This is our second trip with NCL and once again I am not impressed. Decided to go again based solely on price and also decided to give NCL another chance..
Arrived in Barcelona and had booked a tour with barcelonadaystours.com and was very impressed. I highly recommend them, that tour was so good we booked them again at the end of the cruise.. Stayed at Hotel Vilimari (I would advise to book somewhere else).
On the EPIC, we had a mini suite and the room was very nice. I did find it very difficult to get in and out of the tube ( which is very high) and I would not recommend the tube in room, for anyone over 50 and anyone with problems. Entertainment is terrible! Blue Man and Legends in Concert, terrible. Would not recommend. We ate in the "Taste" dining room as is was easier and our husbands had shorts on. In the Manhattan Room, you were not allowed shorts. The food and service was not good at all. Steak tough and ended up eating spaghetti 3 nites. I would recommend the specialty restaurants instead. Service was poor in the dining room and on our last nite, 2 wait staff members got into a fight. Breakfast was terrible in "Taste". Do the buffet! which is delicious and has lots of station for preparing eggs, so the wait is very short. . In the dining room , you can only have your eggs over easy or sunny side and the whites are running.
Do not do Pompelli, Sorrento and Capri. Pompelli was nice, Sorrento ,we had only 10 mins and nothing in Capri. If you are in Rome on a Wednesday, its is extremely crowded as this is the day the pope gives the blessing, We had a terrible tour guide in Rome (Christine) who literally ran and many people could not keep up and to be honest, she did not care. We were in and out of St. Peters Square and the Vatican in 15 mins, yet had to wait for the bus for 1 hour. Such a waste of time.. There are no provisions for people with mobility issues and Europeans walk extremely fast. Loved Lucca and Pisa, Marcelle and Avignon. Took the train in Morjouria spain and enjoyed the ride.
Drinks on the cruise ship very expensive, and the whole 6th floor smells of smoke due to the casino. Casino was crowded, and machines only paid the first day. Very tight if you gamble. I did like the Casino staff, very friendly. The cruise was very fast paced and we had booked a tour everyday, as we wanted to see Europe. Literally we used the ship as a floating hotel. If I had to do this all over again, I would do a 12-14 day cruise to Europe so you can enjoy not only Europe but also the ship, and not feel so rushed. We were up everyday and 6:30am and never returned to 6:30 pm. So it was a very fast pace cruise.
Disembarkation was fast and very easy. The reason I would not do the Epic again was food, entertainment and service in dining rooms. Since free style dining, I got the impression that the servers don't care, since you never has the same one twice and that leads to bad service. Hate that you pay for a cruise and then to get good food you have to pay extra for specialty restaurants. Entertainment so poor!!!! Have sailed before with Princess (4) times, RCI (2) and now NCL ( 2). Excursions are expensive on NCL. Would not play Bingo as they allow children under 18 to play FREE and if they win, parents get the prize..