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  #1  
Old April 19th, 2013, 10:29 AM
annbel0909 annbel0909 is offline
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Default EPIC 6/4 - 13/4 - review - Haven stateroom

We just got back from our 2 week Miami holiday and our Epic cruise.
I thought you would maybe like a review of our impressions. Please remember that this is our personal opinion and everyone is different. So whatever we liked others won’t like and vice versa.

Background:
US = 14 Belgians ranging in age from 9 to 43.
This was our second cruise. Other was on NCL Pearl.

Check-in:
VIP check in, very efficient. We got there around 10.30am and were on the ship at 11.00am.
We took the “The Haven” tour and before leaving I asked Adrien – the concierge-if he could have a table set up for us for lunch. I preferred asking this as there were 14 of us.
When the tour was finished, the table was ready and we had lunch at 12.00 (great Cagneys Fries), our staterooms were ready at 1.00pm.

Staterooms:
We had three 2-bedroom Haven staterooms (17022-17024-17026). They are quite similar to the ones on the Pearl. We really liked them. Lots of space, great bathroom and the bed is the best. It took us a while to work out how the lighting works, but we got there in the end.
We were a bit surprised you had to pay for movies (9,95$), they were free on the Pearl. For the price you pay for a suite, they really should give you this service for free.

The Haven:
Just AMAZING. We always had lots of space in the pool area and Posh. All the other guests were really nice with the exception of two older couples. The ladies were nice, but the men thought that burping very loud all of the time was hilarious. There was also this horrible couple who insisted and telling every one that they would not be paying the service charge because the stateroom attendant was incompetent: she put a towel with a hole in it, in their room.
The Haven restaurant was great. We had breakfast here every morning and diner once. We should have gone more then once.
We had lunch in the outdoors part of the Haven restaurants several times (great tuna burger).
The staff in the Haven was just great. Very attentive, they even remember your name and are great with the kids.

The concierge:
Adrien is awesome. We did not use his services very often, but when we did it was great. I made a reservation for a restaurant once and said to him that it is not always easy with a big group and he literally took my hand and said : “Honey, please do not worry about anything, we are here to worry about that”. WOW, Adrien please will you come back home with me!
A special mention for Bowen, Adriens assistant. He is the best. Always smiling, helpful and very proactive.

The butler/stateroom attendant
Our butler was Jeffrey and we knew him as he was also our butler on the Pearl. The kids only ordered room service twice but Jeffrey is just awesome. WE LOVE JEFFREY.
Our stateroom attendant was Judy. She is just great.

The ship:
It’s true she’s not very pretty, but that really did not matter to us.
The casino seems to be the most important part of the ship and you have to go through the casino to get to certain restaurants. We find this quite annoying, especially with the children. We felt it is all about the casino on the Epic.

The touch screen tv’s are great for finding your way/getting information.
We thought the pool deck was awful. Too busy, too noisy. Thank god we were in the Haven. If not, we would have had the holiday from hell. Even the kids only used the slides once, because they did not like the pool deck.

Restaurants/bars:
The OK : Moderno
The do-able : Shangai, O’Sheehans, Teppanyaki (but purely because of the entertainment factor)
The bad : Cuccina, Manhattan room
To be honest we are what some people would call”foodies” and because of that we are difficult, I suppose.
What was amazing though, was that the staff was nice, although not very experienced, but when they saw our Haven key card: OMG what a difference. The level of service immediately shot through the roof. The restaurant manager hovered around our table, even the chef came out of the kitchen to see if everything was to our taste.
I really think every one should get the same level of service.
Ice bar : nice experience, we had a laugh but the girl at the check in (Tatziana) was just plain rude.

Entertainment:
We did BMG and were really looking forward to this as everyone seems to love this. Some parts were good but we found some part really boring and frankly some parts disgusting.
We also did Cirque and were a bit weary, but we thought it was GREAT (food just OK).
Legends: who is Jimmy Buffet? We probably do not know him as we are from Europe, but we almost left the show because we found him really boring. Donna summer was great and Michael Jackson was amazing.

Some thing else that amazed us, was the way certain people acted in disco/white hot party. I cannot tell you the number of times someone of our group had to be “saved” from pushy people.
At the whit hot party, one of our friends was dancing with his wife and a woman came up and started dancing very provocatively (rubbing herself against him etc). His wife was dancing just next to him. My husband got a couple of “indecent proposals” at the same party with me just standing next to him. I mean, it was clear that we were 3 couples but these women obviously didn’t care. I’m not a prude but these women, honestly. One of our friends also got locked in the restrooms by a man. When he made it clear he wasn't interested, the guy opened the door, but he had an interesting moment there


Excursions:
Ok but just OK. We’ll probably take a cab next time and organise our own excursions.


Conclusions:
If we would not have had access to the Haven this would have been a cruise from hell but we were in the Haven and that made this cruise great.
I think the Epic is just too big a ship for us and we are much better suited for ships like the Pearl.

Also the staff are friendly, but they seem to be a lot less experienced then on the Pearl (except for the staff in the Haven).
Would we sail the Epic again? Maybe, but only in the Haven.




Hope this helps and please ask me any question you want !
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  #2  
Old April 19th, 2013, 10:38 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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Thanks for writing and sharing your balanced review.

Keith
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  #3  
Old April 19th, 2013, 12:02 PM
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A1SusieQ A1SusieQ is offline
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Great review.

Glad you had a nice time despite the few mishaps.

You write so beautifully.


Unrelated question: Is English your first language or are you this fluent in French, German and Dutch?
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  #4  
Old April 19th, 2013, 12:22 PM
annbel0909 annbel0909 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A1SusieQ View Post
Great review.

Glad you had a nice time despite the few mishaps.

You write so beautifully.


Unrelated question: Is English your first language or are you this fluent in French, German and Dutch?
Thanks for the compliment
Dutch is my first language and I also speak french.
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  #5  
Old April 19th, 2013, 12:55 PM
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jdvmd jdvmd is offline
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Thanks for taking the time to post a review! Sounds like you still had a great time despite some other cruisers. I don't think I would have handled the WHP thing very well. I do find Blue Man Group kind of eh. Don't know why people think it is great but that is just my opinion.
Surprised that you have never heard of Jimmy Buffet. Here is a link to some information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Buffett
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  #6  
Old April 19th, 2013, 01:05 PM
annbel0909 annbel0909 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdvmd View Post
Thanks for taking the time to post a review! Sounds like you still had a great time despite some other cruisers. I don't think I would have handled the WHP thing very well. I do find Blue Man Group kind of eh. Don't know why people think it is great but that is just my opinion.
Surprised that you have never heard of Jimmy Buffet. Here is a link to some information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Buffett
WHP??? This is where you can tell english is not my first language!
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  #7  
Old April 19th, 2013, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annbel0909 View Post
WHP??? This is where you can tell english is not my first language!
White Hot Party.
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  #8  
Old April 19th, 2013, 02:02 PM
FLAHAM FLAHAM is offline
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Epic poster with 2-bedroom suite enjoys Haven and extra attention at upcharge restaurants, says non-suite passengers were on cruise from hell. Sigh.

Last edited by FLAHAM; April 19th, 2013 at 02:03 PM.
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  #9  
Old April 19th, 2013, 02:10 PM
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rajones007 rajones007 is offline
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Thanks for the review. I was also a bit disappointed in the Epic when we were on her in November. We had a great cruise and have no regrets. However, I would not purposely book the Epic, or any other ship of that size, again. It suffers from a rather poor design as far as passenger movement is concerned. There's too many bottlenecks for more than 4000 people and I think a lot of it was done purposely.

We also had Jeffrey as our butler. (We were in 16011 back in November.) We didn't use him very much, but I would still highly recommend him to anyone else. He was being run ragged by a group of other cabins just down the hall, so he was very limited in the time he could spend getting to know me and my family. We're not very needy and had nothing more than the most basic requests for him, so it wasn't a big deal to us.

I'm interested to find out what you found "disgusting" with the BMG show. Can you elaborate? Personally, I was under-whelmed with the BMG performance. Like you, I found some of it fun and some of it downright boring. But for the life of me I can't recall anything worthy of being labeled as "disgusting". So now you have me curious.
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  #10  
Old April 19th, 2013, 02:43 PM
ColinIllinois ColinIllinois is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLAHAM View Post
Epic poster with 2-bedroom suite enjoys Haven and extra attention at upcharge restaurants, says non-suite passengers were on cruise from hell. Sigh.
I think you read it incorrectly. I believe for the poster it would have been "the cruise from hell" . She didn't say that about other passengers.
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  #11  
Old April 19th, 2013, 03:01 PM
annbel0909 annbel0909 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajones007 View Post
Thanks for the review. I was also a bit disappointed in the Epic when we were on her in November. We had a great cruise and have no regrets. However, I would not purposely book the Epic, or any other ship of that size, again. It suffers from a rather poor design as far as passenger movement is concerned. There's too many bottlenecks for more than 4000 people and I think a lot of it was done purposely.

We also had Jeffrey as our butler. (We were in 16011 back in November.) We didn't use him very much, but I would still highly recommend him to anyone else. He was being run ragged by a group of other cabins just down the hall, so he was very limited in the time he could spend getting to know me and my family. We're not very needy and had nothing more than the most basic requests for him, so it wasn't a big deal to us.

I'm interested to find out what you found "disgusting" with the BMG show. Can you elaborate? Personally, I was under-whelmed with the BMG performance. Like you, I found some of it fun and some of it downright boring. But for the life of me I can't recall anything worthy of being labeled as "disgusting". So now you have me curious.
Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

I found the part were they spit the toblerone in the person's hand and the part where they put the camera in someone's mouth disgusting but then I'm very sensitive to this kind of thing. I'm probably just a wuss.
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  #12  
Old April 19th, 2013, 03:07 PM
annbel0909 annbel0909 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLAHAM View Post
Epic poster with 2-bedroom suite enjoys Haven and extra attention at upcharge restaurants, says non-suite passengers were on cruise from hell. Sigh.
I knew I was going to get this kind of reaction. I did not say non suite passengers were on a cruise from hell. I said that for us personaly, we prefer more quite places and a more relaxed atmosphere so the pool deck was too loud for us. I also said that I did NOT think it was acceptable that haven guests get a superior level of service at the restaurants so please do not make me out to be something I am not!
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  #13  
Old April 19th, 2013, 03:22 PM
FLAHAM FLAHAM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annbel0909 View Post
I knew I was going to get this kind of reaction. I did not say non suite passengers were on a cruise from hell. I said that for us personaly, we prefer more quite places and a more relaxed atmosphere so the pool deck was too loud for us. I also said that I did NOT think it was acceptable that haven guests get a superior level of service at the restaurants so please do not make me out to be something I am not!
OK, that's fair. You said that outside the Haven, you would have been on the cruise from hell. Others might have loved it.
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  #14  
Old April 19th, 2013, 03:31 PM
annbel0909 annbel0909 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLAHAM View Post
OK, that's fair. You said that outside the Haven, you would have been on the cruise from hell. Others might have loved it.
Exactely that's why I said that this is our personal opinion. Other people like other things.
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  #15  
Old April 19th, 2013, 07:27 PM
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I'm curious, OP, why (other than the crowded and noisy pool deck) did you think it would have been a cruise from hell if you hadn't been in the Haven? Reason I'm asking, is my husband and I would like to try Epic or Breakaway, but I'm afraid we wouldn't like it either if not in the Haven. One of the things we find attractive is the Haven restaurant, and would probably eat most meals there, or at Cagney's.

I guess what I'm really asking is, help me convince my husband it is worth the extra cost of the Haven!!!
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  #16  
Old April 19th, 2013, 07:56 PM
esuer esuer is offline
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Default Epic Haven Experience 4/6-4/13/13

I believe my sisters and I were on the same cruise. We were the three sisters in our 50's and early 60's. I believe we shared a table with you at the Tappanyaki dinner on the last night of the cruise. Our opinion was that the cruise was fantastic! We also had a two bedroom haven suite and I agree that the Haven experience was above average. We were treated like royalty by everyone in the Haven complex. Adrian was fantastic and our steward, Garry, was also equally as good. Our butler Hipo was good too, but we didn't really see him much during the week since we didn't have any meals brought to our suite. I was celebrating my birthday and they couldn't do enough to make my week special. This was a special trip for us and I know that the cost of a suite is a hugh difference from the balcony rooms and lower, but the experience with having the Haven was trully worth every cent.
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  #17  
Old April 20th, 2013, 04:38 AM
annbel0909 annbel0909 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esuer View Post
I believe my sisters and I were on the same cruise. We were the three sisters in our 50's and early 60's. I believe we shared a table with you at the Tappanyaki dinner on the last night of the cruise. Our opinion was that the cruise was fantastic! We also had a two bedroom haven suite and I agree that the Haven experience was above average. We were treated like royalty by everyone in the Haven complex. Adrian was fantastic and our steward, Garry, was also equally as good. Our butler Hipo was good too, but we didn't really see him much during the week since we didn't have any meals brought to our suite. I was celebrating my birthday and they couldn't do enough to make my week special. This was a special trip for us and I know that the cost of a suite is a hugh difference from the balcony rooms and lower, but the experience with having the Haven was trully worth every cent.
Yes we did the teppanyaka on the last night. You seemed like a fun bunch.
The haven is definately worth the money.
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  #18  
Old April 20th, 2013, 04:45 AM
annbel0909 annbel0909 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by put me on a ship View Post
I'm curious, OP, why (other than the crowded and noisy pool deck) did you think it would have been a cruise from hell if you hadn't been in the Haven? Reason I'm asking, is my husband and I would like to try Epic or Breakaway, but I'm afraid we wouldn't like it either if not in the Haven. One of the things we find attractive is the Haven restaurant, and would probably eat most meals there, or at Cagney's.

I guess what I'm really asking is, help me convince my husband it is worth the extra cost of the Haven!!!
For us it is worth the extra money. The thing is, and this is just a personal preference, we do not like crowds and à lot of noise. We are not really into pool side games and stuff like that. So the haven for us is à definate yes. Also, the haven restaurant is great, you get the little perks like priority seating for the shows and we never ever had to search for a lounger by the pool. No chair hogs either. You really do get treated like royalty
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  #19  
Old April 20th, 2013, 06:29 AM
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Smile Very Nice Review

Yes they are your personal opinions and that is what matters! I think it is great when people are honest and tell their true feelings regarding experiences on the ship. If you didn't like the food in The Manhattan Room well that is your opinion!

We are booked for the Breakaway and leave for London UK next Friday! This is our First NCL cruise and it's nice to hear positive things regarding the Haven. I think the key part here is having a relaxed, comfortable cruise where you are pampered and enjoy the ride.

Thank again for taking time to write your review and share with us!
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  #20  
Old April 20th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annbel0909 View Post
For us it is worth the extra money. The thing is, and this is just a personal preference, we do not like crowds and à lot of noise. We are not really into pool side games and stuff like that. So the haven for us is à definate yes. Also, the haven restaurant is great, you get the little perks like priority seating for the shows and we never ever had to search for a lounger by the pool. No chair hogs either. You really do get treated like royalty
It sounds good to me! Thanks for replying, and thanks for the review!
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