Your Epic Thoughts

Dec 26th, 2013, 04:26 PM
  #1  
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Your Epic Thoughts

With several redemption offers we have been able to book a “guaranteed” balcony room for a 7 day cruise on the Epic for about $1000 plus about $120 in onboard credits. While this may seem like a good deal, I am worried that it might not be after reading recent reviews on “Cruise Critic” about the ship.

Carnival is our preferred cruise line but this is an opportunity for us to try one of the “mega” ships at what on the surface seems like a good deal. I am weary that this may not be a great a bargain as it seems. We have until January 2014 to decide.

Appreciate you sharing your thoughts on your personal experiences on the Epic or any of the other mega ships.
DMBTraveler is offline  
Dec 26th, 2013, 04:36 PM
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Haven't been on it and have heard about its quirks in design but for that price and if the ports are good for U then I'd give it a serious thought. Can it be that bad?
jacketwatch is offline  
Dec 27th, 2013, 02:04 AM
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Totally agree w/jacketwatch. I have not sailed her yet but the entertainment alone is better than some other lines.
And by the time you sail, maybe all the kinks will be worked out.
Rhea58 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2013, 07:57 AM
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Have not been on NCL ships for a while as service was inconsistent. Heard a lot about the new design on this ship such as the "ice bar" , "studio cabins" and "open bathroom". I've seen pictures of the cabin and all I can say is it is different. If you don't mind seeing your partner doing the "busienss" in plain view, then you are good to go. The wash basin/sink is part of the counter inside your cabin so you will see your partner brushing teeth or applying make up. There are separate enclosures for shower and toilet but you step in and out of the shower right from the living quarter so when you step out of the shower, you are right in the middle of the cabin in plain view for all to see . So if it just happens that someone knock on the door or you have a visitor inside ... that would be an interesting moment. You may want to check out the layout of your cabin first. For me, that could be a deal breaker.

My friends who had been on the ship either loved it or hated it (as in the cabin design). They loved the entertainment, especially the dueling piano and the Blue Men Group. We saw Blue Men Group in Vegas and it costed us over $100 a ticket to see them and it was years ago.

The price is alright, and as Larry said, if the ports are good, there is nothing to lose. Just remember red carpet for even-numbers and blue carpet for odd numbers and you won't get lost, unless they change the color ... but you will find out soon enough as soon as you are on board.
Eschew is offline  
Dec 28th, 2013, 02:45 PM
  #5  
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Thanks "All" for the responses, I like them better than the reviews on CC.

I guess it is a "Love It or Hate It" type of ship. Think we will follow through with it and I'll post my "Epic" thoughts on our return in April.

Eschew, I guess it depends on what type of business your sailing mate is doing...
DMBTraveler is offline  
Dec 28th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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Sounds good and looking f/f to your TR
jacketwatch is offline  
Dec 29th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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I guess it would be helpful to know why you are wary about the cost not of Epic not being worth it. I can definitively say that NCL has many opportunities for add-ons and extras, but in my opinion this isn't any more extensive than on other mainstream cruise lines, nor have I found that prices for things like drinks are more expensive than on lines like Carnival.

But many people don't like the anything-goes nature of NCL, where there are no set dining times, and where there are a wide variety of dining venues, almost all of which except for the main dining rooms charge extra. People don't like the idea that they may have to wait 20 minutes for a table at a restaurant, but that's never been an issue for me. Since these ships are designed for people to come and go all the time, I've never found it difficult to get a table I want (for two or shared) almost anytime I want.

What is outstanding on Epic is the entertainment, which is among the best I've experienced on any cruise ship. I particularly like the Blue Man Group, but I also realize this is not to everyone's taste. But a lot of people don't like that you have to make reservations (free, mind you) for the shows, and some of these, especially Howl at the Moon and the Blues club, can be in high demand and somewhat hard to get because of the small venues. I, however, find this a convenience that is hard to beat even though it takes out some of the spontaneity and is not what some people expect.

I also don't like the giant casino, where there is too much cigarette smoke despite the large size. And I have never felt that NCL does a very good job with organized activities during sea days. That's the one place where I think they don't measure up to other mainstream lines. In most other respects, I find they acquit themselves quite well. I've eaten at both the included main dining rooms over the years and at the specialty restaurants. Le Bistro is still among the best dining experiences I've found on any ship, and a lot of people like the churrascaria. And the pool areas are just not sufficient for the number of people onboard ... this is a common design flaw of NCL ships.

And then there are the cabins, which feel a bit cramped despite their size, which is otherwise fine (this is partly due to the wavy design, which means they are too narrow around the bed for me. There's a lot of storage space, but the bathroom set-up is not to my taste, though they are not a problem for some, but it is definitely not as private as I might like. All in all, however, I really do like the ship, and I've sailed on NCL a lot.

I have begun to prefer a more upscale cruise line as I've gotten older. I like fewer children (Epic is exceedingly family friendly and often filled with kids), and I prefer more inclusions and a better over all quality of food. But I've never found service to be lacking on any NCL ship, and on that particular point I take great exception to some critiques of the line and its ships.

I hope this helps you with your decision. I've written about Epic on this site elsewhere, so you can always search for my comments.
doug_stallings is offline  
Dec 29th, 2013, 09:48 AM
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Doug do you think this specific aspect of NCL design flaw in terms of small pools carrys over to the Breakaway class ships and do they have a more conventional configuration for their cabins for the sinks and bathrooms?
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Dec 29th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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Doug,

Thanks for the helpful post, one of the best I have read on the Epic.

Our concern is not particularly about the cost because we feel that for us it is a great deal. However, no matter the cost we always want to feel like we are getting our moneys worth and would have an enjoyable experience.

We have done a few sailings on NCL and while we like the freestyle cruising we are often disappointed with the on board activities.

Your response has helped with the decision to go forward and we will use your info to have a good time
DMBTraveler is offline  
Dec 29th, 2013, 12:10 PM
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The Breakaway ships are much better in terms of pool areas, and they are almost up to Disney standards in their water slides. And they have a much more standard configuration for the bathrooms, which I like. However, in the minisuites, there is no more tub, so that may be a consideration for some. It's now a big walk-in shower, which I really like. And there is no longer a separate compartment for the toilet as on the other NCL Jewel-class ships. Baths now have a big double-wide sink. I don't particularly like the tiling but the bathrooms are very workable, though they lack storage space.

I was incredibly impressed by the Breakaway class of ships, and I think NCL has fixed most of the more annoying flaws I've seen in Epic and improved on their other ship classes in almost all ways except one. There's now strangely not nearly enough storage space, and that's a weird flaw, but it's noticeable. The cabins may be a bit smaller on Breakaway-class ships than on the other NCL ships. (Epic was particularly noteworthy for the amount of storage space in cabins, which was so much more than anyone could possibly use.) The balconies are also smaller (again, noticeably) on the Breakaway class ships.

Nevertheless, I really loved Breakaway and felt its flaws were manageable.
doug_stallings is offline  
Dec 29th, 2013, 12:27 PM
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Thanks Doug. It seems that NCL wisely decided to not build more Epic class ships and instead redesign their next gen ships which seems to be a success. Also the looks of the Breakaway ships are much nicer, more sleek and appealing than the Epic which looks sort of boxy.
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Dec 29th, 2013, 03:45 PM
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DMBTraveler, when is the cruise? and what are the ports?
Eschew is offline  
Dec 30th, 2013, 10:26 AM
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Eschew,

April 6th... Ocho Rios, Costa Maya and Cozumel
DMBTraveler is offline  
Dec 30th, 2013, 07:39 PM
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Nice ... Never been to Costa Maya but been to Cozumel and Ocho Rios a few times.

Cozumel is one of those places that you can keep making cruise stops and never had enough time to spend there. Seems like every time on a cruise stop, we ended up in Playa de Carman. Our first time there was 2001 and the last time was last year (2012). Next time at Cozumel, hoprfully in about 3 weeks.
Eschew is offline  
Dec 31st, 2013, 01:22 AM
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We have a cruise planned in Cozumel in April. Will you give a TR I hope?
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Jan 2nd, 2014, 10:49 AM
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Larry, what ship will you on and when?
Eschew is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 11:28 AM
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It's the Legend. It's at the end of April from Tampa. We plan to attend a wedding in Clearwater that Sat. And the ship embarks Sun. It's the last WE of April and it's 7 nights with stops in Roatan, Belize, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
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Jan 2nd, 2014, 12:02 PM
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So E are you thinking of joining? It would be kinda cool!!
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Jan 2nd, 2014, 04:20 PM
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We are leaving in a couple of weeks. Ship sails Jan 18, Roatan, Belize and Conzmel, not sure in what order. Love to crusie with you and Sue, if only the ports are different ... maybe the next one?

We are still looking for something near end of March early April, maybe even spring break week or the Easter long weekend.

We book this one not all that long ago. Price is good, just a tad over $400 for oceanview. We have been booking last minute deals for the last 3 trips (Alaska under $600 for 7 days in a full suite, Greek Isles under $800 for 12 days in a balcony, plus this one coming up) and we have seen some very deep discounts. We got email offers from Celebrity, Carnival, HAL and Princess almost weekly. Oceania is offering 2 for 1 plus free air. If only there is more time ...
Eschew is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2014, 08:46 AM
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Indeed the ports are repetitive.

What ship will you be on?

Perhaps some day we can cruise the high seas and have a brew or two.
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