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Average Customer Rating
4.4 / 54.4 / 54.4 / 54.4 / 54.4 / 5
4.4 / 5

Average Rating based on 12 Reviews
Value For Money  4.17/5  (4.17)
Cabin Design  3.67/5  (3.67)
Entertainment  4.42/5  (4.42)
Fitness Center  4.80/5  (4.80)
Food Quality  4.36/5  (4.36)
Ship Maintenance  4.50/5  (4.50)
Spa  4.63/5  (4.63)
Specialty Restaurant  4.25/5  (4.25)
Staff and Service  4.45/5  (4.45)

Compared to averages for similar items
Value For Money  3.57/5  (3.57)
Cabin Design  3.56/5  (3.56)
Entertainment  3.96/5  (3.96)
Fitness Center  3.96/5  (3.96)
Food Quality  3.54/5  (3.54)
Ship Maintenance  4.13/5  (4.13)
Spa  4.18/5  (4.18)
Specialty Restaurant  3.98/5  (3.98)
Staff and Service  3.93/5  (3.93)

 
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NCL Norwegian Epic
NCL Norwegian Epic

Built in 2010, the Norwegian Epic received major kudos for its revolutionary design. At 156,000 tons with a passenger capacity of about 4,100 passengers, the Epic was larger than any cruise ship afloat at the time it was built.

There are no set dining times or assigned tables, and passengers are never required to wear formal dress. The Epic is the first ship to do away with the two main dining rooms, instead replacing them with 21 more-intimate dining options. Options include seafood, a steak house, French bistro, Asian fusion, Teppanyaki, sushi, Italian, tapas, Brazilian, Chinese fast food, and more. The best onboard restaurants do require additional fees, and advance reservations are strongly recommended. The Epic features innovative types of cabins. 100-square-foot cabins accommodate solo travelers without a "single supplement' fee for traveling alone. At the other end of the spectrum are various villa-style options that include special amenities like butler service and access to certain exclusive areas of the ship.

The Epic's onboard entertainment has also received a lot of notice, with the shows in the live theater and the comedy club often singled out for special praise.

Displaying Reviews: 1 - 12
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(Review ID: 907)
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful:
 
24 hour FUN, March 15, 2013
Reviewer: lathamgal
Pros: Variety, fun, warm crew, exciting action
Cons: Main dining room food
Date of cruise: 2/23/13
Departure port: Miami
Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern
Cabin category: Inside
Cabin number: 11525
Found through: Cruise line website
Good for children: Yes
Good for teenagers: Yes
    
lathamgal saw things this way
Value For Money   4.00/5  (4)
Cabin Design   4.00/5  (4)
Entertainment   5.00/5  (5)
Food Quality   3.00/5  (3)
Ship Maintenance   4.00/5  (4)
Spa   4.00/5  (4)
Staff and Service   5.00/5  (5)

Think Las Vegas on a ship and you have Epic!

24 hour restaurants, largest casino ever, small pools, many restaurants fee and not.

Garden café food was superior...best French toast, wonderful cobblers, 10 kinds of hard ice cream, so much food of all kinds, freshly made so it is hot.

Pools are so small but the aqua parks are amazing. Five slides so there is action always.

Blue Man Group, Legends in Concert, Second City were all free. Cirque dinner show -- $39.

If you like action, not a quiet ship, this is it!!
 
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(Review ID: 901)
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful:
 
Very large cruise ship, March 8, 2013
Reviewer: hollyberry
Pros: The food was excellent. Staff very professional.
Cons: Some shows were started too late at night.
Date of cruise: 2/9/13
Departure port: Miami
Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern
Cabin category: Balcony
Cabin number: 10191
Found through: CruiseCompete.com,Travel agent's web site
    
hollyberry saw things this way
Value For Money   5.00/5  (5)
Cabin Design   4.00/5  (4)
Entertainment   4.00/5  (4)
Food Quality   5.00/5  (5)
Ship Maintenance   5.00/5  (5)
Spa   5.00/5  (5)
Staff and Service   5.00/5  (5)

I enjoyed the overall size of the ship. The largest I have ever been on. The only drawback was the bathroom and shower areas in the cabin. Really no privacy. The shows were started too late in the night, so if you had an excursion planned the next day you did not want to see a show that started around 10 p.m.

The buffet had a very large assortment of delicious foods. We had dinner in several resturants. My husband and I also had breakfast in the dining rooms. I feel you should try the resturants for one breakfast, lunch and dinner. The buffet is always there and is best used by us when we have an excursion planned.

This is the first ship that we have sailed on that we needed to make reservations for the shows. We found that some of the areas that had shows were not very accommodating. Too small of a room. The newlywed and dating shows were great to see. We had a lot of laughs.

Their are a lot of activities on the ship, something for everyone. I would highly recommend this ship. We have sailed with other cruise lines but the freestyle dining keeps us coming back to NCL. I have always had a great experience with each and every ship I have cruised with NCL.
 
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(Review ID: 871)
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful:
 
Great experience but disappointed in lack of food selection in main dining, January 17, 2013
Reviewer: jsav003
Pros: Exclusive shows: i.e. Blue Man, Cirque du Soleil, Second City, magician
Cons: Overall limited selection of daily specials on main dining menu
Date of cruise: January 5-12, 2013
Departure port: Miami, FL
Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern
Cabin category: Inside
Cabin number: 10042
Found through: CruiseCompete.com,Cruise line website,Cruise community site
Good for children: Yes
    
jsav003 saw things this way
Value For Money   5.00/5  (5)
Cabin Design   4.00/5  (4)
Entertainment   5.00/5  (5)
Fitness Center   5.00/5  (5)
Food Quality   4.00/5  (4)
Ship Maintenance   4.00/5  (4)
Spa   3.00/5  (3)
Specialty Restaurant   3.00/5  (3)
Staff and Service   4.00/5  (4)

We loved everything on our ship. The downfalls are: There was an odor on deck 10 of sewage which was taken away and came back towards the end of our ship.

Some of the staff in the main dining were difficult to understand and did not give correct order at times. Some wait staff were excellent and we got done with dining in less than an hour, some took a very long time and it took two hours to eat.

The night shows were excellent. Our nights were always so busy because there is so much going on. During the afternoon there is a lack of activity selection, but thats given because being outside is quite fun. Out of all three slides, the bowl slide (orange one) was great fun! The other two hurt and were poorly designed.

The Garden Cafe was amazing, we made sure to go there everyday and even when we didn't eat dinner there, we went there for dessert. WE LOVED THE CREPES! The Cirque du Soleil show is worth the extra charge for the premium seats. The food selection, however, was horrible and the portions were minuscule. I had to eat dinner before coming to the show because of the poor selection. Blue Man group was fun, we went twice!

Make sure to make reservations for everything before boarding or on the day of boarding because events fill up. Go to every Second City show, they were HILARIOUS! The White Hot Party was a severe disappointment. In the adult section were many young teenagers and the party was awkward with everyone standing. We stayed less than five minutes.

Legends in Concert did not live up to the hype, however the Michael Jackson portion was worth the wait. Overall we had a fantastic time, but I do not think we will go back on this ship because of the additional fees to get restaurant choices and how much more expensive everything is compared to other ships.
 
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(Review ID: 828)
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
 
The Epic is a beautiful ship., November 18, 2012
Reviewer: Ken
Pros: The decor, the food, the entertainment were very good.
Cons: The Epic is not for anyone who relies on a walker or wheelchair.
Date of cruise: November 3-10
Departure port: Miami
Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern
Cabin category: Balcony
Cabin number: 8148
Found through: CruiseCompete.com
Good for children: Yes
Good for teenagers: Yes
    
Ken saw things this way
Value For Money   5.00/5  (5)
Cabin Design   4.00/5  (4)
Entertainment   5.00/5  (5)
Food Quality   5.00/5  (5)
Ship Maintenance   4.00/5  (4)
Staff and Service   4.00/5  (4)

I use both a walker and a wheelchair. There were quite a few people on board who used the same. The Epic is a grand ship but I would not recommend it for anyone who has problems walking. The hallways are very long and service carts made navigating them difficult.

The design of the cabin didn't bother me. For a tall person the beds are a bit short and the couch is very uncomfortable. There is plenty of storage space and the shower is the largest I have found on a ship.

The personnel were friendly and helpful.

I wanted to have the experience of a mega ship and it was good but my next cruise will be on a smaller one.
 
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(Review ID: 690)
18 of 33 people found the following review helpful:
 
Great ship, entertainment but cabins and smoke let it down, December 15, 2011
Reviewer: Bydesignprez
Pros: Floating city with amazing entertainment and facilities
Cons: The smoke from the casino permeates the entire atrium
Date of cruise: Dec 3 to 10, 2011
Departure port: Miami
Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern
Cabin category: Balcony
Cabin number: 8129
Found through: CruiseCompete.com,Cruise line website,Cruise deal website
Good for children: Yes
Good for teenagers: Yes
    
Bydesignprez saw things this way
Value For Money   4.00/5  (4)
Cabin Design   1.00/5  (1)
Entertainment   5.00/5  (5)
Food Quality   5.00/5  (5)
Ship Maintenance   5.00/5  (5)
Specialty Restaurant   4.00/5  (4)
Staff and Service   5.00/5  (5)

This is a huge ship and I'll confess to misgivings about travelling with such a crowd and descending en masse on small Caribbean islands.

The Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil and Second City comedy shows were great, but I was not happy about the new cabin design. There's been a number of comments about it as they have lost the separate bathroom to save space and the toilet and shower now have translucent doors and then a curtain to separate them from the rest of the cabin. To me it was a bit like being in a camper trailer rather than a luxury cruise. The sink was also tiny and if you use a wet razor it's very challenging not to splash all over the place. The bed is too short and even regular height people will find their feet hanging over the end. Our deck was very generous although we seemed to be located near a kitchen fan outlet so frankly it stunk of french fries unless it was very windy.

The other negative issue was the decision to spread the casino out along the centre of the ship. As the gamblers smoke the smell permeates the centre of the ship and made a few bars and the restaurant unusable for us. Sorry - I am an ex-smoker, I cannot stand the smell any more. On that topic there was a cigarette burn in the cabin carpet....

The 2 banks of elevators are located at the front and back of the ship so our centrally located cabin (on deck 8) meant we were always far away from ways to get up and down. Other NCL ships have glass sided elevators and stairs in the middle of the ship and I miss that.

Robes were not in the closet but I was able to obtain from the ever helpful steward. The food service was great and the range seemed greater than other NCL ships I have been on. I find the food in Cuciana bland but I am spoiled by access to great Italian restaurants at home. Other specialty restaurants were great. I really enjoyed the Cirque show and the Epic Theater is now much more intimate and smaller than other ships.

All of our port stops were at the dock so getting on and off went very quickly considering. As others have noted the Garden Cafe is larger so easier to find a seat and I ate or grazed there a few times.

Overall, I still like the NCL concept but the EPIC seems to have some serious design problems that don't agree with me. Also - aesthetically - I find it an ugly ship compared to the graceful lines of some others. However, once on board, you don't notice that. I did enjoy the waterslide and a few of us adults thought there should be an adults only time to keep the pesky kids out of way.
 
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(Review ID: 561)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
 
Outstanding! Service, food, and entertainment was wonderful!, March 31, 2011
Reviewer: Steve0530
Pros: Flexibility with many options to selct from
Cons: Food in main dining rooms did not vary much from day-to-day
Date of cruise: March 19, 2011
Departure port: Miami, Fl
Region visited: Caribbean - Western
Cabin category: Balcony
Cabin number: 12184
Found through: CruiseCompete.com
Good for children: Yes
    
Steve0530 saw things this way
Value For Money   5.00/5  (5)
Cabin Design   5.00/5  (5)
Entertainment   5.00/5  (5)
Fitness Center   5.00/5  (5)
Food Quality   4.00/5  (4)
Ship Maintenance   5.00/5  (5)
Spa   5.00/5  (5)
Specialty Restaurant   5.00/5  (5)
Staff and Service   5.00/5  (5)

The ship itself is wonderful. If you are traveling as a famility, you will love this ship. My wife and I took our 4 and 5 year old and they just loved it. The staff was exceptional and the entertainment is just amazing. The Recess area for kids is terrific and the youth counselors are great. The water slides are awesome and although the 2 pools are a bit on the small side, they still serve their purpose. The Epic has so much to offer and it is designed very well. Most important, the staff cater to your every need.
 
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(Review ID: 429)
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful:
 
The best cruise we have ever been on, beautiful ship, October 3, 2010
Reviewer: mitsugirly
Pros: The service and entertainment are the best at sea
Cons: We didn't experience any
Date of cruise: sept 11 2010
Departure port: Miami
Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern
Cabin category: Inside
Cabin number: 12549 & 12551
Found through: CruiseCompete.com,Cruise community site
Good for children: Yes
Good for teenagers: Yes
    
mitsugirly saw things this way
Value For Money   4.00/5  (4)
Cabin Design   4.00/5  (4)
Entertainment   5.00/5  (5)
Food Quality   4.00/5  (4)
Ship Maintenance   5.00/5  (5)
Specialty Restaurant   4.00/5  (4)
Staff and Service   5.00/5  (5)

By far, this was the best cruise I have ever been on. It’s been years since I’ve been on a cruise and, boy, have cruising styles changed. I LOVE "freestyle."

Boarding the ship was a breeze. We only spent about a half hour in the terminal where we sat waiting for the group that was ahead of us to go in. Then row by row they released us to go in. The lines were not too bad, but it went smoothly and quickly. I had arranged my onboard credit prior to the cruise, so they gave me my room card right away and off we went.

This ship is AMAZING. The beauty of her … I just couldn’t get enough. We quickly ran around exploring and went to go see where our rooms would be (we had two adjoining studio rooms --see separate review for that). The rooms weren’t ready yet, but one piece of our luggage had already arrived. The rest of our luggage was delivered once we were done swimming and they announced the rooms were ready. I do have to say that our room steward was bringing them INTO the room. She was awesome. I did notice other people had luggage out in the hallway.

Water rides and pool time: The green and purple slides are enclosed, very dark, and you have no idea which way you are going to turn and drop next. Pretty exciting. The Epic Plunge -- WOW! We loved it. Rode it during the week several times as well. Some people did get stuck and had to push themselves around and into the hole, however, I think I spun around so many times (once I counted five times around) and the person that came down after me actually caught up to me and as I was ready to drop in the hole, he crashed into me, pushed me out of the way and went down himself. So another time around for me before going in the hole. My husband was a little worried at the bottom knowing that I came down right after him. It was a lot of fun.

Blue Man Group: I have always wanted to see them and they lived up to my expectations. There is a lot of audience participation. No one is safe. They have something ready for anything that could happen. A couple walked in to the show late, while it was completely dark other than the stage, and the spotlight was turned on them, sirens started going off, the tv screens started flashing red warning signs and an announcement came on saying "Late arrivals." It was all incorporated into the show and hilarious! It was a great show! Loved every minute of it.

Cirque: It was interesting. A little too long with the story lines, but the show itself was amazing from the acrobatic stunts to the people. Very good. The food was okay. I’m not too picky of an eater (although I don’t eat items such as steak or chocolate), but the chicken was acceptable. We ended up with seats (we requested) in the balcony. My only suggestion to everyone is that you don’t sit in the balcony by the stairs as you first come in. There are a few things that go on under you that you won’t be able to see unless you stand up and peer over the railing … or simply sit on the other side of the balcony and you can see everything.

Howl at the Moon: This show was great. We had a good time. I know others that spent MANY of their evenings there because they loved it so much. The couple times we went back, it seem to have the same show going on, so we would leave.

Legends in Concert in the Epic Theater: They were very good. I personally thought Tina and Elvis did a great job and Madonna was okay. Others that I spoke to thought Madonna was really good. I just think her voice didn’t match up, but she was still good. The quick clothing changes for the backup singers and dancers were amazing. They worked their butts off.

Jeff Hobson (comedian/magician): The absolute BEST! He is so funny, he had me in tears. I enjoyed every second of every minute of it. You are not safe in any part of the audience for participation in this show. So, don’t think by sitting all the way over by the railing and away from the aisle seats is going to save you. He was out talking to everyone as they were coming in to be seated prior to the show. Great guy.

Where we ate:

La Cucina: Wow, we tried so many different items at this place. My husband is not a fish or seafood person and he tried it all. Calamari (squid), mussels, shrimp, salmon … I swear there was some other stuff but can’t remember. We were trying it all.

Shanghai’s: Hmmm, I spoke to a lot of people that just loved this place and went several times. It wasn’t for me. It just didn’t taste the same as what I’m use to. The harvest rolls were good. The fried rice didn’t have much flavor to me. My husband had the egg drop and corn soup, which he said was borderline creamed corn tasting (which he does not like). I had the Singapore noodles, which was VERY different than any other place I’ve had them before. These were a different color and were very spicy. The chicken was good. All in all, it would not be something that we went to again. So, after this experience, we did not go to the noodle bar.

Ice Bar: I had not made reservations for the Ice Bar, but they had a cancellation and off we went. WOO HOO. We had the peach and apple drinks. The apple was my favorite …s o yummy.

O’Sheenan’s: Great wings and the huge hamburgers were fantastic. A great place to hang out at, eat, and watch whatever happens to be on the huge two-story screen in the Atrium. Although by the sixth night the women’s restroom was out of order and there were women standing in line just to use the handicap/family restroom. Not good for a new ship.

Garden Café: I thought this buffet was top notch. The décor and view outside was terrific. The food, in my opinion, was great. We never had anything that was bad. I didn’t discover the crepes until the last day of the cruise (kicking myself now) and I was in HEAVEN! Butterscotch filling and cream on top. Oh, my goodness! I am definitely going to have to figure out how to make these!

Manhattan: We only ate at Manhattan for dinner once. I’m not a real “meat” person, so to me, I didn’t like the food too well. There wasn’t much on the menu that sounded good (to me).

Taste: Once again, dinner wasn’t my cup of tea. We ordered the lamb and I did not like it at all. It was too “steaky” for me and I don’t like steak. The waitress was fabulous. She brought me several different other plates (scallops, which I didn’t like either), but she was definitely trying to satisfy me. My favorite part of the meal was the CHEESECAKE. I’m a big cheesecake fan and that did the trick. (It’s not like I starved on this ship with all the other choices of places to eat). We did do Taste for lunch and it was great!

PIZZA DELIVERY: We were playing slots on the last night and I decided to go to O’Sheenans and order a pizza. They delivered it to us at the slot machines and we took it up on the deck to eat for a little peace and quiet. Others had said that the pizza was pretty good and I had some of the pizza they served at pool side and the Garden Café, so I was looking forward to an entire pizza. NO -- not the same. We did not like it AT ALL. There was so much cheese on this pizza (and I have to say I’m a real big cheese fan and could probably eat cheese on everything), but it was the weird funny tasting “fake” type of cheese and it was nasty. We ended up not even eating it after one piece.

Spice h2o wasn’t really a hopping place to hang out. The couple of times we popped in, there wasn’t very many people there. Even when the DJ was playing, I didn’t see very many people. So we really never went back other than to go upstairs to check out the basketball court, trampoline and to take some pictures from up there.

Slot machines: Our favorite and only gambling we do. We quickly found new favorites. I put in $5 and walked away with $68. Went over to another (Game of the Dragons II), put $4 in and won the jackpot. WOO HOO. My husband was sitting beside me and put $10 in and won $76. It was a great night. I can tell you the fish game on the other side of us, EVERY DAY was hitting and hitting BIG. We watched several people win $500+ jackpots on them over and over. There were lines to play those slot machines.

Guest Service: We never encountered a line here. Maybe one couple ahead of us each time. There were always a lot of people there at the desk to help you with your needs.

I suggest if you like beer, buy the bucket special. No, they don’t charge you for the NCL blue buckets they come in and they are free to take if you’d like. Six beers for the price of 5 ($25). Great deal. They do NOT open the beers for you (as I had previously read in other reviews for other NCL ships). They give you a bottle opener to keep to open them at your leisure. We always took leftovers back to the room and kept them on ice.

White Hot Party: This was the best ever. We had a blast and stayed for HOURS! Great music, great DJ, and one of the employees up on the stage with the wings was the best. She really got the crowd going and pumped up. Was dancing with all of us and pulled certain people up on the stage to dance with her in front of everyone. Yep, I was one of the lucky contestants for the stage show. My husband loved it. Don’t miss the White Hot party. It was hopping!

Pool dec: Everyone complained about never finding chairs and people hogging them. We never experienced this. We found front row seating right beside the pool every time we went. The pools were never too crowded, although they are VERY small, people weren’t really swimming in them, just cooling off or hanging out and having a drink in them. The only time I witnessed it getting crowded was during the poolside competitions.

We found a place to sit either by the pool when we were swimming or close to the slides when we were sliding. Never a problem. I didn’t witness any chair hogging either. There was always someone in the chair except when they were up to cool off in the pool. The pool deck at night is AMAZING with all the lighting. I took a lot of pictures up there. Simply beautiful. Don’t miss it. Beware, the bartenders walking around WILL hound you non-stop about getting a drink. They really push the drinks on this ship. It got kinda annoying after a few days, but a simple "No, thanks" or negative nod of the head did it. They never really stopped to ask, just walked by asking everyone.

Pool towels: The first day we arrived before setting sail, we checked out two pool towels on the pool deck to swim with. They do take your room card to check them out and have you sign a receipt. You MUST bring these back before the end of the cruise. If you don’t they will charge you $25 per towel. The first night in the room, when our steward cleaned our room, she took them because they were wet. I spoke with her a few days later and she said she knew she had removed them and would bring me an extra set back to turn in. The last night on board, we went up and turned them in (yes, they had ALL the receipts waiting and would tear the receipt up once you returned the towel). It was getting late and they had A LOT of receipts still. I wonder how many people didn’t know to turn them back in and were charged. They do give you pool towels in each room as well. This is why we decided to keep our two towels that we had checked out the first day because we always had fresh dry towels to rotate to.

Staff: This has got to be the friendliest and caring staff I have ever encountered. EVER! You couldn’t walk by ANY of the staff without them saying hello or speaking to you. SO NICE! I felt that each and every one of them truly cared about making your cruising experience a good one. My hats off to the staff and NCL for picking a great bunch of employees.

Room Steward: My steward was top notch! I swear she cleaned my rooms at least 4-5 times a day. Every time we left and came back the room was SPOTLESS and fresh. She was the best and was always around in case you needed her for anything. She was amazing. We got towel animals from the second night on. She knew we had two adjoining rooms, so she made the same animal for us, but yet different from each other.

Silas the cruise director: What an amazing man. He was EVERYWHERE. We all swore that he had cloned himself or he was a twin or triplet. He was all over that ship. Very friendly and always there for anything that you needed. We could be at one end of the ship and go to the other and he was there, too. Wow. I hope they pay him well for the great job he does.

Shopping: Plenty of places to shop with a little bit of everything for everyone. They had some really good prices on board and some great deals we took advantage of. Loved the jewelry (of course) and the clothes. Hint: They do take items (clothing and jewelry, purses, and so on) up on the pool deck in the “wind tunnel” about every day in the mornings to mid afternoon to sell. MOST of the time they are the items from the shops. HOWEVER, they do have some items of clothing that ARE NOT in the shops at all and are only for that area. I missed out on getting an outfit that I wanted because I waited too long to get up there and they had already torn it down and they did not sell it in the regular stores on the ship. So, if there’s something you are eyeballing up there, buy it before it’s too late! (The prices are not different for the items in the stores).

Bingo: Complete waste of money. I remember back on my cruising days gone by where you pay like $20 for a few cards, they go so slow it takes up most of your day and it was aggravating knowing that you spent that much of your time on bingo. People warned me not to play bingo. I warned my husband. However, he’s not a very good listener and begged to go until I gave in.

Of course, the hype they give you on the announcements and once you are in the room …they are giving away a free cruise for two RIGHT NOW and jackpot of $3,000 and $2,000 and many other smaller amounts RIGHT NOW! Then the smallest package they had was $65, I believe, and the highest package was $89 OUCH! With the big package you got a blue Epic bag, a bingo tee shirt, 24 cards to play each game, the jackpot cards and the instant winner pull cards. Well, what do you think the hubby bought? Yep, the granddaddy package … UGH. So we divided the cards. Let me say, bingo is WAY DIFFERENT than it used to be. They go SO INCREDIBLY FAST that it was almost impossible for us to keep up. When we would yell “slow down”, he’d say “you guys need me to slow down?” and they audience would yell “yes” he’d laugh and say no. Seriously? Then, of course they brought you in on the hype that “someone” was winning the cruise for two only to change it up that it was going to be given away at the last bingo played.

Bowling: Now that was fun.

Disembarking on the last day: We had decided the night before to carry off our own luggage since we stayed out too late to have the luggage packed and outside the doors before the 1 a.m. cutoff time. When they announced that we were cleared to leave (the walk-offs with luggage), we headed back to our rooms, grabbed the luggage and headed downstairs. We gave our keycard to the person working the door at the ship and off we went. No lines. We made our way down to customs and there was maybe a 5 five-minute wait and we were done. The smoothest process EVER.

By far the best cruise I've been on from start to finish. I would do it all over in a heartbeat.

Here are my cruise picture

http://kimbakerphotography.smugmug.com/Vacation
 
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(Review ID: 263)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
 
Wonderful new innovative ship from NCL -- great entertainment, September 1, 2010
Reviewer: Michelle
Pros: Entertainment, spa, pool slides, kids rooms, vending machines, elevator
Cons: Bathrooms are odd, but workable - No full deck to walk around
Date of cruise: July 2, 2010
Departure port: New York City
Region visited: Cruise to Nowhere
Cabin category: Balcony
Cabin number: 12038
Found through: Travel agent's web site
Good for children: Yes
Good for teenagers: Yes
    
Michelle saw things this way
Value For Money   4.00/5  (4)
Cabin Design   4.00/5  (4)
Entertainment   5.00/5  (5)
Fitness Center   5.00/5  (5)
Food Quality   5.00/5  (5)
Ship Maintenance   5.00/5  (5)
Spa   5.00/5  (5)
Specialty Restaurant   4.00/5  (4)
Staff and Service   5.00/5  (5)

I will try and go through different areas and give my thoughts. First, of course, is food:

Garden Caf (buffet) Really nice and bright up here. The Breakfast buffet is amazing and the variety of food is a lot. Also there are so many stations of food set up that I never felt like there was a crowd of people. Good views up here and each table has its one silverware and catsup/mustard caddy on it.

Wasabi Very good and fresh sushi and other rolls. Order only what you can eat as many times you get a big roll and it could be 4-6 pieces.

Shanghais Noodle Bar Again, very fresh but limited seats here - we did not get in but I looked at the food and it was a favorite.

Cagney's Steakhouse My best meal while on the ship because I really liked the steaks and the seafood. The portions were smaller which was nice so I did not feel overfull -- good wine list. The sides are served in small silver tureens. The side dishes were larger so we got like four items and shared them

Cirque Dreams You can pre-book this show. There is a host, you line up and they show you to your seats. Fantastic show and a must-see on the ship. Some larger tables are available for larger parties.

Some seats are upstairs in a circle above the stage. There are no tables upstairs just bartype seating. You are not allowed to stand up or leave during the show as there are things going on all around you. The show is two hours long so if you are taking kids be sure to let them know that there will be no breaks. There dinner is pretty basic, chicken, potatoes, chocolate dessert, etc.

Blue Man Group Amazing! I have never seen their show anywhere so was really surprised and laughed very hard at their antics and skits. If you like drumming, too, its very cool.

Don't show up late....The three Blue Men and their band even took photos right after the show.

The Ice Bar Very different experience - full parka and gloves are given to each person and I used them. It was cold but more when I sat on the ce then just standing around.

Vodka drinks are served for you (2 per person) and they are strong. They allow 8-10 people in at a time - if you don't get a slot go up to the door and ask . We got in just to take pictures one time.

Bliss Ultra Bar Nice! Fancy India-type furnishings with big velvet-like stools and some lounges. There is a smaall stage and dance area with a great DJ late at night. This is also where one of the bowling alleys are located. This is the place to be late at night.

Fat Cats Great jazz music! While we were there the musicians interacted with the audience and make them feel welcome. We also chatted folks up. This area can be used for private events or musicians that come onboard

Cabins The suites and villa areas are truly amazing and well appointed and decorated compared to other NCL ships (think subtle asian, cream colored with black accents) AND the private pool area is wonderful.

Balconies: These bigger new ships are trimming a bit on rooms for other things so these cabins seem smaller to me than other ships. Try and get a room where the beds are closer to the balcony and not the bathrooms. Try and look at the deck plans for the curve to go OUT to get this style.

I like the shower/toilet/curtain area and liked that it was all separate. But these spaces are smaller so if you are more plus-sized this could seemed cramped to you. There is a curtain to pull while in the bath area - just make sure the cabin door is locked so no one walks in.

Walls are plexiglass and a little see-through and not totally sound proof but did not find this an issue. The sink area is small and shallow but the main problem is the faucet which NCL is replacing now.

Lots of cabinet space above the sink though and in the cabin in general lots of drawers and cabinets to hide things. With kids I would book a family cabin to get more floor room on one of the balconies. The balconies are a little small but long and have two chairs and a small table; very nice to sit out on.

Other things: There is a coffee maker, touch phone, vanity chair with outlets and a curved sofa couch with a great ledge above it to hold all things. Good closet space and bags fit under the bed once unpacked.

Single cabins Oh my gosh, if I were to go again I would book one of these. Lots of room for one person ... people could get along nicely in these cabins. The neon lights in the private hallways are great - and location is midship.

These cabins also have their own private lounge that is staffed with full bar. Great area to hang out - may put my young adults here on their own as the cost would be about the same.

Stores There are shops and other stores in a small mini area - I liked the layout of this area and most of the public areas but the one drawback is they are a little hard to get to from certain decks. NCL does have an escalator that transitions you from the casino area to the lower deck which helps.

Good amount of Epic souvenirs and a good sundry and liquor store. There also have ship entertainment souvenirs available: Blue Man Group, Cirque and Howl at the Moon

Casino There is a large casino but it was odd how the smoking/non-smoking areas are set up and because the casino is on an open type area the smoke filters up to higher decks in the middle of the ship. Good amount of tables and games.

Spa We spent a lot of time in here and the pools and steam rooms are some of the best. We also had a stone massage and loved this along with the wonderful staff onboard. They have a small deck in the spa that looks aft with great views.

Pool Slides and Pool Deck Normally you can walk fully around a pool deck area but not on this ship that I could find. Big pool area with DJ booth and bar and outdoor dining that is more open which I liked. The slides were a blast and not too crowded while onboard. They have two rock climbing areas and an awesome big screen TV in the front of the ship with great seating and fake beach area in front of it.
 
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(Review ID: 190)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
 
Very nice ship with lovely decor and excellent food location choices., August 19, 2010
Reviewer: malrd
Pros: Ship was immaculate and well maintained. GREAT BEDS!!!!!
Cons: Small bathrooms but very functional.
Date of cruise: June 21-July 5, 2009
Departure port: Barcelona
Region visited: Mediterranean
Cabin category: Balcony
Cabin number: 10096
Found through: Travel agent's web site
Good for children: Yes
Good for teenagers: Yes
    
malrd saw things this way
Value For Money   5.00/5  (5)
Cabin Design   5.00/5  (5)
Entertainment   3.00/5  (3)
Fitness Center   4.00/5  (4)
Food Quality   4.00/5  (4)
Ship Maintenance   5.00/5  (5)
Spa   5.00/5  (5)
Specialty Restaurant   5.00/5  (5)
Staff and Service   4.00/5  (4)

The ship was very new and seemed to have everything anyone could want. We did not have to pay for the speciality restaurants because of the special tour we were on, so we tried them all and it would be very difficult to find a favorite as they were all excellent. The Japanese grill and the sushi were favorites as was the French restaurant.

Young people in our group loved all of the lounges, but especially the one with the bowling lanes and lounge/beds! What fun they had. The bars all served a good drink and every dining area was excellent. The beds in our rooms were absolutely heavenly. We didn't want to get out of bed as the drapes kept everything wonderfully dark.

Our only, small complaint was the size of the bathrooms, but that is to be expected on a ship. If anyone had been slightly overweight, it would have been difficult to manuver into the seperate toilet room! Our cabin was immaculate throughout the trip as was the whole ship. We would sail with this cruise line and especially this ship anytime!
 
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(Review ID: 187)
26 of 42 people found the following review helpful:
 
This is a midlevel cruise at best. Probably wouldn't cruise with NCL again., August 19, 2010
Reviewer: eclemen2
Pros: The ship was beautiful, the spa was excellent and Blue Man Group is great.
Cons: The swimming pools were too small and were extremely crowded.
Date of cruise: August 7 thru August 14, 2010
Departure port: Miami
Region visited: Caribbean - Western
Cabin category: Balcony
Cabin number: 12074
Found through: CruiseCompete.com,Cruise line website,Cruise community site,Cruise deal website,Email newsletters,Travel agent's web site
Good for children: Yes
Good for teenagers: Yes
    
eclemen2 saw things this way
Value For Money   3.00/5  (3)
Cabin Design   4.00/5  (4)
Entertainment   4.00/5  (4)
Food Quality   4.00/5  (4)
Ship Maintenance   5.00/5  (5)
Spa   5.00/5  (5)
Specialty Restaurant   4.00/5  (4)

The Norwegian Epic is a very nice ship. It is very modern and beautiful. We flew to Ft. Lauderdale on Friday and took a town car to the Marriott Biscayne Bay in Miami. They have a special rate for cruisers that includes complementary cocktails on arrival, room with Port of Miami view, buffet breakfast on Saturday, and transportation to the ship. It was awesome to wake up Saturday morning an look out the balcony to see the ship.

Check-in was a breeze and we were on the ship in less than a half hour. Rooms were not ready until 2 p.m. so we looked around the ship and made our way to the Garden Cafe. The Garden Cafe is the buffet on board the Epic. It is very nice and they offer a great variety of foods. Like most cruise lines, it's not the best food on board, but it was good, especially at breakfast.

We were able to get in our room alittle before 2 p.m. We stayed in cabin 12074, which was a deluxe balcony stateroom. I have no complaint with the cabin at all. It was as large as most balcony cabins we have had in the past and we liked the layout. There was plenty of storage area. We actually liked the layout of the tub/shower and the comode. The only small complaint was the size and design of the sink, but we made it work.

Our cabin was on the 12th deck, forward, located near the elevators. The layout of the ship made it easy to get around on the 6th and 7th decks. Although not as nice as the promonade decks on the newer RCCL ships, it is still very nice. Our daughter and her husband had a standard balcony cabin and our granddaughters stayed across the hall in an inside cabin. Both of these cabins were small, but were very nice.

I was looking forward to the dining options on board, but we came away somewhat disapointed. On the first evening we ate at Moderno Churrascaria. The dining room was beautiful, but, the meal wasn't that great. We only had one waiter, which made the meal go very slow. All meats were brought to the table and carved there. If we had had more staff this might have been better.

On the second night we went to the Spiegel Tent to the Cirque dinner show. We selected the upgraded seating. We were packed in and the food was not very good. The show, however was really good, and we were very near the action.

On night three we ate at the Taste Dining room. This is one of the two main dining rooms. The service was good, but the food was very mediocre. he Taste dining room wasn't very nicely decorated, unlike the Manhattan Room, the other main dining room. It was beautiful and they had entertainment in there every evening. We didn't eat in the Manhattan room, but I assume it was the same food as the other dining room.

On night four we ate at Teppanyaki, the Japanese Hibatchi restaurant. I thought this was very good, but my wife thought they overused the garlic. The cook put on a great show. Don't sit at the table closest to the door because there is a really bad draft there.

The next night we ate at La Bistro, the French restaurant. The food and service was very good. On night six, we were scheduled to eat at La Cucina, but my wife wasn't feeling well, so we had room service pizza. It was great, but there is a charge for it. On our last evening we ate at Cagney's Steakhouse.The food was excellent and the service was impeccble. This was the best meal we had all week.

Overall, the food was good but not great, and all of our evening meals had an additional charge. If I ever cruise on Epic again, which is probably not going to happen, I probably would eat in the dining room on most nights.

The entertainment on board was probably the highlight of the cruise. We went to the Second City comedy club, Howl at the Moon, the Cirque dinner show (see above) and Legends in Concert. All of the entertainment was very good, but my wife said she missed the shows in the theatre.

The casino was great. They claim that it is the largest afloat, and they may be right. It is very modern and very nice. The Casino staff is very friendly and they do a great job.

The Spa is also very modern and very nice. It is a tad expensive, but if one is patient they always run specials when the ship is in port.

We didn't go to many of the clubs but everyone we spoke with seemed to really be impressed. Heard lots of comments about the Ice Bar, but elected not to take part.

I'm not a fan of most of the ports we went too on our Western Caribbean Itinerary. We went to Costa Maya, Mexico. Roatan, Honduras and Cozumel, Mexico. Cozumel is a very good port, but the other two don't offer very much. A much better Western intinerary would include Georgetown, Grand Caymen, and perhaps Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

The ship's staff was excellent and went out of their way to help. Our cabin steward was very attentive to our needs and was as good as any we've ever had. Also, the staff in the Garden Cafe and the Great Outdoors Buffet were very nice as well.

Our grandchildren loved the water slides and the climbing walls on board, but there weren't enough pools to accomodate the large number of passengers. There is an adults-only pool at the rear of the ship, but the pool was extremely small. There were always chairs available on deck.

We had no problems at checkout and we walked off the ship with no delay at all. I really didn't see any lines to get off the ship.

My wife and I have made 26 cruises and are Diamond on RCCL. We would rate NCL in the same category with Costa and Carnival. These cruise lines, I believe, are more for young families and younger couples or singles. They are not as service-oriented and the quality of the food is mediocre at best.

I think, for the money, Princess and Royal Caribbean are the best choices. We have more recently cruised on Celebrity and Holland America. These lines are probably more for a more mature crowd. The food and service is excellent on these lines.

Although I can't give NCL's Epic an excellent rating, I do think it is good vacation experience. It is quite pricey because it is new, and I would avoid the restaurants that have an up charge.
 
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(Review ID: 103)
4 of 18 people found the following review helpful:
 
Great cruise for families and those who like great food and entertainment, July 12, 2010
Reviewer: cindyblogger
Pros: Entertainment is phenomenal and the food is top-notch
Cons: Cabins a bit too small, not enough swimming area, not good for older cruisers
Date of cruise: July 8-10, 2010
Departure port: Miami
Region visited: Cruise to Nowhere
Cabin category: Balcony
Cabin number: 12170
Found through: AllThingCruise.com
Good for children: Yes
Good for teenagers: Yes
    
cindyblogger saw things this way
Value For Money   4.00/5  (4)
Cabin Design   4.00/5  (4)
Entertainment   5.00/5  (5)
Fitness Center   5.00/5  (5)
Food Quality   5.00/5  (5)
Ship Maintenance   5.00/5  (5)
Spa   5.00/5  (5)
Specialty Restaurant   5.00/5  (5)
Staff and Service   5.00/5  (5)

From Cynthia Boal Janssens, editor and chief blogger, AllThingsCruise.com:

The Epic has been anticipated for many months and it does not disappoint. Without a doubt, it offers the best entertainment at sea with Blue Man Group and the Cirque Dreams & Dinner Show topping a list of superb entertainment. The restaurants are also great. There are over 20 places to eat and I was only able to sample a few (Cagney's Steak House, Teppanyaki and the Cirque show) and I was not disappointed.

The Ice Bar can only hold about 25 people and is really just a come-on, but it IS novel.

Cabins are a bit small for my taste...a regular balcony is just not roomy enough. A deluxe gives you a foot more in width and length and those aren't that great either. I give the cabins a B-.

There is lots to do on deck but I am concerned about the lack of swimming space on a ship that appeals to families and can carry 4,000 people. On this inaugural cruise, there were 2,500 people (mostly adults) and the aqua area was jammed...so where are those 300 children going to go when they arrive on board? The "main pool" (geared for adults) is postage-stamp size and sure to be invaded by kids. I would have expected at least one big large pool geared for children, but it's not there.

The swanky Villas complex is a neat concept but although I loved the private pool area, I didn't care for the cabins or suites (again, too small) nor did I like the decor of the lounge, which looked like something out of Louis XIV. It did not match the decor on the rest of the ship.

I am conflicted about the much-publicized Single Cabins. As it turns out, they are all inside cabins running down the length of Deck 12. Each has a double bed and adequate storage, and a big round window out onto the hall (who is going to open those shades?). Some people looking at them though they were claustrophobic. I thought they were a fine size for me alone, but I really prefer balcony cabins. I like being able to go outdoors. However, I hope the concept catches on as I think it is a good one...although some outside cabins should be offered. The thing is, the people who would really like these are single senior cruisers and this isn't really a ship for them.
 
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(Review ID: 99)
3 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
 
The ship wasn't ready to sail, too many problems and things not finished, July 9, 2010
Reviewer: Biggparkin
Pros: The one day of nice weather we had, the waterpark looked quite exciting
Cons: $12.95 charge for movies, overpriced internet, too many workers
Date of cruise: June 24th 2010
Departure port: Southampton
Cabin category: Inside
Cabin number: 11007
Found through: CruiseCompete.com
Good for children: Yes
Good for teenagers: Yes
    
Biggparkin saw things this way
Value For Money   2.00/5  (2)
Cabin Design   1.00/5  (1)
Entertainment   2.00/5  (2)
Ship Maintenance   2.00/5  (2)
Staff and Service   2.00/5  (2)

From the moment I stood up in line for over three hours to board the ship, to the last day on board when I chose the express walk-off option, which coincidentally took three hours, there was very little positive to say about this cruise.

The ship was obviously not finished and ready for sailing, there were people sanding, staining and varnishing all the unfinished rails. People were constantly testing lights, checking audio systems, fixing TV's, sticking down carpet edging. It was almost like it was a trial run to iron out all the problems. The choice of TV was almost non-existent and mostly either unwatchable or unlistenable. Of the fivechannels that were being shown, when the signal was being picked up, two were cartoon channels that the volume had to be turned down to almost zero, the other three channels were news channels that even after I turned the volume up to maximum I still couldn't hear them. Then I tried the film channel only to find that each movie cost $12.95.

I later tried the internet, which I know isn't always great on board but this was terrible. It cost me $100 for 250 minutes, then after I logged on and paid, I was charged an additional $3.95 for activation. I then spent the rest of the week waiting and waiting and waiting to get online, it was that slow. The internet manager offered to credit me minutes but what was the point, I couldn't actually get on any websites. There were people complaining all over the ship about this.

A few other things that were a bit off-putting were that whilst you were eating in the buffet style restaurants, it seemed like there were more crew than passengers. You couldn't leave your seat to get a coffee without someone clearing your food away. The food seemed to be all over the place, nothing flowed and it was difficult to find exactly what you wanted.

I usually like walking and jogging on cruises but it was a bit of a nightmare on this one. The track was about four feet wide for people to go both ways and more often than not we had to avoid bumping into workers doing all sorts of staining, varnishing, light testing, life boat checking. It was more like an obstacle course. My final complaint about this voyage was that beer was $4.95 for a small glass and $5.95 for a large glass, the only problem was that all the outdoor bars didn't have any large glasses although I was charged for a large glass on four occasions. All in all, a very disappointing cruise.
 
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Response

What a difference a few days can make. I just returned from the the Epic (July 8-10) and we did not encounter any of these issues except the expensive internet and the charge for movies. Please see my upcoming review on AllThingsCruise. Cynthia Boal

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