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

Norwegian Epic - Amazing ports of call in the Med and mediocre ship

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by vekacruiser

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

I chose this ship specifically for the Itinerary (Barcelona, Cannes, Florence, Palma De Majorca, Rome, Naples). I had read about the weird bathroom configuration, but figured it wouldn't be too much of a big deal. I booked an Aft Balcony on the 13th floor.

I had major issues with booking dining reservations prior to the cruise. I used a travel agent, who booked our dining reservations the DAY it was available to do so. She had a confirmation of these reservations of ours as well as the other couple we traveled with. I happened to notice on our e-documents (the week we sailed) that there were NO dining reservations. I called the cruise line, and they told me I had to go through my travel agent-she spend a long time trying to sort this out and somehow her confirmation didn't save on the cruise line server and we scrambled having to rebook all dining.

I have been on over 12 cruises on other lines and this was my first Norwegian cruise. It had exactly the itinerary I wanted so I ended up booking this ship and was told the "bathrooms were weird". I wish that was all I had to say about the ship. After checking out my balcony aft stateroom I began to notice rust on all the railings and very large areas of blue paint missing on the upper decks on the back of the ship. The carpets were dirty with large stains going down the hall and the weird bathroom had vinyl plank flooring that was buckling from the water that comes out the shower. The shower drained very slowly to point it almost overflowed into the cabin.

We had the upgraded dining package and all of the specialty restaurants were very good with good service. The Manhattan Room was terrible. No one ever came to take our drink orders or even serve us water. We sat for a very long time and finally the waiter came over and we told him we had been sitting a very long time and he could have cared less. The head waiter came over and we told him how long we had waited for anyone to come over and he joked and said that just gave us more "time to look at the restaurant and spend with him"...This turned out to be a almost 2.75 hour ordeal to just get served food in one of the main dining rooms.

Compared to some of the other ships I have been on I found the ship to appear very dated with very unattractive main areas with the feeling that the ceilings are very low. My husband is 6'6 and he had to duck everywhere we went on the ship so that he did not hit the exit signs at at times the ceilings.

With the exception of one great bartender, I have to say this was the worse, rudest bartending staff I have ever encountered. I ordered a cocktail by the pool on the very back of the ship while sunbathing and saw this waiter proceed to go and take orders for a very long time before even going to the bar. I flagged down another waiter to ask him to please find the waiter so that I could get my drink and go as I had to get ready for a dinner reservation and finally about 10 minutes later the original waiter showed up with a watered down drink and pretty handed it to me and muttered something under his breath and left. This was very typical of the bar staff I encountered. The speciality dining room waiters were very good and the service was good and responsive and the food very good.

You must know that Florence and Rome are at least 1.5 hours away from the ports we visited so you must make some sort of excursion prior to visiting as you can't take a taxi to the city. We picked "Rome and the Colosseum" that was a very long 10 hours tour that was described as seeing some sights of Rome and focusing on the Colosseum. Out of the whole day we spent exactly 22 minutes in the Colosseum where most of our group was in the very long line for the restrooms as they failed to really allot time during the trip for restroom breaks etc. I like the Trevi Fountain, lunch, the Vatican, and the Roman Forum...but if you pay hundreds of dollars to actually spend time in the Colosseum you want to spend more than 22 minutes there total. It was a huge disappointment. Additionally, they offer a "Florence Hop on Hop Off bus tour" but fail to tell you at all that buses really aren't allowed at all in the city. Why would anyone do this tour? We had it booked originally but I happened to notice one review on that tour the week we were cruising and noticed that it didn't even go into the city at all. When I called the customer service line they were not helpful and pretty much were verging on rude as far as communication.

I was undecided about which cruise ling to take on this itinerary and really wish I would have gone on this site prior to making my decision and done my research. I have been told by my friends who cruise Norwegian often (after I took this cruise and discussed it with them) that Norwegian completely redid the ship layouts after they launched the Epic. I may cruise with them again, but only on a much newer ship after much research.

vekacruiser's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Aft-Facing Balcony
Cabin B1 13289

Rusty balcony on the balcony and the back railings of the ship. The carpet had dirt stains on it and the vinyl plank flooring was buckled from water damage. TERRIBLE bathroom layout-zero privacy.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

At first we traveled along the beautiful Amalfi Coast and stopped in Amalfi and had a wonderful lunch. We then went to Pompeii and saw the ruins.

View All undefined undefined Reviews

They should actually let you spend more than 22 minutes in the Colosseum. We visited Trevi Fountain, the Vatican, The Roman Forum and The Colusseum...for 22 minutes. The name was very deceiving.

View All 193 Colosseum Reviews
Florence (Livorno)

LOVED the city of Florence. Very clean and lots of history.

Monaco & Village of Eze

Loved the village of Eze as well as Monaco. Very nice excursions and really enjoyed it.

View All 27 Monaco & Village of Eze Reviews

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