My husband and I sailed on the EPIC July 22-29, 2012 to the Western Mediterranean form Barcelona.
Day 1 (Embarkation)
At the cruise terminal they had a special line for the suites guests, which was nice to have. Once we checked in a concierge representative came and got us and led us up the escalator. We were shown to the concierge lounge and introduced to Ryan the concierge. They showed us to our room and we were so pleased. Something strange happened while we were in our room. The boat experienced a "blackout." Half of the boat didn't have electricity and unfortunately that included our room. We called our butler, Armando, and asked if he would show us around. He was there in three seconds and was ready to go. He showed us around the entire Haven area and asked if there was anything he could do. By this time the blackout had ended and I asked if he could do something about the AC because it wasn't working. Eventually an engineer came down and fixed it. Then we were introduced to Judy, our room steward. She was the most wonderful room steward we have ever had. Actually, this was the best customer service we have ever had on a boat. We had reservation at Moderno Churrascaria (the Brazilian steakhouse) and the food was pretty, but the service was slow, not terrible, just slow. I would have gone back in a heartbeat :)
Day 2 (at sea)
This was a VERY ROUGH day. The boat ended up in some rough waters and I ended up getting sick during my spa appointment. The wonderful spa attendant walked me back to our stateroom and I ended up sleeping all day. Even some of the crew mentioned that the seas were rough even for them. That made me feel so much better! :) I was able to reschedule my spa appointment for Saturday. We ate at Shanghai's this evening. We had the worst service. The food was terrible and I would not waste your money ($15 pp) on this place.
Day 3 (Naples)
We decided to take the Pompeii, Sorrento, & Capri tour through NCL. Excellent!!!! Pompeii was great, Sorrento was a cute little town and we had a pretty good lunch there, and to top it all off was Capri. The views were wonderful and the lemon frozen slushies were phenomenal! We had no trouble with the funicular being too crowed inside the cart. Connie was our guide for this tour and she was really nice. We saw legends in concert this evening and I would skip it. The Rod Stewart guy was good, but forget the Madonna and Elvis people, they were terrible. We decided to do something totally different for dinner, we ate at the buffet. My husband can't stand buffets, but he really enjoyed this one. The pasta station is to die for!
Day 4 (Rome)
We decided to book the Ultimate Rome tour through NCL and it was wonderful. Yes, the bus ride is a 1 1/2 hours, but it was so worth it. Just FYI if you want to shop at the Vatican museum do it at the bathroom break because you don't get to go back and I didn't get anything I wanted (I pouted all the way back to the boat)because they told me there was a shop at the end of the tour just like the Vatican museum. WRONG!! It was terrible and I had to settle for crap stuff from this place. Good tour though. We ate at Cagney's this evening and it was so delicious we ate there again later on during the cruise. For what you get for a $25 pp up charge is out of this world.
Day 5 (Pisa)
We did the Pisa and taste of Tuscany tour. We have decided that this was our favorite tour. Our guide Andrea (male) was funny and very informative. We went to the leaning tower and then went to a winery were we had lunch. The first course was pasta with bolognese, the 2nd course was different cold cuts and cheese with bread to taste their olive oil, and then dessert. We had 4 bottles of wine to choose from (2 reds & 2 whites). This was the strongest wine I have ever tasted in my life. The desert wine I didn't care for, but the almond biscotti's were yummy. I would highly recommend this tour! This evening we went to the Cirque dreams dinner and show. WOW!!! The food was good (I'm a picky eater) and the show was great. It was worth the $35 per person up charge (we had premium seating since we were part of the Haven).
Day 6 (Cannes)
The tour we selected was the Highlights of Nice & Monaco. It was a good tour, but not great. They did not give us enough time to eat lunch in Monaco and that really irritated us. They gave us 25 minutes and every place was too packed with people to sit down and eat. We had to settle for a can of Pringles and two soft drinks. The casino was great in Monte Carlo. I won $20 at blackjack. We loved the casino. We ate at Cagney's, again, YUM!
Day 7 (Marseille)
We took a private tour at this port and our driver was terrible. We DID NOT book this through NCL. He did take us to Provence and to an olive farm which was really cool. Wish we had a better tour guide. Honestly, we should have stayed on the boat for this port. Really we should have had more time in Rome and skip this port all together. We decided for our last meal on the boat was to eat at La Cucina. For $10 pp up charge it wasn't bad. Plus we wanted to get back to the room so we could pack our bags :(
We met Ryan down the concierge lounge and he took us through the service elevators and we were off the boat in 2 minutes flat. What a way to end the cruise.
We never thought we would have such a wonderful vacation, but the EPIC exceeded our expectations and we are considering taking this boat when it is in the Caribbean. We stayed in the Haven so much we hardly had time to see the rest o the boat. Except for the terrible service at Shanghai's, the customer service on this boat was fantastic. We can't wait to do it again. Thank you to Ryan, Armando, and Judy for the best customer service. We appreciated all the food we had waiting for us every time we got back from a port.
If you decide you want to splurge and be in The Haven area of the ship, I would HIGHLY recommend it. The service was great and we had breakfast at the Haven club 3 mornings in a row and I really don't care for breakfast food, but it was delicious. We ate one time in the Haven courtyard and it wasn't bad. The onion rings were really good.
Thank you for a wonderful time and look forward to seeing everyone on a future NCL cruise. Happy Traveling!!