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3,906 Barcelona to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

My husband and I had a good time on the cruise. We went to 4 theater shows, all very good. The performers were all quite professional. We also went dancing, learnt a bit of waltz and rumba, it was fun. The only problem was the dance ... Read More
My husband and I had a good time on the cruise. We went to 4 theater shows, all very good. The performers were all quite professional. We also went dancing, learnt a bit of waltz and rumba, it was fun. The only problem was the dance classes did not follow the printed schedule, so we had to wait for over 30 minutes for one of the classes. We ate at the main dining room, food was ok. Staff were all pleasant and helpful. Our room was roomy and clean. Nice view from the balcony. We had 2 excursions from the cruise. On the first excursion, we were put on the Spanish/French bus by mistake - if you join excursions from the cruise, make sure you check the sign on the front of the bus which tells you what languages they will use. For the second excursion, it was difficult to hear the tour guide - a bus load of people following one guide. The guide did have a microphone with an amplifier, but it would be much better if we each have a headset. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Well after 73 cruises I can finally say never again on MSC. My pros were : Embarkation in Barcelona and disembarkation in Barcelona Our wait staff in main dining room (I use the term dining room loosely) Our cabin steward was ... Read More
Well after 73 cruises I can finally say never again on MSC. My pros were : Embarkation in Barcelona and disembarkation in Barcelona Our wait staff in main dining room (I use the term dining room loosely) Our cabin steward was good. Ship was beautiful. Our cabin was ok too, although closet placement was a poor design. Cons: Generally unfriendly staff on board (language problem?) Lifts (Elevators) slow and very crowded. Daily embark and debarkation, kind of like a local bus. We booked early dining but were assigned late dining, got it changed and was put into a , for lack of better words a SUB dining room. More like a warehouse, no décor at all. Daily activities were abysmal probably due to daily ports. NOW the food, I had read in previous reviews that the food was not good to just plain bad. I found them to be true, again after 73 cruises I feel somewhat qualified to judge the food. Also this is the only cruise my wife and I lost weight on. Main dining was usually cold or luke warm at its best. The buffet was only slightly better, but there you had to survive the rudeness of most of the southern European passengers. We have traveled in Europe for years and have never been faced with the rudeness we saw on this ship. As a travel advisor I will not recommend this line to my American or Canadian clients as I know the disappointment they will have. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
3-day cruise from Barcelona to Marseille and Genoa and back again. We choose this short cruise so we could relax and really enjoyed the ship as we have already visited these ports. Way more of a party vibe on the ship than Divina with ... Read More
3-day cruise from Barcelona to Marseille and Genoa and back again. We choose this short cruise so we could relax and really enjoyed the ship as we have already visited these ports. Way more of a party vibe on the ship than Divina with the long mall I liked this a lot but I also loved how the bars intertwined into one on the Divina. I felt the casino in Divina was a bit more classy? Staff on Divina slightly more friendlier but everybody we encountered on Bellissima was lovely. Great food second portions in the MDR no problem at all. Good cocktails and cabin was really comfortable. Chocolate cafe had the most divine chocolates ever. Anyone know where you can buy a 5 litre of the msc soap addicted to the smell of it!!! F1 simulators were such good fun shame they were only open in the evening time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ports of call where the reason I selected the ship. I didn't explore Barcelona as much as I would have liked due to jet lag. I didn't know that I could have selected the port to start my cruise. Had I known this, I would have ... Read More
Ports of call where the reason I selected the ship. I didn't explore Barcelona as much as I would have liked due to jet lag. I didn't know that I could have selected the port to start my cruise. Had I known this, I would have started in Rome to have extra time there. This should be advertised better. The epic ship was ok. Since it was November, it was too cold for the pool. Norwegian should make the pools heated in colder weather. I upgraded my cabin to have more space. I viewed 2 shows (Burn the Floor and Priscilla)...both were amazing! I traveled with a group of 30 people, including children. The kids thought the cruise was designed for older people instead of a younger audience. The customer service desk with the worst part of the experience. The employees gave out incorrect information on multiple occassions. This took so much time out that we could have spent doing other things. I requested an iron and never received it. I always would have liked to wash my own clothes on the ship but was unable to do so. I still haven't decided if I would book another cruise with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The Haven is now Heaven falling to Earth. The attention to detail is just not there, this was our 4th Haven experience. Yes Embarkation and disembarkation was wonderful, but one of our party has a severe seafood allergy and snacks were ... Read More
The Haven is now Heaven falling to Earth. The attention to detail is just not there, this was our 4th Haven experience. Yes Embarkation and disembarkation was wonderful, but one of our party has a severe seafood allergy and snacks were delivered to our stateroom daily with some sort of seafood on the plate. Staff were advised and no changes occurred. On our embarkation day a Massage was scheduled for the Haven massage room and though it was confirmed we had to go searching for the masseuse who was found hawking spa packages to other Haven guests. When advised she was 15 minutes late for her appointment she smiled and said she would be there. On 3 of our 7 day cruise their was sewer gas odors in the 2nd bathroom of our suite. Each occurrence was handled by our cabin staff along with the broken light switch. Overall the entertainment on board was less than stellar. Pricilla Queen of the Desert was fun but the Beatles were terrible. The person playing Paul could not sing or play the guitar. The Beatles had a show every night which after the first we avoided. We did find an excellent singer doing a show by Malting's, he was so popular you needed to show up 20 minutes early to get a seat or just stand. My husband and I have Cruised Norwegian numerous times and always scheduled our Excursions thru them with positive outcomes. All I can say is that was not the case here. We anticipated the beautiful sights and history at each of the 6 stop's and were treated like numbered cattle being brought to numerous markets to further separate ourselves from our Euro's. Yes we saw the sights in passing, but it was not what we anticipated. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The ship is beautiful but foods, both in restaurant and buffet, are terrible. Food in restaurant is far from enough and I had to eat again in buffet. Food quality, both in restaurant and buffet are far from tasty. We were originally ... Read More
The ship is beautiful but foods, both in restaurant and buffet, are terrible. Food in restaurant is far from enough and I had to eat again in buffet. Food quality, both in restaurant and buffet are far from tasty. We were originally arranged sitting in Silver Dolphin restaurant same table with strangers while many tables are still not occupied. Excursions are professional organized. We were charged twice for a shore excursion and had to deal with the excursion staff in last minute before disembarkation. One of itinerary destinations cancelled due to poor weather but we didn't get any compensation. All passengers attended the shore excursion in Florence got badly wet due to pouring rain and I got cold second day. Cabin service is bad. Bed sheets and towels in our cabin never got changed for 7 nights. We couldn't have a good sleep for all nights because vibrating from beds and noise from balcony door. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ship! 10/10 Stunning, huge, completed 2018, identical to MSC Seaside LED lights, mirrors, chrome, glass walkways, crystal staircases, ultra glamorous, a real assault on the senses! Cabin, 9/10! Balcony, deck 10, nice modern ... Read More
Ship! 10/10 Stunning, huge, completed 2018, identical to MSC Seaside LED lights, mirrors, chrome, glass walkways, crystal staircases, ultra glamorous, a real assault on the senses! Cabin, 9/10! Balcony, deck 10, nice modern neutral decor, comfy bed, large comfy sofa that doubes up into bunkbed if required. Fridge with minibar, Large mirrors, nice paintings/art. Double glazing, multiple lamps Tiny shower, also likely to bump your head when on the toilet, as the sink is very close! Handy button to press when you want your room cleaned/do not disturb (as opposed to the sign you hang on the outside of the door) No obstructions on balcony, one of the very few ships anywhere that offers unobstructed views, as the lifeboats are hidden under deck 8 walkways Food 9/10 2 buffets, large one on deck 8, with outdoor seating, smaller on one deck 16, also with stunning views Always a choice for everyone, although breakfast is slightly repetitive, but does the job, usually only warm as opposed to hot Coffee from dispenser is warm, so better off pressing the handy button on the tables, and someone will be over to serve you something 'better' from the menu (Chargeable, or covered in drinks packages) Main Dining Room (MDR) was ok, decor and service excellent, extensive wine list Specialty dining was superb, we *Myself and 'her') bought all 3 , butchers cut, Ocean Cay, and Asian Fusion, for £75 pp, for all 3, as opposed to £49pp for one restaurant only The fillet mignon steak was to die for! Special thanks to Roman, and a Zimbabwean gent whose name i wish i could remember, for making Butchers Cut a true 5* fine ding experience! Superb views from deck 16 too, all 3 of these specialty restaurants were on 16! Drinks, 9/10 We bought premium drinks package, from travel agent beforehand, aprrox £252 pp for 7 days, and believe me, we got good value from this. Not just booze, but bottled water and specialty coffees included (Seaside lounge was best for these!) If you like a drink, don't bother with 'easy package', upgrade to premium, easy only covers drinks up to 6 euro per glass, and doesn't cover bottled water, which is only 3 euros per litre, go figure!) Easy package will get you VERY basic drinks, like heineken beer, rum and coke, 1 or 2 white, rose or red wine! Staff will try and sell you drinks and dining packages the moment you set foot on the ship, so far easier to say you already have them, as opposed to trying to convince them you don't need them! Packages are cheaper to buy online before you cruise, as on board they will add 15% 'gratuity' The speciality coffees in the seaside lounge, the 'melon killer' in the sports bar, and literally any drink in the seaview bar, were all to die for! TECH 8/10 Download the 'MSC for me' app, for your phone, its very useful, and you can stay in contact/message your friends /family, whilst on board, for no charge, even when out at sea You can buy MSC wristbands for 5 euro, that act as your MSC card, but we didn't bother, the SeaCards were fine. Use them to pay/swipe, and open your cabin door Don't bother with Wifi, because paying 100 euro so that MSC can give you a password to a slow Wifi service, really isn't on! Useful 'clean/do not disturb' button inside cabin, a light will show on the outside, so the cabin steward knows what to do! Multiple interactive ship touchscreens, similar to the MSC for me app, to plan your day/week, and to register debit/credit cards, if you intend to buy stuff/excursions! EXCURSIONS N/A For us, the ship itself was the destination, the ports of call were all bonuses MSC will rip you off, as you may expect, if you book excursions through them. If you want to visit any of the ports, better off booking independently , and do your research! If you are late back, the ship is not obliged to wait for you, if you haven't booked through MSC! The port of Cannes was a 'tender boat' port, the ship anchors a mile out to sea, and uses its own smaller boats to take people to shore. Fabulous opportunity to take unhindered shots of the ship, from water level! We had no real interest in anyone giving us the accepted version of history of places like rome, the vatican etc. More for the views from the ship, than anything else! ENTERTAINMENT Multiple pools, waterslides, including an indoor one (jungle pool) with retractable roof Lego play area, plenty for kids to do, but i would avoid school holidays like the plague! Went to 2 theatre shows, suprisingly good! A Tina Turner tribute, and another with a heavy 'Greatest showman' influence, which was excellent! If you can live with lots of italians, smoking, wearing tracksuits, not queueing, not washing their hands, etc, then you will love the itinerary. La Spezia, Genoa, Civitavecchia, a very italian intensive itinerary. Though the sailaway from Barcelona was epic, and the views of Palma, Majorca, and La Spezia, were truly memorable! Always book through a Travel agent (TA), if you pay around £800pp for balcony cabin, with flights, transfers, and hold luggage included, you will have done well! Would go again for the ship alone, but maybe earlier in the year, when its slightly warmer MSC tend to shut the outdoor areas and rear panoramic lifts, with only the slightest bit of wind, which was annoying There was a delay getting off in the tenderboats in Cannes, MSC said this was 'done to bad weather', which was a pathetic lie, the weather was perfect. Shame on you MSC, we could all see the weather was fine, cut out the bullshit! Organise things better! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Have been on many cruises including msc but The Bellissima is a ship out to bleed cruisers dry every way you turn the are trying to get money from you even when in the dining room which they refer to as the complimentary restaurant they ... Read More
Have been on many cruises including msc but The Bellissima is a ship out to bleed cruisers dry every way you turn the are trying to get money from you even when in the dining room which they refer to as the complimentary restaurant they pester you to buy steaks and to use the gourmet restaurants which are pricey it’s a joke .Another thing most of the bar staff I found where cheeky and ignorant and in the complimentary restaurant as they call it the food was very skimpy and of a poor quality maybe as they wanted you to buy food .I also found the buffet restaurant more akin to a cattle market children running around unsupervised and adults behaving as if they had never been fed pushing and shoving their way in I was so disappointed with this ship if you are going on it don’t pay for the show cirque Soleil we did and walked out after ten minutes it’s a joke don’t be mislead if this is the way ahead for msc I a will not cruise with them again Read Less
Sail Date November 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 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
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
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
PART ONE - Horrendous Our holiday got off to a terrible start. I had booked to go away with my mother and a few of her [elderly] friends. We booked early and chose our cabins so that we were all together and conveniently located to the ... Read More
PART ONE - Horrendous Our holiday got off to a terrible start. I had booked to go away with my mother and a few of her [elderly] friends. We booked early and chose our cabins so that we were all together and conveniently located to the facilities we planned to enjoy. However, a few weeks before we were due to travel, one of our cabins was pulled and we were told we were going to be placed 3 floors higher and at the opposite end of the ship. This was a big problem for us as we had all planned to convene on each others balconies to enjoy afternoon teas and coffee; also, to enjoy pre-dinner drinks. I complained to customer services who did their best to get our original cabin back but to no avail. Their 'allocation team' would not budge and neither would they locate our friends near to our new cabin. We were all gutted, as separating the group prevented us from popping in and out of each others cabins and enjoying the usual camaraderie. As a compromise, they managed to find us another cabin on the same floor but still this was a trek and left us isolated. To make up for it, we were given 50 euros onboard credit and Prosecco on arrival and although this did little to make things better, it was a gesture we appreciated. That was, until we boarded the ship and discovered our newly-allocated cabin 9084. For anyone allocated this cabin, please note that even though it is classed as a Bella Balcony cabin, IT HAS NO VIEW WHATSOEVER UNLESS YOU ARE STANDING UP!!! When sat on the chairs provided all you can see is solid white metal. All the saving up to pay extra for a balcony on which we could relax and enjoy the views out to sea, was therefore wasted. The disappointment and upset was beyond words. It was bad enough being parted from our friends but to be denied the benefits of our balcony too was just the final straw. We demanded a proper balcony cabin or to be refunded the cost. Unfortunately, this was not something the cruise staff could sort out as - any claim would have to be handled by UK admin staff - and there was no other cabins available to move us to! All we could do was wait to see if anyone with a balcony cabin failed to show up at the next port and we could then have theirs. As suggested, we waited. We had embarked on a Sunday afternoon and waited until Monday evening to see if there was any change. Still nothing but we were told to check again another 24 hours later, after the next lot of passengers embarked. We did so but by this time, and having lived out of our suitcase for 2 days, we had given up hope. At this point, we all felt our holiday had been ruined. It had put a complete dampener on it, especially as my mum was so upset she had burst into tears and said she just wanted to go home. She was totally unsettled and could not bear having to rummage in her case every time she wanted something. We therefore decided to unpack and resigned ourselves to the isolation and having no balcony/view. Ironically, we then received a telephone call in our cabin from reception. They had found us a cabin - not near to our friends, but it had a glass fronted balcony so at least we had a view! Of course, we then had to repack everything in order to move and it was a real pain, but considered worth it as we still had a number of days left. It took us a while but eventually we got settled and our holiday finally began!!! PART TWO - fantastic With only one or two exceptions, the staff on this ship simply could not do enough. They worked extremely hard to ensure passengers had a good time and the atmosphere onboard was a party one. Our waiter was exceptional and nothing was too much trouble. We did not see much of the cabin steward but our room was always neat and tidy when we returned. As for the food, it was much better than the last MSC cruise we went on. The menu choices were varied and appetising and portion sizes were also reasonable. The buffet restaurants (Inca and Maya) were always far too busy to be an enjoyable experience so we chose to eat breakfast and lunch in the restaurant or ice-cream parlour instead. However, the choices there were very limited and in the ice-cream parlour/coffee shop we had to pay for our drinks but still it was the best option for us. To prevent the main buffets from being so busy it would have been better jf the coffee shop and Il Cappuccino lounge offered a greater selection of sandwiches or snacks - together with free tea/coffee/water (as in the main dining areas.) This would have evened things out so that certain areas were less crowded at any one time. In relation to the excursions offered by MSC, these were not so good. I realise that they rely on outside companies to provide the service and they merely act as agent. Nevertheless, they need to take on board the feedback and get some of these companies to change how they do things. There were a LOT of complaints and the exclusion staff had to take the flak. We did the Casablanca/Rabat tour and had looked forward to it more than all the others we took but it was a terrible tour and a complete waste of a day's holiday. Our tour guide was rude, disinterested, ill-informed and was incentivised only by taking us to venues where it was clear he earned a commission. On a 10 hour tour, he refused to let us stop for a coffee break (apart from the 1 hour lunch stop) and when a number of us asked about visiting a bazaar/souk, he said there was no time and took us instead to what can only be described as a 'junk souvenir shop' in a back street. The next such stop was at an argan oil factory in Rabat where we all had to sit through a boring presentation lasting about half an hour. We were all then handed a basket to purchase their products and take them to the till. Needless to say, there were very few takers and most people on the tour were furious - especially as we had been denied any free time to explore either Casablanca or Rabat again due to 'lack of time. When we reported back to reception the next day we were met by many others queuing there for the same reason and some were on other buses also part of the same trip. It was a disaster and I felt sorry for MSC as it was really down to the tour operator. Where MSC did excel was the entertainment. All our party are avid cruisers and we agreed unanimously that this ship offered the best entertainment we have ever had. The theatre shows were second to none and were astoundingly good - standing ovations nearly every night. The shows varied from musical performances, serious style opera, comedy, circus style acrobatics (within theatrical setting), to drama and plain fun evenings. The variety and standard of performance was absolutely incredible and I'm worried we are seriously spoilt for the future! Whoever the theatre production company is they deserve recognition and commendation for first-class entertainment. So, all in all, a bad experience at the outset only turned round by the attitude and professionalism of Paula from customer services and the staff on board. They saved our holiday from complete disaster, meaning we lost only part and not the whole of it. I had already booked another cruise with MSC (2021) and had planned to cancel but they turned this fiasco around so I've given them a reprieve. 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
The ship is a wonderful modern ship with fantastic features, but the staff let it down with their priorities being maintaining the areas where they work forgetting the customers. The food quality is not what I expect from a ship of this ... Read More
The ship is a wonderful modern ship with fantastic features, but the staff let it down with their priorities being maintaining the areas where they work forgetting the customers. The food quality is not what I expect from a ship of this size and quality/cost of cruise. The speciality restaurants are extremely expensive. We have been cruising for over 16 years with various cruise lines (some budget ones) and this was the worst we have experienced. The ship is extremely noisy everywhere in the entertainment bars and on deck during the day. If you have an issue and go to Guest Services your concerns will not be addressed or an apology give, or it was not in my or my sons cases. The shows on an evening lasts only 35 minutes and no drinks are served. Beware of the compulsory tips! they are extortionate! but you can ask for them not to be added, I think that because the tips are added the staff don’t really care if they give good service, sorry MSC but we will not be cruising with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because we were told that the cruise was the same as all of the carnival cruises we have taken. They were not even close! My husband and I actually lost weight on this cruise because as it turns out the dairy products ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were told that the cruise was the same as all of the carnival cruises we have taken. They were not even close! My husband and I actually lost weight on this cruise because as it turns out the dairy products on the cruise are UHT (dairy) not pasteurized and as it turns out we had to have salads for most of our meals as it was the only thing I was not allergic to. Anything besides American brewed coffee has to be paid for which is outrageous. The little entertainment onboard is horrible, it was limited to opera and boring-ass attempts at a Cirque Du Soleil type show! The few activities onboard are things like origami art which is limited to 50 people. The majority of the staff sucks! The passengers were very rude and had no manners! No proper info on excursions, no shuttle buses available to take you to the entrance to ports! The company has a million announcements daily trying to sell you packages. I would not take another MSC Cruise even if the company paid me to do so. the ship was a floating hotel picking up passengers and dropping passengers off at almost every port. All and all we have been on many, many cruises and this by far is the worst experience we have ever encountered. I can honestly say that MSC a We saved for 2 years for this vacation and we are truly disappointed. I will be filing a claim with the better business bureau. Basically, this has been the worst vacation of our lives! We actually could not wait for the cruise to be over! MY WIFE GOT FOOD POISONING AS THE MILK IS NOT U.S.A PASTEURIZED THEY USE BOX MILK AND ALMOST DIED. THIER F 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
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
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
This was our 3rd cruiseFirst aboard Crystal Harmony (Caribean), second on the Australis (Chilean Fiords) andallthough the other 2, were excelent I cannot rate this one but excellent too. It was different but we chose that way. It ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruiseFirst aboard Crystal Harmony (Caribean), second on the Australis (Chilean Fiords) andallthough the other 2, were excelent I cannot rate this one but excellent too. It was different but we chose that way. It started unfortunatelly with a 3 day locked up tour atour hotel in Barcelona. We could not visit the city due to some local riots which prevented us to visit specially the famous Gaudi Chucrh (Sagrada Famulia) Luckily the hotel was great (Eurostars Grand Marina Barcelona) and time passed up rapidly. The location is superb as our ship docked right beside the hotel so we did not walk more than a few steps in order to embark. Our Club Continent Club Suite was splendid. Penty of space and had a private balcony. The private butler and other amenities, champagne, sparklin water, and fine services were atonishing. We visired Marseille, Toulon, Montecarlo, Livorno, Florencia, Elba and finally Rome. Although we did not take any guided tour, our "walking on our own" visits were sufficientfor people of our age., bordering 80s The cruise definitively is not for children but excellent for retired couples who do not care about cruiseships with bells and whistles plus casinos and shows. English language is a must. Congratulations Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went on our first cruise with Azamara by chance simply because the cruise dates fitted with when we were able to go away and so didn't really know what to expect. We saw that the ship was 19 years old but had had quite a major ... Read More
We went on our first cruise with Azamara by chance simply because the cruise dates fitted with when we were able to go away and so didn't really know what to expect. We saw that the ship was 19 years old but had had quite a major refit in 2018 so decided to give it a go and we were not disappointed in any way. The embarkation process was very quick and easy, took about 5 minutes from arriving at the pier in Barcelona to boarding the ship, we have never boarded a cruise ship so quick and easily, as we stepped on board we were welcomed by the staff with a glass of champagne. We loved the size and layout of the ship, it was very easy to find your way about and although there were only 4 lifts they were very quick and efficient and we , never had to wait long for one. We had a Continent Suite (8047) on deck 8 and we were very pleased with it, there was plenty of storage and it was very well lit, the bed was extremely comfortable with good quiality bedding, the only slight annoyance was that the airconditioning was fairly noisy. The bathroom was good with a large shower, again very well lit with good storage space, the large shelf in the shower was very useful. the suite was well looked after and and the staff couldn't have done more for us to enable us to enjoy the cruise. The balcony, although wide wasn't very deep but it was just about adequate and here we were reminded of the age of the ship. The food was of a high standard with a a good choice for all meals, we mostly ate in either Prime C or Aqualina in the evenings where the service was superb and the food very good, the steaks were full of flavour and the souffles delicious. We enjoyed the entertainment very much as we find on the larger ships it is far too loud and so we walk out after a few minutes, on the Pursuit it is much better and doesn't damage your hearing in the same way, the concert given by Amanda Poulson on the last evening was exceptional as was the Azamazing evening which was an operatic concert at the Goldoni Theatre, not only were the four sopranos wonderful the evening was very well organised by the ships crew. From the Captain (great sense of humour) down the crew were always smililing and nothing was too much trouble for them all of which made the atmosphere on the ship the best we have been on and we look forward to returning again in the not too distant future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went 2 adults, 1 child 12yrs, perfect! From stepping on board, the whole experience was brilliant, all staff so helpful, spotless ship, so much going on. We had a cabin on deck 5, so did not got no motion when at sea, the cabin was a ... Read More
We went 2 adults, 1 child 12yrs, perfect! From stepping on board, the whole experience was brilliant, all staff so helpful, spotless ship, so much going on. We had a cabin on deck 5, so did not got no motion when at sea, the cabin was a good size, & kept extremly clean by Romin. We had the drinks package which is well worth doing, so any drink upto 10€ was included, worth it, as most drinks are 7-8€ + 15% service charge. The entertainment was very good, day & night, if you don't like the party atmosphere then there is the sky lounge, or piano bar on deck 5. The restuarant we had 1st sitting btwn 6.30-6.45, but we never went In till 7-7 15, and was never a problem . Food here was excellent, we never paid to go in other restuarants, as our food so nice, the only 1 we did go to was cirque de soliel, which was 35€ p head, we wasn't impressed, choice of 2 starters, raw tuna or tomato & mozerella, and 2 or 3 main choices, 1 dessert, the theatre hardly had anyone in that ate, so very quite, 1 hour later the people that paid 15€ for show & cocktail came in , the show lasts abt 30mins, we felt better off eating in the inclusive restaurants very disappointed with experience of cirque de soliel, only get bottles of wine, no other choice, and not part of package, so really not worth a 30min show! We done all our own excursions, as found the ship ones expensive, but we chose our own things before we went. We went to a beach in malta on a bus 1.50€ e w, had a lovely day! In Genoa we went to the aquarium which was a 10min walk from ship, they charged 54€, which included a ferry to aquarium, which you did not really need! Trips are personal choice. Disembarking we was given 08.50, but we changed our time to 10 20, no problem in changing. The whole holiday on bellissima was fantastic, we shall be cruising with msc agn. 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

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