28 May 2014, finally the big day had arrived. After four wonderful nights we left Rome with a heavy hearts but with high hopes via train for Civitavecchia. My Wife, Son (24) and I had stayed in the Best Western Presidential. The hotel was both very nice and comfortable. Absolutely no complaints. The area surrounding the hotels was loaded with restaurants, shops and within easy walking distance of the Colosseum. The hotel was literally right above the Manzoni subway station. We took the A train to Termini (central station) and caught the Civitavecchia for six euros (I think). About an hour later we arrived in Civitavecchia train station which was quite small. We walked thru the station out the front door, and there was a Norwegian Rep. We boarded a city bus which drop us at the front of the port, boarded a private bus, and were taken to the ship. From the train to the ship, ten minutes. This was my only observation of Civitavecchia. We had stayed three nights in Zurich prior to going to Rome. Zurich was so expensive, it was hard to enjoy. A hundred bought you a snack in a bakery (Sprungli), although we felt it was too expensive we went three times in four days. It was unbelievably good. All the food we ate was of a very high quality. But my point here is when we saw Civitavecchia we wished we had stayed the three nights there instead of Zurich. There were what appeared to be nice hotels and restaurants right on the beach.
The reception hall was basically empty of other passengers, and within a few minutes we were being taken onboard. We were escorted to the Heaven restaurant for what turned out to be the first of quite a few meals. As it turned out we ate most of our breakfests and lunches there. But we did not really care for the dinner menu. Although we did eat dinner there on Lobster night, my wife believes it was the best meal she had. For me I’m torn between the lobster or a roast pork dish I had in the Manhattan or a rib eye I had in Cagney’s as being the best dinner. To me those three meals were wonderful. In the Manhattan they had a desert call something along the lines of Chocolate Volcano. I loved it and the morning of Lobster night I had asked the Haven restaurant manager Prince Charles (I believe that is his name, I would like to know his parents) if I could have that desert with that night’s meal. That night he brought it to me, himself.
17013. What can you stay about a room where as you take your shower one wall is a sheet of glass which looks out over the Mediterranean Sea? The rest of the room was very nice, but that shower stall to me and the tub which had the same feature for my wife was what put it over the top for us. Would we spend the bucks again? We’re booked for a cruise next April same category of berth. Not to mention getting our Son out of our bathroom and not having to trip over him as he slept during the day. Because he had his own bedroom and bath. While his was not close to ours in “Suiteness” he was very happy. Chris our butler and Jules our room attendant topped off our lodgings. One negative was there are no lounge chairs on the balcony. Just two chairs and I think a table. I had really enjoyed sitting on our balconies in a lounge chair on our previous cruises. Our bedroom was ultra-comfortable, the linens throughout plush. My children have accused me of being OCD, there is plenty of storage.
Second negative was self-inflicted and I take the blame. Seven day cruise with six in port days. Having spent the previous seven days of our vacation trying to see the “must see” sights. We were ready to relax, and so we did. When we did leave the ship, we didn’t do much. But when we didn’t leave the ship, almost everything was closed onboard. I believe this is a Mediterranean feature, because we don’t remember it being like that on our other two cruises.
Mom and Dad had plenty to do at night. Onboard the NCL Star we had really enjoyed “Deal, or no Deal” cannot say the same about the Epic version. Not really sure why, I guess the personalities. We had gone to Bingo several times on the Star, but not the Epic. I only remember it being advertised one time and it conflicted with something else. Cirque Dreams glad we went. Not so much for Blue man. These we realize our just our opinions.
Son, his length and soundness of his sleep during the day indicated to me he had a blast. He verbalized as much when we did see him. In addition to him seeing a little of the world. What I think is neat is for him it to meet people from everywhere, and for him to stay in touch with them. For instance when we were in Rome and Barcelona he met with friends he had made on last summer cruise.
Crew, I cannot think of one incidence where we were treated less than professionally. And by far the norm was we were treaty royally. There were one or two occasions with some of the guest. And yes the elevators say busy. Parents of younger kids, please ask them not to play on the elevators.
To sum it up, we had a great time. The food, activities, surroundings, ports, crew, literally everything was great. Should any Norwegian employees who were onboard the Epic for this cruise read this. Thank you for a wonderful vacation, and we really look forward to our next.