Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Transatlantic
Sail Date: April 20, 2013
Ship: Norwegian Epic
Cabin Type: Suite
Cabin Number: 16017
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 4 years ago
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.
Food and Dining
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Cabin / Stateroom
Travel in The Haven... if you can afford the price... by all means do it! You won't regret it.