Only booked the cruise a week before sailing. A bargain with Thomas cook actually! Obviously book the ryanair flights yourself as much cheaper. They provided free transfers from ciampino too! Bargain!! We upgraded to a balcony and ... Read More
Only booked the cruise a week before sailing. A bargain with Thomas cook actually! Obviously book the ryanair flights yourself as much cheaper. They provided free transfers from ciampino too! Bargain!! We upgraded to a balcony and actually got a mini suite. Thrilled.
Was concerned as mixed reviews and having been on the Jade last year which we enjoyed we were dubious. No one at check in at 2.30 so just breezed on board! This ship is odd, there is no doubt about it. There is NO walking/jogging area either on lower deck where the lifeboats are OR on upper decks. You cannot walk around the ship anywhere, Just either along one side turn around and go back, or along the other! Really missed that. And the lifeboats are in the way so NO view of any sea or sky!
The inside is designed all open so if you want to watch a film in the atrium, you are open to the cafe, info desk, excursion desk, upstairs where air hockey is being played. If you eat in La cucina for example you are open to buffet, just a curtain, bars are open to casino area, as is Taste main dining room , bowling alley open to eating areas, anyway you can imagine its noisy! Having said this it is so wide there are not hordes of people to navigate. We were lucky to be on a boat with a lot of americans, canadians, australians, asians, which meant they were probably out on trips all days, as the itinerary was excellent! so i thought the boat coped with the amount of people well. We NEVER had a prob getting a seat. But then you just know NOT to go to buffet at peak times don't you?? there was plenty of seating. Puds at afternoon tea were delicious and lunch times always had a huge roast joint , plenty of salads, fresh fruit and healthy veg offerings
we Never had a prob booking any shows! There were usually seats free. Priscilla was amazing! As was burn the floor and classical graffiti was a delight! All the entertainment was generally first class! Easy to book on screens. Weather was fab too so i guess a lot of people sunbathed which i don't do. The pools were TINY, so if you got kids who like to swim re think this boat. Although loads of slides etc. We never used the lifts so tried to burn off food up the stairs. Phew!
We upgraded to speciality dining plan for 7 nights although in retrospect you wouldn't need to , the buffet food was superb quality and varied and menus of dining room looked good! And you can actually pay for fillet etc anyway! Good idea! Quality in restaurants was excellent! Well done NCL.
Now for the cabin!! We are husband and wife so not an issue but WHO on earth thought that was a good idea. Not a woman! Sometimes a sink is needed in the toilet! Obviously! It didn't bother us but mega weird! Nice cabin though and a proper hairdryer!! Yayy ! ( Maybe a woman did have some input)! Bed was not rectangular so unless you slept in the middle where its longest your legs WILL hang off, and i am 5 ft 8! If you are taller uh oh! thats odd too. Didn't bother us too much. anyway usually basic shower gel/hair shampoo in dispensers. Poor shower pressure. I am being picky now. Loads of storage. excellent cabin care. Cabin very hot though. And restaurant areas cold.
Thought staff very friendly. Obviously Miss Washy was the star!! Delightful. And June in Cagenys! He was fab. We had an amazing time. We only take carry on so getting off is always a breeze. We took our own flights so had early ryanair back to london. Got off ship about 8.30 and about an hour to ciampino
We opted to buy wine from the package. But got it from the bar before going in to dinner, i like to drink whilst perusing the menu so we didn't have to wait. Drinks are pricey and generally if you book and pay more than we did you can get the drinks and food package free. But we had cheap bargain so they weren't included.. Beware coffee and bottled water not included. Odd i know, you can get a liquor coffee though. Bit harsh having $15 corkage for wine bought on board to drink in your cabin!!
When getting off the ship there are usually local port buses to take you into town for a few euros. Obv ship excursions / taxis are pricey! See what other people are heading off from the ship. If you take trains in italy validate your ticket! there are machines about. Put ticket in and slide. Its only few euros for public transport! Its easy to get to pisa, which is amazing, barcelona we walked to, took 10 miles round trip.! Nice, Cannes , naples, easy walking off except where tender. Again don't go a peak times, obvious i know but there are a lot of people to navigate. I don't do queueing! Nice beaches and super yachts to dream about in the marinas.
Casino on board, huge and full, mesmerising the amount of £££ $$ people spend, we loved watching it all.! you are allowed to smoke there if playing also. The price we paid it was such a bargain. you really have to shop around and haggle obviously. Prices vary so much. We have cruised many times, on all the usual ncl, rci, p&o, celebrity, carnival and we loved the epic, its a bit marmite i guess! One of a kind. We go for the bargains and the nice stops! Read Less