We did the Norwegian Epic cruise out of Barcelona, Spain on July 14 - July 21, 2019. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about the cruise after reading so many negative reviews on cruise critic BUT it was WONDERFUL!!! In fact, I joined cruise critics roll call and was able to gain a lot of insight from other travelers on what to do and things that others had learned. We are avid cruisers and Disney is one of our favorite cruise lines but we decided to do Norwegian because of the price.
I will attempt to give an overview. We boarded in Barcelona. We took a cab from the airport to the port. It was a fixed price of 36 or 39 euros. Check in was so smooth and fast! I did the on-line check in prior to us leaving and it was one of the fastest check-ins that I have experienced. The ship was very well maintained. I did not see dirty or stained areas. We were on floor 8 in a balcony cabin. I did not care for the lay out of the room but we only got ready and slept in the room. There were 3 of us in our cabin. I did not like the frosted shower-like doors for the toilet area but we lived with it. Once again, we just got ready and slept in the room.
The dining was amazing. We had 3 free specialty dinings (for the first 2 of us) and we paid for my daughter. We ate at La Cucina, Le Bistro, and Cagney's. The food and service was superb. This was our first time to ever do any extra charge restaurants because I think you already have so much on a cruise, but since it was free, we tried it. I will say we loved it!! You felt so special, at ease and relaxed and knew you had one-on-one service. BUT, there free dining is also amazing. There is such a variety of foods. The buffet had a different them each night. (Mexican, Mediterranean, Grilled, Italian and I don't remember the others.) Also, there was a person making fresh, made to order crepes at the buffet. That may have been all nights but I used it Tuesday - Thursday for sure. Everyone in the dining rooms and dining areas were very attentive. The dining rooms and buffet areas were beautiful. They all had windows where you could look out and view the water. The front dining room at The Garden Cafe buffet was beautiful and all windows. LOVELY VIEWS!! The food reminded me of when we first started cruising 20+ years ago and that was what you looked forward to.
Cabin was nice but I did not like the layout of the room with the toilet and shower on each side of the room as soon as you walk in. The sink is out in the open in the room. Beds did seem a little short because they were in sort of a curved position. The cabins were OK but I would have changed the way the shower and toilet were like in their own little shut off closet and placement of sink if I could. :)
We visited Rome 3 years ago and spent several days there so we had seen a lot of what there was to see. We got off the boat and paid for a bus to Rome. There were bus operators when you got off at the port so there were many wanting our business. We paid 23 Euros each (cash only, no credit cards) and the bus drove us to Rome and let us off at a central point not too far from the Vatican. They told us to be back at the same point for pick up by 3:45 and we were free to do whatever we wanted on our own. We looked, went back to Trevi fountain, and a few more of the popular tourist spots and just did our own thing. Between the paper maps from the bus company and our GPS on the phones, we were able to get around without any problems. This was a DIY day for us.