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3,916 Barcelona to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

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
This was our first cruise, so we did not know what to expect! It was overall an excellent experience. Flights arranged by Norwegian ok, 1 stop before arrival to arrival, departure city. Great cruise line, everything was well ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so we did not know what to expect! It was overall an excellent experience. Flights arranged by Norwegian ok, 1 stop before arrival to arrival, departure city. Great cruise line, everything was well organized...Good value for money. Was overwhelmed at first with the 4200 ppl on board. Lots of activities to choose. Cabins with balcony very nice. Showers were excellent, instant hot water. Staff very friendly and accommodating. Food and wine top notch. We had 3 specialty restaurants which were excellent. Nightlife had numerous opportunities although most were jam packed and we could not get into them. Excursions were well organized but lots of waiting time to get onto or off buses. Florence excursion did not provide enough time to see everything. Ports were great. Waiting for bus to airport on departure day somewhat chaotic. We had to load our luggage onto the bus, no one to help... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The food was great. We ate at the both the main dining rooms and three of the specialty restaurants. We took one shore excursions by NCL, it was ok. We did use two other outside companies for tours. They were very good. Italy tours ... Read More
The food was great. We ate at the both the main dining rooms and three of the specialty restaurants. We took one shore excursions by NCL, it was ok. We did use two other outside companies for tours. They were very good. Italy tours eu. was great. We had skip the lines tickets and the guides were friendly and knew the what they were talking about. I would recommend them with out a doubt. We were back in time. Do not be afraid and give them a try. The other company (Italy tour sharing/Joe Banana) was good too but we did not purchase any tickets through them. They were also back on time. My biggest issue was with the WIFII. We had a 250 minute package, it was a joke. One needed to be an IT specialist and the minutes disappeared without any one using them. It appears they wanted everyone to purchase one of their plans. All and all this was my first cruise and it was great and I do plan on taking more NCL cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because I am a former employee of NCL. Having worked at sea on the SS Norway in the early 80's I have always had an allegiance to NCL. It was awful the ship was dirty. The embarkation was terrible. The public ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I am a former employee of NCL. Having worked at sea on the SS Norway in the early 80's I have always had an allegiance to NCL. It was awful the ship was dirty. The embarkation was terrible. The public bathrooms were filthy.The ladies restroom outside of the epic theater was disgusting. I was horrified and mentioned it to an officer I saw as I was exiting. During the mandatory drill on the first day I actually saw and heard crew members making fun of the passengers who were asking them where there life boat stations were located. Perhaps they need to be reminded that it is because of the guests that purchase these vacations that they have jobs. Food was awful. Plates were chipped. The only good meal was on one the specialty restaurants. The windows were dirty.The ship had many areas where you could see rust. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have done one cruise before with Disney and travelled with 3 friends, one couple who cruise often on Explorer of the Seas, and one complete newbie. Embarkation was a breeze, although our email we received days before said to show up ... Read More
I have done one cruise before with Disney and travelled with 3 friends, one couple who cruise often on Explorer of the Seas, and one complete newbie. Embarkation was a breeze, although our email we received days before said to show up between 14:30 - 15:30. We left our AirBnB in Barcelona at maybe 10:15, and were at the port shortly after. We snuck in with our friends who were in a junior suite although we were only in a CP View cabin and were given group one and told it would be a 45 minute wait or so for boarding to commence. But we were happy to have group 1. However maybe 10 minutes later they started calling group 1. By the time we made it to the elevator to the gangway they were already saying group 1-25!!! So really fast boarding. I am a complete newbie to the Oasis Class, but I did get a feeling the cruise wasn't by any means sold out though. Which would make sense at the end of the Summer season like this. The ship was impressive and lived up to the hype of the Oasis class. One thing I had read online and also that my friends who cruise on other ships also noticed along with myself is that the ship really is very interior focused, and even the few spaces on the main decks that do have windows/portholes for some reason have frosted or vinyl'd over glass. You could easily go a day on this ship and maybe only see the water once or twice. Even though the ship was two weeks away from a major dry dock and her amplification, she was in pretty good condition. Only a few niggles with the lifts sometimes not responding to button pushes. We did a few finger wipes in nooks and crannies in public areas and every-time were impressed with the cleanliness. Our cabin was fine for the two of us, although other than speaking with our steward(ess) about having our beds separated the first night, we did not really interact with her again. Dining was average in the main dining room if I am honest. It wasn't to Disney standards, and my Carbonara one night was particularly congealed which was disappointing. The wait team in the MDR were brilliant though. We also did Izumi which was great. And 150 Central Park, where the food was good, but the atmosphere and staff were a little lacking. Entertainment wise the main shows were great. Cats was a great production, but I do not understand why RCI thought this would be a good fit for the casual audience of a cruise ship. Many people left before the show even made it to the end of act 1, and even less came back. The Ice show was also great. Come fly with me made zero sense, but the cast were great. One night we ended up really enjoying which we hadn't expected to was the 70's party night in the Promenade. It just clicked and the place really came alive and everyone seemed to have a great time. Overall the service could be a bit lacking and maybe this is because the crew knew it was the end of the season and they have one more cruise after ours then a long dry dock. But that is really no excuse, in particular every time I used the Solarium Bar, I was served by the same server who seemed very unfriendly and uninterested. Shore excursions we did just one official RCI one which was Aix on your own, so it was really a commentated coach ride in and then we did our own thing (in the pouring rain sadly). Majorca was a great stop, although quick. but for me Cinque Terre at La Spezia was a highlight, stunning scenery and a great walk between two of the towns. Naples was foul, we took a train to Pompeii, but if I did another cruise that stopped in Naples, I would stay on the ship. Overall it was a good introduction to RCI, and great to be able to brag at having done one of the largest ships in the world, and the first of the famous Oasis class. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I laugh when I read some of these reviews from various experiences had by passengers. As in life, you can't please everyone. I am not moking anyone, just making a point that a cruise full of people will have various experiences. ... Read More
I laugh when I read some of these reviews from various experiences had by passengers. As in life, you can't please everyone. I am not moking anyone, just making a point that a cruise full of people will have various experiences. About myself, I cruised several times on 3 other NCL ships and Princess before including the beautiful Escape last summer to Bermuda. I am a male, 52 and travel with my Lady. I should also mention I was on a casino at sea cruise meaning it was comped by my affiliation with a casino so isaved some money and caught some nice promo's including reduced air. I did my research prior to booking knowing it was still summer weather in early September so everyday was as anticipated. Simply gorgeous! Most kids were be back at school so it was an older crowd. The destinations were spectacular for a 7 day cruise and we took advantage at every port. A quick rundown of everything related... We had a midship balcony. It was clean and served it purpose. I don't cruise to stay inside but it's nice to hang on the balcony before dinner or catcha sunrise or sunset. Dining was overall pretty good. We went to several restaurants including the specialty ones. Buffet food is as expected, good for a quick bite and readily available. Getting on the ship was near perfection. I walked up at 3:30 and was on the ship 10 minutes later. They don't load the ship completely at this port and there was only another ship or 2 in the port. Getting off took a little longer but moved along. took about 20 minutes. Activities and Entertainment is what you would expect on a typical cruise today. There are a few standouts like the Beatles cover band playing in the Cavern bar. They really packed them in with this crowd of English and American folks reliving the live music of an iconic band. The Cirque show was also entertaining as well as Burn the floor. The headliner bar had fun shows and a very good violinist show. The cruise director and staff get things rolling at sea with the live shows. This ship has a spectacular gym at sea. Plenty of everything to keep the weight down. A full basketball court and waterpark type water slide was present and never too busy to enjoy. Chairs were available on deck and the quiet space up top was a greatfind. I never felt the 4000 plus passengers on this sold out cruise to be an issue. I did plan ahead for the specialty restaurants and ate in a different place each night. Public areas were kept clean for the most part. Some bathrooms needed a little more attention later in the evening after shows let out. The casino was humming nightly and the smoke wasn't an issue. In fact, they had a great cigar lounge that I used daily and purchased a few cigars from the ship when I didn't feel like running back to the room for my own. Elevators were busier as expected during peak times and disembarktion. A ship this size could use a 3rd set for sure. Service was good to excellent depending on where you are. The lounges and outside bars kept things moving. The dining areas at peak times were a little slower for drink service now and again but overall pretty good. We arrived a day earlier to take the edge off the long flight and experienced Barcelona in a very nice hotel by the beach. We hired a private guide to see Gaudi's work of 3 projects including the Sagrada Familia which is a must see from inside. We used the ships excursions for 2 days in Rome visiting the catacombs and the beautiful Cinque Terre, booked my own on another 2 in Naples seeing the Amalfi coast and tour of Nice, Eze, Monaco and Montecarlo and rented electric bikes in Mallorca which was a great deal at 26 Euro a piece. We rode 10-12 km each way along the beach on a nice bike trail and made several stops for pictures, lunch and Gelato. All Great experiences. All in all, it was an excellent experience with few complaints and we were pleasantly surprised. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Previously sailed on the Epic twice, this was the third time but never again. The standard of the Haven facilities have seriously deteriorated, whilst the cabins areof a very high standard, the facilities and added luxury have ... Read More
Previously sailed on the Epic twice, this was the third time but never again. The standard of the Haven facilities have seriously deteriorated, whilst the cabins areof a very high standard, the facilities and added luxury have demised. On previous sailings the Haven had certain parts of the ship that accommodated smokers One being in the posh bar where you could have a relaxing drink and a cigarette the other being on the top deck. When we went to the posh bar we where told that this facility had been stopped and you were not allowed to smoke in either areas. We actually booked this cruise because it had smoking facilities and would not have Paid £6000+ to be told that if we wanted to smoke we had to leave the Haven and go Into the main part of the ship to smoke. The main part of the ship had two smoking areas One on deck 15 and one in the 02 bar. On asking why the facility had been stopped In the Haven areas none of the management could give as to why. So we advise any one who enjoyed a cigarette on their cruise do not go to the expense of booking the Haven save £3000 and go in the normal part of the ship NCL NEED TO STATE THAT ON THE EPIC HAVEN THERE ARE NO SMOKING IN THE HAVEN The food in the Haven was very mundane, the same menu every night so we went to the other restaurants on board. The night we had steak in the Haven restaurant my husband couldn’t eat his on complaining he was told it must have been the supplier and did offer an additional meal We only ate once for breakfast, because most mornings the breakfast was only served Until 9am, we like to stay out at night on holiday and think breakfast should be offered until 10am at least, again in the main part of the ship you could have breakfast till 11.30 So once again your better off not booking the expensive Haven. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise, and whilst we booked it when we were a little tipsy, so glad we did. This was a holiday to celebrate my 40th... This was a Barcelona round trip. We stayed in the city the night before and had an extra night ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and whilst we booked it when we were a little tipsy, so glad we did. This was a holiday to celebrate my 40th... This was a Barcelona round trip. We stayed in the city the night before and had an extra night once we left the ship. Barcelona is a great city I've been to several times before so would recommend that. Embarkation was a breeze. As we had Aurea experience, we got priority boarding so sailed straight through checking and embarkation. It was really easy to follow, especially for people who had never done this before. We boarded the ship around midday, and whilst rooms weren't ready until about 1.30pm, we went to see if we could drop our carry on's off, and we could, which was really handy. Advice: carry on a little as possible... most people need less than they think. Our experience came with a drinks package, can't remember what it was, but it was the one before they changes to Easy etc. However, pre-boarding, we upgraded over the phone to the Premium Plus. Found the food in the restaurant and buffet to be really good with lots of variety. I hate over attentive staff so they standard European service was perfect for me. We did speciality restaurant in the Asian Fusion and Tappanyaki, both were really good. As we'd upgraded our drinks package, we were also able to spend lots of time at the champagne bar without fear of the final bill. Bar service was always pretty fast. Morning coffee from the atrium bar before disembarking, there was a bar just for Aurea experience, and that was good. Ship never felt too full or crazy. The theatre shows were OK. With it being a multilingual ship, not so easy having the spoken word on stage so much, though i would say they need to drop the Tina Turner show. The internationalism of MSC was one of the things that drew me to it. Didn't do any ship organised excursions; it was Europe do never really difficult to get around. Being from the UK, I've been to the mainland lots. First port was cancelled due to operational reasons (didn't find out what they were), and went to Toulon. Found this out once we embarked so didn't have much time to do research. Did the casino, and had fun. Limited myself to 30 Euro and it lasted quite a long time. The MSC for Me app was really useful; highly recommend people download it. You can use it on the ship ships WiFi without having a WiFi package. The screens around the ship were also very good. As we were Aurea, we also got the wristbands, which were really handy for everything. Just couldn't leave the ship without the card. Disembarking was easy. Whilst we needed to be out of our cabin early, we were able to stay on board for a few hours before going to check in to our hotel. We got a WiFi package and didn't use all the date. We also got one of the laundry packages and that was great too. Loved this so much, we're booked on the MSC Meraviglia for November from Miami. I expect service will be a little different. Looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Cruising Background: I’ve been cruising with Celebrity since 2003 and this was my 18th/19th cruise (Tony, a few cruises less than me); and second time on the Constellation. This was our first back-to-back cruise, 3 September and ... Read More
Cruising Background: I’ve been cruising with Celebrity since 2003 and this was my 18th/19th cruise (Tony, a few cruises less than me); and second time on the Constellation. This was our first back-to-back cruise, 3 September and 12 September 2019, with our friends. It was a very port-intensive cruise with fabulous ports of call. I would love to do another one but with more sea days. On Board: The Constellation is a smaller ship (I love the S-Class ships) and does show her age, especially in the chairs around the various lounges, but overall in good condition The Martini bar was always crowded and very noisy, especially on the first day of embarkation. Music shouldn’t be so loud that you have to yell to talk to someone. We spent a lot of our happy hour time in the Reflection lounge; sometimes at the sunset bar at sail-away; and the Rendezvous lounge (depending on who was performing before dinner). The Reflection lounge was never filled. I believe there were only about 100-125 elite passengers. This cruise seemed more low-keyed than the second cruise, which had around 200 elite passengers. The appetizers during the happy hour were very good. The house band was The Cardinals. They were awesome!!! We enjoyed Kyle Tracy (guitar/vocals) and Duo Asai (Acoustic Duo). We didn’t care for the Sea Beats - terrible female singer that could put a person to sleep. The Rendezvous was a popular spot for trivia and evening entertainment. Cellar Masters was pretty quiet. Great staff on board! Some of my favorites were John (cabin attendant); Alejandro (CD and funny as ever; had the pleasure of meeting him on our March 2019 South America cruise); Clint (hotel director first cruise), Milana (hotel director second cruise); Luana (guest relations director), Vlada (Captains club hostess on our first cruise). In the dining room: Wannipa, Dusan, and Gede at table 233; in the Reflection lounge Sushant and Sabitri. Irlinda at guest relations tried to help me with me on an issue with my cabin. Isabela (event coordinator) sent us an invitation to the helipad for our departure from Valletta. Suzanna (sommelier). And of course, the Master of the ship Michael Karatzas, Staff Captain Lefteris Koumasidis, and Chief Engineer Nikolaos Politsis. Cabin 3142. I booked an ocean view cabin since the back-to-back was pretty expensive. Normally I book aqua or concierge. This cabin has an extra-large port hole. My room was VERY warm. Two engineers came by twice but couldn’t do anything to fix the problem. I ended up getting a fan for the room and kept the drapes closed all the time. The window should be better tinted to help from the heat of the sun. The fan helped a little but was still pretty warm. The a/c was running but there wasn’t enough air flow to cool the room; and the air didn’t flow downward, as there was a large square plate that blocked the air flow. Poor system design that I hope is improved when the Constellation gets a facelift. I'm rating this cabin as POOR due to the a/c issue. John was our cabin attendant and he was attentive, friendly, and helpful. Our room was made up early. He gets and EXCELLENT for my rating. The closet hangers need to be updated. Some of the wooden hangers kept coming off their hooks. Dear Celebrity Cruises, please add to your Celebrity Today a comment to all passengers asking them to be respectful of their neighbors not let their cabin doors slam shut. This is very annoying and disturbing when one is trying to sleep. I found many guests just walking in or out of their cabin without attempting to close the door gently. We enjoyed Silent Disco a few times on both cruises. The Captain’s Club Celebration and Senior Officer’s Parties were fun but not fully attended. It was actually nice to be able to attend an event and not feel so crowded. Food on board: We had select dining and really enjoyed all of our meals in the main dining room (except for one lamb entrée). We never waited long for our table. We went to the dining room anywhere from 6:15pm to 7:30pm. One night several of us went to Sushi on Five for a special Indian dinner. It was excellent with a good variety of foods. Another night Tony and I ate at the Tuscan Grill. I would say the Captain’s Club Elite breakfast in the Tuscan grill is pretty slow in its service. Nothing is cooked (only breads are toasted if asked), so why does it take so long to get our food? We went to the ocean view café for most of our breakfasts. Also, Dear Celebrity, please get rid of those awful knives. They are hard to hold! The Ports: We had a great time in Barcelona (three days pre-cruise). We stayed at H10 Montcada Boutique Hotel. Nice hotel, comfortable beds, and a great roof-top terrace. We visited Park Guell the first afternoon of our arrival. I finally got to visit Girona (via train). Lovely city and doable in a day. Also, we had a great lunch at La Grotte & L’Olivier. On the last day we did a Gaudi walking tour and an afternoon visit to Sagrada Familia (buy tickets in advance). Embarkation in Barcelona was a breeze!! We arrived about 10:45am by taxi and there were only a dozen others in the terminal! We couldn’t believe how empty it was compared to our other cruises. Our first night was the Cruise Critic Connections Party. Only a handful showed up, as it was at 8:15pm. I originally booked a tour for Monte Carlo but decided to go on our own. It's a tendered port. We LOVED the oceanographic museum (https://www.visitmonaco.com/us/place/monuments-museums/76/oceanographic-museum-of-monaco)!! We spent at least two hours there. We purchased a combo ticket that included the Palace. Had lunch at Restaurant Chez Tony; visited the old town church just before it closed for the day. We had a private tour for 8 people in Villefranche with Sylvie Di Cristo. We visited three hill towns. We stayed in Civitavecchia and did a cooking class (my second time). Tons of fun. We made several dishes and enjoyed the fruits of our labor afterwards with wine, water, and some lemoncello. Too much food! Frederico is the chef and owner of Aqua Pizzeria Ristorante (aquacivitavecchia@hotmail.it). If you book it, tell Frederico I recommended his class and, “Ciao from Monica!”. We had one sea day on this cruise. We had a 10am meeting about the procedures of our turn-around day in Venice. Lucky for us we wouldn’t have to pack our belongings since we had the same cabin. On the morning of our arrival, we just had to go to guest relations to pick up our new card. We did this around 7:30am. We wanted to be off the ship as early as possible since the departure was at 4pm. We were given a Transit Pass so that we didn’t have to go through the normal check-in process. We had to carry our original passports with us for the day. We used the old card to get off the ship; new card to get back on the ship (your photo is taken when you get back on the ship). The old card is taken away, but you can get it the next day. We were told we would need to update our credit card details for our on-board expenses but when I went a couple of days later, they didn’t need to adjust our account. We were told to be back on the ship by 3:45pm. All other guests had to be back on board by 3:15pm. When we arrived back to the terminal, we didn’t see any Celebrity staff members and we sort of got mixed up with the terminal and which area to enter. I had to ask a local worker where to go. W finally made it back on board by 3:25pm. The boat drill was at 3:45pm. Friends and I attended the Captain’s Club wine tasting at 11:15am. Suzanna, the sommelier, was sweet and very patient with late-comers (arriving 15-25 minutes after the start time) setting up more glasses for them. When the last person strolled in, half of the guests booed and hissed. At the Elegant Tea, two couples showed up in shorts and t-shirts. This was a ‘smart casual’ event, not a pool-side event. In Messina, we had a private tour for 8 to Mt. Etna, a specialty food shop (Oro d’ Etna), the Gambino winery (great visit with lunch and wine tasting), and then a short visit to Castiglione di Sicilia. We did a private tour in Corfu around the island for four of us. This was the only port where we had rain for about an hour. Beautiful island. We toured the Achillion Palace Museum. In Kotor, we did a private tour for 8 people about 4.5 hours and visited Perast, Budva, and Sv.Stefan (just views from the road). The views of Kotor from the top was spectacular! We had time back in Kotor for lunch at Konoba Scala Santa before getting back on the ship. In Zadar, we did a walking tour. We were disappointed because the guide showed up 1/2 hour late. He talked too much at the beginning, so it cut into our afternoon. I didn't have time to see a couple of places and I wanted to climb the town tower. We did see some interesting things. We had a good lunch at Porporela before the tour started. In Venice, we walked around town and went up the Campanile tower. The lines were very long to get into Basilica. We should have purchased tickets in advance. Venice is a great place to just wander and explore the many streets and bridges. Lunch at Taverna San Trovaso, one of my favorite restaurants in town. We were lucky to get a table. Gelato for dessert at Nico’s and a walk back to the people mover and terminal. Second cruise, 12 September 2019: In Split, we toured on our own. I should have done a private tour and visited another place. Tony and I were here before and saw the same things this time. It’s a shame that Diocletian’s palace is such a tourist trap with all the shops. For lunch we had traditional prawns, but it was difficult to get the meat out. Very messy too. In Dubrovnik, four of us took the local bus to Cavtat, a beautiful small seaside town. No crowds like in Dubrovnik. It was a relaxing day walking around along with a wonderful lunch at Posejdon Cavtat. I made reservations a few weeks in advance and asked for a table overlooking the water. Afterwards, we took a boat back to Dubrovnik, which was about a 45-minute ride. We were dropped off outside the town walls where we walked around a bit and had gelato (got rid of the rest of the local currency). In Catania, we had a private tour. We had a nice short visit to the fish market in town and the Cathedral. We went to Syracuse to visit the ancient ruins. We were supposed to get a guide for the site but somehow that fell through. Our guide/driver said there were plenty of signs to read. Not true. Fortunately, I had printed out a document on what we would be seeing, so that helped. Definitely get a guide. Nearby, we had lunch in Ortigia, which is a small island just south of the central area of Syracuse. We requested a place for lunch that served typical/regional dishes, so our guide made reservations for us at Trattoria “la Foglia”. We were treated to limoncello after our meal. Our last stop of the day was to Spinella, a wonderful small pastry shop in Catania. Lucca, our guide, said they serve the best pistachio cannoli. I have to agree. It was huge so the server cut each one in half for each couple to share. In Valletta, Tony and I went out on our own and visited some of the sites in town (Palace Armoury and State Rooms at the Grand Master’s Palace). One must-see is the Saint John's Co-Cathedral. The Baroque art, architecture, and Caravaggio’s paintings are a site to see! I went in alone, so I didn’t have to que in the long group line. We used Palma de Mallorca as a “sea day” with the exception of a short walk for an hour near the port in the morning. It was our third visit to this port. We were docked pretty far away from the center of town. Speaking of docking, the following ports we had to buy shuttle tickets: Zadar, Dubrovnik, Palma, and Ibiza. They ranged from 10 to 15 euros. In a few ports you could take local buses. In Valencia, we were told we could get a taxi, but none were around when we got off the ship. There was a local shuttle bus to the main terminal; again no taxi’s. We took bus #4 to town, which was about a 25-minute ride. As we used Palma as a sea day, we had no problem getting deck chairs near the pool. On the sea days, they were all taken. We saw a lot of deck chairs with towels but no one sitting on them. One time I did manage to get a chair and my husband came by and sat on the end of it. Five minutes later, a man across from us offered one of the chairs next to him. He had kept a towel on it but wasn’t using it!! Later a woman came to her chair (next to me) to collect her belongings. From the time I sat down and her arrival was about 45 minutes. As she started to walk away (leaving her towels on the chair), I grabbed her towels and politely said, “Take your towels to the bin.” Had I not said that, the towels would be on the chairs. Makes me wonder how many other people left their towels. The times I couldn’t find a chair I ended up on deck 5. I think there were only 10-12 chairs. There should have been more. Ibiza is a pretty town. We did a walking tour for about 2.5 hours and later had lunch at Locals Only. This was a long port day, 7am to 11pm. There are a lot of shops and restaurants/bars. It’s a party town; and there are beaches in the area to enjoy. Valencia: As I mentioned previously, we took the bus to town. There is a metro/tram but would have taken a lot longer. We were supposed to meet up with one of the free walking tours by 10:30am but missed it. We got off the ship about 20 minutes later than planned. Valencia is beautiful and it’s a place I could see visiting for a few days. Loved the Spanish architecture. The town squares are gorgeous. Four of us climbed the Valencia Cathedral Bell tower (207 steps up a spiral staircase, which the steps get smaller about the last two floors). The views from the top are nice when you look out, but you can’t photograph straight down to the plazas, as the walls are thick. My legs were wobbly for a couple of days. That staircase was hard on my legs. After lunch at Cordellats, we visited the central market in town; got there about 40 minutes before it closed (3pm). I loved the display of foods. Disembarkation in Barcelona: We had one night in Barcelona before flying home. We went to Sushi on Five for our disembarkation location; got off the ship around 9am. We should have stayed on the ship longer. The taxi line was very long!! I couldn’t imagine flying home that morning. There were four ships in port, so the taxi drivers were very busy. Overall, we had a great time on our first back-to-back cruise with the Celebrity Constellation. The ports were great, as well as the staff on the ship. Looking forward to another Celebrity cruise in a couple of years. Compass Rose Monica https://mycruisetravels.shutterfly.com/2019constellation Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise as wanted the 12 days round the med and also Croatia and Montenegro. Frankly I was disappointed reasons being... had my time dining in the main dining room, which suited but found the food was far better in the ... Read More
I chose this cruise as wanted the 12 days round the med and also Croatia and Montenegro. Frankly I was disappointed reasons being... had my time dining in the main dining room, which suited but found the food was far better in the windjammer, we ate there at lunchtime sometimes and were tempted to go back In the evening but did not want to have to serve ourselves as to me part of the cruise is getting dressed up in the evening. There was also a noticeable absence of a wine waiter, a ship with no wine waiter??? The ship, for me was far to casual, there were 2 formal nights where not many people bothered to dress up, there choice I know,, but on the other nights which were smart casual people turned up in shorts! Which I dont think is acceptable, that is not the ships fault. On the days we were in port, for me, there was not enough going on to keep us entertained, we didn’t get off the ship because had been to most places before. Not even a film, there was a small quiz which lasted max of 10 minutes. Upon reading this back it seems I have been a bit negative but I really think the ship has been cutting too many corners. Cabin was fine and most of the crew were very attentive they did there best. I am not ruling out another cruise with them but this time will choose a larger ship with hopefully more going on. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to have the large ship experience and visit the ports on our itinerary. What I liked: freestyle dining and the specialty restaurants. Not having an assigned dining time was nice and the steakhouse was especially good. ... Read More
We chose this cruise to have the large ship experience and visit the ports on our itinerary. What I liked: freestyle dining and the specialty restaurants. Not having an assigned dining time was nice and the steakhouse was especially good. The entertainment was also good, although the Burn The Floor show was a bit disjointed. The ports were all good. Our cabin steward (Michael) was very good and responsive. The ports were all good and there was plenty to do everywhere we went. What I didn’t like: being nickel and dimed to death for the entire cruise. Do not buy the water package which is bottled water delivered to your room. Not only is it unnecessary and expensive, the environmental impact is huge. They should sell reusable metal water bottles with special filling stations at various locations through out the ship. The elevators were frustratingly slow. Oftentimes 1, 2 or even 3 (out of 4) of the elevators were out of service. The excursions were also VERY expensive. For a ship of 4100 passengers, the front desk was severely understaffed - lines were very long. WiFi is expensive, slow and connection is weak. Lastly, I didn’t like the bathroom sink out in the cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my second time on oasis so I was really excited to sail on this ship mostly the cruise was fabulous with few complaints firstly in the evening I had to wait in a large queue for over thirty minutes before we were seated and when I ... Read More
This was my second time on oasis so I was really excited to sail on this ship mostly the cruise was fabulous with few complaints firstly in the evening I had to wait in a large queue for over thirty minutes before we were seated and when I tried to book a table for the next evening there was never a time available after 7.30.Next you are forbidden from using an iron in your stateroom which I understand but Royal Caribbean now charge you for every item you need ironed I believe they should make somewhere available that people can use in safety without having to pay.And finally from the minute you board they start the big sell with people approaching you at every time of the day selling meal packages, drinks packages watches etc please let people enjoy their holiday and relax.but I must say other than the few things I mentioned I enjoyed my cruise thoroughly in such massive ship can’t wait to se her after she gets the refit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise primarily for the ports of call. Cannot really fault NCL and The Epic at all as everything was excellent for us. The staff,organization,food and entertainment was all first class.We left Barcelona to Naples > Rome > ... Read More
Chose this cruise primarily for the ports of call. Cannot really fault NCL and The Epic at all as everything was excellent for us. The staff,organization,food and entertainment was all first class.We left Barcelona to Naples > Rome > Livorno > Cannes > Palma > Barcelona. All excursions were first class but if you want to really explore then I suggest the full day options.We visited Pompeii,Pisa and Cannes and all were amazing.Embarkation was stress free and easy as was the disembarkation which all went like clockwork. There is an option to self assist with luggage but we chose the colour coded system which allows you to put all your cases outside your room the night before you get off the ship and it was all so easy.We were in stateroom 14141 on the 14th floor and it was also excellent. Great housekeeper in Wilfred and room was kept spotless.Met some really nice passengers from all round the world and everyone was so approachable including all ship management. We paid upfront for the premium drink package and gratuities and it really is worth looking at that option. Definitely would consider NCL and the Epic again. Loved every minute of it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The food was super salty, same thing every day salad bar, hotdogs and hamburgers for lunch, greasy sausages and bacon. Oily omelette. Wait staff was disengaged and not friendly. Got torn towels and sheets and when they were reported, ... Read More
The food was super salty, same thing every day salad bar, hotdogs and hamburgers for lunch, greasy sausages and bacon. Oily omelette. Wait staff was disengaged and not friendly. Got torn towels and sheets and when they were reported, replaced by torn towels again. Nickel and dime for everything. Main dining room had same menu except for 2 appetizers or main course. Adult pool was a hot tub, far from being a pool. To many issues...the ship is tired and unkempt, many places with paint chipped off, every time we came back onboard after a port at least one elevator was out of service. Plastic plates in at the Garden cafe are gross and there is always a smell Nof eggs on them. Had the beverage package and couldn't get bottled water as it was a premium item but a can of red bull was available. Senseless. Bar staff by the pool only see the young girls that waive a $1bill and not anyone else. The ship looks run down and tired. The fact that they pick up passengers along the way provided little sense of security as you end up carrying your own baggage because it can easily go missing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
MSC Seaview 31st August - 7th September 2019, return trip from Barcelona with stops at Cannes, Genoa, La Spezia, Rome, Ajaccio and Palma This was our 23rd cruise, having cruised, as a couple and as a family, with most of the mainstream ... Read More
MSC Seaview 31st August - 7th September 2019, return trip from Barcelona with stops at Cannes, Genoa, La Spezia, Rome, Ajaccio and Palma This was our 23rd cruise, having cruised, as a couple and as a family, with most of the mainstream cruise lines. Our trip with Seaview was our 3rd MSC cruise experience having sailed both Magnifica and Splendida previously. As before, the decision to choose MSC was driven mainly by the itinerary and the perceived value. Our experience of MSC in the past had been mixed at best, however, the draw of a port intensive cruise along the French and Italian rivieras was sufficient to overcome any concerns we may have had. Sailing MSC from a Med port is a different experience to other lines. The ship acts more like a bus, where passengers from across Europe and beyond can start and end their cruise at any of the main ports. For us, provided you arrive early in the day, embarkation was relatively straightforward (we were on within 30 mins). This is possible as only a proportion of the passenger complement is embarking/ disembarking at any given port. Once on Seaview, our initial impressions were that this ship is large, very large and slightly disorientating. You are sharing your cruise holiday with thousands of fellow guests speaking multiple languages from across Europe and Latin America. The ship is ‘busy’ - this is not a ship to choose for peace and tranquility! The design theme of the ship is ‘modern’ - plenty of glass, steel, mirrors, chrome and vinyl in a muted pallette of purples, greys and greens. Whilst we would not describe the ship as dirty, it was the least ‘kept’ ship we have ever been on. This could be to do with the thousands of people in constant movement on the ship, but one of the biggest differences we noticed is the total lack of staffing. We rarely saw anyone cleaning the public areas, and it was common-place to see unvacuumed carpets or handprints across mirrored surfaces. Hygiene did not seem to be enforced on the ship with no one being asked to wash or sanitise their hands before entering the restaurants. Whilst embarkation was straight forward and quick, the rest of our ‘cruise prep’ was nothing short of a mess. We had pre-purchased our drinks package and had paid extra for the ‘Fantastica’ experience to ensure we had our choice of dining time as we enjoy eating later in the evening. This was all confirmed with MSC by our TA and our tickets issued by MSC confirmed the same. Once on board we celebrated the start of our cruise with a sail-away cocktail only to be told by the barman that no drinks package was loaded to our account - at this point we noticed we had been allocated the first sitting (6.15pm) for dinner. A trip to Guest Relations was required. We felt sorry for the staff in the end. There are just too few of them employed by MSC. This means they are overworked and tired and begin to see guests as a problem. We queued for 20 mins to see the agent at Guest Relations. He could not help as his computer just said ‘no’ to finding our drinks package. His colleague was better equipped to help but never once looked us in the eye and continued to tap furiously at the computer trying to find our drinks package. After calling over a third colleague and then reissuing our whole party’s cruise cards we were all set to go. This episode had taken 1 hour. We mentioned the dining time error and were dismissed with the wave of the hand and told to report to the restaurant to request the change. We duly reported to the head waiter at the restaurant and after a further queue we were summoned forward to plead our request to change our dining time. Our request was met with a snort and we were asked if we knew how many children were on board (1500 apparently). We were informed that children like to eat late so we would have to eat early - no ifs or buts. We protested that we had paid the extra to eat at a time of our choosing. His response was, with a wry smile, to read the small print (there is no guarantee that MSC will honour the time of your choice). We continued to protest - clearly the head waiter had heard all of our arguments before - and only gave us the blank stare look. Eventually we must have hit the correct word pattern for him to take out a notepad and write down our request for a table for 5 at a later time with a promise to see why he could do ‘tomorrow’. Unfortunately this start to the cruise was an all too familiar MSC experience for us. We don’t understand why they make such hard work of such basic elements of their service. Clearly the deficiencies are all too evident to their staff but they seem so indifferent to their employers incompetence. Our inside room was well appointed, the beds comfortable and the IT (interactive tv and USB charging ports) were excellent. Whilst most continental channels were provided, English speaking guests have a diet of three news channels or PPV movies at 7 Euros a go. Our room steward made himself known. He was efficient if somewhat aggressive. MSC only allow you one pool towel that you must return to your cabin. Failure to comply will result in a 20 Euros fee. Our towel was taken by ‘persons unknown’ whilst we made use of a jacuzzi. The cabin steward took some convincing that we had not sequestrated an MSC branded towel. Whilst familiarising ourselves with MSC app we discovered the head waiter had managed to change our table reservation for a later evening slot as originally confirmed by MSC. Hooray! Not that this was communicated directly to us, we just noticed the table number had changed on the MSC app. A call to Guest Relations did indeed confirm the change. Dining with MSC can never be described as a culinary experience. There are three set dining times, with just a 15 minute window for you to enter the restaurant at your set time. With up to a third of the ship eating at any one time, it is a miracle what they do achieve. It was staggering sight to see so many people crowed outside the restaurant waiting for the ‘rope drop’ moment when the hoarding mass is let into the room to feast. We ate in the Silver Dolphin restaurant. A dull grey affair with seating that resembles 1970s office furniture. Our ‘new’ table for five was in fact a table for four with the fifth person stuck on the end. This person being just inches away from the adjoining table; they could easily join in with that party. The waiters did well, but they were clearly overworked covering a wide section of tables. We would arrive around 8.15pm and would be asked to select all courses. We would not receive our first course until well after 9pm. The rest of meal being served in quick succession to ensure we were out by 10pm for the next sitting. The food itself is fairly bland and uninspired and was served to us ‘warm’. Most dishes appeared to be a variation of fish and pork. The din in the room was so much it was very difficult for us to conduct a conversation. In a first for us, we ate more frequently in the casual dining option (Deck 16 buffet was a good option) to escape the confines, noise and mediocrity of the main restaurant. It has to be repeated - this ship is large. This wouldn’t normally have fazed us, but this time we travelled with an older family member with limited mobility. We were somewhat reliant to travel by lift when we wished to move between decks. The ships deploys an ‘intelligent’ lift system where you select the floor you wish to travel to prior to entering the designated car. Whilst this may result in a fair distribution of available lift space it can mean lengthy waits in the lobby area. This can become tedious especially at peak times as you can’t just jump in the next available passing lift. Based on our previous MSC cruise experience we knew that a drinks package of some description would be required - the only free options are water, tea and coffee in the buffet areas and ‘juice’ at breakfast. To find someone to order your drinks from is a challenge. Again MSC don’t employ sufficient staff. In the buffet a call bell system is deployed where you press a button on your table that buzzes a nearby waiter’s watch to notify him to coma and take your request. That’s the theory but it rarely worked without prompting. We noticed that several bar staff were manning at least three of these watches. Where were the staff? On the outside deck we never saw a bar service waiter. One of our party needed to make a trip to a bar to get the order. On one occasion the bar man asked a colleague to help take out our drinks to where we were sitting - this was met with a ‘do I have to’ protest. To sum up, we were aware of MSC’s deficiencies before we booked and they did nothing to change our view. The ports of call were excellent and were the focus of the holiday, and therefore we enjoyed our time. MSC seriously understaff their ships and whilst there were a couple of exceptions most staff appeared disinterested in the customer experience. The food remains average. The consequence of a large ship is lots of people, noise and queues at peak times. For us, this will be the last MSC cruise. We will focus on the quality of the experience and steer clear of the larger mega-ships. If MSC spent as much money on their staffing and food offering as they have on their latest ships the overall product would stand better scrutiny. We would rate our overall experience as 3 out of 5. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Not sure if 'niggles' translates well and this is my first cruise so it might be just NFC (normal for cruising). First impressions of the ship was great. Speedy embarkation and friendly reception. However when we wanted to ... Read More
Not sure if 'niggles' translates well and this is my first cruise so it might be just NFC (normal for cruising). First impressions of the ship was great. Speedy embarkation and friendly reception. However when we wanted to get a drink 15 minutes before muster we were refused and we were parched! Didn't know about that. Muster took ages but there were plenty of seats. We went to Taste for lunch but was so rushed! Server's constantly around us to take plates and my son's main came out when he was still eating starters. We should have gone to the garden café. Next morning we were refused entry to the garden cafe at 11.15 but it was supposed to close at 11.30 - disappointing. Kids club was hit and miss. My 11 year old found "free style play" in Splash boring. I took her to the "Entourage take over" for 8 pm as advertised to be told it was open at 8.30 pm - so we went to Splash, to be told it was at 8 pm at Entourage and they had "just called down to tell them" (yeah right!) so we had to walk the full length of the ship back to Entourage! Entourage was closed until around 6 pm each day except sea days. This meant my 13 year old was a bit bored on the days we didn't go ashore but I played table tennis with him and we joined a quiz in the Atrium. There was a coffee shop there but the seats there all face the stage area and the ceiling is low so you can't see the whole screen unless you are at the front. Bad design. Another bad design is the casino being in the middle where to get to all the bars and entertainment you have to go through it. I got sick of seeing the place but luckily it wasn't too smokey. The drinks package included sake which I wanted to try. We were told we had to purchase food at the Sake Bar so we went to Shakers. The bar tender said we had to go to the Sake Bar and we didn't have to buy food. He walked over with us and this time we were served! Overall the food was not impressive. I liked Manhatten for the ambience. Garden Cafe was too busy and often couldn't get a seat so we took our plates down to La Cucina which was calm and lovely. We did this every time thereafter. Food was very average, the experience reminded me of a self service motorway services, similar standard. Apple pie in O'Sheehans also disappointing after hearing good reviews of it. We didn't eat there again. Even in the main dining rooms no one said "this food is amazing". Some reviewer suggested it might be to encourage people to buy the dining package which could be the case! On the plus side the furnishings were comfortable, well maintained, looked high end and clean. The entertainment such as The Beatles, Precilla Queen of the Desert, and Burn the Floor were fantastic. The Theatre was one of my favourite places along with Maltings. However we didn't allow niggles to spoil our holiday or put us off cruising. We just thought "let's try a different line next time". Overall we had a really good holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for our 10-year wedding anniversary and opted for the Haven. I really enjoyed the embarkation process where we were taken to a separated, less chaotic area. Though, I don't know that I would book the Haven again. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our 10-year wedding anniversary and opted for the Haven. I really enjoyed the embarkation process where we were taken to a separated, less chaotic area. Though, I don't know that I would book the Haven again. I know that I wouldn't book the Epic or this itinerary again. We live in Europe, so have been to all the ports except Majorca. The ship was awful. I didn't like that the elevators only stop on certain levels and you HAVE to walk through the casino, which stank of smoke, to go to the Atrium if you are in the back of the ship. The layout was very confusing and you can tell it was made by a French company. Even some of the main levels, you had to walk in a certain direction or else you would reach a dead-end. Normally, the cruise ships are very predictable in how they are laid out (I've been on 8+ now), but it took me days to get my bearings on this ship. This was exacerbated by the people on board. I've never seen so many strollers. When you have 4,000+ passengers, it gets old. The atrium was the main thoroughfare for pretty much everything. Even the quizzes took place in the atrium (which were few and far between). If you sat in the back, you could not see the screen with question, so really, it's a poor area to host a quiz (or any game). The cabins were also odd as a curtain separated the bathroom from our bedroom. We liked the aft-facing balcony but the room itself was lackluster. The ports were meh. If you have only one chance to come to Europe, this may be the itinerary for you. But, otherwise, it's disappointing. We've cruised out of "Rome" before so knew that it takes about 2 hours each way to get to the city. But, almost all the ports were like this. Naples was an exception, but that's only if you want to go to Naples (not Capri, Sorrento, Vesuvius, Pompeii, etc.). The main entertainment was good. I'm not a fan of dancing shows but we had nothing else to do and so went. It was impressive. The howl at the moon was awesome!!! Karaoke was disappointing as all the slots were complete (even by kids in an 18+ club) an hour in. We both loved Priscilla Queen of the Desert! The Cirque show was not as great as some of the others we have seen on other ships and not even better than some of the regular, free entertainment. Plus, the food was not worth it. I think because this was also a one-stop European vacation for most passengers. Although the passengers were polite, most were concerned about ports rather than joining in. This is one of the highlights of most of our cruises- as we tend to make friends and keep in touch with the people we meet. We met nobody on this cruise. There were such little activities going on (boring!) and then few people actually joined. I've cruised the smaller ships and tend to favour them now, but they have to cap the wine tastings because they are well attended (despite the added cost). We sat at the tasting time and just needed 2 more people to show up. Nope! Nobody showed up and the tasting did not make. All activities were poorly attended. We really didn't take advantage of the Haven much. Our butler came and brought us food (though we didn't eat much of it because of our dietary requirements). The concierge was very nice and went above and beyond in a personal instance. He even got us in to a full excursion. We laid out in the Haven pool area one day only and I went to the gym there once. The restaurant (ate at twice for dinner) was actually worth going to more than the specialty restaurants as the food was superior. In particular, the cuts of meat and the attention to the food quality was worth going. Though, the menu didn't change. I do enjoy going to see the main dining menu to see what's new each night on other cruises. Oddly enough, my favourite part of the entire cruise was the Haven bartender. After our first night, he knew us by name and would ask us if we wanted our usual. He made the best dirty martinis and was so funny! He came to know our patterns for ordering drinks pre-dinner, during dinner, and after. Fab! A couple additional perks of the Haven that I learned on board (above the seating in the theatre)- you have priority over some of the elevators so you wait less and it comes directly to you AND you have easy disembarkation for each port/final stop. We always take advantage of the Thermal Suite Pass on board. I think this is why we didn't use the Haven much. As it's an outlet for the 18+ year olds and so peaceful. I love the heated chairs and often that's my nap area. The hot tubs and saunas were so relaxing. On the Baltic cruise I took, this area was packed and crowded by the end of the cruise. But, on this itinerary, it was nearly empty every day. I believe, again, that this is due to the types of passengers on the ship. When you only get one sea day and excursions that demand hours of your time, there's hardly anyone on board. While the staff were very friendly (my husband saw his favourite coffee lady who we will see again on our next cruise), I hated how the passengers tended to talk down to them and treat them as if they should be at their feet. These people work long and hard and I wish people respected them more. Even if you have an issue, most of the time, it's not their fault. For instance, I didn't like that we got a $50 voucher for the spa due to our anniversary. But, we couldn't use it with any other promotion (such as our 25% off due to our thermal pass or the % off we get at gold status). NCL- Don't use our anniversary as a marketing ploy. We told the staff this, but knew it was not them that came up with the idea. Next, I know NCL is all for going green, but don't get rid of the towel animals. Change my towels less or let me opt into the towel animals rather than getting new towels daily. This has always been a favourite of mine- I have tons of pictures of all the animals from all of our cruises. But, I had to request them (which took days in a 7 day cruise). Don't cheap out on what we love NCL. Lastly, while most of the crew carried the experience, the cruise director was disappointing. I forgot her name already- Amanda from the UK or something? I saw her once- while we were disembarking. All other NCL staff have always been so involved. My last cruise was December 2019 so it's not like things have changed over the years. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Boat was amazing the food and service was top notch. Entertainment was excellent and the ports were amazing. Rooms clean and functional. Epic has a great staff with friendly servers and for a big ship never had to wait in line. Beatles ... Read More
Boat was amazing the food and service was top notch. Entertainment was excellent and the ports were amazing. Rooms clean and functional. Epic has a great staff with friendly servers and for a big ship never had to wait in line. Beatles show was alot of fun as was Broadway show. Western mediterian had amazing ports and the times in port were perfect. Also loved the cruise director whi had fun activities planned all day and night. The glow night party was also alot of fun. Maybe the pools were a little small would be the only complaint we had but didnt really go in any of them. Breakfast at taste on deck 5 was our favourite. Never waited for a drink and the casino was actually better than we thought . I would travel.on this ship again and would like to try this ship when it travels south in winter. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I was excited to experience a cruise with Norwegian as I have a friend who works for Norwegian and I heard great things about the service. Embarking was quick and easy. The staff was down right rude with the exception of the restaurants ... Read More
I was excited to experience a cruise with Norwegian as I have a friend who works for Norwegian and I heard great things about the service. Embarking was quick and easy. The staff was down right rude with the exception of the restaurants and spa personnel. The cabin was decent in size, I had a balcony which was nice. The food was pretty good. A lot of other guests complained about the service too and were surprised. Some of the excursions were not as great either. They were just trying to take up time, rather than being of quality. I didn’t get the birthday treats they promised. They broke my luggage and never sent a survey. I contacted customer service and it took a month to hear back. I had two cruises planned (for next yr over 8k) with them and I just canceled them. I was really disappointed in the service received. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my wife's and I first Norwegian Cruise and we picked this one because of the European ports of call and the fact Carnival does not offer the European cruises unless they have a new ship launch..The European ports we stopped ... Read More
This was my wife's and I first Norwegian Cruise and we picked this one because of the European ports of call and the fact Carnival does not offer the European cruises unless they have a new ship launch..The European ports we stopped at were fantastic and we visited places we had only dreamed of in the past. We have been on 13 previous Carnival cruises with 11 of them being balcony cabins with them all being on the Conquest class ships or the Dream class ships..This is what we found...Freestyle cruising and that's what Norwegian calls it is not for us .They want you to book ahead of your cruise any specialty restaurants or shows you want to go to..We had the Liquor package thrown in with our cruise along with 3 specialty dining restaurants..We picked Le Bistro(french),Madurno's a Brazillian steakhouse and Le Cuchinos a Italian restaurant...If we had to pay for these restaurants the bill would of been just under $300.00..The meals were excellent in the 3 specialty dining restaurants but were subpar in the main dining restaurants Manhattan and Taste.We found the main dining restaurants to be very noisy and several food items to be subpar with what you get on Carnival in their main dining rooms.With the free style concept you go to eat when you want or better said when you can get the reservation..My wife and I like the early dining option on Carnival thus we were not to pleased with the setup on Norwegian except for the superior quality food in the specialty restaurants and like I said before you pay for it....Also on Carnival your waiters get to know you and build up a bond with you night after night thus the service is better on Carnival. Another thing you do not get this on Norwegian and we found the service to be very impersonal. What we missed on Norweigen is that with Carnival your waiters put on a song and dance show during your meal. Your not going to get this on Norwegian. Another item we found sub par on the Epic was that the elevators were very slow compared to the 13 other cruises we have been on. It seems like they do not have enough elevators for the 4100 passengers on board. Entertainment we found not as plentiful on the Epic compared to the carnival ships...They had one Broadway style show which was very good however the Circus du Solei show was a pay show only so we decided not to attend.For the most part EPIC had less live music than you would find on a Carnival ship and most of the singers were sub par with the exception of the Epic Beatles and a Filipino singer named Allan who sang solo near the Whiskey Tasters bar. The balcony cabin that we had looks nice but was badly laid out and not as functional as on Carnival. Our room steward was good but did not have the same friendliness we have experienced on previous Carnival cruises. When you disembark you feel you are just a number not the feeling that you are leaving family on Carnival.Do not get us wrong this is a beautiful ship with a lot of polished wood but for our liking we would of been more than happy on Carnival Breeze or Dream.Yes we would take another Norwegian cruise but not on the Epic...Long story short my wife and I feel that Carnival has the best value for our vacation dollar. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Extended family holiday - found a lot of staff rude and unhelpful - probably to do with pre paid gratuities. The only real exception was the cabin staff. Due to large number in group we were never able to sit together and found that ... Read More
Extended family holiday - found a lot of staff rude and unhelpful - probably to do with pre paid gratuities. The only real exception was the cabin staff. Due to large number in group we were never able to sit together and found that meals were brought up at different times - understandable in the main restaurants but not acceptable in the extra dining venues. In Le Bistro some were on dessert while we were still waiting for starters. Cabin was awful - think more suited to 2 people - not suitable for children also. Good points - food was lovely - drinks had a large selection - never had a problem with sunbeds. This ship is quite old and should probably have a refit its lets NCL down as this was our second cruise with them and we were very disappointed. Will try another cruise line next time. Customer service terrible so far since home sadly also. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I’ve cruised with lots of companies before but this is the first time with MSC. We were a large family celebrating a 70th so the price of the cruise was the main attraction - I honestly cannot fault MSC on their child prices as it really ... Read More
I’ve cruised with lots of companies before but this is the first time with MSC. We were a large family celebrating a 70th so the price of the cruise was the main attraction - I honestly cannot fault MSC on their child prices as it really brings the cost down especially when booked early. Also, the ship was new and other members of my family have cruised with MSC before and rated them highly. In the run up to the holiday, perhaps because it was a complicated booking, I had many administration issues with MSC - they kept getting details of our booking wrong - but in all fairness with some persistence from my end MSC did sort everything out and we did get everything we had booked once on board. The systems MSC use for pre-booking activities, etc. just aren’t as slick as other companies but again for the price I could handle this. Check-in was slower than other companies but it was well organised and for the price we paid I certainly wouldn’t moan about it. The ship itself was lovely and I really couldn’t fault it. If I had any gripe it was that there seemed to be a lot of wasted space but really that was such a minor thing compared to how beautiful the ship actually was. I’ve sailed with Cunard, P&O, RCI regularly including Symphony and MSC definitely compete on the standard of their ships. We had pre-booked the all inclusive package and this was also great. Not as good as RCI’s package but then again it was nowhere near the price. The Venchi ice-cream and milkshakes included in our package were out of this world good. Word of warning, we booked early and so still received the old Classic package, which was truly wonderful. If I was to book again with the new drinks packages I honestly wouldn’t bother with the Easy package - looking at the menu it seemed a total and utter waste of money. Pre-booking seemed to be the way to go with MSC, despite the admin. hiccups, and we saved a lot of money. We pre-booked the thermal experience pass for the week and this was well worth it. The spa was lovely and with a quiet area dedicated to spa guests it was a nice place to get away from it all when the kids were off having fun. It was missing a bar if I’m honest but again a minor gripe. We also pre-booked the Trio dining experience and were glad we did. I read a lot of reviews in advance that slated the food so I hedged my bets and booked the speciality dining package, again saving a lot versus on board price. The food in the main dining room was not awful at all - neither was it the best but again for the price we paid I honestly wouldn’t grumble. The meals though did feel either rushed or took far too long - it never seemed quite right in terms of length - but the quality was OK. The buffet restaurants were some of the best I’ve had - a little repetitive but to be honest I think the quality on all of the main cruise lines is dipping now so MSC buffets were not only comparable but better. What I felt was seriously lacking was the range of free dining venues on offer. You could get everything that other lines offer in the buffet or in the MDR but I never thought about how nice it is to have a large choice of where to dine until I was left with pretty much no choice - MDR or buffet. That was why the Trio package was worth it - to add a bit of variety. We couldn’t use our all inclusive package in the speciality dining though because everything was out of the Classic price bracket. I thought this was off-side but again I could handle not drinking for a couple of hours whilst I ate and there was nothing stopping me taking a glass of wine in with me and savouring it during the meal. The cabin was nice too. We booked a Fantastica inside and what I really liked was that we could have a double bed and two bunks - I’ve never been offered that on an inside before, just 4 singles. We used the room service on Fantastica as a wake up call and just got coffee and juice delivered at the time we wanted to wake up. To be honest though, if Bella was significantly cheaper I’d just book that in future. Word of warning, if you are booking an inside for a family of 4 then pack lightly or be prepared to wedge your clothes in to any hole going as storage is limited - adequate for 2 people but not 4. Check-out was a delight. We asked for a late check-out and were able to stay in our cabins til 9am and even after that no-one was herding you off the ship. We had a night in Barcelona booked before our flight home and at 2.30pm we were still on the ship, enjoying our all inclusive and the facilities, with no-one being anything other than nice. We could have stayed on til sail away but wanted to get settled in our hotel. Last year we were literally forced off Symphony and that was at 9.30am - this was far more relaxed. The only thing I found truly shocking and can’t forgive even despite the price is the entertainment. It’s woeful and repetitive and dull and needs a thorough shake-up. There literally was nothing to do - and believe me we did give the meagre offerings a good go. I actually caught myself regretting not bringing some travel games with me, which is appalling. My family assure me that on every other MSC cruise they’ve been on the entertainment was spot on but without having experienced it myself I remain wary. In fact, had we not have pre-bought the Fun Pass I honestly am not sure what as a family we would have done for entertainment. So all in all, would I cruise with MSC again? If the price was right, maybe. If I couldn’t afford the other cruise lines then definitely. In all honesty though, I’d save up a little longer and book RCI because I just couldn’t get over how bored I was. I do feel I’m being unfair here though as, I’ll repeat, my family are adamant that the entertainment on other MSC ships is far superior. Overall, at the right price point MSC are a lovely way to experience cruising without breaking the bank but if they up their prices then I’m not sure what they offer that would tempt me away from the other companies. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was the first time we have done a cruise and we really did not know what to expect. We traveled as a family with 2 older teenagers and chose the MSC Bellissima in the hope that it would offer enough to keep them entertained (the Aqua ... Read More
This was the first time we have done a cruise and we really did not know what to expect. We traveled as a family with 2 older teenagers and chose the MSC Bellissima in the hope that it would offer enough to keep them entertained (the Aqua Park was the key deciding factor and not the itinerary). Just to start - the Bellissima is a beautiful and elegant ship, yes we were very impressed by the Swarovski crystal staircase. It is also loud, lively and family friendly. So if you don't appreciate sharing your holiday with lots of children of all ages then this probably isn't the ship for you - particularly during the school holidays. There are plenty of activities on board. The children's clubs seemed to be very good although we did not use them.The sportsplex although almost always busy again was good. We all particularly enjoyed the F1 simulator, bowling, ice hockey and interactive cinema here. The fun pass came in very handy and I would highly recommend purchasing this in advance as it offered excellent value for money compared to on board prices. The swimming pools were lovely, although crowded. As with many holidays, you still have the unfortunate experience of people hogging sun beds with their towels but never really appearing in person! There is absolutely no need for this and this was probably the most irritating thing about the whole cruise. The Aqua Park was very nice but not nearly big enough to entertain my older thrill-seeking teenagers. It is, however, excellent for slightly younger children. The Himalayan walk was fun. The Cirque du Soleil shows were excellent. We saw one as a dinner show and the other as a cocktail show. I would highly recommend the dinner show. The shopping was good but expensive, primarily due to the poor exchange rate for the pound against the Euro. However, there are promotions on everyday with significant discounts. We bought the unlimited internet package in advance. This seemed very expensive at the time but proved essential for my teenagers using social media and keeping in touch with friends. They complained it was a slow internet connection - however it is satellite wifi and so not as fast as home wifi. We did one MSC organised excursion to Gozo by powerboat followed by a jeep safari around the island and time on the beach. The excursion was well organised. It seemed expensive at 115 Euro each, but we all really enjoyed the day so it was worth the cost. The service was excellent from all the staff we met. I appreciate this is contrary to some reviews I read prior to booking but we found that all passenger facing staff spoke very good English and,as a minimum, they were all polite and professional. Our cabin attendant, Jean, was particularly friendly and helpful and went out of his way to make our stay special. The restaurant service was almost always very rapid and always courteous and polite. In the seated restaurant the staff would try to offer something else if you did not like what was offered on that evening's menu. The buffet restaurant had a huge variety of dishes to suit all tastes. We had the premium drinks package included which was very good for us and again I would definitely have this again. The whole ship was spotlessly clean and you could see staff at all times of day cleaning public areas. There was a real focus on hand hygiene at meal times with excellent facilities for hand washing outside the main buffet restaurant - a welcome sight! We did use the Zoe voice activated information system as a bit of a novelty, however the MSC for me app was much more useful. Embarkation and disembarkation were busy but well organised and there were minimal waiting times. Overall, we all thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise experience and will definitely travel with MSC again. I am confused by some of the negative reviews I have read but I would highly recommend both the company and the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just returned from from 7 night western med cruise from Barcelona. We have previously cruised with NCL 3 times. Embarkation slick and easy, taxi from Barcelona cathedral costing 13 euros. Not worth queing for the the 3 euro bus, tpoo ... Read More
Just returned from from 7 night western med cruise from Barcelona. We have previously cruised with NCL 3 times. Embarkation slick and easy, taxi from Barcelona cathedral costing 13 euros. Not worth queing for the the 3 euro bus, tpoo hot, too busy. The ship is showing signs of age and appears tired in places. The layout is easy to navigate however there was a lack of public space around the atrium. The bars were good, in particular the Whisky bar, great staff and some good music. Try out the quiet zone sun deck on deck 18. Great beds and some space to relax. We had a spa balcony which provided sufficient space for three occupants.There is a strage layout, the sink is in the main room. It is a rather silly idea, so much so we resorted to using the spa to shower etc. Our steward, Erold was super efficient and friendly. The dining rooms were good, however the ship was full with some very boisterous large family groups who had little regard for other diners. Children climbing over charis and tables in the main restaurant at 9.30pm is a bit much. Staff were patient and tried to manage these groups but on occasion dining was a scrum rather than a pleasant sociable event. Speciality dining. We ate in four restaurants; Cagneys - poor. Service was chaotic and the food undercooked and cold. On the evening we were there multiple diners complained about the service and the quality of the food. La Cucina - ate here twiceand found the food very good indeed.Great service from professional and efficient staff. Sushi - excellent meal. Prepared to order and a nice change. Le Bistro - nice ambience, good staff. The food was very good. The gym is very big and well equipped. The spa is good but dated. The best group/evening entertainment was the Howl at the Moon. Good fun, fantastic musicians who generate a great atmosphere. Our 16 yr old loved it! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise because my friend was going but she later cancelled. When I arrived at the terminal there was some confusion at curbside re luggage checkin. When I got onboard went to Garden Cafe for lunch and the place was busy. I ... Read More
Chose this cruise because my friend was going but she later cancelled. When I arrived at the terminal there was some confusion at curbside re luggage checkin. When I got onboard went to Garden Cafe for lunch and the place was busy. I noticed many children with their families. I guess that’s to be expected during the summer season. I had an inside cabin that had a small stocked refrigerator. The toilet was in a small room alone, the shower outside and the sink on the counter. Eventually, I didn’t care for this setup. The toilet area should have a small self for personal items and there’s no privacy (I had a roommate). I saw 2 shows, “Priscilla, queen of the desert” and “Dance “? Enjoyed both shows but they shouldn’t allow kids to see Priscilla. It contained adult “gay” subject matter and language. I ate in both dining rooms, food lukewarm but The Hawaiian pork belly was good. Also ate at Moderno (delicious) and Shanghai ( good) restaurants. Excellent fitness center, attended the White Glow Party on outside deck 15. It was too windy, too cold and they played techno music. I had 1 drink stayed 40 min then left. It should be indoors like the Pride of America. Garden Cafe was good with a large variety. Room service breakfast was hot and timely. Cabin steward, Rene, attentive. My shore excursions were booked with private company. Disembarkation was ok with 2 exits. Ship’s internet ok, I ordered 250 min. Plenty of activities. Beautiful ship but too large for my tastes (4500+ passengers) Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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