Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Romina4: Brilliant!
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
This was our first cruise and we loved it.
Cabin - had a surprising amount of storage (mini suite), interesting curved design and I know the bathrooms get a lot of criticism, but personally I loved being able to have a bath with no danger of 10 year old son disturbing me when wanting the loo. If I hadn't been expecting it, I suppose the separate areas would have been a surprise, but it's hardly a state secret - clearly shown in brochure deck plans, after all! Great cabin steward who we saw every day - immaculate housekeeping, friendly, helpful.
Kids club - absolutely brilliant - our 10 year old usually refuses to go (in 5 star beach hotels), but loved it day one and wanted to go back every evening. Made some great friends too.
Entertainment - lots of activities, clearly explained in a daily booklet available in multiple languages. We did quizzes, bingo, talks, cinema, shows, tours, games , fitness and craft activities over the week. A Behind the Scenes tour More was especially interesting (it's one of a very few ships where 90% of staff have individual cabins), as was a q&a with both cruise staff and the Blue Man Group.
Restaurants and ship generally - there are around 5000 guests on board so you can't expect peace and quiet! We ate in the buffet, cafe, and two main dining rooms. Good food, hot, kept refreshed, very enjoyable. Yes, busy at peak times but you always have the choice to eat earlier or later if you don't like that - which is what we did - I wouldn't expect to instantly get a table in a good London restaurant at 8pm on a Saturday. The one sea day was quite busy for sun loungers etc, but not horrendous. Other days, no problem at all as lots of people were off sightseeing. Lots of people didn't know how to queue properly, but that's down to 70 different nationalities/cultures, rather than anything else!
We did a trip to Pompeii booked on board, but otherwise explored ourselves. Pisa by train was very easy, Cannes was fabulous and we'd booked extra days in Barcelona before/after anyway.
The only show we did was Blue Man - we sat at the front and got some real surprises. Outstanding.
Only gripes - why allow smoking indoors, especially in the casino, which is so huge and central to the ship? Adding VAT and service charges to everything gives a nasty shock on every bill - just tell me the total price upfront please and I'd be far happier about it. Ridiculous that some staff (eg the outstanding kids club team) are specifically excluded from the daily service charge - even for children's service charges - they were incredibly grateful to get a tip - I assume most people don't bother - especially as they don't know to budget for it until the last night.
All in all, we treated it like a 4 star floating resort hotel and it delivered - with enthusiasm and good humour throughout. A fabulous holiday... Less
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