2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The on board entertainment with the barricade boys (scott, pail, austin and lee), andrew derbyshire, and phillip (amazing voice and talent) in pricilla queen of the desert a long with burn the floor dance review we spectacular. 5 stars ... Read More
The on board entertainment with the barricade boys (scott, pail, austin and lee), andrew derbyshire, and phillip (amazing voice and talent) in pricilla queen of the desert a long with burn the floor dance review we spectacular. 5 stars ⭐️ across the board. Saw some shows multiple times. They even changed a show for my 11 yr old daughter. Truely 1st class people. the rooms were clean and the food was excellent. The cruise staff was courtesy and friendly. the ports of call were breathtaking. In 7 days we saw Italy Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We were in Barcelona and Rome for 1 week prior to this cruise. We had the ship transfer from the airport. It was noon-ish and a bus gave us a complimentary Barcelona tour. Killing time before dropping us at the terminal. We were ... Read More
We were in Barcelona and Rome for 1 week prior to this cruise. We had the ship transfer from the airport. It was noon-ish and a bus gave us a complimentary Barcelona tour. Killing time before dropping us at the terminal. We were delivered to the terminal and stood in line to drop our luggage in the rain. Then we stood in line in the rain to go through security screening. The building is huge and so much space was not being used, I don't know if screening could be moved back. But at least Norwegian could have used tarps to shield us from the rain and on other days from the sun / heat. It was disappointing, as I have always bought every photo from embarkment to each port. Who wants a photo when you've been standing in the rain for 30 to 45 minutes?! We had a balcony, room 9185. The room is so spacious and so much storage. We didn't use 30% of all the cubby holes. The "weird" bathroom only bothered me with the toilet. No privacy or sound/odor shield. The ship sacrificed the mid-ship elevators and stairs for solo traveler cabins. Huge mistake. It was so inconvenient to walk to the front or back to get around. I read reviews about long elevator waits, we only experienced this on the morning of disembarkment. We finally carried our bags down the stairs. I heard lots of complaints about the food. It's a cruise, same ole. Cruise lines are moving towards the upcharge, pay restaurants. Main dining rooms were inconsistent with dress code. But service and food was as expected. Buffet is typical with a small outdoor, by the pool, line and more choices wrapping around inside. Food was plentiful and good for buffet. O'sheen's was horrible. Food was bad and noise level was deafening. Noodle bar and Chinese were good. I assume due to the ships size and number of people on board that you are required to make a reservation at most shows. The cirque show is misleading. This is the type of entertainment that used to be free in the auditorium. Now it's an extra charge. Standard seating is 3 booths raised slightly to see over a table or 2. Premium or VIP seating is everything else, balcony and tables. Save your money and buy the cheap seats. Characters come around with ships photographer for photo ops. Sit in the balcony and only characters come up, you can take a photo for free. I felt nickle and dimed on this cruise. My best example: I prepaid for water, 12, 1 liter bottles delivered to my room. It cost $34. Once on board a table was set up selling the same package for $26. When I asked, I was told that it would be $34 when tax and service charge was added. On day 2 of the cruise $2.80 was added to my bill for the water, I was told this was a Europe tax. Buyer beware on this. My convenient water turned into expensive, then turned into not worth it. This was my 12th cruise and the first time I had 1 full day that the daily program had nothing, not one thing, I was interested in doing. And I read them religiously. The night before, I highlight the following days activities that would interest us. But there was nothing. It was disappointing. Then on 2 or 3 other days there were multiple activities with overlapping schedules. For example: slot tourney at 11:15, bingo at 11:30 and spa promotion at 11:30. All like minded interests. I asked a casino why the tourney and bingo were happening at the same time. She said it's a competition to try to lure people to their event. I guess this is because the casinos are contracted out. If you don't have the drink package tax 10%-ish and gratuity 20% is added to each order. Expensive, even by American standards. So the long and short is....It's a typical cruise. If you've cruised the last few years, it's average. Room is spacious. Toilet could be uncomfortable if not traveling with familiar companion. Stay in front or rear to avoid necessity of mid ship elevator or stairs. Food is expected cruise food. Ship is expensive. We've cruise Norwegian before, this ship is costly. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Family and Friends Cruise! Epic is Very beautiful ship. There were a lot of hidden fees on NCL. They charge you extra for almost EVERYTHING! Cabins were nice but very small. There was Barely enough room for two people to share the ... Read More
Family and Friends Cruise! Epic is Very beautiful ship. There were a lot of hidden fees on NCL. They charge you extra for almost EVERYTHING! Cabins were nice but very small. There was Barely enough room for two people to share the cabin. Not enough room in the cabin to pass by one another. The balcony was a nice size. The food in the buffet was bland and nothing exciting. Basically had the same thing over and over. They had hand sanitizer which is a plus! The food in the regular dining rooms was just okay. The food in the Specialty Dining Restaurants were good and of course they charge you extra for those. The drinks were average. The entertainment was so so. The music and the DJ's were okay. Love all The excursions that we chose but they were very very EXPENSIVE! Embarkation and Debarkation was very fast and efficient. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise mainly because it was transportation to the ports we wanted to visit. We departed out of Barcelona and I would recommend time either before or after the cruise to explore this fabulous city. My husband and daughter ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because it was transportation to the ports we wanted to visit. We departed out of Barcelona and I would recommend time either before or after the cruise to explore this fabulous city. My husband and daughter both got very ill on this ship. In fact, there was at least one person from every party I spoke with who bacame very ill. The second day (day at sea) I pulled a cup from the beverage area and it still had orange juice pulp in it. Not sure if the dishwashers are actually functioning properly, but I am fairly certain this is why people were getting sick. The daily sheets were not very informative and they tended to schedule the same type of events fairly close together so you had to pick which "one" you wanted to attend. One of the television channels had movies, but more recent movies were pay-per-view. Seriously?!? This cruise was "freestyle" which means you can eat when you want. We are early eaters, so therefore if we wanted to eat in one of the dining rooms versus the buffet, you needed to make reservations. If you were to walk in, there was a minimum of 30-45 minute wait. The one night we were able to get into one of the dining rooms, I ordered a steak medium and it came to me as almost charcoal. Speaking of reservations, there was very little communication regarding any type of reservations. One of the ports was a tender, and we didn't find out until we received the daily sheet that we needed to make reservations and by that time, we were not able to get off the ship until 11:00am (tenders started at 8:00am); therefore, we missed our tour. The one thing we did like was they passed out cool towels and water/juice when you returned to the ship from any port. This was our first (and last) freestyle cruise, and I'm sure some of the lack of communication was on our part, but we will never cruise this way again, and will never cruise Norwegian again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Prior to our cruise I had read a lot of negative and indifferent reviews of the Epic, and we were pleasantly relieved to find we really enjoyed the cruise and the ship. It is a big ship, and does take a day or two to orientate yourself ... Read More
Prior to our cruise I had read a lot of negative and indifferent reviews of the Epic, and we were pleasantly relieved to find we really enjoyed the cruise and the ship. It is a big ship, and does take a day or two to orientate yourself - and some of the little helpful things are not explained - such as the lift buttons and passage carpets being colour coded for port and starboard - so you have to find our for yourself. We found the food excellent - the main dining rooms and the specialty restaurants we visited - the only one poor course we had was on the first night in Manhattan when nothing on the menu of the day appealed and we both ordered off the everyday items - and they were both poor - so always stick to the daily items. The two other meals we had in the main dining rooms both had really good main courses which were among the best we had. We enjoyed the Teppenyaki restaurant, Cagney's was good, Moderno is a meat fest - good meat but on a cruise with so much food it was a bit wasted on us and I would have rather chosen the Italian or French options, and Shanghai was really good. We only ate lunch in Taste once - and just had appetizers - and recommend as an option. There is a huge amount of entertainment - so just wandering around we found lots to enjoy. Was pleasantly surprised to find that the sunbeds were not "hogged" and we always found two in some shade. Cabin was fine (10th floor balcony) - only criticism is that it was just too narrow - just 200mm wider would have made such a difference - but it is a tight squeeze. The much talked about bathroom arrangements was fine for us - but we are a married couple who share a bathroom at home. Only negatives: the adults area H2O has no shade - we would have used it but would have fried, and the rear bar does not have good views for an evening or sail away venue, there was a good balance of children as it was school holidays and we had no problems spending our time in the general area with the families; There is no good stroll around options for the top decks - something we have always enjoyed doing in the morning on other ships, and as I said above the cabin was just too narrow compared to other ships we have cruised on - which made it not as enjoyable. But overall, we really enjoyed the cruise - the staff were all extremely friendly and efficient, it has good port stops, and we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The cruise ship itself was amazing. The staff were extremely friendly and willing to help you with any questions. The excursions were awesome and enjoyed them very much. The only issue we encountered was there was a bus strike in Rome, ... Read More
The cruise ship itself was amazing. The staff were extremely friendly and willing to help you with any questions. The excursions were awesome and enjoyed them very much. The only issue we encountered was there was a bus strike in Rome, so our excursion was cancelled. We found our way to Rome (via train), but it just wasn't the same with a tour guide. I didn't attend any entertainment shows while on the ship, but other folks from my group had and they enjoyed them very much. The Maltings Bar and Shakers Bar were a bit noisy in the evenings, which made it difficult to talk. But if you moved away from them and sat in some chairs located between them, it was much better. I chose the Ultimate Beverage Package (as I had done on a previous cruise) and it was a great deal, especially if you enjoy an adult beverage. I'll warn you though, if you order a pop/soda in the dining room (Taste for example), they will charge you for the pop/soda. Other than that, I liked being able to order a drink and not worry about paying for it. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose the Epic and this itinerary to introduce the kids to Europe. What a great week! Mini suite 13227 Great room with plenty of storage. Full walk in shower. Read many complaints about the bathroom set up, I disagree we actually ... Read More
Chose the Epic and this itinerary to introduce the kids to Europe. What a great week! Mini suite 13227 Great room with plenty of storage. Full walk in shower. Read many complaints about the bathroom set up, I disagree we actually preferred the layout compared to the bathrooms on Getaway and Escape. Food was fine, buffets were always busy with normal cruise fare. Dining rooms were all good with excellent service. Embarkation and Debarkation were as good as it gets. Miami should take some notes from how Barcelona handles. Elevators were fine, yes they were busy when shows get out or dinner ends but they were not that bad. The elevator set up is preferred on Getaway and Escape. Loved the Cirque Dreams show. We had premium seats well worth it. Food was pretty good also. Only real complaints are why close the pools at 6pm when sunset is 915pm? Most families were returning to ship at 530ish and kids wanted to go into pool. Also the art auctions have to just go away. They take up too much valuable space on Epic. Assuming NCL good place another bar/experience in its place and make far more revenue. Total Waste of space, my opinion. Great Staff, clean ship, overall great way to get a sampler of some European Cities. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
OVERALL Beautiful and historic destinations, ugly on the outside but nice on the inside ship, good people, great way to see the area for first-time visitors BACKGROUND This was the first trip to Europe for myself, my wife, and our ... Read More
OVERALL Beautiful and historic destinations, ugly on the outside but nice on the inside ship, good people, great way to see the area for first-time visitors BACKGROUND This was the first trip to Europe for myself, my wife, and our teenage daughter. We've been on a number of cruises with Carnival and Princess, but this was our first Norwegian cruise. We arrived early in Barcelona and took some tours there before boarding the Epic, then flew home the day we returned to Barcelona. EPIC - ROOM We booked balcony cabin 8051 for our family of three. Room was in good condition and a bit larger than expected. The odd shower/toilet/sink arrangement worked fine for us, but it is not easy for someone to sleep in while someone is getting ready. In our room, the couch was close to the sink and the main bed was near the balcony; rooms with the opposite arrangement would feel much more cramped. No noise issues at all, and the view from the balcony was unobstructed. Lifeboats were immediately below, but they didn't block the view and provided entertainment as the seagulls visited looking for handouts. All of the indoor action on the ship is on decks 5-7, so the room on deck 8 was perfect to use the stairs and avoid the terrible wait time for the elevators. We gave up several times and took the stairs on up to deck 15 (sundeck and buffet). EPIC - DINING We bought a specialty dining package in hopes of enjoying some truly good meals on board, but were disappointed by the food in general. Maybe the Haven restaurant would be better, but over the course of the whole week, only one dining experience rose above OK. Taste Dining Room - nice, quiet, no complaints Buffet - good selection, serviceable quality, noisy atmosphere O'Sheehan's - 24 hour, enjoyed the blackened salmon Caesar salad Shanghai noodle bar - they try, but flavors and textures were disappointing for us since we know what real Asian food should taste like Cagney's Steakhouse (specialty*) - good, but not wow; had to send undercooked steak back Le Bistro (specialty*) - escargot was good, the fondue dessert was great, everything else meh Teppenyaki (specialty*) - the only really good meal on board, cooked fresh by an entertaining chef who was better than some teppenyaki chefs we’ve had back home *NOTE, with the dining package, you are limited to one appetizer, one salad, one main course, and one dessert -- maybe that makes sense for some people, but I'd rather have the freedom to order whatever I want on a cruise ship even if it’s 4 appetizers and no dinner or two dinners without additional charges EPIC - FACILITIES & MISC Maybe it's Norwegian, maybe just this ship, but they will nickel and dime you for everything on board much more than we’ve experienced on other cruises. We had the unlimited drinks package, but it didn't cover a latte - $4. Want to try out the Ice Bar? - That'll be $25 each. We did, and it was fun, but just be prepared for extra charges on food, entertainment, and anything else you might want to do. The elevators are inadequate for the size of the ship. You should expect to use the stairs often, and since they are at the far ends of the ship (fore and aft), plan to walk a good bit and work off those extra calories. We were pleased that we had a deck 8 room since most of the action was on decks 5-7. The spa was nice, we each had a very good massage. Didn't look into the exercise facilities, though. EPIC - ENTERTAINMENT The ship offers a good variety of entertainment with a likeable cruise director and staff. Be sure to order your drinks before the show starts and the bar closes. We caught the following: Cirque Dreams Epicurean (Premium Seating) – we sat in the balcony and I’m sure the view was the best there, although there was less interaction with the cast members before the show vs. the premium seats on the floor. Food was OK, but nothing special, the show was very good with talented performers and front row seats Burn the Floor – the absolute best show on board, outstanding performances with excellent dancing, live music, and a bit of humor; highly recommended, not at all stuffy or boring Priscilla Queen of the Desert – fun and just a bit raunchy, good performances Escape the Big Top – a puzzle based ‘escape room’ where none of the clues were hidden; not easy, but our group was able to complete it; an OK way to pass the time, but don’t skip other activities for this There were several other performers that we caught, but they are rotated through and may not be there when you travel – nice way to spend time before or after dinner. We didn’t get a chance to catch Howl at the Moon, but I’m sure that would have been excellent based on other reviews DESTINATIONS Barcelona, Spain – beautiful city, we stayed a few days before the departure and could have enjoyed more, see notes on tours completed below Naples, Italy – we didn’t make any plans, but took a cab to Pompeii and walked through on our own while the cab driver waited, then he dropped us off at a nice restaurant back in Naples within walking distance from the ship, 100 euros for the trip Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy – port is an hour from the city, so plan to spend a bit of time and money on transportation, see notes on tour below; we hired a shared private car from the ship to the Vatican for 85 euros, then booked with the same driver for the return from the Colosseum later that afternoon for about 120 euros (not shared) Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy – cab drivers wanted 400 euros for the day, so we rented a car from Avis and drove on our own to Lucca and Pisa (see tour notes below), company provided an easy to use GPS pre-programmed with likely destinations and the return spot, so navigation was easy, about 120 euros with gas Cannes, France – caught a shared cab with 4 others to take a tour to Monaco, lunch and shopping in Nice, and back to Cannes via some scenic roads; shared vehicle for up to 8 was about 500 euros; definitely recommend getting to Monaco Palma Majorca, Spain – we didn’t feel like leaving the ship on this last day, so we hit the spa for a massage instead Barcelona, Spain – I booked a car through GroundLink to make sure we got to the airport on time. Very smooth way to go, about $70 USD. TOURS We booked all of our tours through Viator rather than use the NCL offerings. It did require us to arrange our own transportation, though, so not sure if we really saved as much as it seemed. On the plus side, we did have a lot more flexibility and didn’t have to herd with all of the other cruisers, and we avoided a transportation strike in Rome that cancelled all of NCL’s tours that day. Be sure to wear good walking shoes even if you think you’re going to be in a bus all day since there seem to be cobblestone streets everywhere. Barcelona – Three Countries in One Day: France, Andorra, and Spain from Barcelona – great tour, a long 12-hour day but on a comfortable small bus with stops every two hours or so to interesting and picturesque places; highly recommended Barcelona – Early Access to Montserrat Monastery from Barcelona – another winner, definitely worth the early departure to avoid the crowds in this stunning area; probably the number one trip to plan if you had to choose; we got back early enough to see La Sagrada Familia that same afternoon Barcelona – Sagrada Familia Skip-the-Line Tickets and Guided Tour – the skip the line tickets were definitely worth it, the tour was interesting, but we would have enjoyed it just as much without the guide Rome – Rome in a Day – this is actually two half day tours, morning at the Vatican and afternoon at the Colosseum; due to transportation issues, we were late for the Vatican group tour, but we called the tour company and were provided our Vatican museum tickets to explore on our own with a non-guided group an hour later; on our own for lunch and a cab ride to the Colosseum, then we met the Colosseum group for the afternoon tour; skip the line tickets are highly recommended, but the guide was very slow and we ended up turning in our headsets to explore on our own before catching our ride back to the ship Pisa – Best of Pisa guided tour with Leaning Tower tickets – climbing to the top of the tower was one of the highlights of the whole week, definitely recommended; the guide was knowledgeable and adjusted the tour towards our preferences FINAL THOUGHTS Hope this review is helpful as you plan your trip. Take the extra time in Barcelona if you can; it’s a beautiful city to explore. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was a fun filled birthday cruise for me. Our Cabin Stewart, Karin was the best. The cabin 13182 smelled moldy and sour. Karin did everything he could to clean and get rid of that unforgiven smell. Excellent job! Overall we ... Read More
This was a fun filled birthday cruise for me. Our Cabin Stewart, Karin was the best. The cabin 13182 smelled moldy and sour. Karin did everything he could to clean and get rid of that unforgiven smell. Excellent job! Overall we enjoyed ourselves however we tried over and over again to book another cruise but the Next Cruise person was not in the office and never returned the four calls with messages that I left. The shows were excellent and so was the food. NCL Epic, please make sure that your public restrooms are cleaned and working properly. Also, I found that during breakfast some mornings the boil eggs were over 2days old. The grapefruit slices were our favorite for morning breakfast. Another enjoyable thing was the morning stretches and Abs workout. I wanted to get a massage for my neck and shoulders daily for twenty minutes but the Spa could not acomadate me. Overall, wonderful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We were looking for a European cruise in a tight time window that would not break the bank, with good itinerary and decent onboard amenities. We had cruised largely on Celebrity (most recently, though, on the Paul Gauguin in French ... Read More
We were looking for a European cruise in a tight time window that would not break the bank, with good itinerary and decent onboard amenities. We had cruised largely on Celebrity (most recently, though, on the Paul Gauguin in French Polynesia), with only prior NCL sailing on Pride of America in 2009. The Norwegian Epic did not disappoint, but we continue to prefer Celebrity. A few important points to highlight: --I agree that there is plenty of "nickel and diming" on NCL. All liquor bottles are confiscated when detected with the X-ray machines, to be returned the last evening of the cruise. Corkage fee applies. They even prohibit water bottles (because NCL hawks water bottles at an astronomical mark-up), and do not allow filling of portable bottles at the Garden Cafe (buffet) to take off-ship despite hot weather. See comment on tour excursions below. --Embarkation and disembarkation is a breeze. Approximately 75% Barcelona, 25% Rome. We arrived at the port at 10:40AM, pertinent documents scanned at 10:45AM (no line), and were in the first group to board at 11:20AM. We were given misinformation about when to book flights to return to USA---we were told that the ship arrives at 5AM in Barcelona, you can start leaving the ship at 7AM, so don't book any flights before 10AM. WRONG! We were assured that we would be able to walk off the ship (with luggage in our hands) starting at 5:30AM, and that was absolutely correct--we made arrangements to be met by a taxi at 7:20AM, we walked off at 7AM and the guy was already there, 16 minutes later we were at BCN Terminal 1, and through airport security by 8:40AM. I wish we had booked a nonstop in mid-morning instead of "settling" on connecting flights, ours first departing BCN at 12:45PM. --Booking ANY ship excursion is a costly mistake. We booked our own private excursions (party of three), spending approximately 40% less than if we had done the exact same excursion via the ship. Most cost-effective was our last day (Mallorca), where we decided to take a cab to the nearest public beach (21 Euro) and public bus back to the pier (9.3 Euro for 3), rather than spending 40+ Euro/person for the NCL excursion. Particularly galling was the 15 Euro/person charge to be transported via bus from the base of the ship to where taxis would otherwise pick you up, right at the center of town--those people waited in long queues while we walked the 0.3 mile or so for same, no line, through an air-conditioned terminal, at ZERO fee. --We did not do any "specialty restaurants" for extra fees. The food is 3-4*, and fine. Maybe we are jaded New Yorkers, but we did not feel that there was added value for food that was already included in the cruise price. The two "public" restaurants, Taste & Manhattan, have the exact same menus, with the latter requiring nicer clothing, and some musicians in the background (after 7PM). We enjoyed O'Sheehans (open 24 hours) for casual food, like some decent chicken wings, but service was really slow. I thought that O'Sheehan's was a pun (O'cean's, accent on first syllable) but the restaurant was actually named for a chef O'Sheehan (accent on the second syllable). When the main course disappointed on occasion, the Garden Café has same (and many extra items), definitely worth the trip--on the Saturday night, there was delicious Beef Wellington and medium-rare steaks on the grill menu in the buffet, much more appetizing than at Manhattan. Souffles looked better than they tasted, but desserts on the whole were better than on Celebrity. Taste restaurant for a civilized breakfast is recommended rather than dealing with the throngs in Garden Cafe 15-30 minutes before people could get off the ship at each port. Pizza not as good as on Princess. --Entertainment was also better on NCL Epic than Celebrity. The two main shows, Burn the Floor and Priscilla, were well done, not quite Broadway quality, but fine for a ship. The Barricade Boys were also excellent. The Director, Andre, was excellent, never annoying. --Do NOT book Internet/WiFi minutes; do the unlimited plan for a few dollars more per night. Only one device at a time in your room, as we would have utilized the "free" 250 minutes perk before we reached Naples. Internet is MUCH slower than the recent Celebrity "accelerate" upgrade. --Do NOT waste your time or money with the art auctions. Incredibly overpriced (as always), with complimentary champagne loosening your pocketbooks. The signed lithograph of one artist they were hawking was out of 2500 copies, meaning your artwork was worth pennies on the dollar. --DO exchange your foreign currency onboard. Much better rate onboard than off the ship. We had gotten plenty of Euros before leaving NY from AAA, at a similar rate, but at various change places off the ship or in the airport, much worse value. --With a full ship (4100 customers, 1700 crew), NCL did a fine job with crowd control. The ship never felt like a zoo, but the ship was just too large for our taste. Read Less
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
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 3.9
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.7

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