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#41
Kennett Square, PA, USA
2,350 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
March is Spring Break...Acually end of February to early April is Springbreak for colleges and Grade Schools. A little research ahead of time , even if you never have had children, would show this. Spring break crowds are not just limited to NCL...Carnival and RCL are also packed with younger people.

I think a big warning sign should have been realizing Epic went to 3/4 day cruises for a couple of weeks...This ship always does 7 days
#42
333 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
Originally posted by coffeenmorecoffee
Man, I have this cruise booked in March of 2019 - now I can't wait! Sounds like fun

Somewhat kidding...
Short one or seven day? I'm on a seven day on Epic on mid-March. I do know it coincides with FSU spring break next year but thinking the 7 day schedule will cut down on students a bit.
#43
1,085 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Would a first time cruiser or infrequent cruise know that spring break affects cruises? Perhaps, especially if they are members of CC. During March there are always news reports of beaches being taken over by college students but I’ve never seen news reports of ships being taken over. I would hope that anyone booking a cruise in March with a travel agent would get a heads up from the TA. I really think the cruise line should at least give a heads up about cruises that might be impacted by spring breakers. Had I been on this cruise I probably wouldn’t be cruising with NCL again.

I’ve taken AI vacations in Cancun during the spring break period but I only book AI resorts that actually state “no spring breakers.” How they would know whether a person is a spring breaker is beyond me but it’s worked out well for my trips.

Also during the summer months I will only book AI resorts that are “adults only” so I know there won’t be a bunch of screaming kids at the resort. I never book a cruise for summer months for that reason too.
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#44
Columbus, OH
269 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by smeck
Spring break is a pack mentality which NCL fosters by letting these kids and I say kids drink themselves into a coma.
I'm sorry you had a bad time on the cruise but these are not "kids". They are over 21 unless they had parents along who signed allowing them to drink beer and wine, in which case they are over 18. I think the definition of "kid" has changed 6 times in the last 2 months. Teenagers are "kids" and don't know that they shouldn't eat laundry detergent..... the next week, teens are not "kids" and are old enough to legislate gun control...... now adults over 21 are "kids" because they consume alcohol....... I'm confused.
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#45
Cincinnati, Oh and Ft Worth TX
2,645 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
We were on the cruise the week before you. The captain said there were 300 kids under 19. The following he said there was over 1800. Spring break for colleges.
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#46
Frisco, TX
19 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
I was on this cruise as well. My sister and I (late 30s-40) booked this as a little girls' trip.

The Spring Break thing did not occur to me. In hindsight, I guess it should have. I just didn't ever equate cruising with spring breakers. I went to college in central Florida and never heard of anyone going on a cruise for spring break.

For us, the main annoyance was the excessive lines at the bars. You couldn't even get a diet soda without waiting in a hoard of drunken craziness. I will give the kids credit and say that I did not experience anyone being anything but polite and respectful to me.

These kids absolutely had the unlimited drink package. We talked to some sophomores that had it. Typically, college sophomores are not 21 yet. They had a signed waiver to drink at 18 and were served unlimited alcohol.

The ship has some quirks but I was well aware of them going into it. The one design flaw that really got me was that our shower and toilet doors started slamming open and closed violently whenever the seas were rough. There is no mechanism to lock them either open or closed so we had to try to stuff towels in the track so we could get some sleep. It was not ideal at all.

We didn't have any issues with the food. I've had better, I've had worse. Our two best meals were at Teppenyaki and Le Bistro. Our service was mostly very good. We had an issue with the spa people giving my sister's room key away and that person ran up some charges. It took three days to get that resolved. We are very dissatisfied with how that was handled given that it was their mistake to begin with.

I'll probably consider NCL in the future but am much happier with Disney.
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#47
Daytona Beach, FL
186 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
It sounds like there were just too many people on the ship, and that's one thing that NCL does have control over. By limiting the number of cabins that can be sold with four people, they could reduce the crowds significantly. Would a policy that said "No four adult cabins during Spring Break" be that bad of an idea?
#48
1,579 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
1. Ship layout centralized a lot, this removed the central elevators but did mean that if you booked a cabin near the elevators everything was convenient unless you needed far aft or far forward.
2. Casino is on deck 6, and the escalators allow you to skip that area entirely.

3. That huge open area where the guest services, photo gallery, giant screen TV and all those indoor activities is the atrium. It is on deck 5, and several decks look down on it.

4. Yep, balcony layout sucks, especially the bathroom. Very commonly known issue.


5. The buffet is set up in several different stations, there is no need to start at one point and go all the way around. If I remember correctly there are 10 stations inside and 2 stations outside. The forward elevators come right up into an entry area for the buffet, or you can walk outside from there.

Vibe: It is spring break, college kids will be college kids. And small screaming children will be small screaming children during their spring break. If it takes a half hour to get a drink, I would say that the pace was fairly normal for any spring break crowd and the same as land based places. If people don't want to vacation with college kids, they should make sure that they don't cruise when college is out of session.

Food: We found the food on Epic to be good. Considering DW has a pretty rare allergy we found the way they treated her to be absolutely fantastic. And all of her food was good, unlike many places that limit her selections and just hand her an unspiced piece of meat.

Girl overboard: Considering that she was somewhere between 40 and 52 depending on who you ask I would say that she is responsible for her own actions. I would think by the age of 55 you would consider people responsible for themselves and not feel that adults need babysitters to determine what they can and can not do.


I'm sorry that you had a bad trip, but except for the room layout none of this is really NCL's fault. Even a small amount of research would have given you all of this information.
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#49
Tampa
414 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
From NCL.com pertaining to their alcohol policy:

What is the minimum age for purchase and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages?
Passengers must be 21 years of age or older to purchase or consume alcohol. With the exception of Alaska and Hawaii itineraries, Norwegian permits young adults to purchase and personally consume wine and beer only while onboard and with the consent of an accompanying parent. Authorization will be given only when the accompanying parent completes the Young Adult Alcoholic Beverage Waiver form. This form can be obtained and completed at the Guest Services Desk upon embarkation of the vessel. However, passengers 18 years of age or older are permitted to consume beer and wine when sailing on round-trip European and Australian voyages without having to complete the Young Adult Alcoholic Beverage Waiver form.

If there were teenagers on board who were consuming alcohol then according to NCL's rules they were accompanied aboard by one of their parents and the responsibility lies with that parent to ensure that they are behaving properly. Not NCL.

Here is an excerpt from NCL's Guest Conduct Policy pertaining to alcohol and those under the age of 21:

"The minimum drinking age for all alcoholic beverages on Norwegian Cruise Line ships is 21. Guests who are 18 - 20 years of age can purchase and consume beer or wine when the ship is in international waters (3 miles out of US territorial waters). The age modification does not apply for Alaska and Hawaii sailings. The parent or legal guardian must be onboard the sailing with the young adult and present themselves at the Front Desk so they can sign the form allowing the consumption of beer and wine only. A notarized Parent Consent Form or any other document allowing for temporary guardianship for the purposes of the sailing only will not be accepted.
For purposes of complying with the minimum drinking age requirements, a guest’s age is established upon embarkation (beginning of the cruise). If a guest celebrates their birthday during the cruise, and thereby becomes of age to consume alcohol, the guest may thereafter ask the Guest Services Manager to modify ship’s records to permit their consumption of alcohol during the remainder of the cruise. The guest will be required to appear at Guest Services to present a government issued form of identification to permit verification of their age.
On cruises embarking in a country where the legal drinking age is lower than 21 and where a young adult (age 18, 19 or 20) is not traveling with a parent or legal guardian, they will generally not be permitted to consume alcohol. There may be exceptions made to this restriction in areas of the world where local laws require and Norwegian Cruise Line concurs. Details on such exceptions can be obtained from the Guest Services Desk. No guest under age 18 may possess or consume alcohol at any time, while onboard or at our private destinations. No guest under age 21 may possess or consume alcohol at our private destinations. Any guest who goes ashore and consumes alcohol (whether under the supervision of a parent/guardian or not, is responsible for ensuring they consume responsibly and retain their ability to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations when they return to the ship. Parents/guardians are reminded they are responsible for the actions of their child/young adult at all times while on a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise.
Guests who violate any alcohol policy, including but not limited to underage drinking; providing alcohol to minors or young adults; possessing, concealing or attempting to conceal alcoholic items in their luggage, when boarding, or while on board; engaging in alcohol drinking games; or failing to consume alcohol responsibly, will be considered for discipline under the provisions of this policy."

If you felt that these policies were not being followed during your sailing then I think you should reach out to NCL's customer care department at 1.866.234.7350
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#50
Tampa
414 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
Originally posted by Oakman58
Would a first time cruiser or infrequent cruise know that spring break affects cruises? Perhaps, especially if they are members of CC. During March there are always news reports of beaches being taken over by college students but I’ve never seen news reports of ships being taken over. I would hope that anyone booking a cruise in March with a travel agent would get a heads up from the TA. I really think the cruise line should at least give a heads up about cruises that might be impacted by spring breakers. Had I been on this cruise I probably wouldn’t be cruising with NCL again.
We were on the Sky last month and it was taken over by a large group (hundreds) of 15 year old girls celebrating a group Quincenera through a charter company from south america. We thought it was a bit strange that they would choose the "open bar" NCL Sky for this but it was probably because of its shorter itinerary. Some of the staff said that this is an annual charter every year on this ship. Of course none of them were drinking alcohol but there were frequently large groups of giggling girls congregating in the cabin hallways and gathering by the elevators. Interestingly I never saw them at the shows in the theater or in the main dining rooms. I assume that their charter company arranged their own separate entertainment and meals. Some other passengers were complaining aloud about how "rude" these teens were and how they were annoyed that they were on board but Pam and I had no issues at all.

Cruising is an economical and low stress way to travel because of its all-inclusive nature. For budget constrained college students, the shorter cruises are likely much cheaper than booking a beachside resort during spring break. Unless the cruise lines limit certain age groups I don't see how they can keep spring breakers from their ships.
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#51
1,579 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Originally posted by Oakman58
Would a first time cruiser or infrequent cruise know that spring break affects cruises? Perhaps, especially if they are members of CC. During March there are always news reports of beaches being taken over by college students but I’ve never seen news reports of ships being taken over. I would hope that anyone booking a cruise in March with a travel agent would get a heads up from the TA. I really think the cruise line should at least give a heads up about cruises that might be impacted by spring breakers.
They should probably do a guest breakdown and keep it running as people book.

You know, what the age demographics are, how many minors accompanied by both parents, how many single parents, how many single males and single females, how many gays and how many lesbians, how many blacks and whites, how many minors are home-schooled, how many adults are attending college, how many children are booked for the Haven.

All of these things are important to someone.

Could you imagine if someone decided that they wanted a nice quiet week at the beach and chose Daytona FL during spring break. They would come down with their 2.5 children who are in elementary school, middle school, and high school, because that is when those schools are on break. And suddenly they are in this place filled with college people drinking.

Probably easier to go to year round schooling until people are old enough to move out of their parent's homes. No breaks means that parents will have to pull the kids out during school and that should spread out the vacation issues.
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#52
Charleston SC
2,415 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by C cruise
No, but maybe they should impose rules and enforce proper behaviour... OR have a warning on their site to people booking -something like .. This time period is during spring break...

What exactly is "proper behavior"? and who gets to decide what it is? Just reading this message board for years has shown me that what is acceptable to some is a capital offense to others.
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#53
974 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
You didn't know March would be a big Spring Break college month? Who doesn't know this? I can't imagine where you live that you wouldn't know March is a huge spring break college month. The entire month.

I was on the Epic last week....intentionally staying away, far, far away from a 3 or 4 day cruise in March. Pretty much everything you are complaining about didn't happen last week on the Epic. The food was great! Seriously good food and I am critical of food! I didn't see one falling down drunk person at all last week. There was plenty of drinking but no bars were overtaken, no crazy nothing.

The problem is that NCL shouldn't offer 3 and 4 day cruises in March. It's asking for the huge Spring Break, on a tight budget college crowd. But you should know that too. It's like saying you would have no idea that Disney would be crowded in March either. Its ignorant.

NCL should know better. You should know better.
#54
USA
185 Posts
Joined Sep 2014
The story I just read is that this woman was traveling with her parents, so it doesn't sound like she was with a large group of partiers or anything. Alas, people can get drunk and do stupid things on any ship, any time.

They are over 21 unless they had parents along who signed allowing them to drink beer and wine, in which case they are over 18. I think the definition of "kid" has changed 6 times in the last 2 months. Teenagers are "kids" and don't know that they shouldn't eat laundry detergent..... the next week, teens are not "kids" and are old enough to legislate gun control...... now adults over 21 are "kids" because they consume alcohol....... I'm confused.



It'd be swell if we could all collectively decide what's an adult, I agree. We keep changing the rules. We're not going to solve it on this message board, of course, but it's something the US needs to address.


Thankfully, US "adulthood" laws aside, cruise ships have strict rules about what age you have to be to book cabins.


As for warning people about Spring Break, I mean, we've all been there--or could have been there, I guess. Spring break, summer break, winter holidays, 100,000-person conventions in Vegas, Golden Week in Japan...different places have different things at different times. It's always the responsibility of the traveler to check on these things (perhaps it was once something the travel agent checked on, but most of us are our own travel agents now :-)).
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#55
371 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Originally posted by C cruise
No, but maybe they should impose rules and enforce proper behaviour... OR have a warning on their site to people booking -something like .. This time period is during spring break...


Really?? A person would have to be living under a rock (or be a recent immigrant) to not be aware that this time of the year is Spring Break.


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#56
371 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
[quote=lcpagejr;55492696

I think a big warning sign should have been realizing Epic went to 3/4 day cruises for a couple of weeks...This ship always does 7 days[/QUOTE]






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#57
Central ct.
2,366 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by ColinIllinois
Ma'am, the forward elevator and the stairs take you right up to the buffet. Unlike what you said earlier you don't JUST have to access the Garden Cafe from outside and you are completely wrong about the buffet not having individual stations. To say that seems quite odd. I really don't understand your complaint unless perhaps you have mobility issues..
I don’t know what individual stations your referring to. All I saw were cafeteria style lines in a cafeteria style buffet no food Islands that I saw.
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#58
Central ct.
2,366 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by SquishTheWhale
I think the spring breakers have coloured your view of the Epic unfairly. I know she divides opinion, but things like the buffet not having separate stations isn't even true. There may not be midship lifts, however there are stairs in the atrium so I don't see why people think that's such an issue, unless you are in a wheelchair or chronically lazy. However, I don't blame you for having a miserable time and for that making you biased against everything else. I wouldn't have enjoyed being on board with that crowd either.
All I witnessed in the buffet was a cafeteria style buffet not different food Islands which I was alluding to.
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#59
Central ct.
2,366 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by TruckerDave
"Get off my lawn"

You are in CT (according to your signature) and wasn't aware spring break was in the Feb/Mar time frame? Thats on you.

There are 7284 different threads about the Epic and its layout on this message board. Again, that is on you for not knowing what you are getting into. (I did a 7 day Med cruise on it and found it fine.)

Talking about food is a waste of time. Totally subjective. One person's "awful" is another "just fine" or "very good".
I don't know what your complaint about the buffet is. I spent a week on her and never had to go outside to get to the buffet.

Unless you know ALL the facts about someone falling overboard, you probably should not comment. As we can see in just this thread, someone else who was on you same cruise disputes your claim about her.

You didn't have a good time, fine. Different strokes for different folks. But to blame NCL, for this stuff is unfair. YOU didn't do enough research prior to sailing.
I did plenty of research as you can see by my number of post. Ten of us took this cruise because it worked out for all of us schedule wise. I didn’t think spring break happened so early in the month that’s on me. What isn’t on me is finding someone else’s dirty socks under our bed, finding old toothpaste on the counter around the sink, cold food from the dining room, the mirror and the balcony not being clean, kids walking around in a alcohol induced coma, a ship way to crowded, the smell of vomit at different spots on the ship and the moral compass of a corporation that allows young kids many under the age of twenty drink the,selves stupid all for the mighty dollar. No don’t make it me!!!
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#60
Central ct.
2,366 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by NLH Arizona
So, do you think they should discriminate against college age young folks, while all other cruise lines allow them?
A two wrongs don’t make it right.
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