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Amongst our best cruises so far!
Europe - Western Mediterranean
We flew from Montreal to Barcelona and had to wait for other passengers before the shuttle would leave for the port. Since Barcelona's airport is pretty close to the port, we would have been better off taking a taxi!
So we went directly to the port and arrived later than expected because of airline delays.
The EPIC is simply the best ship we cruised thus far! Our cabin was a mini-suite. I don't know what makes it a mini-suite except maybe the bathtub. Nevertheless the cabin had plenty of storage and for a couple its layout was great!
We really enjoyed the top-notch shows onboard. The "Howl at the Moon" was also one of our favorites.
The two dining rooms are really nice and whenever we had to wait for a table we would get vouchers for free sparkling wine. A nice touch! The alternate dining venues were also quite interesting.
We only had one day at sea during the week so we didn't spend a lot of time around the pools.
Being our first More
European cruise, we booked tours for all but one port of call. Most ports of call are pretty far from the cities we wanted to visit so on average the tours lasted 8-10 hours! They were also quite expensive compared to ones in the Caribbean.
We loved the EPIC so much that we will definitely sail again on her in the future. Less
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Cabin review: MC10097 Mini-Suite with Balcony
The cabin is perfect for a couple but it could be awkward for friends or families with children because it has no confined restroom. There is a curtain you can draw around the bath and toilet but the lavatory is on the other side of it in the cabin. Both the toilet and bath have their own sliding glass doors but when someone gets out of the bath he/she is in the cabin unless the curtain was drawn.
There was so much storage space that we didn't use it all! On most ships we wished we had more. On the EPIC we had plenty!
The balcony had 2 chairs, 2 small tables and a long chair (I forget how it's called in English).
Read All Mini-Suite with Balcony (MC) Reviews
Port and Shore Excursions
This tour stops at some shops pretty close to the port. It was a total waste of time.
During the bus ride our guide talked about Florence and Tuscany. She was interesting. When we got to Florence she walked us to our meeting place and the we were on our own.
Florence is really a beautiful city and we really liked our time there.
We had to pay for transit from the EPIC to the old Marseille port. The port was under major renovations and the place was not welcoming at all.
While walking around (trying to find the train to Notre-Dame de la Garde), we were robbed by gypsies. Fortunately we reacted swiftly and regained our wallet!
The train ride to Notre-Dame de la Garde is interesting and the view there is fabulous. There are lots of people taking this ride and you have to wait in line for the return ride also.
The Amalfi Coast is a MUST SEE! Also make sure to sit on the right side of the bus because all tourist buses can only go one way and you will have the best view of the coast on the right side.
There is a stop in a ceramics shop where you can go to the bathroom or buy some souvenir.
Then we stopped in the small village of Amalfi and had about 1 hour on our own. We visited the basilica. It was interesting but it took a good part of the time we had to visit it all.
You have to go to the port for a good look at the city. Simply beautiful!
We went to Pompeii after the Amalfi Coast tour and after lunch. We didn't spend a lot of time there but we could see plenty of remains. I would say we stayed 2-3 hours max. The temperature was quite hot and I was happy to get back on the bus for some freshness.
Our tour went to Nice first where we walked in the old town near the sea. There was a market place with lots of good things!
Monte Carlo was really the best! We walked from the Museum of the sea to the prince's castle and then we were on our own for lunch. There are lots of nice restaurants around and we managed to find one with free wifi so we sent some photos to our family and friends.
After lunch we went to the Monte Carlo casino where you can see lots of pretty expensive cars parked outside! I preferred looking at the cars than going in the casino. There are many nice places to walk around and all have fabulous views!
We went to the Vatican and could enter through the group entrance, bypassing all the people that were waiting in the normal line.
We didn't have the chance to climb the colosseum. We only stayed at ground level. That was a major disappointment for us. We also had to wait before entering the colosseum because of someone hadn't bought the tickets in advance.
We then visited some ruins outside the Colosseum. It was ok.
We followed our guide in the basilica and here again she was going too fast for photos. We didn't go everywhere we could have but we saw a lot of nice things.
That was our first stop and it was so crowded that it was crazy! Leaving the fountain we walked a really narrow street where scooters were trying to fend off the group by what looked like intimidation.
Our guide was walking too fast for anyone who wanted to take pictures of anything.
At that point I hated Rome!
It got better during lunch time where I drank some wine :)