4 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Singles Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

My friend and I are moderately active middle-aged women. This was my fifth cruise, having previously traveled with Princess, Carnival and NCL, and her first, but this was my most enjoyable cruise. We booked studio rooms and were delighted ... Read More
My friend and I are moderately active middle-aged women. This was my fifth cruise, having previously traveled with Princess, Carnival and NCL, and her first, but this was my most enjoyable cruise. We booked studio rooms and were delighted to find we had an adjoining door. Embarkation in Barcelona was relatively quick and went smoothly - within 30 mins of arriving at the port, we were on the ship. We arrived at about 1:30 p.m.: boarding started at noon. Our studio cabins were fantastic - everything we needed, wonderful bed, shower, enough storage and very comfortable. If I had to find fault it would be with the lighting; specifically over-bed lighting for reading. Just a very small inconvenience as it was too dim. We loved our cabin steward Abdul. He was very attentive, welcoming and friendly. We were aft, deck 12 and didn't feel any ship movement (but did hear the anchor dropping one morning.) The Epic is massive and with 4,200 passengers, I had my doubts. But it NEVER felt as though we were among a throng of people. We loved the entertainment that we took in: Legends, Howl at the Moon (twice - it's that good!), Soul Sensations was incredible, and we enjoyed the music in Jazz Cats (the bar outside the casino.) We LOVED the food. We only ate in the complementary venues and they never disappointed. Breakfast was a feast - be sure to have the French toast (best I've ever had) and the cream-cheese frosted cinnamon buns - yum! The service was quick and friendly (we loved seeing the sunny smile of Stephanie who wielded the sanitizing spray every morning!) We never had any trouble getting a table, or sharing the end of an occupied table. We ate in either the Manhattan Room or Taste every night - both were superb. The food was elegantly presented, delicious and beautifully prepared. Again, service was fantastic. We tended to arrive late - between 9 and 9:30 and never waited more than five mins to be seated, and never felt the need to rush to accommodate other guests. I ate once in O'Sheehans (on prime rib day) and it was excellent, again great service. Our only advice -- and it's a very small niggle re: dining - bring your own tea bags. NCL's tea is very week. We didn't take part in any onboard activities, but did take in the 'thermal room' on our last full day. We had it to ourselves while others visited Palma (we had been before) and had outside, private, cushioned lounge chairs all day. The surge pool is so soothing for tired, tourist legs. It was a bargain at $39. We bypassed all NCL excursions: as European residents, we found the prices outrageous and were capable of handling our own travel arrangements. At Naples, we took the port bus to the train station to go to Pompeii: it was very inexpensive, just a few euros, while the site itself was 13 euros per person, and audio guides were 5 euros. I suggest NOT renting the audio guide at the building attached to the small shop at the entrance: their numbers do not correspond with the official site maps. Audio guides are available inside the site. Naples itself was a negative experience for us. Time constraints kept us close to the train station on return from Pompeii. There is huge square in front of the station where we had the worst pizza EVER - canned mushrooms on a pizza in Naples! We also had a terrible encounter with a cabbie - an official cabbie from the train station back to the ship. First thing he asked was if we were Americans - we aren't. As we left the station I asked for a price estimation - he said he didn't know because the traffic was heavy (???) I then noticed that the meter was set to "liberal" - meaning whatever he wanted to charge. I insisted on a price and he said 15 euros EACH. I balked at this and insisted the meter be turned on - when he did this it started at 16 euros. I ordered him to let us out, he said he would for five euros. I saw a cop and ordered him to stop. He refused but changed his tune and set the meter at 3.50. When we got to the ship, I made a big show of recording his cab reg number and told him we were going straight to the port office to report him. Suddenly he told us our fare was only 11 euros and begged us not to report him - saying it was a misunderstanding. I rather wish now that we had paid what he asked and reported him. So, beware: no 'liberal', no per person charge, and meters actually start at 3.50! Rome: we went to Rome on our own, as well. We took the port shuttle to the train station and on to Rome to San Peidro station for a few euros return. That left us within a couple of blocks of St. Peter's. The lines were way too long to get in, but we enjoyed the square and then took an open-topped tour bus. I recommend the PINK Greyline buses: 17 euros for the day (there will be touts at the square who will take you a block to pay and get you on the bus - go with them, all is well), while the famous RED bus is 28 euros. Plenty of pink buses and we got on the first bus at every site. A word of warning for anyone leaving Rome from Termini station: The train leaves from a high # platform, in our case, #29 and it is a very long walk - give yourself 10-15 mins depending on your fitness and luggage! Livorna - again, we went independent. Taking NCL's bus from the port to train station for 15 euros each return. I would suggest asking the taxi price if you are more than two people as you may find it is cheaper. Train to Pisa is only 2.50 and only 15 minutes - we only went to Pisa as it was very hot and we were finding the crowds overwhelming. Our shipmates told us we made the right decision; in summer, you cannot get near the main sights in Florence and have no hope of getting into galleries, etc - after spending another 1.5 hours on a bus train. However, the train from Livorna to Florence is only 9 euros each way. As for Pisa, Red line bus for $1.80 or so takes you to the tower from the station - buy your ticket in a station cafe or tabac shop for a savings. It can easily be walked but we were exhausted from the prior two days and it was very, very hot! Cannes - a short visit, but long enough. The only time passengers are tendered to port, which went very smoothly and quickly. Avoid the "petit train" for 10 euros that you will see at the end of the dock - follow the crowds - and instead hop on the open-topped bus #8 to Palm Beach - for 1.50 it takes you all along the beautiful harbour. Stay on for a loop if you like, or get out at the "communual beach" where we paid about 15 euros for two sun chairs and an umbrella and enjoyed a swim in the Med. On the way back, we got the same bus and visited the old town (get off at Hotel de Ville), walk up to the fortress for amazing views - all this is within a five-min walk back to tender docking. We stayed onboard in Palma. However, it is a very, very far walk from the dock to the cathedral. NCL offers a bus to the cathedral for 15 euros return. Better deal: get the hop-on bus outside the port terminal for 17 euros and see more of the city. We chose to send our luggage off in the last tranche - which worked well for us, we lingered over breakfast and left the ship at about 9:45. The queue for taxis at that time was about 20 mins long. Hope this helps. Happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Okay, I am not a "cruiser" as many of you are. This was only my 4th cruise. I prefer land based accommodations. I was on a month long vacation to Italy. Three weeks visiting Venice, Florence, Rome and then this week long cruise. ... Read More
Okay, I am not a "cruiser" as many of you are. This was only my 4th cruise. I prefer land based accommodations. I was on a month long vacation to Italy. Three weeks visiting Venice, Florence, Rome and then this week long cruise. With that said my basic-overall opinion was that the cruise was okay. I did not pay much attention to where Civitavecchia was when I planned this cruise. I just saw Rome and thought it would be close by. WRONG! I did make my transfer from FCO to the Port through Norweign. The price seemed fair, but now knowing the ins and outs of the train system in Italy I would probably have done the train for cheaper. The ride to the Port was okay until we turned off the highway to head to the Port. We could see the Port and the ships, but the driver got lost. He went down a one way dead end street and it took us 10 minutes to back the bus out so we could travel on. The driver had to actually stop and ask a motorist to guide him to where he was going. NO SHIT! The motorist literally took us to the Port. Once there, the check-in went quite quick. We were there around 12 noon so the majority of the people had not shown up yet, plus Rome is not the major boarding port. Once onboard I went to my room (13282) which was already made up. I had heard horror stories of the configuration of the balcony rooms; either aft or elsewhere, and they were not exaggerated. The room was VERY tiny and awkward in form. My room had the bed closer to the balcony which was what I asked for. First lets talk about what everyone else talks about- THE BATHROOM/SINK. As you walk in the toilet is to your left. It is a SMALL closet. If you are 5'10" or bigger it is not large enough to sit on the toilet without keeping the slider door open. This can cause some issues if you and your partner don't know each other VERY well. The shower is to the right and is just as small. Probably the smallest shower I have seen on a ship. Once you showered you had to exit the shower closet to dry yourself out in the room near the door where the steward would come in unwelcomed and unannounced. I had this happen twice. I look good in and out of swim trunks so I did not care, but some of you might :). I found the room size cramped with the configuration and having the sink literally next to a small loveseat. The loveseat is unnecessary and should be removed for more space to maneuver. The small sink had its handle jetting out to the right so a right handed person can not brush their teeth without the handle being in their way. The sink's basin is non-existent and drained slowly. Just a complete bad room design. The bed was not comfortable and you could tell it was 2 twins pushed together. Cross between a double and a small queen. I did not have any restful night sleeps. The winning theme of the room was the large balcony. Being on the 13th deck and directly on the aft, the views were wonderful. I had no privacy issues, as you know- The Walls are Very Thin on cruise ships. If you leave your slider open you can hear the adjacent room conversations and hanky panky. I found the carpets to be in need of attention. There were stains through the room. Being a little germaphobic due to recent cruise line sanitary scares I brought my Lysol wipes and wiped everything down in the bathroom and room. Better safe than sorry. There were a lot of children on the ship and we all know what they do and how they can pass germs. But adults too. That's why I shy away from the pool scene. Lets discuss food. I have to say this was a hit and miss for me. The sushi restaurant Wasabi on The Epic, in my opinion, is NOT good. I will clarify. I ate there the first night. The rolls I had were not good, but the nigiri sushi was okay. The service was distant and did not leave me with a desire to return. I did not eat at the Teppanyaki Restaurant but it seemed to be steadily busy. I had an occasion to eat at The Noodle Bar which I found also to be subpar. It was busy, but I found the food to be tasteless and unimaginative. O'Sheehan's was a good spot for a hamburger, wings are a beer. I actually liked the place and the service was good. I tried Taste one night and that was enough for me. I settled for most of my dinners at The Manhattan Room. It was like a NY steakhouse with a moderate noise level. Waiters bustling about. The management of the restaurant is well run although I found good and bad wait staff. Example: I specifically ordered extra dressing for my salad and extra sour cream for my potato. The waiter repeated it back to me but did not write it down. When my salad arrived there was no dressing. I had to wait about 8 minutes for the dressing to arrive. Then there were no salt and pepper shakers on my table so I had to take some from another table. Then when my dinner arrived my prime rib and potato were cold and there was only a dollop of sour cream. Long story short I got another prime rib and 2 potatoes with plenty of sour cream. There were 2 other nightmare dinners but I wont bore you with the particulars. Needless to say the Head Maitre D knew me well. He was actually a very nice man and was very helpful. I know its his job, but I also know he went out of his way for me in some matters. I am not a buffet kinda guy so I have no comment on them, but the hamburgers and hotdogs at The Great Outdoors were good. The soft serve ice cream was really good. I did not try any of the specialty restaurants, although I should have. I purchased the Ultimate Beverage Package. I should have just bought my drinks as I went. Unless you are drinking about 10 or more drinks a day, its not worth it. It's too bad that coffees are not included. I was pretty close, but about $70 short of what I paid. Must have been the day excursion to Pompeii :). I found the bartenders overwhelmed at times with the amount of customers, especially at the pool bars. It could take 10 minutes to get a drink, If you were at the adult H2O pool, good luck in getting one of the pool guys serving drinks. Most people went and got their own from the pool bar. I only took one Norweign excursion which was the Pompeii/ Mt Vesuvius excursion. I enjoyed seeing Pompeii but it was a very hurried tour. I would save your money and go by yourself and enjoy it on your own. Legends in Concert was good. It was always busy. Being from Vegas and seeing all the shows in Vegas, they were a little canned but worth seeing. Howl at The Moon was good. They had a trio and all three entertainers played piano and drums which impressed me. I go to New Orleans once a year and have been to The Howl at The Moon there and these three blew NO away. The room normally got busy around 11pm or so after the regular floor shows were over. I saw their show several times and enjoyed it every time. The comedian bored me so I left the show. There were a couple more lounge shows which I enjoyed, One of them was The Beatles tribute band. I saw their show 3 times and each time was different. Same jokes, but the singers took you on a journey through The Beatles music through the shows. Their show is a definite "MUST SEE". There was another lounge show with the leader playing the chello. Very good group. I was disappointed that there was no walk-around (loop) on the top of the ship so people could walk around the ship. There was entertainment for most; children and adults. There was a small casino, but being from Vegas it was no big deal. In comparison to my last cruise on Holland Zuiderdam, I prefer Holland. The Epic is Norweign's biggest ship. To me its too big and unimpressive. I probably wont do another Norweign cruise. I will still with Holland, Princess and RCL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I heard a lot of bad things about the Norwegian Epic ship -- but honestly I cannot say that!  It was wonderful! Did the cruise ship from Barcelona, Spain early October and I will tell you this -- every day is a very tiring day! It's ... Read More
I heard a lot of bad things about the Norwegian Epic ship -- but honestly I cannot say that!  It was wonderful! Did the cruise ship from Barcelona, Spain early October and I will tell you this -- every day is a very tiring day! It's about 90 minutes on bus from port to anywhere!  A lot of walking! I learned the hard way -- take the vans who only carry 10 people as they can just drop you off and pick you up! If you take the bus rides -- you have to walk a mile from where the bus can park & then a mile back. Not counting all the walking you are going to do during the day! After one week of this -- by Saturday before we got off cruise ship, my feet looked like elephant feet - they were that swollen -- -- so were my friend's feet too.  Great trip, just very busy -- & I have never climbed so many stairs or inclines in my life during that trip (ports). The Ship was great & Norwegian Cruise Line did a great job as always!  A total lifetime experience for me as had never been to Europe! Barcelona is fantastic - wish I had spent a few days there & Rome was just great-just not enough time to see it in 5 hours -- and the Pizza in Naples (the origin of pizza) was just fantastic! Those were the highlights!  Yes the Leaning toward of Pisa -- it does really Lean! and Florence, Italy is beautiful!  A great, beautiful trip - but just very tiring! Ha! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
fist impressions looks massive.rooms are nice .i had a stateroom on the 12th floor. good points the crew are superb no issues with anyone i met. entertainment good.you can book shows via your room tv.easy. food good.ice ... Read More
fist impressions looks massive.rooms are nice .i had a stateroom on the 12th floor. good points the crew are superb no issues with anyone i met. entertainment good.you can book shows via your room tv.easy. food good.ice bar is a good laugh .waters slides are good. bad points . not enough entertainment with popular shows booked up fully and very quickly.never got to see circ show.i did get food poisoning after one meal.i ate the calamari.was ok the next day.i dont like the cover charge system for the restaurants.the ships excursions are too expensive.can be done much cheaper yourself.swimming pool very small.if you loose your room pool towel you are charged $22. overall i liked it.whether i would book this ship again i dont know. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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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