Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Canyon Mom: Buyer beware
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
The Epic is an incredible boat. Very stylish with tons to do. Food was great, always plenty to eat. We saw the Blue Man Group and the Circus shows – both were outstanding.
We stayed in a Deluxe Owners Suite, which was massive. There are certain larger cabins you can book which give you access to the Haven Lounge and Haven Restaurant which are magnificent, plus and a private pool/ jacuzzi area. This is worth the price of the paying a higher rate for sure. Best of all, you have your own butler and a private concierge who can make ANYTHING happen. You get advanced seating for the shows, and they are usually able to open up additional seats on tours which are already booked out. The treatment you receive as a guest in an upgraded cabin is outstanding.
My only criticism of the cruise is that we booked it for our family as the "Nickelodeon Cruise". It may have been a Nickelodeon Cruise at some point, but there's nothing Nickelodeon about it now. Staff told us that More Norweigen has been gradually reducing Nickelodeon's presence on the ship – no signs or banners, plus they closed the Nikolodean gift shop and have eliminated most Nikoloean events/activities etc. We were told there would be Nikolodean celebrities wandering the ship – not true. Nor was there any "Slime" type activities. The only (brief) evidence we saw of Nickelodeon was someone in a Spongebob costume on the first day – he had security guards so the kids couldn't take photos with him – you have to pay Norweigen to get a photo taken with him at set times in the Atrium. There wasn't many kids on our cruise and most people we talked to on the boat had no idea it was being marketed as Nickelodeon cruise.
Another problem was the Kids Club. They would advertise special activities and events for the kids, but often time the activities were canceled or changed to something boring. Also, the Kids Club was supposed to separate children by age but most of the time they were all together. My ten year old was not impressed by being grouped with crying two year olds every day, nor was he was impressed by Kids Clubs failure to follow through with scheduled activities and after just three days on the boat, he refused to return. This made it difficult for us to do tours and put a damper on the cruise.
We had previously done the Disney Cruise and both my kids preferred it (even my older son). If you've done Disney and expecting something similar on Epics "Nickelodeon" cruise, you will be disappointed. It seems like Norweigen has taken a regular cruise and is using Nickelodeon to market it to families. That's the extent of it. If you want a real kids cruise, go with Disney.
My advice. Don't book this cruise on the basis of it being Nikolodean – as best we can tell, Norweigen is ending/have ended their contract with them. Also, the Kids Club is not good for kids aged 10+. Not enough age appropriate activities.
Other than that, a great cruise. Less
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Cabin review: H217032 Deluxe Owner's Suite
Fantastic view of the pool area. We sat on the lounges in the evening and listened to the DJ. It was so much fun and we felt like part of the action. Also being at the back of the boat, you get to watch the boat pull away from the shore. Only criticism is the room is directly under the Posh bar - on the Sunday night before disembarkation in Barcelona, they cleaned the outdoor furniture and deck - it sounded like a herd of elephants over our heads and continued until 4am. We only got 3 hours sleep before disembarkation and were exhausted. But other than that, a spectacular room.Read All Deluxe Owner's Suite (H2) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Did not realize it's a two hour drive each way into Florence. That's a total of four hours driving and tours are ten and a half hours.
Beware of taking NCL's shuttle into Marseille. When we tried to catch a bus back, there was over a thousand people waiting in line in the hot sun. We heard people were waiting in line for almost two hours. We took a cab for 16 euros.
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