Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Debradms
- Sail Date: August 2011
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Embarkation at Barcelona was quick and easy and our stateroom was ready almost immediately. The room was very clean and contained everything we needed, although in order to cram in as many cabins as possible NCL have given them the minimum amount of space.
As always, we found the dining options, service, public areas and entertainment to be of a very high standard, although I would recommend booking for the Blue Man Group before you go to be sure of getting in.
We choose NCL because of the Freestyle dining and on this trip we visited four of the 'speciality' restaurants and enjoyed each one, especially the Tappenyaki which is great fun.
What we didn't enjoy on this cruise was the extortionate cost of drinks and services e.g. $36 for an average bottle of wine and $25 for a spinning class in the fitness centre. Don't even get me started on the price of excursions!
Our experience of cruising has taught us that prices are higher than normal, having a captive audience appears to give them licence to charge whatever they want to but such high costs and the addition of 18% gratutity on everything you purchase (on top of the $12 per person per day service charge) is forcing us to consider whether the overall cost of cruising with NCL is really worth the money.
This is such a shame as we have receommended this cruise line to lots of people and continue to believe that their format is a winnner but we object to being ripped off!
It contained all of the facilities we expected but the layout of the cabin was a bit cramped and the 'bathroom' setup was was very strange, with the sink in the bedroom and the shower and toilet cubicles separated by a curtain.
The balcony was more spacious than we've had before and necessary to prevent the room from feeling claustrophobic.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Florence (Livorno)Port is very industrial and at least one hour drive from Florence, although Pisa can be reached within 15-20 minutes.View All 933 Florence (Livorno) Cruise Port Reviews
No services or anything of interest in the port area but Florence is a lovely place and well worth the time it takes to get there.
We did a shore excursion and although the guide was good, the group size was too big and we wasted a lot of time waiting around for people who were late arriving back at meeting points. This meant our stop to see the leaning tower allowed us only enough time to take some photos and buy a drink to take with us back to the bus.
Lots of places of interest here but the exceursion, which included lunch, was over priced and poor value for money.
View Cruise Critic's Florence (Livorno) Cruise Port Review
NaplesOur rating for this port is based on the places you can visit from here e.g. Capri and Sorrento, which are both lovely places and easy to get to independently as the ship docks right next to the ferry ticket office.View All 1,231 Naples Cruise Port Reviews
The centre of Naples itself we weren't too keen on as we found it dirty and uncared for but the Bay of Naples was lovely.
Given a choice and a limited amount of time, Capri would be somewhere we would definitely visit again.
View Cruise Critic's Naples Cruise Port Review
Palma de MallorcaWe walked from the ship to the city, approx. 30 minutes to the Cathedral along a pathway next to the coastline.View All 667 Palma de Mallorca Cruise Port Reviews
Palma is an easy place to get around but we took a train to Soller, where we've stayed before, and had lunch in a lovely taverna overlooking the sea.
The return journey was by taxi though to make sure we arrived back in time!
View Cruise Critic's Palma de Mallorca Cruise Port Review
Rome (Civitavecchia)Rome is one of our favourite cities and one we are very familiar with so we knew we could make our own way there and see the sites for far less than the price of a shore excursion.View All 1,881 Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Reviews
We took the express train from the port to Termini station, from where the Metro is quick and easy for access to the rest of the city.
Vatican City is just a short journey away and Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona are all within walking distance of each other so very easy to get around everything.
This is a beautitul city and to visit in one day could never do it justice but we managed to see everything for a fraction of the cost that NCL were charging.
View Cruise Critic's Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Review