1,005 Barcelona to Europe - Western Mediterranean Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews

Preamble I’m a 40-something Scot living in Ireland, I travel with my 50-something Irish friend. I’d always wanted to cruise but when I’d looked into cruising in the past the whole notion of set-dining and shared tables was ... Read More
Preamble I’m a 40-something Scot living in Ireland, I travel with my 50-something Irish friend. I’d always wanted to cruise but when I’d looked into cruising in the past the whole notion of set-dining and shared tables was more of a punishment than a holiday for me and I stopped thinking about cruises and took other types of holidays. Then a colleague at work was taken on the Epic and I realized that everything had changed! Now all I want to do is cruise! Travelling from Northern Ireland to Barcelona is a pain, no direct flights for much of the year and even in summer there is no direct flight on a Saturday. So all year we save our Avios points and fly business on British Airways via Heathrow. Makes for a long day but it is mostly enjoyable. We love the lounge access, especially at Heathrow terminal 3 where you are spoiled for choice, and not having to queue too much. We always stay near the airport in Barcelona, using taxis not shuttles. We got to the port extra early on the Sunday in case of any demonstrations but apart from lots of armed police saw no disruption. Getting On Check-in at Barcelona was a mess this year. We were at the front of the latitude line but they opened the general line first and they all flooded the latitude desks. Then there were no checks on boarding group numbers – folk with groups 10 and above were allowed to board with group 1. Not that it really mattered, we always dither about running for Posh Passes and then never do. We were on board and sitting in a quiet O’Sheehan’s enjoying lunch before 12. The cabin We stayed in a large balcony cabin on deck 12. Plenty of space for the 2 of us. We are just friends but don’t find the bathroom set up a problem at all. The twin beds separate enough so you don’t feel you are sharing a bed. I find the beds really comfortable and always sleep really well, the motion of the ships is so soothing. Our cabin steward was great, he was always finished when we returned to the cabin mid-morning and we had ice everyday as requested. I never liked the towel animals and was happy not to get any. What we did and didn’t do This is our third cruise on the Epic and we have loved it more each year. We did not leave the ship – we have been to all the ports before and just enjoy being on the ship. It seemed more people stayed on this year; the ship was never too quiet, which was great. We understand that there was less than 4,000 guests on board and the ship never felt crowded. Very few children or teens, even less than we had seen in previous years, but quite a few babies. We did not use the spa, buy photos, see main theatre shows, step foot in Bliss, use the pools, slides or hot-tubs, play bingo or any games, see any comedy shows or the circus show, climb any walls, go into the ice-bar, use the casino or video arcade. I hate cigarette smoke in real life but was not overly bothered by it on the ship. We only walked through the casino once in port when it was closed and cut through it a couple of times at night going down the stairs from 7 to 5. We came on the cruise to relax, to escape real life for a week and it could not have been more perfect. We ate, drank, read, dozed, wandered about the ship and people watched during the day. Ate, drank, watched the entertainment and chatted with folk in the evenings. Food Food is probably the most important thing for me on a cruise and it was generally wonderful. I cook from scratch 95% of the time at home so just getting food made for me is a joy. I am a complete pain on any other type of holiday, there is always a better restaurant just round the corner, and it rightly drives my friends nuts. I love being able to try anything I fancy on the cruise and not worry if it isn’t to my taste, there is always something else to eat. There are very few things I don’t like to eat but I can be picky about quality. There are lots of foods my friend doesn’t like but we both were very happy with the food on the ship, both the quality and the variety. We aren’t fans of the MDRs, we did 4 specialty and ate in the buffet 3 nights. We like to graze on the days we don’t have a formal dinner. More people ate in the buffet in the evenings than on previous trips. We always got a nice, quiet table at the very front with great views. I enjoy the fresh pasta station, think the pizza is fine and love the coleslaw. I’m not much of a pudding person, some desserts were fine but the soft ice cream was always good. The benefit of not having full dinner every night was having late night wings at O’Sheehan's. I love how safe the ship feels and how I can happily walk about at 2 in the morning. Breakfast were mainly in O’Sheehan's, never crowded and with one exception my omelettes and hash browns were hot and fresh. Then a small second breakfast in the great outdoors (I can’t resist a couple more hash browns) with a bloody mary. Le Bistro remains our favourite, food was fantastic both times, service a little warmer the second time. The lamb was especially good, cooked perfectly medium rare. Can never order anything other than the crème brûlée for pudding. Cagney’s was a little disappointing but I was partly to blame; I ate too much at lunchtime and wasn’t really hungry enough. But the prawns were tiny, the Caesar salad limp, my lobster a little tasteless, my steak was a perfect medium rare but cold. My friend was disappointed that her favourite pork appetiser had gone and alarmed that her pork main was pink in the centre despite asking for it well done. Cheesecake was tasteless, preferred the one in O’Sheehan's. We have always enjoyed Cagney’s in the past. Sushi was good. 4 items more than enough. Reasonable value using a dining credit. I particularly enjoyed the surf and turf. Chefs were great, server was a bit meh. I felt really rushed even though it wasn’t especially busy – he brought me the check while I was still eating, and it wasn’t even my check or room card. Entertainment We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment. We love live music and the music on the ship this year was by far the best we have experienced. The Beatles were great of course and we loved Let’s Groove doing Abba in the theatre. Sean the singer and piano player was wonderful; we loved his voice and how much he interacted with the audience. He played a wide variety of songs and took requests. We enjoyed Howl at the Moon so much we were there at 1am on the final night when we had to be up before 6am, it was worth the tiredness! Drinks We made full use of the drinks package and never had a problem getting a drink. In fact, we had the opposite problem, there were a couple of particularly wonderful servers in Maltings and Shakers who made sure we were never without a drink. I cannot say enough about how good they were. Even at the pool on a sea day I never waited more than a couple of minutes for a drink. Spice was never busy, we enjoyed spending time there and again never had to wait for a drink. The small buffet on sea days is great too. Water and coffee We booked under the old UK all-inclusive rules so got water, wifi and coffee. Complete waste of money for us, we used a couple of bottles of water but not the wifi and coffee. We are glad they have moved to free at sea. I’m fussy about coffee, it has to be black, usually South American beans and very strong. I can’t drink the Lavazza coffee on board, the espresso is so bitter. I was pleasantly surprised by the free coffee on board, reasonably strong with a good flavour. I did hear one American complaining he had to add 3 sugars and 4 creamers to make it drinkable but it for fine for me for a week. Weather Weather was fantastic, a little rain one morning, calm and warm the rest of the week. I enjoyed reading and dozing on the balcony every afternoon. Other We never felt any pressure to buy anything – there were desks set up for all the usual stuff but we never got more than a smile and hello from the staff. We did not spend a cent on board except for cruise next certificates. Passengers were from all corners of the world, there seemed to be less Americans and English than we remember from previous years; we enjoyed talking to lots of Canadians and Irish folk. The staff were almost universally brilliant. There were a couple of slightly grumpy bar tenders but generally everyone could not do enough for us, were friendly, cheerful and went out of their way to make us feel special. The ship was very clean and well maintained, a few of the public washrooms were perhaps not quite as spotless as in previous years, not dirty, just not as gleaming as in the past. I dislike the chairs in the atrium, far too deep, take up far too much space and my wee legs don’t reach the ground. Elevators never took too long to come and were rarely too crowded. We had a couple of very minor niggles and did put a note in the GM’s mailbox (having been encouraged to do so when he was on stage before the Beatles show on the first night) and were over-whelmed by how promptly and professionally they were dealt with. We filled in a good number of cruise hero cards. Getting off Getting off was sadly too easy; we had problems getting an elevator in past years but walked onto an empty one straight away this time and were in a taxi within 30 minutes of leaving the cabin. Uneventful but long trip home – takes about 16 hours gangway to front door with only 3 hours of that in the air. Final thoughts We had a fantastic time, it is lovely to escape from reality for a week and get some sun before a long, cold Irish winter. We were completely spoiled by the food, drink and staff. Only 351 days until we are back on the Epic … Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The most disappointing of all my cruises. Room design very inconvenient and strange. The steward was just a glorified maid. He made the beds up and that was it. Unavailable for the first 3 days. Calls to housekeeping gave us a recording ... Read More
The most disappointing of all my cruises. Room design very inconvenient and strange. The steward was just a glorified maid. He made the beds up and that was it. Unavailable for the first 3 days. Calls to housekeeping gave us a recording that he was busy helping other travelers. The poor service and attitude was across the board. Like tired workers just moving through the motions. This is a management problem. The only high spot was the Manhattan Room with excellent service. Everything was an additional charge. Treats at the coffee bar were not included. Why? They could offer the same treats as the buffet as well as higher end to be purchased. Room Service - additional cost. Horrible Internet!! Availability of internet staff was minimal. Luggage lock went missing from room, filed a report. Supervisor never followed up. Steward finally said he saw it in the trash he emptied?!? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on the NCL Epic leaving from Barcelona I was in a group of 20 and we all felt the ship was lackluster. This was my first time on sailing with NCL and I will be sticking to my preferred cruise line in the future. Out of all the ... Read More
We were on the NCL Epic leaving from Barcelona I was in a group of 20 and we all felt the ship was lackluster. This was my first time on sailing with NCL and I will be sticking to my preferred cruise line in the future. Out of all the workers I encountered only 2 seemed to be happy to be working on the ship. All the other workers were miserable, the seated dining service was horrible on one occasion our server brought out the wrong dish to my boyfriend so she took away the wrong order and NEVER brought him what he asked for; thankfully the buffet was delicious because after that experience we didn't go back to the dining rooms. I'm glad that the ships were in port for long periods of time because they didn't have to many activities on ship I usually spend most of my time playing the games/trivia but those were few and far between. We also encountered an issue with our excursion to Florence of the hop on hop off bus tour, our guide warned us it was "end of season" for them so transportation and traffic were going to be bad yet they had no problem charging us as if it was still season they provided us the transportation to Florence and then highly recommended that we didn't use the hop on buses because we'd lose a lot of time waiting for the buses or sitting in traffic. My sister booked a different excursion in Florence and they also had issues with transportation and they recommended to her to take a taxi back our she'd miss the ship. When we got back on the ship they only offered us a 20% refund and didn't seem apologetic or that they even cared. I'm confident that everyone on board my ship was disappointed as well, at all times of the day there was a long line of people at the customer service desk complaining about something. We booked a balcony room 13265 for four and it fit us all well but the layout was very odd we didn't like the open concept bathroom the sliding glass door is just a light frosting so you can see a clear silhouette of whom ever is in there and no one felt comfortable using the restroom peeing alone was amplified to the room because of those stupid glass doors. And I highly ADVISE for everyone to continuously check your bill on the tv they charged me a $30 bar tab that I never made they had to go back into the paper receipts to check for the wrongfully made charge it took a day for them to confirm the accident and remove it from my account. I learned on the first day that i wasn't going to be purchasing on the ship due to the high gratuities and port charge I bought a beer that was menu priced $7 and ended up getting charged $10.50 with all their fees. Poor service and high prices just solidified to stick with the cruise line I know and trust. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Available dates for the cruise met our needs. We preferred to embark and disembark from the same port. Our room had a great location. Dining options were excellent. We had an excellent housekeeper who made sure our room was always clean ... Read More
Available dates for the cruise met our needs. We preferred to embark and disembark from the same port. Our room had a great location. Dining options were excellent. We had an excellent housekeeper who made sure our room was always clean and she always checked to make sure we had all we need during our stay. The ship was huge, lots of places to checkout, plenty of room to roam. Plenty of activities and entertainment to keep us occupied. Ports were great choices. Excursions we took were convenient to book. Tour guides were very knowledgeable and helpful. It was great to have the convenience of a shuttle from the airport. Embarkation process was simple and very efficient. Disembarkation went without a hitch. Taxis were available as soon as we left the ship. Our luggage was already waiting for us as we left the ship. We will definitely cruise on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on the NCL Epic which sailed out of Barcelona, Spain on October 27, 2019. The ports were Rome, Naples, Florence & Pisa, Cannes, France and Palma De Mallorca, Spain. The itinerary was great. We only booked 1 excursion with the ... Read More
We were on the NCL Epic which sailed out of Barcelona, Spain on October 27, 2019. The ports were Rome, Naples, Florence & Pisa, Cannes, France and Palma De Mallorca, Spain. The itinerary was great. We only booked 1 excursion with the ship in Cannes, France and the rest we booked private tours which were less expensive and amazing. We were a party of 4 adults (2 couples) and we all felt the same with the cruise. Our first impression was that the employees were not happy and it reflected in the service we received. For example, we had an issue with an onboard credit and the person at the guest service desk, simply said that I have to take it up with my travel agent as she did not see anything in their system about a credit. She was just plain rude and did not offer to speak with a manager or anyone above her. It was more like that's it, move out the way, next guest. I felt like they did not want to try and resolve the issue like on the many other cruises we have been on with Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Those cruiselines definetely know how to treat guests and all guests are treated equally whether you are a VIP guest or a regular guest - everyone is treated equally. on NCL if you are a Haven Guest, you get the royal treatment and if you are not, then you are treated like a 3rd class passenger on the titatic. This was our 3rd cruise with NCL and we decided that we will not do NCL anymore. It's just to many little things that add up. Another thing that they did was that on the last night of the cruise, they locked the mini bar and at 10:30 at night, we did not have access to our water bottle which we had already paid for and was in the refrigerator. I called our cabin stewart and he did not answer, therefore, I had to call the operator 2 times so that they can send someone to open it. That made us feel like if they did not trust the guests as maybe they thought that we were going to empty out the mini bar into our luggage and not pay for it - Well, that makes no sense because they had our credit card on file. That was a "stupid" move on their part and alot of people on board were not happy with that "concept" they are doing now of locking the mini bar on the last night. The lines of people complaining on this particular voyage was huge and they all had the same complaints. We spoke with other guests who were not happy either with the treatment they were receiving. We all felt like a number on the last couple of nights - it felt like they just wanted to get rid of all the guests quickly to get the new guests on board. I regret having left the gratuities pre-paid, it was $210.00 down the drain as none of them deserved a tip. We went to different dining rooms and the treatment was the same, all rude and in a hurry. NCL should really do something about this, as we the guests pay a good penny for our vacations and deserved to be treated nicely. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise because I wanted to have a Barcelona land and a Mediterranean cruise vacation. We arrived in Barcelona four days prior to cruise which began Sunday, October 20, 2019. We also stayed on in Barcelona an additional two ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to have a Barcelona land and a Mediterranean cruise vacation. We arrived in Barcelona four days prior to cruise which began Sunday, October 20, 2019. We also stayed on in Barcelona an additional two days after the cruise to do more sightseeing. Barcelona has wonderful sights to fill several days of sightseeing. Prior to the cruise we took a Viator guided small group tour to Montserrat Monastery with hike and cable car and saw the boys choir (mini-van central pickup location), a Headout (Amigo Tour) guided tour of Sagrada Familia (meeting point a little hard to find across from Sagrada Familia), a full day Viator tour by minivan (inoutbarcelonatour) with guide Arnau to Girona and the Dali Museum. We loved all these tours. Every guide was very knowledgeable about the places we were at. We learned so much about Gaudi at the Sagrada Familia Tour and all about Dali driving to Girona and Figures, Dali Museum. Arnau pointed out very interesting details at the Dali Museum. I was surprised how much my husband even liked this art museum. One thing I learned on this vacation is tour guides are a must to appreciate fully what you are viewing. As long as you are all the way there pay the extra money!! We did do Gaudi's Park Guell, LaPedrera and Casa Batllo after the cruise. All are a must see! Our cruise was truly enjoyable. This was my third Norwegian cruise and Epic is twice the size of the smaller 2,500 passenger ships I was on previously, most recently February 2019 on the Norwegian Sky to Cuba (before they stopped cruising there). The main difference I noticed is the larger Epic ship has far better and more entertainment options in the evening-Cirque (Soleil) Dreams, Priscilla Queen of the Desert Musical, Comedy and Magic, Stand up Comedy, Motown Group, Epic Beatles (great Beatles cover band) with Beatles costumes, Burn the Floor (fabulous dance) and more that I did not have time to see--Bruno Mars cover, etc. When you are getting up at 6:30 a.m. to get breakfast before meeting your 8:00 a.m. excursions you don't necessarily want to stay up to midnight every night to catch every show available. However on the night prior to a sea day and a late arrival to Palma de Mallorca we certainly did!! Some shows accept reservations so I recommend making them. The shows that did not take them you had no problem just walking in. One night we did 3 shows walking in. I never ate at the specialty restaurants. The food was great at the complimentary ones with the exception of the biscuits and gravy my husband ordered one day for breakfast in Taste. It was three link pork sausages sitting on a biscuit with a few tablespoons of gravy. Otherwise everything was top service and fantastic food. Better service than most restaurants I have been in. My main complaint of this cruise is most restaurants are located on floor six by the casino where you can smoke. I did not appreciate walking through the casino and smoke to reach the restaurants! My excursions I did were (NAPLES) Viator full day Sorrento, Amalfi Coast and Pompeii (small bus of maybe 20 people, easy pick up at port) guide gave us lots of info on bus ride and throughout Great tour. Not as much time to shop in Sorrento as I would have liked but no fault of tour, we had a lot ground to cover. (ROME) Best of Rome and Vatican (www.ItalyTours.EU) Eight person minivan with six of us and the guide/driver. This was the best bargain of the trip, two guides included, one for Rome driving and one for Vatican Museum. Something similar by NCL was 3 times the money. Met at port with a sign with our last names. Travel on the narrow streets of Rome in a minivan is the way to go. We were able to park right across the street from Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and given some time there on our own. Believe me, if you were in a bus you would be walking a long distance to see the sights because a bus would not get anywhere near them. Going in the Colosseum was optional on this tour and of the 6 in van just my husband and I were doing it. Our guide walked right up to the ticket taker and got us in (I pre-bought pick up at window tickets, shortest line there is). The Vatican Museum as mentioned was a different guide- again no line time, followed the guide in, learned a tremendous amount from her. My favorite tour of this vacation. The remaining port tours I booked through NCL. They included (FLORENCE) NCL Pisa and Florence on Your Own (great guide to cities only but very long walk from bus parking lot in both Pisa and Florence the one day in 2 weeks it rained), CANNES (first off ship with tenders because NCL excursion!) Eze and Monaco. Eze was absolutely gorgeous medieval city. Monaco-- loved seeing beautiful Church Grace Kelly was married and buried in, changing of guard at castle. (PALMA de MALLORCA) NCL Palma in Depth (large bus) some walk to get from bus parking again. Great guide, but not as much to see as at other ports other than inside and out of Cathedral and town. Overall I loved this cruise. Disembarkation was a breeze, 5 minutes each port at most. Play shuffleboard-- it was fun and nobody was there. I will also post a picture on my cabin because it is an enclosed cabin and I was really curious what it would look like so I am guessing others would too. My only complaint is with telephone booking of Epic cruise. I declined travel insurance and after I paid in full saw they had it on invoice. My own fault for not noticing. Three months prior to cruise I called and told them of error. They said they see I initially declined insurance but I had other calls (questions about excursions) and had no proof I did not add insurance later so NCL refused to take the $198 travel insurance total ($99 a person off) in July 2019 for a October 20th cruise. Considering I brought 4 family members, (3 cabins booked) to join my husband and me on a February 2019 NCL Norwegian Sky cruise I was quite insulted. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I wanted to visit Italy so Cannes and Mallorca were a wonderful bonus. I can’t help comparing Norwegian to Royal Caribbean and I have to say Royal is still my favourite line. Some of the staff on Norwegian seemed ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to visit Italy so Cannes and Mallorca were a wonderful bonus. I can’t help comparing Norwegian to Royal Caribbean and I have to say Royal is still my favourite line. Some of the staff on Norwegian seemed overworked and unhappy. Some were not versed in the ship layout at all. For instance the man in the gift shop had never heard of the cigar lounge behind the bar right across from his store. We bought the premium beverage pkg but it depended on who you talked to as to what that included. It said that we got coffee and water but only some of the staff would actually give us that. Overall some attention to their training is in order. Most of the limited number of pools were for kids. The adult pool at the front of the shop was tiny and overcrowded with 10 adults. My least favourite thing was this: the way the Haven guests were handled. Haven is the luxury part of the boat. Each of those guests gets priority and skip the lines. However, imagine standing in line to tender to the mainland and it is finally your turn when 25 Haven guests suddenly cut straight in front of you. Awkward as we all stood waiting for the next launch! Royal NEVER did that to their guests. Priority folks were given priority but never in our faces like that. I never ever felt second-class or unimportant on Royal. I have always been treated like gold so this was really a slap in the face to have such an obvious hierarchy pushed in front of you. Literally. Royal finds a way to make their priority guest still receive that Royal treatment but not at the expense of their other customers. Surely another doorway could have been used so we were none the wiser and not made to feel that suddenly we didn’t matter. Shore excursions were good. Enjoyed them very much. I will say though that for the Hop On Hop Off bus Norwegian wanted $44 Euro each. By waiting til we got onshore and buying at the kiosk, we got the same ticket for $15 Euro each. Yikes guys. Glad someone tipped us off on that one. Overall it just felt like everything was an extra charge and service based on what amount you spent. We paid a lot for this trip and while we had a wonderful time, some of those special touches we were used to were definitely missing. Our next trip will be back with Royal Caribbean as we love that line and they love us back. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise as our 30th anniversary celebration. We had never been to Europe & this was a great opportunity to see a few countries at once. Everything was very organized. Every staff member was very helpful, knowledgable & ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our 30th anniversary celebration. We had never been to Europe & this was a great opportunity to see a few countries at once. Everything was very organized. Every staff member was very helpful, knowledgable & friendly. Food was delicious. We took advantage of the specialty restaurants, which was great to have a bit more quiet, romantic time. We particularly enjoyed The Bistro restaurant. My husband was very impressed with his steak dinners! Cooked with perfection. Drinks were made perfectly. Excursions were amazing! Even the weather co operated! only one rainy day which was fine for exploring the boat as there was so much to see & do on it! Enjoyed the Beatles tribute. Loved the musical Priscilla of the desert! Costumes were incredible! The excursions had a wide variety of options of places to see & things to do. Truly a trip of a lifetime! We definitely will consider another cruise in the near future! Highly recommend this ship & this company! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I'm 65 years old and have never been to Europe. What better way to see it than on a cruise? This cruise is all about the ports, there is only one sea day and most of the port days are long. This was my first cruise on a mega ... Read More
I'm 65 years old and have never been to Europe. What better way to see it than on a cruise? This cruise is all about the ports, there is only one sea day and most of the port days are long. This was my first cruise on a mega ship, but it didn't really feel much different than the smaller ships. There are lines for some things, but never long. Embarkation went quickly and smoothly. We did have Latitudes priority boarding, which helped. This cruise is either round trip from Barcelona, or from Rome. Probably 20% of the passengers embark in Rome, so they're not all embarking at the same time in Barcelona. We had the specialty dining package as a free perk. Our first specialty restaurant was Tepannyaki, the Japanese restaurant where the food preparation is a show. Six seats are around the cook top, and it's very entertaining. If you can't decide what entrée to get, just pick one. The cook makes extra, and will share. Second was the Cirque Dreams dinner show. This show was the highlight of the cruise, and worth the extra price. The entrée at dinner was a steak in peppercorn sauce. My wife didn't like the sauce, I thought it was great. The steak was very tender. The third was Cagney's steakhouse. Very elegant, great food and service. The specialty of the house for dessert was the raspberry crème brulet. You won't be disappointed. As good as the specialty restaurants were, I wouldn't go to them without the dining package, especially as a free perk. The bill at Cagney's, dinner alone without drinks, was $190, but covered by the dining package. The main dining rooms are very good, and if you don't do any of the specialty dining, you'll still have a great time. Breakfast was served at O'Sheehan's, Taste, and the buffet. O'Sheehan's was good, the selection was more limited, Taste is one of the main dining rooms, and the best place for breakfast if you're not pressed for time. Don't miss the pound cake French toast. The buffet was quite good, good variety and quality. We did the buffet breakfast only when we had an early shore excursion, not because there was anything wrong with it, but because we could be served at other places. Orange juice at the buffet is out of a machine, if you want fresh squeezed, you pay for it, but can get it free at Taste. The two main dining rooms are Taste and Manhattan Room. I think they're the same menu, but Manhattan Room is a nicer room, and has live music, sometimes a show. the food was great. Always great service. I already mentioned the Cirque Dreams show, it's mostly covered by the dining package, and is a do not miss. We missed Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Burn the Floor was very entertaining. The casino was good to me. Blackjack can be had for $10 minimum with poor rules, but can be had with good rules for $15. Craps is $10 minimum, 3-4-5x odds. Roulette is $2 chips, I don't recall the minimum bet. Let it Ride, Three Card Poker, and Ultimate Texas Hold 'em are offered with $5 minimums. Judging by the pay tables on the video poker, the slots are probably pretty tight. This is the fourth Norwegian cruise I've been on, and service has always been consistently good. When in port, be sure to have some Euros with you, even if you're paying with credit cards. Restrooms charge half to one Euro, and they don't accept American dollars. If you buy something in a restaurant, bar, or other business with a restroom, you can use their restroom for free. Barcelona-We spent four nights after the cruise, beautiful city. The two main attractions are La Sagrada Familia and the Picasso Museum. For either of them, buy tickets ahead of time, they are timed, and they will be less crowded in the morning. A good and inexpensive meal can be had at the tapas bars that are all over, about 15-20 euros for a couple. Naples-We took an excursion to Amalfi Coast and Pompeii, not an NCL excursion. Amalfi Coast was stunningly beautiful. I've been fascinated by Pompeii since learning about it in fourth grade, so this excursion was quite memorable. Rome-Don't let the long time in port fool you. If you have an excursion, it will probably leave an hour after arriving in port. Then it's an hour and a half into Rome, maybe more depending on traffic, an hour and a half back, and you have to be back on board half an hour before sailing. That takes four and a half hours out of the day. We did the Rome on Your Own shore excursion. When we got our shore excursion tickets, there was a note saying to not book anything in Rome for before 11:00 am. A little late for that warning. We had tickets to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Made it there just in time. This cruise gets to Rome on Wednesday, which is the day the Pope gives a public address. This may be the reason Rome was so crowded, maybe it's always like that, just be prepared for crowds. The Vatican Museum was amazing, and Sistine Chapel was jaw dropping. After that, we had lunch, went to the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps (right next to each other) and then it was time to return. Florence-If you didn't read what I wrote about Rome, go back and read the first part of it. The same applies to Florence. We took the Hop on-Hop Off bus tour in Florence. A bus takes you into Florence, then you catch the HO-HO bus. We had tickets for the Uffizi Gallery, and arrived half an hour after the assigned time (again, don't book anything before 11:00 am!) but they let us in without any trouble. Florence was the center of the Renaissance, and I'm sure the Uffizi is the largest and best collection of Renaissance art in the world. Well worth seeing. Again, we had lunch, saw the Duomo, then back to the ship without ever stepping on the HO-HO bus that we'd paid for. But it did get us into Florence, so it was worth it. My wife and I both agreed that Florence was the best part of the cruise. Cannes-Nice city, very upscale, many stores I can't afford to shop in, it's like Beverly Hills was moved to the beach. There is a tour called the Little Bus that loads near the dock, as I recall it was 12 Euros each. It took us up to a beautiful cathedral, which had great views of the city. Cannes is a beautiful city, but other than the cathedral, there wasn't much that caught my attention. Palma-By the time you get to Palma, you're probably still worn out from the Italian stops, but the ship doesn't dock until 1:00 pm, so you can sleep in. We took a hop on-hop off bus that took us up to a castle. Like Cannes, it's a beautiful city, but other than the castle, and maybe the cathedral which we didn't have time to go to, not much there. To sum it up, this cruise is all about the ports, and it is tiring. Well worth it, fun, interesting, beautiful, but tiring. It was worth it, I'm not complaining, just know what you're getting. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our experience on this cruise was fantastic. all the facilities counting the ship in general is excelently clean, the areas of perfect meals. the activities are very fun and the service of all the cruise people excellent ,very gentle and ... Read More
Our experience on this cruise was fantastic. all the facilities counting the ship in general is excelently clean, the areas of perfect meals. the activities are very fun and the service of all the cruise people excellent ,very gentle and very very happy.Wonderful ports and embarkation and disembarkation puntual. The store excursiones very nice . The food was very delicious and they have a lot of variety in all the different restaurants....We are very happy to have spent our holidays on this cruise and we will be with you again. Thank you very much for the excellence of the entire Norwegian Epic team and the professionalism with which they do their job to make us feel at home and very confortables.For my husband and I, it was a wonderful vacation and we will take it into account for our next vacation and reference them with our family and our friends. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Overall not a bad experience I would recommend it and considering doing it again.. I do think for two beverage packages more variety of drinks should be added for those that are not alcohol consumers.or the price should be lower.. I was ... Read More
Overall not a bad experience I would recommend it and considering doing it again.. I do think for two beverage packages more variety of drinks should be added for those that are not alcohol consumers.or the price should be lower.. I was given $50 credit towards port excretions I was only able to use one and was told if I did not use it I lose it.. I think that the unused excretion credit shoul be used otherwise. The WiFi packages were ridiculously priced. There could be more vegetarian choices. I was happy that I was able to get on the ship as soon as I got to the port. They took our luggage and they were delivered to our room in a timely manner. I have been drinking alkaline water for the past year and hoped I coul gave had alkaline water on the ship that was not so costly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our experience was disappointing from the beginning. We booked through a Norwegian agent, flights included. We were told If we book the flights with Norwegian they won’t leave you but if for some reason something goes wrong and you are ... Read More
Our experience was disappointing from the beginning. We booked through a Norwegian agent, flights included. We were told If we book the flights with Norwegian they won’t leave you but if for some reason something goes wrong and you are really late they will pay to get you to the next port. So it seemed reasonable to book it all through them. Early on we saw that we had a connecting flight in London so I called our agent and asked if we could stay a few days in London. Her response was that flights are subject to change up until 50 days out. At 50 days out I called back and told her it still says we are connecting in London can we arrange for a few days there? Then she tells me no, we can only book extra days in your port of call. Ok, well let’s book a few extra days in Barcelona. Oh, sorry you waited too late and your flights are already booked so we can no longer change them, you would have needed to make changes before 50 days out. ??!! Very disappointing. So finally our cruise of a lifetime arrives and we get to the airport and our first flight is late, which makes us get to our next connecting flight late, which made us miss our connecting flight. We called Norwegian to let them know and they were no help and not reassuring at all. They told us that they are unable to help with flights. We had four in our group and we were put on standby for the next flight out. Only two of us got on that flight, which was also late. Our friends were put on the next flight out, which put them landing in Barcelona at about 5:00PM an hour past the time they want you to be checked in. When we landed in Barcelona we took the Norwegian transport directly to the port and had no time to see Barcelona. Our friends did not make it to the ship until about 6:00pm. At no point did any Norwegian employee try to reassure us that everything would work out, no customer service at all. We made it though, finally on our cruise! The Epic. Our state room was nice we had a balcony, view was amazing. We had the drink package, which I highly recommend. We also had three nights of specialty dinning. Truthfully those were the only nights that I was impressed with the food. We loved Cagney’s and Moderno, which we ate at twice. The main dining rooms were ok. O’Sheehans was pretty good. The wings were great. The Beatles were amazing! Motown was also very good. Clarissa, our assistant cruise director was very sweet and informative. Freddie, the bar tender at Maltings Whiskey bar was great! Best place to go for drinks! As far as cleanliness goes the ship was clean. We all had an amazing time at all the ports. We did our own excursions and had a blast. Our favorite was the Amalfi coast. The views were breathtaking and the food was incredible. If I could change anything about the ports I would not have done tours. They were too long and there is not enough time in the day to see it all if you take guided tours. Our disembarkation time was at 6:15AM and our flights were scheduled to leave at 10:15AM so again we didn’t get to see Barcelona. Flights home were much smoother and timely. As a side note British Airways was much cleaner than Lufthansa. We had a great time on our cruise but I don’t know if I will sail with Norwegian again. The lack of customer service will have me looking at other cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was a celebration of our 30th Anniversary. We chose this cruise based on it's itinerary above anything. Also, the Mrs family roots are Italian, specifically Florence. So it was important for me to give her this experience. ... Read More
This cruise was a celebration of our 30th Anniversary. We chose this cruise based on it's itinerary above anything. Also, the Mrs family roots are Italian, specifically Florence. So it was important for me to give her this experience. As such, the cruise was a major splurge into the Haven. Much of what we experienced is based on that perspective which was new to us as well. We have been on 5 prior cruises (1 NCL and 4 RCL). We arrived to the ship at 1 PM and were escorted into a separate area for check in - quick, easy, and on ship in less than 10 minutes. We were escorted into Haven and given a tour by our Butler Melody. We also met our Concierge Raul at this time. He was great all week!!! Being a planner, I had pretty much already made our dining reservations and booked what I could in advance but I still used him to book Escape the Big Top (loved it). CABIN 17020 H4 Villa. Great size for 2 people and I can easily see a family of 4 being very comfortable as well. We used the spare bedroom for luggage storage. The in-room coffee was good (stronger than Dunkin). The balcony was big enough and sheltered. DINING. While subjective I enjoyed the food overall. We ate at the Haven dining room 3x. Food there was excellent although the menu does not change during the week, Cagney's was GREAT!!. La Cucina great as well. MDR Taste once. Not perfect. Asst waiter seemed new and experience was not great. Food OK. Cirque - food isn't great but the show is. O Sheehan's quickly became a favorite lunch spot. Loved the wings. ENTERTAINMENT. All enjoyable. I highly recommend Burn the Floor. I would have said it was not my thing but thoroughly enjoyed it. We had a comedian on board as well as a comedy magician. SHIP OVERALL. I know some do not like the layout but it was easy enough. The primary decks for Activities are 5 through 7 and are easy enough to navigate. Outdoor activity and Buffet are 15. The elevators are crowded for sure. We loved the quiet refuge of POSH. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We met the ship in Barcelona, and the embarkation was fast. We had dinner at the Manhattan Restaurant on our first night, and the food was mediocre at best. Also portions were small. In fact we found this to be the case in all the free ... Read More
We met the ship in Barcelona, and the embarkation was fast. We had dinner at the Manhattan Restaurant on our first night, and the food was mediocre at best. Also portions were small. In fact we found this to be the case in all the free restaurants on board. Sometimes we found it necessary to order two entrees. We had a cabin with a large balcony which was fine, but the bed was very uncomfortable. Because of high winds we were unable to dock in Livorno, so the shore excursion to Florence was cancelled. When we reached Cannes, we went on an excursion called Scenic Golden Corniche & St. Raphael. This involved a long boring bus ride to St. Raphael where we were allowed to stay for just 45 minutes. No time to do or see anything worthwhile. The best excursion we had was from Palma to a lovely small town called Valldemosa. The entertainment on board was excellent, especially the Beatles Tribute, and Burn the Floor. I doubt if we would book with Norwegian cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose the haven spa suite category because we wanted to have memorable 17th year anniversary and since this would have been our 3rd time cruising this same itinerary, we wanted just to relax & use the spa. Instead our room ... Read More
We chose the haven spa suite category because we wanted to have memorable 17th year anniversary and since this would have been our 3rd time cruising this same itinerary, we wanted just to relax & use the spa. Instead our room flooded each time we showered because the ship would tilt towards our side of the ship when it is docked or when it is sailing. The shower's design has the drainage in a higher slope than the shower's door. The concierge's immediate recommendation is to put towels on the floor each time we showered.until their crew engineers are available to analyze the problem. After a day of no resolution, we brought this up to the cruise general manager. He schedule 3 crews members to come & looked inside our suite and determine a quick fix. He ensured the room would be sanitized & cleaned from the leftover scum from the shower. Also on the 2 days we wanted to sleep in, our butler would knock on our door & will call repeatedly til we answered - the 1st time he inadvertently read the do not disturb sign as make our room to be ready (similar color code) and the second time was he had misread delivering breakfast time. Finally, on the 5th day of the cruise, as we suggested (I am a civil engineer), they installed a higher barrier on the shower door so water would not drain out onto the floors . So we were finally able to enjoy our room with privacy for the remaining one and 1/2 days of our cruise - so we thought! They inadvertently did not inform everyone that they were going to shut down the water in the room & you cannot flush the toilet since work will be done between midnight & 6 am throughout the ship. We only found out about it because we called after getting back from the casino at 2 am. Yup, we flew in from California (14 hour flight) to spent thousands of dollars on the cruise to only enjoy our suite for 1 day. The reason we book suites or haven on our previous cruises was to enjoy the amenities - on this cruise we did not get what we paid for. The positive part of this cruise is we enjoyed the great service of the waitress & waiter (they work 7 days a week for 12 to 13 hours daily) and despite not having the usage of our suite, we enjoyed each others company. Hopefully our cruise to Singapore next month would be better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The itinerary and timing met our needs, so we chose the Mediterranean as the destination for our honeymoon. Our knowledgeable travel agent suggested NCL.. The ship was in overall very good condition. Service ranged from fair to ... Read More
The itinerary and timing met our needs, so we chose the Mediterranean as the destination for our honeymoon. Our knowledgeable travel agent suggested NCL.. The ship was in overall very good condition. Service ranged from fair to excellent. We were fortunate to have a superb Room Steward, and encountered others who were very good. Food was good but nothing special, even the specialty restaurants. Our favorite part of the cruise was the shows, particularly Burn the Floor that we attended twice! Shore excursions were numerous and varied, but over-priced... The ports were very good, and we enjoyed visiting all of them. Fortunately only one port required the use of a tender...and that process was quite cumbersome and slow. But the disembarkation process was even worse!!! It took more than more than an hour to leave the ship, feeling like we were being herded like cattle at the end of an otherwise pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I am writing this review as a second time cruiser with NCL (I did the NCL Star last year): we are a couple in the thirties and have been on this 7-day cruise departing from Barcelona and enjoyed it very much overall I must say! ... Read More
I am writing this review as a second time cruiser with NCL (I did the NCL Star last year): we are a couple in the thirties and have been on this 7-day cruise departing from Barcelona and enjoyed it very much overall I must say! Embarcation was very fast, we did the check-in online so it was a matter of being given the card to enter the ship and that was it. Took about 15 minutes from the taxi to the Atrium in Deck 5. At the time we enter the ship our cabin was ready to go so we did the unpacking straight away. Food Food was not a surprise since we cruised with NCL before, so we felt like almost the same dishes were being served but it did not matter for us, it was tasteful enough, waiters were helpful in general, no disappointments. Just a little thing, the two times we dined in the Manhatan the waiters were not as kind as in the Taste somehow, it felt like they were rushing us to finish our meal. I would say it might have been bad luck for us or something, but nothing to worry too much to be honest. Entertainment Burn the Floor - Outstanding! We enjoyed it very much! Priscilla - OK but too long for my taste. Cirque - We bought the non-premium seats and we could enjoy all the performances without any obstructions. The food was very nice, we thought though that the food would be served during the performance but we ended up to eat before the show started. The only problem was the lack of room to accommodate 6 people in such a small sized table. It got to the point the person next to my wife did not know which water cup belonged to. I liked the fact that some performances were assisted by random cruisers in the tent to perform in the comedy show, it was very funny and entertained us a lot! Epic Beatles: I'm not a big fan of them although I must admit they do a very good show! my wife loved them. We saw 3 shows with them and enjoyed a lot. The show with the violin and the mascarenhas/dancer performers (can't remember their artistic names) was mind blowing we attended 2 shows, excellent!! Aqua park Water tubes were awesome! but be sure to be there early in the morning as the queue can build up quite quickly. My preferred (more intensive) was the green tube then the one were we could ride with the inflatable donut style. Swimming pool were lightly heated so you might not expect a thermal shock as I normally have. Jacuzzis were not as crowded as we expected and we could be there til late as we pleased. We felt rules were relaxed in terms of bringing drinks to the jacuzzi as many people did it without beeing asked not to, which is nice. It was also very easy and quick to find sun loungers too. Overall: Despite a lot of negative reviews about this ship in this forum we could not find any issues pointed out perhaps this might be because at this time of the year there are not many kids around so the vessel is not that crowded and noisy. No long queues anywhere for us, no seats finding problems on the shows either, nice food, great staff. Next cruise on the way with NCL again for sure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We wanted to cruise the Mediterranean to visit countries we have never been to, leaving from Barcelona where we have friends. We enjoyed everything, particularly the services on the ship and the professionalism of the crew. Each day gave ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Mediterranean to visit countries we have never been to, leaving from Barcelona where we have friends. We enjoyed everything, particularly the services on the ship and the professionalism of the crew. Each day gave us an opportunity to do new things on the ship: walking around the top deck at night, swimming in one of the pools between sunning during the day, taking in shows and enjoying top quality food at the many on board restaurants. We participated in shore excursions that we organized ahead of time. They gave us a taste of Italy and the French Riviera, making us want to visit some cities again for a longer time. The choice of activities onboard is extensive with something for everyone. We particularly appreciated our first two days at sea so that we explore the ship, as well as the afternoon arrival in Palma that allowed us to take our time to prepare to leave the next day. Dt Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We went on this cruise with another couple who wanted to try the bigger ship as they previously had only been on the Spirit with us a couple of years ago. I've been on many ships/cruise lines so I was open to it. Over all we had a ... Read More
We went on this cruise with another couple who wanted to try the bigger ship as they previously had only been on the Spirit with us a couple of years ago. I've been on many ships/cruise lines so I was open to it. Over all we had a great time and the ship was lovely but I wouldn't (probably) go on the Epic again. It was clean, well kept up (despite some weird negative comments stating otherwise) and the staff were all friendly,helpful and service was great in all bar areas. I didn't love the open concept as it made for a very noisy environment with no definition between each "room". Especially the pub area which we hated! lol On the smaller ship the pub was our favourite go-to place, but on the Epic it was massive and you couldn't hear yourself think let alone talk at peak times. We did enjoy the piano bar area and loved the outside H2Q (I believe that's what it was called); and it became our fav place to go after days off the ship. The cirque show/dinner was very good, actually better than I expected based on iffy reviews and I found it to be worth the extra cost. We had 3 specialty dining evenings..the Brazilian (wouldn't do it again), the Teppanyaki (excellent) and Cagney's (excellent). The dining room food was okay, not as good as in the past, on the slower side service wise. Buffet was fine and was our breakfast each morning. The sail away party on the pool deck was great fun and the 70's/80's dance them at the H2Q were a big hit all around. The itinerary was very busy (I wouldn't do it again) and had us up 3 of our mornings at 6 a.m. in order to disembark for our tours. So partying at night was difficult as we were well aware of our wake up time! We booked all of our tours independently and they were all perfect and timely and much less expensive (with just 4 of us rather a busload). I haven't booked through the various ships in years and won't ever again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
after reading some previous reviews about Norwegian Epic we were a bit skeptical. Just got back from one week from Barcelona western cruise. The ship was incredible, food was great, stateroom was great, entertainment and shows were ... Read More
after reading some previous reviews about Norwegian Epic we were a bit skeptical. Just got back from one week from Barcelona western cruise. The ship was incredible, food was great, stateroom was great, entertainment and shows were awesome!!! Staff were very attentive from every aspect Getting off and on ship was very smooth no matter which port of call I would highly recommend this ship no questions asked My husband and I travelled alone but found everyone on ship friendly and helpful The restaurants are incredible, the variety offerred from appetizers to deserts are truly delicious. The steakhouse or the Brazilian I would recommend highly as the food is incredible The taste restaurant for breakie is great Room service if you choose to get is delivered on time before your tour The staff on board are very courteous friendly and happy In general a great experience!!! DONT GIVE IT A SECOND THOUGHT!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second trip with Norwegian and we were very disappointed with this ship. I won't go into all the details but... this is definitely a budget cruise. The ship is old and showing it's age. Dirty carpets and ... Read More
This was our second trip with Norwegian and we were very disappointed with this ship. I won't go into all the details but... this is definitely a budget cruise. The ship is old and showing it's age. Dirty carpets and chairs and lots of rust. Rooms are tiny. We had a mid-ship room with a balcony and it was crazy small. The layout of the ship is poor. The boat is HUGE and with that many passengers, it becomes a challenge just to walk around. The ship feels like a budget casino. They make you walk through the casino to get anywhere and don't open many bars/restaurants forcing you to go to ones closer to the casino. The staff was not great. Felt like many staff members were new or just burnt out. Didn't seem like they wanted to be there at all. We went on the Norwegian Star last year and got spoiled. Not sure but think the ship is much smaller and newer. This experience was a big disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We choose the NCL Epic from previous experience on the Jade few years ago that was very good for family with kids. But the Epic was very disappointing, the room was tiny and not comfortable. We ordered a balcony room for family and the ... Read More
We choose the NCL Epic from previous experience on the Jade few years ago that was very good for family with kids. But the Epic was very disappointing, the room was tiny and not comfortable. We ordered a balcony room for family and the shower is in the entrance of the room with only curtain that gives you privacy. The sink is in the middle of the room. After opening the bed there is no way to the balcony. And if got stuck outside the room 30 min until maintenance came to change batteries in the lock. The show except the circus are not for kids. And if you want to see something in the circus show you have to pay 50$ for person to see something. The bowling is fron age 6 and cost 7$ for a player which not written anywhere until you get there. The buffet is ok but not something to remember. As I wrote at rhe beginning we choose the NCL because they are known for their freestyle cruises and spouse to be for families but except for the youth program (Splash) and few slides at the pool we didn't find something truly exciting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this ship specifically for the Itinerary (Barcelona, Cannes, Florence, Palma De Majorca, Rome, Naples). I had read about the weird bathroom configuration, but figured it wouldn't be too much of a big deal. I booked an Aft ... Read More
I chose this ship specifically for the Itinerary (Barcelona, Cannes, Florence, Palma De Majorca, Rome, Naples). I had read about the weird bathroom configuration, but figured it wouldn't be too much of a big deal. I booked an Aft Balcony on the 13th floor. I had major issues with booking dining reservations prior to the cruise. I used a travel agent, who booked our dining reservations the DAY it was available to do so. She had a confirmation of these reservations of ours as well as the other couple we traveled with. I happened to notice on our e-documents (the week we sailed) that there were NO dining reservations. I called the cruise line, and they told me I had to go through my travel agent-she spend a long time trying to sort this out and somehow her confirmation didn't save on the cruise line server and we scrambled having to rebook all dining. I have been on over 12 cruises on other lines and this was my first Norwegian cruise. It had exactly the itinerary I wanted so I ended up booking this ship and was told the "bathrooms were weird". I wish that was all I had to say about the ship. After checking out my balcony aft stateroom I began to notice rust on all the railings and very large areas of blue paint missing on the upper decks on the back of the ship. The carpets were dirty with large stains going down the hall and the weird bathroom had vinyl plank flooring that was buckling from the water that comes out the shower. The shower drained very slowly to point it almost overflowed into the cabin. We had the upgraded dining package and all of the specialty restaurants were very good with good service. The Manhattan Room was terrible. No one ever came to take our drink orders or even serve us water. We sat for a very long time and finally the waiter came over and we told him we had been sitting a very long time and he could have cared less. The head waiter came over and we told him how long we had waited for anyone to come over and he joked and said that just gave us more "time to look at the restaurant and spend with him"...This turned out to be a almost 2.75 hour ordeal to just get served food in one of the main dining rooms. Compared to some of the other ships I have been on I found the ship to appear very dated with very unattractive main areas with the feeling that the ceilings are very low. My husband is 6'6 and he had to duck everywhere we went on the ship so that he did not hit the exit signs at at times the ceilings. With the exception of one great bartender, I have to say this was the worse, rudest bartending staff I have ever encountered. I ordered a cocktail by the pool on the very back of the ship while sunbathing and saw this waiter proceed to go and take orders for a very long time before even going to the bar. I flagged down another waiter to ask him to please find the waiter so that I could get my drink and go as I had to get ready for a dinner reservation and finally about 10 minutes later the original waiter showed up with a watered down drink and pretty handed it to me and muttered something under his breath and left. This was very typical of the bar staff I encountered. The speciality dining room waiters were very good and the service was good and responsive and the food very good. You must know that Florence and Rome are at least 1.5 hours away from the ports we visited so you must make some sort of excursion prior to visiting as you can't take a taxi to the city. We picked "Rome and the Colosseum" that was a very long 10 hours tour that was described as seeing some sights of Rome and focusing on the Colosseum. Out of the whole day we spent exactly 22 minutes in the Colosseum where most of our group was in the very long line for the restrooms as they failed to really allot time during the trip for restroom breaks etc. I like the Trevi Fountain, lunch, the Vatican, and the Roman Forum...but if you pay hundreds of dollars to actually spend time in the Colosseum you want to spend more than 22 minutes there total. It was a huge disappointment. Additionally, they offer a "Florence Hop on Hop Off bus tour" but fail to tell you at all that buses really aren't allowed at all in the city. Why would anyone do this tour? We had it booked originally but I happened to notice one review on that tour the week we were cruising and noticed that it didn't even go into the city at all. When I called the customer service line they were not helpful and pretty much were verging on rude as far as communication. I was undecided about which cruise ling to take on this itinerary and really wish I would have gone on this site prior to making my decision and done my research. I have been told by my friends who cruise Norwegian often (after I took this cruise and discussed it with them) that Norwegian completely redid the ship layouts after they launched the Epic. I may cruise with them again, but only on a much newer ship after much research. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The ship was great, our room was clean, and we loved the balcony. We were very lucky to have had beautiful weather the whole time, which helped a lot. Cruise tours were fairly well organized and on time. Food on board was great! Loved ... Read More
The ship was great, our room was clean, and we loved the balcony. We were very lucky to have had beautiful weather the whole time, which helped a lot. Cruise tours were fairly well organized and on time. Food on board was great! Loved the drink package we received with our booking. It offered us so much flexibility. Entertainment was really good. We had a very good time! We stayed in Barcelona for five nights, and Valencia for five nights before embarking on this cruise so gave ourselves plenty of time to explore both cities. We scheduled four tours on this cruise and all went very well. We had a very good time. Would recommend Norwegian Epic Mediterranean Cruise to fellow travelers. Again, we were so very lucky to have had such beautiful weather during the cruise. The only thing we didn't care for was the tour of the Colliseum and the Vatican in Rome were so busy, we felt like sardines and could barely keep up with our tour guide being on such a tight schedule. A lot to do in just one day! But we managed and survived okay. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This trip began as a Casino Certificate Cruise, but grew to be sooooo much more! I had a comped balcony Deck 12 Mid. Cabin was perfect. No need to upgrade on this itinerary as it is such a port intensive sailing. I did purchase the Spa ... Read More
This trip began as a Casino Certificate Cruise, but grew to be sooooo much more! I had a comped balcony Deck 12 Mid. Cabin was perfect. No need to upgrade on this itinerary as it is such a port intensive sailing. I did purchase the Spa Thermal Pass for the week as I was traveling solo and thought I would enjoy spending time in the spa after the long days of touring. Well, to my surprise, I ended up only using it 3 times as I met such wonderful people here on my Cruise Critic Roll Call whom I spent so much time with! As a solo traveler, I was very hesitant to try independent shore excursions due to the whole, I am in a foreign country and worried about getting back to the ship in time.... well, that fear was completely unfounded. I joined in with my fellow Cruise Critic friends on some Independent excursions that were amazing!! In Italy, we used Italytours.eu .. and I cannot think of words amazing enough to describe them. They were completely professional, educational, reliable, stress-free... Their vehicles were top of the line vans. Their Drivers and tour guides were all so very passionate about their jobs. My experience with them was nothing short of amazing! I wish their company was available in ALL the ports.. I would have used them for everything! I. boarded in Barcelona, where I had spent a few days prior to the cruise exploring on my own. Boarding process was quite simple. Only thing I would have to say was not my favorite thing about this trip was that they had people boarding in Barcelona, and then another debarkation and embarkation a few days later on our Rome date. So, there was not that feeling of everyone being on the same trip for a week. It was a continuous trip for the crew. And just as you got to know people, they would leave and new people would get on. So, that was a bit weird. As well as the lack of the big Welcome Aboard... we boarded into the casino area and just blended into the already in motion day. So, it lacked the excitement of the beginning of your vacation.... But, that was the ONLY negative thing I have to say about this trip! We ate in both Main Dining Rooms and the food was consistently good. We also ate in O'Sheehans and the Noodle Bar. I Never Ate in the Buffet!! That was a first for me! I usually love the Buffets... but this one was INSANELY busy. I chose to utilize O'Sheehans for breakfast before our Excursions each morning and it was a perfect choice. I highly recommend this option. I ended up not doing the specialty dining option as many of my new friends did not have this included on their packages, and I chose to spend time with them, rather than dine alone. Now, spending time in the casino was expected of me.. and I tried.. but alas, the tables were COLD AS ICE. I never saw anyone winning at any point during my week on the ship. I wisely gave up trying to win back what I donated midway through the trip. Sometimes it is just not meant to be! And honestly, with the early morning rising for the shore excursions, there just weren't enough hours in the day to do it all! One other tip I will give for Shore Excursions - I did do a few Ship Excursions because I could not find anyone doing a private one for the experiences I wanted to do. Cinque Terre, Italy - This is an option for the Livorno Port. - Most people were doing Florence. I wanted to see this magical place instead...and it did not disappoint. Be aware that the many mentions of this excursion requires you to not have any mobility issues is very true. There are many steps, and lots of walking on uneven ground. There were a few folks on the excursion who had bad knees, and this was definitely Not the happy experience they were expecting! Otherwise...if you have the chance to choice this excursion.. do it! Stunning!!!. Cannes, France - I wish I had known how beautiful and accessible the beaches are from the port. There was actually one right at the end of the dock! But if you took a local bus (4 euros for a full round trip ride) you could head down to a public beach with some more amenities... OR you could chose to pay a few euros at one of the plentiful hotel beaches and have a lounger, umbrella and waiter service. The water was amazing... and that is one place I wish I had planned a little better for. I hope this helps anyone who may be on the fence about doing a Solo European Itinerary... Do it! You won't regret it!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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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