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APDMOM

My View: The Epic Beauty/Beast

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We just returned from our adventure on Norwegian Epic. I am about to sort through the Dailies, Menus, and way too many pictures! During this coming week, I will attempt to post one day of our cruise experience, every day, with the goal to finish by next Saturday.

 

I hope you are not tired of hearing about Epic! For those who just want the nitty gritty, we loved our cruise experience. Epic is a beast that grows on you, and for the right price we will cruise on her again. I will post more details of things we liked and disliked through this picture review, but this cruise was worth the price we paid!

 

I will also try to post tips about the ship and cruise in red, for the ‘skim-readers’.

 

As usual, my greatest regret is that my cruise countdown now says, “Sailed!”

 

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Edited by APDMOM
spacing, pictures

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A little bit of background:

 

1. This was our 26th cruise (4th on NCL)

 

2. We booked well in advance, and had a good price, as indicated by my price tracking spreadsheet. We had a large balcony for 3 (Stateroom 12091). The price never dropped below what we had paid, and the closest deal after our initial booking was $68 more, but it did not include wifi:

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3. We opted for the UBP and 250 minutes of free internet as perks. We paid $200 extra (for two people) for the UBP to cover gratuities. That was the price at the time of our booking in Dec 2016. I thought about doing a live review, but the wifi was just too slow.

 

4. Even though I previously said “I will never book that ugly ship”, we booked the “Ugly ship” based upon price, location (Port Canaveral), and our spring break dates. The beast became a beauty sometime during this past week!

 

5. I coordinated the set up of the Meet & Greet for our Cruise Critic Roll Call, so I will post information about that experience.

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We booked “ParkNCruise” to park our car for the week. The total cost was $102.16 (plus, we paid an additional $12 in tips). I don’t think we will use them again. We did not know that the gates do not open for arriving guests until 10 a.m. Fortunately, they did open them around 9:45 on the day we arrived. Check in at ParkNCruise was nor bad, but coming back from the cruise took more time. The coordinator of the shuttle said that they only had 2 shuttles, instead of the regular 3 on our return date. So, it was a slower process returning to the lot, and the shuttle was very full and hot. Service was friendly, but we may rather pay for port parking next time, or stay at the Radisson again.

 

Our first glimpse of Epic, as seen from the shuttle:

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We arrived at our terminal around 10:30, and had our boarding number in hand at 11:05. Boarding was a bit delayed due to a computer glitch, but we were on the ship right before noon.

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Information we received at check in (Hope it is readable in this photo):

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Edited by APDMOM
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Although the info from the ‘daily’ showed that Taste would open at noon, they did not open until 12:30. O’Sheehan’s was also delayed for lunch. We explored a bit of the ship while waiting for Taste to open. It is a bit confusing to get to Taste, as the aft stairs to not go down to 5 (they are roped off). You can take the pretty stairs down to the casino, then swing right past the slot machines, and take the escalator down to 5. The escalator ends right by Taste.

 

The pretty stairs:

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Taste Lunch Menu:

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Edited by APDMOM
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Our lunch at Taste was very relaxing. Boarding day service was a bit slow, but we enjoyed the laid back time while waiting for the rooms to be ready. We were done with lunch at 1:50 p.m., and the rooms were ready at 2 p.m.

 

Most of the dishes we ordered were very delicious. The lamb was tough, and therefore not the best. DH loved the grouper sandwich, and had one a couple of times during the week.

 

Appetizers:

Roasted Tomato Soup (Excellent):

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Nachos (Excellent):

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Shrimp (Very good):

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Main course:

Grouper Sandwich (Excellent):

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Meatloaf (Very good):

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Lamb (Not a repeater):

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Dessert:

 

“Somehow,” I only got one picture of dessert

 

DH enjoyed the Orange Chocolate Mousse, and DS “inhaled” the Peanut butter cheesecake.

 

I barely got a picture of the Key Lime Parfait...

 

All three desserts were winners. Norwegian stands head and shoulders above the rest in the area of desserts!! Wish Royal Caribbean would vamp up their dessert menu. Dessert = Sweet and Sugary (That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it)

 

By the way, NCL also has the BEST, creamy soft serve ice cream. Did you know you can grow hips in one week? LOL!

 

Key Lime Parfait:

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Great review! Interested in the Epic as it has really appealing itineraries... but not sure on the room or lack of a waterfront deck. Looking forward to more!!!

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Love your reviews. Interested in hearing your thoughts on Epic and how it compares to Royal. Looking forward to hearing more.

 

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

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Looking forward to your review. We have sailed on the Epic many times and love the ship.

 

 

Glad to hear! We were a bit unsure due to the negative reviews, but the positives definitely outweighed the negatives (by far!).

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Great review! Interested in the Epic as it has really appealing itineraries... but not sure on the room or lack of a waterfront deck. Looking forward to more!!!

 

 

Hope this review will help you make the decision. I would definitely recommend a balcony - especially due to the lack of the waterfront.

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Love your reviews. Interested in hearing your thoughts on Epic and how it compares to Royal. Looking forward to hearing more.

 

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

 

 

Hi, LuCruise! Nice to see a familiar face here. I will summarize our perspective of the two lines at the end.

 

We do like to cruise NCL off and on to take a break from Royal. Royal is still our favorite, and the very best for cruise loyalty perks. However, NCL a

has the lead in some areas... like the dessert mentioned previously. We also love O’Sheehan’s, which is unique to NCL. DH loves that he can go to a sit down restaurant for dinner, without needing to dress up. Taste allows shorts, and people who prefer to dress up go to Manhattan Room, which has the same menu with a more dressy atmosphere.

 

Thanks for reading along!

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really enjoying your review and your pictures!

 

 

Thank you!

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Continuing with My view of day 1:

 

Shortly after lunch, the rooms were ready, and we went to explore our ‘large balcony’. We have been spoiled by the lovely loungers on Royal Caribbean balconies (corner aft) that we like to book, and were hoping we would have something similar here. We were a bit disappointed to only find two regular chairs and a table. The balcony was very spacious though.

 

The room is indeed very crowded, as we knew from reading other reviews. The layout did not bother us as much as the fact that two people can not pass one another in the room.

 

DS slept on the curved couch, but it does pull out a bit from under the curve to make it more comfortable:

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TIP: I always pack strong magnets to hang our hats and jackets. Unfortunately, the Epic has very little wall space to place the magnets. We still made it work:

 

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The rooms come equipped with a container for sharps:

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Edited by APDMOM
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We had the bed by the ‘bathroom’ (the less popular option, according to cruise critic reviews):

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The toilet (to the right as you enter the door). The frosted door was adequate for us, especially since we had the curtain to separate the room from the “bathroom”. We always put the room dial on “Do not disturb” while using the bathroom area:

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The shower (To the left as you enter the door): I did not care for the shower head, as you could not shift it to adjust heights. It was either very high, or very low on a hook.

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What I did like about the shower, is the better quality shelf for your shampoo (unlike Royal Caribbean where you need a rag to keep your shampoo from slipping onto the floor):

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The shower was equipped with liquid soap and a conditioning shampoo. I still pack my own shampoo, as I have picky, frizzy hair, but the soap and shampoo in this shower smelled very good!

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As I found in many reviews, the room did have a lot of storage There were two hanging closets (I got my own!), and 3 large drawers for clothing:

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Additional storage behind the couch was used to put away the bedding during the day.

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Storage above the sink:

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The light switch by the sink is under the ‘medicine cabinet’ (Thanks to reviews on Cruise Critic):

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Under the sink, is a basket for dirty towels:

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Lighting in the cabin is very low from the perspective of putting on make up.

 

If you are new to NCL mega ships: Use your key card to turn on the power to the room. Some recommend using an old gift card, but we just used our key cards, as we were not allowed to charge things while we were out of the room anyway:

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I love that they have coffee makers in the room. In my opinion, the best free coffee on the ship were the in-room coffee, as well as the coffee served in Taste.

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The charging station is in the cabinet below the coffee maker.

 

The mini-fridge was filled with the following:

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NCL has the BEST hairdryers! I tried to buy one after our Escape cruise, but they are only sold with European Voltage.

 

Outside the room, you can set the dial to 4 different settings, including “Do not disturb”, “Make up cabin”, “Welcome”, and “Turn down cabin”.

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After exploring our room, we had the muster drill. It was very quick and painless. We met in Headliners for our muster station, and were done after about 20 minutes. It was a bit crowded afterwards, and we waited the crowd out in O’Sheehan’s.

 

A note about the crowds: During ‘rush hour’, it was very difficult to get an elevator. We used the elevator only 3 times the whole week. If you have mobility issues, be sure to book a room close to the elevator. There are only two sets - aft and forward. With the very long and narrow hallways on the decks, it would be very difficult to negotiate the ship if you have mobility concerns. I would personally not recommend Epic for people with mobility difficulties, but that was just my observation.

 

After the muster drill, we met our room steward. He was really good and always kept the ice coming! We asked him if it would be possible to get one lounger for our balcony. He said that he would see what he could do.

 

Upon arrival at our room, our luggage was waiting. TIP: Before checking your luggage in, take a picture - just in case it gets lost. It would be easier to show a real picture than to pick out from a generic list.

 

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We did “splurge” on a Rebellious Fish before muster drill. I say “splurge”, because we had to pay the 84 cents in taxes while in port. I loved the “Rebellious Fish”. It became one of my top 5 favorite drinks.

 

Sail away from our balcony:

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Edited by APDMOM
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We enjoyed dinner at O’Sheehan’s or Taste (can’t remember), tried a drink at Shakers, and called it a night. More about O’Sheehan’s to come later in the week...

 

Shakers menu: I liked the Belvedere Peach Nectar. We tried the Le Fizz (too sour and too strong on the Elderflower) and Aviation also, but did not like either of those.

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The end-of-day view of the chandelier by Shakers (over Taste):

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I will close with the Day 1 Daily.

 

TIP: Before you board, and while you have wifi or data service, download the iConcierge app for quick access to the daily program. You do not need to pay to use the app for access to the program... more info later this week:

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Edited by APDMOM
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With that, here is my view at the end of our first day on Epic:

 

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LOVE that balcony! (Will we get a lounger? Stay tuned for more tomorrow)

 

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