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Our cruise buddies wanted desperately to go to the Meditteranean so we somewhat reluctantly said yes. We picked a June 2 departure our of Barcelona. Flew into Barcelona two days before and had a great time in Barcelona. So much to see and do. I was dissappointed that NCL didn't have any pre-cruise activities so we booked our own Barcelona tour and it was great. Struck out on our own the night before the cruise and went down to the beach and ate paella overlooking the Med and it was great. On cruise day, we arranged for transport to the cruise doc and embarkation was very smooth. The least smooth part was all the port personnel telling us to go in different directions, but finally got the eye of an NCL employee who herded us in the right direction. (There were at least three other ships leaving on the same day, so some confustion was inevitable. Luggage made it to the room in record time and our first day at sea was crowded on deck as you'd imagine, but finding a deck chair was easier than I expected, especially if you went in mid afternoon as people were starting to filter out and there was still plenty of sunshine to enjoy. First stop was Naples. All the excursions stopped by the cameo factory. Boring, but I figure they make all the cruise excursions stop there because somebody has connections. It is mercifully short. Our next stop was the hike up Mt. Vesuvius. Fairly strenuous, and the weather was nice up high, but bugs were horrible. Not biters, but if you opened your mouth, you'd get an extra dose of protein. Afternoon was spent in Pompeii and it was great. The hightlight was that the "house of ill repute" was open while we were there and got an extra eyefull of the risque parts of the city. As the afternoon wore on, it got more crowded. Second stop was Citeveche...Citevecche...Rome. Our excursion of choice was the Off The Beaten Path tour which went to several medival villages. It was not crowded and our visit to the City of Bagnoreggio (sp?) was great. Not crowded but a pretty hefty walk up to the city. Very old town. Quaint restaurants that were not crowded and definitely off the beaten path. Third stop was Pisa. The City was crowded beyond belief. After taking the mandatory photos of the church and bell tower, our tour guide escorted us to a nearby church that was home to the knights of Malta. Very interesting and a great relief from the maddening crowds. In the afternoon we went to the winery at IFattoria il Poggio. Although the winery was crowded they knew how to handle things. A nice meal of pasta, ensalada, and the hard breads, olives, etc. but the highlight was that they served 7 different wines. Not a little splash in the glass, but full bottles on the table and as one was emptied another promptly took it's place. All in all, a good day/ Fourth stop was Cannes, FR, but the appeal of ritzy stores and name dropping celebrities didn't hold much for us, so all we did was pay about 8 euros to take the little tram tour of the city and went back on the boat. The fifth stop was supposed to be Mallorca, but the morning before we were supposed to dock, the Captain came on and said a guest had gone missing. Unfortunately a 64 y.o. Korean woman went overboard and was never found. The ship spent the day crisscrossing the area where she was suspected of going overboard. Helicopters, search planes and other ships could be seen all day. They asked passengers to help scan the area around the ship, but it was a fairly bumpy day with 5-10' seas and whitecaps which made visual scanning for someone next to impossible. Obviously, the stop in Mallorca was cancelled, but I was not terribly dissappointed because the stops didn't seem all the interesting. What I liked most about the cruise? It's a big ship. There was always someplace to go but if you went up to the pool deck it was crowded. The outdoor bars were very busy but I thought the bartenders did an excellent job of keeping up with everyone. Food was good as expected and if you wanted to complain about something, it would be how crowded the dining areas were. However, during peak times, they did an excellent job of having many different serving areas stocked and available. My biggest complaints? I am a nature person and I was dissappointed that there were no nature or outdoor oriented excursions. Most of the popular stops were insanely crowded and you had to go out of your way to find someplace that was not crowded. My biggest dissappointment was in the Cirque de Dreams performance. The performance was excellent. No complaints there, but we paid extra for priority seating and my seat was in the very back where it was extremely difficult to see. Even though we paid for priority seating, we were just stuck where ever there was space and even though we were there 15 minutes early, we had to stand our ground to be seated together. So overall, it was a good cruise with several very enjoyable moments. However, this was largely offset by the crowds which we knew going in would be considerable. Barcelona was by far the most enjoyable city and I wish we would have spent an extra 3-4 days there when we disembarked. Good? Yes. Would I do it again? No, but I'd go back to Barcelona in a heartbeat.

Good cruise, but I wouldn't do it again

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by AllenO

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
Our cruise buddies wanted desperately to go to the Meditteranean so we somewhat reluctantly said yes. We picked a June 2 departure our of Barcelona. Flew into Barcelona two days before and had a great time in Barcelona. So much to see and do. I was dissappointed that NCL didn't have any pre-cruise activities so we booked our own Barcelona tour and it was great. Struck out on our own the night before the cruise and went down to the beach and ate paella overlooking the Med and it was great.

On cruise day, we arranged for transport to the cruise doc and embarkation was very smooth. The least smooth part was all the port personnel telling us to go in different directions, but finally got the eye of an NCL employee who herded us in the right direction. (There were at least three other ships leaving on the same day, so some confustion was inevitable. Luggage made it to the room in record time and our first day at sea was crowded on deck as you'd imagine, but finding a deck chair was easier than I expected, especially if you went in mid afternoon as people were starting to filter out and there was still plenty of sunshine to enjoy.

First stop was Naples. All the excursions stopped by the cameo factory. Boring, but I figure they make all the cruise excursions stop there because somebody has connections. It is mercifully short. Our next stop was the hike up Mt. Vesuvius. Fairly strenuous, and the weather was nice up high, but bugs were horrible. Not biters, but if you opened your mouth, you'd get an extra dose of protein. Afternoon was spent in Pompeii and it was great. The hightlight was that the "house of ill repute" was open while we were there and got an extra eyefull of the risque parts of the city. As the afternoon wore on, it got more crowded.

Second stop was Citeveche...Citevecche...Rome. Our excursion of choice was the Off The Beaten Path tour which went to several medival villages. It was not crowded and our visit to the City of Bagnoreggio (sp?) was great. Not crowded but a pretty hefty walk up to the city. Very old town. Quaint restaurants that were not crowded and definitely off the beaten path.

Third stop was Pisa. The City was crowded beyond belief. After taking the mandatory photos of the church and bell tower, our tour guide escorted us to a nearby church that was home to the knights of Malta. Very interesting and a great relief from the maddening crowds. In the afternoon we went to the winery at IFattoria il Poggio. Although the winery was crowded they knew how to handle things. A nice meal of pasta, ensalada, and the hard breads, olives, etc. but the highlight was that they served 7 different wines. Not a little splash in the glass, but full bottles on the table and as one was emptied another promptly took it's place. All in all, a good day/

Fourth stop was Cannes, FR, but the appeal of ritzy stores and name dropping celebrities didn't hold much for us, so all we did was pay about 8 euros to take the little tram tour of the city and went back on the boat.

The fifth stop was supposed to be Mallorca, but the morning before we were supposed to dock, the Captain came on and said a guest had gone missing. Unfortunately a 64 y.o. Korean woman went overboard and was never found. The ship spent the day crisscrossing the area where she was suspected of going overboard. Helicopters, search planes and other ships could be seen all day. They asked passengers to help scan the area around the ship, but it was a fairly bumpy day with 5-10' seas and whitecaps which made visual scanning for someone next to impossible. Obviously, the stop in Mallorca was cancelled, but I was not terribly dissappointed because the stops didn't seem all the interesting.

What I liked most about the cruise? It's a big ship. There was always someplace to go but if you went up to the pool deck it was crowded. The outdoor bars were very busy but I thought the bartenders did an excellent job of keeping up with everyone. Food was good as expected and if you wanted to complain about something, it would be how crowded the dining areas were. However, during peak times, they did an excellent job of having many different serving areas stocked and available.

My biggest complaints? I am a nature person and I was dissappointed that there were no nature or outdoor oriented excursions. Most of the popular stops were insanely crowded and you had to go out of your way to find someplace that was not crowded. My biggest dissappointment was in the Cirque de Dreams performance. The performance was excellent. No complaints there, but we paid extra for priority seating and my seat was in the very back where it was extremely difficult to see. Even though we paid for priority seating, we were just stuck where ever there was space and even though we were there 15 minutes early, we had to stand our ground to be seated together.

So overall, it was a good cruise with several very enjoyable moments. However, this was largely offset by the crowds which we knew going in would be considerable. Barcelona was by far the most enjoyable city and I wish we would have spent an extra 3-4 days there when we disembarked. Good? Yes. Would I do it again? No, but I'd go back to Barcelona in a heartbeat.
AllenO’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 12148
The cabin was on the small side but it was fine. The oddest thing was that there was not a bathroom, per se. The shower was in one separate space and the commode was opposite the shower with a sink just outside the shower. However, the drawer and closet space was very adequate. Most dissappointed that the staff would not open the divider between our balcony and our neighbor's who we were traveling with.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins