I chose this cruise because I wanted to have a Barcelona land and a Mediterranean cruise vacation. We arrived in Barcelona four days prior to cruise which began Sunday, October 20, 2019. We also stayed on in Barcelona an additional two days after the cruise to do more sightseeing. Barcelona has wonderful sights to fill several days of sightseeing. Prior to the cruise we took a Viator guided small group tour to Montserrat Monastery with hike and cable car and saw the boys choir (mini-van central pickup location), a Headout (Amigo Tour) guided tour of Sagrada Familia (meeting point a little hard to find across from Sagrada Familia), a full day Viator tour by minivan (inoutbarcelonatour) with guide Arnau to Girona and the Dali Museum. We loved all these tours. Every guide was very knowledgeable about the places we were at. We learned so much about Gaudi at the Sagrada Familia Tour and all about Dali driving to Girona and Figures, Dali Museum. Arnau pointed out very interesting details at the Dali Museum. I was surprised how much my husband even liked this art museum. One thing I learned on this vacation is tour guides are a must to appreciate fully what you are viewing. As long as you are all the way there pay the extra money!! We did do Gaudi's Park Guell, LaPedrera and Casa Batllo after the cruise. All are a must see!
Our cruise was truly enjoyable. This was my third Norwegian cruise and Epic is twice the size of the smaller 2,500 passenger ships I was on previously, most recently February 2019 on the Norwegian Sky to Cuba (before they stopped cruising there). The main difference I noticed is the larger Epic ship has far better and more entertainment options in the evening-Cirque (Soleil) Dreams, Priscilla Queen of the Desert Musical, Comedy and Magic, Stand up Comedy, Motown Group, Epic Beatles (great Beatles cover band) with Beatles costumes, Burn the Floor (fabulous dance) and more that I did not have time to see--Bruno Mars cover, etc. When you are getting up at 6:30 a.m. to get breakfast before meeting your 8:00 a.m. excursions you don't necessarily want to stay up to midnight every night to catch every show available. However on the night prior to a sea day and a late arrival to Palma de Mallorca we certainly did!! Some shows accept reservations so I recommend making them. The shows that did not take them you had no problem just walking in. One night we did 3 shows walking in.
I never ate at the specialty restaurants. The food was great at the complimentary ones with the exception of the biscuits and gravy my husband ordered one day for breakfast in Taste. It was three link pork sausages sitting on a biscuit with a few tablespoons of gravy. Otherwise everything was top service and fantastic food. Better service than most restaurants I have been in. My main complaint of this cruise is most restaurants are located on floor six by the casino where you can smoke. I did not appreciate walking through the casino and smoke to reach the restaurants!
It did not have a full to floor sea view on balcony but I was fine with it. Sitting on the chair I could see land fine. Enough light came in patio sliding door for me. Balcony had an electric light and walls which really protected you from the wind. Room was very quiet. Room Steward was wonderful.. Only drawback is you are at very front of ship so if walking bothers you it could be an issue. I have attached a picture looking out at a long boat dock.