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sfgnts324

Our Epic Review 3-2 / 3-9 with Freestyle Dailies

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Coming soon!

There were 6 of us, with ages ranging from 29 to 82 so there are a few different perspectives.

I will be writing this review and I'm the youngest of the group at 29.

We got home late Saturday night and I recovered all day yesterday so I plan on starting this thing today!

 

Stay tuned.

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Don't start today, start NOW ;-).

 

Seriously, looking forward to your review, hopefully you had as good a trip as we did the week before.

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Trying to figure out how to put large format pictures on this site...

Edited by sfgnts324

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woohoo!! looking forward to reading! my dear mother and I leave in 26 days! :D

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Trying to figure out how to put large format pictures on this site...

 

I am hoping someone can help you - I am challenged with things like that but I will enjoy looking at the finished product..;)

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Saw your ship docked next to us in Nassau over the weekend. Absolutely beautiful ship that may make me switch it up to NCL for my next cruise.

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Where did you find the map/schematic of the ship? Completely missed that on our trip, although there was plenty of signage onboard to guide us.

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Where did you find the map/schematic of the ship? Completely missed that on our trip, although there was plenty of signage onboard to guide us.

 

It was included in Day 1 of the Daily that was given to us when we checked in.

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It was included in Day 1 of the Daily that was given to us when we checked in.

 

Doh! :o

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Hi, I’m Wes. There were 6 of us in my group on the Epic. Me(29) my wife (30) Her parents (55,57) her grandmother and her aunt (82, 52).

We arrived in Miami 3 days early since we had never been there and that ended up being a great idea. Don’t worry, I won’t bore you too much with Miami details since I know this is a Cruise review. My wife, her father and I did drive down to Key West on the Thursday before the cruise and it was absolutely amazing. We will definitely be visiting KW again in the future. Friday night we did Miami Beach as Miami Beach should be done. Dinner and then hit the town until late. Most of the night we were at Mango’s and it was so much fun. The wife and I probably got home around 3AM or so. I can’t really remember.

 

Day 1-

Since there was 6 of us and we rented a car from the airport I ended up being the shuttle boy for everyone. With all of these women, there was quite a bit of luggage so I made 2 trips. After the second trip to the port, I headed by myself back to the airport to drip off the car and take an NCL bus back to the port. Luckily I gave my piece of luggage to the Epic when I dropped off the family so it looked like I was traveling extremely light. When I dropped the family off around 11:20-11:30 they said it took them about 10 minutes to wait in line and check in. I wasn’t so lucky. The bus dropped me off around 12:30 and it seemed to be peak time in the terminal. It took me about an hour to get through. Since I had no bags, it wasn’t bad at all. The process was straightforward and resembled an airport check in except you proceed behind the desks to head up to the massive ship. I figured the rooms had to be open by the time I got on the ship so I went up and found my wife unpacking our things in the balcony cabin. This was my 1st balcony cabin experience and what a difference from an inside. I know that sounds obvious but having the sunlight hit the room makes it feel like vacation! I immediately went outside and set up my hammock that I would be using often whilst the wife gets ready for the evenings. I ended up using this hammock much more than I anticipated and even fell asleep at night out there while cruising between islands in the Caribbean.

 

The 6 of us made sure to grab our spa raffle tickets and then my wife and I ditched the others and went outside for the sail away party. I bought my only bucket of beer for the whole trip (more about why that is later) and my wife and I headed to the haven sun deck, which is open to everyone, got a couch thing and watched us leave Miami. At 5:30 it was time for the spa raffle and the beginning of my wife’s aunt becoming a cruise celebrity. She had a few during sail away and was very funny commenting on how much she loved the personal trainers from New Zealand and their accents. She ended up winning a facial since she got the loudest cheers from the crowd during a contest. For dinner, the group went to Manhattan Room since this was the famous lobster night. 1st of all, the Manhattan room is beautiful. The center of the room is 2 stories tall and the décor is elegant. It truly does feel like you’re in a loft in NY. Dinner was OK. The “lobster“ tasted of the warm water variety and unfortunately the server had massive troubles understanding what was in the food and since my wife cannot eat onions or garlic, this was important. Half of the problem was our mistake as we should have pre-ordered her meal earlier in the day but we did not know this was an option. My wife also received a menu from another day which disappointed her since she was set on an appetizer that wasn’t available. Dinner ended up being a semi disaster but the manager helped out immensely and helped her order food for the next night so we could avoid this again. After dinner it was time for some shows and entertainment.

 

Rest of the venue reviews:

 

Entertainment:

All of the game shows hosted by the NCL crew were very funny and entertaining.

 

Bliss Lounge was a great place to let loose at night. It felt like a true nightclub/lounge equipped with loud speakers and cages for women (and sometimes men) to dance in.

 

Spice H2O was amazing as well. What a great venue for a party. Giant speakers and a neat screen keep the party lit up. Latin Night, Abba Night, 80’s party and White Hot were featured outside at 10:30. The party really started around 11:30 and lasted a long time each night. We left White Hot at around 2AM and there were still a couple hundred people partying.

 

Blue Man Group: Outstanding

 

Apparently there were movies shown on board and one Movie outside at night. I have trouble finding a reason to watch a movie during a cruise. What a waste of time. As it was, we did not have time for everything.

Legends in Concert: I did not attend but the Mother in law, grandma and aunt really enjoyed it.

 

Second City: Very Good. Make sure you go to the late 11:00 show. No kids allowed and the topics are much better.

 

Casino: Smoky, but not as bad as I thought it would be but still like a 1970’s Vegas casino. The casino was huge and really made you feel like you were at the center of the action.

 

Ports:

 

St. Martin:

I absolutely loved St. Martin. I rented a van and I drove the group around the island so we got to see all of the highlights. We started at Simpson Bay and had breakfast at Zee Best and had the best crepes I’ve ever had. Maho Beach was next and then we drove up to Marigot. Serafinas was amazing and we enjoyed a ham and cheese sandwich with melted gruyere on top and a ham and cheese croissant with melted gruyere as well. Also, an apple tart to satisfy the sweet tooth. These 2 meals were the best we had all vacation. After Marigot, we headed to Orient Beach for some swimming. We spent a few hours here enjoying the pristine sand and water and enjoying some beers at one of the many beach bars. We started heading back through Oyster pond and eventually returned the car and dropped of the women before my wife and her father and I had some beers in the port area before needing to board the ship at 5:30.

 

St. Thomas.

Me, my wife, her father and her aunt booked the St John champagne catamaran excursion. Best decision ever. We had so much fun sailing between Virgin Islands and arriving at Honeymoon Beach near the Caneel Bay Resort. Swimming to shore was a highlight for me and I just laid on the sand for most of the time just happy to be there. On the way back we were fed and drank all we wanted for the hour and ½ back to St. Thomas. We were left with enough time to taxi into Charlotte Amalie to experience the downtown area. We walked back to the ship when we were done.

 

Nassau:

Nassau was so much better than I expected. We had the Blue Lagoon excursion booked but there was a medical emergency that put us back about 4 hours since we had to sail very close to Puerto Rico. The captain sped all that night and the next morning just to make it to Nassau 1 hour late. We knew we already had limited time at the Blue Lagoon so we decided to cancel the excursion. Instead, My wife, her father and I hit the streets walking. We walked up to Fort Fincastle and then walked all the way to Paradise Island and ended up walking to the One And Only Bahamas where parts of Casino Royale were filmed. What an amazing place! Also, Paradise island is a 180 from Nassau in terms of cleanliness and attitude. It felt like we were in some kind of amusement park as soon as we crossed over the bridge. Even the smells of food and funnel cake were in the air. The island is perfectly manicured and bougainvilleas lined the walls of the streets. We took a ferry back to downtown and enjoyed some drinks and fried conch at Sharky’s before boarding the ship at 6:30.

 

Food and Drink:

 

We did not buy too many drinks on board since I was able to use Rum Runners and brought 4,000 ML of alcohol on board for those of us who drank. 4 of us actually used the liquor. My wife did get 4 bottles of wine for the week and 2 bottles of champagne that we all shared.

 

Manhattan Room: Good food and excellent ambiance.

 

O’Sheehans: This was one of my favorite spots on the ship. Air hockey and pool and a nice beer selection. I loved the Irish bar look and feel. Breakfast there was good and the other food was as well. The corned beef sandwich was very good.

 

Garden Café Buffet and Poolside Buffet: Honestly, there is so much quality food here that there is almost no reason to go to a dining room. All types of cuisine for all types of people. There were different types of hamburgers daily including a burger with pulled pork on top covered with cheese. GO TO THE BUFFET FOR BREAKFAST.

 

Teppanyaki: Just as good or even better than Benihana’s Service is better and chef entertainment is better. The lobster tail and filet were to die for. Lobster tail was of the cold water variety and were massive. The filet melted in the mouth.

 

Sushi: $4.25 for a rainbow roll? And it was 8 full pieces!!! If you like sushi try them out for the value alone. No it’s not as good as a west coast sushi restaurant but that has mainly to do with the rice. It seems a little heavy on the vinegar or something that made it a tad tangy. Overall very good and it really was an amazing value.

 

Moderno: A MUST GO. I can’t believe it’s only $20 to enter this place. The salad bar alone is worth $20. It included salad, cheeses, breads, Italian deli meats, caprese salad, shrimp and cubed potatoes and many other things. The meats just kept coming and the top sirloin was my favorite followed by the filet. The sausages were very good as well. I don’t think I’ve ever been this full.

 

Cirque Dreams. The ladies said that the show was very cool with some impressive acts, especially the last act They said that the meal was just OK. Grandma said that a man would leave that dinner hungry and go straight to the buffet.

 

Stateroom 9078

 

Our balcony stateroom exceeded expectations. I booked a room with an angled balcony facing forward and this ended up being a great idea. Because of that the balcony was bigger than standard for the same price and you were able to sit or lay in the hammock and look forward towards the front of the ship. The room had plenty of space and more than enough storage space. There is even space over the bead to put things! We found 0 issues with the bathroom setup. In fact, we never once used that silly curtain that is supposed to separate the bathroom from the main room. There was a hard floor between the large shower and toilet so anything that got wet was easily wiped up with the floor towel. This bathroom setup was so much better than the older traditional setup because it gave you so much more space to move around. I can see there being an issue if not everyone in the room was comfortable seeing the others silhouette while in the shower. These staterooms are designed for couples. Also, our bed was closer to the balcony which is much better than my wives parents room which their bed was closer to the shower. There is just more space to move around when the bed is further away from the entry door.

 

Overall the EPIC gets an A from me and the rest of my group and we will sail her again for sure if the itinerary is right. We do base vacations on destination 1st and then accommodations 2nd. Ken Mills the cruise director and Rita our room steward made the vacation even better. The service was top notch and the ship was clean and well…. Epic.

 

If anyone has questions about the ship or the ports, feel free to ask me and I can answer to the best of my ability!

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Hi Wes,

When you said you bought the rum onboard, did you buy from a store on board the ship or from a drink service through NCL? How much was it for the bottle (if you don't mind the question)?

Thanks for the review!:)

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Hi Wes,

When you said you bought the rum onboard, did you buy from a store on board the ship or from a drink service through NCL? How much was it for the bottle (if you don't mind the question)?

Thanks for the review!:)

 

Actually, I smuggled all of my liquor via rum runners. so I bought it at Costco in Miami and then put it in the rum runners and put them in my suitcases.

 

I did see some of the prices on board. Captain Morgan was 2 for $22 and the private stock was 2/$34. The problem is you're not allowed to drink it on board and they give it to you on the last day of the cruise.

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Thanks for sharing an informative review of your fun-filled cruise. I am new to NCL, and its nice to read more positive reviews of the EPIC lately. I can't wait for my cruise next yr.

Susie

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Great review!! Did you utilize the spa at all? About how far a drive is Maho from the port?? Getting excited for our sail in a few weeks!!!

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Thanks for your review. I really enjoyed it and I'm glad to hear you liked the Epic. I've booked a forward facing balcony also for our upcoming cruise so I was happy to read that you liked yours.

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Great review!! Did you utilize the spa at all? About how far a drive is Maho from the port?? Getting excited for our sail in a few weeks!!!

 

Actually, my wife's aunt and grandmother used the spa and they loved it. They both had a treatment and also used the hydrotherapy pools. they said the pools were a good deal for the $20 add on.

 

If there is no traffic Maho is very close. It took us about 10 minutes to get from the port to Zee Best in Simpson bay. Then, another 7 minutes or so from Zee Best to Maho. On our way to Marigot, back through Simpson Bay, the bridge was open so it delayed us a but but once it closed, traffic moved right along.

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thanks for all the great posts and reviews

 

i am sailing in oct on the breakaway so i am looking for as much info as i ca get

 

looking to see daily menus

 

thanks so much

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Great, detailed review! So funny how everyone's experience is different. We were on the cruise right before yours, in room 10261. I was in a room with my sister and hated the layout. Had I been with my husband, it wouldn't have been an issue as much. You're right...it seems like the design is intended for couples.

 

I also really liked Bliss late night...had a lot of fun in there :)

 

Glad you enjoyed your trip!

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Great review, sfgnts324. My husband and I leave in a few weeks for the Epic. I was curious about your experience in renting a vehicle in St. Maarten. Did you reserve the vehicle prior to getting to the port? Do you mind me asking what the cost was? Also, how were the other drivers?

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Great review, sfgnts324. My husband and I leave in a few weeks for the Epic. I was curious about your experience in renting a vehicle in St. Maarten. Did you reserve the vehicle prior to getting to the port? Do you mind me asking what the cost was? Also, how were the other drivers?

 

So, renting the car in St Marten was the best move I made the whole trip in my opinion. I did reserve the vehicle through hertz prior to arriving on the island because I needed a van that could handle 6 people. The van cost me $150 split between 6. Jeeps and the sort were normal prices at around $40-60 for the day. If I didn't need a van, I would have waited until I arrived at the port to rent a jeep. there are 4 different car rental agencies at the port who really want your business so you'll be fine if you want to wait till you arrive on the island to rent. St. Martin has a very clean and well organized port area and the signage is clear to where you get the cars.

 

The drivers were what I expected to be honest since I have driven in Europe before. It's just like driving in Rome, they all know what they are doing so make sure you do as well. there are roundabouts so attack them and don't give way. Study a map and look at the signs, they will guide you right to where you need to go. If worse comes to worse, just pull over and look at a map. Everybody is so friendly.

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Great, detailed review! So funny how everyone's experience is different. We were on the cruise right before yours, in room 10261. I was in a room with my sister and hated the layout. Had I been with my husband, it wouldn't have been an issue as much. You're right...it seems like the design is intended for couples.

 

I also really liked Bliss late night...had a lot of fun in there :)

 

Glad you enjoyed your trip!

 

Yeah, Bliss was legit. Did you get in the cage?

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The drivers were what I expected to be honest since I have driven in Europe before. It's just like driving in Rome, they all know what they are doing so make sure you do as well. there are roundabouts so attack them and don't give way. Study a map and look at the signs, they will guide you right to where you need to go. If worse comes to worse, just pull over and look at a map. Everybody is so friendly.

 

 

Not sure if we're up for driving. All I can picture is the scene from National Lampoons European Vacation where the family goes around and around in Rome. Those are great rental prices though. Thanks for your help!

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Yeah, Bliss was legit. Did you get in the cage?

 

Hey, what happens on the ship stays on the ship!!! Ha ha...good times :)

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Great review, thanks for posting the Dailies. You saved me the trouble!;)

 

Was it the same lineup as your cruise?

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Exactly the same. Also the same as Don' s in my signature.

 

They need to switch the dates of The Dating Game and The Perfect Couple Game. If the dating game was night 1, there would be more singles at that point. By day 6, they are all coupled up.

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Wow, thanks for the review and all of the information! Glad you enjoyed your cruise!

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