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3,915 Barcelona to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

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
We were on board from Rome to La Spezia (got off early to meet up with friends and family in Tuscany). The good: - Check in was quick and painless - The cabin (0913) was fantastic, we had a 'restricted view' balcony but ... Read More
We were on board from Rome to La Spezia (got off early to meet up with friends and family in Tuscany). The good: - Check in was quick and painless - The cabin (0913) was fantastic, we had a 'restricted view' balcony but honestly didn't spend much, if any, time on the balcony - Entertainment was great - the theatre shows were just the right amount of time - The €10 drinks package was great - the only thing that wasn't included was the high end champagnes/spirits - Despite being a massive ship, we never felt overly crowded, nor did we ever have a problem finding seats or getting service They could work on: - The seated restaurant. We used it twice, and the buffet every other night. The service was slow, the meals not very interesting, and they never had the wine we wanted - On the €10 drinks package, on more than one occasion a bartender would say they had run out of the €9 drinks, and then try and sell us the €12 option, not covered in our package. Each and every time, we pointed out the bottle of wine or beer we were after - so this was very deceptive and needs to be addressed. - Compulsory charges for transfers off/onto the boat at ports. I reckon this should be included in the cost. 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
We boarded in Barcelona Spain with ports of call in Gibraltar, Sete, Nice, Florence and Corsica for a 9 day cruise. The ship could use a refresh, but everything was clean and well cared for. We had a Royal Suite which was phenomenal. I ... Read More
We boarded in Barcelona Spain with ports of call in Gibraltar, Sete, Nice, Florence and Corsica for a 9 day cruise. The ship could use a refresh, but everything was clean and well cared for. We had a Royal Suite which was phenomenal. I think we only saw our room attendant, Natasha, twice during the whole cruise, but the cabin was always spotless. Our butler, Ellie, was the best! He couldn't do enough even though I don't think we asked much. He came every morning with cappuccino and mimosas. Even thought we only had 2 sea days, we did enjoy the large balcony and private hot tub. The bed was comfortable. We had 1 minor maintenance issue which was very quickly rectified. The service thought the cruise was outstanding. We did find the food to be not as good as on previous cruises, particularly in Luminae. Not that it was bad, just not excellent. We ordered off the main dining menu most evenings because there simply wasn't much of interest on the Luminae menu. Luckily, you can still do this on the M class ships. You can't on the new Edge class! We had one mediocre meal in Tuscan and one good one. Our dinner in Quisine was great. I would note that while we generally don't dine in the buffett, we did have lunch once and the selection was very good as was the food. We didn't go to a lot of shows because we were so busy, but the few we did go to were pretty good. We are sailing on the Summit in February which has already been refit. We are looking forward to seeing the improvements. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is my third time to cruise with Norwegian and it was the worst experience ever, I couldn’t find anything positive about my 7-Day Western Mediterranean from Barcelona trip. The staffs were not friendly, food choices were limited and ... Read More
This is my third time to cruise with Norwegian and it was the worst experience ever, I couldn’t find anything positive about my 7-Day Western Mediterranean from Barcelona trip. The staffs were not friendly, food choices were limited and taste was below average, nothing to do on the ship and the room set up was lock of common sense, for example, they put a sink on outside table so when u use the sink, it was very easy to splash water all over the counter. The TV set was on the top shelf so u had to raise your head to watch tv, after awhile, your neck hurts. The shore excursions were very expensive, we paid $160 p.p. just for the transportation between the port and going to Rome. It was a very expensive cruise because we also had to fly from L.A. to Barcelona and stay at the hotel to get ready, we would NEVER do any European cruise again. It was a huge disappointment and we will are done with Norwegian as well. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is the 2nd cruise we sailed with Celebrity, we were impressed with Eclipse last year and decide to join another cruise with Celebrity. This is a slightly smaller and older ship than the Eclipse, but we still had a lot of fun in this 9 ... Read More
This is the 2nd cruise we sailed with Celebrity, we were impressed with Eclipse last year and decide to join another cruise with Celebrity. This is a slightly smaller and older ship than the Eclipse, but we still had a lot of fun in this 9 nights cruise trip. First of all, we love the shows at night, the performances, singer and dancers did a fantastic jobs, we caught the show every evenings and make sure we don't miss it. The onboard activities were Okay, a lot of them are the same as what we played last year, so it is a bit lack of surprise for us, but the games are still fun to watch. We still had a great time. We did not go to the specialty dinning, so we stayed at St-Marco Dinning room for your dinner. They updated the menu everyday with plenty of choices. We tried a lot of different food everyday and they had Lobster Tail and Scallops which are my favorite! We also had our breakfast and sometimes lunch and snacks at OceanCafe, honestly the food are getting a bit boring. They did change their Chef Specials everyday, but other than that, the other food in the buffet was very similar everyday. With a cruise of 9 nights, you may get bored. My wife went to their morning sketch a couple of times early in the morning, but other dance or yoga class has to pay, so we skipped that. The gym was clean and the machines were fairly new. They have a basketball court, which is often forgotten by a lot of guests. I spent a good 45 minutes there while at the sea. The basketball are a bit old and some of time are not pumped. Service was great, there were officers teaching us to use the new App on Board, which is very useful to see the daily activities and communicate with your cruise mates and family on board. Most of the staff are very friendly and had smile with them at all time. However, my steward's job was really bad. First, she never come greet us or come talk to us during the 9 nights of the cruise. Second, she always forgot stuff in our room. For example, we had no agenda for a couple day, toiletries not refilled, no clean towels. Dirty cups are not taking away, etc. It was horrible, and we decide to talk to the guest relation after 1 week. They sent a steward supervisor to talk to us and apologized, and they gave us a follow call the days after to make sure our room and supplies are Okay. I would say that it could be just a bad individual who didn't properly do her job and not Celebrity's standard. Overall, the ship is clean and easy to navigate. We like Celebrity and have great experience at the ship, but we like to see Celebrity creating more new activities, providing more and different foods in OceanCafe daily, so it keep their guest impressed with this Premium Cruiseline. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was travelling with my mum in a Sky Suite and we were both not expecting the cruise to be as wonderful as it was. We embarked in Barcelona and were on a 9 day Spain, France and Italy cruise. From the moment we got on the ship to ... Read More
I was travelling with my mum in a Sky Suite and we were both not expecting the cruise to be as wonderful as it was. We embarked in Barcelona and were on a 9 day Spain, France and Italy cruise. From the moment we got on the ship to disembarking we were made to feel extra special. I was eyeing up the free welcome drink when Vinay (who we soon found out worked in the fine jewellery store) asked if he could escort us to Michaels Club to have a drink there. He walked us through the ship giving us a tour and stayed with us until Jess the concierge was free. She was so welcoming and it became apparent that pretty much everyone working on this ship loves it and is proud to be there. People remembered our names and managed to get that balance right of being professional but also friendly at the same time. I saw no evidence of wear and tear on the ship and the twilight lounge where they showed the films seemed quite new. We didn't choose our state room and were given an accessible one and it was quite small compared to the other sky suites but it did the job. We went to all the shows and they were all very good and high quality. We dined in Luminae most nights and all the people in there worked so hard and nothing was too much trouble. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We spent 3 days prior to sailing in Barcelona. What a lovely city! Embarkation and disembarkation were both quick and smooth. The staff all over the ship were very helpful and always smiling. The service at all bars and restaurants was ... Read More
We spent 3 days prior to sailing in Barcelona. What a lovely city! Embarkation and disembarkation were both quick and smooth. The staff all over the ship were very helpful and always smiling. The service at all bars and restaurants was great with very little wait times. The food was excellent everywhere we went with a good selection to choose from. The excursions were all wonderful, beautiful scenery and architecture everywhere we went. All our guides were knowledgeable and made the history come alive at the sites we visited. After reading some negative reviews of the Epic we were a bit nervous but we found there was nothing that we didn't like about the ship or its crew. If there is one thing that we could suggest to improve it would be the lighting in the cabin over the mirrors. But that is a minor detail. We were in an aft facing balcony cabin. Would highly recommend this ship and itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Review Norwegian Epic Western Med Cruise September 22, 2019 This cruise originated and returned to Barcelona. I am platinum on Norwegian and Princess and have been on westbound Trans-Atlantic cruises on the Epic. Because this ... Read More
Review Norwegian Epic Western Med Cruise September 22, 2019 This cruise originated and returned to Barcelona. I am platinum on Norwegian and Princess and have been on westbound Trans-Atlantic cruises on the Epic. Because this cruise was less than 80% full embarkation was a breeze. We had a starboard balcony on Deck 11. Our cabin steward is a young lady from China. We had a problem which was only partially resolved. The shower enclosure had a depression in the center, and with the drain on the perimeter higher than the low point of the shower floor, there is water accumulated in the floor of the shower enclosure. That meant one's feet is always in dirty water. We called attention to this problem and various people worked on the problem, including the Customer Relations Manager. Towards the end of the cruise he offered us use of a mini-suite portside on Deck 10. Instead we requested some internet minutes and each got 100 minutes. I started the Cruise Critics Meet and Greet on this cruise. Only 10 of us showed up. Eleven officers showed up. See attached photo. We enjoyed the food on this cruise with one exception. As platinum we got free meals in Moderno and Le Bistro. Both were great. I had brought on board five bottles of wine purchased in Barcelona. They were great. In the Manhattan Room one night we had a table next to the stage and enjoyed the music. I am disappointed there was never prime rib on the menu. The one bad experience with dining was at Shanghai, the Asian fusion place. It was simply awful. The best show on this cruise was Burn the Floor, the dance show. Inexplicably the same show was presented twice in a seven night cruise. There was a show of a violinist and his flamingo dancer wife. There was not enough there for a 40-minute show. To borrow a comment from a previous Epic cruise, "I have seen better in the Paris Metro." There was six ports of call on this cruise. We did not do any NCL excursions so the remarks here are included for completeness. In Naples we went with italytours.eu for a day tour along the Amalfi Coast. We had a driver, who did his best to also be a tour guide. Our first stop was the town of Positano where houses are built on cliffs. We had a longer shop in Sorrento where we had lunch. Before going back to the ship we drove through some of Naples which I do not consider pretty. For Rome we took the train from Civitavecchia. The drop off point of the free bus from the ship to the entrance of the port has changed so it is now a two kilometer walk to the train station, instead of 8 minutes. We rode the train all the way to Rome Termini. We had tickets for the Borghese Gallery. I have been to most of the top museums in the world and the Borghese held my attention for two hours! Back in Civitavecchia we took the two-euro bus to the entrance of the port. In Livorno we booked a tour to Florence and Pisa. We took the five-euro bus to the center of Livorno where we met the tour. We boarded double-decker buses for the ride to Florence. We stopped in a restaurant where we had a small snack and a bit of wine. We had free time in Florence. I had been to Florence before so we admired the doors to the Baptistry of the Duomo but skipped the long line to enter the basilica. We walked to City Hall. We walked to Ponte Vecchia where my wife admired the jewelry on display. I, a diabetic, risked my life and had a gelato with my wife. We had a lengthy stop in Pisa but the free tickets to enter the basilica were gone. The tour bus delivered us directly to the ship. In Cannes we walked into town, past the Palais des Festivals and admired the designer stores along Promenade de la Pantiero and rue d'Antibes. The biggest shopping center was deserted. We walked back to the ship. We skipped Palma de Mallorca. As platinum Latitudes members we had priority disembarkation and we had afternoon flights so disembarkation was a breeze too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it was our 20th anniversary and it was on our bucket list to do this cruse. Overall, a very good trip, all ports were exciting. The ship: the bartenders at the Whiskey Bar, Joseph, Z, and Freddie were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was our 20th anniversary and it was on our bucket list to do this cruse. Overall, a very good trip, all ports were exciting. The ship: the bartenders at the Whiskey Bar, Joseph, Z, and Freddie were amazing, excellent service. There are a few things I think could be better, with the drink package, things like a latte, fresh squeezed juice should be included. Also, the buffet is very boring, and some of the staff that serves in the buffet are rude and lazy. The other restaurants were good. Again, the menus were not very blah. I have been on other cruises where the food is much much better. We tried the sushi place, which was La carte, that was very good, There were other la cartes but we didn't try them. Freestyle dining is nice they just need to work on the menu a bit more. Other than than, most of the staff work very hard to ensure everything is good and they take care of you. The Bliss nightclub is very nice and the DJ is awesome. Nice place to hang out We had a balconey cabin, it was very comfortable. The beds were very comfortable. Enetertainment crew were good, Mandy the crusie director is good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have sailed on Celebrity Cruises before and as Captain Club members, we were not given any extra consideration, dining table were in hidden corners behind walls, we requested a move but, no one was interested. We enjoyed our ... Read More
We have sailed on Celebrity Cruises before and as Captain Club members, we were not given any extra consideration, dining table were in hidden corners behind walls, we requested a move but, no one was interested. We enjoyed our Silhouette cruise and couldn't wait for this one,however, this cruise was a disappointment. Some food items and beverage types ran out days before the end of the cruise, this should never happen. If you pay for top packages the food and drinks should not run out. Our Spa treatments were all rushed and shortened in time with ongoing apologies regarding being overbooked. We were in formal dining areas with people wearing shorts and T-Shirts- this is not a high standard of quality, we respected the Dress Code but, staff did not follow them through with other passengers. This should not be the style of clothing. We look forward to sailing again, but enjoy high quality services. This was a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
A group of 14 friends (between the ages of 66 and 78) who travel together wanted to see Spain. This cruise visited multiple Spain Ports plus two in France and three in Italy. Embarkation and disembarkation were both very good. This ... Read More
A group of 14 friends (between the ages of 66 and 78) who travel together wanted to see Spain. This cruise visited multiple Spain Ports plus two in France and three in Italy. Embarkation and disembarkation were both very good. This ship had the best food and service that we've experienced in all our years of traveling. The entertainment on this ship was OK in my opinion. We enjoyed the shows with the entire groups performing. I do not care for comedians or solo vocalists so didn't attend those shows. Did enjoy the band's performance. The ship's shore excursions were OK but the ones we booked privately through Spain Day Tours were much better. The shore excursions through the ship had about 50 people per excursion and most of the guides were not in control of that many people. They did not use individual headsets so it was difficult to hear and/or understand the guide. The ship's shore excursion to Capri, Sorrento and Pompeii was excellent. Our guide was great. The ship's shore excursion at the Livorno Port "Cinque Terre Drive & Lunch" was also a good one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The roomservice was exellent. Housekeeping spoke very good English. She took really good care of guests. I was travelling solo, and the whole crew of the ship took really good care of me. The whole crew called me Madame. I dont like ... Read More
The roomservice was exellent. Housekeeping spoke very good English. She took really good care of guests. I was travelling solo, and the whole crew of the ship took really good care of me. The whole crew called me Madame. I dont like shows so much, and luckily the was a place on the ship where 2 gitarists sung songs from the last 30 years. I really enjoyed it, they played like pro's. Food was really great, and all the crew was flexible to my wishes. I had a really good time from I landed on the airport in Barca, and got picked up by Costa. I went on one tour, to Monaco. The guide talked really good English, and was so good explaining the history and odd points about Monaco. The ship was very good organized, the crew was excellent. The best cruise I ever been on. I would do this again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our 2nd cruise having adored the NCL Getaway earlier in the year. We were determined to try one of the Royal Caribbean mega-ships and being its last voyage before dry dock, there was a great deal on the Oasis. The cruise did not ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise having adored the NCL Getaway earlier in the year. We were determined to try one of the Royal Caribbean mega-ships and being its last voyage before dry dock, there was a great deal on the Oasis. The cruise did not include a drinks package and we felt that, as we wanted to maximise time in all the destinations, we wouldn’t have time to make best use of it. However, the drinks were so disgracefully overpriced it wouldn’t have take much to make a drinks package worthwhile! Much of our opinion expressed here is a direct comparison to the fabulous experience we had with NCL in February. Our highlights: Central Park was our favourite place and we loved Park Cafe, although it was a shame the cafe closed so early (6pm). The performers (especially the violinist) were wonderful and we’d have loved to enjoy coffee and a snack/dessert whilst listening in the evening. Promenade cafe was also great but extremely busy, particularly as the buffet closed so early at 9.30pm. Solarium buffet is so underrated! Less choice but much nicer atmosphere than the main buffet. In the evening, it was still complementary and had partly waited service. Much better than the main dining room. Our best meals were at Sabor (which I believe is sadly being replaced) and 150 Central Park, both were incredible. All the entertainment was all exceptional. So much to do and see in so many wonderful venues. Embarkation and disembarkation were both quick and easy. Cabin was great, although we missed the coffee machine that NCL provide. The cabin was slightly narrower than the equivalent ocean view balcony cabin on NCL Getaway but the balcony was bigger. Toilet paper provided was cheap and nasty! Maybe this was to make it more flushable but suspect it was just to cut costs! A general observation of the ship’s design is that it is very inward facing and lacks space to sit and enjoy the view of the ocean. (We were spoilt with NCL’s Waterfront I think) That said, the ship is breathtakingly impressive with some amazing innovations. Our only major disappointments were the excessive drinks prices and the main dining room. Service was generally quick and friendly but the food choice, quality and temperature was mixed. The food on NCL Getaway was far far superior. The itinerary was great, although the ship docked a long way from anything so be prepared to walk or pay for transport/excursions! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After reading some reviews before we sailed I was a bit nervous about wait times for drinks, sun beds and the amount of people on the boat. I never once had a problem getting a sun bed even when I didnt go down untill late morning. I ... Read More
After reading some reviews before we sailed I was a bit nervous about wait times for drinks, sun beds and the amount of people on the boat. I never once had a problem getting a sun bed even when I didnt go down untill late morning. I didn't have a long wait time to get a drink and it never really felt over crowded. The entertainment was great, something for everyone. I especially liked the atrium and Carlos was lovely. I also went to Bliss the night club which has a good vibe at night, the ice bar and a few of the other game shows and singers.. all great. Mandy the cruise director was also very good all the shows and parties I saw her hosting had good energy. We paid to eat in the steak house one night especially liked the food there. The rest of the nights we ate in the buffet, taste, Manhatten or the Irish bar. No complaints about any of them. My favourite place during the day was H2O as it was adults only, had hot tubs to use and the staff were quick to see if you wanted a drink. The only annoying thing was the lifts could be slow at times but it was expected and you have to get out of the room early on the day you leave. But compared to the amount I loved about the cruise this was minor. We pre booked our excursions with another company and they worked out very well, I understand to book them through the ship is very expensive. There is a large casino on the ship which is always fairly busy but not over crowded. As a young couple who's first time it was crusing we definitely had a great experience and will be crusing again. I would definitely reccomend this ship to all age groups. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was always our favorite, NCL. They treated us like royalty. They have made so many cuts recently, I thought I was on a Carnival cruise. No longer the cute towel animals to welcome us daily, no longer the menu daily for breakfast in the ... Read More
It was always our favorite, NCL. They treated us like royalty. They have made so many cuts recently, I thought I was on a Carnival cruise. No longer the cute towel animals to welcome us daily, no longer the menu daily for breakfast in the room...Cagneys has gone downhill. The side dishes were tiny, not tasty, beef was a low cut, and tough. We ate there twice and were disappointed. The baked potato was small, warm not hot and just not good. The sides used to be great, instead of creamed spinach they just had sautéed spinach which had little taste. Tepanyakis was excellent, nice large shrimp and great entertainment, the food has not changed and remained great. We had an issue in La Cuchina, I brought the wrong coupon, it was the Cagneys coupon so the hostess did not want to seat us. Seriously? We had to bring in the manager. I went and retrieved the correct coupon right before dessert. We just were not treated well all around. NCL Has changed and not for the better. It is time to try another cruise line. After 10 trips I’m sorry to see them cut so many corners. I would not recommend them at this point. I’m sure they are saving money at the guests expense. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is my review of the varies dinning areas: No fee restaurants: 1- The main dinning restaurants (Manhattan for dinner and Taste for breakfast) ... were really hit and miss for. Meaning a lot more mediocre meals, with more lengthy ... Read More
This is my review of the varies dinning areas: No fee restaurants: 1- The main dinning restaurants (Manhattan for dinner and Taste for breakfast) ... were really hit and miss for. Meaning a lot more mediocre meals, with more lengthy waits the I am accustomed to. This seems to be a growing trend on all cruise lines, not just Norwegian. Perhaps intended so more customers will pony up for a specialty meal? 2- O'Sheehans ... This is a much better 24 hour restaurant than most cruises offer. Most cruise ships only offer coffee pastries and a very limited amount of microwavable food during the early morning hours. O'Sheehan's offer hot meals until 4AM. And open for breakfast at 5AM. With the typical pastries and coffee served as they are gearing up for breakfast, between 4 and 5AM. I ate here most every morning I woke up early and/or had an early excursion scheduled. 3- Garden Buffet ... Typical eat at your own risk buffet food, that all cruise lines seem to offer these days. Though a few buffet meals were surprising good for a buffet. There were many more meals that were left on my plate. This is true with all cruise line buffet meals, in my viewpoint. So take my viewpoint, with that in mind 4- The main dinning rooms (Manhattan and Taste) ... Kind of hit and miss. Gone are the day when main dinning rooms served up amazing meals, each and every meal. In my viewpoint, this is true on all cruise lines (not just Norwegian). And the servers seemed rushed and uncommunicative. 5- Shanghai Noodle Bar ... This is far more than a noodle bar. They serve a full line of Asian food, with very friendly service. This was by far, my favorite no fee restaurant. Specialty dinning: Mondero (a Brazilian Steakhouse... Truly a great concept which should have excelled. Where you first start with a self serve salad bar (which a great). you are then brought varies cuts of meat that are sliced right there at your table. The problem is, it was just meat samples sliced off a huge portion and placed on your plate with no seasoning or dipping sauce to give it the flavor meat needs. Meat without seasoning is hardly ever good. Very disappointed. Cagney's (an American Steakhouse) - First time there I was served the most flavorful rib-eye steak, cooked and seasoned to perfection I think I ever tasted in my life. Literally melted in my mouth and packed with flavor. I went there on my last night of cruise and each meal ordered, the meat was very overcooked. My medium rare Rib-Eye was served medium at best. My wife's medium surf and turf order was served well done. Same meals ordered on different nights, with shockingly different results. Entertainment shows: This is were I think the Norwegian Epic excelled. Here are my reviews of the shows that I saw in epic theater: 1- Cirque Dreams dinner show ... You have to pay extra for this show. But, it is so worth it. And not actually in the Epic Theater, but next to it. The dinner itself was not much of a menu. As you selected from two main entrees, an appointed appetizer and a desert. But, it was surprisingly good. And the show itself was WITHOUT QUESTION, the best entertainment show I ever seen on a cruise and it is virtually seen ... right in your lap. Pay a little more and see the show without dinner. Pay quite a bit more and see the show with a dinner. Either way, you will not be disappointed. I guarantee. 2- Burn the Dance Floor ... Started off a bit slow. But quickly became a highly energized singing and dancing extravaganza. I highly recommend. 3- Princess Priscilla ... As someone who never even remotely heard of the book or movie that this show was based on ... I came in, not knowing what to expect. All I can say is this show offers some wildly entertaining and flamboyant costume changes and great lip sinking. But, the story line itself kind of weird and just hard to follow. And definitely not for those who are homophobic in any way. I really liked the gym. Mostly because they were well stocked and had the same brand of fitness equipment my gym at home has. And the included drink package made this cruise more fun than it would have been without. I would have given 5 stars for service ... But, the rushed and rather unfriendly servers at the Manhattan restaurant, brought it down one star for me. Honestly, all other servers and staff were a solid 5 stars in my viewpoint. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first ever cruise. We read many reviews and had super high expectations. Get ready, the first 2 days you will be a bit disappointed with the service, everyone is stressed and every restaurant is packed and has long queues. ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. We read many reviews and had super high expectations. Get ready, the first 2 days you will be a bit disappointed with the service, everyone is stressed and every restaurant is packed and has long queues. 3rd day onwards is when you start enjoying your cruise. Everywhere is more organized and calmer. We also opted to do this cruise due to the many activities in the ship. So we did not go down from the ship often. To our surprise on port days all most all activities were closed and opened up at 15:00 :/. So we did not go down in order to enjoy these activities but in reality they opened up when everyone is coming back form their excursion. Anyways, once we got the hang of opening hours we started enjoying the cruise even more :) Food on the ship was super good. Main dining rooms were our favorite. Drinks were also yummy and had many types too! Unfortunately after an awesome week, the last day just literally ruined our experience. We try to order savignon blanc and they tell you sorry we don’t have any left just chardonay. Ok, Lets go for a Pina Colada.... sorry just finished... same for peroni and corona. I thought royal caribean are the best of the best when it comes to food and drinks and making sure guests are happy. To top it all up , we love love the hot tubs. Some were open 24hours (solarium) so after our dinner and some dancing we used to go up to the tubs and enjoy some relaxing time. It was the highlight of our day. On the last day of our cruise, during the day we were at the hot tubs (adults only) but it was left unattended so kids and teens just kept coming in and we obviously ruining the peace. We decided to head out and come back later on after midnight. So excited after a good night at dazzles we headed to our room, changed to our bathing suits and off we went to deck 15. The last drop of the day.... all hot tubes were drained and closed Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary but also in the past RC has been good. This was my 50th birthday trip and I expressed this upon making our reservation. On the 2nd day my husband went to guest services bc no one had ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary but also in the past RC has been good. This was my 50th birthday trip and I expressed this upon making our reservation. On the 2nd day my husband went to guest services bc no one had acknowledged my birthday. He was told that they would send a bottle of champagne to dinner. We never saw that champagne. RC couldn't even give me a 5 cent balloon or card to say happy birthday yet others were being acknowledged in the dining room. We were disappointed in the quality of food in all 'free' venues. We also felt the alcohol prices and excursion prices were ridiculous. RC is likely discussing how to further charge passengers for use of pool towels and toilet paper. I would not recommend this ship or brand to anyone. This was my 9th cruise and definitely my last with RC. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first time on a Norwegian cruise but I did my research and knew some things to expect. These are my thoughts/experience on the Epic last week: Embarking: We had flown in a day early into Barcelona so we used a taxi to get ... Read More
This was our first time on a Norwegian cruise but I did my research and knew some things to expect. These are my thoughts/experience on the Epic last week: Embarking: We had flown in a day early into Barcelona so we used a taxi to get from our hotel to the pier. It was about $25 euros (around that anyway) and he took us right to the pier no hassles. We gave our luggage to the people outside, walked in and could check in at the desk. We were group 6 and only had to wait about 10 minutes before they called our number. Our room wasn't ready but we walked around and got to see the ship. We thought the process was really easy and organized. Room: We had a Balcony room on the 9th floor (Room 9200). No complaints about the room. We knew about the bathroom situation before we went on the trip so it wasn't a surprise. It didn't bother us but as my husband said if there was another person in the room with us it would have been a little awkward. Our Steward was Michael and he did a good job but we didn't see much of him or talk to him that much. He was on his phone a lot. The steward in the rooms a section down from us was Mark Artadi and he was so great. He'd talk to us when he saw us come back each day and was always smiling. But no issues with the room or anything. We were satisfied. Food: We had the 3 specialty dining meals perk so we went to the Brazilian steakhouse on the sea day. The food was good but it wasn't anything super special. It's more about the experience and if you've been to one steakhouse like that you've been to them all. Everyone was nice and we didn't have any complaints but I don't think I would pay for a meal there. We went to the Italian restaurant the following night and you won't leave hungry. We got a four course meal and there was so much food. It was my husbands favorite meal on the ship. We went to Cagney's for our other meal and it was the same as the Brazillian steakhouse. We couldn't complain about the food but it wasn't anything super special and I wouldn't make it a point to go back if I had to pay for it. I will say the manager came over and acknowledged us which was the only time that happened at any of the restaurants. We did feel a bit more rushed there than the other restaurants we went to. We used the buffet for breakfast and other meals. There was plenty to choose from and we didn't have any issues with it. We went to O'sheehans for a meal one night and it was average. Nothing special, but the food was okay. We did the Taste dining room our last night on the cruise. Food was good and you got large portions. We did not try the Manhattan room so I can't comment on that. Excursions: In Naples we did Vesuvius and Pompeii. They tell you about the walk up Vesuvius and it is no joke, especially with the altitude. It was worth it but you will be tired. The bus ride is very windy and if you get carsick I would make sure to take Dramamine. We could have spent days at Pompeii. Before you go into Pompeii you stop and can redeem you drink coupon and get some pizza or gelato. (We did both). We also got free samples of Limoncello. There was a visit to a Cameo factory before you go to Vesuvius but you aren't forced to buy anything. The bus ride isn't super long. It was my husbands favorite excursion of the trip. In Rome we did the Catacombs and Castles tour. It probably should have been marketed as Catacombs and Countryside as you only see the pope's summer home from the outside and that is the only "castle" you see. But you get a great view of some lakes that were created by collapsed volcanoes and get to visit some smaller towns with unique offerings. The lunch we got that day was fresh made pasta and everything was fresh. (Although the tuna on the salad tasted as though it came from the can as a woman pointed out as we walked back towards the bus) The bus ride from Civitavecchia to Rome is about 1 1/2 - 2 hours but it seemed like all the buses stopped to make sure you got a bathroom break. We did talk to people that did the Vatican and everyone said it was good but that the crowds were crazy. The Catacombs part was great. You can't take pictures inside so don't be disappointed when you get there. Florence: The bus ride from Livorno to Florence is about 2 hours. We had a great tour guide in Valentina. They dopped us off at a leather/jewelry shop in the Santa Croce plaza for a bathroom break and they had sales pitches for you as well but you aren't forced to buy anything and some of the jewelry they showed off was pretty nice. They give you free time before and after you walk through Florence. It was a lot of walking but a good way to see all the sights of Florence. You don't have time to go into the museums or anything but it's a good way to make note of things you would want to do if you go back. We had lunch at a palace of Pesto Lasagna and Tiramisu for dessert. You weren't forced to stay till everyone was done which was nice, you could go exploring once you were finished. We went to Pisa afterwards and it's about another 5-10 minute walk to Pisa from the parking area and another 5 minutes to the tower. Keep in mind there are people all along the streets trying to sell you souvenirs and they can be a little pushy. This was my favorite day as Florence is a beautiful city and was easily walkable. Cannes: We took a bus ride through Eze where we took some scenery pictures from the historic part of town and for $5 euros could enter the botanical garden and see even more widespread views. We then rode to Monaco where we could see the changing of the guard. We were responsible for getting our own lunch and we ended up getting Pasta from a local place. It was good. We found some public gardens to walk through that allowed for extra pictures to be taken of the bay. There is an aquarium we could have done but in the time allotted it didn't feel like it would have been worth the value. The cathedral was free and there is a palace tour for $8 euros. There were people that were about 15 minutes late for the bus which cut into our time in Monte Carlo so there wasn't a lot of time for people to go into the casino and stuff. We didn't do that anyway but you can take pictures of the lobby. Palma: This day felt kinda cheesy for us. We did the Cave of Hams tour which was self guided - but you had a guide with you that just pressed the buttons for English and rushed you along. It felt kinda commercialized compared to other caves we visited. You also visit a pearl factory. Keep in mind they are the lead producers of Imitation pearls so they are fake. It was interesting to see them made but the sales associates were a little more pushy there. Ship Entertainment: We didn't do Cirque or any of the major shows. That's just not really our thing. Plus, our excursions made us super tired so we didn't really stay up super late. We did watch the Stephen Garcia magic show both times and he was very good. We watched the Newlywed not so Newlywed game, and the Game of Ill will both which were funny. There wasn't a ton of trivia which was nice to see and different from the other cruise we had done. There was a lot of live music to pick from and Sean who performed at Shakers was very good. His Queen tribute was fun to watch. We did go to the Ice Bar the last night on the ship. For $50 you get two free drinks and they give you gloves and a winter coat to wear. It was fun to say we did but it isn't something I would do again. It's cold and I live in New England I can drink in the cold 6 months out of the year! Our cruise director was Mandy and she was always on the ship doing something. The casino is in the middle of the ship and you do end up walking through it a lot. That didn't bother us and we knew that would be the case when we booked the trip. There are only three pools (the Haven area has one too I believe but you need to be staying there to use it so I don't count that) which means they are pretty full but that's because of the waterslides which were so crazy busy on the sea day. (It was tricky to find a lounger too but if you hunted hard enough you could find one. We ended up finding chairs by the basketball court). Disembarking: I had read horror stories about how disembarking can be a disaster. I knew we had an early flight out of Barcelona on Sunday and had asked guest services how to make sure I didn't miss my plane. They said my TA had booked us the earliest shuttle possible at 6:15 for the transfer to the airport and that if we were concerned about time to take our own luggage down rather than put out our bags the night before. Thank goodness we took her advice as the area to get your bags was insanely crowded and looked very disorganized. Since we had our own bags we walked right through it and onto our bus. Overall we had a great trip and would book with Norwegian again no questions asked. I will say I can see how people would be surprised as the ship is a little quirky but since we did our research we knew what to expect. We had a great time and would recommend this trip to anyone! I hope this helps with someone who is looking into this trip. Some of the bad reviews made me question our decision to go but I was glad we went despite the bad reviews. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my first Mediterranean Cruise, but not my first experience with NCL. I found the Epic to be quite a glorious ship. Plenty of activities on board the ship to keep you busy if you chose to do so as well as plenty of quite spaces. ... Read More
This was my first Mediterranean Cruise, but not my first experience with NCL. I found the Epic to be quite a glorious ship. Plenty of activities on board the ship to keep you busy if you chose to do so as well as plenty of quite spaces. There was a variety of food, my choice for breakfast/lunch was the Garden Buffett, the food was always hot and good. My favorite restaurant was the the night we saw the Cirque Dream Epicurean(cover charge applies) the food and entertainment superb. O’Sheehan’s is a must for the fish&chip and Burgers. The Taste and Manhattan restaurants has great ambiance. I recommend as many shore excursions as possible, they are well organized and provide a good overview of each country Visited. I didn’t visit Rome because I had been there before, But do recommend Sorrento and Naples, Monaco and the View from Eze and Palma in death. Enjoy the Epic, Entertainment, and especially the views from the shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise and having read lots of reviews before travelling, I have to say we were more than a little worried. Luckily, with a few exceptions we were had a really nice time and largely enjoyed our time on Seaview. We were ... Read More
This was our first cruise and having read lots of reviews before travelling, I have to say we were more than a little worried. Luckily, with a few exceptions we were had a really nice time and largely enjoyed our time on Seaview. We were warned by friends and family who had cruised before, that we would have to be patient when getting on and off the ship but we found the process smooth and stress free, even on the day we docked at Cannes where we had to use tenders to get to shore. The best and easiest way for us to review this cruise is to bullet point the good and not so good points. GOOD: 1) The food in our opinion was very good. If anybody could not find something to eat which suited, I would be extremely surprised. Whatever time we ate in both the restaurant and buffet, the food was fresh and plentiful. 2) The staff were pleasant, helpful and friendly and we had no problems despite occasionally having drink orders misinterpreted because of the language differences. This was mostly amusing rather than annoying. One exception was a member of staff who we heard being extremely rude to a fellow passenger. We tackled her on this and she (eventually and reluctantly) apologised. 3) The ship - WOW. Fabulous. 4) The cabin (indoor), we felt was plenty roomy enough. It was very clean and attended by housekeeping more than once a day. 5) We felt the entertainment was very good. The shows were approx. 35-40 mins long which we felt was pitched just right and they were repeated 3 times each night. Plenty of different types of live music in the various bars. 6) We had booked 2 excursions. One was cancelled due to lack of interest but the one we did which was Cannes and St Raphael was very enjoyable. BAD: 1) The most off putting thing for us was we just couldn't get away from smokers. People even smoking around the pools which they shouldn't have been but weren't told by staff to use the correct areas. Passengers were even allowed to smoke inside the casino which being close to the atrium permeated to the bars and shops around the area. We felt this contravened the safety briefing which told people not to throw cigarette butts over the side incase of fire, yet they could smoke inside?? 2) Everywhere we went outside there were overflowing ashtrays and unclean tables. I think the staff tried very hard to keep on top of things but maybe there weren't enough of them. 3) If you want to use the zip wire, 5D cinema, F1 simulator etc, be aware you will be paying extra for them which we thought was a bit of a cheek. 4) Gratuities. We had 70 euros each added to our room bill as a service charge even though gratuities were included in our cruise fare. It was removed when we spoke to Customer Services but again a faff, having to queue up to speak to someone when we could have been relaxing by the pool. 5) Finally. We often found that bars / lounges were closed off for private events which was frustrating. Would we do another cruise? Probably not but we did have a nice time on the whole. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were apprehensive after reading so many negative reviews, especially about the food. I honestly don't know what these people were talking about. We had the Aurea experience, loved the Aurea deck, loved the My Choice dining, loved ... Read More
We were apprehensive after reading so many negative reviews, especially about the food. I honestly don't know what these people were talking about. We had the Aurea experience, loved the Aurea deck, loved the My Choice dining, loved the Specialty Restaurants, loved the buffet,and the gym was one of he best I've ever been in. The only problem I had was when one of the "cruise directors" or Dancers or whatever you called him tried to snatch my wife away from me and pull her to the dance floor. When I insisted that he move along, he seemed to want to press the issue. Not something we tolerate where I'm from, but i didn't want to start an International incident. Not cool. The rest of the crew was awesome, If I could change one thing, I would have loved one day at sea.. We stopped at a port every day, so there really wasn't a "relaxation " day. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our ninth cruise and the second time on NCL. Our first was on the charming, older, much smaller Norwegian Spirit which we thoroughly enjoyed. We had read about the design problems with the Epic but the timing and itinerary ... Read More
This was our ninth cruise and the second time on NCL. Our first was on the charming, older, much smaller Norwegian Spirit which we thoroughly enjoyed. We had read about the design problems with the Epic but the timing and itinerary worked well for us. First, the positives: the staff were excellent from our steward to the main dining room staff to the pool waiters. The ports were why we cruised - Naples, Rome, Florence-Pisa, Cannes, and Palma de Mallorca were all great. We did our own excursions - none through NCL. Embarkation and debarkation were smooth at Barcelona. We arrived at the port about 11:15 and were on board by noon. We had carry-on bags only and were able to drop them in our stateroom (9035) by about 12:30. Food on board was acceptable. We ate most nights in the Manhattan main dining room. One night we went to the included Chinese restaurant Shanghai which was mediocre. We did not use any of the specialty restaurants. We took in the ballroom dance show and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and enjoyed both. It is worth booking in advance. Now the the negatives. This is by far the worst designed, worst laid out ship we have been on by far, Our balcony stateroom felt more cramped than any other. You cannot pass each other because of the curved design of the oversized couch. The split shower, toilet, sink bathroom area is just stupid. The main restaurant and shops decks - 5,6, and 7 are way over dominated by the casino which seems to go on forever - with the very loud simging machines reaching all directions. That is especially true in the Taste main dining room which is open to the casino and noise from the deck above. Just what you want while dining - the constant ding, ding, ding from the slot machines above. In fact it is hard to find any quiet lounge or sitting areas on this large noisy ship. The bottom line: The Epic is a big disappointment for multiple reasons. I would not recommend this ship. Epic Fail! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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