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sarahc78

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About sarahc78

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Maryland
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    royal caribbean

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  1. It was on deck 7. There’s doors over by Cagneys that lead outside and there are the lifeboats and shuffle board but if you walk to the middle there is a 15ft or so wide area unobstructed. There aren’t any chairs or loungers but it’s a nice area to grab some pictures and just watch the world roll by! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  2. I was on this sailing and agree with the OP in regards to the wait in line for drinks and the drunk spring breakers. I understand NCL can’t discriminate against young adults of age to drink but they most certainly can limit their drinking by cutting off passengers who were clearly waaaay over served. I’m all for drinking, getting tipsy, and having a good time but when you have guests who are being obnoxious, staggering, slurring their words, vomiting, etc...someone needs to step up and say enough is enough you’re cut off for the day/night whatever. Had they have done that I’m sure it would have been a lot more enjoyable for everyone. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  3. Is that typical to have wait times on NCL for drinks? Typical to not have servers in bars and lounges? That really was probably the worst thing about the cruise. When I’m on vacation I don’t want to have to fight my way up to a bar for 20 minutes trying to get a drink...and that no lie is what it was like. It wasn’t like you were standing in an orderly line waiting your turn this was people pushing their way in front of you or having one person with 10 cards trying to order drinks for all their friends. Really disorganized and chaotic. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  4. Kenzie in front of the Epic day 1 This is the hull balcony, as you can see it’s completely enclosed. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  5. Trying to post pictures I have quite a few but it won’t let me from my phone [emoji19] Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  6. Ports- We were supposed to visit Great Stirrup Cay on Sunday. I had planned on ordering a clam shell and sitting on the beach for the day. But after experiencing the ship and how many people were on board we decided to actually skip the island and enjoy the ship & pool area while everyone else was ashore...But just my luck first thing Sunday morning the captain announced that the seas and wind were too rough (damn you nor’easter) and we’d have to skip GSC. This also happened the following day when we were supposed to get off in Nassau, winds and seas were too rough. Nassau - Thankfully on Tuesday we were able to get into port and had a great day in Nassau. We booked the British Colonial Hilton Day Pass and LOVED it!!! The island was hit with heavy winds in the days before we came so all of the beaches (Hilton included) were covered in seaweed, branches, debris, etc...thankfully the Hilton had a crew of about 10 or so workers out on the beach so when we arrived at 9:30 a.m. the beach was almost completely clean & cleared. I’m sure other passengers who went to the free beaches weren’t that lucky so I’m very glad we booked this so far in advance and secured our spots. Price was $75 per adult and at that price it included a $40 voucher that could be used for food/alcohol. It also included use of the hotels private beach, pool area, outside games, snorkel gear, loungers, day beds, umbrellas, unlimited towels, etc... (children I believe were $35 and included a $20 food/beverage voucher) So it was a really good deal! The beach area was very pretty and quiet which after being on board the ship with 4,000 people, half of who were drunk college kids it was literally just what we needed! Peace & Quiet!!! We ended up with $120 in food vouchers and with that were able to get 6 adult beverages (mostly daiquiris, let me tell you there’s we’re amazing and strong!!) 2 kids meals of chicken tenders & fries, 1 cheeseburger, and 1 Mahi sandwich. The food we had was delicious and the portion sizes were quite large. We would highly recommend this resort & would go again for sure. NCL Young Adult Alcohol Waiver- We went back and forth on whether or not we would do this for our 2 young adults (19) while on board and at the last minute decided we would. I’m a worrier and was paranoid they’d get drunk and fall off the boat. (which apparently did happen on our sailing and while I witnessed the search and rescue outside my balcony that evening I don’t have personal knowledge of what lead to her falling) I really thought it was a nice option that NCL offered. To my knowledge celebrity does not offer this so another point in the NCL category. My young adults were able to purchase wine and beer beverages while on our sailing and that started immediately once we signed the paperwork. We didn’t have to wait til international waters like I had read on cruise critic so that was nice. They were not allowed to purchase beverage packages however and once they saw the prices of drinks on board they got quite the sticker shock[emoji23] That really helped curtail them from going hog wild on drinks. I think between the two of them they spent $100 on alcoholic drinks the entire cruise which wasn’t bad at all. Final thoughts- Was this the perfect cruise? No...but we still had a great time! I probably wouldn’t book the Epic again because I didnt like the boats layout. I think if it had a better flow you wouldn’t feel like there was 4,000 people on board when it’s at capacity. I would book NCL again, I’m glad we got our feet wet and got to experience NCL and what the line has to offer. Hopefully if/when we book again the ship won’t be as full and it won’t be around spring break. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  7. Food Around The Ship- I think this is one of the areas that NCL definitely beats Celebrity in. There are sooo many dining options that are not only free but are delicious too. O’Sheehan’s- We spent a lot of time here! First of all those wings!! Wow they were really good! We also loved the pub burger as well. But always found ourselves ordering the wings. Bar service here was very quick also so it was a great spot for all of us to meet up for snacks and drinks. Taste- We had dinner one night, and breakfast two mornings and were very impressed with the food & service. We found it to be one of the quietest dining options on the ship. Not sure if everyone else preferred the buffet or didn’t want to take the time for an order breakfast but we always had the place to ourselves when we dined which was nice. Buffet- I really preferred the buffet on NCL vs. Celebrity. It seemed like they not only had a lot more options but the food was better tasting than what I’ve had on Celebrity...except the pizza & ice cream. NCL really needs to step up their Pizza game! I also loved that they had the mini buffet area outside near the pool area. They had all of the kid/teen/young adult popular food items set up there (burgers, fries, paninis, hot dogs, sandwiches, ice cream, etc...) that was perfect for my younger crew! It was easily accessible, always hot & fresh, and plenty of it. I know if my crew were up at the pool I wouldn’t have to worry whether or not they were able to get something to eat. Shanghai Noodle Bar- Food was good, but nothing outstanding. Most of the entrees had waaaaaay too much sauce. They were literally swimming in sauce so it was kinda unappetizing and mushy. The spring rolls and fried rice were very tasty. No wait here either walked right up and got a table no problem. Coffee Bar- Again on Celebrity the coffees, teas, and pastries at the coffee bars are included with our package so it was a little disappointing to have to pay for those things. Especially since the LaVazza coffee they serve on NCL as a “pay for coffee” is actually what celebrity serves for free in the buffet, dining rooms, and everywhere else on the ship. I did like how the coffee bar also had an attached bar to it which was really nice because I prefer mimosas/bellinis to coffee, I just wish they had servers going around taking orders because again no one wants to wait 10 minutes in line for a drink when they’re on vacation. (I did notice they would have a server going around when trivia or bingo was going on. It would’ve been nice to have that at all times) Room Service- We got this one night and it wasn’t very good. Salmon tasted funky so we didn’t eat it. Burgers was cold, salad was wilted. We tipped on top of the service fee but didn’t order again because it wasn’t worth it. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  8. UBP- This was one of the things that sold us on NCL. We had taken advantage of this on Celebrity (don’t quote me but I believe Celebrity actually started the cruise line beverage package trend) We found the alcoholic beverages offered to be quite nice and pretty extensive. Celebrities ultimate package however is slightly better than NCL’s. On Celebrity the package includes coffee, water bottles, sports drinks, etc... so it really is an ultimate package. Bar service- We booked the first weekend in March thinking this would be far enough out to exclude it from being a “spring break” cruise...unfortunately that was not the case. I’d say 1/2 the ship was young college kids. Which honestly didn’t bother me at all...UNTIL it was time to get a drink. There were times we waited 20+ minutes to get a drink. You would literally have to fight your way up to the bar if you wanted a drink. I never once saw any servers coming to take drink orders in the pool area which I think is unacceptable. Close your eyes and imagine seeing my handicapped grandmother trying to get a pina colada at the pool bar in a sea of drunk college kids and you’ll see the problem with no servers. That was a reoccurring theme at all of the bars. They either didn’t have servers going around or if they did have servers it was only one to cover an entire bar. Because the ship was sold out the bars were constantly full of patrons so no matter where you went you were gonna wait between 10-15 minutes for a drink. Maybe that is the normal for NCL ships but it is not what we’ve experienced on our Celebrity sailings. Celebrity has several servers roaming around every bar, the pool, even the buffet taking drink orders. So the constant waiting in line was a disappointment. Speciality Dining- We had heard from a close family member who had sailed NCL before that Cagney’s was the BEST speciality dining at sea option they had ever experienced. The said it was similar to Ruth Chris on land. So hearing that our group decided we’d book Cagneys for all 3 of specialty dining nights. Unfortunately Cagney’s didn’t deliver. We were very disappointed and luckily after working with the Maitre D were able to reschedule our reservations for Le Bistro. Cagney’s- Service was definitely lacking here. Our waiter came to the table and said “With your specialty dining package you get one appetizer, entree, side and dessert each. Any other orders will be charged at menu prices. Please look over the menu and let me know what you’d like”. It was just really abrupt and obviously not the same info I had received when researching on cruise critic. I was under the impression the entrees were limited to 1 per person but the sides, appetizers, etc you could have more than 1 of. In the end it didn’t really matter because most of the items we had other than the entrees weren’t very good at all. The crab cakes came out cold and flavorless. We sent them back and instead opted for the shrimp cocktail while it was tasty was only 3 little measly shrimp geez, the oyster Rockefeller same thing really small portion. Our entrees were very good though. I wouldn’t compare Cagney’s to Ruth Chris, I wouldn’t even compare them to Outback though. Just was a lack luster experience. Le Bistro- Now this restaurant is show stopper for sure! If you want that upscale experience with super tasty food this is the restaurant for you. While the menu says it’s one entree person we were able to order several appetizers, soups, etc which was a nice way to share items and experience the menu. The French Onion Soup & Cream of Mushroom Soup were excellent! Also very tasty was the escargot, and seafood pastry dish. For entrees we got the duck, Filet, sea bass, but the show stopper was the shrimp in butter cream sauce my daughter in law got. It was one of the best shrimp dishes I’ve ever had anywhere land or sea. Service here was excellent as well. I was so glad we were able to switch and enjoy dinners here. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  9. We’ve got roughly 10 cruises under our belts with the most recent 5 or so being on Celebrity which we have absolutely loved. Unfortunately Celebrity’s pricing has increased so much over the past few years it’s become impossible for our family to afford vacationing with them. We started looking into other cruise line options and decided to give NCL a try. Our group of 12 ended up booking the Epic 4 day route to test the waters and see if NCL would be a good fit for us. In the weeks leading up to our sailing the negative reviews started rolling in and I began to feel really nervous that maybe I had chosen poorly and our group would not have a good time. While I’d like to say those negative reviews had no merit, unfortunately I can’t. There were some great aspects of our cruise, but there was also some not so great. Embarkation: We arrived to the port pretty early (9:45 or so) my mom & grandmother are disabled so they needed to get their wheelchairs first thing. We dropped our group off at the entrance doors so they wouldn’t have to walk through the parking garage area and parked our cars. Unfortunately we found out that the port does not offer wheel chair assistance until you have actually gone through the entire check in process with the cruise...oh and btw the handicapped check in area is on the opposite side of the building. So it was extremely difficult for them to get over there. Not helping matters were some very pushy guests who obviously don’t know what the purpose of forming an orderly line to enter the building is all about. I get that everyone’s excited and wants to be the first one on the ship but I felt like I was at a concert with people getting so close and literally pushing on one another to get closer to the entrance door waiting for them to open. One group in particular were just seriously over top about being the first ones on board the ship. This group literally parked their bags in front of the walkway to board the ship...yes the same place they kept making the announcement over and over again “PLEASE don’t gather and stand in front of the walkway” They plopped down like rules didn’t apply to them. Funny thing I saw them literally running to the front desk once they boarded...manners apparently are out the window when posh passes are at stake [emoji849] The Ship Itself- Once onboard we started exploring the ship and this thing really is MASSIVE! Even though we were onboard for 4 days I don’t feel like I saw even 1/2 of what the ship had to offer. I definitely got in a lot of waking this cruise, which believe me I needed lol. I do wish there were more elevators especially towards the middle of the ship. We joked even when the elevators weren’t full you could still guarantee you’d be stopping at every floor which became a little annoying. I was pretty bummed there weren’t a lot of areas on the ship to see the ocean. That is one thing Celebrity ships have a lot of, outside space. Not only that the outside deck areas have loungers, beds, chairs, etc... so you can relax with a book I was only able to find one floor with an outside area to walk and see the ocean unobstructed on the Epic and the area was very small. Luckily we had a balcony so I was able to enjoy some views of the sea from there. Rooms- We had room 8006. 8006 was a hill balcony and I absolutely LOVED the balcony. It was completely enclosed so it had total privacy. The rooms themselves though were soooo small. Like I said I’ve been on 10 cruises and this was by far the smallest room I’ve ever had. I thought we’d love the bathroom layout but the toilet area is just way too small. I mean it is tiny!!! The design of the room, the furniture, everything was just bad. Made it extremely difficult to get around, again luckily we had that hull balcony! We ended up using that area as a changing area which helped a lot since there was 4 of us in there! Our room steward was excellent! We always had ice in our room, extra towels, blankets, and pillows which I had requested on the first day. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  10. Is there a certain cash amount you have to put down for a cash account? Is that amount per person in the room or for the entire room? Anyone use a prepaid visa gift card for their onboard account? We’ve got quite a bit of OBC to use up and also have the UDP & SDP so I don’t really see us spending too much on board and we don’t use credit cards. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
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