Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Ship: Norwegian Epic
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 7 years ago
I have just returned from the Norwegian Epic sailing that departed Miami Fl, on September 4 and arrived today, September 11, 2010. After seven days of experiencing your much acclaimed "Freestyle Cruising" I have come to realize that truthfully, there is nothing freestyle about it. For starters, in most cruise ships, there are dining room hours assigned to the guests, for early or late dinners according to their preference. Norwegian strongly advertises this as a plus, in their perception of the cruising experience. However, they fail to mention that this means long lines and up to two hours of waiting times occasionally, in order to enter the dining rooms that are included in the price of your ticket, which are only four, out of approximately twenty. Although there are service charges ranging from $15.00 to $25.00 per person, many times there are waiting times for these restaurants too. Many times, you are inclined to dine in these restaurants, since the menu at the "included" restaurants is always the same, with minimal variations. For added enjoyment, the fact that you require reservations to attend on-board shows, it's just ridiculous. Since the "freestyle" dining experience does not give the cruise company any idea of how many people will be attending their shows, you are forced to make advance reservations in order to be admitted into these shows, and if the presentation is booked full, you are unceremoniously asked to wait on a stand-by line until the start of the show, to see if there is room to accommodate your party. For the first time in my twenty years of cruising, I missed an on-board $20.00 surcharge per person dinner show, due to overbooking. I you had the desire to watch a show a second time, and their system showed you had previously made a reservation that was used, you are inhibited from making another reservation, even if a show still has availability to book. Not to mention there are only three headlining shows, repeated over and over throughout the cruise. Unfortunately, many fellow cruisers found themselves in similar situations, since their booking agents failed to advise them of this reservations loophole. I would like to continue outlining the "epic" failures I encountered in this cruise, since this information, will be made available to everyone that reads the cruising websites I consult prior to all my trips. The cabins are so small, that it is difficult to walk when the beds are turned down. The television only has 17 channels, out of which only three or four have actual t.v. programming. The rest are all NCL information channels. Upon arrival at the ports, the ship steering it's so noisy, that even in the higher stories, the vibration was so strong, it wakes up every time. Wake-up calls were unnecessary throughout the trip for us. After 11:00 p.m., there is no more entertainment for the younger adults on ship. There are no after hours clubs or shows to attend. Then, there is the automatic $12.00/per person per day gratuity charge they immediately start collecting after check-in.
I felt it was quite ridiculous to reward services that had not been rendered, and that were mediocre at best when obtained. Finally, all these and many other reasons too long to mention on this email, have made me realize that since I have a choice in cruise travel, I will never cruise with Norwegian Cruise lines again. A full refund of my tickets is not enough to compensate me for the disastrous travel experience this cruise was for my family and me. As a representative for a major airline, I intend to warn anyone that asks about this experience.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Cons: Food and entertainment