407 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Family 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
This was our first Norwegian cruise. We ended up staying in the Haven in a 2-bedroom family villa was fantastic! The service in the Haven was spectacular from the time we boarded until the time we got off the ship. Our butler, concierge, ... Read More
This was our first Norwegian cruise. We ended up staying in the Haven in a 2-bedroom family villa was fantastic! The service in the Haven was spectacular from the time we boarded until the time we got off the ship. Our butler, concierge, stweard, bartenders, and waiters were all fantastic. Unfortunately, the service on the rest of the ship left room for improvement. It made us not want to venture out of the Haven and it would make me think twice about booking a Norwegian cruise. Carnival's customer service was far better than that of Norwegian's in the main areas of the ship (pool deck, bars, restaurants, and dining rooms). We went to O'Sheehan's for a casual lunch prior to disembarking for our Palma excursion and it took 1 hour to get our food. No apologies and no follow through. We also ate in the main dining room a few times because we wanted something different from the Haven's set menu and the service was sub par. For the price you pay for an NCL cruise, the customer service could definitely be better. Part of me gets the impression that NCL doesn't really care about customer service as much as Carnival. After every Carnival cruise, we've received a survey to fill out about our experience. We haven't received anything from NCL so perhaps they don't want to improve upon their deficits... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was excited to experience a cruise with Norwegian as I have a friend who works for Norwegian and I heard great things about the service. Embarking was quick and easy. The staff was down right rude with the exception of the restaurants ... Read More
I was excited to experience a cruise with Norwegian as I have a friend who works for Norwegian and I heard great things about the service. Embarking was quick and easy. The staff was down right rude with the exception of the restaurants and spa personnel. The cabin was decent in size, I had a balcony which was nice. The food was pretty good. A lot of other guests complained about the service too and were surprised. Some of the excursions were not as great either. They were just trying to take up time, rather than being of quality. I didn’t get the birthday treats they promised. They broke my luggage and never sent a survey. I contacted customer service and it took a month to hear back. I had two cruises planned (for next yr over 8k) with them and I just canceled them. I was really disappointed in the service received. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Not sure if 'niggles' translates well and this is my first cruise so it might be just NFC (normal for cruising). First impressions of the ship was great. Speedy embarkation and friendly reception. However when we wanted to ... Read More
Not sure if 'niggles' translates well and this is my first cruise so it might be just NFC (normal for cruising). First impressions of the ship was great. Speedy embarkation and friendly reception. However when we wanted to get a drink 15 minutes before muster we were refused and we were parched! Didn't know about that. Muster took ages but there were plenty of seats. We went to Taste for lunch but was so rushed! Server's constantly around us to take plates and my son's main came out when he was still eating starters. We should have gone to the garden café. Next morning we were refused entry to the garden cafe at 11.15 but it was supposed to close at 11.30 - disappointing. Kids club was hit and miss. My 11 year old found "free style play" in Splash boring. I took her to the "Entourage take over" for 8 pm as advertised to be told it was open at 8.30 pm - so we went to Splash, to be told it was at 8 pm at Entourage and they had "just called down to tell them" (yeah right!) so we had to walk the full length of the ship back to Entourage! Entourage was closed until around 6 pm each day except sea days. This meant my 13 year old was a bit bored on the days we didn't go ashore but I played table tennis with him and we joined a quiz in the Atrium. There was a coffee shop there but the seats there all face the stage area and the ceiling is low so you can't see the whole screen unless you are at the front. Bad design. Another bad design is the casino being in the middle where to get to all the bars and entertainment you have to go through it. I got sick of seeing the place but luckily it wasn't too smokey. The drinks package included sake which I wanted to try. We were told we had to purchase food at the Sake Bar so we went to Shakers. The bar tender said we had to go to the Sake Bar and we didn't have to buy food. He walked over with us and this time we were served! Overall the food was not impressive. I liked Manhatten for the ambience. Garden Cafe was too busy and often couldn't get a seat so we took our plates down to La Cucina which was calm and lovely. We did this every time thereafter. Food was very average, the experience reminded me of a self service motorway services, similar standard. Apple pie in O'Sheehans also disappointing after hearing good reviews of it. We didn't eat there again. Even in the main dining rooms no one said "this food is amazing". Some reviewer suggested it might be to encourage people to buy the dining package which could be the case! On the plus side the furnishings were comfortable, well maintained, looked high end and clean. The entertainment such as The Beatles, Precilla Queen of the Desert, and Burn the Floor were fantastic. The Theatre was one of my favourite places along with Maltings. However we didn't allow niggles to spoil our holiday or put us off cruising. We just thought "let's try a different line next time". Overall we had a really good holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Extended family holiday - found a lot of staff rude and unhelpful - probably to do with pre paid gratuities. The only real exception was the cabin staff. Due to large number in group we were never able to sit together and found that ... Read More
Extended family holiday - found a lot of staff rude and unhelpful - probably to do with pre paid gratuities. The only real exception was the cabin staff. Due to large number in group we were never able to sit together and found that meals were brought up at different times - understandable in the main restaurants but not acceptable in the extra dining venues. In Le Bistro some were on dessert while we were still waiting for starters. Cabin was awful - think more suited to 2 people - not suitable for children also. Good points - food was lovely - drinks had a large selection - never had a problem with sunbeds. This ship is quite old and should probably have a refit its lets NCL down as this was our second cruise with them and we were very disappointed. Will try another cruise line next time. Customer service terrible so far since home sadly also. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Boat was amazing the food and service was top notch. Entertainment was excellent and the ports were amazing. Rooms clean and functional. Epic has a great staff with friendly servers and for a big ship never had to wait in line. Beatles ... Read More
Boat was amazing the food and service was top notch. Entertainment was excellent and the ports were amazing. Rooms clean and functional. Epic has a great staff with friendly servers and for a big ship never had to wait in line. Beatles show was alot of fun as was Broadway show. Western mediterian had amazing ports and the times in port were perfect. Also loved the cruise director whi had fun activities planned all day and night. The glow night party was also alot of fun. Maybe the pools were a little small would be the only complaint we had but didnt really go in any of them. Breakfast at taste on deck 5 was our favourite. Never waited for a drink and the casino was actually better than we thought . I would travel.on this ship again and would like to try this ship when it travels south in winter. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first cruise. We were concerned by reading other reviews, but eventually the overall experience for us (a family with 3 kids) was very good. The food choice is good. If you are organized enough to reserve a restaurant in ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We were concerned by reading other reviews, but eventually the overall experience for us (a family with 3 kids) was very good. The food choice is good. If you are organized enough to reserve a restaurant in advance you will not be waiting too much. Hi if you are not pre scheduling and would like to eat your dinner around 20:00 at Taste or Manhattan you will have a line of around 45 minutes, but you always have an option to go to the buffet or Osheean’s. We preferred the restaurants over the buffet, which was always noisy and very hard to find a table in busy times. We tried La Cuccina ones. It was good but not worth the extra package, unless you get it for free. Osheeans was good for quick lunch when we got back early on port days. We bought soda package for the kids and they enjoyed. The service at the restaurants was excellent. My daughter needs gluten free and the chef was always so helpful to get her something she liked and it was great. Our stateroom was always clean, few times a day, and the service on your room is flawless. Entertainment is also good. Percilia is great, burn the floor as well, and the short piano and magician shows. You have flexibility on what to choose. Don’t miss the Cirque show. It worth the extra money, as we experience the show in a way we didn’t experience it before. The performers are just one meter in front of you (be there 45 minutes before the show to get good seats). Fitness center was good, although a bit small. Embarkation in Rome was good and quick assuming you arrive before 14:00. For the less good parts: the pools are very small. EPIC preferred a large water park over pools and you fill it at busy times. If you want to swim this is not the ship for you. The elevators are wasting a lot of your time. Those are always crowded and you can wait 10 minutes just to get into an elevator on busy times. To make it worse, if someone has a vip card, he can bypass all floors, and this is really annoying. Norwegian needs to find a solution for that. I recommend taking your stateroom in one of the higher floors (13, 14), so you can always climb the stairs to the pool or buffet at 15. The 15$ for a day per person for service charge is too much to our view. Especially when they take service charges on alcohol and other priced items. Disembarkation in Rome was very bad. It is a shame we ended our trip with a bad taste of waiting 40 minutes in line with all our luggage. People registered to excursions were getting a priority which I really disliked. It reduces a lot of points, because I do expect a vendor to give the service till the end. We got exhausted to our return flight because of that. Overall I recommend a vacation at Norwegian EPIC. I might return, but I will try other ships first to compare. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is a very hard review to write because this trip had so many aspects. I’ll try to break them down for you. First I’ll let you know we are a family of three, my wife, seven year old daughter, and myself. We got on and off ... Read More
This is a very hard review to write because this trip had so many aspects. I’ll try to break them down for you. First I’ll let you know we are a family of three, my wife, seven year old daughter, and myself. We got on and off in Rome as apposed to Barcelona. I was told that much less then half the ship embark in Rome. We carried our one large suitcase and three carryons onto the ship so we didn’t have to wait on our stuff. Also got on around 2pm and everything was ready. On to the ship, other then a few rust spots (very small) on the balcony, a few paint over spots, and a small deck area being worked on, the ship was very good condition. It’s not a brand new ship but no complaints. The food was hit or miss. All breakfasts were in the buffet and and it’s a little better than basic. Specially restaurants were okay. A few great plates followed by an ok one. I understand we are on a ship and not every meal is going to please everyone. One stand out was the hibachi! Awesome! The pool and deck. Crowded! Especially on the one “at sea” day. On this day we made the mistake and slept in. By the time we got to the deck, 11 ish, every deck chair was taken and no one was giving them up. My wife went to a single chair in the back of the ship and I waited up front. I got extremely lucky and grabbed two chairs. Was a handful of people doing the same, fortunately for me I was closest to the chairs. If you choose this trip designate someone to get to the deck before 9, grab your chairs, put towels and a shoe or hat on them. This might be a common practice for regulars but in was not prepared. Kids area. My seven year old daughter loved the kids area. She would go everyday after dinner till we picked her up at 10:30. They start charging after 10:30 pm. No matter how tired she was from the day she had energy to go to the kids area. This was gold for me and the wife! We got at least an hour and a half to two hours alone to enjoy time together. Bars and nightlife. We got the all inclusive alcohol package. This worked well for us. We are not big drinkers it it’s nice to know that everything is paid for. We spent most of our evenings at the whiskey bar. I drank beer or wine, wife drank wine. We lived this area because ever night they had live music. Perfect level of energy. Not sleepy but not to crazy. Want crazy, head up to the deck. Always a evening party up there but we never went so no review on it. We also spent time at the casino. This was also a blast except when the big ballers came along and would take over the tables. This didn’t happen often so I wouldn’t take points away from it. Now on the the most important part, excursions and port visits. We did a tour in every port except where we got on, Rome, and Canes. I’m a huge traveler and this and I love to experience other cultures and really get in-depth. You won’t get that on a cruise. We found this is great to walk around, take a few pictures, buy some magnets and souvenirs, get going on to the next one. The time you spend in port is not Long enough. -First port was Florence & Pisa. We did the “on your own tour”. Glad we did. Basically it was a informative bus ride to Pisa for pictures then a two hour ride to Florence, then back to the ship. This worked well for us but because of time restraints we couldn’t see David or climb the leaning tower. -Canes, no tour. We didn’t need one because the ship pulled right in downtown. Got off and saw most of the city on foot. Beautiful. -Majorca, Palma and Villdemosa tour. This tour was just okay. We first took a ride up the Castle, wast of time. Just good for a few pictures overlooking the city. Not worth the time it took to get there. Then Villdemose, AMAZING! Love this little town! Made this tour worthwhile. After lunch in this town we were brought back to Palma and took a few pictures at a beach but didn’t see any of the city. -Barcelona, biggest disappointment because I love this city. We took the “best of Barcelona” tour. Started with a short bus ride around the city then a walking tour of the old city. The guide was informative but spent a lot of time on local politics. After downtown is when the tour lost me. We took a 20 minute ride to a tourist trap. An old replica of a Spanish village. WHAT THE HECK!!! We are in real Spain, why are we here for over an hour? This is appropriate for a school field trip. After waisting a chunk of the day there we went to La Sangrada Famila. Beautiful. Loved this part until again the tour ruined it. We did the walk through of the church then were told to get food and meet up in an hour. Why eat here? I asked the tour guide if we would make it to la Rambla and was told we did t have time? Best of Barcelona and we had over an hour for some fake Epcot Spain exhibit but no time for La Rambla? Unbelievable! Whole day with this tour and don’t get 15 minutes to sit, drink a sangria, and people watch! This was a huge fail! Do yourself a favor, do the hop on hop off tour! Save a ton of money! -last was Naples, best tour of the trip. We did the Amalfi coast and Pompei. Amazing! Do this tour!!!! Only advice I can say, take motion sickness medication before you guy. Bus ride was crazy but that’s part of the fun, and sit on the right side of the bus. Long review but like I said this vacation had a lot of elements. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
First...the Epic is a fantastic boat for all. I felt like it does everything at an A- level. Nothing was A+ which to be honest is just super. Some boats have varying degrees of grades in my perspective but everything was top notch so ... Read More
First...the Epic is a fantastic boat for all. I felt like it does everything at an A- level. Nothing was A+ which to be honest is just super. Some boats have varying degrees of grades in my perspective but everything was top notch so for a family looking for a lot of different things, I think this boat is just big enough with a lot of different things to do an experience. It felt like a big boat and not busy which was even better. Overall the Haven suite (2 bedroom) is perfect for a family. It is a bit pricy but the experience and to some degree the sanity you get from this is well worth the price. Plus we always had priority on shows, dining locations, etc. made it worthwhile as then we didn't have to wait in long lines at all. The Haven dining room was amazing as well and I felt like a VIP the entire cruise. Also the Haven 2 Bedroom Family room had an amazing Master Bath (best in class) and I was so surprised by it's size (and view!). Rome embarkation was quick and efficient as only 1.2k people boarded. Mid week we docked in Barcelona and that is when 3.3k people came off and on. So the learning is find out which port has the 'lower' embarkation number of people and go that route. Food was excellent in the restaurants and some of the best food I have ever eaten to be honest. The buffet on deck 15 is pretty good, but not memorable. I recommend getting the specialty dining to use at places like Teppanyaki (which was my favorite). The Beverage package for the free drinks was amazing and I just wonder how NCL does it as I have read that is where they make huge margins. Maybe it is built into the price but even then I notice the price on my cruise was lower than what I found for like experiences on Royal or Princess. Entertainment was excellent. Loved the Drag Queen show, Burn the Floor and all the other singers on board. The escape room was a bit hokey but fun for an hour. The circus show was amazing as well but it was a diner show which was plated to start with so didn't get a ton of options to choose a meal (but it was still great). Western Med was a great family cruise and I took advantage of the excursions. The value on the boat is just ok to be honest, and would recommend probably going outside of NCL to book them, but if you want hassle free.....it is not too bad. I would say end to end I give this cruise an A- across the board. It was close to an A in my book, but the boat did show a bit of age at places but it is going through a refurbishing soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just returned from from 7 night western med cruise from Barcelona. We have previously cruised with NCL 3 times. Embarkation slick and easy, taxi from Barcelona cathedral costing 13 euros. Not worth queing for the the 3 euro bus, tpoo ... Read More
Just returned from from 7 night western med cruise from Barcelona. We have previously cruised with NCL 3 times. Embarkation slick and easy, taxi from Barcelona cathedral costing 13 euros. Not worth queing for the the 3 euro bus, tpoo hot, too busy. The ship is showing signs of age and appears tired in places. The layout is easy to navigate however there was a lack of public space around the atrium. The bars were good, in particular the Whisky bar, great staff and some good music. Try out the quiet zone sun deck on deck 18. Great beds and some space to relax. We had a spa balcony which provided sufficient space for three occupants.There is a strage layout, the sink is in the main room. It is a rather silly idea, so much so we resorted to using the spa to shower etc. Our steward, Erold was super efficient and friendly. The dining rooms were good, however the ship was full with some very boisterous large family groups who had little regard for other diners. Children climbing over charis and tables in the main restaurant at 9.30pm is a bit much. Staff were patient and tried to manage these groups but on occasion dining was a scrum rather than a pleasant sociable event. Speciality dining. We ate in four restaurants; Cagneys - poor. Service was chaotic and the food undercooked and cold. On the evening we were there multiple diners complained about the service and the quality of the food. La Cucina - ate here twiceand found the food very good indeed.Great service from professional and efficient staff. Sushi - excellent meal. Prepared to order and a nice change. Le Bistro - nice ambience, good staff. The food was very good. The gym is very big and well equipped. The spa is good but dated. The best group/evening entertainment was the Howl at the Moon. Good fun, fantastic musicians who generate a great atmosphere. Our 16 yr old loved it! 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
The ship itself was beautiful, food and service was absolutely horrible from the Epic. There were so many administrative errors in terms of billing and credit card authorizations (including unauthorized charges to our rooms) that we had ... Read More
The ship itself was beautiful, food and service was absolutely horrible from the Epic. There were so many administrative errors in terms of billing and credit card authorizations (including unauthorized charges to our rooms) that we had 3 families (rooms) spending at least 12 to 16 hours over at guest services correcting these errors. They absolute worse was my cabin was flooded the whole week resulting in mould! I had to take prednisone during the trip because my lungs were in very bad shape as a result of the moisture and mould. My other sister had to take out a round of antibiotics as soon as we left the boat and landed on Barcelona.  I don’t think I can ever recommend Norwegian. Really disappointed that our families spent combined over 60K on this trip and we would have had a better experience on a 3 star cruise like carnival or a 5 star Mexican resort. Truly disappointed.  too much $$ spent on such a 1 Star travel experience.   I would like to file a formal complaint with Norwegian.   Thank you,  Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We're a family of 4 (kids 11/9) and we would not be regular cruisers, having previously only done a 3 day cruise out of Florida. Check-in was very speedy and efficient. We were on the ship within 20 minutes and our luggage arrived ... Read More
We're a family of 4 (kids 11/9) and we would not be regular cruisers, having previously only done a 3 day cruise out of Florida. Check-in was very speedy and efficient. We were on the ship within 20 minutes and our luggage arrived not too long after. General - everything generally spotless, seemed like there was a very high standard of hygiene everywhere. 'Washy Washy. Happy Happy' as they say. Main decks - the pools were pretty small and tended to get crowded - they were also very warm and not very refreshing. Even the showers on deck were very warm - they really should have a couple of colder showers. Staff - All polite to a fault. Don't know how they manage it TBH considering the stuff they must have to put up with. Food - Generally very good considering they're catering for 4,000. We got the specialty dining package so ate in 3 of the fancier restaurants - they were all very nice. Bars - we didn't have a drinks package so drinks were pretty expensive. We didn't tend to drink very much. They say you can't bring drink on with you but we did for most of the excursion days - they hardly check your bags at all getting back on. The Martini and Whiskey bars were very pleasant. One major annoyance was the ice bar - $25 to get in, even for kids, so $100 for the 4 of us!. No way was I paying that. There's an ice bar in Palma that was only €40 for the 4 of us and included a couple of drink as well. Much better value, shame on Norwegian for charging so much. Excursions - Didn't pay for any of the Ship excursions. It's perfectly possible, with a bit of forward planning, to arrange your own travel to all of the cities and pay a fraction of the price and get there quicker - for example, getting the train into Rome is much cheaper and faster than the cruise bus. Same goes for Pisa. Cannes you can just walk around yourself and a 10 minute walk will get you to the local bus station in Naples where you can get a bust to Pompeii. Do a bit of research and save a fortune. Entertainment - there was always something on. if you're bored on the ship, it's your fault. All in all we had a great time, got to see some amazing cities and really enjoyed our time on the ship, Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our ninth cruise, third with NCL. I am rating it poor simply because of the issues with the cabin, described later. We chose this cruise because friends had already booked this sailing. This was our first cruise in The ... Read More
This was our ninth cruise, third with NCL. I am rating it poor simply because of the issues with the cabin, described later. We chose this cruise because friends had already booked this sailing. This was our first cruise in The Haven and we were hoping for every good thing we've heard about The Haven and we were not disappointed. The experience was awesome, from the minute we checked in until we disembarked we were treated like royalty. Our butler, Helbert, brought us a pitcher of ice water daily, made sure we had milk in the fridge for morning coffee. When we returned to our cabin after excursions, he had left a snack (fruit or sandwiches) along with some sweets for us. The concierge, Omar, lived up to his reputation. He is perfect in that position. We ate in The Haven restaurant for most meals and the food was fantastic, service was excellent. Sharmila and Remi were our favorites, but everyone was friendly and provided great service. While we spent most of our time in The Haven area, all of our dealings with any crew members were pleasant. The washy-washy ladies when entering the Cafe could bring a smile to anyone's face. Other than the specialty dining, we had every meal in The Haven. We chose Cagney's, La Cucina and Moderno for our specialty dining and the food was fantastic. Service in La Cucina was a little slow, but the food made up for it. As for the entertainment, I walked out of Priscilla Queen of the Desert after about 20 minutes, as did many other people. My husband stayed hoping it would get better but it didn't. We had late reservations for Burn the Floor on the last night of the cruise, but had to skip it because of an 0615 disembarkation to catch our flight. We didn't participate in many activities around the ship because we preferred the solitude of The Haven and our cabin. There were a lot of children on this cruise and many of them were running around unsupervised and/or undisciplined. Since we had booked a Spa Suite, we also had access to the Thermal Spa. There wasn't much time to enjoy the spa on this cruise, but we did manage to get there twice and found it very relaxing and peaceful. The entire area was clean and well maintained. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to visit Spain, France and Italy. We have two older children who had never been to Europe. One had studied Italian and the other French. We picked an excursion each day that would be active and fun. We climbed up the volcano ... Read More
We wanted to visit Spain, France and Italy. We have two older children who had never been to Europe. One had studied Italian and the other French. We picked an excursion each day that would be active and fun. We climbed up the volcano over Pompei, then visited the ruins of Pompei. We climbed up to the top of the leaning tower of Pisa. We chose to spend the extra money to stay in the Haven on the cruise/ it was spectacular. The service was top notch. We were pampered and had a restaurant, bar, pool and sun deck all in our area. It was quiet and very upscale. The staff learned our names and favorite food/drinks right away. It was a fantastic experience! We were able to all stay in one cabin with enough beds for everyone- 3 adult children with us. The cabin was spacious with two separate bedrooms and two full bathrooms. I will always choose the Haven when it is an option. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We’ve had great cruises on both the Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jade in the past, mainly because we loved the quality and wide variety of theatre and game shows. Okay, so we had a bad experience on the Norwegian Bliss recently, mainly ... Read More
We’ve had great cruises on both the Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jade in the past, mainly because we loved the quality and wide variety of theatre and game shows. Okay, so we had a bad experience on the Norwegian Bliss recently, mainly because the way that ship is laid out didn’t make for a good entertainment experience for us. But because we had been on the Epic before, we were confident that our sons and their families would enjoy a Mediterranean cruise with us. When they threw in a free drinks package for us all, we were even more confident. Wrong! What we hadn’t realised is that since we last cruised on the Epic, it has been redesigned so that in many areas of the ship it resembles the Norwegian Bliss, and in particular the bits which we hated. For example, to reach the Windjammer restaurant you need to go across the 6th floor. Half of the 6th is a smoky casino and the other half a very noisy but drab pub. Not ideal for small kids to pass through, but it was hard to avoid doing so. Then there’s the Atrium, which is now the location for all the game shows, quizzes, live bands, and cinema shows. It also doubles as Guest Services, Future Cruises, and Excursions, as well as being the main thoroughfare in the ship. All in all it’s absolute bedlam, you can’t hear the quiz questions, you can’t hear what the guest services staff say, and the constant movement of people makes it a totally inappropriate place for entertainment. Now don’t get me wrong, we did enjoy this cruise, but to a large extent it was despite the Epic rather than because of it. The food was good, though the service in the Windjammer was slow: one evening it took over two hours for our party of 10 to get our meal. Hint: use Taste, the service is much better in there and the staff friendlier. The Garden Café buffet was always busy, but we always found a table big enough for us all at the very front of the ship. I’m sorry, though, Norwegian, but the quality and variety of the entertainment on the Epic has gone downhill since the last time we came. Where were the magicians, the flamenco show, the trapeze artists, and the comedians of old? We missed the Burn the Floor dancing show because of the slow service in the Windjammer, and we couldn’t take the kids to see Priscilla and the Desert because it was not suitable for under 18s. What are you doing putting on a show like that when the ship is full of children (school holidays)?!! And as for putting “The Beatles” and the Motown singers on in the Epic theatre as two evening’s main entertainment when the same singers had been performing all week in other venues: well, we really felt short changed. Thank goodness NCL have persevered with the Duelling Pianos: they are the only touch of class in the current entertainment team. One thing that I need to mention about the staterooms is that they all have glass sided toilets and glass sided showers, with nowhere to dress or wash your hands other than inside the bedroom. I was pleased we hadn’t volunteered to have any of the grandkids share our room! Other niggles:- - It’s impossible to find a bar without music where you can have a quiet drink and a chat - The price to get into the circus for a meal and show is now 48 dollars pp including children. Sorry, but I think that’s extortion. - We were constantly being asked to buy raffle tickets. Hadn’t we paid enough? - No fountains or splash areas for older kids. - When the lift goes straight past your floor because one of the Haven cruisers has used their lift override card, it makes you feel very second class - We forked out a lot so that my grandson could acquire tickets on the arcade games, only to find at the end of the week that all his tickets “won” him two plastic rings. Here are my comments about the places we visited - Naples: we walked across the road from the port into the town, which is interesting. The grandkids enjoyed the funicular railway. One of my sons visited Pompei; he said it was still in need of renovation. - Civitavecchia: took the free shuttle bus into town and walked to a nice beach. The kids enjoyed it there. - Livorno: they wanted to charge us 15 Euros pp for a two mile coach trip to the railway station for trains to Pisa and Florence. We stopped onboard…… One of my sons went to Pisa; he said there was a leaning tower in need of renovation. - Cannes: the highlight of the cruise. Lovely town, good shops, good beaches close to where the (well organised) shuttle boats dropped us off. - Palma: they wanted us to pay 15 Euros pp for a one mile return bus trip into town. Instead we took a taxi (9 Euros for 4 people) to the resort of Cala Mayor, a short trip South. Great beach which the kids loved. One thought, though. Why did the boat dawdle all the way from Cannes so that we only got to Palma at 1pm, by which time it was red hot? Were NCL cutting their costs? Would we sail with NCL again? I’m not so sure now. We might go on one of the smaller ships, but the entertainment would have to be getting rave reviews before I booked. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this holiday to take all my family who live in different parts of Europe on a cruise where we could all be together. The poor things outweighed the pluses , I would never do it again. The pools were inadequate, too many people ... Read More
I chose this holiday to take all my family who live in different parts of Europe on a cruise where we could all be together. The poor things outweighed the pluses , I would never do it again. The pools were inadequate, too many people using a small area . many of the guests refused to let their children use them. This should have been the centre stage for the trip but it wasn't comfortable. Always packed and difficult to find chairs. No crew bothering to see who were not using the beds occupied all day with towels which weren't used. The cabins were Ok but that's all. Food was fine, no complaints. Embarkation and disembarkation excellent. Entertainment good.The problem with this ship is that the on deck facilities aren't sufficient for the number of passengers. Had that been better then it would have made a huge difference to our holiday. We also had some issues relating to NCL general terms and conditions and found their later dealing with our complaint unsatisfactory. There were always long queues at guest relations desk so if you needed the simplest of requests or answers you had to expect a long wait. NCL should invest in better on deck facilities and give their Guest relations teams both on board and in London better training in customer service. Our children enjoyed the rides and there were many good things about the ship. yet as I stated the bad outweighed the good. Irregular Kev Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Chose this cruise because of the ports. Loved seeing all these amazing locations in one week! FYI Europe is hot and humid in summer!! Travelled with twin 17yr olds. Son and husband had a balcony room and my daughter and I had an inside ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the ports. Loved seeing all these amazing locations in one week! FYI Europe is hot and humid in summer!! Travelled with twin 17yr olds. Son and husband had a balcony room and my daughter and I had an inside room. Balcony room was nice because of the balcony (and couch) of course but we actually liked the layout of our inside room better - it was more like a dorm room with seemingly more floor space between the beds than the balcony room. Beds and bedding were super comfortable! The Epic shower/toilet/sink situation didn't bother us at all, in fact, we kind of liked the shower and toilet separate with the sink out in the room better- only problem was no one could come into our room from the hallway when the shower/toilet were being used - doors were frosted but it would still be weird. Food and restaurant choices on Epic were amazing. We went to every "complimentary" eating location available and enjoyed them all. Didn't see a need to pay extra for the other dining options. We're non-drinkers so can't comment on that but it seems like people were sure enjoying their drinks! Favorite shows were Cirque Dreams and Burn the Floor. Very impressive. Also enjoyed the Howl at the Moon musicians - they were super talented, jumping to different instruments for different song requests. We cancelled our reservations for Priscilla after learning about some risque content - glad for the heads up on that. Activities on the ship were nonstop and really fun- game shows, a few dance lessons, some exercise classes, other music, etc. We aren't gamblers but there was a large casino. Fun sports court, rock climbing, trampoline, and water slides. Only disappointment was the TINY swimming pools- we didn't even bother going to "swim". Fitness room was huge. Didn't use the spa services. Kids really enjoyed teen club and teen activities and are still in contact post-cruise with people they met there. Must say service was excellent and cruise director team was a really fun group with nice personalities. Also, staff kept the whole ship spotless and also highly encouraged cleanliness with people spraying you with hand sanitizers before getting back on the ship and before eating at the buffet - much appreciated and we did not get sick. We didn't do ship excursions because we wanted more of a private tour situation than tour buses would have provided. By the end, we were exhuasted - it's a port-heavy cruise and then you get back to the ship and there's more fun stuff to do - but very worth it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We did the Norwegian Epic cruise out of Barcelona, Spain on July 14 - July 21, 2019. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about the cruise after reading so many negative reviews on cruise critic BUT it was WONDERFUL!!! In fact, I joined ... Read More
We did the Norwegian Epic cruise out of Barcelona, Spain on July 14 - July 21, 2019. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about the cruise after reading so many negative reviews on cruise critic BUT it was WONDERFUL!!! In fact, I joined cruise critics roll call and was able to gain a lot of insight from other travelers on what to do and things that others had learned. We are avid cruisers and Disney is one of our favorite cruise lines but we decided to do Norwegian because of the price. I will attempt to give an overview. We boarded in Barcelona. We took a cab from the airport to the port. It was a fixed price of 36 or 39 euros. Check in was so smooth and fast! I did the on-line check in prior to us leaving and it was one of the fastest check-ins that I have experienced. The ship was very well maintained. I did not see dirty or stained areas. We were on floor 8 in a balcony cabin. I did not care for the lay out of the room but we only got ready and slept in the room. There were 3 of us in our cabin. I did not like the frosted shower-like doors for the toilet area but we lived with it. Once again, we just got ready and slept in the room. The dining was amazing. We had 3 free specialty dinings (for the first 2 of us) and we paid for my daughter. We ate at La Cucina, Le Bistro, and Cagney's. The food and service was superb. This was our first time to ever do any extra charge restaurants because I think you already have so much on a cruise, but since it was free, we tried it. I will say we loved it!! You felt so special, at ease and relaxed and knew you had one-on-one service. BUT, there free dining is also amazing. There is such a variety of foods. The buffet had a different them each night. (Mexican, Mediterranean, Grilled, Italian and I don't remember the others.) Also, there was a person making fresh, made to order crepes at the buffet. That may have been all nights but I used it Tuesday - Thursday for sure. Everyone in the dining rooms and dining areas were very attentive. The dining rooms and buffet areas were beautiful. They all had windows where you could look out and view the water. The front dining room at The Garden Cafe buffet was beautiful and all windows. LOVELY VIEWS!! The food reminded me of when we first started cruising 20+ years ago and that was what you looked forward to. I cannot give an honest opinion of the activities because we were off the ship each day in port and by the time we came back, got ready, and ate, we were ready to crash for the night. We did go to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, but left. I knew it would have drag queens but there were too many other things that I felt were inappropriate and were not for me nor my family. We did see a comedian and he was funny but they really needed to use a larger venue because we were packed into one of the areas and there was standing room only. We missed Burn the Floor and we choose not to do Cirque Dreams because we did not want to pay for a show. We saw the Beatles Mania show and it was enjoyable. Our cabin steward was very nice and always checking on us. He checked with us each day to see if everything was OK and if there was anything that we needed. I did want extra blankets and when we got back to the room, they were on our bed. Everyone on the ship, from guest services to the gift shops, seemed pleasant and friendly. I know some people asked about laundry and ironing of clothes. They have a laundry service on the boat but of course it is high. On Wednesday, there was a flyer in the room that advertised that you could fill a bag with clothes and they would be washed and returned to you by Friday. The cost was $19.95. We did fill a bag with our underclothes and tshirts and they were washed and back in the room by Friday evening--all for $19.95 You do have to write the special or promotion on the bag of laundry in order to receive it. I will try to give a run down of what we did each day. We did not book any excursions through Norwegian. We used outside tour companies that were less expensive and fewer people. I gave them a poor on shore excursions because of the prices. I learned this a few years ago when we did a cruise around the Greek Isles. Day 1, we embarked on Sunday in Barcelona and Day 2, Monday was a day at sea. Thank goodness for that!! We were exhausted after our flight from the US. We slept in and just roamed around a little on Monday. Every other day, you are at a port. The day of rest helped us--- I don't know if I could have gotten on in Civitavecchia and then had to do ports with no rest, if I could have made it! Day 3 - Tuesday was Naples Italy. We used Italy Tours and booked Pompeii, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast. There were 14 people in our van and it was wonderful. Our driver met us at the port, we loaded into the van and started our tour. We got back to Naples about 1 1/2 hours before we had to be on board, so there was time to go into Naples if you wanted. Day 4 - Civitavecchia (Rome)--We did not book a tour because we visited Rome for several days in 2016 so we did our own thing. We got off the ship and there were many people at the port where you could book tours or take a bus to Rome. We got on one of the Smart Tours buses and once the bus was full, they brought you to Rome. You were dropped off at a point near the Vatican and then they gave you a time to be back and the bus picked you back up at the same spot and brought you back to Civitavecchia to board the ship. The cost was 23 or 25 euros per person and you had to pay cash. They did not accept credit cards. When we got on the bus, it was almost full so we only had to sit about 15 minutes before leaving. From what I heard, some people sat on the bus almost 1 hour waiting for others to get off the ship and board. You may want to keep that in mind. Italy Tours had some small group tours for Rome but since we had spent several days here a few years ago, we just walked and revisited some of our favorite things and took our own tour. :) We stayed far away from the Vatican that day because it was Wednesday and the Pope was doing mass so it was VERY CROWDED. Make sure to get gelato. This will help cool you off and Rome gelato is so very good. Day 5 - Livorno - We did a small group tour with Italy Tours. There were 7 of us in our group plus the driver. We did the tour called the Best of Florence and Pisa. Our driver met us at the small port (it was very easy to find him) and we went to Pisa first and then to Florence. We got to Pisa by 8:15 and the first group allowed to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not until 9:00 so we were able to get our tickets and be in the first group to climb the tower. Walking and viewing the grounds was great! It was a highlight for us to be able to climb to the top of the tower. After doing this, I would suggest being in the beginning groups. The lines get longer as the day goes on and it gets HOTTER!! Also, you could not bring any bags in the tower. You had to lock purses and backpacks up in a secure area before climbing the tower. We then went to Florence and met up with a guide and were put with some other group for this guide. Florence was beautiful and even with the other group, we were still only 15 and our guide. Our tour company offered to add the skip the line tickets, which we purchased, and went to the academia to see the original David. The additional group of people that we joined up with in Florence did have an elderly lady who had trouble walking and keeping up and those persons eventually left the tour and said they would go on their own. Florence is an amazing city--the bridge with the shops on it is just amazing. Day 6 - Cannes - We did not do a tour with an outside company (but if you start early enough, you should be able to). You have to tender into Cannes. Make sure to book your tender early and don't waste 1/2 day on the ship waiting to catch a tender to get off. Once in Cannes, we went to Monaco. You can take a train from Cannes to Monaco and it is about a 50 minute ride. If you decide to do this on your own, here are a few tips that we learned the hard way! :) To get to the train station, once you walk out of the port area and get to the main road, take a right. When you get to the Cannes tourism office (it is a big mirrored building on the right), take a left onto the street that is across from the tourism office. You will walk several blocks down that road and then you will see the train/bus station. If in doubt, ASK. Once inside, DO NOT try to use the kiosk to buy your own tickets. Go in the station and go to the ticket office to the left (it is inside more glass doors and it has a working AC). Once inside, pull a number ticket and wait for your number to come up and then ask the agent to help you buy a ticket to Monaco. It was 36 euros for all 3 of us. BEFORE you board the train to Monaco/Nice, make sure you find the yellow VALIDATION machine and validate your ticket. I think you get in major trouble if you do not validate your ticket before boarding. If you don't see a machine, ask someone where to validate the ticket and they will show you. Take the train to Monaco and then follow the signs (brown, historical) to the palace. There are lots of things to see and quaint little shops near that area. We did not go to the casino but that is also available. When you are ready to leave Monaco, you can get off the train in Nice on the way back to Cannes and do some wandering there. We did not do this because we lost time trying to find the train station and getting the wrong kind of ticket and having to switch out. If you have plenty of time, others say this is wonderful to do. We spent all of our time looking around Monaco and then we were having to sprint to make it back to the ship!! Day 7 - Palma De Mallorca - To be honest, when we booked this trip, I had never even heard of this place. I was thinking in my mind that we would probably be so tired from our other tours and adventures, we could just stay on the ship. DON'T STAY ON THE SHIP!!! This place is beautiful. It is the largest island in all of Spain. Once again, we did not book any tour. There are shuttle buses that take you from the port to the town center. BOOK YOUR SHUTTLE RIDE BEFORE SATURDAY MORNING. The shuttle ride from the ship to town is $15 per person. Book your shuttle Thursday night or Friday. If not, you will spend a long time in line on Saturday morning to buy a shuttle ticket. For those who do book their shuttle ticket prior to Saturday morning--when you get off the ship and you see a LONG line of people that look like they are waiting to get on a shuttle, do not go to the end of the line and get in line. These are the people who are waiting to purchase their shuttle ride. Let someone know that you already purchased your shuttle ticket, and they will tell you to go straight to the shuttle bus. Meaning, you will by-pass this long line of people who did not pre-purchase. Once you ride the shuttle, it will bring you into town near the church. There is a hop-on hop off bus tour you can buy here that will bring you around the entire island. I think the HOHO bus tour was 18 euros per person. This island has many sights to see and some amazing shopping. It is beautiful and I think it would be a great place to visit on a future vacation. Once again, this was an AMAZING CRUISE, with amazing food and ports of call. For all of those who are concerned because of the negative reviews, my advice would be to ignore them and go expecting a great time and have an awesome vacation. We loved it and will definitely be trying more Norwegian cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We did a 7 night out of Barcelona (July 14-21). The trip was fantastic. To our group, this trip was about the ports - not nearly as much about the ship. However, both the ports and ship pleased on every level. I had read so many ... Read More
We did a 7 night out of Barcelona (July 14-21). The trip was fantastic. To our group, this trip was about the ports - not nearly as much about the ship. However, both the ports and ship pleased on every level. I had read so many reviews on CC that I was a bit nervous going into the trip. We had 7 people, 4 rooms (3 balconies, 2 of which were connecting, and one studio). Embarkation - we were amongst the first people at the dock in Barcelona (we had spend 4 days in the city prior). We were checked in and on board with little hassle. We were literally the second group at Guest Services and there were no Haven passes available upon boarding. No big deal. Our rooms were smaller than usual, and the setup is exactly as everyone describes. Yes the toilet and shower are odd... and the curvature of the room makes for a different layout. But the rooms were not any smaller than what you'd expect on a cruise ship. The room steward was excellent as they usually are. The beds did seem a bit short - but we've had the same experience on other cruises. While I didn't love the room setup, it was fine and pretty much exactly what was expected. One note - Thanks to the recommendations on CC here, we purchased the Thermal Spa pass. BEST MONEY YOU CAN SPEND. The spa is amazing, and we took almost all of our showers in the spa. That place is awesome and I can't recommend it highly enough. It is worth the investment. We had 4 specialty dining nights - and chose Cagneys (absolutely excellent), Teppanyaki (typical Japanese hibachi place, nothing great, but exactly as expected), La Cuccina (good), and the Cirque dinner show - which was such a mix. At the Cirque show, the service was the only time we felt neglected on the ship (they were terrible), but the food was pretty good (not outstanding, but good). However, the show itself was excellent. All the entertainment we saw (Priscilla, Burn the Floor, the Beatles show) was excellent. Back to food - we avoided the buffet at all costs, but the few times we were there at breakfast, seating was plentiful if you walked forward. Some people chose to go down one deck to La Cuccina where they had additional seating. We never once had a long wait at a bar for the drink (UBP). Granted, we didn't use the pool bar too often as we were in Spice H2O. But even when we did use the pool bar, we never had trouble. I was afraid after reading so many reviews on here that the wait for drinks would be insane. Not at all our experience. And our ship was packed. Casino was centrally located and we expected the worst. It was somewhat smoky but not as bad as other ships. The fitness center was quite large, and fit our needs perfectly. As for the ports after reading reviews here, we went with Italytours.eu and Barcelonadaytours.eu. I cannot state enough how excellent their services are. We were met as we walked off the ship in 3 Italian ports (Barcelona we were staying in a hotel, so it was easier). We had private tours in Naples (Pompeii, Sorrento, & Amalfi Coast), Rome (Best of Rome), and Livorno (Florence & Pisa). These guys took care of everything - handled it extremely well and took the stress out of everything. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Disembarked on our own and were amongst the first off the ship at 5:45 A.M. (We had an early flight and it was going to be close, but easily made it). We were off in a breeze and cabs were waiting already. If you're looking for a port intensive European itinerary, the Epic is great. I can't recommend enough Italytours.eu. Oh, and for those interested, the ship docks starboard side to in every port except Barcelona. We were on the port side with balconies on the 13th deck. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I can not say enough about the Haven and the staff on the Epic. This was our first cruise and Norwegian and the Haven were recommended to us by friends. We had two families with us and were well taken care of by William our butler and ... Read More
I can not say enough about the Haven and the staff on the Epic. This was our first cruise and Norwegian and the Haven were recommended to us by friends. We had two families with us and were well taken care of by William our butler and Ray his assistant. William even decorated our room for our upcoming birthdays! We each had our own 2 bedroom suites which were well appointed and comfortable. There were only 3 of us in our suite so it felt very spacious. The rooms could do with a refresh, which I believe is being scheduled for dry dock in the near future. However i found them tasteful and clean. The Haven restaurant was superb and I never got bored of the food. Excellent wait staff and only busy on 2 occasions but still was a pleasure dining. Posh deck was a great retreat after a long day at port and Ed and Kerwin were our saviors with ice cold drinks and pleasant smiles. Always found a seat and loved the privacy. I do wish there was a pool or shower in posh just to cool off but the Haven pool was just a deck below. However, access to it required you to walk through the haven restaurant or concierge in your swimsuit/towel to get to it. The staff in the haven just blew me away with their always ready to please attitude. The concierge staff was also at your service and the priority on and off the ship at ports was much appreciated, especially the day of the tendering. Thank you Omar for an easy on and off the ship every time!! We didn’t do much else outside the Haven except a couple of shows, Cagneys one night, and the Ice Bar, all of which we enjoyed. My friend had a massage one night that I think she enjoyed. We walked around the ship but always found ourselves back in the Haven enjoying the perks that we paid for. I would do it again in a heart beat. We found the entertainment to be top notch and even our teenagers enjoyed it. The slides were fun at the pool and the kids enjoyed the ship activities. I do wish Posh would stay open later than 6pm. 7 seems more reasonable on such a port intensive cruise. I want to shout out to Captain Marco for taking the time to meet with us for our daughters birthday. That was a highlight of the trip. It was a pleasure learning more about the ship and what he does to keep this small city running smoothly. Clearly he leads by example for all the crew. Thank you again for being so generous with your time! My only regret is that we did not book our next cruise before we got off the ship. We were having so much fun we never made it down to talk to anyone. I can not review any excursions because we did private ones with our group of 8. I will add that I had no idea that as Haven guests we could exit the ship earlier in port. I would have left the ship on some days to get out earlier if I had known to schedule it in advance. However it is a minor detail in the scheme of things. One thing to note is that I really think Norwegian should include water in the beverage package. Not just for haven guests but for anyone with a package. At the very least, one liter per day, per beverage package. Again, a minor detail but sometimes the little things can make it or break it for some people. Overall, we would absolutely recommend our experience on The Norwegian Epic in The Haven. I don’t think I would have enjoyed this cruise as much unless I were staying as a Haven guest but we specifically booked it for the amenities included in the Haven. We wanted to feel pampered and that’s just what The Haven and the Epic staff did for us! Thank you Captain Marco and the entire staff of the Norwegian Epic and Haven!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have done a lot of cruising and have never seen a cruise ship set up like this! Rooms were the worst. You open the door to look at a shower with a frosted glass door on your right and a toilet with a frosted glass door on your left. If ... Read More
We have done a lot of cruising and have never seen a cruise ship set up like this! Rooms were the worst. You open the door to look at a shower with a frosted glass door on your right and a toilet with a frosted glass door on your left. If you are using either of these and some one walks in the room they will see you! You can see and hear everything in those! Absolutely no privacy. The bed was AWFUL. A rounded headboard and 2 twin mattresses making it a king size bed. But they are rounded on the top and bottom so your feet hang off all night. I’m only 5’2”. Absolutely horrible lighting. You can’t even read a book or put make up on. The hair dryer plugs in below the desk and it’s almost impossible to stretch the cord to reach your head. Ours was not working anyway so had to ask for another one. No storage. The drawers were so narrow you couldn’t put clothes in them. Room stewards were hardly around and not very friendly. I was never called by my name when he was around. Rug was filthy too. Hallways were curved and very strange. The 2 pools were like postage stamps crammed with people and kids. Water temp was in the 90’s. The kiddie pool area had a spraying part which did not work at all. Buffet was very mediocre and service horrible. The main dining room food was just ok & horrible service. I can’t say anyone working for them went out of their way to be friendly except for the washy washy girl when you entered the buffet. They rest of the staff should take a few lessons from her. Not many photo shooting opportunities in the evening and we were a group of 11 family members with kid 3,4,7,16 and the one photographer said she couldn’t take pictures of a group that big...what?? And if someone was having a photo shoot where they were doing it was so inconvenient that there was no room to walk around them. You either interrupted them or had to wait to get by. Shows were practically non existent. The good things were the upgraded dining rooms and staff. Excellent! The main reason I chose this ship were the ports they went to and that did not disappoint. Wonderful but I hired all private excursions which were also wonderful and less money then the ship charges & just our family. We did not realize that this ship has two ports for boarding and embarkation. Talk about confusion getting off the ship that day for an excursion. Tried to get a taxi at Barcelona port and waited over an hour. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My family and I choose this cruise because we want to try a different cruise line plus we want to do the free style cruising and the Mediterranean was on our bucket list and boy we where super excited.. We flew into Barcelona two days ... Read More
My family and I choose this cruise because we want to try a different cruise line plus we want to do the free style cruising and the Mediterranean was on our bucket list and boy we where super excited.. We flew into Barcelona two days earlier to explore the city and it didn’t disappoint us , the food , the people and the tours was amazing . Embarkation and Disembarkation was super smooth but getting to our room was a little confusing . Entering the hallway towards our room it smell like wet carpet or Sewage and I mean it smell like that every day . After entering our room it was ok nothing to be crazy about the bed had long hairs underneath the covers and mirrors look like it hasn’t been clean for weeks , there where dust on the furniture so we had to call for them to come back to Re-clean the room , but the view from our balcony on the 14deck was amazing . I have been in the customer service business for over 25 years and a few of the staff at the front deck , the way they talking to customer was super unprofessional and disrespectful and you do not talk to guests like you are annoying or mad at them because they have question or a problem that’s why you’re their to help ok and if you don’t like your job quit . The guys at the pool bar was on point especially Michael he was amazing he remember my name and what my wife and I drink all the time . So my wife and I Celebrate our 16 years Wedding Anniversary and it was her birthday also so we when for dinner at La Bistro the food and the wine was amazing and our sever (April) was fantastic she was attentive and always Smiling. The entertainment on the boat was ok . The Magic show was a little lame . My son he’s 15 and he didn’t even wanna go back to the teens club because he said it was lame and boring . Breakfast suck because everyday it’s the lame things over and over . The port of call was amazing except Naples , it was dirty and smelly and the people are super rude . If i end up back in Naples I would rather stay on the boat or take a trip down to Pompeii . Rome was one of our favorite stop because of the rich history and I advise anyone who wants to take a tour of the Colosseum you will need to book a tour guide if not you will be there all day in the long lines . Overall we had fun on all of our excursion but be advice wear some comfortable walking shoes.. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Going to complete in bullet form Gym - excellent - do not pay the 59 dollars for the gym pass not worth it - I thought it would be more cost effective with the classes offered - a fight club class was 35 mins and cost 25 dollars which ... Read More
Going to complete in bullet form Gym - excellent - do not pay the 59 dollars for the gym pass not worth it - I thought it would be more cost effective with the classes offered - a fight club class was 35 mins and cost 25 dollars which was a rip off - also if u wanted to get up aand do something at 7am and then nothing offered to 5pm then great. I do not sit in the sun so would have liked a class at 11am or one mid afternoon SPA - v expensive - why would you pay 129 us dollars for a 50 mins massage - when you pay £25 UK pounds for the same thing!! - it does not make sense I know I my on holidays but not to be ripped off - it must work for them I am guessing - I would have used the SPA if the prices were more sensible - I think it would attract more people if it was cheaper Food was good and staff were always very friendly The Beatles show was excellent and so was Priscilla Queen of the Desert. The entertainment generally was off a high standard. Would recommend this cruise Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Epic Family Cruise on the Med This was a three generation family cruise undertaken to celebrate our two milestone birth anniversaries – my 75th and my wife’s 70th birthdays that occurred earlier in the year. Happily it also ... Read More
Epic Family Cruise on the Med This was a three generation family cruise undertaken to celebrate our two milestone birth anniversaries – my 75th and my wife’s 70th birthdays that occurred earlier in the year. Happily it also coincided with the pending 50th birthday of our daughter-in-law, so we actually had three reasons to celebrate during the cruise. It also provided us the opportunity to introduce our family to the wonderful world of cruising, so we especially wanted an experience that would be meaningful and enjoyable for our two children, their spouses and our four grandchildren aged 12 through to 18. We had certain limitations in selecting an appropriate cruise. It firstly had to synchronise with school and university holidays giving us a window of only the first ten days or so of July. Secondly, we wanted our family to have an inclusive cruising experience with pre-paid gratuities, speciality dining and beverage packages. Thirdly, it was important that each family unit of four had inter-leading balcony cabins, and finally, we hoped for an itinerary that would introduce first-time cruisers to a number of iconic destinations in the Mediterranean. And all of this at an affordable cost! The scheduled Norwegian Epic cruise from 03 to 10 July of the Western Mediterranean was the only one that ticked all the boxes so we took the plunge and booked with NCL. We did so with some trepidation, primarily because of the size of this mega ship knowing that at the height of the holiday season the ship would be filled to capacity and we were especially concerned about the crowds and inevitable queues at restaurants, bars and entertainment venues and when embarking and disembarking over 4800 passengers at each port of call. But more so, we were worried about the negative reviews we had read on Cruise Critic about the Epic. Our concerns were unfounded and the Epic exceeded our expectations at virtually all levels. Sure, there are a number of (in the greater scheme of things minor) matters one may take issue with but, in our view as relatively experienced cruisers having taken some twenty cruises over the past fifteen or so years with primarily five star cruise companies, the Norwegian Epic offers a far better cruise experience than one would be led to believe when reading some comments on the web. Let’s get our main negative out of the way before proceeding with the review. NCL has a reputation for “nickel and diming” and we believe this is due to their strange practice of not fully disclosing the price of products on sale up front. Whatever one purchases is also subject to an undisclosed tax so one always ends up paying more for a product or service than the prominently published price. A case in point is their cost (ridiculously high in any event) of bottled water which passengers are forced to purchase on board as NCL will not allow bottled water purchased on shore to be brought on board. We purchased a package of 24 one litre bottles at a published cost of $44 only to find that the actual amount charged to our account was $58 – a premium of 32%! The additional costs were a 20% service gratuity and the balance a sales tax. We cannot understand why one has to pay a service gratuity and additional sales tax for purchasing a bottle of water but, if that is NCL’s policy, we believe the company should be upfront with its pricing and not mislead passengers with its non-inclusive pricing policy (applicable to all goods and services). We lodged a complaint about the cost of the bottled water package with Guest Relations but did not get any response whatsoever to our query. The only other minor issue we had was with the high cost of shuttle bus services offered by NCL. Being a mega ship, ships the size of the Epic more often than not, have to berth some distance from the places of interest in the ports visited. Using some form of transportation to get downtown is therefore pretty much a necessity and in such circumstances we believe the ship company should at worst, provided such a shuttle service at cost and not make an additional profit from their passengers. Often if one was prepared to walk 500 meters or so, one could get much cheaper transport from taxis, on-shore tour operators or even public transport. Enough of the negative rants! Much more productive to focus on the positives of the cruise. As already mentioned, we were pleasantly surprised by our Epic experience. Some random observations include: The ship: Clean and well maintained throughout, the Epic is a beautiful mega ship even though it is showing notable signs of wear and tear. We were impressed with the layout of many dining options available on the ship and even though the ship was fully booked, we seldom got the sense of being over crowded. The Epic is a fun boat with the focus on entertainment and activities. Consequently, there are virtually no areas where one can just sit and relax. There is a constant buzz going on, but it would still be nice to find a quiet lounge area where one could just relax and read a book. Initially, the layout and configuration of the vessel can be confusing but once one understands that everything really happens on either the pool deck or on decks 5 and 6 where most of the dining options, theatre, bars, entertainment venues and casino are located, it becomes relatively easy to find ones way around the boat. Elevators are only located at the two ends of the ship making it almost mandatory to walk through the entertainment decks to get anywhere. Unfortunately this means that one cannot escape the smoke ridden casino to access certain venues! NCL should seriously reconsider its practice of permitting smoking in the casino – a practice that has been banned in every other cruise line ship we have sailed. Staterooms: We booked two sets of inter-leading balcony cabins to accommodate each family unit and a mini suite for ourselves. All accommodations were more than adequate with plenty of storage space. The mini suite is slightly larger than the standard balcony cabin but has the same layout – including the strange shower and toilet configuration which takes some getting used to. We understand that this bathroom layout has never been re-emulated on any other NCL ship and will be changed when the Epic undergoes a major refurbishment in the next year or so. Dining: The Epic has multiple dining options. Given the size of the ship, it is advisable to pre book one’s preferred dining venue for dinners especially if one likes to dine during peak hours. Our travel consultant had arranged to pre book dinners for our entire party of ten for each night of the cruise at a selected range of included and speciality dining venues. This helped immeasurably as we never had to queue or wait for a table at any of the selected venues. Food, in terms of both quality and presentation was invariably of a good to excellent standard. The buffet Garden Café was our chosen venue for most breakfasts and lunches. We found the quality and range of options to be surprisingly good for a buffet and would rank the Epic’s buffet restaurant as one of the best we have yet experienced on a cruise line. We had a table served breakfast on two occasions in the Trellis restaurant and, again, were more than satisfied with the fare on offer. For dinners we experimented with a range of venues. We dined at both of the included restaurants (Trellis and Manhattan) which both offer the same menu each evening. The Trellis is a more casual venue while the Manhattan offers a more upmarket experience. Both are well laid out and furnished with attentive service. We found the food to be good and attractively presented. Where the Epic shines is in the variety and quality of its speciality dining options. We experienced three and they all met or exceeded our expectations. As mentioned, we were celebrating three milestone birth anniversaries on this cruise so we chose to celebrate a different birthday at each of the speciality restaurants we selected. At two of these, the Le Bistro and La Cucina, we were even surprised with special birthday cakes delivered to the table even though we had only indicated we were celebrating a milestone birthday once we were seated at our table. A nice, unexpected touch! Food at the French Le Bistro restaurant was exceptional – typically small potions, but beautifully presented and delicious all round. Teppanyaki, the Japanese inspired restaurant was a really fun experience. The delightfully humorous Chef kept us all in fits of laughter as he cooked and served food of surprisingly high quality. We also could not find fault with the service and food quality at the Italian La Cucina restaurant . Our experience at all three speciality restaurants we dined at more than met our expectations. The only marginally disappointing dining experiences were in the Shanghai noodle restaurant and at O’Sheehans Pub where we found the fare to be unappetizing and bland. However, the younger members of the family enjoyed the pub food at O’Sheehans especially the chicken wings and fajitas! Entertainment: A wide range of entertainment options are offered – there is something going on all the time so one can never be bored! The main theatre show “Priscilla of the Desert” was exceptional, equivalent in standard to anything we have previously experienced on board a cruise ship, or even on Broadway or the West End for that matter. None of our party enjoyed the other main theatre production “Burn the Floor”, a sentiment obviously shared by many other passengers as the venue was less than half full even though this show has to be pre-booked. We found it repetitive and frankly boring. On the other hand the nightly “Howl at the Moon” productions in the Headliners Comedy Club were great fun with plenty of good, noisy music and repartee between two dueling pianists. The Beatles Cavern Club show was a bit disappointing but perhaps this was due to the small venue being so overcrowded on the night we attended the show. In addition to the more formal productions, two exceptionally talented singer/pianists entertained passengers at a variety of venues each evening. Good sing along music and good fun. We thought Roberto, the Cruise Director, to be one of the best we have yet had over our years of cruising. Efficient, engaging, informative and understated, sans all the false over the top bonhomie one generally finds with Cruise Directors on cruise ships Bars: There are so many bars situated throughout the ship that one is never in danger of becoming thirsty! We had a beverage package as an included amenity on our booking. This is a virtual necessity on the Epic as the price of liquor is exorbitant and otherwise would be a major dampener for those of us who are inclined to enjoy the occasional tipple or two! Our favoured venue was the Shakers cocktail bar where we can attest they can fix a mean martini! The whole family unit of ten participated in the Ice Bar experience. It was fun but ridiculously overpriced at $20 per person plus tax even though two cocktails are thrown in as part of the deal. Anoraks and gloves are provided but, on reflection, it really is quite masochistic to pay good money to stand in a fridge for an hour! Service: Along with our general experiences with other cruise lines, we found the standard of service on the Epic from staff at all levels (stateroom attendants, waiters, barmen etc.), to be excellent, always available to provide attentive service with a smile. It was evident also that most staff appeared to be proud to be employed by NCL so the company must be doing something right in its employment and training processes. Itinerary: One of the reasons we chose this cruise was to give or family, who had not cruise before, the opportunity of visiting some of the iconic ports of the Western Mediterranean. As we had been to most places on a few occasions beforehand, we did our own thing in all the ports except Palma Mallorca, allowing the rest of the family to explore the ports and adjacent locales unencumbered by their ageing parents! They pre-booked private tours of Pisa/Florence and of Naples/Pompei/Sorrento/Amalfi Coast and explored other destinations on their own. They were more than happy with their experiences and would recommend the private tour option which ends up much cheaper than the equivalent ship excursions and also allows for more flexibility and the option to custom design the experience should one so wish. Our primary objective with this cruise was to give our children and grandchildren a taste of the joys of cruising that we have been privileged to enjoy for so many years. After all the less than complimentary reviews we had read about what to expect on the Epic, we were truly concerned that their experiences on the ship would not be all we wished for. We need not have worried! Did they enjoy the cruise? Hell yeah! So mission accomplished. Indeed, we think we may just have produced another two generations of cruise aficionados!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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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