5.7.11

Cruisin' the Caribbean

I was one of those who thought that cruises were for old people and I am a bit scared of boats so I had never considered cruising as something to do on holidays. That was until 2 years ago when some of my family members decided to spend Christmas on a cruise so I put aside my fear of boats and sailed happily with them. And I'm so glad I did it! Cruising is the perfect way to visit places you would have never gone to for a full holiday, plus you just jump on the ship and forget about everything: flight times, hotel reservations, etc. You just go to sleep and when you wake up you are in a different place!
I had been on 2 cruises now (a third one is coming next year, can't wait!) and they have both been with the same company, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) which offers a great concept called Freestyle: you are free to do whatever, whenever! So, no fixed lunch or dinner times, no long dresses and tuxedos for dinner (if you want you can dress up, but it's OK if you don't), various dinner options and great shows and music at different times of the day.
This year we tried their newest: Epic. I had read many reviews about it on Cruise Critic (that's the tripadvisor for cruisers), some good, some bad, they said it was a floating Las Vegas, too noisy, too big, etc. but others were enthusiastic so we gave it a shot. We had a great holiday! The ship is big, very big, but we never got lost, they have these touchscreens on each floor that help you get from one place to another by showing on a map the route to go. Never had problems with noise or anything else, we loved it and can't wait to sail again with them!
Here are some pictures:

The ship from a Mexican beach
Our cabin in deck 10 (BE category)


Inside the Epic
 We always choose balcony cabins because it's great to have a drink while watching the sea, and sometimes having a cup of coffee while arriving to a new port.
Apart from the main buffet and a couple of other restaurants with a good variety of food, the Epic has great dining options (at a small extra charge): Sushi, Asian, Teppanyaki, Brazilian churrascaria, Steakhouse, Italian, a 24-hour Pub (with bowling lanes!) and our favorite: the French Le Bistro.
 There's also a big gym in case you feel guilty about all the food you've been eating. And after that you can relax in the Spa with a sauna, a steam bath, jacuzzi or simply by laying on a heated lounger sipping a cup of tea and overlooking the sea (Spa has an extra charge, but worth it!).
some shows on board - BMG is the best!

 After dinner you can hit the theater and enjoy great shows or go dancing!

Amazing sunrise in the Caribbean
Another view of our cabin

Spice H2O, the perfect place to watch the games

The pool area was a bit noisy so we always went to Spice H2O, an adults only pool club. They have a couple of jacuzzis and a small pool, and you can watch games, concerts, etc.on the big screen! They also have drinks and snacks all day long.


Art on board (painting by Peter Max)
 And if you are in the mood to buy some art while on board, they even have art auctions!

Overall a great experience, good food, great places, nice ship, casino, relax, sun, what else do you need?!