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A word of warning before I extol the virtues of this terrific cruise. This is a very downbeat and serious warning. Pickpockets are at the excursion locations waiting for you there in numbers. I was so lucky to feel their attempt on my wallet, we were actually inside the Cathedral to Santa Maria del Flore in Florence, others not so lucky. One thing to be alert for is if you find that your personal space is being unnecessarily closed in, break away. Hold your bag in front of you, do not put your phone, wallet etc in you hip or back pocket. Men get a small bag that you can carry over your shoulder, where you hold it in front of you. Do not rely on on the neck lanyard for your camera. Pickpockets can detach them without you knowing. This applies in Pompeii, Rome and Florence and Pisa. Stay safe. And enjoy the visit. Our cruise was the start in Barcelona, and in Barcelona and two nights there before flying home. Others had a Rome start. Each has benefits. Check in and embarkation was quick, and we were on board and in our stateroom inside 15 minutes. So Norwegian Epic. a beautiful ship with a happy crew and an awful lot of space to explore. This is a big ship, with 4000+ passengers. But we never felt crowded, and certainly never had to queue for any amount of time.We read several reports from people who had sailed with the Epic and a few were very downbeat. So lets put your mind at rest. If you have booked this cruise, you will find it an excellent journey. Some critics do not like the layout of the staterooms, well guess what? NCL aren't going to change it. The stateroom we had was 13050, and the amount of storage, cupboard and wardrobe space is amazing. The toilet and shower are seperate, and both have sliding occluded glass doors. The washbasin is seperate from both. We did not find this to be awkward. The bed was large and comfortable, the sofa was as well. The balcony was large enough for two chairs and tables so again, exctly what is needed.There is a TV in the room, and caters for English, German, and Spanish speakers. News for English is on two channels, there is a sport channel, plus a film channel. We never used the pay to view channels. Room service is on time and very efficient. The staterooms are made up twice a day, clean towels whenever you want them, and entertaining towel modelling by the steward. We were near the lifts and never heard any noise from returning guests. The lifts were very quick, and we only had short waits whenever we wanted to use them. Guest services, and in fact all the crew and staff, were excellent. Helpful, quick to understand the query, and able to answer most queries immediately. Also very pleasant to talk with them. As in all cruise ships, there is the inevitable art auction, the massive sale of watches or perfumes, attend if this is your thing. Food. Apart from excellent what else is there to say? We tried three speciality restaurants, plus the complimentary ones. Taste and Manhattan are the two complimentary ones, and considering the turnover of people, we never felt rushed or in the way. Once we had finished, the table was set for the next visitor in record time. I guess feeding up to 2000 people over a three or four hour period, you need some very good staff and staff training. The waiters are all very knowledgable about the dishes offered. Manhattan is maybe slightly better in its position. The one thing we found objectionable is that due to the open area from deck 5 to deck 7, Taste restaurant has the air from the casino drifting down, and smoking is allowed in the casino. This means you can smell smoke at your table, if you are in the central area. Ask for a side table away from that and it is OK. We had meals in Cagneys, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki where they cook the food in front of you. Our best was Le Bistro. Yours will be different. But the steaks are superb. Entertainment. Wow. How much would you pay for first class top of the bill shows? These are free. We saw Priscilla- Queen of the Desert. OK this one is near the knuckle from the other side! It is funny, clever, entertaining and downright rude in places. So be warned. If you are easily offended, this show will do it for you. Next is Burn the Floor. It was an hour show of dance. The show started, and finished. I thought that was quick and then realised an hour had passed. This show is amazing. I cannot rate it high enough. Some critiscism has been raised as people compare with other shows, Also I have seen complaints about 'skimpy' costumes for the girls and of course the men are fully clothed. It is a dance show, Take a look at the Strictly costumes. And then we come to the Cirque show in the Spiegal tent. This is a small restaurant area, and the performers are right there in front of you. The wow factor doesn't have a high enough rating. This is a pay show and meal, but worth every penny. What about the rest? Headliners is a small theatre, hosting Howl at the Moon, plus other entertainers. We saw two shows here and couldn't fault them. We didn't get to the Cavern Club but others said it was very good. Bliss is a huge area where you can sit and chat while wannabes entertain with karaoke. Really nice bar area. There are bars all over the ship. Also an Ice Bar we never made it there. All in all the quality and amount of entertainmet is very high. Tip? Book ahead. Get all your tickets for shows and meals well in advance of your cruise. Dont forget you are sharing the ship with 4000+ others and they all want to go see the shows, and eat in the restaurants. On deck 15 is the Garden Restarant, which is buffet style, and has serveries open round the clock. Also on this deck are the pool areas, the kids pools, the adult only pools, bars, clinbing walls, and music. If you have the drink package, work you way through the cocktail list. One of them is called the painkiller, really nice. We went in term time so the numbeer of children was small, although there was still a lot. But they never seemed to be very many, they were entertained and looked after by excellent staff. All the younger ones with name and location tags on their wrists. Ok shore excursions. Well you will visit Naples for Pompeii, or Amalfi coast or Capri, We went on the Pompeii on your own. This is the ship taking you and bringing you back, but you go do your own thing in Pompeii. Civitavechia for Rome. Rome is about 1.5hrs coach trip. Our guide Rita, talked no stop for this time. She told us everything we needed to know about REome and what to see. Excellent guide. We again opted for the Rome on your own. This allowed us to go where we wnated in the time we wanted. The Livorno for Pisa and Florence. Pisa is interesting but you do not have much time, so queueing to get in anywhere is really a waste. If you want to go to see things in more detail, book a long weekend. Same applies to Rome. But Florence on your own. This city is beautiful. There is an art gallery on every corner. Pleas, in the time you have, dont waste it queueing for the Uffizi or Accademia. There is so much to see without standing in line. And if you make it to the Piazza della Repubblica, there is a restaurant on the top floor of the department store opposit the huge archway. This gives terrific views over the city. Cannes we were lucky that the Film Festival was in full swing, so lots of red carpet photos. Palma was a restful day. Barcelona is dead easy to get around, they have a hop on and off bus service that goes all over the city. We enjoyed this day and half very much But as I said earlier. If you really want to go somewhere book online. The Sagrada Familia, Camp Nou, all were fully booked on the day. T Las Ramblas is what it is. If you have a meal at the restaurants here, do not look at the bill, just pay it and smile. You might feel the skin being ripped of your back, but this is Las Ramblas, and you pay their premium. But the food is good. Expensive, but good. And the people watching is great. If you are on a budget there are hundreds of very good restaurants off the main streets where you will pay less than 20€ for a meal. OK?

Norwegian Epic Western Mediteranean

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Methusulah

23 people found this helpful
Trip Details
A word of warning before I extol the virtues of this terrific cruise.

This is a very downbeat and serious warning. Pickpockets are at the excursion locations waiting for you there in numbers. I was so lucky to feel their attempt on my wallet, we were actually inside the Cathedral to Santa Maria del Flore in Florence, others not so lucky. One thing to be alert for is if you find that your personal space is being unnecessarily closed in, break away. Hold your bag in front of you, do not put your phone, wallet etc in you hip or back pocket. Men get a small bag that you can carry over your shoulder, where you hold it in front of you. Do not rely on on the neck lanyard for your camera. Pickpockets can detach them without you knowing. This applies in Pompeii, Rome and Florence and Pisa. Stay safe. And enjoy the visit.

Our cruise was the start in Barcelona, and in Barcelona and two nights there before flying home. Others had a Rome start. Each has benefits. Check in and embarkation was quick, and we were on board and in our stateroom inside 15 minutes. So Norwegian Epic. a beautiful ship with a happy crew and an awful lot of space to explore. This is a big ship, with 4000+ passengers. But we never felt crowded, and certainly never had to queue for any amount of time.We read several reports from people who had sailed with the Epic and a few were very downbeat. So lets put your mind at rest. If you have booked this cruise, you will find it an excellent journey. Some critics do not like the layout of the staterooms, well guess what? NCL aren't going to change it. The stateroom we had was 13050, and the amount of storage, cupboard and wardrobe space is amazing. The toilet and shower are seperate, and both have sliding occluded glass doors. The washbasin is seperate from both. We did not find this to be awkward. The bed was large and comfortable, the sofa was as well. The balcony was large enough for two chairs and tables so again, exctly what is needed.There is a TV in the room, and caters for English, German, and Spanish speakers. News for English is on two channels, there is a sport channel, plus a film channel. We never used the pay to view channels. Room service is on time and very efficient. The staterooms are made up twice a day, clean towels whenever you want them, and entertaining towel modelling by the steward.

We were near the lifts and never heard any noise from returning guests. The lifts were very quick, and we only had short waits whenever we wanted to use them.

Guest services, and in fact all the crew and staff, were excellent. Helpful, quick to understand the query, and able to answer most queries immediately. Also very pleasant to talk with them. As in all cruise ships, there is the inevitable art auction, the massive sale of watches or perfumes, attend if this is your thing.

Food. Apart from excellent what else is there to say? We tried three speciality restaurants, plus the complimentary ones. Taste and Manhattan are the two complimentary ones, and considering the turnover of people, we never felt rushed or in the way. Once we had finished, the table was set for the next visitor in record time. I guess feeding up to 2000 people over a three or four hour period, you need some very good staff and staff training. The waiters are all very knowledgable about the dishes offered. Manhattan is maybe slightly better in its position. The one thing we found objectionable is that due to the open area from deck 5 to deck 7, Taste restaurant has the air from the casino drifting down, and smoking is allowed in the casino. This means you can smell smoke at your table, if you are in the central area. Ask for a side table away from that and it is OK.

We had meals in Cagneys, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki where they cook the food in front of you. Our best was Le Bistro. Yours will be different. But the steaks are superb.

Entertainment. Wow. How much would you pay for first class top of the bill shows? These are free. We saw Priscilla- Queen of the Desert. OK this one is near the knuckle from the other side! It is funny, clever, entertaining and downright rude in places. So be warned. If you are easily offended, this show will do it for you. Next is Burn the Floor. It was an hour show of dance. The show started, and finished. I thought that was quick and then realised an hour had passed. This show is amazing. I cannot rate it high enough. Some critiscism has been raised as people compare with other shows, Also I have seen complaints about 'skimpy' costumes for the girls and of course the men are fully clothed. It is a dance show, Take a look at the Strictly costumes. And then we come to the Cirque show in the Spiegal tent. This is a small restaurant area, and the performers are right there in front of you. The wow factor doesn't have a high enough rating. This is a pay show and meal, but worth every penny.

What about the rest? Headliners is a small theatre, hosting Howl at the Moon, plus other entertainers. We saw two shows here and couldn't fault them. We didn't get to the Cavern Club but others said it was very good. Bliss is a huge area where you can sit and chat while wannabes entertain with karaoke. Really nice bar area. There are bars all over the ship. Also an Ice Bar we never made it there. All in all the quality and amount of entertainmet is very high. Tip? Book ahead. Get all your tickets for shows and meals well in advance of your cruise. Dont forget you are sharing the ship with 4000+ others and they all want to go see the shows, and eat in the restaurants. On deck 15 is the Garden Restarant, which is buffet style, and has serveries open round the clock. Also on this deck are the pool areas, the kids pools, the adult only pools, bars, clinbing walls, and music. If you have the drink package, work you way through the cocktail list. One of them is called the painkiller, really nice. We went in term time so the numbeer of children was small, although there was still a lot. But they never seemed to be very many, they were entertained and looked after by excellent staff. All the younger ones with name and location tags on their wrists.

Ok shore excursions. Well you will visit Naples for Pompeii, or Amalfi coast or Capri, We went on the Pompeii on your own. This is the ship taking you and bringing you back, but you go do your own thing in Pompeii.

Civitavechia for Rome. Rome is about 1.5hrs coach trip. Our guide Rita, talked no stop for this time. She told us everything we needed to know about REome and what to see. Excellent guide. We again opted for the Rome on your own. This allowed us to go where we wnated in the time we wanted.

The Livorno for Pisa and Florence. Pisa is interesting but you do not have much time, so queueing to get in anywhere is really a waste. If you want to go to see things in more detail, book a long weekend. Same applies to Rome. But Florence on your own. This city is beautiful. There is an art gallery on every corner. Pleas, in the time you have, dont waste it queueing for the Uffizi or Accademia. There is so much to see without standing in line. And if you make it to the Piazza della Repubblica, there is a restaurant on the top floor of the department store opposit the huge archway. This gives terrific views over the city.

Cannes we were lucky that the Film Festival was in full swing, so lots of red carpet photos. Palma was a restful day.

Barcelona is dead easy to get around, they have a hop on and off bus service that goes all over the city. We enjoyed this day and half very much

But as I said earlier. If you really want to go somewhere book online. The Sagrada Familia, Camp Nou, all were fully booked on the day. T

Las Ramblas is what it is. If you have a meal at the restaurants here, do not look at the bill, just pay it and smile. You might feel the skin being ripped of your back, but this is Las Ramblas, and you pay their premium. But the food is good. Expensive, but good. And the people watching is great. If you are on a budget there are hundreds of very good restaurants off the main streets where you will pay less than 20€ for a meal.

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Methusulah’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 13050
Very comfortable and clean. Good views from being so high up. Especially when the seagulls showed off their hang gliding skills, hovering just outside the stateroom.
The stateroom has a curve shape, has lots and lots of cupboard, wardrobe space. Yes I hear other complaing about the occluded glass doors on the toilet and shower. Never caused us a problem.
The staterooms are made up twice aday, clean towels whenever you want them, and funny little towel animals every evening.
TV has two English news channels, and film channel, and some Spanish and German channels. But who goes cruising to watch TV?
The heating unit works. Cool, or warm it delivered. The balcony is big enough for two chairs and small tables. Very comfortable.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews