Wonderful "Back to Cruising" Cruise

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 44

Overall rating:

4.6 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Epic

7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 19, 2021

Ship: Norwegian Epic

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 14043

Traveled as: Large Group

Reviewed: 4 months ago

Review summary

Wonderful cruise and glad to be back on the seas - it had been too long! Can't wait to set foot on my next one!

Embarkation

2 out of 5
This was the only bad thing we experienced. 2nd cruise out of SJU for NCL since the comeback so I am willing to cut them some slack, but the lack of communication was appalling. Dropped off luggage, shuttled to Sheraton for Covid testing, shuttled back to port and then we waited in lines for hours. People were losing it, cutting in front of other people, multiple lines with no rhyme or reason. None of the port staff had any answers. I'm glad we were at the front - it was worse for the people wrapping around the building.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Wonderful! All of the food was very tasty and plentiful. Drinks were flowing and had decent amounts of alcohol in them!

Taste

4 out of 5

Ate here a few nights. Everything was wonderful, except for one night when there was some miscommunication about the seating arrangement for our large group. Easy to move on and enjoy a delicious meal. Staff other than that one night was great!

Teppanyaki

5 out of 5

Wonderful dinner! Food was delicious, waitstaff was very attentive. Chef put on a great show and offered everyone extras if he had them. Love Teppanyaki!

Great Outdoors

5 out of 5

LOVE being able to grab some off hours food up on the top deck! Staples like pizza, burger and hot dogs were always available. The special dishes during their late night hours were pretty great though!

Cagney's Steakhouse

5 out of 5

Waitstaff was excellent, drinks were good, steaks were amazing and tender. Ambiance was on point. Couldn't ask for more!

The Manhattan Room

5 out of 5

Ate here on Christmas Night. Wonderful meal! The special Christmas menu was great and everyone seemed to be in the Holiday spirit. Crew Caroling happened on the stage while we ate. It was a pretty special Christmas night. Easily made reservations that morning for a party of 8.

O'Sheehans Neighborhood Bar and Grill

3 out of 5

Only ate here late night 1 time so take this with a grain of salt - waiter seemed annoyed. Food was just okay, but dessert was delicious!

Garden Cafe

5 out of 5

Better than I remember! Hand sanitizer required upon entrance. Staff was incredibly attentive, kind and seemed to be happy! Food choices were plentiful for breakfast and lunch (did not eat dinner here). Utilized the buffet every morning for breakfast on our Port heavy cruise. Most dishes were repeated for breakfast, but could always find something new.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
We had a port intensive itinerary so we didn't do as many activities as we normally would, but we really enjoyed the pool, water slide and hot tubs. Very rarely crowded during half capacity Cruising which was very enjoyable! Played in the casino twice, played bingo on our only sea day, played family jeopardy. Everything was great!

Entertainment

5 out of 5
I was really bummed that Priscilla Queen of the Desert was canceled during our sailing BUT the other shows and activities were a blast! Burn the Floor, Queen Tribute and the Holiday Extravaganza were all amazing! Less impressed with the Mentalist but that's probably just me. Live bands were a lot of fun and they are all so talented. The comedians were also a riot!

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
I encountered maybe 2 staff members that were less than friendly - every other one was wonderful. There were a few that remembered my name after talking to me once. All the bar staff were quick to make any drink you wanted. Our room steward was very accommodating and a great asset to NCL. So happy to be back Cruising with NCL and their fantastic staff!

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Well, it is the Epic. Bathroom set up is weird, but liveable. LOVE all the storage and nooks and crannies in the rooms on this ship. Everything was very clean and there were always people wiping things down. Ship is older and shows slight signs of wear, but overall I do still have a soft spot for this ship.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
2 adults and 1 teenager makes for a tight squeeze sometimes, but plenty if storage for all our stuff. Having the sink outside the bathroom was nice for getting ready. Bed was comfy. Daughter used Pullman bed and enjoyed it. Location of the room was perfect! Near the stairs and one floor below Garden View made it super easy to enjoy the top deck!

Ship tip

If you are going to cruise right now - Go with the flow and enjoy all the empty lounge chairs on the pool deck!

Ports of call

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

5 out of 5
Took NCL Beach Rendezvous Excursion. I have a feeling this excursion normally goes to the French side of the island, but because of unrest we stayed on the Durch side. Took a pretty long bus ride to Simpson Bay. The tour guide was a hoot! The beach was right next to the airport and a short distance to Maho Beach. Beautiful beach with a very nice restaurant where we enjoyed lunch. Waves were big, water was amazing and the beach was deserted. Loved this beach excursion!

Bridgetown, Barbados

5 out of 5
FAVORITE island ever! Took NCL 5 Star Tiami Catamaran and Turtle Snorkle. This excursion was worth every penny! The crew was awesome and fun. They were more than willing to help anyone who needed it. Made sure we all saw Turtles and fish. We got to snorkle twice and then stopped near a beach for swimming. Got to jump off the side and roof of the Catamaran. Pool noodles were available and they swam out to us with drinks! Lunch was the best we had. Ended the day with a dance party! Absolutely loved Barbados and this excursion. Can't wait to go back!

Castries, St. Lucia

4 out of 5
Did the NCL Soufriere By Land and Sea. Liked this excursion but by this point we were all tired. 😉 The weather was rainy and foggy all day - couldn't see the Volcano and almost couldn't see the Pitons. Saw the entire island (or it seemed like) during our 3 hour bus ride. We did make some stops - gift shop, Toraille Waterfall, and Morne Coubaril Plantation. Waterfall was beautiful but crowded. Plantation was very interesting! We got to try lots of new fruits and experience some interesting things from back in the day on the island. Lunch was nice. Dropped off at Catamaran afterwards. Saw Marigot Bay up close and stopped in a Cove for a short swim. Overall, it was a long but very good day!

St. John's, Antigua

4 out of 5
Went on the NCL Beach Escape with Lunch excursion. Kids deemed this their favorite beach based on the fact that there were puppies running around (adorable, but you did have to keep an eye out for dog poop on the beach!) Lounger was included, paid for an umbrella (it was broken and they didn't seem to care). Lunch was good. Beach was beautiful. Lots of Shells in the sand but once in the water the sand was silky smooth.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
Took NCL Discover St Thomas and Magan's Bay excursion. Had a fabulous day! Took a bus to a Scenic overlook and giant gift shop then went to the beach for a few hours. No loungers or umbrellas but the beach was gorgeous and uncrowded. They had bathrooms, showers and a restaurant/bar a short walk down the beach.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

5 out of 5
Came in a day early and left a day after so we got to enjoy the beach and Old Town - don't be afraid to go out and explore! Locals were super friendly and the local food was tasty!

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Our color got called about 45 minutes before we were scheduled, but we were ready to we walked off and got a taxi - took maybe 10 minutes total. It was a breeze!

Traveler Photos

Magan's Bay Beach Snorkeling Marigot Bay - lots of shows and movies are filmed here
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