January 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Epic
Good points and bad points
I've cruised a number of times with different cruise lines. This wasn't the worst, MSC gets that honor, but I was disappointed in the Epic. Bad points; OMG- the bathroom. The entrance door to the stateroom is between the toilet and the shower, each are enclosed by frosted glass. So, be sure to travel with people who are fine with seeing (and hearing) you sitting on the toilet or showering. This didn't work well for our cabin that was shared with our adult children. We had to schedule dressing and absolutions for a time when the genders were acceptable for cohabitation. I actually went out to use a public loo rather than the one in my cabin so that I could have some privacy. Imagine being walked in on while using the loo or showering by your adult children as there is no other way into the cabin except by way of the door that is smack in the middle of the bathroom. Fortunately the only reason this didn't happen was because of our scheduling and the fortune of having a towel at the right time. This is a deal breaker. I will never book this ship again.
The next problem was the cleanliness of the room. The carpet was disgusting. Dust and dirt so heavy it could have been swept up.
Next was the service in the restaurant. We had a large group and were seated at four tables at Taste. It took 2 1/2 hours from being seated to the time we left. Someone didn't even take our order for almost an hour. At 45 minutes I requested someone take our order. It still took almost 10 minutes for someone to show up. Then the food took forever to arrive. When I spoke to the management staff regarding these problems, they made excuses and blamed us rather than own up to their lack of timeliness. My favorite excuse of theirs was that I caused the long delay in food service because I requested any vegetable instead of onion rings with my meal. Our party all arrived within 15 minutes of our reservation time. There should have been no reason for this poor service. I think the kitchen is either too small to handle the size of the dining room or the management is woefully inadequate. This poor service was at both of the included restaurants; Taste and Manhattan, though Taste was worse. We didn't dine at the extra pay restaurants as a group. The Garden Cafe had good selections and though the lines were sometimes long, there was food available in upper decks of the pool that had shorter lines, though there was less selection. The buffet food had good variety and quality.
The shows were OK, though there was not enough variety to cover 7 nights of cruising.
Other cruise reviews on the endless corridors without options to cross over, no midship elevators, and the truly disgusting cigarette smoke throughout the central common areas due to the smoking in the casino were true. The casino had a designated smoking area but apparently the smoke didn't know that and it traveled throughout the central areas of deck 6 and 7.