Being retired New Yorkers, we are seasoned cruisers, and have twice before sailed from Barcelona with other cruise lines. This time we tried the Epic for "Freestyle Everything" and found immediately that Dinner is not anytime, it's only when they open. If you happen to come at 8PM, along with everyone else, you might not be seated. As for the cabins, we were fortunate to have chosen a balcony.That balcony was the only place we could be side by side, because the room was so narrow that two could not pass each other. Two excellent shows were the highlight of the cruise, but we found that there were poorly organized shows. Examples: On Friday, a singing duet could not start at the posted time due to electric connection problems- troubleshooting in front of the audience took over 15 minutes. The Cruise Directors on other lines would always rehearse the groups earlier to avoid such problems. Also, at an ersatz Spanish Flamenco-like show, with an audience including children, the single male dancer went over to each of three female dancers, lifted up their long gowns to show the audience the female's panties. other lines provide a bill summary at your cabin the night before, to review and find questions- this is not done on the Norwegian Epic- a result of their paperless philosophy.
In summary, we believe that Celebrity and Royal Caribbean are better for cruisers with grown children.
At Laverno, we chose Cinque Terra, and had good weather, but the boats would not run and there was an Italian strike against government policy and later the trains would not run. What we did get to was beautiful, At the Rome port, we chose Orvieto, which is an ancient village on a hill. The tour was well run, with a local expert giving excellent instruction. It is well worth seeing if you are already familiar with Rome.
On the next day we went to Capri. The island was beautiful and very commercial. We had the opportunity on these excursions to meet and have lunch with fellow cruisers. Ports of call are the only opportunities to meet them, because with freestyle cruising there are no dinner seating assignments.