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Awesome Cruise on NCL Epic Dec 17-24


Warm Breezes

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Background… Our family trip included DH and myself (both 45), DS (17) and DD (14). This was our 9th cruise, 2nd on NCL.

Pre-cruise…We flew to FLL on the day before the cruise and stayed at Embassy Suites FLL. Great managers reception and cooked to order breakfast. Their outdoor pool and indoor atrium are beautiful. SAS picked us up at 11:15 and we were on-board by 12:30. I highly recommend both Embassy Suites and SAS.

 

Embarkation… was smooth. There was only a short line when we arrived. We ate lunch at the buffet. These were the longest lines we would see during the whole cruise there.

 

Rooms…we had 2 interior rooms. DH and I had no problems with the layout but DD didn’t like the bathrooms/showers since she was sharing a room with her brother. But she quickly learned to use the curtain and the dead bolt on the door.

 

Teen club…I finally got DS and DD to sign up for the teen club (they normally don’t do the kid/teen clubs since they were always in separate age groups before). Unfortunately, I only got them to go to the ice breaker and they had no interest in returning.

 

Food…We had no problem finding something in the Taste/Manhattan Room/O’Sheehan’s every night. The food in the MDR’s was good and my family loved the food in O’Sheehan’s. We only ate a specialty restaurant one time when we went to see Cirque Dreams in the Spiegal Tent. The food served at Cirque Dreams was not to my tastes (not something I would even order normally) but the rest of my family enjoyed it. The buffet was great (much better than CCL in our opinion). We ate there for most breakfasts and lunches. Following the advice given here, we found ourselves heading down to La Cucina to eat our breakfasts. There were only a few people down there whenever we had breakfast down there. One of the waiters from India would often come up and have a chat with us, telling us about his life on the cruise ship and his family life home in India. It was very interesting learning from him about his culture.

 

Service…Our room steward did a wonderful job and we only had one day when we had slow service in Taste…but that was because a show let out just after we got there and they got really busy then. We received a pager when we went to eat in the Manhattan Room on Dress Up or Not night and were told it would be about 30 minutes. They gave coupons for free champagne or pop at the bar. Our pager went off after only 10 minutes.

 

Entertainment…The absolute best entertainment we have seen on a ship (including Disney), in our opinion. The Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams, and Howl at the Moon were awesome. 2nd City, the comedian Jeff Hobbs, and Legends in Concert were all great shows. Bingo was expensive $40 for one set of 3 cards. 2 times what CCL charges and the prizes were not much different. DS entered an adult soccer tournament and his team ended up winning. Karoake was interesting. There were a few real good singers and some that just shouldn’t. It was fun to watch though. We did the bowling and played pool. They were both very different experiences to try on a moving ship.

 

Ports….In St. Martin we did Bernard’s Tours. Slim was awesome. For $40 pp he kept us well hydrated with rum punch, beer, water, and pop while he took us on a tour of St. Martin. We had stops to see lizards, hold sea urchins, swim at Orient Beach, get pelted by sand blown by airplanes at Maho Beach and a little shopping time at Marigot.

 

In St. Thomas we did Air Force One Tours with Papa Bear. Papa Bear, like Slim was awesome. For $35 pp he took us on a well narrated tour of St. Thomas with multiple stops to show us the island and give us some history of St. Thomas. We stopped at a farm and tried some home grown juices on our way to Mountain Top for some spectacular views and “World Famous” banana daiquiris. Our final stop was beautiful Meagan’s Bay for some sun and swimming.

 

In Nassau we just got off briefly to check out the shopping at the straw market and then went back on the ship to enjoy some time without all the people. On sea days were unable to enjoy the open decks as the chair hogs were out early and took up every lounger they could spot.

 

Debarkation…We chose to take the tags for the last debarkations. The lines were small when we went to get off and debarkation went smoothly. We again sailed with just DL and BC and had absolutely no problems and went through the lines just as quickly as those with passports.

 

Overall Impression…While Epic is intimidating in its size, it is a beautiful ship. We really didn’t see much in crowds except on the Lido deck on Sea Days. We thought the entertainment was top notch and the food and service were great. We liked it so much we purchased a future cruise deposit, hopefully to use on the Norwegian Breakaway in 2013 sailing from NY to Bermuda.

 

Post-cruise…was same as pre-cruise. SAS was right there to pick us up and take us back to Embassy Suites FLL. DH and DS were extremely pleased to find Duffy’s right next door showing their Detroit Lions win on Christmas Eve (awesome food too…I wish we had a Duffy’s at home).

 

Let me know if I can answer any questions.

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Background… Our family trip included DH and myself (both 45), DS (17) and DD (14). This was our 9th cruise, 2nd on NCL.

Pre-cruise…We flew to FLL on the day before the cruise and stayed at Embassy Suites FLL. Great managers reception and cooked to order breakfast. Their outdoor pool and indoor atrium are beautiful. SAS picked us up at 11:15 and we were on-board by 12:30. I highly recommend both Embassy Suites and SAS.

 

Embarkation… was smooth. There was only a short line when we arrived. We ate lunch at the buffet. These were the longest lines we would see during the whole cruise there.

 

Rooms…we had 2 interior rooms. DH and I had no problems with the layout but DD didn’t like the bathrooms/showers since she was sharing a room with her brother. But she quickly learned to use the curtain and the dead bolt on the door.

 

Teen club…I finally got DS and DD to sign up for the teen club (they normally don’t do the kid/teen clubs since they were always in separate age groups before). Unfortunately, I only got them to go to the ice breaker and they had no interest in returning.

 

Food…We had no problem finding something in the Taste/Manhattan Room/O’Sheehan’s every night. The food in the MDR’s was good and my family loved the food in O’Sheehan’s. We only ate a specialty restaurant one time when we went to see Cirque Dreams in the Spiegal Tent. The food served at Cirque Dreams was not to my tastes (not something I would even order normally) but the rest of my family enjoyed it. The buffet was great (much better than CCL in our opinion). We ate there for most breakfasts and lunches. Following the advice given here, we found ourselves heading down to La Cucina to eat our breakfasts. There were only a few people down there whenever we had breakfast down there. One of the waiters from India would often come up and have a chat with us, telling us about his life on the cruise ship and his family life home in India. It was very interesting learning from him about his culture.

 

Service…Our room steward did a wonderful job and we only had one day when we had slow service in Taste…but that was because a show let out just after we got there and they got really busy then. We received a pager when we went to eat in the Manhattan Room on Dress Up or Not night and were told it would be about 30 minutes. They gave coupons for free champagne or pop at the bar. Our pager went off after only 10 minutes.

 

Entertainment…The absolute best entertainment we have seen on a ship (including Disney), in our opinion. The Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams, and Howl at the Moon were awesome. 2nd City, the comedian Jeff Hobbs, and Legends in Concert were all great shows. Bingo was expensive $40 for one set of 3 cards. 2 times what CCL charges and the prizes were not much different. DS entered an adult soccer tournament and his team ended up winning. Karoake was interesting. There were a few real good singers and some that just shouldn’t. It was fun to watch though. We did the bowling and played pool. They were both very different experiences to try on a moving ship.

 

Ports….In St. Martin we did Bernard’s Tours. Slim was awesome. For $40 pp he kept us well hydrated with rum punch, beer, water, and pop while he took us on a tour of St. Martin. We had stops to see lizards, hold sea urchins, swim at Orient Beach, get pelted by sand blown by airplanes at Maho Beach and a little shopping time at Marigot.

 

In St. Thomas we did Air Force One Tours with Papa Bear. Papa Bear, like Slim was awesome. For $35 pp he took us on a well narrated tour of St. Thomas with multiple stops to show us the island and give us some history of St. Thomas. We stopped at a farm and tried some home grown juices on our way to Mountain Top for some spectacular views and “World Famous” banana daiquiris. Our final stop was beautiful Meagan’s Bay for some sun and swimming.

 

In Nassau we just got off briefly to check out the shopping at the straw market and then went back on the ship to enjoy some time without all the people. On sea days were unable to enjoy the open decks as the chair hogs were out early and took up every lounger they could spot.

 

Debarkation…We chose to take the tags for the last debarkations. The lines were small when we went to get off and debarkation went smoothly. We again sailed with just DL and BC and had absolutely no problems and went through the lines just as quickly as those with passports.

 

Overall Impression…While Epic is intimidating in its size, it is a beautiful ship. We really didn’t see much in crowds except on the Lido deck on Sea Days. We thought the entertainment was top notch and the food and service were great. We liked it so much we purchased a future cruise deposit, hopefully to use on the Norwegian Breakaway in 2013 sailing from NY to Bermuda.

 

Post-cruise…was same as pre-cruise. SAS was right there to pick us up and take us back to Embassy Suites FLL. DH and DS were extremely pleased to find Duffy’s right next door showing their Detroit Lions win on Christmas Eve (awesome food too…I wish we had a Duffy’s at home).

 

Let me know if I can answer any questions.

 

Glad you had a nice time! Isn't Papa Bear awesome?

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Thank you for your review. We will be going on the Epic on Feb 11th, can't wait! Just pre-booked our entertainment and dining.

 

Have fun. We pre-booked all our entertainment and dining as well. Everything went smoothly on-board with no lines to the shows when we got there. Be sure to check out Howl at the Moon. We ended up going back multiple times to see the dueling pianos. They were great.

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we also will be staying at the Embassy suites. Can you tell me what SAS is and how do we get in touch with them?

 

Looks like jdvmd posted the SAS link for you. I will say that this was the 2nd cruise that we used SAS and we had great service both times. Embassy Suites FLL is a great hotel. This was our 2nd cruise staying there pre and post cruise as well. Don't miss the managers reception. All the drinks and snacks you can handle for 2 hours. Publix is right behind it if you need to pick up some pop for your cruise. I would highly recommend Duffy's right next door if you are looking for a place to eat and like sports bars. Their food was terrific.

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Hi.

 

Thanks for review. Seems you had a great time. We are travelling on Epic next summer so while away yet. We travelled last year with Celebrity and that was our first cruise.

 

You mentioned "dress up night". When on Celebrity we had a formal night and all of us really enjoyed getting dressed up for the occasion. I know NCL do freestyle and thought they didn't have a dress up night. Can you clarify how this works?

 

 

Thanks

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Hi.

 

Thanks for review. Seems you had a great time. We are travelling on Epic next summer so while away yet. We travelled last year with Celebrity and that was our first cruise.

 

You mentioned "dress up night". When on Celebrity we had a formal night and all of us really enjoyed getting dressed up for the occasion. I know NCL do freestyle and thought they didn't have a dress up night. Can you clarify how this works?

 

 

Thanks

 

It's very simple -- If you would like to dress up formally, you certainly may do so.....Or not. That is what people love about NCL, you are not forced in to doing if you don't want to but can if you so wish.

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Hi.

 

Thanks for review. Seems you had a great time. We are travelling on Epic next summer so while away yet. We travelled last year with Celebrity and that was our first cruise.

 

You mentioned "dress up night". When on Celebrity we had a formal night and all of us really enjoyed getting dressed up for the occasion. I know NCL do freestyle and thought they didn't have a dress up night. Can you clarify how this works?

 

 

Thanks

 

They call it "dress up or not" night. We didn't dress up. Others did. On that night there are a lot more photographers around the ship for people who want formal pictures.

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Hi.

 

Thanks for review. Seems you had a great time. We are travelling on Epic next summer so while away yet. We travelled last year with Celebrity and that was our first cruise.

 

You mentioned "dress up night". When on Celebrity we had a formal night and all of us really enjoyed getting dressed up for the occasion. I know NCL do freestyle and thought they didn't have a dress up night. Can you clarify how this works?

 

 

Thanks

On my particular sailing (the week before Warm Breezes) there were more cocktail dresses than not every night. Many of the men were dressed quite smartly too. If truth be told, I couldn't even tell you what night was dress up ... or not. Every night folks looked great. I was very impressed:)

 

OP, thanks for the great review. I really miss the ship! I think I know which La Cucina waiter you are referring to as well. He was very sweet, especially when he spotted my daughter in Nassau:D

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Hi.

 

Thanks for review. Seems you had a great time. We are travelling on Epic next summer so while away yet. We travelled last year with Celebrity and that was our first cruise.

 

You mentioned "dress up night". When on Celebrity we had a formal night and all of us really enjoyed getting dressed up for the occasion. I know NCL do freestyle and thought they didn't have a dress up night. Can you clarify how this works?

 

 

Thanks

As others have said, it is called "dress up or not" night. We dressed up for pictures. There were more photographers set up that night. Others did not dress up (even in the Manhattan room we saw shorts and t-shirts). That's the joy of freestyle. Most nights we were in shorts and capris. This was definately the most casual cruise we have been on, based on the overall passenger dress...even more casual than our most recent Carnival Cruises. That said there were some people dressed up every night. I truly felt the freestyle atmosphere and loved it.

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Thanks for the great review. I feel the same as you, Epic was outrageous. I would sail her again in a heartbeat. Yes, NCL's buffet is better than CCL's

especially loved the Pretzel rolls, the hard ice cream and the crepes :)

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Thanks to all who responded to my query re "dress up night". Thought I had subscribed but didn't get emails.

 

That clarifies things for me. I'm looking forward to one dress up night for photos and then on the other nights to be relaxed. Sounds wonderful!

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Background… Our family trip included DH and myself (both 45), DS (17) and DD (14). This was our 9th cruise, 2nd on NCL.

Pre-cruise…We flew to FLL on the day before the cruise and stayed at Embassy Suites FLL. Great managers reception and cooked to order breakfast. Their outdoor pool and indoor atrium are beautiful. SAS picked us up at 11:15 and we were on-board by 12:30. I highly recommend both Embassy Suites and SAS.

 

Embarkation… was smooth. There was only a short line when we arrived. We ate lunch at the buffet. These were the longest lines we would see during the whole cruise there.

 

Rooms…we had 2 interior rooms. DH and I had no problems with the layout but DD didn’t like the bathrooms/showers since she was sharing a room with her brother. But she quickly learned to use the curtain and the dead bolt on the door.

 

Teen club…I finally got DS and DD to sign up for the teen club (they normally don’t do the kid/teen clubs since they were always in separate age groups before). Unfortunately, I only got them to go to the ice breaker and they had no interest in returning.

 

Food…We had no problem finding something in the Taste/Manhattan Room/O’Sheehan’s every night. The food in the MDR’s was good and my family loved the food in O’Sheehan’s. We only ate a specialty restaurant one time when we went to see Cirque Dreams in the Spiegal Tent. The food served at Cirque Dreams was not to my tastes (not something I would even order normally) but the rest of my family enjoyed it. The buffet was great (much better than CCL in our opinion). We ate there for most breakfasts and lunches. Following the advice given here, we found ourselves heading down to La Cucina to eat our breakfasts. There were only a few people down there whenever we had breakfast down there. One of the waiters from India would often come up and have a chat with us, telling us about his life on the cruise ship and his family life home in India. It was very interesting learning from him about his culture.

 

Service…Our room steward did a wonderful job and we only had one day when we had slow service in Taste…but that was because a show let out just after we got there and they got really busy then. We received a pager when we went to eat in the Manhattan Room on Dress Up or Not night and were told it would be about 30 minutes. They gave coupons for free champagne or pop at the bar. Our pager went off after only 10 minutes.

 

Entertainment…The absolute best entertainment we have seen on a ship (including Disney), in our opinion. The Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams, and Howl at the Moon were awesome. 2nd City, the comedian Jeff Hobbs, and Legends in Concert were all great shows. Bingo was expensive $40 for one set of 3 cards. 2 times what CCL charges and the prizes were not much different. DS entered an adult soccer tournament and his team ended up winning. Karoake was interesting. There were a few real good singers and some that just shouldn’t. It was fun to watch though. We did the bowling and played pool. They were both very different experiences to try on a moving ship.

 

Ports….In St. Martin we did Bernard’s Tours. Slim was awesome. For $40 pp he kept us well hydrated with rum punch, beer, water, and pop while he took us on a tour of St. Martin. We had stops to see lizards, hold sea urchins, swim at Orient Beach, get pelted by sand blown by airplanes at Maho Beach and a little shopping time at Marigot.

 

In St. Thomas we did Air Force One Tours with Papa Bear. Papa Bear, like Slim was awesome. For $35 pp he took us on a well narrated tour of St. Thomas with multiple stops to show us the island and give us some history of St. Thomas. We stopped at a farm and tried some home grown juices on our way to Mountain Top for some spectacular views and “World Famous” banana daiquiris. Our final stop was beautiful Meagan’s Bay for some sun and swimming.

 

In Nassau we just got off briefly to check out the shopping at the straw market and then went back on the ship to enjoy some time without all the people. On sea days were unable to enjoy the open decks as the chair hogs were out early and took up every lounger they could spot.

 

Debarkation…We chose to take the tags for the last debarkations. The lines were small when we went to get off and debarkation went smoothly. We again sailed with just DL and BC and had absolutely no problems and went through the lines just as quickly as those with passports.

 

Overall Impression…While Epic is intimidating in its size, it is a beautiful ship. We really didn’t see much in crowds except on the Lido deck on Sea Days. We thought the entertainment was top notch and the food and service were great. We liked it so much we purchased a future cruise deposit, hopefully to use on the Norwegian Breakaway in 2013 sailing from NY to Bermuda.

 

Post-cruise…was same as pre-cruise. SAS was right there to pick us up and take us back to Embassy Suites FLL. DH and DS were extremely pleased to find Duffy’s right next door showing their Detroit Lions win on Christmas Eve (awesome food too…I wish we had a Duffy’s at home).

 

Let me know if I can answer any questions.

 

 

Jeff Hobbs is an unusual name.I went to school with a Jeff Hobbs.You didn't happen to get a photo by chance?He was a big guy tall/heavy!Just curious.:)

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