Jump to content
xenagurl

EPIC - Transatlantic April 14-25

Recommended Posts

I arrived yesterday fresh from the Transatlantic crossing from Miami to Barcelona.

 

A few highlights from my trip below. I'll add things little by little as I'm still trying to get pictures and my blog together, but hopefully the below is helpful. Feel free to ask questions.

 

~xenagurl

 

Flew from New York to Miami on Friday April 13th as I always like to arrive a day early to the departure city. Delays come in all forms and it wasn't as if I'd even be able to fly into the next port.

 

 

Norwegian Epic Transatlantic

April 14-25 2012

 

 

I normally bring a book, yarn and notebook and laptop loading with movies so that I have something to fill in the gaps of time with between activities that I'm interested in on a cruise. Usually I spend very little time utilizing them but bring them anyway. This time I wish I'd left all except for the laptop home, and that only because I view it as an appendage.

 

 

The ship was half full, and there were only about 40 children. The makings of a perfect vacation! We started by making a pit stop near Bermuda to let off a “medical emergency” after that it was smooth sailing. We had a couple of days that were slightly bumpy but nothing much to speak of. Fortunately there was sun quite a few days and that combined with their being few kids meant that if you were interested in the water slide it was all yours. So for 3 days I was able to let out my inner 8 year old yelling, screeching and giggling all the way down zippy funnels. The Orange and Yellow slide that you use the inner tube on is great, but by far my favorite is the green one. It's mostly enclosed, has a lot of twists and turns and makes you go the fastest, what's not to love!

 

 

Afterward warm up in one of the many Jacuzzis that are nearby.

 

 

Solo Lounge

 

 

I'm a solo traveler that is comfortable on her own, however 11 days on a ship with only one port of call a week in, means that it would probably be a lot more fun if you took the time to get to know your fellow passengers.

 

 

Meaghan the Activities Director for the solos did a good job in providing things to do if you were interested. I think the best thing was that you could befriend those that you felt comfortable with and do a few things with them without feeling forced to hang out with the entire group of people.

 

 

There wound up being about 5 of us that would go dancing every night and considering how long we were there I'm pretty sure we burned up everything that we ate and drank during the day.

 

 

The lounge itself is quite aesthetically appealing. Very mod with clean lines and cool colors. It's right in harmony with the studio cabins which are rather sleek. Walking down the hallways under lit with blue lighting and going into my “pod” made me feel as if I was on the Starship Enterprise.

 

 

Best of all there was a great coffee machine there. Between the many Espressos and the dancing it's no wonder I was up all night!

 

 

Shows

 

 

Legends was really good. I went to see the first showing before they switched over. I particularly liked the Elvis impersonator, he was quite good, had a sense of humor, seemed like he was enjoying himself and really engaged the audience. “Steven Tyler” looked very much like him and one of the best things was that he seems to stay in character. I saw him getting coffee in the solo lounge and it was as if it was really Steven standing there. How funny!

 

 

There was a Madonna impersonator as well with whom I wasn't as impressed with.

 

 

 

Spank Acapella. Did a good job! Lots of harmony as well as audience engagement.

 

 

Jeff Hobson – Magician

Is also a comedian. Very funny and did a really good job with his illusions. He even showed how some tricks were performed, which for the most part still went over my head as to how to do them but was interesting to realize the methodology behind them none the less.

 

 

Blue Man Group

 

 

Fascinating and encouraged audience participation. While it's not really my style of entertainment I was glad that I went and had a chance to experience a Blue Man show. I think it's something that tweens would love!

 

 

The two following were the most enjoyable ways to spend an evening (besides dancing into the wee hours) Howl at the Moon and drum roll please... Slam Allen at his group at Fat Cats.

 

 

Just wow! The team of 3 at Howl are extremely talented talented and a lot of fun. Watching Drew DeFour play is enjoyable in itself as he really gets into the music. Cin has a gorgeous voice and plays the piano with heart. Michael is crazy talented & funny. Warning. Do NOT request him to play Piano Man unless you you're wearing pants. I totally forgot about this despite seeing what had happened previously. The last night on the ship I requested it. I was wearing a dress above the knees. Let's just say I hope that it's not on YouTube. LOL

 

 

One more tip. If you like Nintendo music, let Drew know.

 

 

It's nearly a tie between the above group and Slam allen at his band but after much deliberations I'm saving my favorite for last.

 

 

Slam Allen at Fat Cats Blues Bar

 

 

I'm not even a huge blues fan but I LOVE the way that they play. LOVE it! It draws you right in and becomes a part of you. It's just fabulous. What's neat too is that performers from other shows will often spend time there and he'll invite them to perform as well. It's an amazing show that really isn't to be missed. If you don't like the Blues, go anyway. If you don't like live music, go anyway. You won't regret it.

 

 

There were other very talented musicians playing throughout the ship. A latino band that kept the pool deck lively in the afternoons and even came to the Bliss lounge to play some favorite tunes. Lots of fun! A young pianist that played at a bar (I forget which, one near the Ice Bar) with smooth notes that while I never sat down to listen to would always enjoy hearing the notes linger in the air as a walked by. A guitarist that played around the reading area and more.

 

 

Other activities. Oh I can't even go into them all. Let's just say plenty.

Edited by xenagurl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did, the Captain and Food & Beverage Director.

 

The Captain was very visible and audible around the ship. (I knew it was time to wake up when he made his announcements at Noon) I spoke to him once in order to take a picture and another in time in passing, both times he was pleasant and in general came across as a fairly approachable person, but I didn't really speak to him at length.

 

He was outgoing with his announcements, always had a smile ready and struck me as a happy person.

 

Meaghan the Solo Activities Coordinator arranged for the The F&B Director to stop by the solo lounge one evening. I got the impression that he is a reserved person, but he was friendly and would say Hello whenever I saw him about the ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cruise Director is Richard Abreu who has an amazing amount of energy and is very friendly and outgoing.

 

I didn't see the Entertainment Director as much Simon ? (he's pretty well known around CC parts, but I can't remember his last name.) Very helpful and pleasant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we saw Simon but his wife and daughter were on board so maybe that is why he wasn't too visible...they were all 3 on our tour in the Azores....

 

 

 

Marsha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
we saw Simon but his wife and daughter were on board so maybe that is why he wasn't too visible...they were all 3 on our tour in the Azores....

 

Marsha

 

How sweet! I noticed him holding a little girl but I didn't realize that she was his.

Edited by xenagurl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice

Thanks for the TA review. What a great experience to sail Epic half full and all those sea days. That would be heaven!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It truly was! I'd definitely want to do it again. :)

 

I'll post more on the other activities tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did, the Captain and Food & Beverage Director.

 

The Captain was very visible and audible around the ship. (I knew it was time to wake up when he made his announcements at Noon) I spoke to him once in order to take a picture and another in time in passing, both times he was pleasant and in general came across as a fairly approachable person, but I didn't really speak to him at length.

 

He was outgoing with his announcements, always had a smile ready and struck me as a happy person.

 

 

Who was the captain?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
great review, can't wait to see more.

 

Thanks. :) Out to do some more exploring of Barcelona tomorrow, will put my thoughts together during the day and type it up when I get back to the hotel.

 

Funny thing is we kept losing an hour about every other day (once two days in a row) and I had a cold when I first got here so I slept for a while and now my internal clock is all over the place. It's 2:00am and I'm surfing and crocheting. LOL I think I'll try to make myself sleep now. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Did you get to meet any other staff members? What was your opinion of them?

 

I realize that I forgot about 3 or 4 other people! Shame on me, my memory is horrid. The Executive Housekeeper Errol Nelson and his assistant Jose Omer (sp?). Super friendly and would say Hi each time I would see either of them. There was also a young lady from Colombia, she is in this photo here. (Found her name!) Carolina Clavijo - Assistant Hotel Director. She's was just the sweetest person. Lovely smile and super friendly.

 

BTW I remember seeing the Captain in passing two more time, both occasions quite friendly. Once I was sitting down at a table with one of the musicians and the Captain mentioned that he was the best on the ship. (Very true)

Edited by xenagurl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Food

*

I mainly ate at The Manhattan Room MDR. I did also experience Taste (2nd MDR) Teppanyaki, The Buffet as well as the Chef's table, the latter I believe there were at least 2 and possibly three on this sailing. I assume due to the length.

 

 

 

Unlike on Jewel class ships (and perhaps most in general) the buffet was in the front which mean that if you got there before the crowd you could have a seat overlooking a lovely view of the ocean. Most people did so, a few though hogged the chairs for inordinate lengths of time playing games. While I don't begrudge anyone a seat I find it hard to understand the need to take up some of the best viewing spots if you don't plan on doing any viewing.

 

 

Buffet food was good. I basically stuck to the fish and veggies so I can't really give an opinion on much else. I preferred the Tilapia in the buffet over the Tilapia served in the MDR. Both were tasty, but the style of cooking in the buffet used less oil which I prefer.

 

 

There was also a daily offering of Indian food and plenty to choose from in the Salad bar. I noticed that the hot food choices were pretty much the same on either side so that kept lines at bay.

 

 

The Manhattan room is quite stunning. Sleek, elegant and the best looking MDR that I've seen. I found myself ordering appetizers as meals not because the Entrees weren't good but simply because the appetizers were quite tasty and after a while there's really so much you can eat. 2 Mushroom quesadillas and Coconut sherbert is a pretty good meal!

 

 

Taste is in an Atrium style area with a gorgeous chandelier in the heart of it that reminds me of the Crystalline Entity for the first episode of Star Trek TNG (don't laugh, Trekkies travel too) upside down Christmas Tree, Hula Hoops and Bowling Balls whatever it's supposed to be, however you may see it, it's visually stunning and a captivating work of art.

 

 

I had a lunch (1st day) and dinner at Taste. I enjoyed both and the main reason why I didn't get back there was simply because I loved the layout of the Manhattan room and when I did eat dinner would usually go there.

 

 

The Chef's Table was lovely. The food was absolutely delicious. I'm going to leave the description to the pictures.

 

 

I'll add a link with pictures soon.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pictures. More to come, all pretty self explanatory. Chef's Table menu for the foodies.

 

Hello Xena :) Just thought to touch base. Had an amazing time on the Jade cruise 23rd March. Good enough that we've now booked for the Jade Med & Holy Land for 10th November. Also now looking at the Star for the Baltic from Copenhagen in June 2013!! Actually took 10 days to book this time for November - must be slacking!!! Will keep in touch - hope you are keeping well sounds like you are having a great time :) Esperanza

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello Xena :) Just thought to touch base. Had an amazing time on the Jade cruise 23rd March. Good enough that we've now booked for the Jade Med & Holy Land for 10th November. Also now looking at the Star for the Baltic from Copenhagen in June 2013!! Actually took 10 days to book this time for November - must be slacking!!! Will keep in touch - hope you are keeping well sounds like you are having a great time :) Esperanza

 

Hi Esperanza!

 

Awesome! I'm glad that you had a wonderful cruise! Would love to see pics if you've posted them online.

 

We're going to just miss each other! I'll be on the November 21st sailing! Fiddlesticks! One of these days we'll meet! :D The Jade is like a siren she keeps pulling us back to her.

 

Definitely enjoying the ride. With the Breakaway sailing out of NY, I do think I'm going to be in trouble. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great review. Did you hear anything about Slam Allen leaving the ship? Rumors are he was getting off - I hope just for a vacation!

 

Thank you. Slam will be there. I spoke to him the evening before debarkation and he said that he leaves for vacation but that's it. It's been two years now and they're really fortunate to have him, he's a definite draw!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Completely agree with you! Slam Allen is the absolute best!!! We enjoyed the other entertainment but we came back to Fat Cats every night to hear Slam Allen and the band. Slam is charismatic and his music is wonderful. We would take another Epic cruise just to hear his music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review. Keep it coming! We loved the Epic. Can't imagine being on the Epic if it was only half full. Must be amazing! One day my schedule will allow me to do a transatlantic or another longer cruise :)

-aj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Esperanza!

 

Awesome! I'm glad that you had a wonderful cruise! Would love to see pics if you've posted them online.

 

We're going to just miss each other! I'll be on the November 21st sailing! Fiddlesticks! One of these days we'll meet! :D The Jade is like a siren she keeps pulling us back to her.

 

I know - had to book for November 10 as I need to be back with plenty of time to organize the Christmas holidays which have a knack of coming round quite quickly (especially with work and our ever growing family!)

Your Epic review is great, as always :D

Will be interested to hear what it's like on the Star. That's our next booking (very soon I think!) for the Baltic next year.

Will keep in touch via your Jade Roll call for November 21st or will be on my one for November 10th.

Haven't posted pictures - need to work out how to do it first!!!!:o

Have a great time in Barcelona - if you're ever getting down to Southern Spain let me know :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Enjoying your review.

 

 

 

Thanks for the review. Keep it coming! We loved the Epic. Can't imagine being on the Epic if it was only half full. Must be amazing! One day my schedule will allow me to do a transatlantic or another longer cruise :)

-aj

Thank you both. I'll add more tonight. I'm trying to get the photos together at the same time to hopefully make a more rounded out picture of events.



 

teacher_md It was, I think I might be shell shocked if I board her on a Caribbean cruise. It definitely has to be a different feeling with double the passengers. I hope that you get a chance to soon.

 

Is Michael still the assistant CD?

 

You know I'm really not sure. I don't remember who the Assistant CD was. I'll see if I can find that information somewhere.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Completely agree with you! Slam Allen is the absolute best!!! We enjoyed the other entertainment but we came back to Fat Cats every night to hear Slam Allen and the band. Slam is charismatic and his music is wonderful. We would take another Epic cruise just to hear his music.

 

Yes! :D A true entertainer! He and the rest of the band put their all into each performance.

 

Can't blame you, it's definitely worth cruising in order to get "Slammed" lol I was hoping that if I sat all the way in the front some of that talent would rub off. Didn't work. Ha!

 

 

I know - had to book for November 10 as I need to be back with plenty of time to organize the Christmas holidays which have a knack of coming round quite quickly (especially with work and our ever growing family!)

Your Epic review is great, as always :D

Will be interested to hear what it's like on the Star. That's our next booking (very soon I think!) for the Baltic next year.

Will keep in touch via your Jade Roll call for November 21st or will be on my one for November 10th.

Haven't posted pictures - need to work out how to do it first!!!!:o

Have a great time in Barcelona - if you're ever getting down to Southern Spain let me know :)

 

 

Time does seem to go inordinately fast in last few months of the year. November through January can be a blur! LOL

 

Thanks. It's slow going, but hopefully will have it all up before next week.

 

I'll definitely post about the Star asap. I'm looking forward to that sailing, it'll be interesting to see the design and layout of another class of ship in the NCL fleet.

 

I think your roll call in busier so I'll probably post in there! LOL

 

Completely agree with you! Slam Allen is the absolute best!!! We enjoyed the other entertainment but we came back to Fat Cats every night to hear Slam Allen and the band. Slam is charismatic and his music is wonderful. We would take another Epic cruise just to hear his music.
Edited by xenagurl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
if you're ever getting down to Southern Spain let me know :)

 

 

Sounds good! I forgot that you were in Spain! Hola!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds good! I forgot that you were in Spain! Hola!

 

I know - can't believe we've been here almost 23 years now. Far cry for me from London and hubby from Sicily!! Seems almost as crazy as having been married for 40 years!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

* Studio Room, Spa, Gym

 

 

Much has been said about the Studios on the Epic so I won't go into extreme detail but simply state my opinion. 11 days without a window was a test for me. I thought by day three they might have had me sedated down in medical somewhere.

 

 

 

I was going to upgrade and my husband said I'd be just fine, quit my bellyaching and spend my money on something else that I'd want more than sunshine, assuming there'd be sunshine. He was right. For one thing the upgrade would have cost more to do it ahead of time.

 

 

 

As the ship was half full upgrades were available on board and were going for really good prices. I didn't even bother to enquire instead I went and bought a POSH pass and spa pass. I wound up having trouble with my key twice, once when I tried to use to the POSH pass. Customer service was apologetic and a nice representative offered to come up to make sure that the next key worked, but I wound up having them take the POSH pass away as 1) didn't feel like heading back up to 16 (can't remember the floor) to use it, 2) I figured I'd use the spa more anyway. In the end, it worked out, there was plenty of space around, so except for nicer seating, I doubt it would have made too much of a difference in my trip.

 

 

Studio

 

 

Back to the Studios. 100 square feet can go a long way when done right and I happen to think that it was done right. After looking around CC and noticing the suggestion of using over the door shoe holders I decided to buy one. It was the little bit extra that I needed for all of my little girly accessories and junk and coupled with all of the cubby holes and spaces provided in the room I was fine and had space for everything even if it was a bit tight. If you don't carry as much clothing as I do, you'll hair even better!

 

 

The lighting in the studios was the best that I've encountered in any stateroom. I was very thankful for that considering that there would be no outside light. The ambient light that came in through the double paned opaque window that opened to the hallway was also interestingly similar to morning light when all other lights were off in the room.

 

 

The studio itself as well as the hallways felt to me as if it would be the type of room one might have on the Starship Enterprise. (Yessssss another Star Trek reference, and there are plenty more where those came from! LOL) I like them, and if I'm traveling solo on the Epic again I'd probably book it over a regular inside room. Not to say that I didn't like the setup or closet space of the inside rooms (I had a chance to take a look at a few different stateroom types) but I'm sold on the style, and easy use of the coffee machine for an Espresso or Cappuccino any time of the day or night doesn't hurt either. I might however book a room a tad closer to the lounge. I booked room 11576. The very last room at the very back. I did this for peace and quiet. Did I mention that the ship was half full? Yeah it was a moot point. I almost wonder if I was the only person on my “block”!

 

 

The room steward was Orthos, not only did he do a splendid job of keeping the space tidy, but he was always available for a quick chat, and even showed concern when he thought I was doing something really off kilter, (I wasn't) but especially as a solo female traveler I truly appreciated the fact that he took notice and showed concern without being intrusive.

 

 

Gym

 

 

It was my goal to go to the gym everyday! That worked for the first 6. After that I figured that 2-4 hours of sweaty dancing a night was enough! The gym is open, airy and inviting! I like the fact that there's a vending machine for water right at the entrance, and like even more that because it's the largest gym at sea there's always a machine available. I'm partial to treadmills and never had a problem finding one, even when it was busy, and I am happy to say that it was sometimes busy. There's hope for us cruisers yet!

 

 

I didn't attend any classes mainly because I prefer embarrassing myself in private.

 

 

Spa

 

 

Ah the Spa. I bought a spa pass which I intended to use each and every single day. As it happens I found myself involved in so many activities I could have just bought daily passes for the amount of time I used it! No matter, I was glad I had it. On the Epic there's an outside deck where you can sit and soak in the fresh air.

 

 

On my way tot he gym I was offered a free trial massage from one of the therapist (Thomasz from Bulgaria if I remember correctly). Considering how my back had been feeling in the weeks prior I figured that it couldn't hurt to try. Someone ought to label it as addicting, because I booking a full massage for the next day and 2 more after that. It wasn't in my original budget but I considered it therapy and indeed it was. I felt no more pangs from my back or neck after that. I had the hot rocks massage done all three times which got rid of my PRC (personal rock collection) as Thomasz called it that seemed to previously have been stuck between the muscles of my left shoulder.

 

 

So yes, I enjoyed the spa. Every second of the spa. My favorites are the Aromatherapy steam room. (I looooove the steam room) the massages (I loooooove the massages) the therapeutic pool, and watching the sun set while sitting in the sauna.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you. Slam will be there. I spoke to him the evening before debarkation and he said that he leaves for vacation but that's it. It's been two years now and they're really fortunate to have him, he's a definite draw!

 

That's great to hear. I really, really hope he is NOT on vacation during our August 19th cruise.

 

I have heard him a few times as he is from my neck of the woods. (I know one of his uncles, a saxophone player.) The last time I saw him (and he must have been on vacation at the time) was this past January at a fund raiser for local food pantries. The last time before that was a few years ago on the stage at Bethel Woods (the site of the original Woodstock festival in 1969). He said Buddy Guy and B.B. King just recently played on this stage. Unfortunately, I missed that concert. We were flying back from Rome after a 10 day Eastern Mediterranean cruise on the Holland America Noordam. I really wanted to see Buddy Guy, who I have never seen live, but we would have never been there before his set was done. I guess I could have caught part of B.B.'s set, but would have been too tired to enjoy it. (We actually saw B.B. in 1977 on the last date I had with my wife before I proposed to her.)

 

Earlier this month I was sitting in the Motor Vehicle Bureau when I spotted an old friend who happens to be a drummer. I told him that my wife and I were going on a cruise this summer, and one of the things I read that was not to be missed was Slam Allen. He laughed and said he used to call him "Pookie".

Edited by ontheweb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How cool! I'd like to see him play on land as well. He did mention that even when he's "off" he still plays. It's definitely in his blood. I'll look up Buddy Guy on YouTube.

 

LOL at "Pookie" I bet he'd like to forget that. :D

 

Hopefully he'll be there!

 

That's great to hear. I really, really hope he is NOT on vacation during our August 19th cruise.

 

I have heard him a few times as he is from my neck of the woods. (I know one of his uncles, a saxophone player.) The last time I saw him (and he must have been on vacation at the time) was this past January at a fund raiser for local food pantries.

 

Earlier this month I was sitting in the Motor Vehicle Bureau when I spotted an old friend who happens to be a drummer. I told him that my wife and I were going on a cruise this summer, and one of the things I read that was not to be missed was Slam Allen. He laughed and said he used to call him "Pookie".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oooh, this review sounds familiar... wait its the cruise I was on!! I'm jealous of all your booked cruises though!! How did you find the EPIC compares to some of NCL's other ships for solo cruising??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oooh, this review sounds familiar... wait its the cruise I was on!! I'm jealous of all your booked cruises though!! How did you find the EPIC compares to some of NCL's other ships for solo cruising??

 

Wasn't it a great trip! :D

 

It probably depends on personality. The EPIC definitely has more in place for solo travelers so if someone would prefer to have more definite arrangements where they could meet other people, Epic is best.

 

I think though for people that use Cruise Critic it's easier as they'll probably see familiar friendly faces if they attend the M&G and I do remember the Jade having a solo get together every few days. (I didn't attend)

 

This was the first trip where I spent significant time around other solos travelers (and one where there were plenty that obviously were) on other solo trips I'd do things on my own and sometimes with others that I met here or on the ship.

Edited by xenagurl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

* Last but not least. I'll be heading on the Star in 2 days and I won't have the full review up on my blog for a couple of weeks, so I wanted to add a few additional thoughts about my trip along with a some more pictures of the Epic and Barcelona on my Flickr page.

 

 

Dinner with an Officer

I've had the opportunity to dine with the Hotel Director and Captain on the Jade on my past cruises. So I was happy to be able to dine with an officer once again on the Epic. This time I had the opportunity to eat with lovely Irina (forgot her last name so sorry) who is the assistant guest services manager on the Epic. Along with a couple from Arizona we ate at Taste and had a nice evening getting to know one another and talking about travel in general.

 

 

Shore Excursion

I cannot remember the name of the tour I took in Sao Miguel (see a theme here) but it was the full day tour that went to the Caldera, Tea Factory, had lunch etc. If I'd paid enough attention and realized that most of the tours went to the same place (short of lunch) I would have saved my money and booked one of the shorter tours instead or just walked around on my own. It was nice to see the various areas of the island which is absolutely gorgeous. The Captain told us that we might see him riding around on his bike on the island but not to worry as he'd be back on time. He was. :)

 

 

Rappelling Wall

Good fun. I didn't try to rock climbing wall (meant to, but was busy doing other things) the rappelling though was pretty cool. I'd no problem climbing up the ladder, or settling into the harness yet once I had both feet on the side of the wall looked to my left a little ways over and saw the ocean I suddenly said to myself...”what am I doing up here?” That feeling didn't last long, as soon as I got down it was right back up to do it again. Definitely worth a go even if you do proper rock climbing with gear. Hanging off a wall on one of the largest cruise ships in the world is a fun experience.

 

 

Shopping

Tradewinds has it's shops on Deck 7 and is nicely set up. You almost feel as if you're walking through a mall. This trip shopping was limited to beach towels and shot glasses.

 

 

Svedka Ice Bar

If you've never tried one it's worth it just to go in and look around. You can stay in there up to 30 minutes. 15 was good enough for me.

 

 

 

 

The Epic itself.

It's a huge ship and you will walk around. Personally I think that's a great thing. Daily I probably logged in about 2 miles just walking around the ship to various activities between doing that, taking the steps and hitting the gym every so often my clothes we actually loose by vacation's end. Of course you could choose to stick to certain areas, but in the end you will walk whether it's to get to your dining area (Garden cafe Deck 15 Forward – Manhattan Room deck 6Aft – Epic Theater Deck 5, 6 Forward etc) so if you really don't want to walk a booking a room on deck 8-11 on a Jewel class ship is a better idea.

 

 

I did miss being able to walk completely around the ship the way you can on the Jewel class ships and being able to see the Ocean easier when on the walking deck (there are Life Boats in blocking sea views on the “walking deck” except for designated spots.) This wouldn't stop me from booking the Epic again. There are just so many things to do and it's such a huge ship with a ton of places to sit, relax and enjoy oneself that the truth is I can't wait to get back on. 11 days on her and there are still places I didn't get a chance to explore that I want to next time.

 

 

All in all it was a great trip. I met lots of cool people. Made new friends and hope to sail the Epic again in the near future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the review. I have a studio booked on the Epic next fall for my first solo cruise (also my first NCL cruise) and it was good to ready your thoughts as a solo cruiser. thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you so much for the review. I have a studio booked on the Epic next fall for my first solo cruise (also my first NCL cruise) and it was good to ready your thoughts as a solo cruiser. thank you!

 

You're going to have a wonderful time!



I'm glad it was helpful to you.

Happy sailing! :D

 

 

BTW Great pics! Such gorgeous shots of Alaska!

Edited by xenagurl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're going to have a wonderful time!



 

I'm glad it was helpful to you.

Happy sailing! :D

 

 

 

BTW Great pics! Such gorgeous shots of Alaska!

 

 

Thank you. And thanks for your comment about the photos--it's easy to get gorgeious shots in Alaska! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
* Last but not least. I'll be heading on the Star in 2 days and I won't have the full review up on my blog for a couple of weeks, so I wanted to add a few additional thoughts about my trip along with a some more pictures of the Epic and Barcelona on my Flickr page.

 

 

Dinner with an Officer

I've had the opportunity to dine with the Hotel Director and Captain on the Jade on my past cruises. So I was happy to be able to dine with an officer once again on the Epic. This time I had the opportunity to eat with lovely Irina (forgot her last name so sorry) who is the assistant guest services manager on the Epic. Along with a couple from Arizona we ate at Taste and had a nice evening getting to know one another and talking about travel in general.

 

 

Shore Excursion

I cannot remember the name of the tour I took in Sao Miguel (see a theme here) but it was the full day tour that went to the Caldera, Tea Factory, had lunch etc. If I'd paid enough attention and realized that most of the tours went to the same place (short of lunch) I would have saved my money and booked one of the shorter tours instead or just walked around on my own. It was nice to see the various areas of the island which is absolutely gorgeous. The Captain told us that we might see him riding around on his bike on the island but not to worry as he'd be back on time. He was. :)

 

 

Rappelling Wall

Good fun. I didn't try to rock climbing wall (meant to, but was busy doing other things) the rappelling though was pretty cool. I'd no problem climbing up the ladder, or settling into the harness yet once I had both feet on the side of the wall looked to my left a little ways over and saw the ocean I suddenly said to myself...”what am I doing up here?” That feeling didn't last long, as soon as I got down it was right back up to do it again. Definitely worth a go even if you do proper rock climbing with gear. Hanging off a wall on one of the largest cruise ships in the world is a fun experience.

 

 

Shopping

Tradewinds has it's shops on Deck 7 and is nicely set up. You almost feel as if you're walking through a mall. This trip shopping was limited to beach towels and shot glasses.

 

 

Svedka Ice Bar

If you've never tried one it's worth it just to go in and look around. You can stay in there up to 30 minutes. 15 was good enough for me.

 

 

 

 

The Epic itself.

It's a huge ship and you will walk around. Personally I think that's a great thing. Daily I probably logged in about 2 miles just walking around the ship to various activities between doing that, taking the steps and hitting the gym every so often my clothes we actually loose by vacation's end. Of course you could choose to stick to certain areas, but in the end you will walk whether it's to get to your dining area (Garden cafe Deck 15 Forward – Manhattan Room deck 6Aft – Epic Theater Deck 5, 6 Forward etc) so if you really don't want to walk a booking a room on deck 8-11 on a Jewel class ship is a better idea.

 

 

I did miss being able to walk completely around the ship the way you can on the Jewel class ships and being able to see the Ocean easier when on the walking deck (there are Life Boats in blocking sea views on the “walking deck” except for designated spots.) This wouldn't stop me from booking the Epic again. There are just so many things to do and it's such a huge ship with a ton of places to sit, relax and enjoy oneself that the truth is I can't wait to get back on. 11 days on her and there are still places I didn't get a chance to explore that I want to next time.

 

 

All in all it was a great trip. I met lots of cool people. Made new friends and hope to sail the Epic again in the near future.

 

How about the westbound TA BCN to MIA?? We're on it again - for the 2nd time - last year it was great fun. Yes, we didn't like the "promenade" on Epic but the ship was huge enough for us not to put on any weight. Also we are a dine-out-a-lot couple and we loved the variety of dining on Epic.

 

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about the westbound TA BCN to MIA?? We're on it again - for the 2nd time - last year it was great fun. Yes, we didn't like the "promenade" on Epic but the ship was huge enough for us not to put on any weight. Also we are a dine-out-a-lot couple and we loved the variety of dining on Epic.

 

Cheers!

 

That sounds like fun and I was seriously considering it, but currently the plan is to be on the Jade for a few weeks in November so I don't think it would work for me this year, but I never say never! :)

 

It is huge! I thought it was amazing that 3.8 laps was a mile, it really spoke to just how big she is!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Xenagirl, ENJOY your STAR cruise to Bermuda and have a great time here - have you been here before?

 

STAR is a lovely ship - great outdoor decks - wide wide promenades and terraced decks from pool up to Bier Garten and down on other dise toward bow.

 

Have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Victory Cruise Lines Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win a free 9-night cruise on Victory II
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2018
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×