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Norwegian Epic Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
4,228 Reviews

Amazing Solo European-Palooza!

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Sugarval16

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: the Western Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony

This trip began as a Casino Certificate Cruise, but grew to be sooooo much more! I had a comped balcony Deck 12 Mid. Cabin was perfect. No need to upgrade on this itinerary as it is such a port intensive sailing. I did purchase the Spa Thermal Pass for the week as I was traveling solo and thought I would enjoy spending time in the spa after the long days of touring. Well, to my surprise, I ended up only using it 3 times as I met such wonderful people here on my Cruise Critic Roll Call whom I spent so much time with! As a solo traveler, I was very hesitant to try independent shore excursions due to the whole, I am in a foreign country and worried about getting back to the ship in time.... well, that fear was completely unfounded. I joined in with my fellow Cruise Critic friends on some Independent excursions that were amazing!! In Italy, we used Italytours.eu .. and I cannot think of words amazing enough to describe them. They were completely professional, educational, reliable, stress-free... Their vehicles were top of the line vans. Their Drivers and tour guides were all so very passionate about their jobs. My experience with them was nothing short of amazing! I wish their company was available in ALL the ports.. I would have used them for everything! I. boarded in Barcelona, where I had spent a few days prior to the cruise exploring on my own. Boarding process was quite simple. Only thing I would have to say was not my favorite thing about this trip was that they had people boarding in Barcelona, and then another debarkation and embarkation a few days later on our Rome date. So, there was not that feeling of everyone being on the same trip for a week. It was a continuous trip for the crew. And just as you got to know people, they would leave and new people would get on. So, that was a bit weird. As well as the lack of the big Welcome Aboard... we boarded into the casino area and just blended into the already in motion day. So, it lacked the excitement of the beginning of your vacation.... But, that was the ONLY negative thing I have to say about this trip! We ate in both Main Dining Rooms and the food was consistently good. We also ate in O'Sheehans and the Noodle Bar. I Never Ate in the Buffet!! That was a first for me! I usually love the Buffets... but this one was INSANELY busy. I chose to utilize O'Sheehans for breakfast before our Excursions each morning and it was a perfect choice. I highly recommend this option. I ended up not doing the specialty dining option as many of my new friends did not have this included on their packages, and I chose to spend time with them, rather than dine alone. Now, spending time in the casino was expected of me.. and I tried.. but alas, the tables were COLD AS ICE. I never saw anyone winning at any point during my week on the ship. I wisely gave up trying to win back what I donated midway through the trip. Sometimes it is just not meant to be! And honestly, with the early morning rising for the shore excursions, there just weren't enough hours in the day to do it all! One other tip I will give for Shore Excursions - I did do a few Ship Excursions because I could not find anyone doing a private one for the experiences I wanted to do. Cinque Terre, Italy - This is an option for the Livorno Port. - Most people were doing Florence. I wanted to see this magical place instead...and it did not disappoint. Be aware that the many mentions of this excursion requires you to not have any mobility issues is very true. There are many steps, and lots of walking on uneven ground. There were a few folks on the excursion who had bad knees, and this was definitely Not the happy experience they were expecting! Otherwise...if you have the chance to choice this excursion.. do it! Stunning!!!. Cannes, France - I wish I had known how beautiful and accessible the beaches are from the port. There was actually one right at the end of the dock! But if you took a local bus (4 euros for a full round trip ride) you could head down to a public beach with some more amenities... OR you could chose to pay a few euros at one of the plentiful hotel beaches and have a lounger, umbrella and waiter service. The water was amazing... and that is one place I wish I had planned a little better for. I hope this helps anyone who may be on the fence about doing a Solo European Itinerary... Do it! You won't regret it!!!

Sugarval16's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 12234

Clean, Comfortable, Convenient to elevators. I would say it would be perfect for 2 adults... but would be tight for more than that.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Private Tour

We did the Full day Pompeii, Sorrento, Positano. A small group of 13. We were picked up at the Port by Giancarlo, from Italytours. Exactly where they said they would be. We drove to Pompeii where we were introduced to our personal guide - supplied by Italytours also. She took us around Pompeii and was very knowledgable. We then got back into the van (Mercedes Sprinter) and headed to Sorrento. Driver pointed out some great spots along the way... and tip... make sure you are sitting on the Right hand side of the vehicle for the best view! Once in Sorrento, we had about an hour or so for some independent touring and lunch. We had the best pizza ever at Pizzeria Aurora. The service was quick and efficient. Best Tomatoes!! We then got back into the Van and headed towards Positano. We stopped at an amazing lookout point were we all were able to get some great photos. We then headed back to the ship. Excellent experience!

View All 96 Private Tour Reviews
Private Tour

Met at the ship by our driver. Small group of 8 for a Full Day in Rome. Our Van was comfortable, clean and new. Our Driver was very friendly, knowledgable and safe! She took us to a few lookout spots for some great photos.... We stopped at the Colleseum first, where a few of our group had purchased tickets to go in for a guided tour. A few of us did not, so we had some free time to wander around. We then headed to the Vatican where we were met by our Amazing tour guide. She was an artist, and her passion for what she did really shined through. I was blown away by our time there. We then stopped at the Trevi Fountain where we were given free time to have lunch and wander. We had about 1 hour and a half. We ended up having time to also stop at the Spanish steps. Another plus of booking the private tours was that their vehicles are small and the drivers know how to maneuver the narrow roads getting us closer to our destinations.

View All 157 Private Tour Reviews
Cinque Terre

After doing 2 private tours, I was definitely spoiled. Having to deal with the larger group of a cruise tour meant moving slower and longer bathroom stops. However, it was not awful... just not as exclusive ;). This ended up being my favorite location of the trip. The beauty of Cinque Terre is not to be missed! I fully plan on booking a trip to come back and spend a week here!

View All 99 Cinque Terre Reviews

Loved this port. Just wish I had planned better for spending time on the plentiful beaches

Quick tour by bus of the town ending at the beach of Majorca. We also ended up getting some Tapas in the town which was amazing!!

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