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Norwegian Epic

314 reviews
 All photos (3,109)3,109
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Traveller (1,161)
Common Areas (1,590)
Dining and Bars (876)
Itineraries for this ship


Passengers: 4,100   |   Crew: 1,724
Passengers to crew: 2.38:1
Passengers to space: 37.1:1
Launched: 2010   |   Refurbished: 2020


  • Deck 5
  • Deck 6
  • Deck 7
  • Deck 8
  • Deck 9
  • Deck 10
Additional decks
Deck 5 layout


Cabin size: 151 - 192 sq. ft.
Connected rooms: 151
Accessible rooms: 16
Maximum passengers: 4
Number of cabins: 1951
Traveller rating
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Steven S wrote a review 21 Mar
Arvada, Colorado59 contributions19 helpful votes
My source of entertainment the week leading up to my cruise was reading the reviews on here. Some were helpful and others made me shake my head when there were complaints about a server not cutting up an apple for someone and people saying they couldn’t find a deck chair on a sunny day. This was my first cruise as an adult and I really do count it as my first cruise since my only other experience was as a 20 year old who just cared about getting drunk and chasing girls. I wanted to give a detailed, honest and thoughtful review for those people on the fence about this ship and cruise line. NCL as a company definitely doesn’t care about you, they just want your money. The six months leading up to my trip was full of frustrations. They ‘couldn’t find’ my reservation after I already put down the $250 deposit and then had to book it all over again and they wouldn’t take $250 off my new booking. The purpose of this trip was a large family vacation for my mother’s 70th birthday and if it wasn’t for that, I would have just given up on NCL and done a different vacation. After I paid for the trip there were two different times when there were new charges added to my account. One of these was a week before we were due to sail and they were essentially holding my boarding documents hostage. When I called customer service they couldn’t tell me what the charges were for but that I had to pay them. I refused to pay extra money when I paid for everything up front and since I stuck to my guns, they removed the charges that they couldn’t even explain what they were. I wonder how many hundreds of people just pay this without questioning it on every cruise and how much money NCL makes off of fake charges when they hold your boarding hostage. One thing I can say about this experience was that every person I talked to over the phone or via web chat from NCL was friendly and helpful. It’s not their fault they work for a greedy publicly traded company. That leads me to the staff on the ship. Throughout our journey every single person I interacted with on the ship was helpful and friendly. Every single one. I don’t know how people’s reviews say they staff was bad because my experience and the experiences of everyone else in my group was the opposite. Every server, bartender, busser and the people keeping the ship immaculately clean were smiling and friendly. I didn’t see there being short staffing as each bar had multiple bartenders working hard, servers and bussers were efficient and the one time we had our room cleaned, it was done when we came back from port. One night I went to the dueling pianos show and it was a lot of fun. One of the performers got the stats for the ship which included how many people from each country so he could see if any were in the audience. I forget the exact number, but he said there were 4800 (something) guests on the ship. The ‘capacity’ of the ship is 4100 so you know there are many rooms with 3 or 4 people in it. You could feel that there were a lot of people on this ship, especially during certain times. If you’re smart and plan ahead, you can avoid a lot of this. I never went to the Beatles show or any of the others in the big auditorium but I kept track of when they were. Five minutes after one of those shows was done there was a mad rush for every restaurant. The first full day was at sea and the pool bar was crazy. I stood in line for 20 minutes and never moved. So, I walked down to a different bar and got a couple drinks there and took them back upstairs. I reminded myself that I was one of almost 5000 people in this ship who paid for unlimited booze and food and that the ship isn’t going to cater to me individually. If you’re willing to research a little bit, be flexible and be willing to move around, it’s really easy to get what you want. Would I have loved to walk up to every bar and get immediate service? Of course. I knew that wasn’t happening in reality so I put a shirt on, went down a few levels, got my drinks without having to wait in line, then walked back upstairs and continued my fun in the sun. I don’t have anything to compare the Epic to, but I thought the ship was planned just fine. Most of the food and entertainment was on levels 5-7, rooms were 8-13, gym and spa were 14 and the deck with buffet was 15-16. I took the elevators only once at the very end of the trip when my gf didn’t want to carry her suitcases down the stairs. I did see lines outside the elevator on level 5 after a show got out or outside the buffet. Every single person (myself included) puts on weight after a week of cruising. If you’re physically able to, why not take the stairs and burn a few calories. It will help you and it will make it easier for those people who physically can’t take the stairs like the elderly or those in a wheelchair. I talked to the lady who was cleaning the rooms in my area many times. I found out that she has to clean rooms all day, every day for eight months straight. She doesn’t get time in the port, she doesn’t get a day off, she gets an hour break for lunch and another hour break for dinner and that’s it. Then she sleeps and does it all over again. If you can pick up after yourself and use the same towel day after day, give these people a little break and go a few days without them cleaning up after you. We had an inside stateroom and there was more storage space than we could use. The counter space was incredibly small and we had to keep moving things around to stay organized. The sliding door to the toilet gives very little privacy so when I really had to take care of business, I walked two floors to a public bathroom and used that. I enjoyed all the meals I had on board. The buffet was large and had a good variety. It was the same staples every day with a specialty that was rotating. By my 4th lunch/dinner meal there, it all seemed the same. The Indian food was amazing and I made sure to get that every chance I could. Taste was an excellent restaurant and the portions were perfect. Having the appetizer and entre left me feeling full without the regret of a buffet when you know you ate way too much. We ate at the hibachi place the first night and it was really good but so much food. I eat a lot and I know that could have lasted me two meals if they let me take it in a to go container (I asked, they don’t do that). Other people in our group ate at the steakhouse and said it was excellent. The itinerary was absolutely perfect. One full day at sea lets everyone have fun with nothing planned, drink way too much and get burned no matter how much sunscreen you put on. Every port had something fun to do. I didn’t book any excursions through NCL as most looked boring and all were horribly overpriced. We either walked around on our own, got a cab to a beach or booked something through an independent company. All 5 islands are beautiful and safe with so many things to do. If you’ve had the patience to make it this far, this is the advice that could help you the most. Day one at the pool bar there were so many people trying to get drinks. The lady next to me said she has been on over 30 cruises and asked me if I wanted a drink faster. I said of course. She told me to put my card on the bar with a dollar under it and watch what happens. Twenty seconds later I had my drink ordered. In real life, I’m very frugal. I am working class, had to pull overtime shifts to afford this trip, cut coupons for groceries and know where the cheapest gas is. The cheap part of my brain said that I had already paid the $20/day/person gratuities and shouldn’t have to pay even more. But then the logical part of my brain kicked in and I thought I would pay a little extra money to have a more enjoyable time. At the pool bar every time I had a dollar under my card, I got a drink faster than everyone else. One of the bars on the middle levels ended up being my favorite and I got 3 or 4 drinks there every night. I left a $5 tip the first drink of every night and $1 every drink after. By the third night each of the bartenders and servers at this bar knew me by name and I never waited for a drink. These staff members work 8 month contracts making very little money by US standards and are away from their families. I tipped around $100 doing this and it was very worth it. Instead of waiting 5-10 minutes for a drink I got it right away. Multiply that by way too many drinks in a week and I saved a lot of time. I also tipped $5 to the waiters and bussers at Taste and asked for the same ones each meal. $5 means so much more to these hard working people than it does to the people who can afford a cruise. Bring a stack of $1 and $5 bills with you and you’ll have an even better trip and help out the people who make the experience of this vacation, not the giant company who doesn’t care about you.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
H G wrote a review 20 Mar
Sandpoint, Idaho26 contributions1 helpful vote
Overall most aspects of the cruise were very good: food, entertainment, drinks, weather and destinations. Getting on and off was reasonably efficient and we found the staff friendly. Our account statement was accurate and we had no issues. Seas were calm. Our balcony room was very disappointing. As many others have commented, the bathroom is broken up in several sections, with no privacy. The bed in our room was closest to the entry door and only one person at a time can go by the end of the bed. The mirror image cabin has the couch first and that would be more convenient to live with. A truly stupid design. Only two banks of elevators meant lots of waiting. And the bartenders were overwhelmed on the pool deck. But the drinks were good. We did not use the specialty restaurants. Epic Beatles were great. Burn the Floor was excellent. The cover band, 4 on the Floor, were tremendous. The islands are great, with Curaçao and St Lucia being our favourites. 5 stars for the cruise, 1 star for the room.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Robert T wrote a review 8 Mar
1 contribution2 helpful votes
I have been on many cruises on different ships. The Epic's cabin layout is the most ridiculous I have ever seen (11221) The sink is at the foot of the bed, cabin is narrow making the bed shorter, feet were dangling over the end of the bed. No privacy in the shower or bathroom. I would never sail on the Epic again. Cabin service was not great, I think they want you to pay extra for the Haven to get better service which used to be standard.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
2 Helpful votes
Grace wrote a review 6 Mar
New York City, New York3 contributions2 helpful votes
Worst vacation experience ever. Don’t throw your hard earned money away. Who wants to wait on lines when vacationing? But the drink package and wait 25 minutes on line to get a drink. Hungry and don’t want to go for the extra money for specialty restaurants. You can wait 45 minutes to an hour on lines for the free style restaurants. Shows wait wait and more waiting.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
Mike Z wrote a review 6 Mar
Derry, New Hampshire5 contributions9 helpful votes
Hello, my wife and I travel a lot with our special needs adult daughter. I usually do not do reviews but started doing them for people who read them before they travel and look for information hoping they have something to look forward to. When I read the reviews for the epic before we went I was like Oh Crap! But the good news is we had an awesome vacation! I want to state I am not negating any other reviewers opinions but stating our experience. Everyone measures with a different yardstick and can have different experiences. Let me address the categories that have been reviewed in most of these. First a little history of us. This was our fourth NCL cruise . Many years ago on the spirt(a small boat) but very recently on the NCL Escape and Joy. We have been on Carnival but lately we cruise either Royal Caribbean and NCL. We choose based on islands and Dates. Both have their sweet spots, NCL for Freestyle dining and O'sheenans or local included for free and free open bar(yes it is not totally free you pay for gratuities and coffee and water and still a good deal but love the promenade on Royal and other things as well. The Boat : I thought is was as beautiful boat but like many said it seemed very crowded. I am not sure how much had to be with after Covid . We had been on NCL right after COVID but went on the OASIS of the seas just last November with over 6000 people but did not feel as crowded as this. I agree the layout does not have enough common areas to spread out the people. The rooms : yes worst design ever. It did not make or break our vacation but would never want this setup again. The issue is when you shower there is no place to put anything and you end up dressing right in front of the door. There is a curtain for privacy but I returned to the room several times not knowing my wife was showering only to return with a coffee for her but bumping her with the door and God forbid someone was walking by in the hallway !! Like I said, won't ruin your vacation but thankfully no other NCL ships have this design. Shows/ Specialty Dining Reservations/Lounge chairs - I have seem many negative comments on this . Our experience has been no matter what cruise line , what ship there will always be thousands of people wanting to do what you want to do is get on early , wait in line for all you reservations and take your shot. This is not cruise specific. There will never be a lounge chair for everybody on every boat. Impossible. so if you want one you need to get out early and reserve one. Like it or not. Food/Restaurants/wait times - We found this on par with any NCL or Royal Cruise. Some nights you like the menu , some nights you are just OK with a choice but over all on Par with Cruise food. The Specialty Restaurants were really good. as far as waits, most nights 5 minutes in line. One night we had to get a buzzer and it was a 30 minute wait but with the buzzer we enjoyed the casino while we waited rather than stand in line. The time for dining varied depending on the crowd but overall was a very pleasant experience. Service/Bar lines/Wait times - this is where I really disagree with a lot of reviews. First we did not come across rude staff at all. On the contrary. Maybe it is us but these people are away from their families and overworked for sure. Sometimes a little kindness goes a long way and it will be returned tenfold. There was a woman Marcia who worked the lobby bar. I asked her one day how she was doing? She was so surprised I asked that the rest of the time she would see me in line and wave to me like I was her best friend. She was in the farewell line on debarkation an personally greeted me good bye. One Server in the Manhattan room refilled my wine glass without asking and I told him "you're the best !" They are tired an overworked but will return the kindness and respect you show them. So we were very happy with the service! We met and befriended a photographer and had a great time taking pictures and enjoyed the picture package. As for Bar lines, yes, we all have unlimited drinks and there were lines but experienced nothing like the 25 or 40 minutes people have stated. What they do good is lines. The pool bar looked overwhelming at first but they had rope lines so instead of blobbing around the bar hoping the bartender would notice you it was an orderly line where you never worried about being cut by someone arriving after you but very orderly. There were also pop us bars on the pool deck with beer carts, again with orderly lines. I found 5 minutes to maybe 8 minutes if that to wait for a drink. I surely looks worse than it is . At O'Sheehans the end of the bar without stools would form an orderly line which moved quicky. Entertainment - we enjoyed the comedy, howling at the moon, missed the main show but by out choice but heard it was good Lastly excursions - Five ports and we had awesome excursions ! So to summarize, I am writing this for those who have booked this but waiting to travel and worried about the very bad reviews. We took advantage of their CruiseNext program and have booked the new Viva , and the JOY(which will be our first repeat boat) and though the Viva has has not sailed yet, its sister ship the Prima has been slammed in reviews so we are in the same boat going forward. But having sailed on the EPIC, although like anything has its drawbacks, if you have a positive attitude, be kind and respectful to all staff, be patient(Because it is crowded) and make the best of your ports of call, You will have amazing vacation and lifelong memories, just like we did ! Safe Travels!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote