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Old August 4th, 2010, 04:41 PM
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Cool Our Experience on NCL Epic July 24th 2010

We Mike and Mimi just finished our week on the Epic and wanted to start a thread sharing info on our experience. We had a fabulous trip and were pleased with almost everything. Please share your experiences!!!

1. Our family deluxe balcony room was larger that we expected.
2. It had a nice size tub shower combination with shampoo and bath soap
3. Curtain and door deadbolt gave lots of bathroom privacy
4. Lots of storage space for all our clothes etc and room for luggage
5. Easy to watch TV while on couch or bed! Nice Big Flat screen
6. Toilet flush loud (no big deal except at 3AM)
7. Room service tag out each morning for continental breakfast gave us a wake up call and extra coffee with yummy pastries and fruit.
8. Beds and pillows were really great and we are spoiled
9. Service all over the ship was exceptional and warranted tipping
10. Suggest room close to elevator which always gave us the edge.
11. Back and front of ship much closer than it appears for easy walking
12. Restaurants all exceptional and we utilized 5 pays and 2 frees for dinner.
13. Ice bar is fun but suggest not wearing shorts and tips bring larger and occasionally an extra drink. We went twice and loved our picture.
14. Learned that servers get 8% of the added 15% gratuity and 2% for their helpers and 5% goes all over the ship.
15. The $12 a day covers their very minimum wage and everyone is on a 10 month contract and then they go home to be with families for next 2 months.
16. Perhaps the service is so great because those extra tips are really important to their financial survival. Most people are from the Phillipines and really have patience for an overdemanding audience. Lovely People!
17. Laundry is very expensive but 50% discount for pressing only first evening. No irons allowed so a chance de-crease your packed items.
18. Shanghai Chinese Restaurant and Churrascaria excellent food
19. Teppenaki not as good as Bennihanas but the entertainment by the chefs was close to an insane food fight. My husband loved it!
20. No lines from beginning to end. Sometimes had to wait for another elevator. Early deboarding not necessary. We had 11:30 Flight and were 3 hours early at Fort lauderdale. Wish we had stayed for Breakfast!
21. Spa services rather spendy! Suggest a Romance package for two 25 minute massages and manicure and pedicure. It was a better buy. One massage was by a disappointing amateur from South Africa unless you enjoy a tickle and the next by Sheila who was phenomenal and had strong hands.
22. Christopher tours in Roatan where we pre-hired our own van($80) and then who took us zip-lining (Extreme meant less walking and included 9 platforms)) with Pirates of the Carribean for $79 each.
23. Sunshine Tours purchased from Allpro through Viator gave us mini Rhino Jeeps for 5.5 hours in Cozumel with historic sites and some snorkeling or a massage on the beach. 2 piers in Cozumel so make sure where you are landing. We took a taxi to International Pier. Great experience!!
24. Casino was great. I was their guest and they sent refreshments to our room and instead of the Comp credits earned of $100 they gave me $580.00 which was a pleasant surprise. Plenty of machines!
25 Blackjack tournament for $15 entry goes on all week and I managed to win 3rd place and won a bottle of French Champagne and a t-shirt. First place was for $500 and met some fun people as competitors.
26 Our Room was 12075 where we had a "perfect" steward Gene and was very handy to Garden Buffet which has Breakfast Lunch and Dinner covered.
27. We talked to people in the studios who were delighted with their private living room and incredible bartenders!
28. We bought one Cola unlimited pass and it was easy for my husband to share his when I felt like a sip or two or three()
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Old August 5th, 2010, 12:20 AM
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Thanks for the update and review.

I changed my cabin from a BA, aft balcony, to a Deluxe Balcony cabin because there are three of us and need all the room we can get. I'm glad to hear that the cabin has a lot of storage.

I am a bit concerned about the length of the bed. I'm 6'2" and I think I'll have my feet hanging over the end for most of the cruise.

I am excited about the entertainment and the different dining venues. I plan on trying as many as I can.

I'm glad you enjoyed the Epic and in just over two months I plan on doing the same thing.

Take care,
Mike
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Old August 6th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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Suggest the Family Deluxe Balcony as Tub/shower eliminates the concept of dripping water that I read somewhere as an issue. Also front of the ship near elevator gives great access to Garden Cafe which was really great for breakfast or lunch and also access to pool area and its eateries. Never noticed any motion issues and we were in large swells right after Bonnie. This also puts you in a great location for easy disembark and elevator goes right down to Epic Showroom, Internet Cafe etc. Also you are far removed from any nightclub music. We were not traveling with children and were concerned that there might be too much action but rooms appear to be soundproof.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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Sounds like things are going pretty well for the Epic. I know the first sailing or two was a little iffy, but that is to be expected.

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Old August 7th, 2010, 03:58 PM
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15. The $12 a day covers their very minimum wage and everyone is on a 10 month contract and then they go home to be with families for next 2 months
So does this mean the staff get no wages at all other than tips??
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Old August 8th, 2010, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
15. The $12 a day covers their very minimum wage and everyone is on a 10 month contract and then they go home to be with families for next 2 months
So does this mean the staff get no wages at all other than tips??
No, they do get a salary and of course, room and board. Their salaries are very small, but they do get paid.

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Old August 9th, 2010, 03:17 PM
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In interviewing different staff members it appears that their salary is paid by the "service charge" When the ship is full they make more and when the ship has vacancies they make less. I won a jackpot of $1300 in the casino and tipped $100. My attendant receives 1/2 and you would have thought he won the lottery seeing how happy and excited it made him. Any extra opportunity to earn a little extra is very important as their salaries appear to just cover the monies that they send home to support their families. We left $5 on the pillow each day for our Steward and always a couple of dollars for room service. In addition we felt $40 at the end of our stay was appropriate. Our steward kept our ice bucket refreshed each morning and made different animals out of small towels during turndown service. I believe that a few hundred dollars of $5 and $1 will be very usefull for extra ship tipping and for land tour tips. We only encountered one person with an "attitude" which was a gentleman at the spa desk with a Dutch or German name.
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