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Cruise Ratings
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports of call Discovery 2 was visiting and we have had a wonderful holiday. The entertainment team put on some truly spectacular shows we especially enjoyed the Freddie Mercury show absolutely amazing, also ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call Discovery 2 was visiting and we have had a wonderful holiday. The entertainment team put on some truly spectacular shows we especially enjoyed the Freddie Mercury show absolutely amazing, also Carl the UK comedian had everyone laughing from the minute he came on stage to the minute he left and what an amazing voice he's got! The cuisine in all the restaurants is excellent, we especially enjoyed the Italian restaurant, our waiters, we're John Vicoy, Gilzen and the lovely Mary Rose, ask to be seated at Mary Rose's section of the restaraunt, I assure you they will add to your dining experience, thank you guy's and Mary Rose, you really made our holiday special and the trio of tiramasui is the best desert I have ever tasted! A mahoosive thank you to each and every crew member for making our holiday so wonderful. We will be back! Carol and Robert Parkes Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was my 3rd time cruising, 1st time w/ Celebrity. The 2 previous cruises were both with NCL. My review is mostly based on the fact that the food is HORRIBLE on the Edge. I do not know how they could've dropped the ball so low. The ... Read More
This was my 3rd time cruising, 1st time w/ Celebrity. The 2 previous cruises were both with NCL. My review is mostly based on the fact that the food is HORRIBLE on the Edge. I do not know how they could've dropped the ball so low. The buffet is disgusting & greasy; the food messed with my stomach. They also don't even have a sandwich station in the buffet, I mean COME ON... I don't feel like eating prime rib for lunch. All of my meals in the main dining rooms were terrible. I ate in Eden (specialty Michelin star chef) , it was so-so. Definitely not Michelin star quality. Raw on 5 (sushi) was TERRIBLE. Worst sushi I've ever had in my life. My only good meal was in Fine Cut (steakhouse) which was quite good and delicious. I also ate in le grand bistro (French) for lunch and that was a better experience. My Microwaved meal on the flight home was better than most of the food on board! ..Seriously! Aside from the food, the ship is nice... but I don't think it lives up to the hype and publicity its received. NCL's newer ships are just as nice in terms of aesthetics, maybe even nicer than the Edge. I also found the pool area's decor to be tacky. When you see it in person vs in pictures it definitely leaves you flat. Entertainment was also subpar. The singer in the main atrium was HORRIBLE. I couldn't stand her voice for 1 second. The shows are not theater quality like on NCL. Some are good, but most not so much. The comedian, Kevin Jordan was the best though! Captain Dimitrios was also a great captain, very charismatic-- which I think makes the experience more exciting. The Ports were also great. Cabins are nice and spacious. The service at first was pretty good, but as the cruise progressed I noticed the quality of service decreased. It's really too bad the ship fell short, I do not think I'll be cruising with Celebrity again, unfortunately. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. ... Read More
This was myself and wife 15th cruise all with Marella and the 4th time on the Dream as it was !! Our favourite ship in the fleet. I’ll keep the review practical many frequent Marbella cruise travellers hopefully get the key points. The positives are its an older ship but has some great venues and bars which makes the personnel touches better than the bigger ships and it proved no different from our previous sailings. The services from the bars and restaurant staff were excellent. The professional entertainment was excellent although some of the best act were too late in the evening. We read on an informative letter in our cabin on arrival that they listen to the cruise feedback reviews. They had decided they would let children use the adult pools which I’m not sure was thought through. We like the lido pool on deck 9 it has a children’s pool but they all used the adult pool. Not supervised by staff and parents and just basic chaos all week. Jumping,pushing,shoving,inflatables the size of a person. Water guns the size of cannons firing all over the deck. We are not stick in the muds we have 3 children who don’t behave in this fashion. Three times we complained to reception and all we got back was they are the same throughout the ship. Ruined the holiday and experience. The sail away party the life and sole of these cruises was ruined by the life safety drill taking place at 10.00 in the evening which is unheard off. The food which was always the stalwart of the Dream has gone backwards!! Repetitive basis offering and the sweet selection was really poor. The Cruise Director spent more time trying to sell upgrades than actually information around the entertainment. The 2 hour flight delay coming and 5 hour delay going back didn’t help either. This is our 2nd Marella cruise this year which hasn’t come anywhere near expectations with delays and standards going backwards.one of the biggest frustrations is trying to get your voice heard. The Tui App on the ship is loaded with questions they want to hear rather than anything they don’t. The questionnaire they send you is just as frustrating and if you criticising too much will not let you complete. Prices going up and standards going down. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We have just finished an amazing cruise on the Epic. We went with our two kids aged 10 and 7. This was our first cruise with kids but have done a couple of Cunard cruises with the two of us. Embarkation couldn't have been better - ... Read More
We have just finished an amazing cruise on the Epic. We went with our two kids aged 10 and 7. This was our first cruise with kids but have done a couple of Cunard cruises with the two of us. Embarkation couldn't have been better - we were on board within 30 minutes of getting out of the taxi. Thought the food was great throughout (although much preferred the sit down dining to the buffet as this was a bit hectic). I also really enjoyed the all inclusive beverage package with a great range of drinks available (including Newcastle Brown Ale on draught which I have never seen in the UK!) and delicious wine with lunch. The entertainment was fantastic - Priscilla was genuine west end standard, loved Burn the floor and all the other musicians and singers on board were really talented (especially Howl at the moon). It was busy on deck around the pool but we always got loungers and really enjoyed the waiter drinks service on deck. We did our own thing at the ports of call, which probably meant we missed the majority of the queues getting on and off - this was never really a problem for us. The cabin was comfortable but a too small for the four of us - there was very little space when the bunk bed was down but we didn't spend that much time in there so not too big a problem. All the EPL games were on TV which is a bonus if you like football. We booked most of the restaurants in advance but it was hard to walk up and get a table after about 8:30 (no issues earlier on) so we never managed to eat at Shanghai. The kids didn't want to do the kids clubs so just came along to all the entertainments with us - they loved it all too. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Marella Discovery 16/08/2019 to 23/08/2019 This is our eleventh cruise and the fourth with Tui but first time on the Marella Discovery. Flight from Leeds & Bradford 15.35 was 30 mins late not too bad, landed in Corfu 21.05 ... Read More
Marella Discovery 16/08/2019 to 23/08/2019 This is our eleventh cruise and the fourth with Tui but first time on the Marella Discovery. Flight from Leeds & Bradford 15.35 was 30 mins late not too bad, landed in Corfu 21.05 (19.05 Bst). Corfu airport waiting 45min for luggage then 30min bus ride to port after checking in 15 min walk to ship. Arrived on board at 22.30 and after finding our cabin just had time before safety drill (23.30) to get a drink. Safety drill finished at midnight and this was the fist time we could have a full meal that day. With the late flight we felt that we had lost a day of our holiday and we would now try and get an early morning flight in the future even if we have to travel from a different airport. The cabin outside with sea view (3514) not the largest cabin we have had but room enough for two. With a shower and plenty of wardrobe, cupboard and draw space, the only thing missing was a fridge. (this the first time in sea view cabin as we usually have a balcony) there where two EU plug sockets and two US sockets along with a hair dryer. The cabin stewards did a very good job and got everything we asked for. The food what can I say! not up to the stranded we have had in the past, it did not very that much over the week, the cold meats were the same every day all day, the deserts much the same all week and the main meals not that much choice and not always piping hot. Most of the veg was frozen not fresh. Would recommend getting the premium drinks package if you like good wine and spirts. The ship is now after 24 years looking a bit tired in places. It may be just us, but it didn’t feel a happy ship, even last year on the Marella Spirit which was going out of service at the end of the year (2018) and the crew had not been told where they might be going it felt a much happier ship. The Captain did make his evening announcement’s light-hearted. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Myself and my friend had a week stay in Salou then jumped on board the Epic at Barcelona for a week. My first thoughts on day one was of excitement and thought the ship looked amazing. I couldn’t wait to sample all the ship had to offer. ... Read More
Myself and my friend had a week stay in Salou then jumped on board the Epic at Barcelona for a week. My first thoughts on day one was of excitement and thought the ship looked amazing. I couldn’t wait to sample all the ship had to offer. So here the story begins. We had paid for all inclusive. Including tips and “ultimate food and beverages package inc coffee” - Epic’s wording. Well this didn’t include every brand of alcohol (not that I’m a huge drinker). It only included coffee from the machine at the snack bar (which one cup could have tarred the whole M25) If you wanted a cappuccino or latte etc you had to pay extra. Also not all the restaurants were included in this all inclusive package either. Quite a few you had to pay extra for and pay an extremely handsome price too! We were told it was our travel agent that should have told us that all inclusive wasn’t actually all inclusive. And our ultimate drinks package wasn’t actually very ultimate. As for the food on board, what we did have we couldn’t fault at all. Next complaint......TOO MANY PEOPLE ON BOARD. Now I know what a can of sardines feels like. It just had far too many people on it. This just made it all feel like a huge cattle market. People had no manners and just barged there way in to anything. I have never seen so many rude and ill mannered adults and children in one place. I don’t think they realised that there was enough food to go round everyone about 10 times over. Next complaint- I had items stolen from my cabin. Nothing if any great value, just small gifts I had bought for my son and some friends. Maybe 40 euros in total so not a financial loss. Never got to the bottom of it. And lastly, if you did have anything to sort out (or complain about), you were never alone......the queue at guest services was never quiet or short. I wonder why!! The great thing about the cruise was getting off the ship and seeing some beautiful places. So folks....word of warning....double check and triple check what you are actually getting in your package before you board. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I wanted to write this review as its scared me to death reading all the bad reviews about this boat before, but looking deeper i realised that most bad reviews are made from Americans, and probably an older cliental. We are an english ... Read More
I wanted to write this review as its scared me to death reading all the bad reviews about this boat before, but looking deeper i realised that most bad reviews are made from Americans, and probably an older cliental. We are an english family with kids of 6 and 15, we loved this ship, we didnt want the holiday to end, my kids had the holiday of a lifetime, which is the reason i wanted to go, mostly for them. Ok it can get a bit noisy around the pool, but this boat is geared up for families, the kids were entertained so much, and my and my wife found time to relax, food fantastic, everywhere, we never went to specialty restaurants, just couldnt see the point, Manhattan and taste were superb, rooms brilliant, i thought all the shows were good, little tip, don’t bother with the magic show, it was really bad. Gym, awesome, we did a lot of the classes too Staff, all really good I would say 40% of us were brits, 40% Americans and the rest a mix of Europe and middle east So for anyone thats been reading the bad reviews, relax, my 3rd cruise all with different ships and i felt this one was great, i would go back Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This itinerary through Italy, Spain, and Cannes was really appealing to us. Checked off a lot of boxes for us. Cruising allowed us to visit many sites (Pompeii, Vatican, Florence, and more) conveniently. I am a teacher and I have a ... Read More
This itinerary through Italy, Spain, and Cannes was really appealing to us. Checked off a lot of boxes for us. Cruising allowed us to visit many sites (Pompeii, Vatican, Florence, and more) conveniently. I am a teacher and I have a very defined time that I can travel each summer. This specific schedule fit our calendar perfectly. Our cabin was clean, the food was excellent, the ship set sail and docked efficiently and on time. The security of having record of us boarding and disembarking at each port gave us peace of mind. The cons for us was that the ship was crowded. And every time we had a question, no one could answer or resolve anything except going and standing in line at Guest Services. I must have done that once a day! They are most competent, but less than friendly. It was usually a demeaning experience! The other aspect of this trip that really got us started off in a less than relaxing manner was having us wait for nearly four hours on the ship, just milling around with our carry on luggage, without being able to go to our rooms. We were led to believe from all of the info sent to us that we would be separated from our luggage for a time period and to have things with us that we would need, but we were never alerted to the time lag for getting into our room and being able to chill a little. I'm sure there's some reason for it, but it was not a great start to our trip. We grew so weary of being nickel and dimed throughout the week. Internet should be included. $30/day for Internet access is ridiculous. So is the mini-bar charges for beer, wine, and other drinks that are available at no extra charge at the bar. There are so many ways you can streamline general operations to make things a little more convenient and relaxing for guests and still make your money. For the most part, I felt like cattle being herded around - on the boat, off the boat, into a bus, waiting for dinner (although I will say meals were handled quite efficiently and the dining staff really had wonderful, welcoming customer service skills!). I felt tolerated, not warmly welcomed. Others we spoke with along the way had the same general feeling. I can say that this cruise served its purpose for us. We might do another when we have some ground we want to cover. But the experience itself was not the quiet, relaxing vacation we anticipated. This was, by far, the most expensive vacation we have ever had and, frankly, expected a tad more welcoming and pampering, but really I was the most average overall experience we have had in our travels, except for the sites we got to see. Those we will remember! The staff works so very hard and I appreciate their effort so much. But one of the crew told me that they are signed on for one-year contracts and work with only two half-days off each week, for 10 months straight. I think they need some time off occasionally to recharge their batteries a little more for themselves and for the guests. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We flew into Naples airport expecting the worse but were pleasantly surprised as we encountered no problems other than waiting 40mins for our luggage to come through.TUI staff were on hand to guide us onto the waiting buses and in a short ... Read More
We flew into Naples airport expecting the worse but were pleasantly surprised as we encountered no problems other than waiting 40mins for our luggage to come through.TUI staff were on hand to guide us onto the waiting buses and in a short time we were at the port ready to board the ship.We had to go through some security checks before boarding,but this is perfectly understandable in this day and age.The ship itself is modern and clean and fairly easy to find your way around,we found the different colour carpets to be a big help with this.We ate mainly in the Market Place during the day and Latitude 53 for evening meals where we were expected to dress in smart casual to eat here.We found the food here very good with mostly different things on the menu every evening and the waiter service excellent.On one night we paid approximately £50 for the two of us to book into Kora La for a meal,although this is extra to the all inclusive we found it to be well worth the money as the food and service provided was exceptional.Special mention for Albert who went out of his way to look after us that night.We had paid for the Premium package for drinks and as my wife enjoys different types of gin and I enjoy my whisky we found this to be value for money,again special mention to Rommel in the Gin and Whisky bar in the Squid and Anchor a top class barman.We enjoyed some of the shows in the Broadway Showroom also.We did not go on any excursions preferring to find our own way around the lovely cities we visited.All in all a great first cruise experience,looking forward to the next. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose Celebrity because we had sailed on the Eclipse two years ago and then Royal Caribbean’s Independence last year and felt that Celebrity was the better option. But I think they have got complacent and it seems to have extended to ... Read More
I chose Celebrity because we had sailed on the Eclipse two years ago and then Royal Caribbean’s Independence last year and felt that Celebrity was the better option. But I think they have got complacent and it seems to have extended to the bar staff who need a serious lesson in customer service. The bar service, particularly in the Sky Lounge was appalling, rarely a smile or any eye contact at all....perhaps it was being reserved for Premium package customers...! Entertainment poor by comparison with previous cruises. Theatre group had a couple of decent shows but the ‘Cabaret’ acts were poor....particularly when you consider the cost of this cruise. There was a reasonable Phil Collins tribute (although why he felt the need to keep doing the splits was somewhat bewildering) and a comedian, Jon Courtenay, was the highlight. The rest was forgettable. The last comedian had taken 36 hours to get to the boat....and spent the first 20 minutes of his act telling us all about it...he needn’t have bothered....he died on his backside. Dining was good...but let down again by lack of drinks waiters in Sea View....and just lack of availability in main dining room, particularly for ‘anytime’ diners. Big shout must go to John, our Cabin attendant, who was outstanding and also Tessa, a waitress in the main Theatre. Both could teach the bar staff a thing or two about customer service. It actually seemed that the staff in the lower paid positions actually offered the best service.....maybe when they get to Bar Staff they are encouraged to turn their smile off...! The stop offs were mostly good; we made our own arrangements for each one because of the extortionate prices of the onboard excursions. Shame they only had one ‘pool party’ which was in Barcelona because we stayed on till later. The sonly rice would have to improve considerably if I were to consider Celebrity again, particularly in view of the prices of the 2020 cruises....particularly on the new boats. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose the med cruise because we did the baltics on same ship last year, what a difference Petty rules and regulations stopped kids and teens having fun Passengers tried to nake larger of 2 outdoor pools adult- only, managed to get ... Read More
We chose the med cruise because we did the baltics on same ship last year, what a difference Petty rules and regulations stopped kids and teens having fun Passengers tried to nake larger of 2 outdoor pools adult- only, managed to get it for over-12s only, leaving small pool over-crowded (about 600 kids and teens on ship) They tried to get all under-12s in kids factory and teens to stay in x-club to keep them out of the way of their preferred passangers They put a sea marshall permanently in hideaway, where they preferred to gather, and made them whisper The disco was in sky lounge and usually started at 11.45pm each evening, all under-18s were foreably ejected at midnight, even those sitting with parents A kid about 11 had a wanted photo of him placed around ship because he accidentally hit a girl with a water volleyball, he was escorted by 2 sea marshalls to his parents A lady photographed teens in hideaway and when was asked to delete photo, dragged one teen to guest relations, who were not interested when the teen said that was assault There were approx 500 extra guests on board than usual, this was very apparent in cafe and restaurant, as service was strained The entertainment was very poor and lack-lustre Sue, the cruise director, had no idea about entertaining families If you are thinking of travelling on silhouette in aug 2020, I would consider it very carefully, because the passengers travelling without family do not want their holiday compromised and the ship's officers pander to their every need, to the detriment of families Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Loyal Marella customers. This was our second cruise on this ship. It has definitely improved since our last voyage on her - you can tell that the team have settled in and the snagging issues from earlier this year have gone. The ship ... Read More
Loyal Marella customers. This was our second cruise on this ship. It has definitely improved since our last voyage on her - you can tell that the team have settled in and the snagging issues from earlier this year have gone. The ship is being maintained nicely and the public areas are still very fresh. The only snag being that the air conditioning didn’t seem to cope very well when the ship was in port. Our cabin was one of the two Royal Suites on board and it was worth every penny. Very luxurious and comfortable. There always seemed to be some form of entertainment going on around the ship. We saw a few of the shows and also watched the comedians (note to the unaware - stay well away from the front few rows If you don’t want to be the butt of any jokes!). We preferred the pianists in Flutes and Aperitif over the more formal entertainment like the shows. As always with Marella, the thing that made it so good was the service that the staff offered. So many of the staff remember us from previous cruises - it was lovely. A special thanks to Simina the sommelier, the wine tasting she does on sea day is really good fun and informative. She looked after us for the rest of our cruise surprising us with nice wines. Dining was great. From the al a carte dining we went to Surf and Turf, Kora La and the Dining Club. All well worth a visit! The only downside with this particular cruise has to be Naples airport. Really really bad. Stressful. Made better by the fact that the TUI cabin crew warned us before we got off that it ‘runs on Italian time!’ That bit of good humour kept everything in perspective. We waited on the aircraft for 40 minutes on the tarmac before the busses came to take us to the airport. We were told by the screens to wait at luggage belt 5 and then an hour later were told to move to belt 1, and then it took another 30 minutes for luggage to arrive that then got stuck at the entrance to to belt and other passengers had to pull it through. It was also quite a walk to the coach transfer in the heat so if you do have anyone in your party with a disability make sure you ask for assistance. The return experience was just as shambolic with no where to sit while you wait (think people actually arguing over seats!!!), so again if you struggle I would be requesting a wheel chair. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and we were attracted by both the opportunity to be on one of the largest ships at sea and by the . Before booking and then for almost every day before sailing we researched the ship, looked at ... Read More
This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and we were attracted by both the opportunity to be on one of the largest ships at sea and by the . Before booking and then for almost every day before sailing we researched the ship, looked at other reviews and spoke with the travel agent about what to expect. We were concerned about a number of reviews that referenced a tired ship and about Royal Caribbean's reported practice of "nickel and diming" guests to extort as much additional money as possible. I absolutely have to address these issues because they are absolutely not our experience. The ship is overwhelmingly big but it is in beautiful order. Yes there is some upgrade necessary. If you are the type of guest who will obsess about handrails that have been bleached by the sun and are in need of sanding and re-varnishing then look elsewhere because your holiday may be ruined! Otherwise, have no fears - it's spotlessly clean, the staff are friendly and attentive and there is much to do. Not once were we approached about upgrades or trips, nor were we pushed for additional tipping or anything else. Embarkation is about a good as you will ever get - we were onboard enjoying our first drink within 15 minutes of reaching the ship and the staff were simply brilliant at their jobs. Reviews have also mentioned that Royal Caribbean have selected the itinerary for our cruise based on ability to make more money for transfers. We are talking about one of the largest ships at seas - it is naturally limited by the availability of ports to handle its size. We started at Barcelona, went to Palma, Marseilles, La Spezia, Civitavecchia and Naples. We paid for a bus transfer at Marseilles and at Palma and the charges were reasonable based on the journey and the fact that the service ran every 20-30 minutes throughout the entire day. No transfers are necessary at La Spezia (other than a short, free bus ride through the port) or Naples (the ship practically docks in the main street! Reviews we have seen have also criticised the Windjammer Restaurant (the main buffet restaurant) for quality of food and limited space. The quality and range of food in our experience was as good as that in the main dining room. We also, always, found somewhere to dine. Speaking with other guests it was clear they had similar thoughts and experiences. Perhaps the quality of the Windjammer explores its popularity? We thoroughly recommend that you try it - steaks, fish, seafood, curries, paella, cold cuts, carved meats, soup, burgers, fruit, stir fry, you name it, it is available and delicious. We tried to vary our venue for breakfast between Windjammer and the Solarium (deck 15) where exactly the same fare is available but with access restricted to over-18's. The Solarium is beautiful and often quiet so again no problems with the lengthy queues some reviewers have reported. Entertainment was great - we attended the Comedy show (an absolute must) and the diving show (very impressive). Less entertaining was the daily regime around the pool areas with a band playing a range (always the same) of reggae tunes. Tuneful this wasn't - the singers were woeful at the harmonies and the drummer was clearly building a shed. Contrast this with one day where we were treated to a genuine talent in the form of a violinist who was brilliant and who established an immediate rapport with the crowd, covering a range of tracks. She also played at night, sometimes solo and sometimes with a brilliant guitarist in Central Park - worth an hour of anyone's trip just to experience how good they both are. I have already mentioned the food - Windjammer excellent, main dining room equally so except for one occasion when my fish dish was clearly overcooked. We also dined in Sabor, one of the pay options - lovely food but enough to feed a small army! Sorrento's is excellent if you want a slice or two of pizza - it's on the Promenade deck (deck 5). Alcohol was a bit hit or miss - beers, wines, liqueurs and some cocktails were very good or excellent, but too many drinks were spoiled by excessive ice and flat mixers and Royal Caribbean really needs to step up to the mark on this - a glass full of ice and flat mixer spoils an otherwise excellent range of spirits. I appreciate that coffee can be a personal choice (and we are not into Starbucks at all), but this was disappointing. The cast majority of places simply offered coffee from a pot and it was dishwater. The exception was the Park Café on deck 5 - proper speciality coffee served with a range of sandwiches (try the turkey or the roast beef) and pastries - excellent. Again a few more places offering the same on a ship this size would be better. We did not take any of the Royal Caribbean excursions - we have previously visited Rome, Capri (Naples) and options for Palma and Marseilles are easily self-sourced. Marseilles is a must visit - the old port is spectacular. La Spezia was a real surprise - great shopping and dining and after a morning spent on these activities we took a private boat ride (23 Euro per person) to Portovenere followed by a boat ride of one hour around three neighbouring islands - fantastic and Portovenere has to be seen to be believed. Palma is excellent and we spent a great half-day wandering round the shops. We also took a hop on hop off bus ride round Naples - two routes for 23 Euro per person and lasting around 3 hours in total - a really great opportunity to see all of the city. Our cabin was an inside cabin on floor 9 - perfectly good, clean and bet and linen excellent. I enjoy running and can thoroughly recommend the Spa and Fitness area - I have seen reviews saying that it is disappointing that there are only portholes for viewing purposes - they are big portholes and if you want a view perhaps you are not putting enough effort into your exercise! All in all this was a fantastic holiday and we would go back tomorrow. We hope others have a similar experience, and if you are scheduled for a stay on this, in our experience you will enjoy every minute - do not believe everything you have read! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
After reading a fair few negative reviews I was rather worried about our trip. I had no need to be! The ship was beautiful, all areas were spotlessley clean and regularly kept that way. It had been reported that some public areas were in ... Read More
After reading a fair few negative reviews I was rather worried about our trip. I had no need to be! The ship was beautiful, all areas were spotlessley clean and regularly kept that way. It had been reported that some public areas were in need of repair and showed wear and tear, we didn't see any area that wasn't wonderfully tended too. Our cabin, 6000 was surprisingly spacious and kept cleaned by our stateroom attendant Henry who was fantastic. The food was excellent in all restaurants. The bars were lovely and relaxing and the shows in the theatre of Broadway standard. Our 11 year old son was happy to spend time with his pals on the sports deck playing football and basketball. The itinary was great and we saw some lovely places. The crew treat you like royalty and all in all we had a wonderful time. I would not hesitate sailing with Celebrity again. The outdoor cinema on the rooftop terrace was a fabulous treat. Lots of lovely memories made. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise because it offers solo cabins that are very comfortable, beautiful and affordable. The Embarkation and and disembarkation was outstanding. The individuals at each port and shore excursions go above and beyond to leave ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it offers solo cabins that are very comfortable, beautiful and affordable. The Embarkation and and disembarkation was outstanding. The individuals at each port and shore excursions go above and beyond to leave on time. The buses are coach motor buses, air conditioned, with tour guides that are super friendly and full of knowledge. My favorite tour was from Florence and Pisa. This ship is full of entertainment, activities, music and simply fun. The decor of this ship is amazing. The main dinning experience I loved, because there is no "set time" to eat. I felt very relax when it comes to dinning. The only negative thing I would add is that there is a need for more VEGAN or Vegetarian options...But I manage to go around the limitations. My cabin was outstanding and my room service lady (Jiotti) was amazing. She made sure my cabin was cleaned at all times (fresh towels, bed made, everything fresh). The solo VIP area was kept full of goodies, tea, ice, coffee, fruits, etc. I will book another trip with Norwegian. I want to note, that I will NOT book AIR with them. It was very complicated to arrange seats and to find my reservation. I had to do a lot of research. The flight back from Barcelona to JFK was a nightmare due to gate distances and I had to take a shuttle. Then the flight from JFK to FLL was another nightmare. Delays and gate changes. I will book my cruise with Norwegian, BUT NOT AIR... The trip was amazing and It was outstanding. I made TONS OF FRIENDS that our friendship will last forever. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We’ve just come back from a 14 night trip on the Independence which went to the western Mediterranean. It was a fantastic cruise and very little of our experience was anything like negative. However, a quick run down of the different ... Read More
We’ve just come back from a 14 night trip on the Independence which went to the western Mediterranean. It was a fantastic cruise and very little of our experience was anything like negative. However, a quick run down of the different bits we saw and did, follows! -- Windjammer -- We found the Windjammer a huge improvement on Vision of the Seas’s version. The seating is well spaced out and the furniture is nicer, meaning it’s an experience that’s generally nice, rather than a low quality fight for somewhere rubbish to sit to eat some food. We avoided it on Vision as much as we could. The guys with guitars singing for guests to wash their hands on the entrance were slightly amusing but completely unnecessary. Those who don’t wash their hands, won’t do so just because a couple of guys are singing at them. Also if you eat like a normal grown up human, you’ll use cutlery anyway! -- Izumi -- We were looking forward to some beautiful sushi (as we’d had on Vision) but this Izumi focuses far too much on Hibachi. Which essentially is a chef singing songs (expecting passenger participation) and flicking bits egg into guests’ mouths amongst other really “hilarious” things. My wife and I went on a formal night but we were sat around a chef with six others, none of whom were wearing anything smarter than t shirts. Made us feel awkwardly overdressed and we were completely unable to have a nice meal together. Izumi on Independence is very much expecting you to order their Hibachi combo meal. Don’t get me wrong, the chefs are very skilled but the food just tastes normal, like you’d expect for cooked Japanese food. Nothing special but $10 more than the dining package allows. We did order some sushi to have with the cooked food which was excellent but the atmosphere just didn’t fit with a nice meal out with your other half. In summary, don’t bother going to Izumi if you want a classy meal, don’t. It’s a slightly too expensive, too loud and too informal way to spend an evening eating what’s quite regular food. -- Chops Grille -- Fantastic - we ate there three times! Wonderful food and a really nice atmosphere and view. The seafood towers were great! Definitely worth every penny, especially as a package night. -- Main dining room -- The service was great, as is expected. We found that the menu was pretty boring though. Turns out that Royal Caribbean make the menu more British as the majority of the passengers are British. I’m sure it suited many but I don’t go on holiday to eat the same food as I make at home! By the way, they don’t have soup spoons. Eating soup with a dessert spoon takes ages and got boring! A strange lack of equipment for Royal Caribbean! I would say that the MDR is a nice dinner, but not special enough to look forward to. The food is great quality but not interesting - left me wondering whether I ought to have gone somewhere else (even Windjammer!) for dinner rather than spend 90 minutes eating unexciting food. -- Bars -- The bars were as expected, brilliant. Great staff and plentiful drinks. Schooner is a bit of a shame as it’s too much of a thoroughfare and seems to have a quiz on every half an hour. Our experience of Schooner on Vision of the Seas was a good one, but it was far more laid back and more music than quizzes (can’t remember any quizzes there actually). -- The pools -- Fantastic - facilities are brilliant. The rules about reserving beds aren’t worth the plastic they’re printed on though - nobody follows them and the staff don’t confiscate stuff left on them all day. People reserve beds at 7am on a sea day and don’t move all day. This is a huge issue that Royal Caribbean needs to sort out! -- The promenade -- We had loads of great evenings around the Promenade. The events and music make for a lovely evening atmosphere - and a party too some nights. We loved spending time here! -- Dress codes -- If you’re new to Royal Caribbean, the dress code for anything other than a formal night is anything from very informal to formal. On formal nights, if you wear a Tuxedo, you’ll be in a miniority - I reckon only 5% ish of passengers wear Tuxes. Generally most others makes an effort - but even so, don’t expect to be surrounded by those smarter people. Even in speciality restaurants, if you’re in shorts and a t shirt, you won’t be turned away on formal night. But if you are that person, do those of us who’ve made an effort a favour and stay in Windjammer please! -- The other passengers -- Generally, the (mainly British) passengers were fine. We did notice however fairly large groups from a certain northern city in England (not naming where, but you might be able to guess…) who unfortunately don’t travel with a lot of class - taking up huge areas of bars/pool areas with towels, getting drunker than is enjoyable for others nearby and being unable to maintain any eating manners or dress codes. These people yawped at each other (at one point, one group had a water/drinks fight in the pool bar…) and had little consideration for others. We found this description of group travellers to be in a surprising majority on the ship, maybe this city finished early for their school holidays. The serious point being that I’m not sure we’d sail from Southampton again because of it. The cruise wasn’t cheap but apparently price doesn’t guarantee any quality in fellow passengers! As advice for other travellers, think about whether this sort of group has a tendency to affect your enjoyment and plan your activities with this in mind. -- the destinations -- As with the other two cruises I’ve been on, I don’t really choose a cruise because of its destinations when it’s around Europe. Simply because European port cities can be a little samey. They were all pleasant (certainly Cagliari and Cadiz) but places like Naples were not good for those who aren’t great on their feet. We heard of injuries! -- overall -- I would happily do this cruise again. Nothing can be perfect and for a 14 night cruise, Royal Caribbean did an absolutely sterling job at it. My small observations are definitely only tiny issues. I will definitely be traveling with them again next time! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The celebrity edge is definitely a different cruise ship so if you decide to go on this please go with an open mind! There are many wonderful things about this ship as a state rooms are beautifully laid out with ample storage, wonderful ... Read More
The celebrity edge is definitely a different cruise ship so if you decide to go on this please go with an open mind! There are many wonderful things about this ship as a state rooms are beautifully laid out with ample storage, wonderful beds and modern streamlined design. The food in every venue was well prepared and delicious! If you have never experienced a silent disco I encourage you to try it! It was brand new to us, we are in our 60s, but we absolutely loved it! It was a total blast! My honey doesn’t really like to dance all that much, but he thoroughly enjoyed dancing for several hours each time! Please be aware that if you have anything that requires guest relations, the lines were always quite long. This is where we had our most disappointing experiences as we had a couple of issues and we found that the staff were very polite, however none of them were empowered to make decisions and were completely ineffective. When having to talk to supervisory staff, we found at the top of the food chain the gentleman was incredibly rude to not only us but we heard him being impolite too many other guests with issues. He simply did not care whether his guests were happy or not! That’s what I found the most disappointing as we have sailed on Viking in the past and found that everyone on those ships wants the customer to be happy! Also on the edge as I’m sure most Celebrity ships there is the constant up selling of everything from a drink package, to a massage, to $300 bath salts! It gets annoying in my opinion! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first ever cruise as a couple of 26 year olds and my parents in law, who had been desperate to try a cruise, so we booked together and then personally followed our cruise with a trip to Sorrento. We have been truly ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise as a couple of 26 year olds and my parents in law, who had been desperate to try a cruise, so we booked together and then personally followed our cruise with a trip to Sorrento. We have been truly converted and would love to cruise again, on explorer 2 again too. Wish we’d done a 2 week cruise!!! Best bits: - Food was really good and in such abundance! (Vista and the Dining Club were brilliant). - Crew were lively and generally super helpful and polite. - Drinks package is very good and although we upgraded to premium we needn’t have as there was such a large selection of drinks. - We always managed to get a sunbed, even on sea days and we certainly weren’t up at the crack of dawn- but they were enforcing rules for people leaving towels on beds which is good to see. - My mother and father in law had a cabin on lower decks and their service from Nui (their steward) was incredible. - Jack Glanville the guest comedian was the highlight of the week for the entertainment. - I loved using the gym, running track. - Fish and Chips from snack shack were a treat! - We did excursions to St Tropez, Rome and Florence but did the ‘on your own’ versions as didn’t fancy following an umbrella!! They were beautiful places, but hot and over crowded at this time of year- completely not Marella’s fault, but just a word of advice for other cruisers. Think we would organise tours independently next time as they were extremely long days and fellow cruisers said we could do them cheaper if we arranged taxi tours ourselves! Things to improve on: - Both main speciality restaurants (Kora La and Surf and Turf) were booked up by day 2 of our cruise which we were gutted about. They didn’t seem to care either, I did complain and say customers should be told they book up quickly and I would have booked day 1 of the cruise (even though this seems a bit sad to have to do as soon as stepping on the ship). It did mean we booked The Dining Club instead which in the end was superb, but my boyfriend really wanted to try Surf and Turf. - Our steward kept walking into our room without knocking, whilst we didn’t spend a lot of time in the room, it was a bit uncomfortable! He walked in without a moments knock or hesitation and my partner was quite frustrated by this when he walked in and I was in the shower and he just asked, ‘is someone in there?’ A little strange but I suppose they’re just used to people not being in the cabin, but may require some further training. We just ended up leaving the lock on the door or do not disturb in whenever we were in. - As others have mentioned, Naples airport was a nightmare, queues galore through passport control and a very long wait for bags, and long walk in the heat for the bus transfer. I hope they don’t only use Naples (although it’s good for Sorrento trips for us!) - Noise in our cabin kept me from sleeping one night due to a loud noise when the ship was rocking in the wind- I didn’t sleep till 5am. (Cabin 8128) - Spa is great, but an infinity pool it is not! (It is only deep enough to sit in!) - Gym needs air con!!!!! All in all, these are minor complaints for a superb cruise but things which if rectified would be amazing! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Booked this cruise months in advance, all inclusive was a standard but we decided to pay £50 for a premium all inclusive which was well worth it. From the beginning our embarkation was quick and easy, obviously had to queue but nothing ... Read More
Booked this cruise months in advance, all inclusive was a standard but we decided to pay £50 for a premium all inclusive which was well worth it. From the beginning our embarkation was quick and easy, obviously had to queue but nothing unreasonable. We immediately got settled into our cabin on Deck 7, which was a nice size, with two comfortable single beds, a small sofa and table, a desk with chair and mirror, two wardrobes with a full body mirror on one of the doors and a bathroom with toilet and shower. The bathroom includes a hairdryer which is decent but not very powerful. Our rooms got cleaned every day, with towels changed if needed, staff kindly fold up your clothes and make animals out of the towels which was a very nice gesture. There was a great choice of restaurants, breakfast buffet at either Sirens or Lido is the kind you would expect from any all inclusive package holiday, nice but nothing special. Orien restaurant is the only fancy restaurant which is part of the all inclusive package but the a la carte restaurants only cost about £18 for a three course meal. There is food available throughout the whole day at different restaurants, so if you are ever hungry you can eat either from the buffet or the terrace grill. There was even a late night buffet from 11.30 - 1am. Many different activities to get involved in throughout the ship, including the casino, bingo, late night disco, card games or the broadway lounge and even if you don't fancy any of those things you can always listen to the live music at the Tides Bar or Waters Edge. Every single member of staff on the ship was an absolute sweetheart. Ports are very lovely, but don't feel pressured to book your excursions in advance because you get way more options once you are actually on the ship and you end up meeting people which you would like to go on excursions with anyway. Some of the excursions are not worth the money, so make sure you research carefully what they actually provide for you on the excursion and whether you have any alternative cheaper options. Me and my bestfriend went alone, we are both 18, despite everyone saying that it's a holiday for older people and that we were better of going to a villa in somewhere like Greece like the majority of people our age, we chose to come on the cruise anyway and had an absolutely amazing time. You definitely get your money's worth with the drinks package and the bartenders are always so nice and friendly. We never had a boring moment on that ship and got to meet amazing people, we are already looking to book our next one for next year. We highly recommend a cruise with Marella Dream, no matter what age you are. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with ... Read More
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with Carnival. Like many of my cruises, I sailed with my 76 yr old father who has some health issues. —And although, it’s a cruise to spend some father/son time together as we live in different states, he usually goes to bed quite early, and I enjoy the night life well into the wee hours of the morning… So, inevitably It ends up becoming a “singles” cruise for me. Before I describe the ship and everything else about this amazing cruise, I think it’s important to point out a Difference with Norwegian as I see them.... First off, this is not going to be a doom and gloom review... As I do view this cruise, and ship very favorably.... But I’ll start out with a fundamental disagreement that I have overall with NCL. As Compared to the other lines that I’ve sailed with....(Twice now with NCL), they are the Kings and Queens of overly casual. Very few people dress up. I guess that I’m a rare traditionalist millennial when it comes to this opinion....I wear a sport coat often to work, and that’s in south Louisiana where it’s needless to say, quite warm for most of the year. I also, as a bachelor enjoy when women take the time dress up. Cruising is the last romantic way to vacation. There’s something about going to sleep at 2AM with a bottle in your hand in the middle of a beautiful ocean and awaking in an exotic location somewhere in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Buuuuttt, in a nutshell, I guess that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “Freestyle Cruising”. —It’s not so much the dress attire that turns me off, it’s the fact that very little if anything is structured at all. For instance, virtually every other cruise line particularly my 2 favorites (Celebrity and MSC) have two main entrainment shows per night. —You organize your dinners(whether it’s a specialty restaurant, or one of the main dinning rooms around whichever show that you choose to attend.) —It’s a real simplistic way to cruise. There’s no overthinking it...It comes a little more natural. Freestyle cruising is more like trying to decide most of your shows, dinners, and evening hour activities on the first day of the cruise or even pre-cruise. Nothing is actually “freestyle” about it... You’re forced to decide your show times, or speciality restaurant times or even dinning room times in some cases by the end of the first evening unless you want your dinner at 11pm. I get what Norwegian is trying to do with freestyle cruising. —I understand that they want to give passengers options...And I truly see why they’ve had so much success doing this... **But I also see why other lines have been reluctant to head in their direction. And I get it now. ON TO THE POSITIVES: The EPIC might be the perfect cruise ship for the Mediterranean. It’s not quite Norwegian’s best or biggest ship. As I thought that the ESCAPE(which I sailed in 2017 was nicer and much more updated and had better social gathering points and creature comforts and cabins). But it has all of the things that modern cruisers want(including me). Plus your itinerary, and getting to see some of the cradles’ of civilization(especially those in Europe) is something to greatly credit. Although the ship holds over 4000 passengers, you rarely ever feel crowded. That’s a small advantage to a ship that was built 10 years ago, as opposed to some of the newer ships that are only a few years old that I’ve taken recently. The ship was also refitted 5 years ago... So you hardly notice any wear and tear at all. The ship also flows very well. Unlike some of the newest ships, there’s very few instances to where you can’t walk from one end of a deck to the other. —It really helps with getting around. EMBARKATION: A+ If you’re reading this about to take a Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona or Civitavecchia, do yourself a favor and opt-in on the transfer from the airport to the cruise port. —You can do this directly on the NCL website. Well worth the $50(round trip) per person. So $100 total for two people. We were sailing out of Barcelona and took the transfer charter bus from the Barcelona Airport to the cruise port(which took around 20-25 mins or so with traffic). —It’s only about 10 miles apart. It really is the easiest route to go. The cruise port check-in was a breeze. Maybe 20-25 mins from entering the port to stepping on the ship. Barcelona only has 3 cruise ships on a Sunday, so it doesn’t seem to back up with people quite as much as Miami, or Lauderdale. Also, we arrived pretty early at the port as our flight was a red-eye into Barcelona. (We were on one of the first transfer buses from the airport to cruise port)....And credit to Norwegian for allowing you into your stateroom by noon. It was great to set down cary-on bags and get a view of the stateroom before exploring the ship. THE SHIP ITSELF OVERALL: A- I found the ship pretty easily navigable. My advice would be to take the time to really explore the ship on the first day, and you should be pretty good to go by day two. I tend to explore any ship that I sail as much as I can on the first day and make it a point to have a drink at every bar. —That usually gets you around pretty well ;) My advice, if you’re sailing the Mediterranean, and flying in that day from the U.S., make sure to do a little exploring around the ship before you pass out for your cat nap before the vacation begins. STARTING FROM THE TOP The Pool Deck(s): A+ The Pool Deck is spacious, and really has A TON of deck chairs that they’ve found every nook and cranny to put in. Like most cruises, deck chairs fill up quickly with towel clips, bags, and magazines holding chairs for sometimes hours before they’re actually occupied. But, I legitimately found very little overcrowding on any of the pool decks(including the actual pool deck 15). There was always available lounge chairs at any time of day(including sea days). Like the majority of newer NCL ships, slides and kiddo pool areas take up a large portion of the deck, but they really weren’t a nuisance(even if you’re looking for less kids and more relaxation).... If somehow the slides or kid areas near the main pool do bother you, EPIC smartly made “Spice H20” which is a smaller pool deck towards the back of the ship also on deck 15. —It’s an adult only pool. But I seriously found plenty of relaxing areas in the main pool area. Spice H2O also has several nighttime parties throughout the cruise. There’s also a Pool deck up high(even if you’re not a Haven passenger) on Deck 18. You access this via the main pool deck right near the outdoor part of the Buffett. Not much on 18 except deck chairs. The Bars/Lounges/Clubs: A- EPIC really does have a solid variety of bars to satisfy most tastes. I really enjoyed “Shakers Martini Bar” as the best overall bar itself. VERY VERY good drinks. It’s also near several of the speciality restaurants on Deck 7, and is right above the casino and near the theater. “Shakers” also has several pianists who play sing along music in a subtle non-annoying way. My other favorite drinking spot on the ship was “Bliss Ultra Lounge”. It typically starts off in the evening as a karaoke bar, and transcends later in the night to a full night club. Trust me, if you’re young and single, this is most likely where you’ll find your cruise romance lol. There were other honorable mention bars as well. The main pool deck bar(name escapes me as I write) is one of the largest pool deck bars at sea. Although it’s probably one of the most crowded on the ship, again you rarely have to wait more than a min or two before your drink order is taken. Also, if you’re a big craft beer person, O’Sheeans Irish Pub is very popular. O’Sheeans also has bar food like wings, cheese sticks ETC... Casino, Shops, and General Areas B+  As it’s well published, NCL EPIC has one of, if not THE largest casinos at sea. It seems to go on over half of the entire Deck 6. Stretching from Manhattan Main Dinning Restaurant(rear of the ship) all the way to O’Sheeans Irish Pub(which is mid-to-forward of the ship) If you like the tables, slots, or simply watching the action like me, It’s truly a massive entertainment center of the ship. If you’re a player, this is YOUR SHIP. SHOPS: Some of you might not care much about the shopping of the ship considering the destinations within your itinerary. I found the shops decent. (Not great/not bad)… The best store in terms of variety on the ship is the cosmetics and fragrance store(don’t remember the name). The watch store also has a pretty good variety. Other than that, nothing really comes to mind. Seems to have fewer shops and duty free alcohol stores or much smaller than ships equal of Epic’s size. —Not a big deal as like me, I’m sure very few of you choose a ship for the shopping. GENERAL AREAS: The general areas on Epic are pretty good minus one glaring exception…The vast majority of newer ships have main promenades(which serve as the central gathering points of the interior of the ship). —You’ll typically have bars, a dance floor, restaurants nearby, and a view of either 3 or 4 decks at one time. --Those of you who like Celebrity know that that area of the boat is near the martini bar on Solstice Class ships, and the Edge. Those who like MSC know that that area is around the Swarovski Staircases. NCL EPIC doesn’t seem to know where to send people in the interior, and it almost spreads people out too thin, limiting the action and interaction between passengers. Again, seeming to cater to the “Freestyle” cruising idea. In other words, “you choose wherever you wanna go”....Even Norwegian’s newer ships like the ESCAPE do a better job having a true main promenade. Again, some of you might roll your eyes at that, or think that I’m knit-picking on that one. But, if you cruise often like me, and aren’t necessarily entirely loyal to one line, you might get what I’m trying to say. The interior of the ship is very very nice though with lot’s of variety. No complaints at all about the condition of the ship, or the décor. All very nice! –I’m sure that this was improved during the refitting in 2014-2015. THE FAMED AND CONTROVERSIAL EPIC STATEROOM LAYOUT DEBATE: B+ Like pretty much all cruise ship cabins, it was small and served it’s purpose. Like I said earlier, I am a 32 year old bachelor... and although I always get a balcony room on any ship that I sail on, I can’t tell you that I ever spend much time in my state room other than to sleep and get dressed. But, for what it’s worth, the state room was very nice, and modern. You are on a cruise ship to have a good time, and be around other people, and get some sun. —You can’t do any of those things by staying in your room. One huge plus is the closet/drawer space. —Amazing for your sized stateroom. On to the big debate about the bathroom lol... I’m sure that most of you have read the controversy over the bathroom set up. There is no doubt that many others have nailed the fact that it is definitely unconventional....The toilet is on one side of the entrance of the stateroom with a sliding fogged glass door for privacy. And the shower is virtually a twin copy of that on the other side. Then, the sink is just outside of the shower openly in the stateroom. —I really think people overly pan this situation unfairly. —It’s really not that bad. One big argument to play the devils advocate for those hatters of this situation is that if you’re a married couple, one spouse can shower while the other is using the sink to get ready without being on top of each other like you’d be in a regular cruise bathroom. Also throw a kid into the room with that couple, and it’s logical and realistic that a wife can be doing her makeup at the sink, the husband is showering, and the kid can still use the bathroom all at the same time without stepping on each other. What other conventional stateroom can you do that in??? It’s really NOT THAT BAD. Buuuuutttt, strange layout nonetheless. THE PASSENGERS AND CREW: A+ This cruise had a very fun crowd! I was absolutely shocked at how many millennials and Gen-“X”ers were on this cruise considering the expense for American’s to take a Mediterranean cruise, and the added costs associated with traveling to get to Europe in the first place. But, there were many young professionals on the ship. Norwegian seems to do a great job at attracting younger passengers without stooping to the spring break Carnival college kid crowd. Although there were lots of younger people on the ship, NOT ONE AGE GROUP seemed to dominate the masses. One of the most balanced cruise crowds that I’ve ever seen. I was shocked at how balanced the crowd was. Also, tons of single millennials on the ship to hang out/flirt with. I’m not saying that I was necessarily looking for a “target rich” environment… But It certainly makes things more interesting if you catch my drift haha. ***Although, I have no data to back up my numbers…. I would guess that the age of passengers on the ship was: 30% Gen X, 25 % Millennials, 20% Baby Boomers, 15% Seniors, 10% Gen Z/Children Nationalities on board were: 45% of passengers were American, 40% European, 10% Latin-American, 5% from other parts of the world. Crew: I cannot say enough great things about the EPIC staff! These people, no matter whether they’re a stateroom attendant, buffet bus person, or an officer were simply perfect. They’ve mastered the art of service. I would give you specific examples, but we’d be here all day. One thing that I’ll point out was the bartenders were great! All were friendly, fast, and after a few days would remember your drink. —Truly remarkable for thousands of people circulating in and out week after week. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS, MAIN DINING ROOMS, AND BUFFET My father and I ate at 5 of the 7 speciality restaurants on board. This isn’t super typical of everyone who adds speciality dinning to their cruise, as most people will eat at between 2 or 3 restaurants. In no particular order, opinions/grades on the 5 that we ate at: * Le Bistro (French) B+ The food at Le Bistro was pretty good. Not great. I heard several others sitting around us that they were really enjoying the cuisine but there’s a huge caveat for me with the fact that I’m from Louisiana and live in New Orleans. Please understand that I have access to some of the best French food available in the US on a daily basis. * La Cucina (Italian) A+ The food at La Cucina was excellent! Great starter salads, beautiful charcuterie board/antipasto and ton’s of Italian favorites. I had the veal and it was excellent! * Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant B- The meal was decent. But Not nearly the best Chinese food that I’ve had at sea. Much better Chinese on Celebrity Equinox....Called “Silk Harvest”. Their biggest problem is that they are missing some of the American favorites of Chinese. No General Tso Chicken and many other thing’s that Americans would expect from a Chinese restaurant. * Cagney’s Steakhouse D+ Unfortunately one of the worst meals that I’ve ever had at sea. I ordered my ribeye “medium”, and it came out still mooing. Also, the ribeye was 50% fat. I love ribeyes and cook steak often at home, and understand that that cut of meat will have extra marbling, but this was absurd. My father ordered his steak medium-well, and it came like a piece of leather. We both ended up just eating our salads and sides(which were fair at best), and cast aside the steaks. —The staff tried to make it right though. (Plain and simple, Cagney’s just sucks. Tried it on the NCL Escape as well, and thought the exact same thing). —You’d think a steakhouse would be one of the easiest to operate. * Teppanyaki (Japanese hibachi) A+ This was the second best meal that we had behind La Cucina. The food was excellent, as was the enjoyment of the hibachi experience. And the hibachi chef’s were entertaining and hilarious. The food was excellent. Great variety of Steak, chicken, shrimp, muscles, veggies, and rice. ***As you can see from above, 4 of the 5 were good, with 2 being great. Very disappointed in Cagneys on both the Escape and the Epic. MAIN DINNING ROOMS: A+ There are two main dinning rooms on EPIC. “Manhattan” and “Taste”. Manhattan is a little dressier with a little bit more formal setting. Whereas Taste is a little more laid back with more of a traditional menu. We only ate at Manhattan once, and both really liked it. —Very similar menus and atmosphere to other comparable ships. BUFFET: A+ Good choices for breakfast and lots of variety. Pretty typical for a mega ship buffet, but added variety. They seem to a little better job on breakfast than other lines (particularly with omelette stations)... They have omelette stations and other quick to order stations all over to try and get it to you fast. Although we only ate lunch once at the buffet, again there was a good variety of American favorites and various salad bars, and other ethnic cuisine. One thing that we loved was the burger/grilled items outside near the pool deck. Easy to grab lunch and to get back to your deck chair. ENTERTAINMENT: B+ If you remember my opening, you know that I don’t particularly care for “freestyle cruising” because of having to schedule everything so early... Nothing is more prevalent of that than the main theater shows on EPIC. THE SHOWS: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Burn the Floor," are the Two main headliner shows in the theater. Both were entertaining and high energy. Really liked “Burn The Floor”. Drag isn’t necessarily my thing, but still thought Priscilla was hilarious. Unlike most cruise lines, I do give NCL a lot of credit for their (what I call) “sub-shows”. —Which are smaller venues with comedians, or other shows within smaller venues around the ship. The best show on the ship hands down was called “Cirque Dreams Epicurean” Held in the “Spiegel Tent”. —Which a smaller dinner theater near the main theater. Given the small theater and the rapid changing of the various stages, you feel like the actors and acrobats are right on top of you! It’s interactive as well! There is a charge for this show as they serve dinner as well. It was about the price of a specialty restaurant. Book early! The shows fill up rapidly and were sold out for most of the cruise. Another “sub-show” was “Howl At The Moon” located in Headliners Comedy Club —Free and open to anyone, three musicians play various instruments and take requests from the audience for hours... They were AWESOME! Plus, you can come and go as you please. They typically play for about 4 hours. 8-11PM is clean in case kids are there. After 11PM is uncensored(which is more enjoyable) Speaking of Comedy....One MASSIVE negative which robbed my ENTERTAINMENT GRADE OF BEING AN “A” was no comedy show at all! —Not Even in the comedy club! —I’m not sure if this was just for this cruise, or whether NCL plans on ceasing comedy shows or what the deal was??? MISCELLANEOUS POSITIVES: -I found a lot less nickel & diming on EPIC. -One of the biggest varieties of speciality dinning, along with free speciality dinning options. -The ship really does well with excursions which is important when you’re in Europe given the language differences. -NCL Might have the best premium drink package on earth! Way less expensive than Celebrity and MSC, and you can order virtually anything. They also don’t “drink count” as I call it. In other words, if I ordered two drinks at a time, I didn’t need two cruise cards. They just did it(Believe me my friends, that is rare) MISCELLANEOUS NEGATIVES: -The WiFi was the worst I’ve ever had at sea. Mind you that both my father and I bought the premium unlimited packages on that. Had to constantly re-boot and try for sometimes 7 to 8 times to just to sign on. I get it, I was on vacation and some of you will say that I should’ve unplugged. But, I’m in management with a media company and have to check my email once a day during weekdays for emergencies even when on vacation. -No free bottled water. —Seriously. With a premium drink package, you can order all the Patron, Grey Goose, or Johnny Walker Blue Label you want, BUT NOT bottled water unless you want to pay out of pocket. Otherwise, you get a glass of tap water. Never seen that on 17 cruises except this. IN CLOSING: This cruise was amazing because of the three main factors. 1.) The itinerary, 2.) the people on the ship 3.) the crew. Yes, the ship is nice. But you’d be dazzled by some of the newer ships that other lines have come out with recently. I give the overall grade of B+ to the entire cruise. Inconsistencies in the food, the WiFi, freestyle cruising and a few lesser things narrowly cost EPIC an “A”. —Still a great cruise. Cheers to you on your next voyage! -Matthew from New Orleans, Louisiana Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Previously sailed on Spirit so layout of ship identical. Seemed like the ship was shaking herself to bits. Vibration from engines was constant and on every deck and location of the ship. Last night in port I was unable to sleep because of ... Read More
Previously sailed on Spirit so layout of ship identical. Seemed like the ship was shaking herself to bits. Vibration from engines was constant and on every deck and location of the ship. Last night in port I was unable to sleep because of the vibrations. Celebration needs to be retired. Staff are all excellent and food of a high standard particularly the Meridian restaurant. Didn't try the speciality restaurants. Lido restaurant always had a good selection of dishes, particularly liked the afternoon tea spread. Excursions were well organised but maybe allow for more free time to explore, find a cafe or W.C. Then hunt for souvenirs. Cabins were cleaned and refreshed regularly and any issues were addressed immediately. For us there were not enough dancing opportunities. Bands good but playing pop classics only suitable for “dad dancing” or as background music. No chance to do any ballroom or Latin dancing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my first NCL cruise and I booked through Costco Travel which offered a couple of perks (two complimentary premium dinners) in the process. I also booked the premium beverage package and the daily spa package which made the ... Read More
This was my first NCL cruise and I booked through Costco Travel which offered a couple of perks (two complimentary premium dinners) in the process. I also booked the premium beverage package and the daily spa package which made the cruise a bit more expensive but well worth the cost. The Epic is a large ship staffed with a great crew that always seemed committed to offering gracious and friendly service. Traveling with a friend, we were able to book and hold a handicap-equipped cabin which gave us a bit more floor space as well as the balcony which was great. The only down side was that the door to the combined restroom/shower was broken so we had to make due with a curtain hung by velcro -- not exactly the best privacy set up but we were advised that the repair was planned for shortly after our trip. Pro's: Amazing fitness center and Spa -- we opted for the daily spa access and took advantage of both the workout area and jacuzzi every day. The food was always good and because of the variety offered, even the most picky eaters will find ample options. The kids on board seemed to really love the pizza and I agree -- it's very good! The water flume rides are fun and the wait times were reasonable. The entertainment was also top notch. Con's: Very few issues to mention but here are a couple: the ice machines in the restaurants were overwhelmed at times and sometimes the crew could not keep up with the demand for clean cups. The piped in relaxation music in the spa is just one short tune played over and over. They really need to add more relaxing music because the monotonous one song detracts from the calming experience. While the public restrooms were kept clean, there were some metal support pieces in the toilet stalls that seem dingy and need to be polished. I also noticed that some painted surfaces outside the dining room windows that were showing rust. Lastly, the swimming pools themselves are very small for such a large ship. The water in the pools was also very warm and not refreshing. The ports of call on this trip were interesting and the excursion options were plentiful. To be able to visit three countries in 7 days and only unpack once is definitely a great reason to cruise and overall the NCL Epic was a fantastic vessel for my summer vacation! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Diamond Member creature of habit. It seems that Royal Caribbean management is just going through the motion. The exceptional service that I have received through the years seems to be a thing of the past. I do not know if this is ... Read More
Diamond Member creature of habit. It seems that Royal Caribbean management is just going through the motion. The exceptional service that I have received through the years seems to be a thing of the past. I do not know if this is indicative of the cruise industry as a whole. However, after this cruise, I am switching cruise lines and will find out. The food on the cruise was limited in selection in the dining room. The food in the Wind Jammer was fine. The food in the Diamond Lounge was poor at best. Service in the Diamond Lounge was very good. Most extras that make the cruise special (sail away party, Ice carvings, variety of entertainment, etc ) no longer exist. Coupon books for Diamond members are a thing of the past. The most serious incident that happened on the ship was the Portofino tender service. The waves were extremely rough and the tender was violently being bounced around. People were screaming and throwing up. Water was pouring in the front window of the tender. A passenger (where was the crew member?) closed the window to stop the water filling the life boat. We put our life jackets on in the event of a sinking. Later on the ship, I asked the front desk management why the tenders service was not discontinued due to poor sea conditions. I was told it was the harbor master's decision. The front desk management seemed annoyed by my question. Just leave me alone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We sailed on the Oasis of the Seas on 30th June for a 7 night Med cruise, calling at Palma, Marseilles, La Spezia, Rome, and Naples. Boarding was in Barcelona and the ship is so large that it boards over two terminals. We were allocated ... Read More
We sailed on the Oasis of the Seas on 30th June for a 7 night Med cruise, calling at Palma, Marseilles, La Spezia, Rome, and Naples. Boarding was in Barcelona and the ship is so large that it boards over two terminals. We were allocated terminal C and after dropping off our cases we were on board the ship in less than 30 minutes from arriving at the terminal. Upon boarding, we were greeted with a glass of bubbly, which was a nice touch. As we were in an Aqua Suite, we headed up to the suite lounge, which is a calm oasis away from the hustle and bustle of boarding day. In the suite lounge, we were able to book a couple of shore excursions and signed up for a 3-night specialty dining package. One benefit of being in a suite is the use of the suite lounge which is open all day for snacks, drinks and table service in the Coastal Kitchen Restaurant which is incorporated into the lounge. We ate lunch in the Coastal Kitchen, which was delicious and then headed to our Aqua Suite no 14330. This was a very nice suite with a separate lounge and dining room and a bathroom with a full-sized bathtub. The balcony was split and to be honest I would have preferred one of the lower Aqua Suits with a wrap-around balcony. We did have some issues with a leak in our cabin, but the housekeeping and maintenance teams sorted that out very professionally. During the week the temperatures were very high, mainly around 30 degrees so it was quite tiring to walk anywhere off the ship. We stayed on board during the first two ports and enjoyed the ship. There is so much to see and do onboard, one review would not do it justice. Day 3 we took a tour which involved taking a ferry to a very picturesque island, the ferry took around half an hour to cross the bay but the walk from the ship to the ferry took longer, not an excursion for anyone with any walking difficulties. Next day we did an olive tasting tour, this I would highly recommend. A beautiful scenic drive through Tuscany and a visit to a farmhouse once owned by the brother of Napoleon, which today is an olive farm. At the last port of call, Naples, we walked off and not far from the port found a really nice restaurant and ate authentic Napali Pizza, just 4 Euro each for a large pizza. Whilst onboard there is so much entertainment going on, from Aqua SHows, Ice SHows, West End Style Theatre Shows, comedians and musicians as wella s Karaoke for those who like to entertain themselves. There are seven neighborhoods onboard the Oasis but we really liked Central Park and The Boardwalk. There is a vast choice of where to eat on board. You have of course Coastal Kitchen for Suite guests and the Windjammer buffet-style Restaurant, then for snacks, you have the Boardwalk Hot Dog Stand, Sorrentos Pizzaria, The Park Cafe and for Tapas you have Vintages Wine Bar. For dinner, you can choose the main dining room or plump for a specialty restaurant. You can choose from Izumi Japanese, Sabor Mexican, Choppes Grill Steakhouse, Giovanni's Table Italian or our favorite the 150 Central Park Bistro. All of these come with a supplement, but if you purchase a dining package you can get a good discount on the cover charges. I would have to say that the food on this cruise was about the best we have experienced on a cruise ship and the staff and service from every member of staff without exception was fantastic. We had the opportunity to meet the Captain and The Hotel Director and the ship, crew, food, and facilities are a credit to them. We had an awesome cruise holiday and can't wait to get back to what I think is our new favorite ship Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
The experience at Norwegian Epic was a dream come true. We were in a group - a mix of kids of different age groups, adults with different interests. Each one of us were thoroughly satisfied and didn’t want to disembark at the end of the ... Read More
The experience at Norwegian Epic was a dream come true. We were in a group - a mix of kids of different age groups, adults with different interests. Each one of us were thoroughly satisfied and didn’t want to disembark at the end of the journey. Food- great even for vegetarians No sea sickness- smooth sea Entertainment - more than plenty Staff - awesome and entertaining Warm welcome after return from port excursions Kids taken care of in Splash academy Glow party was the best. The balcony allowed us to keep our suitcases else with kids space can be challenging Drinks can be better. Found the cocktails sweeter than usual Swimming pools were more of water tanks. Can be larger and shaded as it was super hot in July The kids entertainment in Splash academy after 8pm can be better else a single child can be easily bored Overall, the trip was truly worth every penny Read Less

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