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We are a family of 3,husband,13 year old daughter and myself.We have previously only sailed RCCL,twice on Freedom,3 times Oasis and once on Allure( all in Caribbean).We loved all or RCCL cruises but decided to try NCL for a change. We also needed a European cruise as my husband has had a knee replacement so needed a short haul flight. Embarkation at Rome was a breeze,straight from the airport and we were onboard within half an hour of embarkation...our cabin was also ready at 1pm so we were able to go and see our cabin,a mini suite,which is basically a slightly larger outside balcony cabin. We had already read about the bathroom situation with frosted glass...it didn't bother us..in fact the fact that someone can use the toilet and someone else have a shower was great.However,the water temperature of our shower throughout the cruise was just about warm... never showered so quickly as desperate to get out of it! Our lovely cabin steward,Victoria ,did get a plumber to look at it but to be honest it made little difference. The cabin itself was a decent size with tonnes of storage...much more than on RCCL ships...however the strange curved design was problematic ...our round bed meant your feet hung iver the edge...I am only 5 ft 7 so goodness knows how a tall person gets on.! Also our daughter was to sleep on the sette,which was converted into a bed each night. Due to the curved design,the bed was a half moon shape which my daughter had to curve her body around...she fell out of bed twice! The settee on RCCL converts into a double bed to give more space. We then went up onto the pool deck ....far inferior in our opinion to any other ships we have been on...just didn't have the WOW Factor..the sun beds were very cramped,definitely wasn't enough of them,the adults only part was dreadful....cramped,noisy,children supposedly banned but this was not enforced,as we saw some young girls aged around 12/13 in there...small pool..nothing like The Solarium on The Oasis of the seas..which is a haven for adults and luxurious. The service at the main pool bar was dreadful,you could wait ages...they ignored my daughter repeatedly,they are clearly understaffed and some of the of virtually treat you as an inconvenience ...when we were on the top deck I would tip a waiter a few euros and get our drinks served to us .On our only pool day we got our sun beds by 10am,,people looking for them after 11 am had no chance....not enough for people on board. The first night we went into Taste,one of the main dining rooms...what a shock,miserable waiter,no one took our drinks order ...average food....the following nights we went to Manhattan...much better experience here...service was very good,atmosphere much better with live music and dress code strictly enforced which I believe is correct in a nice dining area.The food was average,sometimes good...desserts were very average...small portions,often cold main meals...RCCL definitely has it in the main dining room. We did dine one night in the Chinese restaurant,included in complementary restaurants....this was very good,hot food,great service with a smile..slightly cramped restaurant. Entertaininment was excellent...loved The Beatles...saw them 3 times,Cavern Club was superb and waiter service from the waiters excellent...also excellent bar service in Shakers bar...drinks were of good quality,better wine choices than RCCL. The ports of call were excellent...did our own excursions and save a fortune,except for Sorrento which we did through ship as it was a distance from Naples and I was worried about missing ship! Overall we had a great holiday,mainly due to the ports of call we visited...in our opinion NCL lacks the professionalism that we have found on RCCL cruises...we missed the central buzz of the Royal Promenade on RCCL ships.everything was spread around with no focal point. The staff are mixed in their service...some excellent some are downright awful....at the end of the day this was cheaper than an RCCL cruise and you get what you pay for...perhaps we are too set in our ways as loyal to Royal cruisers,and I wouldn't say I would never sail NCL again,but definitely not on this ship... Booked Symphony of the seas with RCCL for next summer....can't wait!

First time on NCL....

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by dino1037

Trip Details
We are a family of 3,husband,13 year old daughter and myself.We have previously only sailed RCCL,twice on Freedom,3 times Oasis and once on Allure( all in Caribbean).We loved all or RCCL cruises but decided to try NCL for a change.

We also needed a European cruise as my husband has had a knee replacement so needed a short haul flight.

Embarkation at Rome was a breeze,straight from the airport and we were onboard within half an hour of embarkation...our cabin was also ready at 1pm so we were able to go and see our cabin,a mini suite,which is basically a slightly larger outside balcony cabin.

We had already read about the bathroom situation with frosted glass...it didn't bother us..in fact the fact that someone can use the toilet and someone else have a shower was great.However,the water temperature of our shower throughout the cruise was just about warm... never showered so quickly as desperate to get out of it! Our lovely cabin steward,Victoria ,did get a plumber to look at it but to be honest it made little difference.

The cabin itself was a decent size with tonnes of storage...much more than on RCCL ships...however the strange curved design was problematic ...our round bed meant your feet hung iver the edge...I am only 5 ft 7 so goodness knows how a tall person gets on.!

Also our daughter was to sleep on the sette,which was converted into a bed each night.

Due to the curved design,the bed was a half moon shape which my daughter had to curve her body around...she fell out of bed twice! The settee on RCCL converts into a double bed to give more space.

We then went up onto the pool deck ....far inferior in our opinion to any other ships we have been on...just didn't have the WOW Factor..the sun beds were very cramped,definitely wasn't enough of them,the adults only part was dreadful....cramped,noisy,children supposedly banned but this was not enforced,as we saw some young girls aged around 12/13 in there...small pool..nothing like The Solarium on The Oasis of the seas..which is a haven for adults and luxurious.

The service at the main pool bar was dreadful,you could wait ages...they ignored my daughter repeatedly,they are clearly understaffed and some of the of virtually treat you as an inconvenience ...when we were on the top deck I would tip a waiter a few euros and get our drinks served to us .On our only pool day we got our sun beds by 10am,,people looking for them after 11 am had no chance....not enough for people on board.

The first night we went into Taste,one of the main dining rooms...what a shock,miserable waiter,no one took our drinks order ...average food....the following nights we went to Manhattan...much better experience here...service was very good,atmosphere much better with live music and dress code strictly enforced which I believe is correct in a nice dining area.The food was average,sometimes good...desserts were very average...small portions,often cold main meals...RCCL definitely has it in the main dining room.

We did dine one night in the Chinese restaurant,included in complementary restaurants....this was very good,hot food,great service with a smile..slightly cramped restaurant.

Entertaininment was excellent...loved The Beatles...saw them 3 times,Cavern Club was superb and waiter service from the waiters excellent...also excellent bar service in Shakers bar...drinks were of good quality,better wine choices than RCCL.

The ports of call were excellent...did our own excursions and save a fortune,except for Sorrento which we did through ship as it was a distance from Naples and I was worried about missing ship!

Overall we had a great holiday,mainly due to the ports of call we visited...in our opinion NCL lacks the professionalism that we have found on RCCL cruises...we missed the central buzz of the Royal Promenade on RCCL ships.everything was spread around with no focal point.

The staff are mixed in their service...some excellent some are downright awful....at the end of the day this was cheaper than an RCCL cruise and you get what you pay for...perhaps we are too set in our ways as loyal to Royal cruisers,and I wouldn't say I would never sail NCL again,but definitely not on this ship...

Booked Symphony of the seas with RCCL for next summer....can't wait!
dino1037’s Full Rating Summary
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