171 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

The itinerary and timing met our needs, so we chose the Mediterranean as the destination for our honeymoon. Our knowledgeable travel agent suggested NCL.. The ship was in overall very good condition. Service ranged from fair to ... Read More
The itinerary and timing met our needs, so we chose the Mediterranean as the destination for our honeymoon. Our knowledgeable travel agent suggested NCL.. The ship was in overall very good condition. Service ranged from fair to excellent. We were fortunate to have a superb Room Steward, and encountered others who were very good. Food was good but nothing special, even the specialty restaurants. Our favorite part of the cruise was the shows, particularly Burn the Floor that we attended twice! Shore excursions were numerous and varied, but over-priced... The ports were very good, and we enjoyed visiting all of them. Fortunately only one port required the use of a tender...and that process was quite cumbersome and slow. But the disembarkation process was even worse!!! It took more than more than an hour to leave the ship, feeling like we were being herded like cattle at the end of an otherwise pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose the cruise for the timing and itinerary. We doubted our choice because of the size of the ship. While we still prefer the 2500 passenger size we didn’t feel completely overwhelmed by the size. We did however hate the ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the timing and itinerary. We doubted our choice because of the size of the ship. While we still prefer the 2500 passenger size we didn’t feel completely overwhelmed by the size. We did however hate the bed...my husband is 6’2 and his feet stuck over the edge of the curvy design so he ended up sleeping down the middle...not so great! We also really missed the promenade deck. We still love NCL and will stick with them, but probably not on the Epic again...but only for those two reasons. We loved the entertainment! We used our three specialty dining reservations at the spiegel circus tent. Contrary to past reviews the food was very good and the entertainers took our breath away. Amazingly talented! We also went to Cagneys and Le Bistro...both of which were very good and didn’t disappoint. The shows were very good and we especially enjoyed Priscilla. But our favourite venue was the howl at the moon piano bar. We usually go to bed pretty early but we closed them down three nights at 1:00 a.m.! We just couldn’t leave in case we missed another great song! We did on your own shore excursions to Florence and Pisa, Monaco and Monte Carlo and Pompeii....if you go to Pompeii make sure to get a map or you will easily get lost in the myriad of streets and if possible a guidebook before you go. The rest of the ports we walked off the ship and wither just walked or did the hop on hop off bus tours. We sailed out of Rome and were lucky to have four days there before we sailed out of Civitavecchia to really be able to take in all of the sites and see most of everything that amazing city has to offer. All in all...we had a great cruise....but where are the towel animals...none to be seen Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We wanted to cruise the Mediterranean to visit countries we have never been to, leaving from Barcelona where we have friends. We enjoyed everything, particularly the services on the ship and the professionalism of the crew. Each day gave ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Mediterranean to visit countries we have never been to, leaving from Barcelona where we have friends. We enjoyed everything, particularly the services on the ship and the professionalism of the crew. Each day gave us an opportunity to do new things on the ship: walking around the top deck at night, swimming in one of the pools between sunning during the day, taking in shows and enjoying top quality food at the many on board restaurants. We participated in shore excursions that we organized ahead of time. They gave us a taste of Italy and the French Riviera, making us want to visit some cities again for a longer time. The choice of activities onboard is extensive with something for everyone. We particularly appreciated our first two days at sea so that we explore the ship, as well as the afternoon arrival in Palma that allowed us to take our time to prepare to leave the next day. Dt Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise. My, now, Husband and I thought it would be a great trip for our honeymoon as a first time experience and to see the world. We had a wonderful experience. The cruise was great, the staff was friendly and the food ... Read More
This was our first cruise. My, now, Husband and I thought it would be a great trip for our honeymoon as a first time experience and to see the world. We had a wonderful experience. The cruise was great, the staff was friendly and the food was super good! We planned excursions at each port with Norwegian and we are so glad we did. The excursions were set up so nicely and we felt we got to see all the important things at each place. Being first time cruisers, we were never sure how anything really went, but Norwegian was so structured and organized for everything they did, it made us never stressed and always knew we were headed the right direction or doing the right thing. Food is very important to me, and I was very please with all the food choices that were give on Norwegian Epic. We had some truly amazing staff members from our cabin steward to some servers in different restaurants and that made the trip more special. Norwegian even left us a special card with a free dessert in any of the restaurants to celebrate our honeymoon! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was always our favorite, NCL. They treated us like royalty. They have made so many cuts recently, I thought I was on a Carnival cruise. No longer the cute towel animals to welcome us daily, no longer the menu daily for breakfast in the ... Read More
It was always our favorite, NCL. They treated us like royalty. They have made so many cuts recently, I thought I was on a Carnival cruise. No longer the cute towel animals to welcome us daily, no longer the menu daily for breakfast in the room...Cagneys has gone downhill. The side dishes were tiny, not tasty, beef was a low cut, and tough. We ate there twice and were disappointed. The baked potato was small, warm not hot and just not good. The sides used to be great, instead of creamed spinach they just had sautéed spinach which had little taste. Tepanyakis was excellent, nice large shrimp and great entertainment, the food has not changed and remained great. We had an issue in La Cuchina, I brought the wrong coupon, it was the Cagneys coupon so the hostess did not want to seat us. Seriously? We had to bring in the manager. I went and retrieved the correct coupon right before dessert. We just were not treated well all around. NCL Has changed and not for the better. It is time to try another cruise line. After 10 trips I’m sorry to see them cut so many corners. I would not recommend them at this point. I’m sure they are saving money at the guests expense. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After reading some reviews before we sailed I was a bit nervous about wait times for drinks, sun beds and the amount of people on the boat. I never once had a problem getting a sun bed even when I didnt go down untill late morning. I ... Read More
After reading some reviews before we sailed I was a bit nervous about wait times for drinks, sun beds and the amount of people on the boat. I never once had a problem getting a sun bed even when I didnt go down untill late morning. I didn't have a long wait time to get a drink and it never really felt over crowded. The entertainment was great, something for everyone. I especially liked the atrium and Carlos was lovely. I also went to Bliss the night club which has a good vibe at night, the ice bar and a few of the other game shows and singers.. all great. Mandy the cruise director was also very good all the shows and parties I saw her hosting had good energy. We paid to eat in the steak house one night especially liked the food there. The rest of the nights we ate in the buffet, taste, Manhatten or the Irish bar. No complaints about any of them. My favourite place during the day was H2O as it was adults only, had hot tubs to use and the staff were quick to see if you wanted a drink. The only annoying thing was the lifts could be slow at times but it was expected and you have to get out of the room early on the day you leave. But compared to the amount I loved about the cruise this was minor. We pre booked our excursions with another company and they worked out very well, I understand to book them through the ship is very expensive. There is a large casino on the ship which is always fairly busy but not over crowded. As a young couple who's first time it was crusing we definitely had a great experience and will be crusing again. I would definitely reccomend this ship to all age groups. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise on Norwegian. We have taken approximately 15 cruises over the last several years. The food, service, cabin staff were all very good. The ports and excursions were all very enjoyable. We were not big fans of ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Norwegian. We have taken approximately 15 cruises over the last several years. The food, service, cabin staff were all very good. The ports and excursions were all very enjoyable. We were not big fans of free style dining. We were very disappointed in the activities on the cruise ship itself. The shows were very good, but the repition of shows (like The Epic Beatles) was a bit of a disappointment. The first show was excellent, but was its necessary to have two more shows of the Epic Beatles. We were hoping for more shows in the main Epic Lounge. On other cruises there was a different show each night. There were not enough activities on the ship during the days while we were all onboard cruising. There were not enough games - trivia for example. We found ourselves with a lot of free time to do nothing. The activities that they did have cost $$$ - bingo, art gallery, etc. Any of the good activities that we were interested in were during dinner time. Pools were small, which was a surprise. We never saw the rock climbing wall open, nor the water slide. We had the drink package and were charged $5.17 and $10.35 to use the wine sample station. We tried to have that charge reversed, but were told it was not part of the drink package. In our stateroom. the water was so hot in the sink, that we had to take a bottle of water from the refrigerator to rinse our mouths when brushing our teeth. We were charged $6.50 for using that water from the mini-bar. The water was $5 for the bottle, but we were also charged a stocking fee. These charges should have been reversed, but we were basically told that can't be done. There was a Jewish Service, but no Christian Service on Sunday. On other cruises, we have had an opportunity for this. The bathroom in our stateroom was very strange. The bathtub was on one side of the hallway and the toilet and sink were on the other side. There was very little privacy. We were very surprised with this set up. We were not very impressed with the gift shops either. Usually we find plenty of great things to purchase, but not so on this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I laugh when I read some of these reviews from various experiences had by passengers. As in life, you can't please everyone. I am not moking anyone, just making a point that a cruise full of people will have various experiences. ... Read More
I laugh when I read some of these reviews from various experiences had by passengers. As in life, you can't please everyone. I am not moking anyone, just making a point that a cruise full of people will have various experiences. About myself, I cruised several times on 3 other NCL ships and Princess before including the beautiful Escape last summer to Bermuda. I am a male, 52 and travel with my Lady. I should also mention I was on a casino at sea cruise meaning it was comped by my affiliation with a casino so isaved some money and caught some nice promo's including reduced air. I did my research prior to booking knowing it was still summer weather in early September so everyday was as anticipated. Simply gorgeous! Most kids were be back at school so it was an older crowd. The destinations were spectacular for a 7 day cruise and we took advantage at every port. A quick rundown of everything related... We had a midship balcony. It was clean and served it purpose. I don't cruise to stay inside but it's nice to hang on the balcony before dinner or catcha sunrise or sunset. Dining was overall pretty good. We went to several restaurants including the specialty ones. Buffet food is as expected, good for a quick bite and readily available. Getting on the ship was near perfection. I walked up at 3:30 and was on the ship 10 minutes later. They don't load the ship completely at this port and there was only another ship or 2 in the port. Getting off took a little longer but moved along. took about 20 minutes. Activities and Entertainment is what you would expect on a typical cruise today. There are a few standouts like the Beatles cover band playing in the Cavern bar. They really packed them in with this crowd of English and American folks reliving the live music of an iconic band. The Cirque show was also entertaining as well as Burn the floor. The headliner bar had fun shows and a very good violinist show. The cruise director and staff get things rolling at sea with the live shows. This ship has a spectacular gym at sea. Plenty of everything to keep the weight down. A full basketball court and waterpark type water slide was present and never too busy to enjoy. Chairs were available on deck and the quiet space up top was a greatfind. I never felt the 4000 plus passengers on this sold out cruise to be an issue. I did plan ahead for the specialty restaurants and ate in a different place each night. Public areas were kept clean for the most part. Some bathrooms needed a little more attention later in the evening after shows let out. The casino was humming nightly and the smoke wasn't an issue. In fact, they had a great cigar lounge that I used daily and purchased a few cigars from the ship when I didn't feel like running back to the room for my own. Elevators were busier as expected during peak times and disembarktion. A ship this size could use a 3rd set for sure. Service was good to excellent depending on where you are. The lounges and outside bars kept things moving. The dining areas at peak times were a little slower for drink service now and again but overall pretty good. We arrived a day earlier to take the edge off the long flight and experienced Barcelona in a very nice hotel by the beach. We hired a private guide to see Gaudi's work of 3 projects including the Sagrada Familia which is a must see from inside. We used the ships excursions for 2 days in Rome visiting the catacombs and the beautiful Cinque Terre, booked my own on another 2 in Naples seeing the Amalfi coast and tour of Nice, Eze, Monaco and Montecarlo and rented electric bikes in Mallorca which was a great deal at 26 Euro a piece. We rode 10-12 km each way along the beach on a nice bike trail and made several stops for pictures, lunch and Gelato. All Great experiences. All in all, it was an excellent experience with few complaints and we were pleasantly surprised. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Sailed Sept 4-11, 2019 Norwegian Epic. Firstly, this was only our 2nd cruise. The first was on the Celebrity Silhouette. If it wasn't for that cruise, we would think that Norwegian was pretty good. But Celebrity blows Norwegian ... Read More
Sailed Sept 4-11, 2019 Norwegian Epic. Firstly, this was only our 2nd cruise. The first was on the Celebrity Silhouette. If it wasn't for that cruise, we would think that Norwegian was pretty good. But Celebrity blows Norwegian out of the water! There were SO MANY stupid little annoying things on Norwegian that added up. When you are on vacation, you don't want to be irritated by things like the following: -We booked a balcony room thru Norwegian. They didn't allow us to pick our room, nor have a say on where it was located. They only way to do this is to $$$ Upgrade (of course). -As soon as we booked the trip, Norwegian immediately started sending "upgrade now" emails. So I guess whatever you get isn't good enough. -Most (but not all) of the employees on the ship didn't seem very happy...just going thru the motions. Chris (our room steward) was the only one on NCL that was enjoyable to chat with. This was a stark contrast to Celebrity, where it was fun to talk to the crew. -Very Impersonal: one thing about Celebrity that is awesome is that you have a specified mealtime and table every night (although you aren't obligated to be there). You get the same two waiters every night, and they were so great and fun to be around. You also get to know your fellow cruisers, since everyone sits in the same spot. This made our dinnertime something to look forward to and a great part of the entire experience. NCL is not like that at all. While the food is great and the wait staff provides great service, it's more like going to a random restaurant to eat. -They tell you you need to make a reservation for a specialty restaurant. This can be done on your TV or the touchscreen outside of the elevator. But then when you do that, it says nothing is available. Then we went to the restaurant anyway, only to get hassled by the gal at the podium because we didn't have one. You would think it's because the restaurant was completely booked, but it wasn't. There were tons of empty seats when we got there, and plenty when we were done. -Shows: every night there is a great show in the Epic Theater. But for one of the shows, "reservations" were required. This was similar to the restaurant fiasco above. This time, both shows were shown to be "sold out." Bummer, right? But if you get there 10 minutes early, you can get on the "standby list", which we did. But then they let us right in?! It turns out the show was NOT sold out after all. There were about 100 extra seats (maybe 20% of the theater was empty). Why would NCL do this? Do they not want people to see the shows? Are they just trying to annoy their paying customers? Well they did! -Repeating of shows: for the 7 days cruise, the 5 shows were all pretty great. But the last 2 days had the first 2 shows repeating themselves already! Did they run out of performers? It was like groundhog day. -The "cruise director" Mandy seems pretty fake. Not sincere. She says nearly the same thing every time she makes an announcement or talks on the mic...like a broken record. -Embarkation: there was always a long line to get back on the ship. They are very inefficient with the security screening. Part of it was lack of enough x-ray machines, part was employees not caring about a speedy boarding process (standing around talking to each other). I would surely not cruise Norwegian again. We felt like a number, not a customer. There are surely better cruise ship companies out there who would make sure the little things don't get in the way of a great vacation! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We celebrated are 30th anniversary by cruising this ship. We have cruised 4 times previously on Royal Caribbean and Carnival all in the Caribbean. This is our first time on a ship of this size. We chose our itinerary first, ... Read More
We celebrated are 30th anniversary by cruising this ship. We have cruised 4 times previously on Royal Caribbean and Carnival all in the Caribbean. This is our first time on a ship of this size. We chose our itinerary first, Mediterranean, and then picked from the available cruise lines. This ship had the best stops in our opinion. Livorno/florence, Cannes, Majorca, Barcelona, Naples and one day at sea. I was pleasantly surprised that given the amount of cruisers it never felt crowded even though i was told ship was at 90% capacity. the uniqueness of this particular itinerary is that the ship on boards people in 2 different ports. some people get on in Barcelona and sail Sunday to Sunday, we got on in Civitavecchia/Rome and sailed Wed to Wed. I was told that of the 4000+ passengers 2/3 get on in Barcelona 1/3 in Rome. that being said check in in Rome could not have been easier. from the time we got to the port to the time we walked into our room was about 20min. very well organized. we didn't find the ship layout confusing unlike others. different as there is no mid-ship elevator. and getting to the 5th floor where guest service is as well as the atrium means going to 6th floor and taking staircase or escalator down to that floor. restaurants are spread out between mid-ship and aft. with theater and dinner theater locations in the forward part of ship. first time we have been on ship with so much freestyle dining which was perfect for us. not being relegated to a particular sitting as 5 of 7 nights we were on excursions during the day so was nice not to be the relegated to the older 6:30/9:30 dining room options. definitely a positive change by the cruise industry in general. We ate in the Manhattan main DR room (aft)twice, and the Taste(near atrium) once for dinner but 3 times for breakfast. food was good. service was good for most part. waiter in the Taste was a little off her game the night we were their. We purchased the AI beverage package as well as 3 specialty dining meals. Cagney steakhouse, Moderno Churrascaria, La Cucina. all three were very good. Cagney and Moderno share the same space right about the Manhattan room on deck 7. Moderno is a brazilian steakhouse where they walk around brining different meats to your table until you tell them to stop Italian was the fanciest and is forward with views right out into ocean on the 14th floor. you actually access it by walking through the garden cafe buffet to the front of it and down the stairs. O Sheehans bar/grille which is on deck 6 midship is very popluar congregating place. Open 24 hours for food(fixed bar/pub food menu) but stops serving booze at 3am. food is just average. has a little game room with pool tables, arcade games and 3 lanes of ten pin bowling. We found the selection of alcohol was very good and pretty consistent among all bars. maybe a little less likely to find exactly what you want at the 2 pool bars. our AI beverage package got us everything that was $15/drink or less. so bicardi, grey goose, kettle one, bombay sapphire, jack daniels,bulleit, patron all part of the plan. next level up we would have had to pay surcharge. all beers were less than $15 and there were enough wines to choose from $15 or less as well. spent our ship time at the SPICE H2O pool bar and grill which during the day (to 6pm) is adults only. this was nice. always manage to get a seat. in chair waiter service was really good here. server to cruiser ration much better than around the main pool bar where we spent 1 afternoon. Really like the Maltings beer and whiskey bar as well as the Martini bar. We also participating in Sky vodka ice bar which was an additional $25/person. this got you the outerwear and 2 vodka drinks once in side. we had never been in one and wanted to try one. it was interesting and glad we did it. we did 3 cruise sponsored excursions. Livorno/florence we did the Pisa & a Taste of Tuscany excursion. 40 minute ride and then you spend the morning in Pisa. then 40 min ride you go to Lucca, mountains to a winery where you get a little tour about the place/process. then you sit down to a meal with the ability to sample the wines they make there, both red and white. We really liked this excursion. very well organized by Norwegain EE's. In Cannes we did a tour of Monaco/Eze/Monte Carlo. you bus to each of these location spending 1-2 hours in each location. Monaco was good and Eze was fantastic. Monte carlo was a waste of time as really nothing there but the famed casino and you can't even get in without paying a fee. on the way to Monaco we drove by/thru the seaside town of Nice. It was really nice and wish that was on the itinerary over Monte Carlo. Naples we did the Mt Vesuvius & Pompeii. This was really good. see the active volcano and the city it buried in ash back in 79 AD. really picturesque and really historical. In Barcelona and the island or Palma, Majorca we went on our own. all ports off and on boarding very well organized. We didn't do any of Epic theater shows except the Beatles tribute band. other offerings just not our style. went to Headliners couple of nights which had various musical acts, told that when this ship cruises out of US the actually have comedians mixed in with musical acts. Bliss lounge had karaoke most nights. they don't in Mediterranean due to language barrier/issues. Dueling piano show at this venue a really good take. All in all we were really pleased with the cruise. We would definitely sail aboard this ship again and given our liking of this ship would definitely cruise Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise for our 10-year wedding anniversary and opted for the Haven. I really enjoyed the embarkation process where we were taken to a separated, less chaotic area. Though, I don't know that I would book the Haven again. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our 10-year wedding anniversary and opted for the Haven. I really enjoyed the embarkation process where we were taken to a separated, less chaotic area. Though, I don't know that I would book the Haven again. I know that I wouldn't book the Epic or this itinerary again. We live in Europe, so have been to all the ports except Majorca. The ship was awful. I didn't like that the elevators only stop on certain levels and you HAVE to walk through the casino, which stank of smoke, to go to the Atrium if you are in the back of the ship. The layout was very confusing and you can tell it was made by a French company. Even some of the main levels, you had to walk in a certain direction or else you would reach a dead-end. Normally, the cruise ships are very predictable in how they are laid out (I've been on 8+ now), but it took me days to get my bearings on this ship. This was exacerbated by the people on board. I've never seen so many strollers. When you have 4,000+ passengers, it gets old. The atrium was the main thoroughfare for pretty much everything. Even the quizzes took place in the atrium (which were few and far between). If you sat in the back, you could not see the screen with question, so really, it's a poor area to host a quiz (or any game). The cabins were also odd as a curtain separated the bathroom from our bedroom. We liked the aft-facing balcony but the room itself was lackluster. The ports were meh. If you have only one chance to come to Europe, this may be the itinerary for you. But, otherwise, it's disappointing. We've cruised out of "Rome" before so knew that it takes about 2 hours each way to get to the city. But, almost all the ports were like this. Naples was an exception, but that's only if you want to go to Naples (not Capri, Sorrento, Vesuvius, Pompeii, etc.). The main entertainment was good. I'm not a fan of dancing shows but we had nothing else to do and so went. It was impressive. The howl at the moon was awesome!!! Karaoke was disappointing as all the slots were complete (even by kids in an 18+ club) an hour in. We both loved Priscilla Queen of the Desert! The Cirque show was not as great as some of the others we have seen on other ships and not even better than some of the regular, free entertainment. Plus, the food was not worth it. I think because this was also a one-stop European vacation for most passengers. Although the passengers were polite, most were concerned about ports rather than joining in. This is one of the highlights of most of our cruises- as we tend to make friends and keep in touch with the people we meet. We met nobody on this cruise. There were such little activities going on (boring!) and then few people actually joined. I've cruised the smaller ships and tend to favour them now, but they have to cap the wine tastings because they are well attended (despite the added cost). We sat at the tasting time and just needed 2 more people to show up. Nope! Nobody showed up and the tasting did not make. All activities were poorly attended. We really didn't take advantage of the Haven much. Our butler came and brought us food (though we didn't eat much of it because of our dietary requirements). The concierge was very nice and went above and beyond in a personal instance. He even got us in to a full excursion. We laid out in the Haven pool area one day only and I went to the gym there once. The restaurant (ate at twice for dinner) was actually worth going to more than the specialty restaurants as the food was superior. In particular, the cuts of meat and the attention to the food quality was worth going. Though, the menu didn't change. I do enjoy going to see the main dining menu to see what's new each night on other cruises. Oddly enough, my favourite part of the entire cruise was the Haven bartender. After our first night, he knew us by name and would ask us if we wanted our usual. He made the best dirty martinis and was so funny! He came to know our patterns for ordering drinks pre-dinner, during dinner, and after. Fab! A couple additional perks of the Haven that I learned on board (above the seating in the theatre)- you have priority over some of the elevators so you wait less and it comes directly to you AND you have easy disembarkation for each port/final stop. We always take advantage of the Thermal Suite Pass on board. I think this is why we didn't use the Haven much. As it's an outlet for the 18+ year olds and so peaceful. I love the heated chairs and often that's my nap area. The hot tubs and saunas were so relaxing. On the Baltic cruise I took, this area was packed and crowded by the end of the cruise. But, on this itinerary, it was nearly empty every day. I believe, again, that this is due to the types of passengers on the ship. When you only get one sea day and excursions that demand hours of your time, there's hardly anyone on board. While the staff were very friendly (my husband saw his favourite coffee lady who we will see again on our next cruise), I hated how the passengers tended to talk down to them and treat them as if they should be at their feet. These people work long and hard and I wish people respected them more. Even if you have an issue, most of the time, it's not their fault. For instance, I didn't like that we got a $50 voucher for the spa due to our anniversary. But, we couldn't use it with any other promotion (such as our 25% off due to our thermal pass or the % off we get at gold status). NCL- Don't use our anniversary as a marketing ploy. We told the staff this, but knew it was not them that came up with the idea. Next, I know NCL is all for going green, but don't get rid of the towel animals. Change my towels less or let me opt into the towel animals rather than getting new towels daily. This has always been a favourite of mine- I have tons of pictures of all the animals from all of our cruises. But, I had to request them (which took days in a 7 day cruise). Don't cheap out on what we love NCL. Lastly, while most of the crew carried the experience, the cruise director was disappointing. I forgot her name already- Amanda from the UK or something? I saw her once- while we were disembarking. All other NCL staff have always been so involved. My last cruise was December 2019 so it's not like things have changed over the years. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my wife's and I first Norwegian Cruise and we picked this one because of the European ports of call and the fact Carnival does not offer the European cruises unless they have a new ship launch..The European ports we stopped ... Read More
This was my wife's and I first Norwegian Cruise and we picked this one because of the European ports of call and the fact Carnival does not offer the European cruises unless they have a new ship launch..The European ports we stopped at were fantastic and we visited places we had only dreamed of in the past. We have been on 13 previous Carnival cruises with 11 of them being balcony cabins with them all being on the Conquest class ships or the Dream class ships..This is what we found...Freestyle cruising and that's what Norwegian calls it is not for us .They want you to book ahead of your cruise any specialty restaurants or shows you want to go to..We had the Liquor package thrown in with our cruise along with 3 specialty dining restaurants..We picked Le Bistro(french),Madurno's a Brazillian steakhouse and Le Cuchinos a Italian restaurant...If we had to pay for these restaurants the bill would of been just under $300.00..The meals were excellent in the 3 specialty dining restaurants but were subpar in the main dining restaurants Manhattan and Taste.We found the main dining restaurants to be very noisy and several food items to be subpar with what you get on Carnival in their main dining rooms.With the free style concept you go to eat when you want or better said when you can get the reservation..My wife and I like the early dining option on Carnival thus we were not to pleased with the setup on Norwegian except for the superior quality food in the specialty restaurants and like I said before you pay for it....Also on Carnival your waiters get to know you and build up a bond with you night after night thus the service is better on Carnival. Another thing you do not get this on Norwegian and we found the service to be very impersonal. What we missed on Norweigen is that with Carnival your waiters put on a song and dance show during your meal. Your not going to get this on Norwegian. Another item we found sub par on the Epic was that the elevators were very slow compared to the 13 other cruises we have been on. It seems like they do not have enough elevators for the 4100 passengers on board. Entertainment we found not as plentiful on the Epic compared to the carnival ships...They had one Broadway style show which was very good however the Circus du Solei show was a pay show only so we decided not to attend.For the most part EPIC had less live music than you would find on a Carnival ship and most of the singers were sub par with the exception of the Epic Beatles and a Filipino singer named Allan who sang solo near the Whiskey Tasters bar. The balcony cabin that we had looks nice but was badly laid out and not as functional as on Carnival. Our room steward was good but did not have the same friendliness we have experienced on previous Carnival cruises. When you disembark you feel you are just a number not the feeling that you are leaving family on Carnival.Do not get us wrong this is a beautiful ship with a lot of polished wood but for our liking we would of been more than happy on Carnival Breeze or Dream.Yes we would take another Norwegian cruise but not on the Epic...Long story short my wife and I feel that Carnival has the best value for our vacation dollar. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised on NCL many times. The Breakaway is an awesome ship with solid service. The Epic is the opposite in every way. Service is awful and staff, especially front desk, is rude, condescending and scattered (e.g. the first rep ... Read More
We have cruised on NCL many times. The Breakaway is an awesome ship with solid service. The Epic is the opposite in every way. Service is awful and staff, especially front desk, is rude, condescending and scattered (e.g. the first rep we talked with had no idea what the Posh Beach Club is). BTW, Posh is nothing like the amazing Vibe Beach Club on the Breakaway. It has no hot tub, just a boring, hot deck for which a pass costs way more than it's worth. The Epic cabins are old, musty and poorly designed; with the toilet separate from the sink which is unfortunately the first thing you see. The cheap glass door makes sounds & smells from the toilet a constant nuisance. The gym had two of three exercise bikes "out of order," the ice machines were constantly broken and the Garden Cafe was closed too many times to count. Great itinerary (Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Cannes, Palma) but overall, this is the worst NCL cruise we've ever taken. Epic Failure! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised on Norwegian 2 other times. We love the packages that are included. We did the Cruise next program too. While most of the staff on this ship were fabulous, we did encounter more than we ever have before of staff ... Read More
We have cruised on Norwegian 2 other times. We love the packages that are included. We did the Cruise next program too. While most of the staff on this ship were fabulous, we did encounter more than we ever have before of staff that were not friendly and some that were down right rude. My husband and I like to enjoy the casino at night. Now we are realistic, we know we are eventually going to lose, but as long as we have fun and can play for awhile, we don't mind. Part of that experience is a fun staff of dealers. Well not on this ship. Except for a couple of dealers, the majority on this ship were terrible; they seemed bored or annoyed. No conversation, no playing around and one man was so rude my husband reported him. He ruined our last night. They really need to do some training with that group. While we were not super fans of the buffet, we loved the specialty restaurants. Le Bistro was perfection. Only flaw is the bowling alley is right over the restaurant. Dumb design. The staff gets an A+. Also kudos to the Spa staff and facilities. Loved it. Yes, it is pricey, but you expect it. Did NOT like getting up at the crack of dawn for excursions, but that can't be helped as most of the places to visit require a long bus ride to get there. Honestly, book them online - the prices are much better than on the ship. Would we go with Norwegian again, probably but not this ship. Several areas needed a new paint job. Again, loved our cabin but not the casino staff!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our 20th anniversary present to each other, so we wnted to hit some major ports. We arrived in Barcelona at el Prat airport and after a very short wait were set up on our transfer bus to the port. The embarkation process went ... Read More
This was our 20th anniversary present to each other, so we wnted to hit some major ports. We arrived in Barcelona at el Prat airport and after a very short wait were set up on our transfer bus to the port. The embarkation process went very smoothly and soon we were on the pool deck enjoying a light lunch and some adult beverages. We had booked a Spa mini-suite which gave us unlimited access to the thermal relaxation facilities, and we took advantage of them several times during the cruise. Our first full day was an at sea day, We took in the Cirque Dreams dinner show which was fantastic. The rest of the week was a new port and excursion every day. In Naples we did the Hop on- Hop off bus tour of the city. This allowed us to ride the bus to interesting points then get off and explore on our own. We had Pizza Margherita at a wonderful spot called Pizzeria Oliva, then we were off to a Cameo factory where the wife picked out several beautful pieces. Then back on the bus for some breath-taking vista overlooking the city and the bay. In Rome, it was the Forum, the Vatican museums ,the Sistine chapel and St Peter's Basilica. All of the beautiful. The next port was Livorno. We took walking tours of Pisa and Florence, where we saw the Leaning tower, Michelangelo's David, the Piazza del Duomo, the Fontana del Porcellino, and the Uffizi museum. Friday we arrived in Canne. Our excursion took us to the principality of Monaco, and Monte Carlo where we toured the Grand Casino, saw the Palace and the Oceanographic museum. Monaco was positively beautiful. Saturday we visit our last port before returning to Barcelona. The wonerful city of Palma on the island of Mallorca. We took a bus tour to the village of Valdemossa up in the mountains outside of Palma, where we enjoyed some sangria and quiet stroll through the village for some shopping before heading back down to see Palma itself. We really enjoyed this tour. Next stop Barcelona. We opted to stay in Barcelona for two days at the Hotel Montblanc as an add-on to the cruise. While there we saw the Sagrada Familia cathedral which was Gaudi's crowning glory, and went to the Monastary at Mont Serrat to see the Black Madonna, then off to Oller de Mas Vineyard and winery for an organic wine tasting and tapas. Truly outstanding. While on this cruise, we dined at three of the specialty restaurants, the main dining room and the Garden buffet. The food was wonderful at all of the venues. The ships staff was,as always, courteous, cheerful and professional. This was our fifth cruise with Norwegian, and it has to have been one of the best. Would definitely do this one again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Cannot recommend The Norwegian Epic enough, absolutely fantastic ship and on the whole professional and attentive staff. Boarding starts at 1200 but cabins aren’t available until 1400, so no rush to board unless you want to get on ... Read More
Cannot recommend The Norwegian Epic enough, absolutely fantastic ship and on the whole professional and attentive staff. Boarding starts at 1200 but cabins aren’t available until 1400, so no rush to board unless you want to get on early like we did and get your bearings and enjoy a glass of bubbles or two. Fabulous entertainment, wonderful restaurants and great bars. Speciality dining is well worth a visit, we did the Italian, Le Bistro and Moderno. La Bistro is excellent! Fine dining at its best! Plenty of deck space to sunbathe, plus the ‘Posh Beach Club’ which is an additional charge but well worth it for the big comfortable beds, space and cool relaxed vibe. Spa area/ thermal suits are fabulous, we had a spa cabin so visited the spa twice a day! Boarding and disembarkation very easy, quick and organised. Booked to go back on The Epic next year! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I had never been on a cruise before and did not know what to expect. My husband and I decided on this vacation for our honeymoon so we could visit several different places in Europe at one. This was the best decision! I was so impressed ... Read More
I had never been on a cruise before and did not know what to expect. My husband and I decided on this vacation for our honeymoon so we could visit several different places in Europe at one. This was the best decision! I was so impressed with Norwegian! Their service is top-notch. The crew is so friendly and knowledgeable and efficient - I really hope they're paid well!!! Every area of the ship was immaculate. The food was great too; we mostly ate in the main dining areas and were so pleased with the varying menu selections each night. I also was impressed with getting on/off the ship and the security measures taken. We felt so comfortable on this ship. Sure the cabins are small (we had an aft-facing balcony), but the designers really thought of everything, in terms of space/storage, so we never felt crowded. Our only (small) complaint was that we wished there were more/better entertainment choices at night, but otherwise we were completely happy with our honeymoon destination! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My husband and I went on this work related cruise therefore we did not choose this ship, it was chosen for us. After reading all of the very negative reviews we were very nervous about our cruise. We have been on 30 cruises, mostly with ... Read More
My husband and I went on this work related cruise therefore we did not choose this ship, it was chosen for us. After reading all of the very negative reviews we were very nervous about our cruise. We have been on 30 cruises, mostly with Royal Caribbean and Princess but a few have been on Norwegian. In my opinion, the biggest problem with the Epic is the design of the ship and Norwegian's desire to pack on too many passengers with not enough places to go. I have been on the largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas and despite the large number of passengers there are so many dining venues, bars and entertainment options that you never feel crowded and rarely have to wait in line. The Epic has limited dining, bars and entertainment options therefore there are crowds and lines everywhere! Another huge problem is the food! We have never been on a cruise where we were hungry but we were on this one! The choices were unappealing, the food temperature was not consistently correct, the freshness of the food was questionable and the taste was just awful. Thankfully we were in France, Italy and Spain and in these ports all day so we were able to fill up on delicious food there! Our cabin was satisfactory. Our bed (although too short) was quite comfortable and there was quite a bit of storage space in the cabin. The small bathroom with the sliding glass door was cramped and awkward given the fact that you could see through the glass. The separate sink outside of where the toilet was didn't work for us either. The shower was okay but filled up with some water at times, which really disgusts me. The balcony had some rust on the rails and most of the balcony furniture and wooden rail was covered in sea salt which made it uncomfortable to sit out there. It was never wiped by our cabin steward. Although we had read terrible reviews about the crew on board, we just felt that they were overworked and overwhelmed by the number of people on the ship. They tried really hard to keep up and most of them maintained a positive attitude. We especially liked the bar service in the "Maltings Beer and Whiskey Bar". We never had to wait long for drinks and the staff there were always pleasant. We chose not to see any shows but we did hear some live music in a few different areas. The entertainment quality was well below what we are use to on Royal Caribbean and Princess. Embarkation and disembarkation are not efficient, therefore be prepared to stand in long lines! All in all, this cruise was not as horrible as we had anticipated but I would definitely not recommend this ship, nor would I cruise on it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We arrived a day earlier to explore Barcelona , Spain. The cruise was average at best. We have been on several cruises with different cruise lines.This ship was okay , but the entertainment was not that great. The food was average. The ... Read More
We arrived a day earlier to explore Barcelona , Spain. The cruise was average at best. We have been on several cruises with different cruise lines.This ship was okay , but the entertainment was not that great. The food was average. The staff was pretty good. The shore excursions seemed overpriced. We decided to do our own exploring in every port. We found it real easy to get around on our own. Also because of the weather we could not reach Naples Italy. There was basically an oh well attitude among staff in regards to us not getting to Naples. The entertainment on board was below par for a ship of this size. The dining rooms were large .There was a large variety of foods. The problem was that we seemed to have the same menu every other day. Our cabin steward Elton was the lone bright spot on an otherwise ho hum cruise. He was great at his job. My wife's suitcase was damaged by the staff while bringing it on board ship . When i went to customer service the initial response was read the fine print we really don't have to replace it. After some back and fort they finally found her a replacement suitcase that was smaller than her original one . I'm not sure if we will sail with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Wow what a ride the winds changed from 50 knots to 100 knots but the captain did a great job. The cruise was wonderful with nice stops in Italy Spain and France. The service onboard was fantastic but a little slow in some restaurants. ... Read More
Wow what a ride the winds changed from 50 knots to 100 knots but the captain did a great job. The cruise was wonderful with nice stops in Italy Spain and France. The service onboard was fantastic but a little slow in some restaurants. The French restaurant was the best all round, with the seafood to die for. We had a large balcony which was the best cabin we have had with the staff Jo Ann perfect. The hotel Director the best in the company always with a smile and a joke. Made time to chat with everyone. The ship was very clean and well stocked and the food great in all restaurants. Getting on and off the the ship was ok and the stops were nice but sometimes a long way from the city Rome was 1 and 1/2 hours away and cost to much to get to the big city’s. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Recently did the Norwegian 7 Day Western Mediterranean tour : Departing Barcelona, Naples, Rome, Florence/Pisa, Cannes, Palma (Majorca) and back to Barcelona. This was our first big holiday without children (!) and we wanted something to ... Read More
Recently did the Norwegian 7 Day Western Mediterranean tour : Departing Barcelona, Naples, Rome, Florence/Pisa, Cannes, Palma (Majorca) and back to Barcelona. This was our first big holiday without children (!) and we wanted something to remember, so we booked rooms in The Haven. Wow! The Haven room was amazing, we had a balcony and spa in our room plus all of the extras you get with The Haven. I cannot recommend highly enough The Haven. You have your own butler, a concierge, your own restaurant, priority access on and off the boat, early entry into shows on the cruise and many more things. We loved it. The cruise was great too - we missed the port of Naples because of bad weather and went to Civitavecchia. That was a horrible place and not worth getting off the boat for had we known. Lots of con artists walking around trying to get money off people and nothing worth seeing at all. The rest was amazing. The tours through Norwegian was very expensive. I only booked 2 of them at the end. The rest of the tours I did with other tour organisers at each port. Almost half the price for some of the tours. For a couple that just wanted to have some quiet space, fantastic food, great customer service and to be spoilt - this was the perfect experience for us to do that. We used the following tour places for our ports: Cruising Excursions - booked a private tour and saw all the sites in one day (rushed but better than huge coaches full of people). This tour was basically wherever we wanted to go, which we enjoyed. Tour guide was good - but not fantastic with information. We had booked through Viator originally for our Rome port - and they cancelled 2 days before we left, which was really disappointing. Viator (Driver in Rome) - booked a semi-private tour of Florence/Pisa. This tour was great. We got to Pisa before a lot of the other tourists and the tour guide was amazing. Really enjoyed this one. The tours in Cannes and Majorca were through Norwegian - so we were like cattle herded around. Not overly enjoyable but we got to see great things. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Ship couldn't get special additional items purchased right that i had purchased and spoken to customer service on the phone at length, warm champagne in the room , no ice or glasses, 2nd bottle delivered same way 5 days early,the ... Read More
Ship couldn't get special additional items purchased right that i had purchased and spoken to customer service on the phone at length, warm champagne in the room , no ice or glasses, 2nd bottle delivered same way 5 days early,the chocolate strawberries where tiny, canapes never arrived that we had spoken to no less then 5 staff members about and then when I complained the next day they asked why I didn't call ,tea service was 20 cookies, a pound cake a pot of reg coffee and no decaf or herb tea. I don;t eat carbs or caffeine, le bistro was a disgrace the waitress was inadequately trained my frisse salad had no frisse lettuce in it, I asked what came with the duck and I told them no carrots, just give me a spoonful of the cauliflower puree from the lamb, we waited 45 minutes between courses and my duck came out smothered in potato with a 1/2 head of cauliflower on the plate,It was disgraceful that i was paying an additional 5-15 dollars additional a glass for wine in Cucina and Cagneys,The humidor room was filthy all the time due to cigarette smokers, there was almost no place for my husband to enjoy a cigar, Our massage appointment was re-scheduled due to appointments made a week earlier, mine was made 4 months ago, I lost my reading glasses in spa whirlpool which couldn't be found in 5 days $150.00 gone. we had no water for 5 hours on embarkation. We had to go to the bar to get water for the room . We were late getting into Majora due to weather and the mob scene in the cafe restaurant was scary and there was no place to sit at all and the lines for each station were 20 minutes long ....we had all the wrong clothes i was told my husband needed jackets , slacks and a button down shirt in most restaurants, Teppanyaki told us the earliest we could eat was 9:30 there were 4 of us in an empty restaurant, at the Cirque show I was sat in the back and we were told first come first seated well there where 4 seats being held at the next table for the late comers we weren't late on line by 8:55 for 9:30 show. the tour we took from the ship train to sollair, the guild spoke so much broken English it was hard to follow her, there was no white party.more wasted clothes...I was pressured to buy , buy , buy more in the spa, the photographer took pics then told us they were $24 each and not available as part of package photo. The best part of the ship was being off of it on our own tours and we dreaded coming back each day. I spent enough time complaining to customer service that they knew me by name..... Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
4th Cruise all NCL, Epic, Spirit Escape and now back on Epic. We had four fantastic days in Italy beforehand two in Rome then two in Florence then returned to Rome for sail, took early train from Florence then connected to Civitavecchia ... Read More
4th Cruise all NCL, Epic, Spirit Escape and now back on Epic. We had four fantastic days in Italy beforehand two in Rome then two in Florence then returned to Rome for sail, took early train from Florence then connected to Civitavecchia to get the ship. We couldn't see transfer shuttle and ended up walking to port about 35 minutes and as we were excited to get on board it wasn't a problem. We only waited about 30 minutes in the terminal before we boarded about 12.15 Luggage was in the corridor with in 90 minutes and room was ready for about 3.30pm. Smooth as could be hoped for, the benefit of boarding in Rome is that only about 700 people board, after a ship tour and lunch it was muster time in the Epic Theatre for the Rome guests, muster takes about 5 minutes then they spend half an hour telling you what the ship has to offer, we had some beef with this, it was basically a sales pitch and we just wanted to enjoy our cruise many guests thought the same. (cabin review separate) Steward was excellent and always had our room made up and turned down in good time and perfect every time. We had premium all inclusive which gave us 14 bottles of water in our room an excellent addition to our cruise Shows, Priscilla was excellent, the costumes, numbers, acting all brilliant, a must see, some people say reserve but there was a few spare seats. The Epic Beatles, we seen them twice in the cavern club, it was not too difficult to get seats if you get in early but i'm told this is not always the case, we found all the shows, dinning, bars on this cruise were never at bursting point, busy, but not to the ridiculous scale we found on the Escape, especially the Atrium shows everything was very accessible but still a great atmosphere. This point alone made our cruise. The Escape was just tooo much people, even though this is still a "Big Ship" it seemed much less hectic although there was not a great deal of kids on board!! Bliss nightclub has had a great makeover since our last trip but we didn't spend much time here but it looks absolutely stunning , Howl at the moon, one of our favourite shows we got to see three times as there was always seating even mid show, always great! We like shakers but the singer was not our favourite each to their own I guess, also seen Jenifer Fair the operatic singer twice, fantastic!! Ports:- Florence we had already done pre-cruise so opted for a ship day, weather was not the best unfortunately but we were ready to chill and have a book day. Cannes we have done previous cruise so we decided to do Nice and Monaco but decided last minute to do Nice only we did not regret this as time may have been too tight to do both via train and we had a great day in Nice lovely walk along Promenade Anglais then we took the €10 petite train winch let us see more with stunning views. Palma took the NCL $10 bus to the old town and had a great day perhaps our favourite. Drops you off at the cathedral. Barcelona We have visited this beautiful city often so we just intended to walk around the city and reminisce but the previous day we befriended a Canadian couple and ended up giving them the $5 tour which we thoroughly enjoyed, the company made the differance. we spent a few nights in their company nearer the end of the cruise, we love meeting people on the cruises, and we met plenty this time around! Sea day weather sucked, so we renamed it bar day!! Naples We got our only proper excursion here, we used Italytours.EU to do Pompeii Sorrento and the Amalfi coast at only €69 per person we can not recommend them enough. Only 15 people on the modern minibus, so no waiting around on others between stops, we noticed a NCL sanctioned tour in Sorrento and as they walked passed us I noticed there was 50 people + all following each other and they probably paid double what we paid. small groups for the win!! All in all our day was perfect 2 guided hours (€15 entry) in Pompeii, 2 hours in Sorrento alone and great views of the Amalfi coast. Dinning Twice in taste 4 and 3.5 out of 5, Service was slow second night. Twice in Le Bistro 5 out of 5 both times and Cagneys once 4.5 out of 5 Manhattan once 4 out of 5 Garden cafe was so so, bit cold as buffets can be too often!! O'sheenans was always great for some wings and a beer!! Always a great atmosphere on this part of the ship the entire cruise. We even had breakfast there a few times. We love the Epic its a great ship and will most likely sail on her again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Overall this was a fantastic trip. All of the ports were awesome with embarkation and disembarkation really smooth with the exception of Naples. Getting back onboard was a chore. The ship itself was awesome. I’ve cruised in the past ... Read More
Overall this was a fantastic trip. All of the ports were awesome with embarkation and disembarkation really smooth with the exception of Naples. Getting back onboard was a chore. The ship itself was awesome. I’ve cruised in the past and I often found myself with nothing to do, or entertainment that wasn’t entirely entertaining. Not the case with the Epic. The shows were fantastic and the dining options were endless. I traveled with a large group and there were plenty of options for us to get together as a group for dinner or a show. The only thing that wasn’t 100% was the quality of the rooms. The ship is a little bit older and the wear and tear was pretty apparent in some places. There were a few spots throughout where it looked like a quick fix was in place, but it was nothing that would have turned me away from sailing on the Epic, or any Norwegian ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Overall we had a delightful experience aboard the Norwegian Epic. However a few things to keep in mind if you have limited mobility: 1 - Rent a travel scooter before coming - this will give you full mobility on and off the ship. ... Read More
Overall we had a delightful experience aboard the Norwegian Epic. However a few things to keep in mind if you have limited mobility: 1 - Rent a travel scooter before coming - this will give you full mobility on and off the ship. 2 - Most of the excursions through the ship (even level 1) are not conducive for anyone with limited mobility 3 - Get a scooter that can collapse to keep in room - will make it easier than having guest services take overnight to charge (but this is a good alternative) If you can - definitely upgrade to the Haven suites. We booked the Haven spa suite and I was able to walk around the room easily because there were things to hold onto. Not conducive for wheelchair though. I also was able to get a shower chair to avoid soapy slippery floors. At worst case, you can get wheelchair assistance on and off the ship. Based on all of this, we did not know we could rent a scooter beforehand and ended up renting one on the ship for a large price (could have bought one for slightly more than we rented one) but I was grateful the ship had this as an alternative. Also very grateful to the Haven concierge team for their help with our excursions and ensuring that I could get around. Loved the Haven and Specialty restaurants as well as the afternoon treats brought to our cabin each day. Delicious food and great ambiance. As a couple traveling, this offered us wonderful romantic meals, a fabulous balcony off our room to enjoy the views, have quiet space to read and disconnect with each other and see amazing sunsets each day. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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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