70 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for First-Time Cruisers Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

First Cruise for us , so cant compare. We have been all inclusive Resorts in the past and should have stuck with this. We found the cruise to busy , hectic and extremely expensive . Having only about 10 to 12 hours at each port ... Read More
First Cruise for us , so cant compare. We have been all inclusive Resorts in the past and should have stuck with this. We found the cruise to busy , hectic and extremely expensive . Having only about 10 to 12 hours at each port really does not give you the time to explore, and so excursions are in order , on the boat with Norwegian this will cost you your first born . After joining a tour bus twice at prices from Norwegian our budget was dwindling quickly. Tours were just fine but you are left tired and feeling ripped off , we did. In Naples not willing to spend $320.00 US per person for another tour we decided to check what was available on the pier and found Taxis that offered much the same for a fraction of the cost on board, this you can find in all ports For $280 Euro we ended up with our own minivan and driver , we could have waited for another couple or two to share this with bringing cost down half or to a third as Van could sit 6 but decided that we would do this by ourselves. This day was great , our driver adjusted to what we needed wanted to see and basically told us he was ours for the next 10 hours , Amalfi coast was beautiful , but what a tourist trap lol . Cabin was on deck nine with a balcony and we where surprised with the size of it and the huge amount of closet space . not good was the kitchen exhaust close by and so greasy smell was especially in port very strong and a let down . Food was great on board , bars could not have been better , staff was great . For us this boat was to large and to stand in line for like everything was not in our plans . Deck 15 buffet was packed in the am with no seats unless you wait and jump as soon as someone leaves. Restaurants i found all great and to my surprise most except 2 have no dress code , this worked for me as i did not pack any jackets or dress shirts . Shows were well done and who needs a casino , this was to large by far. Biggest item for me is the fact that i bought a watch on board regular $320.00 US now for $180.00 US , GREAT RIGHT , what a good deal until i came home and find it for 120 Canadian , so BUYER be aware , or simple don't get anything on board. Drink package was a must for us and well worth it , the Martini bar was fantastic , never busy and so was Whisky bar , both on same level with the smoking room and Deck right there . Would i do this Cruise again , i don't think so, i needed a vacation after just to get some sleep , then again sleeping was not an issue on board not after the amount of walking we did . Hope this helps a bit Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Chose this as our 1st cruise primarily based on the price and itinerary. We loved it. Cabins are comfortable with plenty of storage and I really don't see the fuss over the design The food was good..buffet not our favourite ... Read More
Chose this as our 1st cruise primarily based on the price and itinerary. We loved it. Cabins are comfortable with plenty of storage and I really don't see the fuss over the design The food was good..buffet not our favourite but perfectly acceptable for a quick and convenient meal..both MDRs very pleasant with good food(maybe a little repetitive), good service and a nice atmosphere. Also ate in O'Sheehans with a nice lovely atmosphere and decent American style food. We had the UBP and were spoilt for choice with drinks. Lots of beers to choose from including a few craft ones, a good wine choice and more cocktails than I've even heard of. All the spirits were also branded ones. The pool area is probably the weakest point. The slides are good fun for the kids and there are plenty of hot tubs but the main pool is a bit small and there was a bit of a fight for sun loungers (although no worse than an average Spanish hotel) The entertainment is the best bit. There's always multiple things going on at once so it's easy to find something that suits. Particular credit needs to go to the main shows(I'd say one step below West end\ Broadway) and our favourite 'howl at the moon' duelling pianos. We were on when I suspect it was full and crowds didn't bother us much. There is plenty of quiet places to go both night and day. We managed to do everything we wanted and eat where wanted most of the time with only occasional waits. If I had to guess, maybe it's not the most luxurious of ships(I've nothing to compare it to) but it's definitely one of the most fun Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I've just returned yesterday from my first ever cruise vacation, which was on the Norwegian Epic around the Western Mediterranean. And what a great experience it has been! Amazing ship, very friendly staff, nice atmosphere, lots of ... Read More
I've just returned yesterday from my first ever cruise vacation, which was on the Norwegian Epic around the Western Mediterranean. And what a great experience it has been! Amazing ship, very friendly staff, nice atmosphere, lots of dining options.... it was truly a fantastic holiday. Let me tell you why: After getting to the port in Marseille, the check-in process on board was surprisingly fast. Then, it was of to see my cabin, and explore the ship. The Epic, with a capacity up to of 4100 passengers, is one of the bigger cruise ships out there (as I've been told by more experienced cruise travellers) so there is quite a lot to explore. But the ship's setup is quite straight forward, so finding your way around is easily done after a little while. And if you do get lost, there are maps and touchscreens available on every floor to help you out. Since I was travelling by myself (background info: 27 year old Dutch guy), I've booked a Studio, which is specially designed for solo travellers. These inside cabins are very modern, with a queen-size bed, a glass shower and mood lighting. The Epic is the perfect ship to travel on for solo travellers, because of these Studios, and especially because of the Studio Lounge, which is only accessible for guests who booked a Studio. A.k.a. a great place to get to know new people and have a drink. With a solo travellers meeting every night at 18.00, with presence of one of the Cruise Staff members (William in our case, he is a great host!) and the option to go for dinner with other solo travellers too, you're bound to make some new friends. After the solo traveller meeting, it was off to dinner. And what a range of options does this ship provide you with. Multiple restaurants (buffet restaurant Garden Cafe and a-la-carte restaurants Taste, Manhattan Room and O'Sheehans) are complimentary, but you can also pay some more and use on of the speciality restaurants. Having dinner in the Spiegel Tent is very recommendable, because of the Cirque Dreams show. In all honesty, the food in the Spiegel Tent is not as good as at Taste or Manhattan, but the show is amazing! From acrobatic arts to classic magic to comedy, this show combines it all inside a very compact and cozy environment. At Taste and Manhattan they serve great food, with a different menu every day (only the classic dishes will remain the same) and hi-quality presentation and great taste. The wine list is good as well, and I tasted quite a few (luckily I had the Ultimate Beverage Package) At O'Sheehans, the Irish styled restaurant and pub, they serve a good and tasty 'pub grub', including chicken wings, a very nice BBQ burger and fish and chips. Over here, you will also find some games, including pool, darts and bowling. After dinner, it was time to enjoy the night. Howl at the Moon at the Headliners comedy club is great fun. These guys (and girl) do songs on request, and make a happy show while doing it. The musical 'Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert' played in the Epic Theatre simply takes your breath away. The acting, singing and decors are all so beautifully done (and, since you're all staying on the same ship, you can run into the stars of the show later on when partying in the Bliss Lounge) Also the Beatles tribute band (playing in the Cavern Club) is amazing, they really get you of your feet. There are other shows too (an opera show and a 60's tribute band f.i.) but I don't see those. Luckily you receive an overview every day of all activities going on the next day, so you can keep track (because I didn't even mention the bingo yet, or the ping pong tournament, movies on big screen, art auctions, trivia quizzes and so much more), besides the 'regular' cruise activities like bubbling in a jacuzzi, swimming and enjoying the sunshine. For a more quiet night out, you can enjoy a nice mix or cocktail (tip: try the Mudslide, amazing iced cocktail) in one of the many bars, such as Shakers (martini bar), Maltings, O'Sheehans (Irish pub) or Waves (bar outside, near the pool) By the end of the night, going on into early morning, Bliss Lounge is the place to go, which is a nightclub-like bar. Although the DJ isn't always playing my kind of music, the atmosphere is nice, and you can dance the night away if you like. I didn't book any excursions through NCL (they are pretty expensive, so just wondered off by myself), but in the Freestyle Daily they inform you about the options ashore (how you can get about on your own, and what there is to see in and near the port of call), so that's great. So was there nothing that could be improved? Yes, there is. Almost every morning (quite early, around 07.00) there are quite loud announcements over the speaker system, mostly for disembarking guests or guests who have booked a shore excursion. Being woken up with announcements (which are mostly not even meant for you) isn't really nice, specially after a nice night of partying. Perhaps NCL can do these announcements differently/more targeted? (perhaps via the TV?) Also, although the Ultimate Beverage Package includes cocktails, wines and mixed drinks (which can go up to about 15 USD per drink) coffee in the Atrium bar or special coffee after dinner is not included. Having an Irish coffee included, but having to pay extra for a capucchino, that seems a bit odd. But, despite these two points of improvement, I still had a very very nice holiday! Wow, that was a long review. So all and all, I've happy to say that my experience on this ship has been great! It was my first cruise, but definately not my last one... and love to go with Norwegian again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Chose this cruise to go with friends...first time cruising and did not know what to expect...everything was wonderful...staff was universally friendly and polite...all English speaking...the ship was highly organized and efficient...dining ... Read More
Chose this cruise to go with friends...first time cruising and did not know what to expect...everything was wonderful...staff was universally friendly and polite...all English speaking...the ship was highly organized and efficient...dining was great, in the buffet and the specialty restaurants as well ...shore excursions offered many good choices...the cabin was modern and clean with a surprising amount of room...plenty of enjoyable entertainment, from magician to game shows to dancing...nice fitness center with plenty of top quality equality (looking out at the Mediterranean Sea while exercising is an added plus)...daily info sheets placed in cabin at night...plenty of towels for cabin use...hot water always available..the ship is huge, but after a day or so becomes more intimate...not too many children on this cruise so that was not an issue, but for those who prefer fewer children, carefully check school vacation schedules...seas were calm and did not even notice I was on a ship... Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
As first time cruisers we were recommended to the Epic by a friend. We didn't know what to expect but can honestly sum the experience up in one word "WOW". The moment we arrived for boarding we were overwhelmed by the ... Read More
As first time cruisers we were recommended to the Epic by a friend. We didn't know what to expect but can honestly sum the experience up in one word "WOW". The moment we arrived for boarding we were overwhelmed by the size of the Epic and the check-in procedure was so well organised that we were soon checking into our cabin. We chose an aft facing balcony on deck 13 which gave us not only brilliant views as we left each port but an excellent first night on the Med watching an amazing sunset with a cheeky wee glass of red As a couple traveling without children we loved the peace & quiet of the Spice H2o bar which is for over 18s. There was a pool & 2 hot tubs and brilliant bar staff who permanently smiled and could not have been nicer All staff on the Epic whether front of house or behind the scenes will smile and say "hi" and you can't help smiling right back. Interesting that staff not only have their names on their badges but their nationalities, which makes for good conversation The food in the buffet was very varied and tasty but in the evening we favoured the Manhattan Dining Room to enjoy a bit of extra luxury being waited on. Only once did we have a 10 minute wait for a table but we were given a pager so we could relax in the bar while waiting The Headliners show was well worth a visit and a very professional magician/ventriloquist had us crying with laughter. Lovely touch that he was at the door saying goodbye to everyone We only chose one excursion into Florence (as we are not early birds) which was well organised and a painless proceedure. The Tenders taking us to shore at Cannes were non stop all day and once again smiling staff everywhere to ensure we were looked after The biggest compliment we can pay to NCL is that we are already looking to book our next cruise with them - only hope that the Epic hasn't set the bar to high for other cruises Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first cruise that we had been on, always feeling it was not for us. Anyway on strong recommendation we decided to try a relatively easy cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It was myself and wife who went and....... Wow ! From ... Read More
This was our first cruise that we had been on, always feeling it was not for us. Anyway on strong recommendation we decided to try a relatively easy cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It was myself and wife who went and....... Wow ! From leaving Manchester and then embarking all went smoothly. We were in awe of the size of the ship, and thought with the number of people getting on it would be an age. Not so, embarkation was smooth and at the right pace. on the check in we were given our cabin number which proved to be beautifully appointed, with a sea facing balcony. For the whole of our trip we slept like babies in the very comfortable beds .It was great to watch the sunsets from our balcony, and wake to the ship docking in our next destination. Sailing was smooth and we got used to the movement within 1/2 day. The standard of décor and cleanliness on board was excellent, as was the dining experience in any of the many restaurants we used. Entertainment was varied and of good quality, and with all the other activities available, it was impossible not to be occupied. We actually stayed on board rather than go on land, twice, as we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of just sitting around and relaxing. The disembarkation process went well, caught our flight, and were back in Manchester for Lunch ! Will we do it again ? Definitely, just where too next ? Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
First of all this was our first ever cruise experience and we really had no idea if it was for us or not so have absolutely nothing to compare it to. It was also our very first holiday without the kids so 10 days just the two of us could ... Read More
First of all this was our first ever cruise experience and we really had no idea if it was for us or not so have absolutely nothing to compare it to. It was also our very first holiday without the kids so 10 days just the two of us could have went one of two ways! I'm not writing this from prison so it must have turned out ok! LOL I soon found Cruise Critic and quickly joined the roll call after booking and could not have asked for a better bunch of people to help with the planning of our first cruise. Meet and Greet, as well as cabin crawls, slot pulls and excursions were all organised by a wonderful group of people which we had a great time meeting during our time on the Epic. So Thank you to all who organised it really is much appreciated. The Epic certainly lives up to its name! I can honestly say that this holiday for us was a complete eye opener! It made us realise that cruising is a fantastic way to see as much of the world as possible. Anyway about the ship and cruise itself - I thought the staff onboard were amazing! We were constantly saying that we never passed a member of the staff that did not smile or say hello/how are you today? We never caught his name but washy washy, happy happy man at the entrance to the Buffet certainly put a smile on your face every morning! Everyone was very friendly and pleasant. Our Room Steward Rosalie was lovely, she made amazing towel animals for us every evening and our room was always cleaned to a high standard. I know there are a lot of people who complain about the room shape/size, the bathroom layout etc. But we thought the room was more than adequate space wise for the two of us. Yes the curved wall may be a little strange but we like it and the seperate toilet and shower area did not bother us at all. However I can see how it may be an issue for some. The bed was one of the most comfortable I have ever slept on and always got a good night sleep. We were also very surprised about the amount of storage there was, more than enough for everything we brought and then some. The balcony was of a good size and was nice to go out onto to watch docking. However the only negative was that we had one of the uncovered balconies and I did find this a little off putting as there was little privacy from the decks above. Our room was also directly above Bliss nightclub. For most nights this did not bother us as we were out late, had a few drinks so fell asleep very quickly but we did notice it on our last evening as we got an early night and the music was still going at 3am and did wake us. But in the grand scheme of things this was not a big issue. The shows and entertainment were outstanding. We pre-booked for Priscilla and Burn the Floor as well as the Cirque Dinner Show. All of these were amazing shows but our favourite had to be the Cirque. We sat on the balcony upstairs and it was a fantastic view of all that was going on below. We were in awe of some of the things that were being done and on a moving ship no less! The meal itself was fantastic and we were not disappointed. We also saw the Men of Motown show and a comedian both were very good. Our favourite entertainment was the Howl at the Moon Duelling Pianos show at Headliners. We only missed one of their shows and these guys really are a talented group! No request appeared to be too difficult for them and they really made a good night great!! Most of our evenings we sat at Maltings Bar listening to Tsurita the live singer. She was lovely and we loved the chilled out atmosphere here. We also were lucky enough to meet Fernando, one of the servers here who made us feel very welcome and got the most out of our free drinks package for us. Recommending various cocktails for us to try! He was so attentive and friendly and really made us feel welcome each time we visited. He even made me a special medicinal drink when I was feeling a little under the weather! We did not eat in the speciality restaurants but the Manhattan and Taste Dining rooms were fantastic! We never had a bad meal in either of these restaurants, nor the Buffet. It was difficult to get a seat in the buffet at times but that was to be expected with a full ship! We also ate at Shanghai Restaurant and also the Noodle Bar, both meals were delicious. O'Sheehans Irish Bar we felt was our least favourite for meals out of all the complimentary dining options but it was typical pub grub food so we weren't expecting 5 star cuisine. Overall the ship was clean, well maintained with great food, drink, staff and service - what more could you ask for really? Can't wait for our next cruise and would have no hesitation in cruising with Norwegian again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Check in at Barcelona quick and smooth. Stateroom was ready by 12.00 Balcony Stateroom 8012 was narrow meaning that two people could not get dressed at the same time without bumping into each other. Restaurants. Went to Garden ... Read More
Check in at Barcelona quick and smooth. Stateroom was ready by 12.00 Balcony Stateroom 8012 was narrow meaning that two people could not get dressed at the same time without bumping into each other. Restaurants. Went to Garden Café self service for lunch first day as we were a party of 4 difficult to find a table to sit to together. This happened throughout the cruise. Other meals. The Manhattan Room. Good food but not much atmosphere. O'Sheehan's Neighbourhood Bar & Grill. Poor food could not eat the fish and chips as batter inside raw. After complaining the head waiter took my stateroom number and I assumed I would get an apology but nothing happened so not sure why they bothered taking it. Moderno Churrascaria. Had lunch one day ok food, then had breakfast one morning which was cold. Did not go back. Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant. Two very good meals here but despite being on drinks package they charged my account with a can of soda. Taste. Same menu as Manhattan but as it is situated at the bottom of an Atrium we felt as if we were on display to the people above. Courtyard Grill. Good place to go for a snack when the weather is ok. Entertainment. Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Well done. Burn the Floor. Brilliant.Cirque Dreams® & Dinner. Brilliant and excellent food. The Beatles tribute act. Best we have ever seen. magic Comedian very good. Violinist. Very good. Overall the best entertainment on any previous ship. Our main complaint was very little relaxation seating. Very few places to sit quietly to read. Too much space devoted to the casino and photographic area. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Well this was our first cruise (myself & 12yr son) and although probably not our last. Would be cruise with Norwegian again not sure. Embarkation was good, although we were given the health declaration document in Italian instead of ... Read More
Well this was our first cruise (myself & 12yr son) and although probably not our last. Would be cruise with Norwegian again not sure. Embarkation was good, although we were given the health declaration document in Italian instead of English, which was quickly sorted. Once on board we found our cabin to find it was not made up to what it should have been. I had booked twin beds and it was made up as queen. Our stateroom attendant said he would sort it out as soon as he could. As I didn't want to leave credit card for our on board expenses I took cash, which I set up 2 account one for me and one for my son so he would not have to asking me for everything. But something that I was not told about was that although my son had so much money in his account he could continue to spend even if he had no money left. Something that we found out on the last port day. The kids club well that was not good with it being open on sea days for certain times, but on port days was open all day. My son went on a port day after a tour and all the ages were mixed together instead of being in the set age groups. Apparently this is standard on port days, something that we were not told when we signed up. Just a lot of little things that we were not told when we signed up or about the on board accounts or our room not being set up for what it should have been. As for the meals well sometimes in the garden cafe they were cold, dry and under cooked and the variety was sometimes lacking. We took 3 half day ships tours and to be honest they were not that great for the amount of money they cost. The entertainment was ok, we saw a few shows, but you did have to be quick to book or you missed out. The major issue I had was at disembarkation as they had closed off one of the lifts which meant only 3 working each side and with 4500 people trying to get off it was a nightmare. We decided to take our own suitcases off as we were staying in Barcelona that night at the same hotel we had before the cruise. This needs to be improved greatly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
As first time Cruisers we thought the holiday was brilliant. The weather wasn't too good, and it was -3 on one night, which was unexpected for the Med. We had one rough night n board where I need to ask for sea sickness tablets ... Read More
As first time Cruisers we thought the holiday was brilliant. The weather wasn't too good, and it was -3 on one night, which was unexpected for the Med. We had one rough night n board where I need to ask for sea sickness tablets from Customer service. The food and drinks package was excellent but I was surprised that water and Coffee were not included (except coffee at the breakfast table) the entertainment fabulous, and the staff very attentive. My concerns were limited to 3 matters. The first when I paid for a meal in Le Bistro French Restaurant, the waitress hovered for my main meal plate when I was still eating. I expected to be able to take my time but felt rushed and when I paid $40 for one meal found that unacceptable. the only other concern was the lack of choice at the Karaoke. I understand that a person in Miami downloaded the karaoke selection, but it was very limited. I can understand that British musicians could be limited because of the diversity of the passengers however,it was limited even to the point of American music. There was no Abba; little Billy Joel, no Dean Martin. 4 versions of one obscure song by the Eagles and 2 versions of Sweet Caroline was the sum total of Neil Diamond songs. This is an area which could very easily be improved. Finally, I was concerned when a Drill was undertaken one day in port. A message came over the loud speakers to explain that it was only a staff drill, but the tannoy system isn't relayed into the cabins and we were asleep. We rushed to the muster station 3 decks below the cabin without getting properly dressed to be told that it was a staff drill. Perhaps a mention could be made when these drills are expected on the daily Itinerary. This could have led to some passengers panicking at the least. As an aside, the beds were too short (we are both over 5' 10" and our feet hung over the end of the bed). Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My wife and I set sail on the NCL Epic from Rome on 25 November on a four night mini cruise to Barcelona and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute if it. Embarkation in Rome at 12.30 was quick and easy and as soon as we got on the ship we ... Read More
My wife and I set sail on the NCL Epic from Rome on 25 November on a four night mini cruise to Barcelona and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute if it. Embarkation in Rome at 12.30 was quick and easy and as soon as we got on the ship we went to the Garden Buffet for a nice quick and easy lunch. Our cabin (12044) was available at around 14.00 and we were surprised by how much room we had. We had booked an all inclusive package which included 20 photos each, 250 minutes Wi-Fi each, chocolate covered strawberries, 12 bottles of water and a bottle of wine each and these were all in our cabin waiting for us (or details of how to claim them) when we arrived. We had also paid for the ultimate dining and beverage packages so we ate in Cagneys steakhouse (twice) and the Teppanyaki (once). We also ate in O'Sheehans on one night as we didn't fancy fine dining that night. Cagneys was excellent. The steaks were cooked to perfection and the service was very attentive. The Teppanyaki was very enteraining and the food again was very well cooked and tasted delicious. Our dinner in O'Sheehans was what we expected, just simple well cooked food. We went to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert on our first night and if you like watching grown men in dresses prancing about the stage then you will love this show. Not my cup of tea though so we left before the end. The entertainment we enjoyed the most was the Howl at the Moon Duelling Pianos. They were excellent. The only NCL excursion that we did was the Pisa/Florence on your own tour and we really enjoyed it. The tour guide Jon was very nice and knowledgeable and was able to give us recommendations for places to see and where to get a lovely pizza for lunch. When we were in Cannes and Palma we simply got off the ship and went for a walk around. Disembarkation (once we were able to get space in an elevator) was quick and easy. Would definitely consider another cruise with NCL but maybe on a smaller ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was my first cruise on the Norwegian Epic and if a good deal came along again, I'd be tempted to book it! Embarking was a breeze as I arrived before noon when it seemed like a big crush of people arrived. I left my luggage ... Read More
This was my first cruise on the Norwegian Epic and if a good deal came along again, I'd be tempted to book it! Embarking was a breeze as I arrived before noon when it seemed like a big crush of people arrived. I left my luggage with the carriers and a few hours later they were outside my room. I travelled alone so booked the singles studio, since it cost less money than getting the single supplement, which would have doubled the rate. My cabin was 12508 which was a perfect location: close to the singles lounge, the elevators and next to a vending machine room that had nothing in the machines, so nobody went in! I had not expected the room to be as big as it was. While not spacious, I thought it was well designed for the space. The double bed (really two twins pushed together but barely detectable ) was very comfortable for me, the shower stall was plenty big, there was lots of built in cabinet space and my carry on bag fit into a cupboard so I only had my larger bag to move around. There was a hairdryer and they provided liquid soap and shampoo, so I only should have brought a conditioner. There were storage baskets under the bed, which I didn't notice until the last day. When the color changing lights were on, I didn't even notice. I loved my own heating and cooling mechanism and the way you could use the ship tv channels to check restaurant menus and your bill as charges accumulated. The "singles lounge" had no key card entry so there was easy entry for anyone and everyone. Not sure of the hours opened but there was free tea, coffee, cookies, yoghurt and a bar for buying cocktails. At 6 pm most, if not all nights, there was a "gathering" which meant folks mingled. I don't know why there wasn't an organized dinner planned for each night that rotated through the complimentary restaurants though. The one night l signed up, the organizer announced the chosen restaurant, Manhattan, didn't have enough room for us all, so a new friend and l hightailed it over there and got a table for two. I do hope that organizer has several other jobs on the ship to do, because that's how he acted! This was the most disappointing part of the trip--- expecting more from the singles experience. I had better luck meeting fellow solos on the excursions. The freestyle dining was also great, as several restaurants were complimentary in addition to a well stocked buffet. I chose the Manhattan Room three nights, as a more upscale setting. I chatted up some of the workers to hear that there were different schedules of how many months on and off but all said there were more pros than cons to working on a cruise ship. I suspect workers with customer contact were instructed to greet every passenger they made eye contact with. Most did. I chose the Internet package as my free perk and blew through 100 minutes very quickly. During some excursions I had time and places to use restaurant wifi too, since I liked to feel "connected." One of the tour busses had wifi also. I thought I would just lose the connection once my minutes were up but found it just reverted to a more expensive rate until I manually disconnected. I wound up paying $5+ for that extra time. Something to watch if you choose that option. I booked all my excursions from NCL and even though they were pricey, there was no worry about getting back on the boat on time. The individual guides were just ok, all with quirky habits, but knowledgeable about their routes. Guess it was the luck of the draw. I was so pooped after very full days that I didn't go to any of the free shows except Priscilla, Queen of the Desert but left after a few minutes as its not my thing. I paid for the most expensive seats for the Cirque show. When I arrived and said I was by myself, the hostess acted as if she had never heard of that before. I asked if there were other singles, apparently not, so she sat me at a table with four couples. After a minute or so when no one turned around to even say "Hello" I looked around for another more lively table. I found a booth with two laughing couples so asked them if I could join. They were very pleasant and even though they were the cheaper seats with an obstructed view, I liked it better than feeling as if the performers were going to land in my lap! Set menu was caprese salad, filet mignon and shrimp and four little desserts. Had only one $11+ glass of wine the entire trip, but not a big drinker anyway. The second to last night the wind and waves were the strongest they had been all cruise, so the tender boats back to the ship was a rougher ride. That continued all night and the next morning the captain announced that because of the weather we were three hours behind schedule and since the Palma Majorca stop was only going to be short, we were scrapping it and heading back to Barcelona. All paid excursions for that day would be refunded. I used that credit to get a massage. Nice facility and well trained masseuses. That night it was really rough seas, but know it could have been worse. Disembarking was much more crowded. I chose to carry my own bags so really could have left anytime between 5:30 and 9 a.m. There was an organized taxi line that moved quickly. The history and culture of the stops were magnificent and cruising is a novel way to travel. Hope some of my advice helps! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first cruise. Thought we would try a week to see how we liked it. Well it was excellent and we have since been on a 2nd one and booked a 3rd.....all with NCL as we love the freestyle cruising. The food was first class, the ... Read More
This was our first cruise. Thought we would try a week to see how we liked it. Well it was excellent and we have since been on a 2nd one and booked a 3rd.....all with NCL as we love the freestyle cruising. The food was first class, the service excellent, no waiting. The entertainment was amazing especially the shows...burn the floor and Pricilla. Howl at the moon and the Beatles tribute act were also great. We had a balcony cabin and my son who is 16 had an inside cabin almost opposite ours. Both cabins were really clean, the beds were comfy and there was no noise. Our housekeeper was brilliant. We had a free beverage package which was great value as we didn't have to pay for a single drink. The ship was big and we loved it.......as first time cruisers we have nothing to compare it with but we could not fault it. The 2nd cruise was also on the Epic but with my Auntie who also loved it and the 3rd one is the Eastern Caribbean in November on the Gem.......we cannot wait. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
First cruise experience. We went for our 5 year anniversary. Lets just say the "service" is not something they pride them selves on. Being in the service industry for 15+ years maybe we expect too much, but I can't sugar ... Read More
First cruise experience. We went for our 5 year anniversary. Lets just say the "service" is not something they pride them selves on. Being in the service industry for 15+ years maybe we expect too much, but I can't sugar coat it, the service was bad. Dining out at restaurants took a long time, servers were inexperienced, did not know the menu, drink refills never happened, the food was o.k at best, plan on a 2hour dinner experience. First night our reservation wasn't even good, we showed up at our reso time and they said 45-1 hour wait...so why do you need a reservation?? So we went to eat at Cagny's steak house (which is upgraded dining option) but we thought steak sounded good so we went. Our server could not have had more than 3 tables as the restaurant was not that busy, but she was weeded (service speak for being way to overwhelmed with her tables) Steaks were over cooked and cold at the same time... not worth the extra money in my opinion. Room service was not great at all, and again cold. Just eat at the buffet, its the easiest, lots of options and less disappointing. Trying to get a drink at the bar was pretty awful. We ate at O'sheens the first day and both got sick that night/next morning... My husband tried buying a cigar twice at the lobby bar, no one seemed to know anything about the cigars or where they were sold at. He purchased one and they gave him the wrong one and made him pay for it. There are no signs anywhere to help you get off the ship each day. Sometimes our room wasn't given more towels, or turned down, our shower ran out of body wash soap and was refilled with water instead of soap (fail) Lots of storage space in the rooms. Nice counter area to do hair and makeup in the morning. Balcony is an absolute must! Great views, great extra space to get out of your cabin. Entertainment: We watched burn the floor, it was a good show, def not for young children as it gets a little "dirty" Staff: No one seemed to have correct info on anything. I feel like it was a very new staff that needed some training in ever aspect of the ship, dining, directions, entertainment etc. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our 1st sea cruise, we had previously been on 2 Nile cruises. We booked the Epic mainly because of the multiple dining options available, but also because of the very good deal offered by our TA. The package included flights, a 2 ... Read More
This was our 1st sea cruise, we had previously been on 2 Nile cruises. We booked the Epic mainly because of the multiple dining options available, but also because of the very good deal offered by our TA. The package included flights, a 2 night stay in Barcelona, balcony cabin and the drinks package. In order to make my review easier to read, I will separate it into the relevant categories. Embarkation. We arrived at Barcelona cruise terminal at around 11.45, as we exited our taxi a very pleasant gentleman took our cases and directed us to the check in area. My wife uses a walking stick so we were escorted to the priority check in desk. This was much appreciated by us. After check in we had a 10 min wait until we were called to board the ship. In my opinion the check in process was quick and easy. Once aboard we were asked if we would like to go to the Garden Café buffet restaurant for some lunch while our cabin was prepared for us. The buffet, as expected, was rather busy but we found a table fairly easily. Cabin. We were only halfway through our lunch when the PA system announced that all cabins were ready. Our cabin (12063) was a balcony one on the forward starboard area of deck 12. Our cabin steward Greg introduced himself and gave us his number so we could contact him if we needed anything. The cabin itself was bigger than expected and spotless with everything you might need on a weeks holiday. The much discussed bathroom/shower configuration was not a problem for us, we put the do not disturb sign on the outside of the door whenever we used the facilities. The ship. The ship is huge and we were concerned that we would get lost, however, we soon discovered that apart from the Garden Café, Great Outdoors and pool area which was on deck 15 everything else was on decks 5, 6 and 7. There were plenty of lifts, and apart from busy times (peak mealtimes, excursions etc.) we never had to wait for more than a couple of minutes for one. Food. We had all our breakfasts and lunches in the buffet, these were excellent both in the variety and quality of food on offer. For dinner we ate 3 times in the Manhattan restaurant and once each in Taste, O'Sheehans, Shanghai's and the Speigel Tent. The Manhattan was superb we never had to wait more than a couple of minutes for a table for 2 and the food was both tasty and varied. Taste was a little disappointing, the food was good but we were allocated a table next to the waiters serving area which rather spoiled the atmosphere. Shanghai's was good although the noodles were a little rubbery for my taste, on the other hand the special fried rice was as good as I have had anywhere, we ordered an extra portion. The set menu in the Speigel Tent was not particularly to my taste, but that was not the reason why we booked it. O'Sheehans was typical pub grub, OK but not outstanding. Entertainment. We had pre-booked 2 shows, Priscilla and Burn the Floor, both shows were, in my opinion, performed to a very high standard by very talented people. We managed to get a reservation in the Speigel Tent for the Cirque show, as mentioned earlier the included 3 course dinner was only so so, but this was more than compensated by the acts, they were without exception extremely talented performers. This is a must see for anyone on this cruise ship. The other venue we frequented mostly was the Cavern Club, we had high expectations of the Epic Beatles show, unfortunately they were not as good as I had hoped, but the reason we went most nights to the Cavern was because of the resident band there. They were called Siglo and played mostly classic pop/rock from the 50s, 60s and 70s. They were very good and had a full dancefloor every time they played. There were also various entertainers scattered around different bars throughout the ship. Staff. They were without exception pleasant, helpful and approachable. Some land based hotel staff could learn from them. The bar staff were very overworked at times and although they did not have a lot of time to chat to passengers, they were friendly and helpful. Fellow passengers. There was a good mix of age groups and nationalities aboard, It appeared to be a third were from N. America, another third from the Far East with the remainder being Brits, Irish and Europeans. The majority of passengers appeared to be in 20-50 age group. Excursions. The reason we took this cruise (apart from the price) was to experience large ship cruising, so we didn't leave the ship much. We had pre-booked a trip to Pompeii from Naples, which was excellent. We also paid $15 each for the shuttle to the Cathedral in Palma which was worth seeing. In conclusion, we thoroughly enjoyed our 1st sea cruise and will certainly sail again, maybe we will try an Eastern Med one next time. I was happy we chose NCL and the Epic, they certainly delivered everything we expected and a lot more besides. We have definitely been bitten by the cruise bug and are unlikely to take a land based holiday anytime in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I loved it! The staff was great! This was my first cruise. I found the ship to be clean and the staff to be very patient and professional. We had no problems. Everything went exactly like they said it would. We did excursions every day. ... Read More
I loved it! The staff was great! This was my first cruise. I found the ship to be clean and the staff to be very patient and professional. We had no problems. Everything went exactly like they said it would. We did excursions every day. Got off and on the ship with no problems. The tour people were fun, knowledgeable and professional. The food was delicious. Very patient staff as I was listening to all the variety of orders from all the people. Great job! The entertainment was OUTSTANDING!!! The piano players were unbelievable. We went to see the many times. The talent was incredible. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Was really looking forward to my first ever Cruise. Embarked the NCL Epic at Barcelona. Within the first hour of going on board, I experienced 3 separate incidents of totally rudeness and unhelpfulness. Bar Staff - especially the ... Read More
Was really looking forward to my first ever Cruise. Embarked the NCL Epic at Barcelona. Within the first hour of going on board, I experienced 3 separate incidents of totally rudeness and unhelpfulness. Bar Staff - especially the Deck bar - ignorant to understanding what it meant by serving people in order of attendance, when challenged became rude and unhelpful. Reception staff again unhelpful, rude and just didn't seem to grasp the customer care aspect of anyone boarding first time or any time to be honest. When they managed to break my suitcase, it was a task to get them to even understand what happened, not to mention having to keep chasing up a replacement which when was given was a lower standard of the case that was damaged beyond repair. Received a call on the last day asking how my journey and first experience had been, only to be told by the "Customer Services person" that they did not understand the UK culture. The worst was the amount of people left to their own devices to try and debark the ship on the last day. Complete unorganised mess doesn't even cut how much of an issue it was to leave the ship, left in line with people pushing in, coming down the stairs with large suitcases trying to get through 1 single door, all arguing and being rude to each other about pushing in. No staff were at hand to co-ordinate nor communicate with the passengers - the cruise director stood at the exit door and just looked through you uninterested in what was clearly going on. All aspects of health and safety went out of the window when it came to everyone being allowed to just head to one exit, whilst there was a pointless tannoy saying the opposite ... what a complete shambles!! Wont be going on any future cruises with this line. Good luck to those that experienced a better service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise experience, and it was abysmal. It started with long queues to get on board staff were unhelpful and the card I was issued wouldn't work within five minutes of issue leading to my boarding being delayed yet ... Read More
This was our first cruise experience, and it was abysmal. It started with long queues to get on board staff were unhelpful and the card I was issued wouldn't work within five minutes of issue leading to my boarding being delayed yet again and being grunted at by security and forcing me to queue yet again, this time at customer services to repeat the issue process. The next disappointment came when my wife tried to book to see two shows which were advertised namely the Blueman group and Legends, only to be told that they were not on the ship despite appearing on the list of attractions the day before we embarked. The ships entertainment can best be described as amateur , to describe the entertainment as Butlins on the sea would be an insult to Butlins. The food in the garden buffet was good but I wouldn't bother with the other restaurants as service was very slow and the staff couldn't even get the orders right when they did arrive. One exception to this was the Chinese noodle bar. We had the drinks package which I would recommend as the bar prices were way too high. Even so we still had to wait a very long time to get served. The staff just couldn't be bothered and could often be rude. Despite constant hand cleansing after my second day on board I had picked up a nasty stomach bug resulting in being stuck in my cabin for two days with chronic diarrhoea, luckily we had a balcony otherwise all I'd of had to look at would have been a cabin wall. Despite this I didn't miss much as many of the ship's facilities were shut and sun beds left stacked up. Luckily we made sure we had the service charges removed from our bill. T he worst experience of all however was disembarking. There was absolutely no supervision, the stairwells were jammed up with passengers and their luggage all fighting to get off. In the resulting crush which include young children and the elderly, one woman started screaming hysterically causing even more panic and a woman struggled to get her sick husband access to a toilet. The Captain must bear overall responsibility for the safety of the his passengers and he should have been aware of the situation that was developing and the possible danger injury due to a crush or the risk should a fire occur. Avoid this ship like the plague! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We were a family of 8 celebrating mum and dads Golden Wedding Anniversary. Our parents were the only ones to have cruised before out of our party so when l was left to do the organising l was a little worried it would suit us all. Our ... Read More
We were a family of 8 celebrating mum and dads Golden Wedding Anniversary. Our parents were the only ones to have cruised before out of our party so when l was left to do the organising l was a little worried it would suit us all. Our ages included a 7, 21 and 75 year old and l must say there was something for everyone. In my 48 years l hadn't previously considered a cruise thinking it maybe something l would save until my 50's. The Epic had a very freindly crew who couldn't do enough for us. The ship is immaculate and the food was excellent. We sorted our own trips with private mini buses on two occasions. I must say though we didn't organise one for the South of France and l am glad we didn't the train was only 60 euros for 5 of us buy 4 get 1 free and at under £10 each we went to Monacco and then stopped of at Antibes on the way back to Cannes. The train runs along the coast so you capture some nice views. Other members of my family did less trips and more chilling on the ship but that suited them and isn't that what holidsys are about. Each time we got back to the ship there was a nice welcome with a cold drink. Around tea time on the top deck a band played most nights just before the ship set sail. It was a party atmosphere and as we were all inclusive the drink options were superb with top branded drinks non of the cheap blonk shall we say. We also had 200 dollars on board credit for our cabin so this covered the on board extras like a visit to the ice bar. If lively isn't your thing and you want to escape the music then there are areas at the front and rear of the ship one of which is adult only. Each evening we all met in a lovely cocktail bar and enjoyed an aperitif before visiting our favourite restaurant. We only upgraded once and to be honest l was happy with the choice on offer. I would recommend a balcony it made all the difference and so nice to open the curtains to a new destination every morning. So my advice is hop on board. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Excursions were very expensive . The ship had only their own excursions information. It would help if information on public services is provided on board so guests could plan the day ahead . Railway websites bus station numbers should be ... Read More
Excursions were very expensive . The ship had only their own excursions information. It would help if information on public services is provided on board so guests could plan the day ahead . Railway websites bus station numbers should be provided . People must have a choice . Restaurants closed too early at 10 pm and after the shows the ques were too long to get a proper meal. Shows were good , staff 100% charming and helpful all over the ship. They would all stop to talk and displaying the country flag is a brilliant idea. Charge at the gym was too much . Pool was mad busy but that was expected in August . Over all very happy with it and will recommend it . Should introduce an Indian restaurant as there many looking for Indian food and some vegetarians had trouble . Staff did three best to provide all they could . Will do Ncl cruise anytime . Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Booked a cruise and stay and spent a week in Salou, Spain and then a week aboard the Epic. I was with my mum and dad (who cruise often but never with NCL), my husband and 2 year old son. Both my husband and I have never cruised, so we ... Read More
Booked a cruise and stay and spent a week in Salou, Spain and then a week aboard the Epic. I was with my mum and dad (who cruise often but never with NCL), my husband and 2 year old son. Both my husband and I have never cruised, so we have nothing to compare it with, but i absolutely loved it!! Firstly the service is amazing - staff seem extremely hard working, they are always friendly and smiling and want to help as much as they can. They go out of their way to help you and i especially loved how much they interacted with my little boy. The staff are very attentive and made the holiday for us. I really hope that the 13% compulsory gratuity that you have to pay each day goes to them directly. We had the Ultimate Beverage Package which i the best way to drink every night without spending too much!! it does have a few exceptions though which was slightly annoying eg didnt include bottled water, coffee etc or drinks over $11, but it didn't really affects us. I thought food was great, we mainly ate in the complimentary restaurants but did treat ourselves to Tepenyaki one night and loved it - great chef!! Loved my breakfast in the morning - lots and lots of choice. Perhaps my only criticism was the lack of activities for my boy as the kids club was for 3 years and over. They only provide a little room with a few toys spread about for them to play with. The pool on the boat is quite small and the kids one is tiny!! Too many kids in a small space really spoiled the experience. The spa is nice and huge, but i thought it to be very expensive. but what i disliked the most was that i was pestered to buy expensive products after each of the treatments i had and this made for an uncomfortable situation. Plenty of shore excursions, unfortunately we only managed one because they tended to last all day which is no use for a family with young kids. But we did just get off the boat and walk around the port area for few hours ourselves - disembarkation is very quick and easy. The boat itself is very clean (mainly due to hard working staff cleaning constantly and immediately after any mess was made by holiday makers), it is easy to get around and nice and large with a few shops. I would definitely go back on the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our first cruise and we picked a superb ship to start on. The balcony cabin was better than we expected with good furnishings and no noise from either side, above or below. Food options were many and of very good quality. ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we picked a superb ship to start on. The balcony cabin was better than we expected with good furnishings and no noise from either side, above or below. Food options were many and of very good quality. Excursions were all excellent although the Monte Carlo trip was a little boring (unless you like sports cars and rich people looking down their noses at you). There was a good choice of Entertainment on board, most of which was very good. The 'Legends' show may ned some rebranding, whilst (lookalikes of) Rod Stewart and Gloria Estefan gave it everything, Sting looked like he would rather be somewhere else, probably the bar! The idea of an adult only pool area is excellent and meant we could relax away from the slides etc. Our only real complaint is the tips and service charge policy. $13.50 each per day is charged to each passenger as a service charge, in addition an 18% service charge charge is added to every purchase (ie drinks, which are not cheap to begin with). This means you are paying for service regardless of whether you feel it is good or not, and in fact it put us off giving extra tips to the members of staff who really deserved it by showing outstanding service. Not sure if this is standard across all cruise lines but it is not something we agreed with. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
i took a 7 day cruise with NCL costing from the outset the best part of £2000, the locations visited were all great Rome, Pompei, Florence/Pisa, Cannes and Palma, Barcelona was the start and finish point but can not be included as you ... Read More
i took a 7 day cruise with NCL costing from the outset the best part of £2000, the locations visited were all great Rome, Pompei, Florence/Pisa, Cannes and Palma, Barcelona was the start and finish point but can not be included as you get no time here. First of all for £2000 pounds you would expect your accomodation to come with Wi-Fi included and not charge an additional £100 for a weeks access! but NCL wanted that for their Wi-Fi. Next was the cost of trips, for example for two adults to go to Rome with the guided tour was around £350 for 6 hrs in Rome! an Easy Jet flight and some internet searching could have got me a weekend break for that price. the culture on the ship was all about raking in the chargse, everytime you bought something a service charge was added, some people at the airport on way home were saying it added £hundreds to their bill. my teenage daughter visited the gym, and after being charged £35 for the pleasure was told her body fat was high but this was ok as for £300 they could sort this out with some magic capsuals and a 6 month course of emails from the gym manager!, needless to say i didnt take this offer. it did however upset my daughter to the extent she didnt want to wear her swimming costume. the Ship was amazing but very very busy, we spend one day at sea and could not find a space on the top decks to sit in the sun. at times i felt clautraphobic with the number of passangers on board. on the plus side the places visited were amazing, but the cost was prohibative, in addition to the cost of the holiday i spent nearl a further £1000 on board the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We were first time cruisers on a Western Med cruise from Barcelona on NCL's Norwegian Epic. It exceeded all our hopes and expectations and we have already put down a deposit on a future cruise. We chose NCL because of their Freestyle ... Read More
We were first time cruisers on a Western Med cruise from Barcelona on NCL's Norwegian Epic. It exceeded all our hopes and expectations and we have already put down a deposit on a future cruise. We chose NCL because of their Freestyle Cruising proposition - no formal dress codes, fixed dining etc. - it was definitely the right choice for us. We are a married couple travelling with our 16 year old son. We had been worried about space in our stateroom, a large balcony, class B6, but needn't as the room was big enough and we had more storage space than needed. We all had the Ultimate Dining & Beverage pancakes bundled into our deal (thank you Viva Voyage) and took full advantage of the restaurants, both specialty and main dining rooms. All universally good, the complimentary Manhattan Room being surprisingly excellent. Entertainment was of a high standard. Don't mis Burn the Floor, or Howl at the Moon. staff were friendly and helpful and always seemed genuinely concerned that you were having a good time and that all was what you wanted. Our room steward Toro was a delight and every night we returned to a new towel sculpture. We were never bored, or lacked for something to do - even if it was to doze on the loungers. There was a great mix of nationalities, languages and ages aboard and all seemed to get on well. Shore excursions and some extras, e.g. Photos, might appear a bit pricy, but we are independent travellers and did our own thing ashore. Hi to the aadetroit sisters we shared a minibus with to Pisa! Can't comment on the casino as we're not gamblers, but people looked to be enjoying themselves. All in all the Epic was a great first cruising experience and we were sad to leave, even though we then had two wonderful days in Barcelona before flying back to London. Can't wait to take another NCL cruise, now just when & where! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Loved everything on the epic the staff was great thay made it my best holiday ever the food was very good and the entertainment was out of this world what more could I say
Loved everything on the epic the staff was great thay made it my best holiday ever the food was very good and the entertainment was out of this world what more could I say Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
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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