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Ztras

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About Ztras

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    Cool Cruiser

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  1. My favorite ship in the fleet. Not too large, not too small. There isn't a laser tag bumper car horseback riding full-sized cricket pitch on board, but that is part of the charm.
  2. Just wanted to say that while I've taken a bunch of NCL cruises - this was my favorite itinerary and favorite ship! Super jealous. In Barbados I recommend "Elegance Catamaran" for snorkeling & lunch.
  3. A drinkable prosecco is included with the 'basic' drink package.
  4. I care. They are a fun part of cruising and I incorporate them into my photos. When I met my steward the first day I told him how much I appreciated the towel animals, and I had one every night. Not awkward at all.
  5. I'm used to the rear buffet's outdoor area being a fairly quiet area overlooking the ocean - great place to relax with a snack. On the Epic, at least, it is mid-ships loud, and opening to the pool.
  6. Absolutely NOT the Epic. It is a great ship for people who are scared of the water as you almost never see it!
  7. I was on the Epic last week (first time on the Epic, maybe ninth on NCL). Getting to the pier was slow (traffic) but once we were there, the embarkation was fantastic. No lines to speak of, go in, drop off luggage, get our cards, walk on the ship. The Epic isn't my favorite. The room layout was fine for 2 - if they are married/dating/close. My problem is that it is designed so everyone focuses inside - it is made to feel like you aren't on a ship. In fact, where you should be able to see the water, from the top deck aft, they put up a huge screen where they show nature pictures. Food in the MDR was adequate, buffet was a buffet, and the specialty dining pretty good. O'Sheehan's is almost always crowded with a waiting list. Hidden gem is the Noodle bar (included). My biggest issue - the ship is loud. For example, it is designed with open spaces between the decks, so the mid-main dining room, casino, and a bar are all sharing the same area. Unless you have a balcony, you are not finding a quiet spot outside of, maybe, the library. The Art Gallery had a surprisingly fun 'scavenger hunt' one evening (matching works with clues). Surprisingly decent climbing wall too (about 5.intro to 5.10b, I'd guess). Debarkation was slow - halted due to rain, and CBP was slow, but nothing out of the ordinary. Taxis and shared buses are plentiful, but watch out: "we're leaving right now" means "I'll try to get more people for another 20 minutes before we leave." Would I choose to go on the Epic over other ships, no. Would I turn down a super discounted cruise on it, no.
  8. Sometimes at the smaller, outdoor buffet they put out some really nice Indian selections - often for the later part of dinner. I think Gem, Sky, and Sun maybe? Really authentic, well spiced. Be sure to ask one of the head/executive chefs near the buffet if you don't see it. I had the sense it was intended to be a "mostly for the staff/crew" thing but welcomed passengers as well. Mostly vegetarian dishes.
  9. It might be worth taking the actual bottle for the Ambien (since it is a controlled substance). That way you have it if there are any issues. 1% chance of needing it, I'd guess. Choose your level of comfort.
  10. I know on Gem class that the Italian restaurant is near the buffet and can be used for overflow seating for breakfast and lunch. Is there anywhere like that on the Epic where someone can go to avoid some of the chaos? First time on a mega-mega ship. Hints on other quiet places would be nice too.
  11. If the boys walk in on an embarrassing situation once, they probably never, ever, will again. :)
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