Solo Cruiser... a Great Time With New Friends

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 18

Overall rating:

4 out of 5
Norwegian Epic

7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip)

Sail date: April 13, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Epic

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

The Norwegian Epic was NCL's first attempt at a big ship and you can tell some of it was not thought-out very well, specifically the elevators. The ports were fine. I had a great time with the solo cruisers group.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
Was as could be expected before getting on the ship. I take-off one star because once on the ship room were not ready, which I expected, but the elevators were extremely slow if you wanted to go up to the buffet or sun deck.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Food is good. Steak at Cagney's was disappointing.

Cagney's Steakhouse

4 out of 5

My porterhouse was disappointing. A good steak, but not fabulous. Also, and this goes for ALL the specialty dining places. If you go and ask for a table they will tell you none available at, you know, dinner time. However, if you have a friend who is Latitudes platinum or ambassador they will always be able to get a table... and when you go in a lot of tables will be empty.

The Manhattan Room

5 out of 5

Good food and good atmosphere. Staff was quick to act when my friend split a glass of wine on my lap.

Garden Cafe

5 out of 5

Garden Cafe buffet is huge with good food. Also, the young Chinese woman saying "happy happy washy washy" to everyone who walked-in was such a breath of fresh air.

O'Sheehans Neighborhood Bar and Grill

4 out of 5

Good bar food.

Maltings Whiskey Bar

1 out of 5

$22 for an old fashioned made with two pours of Maker's Mark... are you kidding me?

Le Bistro

3 out of 5

It's French food which is OK, but I wish there had been more (French) options. Also, and this goes for ALL the specialty dining places. If you go and ask for a table they will tell you none available at, you know, dinner time. However, if you have a friend who is Latitudes platinum or ambassador they will always be able to get a table... and when you go in a lot of tables will be empty.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
As a solo cruiser I interacted with the solo group and made some friends. I even ended-up be no longer a solo cruiser by the end of the week (wink). However, the solo cruiser host could have done a better job arranging specialty dining.

Casino

1 out of 5

Table minimums were too high. Specifically, baccarat which was $25 minimum and sat there with no one playing all week as a result. $10 minimum for roulette is too much. $10 minimums with 3-4-5 odds on craps is too high a minimum and too low odds. Additionally, the $10 blackjack tables pay 6:5 on blackjack instead of 3:2 like they are supposed to. What a rip-off. Finally, the staff was rude.

Spice H20

4 out of 5

Good times with good friends. LOUD music so be ready for that. Disappointed there were no black lights at the glow party.

Spa

4 out of 5

Massage was very good. Staff were very nice. The spa manager, Svetlana was I kid you not, one of the most gorgeous women I've ever spoken to.

Epic Plunge

4 out of 5

It's a bowl slide and does what it is supposed to do.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
All the stars I am giving here are for Howl at the Moon. The rest of the shows were OK at best.

Headliners Comedy Club

3 out of 5

I only saw one comedy show and it was just OK. The Howl at the Moon show they had on alternate nights was the best show I've ever seen on a cruise. Not enough seats means having to get in line like an hour early.

Epic Theatre

3 out of 5

Shows were underwhelming. And they will tell you there is no availability when there are empty seats.

Bliss Ultra Lounge

4 out of 5

Good times with good friends. Bar was always busy so it took a while to get a drink.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Good staff, but solo host could have done a better job. Also, the cruise director ended every speech with "and I'll see you out and about" but never did.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Knock-off a star because of the damned elevators. They are programmed stupidly and it seemed like I always had to wait.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
I was in solo studio cabin 11522 which is not on the drop-down list above. It is a standard solo cabin and I heartily recommend a studio cabin for anyone traveling as a solo or if you're the odd man out of your larger group.

Ship tip

If you're a solo cruiser you have to be extroverted and join the group.

Ports of call

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

4 out of 5
Did the tour of the Baths and that was pretty unique. Otherwise Tortola is like every other Caribbean island.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

4 out of 5
Did the BOSS underwater thing and that was cool. Otherwise St. Thomas is like every other Caribbean island.

Great Stirrup Cay (Cruise Line Private Island), Bahamas

2 out of 5
NCL has owned this island for decades and still hasn't put in a pier. Tendering is confusing and a pain in the ass. We actually made it to the island (which frequently doesn't happen) but all excursions were cancelled due to wind.

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
I heard a lot of people griping, but it is what it is. I found it to be OK.
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