I booked this cruise for a group of 16 pax way back to November and have been reading the various reviews posted on this site ever since. No matter how many bad reviews I read, being a past NCL cruiser, I was quite sure we were in for a good time. WE LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS CRUISE except the embarkation process.
We did not embark in Barcelona but in Civitavecchia. However, one would never expect such a start to a cruise. Upon arriving at the port, the ship was moving and we were stopped from entering the tent were we had to deposit our luggage and were left in the sun for about 20 mins. I never understood why we were not allowed to enter the luggage area. We were handed more luggage tags over a barrier and later escorted to the ship's guest services desk for check in. No drinks offered, no photos taken . OUr first impression was horrible. But this only lasted 5 mins.
Booked a soda package from the atrium bar which cost USD54 for the entire week. More
Dining: As opposed to what many write in here, I found the food to be delicious. My favourite restaurant, for atmosphere and service is THE MANHATTAN. Great staff. The buffet is an excellent option but I prefer eating in the main dining rooms and be served other than running about in search of food. THE FRIES WERE LIPLICKING GOOD!!!!!! Tap water served during meals is ok and the coplimentary juice to kids in the MDR was a plus! Loved the chicken pot pie and meat loaf at the O'Sheehan's.
Entertainment: My favourite shows were Los Locos and Cirque. All others were fun too but these two remain the favourites.
All in all, I believe this was our best cruise over. There's so much to do on this ship!!! Only one regret....I missed the Behind The Scenes Tour. Make sure you book it cause it's on once a week.
Can't wait to board the EPIC again. happy cruising to you all! Less
Norwegian Epic Cruises to the Western Mediterranean
Beautiful Port of Call. Did not opt for the shuttle bus service which was offered at USD12 per person as I had read that the public bus reaches the terminal. I would have liked to catch the no. 50 Ho Ho bus but only managed to catch bus number 1 to downtown right from opposite the terminal exit. This only cost EUR1.25 per person for one way. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE HO HO BUS CAN ALSO BE CAUGHT FROM JUST OUTSIDE THE TERMINAL BUT SLIGHTLY LATER AS IN SUMMER THE FIRST BUS LEAVES ALMUDAINA PALACE AT 9.30am. Should reach the terminal by 9.45 or so.
Booked a private tour with AMALFI COAST DESTINATION which took us to Ravello, Amalfi, Positano and Sorrento for a group of 17 pax. Price of EUR65 per person was a bargain compared to the excursions offered by the ship. The only negative aspect, however was that our local guide seemed interested in taking us to ceramic, inlaid wood and limoncello shops more than anything else. I understand that commission is involved but when it becomes this obvious I truly get frustrated. However, a big thank you to Roberto from this tour company who did a great job. I truly recommend him to anyone as he gave me a good price. Next time round I have to specify that we're not interested in lunches and shopping!