As 1st time cruisers we didn't know what to expect and there were good and bad points with the good points outweighing the bad ones.
Good points were:
Very quick embarkation at Palma (no Palma selection on drop down list) and took no more than 30 mins until we were in rooms, we had 2 state rooms with balconies next to each other, level 9.
Rooms were well laid out and very comfortable, expecially beds. Separate toilet/shower rooms great idea.
Food was great although O'Sheehans was no better than OK. Garden cafe, Manhattan and Taste all fantastic. Be prepared to wait 30 mins or more for latter two though as very busy, although you get free glass of champagne for waiting time. Waiting staff were excellent though so worth the wait and additional tips.
Pool deck was great although pools tiny, good for a quick dip and no more. Slides great and as our kids were over 42" they got on them. Smaller kids would struggle to enjoy pool deck. More
Entertainment was great but after seeing Cirque Dreams, Legends and Blue Man group not much more for family. Having said that, loads bars to go to after dinner and chill out.
Sports complex brilliant with plenty to do. Loads family type activities. Still got sore knee from football!
Music: The bands, pianists, singers etc were top class.
Went back to room after breakfast in Naples after 2 days at sea to find clothes on balcony soaking as ship exterior was being washed! Level 9 balconies have no roof so water ran down ship onto balcony. On the plus side at least they were looking after the boat. They could maybe tell you about this.
Tips: Way over the top. Our bill at end of cruise was just short of $900 and this included $336 as they charged $12 per person per day for tips for back of house staff. We only had soft drinks package so any alcohol we bought had automatic 15% added at bar, plus whatever tip you wanted to give if seervice was good. That meant we had paid around $400 tips plus our $10 tip to room maid per day, plus out additional waiter tips. $12 tip was discretionary and they weren't too happy when you say you don't want to pay it all. If they feel workers are entitled to more money then pay them accordingly and add to cost of cruise.
Excurions were well over priced, much better doing your own thing. Rome trip was $1000 or 100 euros doing our own, no brainer.
Overall feeling was we had a great time. Heard lots of comments that boat was too big and as there were 5000 guest on board maybe they were right. We couldn't say as it was our 1st time. If what they say is correct, we can look to having even better cruises in future on smaller boat, we will be back on cruise holidays. Less
Norwegian Epic Cruises to the Western Mediterranean