My husband, my two teenage boys, and I just returned from our first cruise, a seven day Mediterranean cruise on the NCL Epic. We had a wonderful, wonderful time.
We arrived in Barcelona a day before the cruise. We took the Aerobus for 5,65 Euros to Plaza Catalunya. This could not have been easier. We then walked the four blocks to the Acta Atrium Palace in Barcelona. I was worried that we would be targeted as tourist with our luggage, but every other person there was toting a suitcase.
We left the hotel for the pier at 11:30am the next day. The taxi for four people and four suitcases was 21,94 euros before tip. The ride took maybe fifteen minutes. When we arrived at the pier, I saw the massive Epic and wondered what we had gotten into. The taxi dropped us off, we walked maybe 50 feet, and a porter took our bags. We used the luggage tags that were sent to us in the mail, so we just dropped the luggage off.
We went inside the terminal and waited maybe ten minutes in line. Be sure to have your edocs, passports and credit card ready. They took our pictures and we received our key cards. This could not have been easier. We walked right on the boat and decided to eat at Taste. This was a good decision since Taste was pretty empty and this was a relaxing place to wait. So by 1:00 we were eating our lunch. I thought embarkation was seamless.
At first we thought about only getting one room for the four of us, but decided to splurge on two balcony cabins. I think it would have been tight for the four of us especially since the boys are tall. We had no problems with the cabin size or the bathrooms. I thought it was cozy. We loved the balconies. We brought binoculars which we used constantly. We were on the starboard side of the boat which allowed us to see much of the shore as the ship was moving.
My biggest fear for this cruise was seasickness. It was irrational since I have never been seasick, but I hate being queasy. I brought Seabands, ginger candy for nausea, three different kinds of over-the-counter sea sickness medicine, and filled a prescription for the patch. We used none of it. One of my sons used one Seaband on one night. He said it helped, but since he only wore one, I wonder if it was the placebo effect. We felt great the entire cruise. I only felt the motion of the ship when I was sitting quietly.
There were a few nights where we really felt the ship rattle. I compare it to a mild earthquake. It was weird. This woke all of us up with the shaking of the bed and the hangers in the closet rattling. We did not feel motion, just shaking. I have never been a cruise before, so I have nothing to compare it too.
We took the ship's tour for half a day to Pompeii and used RomeInLimo for tours to Rome and Florence. All were excellent.
One night we saw Los Locos Ole. We enjoyed them very much. The three guys are fine musicians, but they joke around with a lot of innuendo. My boys were older and really liked the show. I would not bring a younger child. The show lasted about an hour.
You sign up for the tenders (lifeboats) for Cannes via your TV screen. We decided to sleep in and go about 11:00. Riding the lifeboat was fun. We climbed a hill in Cannes to the Musee de la Castre for a beautiful view. We walked around and had lunch at a sidewalk cafe.
The shuttle from Marseille did not go well, but that was the only glitch. It was unorganized and finally we gave up and went back to the boat.
The food on the Epic was good. The only specialty restaurant we ate in was the Italian restaurant which we liked a lot. The buffet had lots of nutritious choices.
Disembarkation was very smooth. Our luggage was waiting for us when we go off the ship at 8:45. Taxis were waiting with very little line.