5 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Singles Cruises to Mediterranean

If I didn't know any better, I would not have thought I was on the same ship as the one I travelled on in July. What happened? I'm the mildest, most polite and appreciative person. Yet on 2 occasions I was particularly ... Read More
If I didn't know any better, I would not have thought I was on the same ship as the one I travelled on in July. What happened? I'm the mildest, most polite and appreciative person. Yet on 2 occasions I was particularly offended by staff members. Who were extremely rude. The other member/s of our party were flabbergasted and couldn't believe it. As on both occasions it was totally unwarranted. The ship and my cabin as always spot on. And a special mention to Maka, singles rep. Who was absolutely brilliant and really made the holiday. Unfortunately service was unbelievably slow in the Manhatten and also in Taste restaurant. The buffet restaurant was dreadfully overcrowded and we were unable to find a table to eat at. Not to mention at 3pm it was night impossible to find much choice in the food on offer. All in all it was so different from my last holiday on the Epic in July 2015. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Is not just a metaphor is a reality. I just come back from a 17 days “back to back” cruise on Norwegian EPIC and I realised, once again, that EPIC and in general Norwegian Cruise Line is like marmite for breakfast: you love it or ... Read More
Is not just a metaphor is a reality. I just come back from a 17 days “back to back” cruise on Norwegian EPIC and I realised, once again, that EPIC and in general Norwegian Cruise Line is like marmite for breakfast: you love it or you hate it! Norwegian Epic is big, brassy, bold …and I love it! But let’s take it step by step We had a Haven 2 bedroom Villa – cabin 17024. Whoever had the idea of building The Haven deserves a big hug! The Haven complex, the largest "ship-within-a-ship”, nestles atop the ship on Decks 16 and 17, the space also includes a private pool, two whirlpools, a gym, sun deck and the posh Epic Club restaurant. The 60 accommodations include 46 Family Villas, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and separate living and dining areas (up to 506 square feet); eight Deluxe Owner's Suites, with king-size beds, floor-to-ceiling windows and his-and-her powder areas (up to 852 square feet); and six Courtyard Penthouses, with queen-size beds, separate living and dining areas and a luxury bath (up to 322 square feet). When we board the ship EPIC just got a make-over in the dry dock of Cadiz. Not a 100% successful one but you can feel it all around the ship. The Concierge area, Epic Lounge and Epic Club lost their heavy kitschy, purple velvety ambiance and now look modern and fresh with an understated elegance. Even the room had been touched by this changes and looks more elegant and modern. Of course the only slip on-board Norwegian Epic is the attention to details: a vanity mirror disconnected and left on the table with the cable hanging next to a hole in the vanity table, a smoke detector (safety please!) covered with tapes due to the loss of some screws to fix it on the ceiling, couple of doors not properly fixed and making a constant subliminal noise when the ship was moving. But at the end of the day the “little” Villa is a lovely space to spend your vacation and I love it The only thumb’s-down for our cabin was the location: 17 Deck just opposite the Crew Access Door. A lot of banging and noise even if we mentioned that to our concierge. But as the noise was mainly in the spare room used during the voyage only as a laptop and storage room we survived 17 day with no problems. The service in Haven is exactly what you expect from a Premium Cabin; an excellent butler and steward, always there without being too much in to your face ready to assist with whatever you need: from laundry to organising a private party in your own private space. Lots of genuine smiles and polite conversation even if the guests in Haven are not all the time “Premium Guests” and the feeling of “new money-bad manners” is quite common on NCL. The Concierge, located in the heart of Haven assist us with everything we needed from bookings and cancellations of restaurants and land tours to dealing with day by day issues even if the results were not all the time the expected ones. Monica, our Concierge was great, especially when she was dealing with stupid requests from “posh guests” travelling with low-cost airlines The space in Haven is more than generous: a private gym and spa-like area with sauna, steam room and hot tubs, an elegant modern decorated lounge, a nice partially open terrace for lunch and snacks, the lovely elegant courtyard with a not too big not too small pool, a private sun deck and of course one of my favourite spots – The Posh Beach Club. Pity that due to complaints from guests on 17 Deck the bar was closing at 7.00PM, but we were located under the Posh Club and we understand perfectly why. Even if for the general concept of entertainment Epic got a massive thumb's up for this cruise I still need to give a thumb's down for the Cruise Director and his team. A massive obsession for line dancing: anywhere, everywhere, anytime and doesn’t matter the music! Same steps and same screaming with an Assistant Cruise Director desperate for a promotion. This “get involved” of animators not guests destroyed the genial idea of themed parties: White Hot, Night Out, Fabba. Instead of listen and dancing on ABBA music (great for the crowd on this cruise) we were locked as spectators on a boring amateur-ish dance routine. When finally the line dancing finished and we were ready to Fabba party the music change and the DJ returned to his normal playlist. Do something about that NCL: you have genial concepts but …explain the concept to cruise Director team…in details! Another thumb's down: SHORE EXCURSION Department. I am not a big fan of excursions booked on board and normally I want to organise my private exploration sessions. This time I put everything in the hands of Epic Shore Excursion Department. BIG MISTAKE ! The only few port-talks were boring and un-professional done, the logistic of each trips chaotic and the customer service of the ShoreEx Manager was … inexistent. When trying to give some feedback after one experience the answer was: “too busy to speak with guests” and 25% discount “if they are not happy”. And once again, our amazing concierge Monica has to deal with the rudeness of the ShoreEx Manager and cover the damage. Some training is needed in this Department for sure. In my opinion ‘freestyle’ matches the tastes of the modern passenger better than the traditional inflexible system: ‘two sittings’ for diner followed by a main show. However ‘freestyle’ is not perfect and restaurants can become crowded at peak times and queues can form. Ideally popular shows need to be booked and entertainment options can clash. Some traditionalists may simply not warm to ‘Freestyle’. Especially when you meet shorts during dinner, white socks in sandals or somebody taking his tie off after 5 minutes at Captain’s Cocktail Party. Epic has all the advantages and disadvantages of a big ship. For example the corridors are endless and the stair cases go on forever, so Epic may not be an ideal ship for those passengers with mobility problems. Epic can feel very busy at times and the pool deck was often crowded. So how to sum up a ship called Epic? She has her good sides, and she has her not-so-good sides and with upgrades to entertainment, activities, and the lovely haven, she'd probably have been met with near-universal praise aside from those little slips to Carnival’s style. I am not afraid to say that I like EPIC and I like NCL. The company is, in my mind, the most mainstream of today's cruise lines. I mean that in a good way. They're centrists, offering a huge swath of people a chance for a fun, social vacation at a decent price. Accessing some of Epic's better activities will require you to plan ahead, and in a few cases will cost extra. But you won't break the bank, and you sure will get a lot of wow for your pounds. I realised, once again, that EPIC and in general Norwegian Cruise Line is like marmite for breakfast: you love it or you hate it! Norwegian Epic is big, brassy, bold and ballsy…and I love it! So what about another cruise on board of Norwegian Epic?! Done….and booked for February 24 2016. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
My solo cabin was my home away from home for my 20 day B2B cruise of Spain (including Canary Islands), Morocco and Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia). This is my first NCL cruise. I have cruised many times with Princess, once with ... Read More
My solo cabin was my home away from home for my 20 day B2B cruise of Spain (including Canary Islands), Morocco and Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia). This is my first NCL cruise. I have cruised many times with Princess, once with each Holland, Celebrity and Royal. I wish other cruise lines would create solo cabins like Norwegian so we don’t have to pay that ridiculous single supplement. With staying in the solo cabins (or solos who stayed in other cabins), we had our own lounge area. Here we had a coffee machine, hot and cold water, orange juice, cookies. At breakfast they had different cereals to choose from plus milk and yogurt. If it was too cold to sit outside for breakfast ( didn't want to sit in the noisy crowded dining area) I’d get my food from the buffet and eat in the lounge. Our activities directors were fabulous. The first 10 days we had William (from Belgium) and the second 10 days Jamie (from South Africa). There was a bulletin board where you could sign up for dinner, or any of the shows that William or Jamie would make reservations. One thing is (and I read this on cruise critic as a complaint) I thought I smelled cigarette smoke in my room. Food: Buffet was always good. Nice variety. I’m not a fussy eater but I have to say the dinners in Taste or Manhattan Restaurants were mediocre. They don’t match Princess. A couple of nights I went to O’Sheanan, the Irish pub. The food wasn’t bad. They had spare ribs as the special one night and it was delicious! Entertainment: Burn the Floor: The dancers were good. The music sucked. It was mostly rock. I would have liked a bit more variety, perhaps some Latin. I was kind of bored with the music. Al Brown: Funny comedian from Ireland. No profanity in his jokes. Sephira: Two Irish sisters who play the violin were very good. Supreme Dream Girls: Three ladies sing songs of Diana Ross, Tina Turner, and Aretha Franklin. They were pretty good. Spanish Gypsy King: Four men who play guitar and sing songs of the Gypsy Kings. Awesome! Embarkation: I got there just after 11am, was on the ship by 12:15 eating lunch. But I heard later in the day got busier therefore had to wait two hours or so to board. Disembarkation: Left the ship 7am, walked off got the luggage and caught the bus to the airport. Unlike other disembarkation places, didn’t have to line up for customs. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I was on the Epic for 13 days Barcelona to Barcelona and Barcelona to South Hampton. I was very impressed with my Studio Cabin, as it was my 1st time traveling alone. The lounge was great and I met lots of other solo travelers. Jamie Lee ... Read More
I was on the Epic for 13 days Barcelona to Barcelona and Barcelona to South Hampton. I was very impressed with my Studio Cabin, as it was my 1st time traveling alone. The lounge was great and I met lots of other solo travelers. Jamie Lee and Vish were awesome Lounge hosts from the Cruise Director Staff. Also a huge shout out to the rest of the Cruise Director Staff: Pedro, Nacho and Yosua, Best Cruise Director Staff of any cruise I've been on. Food and entertainment were great the 1st week but not as good the 2nd week. I understand they were going into dry dock but we are all still paying for the cruise. Howl at the Moon was amazing the 1st week and I wish those guys would have been contracted for the last 6 days. Favorite restaurant was Teppanyaki. Beside that the service was very slow in Taste and Manhattan average meal was 2 hours. Yes our tables usually had 8-10 people but it shouldn't take 45 min just to take orders. The one problem I have has on all NCL cruises I've been on is the soda card. I paid for unlimited soda which I do on every cruise but I hate doing it on NCL. When you buy the UBC for alcohol they have to scan your card every time you order in hops to get a tip. For the soda card they just look for the sticker. If you show your card in an club or theater they DO NOT bring you a soda or it takes an hour. I paid for this and I expect to get it when I order it. I don't care if I cant tip you its not my fault. I WANT MY SODA! It is very annoying to order a soda when your friends order wine and the wine comes and soda doesn't. I'm sorry I don't want to pay $400 for alcohol but I deserve what I pay for. Teach bartenders to treat everyone equally. Also most people don't tip for every drink anyway since they add of 18% gratuity when you buy the alcohol card. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I have sailed NCL twice before, and am a steadfast Holland America cruiser, mainly because HAL feels more calming to me. That said, I really, really enjoyed this cruise and the shore excursions. Because of a sudden death in the family I ... Read More
I have sailed NCL twice before, and am a steadfast Holland America cruiser, mainly because HAL feels more calming to me. That said, I really, really enjoyed this cruise and the shore excursions. Because of a sudden death in the family I had to cancel and rebook for another date. I had purchased, as I always do, trip cancellation insurance. This was the first time I'd ever made a claim. I did find that trip delay does not cover if you have not started your trip, so having to change the dates, my rebooked date was more expensive, but I bit the bullet because it was the only free time I had left for the summer. I booked a guaranteed balcony cabin, and several days prior to sailing I was advised my cabin, 9017, was an "enclosed balcony. I called NCL to find out what that meant and was told that balcony had a cover, which some cabins on this ship do not. It wasn’t until I arrived that I found out it meant the balcony was like a picture window on the balcony. I have posted about this under cabins, with a photo, so take a look if you're doing a guarantee, because this is a possibility the Epic. For the amount of time I spent out there, it was fine. Barcelona is a wonderful embarkation city. I had been there before, and because of the last minute changes had to pay more for a hotel than I usually would, but it was worth it. Hotel 1898 is so well located on Las Ramblas, everything I wanted to see was within a 20 minute walk. I had booked a private transfer from the airport, and there was the driver right outside customs, a blessing after 18 hours of travel to get there. After everything I had read about how unsafe Barcelona is, pickpockets and petty crime, I did not feel threatened at all, although with the late sundown in early July, I was in my room by dark each night after lovely dining al fresco on Las Ramblas. I took a cab to the port for embarkation, it should have been 15 euros, but because of a traffic delay it wa 20 euros. From the time I dropped my bags with porters to the time I was boarded it was less than 20 minutes. I had arrived at 12:30pm and was in my cabin by 1:00pm. Luggage arrived before I was back from lunch, it was a very organized boarding process, everyone spoke English and many other languages at the pier. I opted for the Ultimate Dining Plan, since traveling as a single I find it nice to dine in specialty restaurants. On sailing night at Cirque Dreams you are upgraded to premium with UDP and I was seated with a lovely couple from England who had never seen a Cirque show before. It is amazing how they can pull that off on a moving ship! Although the stage is small, the quality of the talent rivals other shows I have seen around the U.S. I especially loved the twins, who surprised us at the end. Day two was a leisurely morning, not rushing around to do any of the many things available on board. I think it was the combination of jet lag and too many choices, I was overwhelmed by the vastness of the ship. I opted instead for some quiet time at Spice H2O pool. There were lots of families with children back there, Nickelodean movies playing on the big screen almost all day. Perhaps a little too much time elapsed between arriving and putting on my sunscreen, as I ended the session with a slight sunburn around the edges. My afternoon plan was the spa for a Musclease wrap, but because of the burn, the therapist recommended a milk bath wrap instead. It was done on the float table, which cocoons you in water, leaving you calm and refreshed. That was followed with a shower, ensuite, and a full body massage I left the spa completely refreshed, and my sunburn was calmed. That night I had dinner at Cagney’s Steakhouse. The wait staff was lovely, my filet wonderful and sides great, but theambiance was off. There was no music playing in the restaurant, which I though odd, and down below in the Manhattan Room a group of singers and dancers were performing, I could see, but not hear them. It would have been nice to hear that live music in the steak house, or at least ANY music along with dinner. I also had great dinners in Le Bistro (my favorite), Teppanyaki, the Chinese, and of course the prime rib & shrimp at LeCirque. Having been too tired on some nights, I don't feel I got the full value out of the UDP. I only ate in the Manhattan Room and Taste for lunch. Each night after dinner, I walked the length of the ship on decks 6 & 7. In each lounge there was different entertainment, duos and solo singers, very talented, with audiences seemingly enjoying themselves. Blue Man Group is a MUST SEE. The reservation system showed every show I wanted to see as full, but I had no trouble standing by at the door 10 minutes before show time and getting in. Legends in Concert was entertaining, the woman singing Shakira was sensational, though maybe not for kids. Prince was very entertaining and had a way of getting the crowd involved. There were small clubs with a comedy show, Beatles impersonators who were terrific, Howl at the Moon, dueling pianos, started later than I could stay up, with my intensive itinerary of shore excursions. Since I had rearranged my dates at the last minute, I wasn’t able to find private tours on the CC Forums, so booked NCL shore excursions in every port. Once I saw the enormity of the ship, I was afraid it was going to be a circus leaving the ship, or at least the bus area would be crowded. But no, they had it very well organized and it never felt rushed or crowded, except re-boarding in Cannes where we tendered in and out of port. Even that was only about a 30 minute wait. There were clean restrooms, cool drinks offered, and plenty of good people watching. In Naples I took the walking tour including the underground tunnels. It was a great orientation to the city and it’s stunning architecture, and the history of the tunnels & cisterns was fascinating. We came out of the underground a block from the sea shore. After a photo opportunity at the seaside we headed to a pizza restaurant where everyone received their own fresh pizza, drink, and were offered coffee or tea. I walked back to the ship from there enjoying the beautiful seaside. At Civitavecchia, most people headed off to Rome. I opted instead for the Hill Towns of Tuscania & Civita de Bagnareggio. There is nothing more beautiful than Italian countryside and it’s historic hill towns. It was a beautiful day and being a photography buff, there were gorgeous shots around every corner. In Bagnareggio we were given two hours to wander and eat lunch on our own. We found a lovely restaurant with Etruscan tombs in the basement, where you could eat, but it was a nice day so we dined alfresco. It was nice to be away from the crowds for a while. The following port, Livorno, I took the Florence on your own & Wine Tasting shore excursion. It was VERY crowded in Florence and there was only about 2 hours to visit. There was not enough time to enter most of the major sites, as lines were very long. Luckily I had been to most of the sites so went into the Gucci Museum, which is fun if you enjoy fashion history. The second half of the tour took us to an interesting winery in Tuscany. After the tour of the winery we were seated in a large room with tables. We were introduced to the art of wine tasting, educated on Extra Virgin Olive oils, and pairing wines with Tuscan appetizers, followed by a Vin Santo and biscotti. An opportunity to purchase afterward was dashed because I forgot my VISA card, they don’t take American Express. The next day was Cannes, where I opted for the Grasse & St.Paul de Vence tour. In Grasse we went to the Facconard perfume factory. It was interesting and we had the opportunity to buy French perfumes, soaps, aftershaves, etc. From there we went to St. Paul de Vence, a lovely hill town I would have loved to spend more time in, but we only had about 45 minutes after arrival. There are many art stores that needed more inspection and never did make it to the Cathedral, but again great photo opps around every corner. Majorca is gorgeous! Having taken the Island Tour and Train from Soller shoe excursion, I felt we got a good tour of the island, seeing much of the coastline, Valdemossa, a beautiful village where we toured the castle and the odes to Chopin, who lived there for a short while during his life. Then we had barely enough time in Soller to make the train. The ride was interesting on the historic railroad back to the bus waiting area. I found out there were more than 300 people from the ship on the tour, and it was well timed that we never overlapped, with only about 50 of us together at anytime. There as a short tour of the historic parts of town on the way back to the ship. This is a place I would like to visit again for sure. On the last day I took the ship’s transfer to the airport that included a tour to Montserrat. We left very early, and cleared customs, loaded our luggage on the bus. The trip up to the mountain was lovely, taking about an hour. The village and monastery is very remote. Since it was Sunday, we had to get in and out of the Cathedral before Mass began. There was about an hour to wander freely, have a coffee, take the funicular, but I opted against that after taking a look at it. I’m glad we left early, because when we got back to the bus parking lot it was jam packed with buses, and there were thousands of people parked all along the roadway. You could opt to be dropped back in town at Plaza Catalunya if you were staying in the city, or at the airport, where I would suggest Terminal 1 if you’re not flying and catching a shuttle to an airport hotel. I was staying at the Barcelona Airport Hotel, who came to pick me up for my overnight stay. This hotel is in an industrial park, but has a swimming pool, tapas bar, restaurant and shuttle service to & from the city, and (for a fee with advance notice) to and from ship piers. The cruise meant different things to different people. I was surprised at how many people were still at the pool at 9:30pm at night. There was the partying set, mainly Europeans. There were those set on seeing the European highlights. Then there were people like me who just needed to get away from it all and visit some places I’d not seen in previous trips. There is something for everybody aboard the Epic   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
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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