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Last Minute Advice for Epic


Paelos
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Leaving on the Epic on Saturday, anybody have some last minute advice? I'm looking for people that sailed in the last 12 months on the ship. Obviously "Don't Do it" won't really work here.

 

I'd like to know more about the following:

 

- Best bars to go to on the ship, both in the daytime and in the evenings. Also are there bars that are more/less crowded than others?

- Restaurants or events I shouldn't miss. I have the 3 dining package and made reservations, but I think I can switch those around on the ship correct?

- Best things to do on the Private island? Is there a good bar there or place to eat you really liked?

- If you went to the spa, what's something you really enjoyed, how much did you pay for it, and was that discounted?

- How did they handle early excursions? We're doing Falmouth and Cozumel, are either of those tenders or just the boat docking there?

- Did you do the Deal or No Deal Game? Do they still have this and was it fun?

- Did you visit the casino at all? What did you play, and what were the minimum limits on things like blackjack and craps?

- How was the cruise director? I can find little to no information on this person on the reviews. Is it like Carnival where they talk a lot, or is it completely different on Norwegian and you never see them at all?

- What are some things you asked of your cabin steward that you were impressed by that they delivered.

 

Thanks all!

 

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Well, since you don't want to hear "don't do it" 😂, here's my best tip:

 

During breakfast and lunch buffets on 15 forward, you can sit in canneletto (the extra charge restaurant accessed from the very front of the buffet seating).  You can see it looking down. 

 

It's very quiet down there and the chairs are very comfy. 

 

Blackjack is $10 minimum and they use an 8 deck auto-shuffler. I didn't ask about any of the other rules (pushes, how high the dealer has to hit, etc.)

 

The only thing I have asked my steward for is a new box of Kleenex. I probably wouldn't have even had to ask, but I didn't need anything else so I told him he could skip me this morning. 

 

Epic docked in Cozumel today. Front and center. 

Edited by SeaTheW0rld
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Maltings was my favorite bar, but try them all 🙂  

 

The Beatles show at the Cavern Club was really fun.  They actually do four different show throughout the week, starting with the moptop Fab Four stuff, and progressing through to their later years.  Get there early, it always fills up in a hurry.

 

We rented a cabana on the island, which was a bit pricey, but worth it IMHO.

 

I really enjoyed the ice bar!  It's a small upcharge.  A very unique experience.  

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I personally love the Epic (as long as it's not full!)  3 Speciality Dining Package is great and try Cagneys, Le Bistro etc. Yes, if you go to the desks outside of Speciality restaurants on first day you can check time/availability if you want to change them.  Sometimes they book up (especially Cagneys) so don't leave it until the night you want to go. It's easier to do this than try and change bookings over the phone once on ship!

 

I love Burn the Floor and the Cavern Club. Bliss is great fun especially on 70s night imo!

 

Yes, they still do Deal or No Deal.  Cruise Director is visible and good!

 

If you get the chance to buy a spa pass I'd go for it.  It's one of the best NCL spas including outside balcony with aft view, sauna with views down to the sea, thermal beds and lovely thermal pools.

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35 minutes ago, Oakman58 said:

Getting a seat in the Cavern Club can be a challenge.  4000 passengers and seating for about 130 in the Cavern, get there early.

 

How early usually? Are we talking 30 minutes, 1 hour, or the infamous (plop yourself 2 hours early and start drinking) thing?

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54 minutes ago, Happy2b@sea said:

I personally love the Epic (as long as it's not full!)  3 Speciality Dining Package is great and try Cagneys, Le Bistro etc. Yes, if you go to the desks outside of Speciality restaurants on first day you can check time/availability if you want to change them.  Sometimes they book up (especially Cagneys) so don't leave it until the night you want to go. It's easier to do this than try and change bookings over the phone once on ship!

 

I love Burn the Floor and the Cavern Club. Bliss is great fun especially on 70s night imo!

 

Yes, they still do Deal or No Deal.  Cruise Director is visible and good!

 

If you get the chance to buy a spa pass I'd go for it.  It's one of the best NCL spas including outside balcony with aft view, sauna with views down to the sea, thermal beds and lovely thermal pools.

 

We're set up for Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, and Moderno, but my Moderno time is weird. I'd like to either change it or cancel it and move it to another place (we're scheduled for it on the last night of the cruise, and that's too much food at that point). My guess is based on what I've seen Cagney's is booked out completely.

 

Is La Cucina worth it if I can't shift Moderno?

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1 hour ago, Paelos said:

 

How early usually? Are we talking 30 minutes, 1 hour, or the infamous (plop yourself 2 hours early and start drinking) thing?

Last year, I arrived about 30 min early & got the very last seat stuck waaaay in the back corner for the third show (which is the Sgt. Pepper show, and the best of them -- so if you see only one, make it that one) 

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1 hour ago, Paelos said:

Is La Cucina worth it if I can't shift Moderno?

Do you just loooove Italian, or are you kind of meh on it?  The osso bucco is quite good.  The overall menu is about half a step up from your average Olive Garden, but only you can say if that sounds good to you.  

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2 hours ago, Paelos said:

 

We're set up for Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, and Moderno, but my Moderno time is weird. I'd like to either change it or cancel it and move it to another place (we're scheduled for it on the last night of the cruise, and that's too much food at that point). My guess is based on what I've seen Cagney's is booked out completely.

 

Is La Cucina worth it if I can't shift Moderno?

I wouldn't bother with La Cucina - nothing like real Italian food!  Shame because the room is lovely although hard to find! They only release about half the tables (including the free Platinum meals) before the cruise so definitely go to the desk on the first day and try and book straightaway. Otherwise, maybe switch Moderno for Le Bistro?

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I prefer the Manhattan dining room over Taste. It's a beautiful room. If I squint just so, it reminds me of the great ocean liners of the past. They have live entertainment, too. One night they had the Burn the Floor people give a preview show. Food is the same in both rooms.

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7 hours ago, Paelos said:

Leaving on the Epic on Saturday, anybody have some last minute advice? I'm looking for people that sailed in the last 12 months on the ship. Obviously "Don't Do it" won't really work here.

 

I'd like to know more about the following: We sailed the Epic in May 2018 on a Mediterranean trip out of Rome.

 

- Best bars to go to on the ship, both in the daytime and in the evenings. Also are there bars that are more/less crowded than others? The bars near the pool were always the most crowded. The ones just outside of Tempanyaki were a bit crowded as well during dinner time with people waiting for their reservation time, but there's 3 bars in that area. So if one is more crowded than the other, just keep wandering. The one thing I didn't like was that you could only get certain mixed cocktails from certain bars. I never tried ordering the individual drink components separately, but if you wanted a salty fish (or whatever it was called) you could only order it from the bar with that on it's specific menu.

 

- Restaurants or events I shouldn't miss. I have the 3 dining package and made reservations, but I think I can switch those around on the ship correct? Read through your dailies carefully. We read them when we got home and realized we missed a lot of stuff we would have liked to get to. There was a scotch tasting we wanted to attend but it took us too long to find it and we missed out. If you really want to catch something in particular, go early. Very early. As for dining, we only had one credit so we used it at Tempanyaki. It was just ok. I'm not a fan of the whole song & dance act (especially when you hear the same exact jokes at the tables to your left and right), but there was always a lack of reservations for Le Bistro and Cagneys - so I assume those are good bets.

 

- Best things to do on the Private island? Is there a good bar there or place to eat you really liked? Different itinerary, can't help you here.

 

- If you went to the spa, what's something you really enjoyed, how much did you pay for it, and was that discounted? Didn't use it, didn't even find it, can't help you here.

 

- How did they handle early excursions? We're doing Falmouth and Cozumel, are either of those tenders or just the boat docking there? If you booked your excursions through NCL, you're fine. We had a tender at Nice and due to our excursion were placed on one of the first tenders out.

 

- Did you do the Deal or No Deal Game? Do they still have this and was it fun? It was offered, but we were never able to catch it when it was on.

 

- Did you visit the casino at all? What did you play, and what were the minimum limits on things like blackjack and craps? Nope, walked through it but never stopped to play. Honestly, I didn't know how. I mean, I know how to pull a slot machine, but I don't know how it works for paying. Is it liked to your room key? Do you need to add money to your key first? Since I had no idea where to start I didn't bother trying.

 

- How was the cruise director? I can find little to no information on this person on the reviews. Is it like Carnival where they talk a lot, or is it completely different on Norwegian and you never see them at all? Ours was great, Andre was his name, British bloke. He hosted most of the game show type games (not-so newlywed game, some of the trivia games, etc). He was a lot of fun, good guy.

 

- What are some things you asked of your cabin steward that you were impressed by that they delivered. The 'fit as much as you can in for $19.99' laundry bag. We saw him once the entire trip. Room was always spotless, ice bucket always full, laundry returned in <24 hrs despite it saying it would take up to 48. 

 

Thanks all! Have a great trip!

 

 

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5 hours ago, Paelos said:

 

How early usually? Are we talking 30 minutes, 1 hour, or the infamous (plop yourself 2 hours early and start drinking) thing?

We got there about 45 mins early and also grabbed the last 2 seats. Had a drink while waiting and watching the entire room fill up with standing room only, and then not even room for that. Worth it though, wish we had caught them other nights as well as we didn't realize the set list was different each night.

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18 hours ago, SeaTheW0rld said:

.................

 

During breakfast and lunch buffets on 15 forward, you can sit in canneletto (the extra charge restaurant accessed from the very front of the buffet seating).  You can see it looking down. 

 

It's very quiet down there and the chairs are very comfy. ...................

 

 

 

I believe you mean "LaCucina".

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Very helpful everyone! Thank you for pointing out the getting early times as well, I wouldn't have guessed it would be that popular at the Beatles but I'll be sure to get there an hour early minimum.

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Paelos - would greatly appreciate it (I imagine others would as well) if you could post pics of the dailies when you return.  I am a bit obsessive when it comes to planning, and would love to see what the weeks schedule loks like in advance.

 

Enjoy the cruise!

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We attended 2 Epic Beatles shows that were performed in the main showroom .

Did not get into the  2 shows performed in the Cavern Club, far too small of a venue for these popular Beatle shows  .

Crowds @  venues that can not be reserved  and all of the bars , were our biggest complaint about the Epic . 

Edited by MCC retired
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18 hours ago, Paelos said:

 

We're set up for Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, and Moderno, but my Moderno time is weird. I'd like to either change it or cancel it and move it to another place (we're scheduled for it on the last night of the cruise, and that's too much food at that point). My guess is based on what I've seen Cagney's is booked out completely.

 

Is La Cucina worth it if I can't shift Moderno?

We were on her for the 15-day TA last April, so we got to know the ship very well.  We ate at all of the specialty restaurants and liked all of them, except La Cucina.  The food there, at least what we had, just wasn't very good.  Great views, though.

 

You had to get to the Cavern Club at least two hours early to see the Beatles show.  In fact, they moved the show into the main theater because it was so popular.  Passengers were lining up three hours ahead of time to get in.  

 

There are no mid-ship elevators, because those were removed when the ship was being built to accommodate the solo cabins.  So when the forward elevators are jammed, you'll need to walk aft if you don't want to wait.

 

The promenade deck on Deck Seven is unusual.  It doesn't go around the ship.  It's just on one side, and you walk back and forth.  Epic is sort of the red-headed step-child of the NCL fleet.  She was built in France.  All of the follow-on "mega ships" were built by Meyer-Werft in Hamburg.  Just a bit of trivia.

 

 

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5 hours ago, MarkMark said:

Paelos - would greatly appreciate it (I imagine others would as well) if you could post pics of the dailies when you return.  I am a bit obsessive when it comes to planning, and would love to see what the weeks schedule loks like in advance.

 

Enjoy the cruise!

 

Yeah I'll try to save them and bring them back

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alright I'm back. I'll post the Freestyle Dailies when I get to the office because I have to scan them all. Here's my tips on what I learned while going on the Epic.

 

1 - The staff is very friendly, especially if you're friendly to them. We didn't have to tip all the time to get great service, we only tipped when we felt it was warranted after we'd received great service.

2 - The elevator situation can be awful. My recommendation is NEVER use the starboard elevators in the front of the ship, because Haven people can put them on priority service and completely skip your floor. Also on excursion days they turn two of those elevators to completely Haven use. Instead, always use the port elevators in the front, and get on them at either deck 5 or deck 15, if you're in the middle, just walk down to 5, it's way faster than waiting.

3 - The easiest bar to get a drink at is the Casino area bar on Deck 6 with the video poker machines. I never had a wait there, and the bartenders are very friendly. The best drinks are at Maltings, but it can get very crowded at primetime, so I usually opted for sitting in Shakers instead in the evenings. The reason being is that the Shakers table service is VERY good and prompt. I usually tipped them every night because they were so good, and the bartenders make their drinks faster than sitting at the bar.

4 - The Wave bar near the pool, and O'Sheehans are the worst bars for wait times. I recommend going to the carts across from the Wave bar to get your frozen drinks and beers, and if you want a liquor drink you're better off going to Spice H2O during the day because I found the lines there to be much more manageable in the afternoon. 

5 - The service at Taste was faster for us than the service at the Manhattan Room, and I honestly preferred the atmosphere of Taste better. Manhattan is just too dark and loud for me while they are playing music, and it took a little longer to get everything there, possibly due to the amount of people they serve since it's more popular.

6 - If you're going to Great Stirrup Cay, the least crowded area for us was in the back of the island near the final line of cabanas, and the guys at the "Island Bar" were extremely fast in clearing the lines. I think we waited a max of 5 minutes, and you could get 2 drinks at a time with no issues.

7 - If you're easily offended, the Epic's shows will offend you. Priscilla is a drag show, which can put some people off so fair warning. Also Burn the Floor has some extremely sexy moves and costumes in it. In our version they came out in leather gear with masks and dominatrix outfits, and in another scene all the girls were in extremely short Catholic schoolgirl outfits. It was a bit much in my mind, but the quality is good.

8 - The Cavern Club has the Beatles, but it will always be slammed and starting in the middle of dinner or at 10:30 at night, so we never bothered going. However, the Cavern Club also had a cover bad called 4 Blue, and they were phenomenally good. They even belted out a Rammstein song which I never expected to hear on a cruise ship. I love rock and hate all the normal ballady cruise crap, and these guys were a breath of fresh air.

9 - Don't go to any of the shows with D'Soul Duo unless you like the ballad crap. Seriously that's all they do. They'll bill it as something else like Motown songs, and then just sing the ballads. We didn't care for them at all.

10 - Make sure when you first get on the boat, you go to the Headliners Club. That's where they had the signups for tenders for Great Stirrup Cay, and also you could arrange you entertainment tickets and the restaurant changes. We moved everything around there before the other people on the ship because they didn't know where to go.

11 - Do the escape room if you have time, it's really fun and a good puzzle solving thing to do with a drink in your hand and some friends.

12 - People complain about the smokey casino, but I never noticed it being that bad. However, I'm not that sensitive to smoke even though I don't smoke. I recommend playing in the Casino for the first two nights, and then quitting because the machines all stopped seeming to pay out after night 2. Also, be aware that the table minimum for everything is $10, so if you're playing Craps, get your bankroll ready for that since on Carnival it was only $5 when I went with them.

13 - Make sure to use the wheel on your cabin room number to let your steward know what's going on. If you're leaving, put it on Make up room, if you're there put it on DND, if you want Turn-Down put the wheel on Turndown. When you come back you'll see if it's done because the wheel will be set to Welcome. It's the best way to get service.

14 - If you skip a port day and stay on the ship, make sure to do the water slides, and hang out in Spice H20, you'll basically have all of that to yourselves, and practically your own private bartender and hot-tub.

15 - The buffet has a drink vendor right in the center after you go by washy-washy. You can get beers and wines there, and the line is way shorter than anywhere else for beer and wine.

16 - I don't really recommend getting off the ship in Falmouth because almost every excursion is an hour bus ride. They really should port in Ocho Rios because it seems that's where everything is, but I guess they don't want to do that.

17 - If you want good seats in the Atrium for any of the big shows, you best get there an hour early because the area is tiny comparatively to the rest of the ship. Also if it's packed, you can go up one level to O'Sheehans and overlook the area from the barstools up there.

18 - They serve snacks outdoors between main buffet hours if you're hungry and just want pizza, burgers, ice cream, or some simple items. It made it convenient to stop by there on the way off the top deck going to the room.

19 - Be patient and flexible. There's ALWAYS a better option if something is crowded. If you really want to do something, get reservations or get there an hour early. If you don't care as much, be like water and flow to the next thing. You'll be much happier if you take that tactic instead of getting frustrated. You're on a huge boat with lots to do.

20 - A lot of the best activities start at 10PM, so if you're not a night owl you're going to have to make a call between having a breakfast in the main dining room, and actually staying up until midnight to see all the musical shows and parties you want to see.

 

HAVE FUN EVERYBODY!

Edited by Paelos
changed boat to bus
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