We spent our honeymoon on the Norwegian Epic in July of 2012 and loved everything about it! We splurged and had a mid-ship balcony room that faced the port. I personally had only cruised one other time on Carnival and got REALLY sea-sick so I brought all the necessary medicine to keep it at bay--and it worked! The ship itself is huge and large enough where you don't feel cramped.
We embarked in Civitavecchia (Rome) which is about a 40 minute transfer ride from the hotel. We decided to fly in the day before and stay at the airport hotel so that we could tour around Rome. The transfer arranged by Norwegian Cruise Line was prompt and comfortable. Embarkation was quick and smooth. I think it's genius of Epic to split up cruise embarkation. About half of the ship started in Barcelona and we joined them two ports later in Civitavecchia. This created a quicker embarkation process and relatively NO lines to wait in to get on the ship. Once we got to our room, our bags were already More
there and there were chocolate covered strawberries and champagne (as we had requested) upon our arrival. The room was a great size and the balcony well worth it. We had no noise problems as well.
The food overall was just so-so for us. Since Norwegian is "freestyle" and offers most of it's variety in the paid restaurants, most of our meals were in the general dining halls where the food was always the same. This got old towards the end of the trip. We both agreed we've experienced better "general dining hall" food on other cruises. We did eat at 3 of the restaurants: Teppanyaki (hibachi which was surprisingly really good and different that what we've experienced in the US), Moderno Churrascaria and Cirque Dreams & Dinner which were all very good. Tip: If you arrive for an earlier dinner at the paid restaurants,(I think the cut-off was 5:30p) they give you a complimentary bottle of wine to enjoy!
The entertainment was very diverse and there were always things to participate in or to go see. For things like the Blue Man Group and Cirque Dreams, you had to get tickets in advance to reserve your spot. Everything from dinner reservations to entertainment could be ordered through your stateroom TV which was nice to keep an eye on throughout the week.
They always say, you don't pick a cruise for the ship, more for the itinerary. This was very true of this trip for us BUT we had the added bonus of a fantastic ship. Everything is visibly new and clean which made us feel like we were living in luxury. I will agree with some other reviewers in that the smoke was a bother...a lot of our fellow cruisers were European and they don't see the same stigma with smoking as us Americans. We just avoided walking through the middle of the casino and all was fine. The cruise has given us some of the most special memories (other than our actual wedding!) to treasure for forever. It was the perfect honeymoon for us. Less
Norwegian Epic Cruises to the Western Mediterranean
We loved this stop! We decided to do this one on our own. We felt confident in our ability to navigate on our own as we both know some spanish and I had studied abroad in Spain. We took a bus from the ship to the main part of the city which cost just a small chunk of change--totally worth it. We bought a map of the city first thing and just walked all over. We walked to La Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló and it was well worth it. It was a hike however.
Make sure you try the classic sangria and tortilla espanola!
We weren't huge fans of the stops in France. Cannes was a beautiful city, very fancy. There wasn't too much to see in our books. We didn't do the casino (which seemed like the popular thing to do at this port). At this port, we had to sign-up ahead of time to do a tender boat...which by the way those things can be terrifying if you don't like narrow, tight spaces! The tender was free. We walked around a bit and then spent the rest of our time laying on the beach.