ev98 Posted February 5, 2018 #1 Share Posted February 5, 2018 Greetings, Internet folks! Since 2014 I've lurked the CruiseCritic boards quite a lot and immensely benefited from all of your reviews, suggestions and general conversation here. I figured it was still within a reasonable amount of time to post my experiences from the NCL Epic in December 2017. This information has already been shared on my personal website, which I'll link once all posts are up, but I'll post the entire content here to make sure everyone has the ability to read it and that I don't break any moderation rules. I am definitely not a "travel blogger" and tend to post mostly about solutions to obscure technology problems. Some background about me: I'm Jake, and cruise with my wife Kayla - we're in our early 30s and have several mammals at home, but none of the human variety. We opted to pick cruising over an all-inclusive resort for a March 2015 vacation, and decided to continue in the same vein for other holidays. This will be our third cruise with NCL and second on the Epic. We're also Canadian so pricing mentioned here will reflect the currency exchange. --- Cruise experiences: NCL Epic, December 2017 Neither our first trip on the Norwegian Epic nor subsequent one on the Breakaway in December 2016 scared us off of cruising, so here are some ramblings about the NCL Epic sailing an Eastern (wait... no...) Western Caribbean itinerary in December 2017. Eastern... no, wait, Western Due to the hurricanes (Irma and Maria) that absolutely crushed Eastern Caribbean regions in September 2017, nearly every itinerary featuring these destinations was adjusted, regardless of cruise line. As we were only a few days away from the 90-day deadline where one can cancel for a full refund, I was closely monitoring the situation. There wasn't any coherent news regarding NCL's plans, mainly because their Miami headquarters was also in a state of disarray around that time. Cruises sailing to these places in September were definitely being cancelled, cut short, or adjusted, but my theory was that by mid-December, the various Virgin Islands would be up and running again. Maybe the entire region would be worse for wear, but at least the touristy areas where ships drop off several thousand passengers would be up and running. Frankly, the best thing a tourist can do in one of these situations is to continue to visit, and spend hard-earned (or easily-earned) currency with the locals. So it was with that theory in mind that I decided not to adjust our plans. Unfortunately a swift recovery wasn't the case. Once NCL got things somewhat settled, they made rumblings about a possible itinerary adjustment 88 days prior to the cruise date, which was just enough time to incur a 25% penalty to switch. The replacement itinerary was officially announced at exactly 75 days out (coinciding with a 50% cancel/change fee.) Not being a common idiot, I knew that we were likely to end up at Falmouth and Grand Cayman as replacement ports, but really didn't want another $300 in airfare changes or to have to sort out transportation from Orlando/Port Canaveral to a different port. So, we stuck with the Epic and the revised route. Oh, what's that you say? Shouldn't the cruise line have to do something - I mean, they've changed two-thirds of the ports on your vacation - harrumph harrumph? I direct you to NCL's guest ticket contract that basically says they don't even have to put you on a ship (6b), and they don't have to stick to the itinerary (6c). Also in the same section, you release NCL from any loss/damage/injury due to piracy, among other egregious things, so don't expect compensation for any Captain Phillips experience. Continuing... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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