12 Marseille Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews

The itinerary. We wanted to visit Rome and Florance. We found the cabin staff to be very pleasant polite and very good at their job. But in many of the other areas such as bars and restaurants they seemed disinterested. The waiting times ... Read More
The itinerary. We wanted to visit Rome and Florance. We found the cabin staff to be very pleasant polite and very good at their job. But in many of the other areas such as bars and restaurants they seemed disinterested. The waiting times at the bar could be up to ten minutes,staffing levels seemed to be an issue. On one occasion I asked for a slice of lemon in my drink and was told by the bar man the reason why he didn't give me one was that the waitress had not brought them up yet, even though there was a basket on the bar full of lemons and limes. We also had an issue with our cabin. We booked two trips, one to Rome and the Vatican 10 hours in total take away the 3 hours return journey 1 hour for lunch which left 6 hours of sight seeing it all felt really rushed. On the Florance trip also 10 hours we had a stop at a leather factory, in my few time wasted.The guide was very good but sometimes we had trouble hearing her as we did not have head sets and we were a party of 46,unlike the Rome trip. The trips in my view are a rip off and over priced. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We booked an aft cabin and the view and experience added greatly to the our enjoyment of the ship. Most importantly, take some time to plan you port excursions and learn about the vessel. You should know all about the Epic - before - you ... Read More
We booked an aft cabin and the view and experience added greatly to the our enjoyment of the ship. Most importantly, take some time to plan you port excursions and learn about the vessel. You should know all about the Epic - before - you get on board. There is so much to do and see you should take the time to plan. I would say I gave the planning phase about 20 hours before we boarded. It made our journey effortless. We were on the cruise rather than figuring out what we wanted to do. Best tip I can give. We ate at La Cucina, Le Bistro, and Teppenyaki. All excellent and a nice break from the buffet. I am in the habit of tipping the Maitre'd of the dining hall. It will help you get the best possible dining experience. You will have aave a great time on this vessel. It is huge, but it never felt impersonal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We are a family of 3,husband,13 year old daughter and myself.We have previously only sailed RCCL,twice on Freedom,3 times Oasis and once on Allure( all in Caribbean).We loved all or RCCL cruises but decided to try NCL for a change. We ... Read More
We are a family of 3,husband,13 year old daughter and myself.We have previously only sailed RCCL,twice on Freedom,3 times Oasis and once on Allure( all in Caribbean).We loved all or RCCL cruises but decided to try NCL for a change. We also needed a European cruise as my husband has had a knee replacement so needed a short haul flight. Embarkation at Rome was a breeze,straight from the airport and we were onboard within half an hour of embarkation...our cabin was also ready at 1pm so we were able to go and see our cabin,a mini suite,which is basically a slightly larger outside balcony cabin. We had already read about the bathroom situation with frosted glass...it didn't bother us..in fact the fact that someone can use the toilet and someone else have a shower was great.However,the water temperature of our shower throughout the cruise was just about warm... never showered so quickly as desperate to get out of it! Our lovely cabin steward,Victoria ,did get a plumber to look at it but to be honest it made little difference. The cabin itself was a decent size with tonnes of storage...much more than on RCCL ships...however the strange curved design was problematic ...our round bed meant your feet hung iver the edge...I am only 5 ft 7 so goodness knows how a tall person gets on.! Also our daughter was to sleep on the sette,which was converted into a bed each night. Due to the curved design,the bed was a half moon shape which my daughter had to curve her body around...she fell out of bed twice! The settee on RCCL converts into a double bed to give more space. We then went up onto the pool deck ....far inferior in our opinion to any other ships we have been on...just didn't have the WOW Factor..the sun beds were very cramped,definitely wasn't enough of them,the adults only part was dreadful....cramped,noisy,children supposedly banned but this was not enforced,as we saw some young girls aged around 12/13 in there...small pool..nothing like The Solarium on The Oasis of the seas..which is a haven for adults and luxurious. The service at the main pool bar was dreadful,you could wait ages...they ignored my daughter repeatedly,they are clearly understaffed and some of the of virtually treat you as an inconvenience ...when we were on the top deck I would tip a waiter a few euros and get our drinks served to us .On our only pool day we got our sun beds by 10am,,people looking for them after 11 am had no chance....not enough for people on board. The first night we went into Taste,one of the main dining rooms...what a shock,miserable waiter,no one took our drinks order ...average food....the following nights we went to Manhattan...much better experience here...service was very good,atmosphere much better with live music and dress code strictly enforced which I believe is correct in a nice dining area.The food was average,sometimes good...desserts were very average...small portions,often cold main meals...RCCL definitely has it in the main dining room. We did dine one night in the Chinese restaurant,included in complementary restaurants....this was very good,hot food,great service with a smile..slightly cramped restaurant. Entertaininment was excellent...loved The Beatles...saw them 3 times,Cavern Club was superb and waiter service from the waiters excellent...also excellent bar service in Shakers bar...drinks were of good quality,better wine choices than RCCL. The ports of call were excellent...did our own excursions and save a fortune,except for Sorrento which we did through ship as it was a distance from Naples and I was worried about missing ship! Overall we had a great holiday,mainly due to the ports of call we visited...in our opinion NCL lacks the professionalism that we have found on RCCL cruises...we missed the central buzz of the Royal Promenade on RCCL ships.everything was spread around with no focal point. The staff are mixed in their service...some excellent some are downright awful....at the end of the day this was cheaper than an RCCL cruise and you get what you pay for...perhaps we are too set in our ways as loyal to Royal cruisers,and I wouldn't say I would never sail NCL again,but definitely not on this ship... Booked Symphony of the seas with RCCL for next summer....can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I chose this cruise for the ports which were mostly good. However, there was nothing memorable about this ship! The food was of poor quality and not completely accurate in the description (fish, desserts) on the menus. I had food poisoning ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the ports which were mostly good. However, there was nothing memorable about this ship! The food was of poor quality and not completely accurate in the description (fish, desserts) on the menus. I had food poisoning after eating at one of the buffets. When I called to see a nurse/doctor, the infirmary was closed while at port. The shows and entertainment were mediocre at best with a cheesy and vulgar flair. The ship was all about making extra money at every turn-extra costs for some shows, dinners, all excursions, and much more. During sea days, the ship was so crowded that you had to carefully place your feet around the pools and decks in order to not step on anyone. We were sitting arm to arm on the adult pool deck with strangers as there was not enough room to spread out. They did an excellent job with embarkation/disembarkation. I will never sail on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I have taken about 15 cruises in my life and this was my first with NCL. The ship itself is very nice. Tons of dining, bar and seating options throughout. The rooms were small as to be expected but it was nice to have a separate area for ... Read More
I have taken about 15 cruises in my life and this was my first with NCL. The ship itself is very nice. Tons of dining, bar and seating options throughout. The rooms were small as to be expected but it was nice to have a separate area for the shower and another for the toilet and a 3rd for the sink. Plenty of nooks and cranny's to put your belongings in as well. (Tip, choose a room in the middle of the ship as it will lesson noise when parallel parking the ship each morning). My 2 big concerns with the ship were 1) the pools were tiny, all 3 of them. 2) NCL charges for almost everything and its not cheap. The cheapest rum drink I had all week was $10 after 18% tip. They have a daily drink special for $8 plus tip as well. The cheapest bingo package was $50 for 3 games. Ridiculous! Room service food was free but there was a $7.95 delivery charge, What the Heck! Next was the service. We all felt like the staff didn't really care about the cruisers. Only 1 or 2 were very friendly. The rest seemed to be indifferent. I never felt that way on Carnival or RCCL. You would wait at the bar for a drink and never be acknowledged. The pool servers were few and far between. They rarely cleaned up food plates and the like that were left out. I dont think I will be traveling on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Having to pay over $200 for Wi-Fi that does not work is just not right. And I mean "99% DOES NOT WORK". You try and log in and you get “The Proxy server isn’t responding”, and if you get logged in the time to load a page is ... Read More
Having to pay over $200 for Wi-Fi that does not work is just not right. And I mean "99% DOES NOT WORK". You try and log in and you get “The Proxy server isn’t responding”, and if you get logged in the time to load a page is forever. When I talked to the IT person he was rude and said: "Oh, yes it is normal for a web page to take 5 minutes to load, and I don't do phones, only internet." The 2nd time I approached him he was very curt. I needed the service so I had to get up at 4:00 am to use the Wi-Fi. It seemed like a lot of the food we got had no taste, so bland if I closed my eyes I would not know what I was eating. The breakfast buffet was good except the potatoes. You know how potatoes get from setting. In the main dining restaurant, my lasagna was very dry and the cheese on top was inedible, probably from sitting under or over heat. Our next meal at main dining resulted in a waiter that ignored all his tables while he talked. I had to remind him he was ignoring his tables to make him go away. What made this worse was he barely could speak English. Overall most food was good. At the Spiegel Tent show and dinner, we got a menu, BUT they did not ask what we wanted. Everybody got steak, a great steak but what if I did not eat meat? There are not menus except at the restaurants; we had to walk to each one to see the menu. At another show the bartender in the main theater let people stand in line for 10 minutes then just closed the bar. He could see the line but made no effort to give advance warning that the bar closed when the show started. I watched a very polite man treated like crap. I am sad to say that this was not the only time I was exposed to staff rudeness. The daily news letter leaves a lot of unanswered questions, plan on having to ask for info about simple things. The map of the ship is not the best. In the daily news letter I did not see the small little mention about tendering. I had no idea what tendering meant. When I did find out what it meant, it was too late, so it was 1:00 pm before we got a ride to shore, so we missed our tour. By the way tendering means singing up to get a boat to shore. I have been on 4 cruises and this was the first time I had heard of this. Last; charging a gratuity for the liquor in the mini bar is a rip-off, you pay $9 for a $2 bottle of liquor and then they add a fee PLUS 18% gratuity. I paid $35 for 3 little bottles. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The good: Great, comfortable, roomy cabin. Destinations and times in each port. Service at reception was good. The bad: The ship was way too crowded. Most people had no manners and would not respect waiting in the line to ... Read More
The good: Great, comfortable, roomy cabin. Destinations and times in each port. Service at reception was good. The bad: The ship was way too crowded. Most people had no manners and would not respect waiting in the line to get food (example the Garden Cafe). I would have expected a little bit more class from people. Good luck using the elevators. You are better off getting a work out and taking those stairs. The food was average. Nothing special. If you did not want to dine at the buffet place, the restaurants had a limited menu (very poor options) and all free restaurants had the same menu. Service was mainly poor. I think the way staff gets paid needs to probably be adjusted so at least workers can have a smile on their face (even if it is fake). Entertainment was very poor. The way they advertise the ship, seems like there is so much to do on the ship compared to reality. We were happy to get off the ship every day. Evenings were kind of dull as there wasn't much going on. Even when there was a good show, you had to pay for it. As if we did not pay enough money for the cruise and the daily charges. Some of the shore excursions are unreasonably expensive. Come on people! Enough of stealing money from people. Currency on the ship was US $ only. Good luck trying to exchange money. You'll go bankrupt. The rate is ridiculous. Internet- don't even bother using it. It's extremely slow and once again another way to steam money from you. I almost forgot to comment about the pool! Lots of space for sun beds but not even a nice large pool for the 4000 people on the boat. Good luck again during the "At Sea" day. You'll be lucky if you find a sun bed. You might have to set up the alarm clock and go reserve a sun bed by putting your towel on it at 5 am in the morning. Forget about getting close to the tiny pool areas. Conclusion: Never doing a Norwegian cruise again! So not worth it for the amount of money you pay. You will be treated like a king/queen elsewhere with the amount of money you spend on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I've just returned yesterday from my first ever cruise vacation, which was on the Norwegian Epic around the Western Mediterranean. And what a great experience it has been! Amazing ship, very friendly staff, nice atmosphere, lots of ... Read More
I've just returned yesterday from my first ever cruise vacation, which was on the Norwegian Epic around the Western Mediterranean. And what a great experience it has been! Amazing ship, very friendly staff, nice atmosphere, lots of dining options.... it was truly a fantastic holiday. Let me tell you why: After getting to the port in Marseille, the check-in process on board was surprisingly fast. Then, it was of to see my cabin, and explore the ship. The Epic, with a capacity up to of 4100 passengers, is one of the bigger cruise ships out there (as I've been told by more experienced cruise travellers) so there is quite a lot to explore. But the ship's setup is quite straight forward, so finding your way around is easily done after a little while. And if you do get lost, there are maps and touchscreens available on every floor to help you out. Since I was travelling by myself (background info: 27 year old Dutch guy), I've booked a Studio, which is specially designed for solo travellers. These inside cabins are very modern, with a queen-size bed, a glass shower and mood lighting. The Epic is the perfect ship to travel on for solo travellers, because of these Studios, and especially because of the Studio Lounge, which is only accessible for guests who booked a Studio. A.k.a. a great place to get to know new people and have a drink. With a solo travellers meeting every night at 18.00, with presence of one of the Cruise Staff members (William in our case, he is a great host!) and the option to go for dinner with other solo travellers too, you're bound to make some new friends. After the solo traveller meeting, it was off to dinner. And what a range of options does this ship provide you with. Multiple restaurants (buffet restaurant Garden Cafe and a-la-carte restaurants Taste, Manhattan Room and O'Sheehans) are complimentary, but you can also pay some more and use on of the speciality restaurants. Having dinner in the Spiegel Tent is very recommendable, because of the Cirque Dreams show. In all honesty, the food in the Spiegel Tent is not as good as at Taste or Manhattan, but the show is amazing! From acrobatic arts to classic magic to comedy, this show combines it all inside a very compact and cozy environment. At Taste and Manhattan they serve great food, with a different menu every day (only the classic dishes will remain the same) and hi-quality presentation and great taste. The wine list is good as well, and I tasted quite a few (luckily I had the Ultimate Beverage Package) At O'Sheehans, the Irish styled restaurant and pub, they serve a good and tasty 'pub grub', including chicken wings, a very nice BBQ burger and fish and chips. Over here, you will also find some games, including pool, darts and bowling. After dinner, it was time to enjoy the night. Howl at the Moon at the Headliners comedy club is great fun. These guys (and girl) do songs on request, and make a happy show while doing it. The musical 'Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert' played in the Epic Theatre simply takes your breath away. The acting, singing and decors are all so beautifully done (and, since you're all staying on the same ship, you can run into the stars of the show later on when partying in the Bliss Lounge) Also the Beatles tribute band (playing in the Cavern Club) is amazing, they really get you of your feet. There are other shows too (an opera show and a 60's tribute band f.i.) but I don't see those. Luckily you receive an overview every day of all activities going on the next day, so you can keep track (because I didn't even mention the bingo yet, or the ping pong tournament, movies on big screen, art auctions, trivia quizzes and so much more), besides the 'regular' cruise activities like bubbling in a jacuzzi, swimming and enjoying the sunshine. For a more quiet night out, you can enjoy a nice mix or cocktail (tip: try the Mudslide, amazing iced cocktail) in one of the many bars, such as Shakers (martini bar), Maltings, O'Sheehans (Irish pub) or Waves (bar outside, near the pool) By the end of the night, going on into early morning, Bliss Lounge is the place to go, which is a nightclub-like bar. Although the DJ isn't always playing my kind of music, the atmosphere is nice, and you can dance the night away if you like. I didn't book any excursions through NCL (they are pretty expensive, so just wondered off by myself), but in the Freestyle Daily they inform you about the options ashore (how you can get about on your own, and what there is to see in and near the port of call), so that's great. So was there nothing that could be improved? Yes, there is. Almost every morning (quite early, around 07.00) there are quite loud announcements over the speaker system, mostly for disembarking guests or guests who have booked a shore excursion. Being woken up with announcements (which are mostly not even meant for you) isn't really nice, specially after a nice night of partying. Perhaps NCL can do these announcements differently/more targeted? (perhaps via the TV?) Also, although the Ultimate Beverage Package includes cocktails, wines and mixed drinks (which can go up to about 15 USD per drink) coffee in the Atrium bar or special coffee after dinner is not included. Having an Irish coffee included, but having to pay extra for a capucchino, that seems a bit odd. But, despite these two points of improvement, I still had a very very nice holiday! Wow, that was a long review. So all and all, I've happy to say that my experience on this ship has been great! It was my first cruise, but definately not my last one... and love to go with Norwegian again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
There were three of us on the cruise; myself, wife and 4 year old daughter. We boarded at Marseilles and there were very few people getting on. Check in was quick and easy (only 20-30 people getting on when we were there). Likewise, ... Read More
There were three of us on the cruise; myself, wife and 4 year old daughter. We boarded at Marseilles and there were very few people getting on. Check in was quick and easy (only 20-30 people getting on when we were there). Likewise, disembarking was easy due to limited number of people leaving. We had a mini suite on deck 8 and it was nice. This was our first time on Norwegian and thus our first time on the Epic. Storage!!! Cupboard/shelves everywhere! The bathroom was kind of weird. As you walk in, the toilet was on the left, the shower on the right, and the enclosure was a translucent white. The balcony was very nice. deeper than we have experienced before though not as wide. I think I preferred this one since it was easier to arrange when two people were on the balcony. We used many of the specialty restaurants which were nice but there are upcharges for everything. $20 per person just to go into the Ice Bar (even for my 4 year old daughter) which sucked. Rude service in the Moderno (sp?). Great service in the sushi restaurant (they made whatever my daughter wanted; very kid friendly and great attitude) Ship had lots to do. My daughter loved the pool, slides, and splash area. Kids club was outstanding. So good my daughter didn't want to leave and the staff was great. Selection of bars was outstanding as was the choice of food (paid and otherwise). Overall we had a good time (hard not to on a cruise right?) but sadly I don't think we will cruise Norwegian again. Good time yes, but way too many problems and poor service. The price paid for what we got wasn't worth it. Where to start? Internet. I booked internet and of course it didn't work. Stand in line forever at guest service. get to front and am told I have to go see the internet manager. Another line with 30 people because noone else's works either. Turns out they have a single point of failure for the entire ship; the internet manager. He is only available at certain hours and was mobbed. Day 1, internet not fixed. Day 2, still not fixed (waited in line again). Said something was sent to my room (it wasn't). Finally got it fixed and it was really bad. Slow, disconnected alot. Waste of money. We really only needed it to stay in contact due to a family issue and it barely met that requirement (I paid for it though so it should have worked). Stopped working again on Day 4. Internet manager line again. Very frustrating. Spa: Booked my wife a massage before we left. We received the letter in the cabin the day before confirming time and everything. She goes up there and they say they double booked. She is out of luck and she cannot have her money back (Guess they haven't heard of a stop payment on a credit card...but I digress). Finally able to get her in at a convenient time but it was another screwup. Massage was good though. Our room wasn't made up the first day. We asked the room steward and she said she wasn't feeling well....I empathize but get another person then! First stop at Barcelona I go down and ask guest services if there is a euro ATM on the boat. No, but go up to the casino and get dollars from the ATM and we will switch it for you. OK, no problem. I go get money, come back down and ask to switch it and I am informed they cannot switch it for me until 2 pm...It's 0930 and that doesn't exactly help me (not to mention I just used my withdrawal limit for the day on that debit card). I asked to speak to a supervisor and was refused. I gave them some choice words... The whole cruise followed this pattern. I don't want to make the impression that we had a bad time because we didn't. The boat had lots to do, was clean, and we had an all you can drink package which tends to make most problems go away... The stops were good and they were pretty organized getting people on and off. The point is we had far less hassle on other cruise lines and when we did have the occasional problem on the other lines it was taken care of. The price was definitely not worth it either. Glad we tried out the Epic and the cruise line but there is little chance we will go back. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first cruise so we didn't really know what to expect. We started with some intrepidation about being confined in one place with so many people (the ship can take around 4000 passengers) but actually we needn’t have ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we didn't really know what to expect. We started with some intrepidation about being confined in one place with so many people (the ship can take around 4000 passengers) but actually we needn’t have worried as the ship was so big, with so many options for dining and entertainment that we never felt crowded.. We were somewhat disadvantaged with joining the ship at Marseille as Barcelona is the main embarkation port. Whilst it meant there were no queues or delays to register or get onboard, we were not given the full range of information which those embarking at Barcelona were given and we subsequently were not fully keyed in with either the range of what was available on board, where things were, or the different packages available (such as drinks packages). The dining options really suited us as the Freestyle approach of the Epic means that you can dine where and when you want to. There were formal dining opportunities (or at least, as formal as you wanted it to be " some people really got dressed up though most people were just smartly casual, which was the basic requirement. We only saw one person wearing a tie and there were no dinner jackets put people were generally quite smartly dressed). The restaurants had a menu which changed daily (always with choices) and which generally reflected the local port of call. There was also a regular unchanging menu. The food and service were excellent. Also there was a buffet restaurant on the pool deck which had a huge range of food catering for all tastes, a poolside buffet/grill and also an Irish bar, open for food at all hours. In addition there were speciality restaurants but we steered clear of these as they were all at extra cost. The thing that really stunned us was the astronomical cost of wines, beers etc. There was a drinks package option at 49 dollars per day (! and if you take this then it has to be for the full week and for every adult in your party) or wines starting at around 25 dollars for the cheapest bottle. However this is not the actual purchase price as 18% service then 10% VAT are always added to the final bill. It was no wonder that most people were drinking iced water which was always available, as were basic squashes. Bottled water was however also extremely expensive. The range of free entertainment options on board was amazing. There were top notch shows in a huge theater (the Blue Man show was incredible and apparently was previously running on the West end) as well as dance, musical and comedy shows in other areas. You could see something different every night of your cruise " but you do have to reserve to be sure of a seat. Lots of other leisure options were available, including a climbing and abseiling wall, 3 (yes 3!) water chutes, Jacuzzis, ping pong, 10 pin bowling (at extra charge), ball sports and the swimming pools. Only the latter were disappointing as there were only 2 and they were VERY small. We were surprised at how many things were at extra (and really expensive charge " plus service charge etc!). These included not just the bowling but also the gym and internet (for which you had to pay an initial sign up charge of $3.95 then a $0.75 per minute charge. Photos on board were also astronomical, even for prints or a USB download from your own camera. The ship had large areas assigned to both these activities but it was not surprising that they were empty most of the time. Shore excursions were also in our opinion very expensive, though we do not have other cruising experiences to compare them with. All we do know is that the same shore excursions can be done at around 30% of the ship price if you research, plan yourself and use local transport. Port shuttles were invariably much more expensive if bought on the ship than if bought directly at the port.(where in some instances, such as at Marseille, they are free). We spoke to one man who paid €12 on ship only to find that it would only have cost him 5€ if bought at the port. Interestingly he successfully challenged this afterwards and was given a refund. Our accommodation on board was well set out, comfortable and well equipped with lots of storage space. We also had a drip coffee maker (which could also be used for making tea) and a continuous bucket of ice. Incidentally we used the latter to fill our water bottles, rather than paying totally over the top for bottled water to take out with us, which was available on leaving the ship at $5.63 a small bottle. All of the staff members on board were superb, friendly, happy, helpful and courteous. A 12$ per person gratuities charge is added to your bill for each day on ship, though it is "discretionary” and can be removed if you are not happy with the service for any reason. We spoke to one individual who had had it taken off on a previous trip. Personlly we found all the services on board to be extremely well and efficiently organized. At the end we can honestly say that we had a good cruise experience. It was just a shame that the company seemed to be trying to profiteer too much from the additional high cost items and services which it was providing on board.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Took my family of four ( two girls ages 18 and 19) on a seven day cruise, leaving from Marseilles. The Epic is certainly a beautiful and impressive ship...but I digress. Arrived at the Marseilles airport after a week in Paris. Just a ... Read More
Took my family of four ( two girls ages 18 and 19) on a seven day cruise, leaving from Marseilles. The Epic is certainly a beautiful and impressive ship...but I digress. Arrived at the Marseilles airport after a week in Paris. Just a twenty minute taxi ride to the port, and the ride was only about 42 Euro - not the 240 dollars that the cruise line would charge us for a transfer. It was very easy to board the ship, and the staff there was excellent. We found the rooms on the ship to be a bit larger than we expected, beautifully appointed, and very comfortable. The bathroom/sink/shower arrangement is different than on other ships, but was quite logical and easy to use. All four of us found that making our way on the ship from point A to point B was sometimes a chore, and that there were long, narrow corridors to navigate everywhere we went. Quite a long walk to the fitness center, spa, and other areas. It was also interesting to note that, despite the open area surrounding the casino and decks five, six and seven, the ship seemed to lack the openness of the R.C. Allure of the Seas and others. The open areas continually smelled from cigarette smoke, due to being contiguous with the caisno - an aspect of the ship that was quite negative. During our cruise we ate in the two dining rooms as well as the Garden Cafe. The opinion of my family was that the food was, at best, mediocre. Main dishes were usually dry and overcooked ( steak and chicken). The food in the Garden Cafe was ok, no better, and getting a seat at breakfast time was an impossible task. The ship is packed with staterooms up to the fourteenth floor, and the crowds can be somewhat maddening. Four Thousand guests is a bit too much. The staff in the restaurants was courteous and friendly. We did eat one evening in the Italian restaurant, and the food was superb. I find it a bit upsetting to know that, after I have paid for a cruise, I would have to spend another sixty to 120 dollars per dinner to get fine food - better than the dining room - when the food on Celebrity and R.C. was really much better. The entertainment on the ship was truly fantastic. The best show at sea that my family has ever seen was the Cirque production - truly great. The dinner there was mediocre, but the show was great. The same goes for the dueling piano bar - really great. We missed our reservation for the Blue Man Group twice due to one of my daughters getting sick, but heard that it was excellent as well. There was a marvelous guitarist sitting each night by one of the bars, and the jazz club was very fine. The idea of people embarking and disembarking at all ports along the way is interesting. We thought that it detracted from getting to know other passengers and sharing the cruise with them. It definitely has a different feel than when everyone gets on and off the ship at the same time. My daughters met some other college-aged girls to hang out with, but since they got on after us, and we left before them, it left very little time for them to spend together. While we did not use the spa, it looked excellent. The gym was top notch, and we used it on four separate occasions. On our day at sea the decks were swamped with people, and upon returning from our port days the decks were crowded and the music loud and sometimes objectionable. It is a very crowded ship. The ports are all wonderful places to tour. While we did the bike ride in Mallorca ( which was great), we did not use the other of the ship's tours - they were prohibitively expensive - really quite ridiculous. When we went to the tour desk to try and get information about the ports they were not at all helpful. The staff knew nothing, and would only try to sell us NCL tours. Went to Capri on a ferry and saw the grottos and Annacapri - fun. Toured Barcelona on our own by first taking a taxi to the Parc Guell, then to the Sagrada Familia, and then toured the old Gothic district - skip Las Ramblas, it is truly a waste of time. The ship's transfers to Rome and Florence were superior to what some others did on their own - the buses took us directly there, while other passengers we spoke with had issues with travel on the Italian trains. We toured on our own in both cities, which are incredible places, of course. You can arrange tickets to the various museums in advance so that you just go to the will-call window at the museum to start your tours. Remember not to wear shorts if you want to tour the churches. In all, we had a very fine cruise. I will say, though, that we will most likely not use Norwegian in the future. The ship's objectives seem to be to have the passengers use the cover charge restaurants, buy the NCL tours, and push liquor - all high margin items. This ship in particular had very average to poor food,was too crowded, and too smokey. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
My husband and I just returned from a wonderful cruise about the Epic. I will start with some pre-cruise information. We flew from the states on Air France in the premium economy class of service to Paris and then took the TGV to ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a wonderful cruise about the Epic. I will start with some pre-cruise information. We flew from the states on Air France in the premium economy class of service to Paris and then took the TGV to Marseille, where we boarded the Epic. We felt the upgrade in service was worth the additional cost as we were traveling from Arizona. The premium economy offers a private cabin, a smidge wider seats but a lot more leg room. Along with that you also received priority check in, free baggage, luggage is tagged priority and in Europe a priority line for security. As we were traveling by train to Marseille we each took a 21 inch bag for our 10 day adventure. About 2 weeks prior to leaving, we packed our luggage as a test to see what we could fit and found we had plenty of space. We spent 3 nights in Marseille at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the Vieux Port. This hotel has a great location for touring as the hop on hop off bus was about a block away and the electric bus stopped in front of the hotel. We would highly recommend this hotel and Marseille.Embarkation was very easy as only a few people seem to embark in Marseille. We were on by 12n and went directly to our cabin (13034) which was ready for our arrival. This is a mini suite with a good size balcony. We asked our steward for a lounge for the balcony and she provided this within a hr of our arrival. We have sailed in mini's on other ships and found this cabin to be a little smaller but it does have a ton of storage space. We asked for additional hangers and was able to hang all of our clothes. The bathroom set up was not something we were happy with but we adjusted. Just a couple of tips, the light for the sink is under the vanity mirror , don't forget to put your room key in the slot by the door so the AC with work and lastly the do not disturb sign is on the placard outside of your door. This cabin was located close to the forward elevators which was easy and noise free. Also, pay attention to the color of the carpet outside of your cabin and look for that when getting off the elevator on your floor.We found the food overall to be very good. The buffet had lots to choose from and plenty of tables. At times it was busy but we always found a place. We enjoyed going up to the area at the very front of the buffet as it has great windows and is wonderful to watch sail aways and sunsets. We ate in the Manhattan room, buffet , O'Sheehan's, La Cucina and Shanghai. We would probably not pay the additional for La Cucina and Shanghai again as they were just average and the other location offered good choices.We attended two shows, Blue Man Group and Legends. We were disappointed in both and would not recommend them. As for excursions we did two NCL tours and would rate them a 6 out of 10. The first problem was that NCL staff was very disorganized and confused. we thought this was because we were on one of the first Med sailing, but have read the same complaint from people who have travelled after us. We took the Palma/Valldemossa tour....Loved Valldemossa, this tour only spent less than 1 hour there, Montserrat tour in Barcelona...This is also beautiful but not enough time there as we had to wait in line for about 25 mins of the hour we were given. NCL does offer shuttle, some for a fee and some free in each port. They should publish this ahead so people can plan what they would like to do in port. We took the free shuttle in Civitavecchai into town and walked around, this is where you can get a train to Rome. In Naples we took at Taxi and went to Da Micheles for Pizza, cab was expensive but Pizza was great. It rained very had in Livorno so we stayed on the ship.NCL seems to lack in giving disembarkation information and the staff could not answer questions about disembarking in Marseille and transportation to the train station. We decided to take the NCL shuttle (8.00US one way) to the Vieux Port and take a taxi to the train. The Vieux Port is a distance from where the ship docks, but this worked well for us.We cruise about twice a year and we have not sailed with NCL in a few years. We have never sailed on a ship this large but found that it worked for this itinerary, but it would not be something we would do on an itinerary that had a lot of sea days. We would sail NCL again but prefer smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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