Bad experience with dining reservation system marred good voyage
Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Sail Date: March 08, 2015
Ship: Norwegian Epic
Cabin Type: Suite
Cabin Number: 11266
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 3 years ago
Positives: Cabin layout, storage, veranda, attractiveness very good. Food excellent especially in Le Bistro and Cagney's. Variety of activities for our teenagers excellent. Cabin steward pleasant and accommodating. Deck 18 and 19 sun decks nice. Restaurant service very good. Availability of seating in very busy Garden Cafe no problem. Ease of embarkation and disembarkation at stops and cruise end outstanding.
Negatives: Terrible experience with dine-around package accounting. Had four dine-around packages as part of promotion from and purchased two more months prior to cruise for total of six. At various venues we were told we had either four, five or six packages. Some fees were charged--others waived by restaurant. Went to finance dept. to assure no wrongful charges on next to last day of cruise. Found that there were $80 in remaining charges. Sent to cabin to recover my receipt from NCL for six packages, which fortunately I brought with me. Was being helped by an unfriendly man named Samuel. This took over an hour. At the end of that time it was ascertained that the system had inaccurately recorded our packages but he--Samuel-- would straighten it out as he had my documentation in hand. He asked where we were dining that night and said that he would see to it that there were no charges. What he saw to was that we were charged for four fees--double any previous problem. It took another hour for me to have a lovely lady in customer service remove all charges, including the Samuel induced ones, but only possible by issuing a credit against my prepaid gratuities. This incident ruined the trip for me as I almost became ill from the effort to control my anger. Next negative--there is no quiet place on the ship other than one's own veranda. There is lots of noise everywhere including the library which is open to casino, bars etc. Next,Third bed in mini suite odd shaped, short and uncomfortable sofa--not well thought out. Mini suite small but clever planning makes it acceptable. Food in Shanghai restaurant not nearly up to excellence of other special dining venues. Quality of entertainment at two show venues--Epic theater--fair to poor. Comedy club--beyond terrible. Itinerary of three days at sea then three consecutive days of stops not ideal.
Systems should be designed to make guest experience smooth and pleasant. If one doesn't work there should be an effective way for someone at a senior level to override it. While our cruising experience is limited we found this ship to be geared much more toward extracting dollars from passengers than any other that we have been on. There is little ability to just relax on the Epic though on our voyage there was a substantial minority of older guests. Norwegian has the mechanics of feeding huge numbers of guests well and getting them on and off the ship down to a science. They need to improve their entertainment, better train their staff in courtesy and efficiency and program for all varieties of customers which they will certainly have among 4,000 passengers.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
If you can get it properly recorded go for dine around package. The specialty restaurant food was really wonderful. Do not take this cruise if seeking quiet relaxation as part of your vacation.