Barely three days after disembarking from my Baltic trip on Regal Princess, in Copenhagen, I embarked Norwegian Epic in Barcelona for a familiar Med trip that I have taken many times including one on this exact ship three years ago. In Baltic I had snow in Helsinki and Stockholm and it was all winter for real, but suddenly it was summertime! The cruising experience between Princess and NCL, I am old customer of both, are as markedly different as the weather.
The Barcelona embarkation was smooth and speedy, a NCL hallmark. I have done nearly or even over 100 cruises so far but this is the first time that I tried an inside cabin, the NCL Studio, the pioneering single cabin. Understandably the cabin is small but well-designed and functional. My only complaint is not the lack of sunlight, but it does not provide a tea kettle available for Balcony cabins. But perhaps I should not complain, as even Silversea does not provide this. Among its gadgets, the Studio has simulated daylight in a fake window, and its TV set is larger than that of a balcony cabin. The lack of a balcony did not bother me but the absence of the kettle did as I had expected it.
I note immediately that there is a change in F&B on this ship. Most specialty restaurants are now a la carte rather than cover-charging, and lobster is not served even in this ship’s restaurants. I note that only a few months ago I can order lobster main course on Norwegian Getaway paying $20, and previously on this ship lobster was served free on first night. But overall the food quality showed an improvement and service is good. Taking service into account I think NCL is better than Princess in restaurant dinner. Buffet at breakfast and lunch is adequate and even with the ship sailing full it was not too difficult finding a table.