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Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by naomibeth: Wonderful time aboard the Epic!


naomibeth
1 Review
Member Since 2014
0 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 5.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities Not Rated
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 2.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates Not Rated
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions 5.0
Value for Money 5.0

Compare Prices on Norwegian Epic Mediterranean Cruises

Wonderful time aboard the Epic!

Sail Date: July 2014
Destination: Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)

We loved touring Europe while aboard the Epic. The combination of sampling European countries plus cruise life at the end of the day was the perfect blend. Here are some tips and feedback from our perspective (we are an active, "in-shape" couple from Montreal Canada, ages 51 and 53 who like to be on the go constantly!!).

We arrived in Rome a day before and stayed overnight at Hotel Lirico, well-located under 10 minutes walking distance from the train station and about a half hour to 40 minutes from the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps, and many delicious restaurants. The morning of our cruise, we took the train to the port of Rome, Civitavecchia. Take the train! It's a pleasant ride and so worth it. Only 5 Euros/person, compared to 150 euros for a taxi! The "slow" train is about an hour, 15 minutes while the speed train is about 40 minutes. We took the slow train since we didn't mind, and the time of departure suited us. Once at Civitavecchia, there is a shuttle bus More which takes you to the ship. Embarkmant onto the ship was incredibly fast and well-organized (we arrived at the ship at around 1pm). This is a nice time to arrive, as you then benefit from having lunch and exploring the ship while many passengers are still out touring. It seems passengers embark at either Civitavecchia or Barcelona (many more at Barcelona) so it was calm and quiet when we arrived.

We were not crazy about the lay-out of this ship, but it didn't really matter since there was only one sea day. However, on that one sea day it was impossible to get a chair along the deck! I am not exaggerating. We had breakfast and then started walking around the deck at 10:30am looking for somewhere to sit. There was literally not one chair available, except in a noisy area near the engines where there were no umbrellas, no pool, no hot tubs - so basically you just lie there and bake under the blazing sun! We decided to sit at the pool and we just dropped our towels and flip-flops on the floor nearby.

What we also found strange about the lay-out of the ship is that there is no where to walk. On other ships, there is usually one deck that loops around the entire length of the ship. We love to do these loops, as it is great exercise. Usually takes a good 6-7 minutes to do one loop. Or... we like to use the jogging track. Let me describe the Epic's jogging track!! It is an oval track, located on one side of the ship only, so basically you are jogging up and down the same side, repeatedly. But that's not all! Your view on that one side is completely obstructed by a row of life boats! Needless to say, I didn't do any outdoor jogging! There is a beautiful, large, indoor gym where we did some machines, although we really don't like to spend too much time in a gym while on a cruise. Our room was on the 11th floor, and we never took the elevator! So we managed to sneak in exercise whenever we could! Although we did not really need to worry, as we walked for hours upon hours every day, while touring the various countries we visited.

The food is average, but you won't lack for variety. There is something for everyone. Best was seafood night - OMG all you can eat lobster tails!! Won't tell you how many my husband ate. You should always check out at the buffet what the food theme is, since the main dining hall restaurants do not always follow the buffet theme. For instance, on seafood night the restaurants were not serving lobster tails on the menu, so we ate at the buffet that night instead. Well, actually we ate at the buffet and the dining hall... lol... it's the kinda thing you do on a cruise... oink oink... Oh, and to know what the food theme is, find these giant cakes at the buffet. Written on the cake is the theme! One night was chocolate night. Unlike Caribbean cruises where they somehow have no idea how to make chocolate, this cruise line has no problem in this area. Chocolate in a wide variety of forms and all dangerously delicious!! We did not feel the need to reserve dinners in any of the specialty restaurants (not included in your cruise package). Many people do; we were happy enough with the buffets and main dining halls. Excellent service and lines moves quickly. They give you a buzzer to hold should you have to wait (so you can walk around until your table is ready) and then they give you a glass of free bubbly for your inconvenience!! Oh, and we also love the any time dining, which is so convenient.

Dress code in the restaurants is an interesting thing. No formal attire, which we love. However, apparently men are not allowed to wear cargo shorts in the restaurants. Except... on your first day AND if your first day is in Barcelona. Confused?? We were! On our first day (Civitavecchia) my husband was turned away from the main dining hall restaurant (Manhattan) and politely told he would have to change out of his cargo shorts, which he immediately did. But then a few days later, in Barcelona, we witnessed hoards of men entering and exiting the same Manhattan dining hall wearing shorts of all kinds! My husband inquired about this inconsistent policy and was told that in Barcelona, unlike in Civitavecchia, there are about 4,000 new passengers embarking and they cannot expect everyone to have their luggage in their rooms and have access to their clothes, etc... so they waive their dress code for that one night. Apparently in Civitavecchia, a much smaller crowd (only a few hundred) embark so it is more manageable. We found that a bit strange... and mentioned this to guest services, that it didn't seem fair (we were polite, just wanted to give them our opinion). They apologized for our inconvenience and the next day we received a beautiful gift of sparkly wine and chocolate-covered strawberries!! Really sweet gesture and excellent customer relations!

We love the cabins. Here, they figured out a brilliant lay-out! The bathroom facilities are split into three separate areas.You have your shower stall (hose, good pressure), your private enclosed toilet area, and a sink which is next to the shower, but in the main cabin area. So cabin-mates can attend to all their needs simultaneously, without bumping into one another or invading each others privacy! Our bed was extremely comfortable and we slept well. Cabinets are also well-designed, with plenty of space to unpack and lay things out. We had a balcony which we feel is a must, since we love "happy hour", sitting outside watching the ocean... Room service is twice a day, efficient, with the occasional towel animal!

Shows were quite good. We reserved from home to avoid long lines - you should do the same! Blue Man Group was entertaining, although I felt it was geared toward a younger age group (children). My husband enjoyed it more than I did. We also booked a Cirque du Soleil dinner theatre which was excellent. We also saw (no reservations needed) a phenomenal operatic pop vocal quartet called Ancora. They were absolutely wonderful. Incredible talent. No comedy shows on this ship, which was disappointing.

We highly advise you to pre-book your cruise excursions from home. Why would you want to waste precious time standing in long, long lines at the shore excursions desk, when you could be doing many more interesting things while on or off the ship?! We booked an excursion for Florence, which included a beautiful drive through Tuscany to a beautiful castle for wine-tasting. Really fun day! We also booked an excursion in Naples; Sorrento and Amalfi by land and by sea. Most spectacular places to visit and we highly recommend you go! By the way, it is worth doing the excursions with the ship, since then you never have to worry about being back on time. It is their responsibility, unlike random companies which might be cheaper but cannot protect you from being late. You do not need that kind of stress!

Also, very important that you do your research from home on every country you plan on visiting. We brought notes about everything we wanted to do and see, including how to get around when not doing a ship excursion. We knew how much taxis should cost and where to tell taxi's to take us from the port. We were typically off the ship between 7:30-8:30am and packed in full days! Feel free to contact me should you have specific questions about Cannes, Barcelona, or Majorca. Must sees are Familia Sagrada and La Rambla in Barcelona; you must eat Paela anywhere in Spain, and you must eat pizza in Naples!!

Have fun if you go! You won't be disappointed :) Less


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Cabin review: Norwegian Epic 11059

We love the cabins. Here, they figured out a brilliant lay-out! The bathroom facilities are split into three separate areas.You have your shower stall (hose, good pressure), your private enclosed toilet area, and a sink which is next to the shower, but in the main cabin area. So cabin-mates can attend to all their needs simultaneously, without bumping into one another or invading each others privacy! Our bed was extremely comfortable and we slept well. Cabinets are also well-designed, with plenty of space to unpack and lay things out. We had a balcony which we feel is a must, since we love "happy hour", sitting outside watching the ocean... Room service is twice a day, efficient, with the occasional towel animal!

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