Just returned from our 7 day Mediterranean Cruise Sunday July 6th, 2014. The Epic Ship has many wonderful qualities which I will list first. The crew at all levels were super nice and very accommodating to our needs. Getting on the ship and off was extremely organized and impressive from disembarking to getting us a cab/taxi to our hotel in Barcelona. The food on the ship was exceptionally good for cruise line food including the Garden Buffet on the Lido deck. All of our excursions went like clockwork and were easy to get to from the ship to the busses except for one bus which we called the bus from hell because it had seats so small that two small persons could not fit and the bus had NO shocks so for 6 hours in Rome we were bounced around like ping pong balls. We did get a minor adjustment after we complained but it did ruin most of our tour that day. We ate Sushi one night which was very good and also had breakfast in O' Sheehans which was okay, best to eat breakfast in the dining room or at the buffet. Our suite was smaller than some balcony rooms I have had but it had a wonderful balcony for three of us.
The shows had to be reserved in advance and the BLUE MAN GROUP AND THE CIRQUE SHOW WERE excellent but the legend show was three impersonators doing CHAICERA, PRINCE AND DIANA ROSS. It would have been much more like a true legend show had they had more personalities that were truly legends......I did not consider these people legends at all. They were good but not the show I expected. The show room shows were okay, the dueling pianos, the Piano player in the bar area were very good. Little other than the big TV, a few games of bingo were things to do during the day. No tea time events were on this ship at all.
The cons on this ship were the HORRIFIC CONFIGURATION OF THE BATHROOMS. There is a tub so tall that I had a very difficult time even trying to get into it to take a shower, and when you get out you are right in the middle of the room with a cheap curtain that goes from the tub to the TOILET which is across the room behind a glass door. The SINK is not even behind the curtain so if you want to wash you private areas after going to the toilet forget it.....you are right there in the cabin. I do not know who designed these bathrooms but it had to be a MAN because women like privacy when they bathe and use the toilet and sink areas. BAD DESIGN.
Everything is primarily on deck 5,6,7 mid ship. The casino is not in a contained area but spread out down the center isle, around the corners etc. with children running through the area and even playing machines like a toy game until they get told to stop.
The ADULT pool was more like a extra big hot tub and they water was so low that it barely covered your waist, again very bad design. There was a very large deck area surrounding the pool that on most ships is filled with water 8-8 inches deep so that you can sit in the water and sun bathe but this area was just dry and could never hold water at all. There were NO chairs to be had at the adult only pool or even at the mid ship pool on the one and only sea day. In fact I did finally find a chair but could never get to the water because of all the children jumping in and out of the water. The pool areas are both entirely too small for 5000 cruisers.
I really missed not having my two formal nights on the ship, few dressed for dinner and it was just not a very elegant evening in the dining room. No lobster was served and not one night did they even have shrip cocktails which is an every night choice on all the other ships I have cruised on and that is 25 cruises on many different lines.
All in all this was not a cruise ship that I would ever book a cruise on again because of the bathroom situation but it had many good points too.
We left our ship and checked our bags into our hotel and since our room was not ready till two pm we took the double decker bus tours of the city. We could get on and off as we wished but we only got off to eat lunch and then back on. It took us all over Barcelona and to every point of interest on the red line and the green line. The cost was $27 Euro and had we not been so tired we could have gone into many of the sites we stopped at. We got a beautiful view of the city and went back to our hotel to swim and rest for our 15 hour flight the next morning at 6 am. The airport in Barcelona is huge but they are very accommodating if you need assistance with wheel chairs etc. which I had ordered prior to going on the trip.
Greyline city tours, very nice and we saw almost every inch of Barcelona.
We only saw it from the bus but it is incredible.
We did the Canne and Nice tour with the Little train. The landscape and area is breathtaking. Our tour guide was very unorganized and appeared unprepared. She walked us to a hotel where we were to be allowed to use the restroom and they turned us away making us go across the major highway to the beach area down the horrid flight of stairs into a pay to pea restroom which was not too clean. The little train ride was nice taking us up into the mountains. Our time in Nice was so short that we barely got off the bus until our guide was rounding everyone up to again....hike many blocks to get to the bus. Another disabled person and I told her we could not walk that far...this was a tour 1 excursion, so we had to wait more than 45 minutes for the bus to come back around and pick us up where they let us off in Nice. I would NOT advise this tour as a good tour.
Our tour guide Danielle was wonderful and very accommodating for my mobility problems. I can walk but not for long, long ways without resting. We were dropped off several blocks from Santa Croce Church and that was our meeting place to return to the bus which again was quite a long ways away. He arranged for a taxi to take me to bus. While in Florence we went to all the places of interest including the Duomo and other piazzas etc. ate lunch at the same outdoor café we ate in 12 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed our day. We bought several leather items and clothing.
Very wonderful tour.
My daughter did the Amalfi coast and Sorrento tour and it was wonderful. She loved the boat ride and the time she spent in Sorrento. My other daughter and I did Leisurely Sorrento and though there was more walking than a tour 1 would expect it was very nice and we enjoyed our day there buying Lemoncello and a few other things.
By far our most favorite area we went to on our trip. We did the pearl factory and they went to Valldemossa which was just lovely. We say the most beautiful countryside and enjoyed a wonderful slower paced day which was lovely.
Taste of Italy tour was really lovely. We made pasta in the Rome countryside at a Farmhouse restaurant and had a lovely 3 course lunch with wine. Very well done. We later got to go into Rome proper and see the major sites from our bus which was fine since we had done all the Rome things before. We had a horrible bus with NO shocks and the seats were meant for children not adults. We all had bruises on our behinds from the seatbelt fixtures poking us for 6 hours. Other than the bus it was lovely.