4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because our cruise last year on the Norwegian Star was absolutely wonderful, so we thought we’d try NCL a second time. We brought our daughter and her boyfriend (1st time cruiser) with us this time. I read a number ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our cruise last year on the Norwegian Star was absolutely wonderful, so we thought we’d try NCL a second time. We brought our daughter and her boyfriend (1st time cruiser) with us this time. I read a number of bad reviews about the ship a month or two before our sail date and was hoping it wasn’t true (comments about the stateroom design, ugly ship, etc.). Well, although I did like the NCL Star better for the shows, the Epic was still wonderful. While other reviews didnt like the bathroom layout, we preferred the shower and toilet separate. The sink on the outside of the bathroom was fine, we had no issues with it being there, in fact I preferred it. You didn’t have to wait for the other person to come out of the shower if you needed to use the toilet. The service was excellent in all areas of the ship, and the food choices were endless. I like how the pub was open 24 hours. Buffet food isn’t always the best no matter where you are, but there were enough choices that there was no way anyone would be without something to eat. I preferred the shows on the Star but these shows were very good too. You had to reserve a date and time for some of the shows. The staff work very hard, morning till night and they really do want to ensure you’re enjoying your time on the ship. We didn’t book shore excursions through NCL, too expensive. Instead you can find the same excursions through the web or when you get off the ship. We had a great vacation and my daughter’s boyfriend had a fantastic time on his first cruise. He will sail again and so will we. A few tips, take the train from Rome to Civitachecchia, it’s cheaper and very efficient. You can catch it at a number of the stations in Rome. You then pay 2 euro for a bus shuttle to the port from the station right to your ship, We took a ferry from Naples to Sorrento, you can buy your tickets in advance or at the port. Be sure to take your proof of purchase to the ticket window going to and from Naples. Sometimes the printed reservation accepted, sometimes you have to go pick up your tickets. Book tours through Tuscany Bus rather than NCL when docked in Liverno, much more cost effective. Also, we stayed one night in Civitachecchia after the cruse but noticed that there are a lot of companies waiting to take passengers to Rome or the airport for only 20euto a person, most companies charge 150euro online for 4 passengers and luggage. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Chose this cruise for a family holiday.Party of 13 with chidren ranging from 2 years to 17 years.The ship offered something for everyone dpending on their preferences.Whilst the buffet restaurant was average you could not really complain ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a family holiday.Party of 13 with chidren ranging from 2 years to 17 years.The ship offered something for everyone dpending on their preferences.Whilst the buffet restaurant was average you could not really complain as it offered value for money.Main dining rooms were good ,staff excellent. Cabins were not large but they were clean and nothing to complain about.Activities were also good. Did not do shore excursions as they appeared to be overpriced for what they were offering We ate in the main dining room and speciality restaurants as a party of 13.The staff were very accommodating by putting tables together and getting each member of the party their own individual choice of food,We had an all inclusive drinks package and this seemed to suit everyone. The only downside was that we had to pay for a shuttle bus in those ports were we were not close to the town centre Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Let me start out first by saying that I'm a very seasoned cruiser. Nearly 100 days of traveling on various cruise lines on the high seas. Although this boat was rated as 1# for honeymooners, there's a catch and I will reveal the ... Read More
Let me start out first by saying that I'm a very seasoned cruiser. Nearly 100 days of traveling on various cruise lines on the high seas. Although this boat was rated as 1# for honeymooners, there's a catch and I will reveal the notes I've taken while cruising on my honeymoon. The boat looks amazing from the inside and outside. The decor is top notch and the ship is very clean, but that's really where it all ends. My wife and I are in our mid 40's and enjoy our down time as well as a night out dancing. We approached this cruise like any other. We purchased the drink package expecting to party it down with some drinks beside the pool and listen to some live music. Well, that isn't allowed on the Epic. 1) No drinks in our around the pool 2) The pool area is considered a quiet zone. (as stated to me by the DJ) 3) You have two VERY small pools (10x30) to choose from but can only hold about 25 guest before it's too crowded 4)Forget trying to get a drink. There's only 1 pool bar about 30 ft long with only 4 bartenders and you rarley seecocktails waitresses around the pool. 5) Get ready for extreme whistle blowing from the lifeguard. Every wrong move by any one of the 500 kids on board and he blow his whistle. We went out our first night to explore the ship. We wanted to dance to some current music and have a drink at the bar. 1) There are NO night clubs on the boat unless you're under 17 We then walked around and expected to find the Theater with stdium seating allowing a couple thousand cruisers to see broadway shows. 1) The theater does not exist We really enjoy dressing up on formal nights, seeing everyone in their best, taking pictures and meeting other guests at the dinner table. 1) There are no formal nights and only 2 backdrops for pictures. 2) No assigned seating and you must make reservations for dining or wait 45min for a table. We often inquired about locations on the boat or general facts about the boat 1) The staff seemed very short with most people and often cut you off before you're done. Maybe they've been asked teh same question a 1000 times but not by me. We decided to go see a show 1) Get ready to PAY for onboard shows. $35 - $100 2) Don't do the Cirque show, you can't see the enitire show unless you buy the $100 tickets. 3) We went to the dueling pianos and had an amazing time. THAT was our saving grace. We wanted to get off the boat in Florence but the local port authority charged $5 euro to take you to town. We went back on the boat to get Euro's but find that the boat only provided US dollars but you can reserve trasnportation with the boat to town for triple the cost ($16) or they will drop you off in Florance take you back to the boat for $100 per person. We didn't go into Florence :-( We then decided to purchase something from the on board store. 1) Although they only provide US dollars you pay 21% take in all their stores. Doing your own laundry 1) Does not exist, they do not have a laundry department but a pair of socks (no joke) is $3 We chose not to take an excursion 1)The cost of the excursions were 30% - 40% higher than I've ever seen on any boat. Would you like to stay out late one night? 1) 99% of the boat shuts down at midnight. If you don't like gambling or and irish bar, then go to bed. Don't order room service 1) You're charge $8 service charge for room service no matter what you order AND yo're charged 18% more for gratuity. YES, they charge you gratuity on the service charge. Do you prefer Coke over Pepsi? 1) Forget it Only Pepsi aboard Where's the midnight buffet? 1) Does not exist I could go on but you get the idea but you still ask, how could this be the 1# rated ship for honeymooners? It's the ports you visit NOT THE SHIP. My only advise would be to spend money on nice meals on the boat and spend even more money enjoying Europe off the boat. Don't purchase excursions from the ship, they are 75% less of the boat and you're very safe to travel in groups. We used the ship as an expensive place to sleep, walked off the boat only owing them $300 (We normally own $1000 - $1500). the ports are amazing and we really enjoyed ourselves. We hope this helps Brian and Michelle Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This cruise was a return taster cruise to Norwegian cruise line having previous sailed on the Sun x2, Jade, Pride of America. Firstly as a regular cruiser my first priority is not the food, the entertainment or the entertainment - I ... Read More
This cruise was a return taster cruise to Norwegian cruise line having previous sailed on the Sun x2, Jade, Pride of America. Firstly as a regular cruiser my first priority is not the food, the entertainment or the entertainment - I focus on the Ports, stateroom, relaxed approached and no pompus! Choosing the Epic for this trip was because of a few days spare and wanting to get from Bcn to Rome without flying or road transport - so if any company was doing the route then I would of jumped aboard - My first surprise was the boarding process in Barcelona - very lengthy que - with a similar feel to that of a theme park - once you thought you were nearing the front - a further twist and turn appeared !! Yes I hear you shout but there are 4000 peaple to board what do you expect ! Well there are two issues - a simple que management process slotting boarding times would alleviate such a problem ! ( I personally haven't a major issue with the que but felt it could be managed differently. The second issue is more concerning - there was a lot of elderly passengers and frail people in the line - it was 22 degrees clear blue skies - those who know about the sun will tell you that the strength at this time of the year is extremely strong - to be left out in midday sun without cover was rediculous if not dangerous ! There was a queuing shelter available but no - the line was in the sun ! ( we had hats , screen and water - the majority didn't . The ship - I get it - it's a party boat - but there is very limited space to relax and enjoy a little bit of me time - quiet zones - nil . The haven suites took a larger than normal proportion of usable space creating almost the two tear system of Cunard - having sailed Cunard their two tear is far more subtle and you don't actually notice the difference other than restaurants. I was surprised that you cannot do a lap of the ship - the running deck - more like a 50 meter shuffle with no views to the sea. Top deck fun deck - very open plan - large wet area with plenty of slides.- bar area - area at rear of ship with cinema screen . The pool and slides take a majority of this deck up - the weather was cool so this deck wasn't full - wouldn't like to be there on a sea day in the carribean - not enough beds. Walking from this area to the rear adult only area was not good - there is an area called the market area - please don't get offended - but it reminded me in parts of the 'Pride of Bilbao ' - white - no character - no colour and a dodgy sign advertising amusements - wasn't a great look! Staterooms - we had a balcony stateroom - wow who designed those !!! So your in the toilet or shower - I cannot say bathroom as there is not one - and some one - you partner , child or crew member walks in - they will see your shadow of you on the loo , or can or in the shower,. A curtain then divides you from the cabin but if cleaning your teeth you are this side of the curtain - bizarre ! I assume this design saves space creating more cabins per deck. The bed - feet hang over the end , tv - limited channels! Overall thoughts on the cabin - not good - if you are a larger couple - you will struggle. Cold water - well interestingly the three days I had hot water when turned cabin tap on to clean teeth - the only time it went cold was the morning we left the ship - the synical side of me was that this was a purpose act rather than an issue with the ship- force to buy water ! Drinks refreshments - so upon arrival there was an offer of a drinks package - my partner is t total and I like a beer - so upon enquiring I couldn't have one without the partner having one - Sorry sir why don't you have a soft drinks package instead - ah but I don't drink soda - ah - well in that case how about a water package - Really - that explains why there was a huge dust cart full of water as we entered the ship. So I decided to go it alone on the drinks - beer plus service charge plus Spanish tax of 10%- 8 bucks later my beer !! Little excessive but pleasant ! One thing I did notice was the lack of drunk people drinking cocktails - one American guy was on his 5th cocktail - he joked that if he was at home in Miami he would be legless - blaming the time difference - well my experience is that time differences usually add to the effects rather than reduce !!!!!! ( I'm not going to give my thoughts) When taking the drink package on board they then add tax etc onto it . So the advertised price per day isn't what you pay . If you want to drink 5 to 9 drinks a day then it's probably worth it - 300 calories minimum , fatty liver , crap sleep - then it probably ok - of course the next day you may be hung over but you don't get your cash back. cleanliness - stairwells , corridors immaculately presented - our stateroom bedding slightly yellow - one evening shower plug and filter left out of plug hole - cabin staff not particularly welcoming - this unusual for Ncl. Entertainment- Pricilla queen of the desert ! I've seen this show in the west end on three previous occasions - the ships presentation was as good with costumes and the bus being almost the same - I will go as far to say that in parts it was better than the west end version Cirque du soleil- this is my favourite show - - having been to many uk venues watching the show - I was surprised that this was an add on cost - we planned to go but it did change night - so I will never know how it compared. Garden cafe - food and presentation excellent - down side - not at rear of ship ! Now in normal life I'm fortunate to eat at very good restaurants - the reason I like the garden cafe on Ncl was that you could eat drink outside at the back of a ship , watching the sun set - not on epic - moved to the indoor front. Main restaurant - good food - good service No observation bar - the Ncl sun observation bar is still a favourite - soft music , alcohol flowing as you look out to your next port - epic - bars with no outlook - basically you could be in any city bar in the world - Ports - Naples - very expensive cruise packages - however Naples has a reputation for crime - this is not communicated to all passengers before disembarkation - do the cruise company have an obligation to warn - probably not - but it should ! Don't walk with mobile in hand , remove watches and jewelary , wallets - try only taking a credit card bit of cash - thieves hate cards , - Naples has a very high crime rate against tourists ! Now I know some of you will be screaming at your iPad , disagreeing with everything I've said . It's important to say that I enjoyed the cruise and may well travel Ncl again . Ncl has become Ryan air of the seas - or southwest . As soon as you board the cash tills start ringing - the in your face casino deck ( las vegus is reducing its slot tables so why are Ncl bucking that trend !! The epic doesn't work - when it was launched it came with much hype - we previously cancelled an epic cruise swapping to the sun because of reservations about cabin and outside space, it seems we were right to do so. This ship would be great with carnival doing short party hops - stag parties , hen parties - but it's deffinatley not for me ( I'm not a person who complains - these are my observations and will not form a complaint) Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
All in all for the price the cruise was really good! I didn't pay too much at all so the things that might have bothered me otherwise didn't. I was in the Solo Cabin so I also believe my experience was different from the non ... Read More
All in all for the price the cruise was really good! I didn't pay too much at all so the things that might have bothered me otherwise didn't. I was in the Solo Cabin so I also believe my experience was different from the non solo. The biggest issue I have is with the men in the solo cabins (not all!) but a lot of them seem to be on the cruise for one reason and many of the ladies in the solo cabins felt it and when I polled them they said they would not do the solo cruise again because of this reason. Norwegian can't really control that. The food in the specialty dining was amazing! But the service was quite slow. The food in the buffet was great but I didn't like the pizza at all. Horrible. I loved the smoked salmon and capers for breakfast. Yummy!!! All the staff were really friendly and helpful except for just one or two. Embarkment is a mess. I didn't like that process what so ever. They also don't warn you that you will have to do a safety drill in the afternoon after boarding in Barcelona. Flying from the USA I had not been to sleep and wanted to nap. It was not a great experience. The drinks are amazing!! The espresso martini in the martini bar is DY-NO-MITE!! I had about 10 lol. The bushwacker is also amazing!!! All drinks were really good and not watered down at ALL so beware lol The ship is noisier than I expected. Most mornings around 7am have announcements. I didn't sleep in once. The pools are small and filled with kids. Even the pool on the H2o adult spice area is tiny and people stated it was hot like bath water. I WILL DO THIS AGAIN!!!! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was our first cruise that we had been on, always feeling it was not for us. Anyway on strong recommendation we decided to try a relatively easy cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It was myself and wife who went and....... Wow ! From ... Read More
This was our first cruise that we had been on, always feeling it was not for us. Anyway on strong recommendation we decided to try a relatively easy cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It was myself and wife who went and....... Wow ! From leaving Manchester and then embarking all went smoothly. We were in awe of the size of the ship, and thought with the number of people getting on it would be an age. Not so, embarkation was smooth and at the right pace. on the check in we were given our cabin number which proved to be beautifully appointed, with a sea facing balcony. For the whole of our trip we slept like babies in the very comfortable beds .It was great to watch the sunsets from our balcony, and wake to the ship docking in our next destination. Sailing was smooth and we got used to the movement within 1/2 day. The standard of décor and cleanliness on board was excellent, as was the dining experience in any of the many restaurants we used. Entertainment was varied and of good quality, and with all the other activities available, it was impossible not to be occupied. We actually stayed on board rather than go on land, twice, as we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of just sitting around and relaxing. The disembarkation process went well, caught our flight, and were back in Manchester for Lunch ! Will we do it again ? Definitely, just where too next ? Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We stayed three days (4 nights) in Barcelona prior to starting our cruise and really loved the experience. It meant we had chance to see something of a fantastic city before boarding the ship and had no pressures or worries about getting ... Read More
We stayed three days (4 nights) in Barcelona prior to starting our cruise and really loved the experience. It meant we had chance to see something of a fantastic city before boarding the ship and had no pressures or worries about getting there on time. Loved Barcelona! I read a lot of reviews about the Epic prior to going and wasn't quite sure what to expect. However, I have to say that our expectations were exceeded on all fronts. We found absolutely nothing to complain about. We had an aft facing balcony cabin on deck 13 and, as advertised, the views from the balcony were spectacular, although, yes, there was some vibration and a little noise when docking but I can't say it bothered either my husband or I. Neither were we bothered by the opaque shower and toilet doors which some people seem to find so upsetting and there is a curtain if you want more privacy. The food on board was amazing and, whilst you could manage without eating in the speciality restaurants, I personally think an upgrade for at least half the nights you spend on board is excellent value for money. The Spiegel tent and Cirque due Dreams is a real must in terms of entertainment and, in truth, all the entertainment on board is of excellent quality. We only did two organised trips (Amalfi Coast and a Tuscan vineyard) both of which were very good but certainly, in some ports of call, it is very easy to get off and wander round under your own steam and the information provided on the TV screen in your cabin is very helpful. In particular, Sicily and Sardinia are very easy to do on your own and at your own pace. If you want to tailor your cruise to be as relaxed or energetic as you want it to be and don't want to have to be over formal, I think you'd struggle to do better than this. It's sometimes nice not to get off at some ports of call so you can just take the time to enjoy the ship and it's facilities. If you're looking for your own place at meals and your own waiter etc and a more organised and formal system, then it's not for you. We loved it and would definitely go again. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was a rebooked cruise as we had to cancel our last cruise due to an accident. I can honestly say that is worth the wait. The ship is big, very big. However, I never felt that I could not get away and find somewhere quiet, even ... Read More
This was a rebooked cruise as we had to cancel our last cruise due to an accident. I can honestly say that is worth the wait. The ship is big, very big. However, I never felt that I could not get away and find somewhere quiet, even on a sea day. There are so many hidden areas, quiet areas, adult only areas and of course the pool deck. I travelled with my partner and two teenage boys. One, we never saw after he joined up with others of his age at the club. He found a group of like minded teenagers and spent 10 days eating and chatting with them. The other teenager is a very fussy eater and for the first time on any holiday, he was often full. Heeling hated in the fact he could snack 24-7! He always found something to eat especially the lovely fresh fruit always available. Mostly we ate in either Taste restaurant or Manhatten. Both have similar menus and are waiter service. I really enjoyed the free style seating arrangements and we met some really lovely people from all around the world. We also eat in the Bistro, a la Carte restaurant which was an absolute delight. I can also recommend the Shanghai CHinese restaurant which is one of the restaurants included in the freestyle eating. If you like dressing up to go to dinner, as I do, I found that the are plenty of others who do too. Nothing too grand as a dinner jacket and formal ball gowns but plenty of evening dresses and men in collar and tie. There are also plenty of people that do not free but if that I'd your preference there are lots of restaurants without a dress code. We were very lucky to be chosen to attend the Captains dinner. This was not publicised very well but you put your name into the draw via the customer services desk. The dinner was again in the Speigel tent but every table had 6-8 guests and one uniformed officer on each. We sat with 4 Spanish guests that did not speak any English but we had a lot of fun speaking Spanglish! I can also highly recommend the drinks package as drinks are expensive and you will find yourself drinking more than you expect, either alcoholic or otherwise. We could of easily had a large bill to pay at the end. We, the adults of the party, booked ourselves a spa cabin, 14119. It was on the last occupied cabins deck before the pool deck. This meant we were only one floor away from the buffet restaurant and the outside area. We were never disturbed by any noise and actually found it a big advantage. We were also on the same floor as the spa. This for us was a bonus. Everyday, we spent at least an hour in the spa either in the main pool (the temperature of a warm bath) or on the hot beds. They also have a wonderful outside area, where you can sit and relax whilst getting a uninterrupted views across the water. The entertainment on board is take it as you want it. Everywhere the are interactive boards where you can book the free entertainment such as 'Burn the floor' or Priscilla. Both are fantastic shows. We also booked seats for the SPeigel tent. We booked the premium seats but it seems so did everyone else. There did not seem to me, that we got anything extra or closer to the performers. But it was good fun and the food was nice. I also attended several classes on sea days, such as Salsa class, Swing class and how to make sushi class. My partner attended a photography lecture and a towel folding class. All things we would not normally do but a good distraction when we needed to get out of the sun. We arranged all our shore excursions ourselves. This was extremely easy after a little investigation work on the Internet. The ship itself also gives you lots of helpful advise on independent travel within each destination. The only downside ,I think I would say was the casino floor. When walking from after to forward you end up going through the casino and slot machines which take up an entire floor. But as they say if you cannot beat them, join them. We decided to spend $10 one evening and with winning and losing we ended up equal each night and that $10 lasted us the whole cruise. In fact we ended up with $50 which we cashed in On the last night. Overall, a great cruise. Good food, good company, WONDERFULLY friendly staff, nice cabin (yes a bit small but we were not in it much) and yes, I would go again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I have to say it has been a great experience for me as it was my first cruise, Embarking looked daunting as there was such large crowd But they went through them quite quickly, it took me awhile getting my bearings ,And once I got a ... Read More
I have to say it has been a great experience for me as it was my first cruise, Embarking looked daunting as there was such large crowd But they went through them quite quickly, it took me awhile getting my bearings ,And once I got a marker for my room I was too , I then explored the ship which is very large ,The solo lounge is a good ploy as you meet lots of people same as you, And you can get friends for dinner and plan excursions , All the staff are very pleasant and call you by your first name which is nice , All the food was nice except for one which I had two bad meals in its called Taste. First time I had scallops and pasta when it arrived there was no scallops only cockles and as ex fisherman I would no the difference , And pasta was very salty you could not eat it,The second meal I went for duck it was that tuff you could break a tooth I complainers they took my room number but that was all I heard , Nothing else, And on the last day went to desk to make a complaint no one new any thing about it , So the head waiter came to talk to me he said they were larger ducks than they usually get , but I think they were sitting on a hot plate for awhile myself, Apart from that everything else was great ,Entertainment and bars were good so I would recommend this ship to anyone I will be booking another cruise in future. one tip I would say if you like a drink like me go for the UDP as the booze is quite pricey . Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Hi. We are a family of 4, with 2 girls aged 6 & 5. This was our 9th cruise (all 9 with NCL) and our 4th time on the Epic. We had the package where the drinks, speciality dining were included free and also a package of 50 photos. ... Read More
Hi. We are a family of 4, with 2 girls aged 6 & 5. This was our 9th cruise (all 9 with NCL) and our 4th time on the Epic. We had the package where the drinks, speciality dining were included free and also a package of 50 photos. Boarding at Barcelona was easy and well managed. We were quickly on the ship. We did have to wait until 14:00GMT for our room to be ready but had our hand luggage prepared for this; with changes of clothes and swimming outfits ready. We didn't mind the wait as we were on early and the Garden Buffet and bars were open and serving :) Kids Club sign up was quick and friendly. The kids club is excellent. I cant think of a better equipped or staff kids club (other than another large cruise ship). Throughout the cruise, the kids club kept the variety up and it was everything we could do to pull our girls out of there. They both loved it even though they were in different groups. The friends they made there transferred to the pool well too. When the room was ready, everything was in order. We did find it a little more squeezed as we had 12 days of clothes for 4, but in hindsight we over-packed. The sail away was seamless. The speciality dining and the upgrades were noticeable, especially at La Cucina. The Manhattan Room and Taste both looked fresh and were great, but the menus were limited and didn't really change. We were glad we had the speciality dining for variety. Bar Service on the ship was excellent. So many were on the free drinks package, that you didn't have to sign the bill, which we had experienced on previous cruises and found to be a bit of a pain, so that was a big plus. The new Cavern Club is excellent, but VERY popular. If you are going, go early for a seat. The shows: Cirque was excellent; well worth it. Burn the Floor was OK and worth seeing. Priscilla; Queen of the Desert was stunning. The best show I've seen on any cruise by a mile. Not one for the kids as there is bad language (a little) and a lot of sexual suggestions. That's a bit of a shame as other than that the kids would have loved it, but cant be helped I guess. Everywhere else on the ship; the music was great and we never felt was too loud: just right. Having the photo package was great and we did get 50 great memories. All bar one of the photographers were excellent. One of them was just in a mood the whole trip. We didn't spend much on this holiday; I got the unlimited spa, but not sure if it was really worth it. The pool deck wasn't that busy. We did the laundry offer half way for 19.99, which was worth it and showed us we could have travelled with less. Around the ship, the upgrades were all noticeable and welcomed. We do think this was our best cruise yet. Excursions: Overall, the NCL excursions were very expensive and not worth the money. There is now a non-cruise company following the boat around ports offering the same tours at a fraction of the price. We didn't use them, but our parents did and thought they were great. Day 2 - Cartegena, Spain: A nice stop, but there is little to do (but in the same way there is little to do in Cannes: its just nice to stroll around). You can walk off the ship and walk around the main parts of the town in an hour. Definitely one to do yourself. Day 4 - Cagliari; Sardinia: A stunning spot. Lots of history. Again, you can walk off the ship and walk around the main parts of the town in a few hours. We rented a car close to the ship for 35euro and went to Chia Beach for the day. Whilst stunning, it was off season, so it was deserted and local shops etc. were closed Day 6 - Palermo; Sicily: This was the GEM stop. Was not expecting Palermo to be so good. Again, you can walk off the ship and walk around the main parts of the town in a few hours. Although, given just how nice, it might be better to get a walking tour for this one. We did it ourselves. The horse drawn carriages outside were expensive and not really worth it in hindsight. There were much better ones at Pisa. Day 8 - Naples; Italy: It was a bad weather day. We had decided to go to Capri for the day, which in hindsight was a mistake. The boat to Capri was rough and Capri isn't that nice in the rain. If the weather had been good though it would have been a different day. This stop in particular we noticed NCL excursions were very expensive (e.g. Pompei and the Amalfi Coast was ~ 350USD and the same one with the tour group was 79EUR!). Day 9 - Rome; Italy: We got the local train in for 12euros return (5euros for the kids), which brought us into the centre of Rome and gave us free Metro/ Bus use for the day too). We got to all the main tourist stops (Colluseum/ Trivi Fountain/Pantheon/Vatican) via metro and bus. We didn't go into the Colluseum or Vatican but would have had time for one of them. We cut the day short as the kids were in meltdown. Day 10 - Livorno (Pisa/Florence); Italy: By this stage we were all exhausted. So many big stops in a row. We hired a car for 80 euros and 3 of our party drove to Pisa ourselves. It was a little more than we hoped to pay but we were able to get it right outside the boat and drop it off there too after. It also gave us flexibility on time as we only went to Pisa in the afternoon. Day 12 - Palma; Majorca - We found out there was a local fun fair on as it was Easter: it was AMAZING. Huge! Great value and a great find. Good fun with little kids. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our eighth cruise and second with Norwegian. However, we will cruise on the smaller ships in future. The Epic advertises lots to see and do, however, to try out the speciality restaurants there is a cover charge plus 18% ... Read More
This was our eighth cruise and second with Norwegian. However, we will cruise on the smaller ships in future. The Epic advertises lots to see and do, however, to try out the speciality restaurants there is a cover charge plus 18% service charge and with 4,100 passengers trying to get a time to eat in any one is nigh on impossible. Everything appeared to have been booked up within hours of getting on board. The stateroom although it had plenty of hanging and drawer space was quite bijou. As you open the main door the toilet is on one side and shower on the other, BOTH with opaque doors, luckily, we have been married 45 years this year - but, friends might have been embarrassed being able to see each other in either. The sink was at the end of the bed , oval and shallow - imagine the "spit" sink at the dentists and you have it in one. NO privacy as the curtain covers the toilet, shower and door only. We were lucky as our balcony was quite large, but, as the people above us kept throwing food for the gulls did not use it much - breakfast rolls and cakes are not the sort of hair ornaments we like. Our stateroom attendant was brilliant nothing was too much trouble for him and always service with a smile. The weather was very stormy and our first three nights we were kept bouncing around the bed , staggering through corridors and trying not to bump into people walking about the ship. The ship itself is a bad design, the "ducks backside" allows the stormy waves to bump up underneath it - Lord only knows what would happen if there were no stabilisers . Uncomfortable. The Epic is what I would call a "sick ship" just like the centrally heated office blocks that cause sickness. Every other ship including the Norwegian Spirit, have an open atrium - the outside is available and brings in fresh air every time doors are opened. The Epic's atrium is " below stairs" as it were. A small stage gives different demonstrations daily and is a delight to watch, but, the chairs there need large cushions as although they look impressive are incredibly uncomfortable if like us you are short in the leg - sitting properly on them is not viable, we used them twice , the second time I put my back out and was unable to sleep without painkillers. Above the atrium is an extremely large casino, nice to watch but have to stay on the one side as people were smoking , as I use an inhaler it was not a nice experience - no notices saying smoking was allowed. The shops are laid out well, but clothing, jewellery etc are quite expensive , you don't get the deals you would expect in fact some of the jewellery is more expensive than in the shops in visited countries. As the air on these three floors is only recycled it is not a healthy place to be, never, have we been on a ship with so many people coughing and sneezing . A visit to the ships doctor is a mortgage busting time, two children used the doctor and the parents were charged $1,000 , as their mom said they had saved for two years for the cruise and had not counted on having to pay out. What we all noticed though was that the surgery was only open a couple of hours a day while the rest of the time the doctor appeared to be seeing people in the spa . Never, have we had to pre book a show you turned up and if it was full, tough you waited for the second show. ALL of the shows we wanted to see were on standby only - we managed to get the same bored female at the help desk unfortunately , who only seemed to be able to say ( while looking under the desk for something unavailable ), just stand in line on standby. Isn't education great We did manage to see the only show available - available every night - due to the £45 cost, but, the cirque was absolutely mind blowing and worth the extra. The pre set menu was beautifully presented and cooked. The Garden Restaurant had a great choice of foods , very well presented . But our first two days gave us mouldy tasting "fresh" orange juice and no English Breakfast Tea, surely when the majority of your clients are English tea drinkers this should have been a priority. Even a lot of the Chinese complained. Port and shore excursions were very well executed with disembarking made easy. Never have we had to pre book shows, if the first showing was full tough you got the second show, but not here. We certainly will not use large ships in future - can not be doing with recycled air, having to pay for everything extra , having to pre book as soon as you embark for restaurants and shows, remembering to take extra medication so the doctor is not visited. If other big ships operate in the same way they are literally cash cows on the waves. Why are balconies charged at a premium when you only have a choice of balcony or interior staterooms. ? Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Our first cruise, a last minute booking the result of a cruise offer combined with the Barcelona F1. Room with balcony was excellent, food (with the optional specialist restaurant package) was superb, the boat Epic (it's appropriate ... Read More
Our first cruise, a last minute booking the result of a cruise offer combined with the Barcelona F1. Room with balcony was excellent, food (with the optional specialist restaurant package) was superb, the boat Epic (it's appropriate name) at 1000 ft long and eighteen decks. We never ate in the same place twice, entertainment was good, altogether incredible value at £1200 pp (included flights, transfers and F1!). Loved the "freestyle" approach to cruising, do what you want when you want, food available 24 hours (free), and it seemed althought the drinks were expensive we got most of them free anyway, total onboard bill excluding shop purchases was less than $200 (yes the boat runs in $, clearly targeted at US tourists who probably subsidise everyone else via the casino and art auctions......). We booked excursions via cruising excursions.com as the NCL excursion prices were far more costly than the all inclusive cruise, some who had not done this were complaining about the excursion prices on board. Cruisers included a lot of young families, certainly not the age profile we expected, there are adult only areas as well as family areas, water slides, and over 2000 sun beds... Never noticed any boat movement the entire cruise, it's just too big, sitting in a restaurant above the bridge we appeared to be flying 100 ft above the sea. NCL who own the Epic is a very slick organisation, everyone has an ID swipe card so getting on/off the boat and on board purchases was trouble free, staff without exception, were friendly and professional. The NCL iconcierge app allows you to book restaurants, entertainment, tenders etc from your smartphone as well as getting information about what's going on, the only criticism is that it doesn't keep a record of what you've booked....so you need to write it down or ask client services, as we had to when we realised no record was kept. Altogether a great experience, but do bear in mind with cruising that you only get to glimpse the places you visit, not the same as staying there, on the other hand no packing/unpacking of cases and travel hassle. Overriding impression is that Cruising is very easy! Read Less
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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