Cruise Ratings
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and we were attracted by both the opportunity to be on one of the largest ships at sea and by the . Before booking and then for almost every day before sailing we researched the ship, looked at ... Read More
This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and we were attracted by both the opportunity to be on one of the largest ships at sea and by the . Before booking and then for almost every day before sailing we researched the ship, looked at other reviews and spoke with the travel agent about what to expect. We were concerned about a number of reviews that referenced a tired ship and about Royal Caribbean's reported practice of "nickel and diming" guests to extort as much additional money as possible. I absolutely have to address these issues because they are absolutely not our experience. The ship is overwhelmingly big but it is in beautiful order. Yes there is some upgrade necessary. If you are the type of guest who will obsess about handrails that have been bleached by the sun and are in need of sanding and re-varnishing then look elsewhere because your holiday may be ruined! Otherwise, have no fears - it's spotlessly clean, the staff are friendly and attentive and there is much to do. Not once were we approached about upgrades or trips, nor were we pushed for additional tipping or anything else. Embarkation is about a good as you will ever get - we were onboard enjoying our first drink within 15 minutes of reaching the ship and the staff were simply brilliant at their jobs. Reviews have also mentioned that Royal Caribbean have selected the itinerary for our cruise based on ability to make more money for transfers. We are talking about one of the largest ships at seas - it is naturally limited by the availability of ports to handle its size. We started at Barcelona, went to Palma, Marseilles, La Spezia, Civitavecchia and Naples. We paid for a bus transfer at Marseilles and at Palma and the charges were reasonable based on the journey and the fact that the service ran every 20-30 minutes throughout the entire day. No transfers are necessary at La Spezia (other than a short, free bus ride through the port) or Naples (the ship practically docks in the main street! Reviews we have seen have also criticised the Windjammer Restaurant (the main buffet restaurant) for quality of food and limited space. The quality and range of food in our experience was as good as that in the main dining room. We also, always, found somewhere to dine. Speaking with other guests it was clear they had similar thoughts and experiences. Perhaps the quality of the Windjammer explores its popularity? We thoroughly recommend that you try it - steaks, fish, seafood, curries, paella, cold cuts, carved meats, soup, burgers, fruit, stir fry, you name it, it is available and delicious. We tried to vary our venue for breakfast between Windjammer and the Solarium (deck 15) where exactly the same fare is available but with access restricted to over-18's. The Solarium is beautiful and often quiet so again no problems with the lengthy queues some reviewers have reported. Entertainment was great - we attended the Comedy show (an absolute must) and the diving show (very impressive). Less entertaining was the daily regime around the pool areas with a band playing a range (always the same) of reggae tunes. Tuneful this wasn't - the singers were woeful at the harmonies and the drummer was clearly building a shed. Contrast this with one day where we were treated to a genuine talent in the form of a violinist who was brilliant and who established an immediate rapport with the crowd, covering a range of tracks. She also played at night, sometimes solo and sometimes with a brilliant guitarist in Central Park - worth an hour of anyone's trip just to experience how good they both are. I have already mentioned the food - Windjammer excellent, main dining room equally so except for one occasion when my fish dish was clearly overcooked. We also dined in Sabor, one of the pay options - lovely food but enough to feed a small army! Sorrento's is excellent if you want a slice or two of pizza - it's on the Promenade deck (deck 5). Alcohol was a bit hit or miss - beers, wines, liqueurs and some cocktails were very good or excellent, but too many drinks were spoiled by excessive ice and flat mixers and Royal Caribbean really needs to step up to the mark on this - a glass full of ice and flat mixer spoils an otherwise excellent range of spirits. I appreciate that coffee can be a personal choice (and we are not into Starbucks at all), but this was disappointing. The cast majority of places simply offered coffee from a pot and it was dishwater. The exception was the Park Café on deck 5 - proper speciality coffee served with a range of sandwiches (try the turkey or the roast beef) and pastries - excellent. Again a few more places offering the same on a ship this size would be better. We did not take any of the Royal Caribbean excursions - we have previously visited Rome, Capri (Naples) and options for Palma and Marseilles are easily self-sourced. Marseilles is a must visit - the old port is spectacular. La Spezia was a real surprise - great shopping and dining and after a morning spent on these activities we took a private boat ride (23 Euro per person) to Portovenere followed by a boat ride of one hour around three neighbouring islands - fantastic and Portovenere has to be seen to be believed. Palma is excellent and we spent a great half-day wandering round the shops. We also took a hop on hop off bus ride round Naples - two routes for 23 Euro per person and lasting around 3 hours in total - a really great opportunity to see all of the city. Our cabin was an inside cabin on floor 9 - perfectly good, clean and bet and linen excellent. I enjoy running and can thoroughly recommend the Spa and Fitness area - I have seen reviews saying that it is disappointing that there are only portholes for viewing purposes - they are big portholes and if you want a view perhaps you are not putting enough effort into your exercise! All in all this was a fantastic holiday and we would go back tomorrow. We hope others have a similar experience, and if you are scheduled for a stay on this, in our experience you will enjoy every minute - do not believe everything you have read! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
After reading a fair few negative reviews I was rather worried about our trip. I had no need to be! The ship was beautiful, all areas were spotlessley clean and regularly kept that way. It had been reported that some public areas were in ... Read More
After reading a fair few negative reviews I was rather worried about our trip. I had no need to be! The ship was beautiful, all areas were spotlessley clean and regularly kept that way. It had been reported that some public areas were in need of repair and showed wear and tear, we didn't see any area that wasn't wonderfully tended too. Our cabin, 6000 was surprisingly spacious and kept cleaned by our stateroom attendant Henry who was fantastic. The food was excellent in all restaurants. The bars were lovely and relaxing and the shows in the theatre of Broadway standard. Our 11 year old son was happy to spend time with his pals on the sports deck playing football and basketball. The itinary was great and we saw some lovely places. The crew treat you like royalty and all in all we had a wonderful time. I would not hesitate sailing with Celebrity again. The outdoor cinema on the rooftop terrace was a fabulous treat. Lots of lovely memories made. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise because it offers solo cabins that are very comfortable, beautiful and affordable. The Embarkation and and disembarkation was outstanding. The individuals at each port and shore excursions go above and beyond to leave ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it offers solo cabins that are very comfortable, beautiful and affordable. The Embarkation and and disembarkation was outstanding. The individuals at each port and shore excursions go above and beyond to leave on time. The buses are coach motor buses, air conditioned, with tour guides that are super friendly and full of knowledge. My favorite tour was from Florence and Pisa. This ship is full of entertainment, activities, music and simply fun. The decor of this ship is amazing. The main dinning experience I loved, because there is no "set time" to eat. I felt very relax when it comes to dinning. The only negative thing I would add is that there is a need for more VEGAN or Vegetarian options...But I manage to go around the limitations. My cabin was outstanding and my room service lady (Jiotti) was amazing. She made sure my cabin was cleaned at all times (fresh towels, bed made, everything fresh). The solo VIP area was kept full of goodies, tea, ice, coffee, fruits, etc. I will book another trip with Norwegian. I want to note, that I will NOT book AIR with them. It was very complicated to arrange seats and to find my reservation. I had to do a lot of research. The flight back from Barcelona to JFK was a nightmare due to gate distances and I had to take a shuttle. Then the flight from JFK to FLL was another nightmare. Delays and gate changes. I will book my cruise with Norwegian, BUT NOT AIR... The trip was amazing and It was outstanding. I made TONS OF FRIENDS that our friendship will last forever. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with ... Read More
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with Carnival. Like many of my cruises, I sailed with my 76 yr old father who has some health issues. —And although, it’s a cruise to spend some father/son time together as we live in different states, he usually goes to bed quite early, and I enjoy the night life well into the wee hours of the morning… So, inevitably It ends up becoming a “singles” cruise for me. Before I describe the ship and everything else about this amazing cruise, I think it’s important to point out a Difference with Norwegian as I see them.... First off, this is not going to be a doom and gloom review... As I do view this cruise, and ship very favorably.... But I’ll start out with a fundamental disagreement that I have overall with NCL. As Compared to the other lines that I’ve sailed with....(Twice now with NCL), they are the Kings and Queens of overly casual. Very few people dress up. I guess that I’m a rare traditionalist millennial when it comes to this opinion....I wear a sport coat often to work, and that’s in south Louisiana where it’s needless to say, quite warm for most of the year. I also, as a bachelor enjoy when women take the time dress up. Cruising is the last romantic way to vacation. There’s something about going to sleep at 2AM with a bottle in your hand in the middle of a beautiful ocean and awaking in an exotic location somewhere in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Buuuuttt, in a nutshell, I guess that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “Freestyle Cruising”. —It’s not so much the dress attire that turns me off, it’s the fact that very little if anything is structured at all. For instance, virtually every other cruise line particularly my 2 favorites (Celebrity and MSC) have two main entrainment shows per night. —You organize your dinners(whether it’s a specialty restaurant, or one of the main dinning rooms around whichever show that you choose to attend.) —It’s a real simplistic way to cruise. There’s no overthinking it...It comes a little more natural. Freestyle cruising is more like trying to decide most of your shows, dinners, and evening hour activities on the first day of the cruise or even pre-cruise. Nothing is actually “freestyle” about it... You’re forced to decide your show times, or speciality restaurant times or even dinning room times in some cases by the end of the first evening unless you want your dinner at 11pm. I get what Norwegian is trying to do with freestyle cruising. —I understand that they want to give passengers options...And I truly see why they’ve had so much success doing this... **But I also see why other lines have been reluctant to head in their direction. And I get it now. ON TO THE POSITIVES: The EPIC might be the perfect cruise ship for the Mediterranean. It’s not quite Norwegian’s best or biggest ship. As I thought that the ESCAPE(which I sailed in 2017 was nicer and much more updated and had better social gathering points and creature comforts and cabins). But it has all of the things that modern cruisers want(including me). Plus your itinerary, and getting to see some of the cradles’ of civilization(especially those in Europe) is something to greatly credit. Although the ship holds over 4000 passengers, you rarely ever feel crowded. That’s a small advantage to a ship that was built 10 years ago, as opposed to some of the newer ships that are only a few years old that I’ve taken recently. The ship was also refitted 5 years ago... So you hardly notice any wear and tear at all. The ship also flows very well. Unlike some of the newest ships, there’s very few instances to where you can’t walk from one end of a deck to the other. —It really helps with getting around. EMBARKATION: A+ If you’re reading this about to take a Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona or Civitavecchia, do yourself a favor and opt-in on the transfer from the airport to the cruise port. —You can do this directly on the NCL website. Well worth the $50(round trip) per person. So $100 total for two people. We were sailing out of Barcelona and took the transfer charter bus from the Barcelona Airport to the cruise port(which took around 20-25 mins or so with traffic). —It’s only about 10 miles apart. It really is the easiest route to go. The cruise port check-in was a breeze. Maybe 20-25 mins from entering the port to stepping on the ship. Barcelona only has 3 cruise ships on a Sunday, so it doesn’t seem to back up with people quite as much as Miami, or Lauderdale. Also, we arrived pretty early at the port as our flight was a red-eye into Barcelona. (We were on one of the first transfer buses from the airport to cruise port)....And credit to Norwegian for allowing you into your stateroom by noon. It was great to set down cary-on bags and get a view of the stateroom before exploring the ship. THE SHIP ITSELF OVERALL: A- I found the ship pretty easily navigable. My advice would be to take the time to really explore the ship on the first day, and you should be pretty good to go by day two. I tend to explore any ship that I sail as much as I can on the first day and make it a point to have a drink at every bar. —That usually gets you around pretty well ;) My advice, if you’re sailing the Mediterranean, and flying in that day from the U.S., make sure to do a little exploring around the ship before you pass out for your cat nap before the vacation begins. STARTING FROM THE TOP The Pool Deck(s): A+ The Pool Deck is spacious, and really has A TON of deck chairs that they’ve found every nook and cranny to put in. Like most cruises, deck chairs fill up quickly with towel clips, bags, and magazines holding chairs for sometimes hours before they’re actually occupied. But, I legitimately found very little overcrowding on any of the pool decks(including the actual pool deck 15). There was always available lounge chairs at any time of day(including sea days). Like the majority of newer NCL ships, slides and kiddo pool areas take up a large portion of the deck, but they really weren’t a nuisance(even if you’re looking for less kids and more relaxation).... If somehow the slides or kid areas near the main pool do bother you, EPIC smartly made “Spice H20” which is a smaller pool deck towards the back of the ship also on deck 15. —It’s an adult only pool. But I seriously found plenty of relaxing areas in the main pool area. Spice H2O also has several nighttime parties throughout the cruise. There’s also a Pool deck up high(even if you’re not a Haven passenger) on Deck 18. You access this via the main pool deck right near the outdoor part of the Buffett. Not much on 18 except deck chairs. The Bars/Lounges/Clubs: A- EPIC really does have a solid variety of bars to satisfy most tastes. I really enjoyed “Shakers Martini Bar” as the best overall bar itself. VERY VERY good drinks. It’s also near several of the speciality restaurants on Deck 7, and is right above the casino and near the theater. “Shakers” also has several pianists who play sing along music in a subtle non-annoying way. My other favorite drinking spot on the ship was “Bliss Ultra Lounge”. It typically starts off in the evening as a karaoke bar, and transcends later in the night to a full night club. Trust me, if you’re young and single, this is most likely where you’ll find your cruise romance lol. There were other honorable mention bars as well. The main pool deck bar(name escapes me as I write) is one of the largest pool deck bars at sea. Although it’s probably one of the most crowded on the ship, again you rarely have to wait more than a min or two before your drink order is taken. Also, if you’re a big craft beer person, O’Sheeans Irish Pub is very popular. O’Sheeans also has bar food like wings, cheese sticks ETC... Casino, Shops, and General Areas B+  As it’s well published, NCL EPIC has one of, if not THE largest casinos at sea. It seems to go on over half of the entire Deck 6. Stretching from Manhattan Main Dinning Restaurant(rear of the ship) all the way to O’Sheeans Irish Pub(which is mid-to-forward of the ship) If you like the tables, slots, or simply watching the action like me, It’s truly a massive entertainment center of the ship. If you’re a player, this is YOUR SHIP. SHOPS: Some of you might not care much about the shopping of the ship considering the destinations within your itinerary. I found the shops decent. (Not great/not bad)… The best store in terms of variety on the ship is the cosmetics and fragrance store(don’t remember the name). The watch store also has a pretty good variety. Other than that, nothing really comes to mind. Seems to have fewer shops and duty free alcohol stores or much smaller than ships equal of Epic’s size. —Not a big deal as like me, I’m sure very few of you choose a ship for the shopping. GENERAL AREAS: The general areas on Epic are pretty good minus one glaring exception…The vast majority of newer ships have main promenades(which serve as the central gathering points of the interior of the ship). —You’ll typically have bars, a dance floor, restaurants nearby, and a view of either 3 or 4 decks at one time. --Those of you who like Celebrity know that that area of the boat is near the martini bar on Solstice Class ships, and the Edge. Those who like MSC know that that area is around the Swarovski Staircases. NCL EPIC doesn’t seem to know where to send people in the interior, and it almost spreads people out too thin, limiting the action and interaction between passengers. Again, seeming to cater to the “Freestyle” cruising idea. In other words, “you choose wherever you wanna go”....Even Norwegian’s newer ships like the ESCAPE do a better job having a true main promenade. Again, some of you might roll your eyes at that, or think that I’m knit-picking on that one. But, if you cruise often like me, and aren’t necessarily entirely loyal to one line, you might get what I’m trying to say. The interior of the ship is very very nice though with lot’s of variety. No complaints at all about the condition of the ship, or the décor. All very nice! –I’m sure that this was improved during the refitting in 2014-2015. THE FAMED AND CONTROVERSIAL EPIC STATEROOM LAYOUT DEBATE: B+ Like pretty much all cruise ship cabins, it was small and served it’s purpose. Like I said earlier, I am a 32 year old bachelor... and although I always get a balcony room on any ship that I sail on, I can’t tell you that I ever spend much time in my state room other than to sleep and get dressed. But, for what it’s worth, the state room was very nice, and modern. You are on a cruise ship to have a good time, and be around other people, and get some sun. —You can’t do any of those things by staying in your room. One huge plus is the closet/drawer space. —Amazing for your sized stateroom. On to the big debate about the bathroom lol... I’m sure that most of you have read the controversy over the bathroom set up. There is no doubt that many others have nailed the fact that it is definitely unconventional....The toilet is on one side of the entrance of the stateroom with a sliding fogged glass door for privacy. And the shower is virtually a twin copy of that on the other side. Then, the sink is just outside of the shower openly in the stateroom. —I really think people overly pan this situation unfairly. —It’s really not that bad. One big argument to play the devils advocate for those hatters of this situation is that if you’re a married couple, one spouse can shower while the other is using the sink to get ready without being on top of each other like you’d be in a regular cruise bathroom. Also throw a kid into the room with that couple, and it’s logical and realistic that a wife can be doing her makeup at the sink, the husband is showering, and the kid can still use the bathroom all at the same time without stepping on each other. What other conventional stateroom can you do that in??? It’s really NOT THAT BAD. Buuuuutttt, strange layout nonetheless. THE PASSENGERS AND CREW: A+ This cruise had a very fun crowd! I was absolutely shocked at how many millennials and Gen-“X”ers were on this cruise considering the expense for American’s to take a Mediterranean cruise, and the added costs associated with traveling to get to Europe in the first place. But, there were many young professionals on the ship. Norwegian seems to do a great job at attracting younger passengers without stooping to the spring break Carnival college kid crowd. Although there were lots of younger people on the ship, NOT ONE AGE GROUP seemed to dominate the masses. One of the most balanced cruise crowds that I’ve ever seen. I was shocked at how balanced the crowd was. Also, tons of single millennials on the ship to hang out/flirt with. I’m not saying that I was necessarily looking for a “target rich” environment… But It certainly makes things more interesting if you catch my drift haha. ***Although, I have no data to back up my numbers…. I would guess that the age of passengers on the ship was: 30% Gen X, 25 % Millennials, 20% Baby Boomers, 15% Seniors, 10% Gen Z/Children Nationalities on board were: 45% of passengers were American, 40% European, 10% Latin-American, 5% from other parts of the world. Crew: I cannot say enough great things about the EPIC staff! These people, no matter whether they’re a stateroom attendant, buffet bus person, or an officer were simply perfect. They’ve mastered the art of service. I would give you specific examples, but we’d be here all day. One thing that I’ll point out was the bartenders were great! All were friendly, fast, and after a few days would remember your drink. —Truly remarkable for thousands of people circulating in and out week after week. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS, MAIN DINING ROOMS, AND BUFFET My father and I ate at 5 of the 7 speciality restaurants on board. This isn’t super typical of everyone who adds speciality dinning to their cruise, as most people will eat at between 2 or 3 restaurants. In no particular order, opinions/grades on the 5 that we ate at: * Le Bistro (French) B+ The food at Le Bistro was pretty good. Not great. I heard several others sitting around us that they were really enjoying the cuisine but there’s a huge caveat for me with the fact that I’m from Louisiana and live in New Orleans. Please understand that I have access to some of the best French food available in the US on a daily basis. * La Cucina (Italian) A+ The food at La Cucina was excellent! Great starter salads, beautiful charcuterie board/antipasto and ton’s of Italian favorites. I had the veal and it was excellent! * Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant B- The meal was decent. But Not nearly the best Chinese food that I’ve had at sea. Much better Chinese on Celebrity Equinox....Called “Silk Harvest”. Their biggest problem is that they are missing some of the American favorites of Chinese. No General Tso Chicken and many other thing’s that Americans would expect from a Chinese restaurant. * Cagney’s Steakhouse D+ Unfortunately one of the worst meals that I’ve ever had at sea. I ordered my ribeye “medium”, and it came out still mooing. Also, the ribeye was 50% fat. I love ribeyes and cook steak often at home, and understand that that cut of meat will have extra marbling, but this was absurd. My father ordered his steak medium-well, and it came like a piece of leather. We both ended up just eating our salads and sides(which were fair at best), and cast aside the steaks. —The staff tried to make it right though. (Plain and simple, Cagney’s just sucks. Tried it on the NCL Escape as well, and thought the exact same thing). —You’d think a steakhouse would be one of the easiest to operate. * Teppanyaki (Japanese hibachi) A+ This was the second best meal that we had behind La Cucina. The food was excellent, as was the enjoyment of the hibachi experience. And the hibachi chef’s were entertaining and hilarious. The food was excellent. Great variety of Steak, chicken, shrimp, muscles, veggies, and rice. ***As you can see from above, 4 of the 5 were good, with 2 being great. Very disappointed in Cagneys on both the Escape and the Epic. MAIN DINNING ROOMS: A+ There are two main dinning rooms on EPIC. “Manhattan” and “Taste”. Manhattan is a little dressier with a little bit more formal setting. Whereas Taste is a little more laid back with more of a traditional menu. We only ate at Manhattan once, and both really liked it. —Very similar menus and atmosphere to other comparable ships. BUFFET: A+ Good choices for breakfast and lots of variety. Pretty typical for a mega ship buffet, but added variety. They seem to a little better job on breakfast than other lines (particularly with omelette stations)... They have omelette stations and other quick to order stations all over to try and get it to you fast. Although we only ate lunch once at the buffet, again there was a good variety of American favorites and various salad bars, and other ethnic cuisine. One thing that we loved was the burger/grilled items outside near the pool deck. Easy to grab lunch and to get back to your deck chair. ENTERTAINMENT: B+ If you remember my opening, you know that I don’t particularly care for “freestyle cruising” because of having to schedule everything so early... Nothing is more prevalent of that than the main theater shows on EPIC. THE SHOWS: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Burn the Floor," are the Two main headliner shows in the theater. Both were entertaining and high energy. Really liked “Burn The Floor”. Drag isn’t necessarily my thing, but still thought Priscilla was hilarious. Unlike most cruise lines, I do give NCL a lot of credit for their (what I call) “sub-shows”. —Which are smaller venues with comedians, or other shows within smaller venues around the ship. The best show on the ship hands down was called “Cirque Dreams Epicurean” Held in the “Spiegel Tent”. —Which a smaller dinner theater near the main theater. Given the small theater and the rapid changing of the various stages, you feel like the actors and acrobats are right on top of you! It’s interactive as well! There is a charge for this show as they serve dinner as well. It was about the price of a specialty restaurant. Book early! The shows fill up rapidly and were sold out for most of the cruise. Another “sub-show” was “Howl At The Moon” located in Headliners Comedy Club —Free and open to anyone, three musicians play various instruments and take requests from the audience for hours... They were AWESOME! Plus, you can come and go as you please. They typically play for about 4 hours. 8-11PM is clean in case kids are there. After 11PM is uncensored(which is more enjoyable) Speaking of Comedy....One MASSIVE negative which robbed my ENTERTAINMENT GRADE OF BEING AN “A” was no comedy show at all! —Not Even in the comedy club! —I’m not sure if this was just for this cruise, or whether NCL plans on ceasing comedy shows or what the deal was??? MISCELLANEOUS POSITIVES: -I found a lot less nickel & diming on EPIC. -One of the biggest varieties of speciality dinning, along with free speciality dinning options. -The ship really does well with excursions which is important when you’re in Europe given the language differences. -NCL Might have the best premium drink package on earth! Way less expensive than Celebrity and MSC, and you can order virtually anything. They also don’t “drink count” as I call it. In other words, if I ordered two drinks at a time, I didn’t need two cruise cards. They just did it(Believe me my friends, that is rare) MISCELLANEOUS NEGATIVES: -The WiFi was the worst I’ve ever had at sea. Mind you that both my father and I bought the premium unlimited packages on that. Had to constantly re-boot and try for sometimes 7 to 8 times to just to sign on. I get it, I was on vacation and some of you will say that I should’ve unplugged. But, I’m in management with a media company and have to check my email once a day during weekdays for emergencies even when on vacation. -No free bottled water. —Seriously. With a premium drink package, you can order all the Patron, Grey Goose, or Johnny Walker Blue Label you want, BUT NOT bottled water unless you want to pay out of pocket. Otherwise, you get a glass of tap water. Never seen that on 17 cruises except this. IN CLOSING: This cruise was amazing because of the three main factors. 1.) The itinerary, 2.) the people on the ship 3.) the crew. Yes, the ship is nice. But you’d be dazzled by some of the newer ships that other lines have come out with recently. I give the overall grade of B+ to the entire cruise. Inconsistencies in the food, the WiFi, freestyle cruising and a few lesser things narrowly cost EPIC an “A”. —Still a great cruise. Cheers to you on your next voyage! -Matthew from New Orleans, Louisiana Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We sailed on the Oasis of the Seas on 30th June for a 7 night Med cruise, calling at Palma, Marseilles, La Spezia, Rome, and Naples. Boarding was in Barcelona and the ship is so large that it boards over two terminals. We were allocated ... Read More
We sailed on the Oasis of the Seas on 30th June for a 7 night Med cruise, calling at Palma, Marseilles, La Spezia, Rome, and Naples. Boarding was in Barcelona and the ship is so large that it boards over two terminals. We were allocated terminal C and after dropping off our cases we were on board the ship in less than 30 minutes from arriving at the terminal. Upon boarding, we were greeted with a glass of bubbly, which was a nice touch. As we were in an Aqua Suite, we headed up to the suite lounge, which is a calm oasis away from the hustle and bustle of boarding day. In the suite lounge, we were able to book a couple of shore excursions and signed up for a 3-night specialty dining package. One benefit of being in a suite is the use of the suite lounge which is open all day for snacks, drinks and table service in the Coastal Kitchen Restaurant which is incorporated into the lounge. We ate lunch in the Coastal Kitchen, which was delicious and then headed to our Aqua Suite no 14330. This was a very nice suite with a separate lounge and dining room and a bathroom with a full-sized bathtub. The balcony was split and to be honest I would have preferred one of the lower Aqua Suits with a wrap-around balcony. We did have some issues with a leak in our cabin, but the housekeeping and maintenance teams sorted that out very professionally. During the week the temperatures were very high, mainly around 30 degrees so it was quite tiring to walk anywhere off the ship. We stayed on board during the first two ports and enjoyed the ship. There is so much to see and do onboard, one review would not do it justice. Day 3 we took a tour which involved taking a ferry to a very picturesque island, the ferry took around half an hour to cross the bay but the walk from the ship to the ferry took longer, not an excursion for anyone with any walking difficulties. Next day we did an olive tasting tour, this I would highly recommend. A beautiful scenic drive through Tuscany and a visit to a farmhouse once owned by the brother of Napoleon, which today is an olive farm. At the last port of call, Naples, we walked off and not far from the port found a really nice restaurant and ate authentic Napali Pizza, just 4 Euro each for a large pizza. Whilst onboard there is so much entertainment going on, from Aqua SHows, Ice SHows, West End Style Theatre Shows, comedians and musicians as wella s Karaoke for those who like to entertain themselves. There are seven neighborhoods onboard the Oasis but we really liked Central Park and The Boardwalk. There is a vast choice of where to eat on board. You have of course Coastal Kitchen for Suite guests and the Windjammer buffet-style Restaurant, then for snacks, you have the Boardwalk Hot Dog Stand, Sorrentos Pizzaria, The Park Cafe and for Tapas you have Vintages Wine Bar. For dinner, you can choose the main dining room or plump for a specialty restaurant. You can choose from Izumi Japanese, Sabor Mexican, Choppes Grill Steakhouse, Giovanni's Table Italian or our favorite the 150 Central Park Bistro. All of these come with a supplement, but if you purchase a dining package you can get a good discount on the cover charges. I would have to say that the food on this cruise was about the best we have experienced on a cruise ship and the staff and service from every member of staff without exception was fantastic. We had the opportunity to meet the Captain and The Hotel Director and the ship, crew, food, and facilities are a credit to them. We had an awesome cruise holiday and can't wait to get back to what I think is our new favorite ship Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
The experience at Norwegian Epic was a dream come true. We were in a group - a mix of kids of different age groups, adults with different interests. Each one of us were thoroughly satisfied and didn’t want to disembark at the end of the ... Read More
The experience at Norwegian Epic was a dream come true. We were in a group - a mix of kids of different age groups, adults with different interests. Each one of us were thoroughly satisfied and didn’t want to disembark at the end of the journey. Food- great even for vegetarians No sea sickness- smooth sea Entertainment - more than plenty Staff - awesome and entertaining Warm welcome after return from port excursions Kids taken care of in Splash academy Glow party was the best. The balcony allowed us to keep our suitcases else with kids space can be challenging Drinks can be better. Found the cocktails sweeter than usual Swimming pools were more of water tanks. Can be larger and shaded as it was super hot in July The kids entertainment in Splash academy after 8pm can be better else a single child can be easily bored Overall, the trip was truly worth every penny Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Embarkation ----------------- Embarkation was easy and as I'm disabled, we got to skip the line. Was nice and smooth. Stateroom -------------- I had an inside cabin. I also peeked into other cabins as they were being ... Read More
Embarkation ----------------- Embarkation was easy and as I'm disabled, we got to skip the line. Was nice and smooth. Stateroom -------------- I had an inside cabin. I also peeked into other cabins as they were being cleaned so I got a look at oceanview and balcony ones too. In general , they were a lot smaller than other ships I've been on. I also wasn't keen on the bathroom set up. Basically, the toilet is to the left of the door when you enter the room, and the shower is to the right. There's a curtain you can pull across that will cover them both up. I was sharing with my dad so showering was a bit challenging if he wasn't in the room, as I was always worried that he'd enter and be able to see me naked! I had requested twin beds but this didn't seem to reach NCL (maybe my agent didn't pass it on). On other ships I've been on, the stateroom attendant happily changed it, but the one we had on this ship was obviously really annoyed and almost lectured us for not requesting it at the outset. When we looked in our mini-bar, there was an empty can of soda. I obviously didn't want charged for this to advised guest services. I think that made the stateroom attendant hate us for the rest of the trip! Bars and Restaurants ----------------------------- One thing I did like was that there was a choice of restaurants included, not just the main or buffet restaurants. There was an Asian restaurant, 2 main restaurants, a buffet one that was much calmer than Royal Caribbeans, with more seats available, and an Irish bar. This gave the potential for more variety without having to spend more money. When we ate at the Manhattan Room, I was really disappointed that the jazz band stopped playing shortly after we got there. This band doesn't seem to be utilised anywhere else so why not have them playing for the whole time the restaurant is open. It went from having a really nice atmosphere to a horrible one as there wasn't even any other background music turned on. I'd have liked to have been able to view the menus from the restaurants in one place so I didn't have to walk all over the ship to compare them. You have the interactive boards where you can book restaurants for future dates, but you can't seem to do it for that night, which is a real pain. They also don't seem to show the menus. I'm used to being able to view the menus on my TVs, but you don't seem to have that feature. The service at the pool bar was atrocious! We regularly waited 25 minutes to get served. This was mainly because there weren't enough staff based there, but also because those that were didn't have the ability to remember which customers had arrived first. One guy kept only serving those who were right in front of them, anyone outside his initial field of vision just had to keep waiting, getting more and more frustrated! I was disappointed with O'Sheehans. It was really noisy because you had noise coming from the atrium venue, the bowling alley, the casino, and the bars above when they had live music. It all clashed into a horrible racket. I was also really disappointed that the menu, at least for dinner, never changed. It felt like there were often dirty tables when you tried to get a seat. I struggled with there being a lot of high tables as I can't use them being disabled. It was also weird that you couldn't eat at the table that's facing down to the atrium, but you can at the same type of seating that's at one of the speciality restaurants. That doesn't make any sense. Entertainment ------------------- On sea days, there literally wasn't ever any day time activities I was interested in doing. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean have way more variety, e.g. colouring classes, table tennis tournaments, board/card game sessions, etc., with multiple free activities happening at each time slot so that there was something for everyone. I was extremely disappointed by the evening entertainment. I am used to there being a stage show every night, with 2 performances per night on every cruise I've done previously. What was on felt dated, e.g. I saw Priscilla on Royal Caribbean last year. Howl at the Moon was on far too much - there needs to be more variety. I can't believe that the Headliners Comedy Club never once had any comedy on! Royal Caribbean have musicals, ice shows, comedians, game shows, etc. every single night, and we often struggle to fit them all in, whereas on this cruise I often found myself bored as there wasn't any entertainment I was interested in! One activity we were actually interested in was karaoke. The bar was always full when it was on and everyone was having a good time. However, as soon as it ended, the bar emptied. This shows that it should definitely be on for a longer duration, even all night, as it was so popular! The first time we went, the entertainment staff member running it (I don't know his name - I think he was Japanese) could not have sounded more depressed! I have never been to karaoke before where the host wasn't standing on the stage in person, which gives more energy and a personal touch, but even offstage, he needed an injection of energy and personality. He was honestly monotone and sounded like he'd rather be anywhere else! The guy that did it the next time we went was more enthusiastic, thankfully! In general, the ship was very noisy. I'm used to bars being like the Cavern Club where you go into them and enter the atmosphere of that bar, whereas the majority on Epic are out in the open so you have the noise of the casino, the bowling alley, music from other venues, people walking past, etc. The atrium was a particularly horrible venue for drinks and entertainment. I felt like I couldn't find a quieter spot that was comfortable. The day we were doing search and rescue, I really wanted a bar that had comfortable sofa style seating where I could relax but still get brought drinks, and that really just didn't exist. I'm also used to their being some themed nights on the cruise that everyone gets involved in, like 80s night or white night, etc. There wasn't anything like this on Epic. I understand why they have people boarding and leaving at different ports in that it increases sales as it fits in with everyone's vacation dates, however what it does do is change the dynamics on board. I'm used to everyone being in a real party mood when we sail away and then there being a final night party too. I appreciate that's not something you can change, but it did change it for me. Pools & Spa ----------------- I had booked a spa offer that said it gave a mini facial and access to the thermal suite. However, I felt it was missold to me as it actually was sitting in a room with other people getting sold Elemis products and getting tests of these to put on our faces ourselves. That's not a facial in my book! Another thing I wasn't expecting was that there was no sauna or steam room available to all. On other ships I've been on, these were accessible to everyone in the fitness suite. Another reason why it wasn't good value for money. I normally enjoy using the hot tubs on the ship pretty much every day to easy my aching muscles. However, I found that the ones on Epic were barely luke-warm so I often quickly got cold and had to leave. I think this is the first cruise I've been on where the sauna and steam room wasn't accessible to everyone. The thermal suite is really nice, but it's expensive - 60 USD a visit or you can buy a package - so that made the cruise seem like less value. Drinks Package --------------------- The drinks package covered drinks up to 15USD. It didn't include the mini bar or the atrium cafe, which did speciality teas, coffees, and cakes. I was disappointed that bottled water wasn't included in my premium beverage package either. These have always been included on other cruises, so this reduced the feeling of value for money on the drinks package. Also, all previous cruises have given you a large drinks cup so that you could get it refilled at machines yourself or at bars, which makes it easier for you as a guest, but also is more environmentally friendly, and it's something you can take away as a souvenier, which adds value to your drinks package. Casino ---------- It felt like the casino was too big, dominating almost an entire level. Travelling with someone who's had a gambling problem in the past, it was challenging as it felt impossible at times to avoid the casino! You could smoke in the casino if you were playing games. Shopping ------------ I couldn't believe there wasn't any duty free on sale on the ship. I now understand why this is (when it's entirely within Europe, they're not allowed to sell it), but a sign telling us that before we boarded would have been useful so that we could have chosen to buy cigarettes in the duty free shop at Barcelona. The sales staff for jewellery were very in your face whenever you passed through the shops as you couldn't avoid the shops if you were on that level. Ports of Call ----------------- This is the first cruise I've done in Europe. You visit a port most days and the port days tend to be long hours. You're walking a lot in the European cities too so it's generally a pretty tiring week. We didn't book any shore excursions with the cruise line as they're really expensive. I did pre-book a couple of tours with 3rd parties. One for Florence and Pisa as it was just the same price as making your own way there, and one for the Vatican in Rome. We made our own way to Rome by taking the port shuttle to the town, then a local bus to the train station, and finally, a train to Roma St Peters. We walked from there. The tour started at 10am and we were just able to get there on time by getting off the ship as soon as it was ready for debarkation. We did have a problem getting back though as the train was delayed. There were about 14 people on that train with us, and thankfully, some of them were on a ship organised tour so the boat waited for us (we were about 40 minutes late in the end!). I'd therefore say if you're doing Rome on your own, make sure you're at the train station by 3.30pm for a 6.30pm all aboard time. The tenders were really badly organised. To not be given any indication of when your colour might be called was a nightmare because it meant we had to be up and ready early then sitting around for hours when we could have been having a long lie! I have never had a tender done this way before. Service ---------- On all the other cruises I've done, the staff have been really happy and friendly, always trying to pre-empt your needs, and nothing you asked was too big of a problem. The stateroom attendant didn't look happy whenever I saw her, though that's maybe because she may have gotten into trouble when we had to report that there was an empty can of Sprite in our mini bar from the previous guests! She took away one of our pool towels and never replaced it too. I also expected our bedding to be changed at least a couple of times during our trip, but I know it wasn't as there was a dirty mark on my duvet cover from near the beginning of the cruise, and it remained there throughout. One of the hostesses at O'Sheehans also looked miserable, and I felt like I was causing her a problem by asking for a table, particularly when she had to clean one for me. When all the staff seem to be unhappy, it makes me question how life is for them on the ship, and how they're treated. Value for Money --------------------- I felt like I was constantly being pushed to spend more money. It was very in my face, way more than any other cruise I've been on. It felt like most of the activities during the day I might have been interested in doing were at an additional cost, which means what had initially seemed a good price for the cruise, actually wasn't great value. Again, on the theme of being pressured into buying things, it was really hard to make the photography staff take no for an answer. Getting on and off the ship, they were jumping in front of you and following you even after you'd said, "no thanks" several times! Disembarkation -------------------- We had to get our luggage tags the day before disembarking from guest services. We could choose the time we got off as long as the corresponding colour of tag was still available. Bags had to be placed outside the room by 11pm the night before departure unless you were going to take them off yourself in the morning. The one positive about not everyone's cruise ending on the same day was that we could take our time having breakfast and getting off the ship as it was staying in port all day. Overall Impression ------------------------- For me, this cruise was really disappointing when I compared it to the others I've done (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Celebrity). The entertainment was particularly poor, I didn't like constantly being hassled to buy more/spend money, and I didn't get the energetic, enthusiastic, friendly, and helpful crew I'm used to. It's put me off sailing with Norwegian again in future, and I won't be recommending them to anyone else. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We traveled May 18-26 -Staff is friendly and nice -u spent the most in excursions Take a private guide and even taking a taxi is better than taking the excursions the ship offers (u feel like one of members of horse Herd) ... Read More
We traveled May 18-26 -Staff is friendly and nice -u spent the most in excursions Take a private guide and even taking a taxi is better than taking the excursions the ship offers (u feel like one of members of horse Herd) -cruise tries to charge u in anything possible. U go to restaurant - boom $15 charge per person even though my package included gratuities. We tipped all the way but they do anyway. Go to the desk and ask to sign a form to pay on ur own - that’s $210 deduction on the spot for 2ppl - room is terribly small. Don’t even think taking a stateroom, upgrade to bigger and with balcony. Otherwise u will feel trapped - get a package for specialty dining, it’s truly better and delicious - internet is TERRIBLE, never works in the room. My emails didn’t update for couple of days. I tried disputing the charges with the cruise, THEY DIDNT —- I’m definitely disputing charges with my credit card company. I took photos of my phone and the last date it updated emails. - the worst experience when ship arrived to Cannes. There is no port there so ppl are being transported on little ships (which fit around 200 ppl). The line is outrageous and the wait was tiring. We waited 50m on the line, got pisses off and left tanning on the ship - shows are great. Especially the dancing and cirque shows Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise because I wanted to experience Europe and to feel safe and grounded while doing that. Maybe I would choose a cruise with less port intense agenda. Getting out every morning and walking for hours on end was too labor ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to experience Europe and to feel safe and grounded while doing that. Maybe I would choose a cruise with less port intense agenda. Getting out every morning and walking for hours on end was too labor intensive for me, but it was still wonderful! Dining was a highlight of my day. I did dinner every evening in the main dining room. It was fun and I looked forward to seeing our waiters and our table mates each evening. I was quite disappointed to learn that surf and turf night is now a thing of the past! I could order lobster if I paid a $29.99 surcharge. Dinners were good but there was not as much variety as I was accustomed to. Majority of the items were offered daily. There would be 1 or 2 new items added per day, but most of the menu remained the same. I booked an ocean view cabin which I would have loved - except the weather did not cooperate. It was cold every day and wet & cold most evenings, so we couldn’t enjoy it at all! The cabin itself was comfortable, spacious and efficient. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I have only been on one other cruise, that was Carnival, so that is the only comparison I have. First, the good thing... The entertainment was great. The people in the show do a wonderful job. Most of the staff are nice enough. The ... Read More
I have only been on one other cruise, that was Carnival, so that is the only comparison I have. First, the good thing... The entertainment was great. The people in the show do a wonderful job. Most of the staff are nice enough. The ship is clean and beautiful. There are many nice pools and hot tubs, so they were not crowded (yet they close them all down early which is irritating). The bed was comfortable and the room quiet. The food in the buffet was just okay (deserts were good), better than Carnival, but the food in the dining room was much worse than carnival. And now I move on to the bad things... Eating in the dining room on Carnival was a great experience we looked forward to every night, but on MSC it felt like a punishment. Usually the food was not good and the waiters also made us feel uncomfortable and unwanted. They do not have "anytime dining" like other ships, you have to pick 6 PM, 8 PM or 10 PM. They kick you out after an hour or so to get ready for the next crowd. They are always rushing around in a hurry yet take forever to bring the food. We waited an hour for our first course one time, then had 15 minutes to eat the rest and get out. It is loud and there is constant banging from the dumbwaiter bringing down food. We asked to be switched to a different time and got a better waiter and location after the switch. I cannot believe they charge you for water in the dining room! Water was free on Carnival. Which is my next complaint, they are constantly after more money. They pester you all the time to buy the drink and food packages. The drink package would have cost $700 for the two of us ($40 a day). If you're drinking $700 in alcohol in one week you have a problem. We spent $80 on drinks, that's it. The food package would have cost around $260 for 3 meals for the two of us. That's seems high for mediocre food. The worst experience by far were the excursions! DO NOT book a tour. Have them bus you and walk around on your own. The tour company they use in Italy is a nightmare! We were not given all the things promised in Pisa and Rome. In Rome they lost an elderly man and left him there. Don't know if he ever made it back to the ship. I did not listen to the tour guides speak, they are hard to understand. Our English speaking guide hardly said anything anyway. The guides have deals with shops to take you there so you will buy things, like the "Pearl Factory" they said we needed a ticket to get into. It was a jewelry store! Nothing more, and it is free to go in. They wasted my time with this stuff. I felt very ripped off over the excursions. The internet was poor, and we had a router right outside our room. The zip-line cost $12 a person and is boring. It should be free! The constant up-selling is just a nightmare. We have decided not to go on MSC again because of these issues. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Staff is from the Philippines and they could not care less about the customers. They are paid very little money so obviously job is not made properly. We had a baby with us and one time we were asked to leave the dining room since there ... Read More
Staff is from the Philippines and they could not care less about the customers. They are paid very little money so obviously job is not made properly. We had a baby with us and one time we were asked to leave the dining room since there was no place for us and the baby. Food was great on a few occasions but twice we had to go sleep hungry since the food was inedible. I asked the refund for the service charge but they said it was impossible. The bar is a nightmare! You go for a drink and it may take up to half an hour for a stupid drink which most of the time would be undrinkable. The barman stays playing around behind the bar waiting for time to go by. Hot water for the baby was a fight with them. They said hot water only in the morning. For god's sake I JUST WANTED WATER. We paid the piu gusto.... but you can't have a bottle of water! If you want the bottle its an extra 2.50eur. We paid over 200 each to have unlimited drinks. I can't call it a holiday. Staying home would have been a better option. First and last time with Costa. WELL DONE!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
-For my parents´ wedding anniversary we decided to sail on the Bellisima. After a night spent in Barcelona, visiting the Sagrada Familia, we took a taxi to the cruise terminal, which was quite far away from the city center (and the Sants ... Read More
-For my parents´ wedding anniversary we decided to sail on the Bellisima. After a night spent in Barcelona, visiting the Sagrada Familia, we took a taxi to the cruise terminal, which was quite far away from the city center (and the Sants Train Station). Embarkation was quite smooth and easy. Check-in was really fast, and doing it in the phone App is not really necessary. After 10 minutes of waiting, we could enter our cabin, guided by one of the butlers. -The ship itself is stunning. The Bellisima Promenade is absolutley fantastic. The stores are quite expensive, but worth looking at them, especially the Chocolaterie, with stunning chocolate sulpture. Eventhough a couple of days are needed to adapt yourself to your new home, the MSC for me App and the many screens displayed throughout the ship help a lot. -The Marketplace buffet was quite good. For breakfast there is a huge variety of Continental, English, Mediterranean, or even Oriental breakfast. There is free coffee, infusions and water at all times and free juice at breakfast. Our courtesy restaurant was Posidonia. The waiter was quite slow, and most days we took from 19:45 to 21:30, and we could not go to the 21:15 show. On one hand, the entries and main courses were Ok, not very tasty in most cases. But on the other hand, the desserts were extremely tasty and well made. -The animation crew, especially Borja Vila and Sebastiano Avola, did a fantastic job to organise the thematic parties every night and the rest of activities onboard. Everything was very well organised you could definitly feel a special ambient thanks to them. Live music was excellent too, not just for dancing but to listen to while looking at other things. The band `` Nearly a Band ´´, who plays every night before and after the thematic party, had two singers worth listening to. -The shows were the most special part of the cruise. Everyday, a diferent show performed for three times. All of the singers were spectacualr, especially Lindiwe Bugane, who had an amazing voice, pretty much like Jeniffer Hudson. The generes of the spectacles were very variated, anywhere from Opera, or Rock, to Shadow Puppets. -The WiFi service was quite expensive, so I took it as a chance to disconnect. Be sure to put your phone on airplane mode unless you want exra fees charged from your mobile company. The SPA and Massage services were also very expensive and not worth it. Room service was quite efficient and useful. Cirque de Soleil was totalyy worth the price and It´s a must for those who want to experience such a priviledged way of art. The pools and jacuzzis were climatised and confortable, but a bit overcrowded. Dance classes were very easy and the dance teachers were very nice. Gym was free, very good and equiped, and not very crowded. -The shuttle buses are very expensive, and you can get a shuttle bus and a tour for the same price, if booked with another company. Same with excursions. - Our children made friends in the Teen Club. Attention for them is provided throughout the day; but I must say they charge for many things such as the F1 simulator or the arcade. They also had a Kids menu in the Courtesy Restaurant which was quite an advantage for ``difficult´´ kids when it comes to eating. -I would go again and again. Everything was really special. When put together, everything made a truly unique experience, and I have no doubt that this has been one of the best experiences in my life. Thanks to all the crew for making it so special. MSC stands for its name and without doubt I can affirm that after sailing in the Bellisima. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Bellissima is truly a wonderful ship. Awe inspiring. It has every available resource that you could wish for. It truly is magnificent. The cabin (inside) was so much nicer than portrayed in photos and pre cruise videos. It ... Read More
Bellissima is truly a wonderful ship. Awe inspiring. It has every available resource that you could wish for. It truly is magnificent. The cabin (inside) was so much nicer than portrayed in photos and pre cruise videos. It was stylish spacious comfortable and a great space to enjoy. As a new ship the whole ship is immaculate as would be expected. The restaurants included in your cruise offered a great choice and quality of food. However restaurants felt busy and somewhat manic, speedy food was kind of thrown at you as a chore to be gotten through. In no way is it a reflection on the staff who are run of their feet. Rather a issue of numbers. The individual restaurants you may pay to dine in are unhurried relaxed and offer good service. Particularly impressive was the butchers cut food and staff. Circus solei at sea what a amazing not to be missed experience. Can’t recommend it enough truly great. Downside of this cruise was the sense of hard sell everything has its price. All the facilities on offer that attract you to the ship are expensive extras. You feel that you really add a significant spend to your initial outlay. People are forever in your face trying to sell you additional experiences. I bought a full drinks package, weekly spa package, full WiFi package, 3 restaurants speciality meals and circus solei show with dinner and show with cocktail all before the cruise. I spent the first day and a half of my cruise having to run about from one service to another to finalise packages meals etc. My advice is bar the spa package wait till you get on board. Any package bought pre cruise can not be recompensed when on ship. One real gripe is the WiFi it’s truly atrocious and best forgotten. Certainly not worth paying for the full internet unlimited download. The service hardly works and fully unavailable a serious amount of the time. So exhausting trying to keep resolving problems until I finally gave up and realised it’s a rubbish service and no amount of trying to make it work would. The much vaunted Zoe online assistant is rubbish no use nor ornament. The cruise felt like a cattle market 5000 people. Little space to relax in but really liked the adult only bar. All in all a fanstastic ship with every amenity but to busy to full on not relaxing enough and hard sell really off putting. Glad I did it but wouldn’t do it again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise ship because of the ports mostly. We were most interested in sightseeing, but got more than we expected. We used cruise shuttles and Hop-off/Hop-on busses arranged by the cruise, for reasonable price. We did not use ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because of the ports mostly. We were most interested in sightseeing, but got more than we expected. We used cruise shuttles and Hop-off/Hop-on busses arranged by the cruise, for reasonable price. We did not use any excursions, explored on our own and found it to be very efficient. On the ship, the entertainment was outstanding. We planned to book a Cirque du Soleil but the free Broadway shows were so nice that we attended those instead (different one each night). The dancers and singers are talented to say the least. There kids camp was good, our girls (5 and 7) got to love it by the third time we dropped them off, it took some time for them to get used to kids speaking different languages. The pool area was beautiful, outdoor pool was heated but the weather was too cold for us. We used indoor pool and Jacuzzis (well kept and orderly, never overcrowded). The casino was quite small, always too close to the smoking area in my opinion, but overall we were happy we didn't get to gamble and loose money. There were some photographers, we took pictures and booked a digital package, which was a deal in my opinion. We booked 2 rooms: a balcony and an inside room. Both rooms were not very roomy, but everything well organized. The service to the balcony room was noticeable better (never missed a thing, courteous, pleasant) than to the inside cabin (pool towels were removed and not replaced on several occasions) for some reason. There were no towel animals, but the beds were made several times per day, always clean and tidy. The program was delivered every evening. We checked our account every evening and were never charged for anything we didn't authorize. The ship was beautiful, as expected, also very clean and well-organized. I was happy with the service provided by all the staff in dining rooms and bars. We ate at our assigned restaurant once, found it to be quite slow and continued to use the buffet instead. The buffet had a wide variety of dishes, tasty and appealing. We were given coupons for drinks, but overall the prices were reasonable as well. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze! Overall, we would cruise with MSC again, especially on Meraviglia. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package ... Read More
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package which we had already sorted pre arrival. This also didn’t stop for a couple of days. ( by all means assist customers but make staff be seen but have customers approach staff ) We also were constantly bugged by the staff photographers constantly asking if we wanted our picture taken and even after a polite no they then pleaded ‘it will only take a few minutes ‘ whilst following us. My polite no’s were beginning to wear very thin towards the end. To add insult to injury the one time we gave in, we were then automatically charged £34.99 to our card before even seeing them. From the reception they told me it was down to me to say I didn’t want them to have the charge removed. So I was glad to keep an eye on my account on my tv in my cabin. Otherwise it would have been a shock on leaving. ( may be better for customers to say yes before charging). Each place we docked at we were badgered if we wanted taxi or sight seeing bus. All were stupid prices and you can do so much better sourcing your own public transport at great prices.... it got tiresome as they wouldn’t take no as an answer. I feel msc security/ dock security should monitor this and actively reduce this annoyance. Now the ship is an absolute beautiful design. Really took our breath away. The mid ship sky screen shows and displays were very good. The shows onboard were very very good and thoughly entertaining. And at 30 mins I feel it was too short but understand with time restrictions for the program it has to be that way. I had no issues with my premium drinks package and recommend this is purchased. The staff were all very friendly and pleasant and had no bad experiences in the dining room with food or waiting staff. The cabin ( we had a balcony) was a nice size and I would say it was a slightly smaller than the average Travelodge room but pretty much the same layout. Tv channels were slightly limited ( but who comes on holiday to watch tv ). The safe is quite tiny and we couldn’t put our iPads in it. But it was simple to use. The Bed was very comfortable with two pillows. Balcony size ok. Mini bar idea not so good. .... it is not covered on the drinks package. I think to enjoy the balcony it would be good to use from mini bar to save having to go to the bar for purchasing drinks to carry back. Most drinks in there can be from the bar anyway. ( just saves borrowing and restocking ourselves the next day early). The spa is amazing and well worth the visit. Spent most days in there for a couple of hours recovering from our days walking. However on the sea day it got very busy. Maybe it would be good if msc only allowed the package deal only people to access on sea days and offer no day pass. ( could earn more money for them and balance the numbers out for spa visitors). With the numerous relaxation areas jacuzzis and steam/ sauna rooms and ice room. Not forgetting the emotional showers there are plenty of places to relax and rest. Never gambled before and the casino was an awesome experience. Staff very friendly and when it was quiet we asked how to use tables and all was explained very well. There are serious gamblers there, and people like us who had fun with between 10-30 Euros per visit. We actually visited most nights and actually walked away with more Euro’s than we started with. The water slides were fun to use, and the pools were relaxing. And the external hot tubs on the deck were very nice also. Anyone in two minds about first time cruising, I think the ship will give you the experience that will help decide if it’s for you. And as for us......... we will stick with msc and look out for more locations this ship will visit and try out the other ships in the fleet. We have been converted to a life of cruising for sure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose our cruise to Canary Islands through Wingbuddy Travel, on line, with free air fare,beverage package & gratuities. Everything went as promised, we didn’t have to pay anything extra! The NCL Spirit is a well run ship, our ... Read More
We chose our cruise to Canary Islands through Wingbuddy Travel, on line, with free air fare,beverage package & gratuities. Everything went as promised, we didn’t have to pay anything extra! The NCL Spirit is a well run ship, our cabin with balcony was clean & Henry, our room Stewart, was friendly & pleasant. He kept our cabin neat & clean and looked after every detail. Complimentary dining at Windows & The Garden was excellent, fine dining, and we never had any problem in getting a table for our group of six people. We did make reservation for the evening dinner, & found we didn’t need one for breakfast/lunch. We only dined at the buffet once or twice, which was also good, but we found the Windows/Garden less crowded & food was served . The buffet is open most anytime. We never ate at any of the specialty restaurants. There was a floor show every evening, no charge, which consisted of professional dancers, singing groups, classical violinist & even a magician. Great entertainment!!. The crew were all very polite, cheerful and always provided prompt friendly service. I would sail with NCL again!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The Ship was amazing, we were well impressed with the Shows, the food was lovely and a good choice but it was never more than lukewarm which was a shame, the staff work so hard and are so friendly. We bought one of the middle drinks ... Read More
The Ship was amazing, we were well impressed with the Shows, the food was lovely and a good choice but it was never more than lukewarm which was a shame, the staff work so hard and are so friendly. We bought one of the middle drinks packages it and proved to be a godsend as the drinks were expensive. We did find it hard work getting back on the Ship after a trip. I also slipped up on deck 10 near the Lido Buffet and had to see the hospital doctor who's bill was €352.00 of which €100 was for a BANDAGE which is a bit extreme by any standards, really thought I would at least be able to use my EHIC as it was an accident onboard , this then spoilt my holiday as I had badly damaged my knee so was in a wheelchair for the 4 days out of 7 and unable to take the wheelchair on shore. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
After hearing so many stories both good and bad about cruising, I'd have to say that cruising is a great way to travel. The staff of the Norwegian Spirit made everything from pre-cruise preparation to disembarkation, an absolutely ... Read More
After hearing so many stories both good and bad about cruising, I'd have to say that cruising is a great way to travel. The staff of the Norwegian Spirit made everything from pre-cruise preparation to disembarkation, an absolutely breeze. Everyone (and I mean everyone!) was super helpful and personable. Whatever Norwegian is doing to create such a great team , they are doing it right and it shows in the level of service given to each person on-board. The ship was super clean and, there was an emphasis on hygiene, which was important given the number of people in such close quarters. You were never far from music, entertainment or a pocket of peace and relaxation. The port calls and ship excursions were well organized. I booked excursions through the ship's tour service and they were well organized and in my opinion, worth the money. All the tour companies were professional, the buses were comfortable and the tours were offered in various languages to accommodate all nationalities. Needless to say, I enjoyed my first cruise. Well done Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Working in the Hospitality Industry for over 20 years and also been an officer at the Hotel Department for many other cruise lines, been a Travel Agent well traveled and used to from budget to luxury experiences, having an Experience on ... Read More
Working in the Hospitality Industry for over 20 years and also been an officer at the Hotel Department for many other cruise lines, been a Travel Agent well traveled and used to from budget to luxury experiences, having an Experience on the MSC Fantasia in one of their great Yacht Club Suites was something amazing. A part for those who are always trying to get advantage of the Greatest Hospitality that the Cruise Line Industry try to strive giving their best, having the experience at the Yacht Club on the MSC Seaview was superb. Besides the Hostess Concierge Anna and the Future Cruise Consultant Flavia have made the cruise even more special. Even the theater was not one of those gigantic ones, the artists and performances caught all our attention and we were thrilled. The only disappointing item that, coming from RCCL, PCL, DCL is the food quality that really left us behind the expectation. we rarely say steaks and shrimps. The risotto had regular jasmine rice on it and not arborio as Italians are used to. This thing does not bring down all excitement we have had onboard. Congratulations. TfT Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This cruise allows passengers to embark and disembark at any port on it's route. That means no embarkation day and no debarkation day. The good news with that is that you're not fighting a big crowd at your point of embarkation ... Read More
This cruise allows passengers to embark and disembark at any port on it's route. That means no embarkation day and no debarkation day. The good news with that is that you're not fighting a big crowd at your point of embarkation and debarkation, and most of the first day stuff that might normally be mobbed, like ship-card management kiosks, aren't particularly busy. Embarkation and Debarkation were both very smooth. The bad news is that there is a muster drill every single port day with the blowing of the horn and the very long announcements, and you're not part of a cohort so if you like making cruise friends, they may be leaving much sooner than you are. We chose to embark in Barcelona to enjoy a couple of days in the city on either end of the cruise. This was a great call, we LOVE Barcelona and it is an awesomely easy terminal to access and move through. This is one big ship! At full capacity with guests and crew it can hold almost 7,000 people, but somehow it rarely felt that crowded. There is a lot to say about the experience so I will do my best to take it in categories and not to get too tangential. Our overall rating? 7.5/10, would cruise again but only if we got an awesome deal. Much of the lost points had to do with culture differences, language barrier, and frustrations with the European vs US idea of customer service. Without further delay ... let’s get reviewing! The ship itself is BIG but not super accessible. There are some annoying choke points that get clogged up and can’t be avoided (like exiting the theaters) and the the deck plan makes it somewhat difficult to navigate overall. There were actually entire areas we never even bothered going back to after we did our embarkation exploration because we couldn’t seem to find them again despite having a whole week on board. That said, the ship is gorgeous. It’s main atrium has a curved ceiling made of LED panels they call “The Dome” and each evening they do a brief Dome Show. It sounds cheesy but it was actually very cool. The signature Swarovski crystal staircases definitely add wow factor. We found our aft facing cabin very comfortable with an awesome and spacious balcony (cabin #10374). Book these rooms only if you enjoy the motion of the ship because you will feel it. It happens that we love it. The only issue was that it was all the way aft and there are no aft elevators, so it was a long enough walk that I definitely had a “if I forgot it, I don’t need it” mentality. Note: Smoking is still extremely common in Europe and a lot of people were smoking on their balconies which will waft up to yours and the corridors often smell of smoke. The casino is technically the only indoor smoking area and the ventilation is garbage and you must walk through to get to the Carousel Lounge, which is where they have the Cirque du Soleil show. Not judging anyone’s choices, but something to note for those who are sensitive to the smell or who worry about second hand smoke. Now on to everybody’s big question: how was the food? (A quick note, I am a vegan and my husband is not, but we are writing this together. Obviously a big factor for me is dietary accommodation and I also try to include allergen sensitivity in my review). This ship was good about allergen warnings but not very good at the distinction between vegan/vegetarian. I have noticed that for many cruise staff on all cruise lines, all allergies or dietary restrictions = gluten free, which is annoying but I do appreciate the effort. **TL;DR, food is hit and miss, dining room portions are very small.** In some specific areas the food was exceptional - the breads and pastry were all absolutely delicious (RIP my waistline), and all the mozzarella used/served is made fresh onboard. The house-made sorbets and ice creams were also excellent. Cured meats and cheeses were gourmet quality and there was very good selection. Buffet is open most of the day with solid variety and tasty food. Dinner Misc Notes- we ate in one of the complimentary dining rooms (Panorama) and found that unfortunately most of the mains were a bit disappointing. For those who are American you may find the portions pretty small as all dining is very much in the European style where you eat small plates at meals and supplement that by enjoying a bite with coffee or a hard drink in between meals. European meals are also often later than American ones, so it’s more like a pastry in the morning, lunch between 1-3 and dinner between 7:30 and 9:00. Be sure to sign up ahead of time for a seating you want or you could get stuck with a very late seating or a very early one. In the dining room the good news is that they had an entree option marked vegan at each dinner. Bad news is they were pretty bad - either very teeny but ok or sufficient but fried (I just don’t like deep fried food). One evening I was served 3 little pita points with about 2 tbsp of hummus and 2 tbsp of babaganoush. Suffice to say I came hungry and left...cranky and ended up having a protein bar back in the cabin. Although I was never in danger of starving or anything like that, it did not exactly make me feel like I was on vacation having a fine dining experience. BUT! All was not lost! After the hummus incident of 2019, the dining manager made me aware that they can do a 2 dish Indian entree every night if the menu option is no good. I ate that the rest of the trip (4 dinners) and it was delicious. My husband’s meals were ok, standouts include the escargot in puff pastry appetizer, and also the steak dinner served at the Cirque Du Soleil experience (extra fee). Desserts were very disappointing with the exception of ice creams and sorbet. We also had a major problem getting coffee served with our dessert, apparently this is not a thing that is common in Europe and so they would have to brew an entirely new pot, which is lovely except that the dessert was served long long before the coffee so you’re done or you’re waiting while the room empties out. Most of the service issues were things like this - simple requests from a U.S. perspective that required scrambling for a euro style dining setup. Not a deal breaker but definitely noticeable service hiccups and the staff was visibly annoyed. Breakfast - We attempted breakfast in the dining room the first two mornings but found the service to be a problem for getting to our excursions on time and there was no vegan option. Some classic dishes like eggs benedict were not done very well and so we preferred the buffet for breakfast, it has good options for just about anyone. The buffet is usually a zoo but that is true of every ship we’ve been on and it just comes with the big-ship territory. After hours: like most ships, pizza is available almost all the time and they also offer mini sandwiches (bocadillos), well into the evening along with fresh fruit and some small dessert bites. Don’t worry, you won’t go hungry! Entertainment: the shows were 50% awesome and 50% good-not-great. Again, full disclosure, we are very spoiled because we are near NYC and usually see shows on Broadway, so we have high expectations. The production quality was very solid and they went all out on the costuming - it had a distinctly eurovision look: gowns, headdresses, sequins, and omg so many costume changes! The dancing was excellent, there were 2 or three very very good singers and overall the performing was strong. The dancers were awesome. One problem we had was that the singers were largely Italian and so when they cover American broadway, rock, and pop classics the accent is very very noticeable. Big props though, not easy to sing in English while also trying to do right by a well known hit song. We had Cirque Du Soleil included with our cruise fare and it was great - definitely worth attending. Each night there was an interactive “party” in the main atrium and we found them to be lots of fun. If you attend the show you are pretty much released right into the party. I had the opportunity to spend an hour in the thermal suite, which was very impressive! Many rooms and different temperatures to choose from, including a temp variation rain shower path. I enjoyed it very much. We also took advantage of foosball and the “Himalayan Bridge” ropes course, and the gym facilities. If you are a gym goer, don’t forget weights are marked in Kilograms! I wasn’t thinking at 6am and got a big surprise when I tried to just pick up a “20”! There were many many more activities and things to do that we didn’t get to but which looked really great. We did a shore excursion in every port and had a good experience, and we definitely recommend the MSC excursions. If you're still with me here, you must have had a snickers because this ran LONG. If you choose to cruise this ship I hope you have a wonderful trip - we definitely did! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We picked this cruise because of the availability, the itinerary and the value of the package we took. Embarkation was a lot smoother than previous cruises as was disembarkation, the accessibility of the entertainment and activities was so ... Read More
We picked this cruise because of the availability, the itinerary and the value of the package we took. Embarkation was a lot smoother than previous cruises as was disembarkation, the accessibility of the entertainment and activities was so much easier to deal with even though we did not pre book any shows or dining, and as it was a smaller ship we got to know the crew a lot better so I believe we received a more personal service, making many friends with crew, and more friends than usual with other passengers. Although this is Norwegian’s oldest ship we found it more attractive to our needs as we rarely go on the ropes courses, sports courts and fitness rooms of the larger ships, so although there was less variety of activities we found we got to get everything we wanted like window seats in the restaurants, a fantastic view on the galaxy of the stars viewing deck where we saw dolphins ride the bow on almost a daily basis, short wait for the karaoke and very little waiting time at bars and restaurants. Superb! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise because I had travelled on MSC Armonia to the Carribean in February 2018 and it was excellent in all areas. The cruise on MSC Sinfonia to the Mediterranean was terrible. I waited for one hour at the airport for a rep. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had travelled on MSC Armonia to the Carribean in February 2018 and it was excellent in all areas. The cruise on MSC Sinfonia to the Mediterranean was terrible. I waited for one hour at the airport for a rep. to arrive and got more and more stressed. The emergency number did not answer and when the rep. eventually arrived he did not speak English. The wi-fi on board did not work. The staff at Guest Services were incompetent and not prepared to help. Their main objective was to get rid of passengers as quickly as possible. One was particularly rude to me. I obtained what I was entitled to only because I screamed the ship down as well as an officer. My main exercise and entertainment were queuing at guest services to try to sort out in vain all the problems!! The ship arrived back at its final destination more than 10 hours late because of the rough seas and I missed the flight I had booked through MSC. I was told to sort out another flight myself !!! Unbelievable. The transfers to the airport to fly back were so badly organised that I reached the British Airways check-in desk 2 minutes before it closed. So I nearly missed my flight. And to add insult to injury, I was so late that my suitcase was not put on the plane and I arrived home without luggage !! Having said that, my interior cabin was clean, well-equipped and comfortable. My cabin attendant was charming and very helpful as well as all the bar staff, waiters and waitresses. The entertainment team did a good job with stretching an aerobics every morning, lots of dance lessons during the course of the day. Unfortunately, nothing was organised for New Year's eve apart from dancing in couples, no disco, so for solo travellers like me, it was a very lonely time an I went back to my cabin before midnight I will not travel again with this cruise company. I sent them a 3-page long detailed report by e-mail on Sunday 14th January and today (Wednesday 16th January) I still have not had an acknowledgement. Nearly 2 weeks later, I still have not had an answer. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Yes really enjoyed the cruise however the entertainment is poor with not much variety and only the evening shows only lasts on average 35/45 minutes. No entertainment program in any of the bars in the day or very little. On average ... Read More
Yes really enjoyed the cruise however the entertainment is poor with not much variety and only the evening shows only lasts on average 35/45 minutes. No entertainment program in any of the bars in the day or very little. On average we enjoyed the food,the cabins and service BUT the one thing that annoyed us was when I queried about the €10 a day service charge was told it didn’t matter how it was paid as the staff did not get it anyway it goes straight to the company So then did not have time to tip all we came into contact with Apart from leaving money in our cabin Toilet facilities around the ship are poor as it’s difficult to find a toilet when you want one, as the disabled toilet is huge they could put another toilet in there and there are no urinals so everyone uses the sit down ones Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Fair to very good, overall. Beverage package, shore excursions, internet, photo & other merchandising rather overpriced and not a good value proposition for this traveler. It really depends on one's personal experience and frame ... Read More
Fair to very good, overall. Beverage package, shore excursions, internet, photo & other merchandising rather overpriced and not a good value proposition for this traveler. It really depends on one's personal experience and frame of reference. For example, I live in San Francisco, Hawaii, Las Vegas & Florida ~ all tourist destinations with similar features/amenities/goods & services for visitors who want an unforgettable/great experience. NCL does well but could do better. Very poor internet service, a rip-off in packages offered, with details for the non-techie not explained clearly in advance. Slow service, special apps, what's available near land vs. at sea, etc. Beverage package isn't a good value for non-drinkers. Water and soft drinks are overpriced & it's unfair that travelers can't bring some of this onboard. Other vendors allow this. Corkage is high and unevenly charged. Food is great in complimentary restaurants! Food is good to very good, especially compared with SF, Vegas & Hawaii where costs are equally high or higher. Spa services are overpriced and not a good value for average travelers. $100 after discounts for treatments which are fair to good ~ okay but not great, especially for the budget conscious who still want to try and/or experience (a) pampering experience(s). Health & wellness category is saturated so customers need good reasons to use your products & services and this sometimes, not always, clearly explained. Staff does their best at/with what they're working with. TV programming & daily activities pamphlets are great! Very good merchandising/promotion of products and services. Staff & crew are charming, attractive, generally service minded & professional but overall service is uneven so the mandatory 20% gratuity charge is not appreciated, especially considering that tips are shared with back of the house & others. Prefer tipping based on service with higher performance being rewarded more, understandably. Gaming was generally good. The casino was good at taking money (at night but not in the day during this experience) but not a good value proposition compared to Vegas, which offers better/more amenities for players. Some of the casino hosts/service providers were great but some could definitely do better, perhaps due to lack of sleep or other issues. Had a few jackpots that thrilled me but did better in port casinos which gave better play for a value added experience. The selection of shore excursions was rather impressive but not a good overall value compared with other tour vendors/nearby options & the cruiseline fails to mention the close proximity to activities available at no additional cost. Well coordinated but some of the guides were uneven in performance. Some were fair. Some were very good to excellent. Shows were okay to very good. Earlier performances were too crowded with seats reserved by travelers despite specific NCL guides to NOT do this. Very good considering this is a complimentary option without Las Vegas production costs. Performers were good to great. Programming was great and shows were well-done given its limitations. Example: the second to last & last shows are Cirque du Soleil-like without the $250 price tag. Exceptional!! The last show with cast & crew was very well done in providing a marketing opportunity for NCL to promote good word-of-mouth & social media sharing as well as a chance for tourists to get a complimentary photo opp. The photo sold by NCL are a rip off, especially in this day & age where everyone has a cellphone and/or photo equipment so what's provided is cheesy/gimmicky/overpriced to me. Excellent high end/low end product merchandising (watches,diamonds, jewelry, etc.) & atrium sale promotions provide the something for everyone opportunity is very well done! Art "auctions" are especially deceptive. Very well orchestrated/promoted but items are not what is represented to customers. Items 15 & 16 under terms & conditions is confusing/misleading, buried in fineprint. Not fair or honest but I understand this as others have tried/are doing this too. Workers do an excellent job to promote the pieces but had some to good understanding of what they were talking about. Auctioneer is very charming and clever! It's clear that some NCL staffers were very good & enjoyed providing excellent customer service. Others were not. NCL upsells/cross-sells/merchandises & generally promotes well & effectively. A great experience for the naive inexperienced traveler looking for a once in a lifetime experience may enjoy but overpay when looking at overall cost to value compared with other vendors in this industry but I think NCL is doing very well at what it offers. However, given the generally okay/poor economy as well as the other travel/vacation options available, this was not GREAT to EXCELLENT for this traveler. Still, overall, had a very good time! Will share about this experience to compare notes with other fellow travlers but will not with others who are looking for a better value and will recommend other options/vendors to spend their precious time & dollars on. Hope that this is helpful and that I have a better experience the next time I choose NCL. THANK YOU for the opportunity to provide feedback as customers have too many options in this day & age and best in class experiences are always desired but not guaranteed or received and depends on how much one wants to pay and/or is used to spending for products & services. It depends on what one knows/has experienced (frame of reference). As someone living primarily in San Francisco, NCL provided a GREAT experience and good value. Prices are lower in Europe so the specialty restaurants were a special treat for the price (Le Bistro wasn't very good) but the complimentary dining options are wonderful & well done for the average traveler. Absolutely great & an unforgettable experience for many if not most. Drink specials and happy hour promotions in the bars could be better. There was too much pushing of frequent traveler programs & not a good value (for me) but generally all bigger players in many industries are doing the same or similar. The towel animals were a delight. Selling a DVD about it is not. No coffee machine in room or ice machines to get more than what's provided. No iron in room. Room amenities were good. ServiBar was not cold enough. Laundry service is overpriced but cleverly timed. A wonderful getaway, chance to unplug and relax & will definitely do this again! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We enjoyed a prior Viking river cruise and wanted to experience a Viking oceans cruise and see parts of the Mediterranian. We're so pleased with Viking we're already looking to book another Viking cruise in 2019. The staff on ... Read More
We enjoyed a prior Viking river cruise and wanted to experience a Viking oceans cruise and see parts of the Mediterranian. We're so pleased with Viking we're already looking to book another Viking cruise in 2019. The staff on the ship was first class and catered to our desires. With Viking you get so much more with your booking than you get with other cruise lines. The extra amenities you get without being charged extra is a big plus. For example getting a free bottle of water as you leave the ship for the shore excursion and receiving a damp washcloth to clean up when you return to the ship was a very nice feature. The cabin was a good size and the bathroom was much larger than other cruise lines. One nice feature was the heated bathroom floor in the morning. Having free bottles of water and snacks in the cabin was an added benefit. Read Less

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