1 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Mediterranean

The Epic is showing wear and tear. Rust and paint bubbles. Saw several fabric seat cushions with worn edges and stains. Laminated edges of some doors and counters were loose. Although windows were washed in port, there was a dull haze on ... Read More
The Epic is showing wear and tear. Rust and paint bubbles. Saw several fabric seat cushions with worn edges and stains. Laminated edges of some doors and counters were loose. Although windows were washed in port, there was a dull haze on their surfaces. I believe that most of the passengers on this Atlantic crossing were experienced cruisers. Usually it takes a day or two for passengers to settle down. However on this cruise passengers immediately seemed to know how to behave. On this cruise the majority did not push and shove, did not jump the queues, did not beat on the elevator buttons, did share tables, did know how to walk passageways and stairways without blocking. Unfortunately, all that changed with the first stop in Barcelona. The next segment was Barcelona, Palma, Marseille, Barcelona with no sea days, Thursday to Sunday. As I stood to one side and the elevator doors opened I was shoved aside by a man who then stood in the doorway preventing those on the elevator from leaving. He turned about and yelled and waved to others to push ahead of others waiting. A second man body blocked the first man into the elevator. Apparently someone inside the elevator was pressing the close doors buttons, as the doors quickly closed. On two occasions as the shuttle bus was approaching the shipside parking space, people from the back of the bus left their seats and ran forward. For one person the importance of being first off the bus was to stand on the bottom step and light a cigarette. The good news is that few of the week-end cruisers had discovered the quiet zone deck forward. Also, it appeared that they preferred the buffet on deck 15 over the main dinning rooms. I lost interest in the buffet/café area after seeing a woman wave one hand under the hand-sanitizer dispenser, then immediately turn her hand over to pour out the small amount of liquid that accidently hit her palm. I had a balcony on deck 8, mid-ship. The decks above were setback, leaving my balcony uncovered. During the crossing there were no problems. For the Barcelona to Barcelona segment it was dangerous to be on the balcony. During this segment my balcony often was hit with discarded cigarettes, bread and other food, broken drink cups, used tissues and one wash cloth. Departing each port people forward were feeding the gulls. In addition to the trash and garbage from above, the bird droppings discouraged use of the balcony. What used to be free tours of ship areas, now have a tour fee. Consulting with a physician in Medical has a fee of $149. Medications and treatments are additional expenses. Older passengers with a long history of cruising were complaining about price increases - what used to be $5 became $10 and now it is $20. On the good side: Each morning there were more than one station offering eggs to order. There were pasta stations blending choice of sauces and types of pasta noodles. During the morning crew would circulate among the tables with coffee and hot water pots. The menu for the main dining rooms changed a little everyday - some items were available every day and always there was something new. There was variety in the free entertainment. Song & dance, comedy, magic and a hypnotist. Even though it was an adult crowd there was a comedy presentation without socially unacceptable words and no sexual innuendos. I have no complaints about the "wave" design of the cabins. But, I prefer the layout with the bed next to the balcony door. We use the couch as a drop zone upon return and a staging/preparation area before leaving the cabin. It is a lot easier than having the bed between the door and the couch. Also, any splashing from the sink hits the floor and not the edge of the bed. Some details of needed information and unique situations have to be done face-to-face or by telephone. Use as much of the computer world tools as possible for everything else. Embarking goes better if you prepared on-line at home (bag tags, boarding documents, travel vouchers). You still stand in line in the terminal but if paperwork was done before arrival, you keep moving toward the ship. The Epic has interactive TV for things such as show reservations and room service pizza. Room service breakfast still used the "card on the door handle" method. In my opinion Wi-Fi is too expensive because it is too slow. There are apps for your mobile unit that allow some interactions about services on the ship - and text with other passengers (ask about which actions have fees). The tours were typical. Too many cruise ships in port depositing too many people onto 50 passenger busses going to the same places. One guide with a weak voice lecturing 48 tourist strung out single file. Fortunately tours are including free time and some guides are agreeable to be abandoned as long as everyone is back on the bus when it is time to leave (or agree to check-in periodically along the guides intended walking route). With on-line tools it is easy to do research; to price shop locals against ship rates; to be selective about where to go and what to experience. The bad news is that as an independent you still have to work around the cruise ship crowds - get to your destination before the tour busses arrive and then you have to hurry to stay ahead of them. Specific to this spring crossing of the Atlantic Ocean: Weather predictions can be unreliable. I had just-in-case clothing. Most mornings after sunrise was low to mid 60sF. Mid-days were mid 60sF to mid 70sF. Most days there was a breeze - lots of people in shorts, T-shirts and bathing suits on the sun decks. People sitting in the shade reading or sleeping usually had a light jacket; some were covered in a blanket. One day the seas were about 11 feet, but the Epic was stable with little roll - nothing falling off tables or shelves. All the other days the seas were 1 to 5 feet and the Epic, to me, had not apparent roll. Average speed during the daytime I estimate to be about 20 knots. Read Less
Sail Date April 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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