Mindy Abbott Cruise Ship February 19th, 2018 - 12:37:30
The Staterooms Like every modern cruise ship the NCL Epic offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from lower-priced interior cabins (with no window) to huge luxury suites with personal butlers. Obviously a guest staying in one of the large suites would have a different stateroom experience than one staying in a much smaller interior cabin so once again I must preface my stateroom review by cautioning the reader that it is based on my specific experience (which may or may not hold true for other types of accommodations on the Epic). My wife and I were in a standard stateroom with a balcony (one of the \"Category B\" staterooms on the ship). Upon entering the stateroom we had two initial impressions. First of all the curved walls gave the room a very \"unique\" look (unlike typical cruise ship staterooms which are almost always rectangular with straight walls). The second thing we noticed is that the stateroom didnt have a bathroom... well at least not in the traditional sense.
The \"Hardware\" When discussing the physical attributes of a cruise ship (i.e. its layout and appearance) industry professionals often refer to the ships \"hardware\". So lets start there. At 153000 tons with a passenger capacity of 4100 (based on double occupancy) the Norwegian Epic is by far the largest ship in the NCL fleet. In fact with the exception of Royal Caribbeans Oasis of the Seas (which was launched in December 2009) NCLs Epic is among the largest cruise ships at sea. It is also one of the most uniquely designed cruise ships that I have ever been on (... and Ive been on quite a few). In most cases that \"uniqueness\" is a very positive attribute which reflects the thoughtfulness and attention that the Epics designers must have paid to maximizing the use of space to achieve a much bigger wide-open \"feel\" to all of the ships public areas. And the way that one area just seemed to \"flow\" into the next (without the \"cookie-cutter\" rigidity sometimes found on cruise ships) was truly remarkable.
This pending SOLAS implementation date has already started to show up as a primary factor in the asking and selling prices of ships on the market today. SOLAS 2010 also offers a tremendous opportunity for those who may prefer to have a very large houseboat instead of a commercial ship. Ships that are not in compliance with SOLAS 2010 are now selling for a song (inexpensively). A cruise ship can easily be converted into a megayacht with the stroke of a pen. Privately owned yachts not in commercial service and not carrying passengers or cargo for hire are exempt from many of the SOLAS requirements. Operating costs are also lower for a private yacht. It cost less to register flag and insure a private yacht. Megayachts can be flagged and classified for unlimited service. That means that a megayacht can go practically anywhere you want it to go. There is one major drawback to registering a cruise ship as a private yacht.
The Service A cruise passengers perception of onboard service is so often dependent upon who their stateroom attendant was and which waiters / waitresses served their meals. Since my wife and I started Direct Line Cruises there have been several instances in which different clients on the same exact cruise would report radically different service levels. So at best any evaluation of service should be taken only as a generalization based on limited individual experiences while onboard. Having prefaced this part of my review (to \"cover my tail\" in case the reader has a different experience) my wife and I found the service on the NCL Epic to be consistent with what weve experienced on other NCL cruise ships (i.e. very good with only minor exceptions).