Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by condor11: Good value for the money
Overall Member Rating
Good value for the money
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
Norwegian Epic good for what I paid ($4,800 for four person cabin, 7 nights; plus $850 on departure for drinks & NCL imposed tips). For that price we got good sleep, good food & six ports in 7 days. We had more entertainment & activities that I expected. The freestyle dining is a mixed bag: nice to come when you want, but you don't get to know your server and the wait time can be untenable if you miss-time your visit.
The negative: They did as good a job as they could with crowds, but when you put 5,000 people on a boat it is hard not to have bottlenecks. I was disappointed that we arrived 1 minute prior to the start of Blue Man Group and NCL had unapologetically given away our seats (should've read the warning that they give seats away 10 minutes before showtime, but still...). We learned to hit the Manhattan dining room early or late after we came right in prime-time and waited 50 minutes for a seat (which is why we got to Blue Man Group one minute before More showtime). The harshest critique I have for NCL is the constant and intrusive upselling (spa, shopping, bingo, $$ restaurants...etc). There are frequent loudspeaker announcements upselling. Already-congested elevator lobbies are more crowded because of NCL-upsell tables. The daily schedule of activities is almost worthless because it is clogged with 70% upsell and 30% activities & shows. Perhaps that is how they keep the price of the cruise low, but for my next cruise, I'll consider paying more to a cruise line that will upsell me less.
On the positive side, the amount of inclusive stuff to do was fantastic: water slides, ping pong, multiple dining rooms, Howl at the Moon, White-Hot party, gym, pools, Graffiti Classics, exercises classes, karaoke.
Tip: you can bring bottles of wine aboard legally, but you'll need to pay a $15 corkage fee as you enter the boat. Not a bad deal as the bottles in the dining room are easily marked up more than $15.
Tip #2: double the electrical outlets in your room by bringing both U.S. and European power plug adapters.
Tip #3: Avoid the $12 NCL shuttle from the pier to Marseille: there is a free shuttle on Fri, Sat & Sun at the top & bottom of the hour. It's stop is dockside at the stern of the Epic.
Tip #3: If you're not disembarking in Barcelona, but want to get off the ship for the day, avoid the period between 9am to 10:30. Lines for the free shuttle and taxis are about 40 minutes long during this period. Less
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