The Houseful Cruises – 2012 – Norwegian Epic

Norwegian Cruise Lines rock. Let me get that off of my chest before I go into my diatribe. We cruised the Norwegian Epic and the Eastern Caribbean for seven days during the second week of December, and LOVED it!

:::Just so you know, we paid for this trip out of our own pockets. I’m not receiving kickbacks from Norwegian, no matter how much I’ve crossed my fingers and toes to do so. It’s all me here, and I hope that they enjoy this review as much as I am going to enjoy writing it.:::

It’s only been a little over a week since we’ve been back and I miss cruising terribly. I was supposed to have this week long recap up at the beginning of this week, but Mr. Houseful and I got bodyslammed by some horrible sickness the week that we got back. I’m still recuperating (sitting on the couch and blogging) so please forgive me.

I’m going to attempt to do a better job at posting the recap than I did last year, but if you want to see a recap from our 4 day cruise on the Norwegian Sky, then you can go here, here, herehere and here.

Mr. Houseful and I left Chicago two days earlier than our cruise was set to sail because it’s Chicago and December, and also because we have not had a vacation alone all year long. Not even a weekend getaway. It was necessary. The mini houseful stayed with my mother in law and my mom – yes we split them, kinda, and no, I don’t think anyone hates us.

Our first day of sail was a Saturday and we were going to be at sea for a total of three days. Here’s some specs:

Passenger Capacity: 4,100 (double occupancy)
Length: 1,081 feet
Crew: 1,753

The Epic is the largest ship in the Norwegian Cruise Fleet, and you can definitely tell when you enter. This being our second cruise and our second with Norwegian we were able to tell immediately that we were on a larger ship than the Sky.

We are also now official Latitudes Members which meant that we got to board before everyone else. We were called through to our check in and on the ship within half an hour. MUCH different than our hour and a half long wait last year. I would try to explain the rewards program, but you can honestly go straight to the website and get a better one than I could ever give you other than, the more your cruise, the more perks you get.

Let me also state that the entire purpose of this cruise for us was to relax. Not have to think about doing anything if we didn’t want to, and just kind of take each day as it came. We planned no excursions, and the only time we made reservations was for any of the shows that we wanted to see.

We set sail at about 4 in the afternoon and we were on our way. The sun was beginning to set, and my heart was happy. We had done our emergency muster and we had already eaten lunch for the day.


We made phone calls to our parents letting them know we were off, and then we just got ready for our week long adventure. I went to one of the 20 dining areas on board, the Garden Cafe to find a prime spot to watch as we started moving further into the Atlantic Ocean.


You see that nifty hot tub? Yeah, that was for the crew, and we had to salivate at ALL of that room the entire 7 days. Ha!

After watching as the ship descended further into the sea, Mr. Houseful and I went to unpack our bags, and then explore the ship.

Our closet started out like this:

and ended up completely filled by the time we unpacked our three bags.

This ship featured a bathroom that was split in two. The shower was on one side of the room while the toilet was on the other. The sink was on the vanity. It was weird, but we made it work.

I know that this is a pretty lackluster first day, but honestly we were just looking forward to the cruise we were grinning like crazy people!

I did happen to squeeze in an appointment at the spa – a pedicure that was TONS better than the one that I had on the Sky. The attendant was chatty when all I wanted to do was sit back and kind of doze, but she wasn’t rude, so I indulged.

During the evening, we went to one of the main dining rooms for dinner – The Manhattan Room – surf and turf and that was the only time that I did not like what I was served. The dining room was too crowded and our server seemed a bit discombobulated. He wasn’t rude, and he apologized profusely, but there were some diners that kept giving him a bit of a hard time, and he seemed to derail from that point on. We didn’t eat in The Manhattan Room any more during the duration of the cruise.

Anything after that is a distant memory. We probably walked around on the upper deck, or explored the ship and then returned to our room. Sleep was welcomed.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our second day of cruising sans the mini’s


  1. Quiana says:

    So glad you had a good time! Seeing your IGs made me so excited for me and my husband’s first cruise in 2 months. We’re going on Royal Caribbean for 7 days and I can’t wait! I couldn’t click through on our other recap posts but will do a search on the blog to read them. Can’t wait to read the rest about your cruise!

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