8 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Group and Theme Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

We choose this cruise because both of us really wanted to experience parts of Europe and this seemed like the best way to do this. We stayed in one of the Haven suites and I have to say we will never go back. The embarkation process was so ... Read More
We choose this cruise because both of us really wanted to experience parts of Europe and this seemed like the best way to do this. We stayed in one of the Haven suites and I have to say we will never go back. The embarkation process was so smoooth. There was a minimum of 1500 people in line to check in. We were whisked away from that line and brought to another line. We filled out 3 short questions, checked in and were on the ship within 20 minutes. We met our concierge before boarding and given a private tour of the Haven private areas. We sat and ate lunch, thinking that we would still be waiting in line if we did not have the Haven. The disembarkation process was the same as well, we took our bags to he concierge desk and taken down a private elevator and were off the boat within 20 minutes. The crew and the boat was fantastic, clean and nice. I highly recommend the Epic and the cruise in general. Everywhere we ate the food was fantastic, especially at teppanyaki our cook was really engaging and funny. We saw 4 shows, cirque, comedy magician, Beatles and rock n roll and all 4 were great and very entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were a group of 65 ranging in ages form 10 months to mid 70's. Most of us from New York, a few from Pittsburgh. Had some first time cruisers with us, this was my 30th! Most of us flew in on British Airways from JFK (but it ... Read More
We were a group of 65 ranging in ages form 10 months to mid 70's. Most of us from New York, a few from Pittsburgh. Had some first time cruisers with us, this was my 30th! Most of us flew in on British Airways from JFK (but it was really American Airlines) non-stop and got a rate of $501. We spent two nights pre-cruise at the Hotel Continental Barcelona. We had several families of 3 and 4 and needed a hotel that could accommodate. Used Europe Connect for all of our transfers within Barcelona. Due to the anniversary of the terrorist attack and the protests going on, we were dumped off about 5 bocks form the hotel and had to walk with all out luggage. Driver had no choice, police had streets closed. One tiny elevator that held about 4 people and 2 pieces of luggage at a time was not great for over 50 people checking in at one time. LOL. Hotel rooms were spacious (even for my family of 4) and showers were awesome. The 24 hour snack buffet, and included beer, wine, soda and juice was a great perk. Lovely little courtyard and the balconies were great. Ours overlooking La Rambla. You need to be buzzed in on your floor and turn in your key to the desk when you go out. There are other hotels and a hostel within the building. Amazing location on La Rambla!!! Right in the middle of everything. Spent two nights. We arranged a full day private tour through Spain Private Tour Guides on 08/18. Went to Park Guell, La SaGrada Familia, took a panoramic bus tour and then ended with a walking tour. It was amazing and our tour guide Fernando was awesome! 08/19 Off to the EPIC, embarkation a breeze. Have sailed the EPIC before, the rooms are kind of quirky. Not a fan of the curved walls or the bathroom set-up but certainly not a deal breaker. Storage was an issue, but there were 4 of us in the room and we packed for 11 days away. Day 1: Boarded the ship by about 11:30, rooms were not ready until about 1:40. Had lunch at the buffet and enjoyed the sun and the pool. Dinner at Taste was great. Day 2: Sea Day. Went to the Cruise Critic Meet and enjoyed the sun. Last relaxing day, as we had each and every moment planned for each port. Dinner at Moderno was lovely! Day 3: Rome. We had a packed day planned. Private tour with skip the line access to The Colosseum, and the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps. Brief stop for pizza and gelato in between. Dinner was at Shanghai. we really enjoyed it!! Day 4: Pompei, Vesuvio, Herculaneum. Another jammed packed day! First stop on our private tour was Pompei. It was brutally hot but amazing. A welcome break was had next at the Cantina del Vesuvio, a lovely wine farm on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. We had a tour of the winery, sampled grapes, and had an amazing lunch and wine tasting. The staff was friendly and informative! So glad we planned this. Then it was off to Herculaneum for more exploring. It was scorching and the rain showers were welcomed! This was the day of my son's 11th birthday, and 50 of us dined at Teppanyaki to celebrate. Service was fantastic as was the food! Day 5: Naples: Florence/Pisa. Once again we had a private tour and walked our feet off exploring Florence including the Duomo, Piazza delle Signoria, Medici chapesl, Ponte Vecchio, Baptistry & Bell Tower and the Academia to see Michaelangelo's David. Very brief stop for something to eat and then off to Pisa to Piazza dei Miracoli, to see the Leaning Tower, Pisa Cathedral and Baptistry. Dinner was at Cagney's and was fantastic as usual. Day 6: Cannes-Monte Carlo & Monaco. Had a little issue with our private guide here. We were split into two groups as there were 63 of us. The smaller group got to see Monte Carlo, Monaco, the Medieval Village of Eze and a flower market. The larger group only got to see Monaca and Montel Carlo, both beautiful, but disappointing that we did not see all we had planned to. Dinner was at LeBistro and we thoroughly enjoyed it! Day 7: Palma Majorca: Private tour of the Caves of Drach followed by a stop at Porto Cristo fishing village and beach with time for swimming, shopping, a bite to eat. An amazing day! We had dinner at O'Sheehan's. The food was good but everything came at once, appetizers and entrees. Day 8: Debarkation. The elevators were impossible, even at the late 9 AM time. We walked down from 14. Picked up by our bus and dropped at our post cruise hotel for one night. Post Cruise: One night at the Catalonia Diagonal Centro Hotel. Beautiful hotel with huge rooms and a tiny pool on the second floor. 08/27/18 Time to go home. As we had a 10 AM flight and needed to leave the hotel at 7, we would miss breakfast. The concierge asked how many children were in our group and packed a lovely picnic box for each of them so that they would not be hungry and have to wait to eat at the airport, a wonderful touch! Our transfer bus dropped us off at the right terminal, but the farthest distance from our airline. LOL There is a lot of walking within the airport and we were glad we chose the early pick up time! Kids: My boys are 11 and 13. This trip they did not go to the club at all. Their friends that did, enjoyed their time there. The younger one spent a lot of time at the basketball court. They enjoyed the water slides, ping pong, etc. Entertainment: We were booked for Priscilla Queen of the Damned for Friday night but that show was cancelled. We were rescheduled for Thursday night but it interfered with dinner so we did not get to go. We were so exhausted after all of our excursions, we did not get to any other shows. Our friends loved Burn the Floor and Dueling Pianos. Spent some time at the Martini Bar and enjoyed it. We had experienced Cirque and the Ice Bar on several other occasions so we did not indulge this trip but those that did had a ball. Service: Our cabin attendant Chris was great as was all of the staff we encountered. Excellent service throughout the ship. Summary: My gang of 65 had a great cruise on the Epic. The design is not my favorite of the NCL ships but if the itinerary and price were right, would sail her a third time. The itinerary is awesome, and food and service on the ship was great. I am not great at uploading pictures so I apologize for the lack of in this review. Will be happy to answer any questions if I can! See you again soon NCL! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Being our first cruise as a family I was very reluctant to go on the Norwegian Epic due to the low rating I noticed on different sites but that was too late as I had already paid the full trip amount and wasn't ready to bare the ... Read More
Being our first cruise as a family I was very reluctant to go on the Norwegian Epic due to the low rating I noticed on different sites but that was too late as I had already paid the full trip amount and wasn't ready to bare the cancellation fees. To my amazing surprise that was my best vacation ever and the Epic was so great that I'll never cruise in a different ship. We were 3 adults (my wife, my 21 years old son and myself) in a triple cabin with balcony. The cabin was spotless clean, very good size for a ship cabin as I was expected a much smaller size, the balcony with 2 big size beds was a very big plus. The room design in all aspects including the bathroom was so creative with great space for storage . Dinning at different a la carte restaurant (still complementary) and the big open buffet restaurant was a great part of the trip with endless excellent choices of food and great quality. Non stop Entertainment and different shows were a big problem as we were torn between going down to different port and to stay to enjoy the entertainment. Service, staff, food, entertainment, .... just name it, every thing was perfect. The only draw back was: 1- They don't allow you for even a small bottle of water to bring with you and to buy it there is too pricey. A daily complementary water bottle at the cabin will be a nice gesture to Epic guests. 2- Organized shores excursions are soooooo expensive, so better plan your excursions by yourself in advance and it will cost just a fraction of what they are offering. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Hi. We are a family of 4, with 2 girls aged 6 & 5. This was our 9th cruise (all 9 with NCL) and our 4th time on the Epic. We had the package where the drinks, speciality dining were included free and also a package of 50 photos. ... Read More
Hi. We are a family of 4, with 2 girls aged 6 & 5. This was our 9th cruise (all 9 with NCL) and our 4th time on the Epic. We had the package where the drinks, speciality dining were included free and also a package of 50 photos. Boarding at Barcelona was easy and well managed. We were quickly on the ship. We did have to wait until 14:00GMT for our room to be ready but had our hand luggage prepared for this; with changes of clothes and swimming outfits ready. We didn't mind the wait as we were on early and the Garden Buffet and bars were open and serving :) Kids Club sign up was quick and friendly. The kids club is excellent. I cant think of a better equipped or staff kids club (other than another large cruise ship). Throughout the cruise, the kids club kept the variety up and it was everything we could do to pull our girls out of there. They both loved it even though they were in different groups. The friends they made there transferred to the pool well too. When the room was ready, everything was in order. We did find it a little more squeezed as we had 12 days of clothes for 4, but in hindsight we over-packed. The sail away was seamless. The speciality dining and the upgrades were noticeable, especially at La Cucina. The Manhattan Room and Taste both looked fresh and were great, but the menus were limited and didn't really change. We were glad we had the speciality dining for variety. Bar Service on the ship was excellent. So many were on the free drinks package, that you didn't have to sign the bill, which we had experienced on previous cruises and found to be a bit of a pain, so that was a big plus. The new Cavern Club is excellent, but VERY popular. If you are going, go early for a seat. The shows: Cirque was excellent; well worth it. Burn the Floor was OK and worth seeing. Priscilla; Queen of the Desert was stunning. The best show I've seen on any cruise by a mile. Not one for the kids as there is bad language (a little) and a lot of sexual suggestions. That's a bit of a shame as other than that the kids would have loved it, but cant be helped I guess. Everywhere else on the ship; the music was great and we never felt was too loud: just right. Having the photo package was great and we did get 50 great memories. All bar one of the photographers were excellent. One of them was just in a mood the whole trip. We didn't spend much on this holiday; I got the unlimited spa, but not sure if it was really worth it. The pool deck wasn't that busy. We did the laundry offer half way for 19.99, which was worth it and showed us we could have travelled with less. Around the ship, the upgrades were all noticeable and welcomed. We do think this was our best cruise yet. Excursions: Overall, the NCL excursions were very expensive and not worth the money. There is now a non-cruise company following the boat around ports offering the same tours at a fraction of the price. We didn't use them, but our parents did and thought they were great. Day 2 - Cartegena, Spain: A nice stop, but there is little to do (but in the same way there is little to do in Cannes: its just nice to stroll around). You can walk off the ship and walk around the main parts of the town in an hour. Definitely one to do yourself. Day 4 - Cagliari; Sardinia: A stunning spot. Lots of history. Again, you can walk off the ship and walk around the main parts of the town in a few hours. We rented a car close to the ship for 35euro and went to Chia Beach for the day. Whilst stunning, it was off season, so it was deserted and local shops etc. were closed Day 6 - Palermo; Sicily: This was the GEM stop. Was not expecting Palermo to be so good. Again, you can walk off the ship and walk around the main parts of the town in a few hours. Although, given just how nice, it might be better to get a walking tour for this one. We did it ourselves. The horse drawn carriages outside were expensive and not really worth it in hindsight. There were much better ones at Pisa. Day 8 - Naples; Italy: It was a bad weather day. We had decided to go to Capri for the day, which in hindsight was a mistake. The boat to Capri was rough and Capri isn't that nice in the rain. If the weather had been good though it would have been a different day. This stop in particular we noticed NCL excursions were very expensive (e.g. Pompei and the Amalfi Coast was ~ 350USD and the same one with the tour group was 79EUR!). Day 9 - Rome; Italy: We got the local train in for 12euros return (5euros for the kids), which brought us into the centre of Rome and gave us free Metro/ Bus use for the day too). We got to all the main tourist stops (Colluseum/ Trivi Fountain/Pantheon/Vatican) via metro and bus. We didn't go into the Colluseum or Vatican but would have had time for one of them. We cut the day short as the kids were in meltdown. Day 10 - Livorno (Pisa/Florence); Italy: By this stage we were all exhausted. So many big stops in a row. We hired a car for 80 euros and 3 of our party drove to Pisa ourselves. It was a little more than we hoped to pay but we were able to get it right outside the boat and drop it off there too after. It also gave us flexibility on time as we only went to Pisa in the afternoon. Day 12 - Palma; Majorca - We found out there was a local fun fair on as it was Easter: it was AMAZING. Huge! Great value and a great find. Good fun with little kids. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We flew in overnight from DCA to Barcelona to catch the cruise. The transportation to Barcelona then the cruise ship was smooth (no lost luggage). The embankment was better than expected (I'm read a few stories). The stateroom was on ... Read More
We flew in overnight from DCA to Barcelona to catch the cruise. The transportation to Barcelona then the cruise ship was smooth (no lost luggage). The embankment was better than expected (I'm read a few stories). The stateroom was on the 9th floor midship. Clean and wasn't a rush to always clean up on a daily basis, especially when you have repeated back to back offshore excursions lined up. I will complain about the too small flat screen TV. With all the new technologies the screen size should be increased dramatically and we shouldn't have to pay for movies after you planned to spend money on the ship and offshore. We love the Free Style option and that's how we would continue to cruise. The Epic was the largest we have ever been on so a lot of the fitness/recreational we didn't indulge do to our daily shore excursions and besides we were on vacation. There were a lot of entertainment activities daily/nightly. I love bingo but the prices for the various packages were too steep and not affordable even it you wanted to play just for the heck of it. I would recommend selling single boards for a low cost, mathematically they would have reached a nice budget in a much faster pace. The gifts were extremely cheesy if you didn't win the cabinet giveaway in which was paid for already because of the cost of packages they were selling. This is my third cruise and I'm sure it would be the Norwegian Cruiseline because of the freedom. Our stateroom attendant was very attentive and gave us pleasant smile along with easy conversations on a daily basis - Thanks Ruel. Some of the shore excursions were a bit pricey and a few of the transportation buses were quite dirty. On a few off shore excursions we weren't alotted enough time to shop or the shops weren't opened. I think the bottle fee should be eliminated if one was to purchase wine off shore - we are all adults!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Having read reviews on NCL Cruises I decided to bite the bullet and book a holiday with Norwegian Epic. The main attraction for me was that it was my first Cruise and I was traveling alone. I checked out the website and found that this ... Read More
Having read reviews on NCL Cruises I decided to bite the bullet and book a holiday with Norwegian Epic. The main attraction for me was that it was my first Cruise and I was traveling alone. I checked out the website and found that this particular Ship had Solo Staterooms and a Singles' lounge. The price was so good and the reviews made me feel confident that this was the one for me. All the bookings and the information on tickets etc were online. I did however book originally through an agent. I finally flew to Barcelona and had a transfer to the Ship. Once at the Dock, everything was efficiently sorted out and in no time I was on the Ship. I have to use a crutch to walk with due to my disabilities problem. I was looked after in many ways on the ship and any time when I went on any excursions. The Service on board was very good and the Solo cabin was more roomy than it looked on the website. Plenty of storage and comfortable bed. The Steward was very efficient and nothing was too much trouble. He was friendly and worked hard but always had a smile and a greeting whenever he saw me in the corridor. The food on the Ship in the main restaurants was very good and presented well. The staff on the ship always made sure that everything went smoothly and everything was kept clean and tidy. There were various restaurants where for a charge did something different. The Moderno Restaurant also Brazilian was very good. Especially if you enjoy your meat. Service second to none. The Buffet had plenty of choice and iced tea, water and tea and coffee were free at the Buffet area. So was ice cream. The pub also served meals 24 hours free of charge. The Theatre had two main shows. The 'Burn the Floor' show was excellent and it was amazing how good the dancers and singers were. It was something quite original and not the day to day type of musical. The other show was three different acts impersonating three different people. On my trip it was Sting, Gloria Estaphan and Rod Stewart. Not perfect but most of the audience enjoyed it. There are various other forms of entertainment and plenty of different lounges. Singing and dancing outside on the pool deck and an outside Cinema with very up to date Films. If you have children it was great as there were special entertainment areas for them. There were a number of various excursions on each day of various prices and levels of walking etc. It was a perfect way of having a holiday alone and if you are willing to join in with others, you soon make some friends. I think because it is not as formal as some other Ships people are more friendly and are ready to enjoy their holiday. The Ship gave you a newsletter every day so you can see what is happening in different parts of the ship. The Captain spoke over a loud speaker and also kept us up to date on where we were etc. The television gives you up to date information on what you have spent on board (in Dollars). It also has information on all the excursions so you can work out what is best for you. There are different information desks so you can always be sure to speak to someone if you have a problem or need advice on anything. When it came to the end of the cruise disembarkation was very efficiently handled and labels for your Suitcases were given the day before leaving the ship. A wonderful holiday. I am sure that I will go again in the next year or so. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I was the travel agent and tour manager for a group of 100 people in the NCL Epic in October. I had 49 cabins mostly balcony cabins a few inside some family balcony and some T1 (singles). The trip was wonderful and the ship was great but ... Read More
I was the travel agent and tour manager for a group of 100 people in the NCL Epic in October. I had 49 cabins mostly balcony cabins a few inside some family balcony and some T1 (singles). The trip was wonderful and the ship was great but there were just a few problems. First was each of the ports most of the shore excursions were 9-10hours and by the 5th day of the cruise many people were not doing their excursions because they literally had no time to enjoy the ship. Your gone all day long and the ship becomes just a floating hotel and you come in late in the evening and set an alarm for an early morning departure. Not complaining about the excursions just that if your booking the trip to enjoy the ship this is the wrong one. I would agree with the people complaining about the smoke in the casino. I know that the smokers have rights too but when you cant sit at a table because of all the smoke and the watchers are smoking it makes it unpleasant for those of us that like to breath fresh air. I complained to one ship person because the people were smoking on the "non-smoking" side of the casino and he said the "non smoking" only applies to the tables not the slots. As much as I hate smoke and want the cruise line to shut down the smokers and not allow them to smoke... as a business person I noticed the tables where they could smoke they were full and the non-smoking side .. the dealers were looking for something to do. Darn those smokers .... The ship surprised me that there are no "mega rooms" for gathering. Even the auditorium you would think they would have seating for 1000 .. since the passenger count is 4000 but no.. the auditorium seats about 150-200 ... thats it... I really liked the advance reservations that they use to control the amount of people coming to a show. You make a reservation (you can do this on your TV in your cabin or they also have a "show reservations desk"). Once you make your reservation that is just a person in their count that is not a Seat. Its still first come first served. Then they have a "stand by" line you can get in that opens 10 minutes before show time. Each time we did this we would get in the show and there were always a bunch of empty seats. I was on the Pride of America last year and the big complaint was the food was not so great. Either NCL has made some big changes or the EPIC is just different but we really enjoyed the food on this ship. Several dining rooms that were free to choose from. Always a line but once you got in the line you would see that it was gone in 5 minutes. Once we got in line and they said the wait was 30 minutes and gave us one of those flashy things to let us know when our table was ready and they also gave us a ticket for a "free" glass of champaign at the bar while we waited. About 45 minutes later I went up to the desk and asked why our flashy thing hasent gone off and she was very sorry as they have been hlding our table waiting for us ... something was wrong with it... no issues. The buffet was a bit difficult in the morning for breakfast as it seemed everyone had a 7am meet for their shore excursion so they buffets were packed ... then they all left in one big swoosh .. suddenly there were bunches of tables available... We ate several times at the resturant in the center of the ship by the casino. Wasnt my favorite but my mom and wife liked it alot so thats were we ate most dinners. Seems 7pm for dinner is when everyone else on this ship wanted to meet for dinner as well. Entertainment on this ship was awsome. I have seen the Blue Man Group in several different citys (Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas) and the show is the same. I thought on the ship we would get a modified version but no. It was the same show. In Chicago we paid $65 to see it and on the ship "free" .. the perfect price. The Cirque Dreams was better than expected. The show is $35 which includes dinner. The food on the lido deck was better than this show food but the show made up for the ick food. The show starts a bit slow but gets going and by the end of the show all you can do is say "WOW"!!! ... it was a super great show. Then I went up to the Buffet and had a bit of dinner. The show was worth the $35 ... if you go all seating is open seating exept the booths in the back. The booths are the $25 seating and if your going to this show either pay the $35 or dont go. The $25 booths are awful for seeing the show. I loved the casino. But then who wouldnt love a casino that you start out with $100 and leave the ship with $180 ... and played on and off all week. I really liked the size of the casino but the smoke kept driving me away. I could be there for an hour or so and then I would have to leave. Thats ok because with no smoke I probably would have spent a lot more time in the casino and come home with less not more... I was totally shocked that there are only 2 banks of elivators. One in the front of the ship and one in the back of the ship. There is an escalator in the middle from deck 5 to 6 but other than that - not even a staircase in the middle. So you want a cabin in the front or the back because a middle cabin is a long walk from either elivator bank. Having 100 people and 49 cabins I had things to do on this ship but I was surprised at the few calls I recieved from my group. I can assure you if they had problems they would call me and other than some shore excursion issues and changing money issues I didnt field a single call. Everyone loved the cabins, they enjoyed the ship (waht little time they had on it) and the over all experience was wonderful. My Groups coordinator was awsome - answered all my questions, made sure that everything was to my satisfaction. We usually have breakfast out on our balcony in the morning but couldnt once again because of all the early morning shore excursions. We truely enjoyed our trip on the Epic and loved our time in Barcelona. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This was a trip of a life time. It was so fun. Lets start off with entertainment... Well, entertainment sure is everywhere on this boat. You have some pools, which are usually crowded... The water slides are fun and enjoyable... There ... Read More
This was a trip of a life time. It was so fun. Lets start off with entertainment... Well, entertainment sure is everywhere on this boat. You have some pools, which are usually crowded... The water slides are fun and enjoyable... There is music playing by the pool, and usually some dancers. I really liked the Blue Man Group, and the Dueling Pianos. Lets talk about food- The food onboard was better than I expected. Taste- I had the rib-eyed steak. Personally, it wasn't too good... The dessert was great though... Manhattan Room- It is pretty much Taste, but a little bit better and you need to dress nicer. La Cucina- I loved it. I had chicken parm. It was very good. Cagneys Steakhouse- It hit the spot. Excellent! Teppanyaki- It was excellent also, and you are sure to leave on a full stomach. Shanghais- The food was also excellent, but the portions were way too small... Buffet (Dinner)- It was okay... Not too good... Now lets talk about the staterooms- I had the family balcony stateroom. It was very small, and with the curved walls, even smaller. It also is hard to function in, sharing the room with 3 other people. We had to shove our clothing in to tiny drawers and shelves and use all the space. I found it weird also how the bathroom isn't really a bathroom. All beds were very comfty believe it or not... My parents were in a mini suite. It was a little bigger than my rooms, making it a little easier to function. They were nice though... Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
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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