The Epic: it’s a great cruise ship and we really enjoyed the itinerary.
We took a week-long cruise from Miami to the Caribbean, stopping in Ocho Rios (Jamaica), Costa Maya (Mexico), and Cozumel (Mexico). We did full-day excursions and had a fantastic time at each port (we had about a day in each port and 4 days at sea). The ship had so much to do that we definitely did not get bored at any point.
First, let’s start with the embarkation process. We arrived at the cruise port around noon, which is when embarkation began. The process was smooth but did take longer than we had hoped. With a capacity of over 4,000 passengers and close to 2,000 crew members, the Epic is one of the largest ships in the Norwegian fleet.
Our inside room was average compared to other Norwegian cruises (we’ve stayed in better and stayed in worse). The best part of the inside room was being able to sleep without sunlight creeping in!
There were so many things to do on the ship but we didn’t really partake too much in the on-board activities: on the shore days we were busy with excursions, and the sea days we spent at the pool (and on the water slides). The gym on the Epic is relatively big and mostly focused on cardio machines. We also had a great time on the basketball court.
We enjoyed the food aboard the ship. The service was fantastic, and the food in the sit-down restaurants and buffet was better tasting than on most ships. Some days the main courses were so-so, but we were able to get some special order food as well which definitely filled the gap when there was one.
The lunch buffet was also tasty but there were definitely long lines at the food stations. Lots of people taking too much food and wasting it unfortunately.
The shore days
We had a lot of fun during shore days and did excursions (booked through the ship) in each of the three ports.
In Jamaica, at Ocho Rios, we had a wonderful excursion to Dunn’s River Falls. The climb up the waterfall took us about 30 minutes. The rocks were quite slippery and we had to help a couple of the older tourists climb the falls in a few spots (an activity like this would probably not be available in the US because of liability issues). For us, the climb was relatively easy and was a lot of fun. See our short photo/video compilation of the climb below:
In Costa Maya we did a catamaran cruise & snorkel excursion; it was one of several snorkel options available for booking directly from the ship. The boat ride from the cruise ship was a bit long: almost one hour. There was lots of sea life because the guides were feeding the fish (which probably isn’t the best for the fish?). After the snorkel was over, we were taken to an island/beach with a large outdoor buffet-style eatery that was included with our excursion. See our short photo / video compilation of the snorkeling below:
On the last shore day, we did a cave and jungle hiking excursion in Cozumel. The hike through the jungle was nice and easy (good enough for any age I think). We also went inside a few caves. However, do note that there were a few tight spots inside that may make some people feel claustrophobic. There were some sleeping bats in the caves, and some big spiders and snakes that had a few people spooked! The best part was when we went down into a cenote to see stalactites and stalagmites. See our short photo compilation of the hike below:
In summary, the Norwegian Epic is a great cruise ship and this particular itinerary offers a great variety of activities. Definitely recommend this ship if you are sailing with Norwegian!