Why Norwegian Epic - we chose the Norwegian Epic, as we found a package deal on it with one of the travel agents in Dublin. Both of us have been curious about cruise holidays in recent years, so figured this was a good way time to give it ... Read More
Why Norwegian Epic - we chose the Norwegian Epic, as we found a package deal on it with one of the travel agents in Dublin. Both of us have been curious about cruise holidays in recent years, so figured this was a good way time to give it a go!
Check in and embarkation - very quick, dealing with courteous helpful staff along the way - very welcoming! We checked in our main luggage on arrival at the ship and just kept our hand luggage with us - keeping a pair of shorts and tshirt and swim wear had we felt like hitting the pool, was handy in the end as others had previously advised - our main luggage was at our room later that afternoon, not as late as we thought it would have been - good organisation on Norwegian's part!
After emabarkation - we were able to use the pool area and bar and Courtyard/Garden Café buffet area as soon as we embarked on the ship. We grabbed lunch and a drink and chilled out in the Barcelona sun. The Daily paperwork which we were given on embarkation stated that the cabins are usually ready by about 1.30pm - we went with this time and decided to go check out our cabin (9246).
Cabin (9246) - ready at 1.30pm (as we had read on the Daily) and our luggage was sitting outside the door awaiting us. We had selected an inside cabin as we felt we would not be in the room too often to gain full benefit from a balcony room or a cabin window. This was fine for the most part in the end - the only negative I found to the inside cabins was the lighting for applying make up etc. The darkness of the cabin in the mornings allowed for sleep in's where they were required (we're more the relaxing holiday type than the up early for sightseeing each day type). I survived though and don't think I scared too many away with my makeup in the end!!! :) The room size was fine with room under the bed to store empty suitcases once I had unpacked things into the considerably spacious storage in the room. The toilet was in a cubicle to the left as we walked in and there was a very spacious shower cubicle to the right - the shower I must say was great, brilliant power in it. There is a red curtain separating the entry door/toilet cubicle/shower cubicle area from the rest of the room which contains the wardrobe, other storage, sink, mirrors and bed. The bed consisted of two single beds pushed together but has to have been the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in on holiday! The room was always kept very clean and tidy by our cabin steward, Eva - not sure the same could be said for myself and my boyfriend!!!
Food - we found the food in all areas good. I particularly loved the selection and quality of food in the Garden Café. My boyfriend was excited to try some of the deserts on offer here but wasn't that impressed by many of them in the end. I loved the whipped chocolate ice cream available in numerous parts of the Garden Café / Courtyard (outdoor area). We also tried other food areas as follows:
Manhattan Dining Room - this was a nice setting, nice menu, however I think they try to go a little over the top. My pasta was a little on the lukewarm side and I wasn't overly impressed by the fish starter I got either. My boyfriend wasn't raving about the food afterwards either. However, we did enjoy the setting and the band playing in the background, and the service was pretty good.
Taste Dining Room - the menu and setting here is quite like the Manhattan Dining Room. Again, we were not overly impressed but would still return for one night if we were on the ship again. The service here was a little on the slower side but they did seem very busy that night. And the waitress couldn't have apologised more for any delay.
Spiegel Tent (for the Cirque Dreams show) - the three course meal we had here was lovely. The starter of bruschetta was nice, the steak was cooked perfectly and the selection of mini deserts was lovely also.
Shangai Chinese - I loved this, almost moreso for the atmosphere in it. The food is good, although my boyfriend wasn't as fussed. Service is ok, not as friendly as some other parts but nothing to complain about either. This, I believe was a speciality restaurant in the past, but due to its popularity, is now complimentary.
O'Sheehans - the food her was good. We ate here on two occasions, getting nachos, hot dogs, fish/chips. Nothing amazing, but perfectly edible. As this was 24/7, one of the nights my boyfriend stayed up later than myself, he decided to drop in and order a burger before finishing up for bed. The waiter took his order and came back with his pint of beer. A few minutes later, my boyfriend decided to go to the bathroom - when he returned his beer was gone and two women were sitting at his table. There was no sign of his burger. He spoke to the manager on duty about this who offered to put in a new order for a burger and get him another pint of beer but at this stage, he decided it was just bed time.
Entertainment - we checked out the following:
Cirque Dreams - this was amazing and combined with the three course meal included in the price, it is definitely worth the extra money! I am so glad we did this - it was probably the highlight of my week. The acrobats and acts have some skills and talent!
Priscilla Queen of the Desert show - this was very disappointing. I had heard from friends at home that this was in Dublin before and was worth seeing - I am just glad we had not paid extra for this one!
Epic Beatles - had heard lots about these and we managed to see them in the Cavern Bar towards the end of our week on the ship. They were very good but I think I had built my expectations a little too high. If you're keen on going to see these, be sure to be there to avail of a good seat at least an hour before they're due to play - this tiny little bar gets very busy!
Spice H2O party nights - we went to the White Night party here, as well as the Fabba and Latin night - each of these were very good. This bar is at the back of the ship and you are at sea while they are on so best to bring a cardigan/little jacket. There also tends to be a bit of a toilet/pipes like smell at times there but it bothered my boyfriend more than me!
Duelling Pianos act in Headliners - we only caught these on our very last night on the ship and were sorry we had to cut our night short there due to an early rise the next day to disembark. Benji in particular in this act is brilliant and very entertaining - definitely check this out! They can literally sing any song requested of them!
Other musicians in bars inside - Shakers Martini Bar seemed to have good musicians playing at it and there was a guy playing guitar at Maltings Whiskey and Beer Bar that was good too.
Overall service - we found that there weren't really many staff in particular that really stood out to us bar one in particular. Gede at the Cascades bar made the biggest impression on us, and just because of his polite, quiet but friendly manner. Whent the bar was quieter, he made more of an effort to come back to our side and chat to us - he knew when to leave us to ourselves and knew when to chat to us about our day, etc. We got on great with him and miss the chats!
Disembarkation - this was super quick and very well organised also. Only negative point here is, we just did not want to leave the ship!!!! Read Less