TransAtlantic on MegaShip with nice itinerary...but coordination sometimes problematic

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Transatlantic

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 32

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Epic

16 Night Transatlantic Westbound (Barcelona To San Juan)

Sail date: November 22, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Epic

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 14141

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

We enjoyed the ship itinerary and all the onboard activities and shows very much. Also the personnel generally do a good job of handling so many many people. Expecially the dining room staff were very nice, attentive and professional. We enjoyed those aspects of the cruise. The cabin small but the bed very comfortable. And a really nice balcony. On the other hand, It was very slow coming onto and getting off the ship (mostly Embarkation/Disembarkation.....not so much in the ports of call). Very little communication on the Embarcation and Disembarkation process. Guest Services was nice but uncoordinated with some of our issues (with the squeeling noise). We've only been on one other smaller NCL Jade, which we did enjoy a lot. I'm not sure if this ship is just too big. Or we had some bad luck. We like NCL but would have to think twice before going on a similar ship.

Embarkation

2 out of 5
Very slow, It took us a little over 3 hours to get on, the person who checked us in was nice but gave us some info in german

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Main dinning room was always good, overall service good. Specialty also good. The buffet was usually a mad house but that was more due to the passengers. The crew in dinning areas was usually very nice and hard working and trying to keep us in order. I was in wheelchair some days due to sprained ankle and VERY impressed with attention from ALL dining venues. They were very prepared to help me.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Too many things to do on board. I loved the fitness facilities. Sometimes it was a bit noisy. We had a large population from San Juan, PR on the cruise and they liked to party and were full of energy.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
Some of the best shows that I have seen on a ship. Lots of things to choose from

Children's Programs

We are a couple....no kids...but they seemed to have lots of kids activities.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
People in general were very attentive. I think though that they sometimes were overwhelmed with the volume of people.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Cleanliness was excellent and/or outstanding. They were cleaning our hands, the walls outside cabins, the balconies....everywhere. I was not so crazy about the design of the ship compared to others. I miss a deck where you can walk all the way around. The common/social areas would fill up very fast. The atrium was not that big. The common areas were usually very noisy too.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
The cabin was very pretty at first. The balcony very large...we had chairs but would have liked a chair long. But the space between end of bed and the facing wall was so small. only one person can be there and we were constantly getting out of the way or crawling over the bed. The shower and toilet are separate and then a curtain and then sink in room (next to shower). I actually liked it and thought it was more hygenic to keep the toilet separate. But many people dont like the lack of feeling of privacy. As a couple it was not a big deal but would depend how comfortable you are with your travel partner. Also Lighting looked good ... loved the little flexible reading lights on either side of the bed...the light switches next to bed also great....but lights in front of mirrors were not great (probably not good for the ladies putting on makeup or if you were writing or working in that area). We did have a major problem with noise....During the first 8 days of our sailing we had a squeeling sound (like a loose belt on a car) just outside our cabin. It sounded like it was in the ceiling above us and was usually only when the ship was moving. I thought it was either an ac belt or some pipes vibrating. The two cabins next to us also heard it and we all complained daily....usually several times a day. They gave us ear plugs but still it was not pleasant. We finally complained to the director Mr. Martin who apparently had not heard anything until we brought it up. They did fix it halfway thru the cruise. But we never did really know what was going on there. Besides the ear plugs, they offered us to sleep in an inside cabin 3 floors below and a complementary meal in a specialty restaurant. We just stayed in our balcony cabin and used the earplugs....not wanting to change cabins to sleep. Eventually they did something because it stopped mid way on the Atlantic crossing.

Ship tip

Be very patient for embarcation and debarkation.....and especially for debarkation in San Juan...the worst ever port terminal i have seen.

Ports of call

Barcelona, Spain

5 out of 5
Excellent public transportation, city-organized buses to get around the terminal area. One of the best cities to visit in Spain and Europe. Everything great.

Palma De Mallorca, Balearic Islands

5 out of 5
Can walk on and off ship to terminal and into town. Beautiful place. Lots to see.

Malaga, Spain

5 out of 5
Can walk on and off ship to terminal and into town. Beautiful place. Lots to see.

Cadiz (Seville), Spain

5 out of 5
Can walk on and off ship to terminal and into town. Beautiful place. Lots to see. I was in a boot and crutches and still able to get into and around the town.

Funchal, Madeira

5 out of 5
Can walk on and off ship to terminal and into town. Beautiful, breathtaking views and lots of history and gardens. Lots to see. Its a little more challenging as a lot of sidewalks are made with very pretty stone designs but a bit bumpy at times. Despite being very hilly, its still quite wheel chair/handicapped accessible. We went up in the Funicular/Cable Car and loved it.

Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands Did not visit port

The port was very far from the town.....port did not not look inviting and did not get off the ship. Most people i spoke too found the transportation to town expensive and not worth it.

Santa Cruz De Tenerife, Canary Islands

5 out of 5
Can walk on and off ship to terminal and into town. It is quite a walk but nice sidewalk all the way to terminal and town. Beautiful place. Lots to see. Great public transportation and trams. Cute. I was in a boot and cane and able to get around fine.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

3 out of 5
I feel sorry as they are still recovering from hurricanes and a lot of areas looked like a war zone. Not much to see in town. But beautiful beaches and lots of transport options to get there. The nicest part of town were the touristy shops next to cruise ship terminal. The museum was still closed from hurricane.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
Pleasantly surprised. They have a really inviting dock and terminal area. Very nicely done. The central part of town was quite far and we would have to take a taxi but just visited the outdoor mall/shops right after the dock. The shopping, selection and prices were much better here.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

3 out of 5
The Panamericana Terminal was awful....a big traffic jam with terrible access....a pedestrian dessert...no decent way to get from cruise terminal to town on foot.....we were so desperate we walked on side of road in dust and gravel from terminal to the closest buildings. Such a shame and poor urban planning because its not very far. But the only way to get anywhere with a taxi. I had a couple Ubers cancel on me because traffic was so bad. Apparently there was a triathlon and several roads into Old San Juan closed. but still no excuse for this mess. We loved it once we got into Old San Juan ...very historic and picturesque and lots to do around the island. But its very much a car culture and not so inviting for pedestrian visitors. You need a car or taxi to get around (except in the Old San Juan area).

Disembarkation

1 out of 5
Horrible, Horrible, Horrible....still have nightmares about it. We were near gangway with our suitcases and CBP stopped disembarkation a little after 8am. People kept trying to get off elevators but could not. it was so claustrophobic. About 2 hours later were were able to get out. But then we had to deal with the Panamericana Terminal and get into town. Makes me so mad that access to town is so bad at this Terminal. There is no pedestrian access to town...just gravel on side of the 2-lane road. The whole set up was horrible and one big traffic jam of vehicles. It took another 3 hours to get an uber and get into Old San Juan.
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