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Norwegian Epic Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
4,228 Reviews

Barcelona, Western Med cruise; good, but some things need improvement.

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by MandyFrance

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2016
  • Destination: the Western Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Family Mini-Suite with Balcony

I chose this cruise because 10 other friends had already booked and my elderly mother was desperate to go on a cruise.

The initial signs were not good! The queue to board the ship at Barcelona was monstrous, and it was very difficult for my Mum (elderly and frail) to stand for over an hour waiting to be processed. There appeared to be no fast track system for elderly or disabled guests and, had we taken this cruise later in the year, I doubt my Mother would have been able to stand for an hour in hot temperatures waiting to board. This could have been better organised, with every guest given a boarding slot.

I booked a stateroom on Deck 9 for the duration, and was pleased with the quality of the room but did find it all a bit of a squash (I get more room travelling Commodore Class on a France to UK cross channel ferry!).

I'll start with the moans (which are few). I paid a hefty fee for internet access but most of the time was unable to gain wi-fi access from my cabin, and most of my precious paid minutes were taken up with logging in and off (which could take up to 10 minutes). This was a problem experienced by everyone in my party. The staff member in charge of internet access was often less than helpful, frequently unavailable and (in my opinion) could do with a crash course in providing pleasant customer service.

My only other complaint is about the DJ in the Bliss Lounge. We would turn up for the themed music nights, for example the 1980's night. Everyone was up and dancing and thoroughly enjoying themselves, when abruptly the music was changed to "adult" from 11pm. At this point the dance floor would empty of guests, leaving just the staff to dance on! The DJ seemed to have no empathy with his audience, nor any ability to suit his music to the age of those present. Music requests were simply ignored. The last night "party" in this bar was a complete disappointment & most of us left after 30 minutes, finding the Piano Bar much more agreeable.

On the plus side the voyage was exceedingly good fun, with lots of choices of places to eat and things to see and do. I cannot fault the restaurants, especially Le Bistro, for mass catering the food was of good quality and the restaurant staff were very helpful and friendly. The shows were excellent - so much so that we went to The Cirque performance twice.

We found the advertised excursions somewhat expensive so booked our own trips to Pisa, Pompei independently, at a fraction of the price.

Our own Housekeeping Manageress was outstanding - brilliant service and always with a smile.

All in all I would cruise on this ship again IF I were given a guarantee that internet access would not be so awful! This is a good fun cruise, with lots to see and do, and no necessity to dress up to the nines each and every evening - so very relaxing.


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Cabin Review

Family Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M2 9095

Housekeeping services were excellent. Room was too small and I am still not exactly clear what was "extra" in my upgraded cabin - it certainly wasn't square footage!. The position of the wash basin (right next to one of the beds) is inconvenient.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Sardinia

Quite dreadful. We were surrounded by offers from operators when we left the boat, and definitely chose the wrong trip. After an interminable wait (almost an hour) we were crammed on to a mini bus and saw nothing for the whole duration of our sightseeing tour as the windows on the bus were so badly positioned. Buyer beware. Better to walk into the town and take an open topped bus running from the centre.

Naples

This was pre-booked with an independent operator. Absolutely excellent. Tour was well planned, well organised, good value for money. The guide was exceedingly well informed about his subject. The real bonus was the wonderful coach trip around the Amalfi coast afterwards.

Rome (Civitavecchia)

This stop was cancelled due to bad weather and the ship being unable to dock.

Palma de Mallorca (Majorca)

Used the disabled bus to get into town which was free. The normal bus costs 15€ per person and so it is cheaper to group together and pay for a taxi (and more comfortable, I would imagine). Palma cathedral is very interesting, the shops are excellent. Very enjoyable.


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MandyFrance
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