We researched Norwegian’s site http://www.ncl.com before booking our EPIC Cruise Ship trip. I will give you my honest review of this NCL cruise ship. My YouTube video above gives you a more full review and reasons why so please take a few minutes to watch.
The “free” food was wonderful! So many options (10) to choose from. I was worried when ships started having restaurants that you could pay extra for onboard. I thought that all the good food was going to those restaurants. But Norwegian’s free food was just as excellent.
Two of the “Free” Dining Options
We had O’Sheehans which is open 24 hours. Our 12 year old like the nachos. They’re topped with warm melted orange cheese, and we were surprised at how authentic the tortilla chips tasted. Attached is a 3 lane bowling alley. But it does cost $7 to play. But you’re on vacation! They did a great job of separating this Pub into sections so it didn’t feel squished or bar-ish. Very well laid out. We did not like at all that we had to walk through the casino to get there because they allow smoking! Ick! It didn’t smell smoky in O’Sheehan’s, but getting there was yucky.
Garden Cafe is just off the pool area, but it is very nice. They have a cafe connected to the pool and its seating areas, but the Garden Cafe is a huge buffet restaurant. My husband thought some of the hot choices were luke warm. And by some I mean 2 out of 200 food items. We ate here 6 mornings and 5 nights. Delicious, varied options for the whole family and all nationalities. Beef Wellington was one of the meats that was offered on the last night. Pasta is always available. It’s a big and long rectangle. I think it was so very good that it was over crowded on two of the major touring cities. Since everyone was leaving by 8 for the excursion, we all decided to eat at the same time here. Very casual dress here.
I like Taste because you got an actual menu. We felt like we were in a nice restaurant for free. I wish the wait staff was more fun and more interactive with their guests. Maybe they’re all about numbers and making sure passengers get their food. I was longing the for fun wait staff from our Disney Dream Cruise Ship.
Extra Cost Restaurants We Tried
Tepanyaki is their version of Benihana Restaurants. It was worth every penny. Very funny and entertaining chefs at each of the tables we saw. Absolutely delicious! I had the beef and grilled shrimp. I could cut the beef cubes with my fork!
Le Bistro was delightful and was listed as Cruise Smart for dress. So my husband wore a collared shirt, and I wore a dress. Still casual but smart. I told someone that this had the best French Onion Soup I think I’ve ever had, and I have been to Gruyere!
La Cucina is beautiful because it’s at the entire front of the ship-floor to ceiling windows at dinner time. Breathtaking views! This seemed very fancy, but the recommended dress was Cruise Casual. Again, we wore the same as in Le Bistro. This too was worth more than we paid. We got appetizers, a first course (pasta or risotto!!!) that was a large portion, 2nd course was a salad. 3rd course was the meat. I got Filet Mignon, and my husband got Shrimp.
We were hesitant to go to a fancier restaurant that cost extra. But, we all highly recommend it as a splurge!
So many lounge chairs are on the decks of this ship! There is a back row near the pool that is totally shaded, and that rowis elevated so your people-watching view is not blocked. Plus, there are many smooth plastic sofas completely shaded and far enough away from the pool noises. All of the furniture on the EPIC is high end looking. Very luxe, yet sturdy furniture.
The putt-putt 5 hole golf cours for kids is completely shaded too and has little squirty fountains throughout. That’s about how long toddlers’ attention span is though, right?
We thought the video arcade was astounding, and at certain times (too few) nine to twelve year olds were allowed to play.
The hot tubs were beautiful; elevated far enough above the deck floor so you feel somewhat private. The light aqua tile color just makes everything gorgeous!
Signs on the pool deck are clear and easy to read. The ladies’ bathroom is under the slides of the main pool deck as well as on the opposite end of the main pool deck. Very convenient. It seemed like the main deck was always wet…just in case you have a family member who may slip easily. We felt sturdy with the Trex-type decking they use though. My mom was in a wheel chair or a cane most nights and didn’t have any problems.
We were very disappointed with the phone app because there was no map of the ship for us to reference. No map booklet like you get in hotels and on other ships. No map/layout section on your app. On NCL’s app you could only see major events for that day. You couldn’t tell on your app that they had a Painting on Canvas class (free) that day at 2:00. It was in the paper magazine, but most people check apps these days.
Check out what the gadget is on my phone case here! I love it!
This may sound completely petty, but you could not get new towels on the pool deck unless you had one to swap. That was frustrating.
I had brought my large iPhone Waterproof case to hold my phone and key card since you have to have the key card EVERYWHERE, but I didn’t need it. I now suggest just getting the key card sized case. Saw these everywhere; just a lightweight lanyard for your key card! Perfect for kids too!
The two main pools were beautiful. Small, but most of the kids stayed in the 3 foot deep one, while others stayed in the 5 foot deep one. The deeper one was hot. It felt so good on the cold windy afternoons! Once the ship started moving, brrrr! And it was 86 degrees!
The outdoor cafe was perfect for grabbing a burger, ice cream cone, or lunchy items. Sheltering the outdoor cafe were the pods which gave you awesome shade mixed in with some sun. So cute; like lily pad pods.
In the morning, we think having out our aluminum cup to put coffee in would be helpful. Cafe cups were tiny ones, and the to go ones were paper that was a mix between paper and styrofoam. We didn’t like them. We also didn’t like that you had to pay for a cappuccino. Minor.
Their luggage tags were mailed to us, but we were responsible for stapling them on. Pro: We just had to cut on the dotted line, fold and staple. Cons: We flew to another country first, before starting our cruise and couldn’t have those luggage tags on our bags in the airport. When we did get to the foreign country, we needed a stapler. But our hotel accommodated us.
We loved the water package we bought! Highly recommend that in advance. Storage below the sink will fit 16 liter bottles of water. We ended up buying 6 more.
Matt Hanafin gave a balanced review of NCL’s Norwegian Epic Cruise Ship. I agree with some of his opinions and disagree strongly with others.
Let’s Talk Rooms
Oh my word, they’re beautiful! We had read about so many people not liking the curved walls, but we loved them. They’re aesthetically pleasing to the eye. They indeed give you the feeling of an ocean wave. Sofas are curved, along with one of the walls. Gone are the boring rectangular cells.
Aqua, turquoise, creams and whites! Just like the ocean waves! Our first balcony experience on the 11th floor, and we were surprised at how much time we spent out there. I feared it would be freezing. I recommend making sure your balcony is covered. The people a couple floors below ours got a coffee cup dropped on their head because they had no protection.
No complaining will help, but like all cruise ships, there were only two outlets in the entire room. I brought my travel power strip thankfully. It swivels, and you can charge two phones while using 3 additional plug outlets! The in-room hair dryer was amazing. I couldn’t find what wattage or voltage it was, but my hair dried faster than it does in Houston!
My video above will show you how to twist the plugs! I LOVE THAT IT TWISTS and ROTATES!!
LOVE love love the height of the hallways. I can touch the ceiling and did not feel claustrophobic at all. Loved the 6 towel hooks around the shower doors! And the bonus floor mat hook that was knee high. The shower head was at least 6’2″ high. We really appreciated the toilet being separated and having its own door. The steam from the shower doesn’t seep out into the room where you’re trying to do your hair. Plenty of medicine cabinet storage above the sink and in front of the larger mirror.
I had two makeup bags and one liquids bag, and you can tell by the picture that the drawer for that was very deep and long. There are two large closets, enough for my hang up dresses and tops as well as my hubby’s collared shirts and more. Following the curved, wavy wall theme, one of the cabinets was curved. It’s just pretty to look at.
There really was “epic” storage in our stateroom. See how my hubby used these wire racks for his dirty laundry?
Oh, and we loved the curtain for privacy if you really did need to have the shower and toilet areas blocked off.
Double OH, the pillows were fabulous.
Norwegian offered a firmer pillow and a softer pillow for each person. Had a third person been in our room, we could’ve used the pull out sofa. I’m glad we didn’t have to for a seven day cruise.
Watch my video above to see why I had to get in the emergency boat! I’m so glad I did!
Other Videos You May Want to Watch
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