Wonderful Excursions, Okay ship experience

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 33

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Epic

7 Night Western Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 13, 2018

Ship: Norwegian Epic

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 12088

Traveled as: Family (young children)

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

The state rooms were great and we really enjoyed the excursions. However, we will not cruise with Norwegian again. We found the dining system to be confusing and the service disappointing. There were too many instances were you had to pay for experiences on the boat (I paid $300 for spa services and did not have access to the sauna or hot tubs at the spa??).

Embarkation

3 out of 5
There were hundreds of people waiting at the port for the boat to start loading and unfortunately not enough chairs which meant a lot of congested crowds for a long period of time. I would recommend choosing a later embarkation time so you can go directly to the ship and not wait in the hot crowds.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
The "freestyle" system is confusing and a hassle. You have to make reservations for all of your meals the first day or there will only be very late reservations available or none at all. The service in the complimentary main dining areas (Taste and the Manhattan Room) was horrible! It took over an hour to receive food, the service was slow and no one even asked us if we would like anything to drink other than water. The Noodles restaurants food was served late and cold and was of poor quality. The specialty restaurants offer better food and service but getting a reservation was frustrating. It really feels like they are pushing for you to pay for the specialty restaurants. We don't mind paying for the upgrade once or twice but the added cost of feeling like it was the only quality option almost every night was frustrating and not our experience on any other cruise line that we have sailed with before (Disney, Princess and Royal). Also frustrated that bottled water was not included in the Ultimate Beverage package. We ended up spending $50 just for waters.

Maltings Whiskey Bar

5 out of 5

Our experience with Joseph Branzanga at the Maltings bar was a oasis of customer service on the ship. He was personal, attentive and makes great drinks. We enjoyed visiting him every night at this bar and listening to the live music.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
The water slides were fun and our kids enjoyed the rock climbing wall as well. The pools were small for a boat of this size but they had several hot tubs. We were frustrated by the added cost to participate on some of the onboard activities (bowling, ice bar). Once again makes you feel nickle and dimed. It was not enjoyable to have to walk all the way through the very smoke filled casino on Deck 6 to access other things on that deck. We would have appreciated more family friendly and free organized activities during the cruise (trivia, crafts, etc). We enjoyed the card room and thought it was a nice touch.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
Priscilla was fantastic, one of the best shows we have seen on a cruise ship! If you are easily offended or appreciate cussing or drag queen humor DO NOT GO. If you can lighten up and put offense to the side you are in for a hysterical treat. The Cirque show was very impressive but we did not enjoy the dinner before. It's not a dinner show. It is a dinner THEN a show. At $50 per person we would have appreciated to have just paid less for the show portion and to have the option to dine elsewhere. Once again felt nickle and dimed for this one.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
Our kids had a blast at the kid's club and often begged to stay when we picked them up. The staff and activities were great and the show that they organize for the kids to be on the last day at sea was a highlight for our whole family.

Service and Staff

2 out of 5
Our room steward was friendly and did a great job. Our service at the complimentary restaurants and the Cirque was very lacking and disappointing. Service at the Brazilian steak restaurant and sushi was very good and personal.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
It was hard to find a bar area that wasn't congested or loud and we did not enjoy having to go through the smoke filled Casino. Some of the common areas felt cramped. The top pool deck was very nicely laid out and had a lot of activities. Overall the ship was very clean.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Our cabin was the best part of our cruise. There is much much more storage than we are used to on similar cruises. We appreciated the kids beds not folding down over ours at night. The shower was huge (for a ship). Overall it was a great design.

Ship tip

Make your dinner reservations by the first day!!! If you plan on going to a complimentary restaurant pack your patience and bring a drink in with you from one of the bars.

Ports of call

Port Canaveral, Florida Did not visit port

We just got straight on the ship and did not explore the area.

Nassau, Bahamas

5 out of 5
We visited Atlantis. It was a cloudy and cool day so we were a little cold but we still thoroughly enjoyed the resort and the kids had a blast.

Falmouth, Jamaica

4 out of 5
We visited Dunn Rivers fall and ended up having to climb in a MASSIVE rain storm but still had fun and laughed all the way up. We then went to Bamboo beach and the sun had mercy and came out. The food served was not very good or filling but the drinks were good and it is a very pretty beach. I would suggest paying for the "VIP" experience. We did not so our chairs did not recline and we were not offered as wide a selection of drinks. The people at the shops here are pushy and relentless!!

George Town, Grand Cayman

5 out of 5
Beautiful island and great shops! We went to the turtle farm and highly recommend it. There was a ton to do! We held turtles in a wading pool, watched feedings of sharks, snorkeled in a little river area they have, the kids enjoyed the pool and the water slide. The restaurant served good food as well. We also did a Dolphin experience at Dolphin Cay. It was just okay. The guide seemed disinterested and they seem to just be focused on photo ops so they can sell you at the end $35 for a single photo!!!

Great Stirrup Cay (Cruise Line Private Island), Bahamas

4 out of 5
I thought the island was very nice. It was a cool day so I don't think a lot of people got off the ship which meant there were plenty of chairs to choose from.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Amazing! We chose to carry our own bags off and have never had a disembarkation go so quickly and smoothly. From beginning to end it was 30 minutes. Wow!
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