7 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Mediterranean from Barcelona

12 Day Mediterranean cruise on the Epic, Barcelona RT. My main criticism of this cruise was the Epic as a cruise ship. Having a friend who sailed on the Epic's maiden voyage and she giving it a less than sterling review I can now ... Read More
12 Day Mediterranean cruise on the Epic, Barcelona RT. My main criticism of this cruise was the Epic as a cruise ship. Having a friend who sailed on the Epic's maiden voyage and she giving it a less than sterling review I can now understand why. This ship would be ideal for children, teens, and adults who enjoy all the water features on this ship except all that equipment came came at the expense of pool size. They could be could be filled with two teacups. in less than five minutes. On a transatlantic or cooler climes on the planet the top deck is mostly useless. The other group who would enjoy this ship are the confirmed gamblers who love a very large, very smelly casino located almost mid-ship. To traverse the ship on deck six one has to wend your way through the people, noise, and smell of the casino to access the aft elevators. Elevators... only two banks of elevators,, one fore and one aft. Always long waits and once inside very dark, a muggers paradise :) . Cute little Christmas tree lights on the ceiling of the elevators and trying to see the floor buttons is impossible because they are not lit. Public spaces are always crowded, with over 4000 persons on board what can you expect? The only public outside promenade deck is only on one side of the ship and the lifeboats are hung outside blocking all views of the ocean. All the public spaces, with the exception of the Garden Cafe (most window tables "hogged" by certain groups of people) have NO outside views. It is like the entire ship is an inside cabin with NO cross ventilation, ocean views or a chance to breathe fresh air. The "atrium" with its two story screen and low ceiling is LOUD beyond belief. All music on this ship is ear splitting in the venues and even the theatre... LOUD DOES NOT MAKE MUSIC BETTER~! Food was the biggest disappointment I have ever experienced aboard a NCL ship (I just became a Longitude Platinum member on this cruise) with the exception of TASTE, LA CUCINA, and CAGNEY'S . At this point I must add that I will not be reviewing staterooms because we had decided to try an inside cabin and one of the big ships on this cruise.... NCL assigned us a Disability cabin and other than the "all in one" shower/toilet wet room and the Barbie sized sink in the main room, it was about 50% larger than the standard inside cabin and afforded more storage space. Now NCL tv is another gripe... knowing NCL wants to up sale you a movie pkg. The only news station was BBC... world's most boring and uninformative news outlet. The movies they did show were geared to the mindless sci-fi genre or the equally slow minded teen aged girls. My travel partner was a Latitude Platinum member and received two specialty dinners each. When we booked we were afforded two "Free at Sea" upgrades and as usual we chose the Beverage pkg. and two upgraded dining opportunities. Thus, making four specialty dinners for the 12 day voyage. We were informed we would only be eligible for the two upgrade dinners because we chose the 30 min. wifi option. We have NEVER used wifi on any cruise and as a Platinum member he was automatically issued 30 min. wifi. Guest services rudely informed us we would have to use the two Platinum vouchers for the dinners and they had no control what the Reservations Agents promise and what the Guest Services were obligated to provide. Also stating they are two different departments.....and that was that. Disappointed with NCL customer service. Two things in closing: Our room Steward was AMAZING. Waiters, service personnel were outstanding and if anything there was NOT enough help in some areas for the NCL service we had become used to. The other thing is just how ugly and cumbersome this ship appears. With the elimination of a wonderful comfortable quiet observation area in order to expand the Haven category thus giving the appearance of the profile of The Elephant Man. I could say more but in closing I admit I am JADED~! because of the layout and comfort of a smaller ship, i.e., THE JADE (4 cruises on this Noble Lady two of which were TA)~! Being an older cruiser, celebrated my 75th birthday on the last night of this cruise, I will be sticking with smaller NCL ships without the hordes of people~! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The itinerary attracted us as we had not visited Cannes or Provence before. Our cabin was extremely comfortable with plenty of storage space, Because we were a mixed party the bathroom behind the curtain and the wash basin inside the ... Read More
The itinerary attracted us as we had not visited Cannes or Provence before. Our cabin was extremely comfortable with plenty of storage space, Because we were a mixed party the bathroom behind the curtain and the wash basin inside the cabin suited us perfectly, offering privacy when needed. The food was the best we have ever had on any cruise. The Garden room buffet for breakfast and a snack on our return at the end of the day gave a very varied choice and although busy at times we were always able to get a table. Our evening meal we ate in either the Taste or Manhattan dining rooms where the menu and service were both excellent. In spite of the large number of passengers we never waited for a table. The entertainment was of the usual NCL high quality we particularly liked being able to book all the shows from our cabin on screen. This was also useful for checking our account. The only negative was the cost of 15 dollars each transfer bus from ship to town, we have never paid for this service before and the ship was docked too far away to walk. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Mine and my cousins first time cruising! We flew from Birmingham to Barcelona (a city we have had the pleasure of a 3 day city break so didn't explore further, we wanted to see our Epic ship!) on Ryanair- not an ounce of ... Read More
Mine and my cousins first time cruising! We flew from Birmingham to Barcelona (a city we have had the pleasure of a 3 day city break so didn't explore further, we wanted to see our Epic ship!) on Ryanair- not an ounce of turbulence and plenty of leg room!- We arrived at the airport and was kept waiting for our cruise rep who arrived after 30 minutes, we were unfortunately kept waiting a further 1 hour for our coach which was running late and was then a further 2 hours till we arrived at the port waiting for other passengers at other terminals due to delayed flights. When we arrived we were greeted with a mass of people in a modern style airport hanger being divided up into number groups to be called up to queue at our allocated reception (we found a pop up bar type thing and got a Pepsi and a pastry and was promptly called) a further 20 minutes queuing and we were greeted by a friendly polite lady who explained embarkation, took photos, wanted credit card details and gave us our on board cards etc to us novice cruisers. At last we were on the ship!!! It was worth the wait! excitement overload, walking up the gantry being greeted by friendly crew checking our cards and scanning hand luggage (for security) and pointed to the correct lift, blue side and red side! The Cabin!!! Fab-u-lous. up there with the loveliest hotel rooms iv stayed in around the world, dark wood, nice shower with shampoo conditioner and shower gel, pleasant toilet (similar to airplane toilet-same suction so a loud noise when you flush), a curtain dividing sleeping area and bathroom area ( i can understand some people moaning but wasn't an issue for us, your sharing a room with someone for a week there isn't much your going to be able to keep private and modest!! get over it!!) the sink area kitted out in hand wash soap and hand cream, over head mirrored cabinet, a big plastic bin which i thought was the sick bucket but my cousin later pointed out was the used towel bin lol! tea coffee making facilities (get used to UHT cream as they cant keep milk fresh on a ship, not going to taste like your moms brew, so get over it and no biscuits) large dressing table with mirror lighting and leather stool with hairdryer, an absolute pleasure to get ready every night, large sofa, safe, storage ,wardrobes, loads of hangers and storage for your suitcases with life jackets and pool towels provided. The balcony was my only moan it was bland and dirty and your over looked, my concerns were proved right. People on the above decks were smoking and flicking there buts over their balcony the buts falling short and landing on our balcony, im not anti smoking and miss smoking in pubs my gripe is put a cover over the balcony then if someones sick or chucks something over board it wont fall short land on our balcony? or common sense dont throw stuff over the balcony! Room attendant!!! Mohammed, he was soooo cute friendly and appeasing, there is a note pad and pen provided and i asked him 2 things in a week, please keep us stocked of tea coffee milk and sugar and clean our balcony of tissue bird muck and fag ends to which he did -hassle free. Legend!!! he made the cabin up and did our turn down service. Public areas!! spotless, casino, restaurants, bars, pool, spa, toilets, shops, theater, cirque tent, corridors and the viewing deck all easy to find and move around baring in mind there were 6000 souls on board to capacity. Restaurants!! did not have a bad meal, i suffer with IBS and iv never felt better, hand sanitiser provided everywhere, i recommend everywhere to eat particular the Manhattan for steak. Never queued, never waited for a table but then again never ate later than 8.30, people seemed to queue from 9pm on wards. Entertainment!! Made the holiday, first class Broadway shows with Burn the floor and Priscilla queen of the desert- you were warned 4 times before show there's swearing and adult content so was annoyed at family's getting up 10 mins into show dragging kids out in disgust, no sympathy your own fault leave the adults to enjoy the show thank you. Howl at the moon and the Soul Sensations were the best for music not to mention the Beatles tribute in the freezing cold cavern club- aircon to cold, take a cardi or jumper- there was something different every night so you wont be board, just plan you meal times around your entertainment that way you'll avoid queuing and sit where you want on both accounts. The pool!! Adults only pool small but i just wanted a dip to cool off, too small to swim and kids area i have no idea about, i dont have children and dont want to hear or see them on holiday so stayed in the adults only section more peaceful and relaxed to what looked like mayhem walking through the kids pools to the restaurants lol! the open air cinema is in the adults only section so that was nice being shown different cities on the screen whilst relaxing and also watched the Euro's live-great atmosphere! if you didn't like football it was tough. Activities and excursions!! never took part in any activities- if i wasn't off the ship discovering new places i was on a sun lounger or in the spa but that's my holiday. your given a new itinerary every night for the following day with a full list of on shore or on board activities starting with yoga at 6am every day. the "treble is the new double" proper Malibu and Pepsi put paid to any rising before 9.30am apart from Rome day. We visited Naples, Rome, Florence, Cannes and Marseilles all very stunning and beautiful. Cannes i shall be re visiting again. simply divine. Summary!! It is an American ship "Vegas on water" is how we described it. the currency on board is US dollars and predominantly American passengers. No one told us and we took euros to which NCL wanted 9 euro with every transaction for not paying in dollars so was forced to hand over a credit card to pay for on board shopping, shows, spa treatments, room service and supplemented food and drink. they charge you 27 dollars per cabin a day service charge but if your like me and prefer to tip as you go ask for a form and it will get deducted that saves you 170 dollars a week before you've started. You get a 9.30 Ding Dong from cruise director Monica every day and the odd message from the captain- very HI-DE-HI! 24 hour English film channel sports channel and news channel. on board medical center and guest services so always somewhere to go for help. Would definitely go in the ship gain and recommend for a first time cruise!! Elemis Spa ans would recommend........ if you've booked have a fab time!! and if you haven't....why not??? Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Dec 2015 we took a 10 day cruise on the Norwegian Epic. My previous experience was on the Cost Concordia (before it sank) so this would be my comparison. I did have a good time and would possibly return again, there will never be a ... Read More
Dec 2015 we took a 10 day cruise on the Norwegian Epic. My previous experience was on the Cost Concordia (before it sank) so this would be my comparison. I did have a good time and would possibly return again, there will never be a perfect trip. The 10 days meant that we had some days at sea and it was more relaxing because there was not the hassle of getting up early and going ashore. First impression of Norwegian Cruise company, From booking there was a general lack of information, we ordered a balcony with the drinks and gratuities package, to date I still do not have a breakdown of what the packages cost on top of the price. We sailed from Barcelona, and as there are about 12 docks in Barcelona I had to email Norwegian to find out which one to embark. Previous experience the taxi took us to the wrong dock. First impression of Norwegian Epic. It was no where nearly as nicely decorated as the Concordia, a lot of the colours used where shades of brown. The cabin was a touch narrow so that two people could not pass between the dressing table and bed, this is probably why they manage to fit 4,100 guest on board. There was no bathroom, the shower and toilet were 2 separate plastic cubicles/ pods at each side of the cabin entrance, I hated the wash basin which was mounted on the end of the dressing table near the base of the bed, it had a tall tap/faucet that leaned in to the basin and made it impossible to wash your face over the basin. I like the idea of Free Style cruising which means that there is no set time or table to dine from, there is a choice of about 18 different restaurants that you can choose covering almost the whole day, for example if you fancy a Chinese meal go to the Chinese restaurant. Some restaurants have cover charge so you have to know in advance, we went to Cagney’s one night which was very expensive at €76 for 2 people, considering meals are covered anyway on board. It was a constant battle of wits trying to discover what you do and do not pay for, even though I had the drinks package and could obtain free alcoholic drinks from any of the bar etc., it cost me €6.34 for a ½ litre bottle of water which is not covered, if you take drinks out of the drinks fridge in your room it will cost you. WiFi cost is $125 for 270 minutes or $76 for 110 min. To have a guided tour of the ships facilities will cost $75. To hire an ordinary wheelchair for my wife $260 . TV channels were poor for the English, there were German, French, Spanish, the BBC world service did not cover UK news or weather, there were a few movies in English. There was always some entertainment going on which was excellent, in the theatre, bars, etc, professional stage shows, comedians, magician’s groups’ bands etc much more than the Concordia. There was a recreated Cavern Club, and the Beatles were excellent also. One problem was the theatre was much too small, about ½ the size of the Concordia, necessitating booking in advance to gain entry for any of the shows, we booked 2 shows via the interactive TV in our cabin, only to find that a bug in the system had not in fact booked us, we subsequently turned up at the theatre only to be turned away because of no booking, this happened to our friends also, so we booked at the desk and had to wait a week to see the next shows, fortunately we were on a 10 day cruise, otherwise we would have missed out. We found the shore excursions were very expensive, my tip is do not book, when you go ashore there are lots of companies and taxis that will take you around for less than ½ the excursion price, better still if can arrange a party of 8 people. Although we had a gratuities package, the staff/crew where so good we left tips to be sure that they received it, so next time we will not obtain a gratuities package. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I cannot fault the week I have just had, every member of staff went out of their way to make it special. I think the colour coding of where to find your cabin could have been given to us it was just word of mouth. the cabin was small ... Read More
I cannot fault the week I have just had, every member of staff went out of their way to make it special. I think the colour coding of where to find your cabin could have been given to us it was just word of mouth. the cabin was small but enabled 3 of us to empty our cases, storage was great. Entertainment was fabulous would have cost a fortune to see those shows in the west end. Embarkation and disembarkation was very well organised. police patrol for getting taxis was necessary and worked well , the wait was minimum. Port excursions were booked independently and a lot cheaper than on ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I have just returned from my first ever solo cruise. was worried about being on my own but need never have worried. signed up to a cc roll call and at the meet and greet met some great new friends who were really greatand always took the ... Read More
I have just returned from my first ever solo cruise. was worried about being on my own but need never have worried. signed up to a cc roll call and at the meet and greet met some great new friends who were really greatand always took the time to stop and chat when we met on this gigantic ship. I also for the first time took my mobility scooter and it was a fantastic hewlp getting around the really big ship. would have given the cruise a 5 * review but was very disappointed by the lack of variety of big shows in the epic theatre . legends was good , but was repeated several times. did not like burn the floor at all , just not up to n c l great show standards , and this too was also repeated several times. there are a lot of other entertainment venuse on board some shows were good some not so. the cirque show was great. the beatles tribute in fat cats were also very entertaining. I stayed in a studio cabin and thought it was really great plenty of space for one . didn't understand all the complaints about the small shower and toilet , im a big guy and I didn't struggle. the lighting was no where near as complicated as some of the previous reviews have stated , but it is fairly low level light. had a problem with the sliding wardrobe door sticking and it did take 5 or the 7 night cruise to get fixed but hey it didn't stop me having a great time. met several crew members who were on the jade last year and was totally surprised to be recognised by them , fantastic service. read bad reviews about the smoky atmosphere , I spent a lot of time in the casino and did not notice it at all. food. I booked the dinning package and chose to eat in cagneys every evening and absolutely loved it. didn't normally bother with breakfast just grabbing juice and pastries from the studio lounge. didn't even bother with lunch much but did taste once and while the food was good the service was really not up to cagneys standard . did o'sheans twice and while it was ok the food was , just that ok service was uninspiring. great things; fantastic crew. fantastic food. great ports of call. bad things: very slow bar service. quite rude bar tenders in the waves bar. lack of big shows I found one thing very strange that was if you wanted to get to the atrium and reception and could not walk stairs , as I cant , you had to go to the total other end of the ship take the elevator and go the entire length of the ship again as the elevators at the back of the ship do not stop on the 5th deck , goodness knows why they built it this way. as a studio cabin passenger I loved the studio lounge , except for the fact that there were some times families with children in there. to me this should be a kid free zone as old solo travellers like me don't like kids being allowed to run around unsupervised as these were . the final thing I can say about the whole cruise was IT WAS GREAT , im even thinking of re booking later in the year Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Maybe because we did the trip in October 5-12th out of Barcelona the ship didn't feel that full - maybe it was & I didn't notice it - we did port calls all day long - tons of walking on the tours! Spent most time afterward at ... Read More
Maybe because we did the trip in October 5-12th out of Barcelona the ship didn't feel that full - maybe it was & I didn't notice it - we did port calls all day long - tons of walking on the tours! Spent most time afterward at Spice Bar before dinner -- excellent staff! and then did the Specially restaurant package for dinners all week.\ Don't think we needed to do that! Could have ate at the regular dining rooms and done a few specialty restaurants. Le Bistro was excellent! - ate there twice! Teppanyaki was not that good -(overcooked the lobster for 2 people that said it- I didn't have it) the NCL Dawn ship does it a lot better. I've been on about 5 NCL trips, 1 Carnival (which I hate Carnival - will never do that again), 1 Royal Carribean (very good), and one Princess (very, very good) La Cucino was very good for Italian food on the ship ---excellent service and great food! Moderno ( I always heard Brazlian beef is the best - they serve several courses on swearers -- it was all very dry - we did not eat much there - we were like - no thank you!) we did not each much that night! Cagney's - the Great Steakhouse which is a $30 upcharge with excellent premier service - included in my dinner upgrade package! They didn't have a clue that Friday night ---hardly any service and forget to bring my lobster tail for an additional $10 upgrade! Ha! He apologized and asked if I wanted it - - I said, no thanks, we are all done with dinner. I did finally get my lobster tail on Sat night at Le Bistro when we went there for our 2nd visit -- that place is good! So NO I would not do the specially dinner package on the EPIC -- just pick a couple restaurants and pay the upcharge if you want. Loved our room -- it worked perfect ! I heard a lot of people complain about the toilet and the shower, etc. Hey -- if you are good enough friends to go on a cruise -- deal with it! You are in a small room - go figure! If you have 2 adults and a daughter -- well, leave the room while Daddy takes a shower! Stop complaining about this - I thought the new set up worked pretty good! Now - I will say this about smoking! I am a smoker and love to be able to smoke on the balcony. I am really upset that NCL is changing their policy as of Nov 1 to no smoking on balcony rooms. There are very few places to smoke on the ship. You have a hard time finding a port side exit to go outside, etc. ---- But I will say this about the EPIC -- I understand why everyone is complaining about cigarette smoke --- you cannot get to where you want to go - unless you walk through the casino area which is smoking! to get anywhere & then go down the escalator. That is bologney! The elevators will not go below that floor! I know my Mother could not handle going thru that smoke! That is a ridiculous floor Plan! So I now know why everyone complains about it! It truly is a design flaw! Make those elevators go down one more floor away from the casino and the smoke! (I know it has buttons on it and they can do that!!) Horrible design!! -- NCL deserves criticizism about this smoke issue on EPIC. Doesn't mean that have to ban it on balconies!! Sorry - this is long, but just got back Oct 12th from trip -- be aware =there is a ton of walking!! By the following Saturday me & my friend had swollen feet that looked like Clydesdale horses! I have never seen so many stairs -- up and down - in my life during the week!. We did bus trips to Rome, Florence, and Cannes/Monaco thru NCL -- let me warn you -- the busses have to park a long way away -- like 15-20 minutes away -- so you have to walk to get there and walk back to the bus -- plus all the walking you are doing while you are at the place. It is Rush, rush, rush! I turned 60 in August and said I had never been to Europe and wanted to go once in my lifetime -- By Wed in Rome I said -- I feel every one of those 60 years old! (which I never had!). I would suggest -- get a tour van like they try to do -- at least maybe they can park closer to the buildings to drop you off and pick you up -- the tour buses have to park at a designated area - way far away!! Both ways -- walking in to see what you want and then walking back to get the bus. It was brutal - and I'm in really good shape! Also Ladies -- you can get a money belt that goes on your waist below your pants from Dick's Sporting Good - something Outdoors or other places like that -- make sure the zippers and clips are made of plastic and you can wear it right through Security at the airports! I had one & went right through all the machines at security as everything is made with plastic, but you can hide your money in there. You really have to watch it --- a lot of pick pockets, etc --they even warn you! We went up in the Eiffel Tower before the cruise & they had signs when we got on the elevators to go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower warning us about pick pockets. Those work great! Have a great trip -- I had the trip of a lifetime! Everything was wonderful! You will enjoy it~!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
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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