking any kind of real selection. The main dining room wasn't all that much better. I think they served me "popcorn shrimp" for my shrimp cocktail appetizer, which were about 1 inch long and the skinniest I'd ever been served. The food was just a step above hospital food. I can't believe I was on Royal... it seemed like a bad dream. The entertainment was lacking as well... although the comedian was funny (I will at least give them that). Maybe they're planning to let their older ships just rust to the bottom of the ocean... who knows? But I will not be returning to any of their older/ smaller ships again. What an absolute shame.

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Norwegian Getaway

March 2014 - Norwegian Getaway to Caribbean - Eastern

NCL's Getaway

Okay... I truly loved the Getaway, even though I loved Epic a bit more... but that may be because we stayed in a 2 bedroom family suite in the Haven for a 12 day trip on a transatlantic to Barcelona, vs staying in a balcony for a week on Getaway. And it's much bigger than Getaway... only RCCL's Oasis and Allure are currently bigger than Epic. The Entertainment... it's amazing on the Epic and just 'okay' on the Getaway. We were not impressed with "Legally Blonde" at all (could have lived my whole life without seeing that one), but "Burn the Floor" was a high energy dance performance which was overall good (which you get a taste of in the sample/ variety show early on in the cruise). On the Epic, they had two of our all time favorite cruise ship performances... the "Blue Man Group" and "Legends in Concert", which both were high energy and over the top! On Getaway we checked out Howl at the Moon (two piano players/ singers that take turns singing the songs you write on pieces of paper and will more likely sing them if they get a cash tip or shots), but they were fun. The comedians are pretty good too (not for kids). Epic also had "Cirqué of Dreams" that we thought was pretty good & my DH was pulled into the show, which was hilarious, but the food was just 'okay'. Where as Getaway had the "Illusionarium", and it was fantastic... the food was the best we had on the ship the whole time we were aboard (even better than Moderno's endless meat extravaganza and Tapanyakki's entertaining hibachi table). We attended the Latin Dance party briefly, which was pretty deserted, so we only danced a couple of songs and left. They also have just one modern adults night club, which is by the Casino and is tiny, but don't worry about size, not many people were there either. There was a neon/ hot white party that we did not attend as well... our scheduled showtime conflicted with the party time. Outdoor Activities... The plank/ rope course with the short zip-line was a thrill! Don't forget to pull the rope at the end of the 'walk the plank', so it will take your pic... and pose/ smile for the other pic when you go across the zip-line. *Remember to bring sneakers and socks... also need to have on either pants or shorts to do this and the rock climbing wall. The tiny pools were over crowded and all the irresponsible parents let their children over-run even the hot tubs by themselves... I can imagine it was nothing more than a big warm toilet... gross! But on the bright side there were slides, and plenty of them! They were all great but the death drop as I nicknamed it, was awesome! You can not wear ANY jewelry and you have to be more than 99 lbs., but less than 250? or 300? something like that (and they do have a scale). But what's so cool about it, is you step into what looks like a coffin standing up and the employee closes the clear coffin door and the computer starts to count down... 3...2...1, then the bottom disappears from under your feet and you have somehow made it through a couple hundred feet of slide and your almost instantly at the bottom gurgling the water at the bottom as it flies in your face. Definitely a thrilling slide!  Kids Programs... We went on Getaway during Florida's spring break and there were hundreds of children on board (including a total of 3 in our party). The Nickelodeon Pajama Jam was pretty good... the kids had fun even though it just felt like an assembly line 1/2 of the time for buffet style food and taking pics with the characters. We only let the kids (7, 8 & 9) play in the kids club a couple of times, as it was too crowded for our likings. It's no Disney Fantasy or Dream, that's for sure. The characters would pop up for meet and greets at scheduled times throughout the cruise. The kids water park/ splash n' play area was much smaller than expected after being on Epic. The kids complained that it was too small and there was no swimming area for them.  The Restaurants... if you are planning to eat at either Cagney's or Moderno's (the space is split in two) find out the time the sun sets on the night you cruise and book a bit before, as they are located on the back of the ship and it makes for a romantic view. (On Epic, Moderno's is the full width of the back of the ship). We didn't go to Cagney's on Epic, so I don't know where it's located... I think we ate at all the other ones minus the sushi bar on Epic, including the Haven's restaurant many times, which was awesome. The paid restaurants on Getaway are pretty good overall, but so is the complimentary restaurants. The Tropicana Room Being a favorite, with its live Latin music that you can get up on the dance floor and dance to (they do have a stiffer dress code at this one vs. the other complimentary restaurants). Taste is a more intimate setting than Tropicana and it has an almost twin restaurant across from it that has a different color scheme, but they have the same menu. O' Sheehan's Irish Pub is a great place for snacks... at any hour. The Garden Café is as it should be... a buffet. Overall the food on NCL has some of the best cruise cuisine on the open seas.  Casino... I believe this is the first cruise that I've been on that has a casino, that I did not play. Which is a good thing, I guess. So I can't tell you how loose the slots are on this on... but I can attest that we lost about $3k in Epic's casino. Oh well. Although for a new ship, whenever we got near the casino, it smelled horribly of cigarette smoke. They need better air cleaners. Epic had a ton of them at every turn, which made the air a little better... but it all still smelled like an ashtray.  Excursions... We did Magen's Bay & Shopping in St. Thomas, which is listed as one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world. Pretty, but this was a horrible place to snorkel and I don't know how it got a top 10 spot? The lifeguard won't let you go far and there is NO coral or colorful fish to be seen. On St.Maarten we did the Golden Eagle Sail Away & Swim, which was GREAT! Make sure to get a spot in the net when you get onboard if you enjoy the sun. On Nassau we did the Blue Lagoon Island Beach Getaway. The water was so cold and the current so strong that it's hard to enjoy yourself. Also a complete loss cause for snorkeling... no coral... only a few clear boring fish to see that were busy fighting the current. So to sum it up... only the excursion in St.Thomas will we repeat. 


All-in-all... it was a really nice cruise and we'll be sailing on it again this September with even more family :)

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Disney Dream

November 2013 - Disney Dream to Caribbean - Bahamas

Norwegian Epic

April 2013 - Norwegian Epic to Transatlantic

Norwegian Epic...

This is a review of the Norwegian Epic on the Transatlantic sailing from Miami, FL to Barcelona, Spain, with a stop in the port of Funchal, Madeira (Portugal).   


Stateroom: We stayed in a 2 bedroom Suite in the Haven (category B6-S4) in stateroom 16017. The room was very spacious for my husband and I and our 2 sons (6 & 8 at the time of sailing). Our favorite feature in our suite was the master bathroom where the shower & garden tub over looked the ocean with large glass windows. There was ample closet space and drawers in the master and second bedroom for 2-1/2 weeks of belongings for four. The entire concierge team was outstanding and escorted us around to shows and off the ship with speed & ease. As for our butler, Jonathan, he was just an amazing person who we were very luck to get to know on our trip. We wish him and his family well wishes.  


The Haven: The exclusiveness of The Haven was a wonderful change of scenery to the business of the open parts of the ship. It was literally a ship within a ship. We have stayed in the suites on all the cruise lines that we have traveled on (not every time... but most of the time), and The Haven has won us over. The Haven had an exclusive restaurant, pool, hot tubs, gym, bars. lounge, sunning deck... everything but the casino... but even that, you can do right on the TV in your suite. Even when we would go to the shows or to specialty dining they would arrange everything or take us there for special treatment. They could even hi-jack the elevators for only us Haven guests with the Haven card. Even to get into the Haven we had to swipe our cards for entry to the iron gated hallway. I can't wait for our next Haven Suite! If you can swing the cost, by all means... do it!   Restaurants: We ate wonderful 5 star food in the Haven most days... but we did try Tepanyakki, Moderno's, the Chinese restaurant (name?), Cirqué of Dreams & Nickelodeon's Pajama Jam. I think there was one more... but I can't recall which one... it was a year ago. I do remember that Moderno's has a wonderful view of the ocean on the back of the ship.... so make sure to make your reservation for about 30-40 minutes before sunset and sit by the windows. Tepanyakki is a typical Japanese hibachi dining experience. We didn't so much care for the Chinese restaurant. Cirqué of Dreams was a pretty good show, but the show on Getaway is better (from my opinion) and the food was a similar if not the same menu on each ship for their show... but the food quality was WAY better on Gataway. The Pajama Jam that we experienced on Epic was a tasty served sit down breakfast that was very small and simple and located in Cirqué, where as it was a huge blow out on Getaway with buffet style food located in the Tropicana Room. There were not many children on the Transatlantic crossing is the only reason we could pin on why we had such an intimate setting for Epic. So please don't expect what we experienced. We also went to the Ice Bar while on board... I suggest to remember to bring WARM clothing for this. The complementary food around the ship is something we really didn't experience much of, although we did eat late night snacks at O'Sheehan's and we ate late breakfast in the Garden Café in the mornings sometimes.



Entertainment:  We LOVED the entertainment of The Blue Man Group and Legends in Concert on Epic! There is nothing more to say ion that... it was just phenomenal!  


Things to do: Plenty of things to do on the ship from the water slides (including a HUGE drain style one), the splash and play water park for the kids (bigger than Getaways), largest casino on the ocean (sadly lost $3k... so it's machines are pretty tight and the craps table didn't help either, but it was still fun), my boys LOVED the kids club (again bigger than Getaways), and all the typical NCL things to do and plenty of shops for shopping. My husband even won a $1,500 watch at the end of the cruise in a drawing that we were entered into after I bought a watch a few days into the cruise (I guess that made up for a little $ we lost in the casino). We still had a wonderful time on Epic and can't wait to experience her again in the future.   


Ports: We only stopped at Funchal and we did the island tour that had the sledge ride... which we recommend very much! Then our final stop was in Barcelona and we did do a tour with the ship to Monserrat... which was something we'll never forget. If you find yourself there and don't go... you'll be missing out on an amazing place. The inside of the Basilica will bring tears to your eyes. It's also home of the Black Madonna. Highly, highly recommended.  


Overall: The ship is one of our all time favorite ships! Clean, fresh, modern, entertaining... can't ask for much more. 


  *I'm writing this a whole year after we were on the ship, so the details aren't super fresh anymore. When we go on the ship i the future... I'll be sure to update this review. I'll also try to pull some pics of the suite and ship from my shutterfly account to post on here for you all.

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Liberty of the Seas

March 2013 - Liberty of the Seas to Caribbean - Western

Monarch of the Seas (RETIRED)

January 2012 - Monarch of the Seas (RETIRED) to Caribbean - Bahamas

Norwegian Sky

October 2011 - Norwegian Sky to Caribbean - Bahamas

Carnival Sensation

September 2011 - Carnival Sensation to Caribbean - Bahamas

Disney Wonder

June 2009 - Disney Wonder to Caribbean - Bahamas

Jewel of the Seas

March 2009 - Jewel of the Seas to Panama Canal, Central America

Disney Magic

September 2008 - Disney Magic to Caribbean - Western

Disney Wonder

May 2008 - Disney Wonder to Caribbean - Bahamas

Sovereign of the Seas (RETIRED)

April 2008 - Sovereign of the Seas (RETIRED) to Caribbean - Bahamas

Disney Magic

September 2007 - Disney Magic to Caribbean - Western

Majesty of the Seas

June 2007 - Majesty of the Seas to Caribbean - Bahamas

Disney Magic

September 2005 - Disney Magic to Caribbean - Eastern

HappyCruiser79's Tips

Nassau, Bahamas - Nassau is what you make of it... best to do an excursion away from the island though.
Barcelona, Spain - Take the excursion that visits Monserrat... the Basilica will bring tears to your eyes. Then use a double decker multi-day pass to see the rest of the city the days after the cruise.
Norwegian Epic Norwegian Epic - Travel in The Haven... if you can afford the price... by all means do it! You won't regret it.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas - This island is best to do an excursion... away from the island. But the blue tent market has good deals on knock off name brands that you can bargain for.
Norwegian Getaway Norwegian Getaway - Make your entertainment reservations online before departing. You can't get into a main theatre show without a reservation... we seen them sending people away because they had no reservations. They're like the box office bouncers.

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