Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
20165

No so Epic Cruise...

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, ricka47 said:

For those who are regular NCL guests, is what we read here typical?  I've read that some consider NCL a step above Carnival but still a step below RCI - is that a fair estimation?

 

I have done three NCL cruises so far and have three more booked. I have definitely not had anything like this negative experience with the room stewards. My room steward on the Gem was a ninja, who I never saw, but still did a good job keeping everything clean and stocked. My room stewards (two separate sailings) on the Escape were both FANTASTIC! Super friendly and accommodating.

 

I also found the staff throughout the ships to always be cheerful, helpful, and efficient. I have never had to wait extensively long times at bars. I will say that MDR service is generally on the slower side. As for specialty restaurants, the OP is correct that they book up fast. Best to make your reservations online before sailing if possible and, if not, make them as soon as you board the ship. The food at all of the specialty restaurants I've tried has been excellent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, FreestyleNovice said:

Ice service is upon request these days, sorry OP had a less experience overall.

 

Is it? I have had ice every day on all of my NCL sailings this year and never had to request it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, JamieLogical said:

 

Is it? I have had ice every day on all of my NCL sailings this year and never had to request it.

 

Hm I might be confused with my recent Celebrity sailings LOL... :classic_blush:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, JamieLogical said:

 

Is it? I have had ice every day on all of my NCL sailings this year and never had to request it.

didn't have any ice last week on Jade. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

B

32 minutes ago, voyager1964 said:

20165 - thanks for your honest review.

How was the embarkation? What time did you arrive in port?

 

Thanks!

No issues there.  We got there around 11, and were on the ship around 12.  we were card number 17 and it took about an hour to get to that number which isnt bad.  We had a hard time hearing the numbers being called, but that was probably because where we were sitting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/25/2018 at 10:07 AM, 20165 said:

We were on the Epic western Caribbean cruise last week and my plan was to make a comparison between that cruise and the RCL oasis cruise we were on in Aug. but the Oasis has it beat in every category with the exception of overall cost of the cruise so ill give some highlights of our not so Epic cruise last week.

 

Oh man, I hate to hear that for two reasons - I hate you had a bad holiday cruise and we are set to sail in January on the same ship (we have cruised with NCL, not on Epic).  But we have had great experiences with NCL (and with RCL) - honestly, the best cruise and trip of our lives was on an older NCL ship (Jewel) to Alaska. 

 

We also love snorkeling and have several tours carved out for that purpose so we are looking so forward to this cruise. Where did you find on Great Stirrup Cay that was the best?

 

Lynn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think my TA said it best: Epic is a love/hate ship. You find very few ships with a middle of the road rating. Some people have cruised her several times and almost don't want to even try another ship, others would never cruise her again. We found this on our Epic sailing for sure. For some reason the passengers from Europe seem to love it. That was just our experience. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Abm234b said:

Sailing the EPIC in March. We're nervous!

 

I too am very nervous to read such negative reviews of this ship which we have booked for our next cruise vacation 

She looks magnificent!  Please post your review when you get back in March! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, 2Beeze said:

Oh man, I hate to hear that for two reasons - I hate you had a bad holiday cruise and we are set to sail in January on the same ship (we have cruised with NCL, not on Epic).  But we have had great experiences with NCL (and with RCL) - honestly, the best cruise and trip of our lives was on an older NCL ship (Jewel) to Alaska. 

 

We also love snorkeling and have several tours carved out for that purpose so we are looking so forward to this cruise. Where did you find on Great Stirrup Cay that was the best?

 

Lynn

In regards to Stirrup cay snorkeling, as you are looking out over the water, to the right there is a gap between the main island and a very small 'island'.  Probably about 50 feet wide.  The water is about 20ft deep and perfectly clear.  Lots of fish and a great reef.  Also a very good view of the ship if its anchored in the same place.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, ricka47 said:

This is interesting and, as an RCI/X Loyalists, we're considering giving NCL a try.  We just got of HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam and enjoyed it (guess we're not that loyal).  But, we're considering trying a new experience with NCL out of Port Canaveral.   The "Freestyle" experience seems much more flexible than what we are used to.

 

However, the review above is giving me second thoughts.  For those who are regular NCL guests, is what we read here typical?  I've read that some consider NCL a step above Carnival but still a step below RCI - is that a fair estimation?

 

It's not typical at all. Anyone can have a bad experience but everyone also comes in with different expectations. On my last cruise on Getaway, for instance, our ice was always full but that's something my husband noticed and I never did. Therefore it wouldn't bother me had it never been full, like the OP states. I was just thrilled to be on a cruise and honestly would overlook a lot and still have an amazing time. Now, that being said, our cabin steward went above and beyond as did most of the crew we encountered. We only ate in the MDR twice but the waits weren't bad at all... I think it would for sure be more difficult with children and easier to notice long waits. 

 

Anyway, all of this to say I had the best cruise of my life on Getaway and I love the NCL brand. My husband and I are trying Carnival this fall because we're bringing our kids and it seems more geared toward them... But I've read plenty of bad reviews... I'm not going to let that stop us from trying something new and I suggest you do the same and I'm sure you won't regret it. 

Edited by Fincherson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, 20165 said:

In regards to Stirrup cay snorkeling, as you are looking out over the water, to the right there is a gap between the main island and a very small 'island'.  Probably about 50 feet wide.  The water is about 20ft deep and perfectly clear.  Lots of fish and a great reef.  Also a very good view of the ship if its anchored in the same place.

 

 

Thanks so much - copied and saved!

 

Lynn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Fincherson said:

 

It's not typical at all. Anyone can have a bad experience but everyone also comes in with different expectations. On my last cruise on Getaway, for instance, our ice was always full but that's something my husband noticed and I never did. Therefore it wouldn't bother me had it never been full, like the OP states. I was just thrilled to be on a cruise and honestly would overlook a lot and still have an amazing time. Now, that being said, our cabin steward went above and beyond as did most of the crew we encountered. We only ate in the MDR twice but the waits weren't bad at all... I think it would for sure be more difficult with children and easier to notice long waits. 

 

Anyway, all of this to say I had the best cruise of my life on Getaway and I love the NCL brand. My husband and I are trying Carnival this fall because we're bringing our kids and it seems more geared toward them... But I've read plenty of bad reviews... I'm not going to let that stop us from trying something new and I suggest you do the same and I'm sure you won't regret it. 

How do you know its not typical on Epic?  We were also on Getaway and had one of our best cruises as well, but not on our last Epic cruise.  Im also surprised we are stuck on the Ice comment when aside from that, not separating the beds, not giving us enough towels, etc, he just decided he needed to pack the last night and not make up our room at all.

So, ok, i get it, we got a bad cabin steward, it happens,  but overall service was lacking on that ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, 20165 said:

How do you know its not typical on Epic?  We were also on Getaway and had one of our best cruises as well, but not on our last Epic cruise.  Im also surprised we are stuck on the Ice comment when aside from that, not separating the beds, not giving us enough towels, etc, he just decided he needed to pack the last night and not make up our room at all.

So, ok, i get it, we got a bad cabin steward, it happens,  but overall service was lacking on that ship.

 

I never said anything about epic. The poster I quoted asked NCL customers if the OP's experience is typical of NCL. Where's the confusion? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our recent Breakaway cruise was similar.  Short-staffed bars, poor service in the restaurants, even the specialty ones!  Worst service ever on a cruise.  Heck, even Carnival can (and does) do better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, 20165 said:

How do you know its not typical on Epic?  We were also on Getaway and had one of our best cruises as well, but not on our last Epic cruise.  Im also surprised we are stuck on the Ice comment when aside from that, not separating the beds, not giving us enough towels, etc, he just decided he needed to pack the last night and not make up our room at all.

So, ok, i get it, we got a bad cabin steward, it happens,  but overall service was lacking on that ship.

 

The poster you quoted was answering another poster's question about whether this sort of thing was typical of NCL in general, not specific to the Epic. I do agree we have gotten petty side-tracked with the ice discussion! The beds, towels, and missing dailies/debarkation instructions seem like a much bigger deal to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, 20165 said:

How do you know its not typical on Epic?  We were also on Getaway and had one of our best cruises as well, but not on our last Epic cruise.  Im also surprised we are stuck on the Ice comment when aside from that, not separating the beds, not giving us enough towels, etc, he just decided he needed to pack the last night and not make up our room at all.

So, ok, i get it, we got a bad cabin steward, it happens,  but overall service was lacking on that ship.

 

Also, I was never "stuck on" the ice comment, I was using it as an example of how everybody has different expectations. I never once said nor implied that the OP isn't entitled to his/hers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got my cruise surveys today and was surprised to see multiple questions about cruise critic.  Do you know about it, do you use it pre cruise, do you write reviews.  So NCL is paying attention to this site.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also sailed on the Epic last week and had many of the same complaints. We have been regular Carnival cruisers and we always have a fantastic time, but thought we would give NCL a shot for our 5th year anniversary. It seemed like they were severely understaffed, and those staff they did have seemed to all be brand new to the Epic. There were lines and waits for almost everything on board which got tiresome. Elevators were nearly impossible to get without a 5 minute wait. Bar service, while friendly and delicious, was super slow everywhere. They needed to have more beer carts around the pool deck like they had at sailaway, as many people waiting just needed a beer popped open.

 

We were really expecting to be blown away by the food, given how people talk up NCL (and seem to hate on Carnival). Besides the Tepanyaki Specialty Restaurant, the dining was severely underwhelming. Very monotonous fair on the buffet all week, most dishes in the dining rooms were just ok. Osso Buco in La Cucina was a stand out, as well as the garlic fried rice at Tepanyaki.

 

That said, we still had a great time (no such thing as a bad cruise!). The Thermal spa was amazing and was worth every penny. The main shows were also a step above what we are used to on Carnival, though their comedy club left a lot to be desired (Keith, the Comedy Club opener, was the most unfunny and uncomfortable act I have ever seen anywhere).

 

We may give NCL another shot in the future, but definitely not on the Epic. I think our next special occasion cruise will be with Royal Caribbean, which has always impressed us.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/25/2018 at 10:07 AM, 20165 said:

Restaurants – We bought the 3 specialty restaurant package and had a hard time using it because everything was booked.  We found out that on day 1, people would book multiple restaurants each night and just show up for the one they wanted. Give that and the short staff, it was really hard to get in anywhere.

I am curious why the system would let a cabin book two restaurants at the same time. It seems they could build an algorithm to combat this type of situation. I know there MAY be folks that want dinner at the Italian Place  and dessert at Cagney's. I would think that could also be built into the system. A dessert/coffee reservation limited to 45 minutes or something. I think it is selfish, greedy and rude (and a lot of other words) that someone would book two places with the intent to only go to one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, JennyB1977 said:

I am curious why the system would let a cabin book two restaurants at the same time. It seems they could build an algorithm to combat this type of situation. I know there MAY be folks that want dinner at the Italian Place  and dessert at Cagney's. I would think that could also be built into the system. A dessert/coffee reservation limited to 45 minutes or something. I think it is selfish, greedy and rude (and a lot of other words) that someone would book two places with the intent to only go to one.

 

The reservations on the Epic were a mess. We had multiple nights double booked by the Reservation desk due to a misunderstanding. After waiting in line to get it corrected twice, both times unsuccessful, we gave up. The room tv allows you to book additional reservations, but will not let you cancel existing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, walke2jd said:

 

The reservations on the Epic were a mess. We had multiple nights double booked by the Reservation desk due to a misunderstanding. After waiting in line to get it corrected twice, both times unsuccessful, we gave up. The room tv allows you to book additional reservations, but will not let you cancel existing.

That is sort of my point. The system should NOT ALLOW anyone to double book. It should be impossible. I can't refill a prescription until X amount of days, I can't order two drinks on a certain cruise line without waiting 15 minutes, I'm sure they can figure this out....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, JennyB1977 said:

That is sort of my point. The system should NOT ALLOW anyone to double book. It should be impossible. I can't refill a prescription until X amount of days, I can't order two drinks on a certain cruise line without waiting 15 minutes, I'm sure they can figure this out....

 

Oh, I completely agree. For a ship that large with so many passengers, many of their systems are severely lacking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would have to be a pretty robust system to understand if two (or four!) people in one stateroom, each with her or his own personal room card, booking different restaurants at the same time were intending on dining together. Now they should be able to penalize repeat offenders on the back end by tracking cancellations and charging a flat rate for them. I'm not talking about the odd honest cancelation here by the way.

 

People will always game the system and it's sad. 

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: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • 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...