Jump to content
teesmc

Inside tips for Epic Caribbean for 1st time NCL cruisers

Recommended Posts

Our group of 4 adults and 4 boys is excited for our first NCL cruise this March!  

 

The NCL board seems much less active than the RC and Carnival boards...  Let's change that!

 

Please give me any advice you have for sailing the Epic-  fav drinks, restaurants, secret tips, navigating the ship, best places to relax in the sun, how the the boarding process works and what time to arrive in Port...anything and everything greatly appreciated!  I will return the favor for other cruisers when I return!

 

Thanks and happy 2019!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I always do that is very helpful is just to go to www.NCL.com and explore ships.  Find the ship you want and just click the Explore Ship button.  You can go through the deck plans and see what they have and where everything is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great idea...  I also like personal feedback on things you can't read on a website description!  The other boards have constant reviews of cruises with pictures and tips!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the "bathroom" situation in most Epic staterooms and the lack of a Waterfront-like promenade doesn't bother you, it'll probably be a great cruise. Epic is unique (good and bad) compared to all other NCL ships so it has a bit of a "love it or hate it" reputation. Some would describe it as an ugly girl with a good personality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, teesmc said:

Whoa!  Do tell?

we have a family balcony on 11.

 

 

...it may or may not be a problem for you...

 

Also, the bed can be either near the balcony or near the "bathroom". Most people seem to prefer the bed near the balcony. 

 

Epic is the only NCL ship like this. 

Edited by Two Wheels Only

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The shower and toilet are in separate cubicles seperared by the entrance corridor. For privacy purposes, a curtain is available to separate this area from the main cabin. The sink is the main cabin in the desk top close to the cubicles. The layout has been discussed on these boards incessantly. We’ve sailed on the Epic twice and loved it. As a couple, the washroom layout didn’t bother us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you enter the cabin a few steps in there are 2 plastic (or glass, don't remember which) doors, one on the right, one on the left, one has a cubby with a toilet the other a cubby with a shower, no real bathroom door that you would normally step into a bathroom from on any other ship we have been on.  Then a few more steps and there is a sink, in the bedroom area, I find it difficult to put on makeup, small area, but others don't mind it.

The Epic is our least favorite ship because of the bathroom set up but we are sailing on her in Feb for our third time because Port Canaveral is so close to home, we are glad the Breakaway is coming in Dec., regular bathroom:classic_biggrin:

We like the rest of the ship, except the casino is a bit smoky and the cavern club could be larger, our two cruises on her have been enjoyable, we always book an aft facing balcony cabin or aft facing suite so we are in the quiet part of the ship but that makes it a very long walk to some venues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are sailing in March also and I too am an information junkie.  There is a section on the NCL website called ask and answer and customer stories, but I have had to actively search for it every time.  https://www.ncl.com/freestyle-voices/overview.  Now, be clear, this is info from other guests which may or may not be accurate but it's along the lines of the tips and tricks you were looking for.  I find the FAQ's from NCL a little lean (coming from Royal).   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha!  Thanks for sharing.  I don’t mind that bathroom set up.  My boys are younger and have no modesty.  They are rarely in the room too.

 

whats the public bathroom issue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, teesmc said:

Ha!  Thanks for sharing.  I don’t mind that bathroom set up.  My boys are younger and have no modesty.  They are rarely in the room too.

 

whats the public bathroom issue?

 

There are none. They are normal public bathrooms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We'll be on the Epic for the first time on January 23.  

 

People have OPINIONS on the bathroom setup in the rooms.  I'm actually thinking for us, it's a positive.  My wife and I live in a 1 (small) bathroom home, and I can certainly think of times when one of us needs to utilize the facilities while the other is showering/getting ready.  I can see how non-couples or families could have a problem with the setup though.

 

Honestly from the research I've done, my bigger worry is a lack of pool and hot tub space.  Our ideal days are spent rotating between lounge chairs, hot tubs and pools with frequent visits to reload at the pool bar, and I hear pool space can be at a premium.  

 

Either way, I'm sure it's going to beat the hell out of being in cold, gray Indiana winter, so I'm excited to get on the boat.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't have any issues with the Epic bathroom, either.  I liked the layout.  We were able to have one person shave, brush our teeth, etc at the sink (separate from the toilet or shower area), while someone else can be taking a shower.  

 

Then again, I was sailing with someone I also slept with.  So, unless you're sailing with someone else you don't share a bed with on a regular basis, you'll be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Below are tips from the organizer of meet and greet for the Epic cruise on January 23 (same as Phaedrus78).

 

Epic Tips

.Book Specialty Dining and Big Shows and Excursions ahead at 120 days, 130 for Haven, IF you have not booked, or want better times, book as soon as you board, the ship has many more openings when you board.

· Join a Sail page, Cruise Critic to meet your fellow travelers to learn about the ship and ports

· If you have latitudes status make sure you know what your discounts are, as in free ships tour, free platinum dinners. Excursion and spa discounts

· Check out the Deck plans before going!

· Buy a Lanyard, Dollar store, or wish.com, they will have a bunch for the whole family

· Bring your own refillable water or drink containers. Also bring Ziploc’s or reseables for leftovers, or taking lunch off ship in some ports (Harvest Caye private island.) I like taking fresh fruit back to the cabin.

· Sign up for the Meet and Greet and meet the officers and each other, free refreshments and snacks. A Fellow passenger hopefully has organized on Cruise Critic with the ship. (its easy to start one with the ship)

· Do not eat at the Buffet on embark when its shoulder to shoulder; go to O’Sheehans for some pub food or a main dining room for a white tablecloth, peaceful experience.

· Don’t have the Beverage package? , Bring wine, $15 corking fee for a 750ml bottle upon boarding. No hard spirits.Find the Free Booze. Art Auction, shops liquor tastings, Casino opening at Sailaway has rum punches.

· For Posh adult only sundeck, ‘run’ when boarding to buy for the full week, limited passes

· Book the Escape Room when Boarding, its free and family friendly

· Do not miss muster at 3:15 you do not want the detention make up class

· Find a great Sailaway Spot, Spice H2O, above the pool, secret deck 18

· Communicate with others with Iconceirge for $9.99 for the week each (or the new APP) or the new Social media only package for Facebook and more. 87.50 for 7 days each

· Find Secret deck 18 Forward for free padded loungers over the Bow, it’s a quiet zone, technically children are allowed, but they would be bored stiff if they have to be quiet and no pool

· Do not miss Prime rib night in the main dining rooms usually first and last.

· The bed too short? pull it out from under the headboard and stuff pillows or a blanket in that space

· Sofas may have bins for storage under them

· Ask for more hangers if you need them

· Have the Steward EMPTY the fridge, it costs money, you need it for leftovers!

· Mimosas for free! Bronze and above get a free bottle of sparkly. Plan a sit down breakfast in the main dining room, take your warm sparkly, they will swap for cold, and bring your OJ and Champagne glasses!!!

· On sea days check the dailies for special lunches in the Specialty restaurants for free, Asian, Bbq and other days pop up

· Have lunch at the Spice H2O BBQ up top, burgers, dogs, salads and more.

· Spice H2O adult Area Sundeck AFT, Its Amazing, and it has a bar. And the Topside BBQ

· Want to read in the shade, grab a spot in the Marketplace entrance to Spice H2O

· Highlight your daily, EVERYDAY. You won’t be able to do it all. Music everywhere, lounges, bars Atrium

· Do not miss the funny shows, not so Newlywed game, dance contests, and if they have it ‘racy’ Quest (R rated)

· Fill out the FREE continental breakfast room service form the night before. Ask your Steward for them. Room service is $7.95 otherwise

· Buy Cruise next for future cruises. You must buy two for full for the extra discount. You are buying $250 vouchers for $125 each. Contrary to how they explain it. IT IS NOT OBC, it’s a credit to your credit card back, Charge $500, rebated $250 instantly.*** if you only buy 1, you pay $150 for a $250. You can use one per future cruise usually, Balconies 6 months in advance you can use two

· Own 100 Shares of NCL stock, $100 OBC credit for 7 day cruises. Every cruise

· MDRS ask to see the week’s dining menus ahead of time to decide if you want to go there or a Specialty and ask when Prime rib night and Seafood buffet nightVanilla Pound Cake French Toast Breakfast days too

· 19.99 Stuff a bag laundry day, it will be on the dailies, still fill out the slip but cross off the pricing and write 19.99 on It and on the bag.

· Buy Specialty Dinning, Ala carte the tab can be much higher.

· Have a hiccup in service CALL and get it fixed, Engage with officer Dept. Heads if necessary.

· Food in the MDR isn’t what you expected? Order another dish; it doesn’t cost a dime extra. At a table of friends order extra and share with each other. Do you want two desserts, order them.

· Bring highlighters to mark the dailies.

· Atrium will have Trivia, Sudoku , food demonstrations

· Play games? check out the Game room

· Painting classes, Wine Tastings for a fee

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

We are sailing the Epic for the 1st time on Saturday and I cannot wait!

In my research it seems like people who have the beds closer to the bathroom area don't feel like they have as much room in the cabin and they seem to not like the rooms at all. We have an aft facing balcony and I chose the bed close to the balcony.

The video above from Morgan (very unofficial travel guide) was from his first Epic cruise, here's one from his 2nd and while he is still not happy with the bathroom set up, he seems to like the room better.  You can definitely see the difference with where the bed is placed.

 

I'd be glad to answer questions and give honest feedback when we return 🙂

Edited by tbo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure the boys will enjoy the water slides, the rock climbing wall, the bungee trampoline and whatever this thing is.  I never did see any kids using it.

2lkpsev.jpg

 

FYI, the theater production called Priscilla is adult oriented.  BTW, I posted a review of the Epic with pictures including some pics of the "secret staircase."  There is a clickable link to that review in my signature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Oakman58 said:

I'm sure the boys will enjoy the water slides, the rock climbing wall, the bungee trampoline and whatever this thing is.  I never did see any kids using it.

2lkpsev.jpg

 

FYI, the theater production called Priscilla is adult oriented.  BTW, I posted a review of the Epic with pictures including some pics of the "secret staircase."  There is a clickable link to that review in my signature.

I'm reading your Epic review and especially enjoying the St. John pictures pre-Irma.  I am curious to visit STJ when we dock in STT, but sort of depressing as it is/was one of my favorite islands of all time.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, teesmc said:

I'm reading your Epic review and especially enjoying the St. John pictures pre-Irma.  I am curious to visit STJ when we dock in STT, but sort of depressing as it is/was one of my favorite islands of all time.

 

 

 

 

I understand how you feel.  My wife and I took an RV trip to Bay St. Louis Mississippi on the Gulf Coast a few years after Hurricane Katrina and the visible damage was still unbelievable.  Most of the recovery and rebuilding money had gone to New Orleans.  The visible damage was such that it depressed me and my wife so much that we left the area sooner than planned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Oakman58 said:

I'm sure the boys will enjoy the water slides, the rock climbing wall, the bungee trampoline and whatever this thing is.  I never did see any kids using it.

2lkpsev.jpg

 

This is called a Spider net, and the min weight limit is 30# and max weight limit is 120#. Kids on Getaway LOVED it, including my own 7 yo kiddo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/7/2019 at 3:04 PM, gmbhardy said:

The shower and toilet are in separate cubicles seperared by the entrance corridor. For privacy purposes, a curtain is available to separate this area from the main cabin. The sink is the main cabin in the desk top close to the cubicles. The layout has been discussed on these boards incessantly. We’ve sailed on the Epic twice and loved it. As a couple, the washroom layout didn’t bother us.

 

Except when they take your curtain down for routine cleaning, with no notice.  Its great they clean them, but when you have kids in the room with  you its awkward. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The layout isn't a problem. It's the see-through doors. Have no clue what the design team was thinking. I would think you'd have to be extra diligent, especially with kids, to make sure they don't come in while mom is poopin'. I, personally, don't even want my husband to watch me wipe my butt. It's a very personal thing.

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
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • 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
×