Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
APDMOM

My View: The Epic Beauty/Beast

Recommended Posts

Great pictures of the food! I frequently forget to take pictures of it because I'm usually so hungry by the time it arrives, I dig right in :')

 

Interesting to see the menus, thanks for those. Some aspects of cruising with NCL seem nearly indistinguishable from RCI, e.g. the arcade, a towel-folding demo, an officers' Q&A, and table tennis. The one rock-climbing wall with the overhang looks a bit more challenging, though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Day 3.... My View Continued...

 

(The following has extra detail, for those who are setting up a meet and greet...)

 

This was the day our meet and greet was scheduled. All the directions for setting up the meet and greet are listed on the Cruise Critic site, and it was an easy process. I learned in the past that there is an unwritten rule that the person who starts the thread sets up the meet and greet. However, that person on our roll call jumped ship (or at least switched to a different week), so I volunteered to do the meet and greet due to lack of other interest.

 

If you have the chance and interest to do the meet and greet, it is very simple, and it often comes with some special perks. We received chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of wine.

 

Here is the link with clear directions to set up the meet and greet: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1300907

 

For our sailing, I set a deadline to sign up at 3 weeks before departure. On Sunday, February 25th, I e-mailed the coordinator for Epic.

 

Here is the body of that e-mail, in case you want to copy something similar:

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

We would like to kindly request a meet and greet event for our Cruise Critic roll call, boarding Norwegian Epic on March 17th, 2018.

 

We currently have 30 people interested and signed up for the event.

 

Coordinator information:

(YOUR NAME)

Booking #:YOUR BOOKING NUMBER

Cabin #: YOUR CABIN NUMBER

Contact: YOUR e-mail ADDRESS

 

Please let me know if you need additional information.

 

We look forward to our cruise adventure on Epic!

 

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

 

I received an acknowledgement within hours, and our Meet and Greet confirmation was sent to me within 2 days (on Feb 27th). We did not get a choice of when or where to meet. TIP: When you do your meet and greet set up, ask for 11:15, so that it does not coincide with the behind the scenes tour for higher tier Latitudes members. We found this to be a conflict at our Meet and Greet.

 

I made invitations, using an old Epic photo that I took in Grand Cayman:

51d9b5e11e8c51b6507df32c3162bf57.jpg

 

Most of the roll call members who signed up gave me their cabin number, so I delivered the invitations by leaving them in the mail slot by the door on Sunday. I only ran into one glitch, as one of our members had a cabin in Haven. I asked guest services to deliver the invitation, and hope they did!

 

At the Meet and Greet, about 20 people showed up. Manny (hotel director) made a joke that there seemed to be more staff members than CC attendees! I think the Epic staff did a nice job of putting everything together, but André, the CD, could not attend.

 

Here in the front is Manny (Emmanouil Kampanakis), the hotel director:

723041ac175cc40d651f1f2cc8f8dbee.jpg

 

The event took about 30 minutes, and we had fun getting cruise tips and life stories from other CC members. Best advice from Manny: Don’t try to do everything. You need to relax on your cruise too!

 

 

 

Hello! I’m really enjoying your review of the Epic. My family and I were on the same trip as you and your family. It’s great to relive our trip and see it through someone else’s point of view.

 

Thank you for setting up the meet and greet and sending out the special invites. I was the one in the Haven and our invite was delivered to our cabin. The meet and greet was really informative.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for a great review. We board on Saturday and I am very excited. Your review, especially the pictures have been great to help with the waiting.

 

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Forums mobile app

 

Thanks for great review and photos, Heading out in 2 days.

 

Enjoy your cruise! While writing the review, I thought of so many things I still wanted to do/photograph. I will just have to book another cruise on Epic some day. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great pictures of the food! I frequently forget to take pictures of it because I'm usually so hungry by the time it arrives, I dig right in :')

 

Interesting to see the menus, thanks for those. Some aspects of cruising with NCL seem nearly indistinguishable from RCI, e.g. the arcade, a towel-folding demo, an officers' Q&A, and table tennis. The one rock-climbing wall with the overhang looks a bit more challenging, though!

I agree. There are many things that are similar across cruise lines - even Carnival has some of these same offerings. I will do a quick comparison between Royal and NCL in my summary, as these are currently our two favorite cruise lines. 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello! I’m really enjoying your review of the Epic. My family and I were on the same trip as you and your family. It’s great to relive our trip and see it through someone else’s point of view.

 

Thank you for setting up the meet and greet and sending out the special invites. I was the one in the Haven and our invite was delivered to our cabin. The meet and greet was really informative.

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Hi, OUgal! I am so glad you received the invitation! Overall, we had very positive experiences with guest services and staff on the ship. Hope you enjoyed your cruise! Was the Haven experience worth the extra cost in your opinion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To me, the free coffee was great, so there really is no need to buy any. The coffee in the room is very good, but the best coffee I had is in Taste.
Bride and enjoy our coffee with dry creamora. We bring our own on every cruise. Our cabin attendant always left us plenty of the coffee packets for our wake-up coffee on our balcony, bottled water courtesy of the casino.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi APDMOM! Imagine my delight when I wandered over from the RC boards and found your review! As soon as I saw it of course I remembered that you mentioned you would be going. Thanks for the great info - we just got back from a Freedom cruise and your review of yours was so helpful! Thanks again! I hope we meet on a ship one day!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi APDMOM! Imagine my delight when I wandered over from the RC boards and found your review! As soon as I saw it of course I remembered that you mentioned you would be going. Thanks for the great info - we just got back from a Freedom cruise and your review of yours was so helpful! Thanks again! I hope we meet on a ship one day!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Hi, KiwiGal! Glad you dropped by! :) Did you enjoy your Freedom cruise? I hope we meet on a ship sometime too! We have 3 more this year and already 3 next year... You never know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it has been an interesting day. Unfortunately, I will not be able to post the closing of my review tonight.

 

I just got home a short while ago. I was involved in a hit-and-run crash on the way home from work. Thankfully, I was not hurt (and obviously the other person was okay since he drove off without stopping). My dash cam caught the incident on video, and it is clear I was not at fault. I just have to try to see if we can get out of paying the $3,000 deductible, because that is a cruise for 3 in a balcony cabin!!!

 

I’m in mental recovery mode, so I will be back tomorrow with my last day views. Thanks for hanging around my thread!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, it has been an interesting day. Unfortunately, I will not be able to post the closing of my review tonight.

 

I just got home a short while ago. I was involved in a hit-and-run crash on the way home from work. Thankfully, I was not hurt (and obviously the other person was okay since he drove off without stopping). My dash cam caught the incident on video, and it is clear I was not at fault. I just have to try to see if we can get out of paying the $3,000 deductible, because that is a cruise for 3 in a balcony cabin!!!

 

I’m in mental recovery mode, so I will be back tomorrow with my last day views. Thanks for hanging around my thread!

 

 

 

Gosh! Glad you are ok! Hope you don’t have to pay that deductible!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to hear you are okay, APDMOM...and I’m sure you know your insurance company will be very happy to see the dash cam video to prove you’re not at fault. Mine certainly was when I sent them my dash cam video from a collision that happened a few years ago, about a week before DW and I went on a cruise.

 

Take care and we’ll all be here when you’re ready, don’t push yourself to post on a holiday weekend!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry you were involved in an accident - a hit and run no less! I know you said you were ok but sometimes aches and pains show up a day later... take care of yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m sorry about your accident. I’m glad you are ok. Hopefully your dashboard camera captured that guy’s license!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement! I am back with only a little bit of tightness in my shoulder muscles and a whole lot of gratitude for life, family, and peace about the accident.

 

Let’s get back on that ship!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Port Views:

 

I wonder how many of those airplanes that left the trails have cruise passengers on their way to a new adventure…

Disney Fantasy and Carnival Magic in port:

cd8cb48830fb7eeb86c5cd7baf5b3a1f.jpg

 

The arrival of Carnival Sunshine:

10a4bd790542131650641fac9529b268.jpg

 

… with with Sunshine, here comes the Sun! Welcome back to the Sunshine State, or like I like to call it, “The State for Perpetual Flip Flops”:

abff964200471920a01c704b7ec74ffc.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Debarkation:

 

We enjoyed a final breakfast in Taste, which was not busy at all by the time we arrived (around 7:30 a.m.). There was a long line we could see for ‘self-assist’ on deck 7, and we were glad that we did not have to hurry to get off the ship. I highly recommend a relaxing breakfast in the main dining rooms on your last cruise day, especially if you do not need to catch a flight.

 

After breakfast, we lounged in the atrium for a short while. I think they were about 20 minutes ahead of schedule, so our tag got called early. We did have to wait two times in line, when they paused the line to clear the congestion in the luggage pick up area, but the worst wait was in the customs line. It was one of the longest wait times we had in any customs line after a cruise. It took about an hour to get through. At one point there was only one customs agent for the general line, and one for the porter line. By the time we got close to the front, they had 3 customs agents for our general line. I don’t know if this is unique to this week’s cruise, or if it is always a problem with Epic. We have never had any problems at Port Canaveral in the past.

 

We took the shuttle back to our car. As stated before, I don’t think we will use Park N Cruise in Port Canaveral again, as they only had 2 shuttles, with 3 large ships in port. The Park N Cruise employees were friendly, and the car had no damage or problems.

Edited by APDMOM
tip in red

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NCL or Royal?

 

Since we are frequent Royal Caribbean cruisers, I will do a quick comparison of our views of the differences.

 

Overall, we love to cruise both lines. Norwegian fits our cruising style a bit better, as we really enjoy the laid back atmosphere in the alternative main dining room option. At Taste, you get the main dining room experience with a more laid back dress code.

 

However, Norwegian Latitudes benefits do not come close to the Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society benefits. As diamond on Royal, we get a balcony discount ($225 for a 7-day cruise), 3 free drinks per evening, a free photo each, and the benefit of the diamond lounge. Norwegian just cannot compete with that.

 

My View: Which one is better, based upon our experiences?

 

Ship design in general = Royal

Dining = Kind of even for main dining room food

Buffet = Norwegian

Customer service = Norwegian

Shows = Royal (Although “Oh What a Night” on Escape was one of our favorite show experiences ever)

Live entertainment talent = Norwegian

Pools = Royal

Freestyle Daily/Cruise Compass activities= Same

Extra free dining venues = It’s a tie. We love O’Sheehan’s on NCL, but also like Promenade and Park Cafe’s on Royal.

Paid Dining = Are you kidding? It is not in the cruise budget… So, this is to be determined after we win the lottery.

Cabins = Too much depends on the ship, but Royal cabins have been more consistent in size and space

Free Coffee = A BIG win for Norwegian

Ice Cream = Another BIG win for Norwegian

Shopping/Sales = Norwegian (Much less of a hard sell push on the ship than we have experienced on Royal)

Private islands = Labadee and Coco Cay are both better than Great Stirrup Cay

 

I am out of ideas for now, but if you would like to see additional comparisons, please feel free to ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One final thing to cover: Drinks

 

We do not drink a lot of alcohol, and sometimes take a bottle of water in lieu of a third drink on Royal’s free evening drinks. So, it does not typically make sense to buy a drinks package. Since this package was included in our price (Plus $100 per person in tips), we decided to take it. Two drinks a day would more than cover that, and it made sense to us. I did see that the tips have gone up since we originally booked this cruise, so the value would have to be re-calclated.

 

We ended up trying some new drinks, because we knew we did not have to pay for each one and we would not regret spending money on a drink we may not like. In the process, we left some martini’s behind that were just a bit too creative. We also left a few drinks from the pool bar that were too strong (If you like strong, Waves may be your place).

 

My take away… we found some new favorites:

DH - Bushwhacker

Me - Amaretto Sour & Rebellious Fish

 

I rated the following drinks “10”:

Amaretto Sour from Atrium Bar

Peach Bellini from Atrium Bar

Rebellious Fish from Atrium Bar and O’Sheehan’s

White Russian from The Cavern

 

I rated the following drinks a “9” (DH will disagree and give Bushwhacker a 10):

Bushwhacker from Atrium and O’Sheehan’s

BBC from pool towel station mobile bar and from O’Sheehan’s

Dark & Stormy from Atrium

Mr. Worldwide from Atrium

 

b5a8426fc190a3480e79e66d77982f5e.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The final verdict:

After much deliberation throughout this report of My View, we will cruise Epic again if the price is right (at the current economy and rate of cruising, that means under $140 per person, per day in a balcony cabin, including taxes). The beast did indeed become a beauty in our eyes. All things considered, it was one of our top 10 favorite cruise experiences.

 

That is it. My cruise is now officially over. Please feel free to ask, if I left something out that you would like to know.

 

I am now going to enjoy a virtual cruise by following PJ Morrissey on Epic this week....

 

Until June with My View on Adventure of the Seas, Happy Cruise Planning!

 

6f5a1cb4b654d2610abc7685c8f07411.jpg

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
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • 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
×
×
  • Create New...