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Epic Failure Best Friend & I travel on a girlfriend trip every other year. She has not been to Italy, or France and neither of us have been to Spain. We both love NCL (I am Platinum Plus and she is Platinum) and have not been on the Epic. We flew into Rome and stayed there 2 nights at Hotel Cortina on Nationale. A fabulous little boutique place to stay within walking distance of the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Termini train station. Embarkation day was great. We arrived around 1:30 at the Haven priority check-in. We were escorted to our Haven Spa Suite (H-9) Cabin 14135 which includes access to the Thermal Spa and all Haven specialties. Negative for embarkation was that our Priority luggage arrived at 7:30 p.m after boarding at 1:30! I have read several reviews here about the Epic before going but did not read how hard this cruise is if one is interested in seeing the sights. Not only does the itinerary have very long days, but one is not able to enjoy the ship. Having booked the level of cabin we booked, we did NOT get to use the ship or the perks that were included with our cabin rate. (I.E. all the specialty dining we had 3 from the booking and 2 from Latitudes rewards—we used 3; The Thermal Spa-there was just no time if you did the excursions and when the spa makes mistakes) I DO NOT recommend this itinerary to those who want to get off at every port to enjoy the history that one can see. I DO NOT recommend the Epic as the Haven concierge and Butler staff acted as if we were a bother. The Haven Restaurant Staff was good but not as an attentive experience that I have had on other NCL ships. The Bartenders (not the Haven) made good drinks but again it was if you were a nuisance. If you wish to read more about this EPIC FAILURE—keep reading. The round beds are not so much an issue as to how little space there is in the room. We knew about the round bed so that was no surprise, the lay out of the bathroom is odd, loved the size of the shower. Having lots of storage was great. There is a coffee maker which was not easy to use and took up too much space on the counter. A garden tub in the corner takes up too much space which could have been used for sitting space. There are no beside tables and only a little table to put things on so we brought in the table from the deck. The deck has 2 chairs and 2 lounge chairs which we used very little (tour days are very long). As we scoped out the room we made notes about things we needed or wanted so that when the butler came we could share our list. When he arrived he brought the fruit bowl and afternoon snacks, then he showed us the coffee maker and how to operate the lights which are NOT easy. We then began to share our lists and you would have thought we had asked for the world. Every request was met with “I don’t do that”. When I shared that our tours for the next 3 days were late in returning, could he hold our snacks until 5. He said he would but that NEVER happened. As he left the room, we felt as if we had been an inconvenience and the whole week was the same. When he brought our coffee each morning, he NEVER said good morning or have a good day. Not the kind of butler I have had on past cruises on NCL. Since our luggage had not yet arrived we headed to the Concierge desk to fill in our spa times with the agenda we had prepared before the trip. Also, to check to be sure our dinner times and show times were booked as scheduled with our online reservations. At the beginning, the concierge was pleasant and took care of things. As the week progressed, we saw him less and less and other persons took over his duties. We had to change/or cancel many dinner times and shows because the excursions returned late meaning the tour said a 8 hour tour but getting back on the ship was another hour or more as there were many busses unloading at the same time to get through the security lines for the ship. One night we had 20 minutes to change and get to the LeCirque dinner and show. Not a fun way to start your evening! The itinerary for this cruise is brutal if you book the NCL excursions. Unfortunately, the ship docks are far from the main attractions Livorno-Florence the bus ride was 2 hours there and 1 ½ hours back and the tour itself was walking from where the bus parked into Florence. We had a great guide (Sam). We had to be in the theater at 7:45 and we returned to the ship so late we cancelled the Musical. Tour from Cannes to Monaco/Monte Carlo was equally as long. We were thankful that the next day was a late arrival to Majorca at 1p.m. We both had spa facials and I also had the teeth whitening scheduled for the morning and were hoping to use the Thermal spa. The Spa desk misinformed my friend that I was no longer in the spa, so she went back to the room. Therefore, by the time I finished my treatment and found she had left the spa, it just wasn’t’ worth the time. The afternoon excursion in Majorca was cancelled by us as we were exhausted. In Barcelona we planned a day on our own hoping to use the Rick Steves Audio Tour app on our phones. For whatever reason my phone was not cooperating, so we did the Hop on Hop Off Bus. Since we were on our own, we just enjoyed the 2-hour tour around Barcelona. In Naples we did the Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri tour. Another long day but well worth the time and money spent. Dining on the Epic was exceptional. We ate at the Haven most days for Breakfast and dinner. We did go to LeBistro, LaCucina, and Cagney’s—all Outstanding. As one reviewer noted-No lobster anywhere on the ship, however, crab cakes, shrimp, scallops were very good. The dinner we had at the LeCirque entertainment was good and the show was amazing! Speaking of entertainment, Burn the Floor had some fabulous dancing but unsure of what the theme or message was to be. We did not have the energy for any shows on the last night. We did catch some of the music venues on other nights. The Manhattan Band, Cryptic Blue and I forgot the name of the other group. They were very entertaining and was great dance music. Bingo is one of my favorite things to do but because of the long days and the timing of Bingo, we were only able to go twice. This cruise had 2 embarkations and the Rome cruisers were not able to participate in the win a free cruise raffle. As a matter of fact, those of us who boarded in Rome felt like the step children to those who boarded in Barcelona. (first time to be on a ship with 2 embarkation ports) Deal & No Deal times were hard to catch, again because of the long days and timing. On Sea Day after Barcelona, we had scheduled massages at the spa. We got there early to check-in so as to enjoy the quiet and enjoy the down time. The Asst Spa Manager checked us in and took us to the quiet room to wait for our masseuse to get us. We waited and waited and now it is 10 minutes past our time. I went to the desk to inquire, only to be told that they had been looking for us! It seems we were to have been in the Haven Spa. At no time did anyone tell us that our appointment was not in the regular spa-not when we booked nor when we checked in! When I asked that if the person who checked us in should have known that we were booked in the Haven Spa? The answer was YES. I then said well, “It was the Asst. Manager.” Since it is now too late to get our massage and there were no other openings until that night—we just didn’t get it done. I had signed up for the 10/20/30 so I wanted to be sure I was not charged for that! Well, I was even though I was assured it would not be on my bill! At the end, when I got my bill to review—there it was! After waiting in line at the guest service desk, I was told I had to take it up with the Spa. So I trek back up to the Spa and after waiting to see the Manager and explaining the circus of that day, she did take off the charge and honored the 10/20 of my 2 other treatments. Needless to say the Spa was not a fun place for us. We never had the time to use the Thermal Spa because when you return from excursions by 6 and have dinner and hear a little music to unwind, there is no time or energy! Disembarkation Day- nothing exceptional even for Haven guests. On other ships the concierge personally walked the Haven group out of the elevator and through the check point where Security scans your card for the last time. I know that may sound petty but that is what one pays for when you pay the Haven price! There was nothing that special about the Haven Experience on the Epic ship other than the use of the space. The Latitude level did not seem to matter either.

EPIC FAILURE

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Cosmogal

Trip Details
Epic Failure

Best Friend & I travel on a girlfriend trip every other year. She has not been to Italy, or France and neither of us have been to Spain. We both love NCL (I am Platinum Plus and she is Platinum) and have not been on the Epic.

We flew into Rome and stayed there 2 nights at Hotel Cortina on Nationale. A fabulous little boutique place to stay within walking distance of the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Termini train station.

Embarkation day was great. We arrived around 1:30 at the Haven priority check-in. We were escorted to our Haven Spa Suite (H-9) Cabin 14135 which includes access to the Thermal Spa and all Haven specialties. Negative for embarkation was that our Priority luggage arrived at 7:30 p.m after boarding at 1:30!

I have read several reviews here about the Epic before going but did not read how hard this cruise is if one is interested in seeing the sights. Not only does the itinerary have very long days, but one is not able to enjoy the ship. Having booked the level of cabin we booked, we did NOT get to use the ship or the perks that were included with our cabin rate. (I.E. all the specialty dining we had 3 from the booking and 2 from Latitudes rewards—we used 3; The Thermal Spa-there was just no time if you did the excursions and when the spa makes mistakes)

I DO NOT recommend this itinerary to those who want to get off at every port to enjoy the history that one can see. I DO NOT recommend the Epic as the Haven concierge and Butler staff acted as if we were a bother. The Haven Restaurant Staff was good but not as an attentive experience that I have had on other NCL ships. The Bartenders (not the Haven) made good drinks but again it was if you were a nuisance. If you wish to read more about this EPIC FAILURE—keep reading.

The round beds are not so much an issue as to how little space there is in the room. We knew about the round bed so that was no surprise, the lay out of the bathroom is odd, loved the size of the shower. Having lots of storage was great. There is a coffee maker which was not easy to use and took up too much space on the counter. A garden tub in the corner takes up too much space which could have been used for sitting space. There are no beside tables and only a little table to put things on so we brought in the table from the deck. The deck has 2 chairs and 2 lounge chairs which we used very little (tour days are very long).

As we scoped out the room we made notes about things we needed or wanted so that when the butler came we could share our list. When he arrived he brought the fruit bowl and afternoon snacks, then he showed us the coffee maker and how to operate the lights which are NOT easy. We then began to share our lists and you would have thought we had asked for the world. Every request was met with “I don’t do that”. When I shared that our tours for the next 3 days were late in returning, could he hold our snacks until 5. He said he would but that NEVER happened. As he left the room, we felt as if we had been an inconvenience and the whole week was the same. When he brought our coffee each morning, he NEVER said good morning or have a good day. Not the kind of butler I have had on past cruises on NCL.

Since our luggage had not yet arrived we headed to the Concierge desk to fill in our spa times with the agenda we had prepared before the trip. Also, to check to be sure our dinner times and show times were booked as scheduled with our online reservations. At the beginning, the concierge was pleasant and took care of things. As the week progressed, we saw him less and less and other persons took over his duties.

We had to change/or cancel many dinner times and shows because the excursions returned late meaning the tour said a 8 hour tour but getting back on the ship was another hour or more as there were many busses unloading at the same time to get through the security lines for the ship. One night we had 20 minutes to change and get to the LeCirque dinner and show. Not a fun way to start your evening!

The itinerary for this cruise is brutal if you book the NCL excursions. Unfortunately, the ship docks are far from the main attractions Livorno-Florence the bus ride was 2 hours there and 1 ½ hours back and the tour itself was walking from where the bus parked into Florence. We had a great guide (Sam). We had to be in the theater at 7:45 and we returned to the ship so late we cancelled the Musical.

Tour from Cannes to Monaco/Monte Carlo was equally as long.

We were thankful that the next day was a late arrival to Majorca at 1p.m. We both had spa facials and I also had the teeth whitening scheduled for the morning and were hoping to use the Thermal spa. The Spa desk misinformed my friend that I was no longer in the spa, so she went back to the room. Therefore, by the time I finished my treatment and found she had left the spa, it just wasn’t’ worth the time. The afternoon excursion in Majorca was cancelled by us as we were exhausted.

In Barcelona we planned a day on our own hoping to use the Rick Steves Audio Tour app on our phones. For whatever reason my phone was not cooperating, so we did the Hop on Hop Off Bus. Since we were on our own, we just enjoyed the 2-hour tour around Barcelona.

In Naples we did the Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri tour. Another long day but well worth the time and money spent.

Dining on the Epic was exceptional. We ate at the Haven most days for Breakfast and dinner. We did go to LeBistro, LaCucina, and Cagney’s—all Outstanding. As one reviewer noted-No lobster anywhere on the ship, however, crab cakes, shrimp, scallops were very good.

The dinner we had at the LeCirque entertainment was good and the show was amazing!

Speaking of entertainment, Burn the Floor had some fabulous dancing but unsure of what the theme or message was to be.

We did not have the energy for any shows on the last night.

We did catch some of the music venues on other nights. The Manhattan Band, Cryptic Blue and I forgot the name of the other group. They were very entertaining and was great dance music.

Bingo is one of my favorite things to do but because of the long days and the timing of Bingo, we were only able to go twice. This cruise had 2 embarkations and the Rome cruisers were not able to participate in the win a free cruise raffle. As a matter of fact, those of us who boarded in Rome felt like the step children to those who boarded in Barcelona. (first time to be on a ship with 2 embarkation ports)

Deal & No Deal times were hard to catch, again because of the long days and timing.

On Sea Day after Barcelona, we had scheduled massages at the spa. We got there early to check-in so as to enjoy the quiet and enjoy the down time. The Asst Spa Manager checked us in and took us to the quiet room to wait for our masseuse to get us. We waited and waited and now it is 10 minutes past our time. I went to the desk to inquire, only to be told that they had been looking for us! It seems we were to have been in the Haven Spa. At no time did anyone tell us that our appointment was not in the regular spa-not when we booked nor when we checked in! When I asked that if the person who checked us in should have known that we were booked in the Haven Spa? The answer was YES. I then said well, “It was the Asst. Manager.” Since it is now too late to get our massage and there were no other openings until that night—we just didn’t get it done. I had signed up for the 10/20/30 so I wanted to be sure I was not charged for that! Well, I was even though I was assured it would not be on my bill! At the end, when I got my bill to review—there it was! After waiting in line at the guest service desk, I was told I had to take it up with the Spa. So I trek back up to the Spa and after waiting to see the Manager and explaining the circus of that day, she did take off the charge and honored the 10/20 of my 2 other treatments. Needless to say the Spa was not a fun place for us. We never had the time to use the Thermal Spa because when you return from excursions by 6 and have dinner and hear a little music to unwind, there is no time or energy!

Disembarkation Day- nothing exceptional even for Haven guests. On other ships the concierge personally walked the Haven group out of the elevator and through the check point where Security scans your card for the last time. I know that may sound petty but that is what one pays for when you pay the Haven price! There was nothing that special about the Haven Experience on the Epic ship other than the use of the space. The Latitude level did not seem to matter either.
Cosmogal’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Spa Suite
Cabin H9 14135
This review is NOT a reflection of our steward who did an outstanding job!
The round beds are not so much an issue as to how little space there is in the room. We knew about the round bed so that was no surprise, the lay out of the bathroom is odd, loved the size of the shower. Having lots of storage was great. There is a coffee maker which was not easy to use and took up too much space on the counter. A garden tub in the corner takes up too much space which could have been used for sitting space. There are no beside tables and only a little table to put things on so we brought in the table from the deck. The deck has 2 chairs and 2 lounge chairs which we used very little (tour days are very long).
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Barcelona
    We had planned a day on our own. We did the Hop On & Hop Off bus tour.
    View All 2,123 Barcelona Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Barcelona Cruise Port Review
  • Monaco & Monte Carlo
    Was a beautiful area to see and explore. Our guide was a bit into herself and even changed the order of our tour which was no big deal except we had to pay extra to go into the Casino which was odd since the description of the tour said it included the Casino. Was great getting to see inside but since she changed the order the Casino was closed for gambling and for the few of us who wanted to try our luck--we were without any luck!
    View All 48 Monaco & Monte Carlo Reviews
  • Accademia Museum
    Sam was our guide. He did an excellent job getting us through the crowds of people and making sure the group was always together. His knowledge of Florence was exemplary.
    View All 32 Accademia Museum Reviews
  • Naples
    Had a delightful time seeing these 3 areas. However, I guide did not give us much history of Sorrento or Isle of Capri. Pompeii was his expertise and had many good stories to tell. He took us to a fabulous furniture store in Sorrento and at the Isle of Capri he pretty much left us on our own and told us where to meet him at a specified time. Delightful little island with fabulous views!!
    View All 11,567 Naples Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Naples Cruise Port Review
  • Rome on Your Own
    Viator was an excellent choice. The tour was just as described for the Colesseum and the VIP Breakfast Vatican tour.
    View All 146 Rome on Your Own Reviews