1 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

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
Sail Date April 2017
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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