Mixed emotions

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western


Contributor Level: Purser
Experience: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 8

Overall Rating:

4.0 out of 5
Verified Review
7 Night Western Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)
Sail Date: December 07, 2014
Ship: Norwegian Epic
Cabin Type: Inside
Cabin Number: 12572
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 2 years ago

Shortly before this cruise, warnings about bad food and crabby crew were posted on a cruise-related website.  I was apprehensive since I hadn't been on a cruise per se, before, just a passenger on a liner, as a child.

Here's my observations:

The staff was lovely. The service was impeccable. What wasn't impeccable were the other passengers. I saw more people dressed like bums and more vulgar and inappropriate tattoos (is there such a thing as an appropriate tattoo?) including some that were borderline pornographic and should not have been permitted to be displayed in decent company.

Outside of a weekend at the Ritz-Carlton, I've never been treated as well as the staff on the Epic. They were polite and cheerful at every turn, even when I observed them dealing with aggressive, drunken or simply obnoxious customers.

My only quibble about the ship itself is the relentless noise.  Not one of the entertainers understood volume control, all were far too loud for whatever space they were in.  Also, what Norwegian calls a "library" is laughable.  I've more books in one bedroom in my house than they had.  I did not see any magazines, newspapers or a digest of the day's news posted anywhere either.

My Studio was very clean and the steward was fantastic. I never had anything approaching a bad meal and most of the meals were excellent and some approached fantastic. The only failure in the food service was the dismal coffee, which was bad everywhere but the Atrium Cafe and the Studio Lounge. And since I have been on the paleo diet and only cheated a little on this trip, I'll say I was very impressed with the protein.

The smoothness of getting herds of people on and off the ship was remarkable, even in Grand Cayman where choppy seas delayed the tenders - I still made it to my appointed excursion with 5 minutes to spare.

If the other passengers approached the couth, politeness and personal standards of the staff, I'd gladly go on another cruise - but the behaviour of many passengers on and off the ship makes me reluctant to say that I would take another cruise.

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Food was very good to excellent; staff service impeccable.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
none that interested me, offerings seemed sparse outside ones that involved parties and gambling

Entertainment

3 out of 5
Cirque and Blue Man great; musicians all over ship, fifth rate and too darned LOUD.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
NA

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Steward Patil 12 aft, wonderful; servers in Taste, exemplary

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Too much noise, few places to be quiet outside stateroom

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Well-thought out, cozy, clean and easy to stow one's stuff away in. Reading lights are the only poorly designed part of the studio.

Ship Tip

Epic needs to tone down the noise and tone up their customers by enforcing the (few) standards they have. Despite the minimal dress code, I saw people in shorts and ragged jeans and tee shorts seated in the main dining rooms. I can sit next to a ditch digger at McDonalds ....

3 out of 5
no comment, made trip straight to and from airport.
5 out of 5
Blue Hole trip. Peat Taylor Tours
5 out of 5
Turtle Farm and snorkeling.
5 out of 5
Snorkeling on Palancar reef.
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