We have been cruising with Royal Carribbean in the past three years and we thought of trying the Norwegian Epic for a change this year. We had the Western Mediterrannean Cruise in mid August. The ship itself is beautiful, nice decor, nice colors. But we were disappointed and will not return with a cruise with this company. The following remarks are the reason
1. Tired, cold, unfriendly crew except three waiters and our stewardess
2. Did not have the "happy" and "why not" approach of Royal Carribbean
3. There are many restaurants, but only Garden Cafe, Taste, Manhattan and the snack food O'Sheenan's are free. The rest are specialty restaurants you pay for
4. The food at Garden Cafe (buffet) was the same every day for lunch and dinner with minor changes and trays were picked up at 21.45! It also closed at 10am for breakfast! The food presentation and taste had no creativity and no extravacant taste. If you travel a lot adn eat at high standard restaurants, you will see the difference. Too crowded, not enough space for everyone. Keep in mind that food is not free. When you calculate how much you pay, you pay for it as much as you do in minimum price to expensive restaurants.
5. The food at Taste and Manhattan was good, but too crowded and why need to wait for 20 minutes even with a glass of champagne on a cruise you paid for? This is normal at your local restaurants.
6. This boat is not detailed clean. You can see dust
7. Passengers being picked up from Chivitavecchia (about 1,500) are treated like second class passengers, while passengers picked up from Barcelona (about 3,000) are treated with welcoming parties, dinners, given detailed desrciptions of activities, informed in detail about baby activities, whereas I was on the ship for 2,5 days and asked three different crew members for a under two years old activities leaflet!
8. If you have babies, this is not a baby friendly ship (do not expect Fisher Price programs or friendly approach when your baby cries in a restaurant)
9. When passengers are picked up from Barcelona, the kids pool, the restaurant for breakfast, the under the two playroom close down as crew is too busy!!
10. This is the only cruise that people at Guest Services were rude to me (and I think it was their manager, as well)
11. The cruise director did not make it fun for everyone, the shows are of minimal standard with the exception of the Blue Man Group, which of course you will not watch more than once.
12. The Humidor (smoking room) was like a punishment for smokers. Terrible ventilation and too small
13. It is a money oriented cruise, not fun or person/client centered
14. We planned our excursions with local agents online as the ships excursions were very expensive
The unfriendly vibe of the ship and all of the above did not contribute to a fun holiday for our group of four adults and a child. We were not happy with it and will not return.