874 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews

I chose this ship specifically for the Itinerary (Barcelona, Cannes, Florence, Palma De Majorca, Rome, Naples). I had read about the weird bathroom configuration, but figured it wouldn't be too much of a big deal. I booked an Aft ... Read More
I chose this ship specifically for the Itinerary (Barcelona, Cannes, Florence, Palma De Majorca, Rome, Naples). I had read about the weird bathroom configuration, but figured it wouldn't be too much of a big deal. I booked an Aft Balcony on the 13th floor. I had major issues with booking dining reservations prior to the cruise. I used a travel agent, who booked our dining reservations the DAY it was available to do so. She had a confirmation of these reservations of ours as well as the other couple we traveled with. I happened to notice on our e-documents (the week we sailed) that there were NO dining reservations. I called the cruise line, and they told me I had to go through my travel agent-she spend a long time trying to sort this out and somehow her confirmation didn't save on the cruise line server and we scrambled having to rebook all dining. I have been on over 12 cruises on other lines and this was my first Norwegian cruise. It had exactly the itinerary I wanted so I ended up booking this ship and was told the "bathrooms were weird". I wish that was all I had to say about the ship. After checking out my balcony aft stateroom I began to notice rust on all the railings and very large areas of blue paint missing on the upper decks on the back of the ship. The carpets were dirty with large stains going down the hall and the weird bathroom had vinyl plank flooring that was buckling from the water that comes out the shower. The shower drained very slowly to point it almost overflowed into the cabin. We had the upgraded dining package and all of the specialty restaurants were very good with good service. The Manhattan Room was terrible. No one ever came to take our drink orders or even serve us water. We sat for a very long time and finally the waiter came over and we told him we had been sitting a very long time and he could have cared less. The head waiter came over and we told him how long we had waited for anyone to come over and he joked and said that just gave us more "time to look at the restaurant and spend with him"...This turned out to be a almost 2.75 hour ordeal to just get served food in one of the main dining rooms. Compared to some of the other ships I have been on I found the ship to appear very dated with very unattractive main areas with the feeling that the ceilings are very low. My husband is 6'6 and he had to duck everywhere we went on the ship so that he did not hit the exit signs at at times the ceilings. With the exception of one great bartender, I have to say this was the worse, rudest bartending staff I have ever encountered. I ordered a cocktail by the pool on the very back of the ship while sunbathing and saw this waiter proceed to go and take orders for a very long time before even going to the bar. I flagged down another waiter to ask him to please find the waiter so that I could get my drink and go as I had to get ready for a dinner reservation and finally about 10 minutes later the original waiter showed up with a watered down drink and pretty handed it to me and muttered something under his breath and left. This was very typical of the bar staff I encountered. The speciality dining room waiters were very good and the service was good and responsive and the food very good. You must know that Florence and Rome are at least 1.5 hours away from the ports we visited so you must make some sort of excursion prior to visiting as you can't take a taxi to the city. We picked "Rome and the Colosseum" that was a very long 10 hours tour that was described as seeing some sights of Rome and focusing on the Colosseum. Out of the whole day we spent exactly 22 minutes in the Colosseum where most of our group was in the very long line for the restrooms as they failed to really allot time during the trip for restroom breaks etc. I like the Trevi Fountain, lunch, the Vatican, and the Roman Forum...but if you pay hundreds of dollars to actually spend time in the Colosseum you want to spend more than 22 minutes there total. It was a huge disappointment. Additionally, they offer a "Florence Hop on Hop Off bus tour" but fail to tell you at all that buses really aren't allowed at all in the city. Why would anyone do this tour? We had it booked originally but I happened to notice one review on that tour the week we were cruising and noticed that it didn't even go into the city at all. When I called the customer service line they were not helpful and pretty much were verging on rude as far as communication. I was undecided about which cruise ling to take on this itinerary and really wish I would have gone on this site prior to making my decision and done my research. I have been told by my friends who cruise Norwegian often (after I took this cruise and discussed it with them) that Norwegian completely redid the ship layouts after they launched the Epic. I may cruise with them again, but only on a much newer ship after much research. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise line because it was going to the ports 8n Italy, France, and Spain that we wanted to see. Not the best cruise I have ever been on. Embarkation went wonderful. Actually got dropped off at the port and was on the ship and ... Read More
I chose this cruise line because it was going to the ports 8n Italy, France, and Spain that we wanted to see. Not the best cruise I have ever been on. Embarkation went wonderful. Actually got dropped off at the port and was on the ship and had my luggage in my room all in less than a half hour. All kind of went down hill after that. Housekeepers were rude all the time. I never even met mine until the third day of the cruise. I asked two times for the light in the bathroom to be replaced because it kept blinking all the time, but never was changed. Not enough staff for the amount of passengers on the ship. Had to wait for everything all the time. Had to meet twice in the Epic Theater to disembark for excursions and the staff were all so rude and treated us as if we were children. Food was just ok. Cabin rugs need to be replaced as they are old and worn. Had footprint marks on couch. Had to keep my balcony door closed as people were smoking on theirs and the smell was coming into our cabin. Did call the gust service to see if they could do something about the smoke, but nothing was done about it. Will most likely not choose Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is my review of the varies dinning areas: No fee restaurants: 1- The main dinning restaurants (Manhattan for dinner and Taste for breakfast) ... were really hit and miss for. Meaning a lot more mediocre meals, with more lengthy ... Read More
This is my review of the varies dinning areas: No fee restaurants: 1- The main dinning restaurants (Manhattan for dinner and Taste for breakfast) ... were really hit and miss for. Meaning a lot more mediocre meals, with more lengthy waits the I am accustomed to. This seems to be a growing trend on all cruise lines, not just Norwegian. Perhaps intended so more customers will pony up for a specialty meal? 2- O'Sheehans ... This is a much better 24 hour restaurant than most cruises offer. Most cruise ships only offer coffee pastries and a very limited amount of microwavable food during the early morning hours. O'Sheehan's offer hot meals until 4AM. And open for breakfast at 5AM. With the typical pastries and coffee served as they are gearing up for breakfast, between 4 and 5AM. I ate here most every morning I woke up early and/or had an early excursion scheduled. 3- Garden Buffet ... Typical eat at your own risk buffet food, that all cruise lines seem to offer these days. Though a few buffet meals were surprising good for a buffet. There were many more meals that were left on my plate. This is true with all cruise line buffet meals, in my viewpoint. So take my viewpoint, with that in mind 4- The main dinning rooms (Manhattan and Taste) ... Kind of hit and miss. Gone are the day when main dinning rooms served up amazing meals, each and every meal. In my viewpoint, this is true on all cruise lines (not just Norwegian). And the servers seemed rushed and uncommunicative. 5- Shanghai Noodle Bar ... This is far more than a noodle bar. They serve a full line of Asian food, with very friendly service. This was by far, my favorite no fee restaurant. Specialty dinning: Mondero (a Brazilian Steakhouse... Truly a great concept which should have excelled. Where you first start with a self serve salad bar (which a great). you are then brought varies cuts of meat that are sliced right there at your table. The problem is, it was just meat samples sliced off a huge portion and placed on your plate with no seasoning or dipping sauce to give it the flavor meat needs. Meat without seasoning is hardly ever good. Very disappointed. Cagney's (an American Steakhouse) - First time there I was served the most flavorful rib-eye steak, cooked and seasoned to perfection I think I ever tasted in my life. Literally melted in my mouth and packed with flavor. I went there on my last night of cruise and each meal ordered, the meat was very overcooked. My medium rare Rib-Eye was served medium at best. My wife's medium surf and turf order was served well done. Same meals ordered on different nights, with shockingly different results. Entertainment shows: This is were I think the Norwegian Epic excelled. Here are my reviews of the shows that I saw in epic theater: 1- Cirque Dreams dinner show ... You have to pay extra for this show. But, it is so worth it. And not actually in the Epic Theater, but next to it. The dinner itself was not much of a menu. As you selected from two main entrees, an appointed appetizer and a desert. But, it was surprisingly good. And the show itself was WITHOUT QUESTION, the best entertainment show I ever seen on a cruise and it is virtually seen ... right in your lap. Pay a little more and see the show without dinner. Pay quite a bit more and see the show with a dinner. Either way, you will not be disappointed. I guarantee. 2- Burn the Dance Floor ... Started off a bit slow. But quickly became a highly energized singing and dancing extravaganza. I highly recommend. 3- Princess Priscilla ... As someone who never even remotely heard of the book or movie that this show was based on ... I came in, not knowing what to expect. All I can say is this show offers some wildly entertaining and flamboyant costume changes and great lip sinking. But, the story line itself kind of weird and just hard to follow. And definitely not for those who are homophobic in any way. I really liked the gym. Mostly because they were well stocked and had the same brand of fitness equipment my gym at home has. And the included drink package made this cruise more fun than it would have been without. I would have given 5 stars for service ... But, the rushed and rather unfriendly servers at the Manhattan restaurant, brought it down one star for me. Honestly, all other servers and staff were a solid 5 stars in my viewpoint. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was always our favorite, NCL. They treated us like royalty. They have made so many cuts recently, I thought I was on a Carnival cruise. No longer the cute towel animals to welcome us daily, no longer the menu daily for breakfast in the ... Read More
It was always our favorite, NCL. They treated us like royalty. They have made so many cuts recently, I thought I was on a Carnival cruise. No longer the cute towel animals to welcome us daily, no longer the menu daily for breakfast in the room...Cagneys has gone downhill. The side dishes were tiny, not tasty, beef was a low cut, and tough. We ate there twice and were disappointed. The baked potato was small, warm not hot and just not good. The sides used to be great, instead of creamed spinach they just had sautéed spinach which had little taste. Tepanyakis was excellent, nice large shrimp and great entertainment, the food has not changed and remained great. We had an issue in La Cuchina, I brought the wrong coupon, it was the Cagneys coupon so the hostess did not want to seat us. Seriously? We had to bring in the manager. I went and retrieved the correct coupon right before dessert. We just were not treated well all around. NCL Has changed and not for the better. It is time to try another cruise line. After 10 trips I’m sorry to see them cut so many corners. I would not recommend them at this point. I’m sure they are saving money at the guests expense. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. Also because it was a good deal with the drink package included. Getting on and off the boat was very quick and seamless. That part seemed very organized. Even the tender in Cannes was ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. Also because it was a good deal with the drink package included. Getting on and off the boat was very quick and seamless. That part seemed very organized. Even the tender in Cannes was not all that bad. But we didnt have any tours for the day, so it didnt matter when we got off the ship. Overall it was ok. Our room was old looking but clean. We did not enjoy the shows, but the house band and the piano duos were amazing. The food was ok. The noodle bar was the best place to eat. We used Italy Tours EU. They were really good. Much cheaper than the boat shore excursions. An the guides and drivers were awesome. We found the staff at the customer service to be short. Not quite rude, but close. We were also disappointed in the pool area. Only two pools and they were very big. We mostly spent our time in the hot tubs as they werent overally hot and we could bring a drink with us. No drinks were allowed in the pool are. The drink package was very good. The drinks were well made and very enjoyable. We mostly cruise with Royal and did see a difference in level of facilities and service. But we were mostly looking forward to the sights, so the boat was secondary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise on Norwegian. We have taken approximately 15 cruises over the last several years. The food, service, cabin staff were all very good. The ports and excursions were all very enjoyable. We were not big fans of ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Norwegian. We have taken approximately 15 cruises over the last several years. The food, service, cabin staff were all very good. The ports and excursions were all very enjoyable. We were not big fans of free style dining. We were very disappointed in the activities on the cruise ship itself. The shows were very good, but the repition of shows (like The Epic Beatles) was a bit of a disappointment. The first show was excellent, but was its necessary to have two more shows of the Epic Beatles. We were hoping for more shows in the main Epic Lounge. On other cruises there was a different show each night. There were not enough activities on the ship during the days while we were all onboard cruising. There were not enough games - trivia for example. We found ourselves with a lot of free time to do nothing. The activities that they did have cost $$$ - bingo, art gallery, etc. Any of the good activities that we were interested in were during dinner time. Pools were small, which was a surprise. We never saw the rock climbing wall open, nor the water slide. We had the drink package and were charged $5.17 and $10.35 to use the wine sample station. We tried to have that charge reversed, but were told it was not part of the drink package. In our stateroom. the water was so hot in the sink, that we had to take a bottle of water from the refrigerator to rinse our mouths when brushing our teeth. We were charged $6.50 for using that water from the mini-bar. The water was $5 for the bottle, but we were also charged a stocking fee. These charges should have been reversed, but we were basically told that can't be done. There was a Jewish Service, but no Christian Service on Sunday. On other cruises, we have had an opportunity for this. The bathroom in our stateroom was very strange. The bathtub was on one side of the hallway and the toilet and sink were on the other side. There was very little privacy. We were very surprised with this set up. We were not very impressed with the gift shops either. Usually we find plenty of great things to purchase, but not so on this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to have the large ship experience and visit the ports on our itinerary. What I liked: freestyle dining and the specialty restaurants. Not having an assigned dining time was nice and the steakhouse was especially good. ... Read More
We chose this cruise to have the large ship experience and visit the ports on our itinerary. What I liked: freestyle dining and the specialty restaurants. Not having an assigned dining time was nice and the steakhouse was especially good. The entertainment was also good, although the Burn The Floor show was a bit disjointed. The ports were all good. Our cabin steward (Michael) was very good and responsive. The ports were all good and there was plenty to do everywhere we went. What I didn’t like: being nickel and dimed to death for the entire cruise. Do not buy the water package which is bottled water delivered to your room. Not only is it unnecessary and expensive, the environmental impact is huge. They should sell reusable metal water bottles with special filling stations at various locations through out the ship. The elevators were frustratingly slow. Oftentimes 1, 2 or even 3 (out of 4) of the elevators were out of service. The excursions were also VERY expensive. For a ship of 4100 passengers, the front desk was severely understaffed - lines were very long. WiFi is expensive, slow and connection is weak. Lastly, I didn’t like the bathroom sink out in the cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Not sure if 'niggles' translates well and this is my first cruise so it might be just NFC (normal for cruising). First impressions of the ship was great. Speedy embarkation and friendly reception. However when we wanted to ... Read More
Not sure if 'niggles' translates well and this is my first cruise so it might be just NFC (normal for cruising). First impressions of the ship was great. Speedy embarkation and friendly reception. However when we wanted to get a drink 15 minutes before muster we were refused and we were parched! Didn't know about that. Muster took ages but there were plenty of seats. We went to Taste for lunch but was so rushed! Server's constantly around us to take plates and my son's main came out when he was still eating starters. We should have gone to the garden café. Next morning we were refused entry to the garden cafe at 11.15 but it was supposed to close at 11.30 - disappointing. Kids club was hit and miss. My 11 year old found "free style play" in Splash boring. I took her to the "Entourage take over" for 8 pm as advertised to be told it was open at 8.30 pm - so we went to Splash, to be told it was at 8 pm at Entourage and they had "just called down to tell them" (yeah right!) so we had to walk the full length of the ship back to Entourage! Entourage was closed until around 6 pm each day except sea days. This meant my 13 year old was a bit bored on the days we didn't go ashore but I played table tennis with him and we joined a quiz in the Atrium. There was a coffee shop there but the seats there all face the stage area and the ceiling is low so you can't see the whole screen unless you are at the front. Bad design. Another bad design is the casino being in the middle where to get to all the bars and entertainment you have to go through it. I got sick of seeing the place but luckily it wasn't too smokey. The drinks package included sake which I wanted to try. We were told we had to purchase food at the Sake Bar so we went to Shakers. The bar tender said we had to go to the Sake Bar and we didn't have to buy food. He walked over with us and this time we were served! Overall the food was not impressive. I liked Manhatten for the ambience. Garden Cafe was too busy and often couldn't get a seat so we took our plates down to La Cucina which was calm and lovely. We did this every time thereafter. Food was very average, the experience reminded me of a self service motorway services, similar standard. Apple pie in O'Sheehans also disappointing after hearing good reviews of it. We didn't eat there again. Even in the main dining rooms no one said "this food is amazing". Some reviewer suggested it might be to encourage people to buy the dining package which could be the case! On the plus side the furnishings were comfortable, well maintained, looked high end and clean. The entertainment such as The Beatles, Precilla Queen of the Desert, and Burn the Floor were fantastic. The Theatre was one of my favourite places along with Maltings. However we didn't allow niggles to spoil our holiday or put us off cruising. We just thought "let's try a different line next time". Overall we had a really good holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Extended family holiday - found a lot of staff rude and unhelpful - probably to do with pre paid gratuities. The only real exception was the cabin staff. Due to large number in group we were never able to sit together and found that ... Read More
Extended family holiday - found a lot of staff rude and unhelpful - probably to do with pre paid gratuities. The only real exception was the cabin staff. Due to large number in group we were never able to sit together and found that meals were brought up at different times - understandable in the main restaurants but not acceptable in the extra dining venues. In Le Bistro some were on dessert while we were still waiting for starters. Cabin was awful - think more suited to 2 people - not suitable for children also. Good points - food was lovely - drinks had a large selection - never had a problem with sunbeds. This ship is quite old and should probably have a refit its lets NCL down as this was our second cruise with them and we were very disappointed. Will try another cruise line next time. Customer service terrible so far since home sadly also. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my wife's and I first Norwegian Cruise and we picked this one because of the European ports of call and the fact Carnival does not offer the European cruises unless they have a new ship launch..The European ports we stopped ... Read More
This was my wife's and I first Norwegian Cruise and we picked this one because of the European ports of call and the fact Carnival does not offer the European cruises unless they have a new ship launch..The European ports we stopped at were fantastic and we visited places we had only dreamed of in the past. We have been on 13 previous Carnival cruises with 11 of them being balcony cabins with them all being on the Conquest class ships or the Dream class ships..This is what we found...Freestyle cruising and that's what Norwegian calls it is not for us .They want you to book ahead of your cruise any specialty restaurants or shows you want to go to..We had the Liquor package thrown in with our cruise along with 3 specialty dining restaurants..We picked Le Bistro(french),Madurno's a Brazillian steakhouse and Le Cuchinos a Italian restaurant...If we had to pay for these restaurants the bill would of been just under $300.00..The meals were excellent in the 3 specialty dining restaurants but were subpar in the main dining restaurants Manhattan and Taste.We found the main dining restaurants to be very noisy and several food items to be subpar with what you get on Carnival in their main dining rooms.With the free style concept you go to eat when you want or better said when you can get the reservation..My wife and I like the early dining option on Carnival thus we were not to pleased with the setup on Norwegian except for the superior quality food in the specialty restaurants and like I said before you pay for it....Also on Carnival your waiters get to know you and build up a bond with you night after night thus the service is better on Carnival. Another thing you do not get this on Norwegian and we found the service to be very impersonal. What we missed on Norweigen is that with Carnival your waiters put on a song and dance show during your meal. Your not going to get this on Norwegian. Another item we found sub par on the Epic was that the elevators were very slow compared to the 13 other cruises we have been on. It seems like they do not have enough elevators for the 4100 passengers on board. Entertainment we found not as plentiful on the Epic compared to the carnival ships...They had one Broadway style show which was very good however the Circus du Solei show was a pay show only so we decided not to attend.For the most part EPIC had less live music than you would find on a Carnival ship and most of the singers were sub par with the exception of the Epic Beatles and a Filipino singer named Allan who sang solo near the Whiskey Tasters bar. The balcony cabin that we had looks nice but was badly laid out and not as functional as on Carnival. Our room steward was good but did not have the same friendliness we have experienced on previous Carnival cruises. When you disembark you feel you are just a number not the feeling that you are leaving family on Carnival.Do not get us wrong this is a beautiful ship with a lot of polished wood but for our liking we would of been more than happy on Carnival Breeze or Dream.Yes we would take another Norwegian cruise but not on the Epic...Long story short my wife and I feel that Carnival has the best value for our vacation dollar. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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
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
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this sailing because we were going with friends who seem to like NCL. This is my 3rd sailing with NCL and I’m still not impressed. Their itineraries and excursions are great, but their ships and customer service leave me ... Read More
We choose this sailing because we were going with friends who seem to like NCL. This is my 3rd sailing with NCL and I’m still not impressed. Their itineraries and excursions are great, but their ships and customer service leave me wondering if I’ll give them a 4th chance. I had hopes that this ship would be better since it is larger than the first two cruise ships I’ve been on. I was excited to see an adults only section right up until I saw kids in the area and no one telling them to leave. The rooms were set up horribly. The shower on one side, the toilet on the other, and then the tiny sink in the room. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the lighting was atrocious!! Don’t try to wear make up, brush your teeth, or remove your contacts. The room steward was terrible. It’s the first time I have EVER left a cruise without tipping my room steward an additional tip. Usually, the room steward, dining staff, and your bartender should always get an additional tip. The food leaves room for improvement. The Taste dining room was much better than the buffet options. I do like the freestyle dining to be able to go eat when we wanted versus having a set time. We did not see any of the Cirque shows, but others that I know did and really enjoyed. I met a couple who did the Cirque and dinner show. They said it was great, but I’m surprised there was an extra charge for this. Loved all of the ports of call. However, by the time we got to Palma we were all exhausted. Wish we an extra rest day at sea in the itinerary. Overall, I enjoyed my trip with my friends. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We’ve had great cruises on both the Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jade in the past, mainly because we loved the quality and wide variety of theatre and game shows. Okay, so we had a bad experience on the Norwegian Bliss recently, mainly ... Read More
We’ve had great cruises on both the Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jade in the past, mainly because we loved the quality and wide variety of theatre and game shows. Okay, so we had a bad experience on the Norwegian Bliss recently, mainly because the way that ship is laid out didn’t make for a good entertainment experience for us. But because we had been on the Epic before, we were confident that our sons and their families would enjoy a Mediterranean cruise with us. When they threw in a free drinks package for us all, we were even more confident. Wrong! What we hadn’t realised is that since we last cruised on the Epic, it has been redesigned so that in many areas of the ship it resembles the Norwegian Bliss, and in particular the bits which we hated. For example, to reach the Windjammer restaurant you need to go across the 6th floor. Half of the 6th is a smoky casino and the other half a very noisy but drab pub. Not ideal for small kids to pass through, but it was hard to avoid doing so. Then there’s the Atrium, which is now the location for all the game shows, quizzes, live bands, and cinema shows. It also doubles as Guest Services, Future Cruises, and Excursions, as well as being the main thoroughfare in the ship. All in all it’s absolute bedlam, you can’t hear the quiz questions, you can’t hear what the guest services staff say, and the constant movement of people makes it a totally inappropriate place for entertainment. Now don’t get me wrong, we did enjoy this cruise, but to a large extent it was despite the Epic rather than because of it. The food was good, though the service in the Windjammer was slow: one evening it took over two hours for our party of 10 to get our meal. Hint: use Taste, the service is much better in there and the staff friendlier. The Garden Café buffet was always busy, but we always found a table big enough for us all at the very front of the ship. I’m sorry, though, Norwegian, but the quality and variety of the entertainment on the Epic has gone downhill since the last time we came. Where were the magicians, the flamenco show, the trapeze artists, and the comedians of old? We missed the Burn the Floor dancing show because of the slow service in the Windjammer, and we couldn’t take the kids to see Priscilla and the Desert because it was not suitable for under 18s. What are you doing putting on a show like that when the ship is full of children (school holidays)?!! And as for putting “The Beatles” and the Motown singers on in the Epic theatre as two evening’s main entertainment when the same singers had been performing all week in other venues: well, we really felt short changed. Thank goodness NCL have persevered with the Duelling Pianos: they are the only touch of class in the current entertainment team. One thing that I need to mention about the staterooms is that they all have glass sided toilets and glass sided showers, with nowhere to dress or wash your hands other than inside the bedroom. I was pleased we hadn’t volunteered to have any of the grandkids share our room! Other niggles:- - It’s impossible to find a bar without music where you can have a quiet drink and a chat - The price to get into the circus for a meal and show is now 48 dollars pp including children. Sorry, but I think that’s extortion. - We were constantly being asked to buy raffle tickets. Hadn’t we paid enough? - No fountains or splash areas for older kids. - When the lift goes straight past your floor because one of the Haven cruisers has used their lift override card, it makes you feel very second class - We forked out a lot so that my grandson could acquire tickets on the arcade games, only to find at the end of the week that all his tickets “won” him two plastic rings. Here are my comments about the places we visited - Naples: we walked across the road from the port into the town, which is interesting. The grandkids enjoyed the funicular railway. One of my sons visited Pompei; he said it was still in need of renovation. - Civitavecchia: took the free shuttle bus into town and walked to a nice beach. The kids enjoyed it there. - Livorno: they wanted to charge us 15 Euros pp for a two mile coach trip to the railway station for trains to Pisa and Florence. We stopped onboard…… One of my sons went to Pisa; he said there was a leaning tower in need of renovation. - Cannes: the highlight of the cruise. Lovely town, good shops, good beaches close to where the (well organised) shuttle boats dropped us off. - Palma: they wanted us to pay 15 Euros pp for a one mile return bus trip into town. Instead we took a taxi (9 Euros for 4 people) to the resort of Cala Mayor, a short trip South. Great beach which the kids loved. One thought, though. Why did the boat dawdle all the way from Cannes so that we only got to Palma at 1pm, by which time it was red hot? Were NCL cutting their costs? Would we sail with NCL again? I’m not so sure now. We might go on one of the smaller ships, but the entertainment would have to be getting rave reviews before I booked. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I (and 4 family members) chose this cruise because I was invited along with a large group trip. I never planned on doing a Norwegian Cruise because I have not heard positive feedback about this cruise line. I have to say that the cruise ... Read More
I (and 4 family members) chose this cruise because I was invited along with a large group trip. I never planned on doing a Norwegian Cruise because I have not heard positive feedback about this cruise line. I have to say that the cruise was fine. The ship was tremendous. I really prefer a smaller ship. The amount of people (over 4,000 guests) on the boat all at once on sea day was crazy and it was hard for the staff to keep up especially in the pool and buffet areas. They did do one good thing though, Part of the guests started in Rome and some started in Barcelona. So it split up the amount of guests coming and going. This also made the food constantly fresh and replaced. Nothing ran out. About the food, I thought it was very good. I was catered to for my allergies and my family enjoyed all the foods they ordered. The buffet was also quite good. About the rooms and bathrooms. The room my husband and I were in was big enough. It was a mini suite, A little tight getting around the bed area. The bathroom was strange. The shower was actually big. The toilet area was small. Both were split as you walked into the room and had frosted glass doors covering each area. So, You could not open the door to the room if someone was using either side of the bathroom. There was a curtain to pull to separate that area with the rest of the room. Any room less than a mini suite is definitely too small. Bathroom is also split. Shower is small. Room is shorter and not enough storage especially if you have more than two people. And, there was barely enough room to pass in front of the bed. Entertainment was great. Not enough for our liking. Had to book ahead like excursions and had to pay for some. Shore excursions were good. For some reason bus seats were wet though. Embarkations and debarkation worked our excellently. All, in all......Stay in a bigger room. Book when there is a deal. They offer a lot of amenities for free. Enjoy the excursions. Lock the door so the steward doesn't enter when you are in there. PS- If doing Italy, definitely use Italytours.EU for excursions. So amazing even though it is a long day. We did private tours with guides and skip the line tickets. Well worth it. So impressed!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have done a lot of cruising and have never seen a cruise ship set up like this! Rooms were the worst. You open the door to look at a shower with a frosted glass door on your right and a toilet with a frosted glass door on your left. If ... Read More
We have done a lot of cruising and have never seen a cruise ship set up like this! Rooms were the worst. You open the door to look at a shower with a frosted glass door on your right and a toilet with a frosted glass door on your left. If you are using either of these and some one walks in the room they will see you! You can see and hear everything in those! Absolutely no privacy. The bed was AWFUL. A rounded headboard and 2 twin mattresses making it a king size bed. But they are rounded on the top and bottom so your feet hang off all night. I’m only 5’2”. Absolutely horrible lighting. You can’t even read a book or put make up on. The hair dryer plugs in below the desk and it’s almost impossible to stretch the cord to reach your head. Ours was not working anyway so had to ask for another one. No storage. The drawers were so narrow you couldn’t put clothes in them. Room stewards were hardly around and not very friendly. I was never called by my name when he was around. Rug was filthy too. Hallways were curved and very strange. The 2 pools were like postage stamps crammed with people and kids. Water temp was in the 90’s. The kiddie pool area had a spraying part which did not work at all. Buffet was very mediocre and service horrible. The main dining room food was just ok & horrible service. I can’t say anyone working for them went out of their way to be friendly except for the washy washy girl when you entered the buffet. They rest of the staff should take a few lessons from her. Not many photo shooting opportunities in the evening and we were a group of 11 family members with kid 3,4,7,16 and the one photographer said she couldn’t take pictures of a group that big...what?? And if someone was having a photo shoot where they were doing it was so inconvenient that there was no room to walk around them. You either interrupted them or had to wait to get by. Shows were practically non existent. The good things were the upgraded dining rooms and staff. Excellent! The main reason I chose this ship were the ports they went to and that did not disappoint. Wonderful but I hired all private excursions which were also wonderful and less money then the ship charges & just our family. We did not realize that this ship has two ports for boarding and embarkation. Talk about confusion getting off the ship that day for an excursion. Tried to get a taxi at Barcelona port and waited over an hour. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We wanted to stay in Rome for a few days following the cruise so we opted to board there instead of Barcelona. Rome was great even though we were on the cruise during a record breaking heat wave. Embarkation went smoothly. Other cruise ... Read More
We wanted to stay in Rome for a few days following the cruise so we opted to board there instead of Barcelona. Rome was great even though we were on the cruise during a record breaking heat wave. Embarkation went smoothly. Other cruise lines hand out glasses of champagne but not this one. We were able to get to our room right away and bags were waiting. That was a plus. We didn’t make reservations for any shows . I didn’t like that aspect. I’ve not had to do that in the past on other ships but I’m sure it’s because the theatre is a lot smaller. I really didn’t like the ‘bathroom’ set up. Our adult daughter was staying in our balcony cabin so it was a bit awkward. We were told the ship was designed by the French and that is a standard design. The pools for 4000 people are ridiculously small. The adult pool has no shade to sit and with it being so hot, shade would have been nice. And it was so small that with just 5 people in it, it was FULL!! The drink package was a perk so we didn’t pay extra. There were no drinks off limits as long as it would have been less than $15/glass for mixed drinks or wine. Other cruise lines, even the drink of the day was an up charge. The way they called the shore excursions was very disorganized. The people didn’t listen to what the crew was saying about lining up and when the tender had a problem in Cannes, France which made all shore excursions leave late the poor girl (she had no crew to back her up) was doing her best to calm the crowd. All in all we had a good time on the cruise and the ports were extra special. Especially Pompeii and a side trip to Sorrento. That is one beautiful city!! The shops were nothing special. They did not sell bottles of duty free alcohol. We went to 3 specialty restaurants. Moderna is the Brazilian restaurant. 12 different kinds of meat and baked pineapple with brown sugar and cinnamon. Instead of the offered dessert we asked for the pineapple on ice cream. That was no problem and they served it with a smile. The next one was Tempanyaki. OMG. The filet mignon was sooo good. Probably the best meal I’ve ever had on a cruise ship. The last was Cagneys. The steakhouse. It was good but for my money I’d do the Japanese again and again. The main dining room, Taste, the food was good but service was slow. It took 2 hours for the meal. That’s crazy. The other main dining room was The Manhattan. Same food but service was faster. The buffet was usual. Nothing special. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
About the Reviewer: I’m a mid-30s male who sailed in a balcony stateroom on the NCL Epic from Rome on 6/12 to 6/19/2019. This was my 26th NCL cruise (including charters) and my 46th cruise overall. My prior cruise history includes ... Read More
About the Reviewer: I’m a mid-30s male who sailed in a balcony stateroom on the NCL Epic from Rome on 6/12 to 6/19/2019. This was my 26th NCL cruise (including charters) and my 46th cruise overall. My prior cruise history includes sailing on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival and MSC. In 2018, I took a break from NCL and sailed with Royal Caribbean and MSC with MSC Seaside being my last cruise. Pre-Cruise I met up with friends in Rome, Italy for a few days prior to the cruise. It was nice to explore the sights at a more leisurely pace than what you can do with it being a ship’s port of call. I flew into FCO (Rome airport) and transferred with a private company versus taking the train to Termini Station. I stayed at a hotel close to Termini Station in Rome and Termini is a great focal point for which to travel regionally as well as within Rome on the public transit system. I purchased the Roma Pass and with the ability to get into attractions cheaply and the use of the public transit system for 48 hours, it was a very wise investment. NCL EPIC CRUISE – Roundtrip Rome DAY 1 – ROME, ITALY Embarkation: The most cost-efficient way to get to the cruise port from Rome city is by train. I booked the Intercity 510 on TrenItalia arriving at the Civitavecchia port just before 11AM on 6/12. Unfortunately, the elevators on the platform at the train station were not working and you had to take the luggage up and down two flights of stairs to get to the outside. Minor inconvenience. Once outside, you need to purchase a ticket for 2 EU for the red bus to take you to the port entrance. Fair enough, but the line for the bus was disorganized and not all cultures understood the need for a proper queue when the bus arrived. It was rather chaotic. I would’ve just walked it and if you’re able-bodied to do so, you might as well as it’s not too far to the port entrance and with city traffic on port days, it would be easier to do so. At the port entrance, since there were 6 ships at least doing embarkations during this date, you had to get into a queue for a bus to take you to the designated terminal. How kind of the bus driver to allow us to load our own luggage under the bus and then tell us the bus for the NCL Epic only had one working compartment versus the other side for Holland America which had two. We were going to the same terminal so it didn’t matter what compartment it went into. How silly and disorganized. Upon arrival to the terminal, the bus unloaded for both ships and we were split up once inside the terminal. Luggage was taken finally and check in was upstairs further over. Latitudes members didn’t have a separate check-in line, however, the main check in line was moving swiftly so it didn’t matter too much. Once checked in, we were told to proceed to the gangway which was down the escalators. When we got to the bottom, there was another bus waiting to take us to the ship! Good grief already. The ship was a short walk down the pier from where the terminal was. Holland America had the gangways in use for their embark that was in the terminal. The bus was hot and stuffy and by this point, I just wanted to walk to the ship to get it over with. Crew were walking to the terminal so it wasn’t unsafe for passengers to do so as well. We had to wait for the bus to fill before we were driven an absurdly short distance to board the ship. All told from arrival at the train station to when we got on the ship and had drinks at Spice H2O, it was two hours. NEVER AGAIN!! A complete and utter mess with 2 transfers within the cruise port to get on the ship. Stateroom Balcony GTY: Room 13039 I’ve sailed on the Epic three times and all the other times were in a studio room. This was the first time I sailed in a balcony. I booked a guarantee and was put into this family room at the ships first bump out. The room had a very large angled balcony which I loved. I could see why this stateroom configuration wouldn’t work unless sailing with a spouse. The layout is funky and while it mirrors the studios design, storage was in the most random of places – including within the sofa! The electrical outlets are hidden under the counter by the coffee maker. The phone in the room also didn’t have a working voicemail button, it would take you to the voicemail and delete it instantly. I learned a trick to bypass it by mid-cruise. Charlton was my incredible stateroom steward. He did a wonderful job looking after any small request the entire cruise and for making sure everything was perfect. He even provided me with towel animals daily without request despite NCLs announcement they were getting rid of them on future sailings a couple months back. After unpacking rather quickly, it was time to head off to the theater for a joint muster drill for all stations embarking in Rome. It was mandatory for all guests who embarked and some didn’t like it that they were shut off from their alcohol until they attended. Rome embarking guests had purple cards so that’s how ship’s crew knew to stop serving you for the mandatory drill. After that, I went to the solos gathering with Julianna hosting for this portion of the cruise and then the LGBT meet up. A group of solos went to dinner at 7PM and we joined them in Manhattan Room. It was a leisurely dinner service since we were a big table and it took over 2 hours to dine but the company made up for the gaps between courses. The ship was supposed to sail at 7PM but some “scheduled maintenance” wasn’t completed in time and the ship would be delayed sailing until 10PM. After dinner was done, I headed back to the room to relax and it was getting close to 10PM. The ship didn’t sail at 10PM. I fell asleep on the balcony waiting for it to sail and when I awoke after midnight we were finally moving. DAY 2 – FLORENCE, ITALY The previous day’s delayed departure caused the Epic to arrive two hours late to Florence, Italy. The tour provider stated they would work with delayed arrivals so I wasn’t worried but there was a mass upheaval in the atrium where guests demanded to use the phone to contact their individual tour companies. The Epic staff caved in and did allow for usage of the phone for people to contact tour companies about the delayed arrival. We arrived in Florence at 9AM instead of 7AM. PRIVATE TOUR: Best of Florence and Pisa by ItalyTours.EU As was mentioned in the confirmation for the tour booking, ItalyTours waited for the arrival of our ship and when I disembarked, I found my name being held by the driver almost immediately. When he rounded up the rest of the guests, we left the port and headed for Florence. Once in Florence we met up with the tour guide from Vox who walked us around the city and took us inside the museum to see the Michelangelo statue. The tour guide provided us with insights about what we were seeing and the history as we walked around. The driver recommended a lunch pizzeria and took some of us there. After gathering the rest of the guests, we went to a scenic overlook of Florence before heading for Pisa. Upon arrival in Pisa, we had a small amount of time which was actually fine to see the sights before heading back to the ship. The tour accomplished everything it stated it would do, even with the time delay. I would highly recommend this tour provider for tours in Italy (they also have tours for Naples and Rome). The tour size is much smaller than what NCL offers (van with Italy Tours versus bus with NCL) and the cost is cheaper than what NCL charges. NCL’s shore excursion prices have skyrocketed since the introduction of the Free at Sea promo. If you take the shore excursion discount, you’re still paying what you’d be paying if you didn’t even bother booking with NCL. ItalyTours guarantees your arrival back to the ship prior to sailing or will get to you the next port for the ship at their own expense. You don’t see any private tour companies really offering such a guarantee! Back on the ship it was a quick change to get to the solo’s gathering in the studio lounge and then off to the LGBT gathering before a Platinum Plus Latitudes perk – Dinner with an Officer. Either there weren’t a lot of Platinum plus cruisers on this sailing or they weren’t interested in dining with an officer. I was the only person to sign up and had dinner with Brett, the Ship’s Training Specialist. It was a nice dinner and we talked about cruising past and present while enjoying dinner in Taste Restaurant. Grace, the Hotel Director’s assistant, arranged the dinner for us. It was a nice time and very well done! It was one of the highlights of the cruise. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert The major production show on the NCL Epic is Priscilla, QOTD. I had seen the show just after it was loaded on the Epic back in 2015 so it was nice to see it again. It is definitely a PG-16 or higher rated show. Leave the kids in Splash Academy! It’s a good time to follow the gang to the Australian outback for their show. Lots of good dance numbers and a good storyline. The show has evolved a bit since it was first brought to the Epic but the overall production was enjoyable. I was surprised to see some of the original cast from the first loaded show still doing it nearly four years on! After the show completed, it was time to give Bliss Lounge a try. When we arrived, it was already busy and it wasn’t possible to get into the bar to order so the supervisor sent a bar waitress over to take our order. The service was incredibly slow in there but we did notice one bartender going faster than the others and that’s why people were queueing for him. It took forever for our first round to arrive. It wasn’t until the next day that I discovered I was charged for the round of drinks. I did NOT have the beverage package and was shocked when I got the check for $20 for one drink. The last time I sailed on NCL in 2017, the cost was just shy of $12 having gone up from $10 for a Grey Goose and soda. A nearly 100% increase in drink cost? NCL you’ve gone mad. I don’t drink much and with the ridiculously measured pour you did for this $20 drink; you should be ashamed of yourself. You’re not Vegas and with all the nickel and diming lately to justify the CEO’s salary, you should be doing much better instead of getting worse. The drink included an increased gratuity I’m sure the bartenders weren’t getting and an additional $1.50 for a port tax. Trying to fix this error at guest services later would result in the transfer of the $1.50 to the other person’s account. When that person complained about the $1.50 charge, it was reversed back to me with the full charge of the drink I didn’t have. Lesson learned… the waitstaff in Bliss were incompetent. Order directly from the bar staff to avoid this screw up, especially if you don’t have the package and are ordering with people who do. DAY 3 – CANNES, FRANCE I went to a highly-rated beach club from TripAdvisor on the Cannes beachfront. Riviera Beach Club was not far from the ship and for a small fee, you could have a lounger in front and have bar service. It was sunny when we arrived but became more overcast as the day wore on. The wind was kicked up so the sand from the beach was blowing on us. We had a few drinks and then returned to the ship. We did so just in time as the wind had kicked up quite a bit slowing tender service down. When we got in queue, it was just at the guard shack and after that, it was all the way up to the street. It was reported by some guests that it took two hours to get back onboard. Naturally, we sailed late again from Cannes towards Mallorca. Tonight, we had the solos gathering where we met Michael, the Filipino bartender who was dancing in Bliss the prior night and constantly had a line for service. He was very fast, efficient and remembered what you were drinking for all my friends and water for me as I wasn’t drinking. If he saw an empty glass he would ask if the person wanted another one. His energy was amazing and we became fans of his for the rest of the cruise in Bliss or finding him at Howl at the Moon. It was sometimes much faster to go to Howl at the Moon to get a drink than it was to get one from the rest of the bartenders in Bliss. The other bartenders in Bliss just didn’t seem to have the same energy or motivation Michael had. SPECIALTY DINNER: Le Bistro Tonight, we had the first of two specialty dinners given to Latitudes members Platinum or higher. We had a 9PM seating meaning most of the restaurant was just about finished their dinner when we came in. I had the duck which was nice along with escargot and crème brulee. The service was nice and our waitress had to leave after the main course to work in another restaurant. We finished up eating shortly before 11PM. It was a good dinner. You had to chose a main course less than $20 which meant four main courses to choose from – duck, chicken and two fish dishes. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Glow Party This was originally supposed to be up at Spice H2O but when we went up there after dinner, it wasn’t up there. It was down in Bliss Lounge. This is always the featured nightclub night of the voyage. Since Mallorca is a late arrival, the ship put the party on this night. This was the ONLY night of the voyage where the party was scheduled for Spice H2O. When the ship is in the Caribbean or Canary Islands as it had been in the past, Spice H2O was used more frequently. I didn’t feel compelled to go on the dance floor as the music just didn’t move me. It was hard to move anyone since the DJ was mixing in and out of songs so fast you couldn’t dance to one. While it shows a good DJ to mix smoothly, let a song play a bit more. I actually ordered two drinks tonight and it was accurately billed since I ordered it directly at the bar. It was an ok night but definitely not the greatest Glow (formerly White) Party I’ve attended on NCL. DAY 4 – PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN Our delayed departure from Cannes caused a delayed arrival into Mallorca. We arrived just before 3PM when we were supposed to be in by 1PM. This caused a mad rush when the ship arrived for people to get off. I went for an independent Hop On, Hop Off excursion. I walked one bus stop up as the line at the port was a bit crazy so I could get a spot on the bus. It worked as the next stop down was the port and the bus filled without clearing the queue. I took the whole circuit which didn’t take too long and then got off in town by the church to see the cathedral closer up. On Saturdays, the cathedral might not be available for viewing as it can be used for weddings. It was closed this day to the public because of a wedding. It was reported by people who had a shore excursion they received a credit for it. The artisan markets strewn about the area had all sorts of interesting wares for sale, from food to crafts. Save yourself the hassle and see Mallorca for 18 EU on the Hop On, Hop Off bus. Back on the ship we dined with the solos we had made friends with during the voyage so far but were disembarking in Barcelona the next day. Tonight, we dined in the Manhattan dining room and I had the Prime Rib which was amazing. Dinner was leisurely as we had a big group and we watched the ship sail from there. I had a 9:30PM reservation for Burn the Floor but because dinner went longer, I missed it. DAY 5 – BARCELONA, SPAIN This is the main turn around day for the ship so guests were being told to disembark the ship. Surprisingly, I expected the ship to have more announcements than it did in the early morning hours. My friends and I headed off the ship to find some churros around 9AM to avoid any more announcements and to get off the ship before the new folks showed up to embark. We ventured up to the churros place, took the transit up to Parc Guell and discovered you now needed a ticket to enter it. The last time I was there in 2003, you didn’t need to have a ticket to enter. They were sold out for the day already so I headed for Palau Guell and my friend headed back to the ship. Along the way, I headed to Starbucks for a caffeine fix the ship doesn’t offer. Back on the ship, it was interesting to come on the ship as an in-transit guest. When I arrived to the terminal, I had to go through security in the terminal but then just bypassed everything else and went up the escalator back onto the ship. Very easy to do! Embarkation was well underway at that point for the new cruisers. During the ship’s lifeboat drill, I enjoyed working out in the quiet gym. Since I had done the drill on embark day in Rome, I didn’t have to do this one. It was a great time to use the ship’s services in peace and quiet. I met up with the solos and went to the LGBT meet up to meet the new cruisers. SPECIALTY DINNER: Moderno Churriscaria We had a dinner reservation for 7:15PM in Moderno. We figured it would be easier to dine specialty the first night where everyone was so new and getting their bearings. It was a nice dinner where the passador were fast and efficient at bringing all the meats. We were asked for what else we wanted. The waiter was attentive to my friend’s alcohol requests throughout the dinner service as well. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Beattlemania Show The band who usually is setup in the Cavern Club was in the theater. I do know Beattles hits despite my age and decided to take in a bit of the show. It was just as you’d expect for the Beattles. The singers were really good in the band. The show was well attended. I went to Bliss Lounge afterward and hung out there for a short bit before strolling the ship. Bliss didn’t get all the kids out of it by 11PM like usual and so there were kids in there trying to get drinks off adults who had the beverage package. The crowd who embarked during Barcelona was decidedly younger than the crowd who was on the first leg of our voyage. Security was slow in removing the minors as well. We ventured to Howl at the Moon and then onto Cavern Club where Fire and Ice were playing. Not finding our groove anywhere, we decided to call it a night. DAY 6 – SEA DAY Finally, a full day at sea! It was nice to head up on deck and go to the quiet zone up front before most of the cruise passengers discovered it was there. I found a lounger immediately and setup shop for hours. It was nice and quiet to read and snooze while the room was being made up. I left for a late lunch at Taste with my friends before returning to my room and sitting on the balcony which was also in the sunlight. We passed through the Strait of Bonifacio around 1PM and had the land masses of Sardinia and Corsica between us. It was nice to be on the balcony for the last part of the transit. Tonight, we dined with some solos from the studio lounge in the Manhattan Dining Room before heading off to the 9:30PM showing of Burn the Floor. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Burn the Floor I couldn’t figure out why I disliked this show so much before. The dancers are so elegant to watch and technically proficient in their movements but the story is lacking. The dances don’t progress from one genre to a more upbeat genre, they hop around with no rhyme or reason. There’s no story that links them and the singers with this cast were horribly bad, especially the male vocalist. I stayed for about 50 minutes before giving up and leaving. I’ve seen Burn the Floor on other ships but this production just doesn’t make sense or have a flow to it. If Priscilla isn’t your cup of tea, this is the only other show on the ship you’ve got. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Norwegian’s Night Out Party This party was well attended and for a change, the DJ let a song play out. I finally got out on the dancefloor for the first time this voyage. The vibe was finally right to do so or at least early on it was. As the night progressed, the music changed again and just made me stay at the bar with my friends more while they drank. Michael, the Filipino bartender, had to come up and help get my friends drinks because the other bar staff couldn’t keep up. He was dancing around while he did so and having a good time on his own while still offering faster service than the rest of the bar staff who were stationed there. DAY 7 – NAPLES, ITALY We made it to the port ON-TIME! Hurray! The only problem was, I didn’t need to get off the ship early so it didn’t matter. However, I felt with the way this cruise had gone so far, a bravo to the Epic for an on-time arrival is warranted. After having a room service breakfast on the balcony, I went ashore and walked around Naples center for a bit. There’s a not-so-helpful tourist desk setup in the cruise terminal. Just walk out of the terminal and you’ll be hit up by taxi drivers offering tours. You’ll also have options from the Hop On, Hop Off Tour provider just at the end of the drive way to the terminal. It was here I discovered my grave mistake of booking a tour through NCL for Herculaneum for $100 USD when it would have cost 28 EU for the trip out there on my own and then admission cost at the site. NCL SHORE EXCURSION: Herculaneum In 2004 when I returned to the Med, I was supposed to visit Herculaneum but skipped the tour and went to Capri with newly made cruise friends instead. This trip allowed me to redeem this and go. Since I didn’t have the logistics worked out before sailing, I booked with NCL. Since I am Platinum Plus, I went to the shore excursion desk to get the discount for booking. You can’t get the discount unless you go there and mention it. The tour started with a bus ride from the terminal at 1PM towards Herculaneum. It was a standard sized tour bus but it wasn’t full of passengers. Upon arrival to the ancient site, we waited while the tour guide purchased the tickets for our entry. She guided us around the site describing things we were seeing using a single earbud setup. The group was too large to fit into some spaces while she was talking so you had to go in afterward or squeeze in together. This is why small group tours were more advantageous. After we completed our summary visit to Herculaneum, we boarded the bus to head to a cameo factory. This is where I really dislike NCL’s tactics. The cameo factory and “teaching you how they do it” is a total joke. They put a video on and have you stare at someone who is sitting at a table near the TV and then take you around back to their showroom where you are expected to buy something from which not only does the vendor make money but NCL gets a kick back from. We could’ve spent more time at Herculaneum and seen more of the sites there versus needing this waste of time. It was when we stopped there that I remembered why I have steered clear of NCL excursions lately. My recommendation is you do the same. You can easily go to Herculaneum on your own for much less than what this tour cost and they have audio guides available at the site. Save your money and do it yourself. Just go earlier to get back and avoid all the port traffic. When we returned to the port, so many tours were returning at the same time that it was chaos for traffic with the containers and trucks coming in and going. It would’ve been faster to walk but we stayed on the bus for over a half hour just to get from the port entrance to the terminal building! Tonight, we dined with a large group of solos, some of whom were with us from Rome, in the Taste Dining Room. It was a fun dinner service after the solos gathering where Michael was bartending at. Service was surprising efficient given our table size. Our dinner moved right along and we were done by 9:30PM. I had time to return to see Priscilla at 10PM for one final time. I loved the production, so I wanted to catch it again on standby. I had no problems grabbing a decent seat. Afterward, it was the 70s dance party in Bliss. I stayed for a bit but was so exhausted from the tour in the hot sun, I called it a night at midnight. DAY 8 – ROME, ITALY Disembarkation was much smoother than embarkation for two reasons. We called the driver who picked us up from the airport to the hotel in Rome to see if he could pick us up at the terminal. He did at 9:30AM. The ship’s transfer option to the airport was to leave at 7AM and cost $60USD. For three of us with a taxi at a more convenient time it was 50EU per person and had door to door service. We disembarked the ship shortly after 8:30AM. You do have to be out of your room by 8AM so people were hanging out in public spaces and not leaving the ship at their assigned times. It caused the lifts to get backed up but we had our trick to get one and got off when we were supposed to. The terminal we were at wasn’t the same one we embarked at and had limited facilities. It was also quite hot outside so we waited in a semi air-conditioned area for the taxi. If you were taking the train, you’d have to go through the bus transfer to the port entrance and then pick up the city bus to head to the train station. I customarily close out my reviews by thanking those on the ship who provided exceptional service. This cruise, only two people stood out for me. The first was my stateroom steward, Charlton from the Philippines. His attentive service and his friendly nature from the first day’s greeting to me and to subsequent chats in the hallway were much appreciated and never forced. The nightly towel animals were a nice touch and the towel body one day was a new one for me after all these sailings! The other person who stood out was Michael Misargano (last name might be misspelled) who was a bartender with salt and pepper hair from the Philippines in the solos lounge, Bliss and Howl at the Moon. This man is to be commended for his energy and quick ability to sling drinks. He was incredibly friendly to those who got to know him and he knew everyone’s drinks without having to ask them for it, only if they wanted a refill. I’m not sure how NCL stole him away from Princess but he could do well training some of his peers to be faster and have more fun while doing so! Special thanks to Brett, Training Officer, for the officer’s dinner and making it interesting. All in all, the Epic isn’t the ship I remembered her to be from previous sailings. The room costs have gone up, the on-ship alcohol prices have gone up, everything has gone up exponentially on NCL. Originally, due to NCLs inflated pricing for their promos, I was booked on the MSC Seaview which sails the same day from Rome, Italy and also embarks there. I switched when after final payment NCL finally came down to be reasonably close (without perks) to what MSC was charging and to be with my friends. MSC is privately owned and while they’re struggling with service issues of their own, the NCL Epic minus the people mentioned above was no different in its service struggles. Cruise lines are expanding too fast and now that NCL is publicly traded, it’s all about squeezing the cruiser to make the investors happy. This cruise couldn’t have been more in your face about it. It’s sad because it’s not the NCL I’ve come to know over the years. While I do have two CruiseNext deposits to return in the future, I won’t be in a rush to use them. I will only sail from the Rome port again with flying in directly and using a NCL transfer directly from airport to cruiseport. It’s sad how every new CEO since Colin Veitch has come to NCL and cheapened the product by so much and yet commanded passengers pay so much more for it. Frank del Rio, CEO of NCLH, should be ashamed of what he’s turned this company into. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first cruise. I have a variety of opinions depending on the subject. Balcony stateroom was adequate but small. Bathroom is all but non-existent. The food was fair at best. It is clearly basic and high volume preparation ... Read More
This was our first cruise. I have a variety of opinions depending on the subject. Balcony stateroom was adequate but small. Bathroom is all but non-existent. The food was fair at best. It is clearly basic and high volume preparation without much consideration given to flavor and/or care towards cook temperatures as requested even in the specialty restaurants. Steaks had to be sent back raw on 2 consecutive nights. Food is clearly cooked for the masses and probably all comes out of the same kitchen based on the similar menus and tastes. The ship sponsored excursions were good, but pricey. My main reason for being on the ship was the variety of sightseeing without having to pack and travel constantly. The chosen ports were good. The amount of activity was understated on a few trips (e.g., in Rome we walked 5 miles (as measured on my fitbit) in 88 degree weather. One woman in our group passed out. Ok for my wife and I, but some with mobility issues struggled. This activity level of this excursion was rated as 'level 2' on a scale of 1-3)). The entertainment was good, but not something I would rave about either. The spa was very good, but I mostly enjoyed that because of the full sized showers and bathroom (I'm 6'3"). I paid an extra $150 to have a decent bathroom (was it worth it? Yeah!). The pool bar was often overcrowded and understaffed (and the staff griped about being too few). A few times I just gave up trying to get a drink. I noticed a few areas of the ship that looked 'tired', but I'm sure it's difficult to keep up with the oxidation on the ocean. Our cabin rug definitely needed replacing. The pools were clean but very small and crowded. Overall, I understand the experience NCL is trying to provide and they tried their best. If I were to cruise again, it would be on a smaller, less crowded ship with an itinerary that allowed for more time in port. I would want a more upscale experience in dining and size of my cabin. I would probably opt for non-ship sponsored excursions (to avoid the herds of people). I don't mind paying a lot for something of high quality. Overall, they miss the mark a bit on value. It's somewhat of a Disney on the sea. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This cruise was the first European cruise that my family did as well as the first cruise on which we took my 7y old son. While the cruise fulfilled all stated promises, it did not live up to our expectations from previously doing 2 ... Read More
This cruise was the first European cruise that my family did as well as the first cruise on which we took my 7y old son. While the cruise fulfilled all stated promises, it did not live up to our expectations from previously doing 2 Caribean cruises with Royal Caribbean. Pros: We elected the premium bev package as one of our perks. Very worth the tips price. You could get wine, beer, and liquor virtually everywhere on the boat, including specialty restaurants. The boat made it to all ports as scheduled. The cabin we had was small but fine for the three of us and actually in pretty good shape. The boat was also very quiet at night; I slept well. The entertainment on the ship was better than we had previously experienced. We went to the Howl at the Moon, the "Beatles" performance, and the Burn the Floor show. All were good, and we enjoyed them. My son also enjoyed the kid's room and went there three-four times over the cruise. A nice break for my husband and I. My son really loved the whole experience. Con: The ship itself was beat. It really needs a renovation to update carpets, paint, etc. It was not terrible, but not as nice as other ships we have been on. Information was shared very sparingly across the boat, e.g., dinner menus were only posted at the main dining rooms after lunch on that day, they were not available via room tv systems or wall kiosks across the boat or the previous day, which would have been nice for planning when you wanted to go to specialty restaurants. The food in the main dining area was very low quality for what i was expecting. I would compare it to the quality I would expect to get at TGI Friday's or Outback Steakhouse (if you like this, then you'll be set! *sorry*). The buffet was really not good at all. The food in the specialty restaurants (We did the brazilian steakhouse and teppanyaki, which was my favorite) was very good. If I were to go back (which I would not), I would elect to use the specialty dining credit since that is the only food I'd want to have again on the boat. The real reason that I would not go on this cruise again is that everything was so disorganized. They had some water problems two nights in a row on the boat and shut off our cabin water, they moved one of my excursions around and told me only 1 day ahead, they returned my laundry a day late and wanted to charge me a really high price for this. We complained about many of these things, and the customer service folks did their best to help us out; but I did not really want to be dealing with this stuff on my vacation. Also, the pools on this boat are TINY. If I were to relive this experience, I would more aggressively compare this cruise with other cruise line pricing to see what the true price point of this type of itinerary is. I thought that I was purchasing a mid level cruise for this price, and I think that I probably got a low to mid cruise experience. I would consider changing my plans around more for the cruise itself and probably spend more money overall to have a better experience. Also, this itinerary was a great introduction to Italy, France, and Spain. However, when you go to these places, the sights that you want to see are not that close to port cities, so be prepared to take trains or taxis to your sights. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We traveled May 18-26 -Staff is friendly and nice -u spent the most in excursions Take a private guide and even taking a taxi is better than taking the excursions the ship offers (u feel like one of members of horse Herd) ... Read More
We traveled May 18-26 -Staff is friendly and nice -u spent the most in excursions Take a private guide and even taking a taxi is better than taking the excursions the ship offers (u feel like one of members of horse Herd) -cruise tries to charge u in anything possible. U go to restaurant - boom $15 charge per person even though my package included gratuities. We tipped all the way but they do anyway. Go to the desk and ask to sign a form to pay on ur own - that’s $210 deduction on the spot for 2ppl - room is terribly small. Don’t even think taking a stateroom, upgrade to bigger and with balcony. Otherwise u will feel trapped - get a package for specialty dining, it’s truly better and delicious - internet is TERRIBLE, never works in the room. My emails didn’t update for couple of days. I tried disputing the charges with the cruise, THEY DIDNT —- I’m definitely disputing charges with my credit card company. I took photos of my phone and the last date it updated emails. - the worst experience when ship arrived to Cannes. There is no port there so ppl are being transported on little ships (which fit around 200 ppl). The line is outrageous and the wait was tiring. We waited 50m on the line, got pisses off and left tanning on the ship - shows are great. Especially the dancing and cirque shows Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
-I did not care for the cabin because of the glass door to the right of the entrance was the toilet, glass door to left of the entrance was shower, and the sink was about 12 inches from the end of our king size bed. If the couch next to ... Read More
-I did not care for the cabin because of the glass door to the right of the entrance was the toilet, glass door to left of the entrance was shower, and the sink was about 12 inches from the end of our king size bed. If the couch next to the balcony was in place of the bed that would have eleimated about 90% of the “excuse me I need to get by” . I prefer to have privacy while using the toilet - sorry Norwegian but a curtain does not replace a wall for that. -We paid for the dinner and show but, it was so bad we departed almost immediately. -In the resturant the service was VERY SLOW no matter what meal or time. Our waiter Tejan was great though! He and his team of one (usually there are more wait staff than that are cruise ships) remembered my food allergies and pointed out cross contamination risks. -I did not book any excursions from the ship even though we had a $100 use it or lose it credit. I did research and booked all of our excursions with Italy Tours. They had a return to port on time guarantee, great tours and excellent price point. They offered private or small group pricing. There were 5 of us in our group and we were either 5 of 5, 5 of 8 or 5 of 14. All guides and drivers were awesome! In general conversations with other passengers I almost felt guilty for the price we paid and places we got to see and experiences we got to enjoy that they did not because they booked with ship and sometimes paid double the amount we did for less fun. -I have never been on a cruise where the public WC had no working soap dispensers (sensors did not work) and the floors, sinks etc were a mess. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We choose this cruise as we live on Cocoa Beach and it was leaving from Port Canaveral. It had 6 stops, which is a lot for a transatlantic cruise. The price was right. Staff was great. Very nice and friendly. Our stateroom was kept ... Read More
We choose this cruise as we live on Cocoa Beach and it was leaving from Port Canaveral. It had 6 stops, which is a lot for a transatlantic cruise. The price was right. Staff was great. Very nice and friendly. Our stateroom was kept very clean. The public restrooms on the ship were not kept well. Either they had no soap, no paper or no water. Two elevator banks for a ship with 4000 people is not enough. We spent a lot of time waiting for an elevator. The food in the Taste dining room was not great, but adequate. Food in the specialty dining rooms was excellent. Our stateroom was so small! We had to take turns to get dressed, etc. We have been on many ships, but this room was crowded! The entertainment was great. The problem was to go to many of the events, you had to get there 45 minutes early to get a seat! We had to wait a lot! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My husband and I went on this work related cruise therefore we did not choose this ship, it was chosen for us. After reading all of the very negative reviews we were very nervous about our cruise. We have been on 30 cruises, mostly with ... Read More
My husband and I went on this work related cruise therefore we did not choose this ship, it was chosen for us. After reading all of the very negative reviews we were very nervous about our cruise. We have been on 30 cruises, mostly with Royal Caribbean and Princess but a few have been on Norwegian. In my opinion, the biggest problem with the Epic is the design of the ship and Norwegian's desire to pack on too many passengers with not enough places to go. I have been on the largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas and despite the large number of passengers there are so many dining venues, bars and entertainment options that you never feel crowded and rarely have to wait in line. The Epic has limited dining, bars and entertainment options therefore there are crowds and lines everywhere! Another huge problem is the food! We have never been on a cruise where we were hungry but we were on this one! The choices were unappealing, the food temperature was not consistently correct, the freshness of the food was questionable and the taste was just awful. Thankfully we were in France, Italy and Spain and in these ports all day so we were able to fill up on delicious food there! Our cabin was satisfactory. Our bed (although too short) was quite comfortable and there was quite a bit of storage space in the cabin. The small bathroom with the sliding glass door was cramped and awkward given the fact that you could see through the glass. The separate sink outside of where the toilet was didn't work for us either. The shower was okay but filled up with some water at times, which really disgusts me. The balcony had some rust on the rails and most of the balcony furniture and wooden rail was covered in sea salt which made it uncomfortable to sit out there. It was never wiped by our cabin steward. Although we had read terrible reviews about the crew on board, we just felt that they were overworked and overwhelmed by the number of people on the ship. They tried really hard to keep up and most of them maintained a positive attitude. We especially liked the bar service in the "Maltings Beer and Whiskey Bar". We never had to wait long for drinks and the staff there were always pleasant. We chose not to see any shows but we did hear some live music in a few different areas. The entertainment quality was well below what we are use to on Royal Caribbean and Princess. Embarkation and disembarkation are not efficient, therefore be prepared to stand in long lines! All in all, this cruise was not as horrible as we had anticipated but I would definitely not recommend this ship, nor would I cruise on it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Overall we enjoyed the cruise. The ship is easy to move around in - Food is excellent - even in the buffet. The employees are friendly and responsive. The entertainment is enjoyable and good. We saw two shows that were included in the ... Read More
Overall we enjoyed the cruise. The ship is easy to move around in - Food is excellent - even in the buffet. The employees are friendly and responsive. The entertainment is enjoyable and good. We saw two shows that were included in the price of the cruise and paid for one show. All were excellent. We played bingo and some of the other games. They were fun and the host kept things lively. However, going ashore for excursions is a nightmare. Norwegian is very disrespectful of your time as a traveler. Two of the four excursion days - we waited for over and hour on one and nearly two hours before we left the ship for another - from the time they told us to meet. All they say is that they aren't in control and they are sorry. They are very disorganized. This experience was unacceptable. We are unlikely to cruise with Norwegian again because of this. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
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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