I must first say that the EPIC was a pretty cool boat. All the negativity about the bathroom/shower is nonsense; I found the layout to be preferable to the Pearl's layout. The cabin people, the wait staff, all the support staff in general were amazingly friendly and helpful and so cheerful! Our problems seemed to stem with management.
We had booked an excursion (mini boats in St. Martin) months ago and we had our confirmations, all nine of us, for the same time and date. This was accomplished not through NCL but only because I contacted the merchant personally and arranged it that way. Even after telling NCL I had arranged it and asking them to contact the merchant, NCL couldn't seem to manage that. After much hassle, we finally got the reservations. So we go on Tuesday to the dock and find out that NCL arbitrarily moved the single person in our group to a different time. Never did they contact us to tell us they moved him. They told me it was our fault for not checking our tickets and notifying them that something was wrong. Huh? We checked our tickets and saw the date and time -- the one person they threw out of our group thought he had the same time we did, we didn't converse among ourselves. So, they refused to refund our money but did refund the single guy's money.This port of call in St. Martin was ruined because we never were able to catch up with each other and he was all by himself. Did you get that --
NCL blamed us when they moved the reservation which they did because they found a couple who wanted the boat and they could charge a double fee vs. a single fee for the single guy in our group. Shame on NCL -- it's all about the money, not customer satisfaction. And to blame me on top of it all! Let's see ... we made dinner reservations at 9:00 because since there were 9 of us we were told they couldn't accommodate us until late. We had tried hard to make reservations before we sailed, realizing 9 would be tough to seat together, but no, they couldn't and wouldn't help us because our party was over 6. (NCL doesn't like large groups? I hear that Royal Caribbean loves them.) Anyway, I personally made reservations for Tuesday and Wed nights at 9 thinking that since those were 2 port o call days, we'd get back to the boat late, shower, and timing should work. Tuesday was great.
Wednesday we show up a little before 9 and they say oh no, your reservation is for tomorrow night. Now I know I never would have booked that because Thursday night was already booked at the Circque restaurant with the acrobats, and that was booked for only part of our group before we even set sail (like I said, they could accommodate reservations for smaller groups but not large groups, i.e. 9 of us). We also tried to book into comedy acts and other shows though the box office. They are closed each and every day from 11:30 til 2 for lunch. Problem is, we tried on 3 separate occasions to go there at times they were supposed to be open and no one was there. Going to the venues where the acts were to perform didn't work -- they told us to go to the box office. ARGGGG!
There were so many people on the boat that there was a constant crowd everywhere you went. I got up at 6 a.m. to to put our towels on chaise lounges to save our seats on deck to have a place to sit in the sun because again, so many people were on that boat that they just could not accommodate them all.
Despite these problems, we did have a good time anyway. As I said, the support staff were amazing in every venue. The waterslides were great fun. The hot tubs were not so hot. Not hot at all, actually. The poolside grille was really really good, capital YUM. The breakfast buffet was always wonderful too. The casino? Hey I won 800 bucks over the course of the 7-day trip so I have no complaints. Of course I spent it all paying all the premium dinner fees because the Taste (main dining room) food made us all feel ill (acidy burning feeling, the 9 of us all!) That was another problem -- the free dining rooms just didn't have good food -- there, I said it. The premium dining rooms were fabulous except for Cagneys. That's the place that messed up our reservation on Wednesday so we went back Thursday, those of us who didn't do the Cirque. BIG MISTAKE -- stay away from Cagneys.
The bars were all great, the shopping was good, the Blue Man Group and the comedy magician were great, and I almost won at Bingo but that was expensive -- 3 games for 40 bucks. After one try at that, I stuck to the casino. The casino workers were also great, every single one of them, and we spent every night in there for a while, all 9 of us. If it hadn't been for the excursion incident, I'd probably give NCL another try. But they just had no right to blame me for what they did. So I'm going to say bye bye NCL -- time to try Royal Caribbean or Princess or some other cruise line.