36 Barcelona to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews

Restaurants well kept, some more luxurious than others. The French and Italian especially nice. The taste restaurant for evening meal and breakfast had good selection of food and service was very good. This year we noted that the ... Read More
Restaurants well kept, some more luxurious than others. The French and Italian especially nice. The taste restaurant for evening meal and breakfast had good selection of food and service was very good. This year we noted that the ultimate beverage package had changed from last year. Champagne and speciality whiskies were no longer included neither was Cava. This was disappointing, also I drink prossecco and although a large glass was still under $15 I was only entitled to a small one which didn't make sense. I have to say that generally a lot of the bar staff appeared tired and fed up, often being on the verge of rudeness when serving you, I did not find this on Jade ship last year. The ice bar was a big disappointment, if you like going into a large freezer with a few ice blocks and a choice of 4 ready made cocktails with a t.v on for a cost of $26 dollars then this is for you. It was poor in every way and definitely not worth the money. The shows are top notch and worth going to. We saw the beetles and motown tributes which were excellent. We also saw dance show and princella which were also good, be mindful that princella does contain a lot of swearing and sexual innuendo so not ideal for children has I found out. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We arrived in Barcelona and embarked the ship with ease, very organise and well executed process. This is the largest ship we have been on so we were a little apprentice of what to expect. When we first stepped on the ship it soon back ... Read More
We arrived in Barcelona and embarked the ship with ease, very organise and well executed process. This is the largest ship we have been on so we were a little apprentice of what to expect. When we first stepped on the ship it soon back apparent that the layout was very different to the many ships we had been on before. After a couple of days we were soon used to it and loved the ship. We didnt find it anymore crowded then other ships we had been on and found a lovely quiet area to relax above H2O. All the food we had was good with the exception of O'Sheenans, this was poor quality and my husband had to send his back as the cottage pie was cold! The other 'free' dining areas were good with Manhattan being the one we visited twice. The buffet is the same as every other ship, busy and repeated food but still pretty good and We always got a seat. The entertainment was the best we have had on a ship, Priscilla, Burn the Floor and Cirque Dreams were all excellent. I wasn't so keen on Howl the moon but that doesn't mean it was good. Our inside cabin was larger then expected with loads of storage space. Embarkation and disembarkation with NCL is the best organised I have come across, anyone who has ever sailed on P&O will be happy to hear this! We found nearly all staff helpful and never had to wait very long to be served a drink or food. We really enjoyed our cruise but it seems it's a 'Marmite' ship, you either love it or hate. We loved it and have booked to go back next year! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
OVERALL B We had a good cruise on a cruise line we had been reluctant to try because of its nickle and diming rep . Some of that was evident and the last minute change of policy concerning carry-on liquids didn't help . However ... Read More
OVERALL B We had a good cruise on a cruise line we had been reluctant to try because of its nickle and diming rep . Some of that was evident and the last minute change of policy concerning carry-on liquids didn't help . However the level of the food and entertainment as well as a great itinerary led to a fine cruise . We would have had a good time visiting these ports regardless of the ship but were generally pleased with our NCL experience . Impressed at how well a ship with 700 more then 100% capacity worked . If the price is right , we will do NCL again . C+ CABIN Weird room but the real issue is it is just too narrow . The curves in the wall attempt to disguise this . Renato our steward was efficient and polished . Balcony was an issue . 9th floor is uncovered plus all the decks above look down on you as those decks are set back . We discovered cigarette butts , ping pong balls all general dirt which wasn't kept clean by steward . I didn't have a problem with the "deconstructed" bathroom setup but DW did . A note on the most uncomfortable toilet seat ever . Torn balcony curtain was quickly fixed . FOOD Overall B- D-Specialty dining was horrible . Le Bistro (French) Restaurant was pathetic . Directly under the Cirque venue so there was serious unwelcome noise . Cheese plate was seemingly made days prior. If a French restaurant can't get a cheese plate right ... Scallops were not properly seared . Chocolate fondue chocolate didn't seem to be chocolate . Cagney's (Steak ) Restaurant was also poor although perhaps we might have had a better impression if we hadn't ordered the sad waterlogged lobster . The Cirque show was fine . The food served was awful . A single choice of main , app and desert all of which were barely edible . B+ MDR ETC was good the two times we ate there . The dancers from the Tango show performed one night and a pianist the other . Pre-dinner snacks at the buffet and the Noodle bar were also good . O'Sheehan's food was excellent although it was crazy packed when we were there and our orders were messed up . Twice ! B+ Buffet We mostly ate breakfast and a couple of lunches at the buffet . We were impressed with the quality and choice of food and how they were able to process the vast hordes on an overstuffed cruise . An empty table was quickly found . Spice H2O was great on embarkation day as was the bar in this adults only area . Good job NCL . Lactose milk is available somewhere on board but it often took a while to arrive . C UDP The drinks part of the drink package was very impressive . Excellent bartenders , huge selection of beers and good but limited selection of wine by the glass . UDP falls down because it doesn't include bottled water , "fancy" coffees , juices and canned sodas . It is anything but ultimate . Combine this with outrageous bottled water prices and the changed carry-on policy and you have a poor drink package and an inferior product. BTW , included coffee is the worst of all cruse lines and that's saying something . We ended up drinking tea which was (PG Tips) good . A+ ITINERARY could not be improved upon . Barcelona is a fantastic city to leave from . The other 5 ports were all excellent . A- ENTERTAINMENT Among the top we have experienced . There was both quantity and quality . Our favorite was Priscilla Queen of the Jungle , a musical adapted from an old cult film . The words fabulous darling are appropriate . The dueling piano show , Howl at The Moon , is dependent on the performers . Joel was the star here and we saw this act 3 times . The Cirque show was good but suffered from a very tight venue which limited the possibilities . Plus the food was terrible . There were lots of other entertainment options but didn't have time with such a port intensive cruise .They showed movies on the huge screens inside and outside . The casino area sprawled through a great part of deck 6 . Lots of options . Actually took up too much space with so many empty tables . The retail stores were the usual combination of overpriced junk . D = Embarcation Way too chaotic and time consuming . Approximately 1.5 hours before we were on board . This was especially long considering our 7 day cruise also had passengers embarking in 2 other ports . D =NCL Corporate Policies Probably the worst we have experienced . Twice we encountered serious line ups at embarcation because of NCL decisions .Once at check-in and a second half hour wait once on board checking for liquids . This was the first cruise subject to this new cash grab. Not right to institute new restrictions with a 2 week notice . More silliness concerning my OBC which was eventually considered non refundable . Not a problem as I cancelled a pre-booked tour and then instantly rebooked but why was this necessary ? I also put way too many PA announcements in this category . B- General Ship Impression There were actually 4900 pax on this cruise. At two to a cabin, the Epic's capacity is 4200 . Given this , I have to be impressed at how well everything worked out for the most part . The ship is in good shape and well staffed . There are only two banks of elevators but this was not an issue especially as we prefer to use the stairs . (I have no idea why this is an issue for many on the Regal Princess) . Safety drill was reasonably fast and took place in the MDR . Pool areas were well designed . It was crowded but that is to be expected . The water slides were fun . The adults only area, Spice H2O , on the 15 & 16 aft area was great . We experience smoke but these areas were limited . The more limited the better . 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Sail Date July 2016
They just seemed to fit our intentions with all the historic areas we visited. Our cabin steward was excellent, all the waite staff were excellent, food very well prepared and exactly what we expected, on and off very good destinations, ... Read More
They just seemed to fit our intentions with all the historic areas we visited. Our cabin steward was excellent, all the waite staff were excellent, food very well prepared and exactly what we expected, on and off very good destinations, exactly what we were seeking, detail handled very well. My wife is very interested in historical things and this cruise certainly had an abundance of these items. The premium dining was very good but the normal non premium dining was equally as good. Maybe a little more attention in the premium dining area. Our cabin and cabin steward were excellent and was exactly what we needed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I had read a lot of mixed reviews on the Norwegian Epic and our family of 4 found it to be outstanding in everyway with absolutely no complaints. We knew it was a large ship but they have it orchestrated perfectly in all areas. It was ... Read More
I had read a lot of mixed reviews on the Norwegian Epic and our family of 4 found it to be outstanding in everyway with absolutely no complaints. We knew it was a large ship but they have it orchestrated perfectly in all areas. It was clean, with outstanding staff and food. Although we had the specialty dining package we found the food in the main dining rooms excellent and feel in the future that it is not needed. Our favorite venue was Teppanyanki, the hibachi restaurant, which was delicious, entertaining and a lot of fun. My grown children thought it was the best hibachi they ever had! We chose the ship for its intinary and enjoyed all the ports. We spent 3 days first in Barcelona and fell in love with the city. We arrived at the ship early afternoon and embarkation was very quick. When we left the ship on the last day we chose to take off our own luggage and found a taxi quickly. We were at the airport in less than a half hour for a 10:20 flight....3 hours early, no problem. We had private drivers pick us up at the ship at all 3 Italian Ports. From Naples we drove the Amalfi Coast, stopping in Positano and Sorrento and went to Pompeii in the afternoon. In Rome we had pre-paid tickets at the Coliseum and a guide at the Vatican. In between our driver took us to many highlights. In Livorno, we drove through the vineyards in Tuscany, went to Florence and Pisa. In Cannes, we spent the day wandering the harbor and streets. In Marseille we took a taxi to the harbor and went on the Petit Train, which was great, then spent time wandering the harbor and streets. A fabulous cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I had not experienced the Mediterranean before so chose this cruise to cross off my list of destinations. I was suitably impressed with the ports of call...especially at seeing Pompeii ! I had no hesitation in choosing Norwegian (my ... Read More
I had not experienced the Mediterranean before so chose this cruise to cross off my list of destinations. I was suitably impressed with the ports of call...especially at seeing Pompeii ! I had no hesitation in choosing Norwegian (my line of choice) based on previous cruises with them....Panama Canal, Alaska, Westen Caribbean, Hawaii. Being a solo traveller, I enjoyed being made to feel special by the attentive staff and making new friends with other passengers. The only downside to my latest cruise was the size of the ship. It is massive and I prefer a smaller vessel. The Epic accommodates over 4000 passengers...just a little overwhelming for me. The Epic is a beautiful ship and one need never be bored. The food is spectacular, the bars are fun, the crews were wonderful. I did the tour of the behind the scenes on the ship....the kitchens, engine room, laundry....the bowels of the ship and it was fascinating. I would be remiss if I didn't applaud the entertainment presented in the beautiful theatre....amazing evenings !!!! All in all, it was a satisfying experience and I'm now planning my next cruise on Norwegian with my usual excitement. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We ended up on this particular cruise when it was chosen by family for a get-together/celebration. Positives: cabin was comfortable, but daily cleaning was often very late (like 5pm) which can be rather inconvenient and items within our ... Read More
We ended up on this particular cruise when it was chosen by family for a get-together/celebration. Positives: cabin was comfortable, but daily cleaning was often very late (like 5pm) which can be rather inconvenient and items within our cabin were never re-stocked (mini-bar, teas, coffees, etc). One has to assume that the stewards have too many cabins to clean each day. Food was very good considering the mass catering. Negatives: Being ripped off for amenities one should reasonably expect when staying as a 'guest'. For example, an 18% gratuity levied on everything + a 13.5 Euros per day, per customer 'service charge'. For goodness sake, Norwegian, stop hiding these charges unti people are on board and 'captive'. Lastly, and these were the killer blows for us: We have to work online, 365 days per year as we own our own small hotel and must therefore have access to email and our online reservation system. Upon embarking, we checked the internet provision: either we took the 60 minutes or 200 minutes for $75 or $125 USD, or at $200 USD, an 'UNLIMITED 7 DAY' package. We were worried about not being able to answer our business queries, so we went for the 7 day package. Internet service was sporadic and unreliable but we accepted that as it is satellite-based being at sea on and off. However, what we did not allow for was the 'quick, get rid of the last guest' attitude of Norwegian Cruise lines. We woke early on our last morning. The night before, we had been forced to pack our cases and leave them outside the door before 11pm for the crew to collect (so get ready to choose all your clothes for the evening and the next day, and have to re-pack your case after you have left the ship so as not to have items in your hand baggage like toiletries). You are expected to be off the ship by 9am or even 7am if you are with a group (not really a fair deal as you supposedly cannot check in before 2.30pm) Upon waking, we tried to log in to the internet to check our business emails. We found the message 'your internet has expired on the 28th of October' (we only checked in on the 25th and were checking out on the 29th). Basically, we had paid for a 7 day service @ $67 USD PER DAY. Our 'service' was terminated 2 hours BEFORE we were even supposed to check out. I went immediately to the guests services desk to complain. I was told that an internet manager would come and talk to me, who did not show up. The Dutch girl behind the desk was unsympathetic or apologetic and did not even try to raise a tiny smile. She gave me the impression that we were at fault for expecting to still have a connection before check-out. I insisted our complaint was logged into our account, got the complaint number and left the boat. This is not a cruise to choose if you care in the slightest for a degree of personal care. It is all about quick and dirty. In the gym, the exercise equipment was shocking: badly calibrated machines and touch screens that did not work so you had to jump machines several times to find one that did. Moreover, no water bottles were available even when there were two dispenser machines there, completely empty. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our third cruise and having done Thomson and Carnival cruises we were recommended Norwegion Cruise Liners by travel agents. We did two back to back cruises with NCL EPIC starting at Barcelona doing 7 days to Italy, Cannes, ... Read More
This was our third cruise and having done Thomson and Carnival cruises we were recommended Norwegion Cruise Liners by travel agents. We did two back to back cruises with NCL EPIC starting at Barcelona doing 7 days to Italy, Cannes, Palma De Mallorca and back to Barcelona (staying on board), then 6 days to Cartagena, Malaga, Lisbon and sailing back to Southampton. We chose this specifically as the wife hated flying and sailing back seemed a good idea having stressed about the flight to Barcelona from UK. Entertainment Week 1, the ship seemed geared up with some good entertainment, Beatles tribute band and other Legions show and good dancers Burn the Floor show. We looked forward to some comedians but other than a comedian magician who could have held an 8yrs old birthday party, there was nothing put on anywhere on the ship for adults. Week 2, the ship seemed to dip and forgot about booking any acts (in our opinion). All week one shows were repeated and apart from an amazing Cirque De Dreams show which we had pre-booked (which was excellent), it was very disappointing. They had useful interactive services around the ship to see whats going on and where but when we went to a Trivia Quiz in the Bliss Lounge scheduled for 2pm one day having just checked the interactive screens (and we had the right day) there was nothing on. Food Food was good in volume but limited in variety. Overall it was not anywhere near as good as our earlier cruises. Organisation The ship's management need taking to task on this and we're hoping we might be one of the "selected" individuals sent feedback questionnaires but I doubt it as we withdrew our gratuities ($27 dollars per day per couple) but this in itself was a battle with Reception Services Staff who kept fobbing us off saying you can only do it on the last day as we automatically keep applying it each day! What a nonsense. All tannoy messages could not be heard in cabins, you had to open doors to corridors to hear any announcements. In the interests of safety and effective communication I see this as flawed! There was limited TV in the room just repeated films I think we watched Dirty Dancing 4 times but you could pay extra for movies if you wanted! Having paid £3k for a cruise, I didn't feel we should have to pay for very basic entertainment. The charges for bottled water on board were higher than in local ports - disgraceful. There was no information pack in our cabin to explain important essentials that you would expect, no price lists for our mini bar. We discovered from next door again more exorbitant charges to use, refill and add a little more to our on board costs if we were to make use of it. The last day dis-embarking was absolutely appalling. There was no structure, no organisation, no communication and no management anywhere. Its called Free Style cruising but it felt like free for all. Folks tried to line up at the one point of exit (yes 4000 trying to leave on one exit point) and scuffles almost broke out where people were coming down stairs and escalators trying to short cut and push in. The queue was from one end of the ship to the other but there was no string lines which you would expect or staff managing the process to make sure if was effective. We waited nearly 2hrs in the queue trying to get off the ship and we were near the front. People with us had pre-booked planes and trains and were becoming increasingly frustrated with the wait when there was no communication or announcements about the delays. We were told the evening before with a newsletter you could use the "easy walk off" method as we were not dependent on transfers but this was far from easy and had to be the worst most chaotic method I have ever seen. I could not understand why staff would not want to apply some order to this as there is obvious and sensible systems which can be applied to leave the ship in an orderly and safe fashion without the stress and anxiety we faced. To have this on the point of exit just reinforced for us, that the we had been right to withdraw the gratuities ($351 dollars) for this debarkle. Wi-Fi and internet use was again an added charge!. Shore excursions were extortionate ($2-300 dollars per person). Excursion services provided no maps of local resorts to help you navigate your way thereby trying to encourage you to book with them as they knew where they were going. Some literature was given out daily but this was basic. As an Englishman, I happily tip good and exceptional service but this was neither. Would I sail again, YES, would I sail with NCL again, NO. Would I recommend NCL to friends, NO. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My friend and I are moderately active middle-aged women. This was my fifth cruise, having previously traveled with Princess, Carnival and NCL, and her first, but this was my most enjoyable cruise. We booked studio rooms and were delighted ... Read More
My friend and I are moderately active middle-aged women. This was my fifth cruise, having previously traveled with Princess, Carnival and NCL, and her first, but this was my most enjoyable cruise. We booked studio rooms and were delighted to find we had an adjoining door. Embarkation in Barcelona was relatively quick and went smoothly - within 30 mins of arriving at the port, we were on the ship. We arrived at about 1:30 p.m.: boarding started at noon. Our studio cabins were fantastic - everything we needed, wonderful bed, shower, enough storage and very comfortable. If I had to find fault it would be with the lighting; specifically over-bed lighting for reading. Just a very small inconvenience as it was too dim. We loved our cabin steward Abdul. He was very attentive, welcoming and friendly. We were aft, deck 12 and didn't feel any ship movement (but did hear the anchor dropping one morning.) The Epic is massive and with 4,200 passengers, I had my doubts. But it NEVER felt as though we were among a throng of people. We loved the entertainment that we took in: Legends, Howl at the Moon (twice - it's that good!), Soul Sensations was incredible, and we enjoyed the music in Jazz Cats (the bar outside the casino.) We LOVED the food. We only ate in the complementary venues and they never disappointed. Breakfast was a feast - be sure to have the French toast (best I've ever had) and the cream-cheese frosted cinnamon buns - yum! The service was quick and friendly (we loved seeing the sunny smile of Stephanie who wielded the sanitizing spray every morning!) We never had any trouble getting a table, or sharing the end of an occupied table. We ate in either the Manhattan Room or Taste every night - both were superb. The food was elegantly presented, delicious and beautifully prepared. Again, service was fantastic. We tended to arrive late - between 9 and 9:30 and never waited more than five mins to be seated, and never felt the need to rush to accommodate other guests. I ate once in O'Sheehans (on prime rib day) and it was excellent, again great service. Our only advice -- and it's a very small niggle re: dining - bring your own tea bags. NCL's tea is very week. We didn't take part in any onboard activities, but did take in the 'thermal room' on our last full day. We had it to ourselves while others visited Palma (we had been before) and had outside, private, cushioned lounge chairs all day. The surge pool is so soothing for tired, tourist legs. It was a bargain at $39. We bypassed all NCL excursions: as European residents, we found the prices outrageous and were capable of handling our own travel arrangements. At Naples, we took the port bus to the train station to go to Pompeii: it was very inexpensive, just a few euros, while the site itself was 13 euros per person, and audio guides were 5 euros. I suggest NOT renting the audio guide at the building attached to the small shop at the entrance: their numbers do not correspond with the official site maps. Audio guides are available inside the site. Naples itself was a negative experience for us. Time constraints kept us close to the train station on return from Pompeii. There is huge square in front of the station where we had the worst pizza EVER - canned mushrooms on a pizza in Naples! We also had a terrible encounter with a cabbie - an official cabbie from the train station back to the ship. First thing he asked was if we were Americans - we aren't. As we left the station I asked for a price estimation - he said he didn't know because the traffic was heavy (???) I then noticed that the meter was set to "liberal" - meaning whatever he wanted to charge. I insisted on a price and he said 15 euros EACH. I balked at this and insisted the meter be turned on - when he did this it started at 16 euros. I ordered him to let us out, he said he would for five euros. I saw a cop and ordered him to stop. He refused but changed his tune and set the meter at 3.50. When we got to the ship, I made a big show of recording his cab reg number and told him we were going straight to the port office to report him. Suddenly he told us our fare was only 11 euros and begged us not to report him - saying it was a misunderstanding. I rather wish now that we had paid what he asked and reported him. So, beware: no 'liberal', no per person charge, and meters actually start at 3.50! Rome: we went to Rome on our own, as well. We took the port shuttle to the train station and on to Rome to San Peidro station for a few euros return. That left us within a couple of blocks of St. Peter's. The lines were way too long to get in, but we enjoyed the square and then took an open-topped tour bus. I recommend the PINK Greyline buses: 17 euros for the day (there will be touts at the square who will take you a block to pay and get you on the bus - go with them, all is well), while the famous RED bus is 28 euros. Plenty of pink buses and we got on the first bus at every site. A word of warning for anyone leaving Rome from Termini station: The train leaves from a high # platform, in our case, #29 and it is a very long walk - give yourself 10-15 mins depending on your fitness and luggage! Livorna - again, we went independent. Taking NCL's bus from the port to train station for 15 euros each return. I would suggest asking the taxi price if you are more than two people as you may find it is cheaper. Train to Pisa is only 2.50 and only 15 minutes - we only went to Pisa as it was very hot and we were finding the crowds overwhelming. Our shipmates told us we made the right decision; in summer, you cannot get near the main sights in Florence and have no hope of getting into galleries, etc - after spending another 1.5 hours on a bus train. However, the train from Livorna to Florence is only 9 euros each way. As for Pisa, Red line bus for $1.80 or so takes you to the tower from the station - buy your ticket in a station cafe or tabac shop for a savings. It can easily be walked but we were exhausted from the prior two days and it was very, very hot! Cannes - a short visit, but long enough. The only time passengers are tendered to port, which went very smoothly and quickly. Avoid the "petit train" for 10 euros that you will see at the end of the dock - follow the crowds - and instead hop on the open-topped bus #8 to Palm Beach - for 1.50 it takes you all along the beautiful harbour. Stay on for a loop if you like, or get out at the "communual beach" where we paid about 15 euros for two sun chairs and an umbrella and enjoyed a swim in the Med. On the way back, we got the same bus and visited the old town (get off at Hotel de Ville), walk up to the fortress for amazing views - all this is within a five-min walk back to tender docking. We stayed onboard in Palma. However, it is a very, very far walk from the dock to the cathedral. NCL offers a bus to the cathedral for 15 euros return. Better deal: get the hop-on bus outside the port terminal for 17 euros and see more of the city. We chose to send our luggage off in the last tranche - which worked well for us, we lingered over breakfast and left the ship at about 9:45. The queue for taxis at that time was about 20 mins long. Hope this helps. Happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was my first time on the Epic but have previously traveled on 3 other NCL ships. I was looking forward to something grand but it only seemed grand in outward size. Inside it seemed less so as far as the activity rooms go. Let me ... Read More
This was my first time on the Epic but have previously traveled on 3 other NCL ships. I was looking forward to something grand but it only seemed grand in outward size. Inside it seemed less so as far as the activity rooms go. Let me start with some pluses. The staff there was very friendly and helpful and was very typical for NCL cruises. The food selection and quality was very good. The Cirque du Soleil show/dinner was a highlight of the trip. The performers were exceptional and most entertaining. Now the negatives. I did not enjoy the translucent glass walls for the separate toilet and shower. I much prefer a real bathroom. The rest of the entertainment on the ship was mediocre and often repetitious. There was not even a grand finale show. The cruise director was often difficult to understand and did not put out a lot of energy. I often like to find a quiet place at night to do some reading such as the ships library but this ship had a library nook that had a performer outside singing and/or playing music every night. Even during the day there seemed to be a lot of noise in there coming from a show going on beneath it. There was no board game room either. A feature I highly value. The excursions that I took were hit or miss but that can be true on any ship I think. I was sad going to Le Bistro from all the noise above me (Cirque du Soleil) and a competition outside on the big screen. It was pricey too with a cost of $86 for two people with no drinks. The food was good but not worth the price when one can have a great meal for no cost. I found the color scheme of the two main restaurants to be kind of depressing with dark browns, blacks and splashes of white. Sometimes they had entertainment in the Manhattan Dining Room which was nice but the viewing area for it was limited by the floor to ceiling support panels. This ship holds a lot of passengers and getting off and back on is often a very long process. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I heard a lot of bad things about the Norwegian Epic ship -- but honestly I cannot say that!  It was wonderful! Did the cruise ship from Barcelona, Spain early October and I will tell you this -- every day is a very tiring day! It's ... Read More
I heard a lot of bad things about the Norwegian Epic ship -- but honestly I cannot say that!  It was wonderful! Did the cruise ship from Barcelona, Spain early October and I will tell you this -- every day is a very tiring day! It's about 90 minutes on bus from port to anywhere!  A lot of walking! I learned the hard way -- take the vans who only carry 10 people as they can just drop you off and pick you up! If you take the bus rides -- you have to walk a mile from where the bus can park & then a mile back. Not counting all the walking you are going to do during the day! After one week of this -- by Saturday before we got off cruise ship, my feet looked like elephant feet - they were that swollen -- -- so were my friend's feet too.  Great trip, just very busy -- & I have never climbed so many stairs or inclines in my life during that trip (ports). The Ship was great & Norwegian Cruise Line did a great job as always!  A total lifetime experience for me as had never been to Europe! Barcelona is fantastic - wish I had spent a few days there & Rome was just great-just not enough time to see it in 5 hours -- and the Pizza in Naples (the origin of pizza) was just fantastic! Those were the highlights!  Yes the Leaning toward of Pisa -- it does really Lean! and Florence, Italy is beautiful!  A great, beautiful trip - but just very tiring! Ha! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My experience is coloured by having cruised only once before, on a Royal Caribbean ship with more conventional ship design and cruising style. The Pros for Norwegian Epic included the cabin (see separate cabin review) and being able to ... Read More
My experience is coloured by having cruised only once before, on a Royal Caribbean ship with more conventional ship design and cruising style. The Pros for Norwegian Epic included the cabin (see separate cabin review) and being able to bring wine on board and pay corkage rather than (as with RCL) having no choice but to pay a heavy price for wine with dinner. The Cons, for me, included the Freestyle format, which often seemed to mean Free-for-all, especially in the Garden Cafe, which was so hectic it was like eating in the middle of a large railway station. The food here was as good as you could expect from a buffet arrangement but in the waiter-service main dining rooms, Manhattan and Taste, I had expected better. The main central outdoor areas of the ship were very noisy and without a continuous deck circuit on any level it was not easy to find a quiet spot. It was also hard to find a quiet area in the public rooms without using a bar. The pools were much too small for a 4000-passenger ship and as a result overcrowded. The entertainment was high-calibre, but we could only get to Blue Man and Legends in Concert as other acts had sold out. I missed the relationship that we had enjoyed with waiting staff on RCL's conventional fixed dining arrangements and sensed that the Freestyle format denies staff opportunities to engage with passengers. Our cabin steward, poor man, would clearly rather have been somewhere else completely.. Overall, I had the impression from staff that it was not a particularly 'happy ship'. Although beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, the Epic, unlike most cruise ships, is hardly easy on the eye, looking as if the Haven accommodation was bolted onto the top forward section as a late change in design. Embarkation was slow, but disembarkation (described as dismemberment in another review!) was quick and efficient, including ship-shore transfer by tender in the port of Cannes.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We went on this cruise with our two "twentysomething " children. We originally had planned on going in June and I had priced two suites with balcony for then. We changed our minds and opted for September and with the June price ... Read More
We went on this cruise with our two "twentysomething " children. We originally had planned on going in June and I had priced two suites with balcony for then. We changed our minds and opted for September and with the June price in mind I found I could book a two bedroom suite in the Haven for the same price so I went for it. Honestly I was a little nervous about the butler and concierge not knowing what I would need them for - boy did I learn! David are Concierge was everywhere. We got priority disembarkation at every port. He booked any performance we wanted even if they were marked filled and escorted us in early to get the best seats. We literally sat 10 feet away from the Cirque du Soleil performance which was amazing. Randy was responsible for the room. From the first day when we walked in the room and were greeted with a bottle of sparkling wine and a bowl of fruit to the snacks each day that greeted us when we returned from an excursion. It doesn't seem like a lot but believe me it is a nice touch. Need hot chocolate or four shot glasses ask Randy and a few minutes later they are there. My husband broke his flip flop and asked for glue, Randy took the shoe and had it repaired! Now to the Epic Club, the private restaurant for Haven residents. I have read where people complained because the menu didn't change - they have 8 different entrees and appetizers plus two specials which do change each day. the entrees are things like roast duck, beef filet and grilled salmon. We loved their food. You could go to any of the other restaurants on the boat many which come at an additional cost. We tried the buffet once never to venture from the Epic Club again. The staff there were awesome. The manager greeted us each day somehow remembering what we had planned and checking on how it went also sharing some of her adventures from the day. We loved Susan our waitress who was funny and cheerful always worrying that we weren't eating enough. Our last night saying goodbye was like leaving family - quite a feat for a week's stay. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
One week Mediterranean cruise with family of 14&17 year olds. Boarded at Barcelona, seamless check in. In our cabins before 1am. Inside cabin, very compact, but enough storage and space for two people. Liked the toilet/shower ... Read More
One week Mediterranean cruise with family of 14&17 year olds. Boarded at Barcelona, seamless check in. In our cabins before 1am. Inside cabin, very compact, but enough storage and space for two people. Liked the toilet/shower arrangement. Food choices were good and enough variety without paying the premium. Did tours of Florence/Pisa and Rome with Romeinlimo and buddied up with another family with children of the same age (found through the roll call). Great value, got to see all the sights (and more) and took the stress out of the trips by being in a smaller group. Our 17 year old had the best time, the Entourage leaders are great at getting age groups together and although she joined us for meals and trips the rest of the time she was hanging out with her new found friends. It is a big ship and there are a lot of people on board. We never had issues with sun beds, seating at meals, activities, entertainment etc... That said a little patience can help at busy times. We loved the gym. The H2O (adult) section was always a nice place to go for some quiet (tapas at 6pm!) Staff were generally happy and attentive, a few less positive experiences but nothing to spoil the trip.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I have been on many NCL ships and had a outside balcony previously on the EPIC. This time I booked a studio which was awesome. the room had a lot of space to store belongings. The cruise person for studio folks was great. the lounge had a ... Read More
I have been on many NCL ships and had a outside balcony previously on the EPIC. This time I booked a studio which was awesome. the room had a lot of space to store belongings. The cruise person for studio folks was great. the lounge had a white board in which we could post get togethers and the cruise guy also did as well. If I could I would book studios on all my cruises if the the price is right. The itinerary was good, although the booked shore excursions from the ship were disappointing; except for the underground walking tour through the tunnels in Naples was terrific. I had been to Italy previously a few times so I wanted to try something new. The other tours were too rushed and the guides were not good. Because I had been in Rome last summer and years ago, wanted to try something new.. My tour to Orvieto was canceled so I did another small town tour instead. If I do it again and in a group, I will book a private tour instead. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Just returned from our 7 day Mediterranean Cruise Sunday July 6th, 2014. The Epic Ship has many wonderful qualities which I will list first. The crew at all levels were super nice and very accommodating to our needs. Getting on the ship ... Read More
Just returned from our 7 day Mediterranean Cruise Sunday July 6th, 2014. The Epic Ship has many wonderful qualities which I will list first. The crew at all levels were super nice and very accommodating to our needs. Getting on the ship and off was extremely organized and impressive from disembarking to getting us a cab/taxi to our hotel in Barcelona. The food on the ship was exceptionally good for cruise line food including the Garden Buffet on the Lido deck. All of our excursions went like clockwork and were easy to get to from the ship to the busses except for one bus which we called the bus from hell because it had seats so small that two small persons could not fit and the bus had NO shocks so for 6 hours in Rome we were bounced around like ping pong balls. We did get a minor adjustment after we complained but it did ruin most of our tour that day. We ate Sushi one night which was very good and also had breakfast in O' Sheehans which was okay, best to eat breakfast in the dining room or at the buffet. Our suite was smaller than some balcony rooms I have had but it had a wonderful balcony for three of us. The shows had to be reserved in advance and the BLUE MAN GROUP AND THE CIRQUE SHOW WERE excellent but the legend show was three impersonators doing CHAICERA, PRINCE AND DIANA ROSS. It would have been much more like a true legend show had they had more personalities that were truly legends......I did not consider these people legends at all. They were good but not the show I expected. The show room shows were okay, the dueling pianos, the Piano player in the bar area were very good. Little other than the big TV, a few games of bingo were things to do during the day. No tea time events were on this ship at all. The cons on this ship were the HORRIFIC CONFIGURATION OF THE BATHROOMS. There is a tub so tall that I had a very difficult time even trying to get into it to take a shower, and when you get out you are right in the middle of the room with a cheap curtain that goes from the tub to the TOILET which is across the room behind a glass door. The SINK is not even behind the curtain so if you want to wash you private areas after going to the toilet forget it.....you are right there in the cabin. I do not know who designed these bathrooms but it had to be a MAN because women like privacy when they bathe and use the toilet and sink areas. BAD DESIGN. Everything is primarily on deck 5,6,7 mid ship. The casino is not in a contained area but spread out down the center isle, around the corners etc. with children running through the area and even playing machines like a toy game until they get told to stop. The ADULT pool was more like a extra big hot tub and they water was so low that it barely covered your waist, again very bad design. There was a very large deck area surrounding the pool that on most ships is filled with water 8-8 inches deep so that you can sit in the water and sun bathe but this area was just dry and could never hold water at all. There were NO chairs to be had at the adult only pool or even at the mid ship pool on the one and only sea day. In fact I did finally find a chair but could never get to the water because of all the children jumping in and out of the water. The pool areas are both entirely too small for 5000 cruisers. I really missed not having my two formal nights on the ship, few dressed for dinner and it was just not a very elegant evening in the dining room. No lobster was served and not one night did they even have shrip cocktails which is an every night choice on all the other ships I have cruised on and that is 25 cruises on many different lines. All in all this was not a cruise ship that I would ever book a cruise on again because of the bathroom situation but it had many good points too.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
well our 49th cruise and you would think we would no better, the epic i am sorry to say big is not beautiful this ship looks like a container ship and may as well be. the ship has rammed in to much and left no space to chill out, the ... Read More
well our 49th cruise and you would think we would no better, the epic i am sorry to say big is not beautiful this ship looks like a container ship and may as well be. the ship has rammed in to much and left no space to chill out, the photos of areas give a grand sense but is far from it, the staff do the best but is still going down hill due to the tipping ways being charged and its pretty clear. (the added charge per day per person) has the ship got a cruise director if so where is he, spent a lot of time in his cabin i think. which is a really bad point the cabins deck 14, happy days done alright here not. ask the cruise rep on the ship about them "there exclusive to the epic" good will not be going in them again, they are student bedsits the toilet and shower are in the cabins not a separate room but is a shower cubicle and toilet cubicle with a shower screen door to each and a curtain in the room so that when the cabin boy enters you can be seen , and whats worst can be heard by anyone sharing the cabin. the other problem seems to now be the times and amount of people they are trying to cater for in the garden food court this is the way cruise eating is going but there is limited space and there seems to be no adjustment in opening times for guest these areas must be able to extend the opening times to fit in with the guest that's what they promote freestyle cruising. so sorry NCL AND THE EPIC ITS BACK TO THE JADE Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Just returned from the last Mediterranean cruise on the NCL Epic before it's relocation to the Bahamas. This trip was to give NCL a last chance after a less than enjoyable experience in May on the NCL Jade, we used some compensation ... Read More
Just returned from the last Mediterranean cruise on the NCL Epic before it's relocation to the Bahamas. This trip was to give NCL a last chance after a less than enjoyable experience in May on the NCL Jade, we used some compensation offered . We had decided not to use NCL again and we had first travelled on the then new Epic, also the NCL Sun which were excellent. Trying again the Epic which we were originally pleased with has restored our confidence. The staff were helpful, friendly and always cheerful and willing to help, even remembering your names! The food was excellent even the Buffet unlike the awful food and greasy buffet on the Jade The trips were well organized in plentiful variety and escorted by very knowledgeable guides. Entertainment was varied. " The Blue Man Troupe" was superb and ideally suited to multilingual audiences. "Legends" was the usual "Club acts" not very talented but put into a well choreographed show. "Ancora" a Crossover singing quartet were excellent but were showcased in an unsuitable small and crowded venue, with over amplification. They should have been in the main theatre. All in all a very enjoyable cruise, will stick with just the Epic with NCL , can't believe that two ships belonging to the same company could vary to such an extent in comfort, service, and quality.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Where to start? We boarded in Barcelona. Embarkation: Arrived at 11.30 and was onboard by 12.15. Super quick check-in just a little bump in the process as we wanted to pay cash and chose to sort it out before getting onboard. The queue ... Read More
Where to start? We boarded in Barcelona. Embarkation: Arrived at 11.30 and was onboard by 12.15. Super quick check-in just a little bump in the process as we wanted to pay cash and chose to sort it out before getting onboard. The queue had 4 people and us when we joined it. Then a large tour group kept jumping from check-in queues to our cash only queue so there a little bit of chaos until an NCL staff member informed them to make up their minds and get to the end of the queue!. Minimum cash deposit is $300. I was surprised to see no staff selling their services in the terminal. Very strange. There was a stand with all the menus on it, no staff. The spa had leaflets of offers. No beverage packs anywhere. So off we went t get onboard. They took the usual photo. Then we were directed down deck 7 I think it was, along the shuffleboard deck and in through a fire exit door. They spared no expense on the welcome wagon that's for sure!! No greeters, no free cocktail type drink, nothing...nada...zip. So we wandered around for a bit ourselves. Ended up in O Sheehans and was disappointed in the tiny menu (more about this later) so ordered a drink and then headed to the cabin. Room: We had a balcony on deck 9. Nice size and functional. Don't know why there is a fuss about the bathroom layout. Its fine. If you are so embarrassed of doing what you do in a bathroom with somebody you are going to share a room with for a week then go Solo!! Jeez! The glass is frosted. Sure you can hear noises so turn on the tv or sit outside. The shower is big and offers shower gel and shampoo. I was afraid a big girl like me wouldn't squeeze in going by some reviews, I could have hosted a foam party in there!! Granted the drain did give me a few panic attacks when it was a bit slow draining but it never overflowed or drenched the floor at anytime. The handbasin is small, so keep the tap on low and it doesn't splash about. The lights are far too dim. The lights over the mirror near the tv were better so I had to move all my makeup there instead and it was fine. I had no hairdryer for the entire trip. I did let housekeeping know and left a post-it for our 'Ghost' of a cabin Steward (random creepy towel animals on the bed signaled he/she? was around) but it was never sorted. We did get a lounger for the balcony which was great, had a few post lunch snoozes out there! The bed was ok, not the most comfortable and the pillows left me with a neck ache but you can't please everybody! Casino: pre-ordered the $10 slot play offer so we had $20 each to go mad with :) Spent an hour each evening on our lucky machines. We came away with $30 more overall. Not bad for us really as we do it for the fun more than anything. It does get smokey late at night but the walkways are reasonable with the air purifiers going so it wasn't really an issue. Food: We mostly ate breakfast in the buffet, eggs whatever way you wanted, cereal, hot food, fruit, juices, breads (toasters are slow) if you say you can't eat there, then you are just weird! We had maybe the odd snack in the Garden Cafe for lunch. (burgers, chicken, curries, paninis, muffins, cakes, breads, fruits, yoghurts and of course, ice cream cones :) ) We did try Taste twice. Food was great. I had the special of the sun-dried tomato and onion quiche OMG!! nothing was as tasty as this and as it was a special, it wasn't there for long :( Mahanttan was too strict on dress code to try the same menu in a different place so we skipped. Teppanyaki was excellent. Ronaldo, our chef, was fun even if a bit scripted. Portions were huge on the mains. We had the shogun combo and I couldn't finish it. The rice was to die for but the starters I didn't care for and I was too full to appreciate the dessert. Thumbs up. Moderno disappointing. Having read reviews I was looking forward to this and had starved all day to be hungry but it was just a constant flow of sausages and bits of steak or a lamb chop. At one stage I had 6 different meats on the plate and turned my card to red to eat and they skipped my husband (his was clearly green) so I had to keep mine green so they'd approach the table and serve him. The waitress got rude to the table next to us when they forgot to turn their card so she could serve them dessert. That's why I was flipping cards like I was a casino host all night!! Their cheese bread is spectacular! Salad bar ok but leave room! Overall not as great as it could've been. Feeling worn out from eating fast is not my idea of a great night out!! Shanghai's was a pleasant surprise on one occasion only. We hadn't intended on going here but we fancied Asian food and as we were walking past said what the heck! We were seated by the window and had Josephine serve us. She was very helpful and the best server on the cruise. I ordered the calamari for starter and scallops for mains. Both beautifully cooked. We were informed that we also needed to order a rice/noodle dish as a side so I chose the chicken and the husband the beef. No plain rice/noodles but maybe you could ask for it. Our entire table was full of food. The portions are immense. We could've fed a family of 6. Apparently they don't mind how many dishes you order either. So for the $15 charge you sure get what you pay for. I managed to squeeze in the triple creme brulee dessert too. The second time we went it wasn't as good. We had some tall girl as a server who was a bit of a smart ass and not very good at her job. First I said to make sure there were no mushrooms for me as I'm not keen on them, oh is it an allergy she asks, no they just don't agree with me (major stomach cramps but I'm not going to die if I eat them) the husband wanted the combo without shrimp as he doesn't like their texture, again she asks is it an allergy, no he doesn't like them. Then as she puts the prawn crisps on the table made a smart comment and a grin, they are made from shrimp you know, eh, yes, we do know but they don't have the texture of the bloody thing do they?? Uncalled for comments. Then we felt rushed as it was 9.30pm and they were clearing the tables and the manager was barking out rotas to them. Not conducive to customer satisfaction. If this happened the first night I wouldn't recommend but we know there is a high standard to be had, just go early enough in the evening. O'Sheehans: Ok. They have 2 menus. If you sit in the bar area near the pool tables ($1.50 per game) you get a very small menu to choose from, If you sit in the dining area near the bowling lane the menu is bigger. I wanted chicken tenders and a vodka mudslide one night and was refused as these were only available in the seated area. A bit mad as its the same bar!! We tried the tenders, shepherds pie special, soup, corned beef sandwich and wings over the week, all very good. Just a bit depressing you can't get it everywhere in O'Sheehans. No milkshakes:( Staff hit and miss for service. One night we sat on the bar stools for 30mins and then left. 2 bar staff and manager were talking away as we walked off and they realised they'd forgotten we were there waiting...very poor. Pizza: had pizza delivered to the room one night. Not bad at all, a bit heavy on the cheese but the pepperoni was what I call proper pepperoni and not the little pepperami type stuff that just is wrong on a pizza! great for a late night snack to ward off a hangover:) Entertainment: so/so. Blue Man Group was waaaayyyy too long. I got bored after 30mins. My Blue Man Experience cocktail was blue ice cream, yaaayyy!!(can you tell I'm being sarcastic) Never again. Legend were ok. The only one I liked was Tina Turner. Tom Jones tried too much and failed miserably and Adele couldn't hold her notes so it wasn't pleasant some lower slow songs she was ok with. The Manzara? Ballet wasn't a ballet it was flameco dancing in headliners, entertaining but not a must do. (had to pre-book seats for this) Headliners and Fat Cats are just too small and having bar stools to sit on for 30mins is not great for watching shows. Howl at the Moon was ok, a bit too American in that they played dueling University tunes until somebody paid them to stop and they only seemed to play if you paid them. Not a great night out that one. We kept missing the Beatles tribute Act who sounded brilliant and they should be made a permanent act so cut out a day of Blue Man and have them in the theatre, NCL!! No Jazz that we could hear. We went up every nigh to see what was on and it was either the Manhattan Band or private party. I was looking forward to Slam Allen or some Jazz. Manhattan band was not impressive. They played like they were being forced at gunpoint to perform. The keyboard player looked bored, and the main singer couldn't sing he whispered.....what's up with that? We missed the cosy bars of MSC and the ballroom of Costa where you could sit in large comfy chairs and people watch over a drink. The bars all had those uncomfortable wooden seats so you never felt you could stay too long in one spot or suffer lack of circulation. Bliss only seemed to have karaoke. Any time we went up there it was nearly empty and people looked fed up. I think the nightclub started after 11.30 but we never hung around that long. I think they could put a warm up act in there and get the party going long before the nightclub got going so for us early birds we could get to party too. Spa: didn't go. too expensive and specials not very special. Gym: about 6 people in there anytime I went up Activities: didn't use the slides but the few kids seemed to enjoy them. Pools are very small more water fountains and walkways than actual pool. The kids area is a joke, far too small and shoved in as an after thought. Aerobics or napkin folding were some of the delights on offer. The rapelling wall closes in port as does everything except the slides, not good for people staying onboard. The chess game was always closed off as they stored the equipment there too. Arcade small but we spent a few hours during the week in there like big kids!! more adults used it than kids. Shops are ok, they are laid out well but prices are mad even for a cruise ship. Duty free was sparse. Pringles were 5.99 and a bag of Maltesers was 6.99...sweets were not priced but we said we try once. once was enough! Overall, NCL is not for us. The ship was too small in layout and so we had seen everything on the first day. The rest of the week felt like walking around a hotel lobby. There are places to view the sea from: O Sheehans, Taste, Shanghais to name a few so for people feeling closed in, try there. I think the ship was half full because lines were ok and sun loungers plentiful. We never waited more than 5mins for an elevator and even walking from front to back only took about 15mins anyway. All I can say I would hate to see it as a full ship as there are very few quiet spaces. Our holiday ended with a bang, I fell down the stairs in Spice H20 nobody helped me, ( a kind waiter in Shanghais offered to get me ice but he never returned after we saw a manager speak with him,) and then I left my jewellery in the cabin and NCL haven't responded to my calls or emails yet a week later. This is a holiday I'd rather forget. Maybe yours will turn out better. Give a try. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
I was a single person so had a single room, which was very nice and made me feel secure as you had to have a seperate key card to enter this section. However, it was more expensive than a double room?! The ship was very large, but once ... Read More
I was a single person so had a single room, which was very nice and made me feel secure as you had to have a seperate key card to enter this section. However, it was more expensive than a double room?! The ship was very large, but once you got used to where things were it was easy to find your way around. It was always clean in every single area. The food on board was amazing, a wide range for whatever tastes you have. The restaurants, Taste and The Manhatten were both exquisite. The entertainment on board was not as wider range as some other ships we have been on previously. But what was on board was really great. The Blue Man Group was very weird, but you just have to see it! Legends was quite good and The Beatles Tribute was very impressive. One of the best shows I have ever seen was Cirque, it was amazing, well worth the extra money. A big top in the middle of a ship? Unbelievable! Sword balancing on a ship? Unbelievable! The service by the staff on the ship was very friendly and helpful. Although my safe did not work and although I reported it, it was never fixed. The garden staff could of been more friendlier and smile/say hello more. The embarkation and disembarkation of the ship were all arranged very well, unfortunately our flight was not until 1pm and we had to be at the airport from 8am in the morning which was inconvenient. This was only my second cruise so I dont have much to compare it too, but overall I enjoyed my time on Norweigan, I would recommend it to others and would definetly travel with them again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
First impressions - when we arrived at the Barcelona airport the representative was confused as to which bus the passengers were going - total chaos in the bus loading station - first sign that things were not good. Arriving at the port ... Read More
First impressions - when we arrived at the Barcelona airport the representative was confused as to which bus the passengers were going - total chaos in the bus loading station - first sign that things were not good. Arriving at the port there are no signs to indicate separate lines for those who have already downloaded the luggage tags - so if you were standing outside in the heat waiting in line - like we were until I saw some people lifting their baggage onto the trolleys - then you were in for a long wait. Inside the arrivals area there was even more chaos. Building is not air conditioned, attendants walking around or just taking their sweet time, supervisors not doing anything, cameras to take pictures are hand held!!! We waited another 1 hour in line - so for older people thinking of taking this trip be forewarned. The only good thing was that there were refreshments on the table. Ship - Regular inside cabins are so small that two people will knock into one another. If you plan on taking your clothes out from your suitcase forget it - tip - put all your clothes away in the drawers provided then put the empty suitcases in the closet. There is also a safe but sometimes you think the safe is closed but it will open by itself so beware. There is no bottled water provided, the washroom sink is on top of the tv stand so anyone opening the tap while the other is sleeping is a problem - very bad design! Washroom flushing sound is the loudest I have encountered in all my cruising experience - sounds like an earthquake all the time. Staff- room attendant Staff are not as pleasant as on other cruise ships - did not introduce themselves or try to get to know you. Staff at the main area also not very friendly.Entertainment - very limited things to do or see. Blue Man Group is not the real thing so beware - they were just okay. The better of all the entertainment provided. My sons took a picture with them at the greet after - went to look for the pictures after - could not find it-they lost it!! The photographer we had to take our picture was also not very good. Pictures turned out a little blurry - for the money they charge, this is not good. Food - The two main dining rooms - Taste and The Manhatten Room basically serve the same food, the Manhatten just a little bigger and seems more formal and had a band/singer some nights. Not a big selection, food not piping hot, coffee lukewarm at all times don't know why. The only good thing is their cheesecake. Shore excursions - We opted to take the private tours by car in each port which is the way to go. The one time that we went with the ship was on the last day for the Barcelona 1/2 day tour. Took us to the top of the mountain which was a great view but totally not enough time. Then she dropped us off at the wrong terminal - did not know where Sunwing operated out of I guess and just took a guess!! Overall - If you are a first time cruiser I guess it is ok but after you have experienced Disney and Royal Caribbean you will note that Norwegian is sorely lacking in all aspects of service and worth for money spent - Be forewarned! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
I just did a 7-night cruise on the Norwegian Epic and have mixed feelings about it. I loved, loved, loved my room! I traveled with friends and family and choose the option of a studio stateroom and could not have been happier. The room ... Read More
I just did a 7-night cruise on the Norwegian Epic and have mixed feelings about it. I loved, loved, loved my room! I traveled with friends and family and choose the option of a studio stateroom and could not have been happier. The room was great for one person and very well kept. Two people could share it, but it would be tight. There's lots of storage stage and the phone, interactive television technology is excellent. The ship is huge, so expect to do a lot of walking. My room was aft so I often did not use the studio lounge because I just couldn't be bothered to walk the distance. However, it was not difficult to access the open buffet and pool areas from my room. Staff: Having cruised on Royal Caribbean before, I was expecting a similar level of high staff involvement. However, NCL falls short! Staff was aloof, spent more time talking to each other than to passengers and didn't make an effort to get to know us. The only two people who seemed genuine was my stateroom attendant and he never bothered to address me by name, and a security guard who said hello whenever we met. Most other staff members seemed overwhelmed by the sheer number of passengers and often tried to brush away concerns and inquiries by hurrying us along to the next staff member or to get us away from the guest services area. One staff member at guest services even rolled his eyes at a passenger because she returned to ask him a question. Entertainment: The cruise director tried his best to get the crowd going, but hardly anyone seemed to be paying attention. The music selections were not great as the DJ at the evening parties played mostly techno/ house music, and the pool side games/music were oldies and dry. I only attended the first night and for the white hot party which was nice. Get the premium seats for the Cirque du Soleil, otherwise you will miss some of the performance. Blue Man Group was good. The Spanish Ballet was great, but the venue was poor so unless you get in early you have to look at tiny television screens. I would have liked the staff to do a farewell performance. Excursions: I did the Amalfi Coast & Pompeii, Rome on Your Own, and Pisa & Florence on Your Own. I think they were all worth it. The tour companies that NCL used were excellent, guides were very informative. It would be possible to do excursions on your own, but the ports are so far out that I would worry about getting back on time, so doing the excursions through NCL provided peace of mind. Dining: Food was 4 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed the open buffet options immensely but the sit-down dining situation was bad because unless you had dinner between 5 and 6pm, you pretty much had to wait for 15 to 45 minutes depending on time and you could not make reservations in advance for the free main dining rooms. The two main dining rooms basically had the same menus (maybe 2 things were different) which was a bit of a let down because I was expecting to have different choices. All in all, though, the food was good. Would have liked to have a poolside bbq.Poolside: It feels like there are a million people milling around. Lounge chairs were literally touching each other with little to no room to move around. But I spent most of my days on excursions so it wasn't too problematic for me. If you plan on sunning, plan to go out by 10am the latest to ensure a good spot. It seems that NCL's main goal is to ensure that the ship is jam-packed to capacity at all times as they pick with passengers in Marseille and Rome as well. (Don't expect any cabin upgrades) Summary: Rooms are fabulous. Studios awesome. Staff was cold. I felt like I had to have everything planned in advance or I would not have been able to enjoy this cruise. Make sure to reserve entertainment and excursions arriving. Get the premium seats for the Cirque du Soleil. Get to the Spanish Ballet early to get front row seats. Be prepared to wait for dinner. The only port that was not way out was Cannes. You have to reserve tender tickets for Cannes. You have to pick up your tags for disembarkment on Friday as early as possible so that you don't end up leaving at 7:15am. If Royal Caribbean had better looking cabins, I would prefer to sail with them. However, I would take another cruise on the Epic. I just wouldn't get my hopes up regarding the staff and would plan to be reserve EVERYTHING except dinner. I would have loved an extra day at sea. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We Arrived into Barcelona Airport at 11.00 We took a taxi straight to the port. The cost was 36 euros so we gave him 40 On arrival at the port, the porters took our bags straight away and directed us to security. We were through ... Read More
We Arrived into Barcelona Airport at 11.00 We took a taxi straight to the port. The cost was 36 euros so we gave him 40 On arrival at the port, the porters took our bags straight away and directed us to security. We were through security, the usual health form to complete and within 5 mins we were through embarkation and onto the ship! I have to say NCL have some of the best embarkations that I know of. At 13.30 we were able to goto our Staterooms. We were in Mini Suite 8172, and on arrival we though WOW, this is small. I just think its the curved walls that we are just not used too, but it gives the impression of cramped space. Anyway within 20 mins our cases had arrived. Now these cabins have Tons of rooms to store things, so no problems in finding place to put things. The bathroom set up was no problem for us, just ensure you lock the cabin door and put a towel on the floor and all will be fine. Now here is a warning, if your a light sleeper and want to sleep between 9pm and 1am you may want to reconsider not taking this room. Even though Fat Cats/Slam Allen Band are 2 decks below, you can really hear the music in this room and the loud thudding of the base, makes it nearly impossible to sleep. We tried to ensure we was not back before 1am, but as this is a port intensive trip, you do start to get tired toward the end. We unfortunately had music until 5am one night, as there was a crew party going on. This was when I could not stand it any longer and we did complain! I have to say NCL did respond to this very well. They also acknowledge that there was a crew party going on, and it have been authorised. I guess everyone has to let their hair down some time. They apologised and did everything they could to rectify the situation, so well done NCL for that. I'm just really surprised no one else has mentioned the noise issue in this room The Entertainment on board was excellent. The Blue Man Group and Cirque Dreams where both Stunning shows. We also loved Howl at the Moon, very talented singers and Musicians. The Beatles Tribute band was excellent. Fabba being the exception, what was all that about?? Was expecting a tribute band not some dancers just dancing to Abba music! We also paid for the POSH Beach Club for the week, which I have to say was lovely quiet area with nice big comfy chairs and beds. If you dont intend to get off at all the ports its worth paying for access, if they have any left. Food - On the whole we thought was of a good standard Teppanyaki the food and show was excellent Taste for Breakfast the eggs benedict were divine Cagney's, while the steak was good, we felt we did not get our moneys worth. Seems to be all seafood starters which we do not do. La Cucina - Although its only a $10 supplement, we were very disappointed as we thought you could just get as good pasta in the Garden Cafe. Manhattan room , This was the worst service we had and the food was not much better. It had obviously been a very busy night and the staff just looked as though they could not wait ti get out of there! O'Sheehans Very Nice Chicken Tenders & Breaded Mozzarella We did easy walk off departure and I have to say it was easy. Would we sail Epic again. YES if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
So, I'm reading all the reviews about the Epic, some positive and some negative. Don't really get it, so I'll give you my Spin. First of all we booked a mini suite on deck 13, but a few days before NCL called us an ... Read More
So, I'm reading all the reviews about the Epic, some positive and some negative. Don't really get it, so I'll give you my Spin. First of all we booked a mini suite on deck 13, but a few days before NCL called us an offered us an upgrade to the HAVEN. We received a 2bdr 2bth suite with butler and concierge, worth every penny, and maybe worth the card rate if you can swing it. Let me tell you about the "Haven". Firstly you are at the top of the ship. You get "escorted" boarding, to the Haven lounge, where your concierge "Adriene" greets you, offers you a drink (yes you have to pay for your drinks) then gives you a tour of the Haven. First up private bar and lounge (yep), next Private pool and Jacuzzis (yep), Private Restaurant (yep) Private Sundeck (posh)with its own bar (yep) private gym (yep) private area for spa treatments (yep). So basically, you do not need to see the rest of the ship if you do not want to. Haven has everything. So you say but i want the ship!! Special Elevator (of course only Haven room keys can activate it (yep)from lounge to deck 15 Pool Deck. Drops you right in the center of everything. So you drop down go on the slides, use the pool? oh but haven has there own private pool with special bar and food service poolside. Why would i do that? Then back into our special elevator...up to POSH. Where they have lounges, day beds, bar and food service. I think I'm getting carried away here. But i think you get the point. I hear all the negatives about EPIC, but i wouldn't really know.. i left the Haven, like a commando, did what i wanted and returned to my Haven (little pun) Lets move on....the cabin, oh my HAVEN Cabin... there was just two of us, and we had a two bedroom two bath. So what do you do with the second bedroom....hummmm. woman's dream, my girlfriend used it for most of her clothes, and that was her little Haven away from me to do her make up and get ready to go....had a special make up area, so did our main bedroom. We had a living room/dining room an in-suite coffee maker. So we made espresso and cappuccino every day ( it was one of those K-cup ones BIG). All those spaces were very nice. The master bath was beautiful with a soaking tub and separate shower with big windows to the outside. Don't worry they had shades if you chose to close them. :-). Only comment that could have been better would be if the Balcony was a little bigger. It seemed/felt (and was) small for a suite this size So that sums up the room, except for the butler... did i mention the butler. Well he was on speed dial from our room, and carried a portable phone wherever he was. Served us breakfast in our room every morning. Any special request was granted. (special items not on menu). Good service and fellow... Now for the Concierge. Now this is getting good. He also is on speed dial, and you can call his extension from anywhere in the ship. He will get you into any show. and all Haven guests are escorted to the shows (blue man, legends, circ.) you arrive BEFORE any other guests are allowed in and sit where ever you want. We sat FRONT Row all shows. Only thing missing was for the shows in the Headliner you cant get an escort because they say there is no side door....like whatever. There is so much more....but i think you get the idea. If you can do it, do the HAVEN. Quick comments. Other likes SUSHI yes SUSHI ate there at least 4 times. Tuna Burger in the HAVEN is incredible. Modernnero(sp), which is like Texas de Brazil was the only specialty restaurant we ate at. All other nights we ate at the HAVEN dining room. btw Haven dining room steak is as good as Cagneys ( eat at Cagneys on NCL Sky all the time.) So in short i love the EPIC. I loved the Haven. I would definitely go again. (looking for a good price for Nov 2012). Didn't have any issues with the rest of the ship, but of course we were spoiled. :-) Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
My traveling party of 4 chose this ship based on its port intensive itinerary and we could not have been more happy. The weather for the week and ports of call were amazing. This was our first time cruising with NCL and had no complaints ... Read More
My traveling party of 4 chose this ship based on its port intensive itinerary and we could not have been more happy. The weather for the week and ports of call were amazing. This was our first time cruising with NCL and had no complaints (though we rarely due...I mean you are on cruise with 4000 other people). First about the Epic itself and then a little about the ports. The Epic was a very large ship but rarely felt crowded. It was designed more like a floating hotel/resort than a nautical vessel. There were no soaring atrium's or 2 story theaters but the ship was very clean and easy to navigate. Food in main free dining rooms varied between average and at times exceptional. The Garden Buffet and outside pool grill was like any cruise ship. Entertainment was some of the best and most varied we have seen on a cruise and really enjoy Slap Allen in the Jazz and Blue club. Did not try any of the speciality restaurants (never see a need to pay extra with all the food available). One note is they serve both hard serve and soft serve ice cream almost all day which is far cry form RCCL. Due the number of ports we visited and so much time spent in each port, this was probably the least amount of time we ever spent on a ship but it sure was nice coming back to a home away from home after the exhausting days of sightseeing in each port. My whole group agreed we would note hesitate to cruise on the Epic or with NCL in the future. Now a bit about the ports which really made this trip so special (Note: Many of the private tours referenced below were found through Tripadvisor...worth every nickle if those 12 hours are the only 12 you ever spend it that area...at least that was our philosophy): Barcelona: Arrived 2 days prior to departure. Stayed at the Hotel Jazz in the heart of town. Would recommend to anyone due to its great location, clean and contemporary styling and friendly services. Barcelona is friendly walking city with much to see and do in close proximity. Walked the La Ramblas, Biked along the waterfront, hiked the parks, was amazed by some of the architecture, and enjoyed the tapas and sangria at every turn. Items not to be missed include: Sagrada Familia, Guell Park, The Palua Music Theatre, biking the waterfront, sampling food in the La Boqueria Food Market off the La Ramblas. Naples: Scheduled a one day private tour (Sorrento, Positano, Pompeii) through seeamalficoast.com. Unbelievable. From the charm of Sorrento to the beauty of driving the Amalfi Coast, to the breathtaking topography of Positano there could be not better way to spend a day in the port of Napoli...a true highlight for us. Rome: Scheduled a see Rome in day private tour with romeinlimo.com. Considering how far the port is from the city the private tour allowed us to see more than we could have every imagined with a history lesson to go along with it. Rome history is amazing but the traffic is crazy, the city is dirty, and the throngs of people is at time suffocating. So glad we saw the amazing historical site plus the Vatican but Rome would not be a place we would rush back to visit again. Florence: Scheduled a one day private tour with Tuscanycartours.com which took us to the leaning tower of Pisa, the charm and beauty of the streets of Florence, to an amazing lunch and wine tasting at a beautiful winery in the Tuscan countryside. To sample all of this various experiences in a single day considering how far the port in Livorno is from Florence was incredible. We all agree we would love to visit Florence again with more time to explore. The food, sights, history,cleanliness and oh so Europe atmosphere and architecture of Florence made it very special. Cannes: Did this day on on our own and trained from Cannes to Nice to Monaco. Trains were easy to use and very clean but language was a problem at the station in Cannes. We walked from each station to the city in each location with no problem. Overall the French Riviera was a bit of a disappointment. Its a bit congested and its charm must have left with its increased popularity. Highlights were the old town in Nice, the flower/food market in Nice, the harbor and Casino area in Monaco. So glad to have visited but we agree the smaller towns we passed on the train (Villefranche, Eze, etc) held more of the charm we were looking for and would visit the smaller villages if we were to return to this region. Marseille: Schedule a one day tour with provencewinetours.com and it was one of the real surprises and highlights of the cruise. While the town of Marseille is a bit industrial the tour took us into the beautiful countryside of Provence. The scenery alone was worth the trip. After a trip to 2 intimate wineries for tasting we visited the seaside town and overlooking hills of Cassis which is what I believe the French Riviera must have been at its inception, all Europe n feel, charming, quaint, intimate, beautiful, fun, casual, etc all which left us with a burning desire to visit this wonderful seaside town again. Will long remember this day in the sun and vibrant colors of this special place. Embarkation and Debarkation were some of the fastest we every experienced and this trip of a lifetime is for anyone seeking a renewed perspective and passion for other cultures, sights and histories. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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