February 2014 - Norwegian Epic to Caribbean - Western
This was a first time cruise for my cruise mate. This was my fifth cruise and the third on Norwegian. I am 68. This was the best cruise I have been on. I realized there was a fair ammount of criticism of this ship, but I am happy to report that most of the complaints were really small patatoes. This truely is the entertainment ship. There is something for everyone. Cirque du Solait is not to be missed. We went to Howling at the Moon which is the duel pianos bar on three different nights. They are a blast. Blue Man Group was OK, but I had seen them before. Good Blues club, but a little loud. There is lots of additional entertainment all over the ship. The Epic far surpasses the typical cruise entertainment venue which I always thought as a little lame.
The food was absolutly great, and I'm a little bit of a foodie. We did three up charge resturants and enjoyed every one of them. We thought the French was the best. Loved the service and choices in the Manhatten room. You would be just fine eating there all week. The buffet for breakfast was very well done with every choice you could imagine. Loved the Lox with Eggs Benedict.
We had a balcony room on the 11th deck closer to the stern, catagory BA. It was very nice. I actually thought the barthroom layout was an improvement. The space is a little cramped, but adequate and we loved the bed. We really enjoyed the balcony which has total privacy. There is nothing better than a Caribian sunset from your balcony 150 feet from the water.
We were concerned with the size of the crowds, but we never really felt crowded. The sun deck on 15 gets very busy, but that is part of the fun. Pools are small, but that's the case on all ships. The elevators were crowded at times, but you would expect that. A tip...go to the bow of the boat and make your way to the 18th deck. This is a quiet zone with very comfy lounges and an amazing view. Not many people were aware of this.
The ports were OK, but you never really see much of each one. Cozomel was the best. We did our own thing and went to a Beach club which included snorkeling for $25 per person. Got a half hour massage in Costa Mayo for $20 plus tip.
My first time cruise mate was very apprehensive about a lot of things, especially sea sickness. I can say that we never felt the ship move the entire week. Its size and stabilizers really keep it calm. She loved the entire experience.
if there is a negative, it's being forced to walk through the casino to get to destinations. We don't gamble but this was a minor annoyance.
Last point is the staff. They were representing over 40 countries with the majority, I would guess, from the Phillipines. They were great. Very pleasant, accommodating and looked to be having fun.
The Norwegian Epic is hard to beat for value, entertainment and fun.