114 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Entertainment Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

We choose the NCL Epic from previous experience on the Jade few years ago that was very good for family with kids. But the Epic was very disappointing, the room was tiny and not comfortable. We ordered a balcony room for family and the ... Read More
We choose the NCL Epic from previous experience on the Jade few years ago that was very good for family with kids. But the Epic was very disappointing, the room was tiny and not comfortable. We ordered a balcony room for family and the shower is in the entrance of the room with only curtain that gives you privacy. The sink is in the middle of the room. After opening the bed there is no way to the balcony. And if got stuck outside the room 30 min until maintenance came to change batteries in the lock. The show except the circus are not for kids. And if you want to see something in the circus show you have to pay 50$ for person to see something. The bowling is fron age 6 and cost 7$ for a player which not written anywhere until you get there. The buffet is ok but not something to remember. As I wrote at rhe beginning we choose the NCL because they are known for their freestyle cruises and spouse to be for families but except for the youth program (Splash) and few slides at the pool we didn't find something truly exciting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I am writing this review as a second time cruiser with NCL (I did the NCL Star last year): we are a couple in the thirties and have been on this 7-day cruise departing from Barcelona and enjoyed it very much overall I must say! ... Read More
I am writing this review as a second time cruiser with NCL (I did the NCL Star last year): we are a couple in the thirties and have been on this 7-day cruise departing from Barcelona and enjoyed it very much overall I must say! Embarcation was very fast, we did the check-in online so it was a matter of being given the card to enter the ship and that was it. Took about 15 minutes from the taxi to the Atrium in Deck 5. At the time we enter the ship our cabin was ready to go so we did the unpacking straight away. Food Food was not a surprise since we cruised with NCL before, so we felt like almost the same dishes were being served but it did not matter for us, it was tasteful enough, waiters were helpful in general, no disappointments. Just a little thing, the two times we dined in the Manhatan the waiters were not as kind as in the Taste somehow, it felt like they were rushing us to finish our meal. I would say it might have been bad luck for us or something, but nothing to worry too much to be honest. Entertainment Burn the Floor - Outstanding! We enjoyed it very much! Priscilla - OK but too long for my taste. Cirque - We bought the non-premium seats and we could enjoy all the performances without any obstructions. The food was very nice, we thought though that the food would be served during the performance but we ended up to eat before the show started. The only problem was the lack of room to accommodate 6 people in such a small sized table. It got to the point the person next to my wife did not know which water cup belonged to. I liked the fact that some performances were assisted by random cruisers in the tent to perform in the comedy show, it was very funny and entertained us a lot! Epic Beatles: I'm not a big fan of them although I must admit they do a very good show! my wife loved them. We saw 3 shows with them and enjoyed a lot. The show with the violin and the mascarenhas/dancer performers (can't remember their artistic names) was mind blowing we attended 2 shows, excellent!! Aqua park Water tubes were awesome! but be sure to be there early in the morning as the queue can build up quite quickly. My preferred (more intensive) was the green tube then the one were we could ride with the inflatable donut style. Swimming pool were lightly heated so you might not expect a thermal shock as I normally have. Jacuzzis were not as crowded as we expected and we could be there til late as we pleased. We felt rules were relaxed in terms of bringing drinks to the jacuzzi as many people did it without beeing asked not to, which is nice. It was also very easy and quick to find sun loungers too. Overall: Despite a lot of negative reviews about this ship in this forum we could not find any issues pointed out perhaps this might be because at this time of the year there are not many kids around so the vessel is not that crowded and noisy. No long queues anywhere for us, no seats finding problems on the shows either, nice food, great staff. Next cruise on the way with NCL again for sure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is my third time to cruise with Norwegian and it was the worst experience ever, I couldn’t find anything positive about my 7-Day Western Mediterranean from Barcelona trip. The staffs were not friendly, food choices were limited and ... Read More
This is my third time to cruise with Norwegian and it was the worst experience ever, I couldn’t find anything positive about my 7-Day Western Mediterranean from Barcelona trip. The staffs were not friendly, food choices were limited and taste was below average, nothing to do on the ship and the room set up was lock of common sense, for example, they put a sink on outside table so when u use the sink, it was very easy to splash water all over the counter. The TV set was on the top shelf so u had to raise your head to watch tv, after awhile, your neck hurts. The shore excursions were very expensive, we paid $160 p.p. just for the transportation between the port and going to Rome. It was a very expensive cruise because we also had to fly from L.A. to Barcelona and stay at the hotel to get ready, we would NEVER do any European cruise again. It was a huge disappointment and we will are done with Norwegian as well. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it was our 20th anniversary and it was on our bucket list to do this cruse. Overall, a very good trip, all ports were exciting. The ship: the bartenders at the Whiskey Bar, Joseph, Z, and Freddie were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was our 20th anniversary and it was on our bucket list to do this cruse. Overall, a very good trip, all ports were exciting. The ship: the bartenders at the Whiskey Bar, Joseph, Z, and Freddie were amazing, excellent service. There are a few things I think could be better, with the drink package, things like a latte, fresh squeezed juice should be included. Also, the buffet is very boring, and some of the staff that serves in the buffet are rude and lazy. The other restaurants were good. Again, the menus were not very blah. I have been on other cruises where the food is much much better. We tried the sushi place, which was La carte, that was very good, There were other la cartes but we didn't try them. Freestyle dining is nice they just need to work on the menu a bit more. Other than than, most of the staff work very hard to ensure everything is good and they take care of you. The Bliss nightclub is very nice and the DJ is awesome. Nice place to hang out We had a balconey cabin, it was very comfortable. The beds were very comfortable. Enetertainment crew were good, Mandy the crusie director is good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my first Mediterranean Cruise, but not my first experience with NCL. I found the Epic to be quite a glorious ship. Plenty of activities on board the ship to keep you busy if you chose to do so as well as plenty of quite spaces. ... Read More
This was my first Mediterranean Cruise, but not my first experience with NCL. I found the Epic to be quite a glorious ship. Plenty of activities on board the ship to keep you busy if you chose to do so as well as plenty of quite spaces. There was a variety of food, my choice for breakfast/lunch was the Garden Buffett, the food was always hot and good. My favorite restaurant was the the night we saw the Cirque Dream Epicurean(cover charge applies) the food and entertainment superb. O’Sheehan’s is a must for the fish&chip and Burgers. The Taste and Manhattan restaurants has great ambiance. I recommend as many shore excursions as possible, they are well organized and provide a good overview of each country Visited. I didn’t visit Rome because I had been there before, But do recommend Sorrento and Naples, Monaco and the View from Eze and Palma in death. Enjoy the Epic, Entertainment, and especially the views from the shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I laugh when I read some of these reviews from various experiences had by passengers. As in life, you can't please everyone. I am not moking anyone, just making a point that a cruise full of people will have various experiences. ... Read More
I laugh when I read some of these reviews from various experiences had by passengers. As in life, you can't please everyone. I am not moking anyone, just making a point that a cruise full of people will have various experiences. About myself, I cruised several times on 3 other NCL ships and Princess before including the beautiful Escape last summer to Bermuda. I am a male, 52 and travel with my Lady. I should also mention I was on a casino at sea cruise meaning it was comped by my affiliation with a casino so isaved some money and caught some nice promo's including reduced air. I did my research prior to booking knowing it was still summer weather in early September so everyday was as anticipated. Simply gorgeous! Most kids were be back at school so it was an older crowd. The destinations were spectacular for a 7 day cruise and we took advantage at every port. A quick rundown of everything related... We had a midship balcony. It was clean and served it purpose. I don't cruise to stay inside but it's nice to hang on the balcony before dinner or catcha sunrise or sunset. Dining was overall pretty good. We went to several restaurants including the specialty ones. Buffet food is as expected, good for a quick bite and readily available. Getting on the ship was near perfection. I walked up at 3:30 and was on the ship 10 minutes later. They don't load the ship completely at this port and there was only another ship or 2 in the port. Getting off took a little longer but moved along. took about 20 minutes. Activities and Entertainment is what you would expect on a typical cruise today. There are a few standouts like the Beatles cover band playing in the Cavern bar. They really packed them in with this crowd of English and American folks reliving the live music of an iconic band. The Cirque show was also entertaining as well as Burn the floor. The headliner bar had fun shows and a very good violinist show. The cruise director and staff get things rolling at sea with the live shows. This ship has a spectacular gym at sea. Plenty of everything to keep the weight down. A full basketball court and waterpark type water slide was present and never too busy to enjoy. Chairs were available on deck and the quiet space up top was a greatfind. I never felt the 4000 plus passengers on this sold out cruise to be an issue. I did plan ahead for the specialty restaurants and ate in a different place each night. Public areas were kept clean for the most part. Some bathrooms needed a little more attention later in the evening after shows let out. The casino was humming nightly and the smoke wasn't an issue. In fact, they had a great cigar lounge that I used daily and purchased a few cigars from the ship when I didn't feel like running back to the room for my own. Elevators were busier as expected during peak times and disembarktion. A ship this size could use a 3rd set for sure. Service was good to excellent depending on where you are. The lounges and outside bars kept things moving. The dining areas at peak times were a little slower for drink service now and again but overall pretty good. We arrived a day earlier to take the edge off the long flight and experienced Barcelona in a very nice hotel by the beach. We hired a private guide to see Gaudi's work of 3 projects including the Sagrada Familia which is a must see from inside. We used the ships excursions for 2 days in Rome visiting the catacombs and the beautiful Cinque Terre, booked my own on another 2 in Naples seeing the Amalfi coast and tour of Nice, Eze, Monaco and Montecarlo and rented electric bikes in Mallorca which was a great deal at 26 Euro a piece. We rode 10-12 km each way along the beach on a nice bike trail and made several stops for pictures, lunch and Gelato. All Great experiences. All in all, it was an excellent experience with few complaints and we were pleasantly surprised. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised on NCL many times. The Breakaway is an awesome ship with solid service. The Epic is the opposite in every way. Service is awful and staff, especially front desk, is rude, condescending and scattered (e.g. the first rep ... Read More
We have cruised on NCL many times. The Breakaway is an awesome ship with solid service. The Epic is the opposite in every way. Service is awful and staff, especially front desk, is rude, condescending and scattered (e.g. the first rep we talked with had no idea what the Posh Beach Club is). BTW, Posh is nothing like the amazing Vibe Beach Club on the Breakaway. It has no hot tub, just a boring, hot deck for which a pass costs way more than it's worth. The Epic cabins are old, musty and poorly designed; with the toilet separate from the sink which is unfortunately the first thing you see. The cheap glass door makes sounds & smells from the toilet a constant nuisance. The gym had two of three exercise bikes "out of order," the ice machines were constantly broken and the Garden Cafe was closed too many times to count. Great itinerary (Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Cannes, Palma) but overall, this is the worst NCL cruise we've ever taken. Epic Failure! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have just finished an amazing cruise on the Epic. We went with our two kids aged 10 and 7. This was our first cruise with kids but have done a couple of Cunard cruises with the two of us. Embarkation couldn't have been better - ... Read More
We have just finished an amazing cruise on the Epic. We went with our two kids aged 10 and 7. This was our first cruise with kids but have done a couple of Cunard cruises with the two of us. Embarkation couldn't have been better - we were on board within 30 minutes of getting out of the taxi. Thought the food was great throughout (although much preferred the sit down dining to the buffet as this was a bit hectic). I also really enjoyed the all inclusive beverage package with a great range of drinks available (including Newcastle Brown Ale on draught which I have never seen in the UK!) and delicious wine with lunch. The entertainment was fantastic - Priscilla was genuine west end standard, loved Burn the floor and all the other musicians and singers on board were really talented (especially Howl at the moon). It was busy on deck around the pool but we always got loungers and really enjoyed the waiter drinks service on deck. We did our own thing at the ports of call, which probably meant we missed the majority of the queues getting on and off - this was never really a problem for us. The cabin was comfortable but a too small for the four of us - there was very little space when the bunk bed was down but we didn't spend that much time in there so not too big a problem. All the EPL games were on TV which is a bonus if you like football. We booked most of the restaurants in advance but it was hard to walk up and get a table after about 8:30 (no issues earlier on) so we never managed to eat at Shanghai. The kids didn't want to do the kids clubs so just came along to all the entertainments with us - they loved it all too. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Myself and my friend had a week stay in Salou then jumped on board the Epic at Barcelona for a week. My first thoughts on day one was of excitement and thought the ship looked amazing. I couldn’t wait to sample all the ship had to offer. ... Read More
Myself and my friend had a week stay in Salou then jumped on board the Epic at Barcelona for a week. My first thoughts on day one was of excitement and thought the ship looked amazing. I couldn’t wait to sample all the ship had to offer. So here the story begins. We had paid for all inclusive. Including tips and “ultimate food and beverages package inc coffee” - Epic’s wording. Well this didn’t include every brand of alcohol (not that I’m a huge drinker). It only included coffee from the machine at the snack bar (which one cup could have tarred the whole M25) If you wanted a cappuccino or latte etc you had to pay extra. Also not all the restaurants were included in this all inclusive package either. Quite a few you had to pay extra for and pay an extremely handsome price too! We were told it was our travel agent that should have told us that all inclusive wasn’t actually all inclusive. And our ultimate drinks package wasn’t actually very ultimate. As for the food on board, what we did have we couldn’t fault at all. Next complaint......TOO MANY PEOPLE ON BOARD. Now I know what a can of sardines feels like. It just had far too many people on it. This just made it all feel like a huge cattle market. People had no manners and just barged there way in to anything. I have never seen so many rude and ill mannered adults and children in one place. I don’t think they realised that there was enough food to go round everyone about 10 times over. Next complaint- I had items stolen from my cabin. Nothing if any great value, just small gifts I had bought for my son and some friends. Maybe 40 euros in total so not a financial loss. Never got to the bottom of it. And lastly, if you did have anything to sort out (or complain about), you were never alone......the queue at guest services was never quiet or short. I wonder why!! The great thing about the cruise was getting off the ship and seeing some beautiful places. So folks....word of warning....double check and triple check what you are actually getting in your package before you board. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I wanted to write this review as its scared me to death reading all the bad reviews about this boat before, but looking deeper i realised that most bad reviews are made from Americans, and probably an older cliental. We are an english ... Read More
I wanted to write this review as its scared me to death reading all the bad reviews about this boat before, but looking deeper i realised that most bad reviews are made from Americans, and probably an older cliental. We are an english family with kids of 6 and 15, we loved this ship, we didnt want the holiday to end, my kids had the holiday of a lifetime, which is the reason i wanted to go, mostly for them. Ok it can get a bit noisy around the pool, but this boat is geared up for families, the kids were entertained so much, and my and my wife found time to relax, food fantastic, everywhere, we never went to specialty restaurants, just couldnt see the point, Manhattan and taste were superb, rooms brilliant, i thought all the shows were good, little tip, don’t bother with the magic show, it was really bad. Gym, awesome, we did a lot of the classes too Staff, all really good I would say 40% of us were brits, 40% Americans and the rest a mix of Europe and middle east So for anyone thats been reading the bad reviews, relax, my 3rd cruise all with different ships and i felt this one was great, i would go back Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This itinerary through Italy, Spain, and Cannes was really appealing to us. Checked off a lot of boxes for us. Cruising allowed us to visit many sites (Pompeii, Vatican, Florence, and more) conveniently. I am a teacher and I have a ... Read More
This itinerary through Italy, Spain, and Cannes was really appealing to us. Checked off a lot of boxes for us. Cruising allowed us to visit many sites (Pompeii, Vatican, Florence, and more) conveniently. I am a teacher and I have a very defined time that I can travel each summer. This specific schedule fit our calendar perfectly. Our cabin was clean, the food was excellent, the ship set sail and docked efficiently and on time. The security of having record of us boarding and disembarking at each port gave us peace of mind. The cons for us was that the ship was crowded. And every time we had a question, no one could answer or resolve anything except going and standing in line at Guest Services. I must have done that once a day! They are most competent, but less than friendly. It was usually a demeaning experience! The other aspect of this trip that really got us started off in a less than relaxing manner was having us wait for nearly four hours on the ship, just milling around with our carry on luggage, without being able to go to our rooms. We were led to believe from all of the info sent to us that we would be separated from our luggage for a time period and to have things with us that we would need, but we were never alerted to the time lag for getting into our room and being able to chill a little. I'm sure there's some reason for it, but it was not a great start to our trip. We grew so weary of being nickel and dimed throughout the week. Internet should be included. $30/day for Internet access is ridiculous. So is the mini-bar charges for beer, wine, and other drinks that are available at no extra charge at the bar. There are so many ways you can streamline general operations to make things a little more convenient and relaxing for guests and still make your money. For the most part, I felt like cattle being herded around - on the boat, off the boat, into a bus, waiting for dinner (although I will say meals were handled quite efficiently and the dining staff really had wonderful, welcoming customer service skills!). I felt tolerated, not warmly welcomed. Others we spoke with along the way had the same general feeling. I can say that this cruise served its purpose for us. We might do another when we have some ground we want to cover. But the experience itself was not the quiet, relaxing vacation we anticipated. This was, by far, the most expensive vacation we have ever had and, frankly, expected a tad more welcoming and pampering, but really I was the most average overall experience we have had in our travels, except for the sites we got to see. Those we will remember! The staff works so very hard and I appreciate their effort so much. But one of the crew told me that they are signed on for one-year contracts and work with only two half-days off each week, for 10 months straight. I think they need some time off occasionally to recharge their batteries a little more for themselves and for the guests. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise because it offers solo cabins that are very comfortable, beautiful and affordable. The Embarkation and and disembarkation was outstanding. The individuals at each port and shore excursions go above and beyond to leave ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it offers solo cabins that are very comfortable, beautiful and affordable. The Embarkation and and disembarkation was outstanding. The individuals at each port and shore excursions go above and beyond to leave on time. The buses are coach motor buses, air conditioned, with tour guides that are super friendly and full of knowledge. My favorite tour was from Florence and Pisa. This ship is full of entertainment, activities, music and simply fun. The decor of this ship is amazing. The main dinning experience I loved, because there is no "set time" to eat. I felt very relax when it comes to dinning. The only negative thing I would add is that there is a need for more VEGAN or Vegetarian options...But I manage to go around the limitations. My cabin was outstanding and my room service lady (Jiotti) was amazing. She made sure my cabin was cleaned at all times (fresh towels, bed made, everything fresh). The solo VIP area was kept full of goodies, tea, ice, coffee, fruits, etc. I will book another trip with Norwegian. I want to note, that I will NOT book AIR with them. It was very complicated to arrange seats and to find my reservation. I had to do a lot of research. The flight back from Barcelona to JFK was a nightmare due to gate distances and I had to take a shuttle. Then the flight from JFK to FLL was another nightmare. Delays and gate changes. I will book my cruise with Norwegian, BUT NOT AIR... The trip was amazing and It was outstanding. I made TONS OF FRIENDS that our friendship will last forever. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with ... Read More
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with Carnival. Like many of my cruises, I sailed with my 76 yr old father who has some health issues. —And although, it’s a cruise to spend some father/son time together as we live in different states, he usually goes to bed quite early, and I enjoy the night life well into the wee hours of the morning… So, inevitably It ends up becoming a “singles” cruise for me. Before I describe the ship and everything else about this amazing cruise, I think it’s important to point out a Difference with Norwegian as I see them.... First off, this is not going to be a doom and gloom review... As I do view this cruise, and ship very favorably.... But I’ll start out with a fundamental disagreement that I have overall with NCL. As Compared to the other lines that I’ve sailed with....(Twice now with NCL), they are the Kings and Queens of overly casual. Very few people dress up. I guess that I’m a rare traditionalist millennial when it comes to this opinion....I wear a sport coat often to work, and that’s in south Louisiana where it’s needless to say, quite warm for most of the year. I also, as a bachelor enjoy when women take the time dress up. Cruising is the last romantic way to vacation. There’s something about going to sleep at 2AM with a bottle in your hand in the middle of a beautiful ocean and awaking in an exotic location somewhere in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Buuuuttt, in a nutshell, I guess that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “Freestyle Cruising”. —It’s not so much the dress attire that turns me off, it’s the fact that very little if anything is structured at all. For instance, virtually every other cruise line particularly my 2 favorites (Celebrity and MSC) have two main entrainment shows per night. —You organize your dinners(whether it’s a specialty restaurant, or one of the main dinning rooms around whichever show that you choose to attend.) —It’s a real simplistic way to cruise. There’s no overthinking it...It comes a little more natural. Freestyle cruising is more like trying to decide most of your shows, dinners, and evening hour activities on the first day of the cruise or even pre-cruise. Nothing is actually “freestyle” about it... You’re forced to decide your show times, or speciality restaurant times or even dinning room times in some cases by the end of the first evening unless you want your dinner at 11pm. I get what Norwegian is trying to do with freestyle cruising. —I understand that they want to give passengers options...And I truly see why they’ve had so much success doing this... **But I also see why other lines have been reluctant to head in their direction. And I get it now. ON TO THE POSITIVES: The EPIC might be the perfect cruise ship for the Mediterranean. It’s not quite Norwegian’s best or biggest ship. As I thought that the ESCAPE(which I sailed in 2017 was nicer and much more updated and had better social gathering points and creature comforts and cabins). But it has all of the things that modern cruisers want(including me). Plus your itinerary, and getting to see some of the cradles’ of civilization(especially those in Europe) is something to greatly credit. Although the ship holds over 4000 passengers, you rarely ever feel crowded. That’s a small advantage to a ship that was built 10 years ago, as opposed to some of the newer ships that are only a few years old that I’ve taken recently. The ship was also refitted 5 years ago... So you hardly notice any wear and tear at all. The ship also flows very well. Unlike some of the newest ships, there’s very few instances to where you can’t walk from one end of a deck to the other. —It really helps with getting around. EMBARKATION: A+ If you’re reading this about to take a Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona or Civitavecchia, do yourself a favor and opt-in on the transfer from the airport to the cruise port. —You can do this directly on the NCL website. Well worth the $50(round trip) per person. So $100 total for two people. We were sailing out of Barcelona and took the transfer charter bus from the Barcelona Airport to the cruise port(which took around 20-25 mins or so with traffic). —It’s only about 10 miles apart. It really is the easiest route to go. The cruise port check-in was a breeze. Maybe 20-25 mins from entering the port to stepping on the ship. Barcelona only has 3 cruise ships on a Sunday, so it doesn’t seem to back up with people quite as much as Miami, or Lauderdale. Also, we arrived pretty early at the port as our flight was a red-eye into Barcelona. (We were on one of the first transfer buses from the airport to cruise port)....And credit to Norwegian for allowing you into your stateroom by noon. It was great to set down cary-on bags and get a view of the stateroom before exploring the ship. THE SHIP ITSELF OVERALL: A- I found the ship pretty easily navigable. My advice would be to take the time to really explore the ship on the first day, and you should be pretty good to go by day two. I tend to explore any ship that I sail as much as I can on the first day and make it a point to have a drink at every bar. —That usually gets you around pretty well ;) My advice, if you’re sailing the Mediterranean, and flying in that day from the U.S., make sure to do a little exploring around the ship before you pass out for your cat nap before the vacation begins. STARTING FROM THE TOP The Pool Deck(s): A+ The Pool Deck is spacious, and really has A TON of deck chairs that they’ve found every nook and cranny to put in. Like most cruises, deck chairs fill up quickly with towel clips, bags, and magazines holding chairs for sometimes hours before they’re actually occupied. But, I legitimately found very little overcrowding on any of the pool decks(including the actual pool deck 15). There was always available lounge chairs at any time of day(including sea days). Like the majority of newer NCL ships, slides and kiddo pool areas take up a large portion of the deck, but they really weren’t a nuisance(even if you’re looking for less kids and more relaxation).... If somehow the slides or kid areas near the main pool do bother you, EPIC smartly made “Spice H20” which is a smaller pool deck towards the back of the ship also on deck 15. —It’s an adult only pool. But I seriously found plenty of relaxing areas in the main pool area. Spice H2O also has several nighttime parties throughout the cruise. There’s also a Pool deck up high(even if you’re not a Haven passenger) on Deck 18. You access this via the main pool deck right near the outdoor part of the Buffett. Not much on 18 except deck chairs. The Bars/Lounges/Clubs: A- EPIC really does have a solid variety of bars to satisfy most tastes. I really enjoyed “Shakers Martini Bar” as the best overall bar itself. VERY VERY good drinks. It’s also near several of the speciality restaurants on Deck 7, and is right above the casino and near the theater. “Shakers” also has several pianists who play sing along music in a subtle non-annoying way. My other favorite drinking spot on the ship was “Bliss Ultra Lounge”. It typically starts off in the evening as a karaoke bar, and transcends later in the night to a full night club. Trust me, if you’re young and single, this is most likely where you’ll find your cruise romance lol. There were other honorable mention bars as well. The main pool deck bar(name escapes me as I write) is one of the largest pool deck bars at sea. Although it’s probably one of the most crowded on the ship, again you rarely have to wait more than a min or two before your drink order is taken. Also, if you’re a big craft beer person, O’Sheeans Irish Pub is very popular. O’Sheeans also has bar food like wings, cheese sticks ETC... Casino, Shops, and General Areas B+  As it’s well published, NCL EPIC has one of, if not THE largest casinos at sea. It seems to go on over half of the entire Deck 6. Stretching from Manhattan Main Dinning Restaurant(rear of the ship) all the way to O’Sheeans Irish Pub(which is mid-to-forward of the ship) If you like the tables, slots, or simply watching the action like me, It’s truly a massive entertainment center of the ship. If you’re a player, this is YOUR SHIP. SHOPS: Some of you might not care much about the shopping of the ship considering the destinations within your itinerary. I found the shops decent. (Not great/not bad)… The best store in terms of variety on the ship is the cosmetics and fragrance store(don’t remember the name). The watch store also has a pretty good variety. Other than that, nothing really comes to mind. Seems to have fewer shops and duty free alcohol stores or much smaller than ships equal of Epic’s size. —Not a big deal as like me, I’m sure very few of you choose a ship for the shopping. GENERAL AREAS: The general areas on Epic are pretty good minus one glaring exception…The vast majority of newer ships have main promenades(which serve as the central gathering points of the interior of the ship). —You’ll typically have bars, a dance floor, restaurants nearby, and a view of either 3 or 4 decks at one time. --Those of you who like Celebrity know that that area of the boat is near the martini bar on Solstice Class ships, and the Edge. Those who like MSC know that that area is around the Swarovski Staircases. NCL EPIC doesn’t seem to know where to send people in the interior, and it almost spreads people out too thin, limiting the action and interaction between passengers. Again, seeming to cater to the “Freestyle” cruising idea. In other words, “you choose wherever you wanna go”....Even Norwegian’s newer ships like the ESCAPE do a better job having a true main promenade. Again, some of you might roll your eyes at that, or think that I’m knit-picking on that one. But, if you cruise often like me, and aren’t necessarily entirely loyal to one line, you might get what I’m trying to say. The interior of the ship is very very nice though with lot’s of variety. No complaints at all about the condition of the ship, or the décor. All very nice! –I’m sure that this was improved during the refitting in 2014-2015. THE FAMED AND CONTROVERSIAL EPIC STATEROOM LAYOUT DEBATE: B+ Like pretty much all cruise ship cabins, it was small and served it’s purpose. Like I said earlier, I am a 32 year old bachelor... and although I always get a balcony room on any ship that I sail on, I can’t tell you that I ever spend much time in my state room other than to sleep and get dressed. But, for what it’s worth, the state room was very nice, and modern. You are on a cruise ship to have a good time, and be around other people, and get some sun. —You can’t do any of those things by staying in your room. One huge plus is the closet/drawer space. —Amazing for your sized stateroom. On to the big debate about the bathroom lol... I’m sure that most of you have read the controversy over the bathroom set up. There is no doubt that many others have nailed the fact that it is definitely unconventional....The toilet is on one side of the entrance of the stateroom with a sliding fogged glass door for privacy. And the shower is virtually a twin copy of that on the other side. Then, the sink is just outside of the shower openly in the stateroom. —I really think people overly pan this situation unfairly. —It’s really not that bad. One big argument to play the devils advocate for those hatters of this situation is that if you’re a married couple, one spouse can shower while the other is using the sink to get ready without being on top of each other like you’d be in a regular cruise bathroom. Also throw a kid into the room with that couple, and it’s logical and realistic that a wife can be doing her makeup at the sink, the husband is showering, and the kid can still use the bathroom all at the same time without stepping on each other. What other conventional stateroom can you do that in??? It’s really NOT THAT BAD. Buuuuutttt, strange layout nonetheless. THE PASSENGERS AND CREW: A+ This cruise had a very fun crowd! I was absolutely shocked at how many millennials and Gen-“X”ers were on this cruise considering the expense for American’s to take a Mediterranean cruise, and the added costs associated with traveling to get to Europe in the first place. But, there were many young professionals on the ship. Norwegian seems to do a great job at attracting younger passengers without stooping to the spring break Carnival college kid crowd. Although there were lots of younger people on the ship, NOT ONE AGE GROUP seemed to dominate the masses. One of the most balanced cruise crowds that I’ve ever seen. I was shocked at how balanced the crowd was. Also, tons of single millennials on the ship to hang out/flirt with. I’m not saying that I was necessarily looking for a “target rich” environment… But It certainly makes things more interesting if you catch my drift haha. ***Although, I have no data to back up my numbers…. I would guess that the age of passengers on the ship was: 30% Gen X, 25 % Millennials, 20% Baby Boomers, 15% Seniors, 10% Gen Z/Children Nationalities on board were: 45% of passengers were American, 40% European, 10% Latin-American, 5% from other parts of the world. Crew: I cannot say enough great things about the EPIC staff! These people, no matter whether they’re a stateroom attendant, buffet bus person, or an officer were simply perfect. They’ve mastered the art of service. I would give you specific examples, but we’d be here all day. One thing that I’ll point out was the bartenders were great! All were friendly, fast, and after a few days would remember your drink. —Truly remarkable for thousands of people circulating in and out week after week. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS, MAIN DINING ROOMS, AND BUFFET My father and I ate at 5 of the 7 speciality restaurants on board. This isn’t super typical of everyone who adds speciality dinning to their cruise, as most people will eat at between 2 or 3 restaurants. In no particular order, opinions/grades on the 5 that we ate at: * Le Bistro (French) B+ The food at Le Bistro was pretty good. Not great. I heard several others sitting around us that they were really enjoying the cuisine but there’s a huge caveat for me with the fact that I’m from Louisiana and live in New Orleans. Please understand that I have access to some of the best French food available in the US on a daily basis. * La Cucina (Italian) A+ The food at La Cucina was excellent! Great starter salads, beautiful charcuterie board/antipasto and ton’s of Italian favorites. I had the veal and it was excellent! * Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant B- The meal was decent. But Not nearly the best Chinese food that I’ve had at sea. Much better Chinese on Celebrity Equinox....Called “Silk Harvest”. Their biggest problem is that they are missing some of the American favorites of Chinese. No General Tso Chicken and many other thing’s that Americans would expect from a Chinese restaurant. * Cagney’s Steakhouse D+ Unfortunately one of the worst meals that I’ve ever had at sea. I ordered my ribeye “medium”, and it came out still mooing. Also, the ribeye was 50% fat. I love ribeyes and cook steak often at home, and understand that that cut of meat will have extra marbling, but this was absurd. My father ordered his steak medium-well, and it came like a piece of leather. We both ended up just eating our salads and sides(which were fair at best), and cast aside the steaks. —The staff tried to make it right though. (Plain and simple, Cagney’s just sucks. Tried it on the NCL Escape as well, and thought the exact same thing). —You’d think a steakhouse would be one of the easiest to operate. * Teppanyaki (Japanese hibachi) A+ This was the second best meal that we had behind La Cucina. The food was excellent, as was the enjoyment of the hibachi experience. And the hibachi chef’s were entertaining and hilarious. The food was excellent. Great variety of Steak, chicken, shrimp, muscles, veggies, and rice. ***As you can see from above, 4 of the 5 were good, with 2 being great. Very disappointed in Cagneys on both the Escape and the Epic. MAIN DINNING ROOMS: A+ There are two main dinning rooms on EPIC. “Manhattan” and “Taste”. Manhattan is a little dressier with a little bit more formal setting. Whereas Taste is a little more laid back with more of a traditional menu. We only ate at Manhattan once, and both really liked it. —Very similar menus and atmosphere to other comparable ships. BUFFET: A+ Good choices for breakfast and lots of variety. Pretty typical for a mega ship buffet, but added variety. They seem to a little better job on breakfast than other lines (particularly with omelette stations)... They have omelette stations and other quick to order stations all over to try and get it to you fast. Although we only ate lunch once at the buffet, again there was a good variety of American favorites and various salad bars, and other ethnic cuisine. One thing that we loved was the burger/grilled items outside near the pool deck. Easy to grab lunch and to get back to your deck chair. ENTERTAINMENT: B+ If you remember my opening, you know that I don’t particularly care for “freestyle cruising” because of having to schedule everything so early... Nothing is more prevalent of that than the main theater shows on EPIC. THE SHOWS: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Burn the Floor," are the Two main headliner shows in the theater. Both were entertaining and high energy. Really liked “Burn The Floor”. Drag isn’t necessarily my thing, but still thought Priscilla was hilarious. Unlike most cruise lines, I do give NCL a lot of credit for their (what I call) “sub-shows”. —Which are smaller venues with comedians, or other shows within smaller venues around the ship. The best show on the ship hands down was called “Cirque Dreams Epicurean” Held in the “Spiegel Tent”. —Which a smaller dinner theater near the main theater. Given the small theater and the rapid changing of the various stages, you feel like the actors and acrobats are right on top of you! It’s interactive as well! There is a charge for this show as they serve dinner as well. It was about the price of a specialty restaurant. Book early! The shows fill up rapidly and were sold out for most of the cruise. Another “sub-show” was “Howl At The Moon” located in Headliners Comedy Club —Free and open to anyone, three musicians play various instruments and take requests from the audience for hours... They were AWESOME! Plus, you can come and go as you please. They typically play for about 4 hours. 8-11PM is clean in case kids are there. After 11PM is uncensored(which is more enjoyable) Speaking of Comedy....One MASSIVE negative which robbed my ENTERTAINMENT GRADE OF BEING AN “A” was no comedy show at all! —Not Even in the comedy club! —I’m not sure if this was just for this cruise, or whether NCL plans on ceasing comedy shows or what the deal was??? MISCELLANEOUS POSITIVES: -I found a lot less nickel & diming on EPIC. -One of the biggest varieties of speciality dinning, along with free speciality dinning options. -The ship really does well with excursions which is important when you’re in Europe given the language differences. -NCL Might have the best premium drink package on earth! Way less expensive than Celebrity and MSC, and you can order virtually anything. They also don’t “drink count” as I call it. In other words, if I ordered two drinks at a time, I didn’t need two cruise cards. They just did it(Believe me my friends, that is rare) MISCELLANEOUS NEGATIVES: -The WiFi was the worst I’ve ever had at sea. Mind you that both my father and I bought the premium unlimited packages on that. Had to constantly re-boot and try for sometimes 7 to 8 times to just to sign on. I get it, I was on vacation and some of you will say that I should’ve unplugged. But, I’m in management with a media company and have to check my email once a day during weekdays for emergencies even when on vacation. -No free bottled water. —Seriously. With a premium drink package, you can order all the Patron, Grey Goose, or Johnny Walker Blue Label you want, BUT NOT bottled water unless you want to pay out of pocket. Otherwise, you get a glass of tap water. Never seen that on 17 cruises except this. IN CLOSING: This cruise was amazing because of the three main factors. 1.) The itinerary, 2.) the people on the ship 3.) the crew. Yes, the ship is nice. But you’d be dazzled by some of the newer ships that other lines have come out with recently. I give the overall grade of B+ to the entire cruise. Inconsistencies in the food, the WiFi, freestyle cruising and a few lesser things narrowly cost EPIC an “A”. —Still a great cruise. Cheers to you on your next voyage! -Matthew from New Orleans, Louisiana Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my first NCL cruise and I booked through Costco Travel which offered a couple of perks (two complimentary premium dinners) in the process. I also booked the premium beverage package and the daily spa package which made the ... Read More
This was my first NCL cruise and I booked through Costco Travel which offered a couple of perks (two complimentary premium dinners) in the process. I also booked the premium beverage package and the daily spa package which made the cruise a bit more expensive but well worth the cost. The Epic is a large ship staffed with a great crew that always seemed committed to offering gracious and friendly service. Traveling with a friend, we were able to book and hold a handicap-equipped cabin which gave us a bit more floor space as well as the balcony which was great. The only down side was that the door to the combined restroom/shower was broken so we had to make due with a curtain hung by velcro -- not exactly the best privacy set up but we were advised that the repair was planned for shortly after our trip. Pro's: Amazing fitness center and Spa -- we opted for the daily spa access and took advantage of both the workout area and jacuzzi every day. The food was always good and because of the variety offered, even the most picky eaters will find ample options. The kids on board seemed to really love the pizza and I agree -- it's very good! The water flume rides are fun and the wait times were reasonable. The entertainment was also top notch. Con's: Very few issues to mention but here are a couple: the ice machines in the restaurants were overwhelmed at times and sometimes the crew could not keep up with the demand for clean cups. The piped in relaxation music in the spa is just one short tune played over and over. They really need to add more relaxing music because the monotonous one song detracts from the calming experience. While the public restrooms were kept clean, there were some metal support pieces in the toilet stalls that seem dingy and need to be polished. I also noticed that some painted surfaces outside the dining room windows that were showing rust. Lastly, the swimming pools themselves are very small for such a large ship. The water in the pools was also very warm and not refreshing. The ports of call on this trip were interesting and the excursion options were plentiful. To be able to visit three countries in 7 days and only unpack once is definitely a great reason to cruise and overall the NCL Epic was a fantastic vessel for my summer vacation! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The experience at Norwegian Epic was a dream come true. We were in a group - a mix of kids of different age groups, adults with different interests. Each one of us were thoroughly satisfied and didn’t want to disembark at the end of the ... Read More
The experience at Norwegian Epic was a dream come true. We were in a group - a mix of kids of different age groups, adults with different interests. Each one of us were thoroughly satisfied and didn’t want to disembark at the end of the journey. Food- great even for vegetarians No sea sickness- smooth sea Entertainment - more than plenty Staff - awesome and entertaining Warm welcome after return from port excursions Kids taken care of in Splash academy Glow party was the best. The balcony allowed us to keep our suitcases else with kids space can be challenging Drinks can be better. Found the cocktails sweeter than usual Swimming pools were more of water tanks. Can be larger and shaded as it was super hot in July The kids entertainment in Splash academy after 8pm can be better else a single child can be easily bored Overall, the trip was truly worth every penny Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Embarkation ----------------- Embarkation was easy and as I'm disabled, we got to skip the line. Was nice and smooth. Stateroom -------------- I had an inside cabin. I also peeked into other cabins as they were being ... Read More
Embarkation ----------------- Embarkation was easy and as I'm disabled, we got to skip the line. Was nice and smooth. Stateroom -------------- I had an inside cabin. I also peeked into other cabins as they were being cleaned so I got a look at oceanview and balcony ones too. In general , they were a lot smaller than other ships I've been on. I also wasn't keen on the bathroom set up. Basically, the toilet is to the left of the door when you enter the room, and the shower is to the right. There's a curtain you can pull across that will cover them both up. I was sharing with my dad so showering was a bit challenging if he wasn't in the room, as I was always worried that he'd enter and be able to see me naked! I had requested twin beds but this didn't seem to reach NCL (maybe my agent didn't pass it on). On other ships I've been on, the stateroom attendant happily changed it, but the one we had on this ship was obviously really annoyed and almost lectured us for not requesting it at the outset. When we looked in our mini-bar, there was an empty can of soda. I obviously didn't want charged for this to advised guest services. I think that made the stateroom attendant hate us for the rest of the trip! Bars and Restaurants ----------------------------- One thing I did like was that there was a choice of restaurants included, not just the main or buffet restaurants. There was an Asian restaurant, 2 main restaurants, a buffet one that was much calmer than Royal Caribbeans, with more seats available, and an Irish bar. This gave the potential for more variety without having to spend more money. When we ate at the Manhattan Room, I was really disappointed that the jazz band stopped playing shortly after we got there. This band doesn't seem to be utilised anywhere else so why not have them playing for the whole time the restaurant is open. It went from having a really nice atmosphere to a horrible one as there wasn't even any other background music turned on. I'd have liked to have been able to view the menus from the restaurants in one place so I didn't have to walk all over the ship to compare them. You have the interactive boards where you can book restaurants for future dates, but you can't seem to do it for that night, which is a real pain. They also don't seem to show the menus. I'm used to being able to view the menus on my TVs, but you don't seem to have that feature. The service at the pool bar was atrocious! We regularly waited 25 minutes to get served. This was mainly because there weren't enough staff based there, but also because those that were didn't have the ability to remember which customers had arrived first. One guy kept only serving those who were right in front of them, anyone outside his initial field of vision just had to keep waiting, getting more and more frustrated! I was disappointed with O'Sheehans. It was really noisy because you had noise coming from the atrium venue, the bowling alley, the casino, and the bars above when they had live music. It all clashed into a horrible racket. I was also really disappointed that the menu, at least for dinner, never changed. It felt like there were often dirty tables when you tried to get a seat. I struggled with there being a lot of high tables as I can't use them being disabled. It was also weird that you couldn't eat at the table that's facing down to the atrium, but you can at the same type of seating that's at one of the speciality restaurants. That doesn't make any sense. Entertainment ------------------- On sea days, there literally wasn't ever any day time activities I was interested in doing. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean have way more variety, e.g. colouring classes, table tennis tournaments, board/card game sessions, etc., with multiple free activities happening at each time slot so that there was something for everyone. I was extremely disappointed by the evening entertainment. I am used to there being a stage show every night, with 2 performances per night on every cruise I've done previously. What was on felt dated, e.g. I saw Priscilla on Royal Caribbean last year. Howl at the Moon was on far too much - there needs to be more variety. I can't believe that the Headliners Comedy Club never once had any comedy on! Royal Caribbean have musicals, ice shows, comedians, game shows, etc. every single night, and we often struggle to fit them all in, whereas on this cruise I often found myself bored as there wasn't any entertainment I was interested in! One activity we were actually interested in was karaoke. The bar was always full when it was on and everyone was having a good time. However, as soon as it ended, the bar emptied. This shows that it should definitely be on for a longer duration, even all night, as it was so popular! The first time we went, the entertainment staff member running it (I don't know his name - I think he was Japanese) could not have sounded more depressed! I have never been to karaoke before where the host wasn't standing on the stage in person, which gives more energy and a personal touch, but even offstage, he needed an injection of energy and personality. He was honestly monotone and sounded like he'd rather be anywhere else! The guy that did it the next time we went was more enthusiastic, thankfully! In general, the ship was very noisy. I'm used to bars being like the Cavern Club where you go into them and enter the atmosphere of that bar, whereas the majority on Epic are out in the open so you have the noise of the casino, the bowling alley, music from other venues, people walking past, etc. The atrium was a particularly horrible venue for drinks and entertainment. I felt like I couldn't find a quieter spot that was comfortable. The day we were doing search and rescue, I really wanted a bar that had comfortable sofa style seating where I could relax but still get brought drinks, and that really just didn't exist. I'm also used to their being some themed nights on the cruise that everyone gets involved in, like 80s night or white night, etc. There wasn't anything like this on Epic. I understand why they have people boarding and leaving at different ports in that it increases sales as it fits in with everyone's vacation dates, however what it does do is change the dynamics on board. I'm used to everyone being in a real party mood when we sail away and then there being a final night party too. I appreciate that's not something you can change, but it did change it for me. Pools & Spa ----------------- I had booked a spa offer that said it gave a mini facial and access to the thermal suite. However, I felt it was missold to me as it actually was sitting in a room with other people getting sold Elemis products and getting tests of these to put on our faces ourselves. That's not a facial in my book! Another thing I wasn't expecting was that there was no sauna or steam room available to all. On other ships I've been on, these were accessible to everyone in the fitness suite. Another reason why it wasn't good value for money. I normally enjoy using the hot tubs on the ship pretty much every day to easy my aching muscles. However, I found that the ones on Epic were barely luke-warm so I often quickly got cold and had to leave. I think this is the first cruise I've been on where the sauna and steam room wasn't accessible to everyone. The thermal suite is really nice, but it's expensive - 60 USD a visit or you can buy a package - so that made the cruise seem like less value. Drinks Package --------------------- The drinks package covered drinks up to 15USD. It didn't include the mini bar or the atrium cafe, which did speciality teas, coffees, and cakes. I was disappointed that bottled water wasn't included in my premium beverage package either. These have always been included on other cruises, so this reduced the feeling of value for money on the drinks package. Also, all previous cruises have given you a large drinks cup so that you could get it refilled at machines yourself or at bars, which makes it easier for you as a guest, but also is more environmentally friendly, and it's something you can take away as a souvenier, which adds value to your drinks package. Casino ---------- It felt like the casino was too big, dominating almost an entire level. Travelling with someone who's had a gambling problem in the past, it was challenging as it felt impossible at times to avoid the casino! You could smoke in the casino if you were playing games. Shopping ------------ I couldn't believe there wasn't any duty free on sale on the ship. I now understand why this is (when it's entirely within Europe, they're not allowed to sell it), but a sign telling us that before we boarded would have been useful so that we could have chosen to buy cigarettes in the duty free shop at Barcelona. The sales staff for jewellery were very in your face whenever you passed through the shops as you couldn't avoid the shops if you were on that level. Ports of Call ----------------- This is the first cruise I've done in Europe. You visit a port most days and the port days tend to be long hours. You're walking a lot in the European cities too so it's generally a pretty tiring week. We didn't book any shore excursions with the cruise line as they're really expensive. I did pre-book a couple of tours with 3rd parties. One for Florence and Pisa as it was just the same price as making your own way there, and one for the Vatican in Rome. We made our own way to Rome by taking the port shuttle to the town, then a local bus to the train station, and finally, a train to Roma St Peters. We walked from there. The tour started at 10am and we were just able to get there on time by getting off the ship as soon as it was ready for debarkation. We did have a problem getting back though as the train was delayed. There were about 14 people on that train with us, and thankfully, some of them were on a ship organised tour so the boat waited for us (we were about 40 minutes late in the end!). I'd therefore say if you're doing Rome on your own, make sure you're at the train station by 3.30pm for a 6.30pm all aboard time. The tenders were really badly organised. To not be given any indication of when your colour might be called was a nightmare because it meant we had to be up and ready early then sitting around for hours when we could have been having a long lie! I have never had a tender done this way before. Service ---------- On all the other cruises I've done, the staff have been really happy and friendly, always trying to pre-empt your needs, and nothing you asked was too big of a problem. The stateroom attendant didn't look happy whenever I saw her, though that's maybe because she may have gotten into trouble when we had to report that there was an empty can of Sprite in our mini bar from the previous guests! She took away one of our pool towels and never replaced it too. I also expected our bedding to be changed at least a couple of times during our trip, but I know it wasn't as there was a dirty mark on my duvet cover from near the beginning of the cruise, and it remained there throughout. One of the hostesses at O'Sheehans also looked miserable, and I felt like I was causing her a problem by asking for a table, particularly when she had to clean one for me. When all the staff seem to be unhappy, it makes me question how life is for them on the ship, and how they're treated. Value for Money --------------------- I felt like I was constantly being pushed to spend more money. It was very in my face, way more than any other cruise I've been on. It felt like most of the activities during the day I might have been interested in doing were at an additional cost, which means what had initially seemed a good price for the cruise, actually wasn't great value. Again, on the theme of being pressured into buying things, it was really hard to make the photography staff take no for an answer. Getting on and off the ship, they were jumping in front of you and following you even after you'd said, "no thanks" several times! Disembarkation -------------------- We had to get our luggage tags the day before disembarking from guest services. We could choose the time we got off as long as the corresponding colour of tag was still available. Bags had to be placed outside the room by 11pm the night before departure unless you were going to take them off yourself in the morning. The one positive about not everyone's cruise ending on the same day was that we could take our time having breakfast and getting off the ship as it was staying in port all day. Overall Impression ------------------------- For me, this cruise was really disappointing when I compared it to the others I've done (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Celebrity). The entertainment was particularly poor, I didn't like constantly being hassled to buy more/spend money, and I didn't get the energetic, enthusiastic, friendly, and helpful crew I'm used to. It's put me off sailing with Norwegian again in future, and I won't be recommending them to anyone else. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We traveled May 18-26 -Staff is friendly and nice -u spent the most in excursions Take a private guide and even taking a taxi is better than taking the excursions the ship offers (u feel like one of members of horse Herd) ... Read More
We traveled May 18-26 -Staff is friendly and nice -u spent the most in excursions Take a private guide and even taking a taxi is better than taking the excursions the ship offers (u feel like one of members of horse Herd) -cruise tries to charge u in anything possible. U go to restaurant - boom $15 charge per person even though my package included gratuities. We tipped all the way but they do anyway. Go to the desk and ask to sign a form to pay on ur own - that’s $210 deduction on the spot for 2ppl - room is terribly small. Don’t even think taking a stateroom, upgrade to bigger and with balcony. Otherwise u will feel trapped - get a package for specialty dining, it’s truly better and delicious - internet is TERRIBLE, never works in the room. My emails didn’t update for couple of days. I tried disputing the charges with the cruise, THEY DIDNT —- I’m definitely disputing charges with my credit card company. I took photos of my phone and the last date it updated emails. - the worst experience when ship arrived to Cannes. There is no port there so ppl are being transported on little ships (which fit around 200 ppl). The line is outrageous and the wait was tiring. We waited 50m on the line, got pisses off and left tanning on the ship - shows are great. Especially the dancing and cirque shows Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Lets start with the Cabin. I thought my cabin was fine and housekeeping excellent. The Taste dinning room was perfect the staff was great, waiters manager everyone their I loved. I don't think the menu always had something I wanted to ... Read More
Lets start with the Cabin. I thought my cabin was fine and housekeeping excellent. The Taste dinning room was perfect the staff was great, waiters manager everyone their I loved. I don't think the menu always had something I wanted to eat. The last few nights it really didn't change. I preferred the ambiance of taste more than I did the Manhattan room. Just my preference. I didn't think the Garden cafe had the best variety of what I wanted to eat. I did enjoy the specialty restaurants but felt I shouldn't have to spend so much more money on food when I spent so much on the cruise. I should have been giving more of a selection of included food. The gift shop was outrageously priced. I was feeling a cold coming on and had to pay $21.00 for a $5.00 bottle of Night quill. I ask to see the Dr. and was told it would cost me $190.00 just to see him. I have been on other cruises and to see the medic is free. This is after I paid for insurance on the boat, so what did I pay for. I paid for 5 excursions one for every port. The ones to Pompeii and Rome were excellent. Pisa and Cannes where horrible. When I complained they didn't really seem to care made me feel like we got your money, so to bad for you. It was so bad I didn't even bother to go on the last excursion. stayed on the boat and slept the day away. they tell you there is a party by the pool you get there no party. everything I wanted to go to was not where they said it would be. The best part about this trip was the staff and the other passengers were great. I have not one complaint about the crew who really hold it all together. Would I do Norwegian again? I think Not. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My daughter and I are 1st time cruisers so didn't know what to expect. The staff and cabin crew were excellent and I must mention "washy washy happy happy the Epic cruisers will know what this is. We ate most of the time in the ... Read More
My daughter and I are 1st time cruisers so didn't know what to expect. The staff and cabin crew were excellent and I must mention "washy washy happy happy the Epic cruisers will know what this is. We ate most of the time in the Garden Café which was well set out and the food was excellent however, not much for vegetarians . All the public places on the ship were very good and the entertainment and shows were excellent. We had a balcony state room, which overall was ok however, the curtain on the balcony was falling off on quite a few places as was the curtain which separated the toilet and shower. The shower was good and the room was cleaned at least twice a day a very compact cabin but ok for 2 people. The ports of call were stunning and beautiful we had amazing weather. I will mention , my mobility is not a 100% and I personally struggled a bit and I found the public places on the ship very hot. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
4th Cruise all NCL, Epic, Spirit Escape and now back on Epic. We had four fantastic days in Italy beforehand two in Rome then two in Florence then returned to Rome for sail, took early train from Florence then connected to Civitavecchia ... Read More
4th Cruise all NCL, Epic, Spirit Escape and now back on Epic. We had four fantastic days in Italy beforehand two in Rome then two in Florence then returned to Rome for sail, took early train from Florence then connected to Civitavecchia to get the ship. We couldn't see transfer shuttle and ended up walking to port about 35 minutes and as we were excited to get on board it wasn't a problem. We only waited about 30 minutes in the terminal before we boarded about 12.15 Luggage was in the corridor with in 90 minutes and room was ready for about 3.30pm. Smooth as could be hoped for, the benefit of boarding in Rome is that only about 700 people board, after a ship tour and lunch it was muster time in the Epic Theatre for the Rome guests, muster takes about 5 minutes then they spend half an hour telling you what the ship has to offer, we had some beef with this, it was basically a sales pitch and we just wanted to enjoy our cruise many guests thought the same. (cabin review separate) Steward was excellent and always had our room made up and turned down in good time and perfect every time. We had premium all inclusive which gave us 14 bottles of water in our room an excellent addition to our cruise Shows, Priscilla was excellent, the costumes, numbers, acting all brilliant, a must see, some people say reserve but there was a few spare seats. The Epic Beatles, we seen them twice in the cavern club, it was not too difficult to get seats if you get in early but i'm told this is not always the case, we found all the shows, dinning, bars on this cruise were never at bursting point, busy, but not to the ridiculous scale we found on the Escape, especially the Atrium shows everything was very accessible but still a great atmosphere. This point alone made our cruise. The Escape was just tooo much people, even though this is still a "Big Ship" it seemed much less hectic although there was not a great deal of kids on board!! Bliss nightclub has had a great makeover since our last trip but we didn't spend much time here but it looks absolutely stunning , Howl at the moon, one of our favourite shows we got to see three times as there was always seating even mid show, always great! We like shakers but the singer was not our favourite each to their own I guess, also seen Jenifer Fair the operatic singer twice, fantastic!! Ports:- Florence we had already done pre-cruise so opted for a ship day, weather was not the best unfortunately but we were ready to chill and have a book day. Cannes we have done previous cruise so we decided to do Nice and Monaco but decided last minute to do Nice only we did not regret this as time may have been too tight to do both via train and we had a great day in Nice lovely walk along Promenade Anglais then we took the €10 petite train winch let us see more with stunning views. Palma took the NCL $10 bus to the old town and had a great day perhaps our favourite. Drops you off at the cathedral. Barcelona We have visited this beautiful city often so we just intended to walk around the city and reminisce but the previous day we befriended a Canadian couple and ended up giving them the $5 tour which we thoroughly enjoyed, the company made the differance. we spent a few nights in their company nearer the end of the cruise, we love meeting people on the cruises, and we met plenty this time around! Sea day weather sucked, so we renamed it bar day!! Naples We got our only proper excursion here, we used Italytours.EU to do Pompeii Sorrento and the Amalfi coast at only €69 per person we can not recommend them enough. Only 15 people on the modern minibus, so no waiting around on others between stops, we noticed a NCL sanctioned tour in Sorrento and as they walked passed us I noticed there was 50 people + all following each other and they probably paid double what we paid. small groups for the win!! All in all our day was perfect 2 guided hours (€15 entry) in Pompeii, 2 hours in Sorrento alone and great views of the Amalfi coast. Dinning Twice in taste 4 and 3.5 out of 5, Service was slow second night. Twice in Le Bistro 5 out of 5 both times and Cagneys once 4.5 out of 5 Manhattan once 4 out of 5 Garden cafe was so so, bit cold as buffets can be too often!! O'sheenans was always great for some wings and a beer!! Always a great atmosphere on this part of the ship the entire cruise. We even had breakfast there a few times. We love the Epic its a great ship and will most likely sail on her again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
High Points: Staff & Service were a great pleasure, everyone went above & beyond.. Dinning & Buffets were very good. Bars & Lounges were a pleasure. Activities available were good with many o;ptions to choose from. ... Read More
High Points: Staff & Service were a great pleasure, everyone went above & beyond.. Dinning & Buffets were very good. Bars & Lounges were a pleasure. Activities available were good with many o;ptions to choose from. Day & Nignt Entertainment was Fair. The Premium seating for Circus delay was far from Premium service or seating. I Never did get 1 slice of Bread or a good view. Shame after paying over $47 US. Ship layout was impressive as was the views. Low Points: Suite Quality Poor! Tours the WORST! Disembarking NCL Service Reps.even WORSE!! How dare NCL leave a Senior & Disabled Couple to fend for themselves SHAME!! No Lougage carts, No NCL Representive & no help to be found! Ice Bar why $25 US to enter Overpriced.. Internet Show & Overpriced EXTREME! Doctor Service CRAZY $199.00 US Plus Prescriptions! Disembarking no such thing as Priority Disembarking via Tenders!. Overall 5/10 overall experience Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Overall this was a fantastic trip. All of the ports were awesome with embarkation and disembarkation really smooth with the exception of Naples. Getting back onboard was a chore. The ship itself was awesome. I’ve cruised in the past ... Read More
Overall this was a fantastic trip. All of the ports were awesome with embarkation and disembarkation really smooth with the exception of Naples. Getting back onboard was a chore. The ship itself was awesome. I’ve cruised in the past and I often found myself with nothing to do, or entertainment that wasn’t entirely entertaining. Not the case with the Epic. The shows were fantastic and the dining options were endless. I traveled with a large group and there were plenty of options for us to get together as a group for dinner or a show. The only thing that wasn’t 100% was the quality of the rooms. The ship is a little bit older and the wear and tear was pretty apparent in some places. There were a few spots throughout where it looked like a quick fix was in place, but it was nothing that would have turned me away from sailing on the Epic, or any Norwegian ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Check in at the Barcelona port was relatively easy. Took less than an hour total from when we got there and when we were physically on the ship. You enter the ship in the casino area, so it's tacky and smells like smoke but don't ... Read More
Check in at the Barcelona port was relatively easy. Took less than an hour total from when we got there and when we were physically on the ship. You enter the ship in the casino area, so it's tacky and smells like smoke but don't let that get you down, it gets better. Room was fine, balcony was great (I saw 4 shooting stars at night!) and there was a lot of salt all over the balcony that I wiped down. I agree the room's bathroom is not great, and the bathroom door can rattle so you have to be very precise making sure it's in a good spot not to rattle all night. The couch in the room takes up too much space- we never sat on it, but that's being picky. Room was clean, and attendant was great- laid back but happy to provide excellent service. There are two smoking areas- one in the casino and one near the family pool. Other than that no one should be smoking on the ship. Also note- they give you a shampoo/conditioner combo that is not that great- fine for a week but if you prefer to have your own stuff then you should bring what you want. Bring a USB charger/outlet. Our room manager gave us extra hangers upon on our request. We downloaded the app, tried to familiarize ourselves with the ship. You can use the app even if you don't have any wifi package. They really should have a ship map available on the app, or show you where your reservations are- so the app could use some work, hopefully that will improve soon. We wanted to watch NFL but they didn't show any of the games - they showed European Football. They also show cruise-event shows that can be embarrassingly hilarious. The "Mr. Sexy Legs" competition that we didn't see in person happened to be on the TV, so did a couples show and a dance show from the ship- funny and awkward stuff, if you sign up to be a contestant, just remember you might be broadcast to the entire ship! Dining was fine, better than I could make for 4000 people. Buffets were to be expected and main dining was nice but forgettable. The Manhattan Room had live music so if you like that I recommend heading there. Teppanyaki was pretty much the same you would find in any American Teppenyaki restaurant. I loved the freestyle dining though. I would sail NCL just because of how great the freestyle dining is, eat when you want. Also, they have dress codes such as no shorts in Manhattan but it's more of a suggestion and they let plenty of people in that were wearing shorts. We liked eating at O'Sheehans after an excursion, they are open all the time and the servers were fantastic. We never had to wait long for any of our food. Entertainment- as a former entertainer, I make sure to catch the shows. Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Epic Theater) was hilarious and I loved it- that cast has a damn good time out there, costumes and makeup are fantastic. If you have a sense of humor, make sure you check it out. Burn the Floor (Epic Theater) had some amazing dancers, Cirque (Spiegel Tent) was pretty good but very limited in what they can do, it's more like a few interesting acts, and if you sit close you may get wet because one guy has a weird bathtub act- Food was not good for the Cirque show, they just asked if Surf and Turf was good (I said yes) and that's what you get- no other choices unless there was a dietary restriction but they probably would have accommodated if I wanted something else. My favorite entertainment though was the Beatles cover band "The Epic Beatles". I wish I knew about these guys so I could have checked out all their shows, I was only able to catch 2. These guys were phenomenal and fun, my favorite was the one who played John Lennon- extremely talented, I wish I knew who he was. They play in the Cavern Club and had a show in the main Epic Theater (plenty of seating for this). The Cavern Club is pretty small and you had to get there at least 45 minutes before the show to get a seat. Otherwise you were stuck with a bunch of people off to the side hardly able to see anything. I think they could improve the seating in the Cavern Club or take away some of the large seating so more people can stand in there. A few folks got up to dance and it was a great time for all of the Epic Beatles shows. I liked the Beatles show so much I actually went to find all my old Beatles CDs and they have now made their way to my car so my kids can learn all the songs. (It's way past time for me to take out the Hamilton CD when my 4 year old knows the words) We paid for the spa pass and I think it was worth it- however I wouldn't do the spa if I had kids with me since you wouldn't get as much time to be in the spa. Spa was clean, had great showers, and a balcony in the back. The Mandara spa staff will walk you through everything spa has to offer. This cruise only had one sea day- we used Italytours.eu for our Best of Rome and then Best of Florence/Pisa days. This is a small family company that relies on Cruise Critic and word of mouth to get customers, so they really want travelers to have a good experience. I would definitely book with them again, everything went smooth and was as expected (they give you a lot of heads up info beforehand). The drivers and tour guides were friendly, knowledgeable and patient with us tourists. One of our drivers had free wifi in his car, so that was a hidden bonus. For Cannes and Palma de Majorca we wanted to have easy days. Cannes we just took their little train tour around and then walked around the area/checked out the yachts. Since we were lazy this day, we just took a later tender, they run often. Other people took the train to Monaco but we didnt have that ambition in us. For Palma de Majorca we took a taxi to Palmanova- a beach about 10 minutes away. Heads up - people in Spain aren't afraid of being naked so act cool. We rented chairs and an umbrella there (total about 14euro cash), there was also a nearby bar that we could grab some drinks at. Fantastic weather and taxis easy to get. The service is great on the ships- the people we met genuinely seemed to like being in the service industry and making sure our vacation was wonderful. I used the laundry service -they had a midweek special for a bag of laundry for about $20- ask your room manager for info if you don't see it. Disembarkation- if this was my first cruise I would have been very confused. We received no information on disembarkation and trying to get anyone on the phone is very hard. So when I finally got the info from Guest Services- you have to either take all your stuff off with you, or pick up some colored tags at Guest Services that have a designated disembarkation time for example 7:30-7:45am (and have your luggage outside your room midnight the night prior)- however if you don't make the exact time you'll be fine as long as you're close to it. We were late because we had breakfast. They just have the luggage waiting there when you do get off the ship. Taxi line is long but not horrible. We stayed in Barcelona and even though there are warnings about pick pockets, I felt very safe throughout the city and while using the subway. As for the whole experience- I would sail this ship again and I would sail NCL again. My preferred cruise line has always been Disney but if NCL has the price, entertainment, and destinations I'm interested in I will use them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Chose this cruise for the wealth of entertainment to suit my husband and I and adult children whilst celebrating my 60th birthday. The studio single persons cabins were a bonus too. Found booking, embarkation and disembarkation a ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the wealth of entertainment to suit my husband and I and adult children whilst celebrating my 60th birthday. The studio single persons cabins were a bonus too. Found booking, embarkation and disembarkation a breeze and loved the itinerary around the Med.Entertainment was good quality and plentiful particularly liked Maltings whisky bar and the staff there. Cabin was OK I didn't mind the unusual separate WC and shower arrangement and I particularly appreciated the coffee machine . I have done the Med before and so didn't go on the organised tours but the costs were prohibitive and I would suggest booking online with an independent tour operator prior to your cruise.Anything outside your "package deal" is also expensive 5 items of laundry cost approx 40 pounds sterling and a bottle of wine with dinner was also expensive. I have cruised with Royal Carribbean previously and the difference between Norweigan and RCCL in terms of service was notable. The majority of staff were lovely but some of those in the buffet restaurant were rude reaching across the table without saying excuse me or acknowledging passengers. I watched one guy go from table to table replenishing cutlery reaching across people as they were eating. Indeed in O'Sheehans one member of staff cleared the table as I was still eating! The gym instructor was late for a 5pm Ryde class. But he was around as I could hear the spa staff urging him to hurry up and apologising on his behalf .He left 3 of us waiting until the other 2 gave up and I did the class on my own. Most staff were very nice polite and helpful, the ship had a good entertainment schedule and was very clean with decent food. However its Royal Carribbean for me next time!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
From the beginning - Embarkation, the staff were friendly, efficient and it went smoothly. The ship itself was a really good size and looked well looked after outside and inside, always very clean! The cabin was a fair size for ... Read More
From the beginning - Embarkation, the staff were friendly, efficient and it went smoothly. The ship itself was a really good size and looked well looked after outside and inside, always very clean! The cabin was a fair size for myself and my 2 children, our room steward was excellent, room always cleaned and beds made up to a high standard every morning and evening, he was also extremely friendly, helpful and lovely to all of us throughout. The dining options were also excellent, lots of choices of different restaurants and menus, the buffet restaurant had a great selection of foods and everything we ate was perfect. The food was actually some of the best food I have eaten in the restaurants on board and the restaurant staff were also exceptionally helpful and friendly. There was a good amount and variety of entertainment during the day and evening, 'Burn the Floor' (dancing) was spectacular! Good music around the pool area during the day time. On board bookings for shore excursions were a bit pricey but I think that applies on all cruise lines. Would recommend booking excursions separately as we did as the prices were very high for myself with 2 children. My children attended kids clubs, there are separate clubs split into different age groups and both were very good, my children loved attending and the staff too, very well organised and lots of activities all week. Overall experience was 5 star! Would definitely book with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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