Sail Date: July 2019
We’ve had great cruises on both the Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jade in the past, mainly because we loved the quality and wide variety of theatre and game shows. Okay, so we had a bad experience on the Norwegian Bliss recently, mainly ... Read More
We’ve had great cruises on both the Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Jade in the past, mainly because we loved the quality and wide variety of theatre and game shows. Okay, so we had a bad experience on the Norwegian Bliss recently, mainly because the way that ship is laid out didn’t make for a good entertainment experience for us. But because we had been on the Epic before, we were confident that our sons and their families would enjoy a Mediterranean cruise with us. When they threw in a free drinks package for us all, we were even more confident. Wrong! What we hadn’t realised is that since we last cruised on the Epic, it has been redesigned so that in many areas of the ship it resembles the Norwegian Bliss, and in particular the bits which we hated. For example, to reach the Windjammer restaurant you need to go across the 6th floor. Half of the 6th is a smoky casino and the other half a very noisy but drab pub. Not ideal for small kids to pass through, but it was hard to avoid doing so. Then there’s the Atrium, which is now the location for all the game shows, quizzes, live bands, and cinema shows. It also doubles as Guest Services, Future Cruises, and Excursions, as well as being the main thoroughfare in the ship. All in all it’s absolute bedlam, you can’t hear the quiz questions, you can’t hear what the guest services staff say, and the constant movement of people makes it a totally inappropriate place for entertainment. Now don’t get me wrong, we did enjoy this cruise, but to a large extent it was despite the Epic rather than because of it. The food was good, though the service in the Windjammer was slow: one evening it took over two hours for our party of 10 to get our meal. Hint: use Taste, the service is much better in there and the staff friendlier. The Garden Café buffet was always busy, but we always found a table big enough for us all at the very front of the ship. I’m sorry, though, Norwegian, but the quality and variety of the entertainment on the Epic has gone downhill since the last time we came. Where were the magicians, the flamenco show, the trapeze artists, and the comedians of old? We missed the Burn the Floor dancing show because of the slow service in the Windjammer, and we couldn’t take the kids to see Priscilla and the Desert because it was not suitable for under 18s. What are you doing putting on a show like that when the ship is full of children (school holidays)?!! And as for putting “The Beatles” and the Motown singers on in the Epic theatre as two evening’s main entertainment when the same singers had been performing all week in other venues: well, we really felt short changed. Thank goodness NCL have persevered with the Duelling Pianos: they are the only touch of class in the current entertainment team. One thing that I need to mention about the staterooms is that they all have glass sided toilets and glass sided showers, with nowhere to dress or wash your hands other than inside the bedroom. I was pleased we hadn’t volunteered to have any of the grandkids share our room! Other niggles:- - It’s impossible to find a bar without music where you can have a quiet drink and a chat - The price to get into the circus for a meal and show is now 48 dollars pp including children. Sorry, but I think that’s extortion. - We were constantly being asked to buy raffle tickets. Hadn’t we paid enough? - No fountains or splash areas for older kids. - When the lift goes straight past your floor because one of the Haven cruisers has used their lift override card, it makes you feel very second class - We forked out a lot so that my grandson could acquire tickets on the arcade games, only to find at the end of the week that all his tickets “won” him two plastic rings. Here are my comments about the places we visited - Naples: we walked across the road from the port into the town, which is interesting. The grandkids enjoyed the funicular railway. One of my sons visited Pompei; he said it was still in need of renovation. - Civitavecchia: took the free shuttle bus into town and walked to a nice beach. The kids enjoyed it there. - Livorno: they wanted to charge us 15 Euros pp for a two mile coach trip to the railway station for trains to Pisa and Florence. We stopped onboard…… One of my sons went to Pisa; he said there was a leaning tower in need of renovation. - Cannes: the highlight of the cruise. Lovely town, good shops, good beaches close to where the (well organised) shuttle boats dropped us off. - Palma: they wanted us to pay 15 Euros pp for a one mile return bus trip into town. Instead we took a taxi (9 Euros for 4 people) to the resort of Cala Mayor, a short trip South. Great beach which the kids loved. One thought, though. Why did the boat dawdle all the way from Cannes so that we only got to Palma at 1pm, by which time it was red hot? Were NCL cutting their costs? Would we sail with NCL again? I’m not so sure now. We might go on one of the smaller ships, but the entertainment would have to be getting rave reviews before I booked. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise because of the ports. Loved seeing all these amazing locations in one week! FYI Europe is hot and humid in summer!! Travelled with twin 17yr olds. Son and husband had a balcony room and my daughter and I had an inside ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the ports. Loved seeing all these amazing locations in one week! FYI Europe is hot and humid in summer!! Travelled with twin 17yr olds. Son and husband had a balcony room and my daughter and I had an inside room. Balcony room was nice because of the balcony (and couch) of course but we actually liked the layout of our inside room better - it was more like a dorm room with seemingly more floor space between the beds than the balcony room. Beds and bedding were super comfortable! The Epic shower/toilet/sink situation didn't bother us at all, in fact, we kind of liked the shower and toilet separate with the sink out in the room better- only problem was no one could come into our room from the hallway when the shower/toilet were being used - doors were frosted but it would still be weird. Food and restaurant choices on Epic were amazing. We went to every "complimentary" eating location available and enjoyed them all. Didn't see a need to pay extra for the other dining options. We're non-drinkers so can't comment on that but it seems like people were sure enjoying their drinks! Favorite shows were Cirque Dreams and Burn the Floor. Very impressive. Also enjoyed the Howl at the Moon musicians - they were super talented, jumping to different instruments for different song requests. We cancelled our reservations for Priscilla after learning about some risque content - glad for the heads up on that. Activities on the ship were nonstop and really fun- game shows, a few dance lessons, some exercise classes, other music, etc. We aren't gamblers but there was a large casino. Fun sports court, rock climbing, trampoline, and water slides. Only disappointment was the TINY swimming pools- we didn't even bother going to "swim". Fitness room was huge. Didn't use the spa services. Kids really enjoyed teen club and teen activities and are still in contact post-cruise with people they met there. Must say service was excellent and cruise director team was a really fun group with nice personalities. Also, staff kept the whole ship spotless and also highly encouraged cleanliness with people spraying you with hand sanitizers before getting back on the ship and before eating at the buffet - much appreciated and we did not get sick. We didn't do ship excursions because we wanted more of a private tour situation than tour buses would have provided. By the end, we were exhuasted - it's a port-heavy cruise and then you get back to the ship and there's more fun stuff to do - but very worth it! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We did the Norwegian Epic cruise out of Barcelona, Spain on July 14 - July 21, 2019. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about the cruise after reading so many negative reviews on cruise critic BUT it was WONDERFUL!!! In fact, I joined ... Read More
We did the Norwegian Epic cruise out of Barcelona, Spain on July 14 - July 21, 2019. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about the cruise after reading so many negative reviews on cruise critic BUT it was WONDERFUL!!! In fact, I joined cruise critics roll call and was able to gain a lot of insight from other travelers on what to do and things that others had learned. We are avid cruisers and Disney is one of our favorite cruise lines but we decided to do Norwegian because of the price. I will attempt to give an overview. We boarded in Barcelona. We took a cab from the airport to the port. It was a fixed price of 36 or 39 euros. Check in was so smooth and fast! I did the on-line check in prior to us leaving and it was one of the fastest check-ins that I have experienced. The ship was very well maintained. I did not see dirty or stained areas. We were on floor 8 in a balcony cabin. I did not care for the lay out of the room but we only got ready and slept in the room. There were 3 of us in our cabin. I did not like the frosted shower-like doors for the toilet area but we lived with it. Once again, we just got ready and slept in the room. The dining was amazing. We had 3 free specialty dinings (for the first 2 of us) and we paid for my daughter. We ate at La Cucina, Le Bistro, and Cagney's. The food and service was superb. This was our first time to ever do any extra charge restaurants because I think you already have so much on a cruise, but since it was free, we tried it. I will say we loved it!! You felt so special, at ease and relaxed and knew you had one-on-one service. BUT, there free dining is also amazing. There is such a variety of foods. The buffet had a different them each night. (Mexican, Mediterranean, Grilled, Italian and I don't remember the others.) Also, there was a person making fresh, made to order crepes at the buffet. That may have been all nights but I used it Tuesday - Thursday for sure. Everyone in the dining rooms and dining areas were very attentive. The dining rooms and buffet areas were beautiful. They all had windows where you could look out and view the water. The front dining room at The Garden Cafe buffet was beautiful and all windows. LOVELY VIEWS!! The food reminded me of when we first started cruising 20+ years ago and that was what you looked forward to. I cannot give an honest opinion of the activities because we were off the ship each day in port and by the time we came back, got ready, and ate, we were ready to crash for the night. We did go to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, but left. I knew it would have drag queens but there were too many other things that I felt were inappropriate and were not for me nor my family. We did see a comedian and he was funny but they really needed to use a larger venue because we were packed into one of the areas and there was standing room only. We missed Burn the Floor and we choose not to do Cirque Dreams because we did not want to pay for a show. We saw the Beatles Mania show and it was enjoyable. Our cabin steward was very nice and always checking on us. He checked with us each day to see if everything was OK and if there was anything that we needed. I did want extra blankets and when we got back to the room, they were on our bed. Everyone on the ship, from guest services to the gift shops, seemed pleasant and friendly. I know some people asked about laundry and ironing of clothes. They have a laundry service on the boat but of course it is high. On Wednesday, there was a flyer in the room that advertised that you could fill a bag with clothes and they would be washed and returned to you by Friday. The cost was $19.95. We did fill a bag with our underclothes and tshirts and they were washed and back in the room by Friday evening--all for $19.95 You do have to write the special or promotion on the bag of laundry in order to receive it. I will try to give a run down of what we did each day. We did not book any excursions through Norwegian. We used outside tour companies that were less expensive and fewer people. I gave them a poor on shore excursions because of the prices. I learned this a few years ago when we did a cruise around the Greek Isles. Day 1, we embarked on Sunday in Barcelona and Day 2, Monday was a day at sea. Thank goodness for that!! We were exhausted after our flight from the US. We slept in and just roamed around a little on Monday. Every other day, you are at a port. The day of rest helped us--- I don't know if I could have gotten on in Civitavecchia and then had to do ports with no rest, if I could have made it! Day 3 - Tuesday was Naples Italy. We used Italy Tours and booked Pompeii, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast. There were 14 people in our van and it was wonderful. Our driver met us at the port, we loaded into the van and started our tour. We got back to Naples about 1 1/2 hours before we had to be on board, so there was time to go into Naples if you wanted. Day 4 - Civitavecchia (Rome)--We did not book a tour because we visited Rome for several days in 2016 so we did our own thing. We got off the ship and there were many people at the port where you could book tours or take a bus to Rome. We got on one of the Smart Tours buses and once the bus was full, they brought you to Rome. You were dropped off at a point near the Vatican and then they gave you a time to be back and the bus picked you back up at the same spot and brought you back to Civitavecchia to board the ship. The cost was 23 or 25 euros per person and you had to pay cash. They did not accept credit cards. When we got on the bus, it was almost full so we only had to sit about 15 minutes before leaving. From what I heard, some people sat on the bus almost 1 hour waiting for others to get off the ship and board. You may want to keep that in mind. Italy Tours had some small group tours for Rome but since we had spent several days here a few years ago, we just walked and revisited some of our favorite things and took our own tour. :) We stayed far away from the Vatican that day because it was Wednesday and the Pope was doing mass so it was VERY CROWDED. Make sure to get gelato. This will help cool you off and Rome gelato is so very good. Day 5 - Livorno - We did a small group tour with Italy Tours. There were 7 of us in our group plus the driver. We did the tour called the Best of Florence and Pisa. Our driver met us at the small port (it was very easy to find him) and we went to Pisa first and then to Florence. We got to Pisa by 8:15 and the first group allowed to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not until 9:00 so we were able to get our tickets and be in the first group to climb the tower. Walking and viewing the grounds was great! It was a highlight for us to be able to climb to the top of the tower. After doing this, I would suggest being in the beginning groups. The lines get longer as the day goes on and it gets HOTTER!! Also, you could not bring any bags in the tower. You had to lock purses and backpacks up in a secure area before climbing the tower. We then went to Florence and met up with a guide and were put with some other group for this guide. Florence was beautiful and even with the other group, we were still only 15 and our guide. Our tour company offered to add the skip the line tickets, which we purchased, and went to the academia to see the original David. The additional group of people that we joined up with in Florence did have an elderly lady who had trouble walking and keeping up and those persons eventually left the tour and said they would go on their own. Florence is an amazing city--the bridge with the shops on it is just amazing. Day 6 - Cannes - We did not do a tour with an outside company (but if you start early enough, you should be able to). You have to tender into Cannes. Make sure to book your tender early and don't waste 1/2 day on the ship waiting to catch a tender to get off. Once in Cannes, we went to Monaco. You can take a train from Cannes to Monaco and it is about a 50 minute ride. If you decide to do this on your own, here are a few tips that we learned the hard way! :) To get to the train station, once you walk out of the port area and get to the main road, take a right. When you get to the Cannes tourism office (it is a big mirrored building on the right), take a left onto the street that is across from the tourism office. You will walk several blocks down that road and then you will see the train/bus station. If in doubt, ASK. Once inside, DO NOT try to use the kiosk to buy your own tickets. Go in the station and go to the ticket office to the left (it is inside more glass doors and it has a working AC). Once inside, pull a number ticket and wait for your number to come up and then ask the agent to help you buy a ticket to Monaco. It was 36 euros for all 3 of us. BEFORE you board the train to Monaco/Nice, make sure you find the yellow VALIDATION machine and validate your ticket. I think you get in major trouble if you do not validate your ticket before boarding. If you don't see a machine, ask someone where to validate the ticket and they will show you. Take the train to Monaco and then follow the signs (brown, historical) to the palace. There are lots of things to see and quaint little shops near that area. We did not go to the casino but that is also available. When you are ready to leave Monaco, you can get off the train in Nice on the way back to Cannes and do some wandering there. We did not do this because we lost time trying to find the train station and getting the wrong kind of ticket and having to switch out. If you have plenty of time, others say this is wonderful to do. We spent all of our time looking around Monaco and then we were having to sprint to make it back to the ship!! Day 7 - Palma De Mallorca - To be honest, when we booked this trip, I had never even heard of this place. I was thinking in my mind that we would probably be so tired from our other tours and adventures, we could just stay on the ship. DON'T STAY ON THE SHIP!!! This place is beautiful. It is the largest island in all of Spain. Once again, we did not book any tour. There are shuttle buses that take you from the port to the town center. BOOK YOUR SHUTTLE RIDE BEFORE SATURDAY MORNING. The shuttle ride from the ship to town is $15 per person. Book your shuttle Thursday night or Friday. If not, you will spend a long time in line on Saturday morning to buy a shuttle ticket. For those who do book their shuttle ticket prior to Saturday morning--when you get off the ship and you see a LONG line of people that look like they are waiting to get on a shuttle, do not go to the end of the line and get in line. These are the people who are waiting to purchase their shuttle ride. Let someone know that you already purchased your shuttle ticket, and they will tell you to go straight to the shuttle bus. Meaning, you will by-pass this long line of people who did not pre-purchase. Once you ride the shuttle, it will bring you into town near the church. There is a hop-on hop off bus tour you can buy here that will bring you around the entire island. I think the HOHO bus tour was 18 euros per person. This island has many sights to see and some amazing shopping. It is beautiful and I think it would be a great place to visit on a future vacation. Once again, this was an AMAZING CRUISE, with amazing food and ports of call. For all of those who are concerned because of the negative reviews, my advice would be to ignore them and go expecting a great time and have an awesome vacation. We loved it and will definitely be trying more Norwegian cruises. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We did a 7 night out of Barcelona (July 14-21). The trip was fantastic. To our group, this trip was about the ports - not nearly as much about the ship. However, both the ports and ship pleased on every level. I had read so many ... Read More
We did a 7 night out of Barcelona (July 14-21). The trip was fantastic. To our group, this trip was about the ports - not nearly as much about the ship. However, both the ports and ship pleased on every level. I had read so many reviews on CC that I was a bit nervous going into the trip. We had 7 people, 4 rooms (3 balconies, 2 of which were connecting, and one studio). Embarkation - we were amongst the first people at the dock in Barcelona (we had spend 4 days in the city prior). We were checked in and on board with little hassle. We were literally the second group at Guest Services and there were no Haven passes available upon boarding. No big deal. Our rooms were smaller than usual, and the setup is exactly as everyone describes. Yes the toilet and shower are odd... and the curvature of the room makes for a different layout. But the rooms were not any smaller than what you'd expect on a cruise ship. The room steward was excellent as they usually are. The beds did seem a bit short - but we've had the same experience on other cruises. While I didn't love the room setup, it was fine and pretty much exactly what was expected. One note - Thanks to the recommendations on CC here, we purchased the Thermal Spa pass. BEST MONEY YOU CAN SPEND. The spa is amazing, and we took almost all of our showers in the spa. That place is awesome and I can't recommend it highly enough. It is worth the investment. We had 4 specialty dining nights - and chose Cagneys (absolutely excellent), Teppanyaki (typical Japanese hibachi place, nothing great, but exactly as expected), La Cuccina (good), and the Cirque dinner show - which was such a mix. At the Cirque show, the service was the only time we felt neglected on the ship (they were terrible), but the food was pretty good (not outstanding, but good). However, the show itself was excellent. All the entertainment we saw (Priscilla, Burn the Floor, the Beatles show) was excellent. Back to food - we avoided the buffet at all costs, but the few times we were there at breakfast, seating was plentiful if you walked forward. Some people chose to go down one deck to La Cuccina where they had additional seating. We never once had a long wait at a bar for the drink (UBP). Granted, we didn't use the pool bar too often as we were in Spice H2O. But even when we did use the pool bar, we never had trouble. I was afraid after reading so many reviews on here that the wait for drinks would be insane. Not at all our experience. And our ship was packed. Casino was centrally located and we expected the worst. It was somewhat smoky but not as bad as other ships. The fitness center was quite large, and fit our needs perfectly. As for the ports after reading reviews here, we went with Italytours.eu and Barcelonadaytours.eu. I cannot state enough how excellent their services are. We were met as we walked off the ship in 3 Italian ports (Barcelona we were staying in a hotel, so it was easier). We had private tours in Naples (Pompeii, Sorrento, & Amalfi Coast), Rome (Best of Rome), and Livorno (Florence & Pisa). These guys took care of everything - handled it extremely well and took the stress out of everything. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Disembarked on our own and were amongst the first off the ship at 5:45 A.M. (We had an early flight and it was going to be close, but easily made it). We were off in a breeze and cabs were waiting already. If you're looking for a port intensive European itinerary, the Epic is great. I can't recommend enough Italytours.eu. Oh, and for those interested, the ship docks starboard side to in every port except Barcelona. We were on the port side with balconies on the 13th deck. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I can not say enough about the Haven and the staff on the Epic. This was our first cruise and Norwegian and the Haven were recommended to us by friends. We had two families with us and were well taken care of by William our butler and ... Read More
I can not say enough about the Haven and the staff on the Epic. This was our first cruise and Norwegian and the Haven were recommended to us by friends. We had two families with us and were well taken care of by William our butler and Ray his assistant. William even decorated our room for our upcoming birthdays! We each had our own 2 bedroom suites which were well appointed and comfortable. There were only 3 of us in our suite so it felt very spacious. The rooms could do with a refresh, which I believe is being scheduled for dry dock in the near future. However i found them tasteful and clean. The Haven restaurant was superb and I never got bored of the food. Excellent wait staff and only busy on 2 occasions but still was a pleasure dining. Posh deck was a great retreat after a long day at port and Ed and Kerwin were our saviors with ice cold drinks and pleasant smiles. Always found a seat and loved the privacy. I do wish there was a pool or shower in posh just to cool off but the Haven pool was just a deck below. However, access to it required you to walk through the haven restaurant or concierge in your swimsuit/towel to get to it. The staff in the haven just blew me away with their always ready to please attitude. The concierge staff was also at your service and the priority on and off the ship at ports was much appreciated, especially the day of the tendering. Thank you Omar for an easy on and off the ship every time!! We didn’t do much else outside the Haven except a couple of shows, Cagneys one night, and the Ice Bar, all of which we enjoyed. My friend had a massage one night that I think she enjoyed. We walked around the ship but always found ourselves back in the Haven enjoying the perks that we paid for. I would do it again in a heart beat. We found the entertainment to be top notch and even our teenagers enjoyed it. The slides were fun at the pool and the kids enjoyed the ship activities. I do wish Posh would stay open later than 6pm. 7 seems more reasonable on such a port intensive cruise. I want to shout out to Captain Marco for taking the time to meet with us for our daughters birthday. That was a highlight of the trip. It was a pleasure learning more about the ship and what he does to keep this small city running smoothly. Clearly he leads by example for all the crew. Thank you again for being so generous with your time! My only regret is that we did not book our next cruise before we got off the ship. We were having so much fun we never made it down to talk to anyone. I can not review any excursions because we did private ones with our group of 8. I will add that I had no idea that as Haven guests we could exit the ship earlier in port. I would have left the ship on some days to get out earlier if I had known to schedule it in advance. However it is a minor detail in the scheme of things. One thing to note is that I really think Norwegian should include water in the beverage package. Not just for haven guests but for anyone with a package. At the very least, one liter per day, per beverage package. Again, a minor detail but sometimes the little things can make it or break it for some people. Overall, we would absolutely recommend our experience on The Norwegian Epic in The Haven. I don’t think I would have enjoyed this cruise as much unless I were staying as a Haven guest but we specifically booked it for the amenities included in the Haven. We wanted to feel pampered and that’s just what The Haven and the Epic staff did for us! Thank you Captain Marco and the entire staff of the Norwegian Epic and Haven!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We have done a lot of cruising and have never seen a cruise ship set up like this! Rooms were the worst. You open the door to look at a shower with a frosted glass door on your right and a toilet with a frosted glass door on your left. If ... Read More
We have done a lot of cruising and have never seen a cruise ship set up like this! Rooms were the worst. You open the door to look at a shower with a frosted glass door on your right and a toilet with a frosted glass door on your left. If you are using either of these and some one walks in the room they will see you! You can see and hear everything in those! Absolutely no privacy. The bed was AWFUL. A rounded headboard and 2 twin mattresses making it a king size bed. But they are rounded on the top and bottom so your feet hang off all night. I’m only 5’2”. Absolutely horrible lighting. You can’t even read a book or put make up on. The hair dryer plugs in below the desk and it’s almost impossible to stretch the cord to reach your head. Ours was not working anyway so had to ask for another one. No storage. The drawers were so narrow you couldn’t put clothes in them. Room stewards were hardly around and not very friendly. I was never called by my name when he was around. Rug was filthy too. Hallways were curved and very strange. The 2 pools were like postage stamps crammed with people and kids. Water temp was in the 90’s. The kiddie pool area had a spraying part which did not work at all. Buffet was very mediocre and service horrible. The main dining room food was just ok & horrible service. I can’t say anyone working for them went out of their way to be friendly except for the washy washy girl when you entered the buffet. They rest of the staff should take a few lessons from her. Not many photo shooting opportunities in the evening and we were a group of 11 family members with kid 3,4,7,16 and the one photographer said she couldn’t take pictures of a group that big...what?? And if someone was having a photo shoot where they were doing it was so inconvenient that there was no room to walk around them. You either interrupted them or had to wait to get by. Shows were practically non existent. The good things were the upgraded dining rooms and staff. Excellent! The main reason I chose this ship were the ports they went to and that did not disappoint. Wonderful but I hired all private excursions which were also wonderful and less money then the ship charges & just our family. We did not realize that this ship has two ports for boarding and embarkation. Talk about confusion getting off the ship that day for an excursion. Tried to get a taxi at Barcelona port and waited over an hour. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My family and I choose this cruise because we want to try a different cruise line plus we want to do the free style cruising and the Mediterranean was on our bucket list and boy we where super excited.. We flew into Barcelona two days ... Read More
My family and I choose this cruise because we want to try a different cruise line plus we want to do the free style cruising and the Mediterranean was on our bucket list and boy we where super excited.. We flew into Barcelona two days earlier to explore the city and it didn’t disappoint us , the food , the people and the tours was amazing . Embarkation and Disembarkation was super smooth but getting to our room was a little confusing . Entering the hallway towards our room it smell like wet carpet or Sewage and I mean it smell like that every day . After entering our room it was ok nothing to be crazy about the bed had long hairs underneath the covers and mirrors look like it hasn’t been clean for weeks , there where dust on the furniture so we had to call for them to come back to Re-clean the room , but the view from our balcony on the 14deck was amazing . I have been in the customer service business for over 25 years and a few of the staff at the front deck , the way they talking to customer was super unprofessional and disrespectful and you do not talk to guests like you are annoying or mad at them because they have question or a problem that’s why you’re their to help ok and if you don’t like your job quit . The guys at the pool bar was on point especially Michael he was amazing he remember my name and what my wife and I drink all the time . So my wife and I Celebrate our 16 years Wedding Anniversary and it was her birthday also so we when for dinner at La Bistro the food and the wine was amazing and our sever (April) was fantastic she was attentive and always Smiling. The entertainment on the boat was ok . The Magic show was a little lame . My son he’s 15 and he didn’t even wanna go back to the teens club because he said it was lame and boring . Breakfast suck because everyday it’s the lame things over and over . The port of call was amazing except Naples , it was dirty and smelly and the people are super rude . If i end up back in Naples I would rather stay on the boat or take a trip down to Pompeii . Rome was one of our favorite stop because of the rich history and I advise anyone who wants to take a tour of the Colosseum you will need to book a tour guide if not you will be there all day in the long lines . Overall we had fun on all of our excursion but be advice wear some comfortable walking shoes.. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Going to complete in bullet form Gym - excellent - do not pay the 59 dollars for the gym pass not worth it - I thought it would be more cost effective with the classes offered - a fight club class was 35 mins and cost 25 dollars which ... Read More
Going to complete in bullet form Gym - excellent - do not pay the 59 dollars for the gym pass not worth it - I thought it would be more cost effective with the classes offered - a fight club class was 35 mins and cost 25 dollars which was a rip off - also if u wanted to get up aand do something at 7am and then nothing offered to 5pm then great. I do not sit in the sun so would have liked a class at 11am or one mid afternoon SPA - v expensive - why would you pay 129 us dollars for a 50 mins massage - when you pay £25 UK pounds for the same thing!! - it does not make sense I know I my on holidays but not to be ripped off - it must work for them I am guessing - I would have used the SPA if the prices were more sensible - I think it would attract more people if it was cheaper Food was good and staff were always very friendly The Beatles show was excellent and so was Priscilla Queen of the Desert. The entertainment generally was off a high standard. Would recommend this cruise Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Epic Family Cruise on the Med This was a three generation family cruise undertaken to celebrate our two milestone birth anniversaries – my 75th and my wife’s 70th birthdays that occurred earlier in the year. Happily it also ... Read More
Epic Family Cruise on the Med This was a three generation family cruise undertaken to celebrate our two milestone birth anniversaries – my 75th and my wife’s 70th birthdays that occurred earlier in the year. Happily it also coincided with the pending 50th birthday of our daughter-in-law, so we actually had three reasons to celebrate during the cruise. It also provided us the opportunity to introduce our family to the wonderful world of cruising, so we especially wanted an experience that would be meaningful and enjoyable for our two children, their spouses and our four grandchildren aged 12 through to 18. We had certain limitations in selecting an appropriate cruise. It firstly had to synchronise with school and university holidays giving us a window of only the first ten days or so of July. Secondly, we wanted our family to have an inclusive cruising experience with pre-paid gratuities, speciality dining and beverage packages. Thirdly, it was important that each family unit of four had inter-leading balcony cabins, and finally, we hoped for an itinerary that would introduce first-time cruisers to a number of iconic destinations in the Mediterranean. And all of this at an affordable cost! The scheduled Norwegian Epic cruise from 03 to 10 July of the Western Mediterranean was the only one that ticked all the boxes so we took the plunge and booked with NCL. We did so with some trepidation, primarily because of the size of this mega ship knowing that at the height of the holiday season the ship would be filled to capacity and we were especially concerned about the crowds and inevitable queues at restaurants, bars and entertainment venues and when embarking and disembarking over 4800 passengers at each port of call. But more so, we were worried about the negative reviews we had read on Cruise Critic about the Epic. Our concerns were unfounded and the Epic exceeded our expectations at virtually all levels. Sure, there are a number of (in the greater scheme of things minor) matters one may take issue with but, in our view as relatively experienced cruisers having taken some twenty cruises over the past fifteen or so years with primarily five star cruise companies, the Norwegian Epic offers a far better cruise experience than one would be led to believe when reading some comments on the web. Let’s get our main negative out of the way before proceeding with the review. NCL has a reputation for “nickel and diming” and we believe this is due to their strange practice of not fully disclosing the price of products on sale up front. Whatever one purchases is also subject to an undisclosed tax so one always ends up paying more for a product or service than the prominently published price. A case in point is their cost (ridiculously high in any event) of bottled water which passengers are forced to purchase on board as NCL will not allow bottled water purchased on shore to be brought on board. We purchased a package of 24 one litre bottles at a published cost of $44 only to find that the actual amount charged to our account was $58 – a premium of 32%! The additional costs were a 20% service gratuity and the balance a sales tax. We cannot understand why one has to pay a service gratuity and additional sales tax for purchasing a bottle of water but, if that is NCL’s policy, we believe the company should be upfront with its pricing and not mislead passengers with its non-inclusive pricing policy (applicable to all goods and services). We lodged a complaint about the cost of the bottled water package with Guest Relations but did not get any response whatsoever to our query. The only other minor issue we had was with the high cost of shuttle bus services offered by NCL. Being a mega ship, ships the size of the Epic more often than not, have to berth some distance from the places of interest in the ports visited. Using some form of transportation to get downtown is therefore pretty much a necessity and in such circumstances we believe the ship company should at worst, provided such a shuttle service at cost and not make an additional profit from their passengers. Often if one was prepared to walk 500 meters or so, one could get much cheaper transport from taxis, on-shore tour operators or even public transport. Enough of the negative rants! Much more productive to focus on the positives of the cruise. As already mentioned, we were pleasantly surprised by our Epic experience. Some random observations include: The ship: Clean and well maintained throughout, the Epic is a beautiful mega ship even though it is showing notable signs of wear and tear. We were impressed with the layout of many dining options available on the ship and even though the ship was fully booked, we seldom got the sense of being over crowded. The Epic is a fun boat with the focus on entertainment and activities. Consequently, there are virtually no areas where one can just sit and relax. There is a constant buzz going on, but it would still be nice to find a quiet lounge area where one could just relax and read a book. Initially, the layout and configuration of the vessel can be confusing but once one understands that everything really happens on either the pool deck or on decks 5 and 6 where most of the dining options, theatre, bars, entertainment venues and casino are located, it becomes relatively easy to find ones way around the boat. Elevators are only located at the two ends of the ship making it almost mandatory to walk through the entertainment decks to get anywhere. Unfortunately this means that one cannot escape the smoke ridden casino to access certain venues! NCL should seriously reconsider its practice of permitting smoking in the casino – a practice that has been banned in every other cruise line ship we have sailed. Staterooms: We booked two sets of inter-leading balcony cabins to accommodate each family unit and a mini suite for ourselves. All accommodations were more than adequate with plenty of storage space. The mini suite is slightly larger than the standard balcony cabin but has the same layout – including the strange shower and toilet configuration which takes some getting used to. We understand that this bathroom layout has never been re-emulated on any other NCL ship and will be changed when the Epic undergoes a major refurbishment in the next year or so. Dining: The Epic has multiple dining options. Given the size of the ship, it is advisable to pre book one’s preferred dining venue for dinners especially if one likes to dine during peak hours. Our travel consultant had arranged to pre book dinners for our entire party of ten for each night of the cruise at a selected range of included and speciality dining venues. This helped immeasurably as we never had to queue or wait for a table at any of the selected venues. Food, in terms of both quality and presentation was invariably of a good to excellent standard. The buffet Garden Café was our chosen venue for most breakfasts and lunches. We found the quality and range of options to be surprisingly good for a buffet and would rank the Epic’s buffet restaurant as one of the best we have yet experienced on a cruise line. We had a table served breakfast on two occasions in the Trellis restaurant and, again, were more than satisfied with the fare on offer. For dinners we experimented with a range of venues. We dined at both of the included restaurants (Trellis and Manhattan) which both offer the same menu each evening. The Trellis is a more casual venue while the Manhattan offers a more upmarket experience. Both are well laid out and furnished with attentive service. We found the food to be good and attractively presented. Where the Epic shines is in the variety and quality of its speciality dining options. We experienced three and they all met or exceeded our expectations. As mentioned, we were celebrating three milestone birth anniversaries on this cruise so we chose to celebrate a different birthday at each of the speciality restaurants we selected. At two of these, the Le Bistro and La Cucina, we were even surprised with special birthday cakes delivered to the table even though we had only indicated we were celebrating a milestone birthday once we were seated at our table. A nice, unexpected touch! Food at the French Le Bistro restaurant was exceptional – typically small potions, but beautifully presented and delicious all round. Teppanyaki, the Japanese inspired restaurant was a really fun experience. The delightfully humorous Chef kept us all in fits of laughter as he cooked and served food of surprisingly high quality. We also could not find fault with the service and food quality at the Italian La Cucina restaurant . Our experience at all three speciality restaurants we dined at more than met our expectations. The only marginally disappointing dining experiences were in the Shanghai noodle restaurant and at O’Sheehans Pub where we found the fare to be unappetizing and bland. However, the younger members of the family enjoyed the pub food at O’Sheehans especially the chicken wings and fajitas! Entertainment: A wide range of entertainment options are offered – there is something going on all the time so one can never be bored! The main theatre show “Priscilla of the Desert” was exceptional, equivalent in standard to anything we have previously experienced on board a cruise ship, or even on Broadway or the West End for that matter. None of our party enjoyed the other main theatre production “Burn the Floor”, a sentiment obviously shared by many other passengers as the venue was less than half full even though this show has to be pre-booked. We found it repetitive and frankly boring. On the other hand the nightly “Howl at the Moon” productions in the Headliners Comedy Club were great fun with plenty of good, noisy music and repartee between two dueling pianists. The Beatles Cavern Club show was a bit disappointing but perhaps this was due to the small venue being so overcrowded on the night we attended the show. In addition to the more formal productions, two exceptionally talented singer/pianists entertained passengers at a variety of venues each evening. Good sing along music and good fun. We thought Roberto, the Cruise Director, to be one of the best we have yet had over our years of cruising. Efficient, engaging, informative and understated, sans all the false over the top bonhomie one generally finds with Cruise Directors on cruise ships Bars: There are so many bars situated throughout the ship that one is never in danger of becoming thirsty! We had a beverage package as an included amenity on our booking. This is a virtual necessity on the Epic as the price of liquor is exorbitant and otherwise would be a major dampener for those of us who are inclined to enjoy the occasional tipple or two! Our favoured venue was the Shakers cocktail bar where we can attest they can fix a mean martini! The whole family unit of ten participated in the Ice Bar experience. It was fun but ridiculously overpriced at $20 per person plus tax even though two cocktails are thrown in as part of the deal. Anoraks and gloves are provided but, on reflection, it really is quite masochistic to pay good money to stand in a fridge for an hour! Service: Along with our general experiences with other cruise lines, we found the standard of service on the Epic from staff at all levels (stateroom attendants, waiters, barmen etc.), to be excellent, always available to provide attentive service with a smile. It was evident also that most staff appeared to be proud to be employed by NCL so the company must be doing something right in its employment and training processes. Itinerary: One of the reasons we chose this cruise was to give or family, who had not cruise before, the opportunity of visiting some of the iconic ports of the Western Mediterranean. As we had been to most places on a few occasions beforehand, we did our own thing in all the ports except Palma Mallorca, allowing the rest of the family to explore the ports and adjacent locales unencumbered by their ageing parents! They pre-booked private tours of Pisa/Florence and of Naples/Pompei/Sorrento/Amalfi Coast and explored other destinations on their own. They were more than happy with their experiences and would recommend the private tour option which ends up much cheaper than the equivalent ship excursions and also allows for more flexibility and the option to custom design the experience should one so wish. Our primary objective with this cruise was to give our children and grandchildren a taste of the joys of cruising that we have been privileged to enjoy for so many years. After all the less than complimentary reviews we had read about what to expect on the Epic, we were truly concerned that their experiences on the ship would not be all we wished for. We need not have worried! Did they enjoy the cruise? Hell yeah! So mission accomplished. Indeed, we think we may just have produced another two generations of cruise aficionados!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We sailed in early July with our two teenagers, ages 14 and 18. We had a spectacular vacation! We stayed in the Haven, which gave the four of us all the space and privacy we needed and then some. We flew into Rome two days early. ... Read More
We sailed in early July with our two teenagers, ages 14 and 18. We had a spectacular vacation! We stayed in the Haven, which gave the four of us all the space and privacy we needed and then some. We flew into Rome two days early. There's a quick train from Rome to the port city of Civitavecchia. We had no trouble getting around and made it to the ship in plenty of time. Civitavecchia has many restaurants and gelato places close by to stop at before boarding. Embarkation was a breeze. If you can swing the Haven, it's absolutely the way to go. Our room had two private bedrooms, a spacious living area, and two full bathrooms. The main bathroom shower had room for a small village of people! There was plenty of storage space and the niceties like robes and slippers and upgraded toiletries. The Haven comes with a butler and he was wonderful. He brought us snacks each afternoon and also handles room service if you desire. Our room was equipped with an espresso machine and a minibar. The Haven also has it's own restaurant and cocktail lounge; both are outstanding as well as its own small pool and jacuzzi. Our cabin was 16003 which is a forward cabin. Our bathroom had floor to ceiling windows in the showers (with shades for when you're actually showering) and provide a gorgeous view out the front of the ship. We had the same view as the bridge, which was kind of neat. Dining is "freestyle", so you decide where and when you want to eat. There is the usual cruise buffet, as well as two more formal dining rooms. Buffets are not my thing, but as far as they go, this one had plenty of options including Indian food, hamburgers/hot dogs, and themed hot entrees and was a nice break for my younger teen who just wanted to eat in his swimsuit and be done with it. The other two dining rooms, Taste and Manhattan were both top notch with typical cruise fares - starter, meat/fish, starch, veggies, and dessert. The wine lists were extensive and reasonably priced. There is also a pub which services quick burgers, sandwiches, and the like which has extended hours. The pub also had pool tables and other arcade games. You can also do specialty dining - some is an extra charge, some is included, but all need reservations to assure your spot. They included a French restaurant, teppanyaki, noodle bar, and a traditional American steakhouse. The French restaurant, Le Bistro, requires (no exceptions) long pants for everyone over 12. My one son ate dinner in his pajama pants, which was not a problem for the maitre'd. All the other restaurants are generally relaxed on dress code - some people were all dressed up and others were in shorts and tshirts. There is also a coffee bar to get espressos and blended coffee drinks for an additional charge. Definitely get the beverage package so you don't have to think about it. The ship will serve your 18 year old beer and wine if they have your permission. In port, people offered our 18 year old booze consistently. Not a problem for us, but be mindful if this is a concern for you. In fact, in Rome, they served our 14 year old lemoncello. He was not a fan..... We loved the live music; there's a Beatles tribute band, a sing along Elton John show, and themed shows featuring music of Stevie Wonder and others. We didn't attend either of the two main shows which require reservations - we just didn't get to it and our kids weren't super interested in either. They also have a dueling piano show - it was very popular. Not our favorite, but just a matter of personal taste. During the "at sea" day, they had an "escape room" type activity which we really enjoyed as a family. The main lounge midship, The Atrium, often had games like "Deal or No Deal" and bingo for an additional charge. We aren't gamblers, but the casino was hopping and seemed very popular. Smoking is allowed there, and there is an actual cigar lounge/smoking lounge as well. There is a three lane bowling alley, along with the pool, water slides, rock climbing wall, and sport court. Our 14 year old went to the teen club, which he mostly enjoyed. There are a lot of organized activities, and he was hoping for more "free play" time where he could come and hang out and play video games. That said, he enjoyed the activities (trivia, charades, game shows) that he participated in. It was kind of a bummer that our (newly) 18 year old couldn't participate with his brother there, but we get it. Since we embarked in Civitavecchia, our ports were Florence (Livorno), Cannes, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Day at Sea, Naples, and then back to Civitavecchia. I actually think this itinerary lay out is better than boarding in Barcelona. Florence is a slog - it's quite a distance from the port - maybe 90 minutes - so after that and then rapid fire action, we were grateful for the day at sea. I wouldn't have wanted to have that right on the front end of the cruise. In Livorno, we did Pisa/Florence "on your own" which basically provides transportation and then some tour information but mostly you just explore. It was ridiculously hot and there is a lot of walking from the bus to the actual sites, so be prepared. Pisa was magnificent and I'm so glad we didn't skip it. Florence was super crowded and oppressively hot. Pace yourself! In Cannes, we needed an easy day after Florence, so we took the tender from the boat and just wandered through downtown. You can do tours to Monaco or Monte Carlo, but we found a place along the waterfront for lunch, explored the streets, had french desserts, and headed back to the ship. The tender process is easy, but you do need reservations if you want to get an early start. Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona were our two favorite days and we are already talking about a separate trip to Spain. We went on foot both days and found outstanding tapas restaurants in both. Mallorca was wonderful just to explore and walk around the city. In Barcelona, we went to the Pablo Picasso museum and then went to the arch and Citadel Park. There were some great tours, but we had made reservations for the museum and had to work around that. Sundays are free at the museum, but you have to make reservations ahead. In Naples, we struggled because there were so many choices; Sorrento, Amalfi coast, Capri, and Pompeii. We ended up walking into Naples which is right at the port and found a tiny little pizza restaurant and had a pizza we're still talking about. We took the cruise's tour to Pompeii in the afternoon; they have two, "Pompeii excavations" and "Pompeii on your own". I highly recommend excavations. Pompeii is a huge area and is a maze. We really benefited from having someone to walk us around inside and show us the highlights. If we had gone by ourselves, we might still be finding our way out. Debarkation, although EARLY, was a breeze. We walked right off without problem and collected our bags at the port. There is a free bus that will take you from the ship to the entry to the port. From there, you can take a bus for 2 Euro to the train station in Civitavecchia. There is an express train that will get you into the main terminal in Rome in about 45 minutes. We spent three more days in Rome after the cruise before heading home. After 14 days, we were ready to get back, but it was an absolutely wonderful trip. We will sail Norwegian again and would absolutely go on the Epic again. Bon voyage! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The cruise itself was amazing. Ports brilliant. Embarkation no problem at all. Disembarkation appaling, left at 6.45am for a 1.35pm flight 20 minute journey time to airport. Room steward for room 8030 OUTSTANDING addressed us by ... Read More
The cruise itself was amazing. Ports brilliant. Embarkation no problem at all. Disembarkation appaling, left at 6.45am for a 1.35pm flight 20 minute journey time to airport. Room steward for room 8030 OUTSTANDING addressed us by name each time he saw us. Taste restaurant lovely Giovanni was super! Great waiter very good with dealing with food intolerance, he didn't ignore as wasn't an allergy. Food was lovely went for breakfast and dinner. The rostierre chicken is massive!! Order if your hungry. Shanghai noodle bar not great asked for no red onion or shrimp, couldn't remove red onion and then found a shrimp in my dinner although the manager was very apologetic. Photos taken everywhere, one set lost, then found, then lost then not printed, took 3 days to see them we wanted to pay our room bill couldn't as we wanted to buy these photos. No offer of discount or compensation for inconvenience of waiting. Constant entertainment on board, you'll never be bored! All shows were amazing wish I'd booked to see Priscilla twice!! People moan about cabin, I traveled with my mother, close the curtain you can't see them on toilet or shower then! Not a problem at all. If your shy go on balcony or for a walk around the ship or grab a drink. Buffet dinner good selection and there were reasonable changes each night, constantly being refreshed never had cold food. Room 8030 at times you could hear what we think was the Bliss night club not so much the music just the base. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My Family and I chose this Itinerary because of the ports. We are a Family of 4. 2 children are 11 and 7. They were troopers when we did all of our excursions. Because they knew we would come back to the ship and they would have a blast on ... Read More
My Family and I chose this Itinerary because of the ports. We are a Family of 4. 2 children are 11 and 7. They were troopers when we did all of our excursions. Because they knew we would come back to the ship and they would have a blast on the pool deck. Great Aqua Park! Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. No issues, even going to Cannes with tendering was very simple. Ship is long. wish there was a mid ship elevator thou. We had a balcony room - It was nice having those few extra feet when trying to get ready or just a little relax time. Dining was excellent. Le Bistro was our favorite. Raveena from Mauritius is a wonderful assistant server. Other dining included the Garden Buffet. Lots to choose from. we mostly ate breakfast. after our excursions we usually went for: Outdoor pool deck buffet has amazing french fries. O'Sheehan's Bar great chicken wings and nachos. Dinner: Manhattan room, Taste specialty dining: teppanyaki, and Cagneys. Service on the ship is good. Ports were excellent. Excursions we booked thru local guides. The ships excursions are way too pricey! My children enjoyed the aqua park and Karaoke the most. Kids club was fun for them Dueling pianos female and male duo made a great team. sorry but i dont remeber their names. However there were no comedians on this cruise. That was something we missed. overall we would definitely book again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our second cruise overall and first on NCL. Our previous cruise was in a one-bedroom concierge room on the Disney Magic for comparison. We sailed in the 2-bedroom Haven suite for this roundtrip from Barcelona cruise. We were ... Read More
This was our second cruise overall and first on NCL. Our previous cruise was in a one-bedroom concierge room on the Disney Magic for comparison. We sailed in the 2-bedroom Haven suite for this roundtrip from Barcelona cruise. We were very happy with the Haven experience and the cabin. Our room was spacious and well appointed. The staff was friendly and accommodating. We loved the attention and service in the Haven restaurant. We never waited for anything. The value of the courtyard, pool, and private restaurant can not be understated, it was the best aspect of the cruise experience. We enjoyed the speciality dining too, but our one foray into the Manhattan Room was very disappointing in terms of food (our service was wonderful there, however). My kids really enjoyed the kids club, and they had a blast performing in the circus show at the end of the cruise. They loved the food too, though the kid's menu did not vary. We made use of a couple of specials onboard including massages and the laundry service. There is certainly a "situation" with the elevators on the ship, without a set mid-ship they got very crowded. We did not do any excursions through NCL, all were booked private or explore on our own. The only evening entertainment we attended (despite intention otherwise, hanging in the Haven was too appealing to venture out) was the Cirque show, which we all enjoyed despite mediocre food and service. I am confident if we cruise again we will go with the Haven. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My whole family loved this ship. It's a good ship for families. It is huge (about 4,000 passengers) and it was full, but didn't feel too crowded. We were always able to find a table and the wait at the buffet wasn't too ... Read More
My whole family loved this ship. It's a good ship for families. It is huge (about 4,000 passengers) and it was full, but didn't feel too crowded. We were always able to find a table and the wait at the buffet wasn't too bad since they had so many different stations. The slides, pools, and the ice cream were a hit with the kids. On the top deck there were two main pools, a few hot tubs and three slides so it could accommodate a lot of people. The pools were warm and clean. My husband and I enjoyed the Ice Bar. That was a nice feature and not crowded (the bartender said that this place isn't crowded, but it is an added cost). We enjoyed the food in all the restaurants we went to. There was a nice variety with many different options for food. The restaurant "Taste" was probably our favorite one from the Complimentary restaurants. All parts of the ship were clean. My daughter really enjoyed the kids club. Getting on and off at the ports was easy and pretty well organized. I would definitely sail on this ship again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
The experience at Norwegian Epic was a dream come true. We were in a group - a mix of kids of different age groups, adults with different interests. Each one of us were thoroughly satisfied and didn’t want to disembark at the end of the ... Read More
The experience at Norwegian Epic was a dream come true. We were in a group - a mix of kids of different age groups, adults with different interests. Each one of us were thoroughly satisfied and didn’t want to disembark at the end of the journey. Food- great even for vegetarians No sea sickness- smooth sea Entertainment - more than plenty Staff - awesome and entertaining Warm welcome after return from port excursions Kids taken care of in Splash academy Glow party was the best. The balcony allowed us to keep our suitcases else with kids space can be challenging Drinks can be better. Found the cocktails sweeter than usual Swimming pools were more of water tanks. Can be larger and shaded as it was super hot in July The kids entertainment in Splash academy after 8pm can be better else a single child can be easily bored Overall, the trip was truly worth every penny Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to stay in Rome for a few days following the cruise so we opted to board there instead of Barcelona. Rome was great even though we were on the cruise during a record breaking heat wave. Embarkation went smoothly. Other cruise ... Read More
We wanted to stay in Rome for a few days following the cruise so we opted to board there instead of Barcelona. Rome was great even though we were on the cruise during a record breaking heat wave. Embarkation went smoothly. Other cruise lines hand out glasses of champagne but not this one. We were able to get to our room right away and bags were waiting. That was a plus. We didn’t make reservations for any shows . I didn’t like that aspect. I’ve not had to do that in the past on other ships but I’m sure it’s because the theatre is a lot smaller. I really didn’t like the ‘bathroom’ set up. Our adult daughter was staying in our balcony cabin so it was a bit awkward. We were told the ship was designed by the French and that is a standard design. The pools for 4000 people are ridiculously small. The adult pool has no shade to sit and with it being so hot, shade would have been nice. And it was so small that with just 5 people in it, it was FULL!! The drink package was a perk so we didn’t pay extra. There were no drinks off limits as long as it would have been less than $15/glass for mixed drinks or wine. Other cruise lines, even the drink of the day was an up charge. The way they called the shore excursions was very disorganized. The people didn’t listen to what the crew was saying about lining up and when the tender had a problem in Cannes, France which made all shore excursions leave late the poor girl (she had no crew to back her up) was doing her best to calm the crowd. All in all we had a good time on the cruise and the ports were extra special. Especially Pompeii and a side trip to Sorrento. That is one beautiful city!! The shops were nothing special. They did not sell bottles of duty free alcohol. We went to 3 specialty restaurants. Moderna is the Brazilian restaurant. 12 different kinds of meat and baked pineapple with brown sugar and cinnamon. Instead of the offered dessert we asked for the pineapple on ice cream. That was no problem and they served it with a smile. The next one was Tempanyaki. OMG. The filet mignon was sooo good. Probably the best meal I’ve ever had on a cruise ship. The last was Cagneys. The steakhouse. It was good but for my money I’d do the Japanese again and again. The main dining room, Taste, the food was good but service was slow. It took 2 hours for the meal. That’s crazy. The other main dining room was The Manhattan. Same food but service was faster. The buffet was usual. Nothing special. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Arrived in Rome the day before embarkation (highly recommended to allow buffer travel time, time adjustment). Traveled with 3 kids (11,15,18) and had 2 rooms. Rome to Civitavecchia (Port) by train took approx. 1 hour. You need to take ... Read More
Arrived in Rome the day before embarkation (highly recommended to allow buffer travel time, time adjustment). Traveled with 3 kids (11,15,18) and had 2 rooms. Rome to Civitavecchia (Port) by train took approx. 1 hour. You need to take cheap local bus from station to port entrance. Take NCL provided bus from there to ship. Be sure to look for correct ship sign in the bus window. Embarkation was extremely easy and efficient, but it was VERY clear that starting in Rome for Wed. to Wed. cruise was not the big cruise sendoff with fanfare bells and whistles. The Sun. to Sun. starting from Barcelona was where everyone was excited and all the sparkles and charm were put on display. For experienced cruiser this was disappointing. The EPIC is a one of a kind large ship and I see why. They only built 1. The balcony room where the 3 kids stayed was fine, except the couch "bed" was very small and not very comfortable. Our 11 year old was not impressed with it. The bath/shower layout is weird but tolerable, especially because this itinerary didn't allow that much time in the room anyway. Cabin service was acceptable but not impressive, another reason I hate automatic gratuities. I like to reward for exemplary service. Main dining food was good, just a little boring in choices. Service again was adequate. I, for instance, ordered iced tea for dinner and could never seem to get a refill. Annoying. We had 2 Specialty Dining nights ( Cagney's & Teppanyaki) both were excellent as usual and the service there was very good! The buffet worked just fine for 2 youngest kids. Special nod here. As a former restaurant owner, I was very impressed with the effort kitchen staff were observed keeping everything clean and sanitary. I saw temps being taken and staff helping passengers avoid doing dumb things like reaching for food with their hands etc... This was my 15th cruise and I was a little surprised with the entertainment. What they did have was night and day different. Burn The Floor was AWESOME!!! Get those tickets in advance, you won't regret it. Every one of the kids were blown away. Now the bad, Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical. I guess my wife and I should have guessed this in advance but we've always enjoyed the entertainment in the past. This show was extremely disappointing. Never, in all the years have I watched others, including us, walk out of a show. This was just simply not appropriate for main line crowds. This wasn't sexy, sensual, or funny. It was in your face drag queens and raunchy. Terrible choice NCL. I did leave a note to the ships General Manager and he did, to his credit, call me in the morning. He expressed his regret of our experience and said he would forward the note higher up. Later that day we received a plate of chocolate covered strawberries from his office. Funny note, the delivery person was carrying 5-6 additional plates as well. Back to the ship. It was a little hard to find your way around. Put those fish on the carpet NCL! But as always, you get used to it. While I consider this a one time thing, we did get a notice on Sunday evening that ALL water would be shut off that night from around 1 am to 5-6 am. Really? Couldn't find a better time to do that? Maybe related, our last night the toilets stopped working. No one told us. I had to call and all I was told was that the problem was on several decks. That was highly annoying and a first in my cruise history. All that aside, the itinerary is jam packed. Get your rest, you'll need it. The only big watch out is the stop in Cannes, France. You have to use tender to get ashore. Be sure and reserve tender time asap. We lost 2 hours of shore time because we waited till night before to get tender time. Overall, it was a great trip. Just not the leisurely cruise through the Caribbean. There's nothing that would keep us from avoiding the EPIC but given a choice, I'd be more inclined to go on a Breakaway class ship next. There's always more to share if anyone has a specific question. Happy cruising!!! Jason Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We hardly slept due to our cabin being very close to major building works on board. Power tools were being used all night, every night. We had to move cabins 3 times until we got some sleep. “Jose” the guest relations manager told us ... Read More
We hardly slept due to our cabin being very close to major building works on board. Power tools were being used all night, every night. We had to move cabins 3 times until we got some sleep. “Jose” the guest relations manager told us that the work could not be done in port because of the loudness and the fire risk! So it had to be done whilst at sea. I expressed that it was obvious that passengers were not a priority and the work should not be undertaken if it affected passengers. I was so tired that I was unfit to go on any excursions. Other members of our group of 8 also experienced the noise of building works. This was a ruined holiday and we were offered only 200 dollars to spend on board- an insult after a ruined holiday. We are booked on the Norwegian jade next January, but as the works are being carried out across the fleet, I will probably be cancelling the trip. Other areas of the cruise were very good. Food and service was excellent, the entertainment magnificent and the choice of bars and restaurants was fantastic. The ship stopped at great ports and the excursions offered plenty of choice. The cabins have plenty of storage and the beds are very comfortable. Our steward was fantastic and the cabin was spotless. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This is my 5th cruise on NCL and have been every happy with the last 4. The Epic disappointed in nearly every way. 1st let's start with the things the line can no longer change like the layout of the cabins and the deck plans. The ... Read More
This is my 5th cruise on NCL and have been every happy with the last 4. The Epic disappointed in nearly every way. 1st let's start with the things the line can no longer change like the layout of the cabins and the deck plans. The bathroom situation in the cabins is beyond uncomfortable. There is no bathroom door just a curtain. When traveling with just a couple this might not be such an issue but when you have 3 in the room it's not cool plus we were with our extended family and if anyone came to our cabin while someone was using either part of he restroom you couldn't answer the door. The deck plans leave no where to walk outside on the ship other than the top decks and tou cannot walk all the way around the ship anywhere. There are no chairs for lounging outside other than the loud pool decks. On other NCL ships you can find them on other outside lower decks for a more relaxed time. I did however like the color coded elevators, that was helpful navigation for some of our older group. The stewards service was just not up to par, friendly yes but not around as much as on other ships. The coffee pot was never cleaned out from the previous guests, or the ones before that who knows. We didn't even get animal towels every night. It took 2 plus hours to eat every single night. The table on our balcony had peeling paint on nearly the entire surface and legs. The buffet closed early than normal as well. It was still light outside and he only place open to eat was O 'sheans. We boarded in Rome, while I believe that is a better itinerary it messed us over several times. They don't tell you how often you will be told "Sorry, you got on in Rome its full" or "Sorry you got on in Rome you will have to come back. Sorry you got on in Rome we are only exchanging eros for those getting off in Barcelona. Sorry you pictures from the photographer are gone, you got on in Rome". However the guy in the photo shop did spend 2 hrs searching for them. Just how I wanted to spend my last night on he ship waiting 2 extra hours for simple pictures. Oh sorry, you got on in Rome, you have to wait in line yet again to get your shore excursion credit for your Latitude rewards percentage off." I even called to ask the front desk when to do that, they didn't bother to tell me not to wait in line if I got on in Rome. "Sorry the internet isn't currently available fue to disembarking in Barcelona " The carpet on all three main floors is in desperate need of stretching or replacing and in the 2 main dining rooms as well. We were late to port and some excursions were changed and one was pretty drastic. If you didn't take the replacement they offered it was too late to pic something new so those people were just out of luck. I spoke to over 20 other families that have cruised with NCL before and have never been disappointed until Epic either! There was no comedy show but Howl at the moon was excellent the entire group 18 to 64 loved it. The balcony was larger than on other ships which is always a plus. We were also told the professional photographers would be out until 10 PM every night. Our whole group got all dressed up for 8pm photos just to find out someone told us yet again, oh it's the last night for Barcelona people to buy pics they were only out tonight until 8. The wine bottles they took from us had tape placed on the boxes and some of them RIP ruining the box. One guy picking his up in front of me had tape right over his label! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Our family of 4 traveled on the Epic for my husbands 40th birthday. Having sailed with NCL 10 years before we were very excited. However, the Epic ship is in generally poor condition. This ship was advertised as a newer state of the ... Read More
Our family of 4 traveled on the Epic for my husbands 40th birthday. Having sailed with NCL 10 years before we were very excited. However, the Epic ship is in generally poor condition. This ship was advertised as a newer state of the art luxury ship. The Bliss Lounge, Speigel Tent and Epic Theatre are in dire need of repairs. Chair upholstery was thread-bare, paint was chipped everywhere and general upkeep is desperately needed. The ongoing construction on board was a nuisance. The front of the boat is dented badly and it’s an all around case of neglect with rust spots visible everywhere. Carpeting was stained in areas throughout the ship- mainly in hallways and in our cabin. The halls smelled like sewage in certain spots and we quickly learned to hold our breath in those areas. Our family stateroom layout had the bunk beds located right above the main bed. The bunks were not high enough to avoid hitting your head when you sat up in the night. Guest services said they could not upgrade our room despite our willingness to pay for an upgrade. I can’t tell you how many times we knocked our heads. If you are a family traveling together, spend the extra money on a Disney Cruise or get 2 cabins. The popular shows were too crowded on the days at sea. Days in port we were busy seeing things. Our children were disappointed with the kids club activities and begged us to not leave them there again. I think they were expecting something similar to Disney Oceaneer’s Club. Due to a unforeseen circumstance, our ship skipped a port which was quite disappointing but to make it worse the Epic crew greatly mishandled the situation. It’s a tragedy when a person goes overboard by choice or by accident and my condolences go out to the family but over the loudspeaker, all passengers including my 2 young sons 6 and 8, were asked to look for the body at sea wearing pink pajamas. Because of these announcements being made multiple times to all passengers, the rest of my vacation was filled with answering my children’s questions about death, suicide, drowning and some other very dark topics. Their little noses were pressed against the glass looking for her. It was just so disturbing. I realize this last aspect won’t impact most people on future Epic cruises, but it was our experience. The situation could have been handled so much better and far more discreetly. To end on a positive note as nothing is ever all bad, the waitstaff and greeters in the Garden Cafe were very nice...Much better than the other restaurants where I wish gratuity was based on service level. Our cabin steward and housekeeping staff were kind as well. The breakfast was good, OSheehans was similar to Bennigan's which was fine by us and the embarkation and debarkation process was smooth. All that being said, I will most likely never cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This cruise was the first European cruise that my family did as well as the first cruise on which we took my 7y old son. While the cruise fulfilled all stated promises, it did not live up to our expectations from previously doing 2 ... Read More
This cruise was the first European cruise that my family did as well as the first cruise on which we took my 7y old son. While the cruise fulfilled all stated promises, it did not live up to our expectations from previously doing 2 Caribean cruises with Royal Caribbean. Pros: We elected the premium bev package as one of our perks. Very worth the tips price. You could get wine, beer, and liquor virtually everywhere on the boat, including specialty restaurants. The boat made it to all ports as scheduled. The cabin we had was small but fine for the three of us and actually in pretty good shape. The boat was also very quiet at night; I slept well. The entertainment on the ship was better than we had previously experienced. We went to the Howl at the Moon, the "Beatles" performance, and the Burn the Floor show. All were good, and we enjoyed them. My son also enjoyed the kid's room and went there three-four times over the cruise. A nice break for my husband and I. My son really loved the whole experience. Con: The ship itself was beat. It really needs a renovation to update carpets, paint, etc. It was not terrible, but not as nice as other ships we have been on. Information was shared very sparingly across the boat, e.g., dinner menus were only posted at the main dining rooms after lunch on that day, they were not available via room tv systems or wall kiosks across the boat or the previous day, which would have been nice for planning when you wanted to go to specialty restaurants. The food in the main dining area was very low quality for what i was expecting. I would compare it to the quality I would expect to get at TGI Friday's or Outback Steakhouse (if you like this, then you'll be set! *sorry*). The buffet was really not good at all. The food in the specialty restaurants (We did the brazilian steakhouse and teppanyaki, which was my favorite) was very good. If I were to go back (which I would not), I would elect to use the specialty dining credit since that is the only food I'd want to have again on the boat. The real reason that I would not go on this cruise again is that everything was so disorganized. They had some water problems two nights in a row on the boat and shut off our cabin water, they moved one of my excursions around and told me only 1 day ahead, they returned my laundry a day late and wanted to charge me a really high price for this. We complained about many of these things, and the customer service folks did their best to help us out; but I did not really want to be dealing with this stuff on my vacation. Also, the pools on this boat are TINY. If I were to relive this experience, I would more aggressively compare this cruise with other cruise line pricing to see what the true price point of this type of itinerary is. I thought that I was purchasing a mid level cruise for this price, and I think that I probably got a low to mid cruise experience. I would consider changing my plans around more for the cruise itself and probably spend more money overall to have a better experience. Also, this itinerary was a great introduction to Italy, France, and Spain. However, when you go to these places, the sights that you want to see are not that close to port cities, so be prepared to take trains or taxis to your sights. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarkation was fairly swift, but lacked information for passengers who had not used NCL before. The Epic is getting tired and jaded and there was a general feeling of cutbacks being made. In addition, it cannot cope with the volume of ... Read More
Embarkation was fairly swift, but lacked information for passengers who had not used NCL before. The Epic is getting tired and jaded and there was a general feeling of cutbacks being made. In addition, it cannot cope with the volume of passengers, especially on sea days. The pool for very small children was closed on several occasions and there was a definite question with regard to hygiene standards in all the the pools Entertainment was the same old, same old. Taste restaurant was of good standard, both in quality of food and service. Staff at Guest Services need to go back to the drawing board with their customer care training, they were very unimpressive in attitude and knowledge. The cabin layout makes for a feeling of being cramped, especially with young children although we booked more than one cabin. This was not our first trip on the Epic, but it will be our last. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this ship for the ports of call and because we have sailed twice before on Norwegian, including one other time in the Haven. We will continue to sail with Norwegian, and we would certainly sail on the Epic again. 1) Crew - ... Read More
We chose this ship for the ports of call and because we have sailed twice before on Norwegian, including one other time in the Haven. We will continue to sail with Norwegian, and we would certainly sail on the Epic again. 1) Crew - OUTSTANDING. Omar and David, our concierges in the Haven. Great help when needed and always a friendly word when passing by. Next, our cabin steward, every waiter/waitress and bartender that we met. Reading the other negative reviews, I wonder how the guests behaved towards the staff. These hardworking and gracious people deserve respect and thanks. I have not seen a more hard working or dedicated team. 2) Entertainment - WOW. We are not a dance family, but the Burn the Floor show as amazing. They combined a wide range of dance and music that held our family (18, 21, 51, 53) attention for the entire show. The Howl at the Moon dueling piano had us every night they played. Katie, Steven, and Kevin were fantastic. High energy, engaging, talented, and simply a blast to hang out with. 3) Food - Good to great. Le Bistro and Cuccina were our favorites. We enjoyed Cagney's but were not blown away. The dining experience in the Haven was equally strong to the specialty restaurants. We had some wings and chips at O'Sheehans that were very good. We sampled the buffet and I would say that it meets expectations but we were not dazzled nor did we expect to be. The big surprise was the excellent meal we had in the Manhattan dining room. Superb service and really strong menu and food. Only made it there once, but would have gladly gone again. 4) Ports - Come on,Italy, Spain and France! If you do not enjoy these places, there is something wrong. Pro-tip, avoid booking tour buses everyday. Made this mistake and had to rearrange near the end as family was going to mutiny! In summary, we had an amazing vacation, created lasting memories and look forward to future adventures on Norwegian. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I arrived in Barcelona with our two adult children and met up with six other family members two nights prior to our cruise. We stayed at Hotel Sixtytwo, which is centrally located and makes it possible to walk to many of the ... Read More
My husband and I arrived in Barcelona with our two adult children and met up with six other family members two nights prior to our cruise. We stayed at Hotel Sixtytwo, which is centrally located and makes it possible to walk to many of the sights. We had a family room with two bedrooms & two baths. While there, we visited La Pedrera and took a half-day tour of the city that included Sagrada Familia, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, and the Gothic and Jewish quarters just to name a few. There is so much to see in Barcelona, and we plan to return for a longer visit. Embarkation Day: We used Ziptransfers to transport us from the hotel to port. The driver was on time and skillfully dodged traffic to get us there as quickly as possible. We arrived around 11:30 am. At the port, we handed our luggage to the porter and waited in line to enter the cruise terminal. Although the line was already quite long, it moved fairly well. After going through security and having our carry on scanned, we once again lined up to check-in and have our key cards issued. We weren't overly impressed with staff there. They all seemed miserable; no one smiled or wished us a pleasant cruise. One man directing the passengers kept yelling "hurry up"; not very hospitable at all. It wasn't until we were on the ship that we saw smiling faces and were welcomed aboard. We've taken more than a dozen cruises, mostly with Royal Caribbean, one with Carnival, and this was the third for me with NCL. Having read all the reviews on the Epic, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect but kept an open mind. We had the "Free At Sea" promotion and chose the beverage package, specialty dining package and 250 minutes of Wifi. We first headed to the Garden Cafe to grab some lunch since our cabins weren't scheduled to be ready until 2 pm. We couldn't help but smile at the attendant with spray bottle of hand sanitizer "Washy, washy; Happy, happy!" The ten of us managed to find tables together and squished our carry ons between us. The food at the buffet was okay, about average compared with other cruises we've taken. After an announcement that the cabins were ready, we departed the Garden Cafe and made our way to our respective rooms. Our steward brought our luggage ten minutes after we arrived. The odd design of the balcony cabin was no surprise to us. We made it work but would much rather have had a separate bathroom than having the shower on one side and the toilet on the opposite side of the cabin entrance with frosted glass sliding doors and the sink basically at the foot of the bed. The sink was so small that when you washed your hands, they almost touched the bottom of it. It reminded me a little of the spit sink in the dentist office. You could actually sit on the bed while brushing your teeth. My husband and I are both tall, and our feet hung over the edge of the mattress, but the bed itself was comfortable. There was plenty of closet space, drawers, and storage for everything. The empty luggage fit under the bed easily. I can't imagine three people sharing this space. Sleeping on the odd-shaped sofa would be difficult. The lighting was terrible, especially for putting on makeup. Our adult children shared an inside cabin, which was similar to inside cabins on other ships with the exception of the odd bathroom design. Once unpacked, we met up with the others in our group. I was in charge of making the dinner reservations and did my best to arrange them prior to the cruise, which was an exercise in futility. We ended up with 9 pm reservations, and I was informed by NCL that only 30% of the reservations are available pre-cruise and that I wouldn't have a problem getting earlier ones as long as I did it as soon as I got onboard. I went to Headliners where representatives from the various restaurants and shows took reservations and was lucky that there was no line. I managed to secure space at both the specialty and complimentary dining rooms at the times I requested as well as to reserve the Burn the Floor show. We spent a bit of time orienting ourselves and exploring the ship before our dinner reservation at La Cucina. The ten of us arrived and were seated right away. We enjoyed our meals and celebrated Mother's Day and the start to our cruise. The service was excellent, and the food was pretty good overall. After dinner, we saw the Beatlemania show at the Epic Theatre. The band did a great job imitating the Beatles. We all had a wonderful time and found ourselves singing along with many of the songs. The first night we experienced a storm, which made the ship rock quite a bit. I'm an experienced cruiser, and this was the first time I felt extremely ill from the motion. The next day was a full day at sea, and even though the weather was a bit better, I still felt lousy. I ended up buying some Seabands in the gift shop which helped. Needless to say, I didn't enjoy the day. Thankfully, everyone else in my group was unaffected. We had dinner at the Manhattan dining room that evening. The food was better than expected and the atmosphere was pleasant. Service was very good and we didn't have to wait long to get our meals. That night we saw "Burn the Floor." A very creative and lively dance performance that we all enjoyed. Naples: We arrived on time and getting off the ship and onto the pier was fast and easy. The pier itself was crowded with tour operators both looking to sell excursions as well as tour guides holding signs for pre-arranged private tours. We had pre-booked the Pompeii, Sorrento & Amalfi Coast tour with ItalyTours.eu and located our guide within minutes. Our first stop was Pompeii where we met the guide who would take us into the open-air museum. She was knowledgeable and easy to understand. The place is massive, and we could only see a small portion of it in the time allotted. Our guide said it would easily take eight hours to see the entire thing. We did enjoy the bit that we saw and having the guide helped us to understand and appreciate what we were seeing. After Pompeii, we drove to Sorrento and had lunch at O'Schizzariello as suggested by our tour guide. She even spoke with the manager and asked for quick service so we wouldn't use up all of our time at the restaurant. They accommodated her request and our meals were amazing with fresh pastas all made in house. We were finished with enough time to walk around the town, get gelato, and enjoy the sights. The tour continued on with a drive along the Amalfi coast. The views were breathtakingly beautiful, and we stopped along the way for pictures. We returned to the port in plenty of time and never worried about missing our departure time. That night we dined at the Taste dining room. We appreciated the more casual atmosphere and the service was very good. The menu was basically the same as in the Manhattan dining room, but there was plenty of variety to choose from. After dinner we chose to sit in one of the lounges to talk about our day over a drink or two before retiring. Our only complaint is that it is almost impossible to find a quiet area to sit and have a conversation. Music in most bars is quite loud, which we found annoying. Civitavecchia: There was mass confusion because the ship wasn't allowed to dock at its usual spot near the terminal building and ended up at a cargo dock. We had pre-booked the Rome & Vatican excursion with ItalyTours.eu, and although NCL arranged free shuttles to the terminal building, it was cutting it close to the time we were to meet our driver. I called to notify them of the change of docking location and was informed that our driver would come to us. This mix up caused a traffic nightmare that forced our driver to park some distance away and walk in to get us. Our tour started late, but we managed to get it to the Colesseum in time for those who had tickets to go inside. Having been there before, we opted to walk around the grounds while we waited. Unfortunately, the weather was cool and wet, but our driver did his best to see that we were comfortable and provided us with commentary as we drove around the narrow streets and back roads of Rome. We stopped at St. Ignatius Church, Trevi Fountain and drove by the Spanish Steps. We had a quick pizza lunch before heading to Vatican City and meeting our tour guide who was to take us through the museum, Sistine Chapel and to St. Peter's Basilica. Despite being early in the touring season, the crowds here were unbelievable. Add a wet, miserable day into the mix and the wow factor steadily decreases. Regardless, we got through the day without losing our cool. The joys of travel! That night we split our group. The guys went to Cagney's and us girls went to Teppanyaki. We enjoyed watching the dinner "show" at Teppanyaki, and the food was much better than expected. After dinner, the girls saw the Queens of Rhythm perform at Headliners. They put on quite a show! When I later caught up with my husband, he said that he and the others were quite pleased with their meals at Cagney's. Livorno: We arranged a tour of Florence & Pisa with ItalyTours.eu. Our driver was waiting for us in the cruise terminal and we were on our way within minutes. The first stop was Pisa. We were the first ones to arrive there and were fortunate enough to get tickets to go up into the leaning tower. We even got to stay in the bell tower while the bells rung. It was quite an experience! Another benefit of being there early is having the ability to take pictures without crowds of people in them. Our tour continued in Florence where we met our guide. She took us on a walking tour that was both interesting and informative. We enjoyed learning about the history of Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, and seeing the Piazza Della Signoria and the replica of the statue of David where the original once stood. Our guide also took us around the Duomo & Cathedral. When the tour finished, our driver returned us to the ship with plenty of time to spare. That evening's dinner was at Taste and was a bit disappointing. The steak was almost inedible, but after ordering something else, the meal came quickly and made up for it in taste and quality of service. Cannes: This was the only port where tendering was necessary. We had pre-arranged a tour of Cannes, Antibes and St. Paul de Vence with Liven Up through Viator, so I reserved our spots on the tender a few days in advance to ensure we would get to the shore in time for our excursion. The half-day tour consisted of a quick drive around Cannes before heading to Antibes, a quaint little town with a lovely market. Our final destination was St. Paul de Vence, a medieval walled town with ramparts and stone buildings featuring narrow pathways. It was like going back in time. We thoroughly enjoyed this historic place. After the tour, we spent time wandering around Cannes until it was time to catch the tender back to the ship. Dinner that evening was the Manhattan dining room, which we enjoyed. Palma de Mallorca: We had no excursion booked at this port. I arranged for us to take the NCL shuttle into the town at a cost of $15 per person US return. Although the buses were running on a constant loop, we waited for quite some time. The town is an approximate 30-minute walk, and had I known that, I wouldn't have bothered paying for the shuttle. We wandered around Palma, enjoying the views and ended up walking back which was pleasant. Our last dinner onboard was at Le Bistro. It was amazing in every way; the atmosphere, the service and the food. I would highly recommend it. That night we packed our luggage and placed it outside our cabin for pick up. The next morning, we had to be out of our rooms by 7:30 am. We had a nice breakfast at Taste before slowly making our way off the ship. Our transportation to the airport was once again with ZipTransfers but wasn't scheduled until 10:45. We waited inside the terminal building before being told we had leave by the staff. Luckily, the weather was nice and waiting outside wasn't an issue, and we managed to contact ZipTransfers to arrange a slightly earlier pick up. Other Info: We didn't partake in any activities onboard since we were always out and about with excursions, but I did use the gym and the outdoor track. Although well equipped, the gym was stiflingly hot and cut my workout short. I opted for a run on the outdoor track, which is a small loop on one side of the ship with the view blocked by the life boats. It was okay, but nothing like the top deck jogging tracks on other ships. We took a walk on the pool deck our first day onboard but didn't sit out there at all during our cruise since the weather was too cool. The pools themselves seemed rather small for the enormous size of the ship. The Wifi worked best in the common areas of the ship and hit and miss while in the cabin. My daughter is a vegetarian and found that most dinner options for her consisted of pastas with some type of vegetables. Le Bistro offered a tasty vegetable dish in a puff pastry, which was a nice change from the dinners she had eaten all week. We found the ship to be rather dark and closed in compared to other ships we've been on. There is a small open area mid ship, but it's not enough to even be noticeable. The casino is located on deck 6 mid ship and the open area carries the sound from it up to the higher decks. We didn't appreciate having to go through the casino to get to the restaurants on that deck either. Summing it Up: Overall, we had a great trip. Everyone in our group was of the same opinion. We chose the Epic because of the itinerary, which was fantastic. The ship was clean, the service and crew onboard were great. The food was good, with the exception of the steak dinner at Taste one evening, and the meals were always hot. The coffee wasn't all that good unless you paid extra for a cappuccino or espresso, and we found the beverage package that covered drinks up to a cost of $15 adequate for our needs. We would likely cruise with NCL again at some point but not on the Epic. It's size and odd design just didn't do it for us. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have tried many cruise lines before and thought we would give Norwegian a try!! It was worse decision! We came away very disappointed and sad that we traveled at greatt cost only to have bad experience. We have always really enjoyed our ... Read More
We have tried many cruise lines before and thought we would give Norwegian a try!! It was worse decision! We came away very disappointed and sad that we traveled at greatt cost only to have bad experience. We have always really enjoyed our cruises and this was cruise number 18 for me and never have I come across issues like this cruise line. First of all the ship had very little entertainment other than what you had ton pay for to see! when they did have free entertainment it was in such small area only about 100 guest out of 4000 could get in to see it. Nightly shows in theatre that was free was repeated same show up to 3 nights to let all on ship seeing the show. So that meant no show for ones who already seen it so that was disappointing. Main dinning was only offered for evenings and not the 3 meals a day. Buffet was awful same food everyday other than 1-2 items. Not even close to what’s offered on Royal, Princess, Celeberty or Carnival. Staff in buffet area was awful no service at all. If we asked for drink they would point out where to get it ourselves. We were not use to this from our other cruise experiences. Even with the highest drink packages we were told we are not allow serve you can pop or squeeze orange juices it’s not included in the package yet when we got the package we were told everything was covered up to drinks 15.00 each. I don’t think can Soda or glass juice is over 15.00. Daily Activities were limited on board not much at all. Maybe 30 minute game rest was trying sale you something. The final end to our worse cruise experience ever was I bought jewelry from on board shop only to come back to our room from off the ship and find it missing. We were treated terrible they made us feel like we were trying rip them off. They told us they would have to search our room make sure it wasn’t there. I told them it wasn’t there before contacted them I had search everywhere. They said they had to it’s policy so I said ok thinking they were looking like on floor, dresser things like that. NO! They ripped our room apart leaving no privacy at all. Even pulled empty suitcases from under our beds checked inside. I think They actually thought i said it was missing to rip them off. I told them if I was going pretend something got stolen I would gotten nice diamond ring not cheap 300 dollar jewelry. Three of them in uniform invated our privacy over 289 value missing item while telling us we must misplaced it because their staff checks all garbage so it couldn’t be in garbage by mistake and their staff would never take it. So at that point I ordered them out of my room as they were now insulting me by as good as telling me I am lying if the room attendant didn’t take it then we were only others that could have it. Unbelievable treatment to first time customers looking to check out their cruise lines. It was a family cruise and all three rooms booked all said they would never return. We have done many cruises and never claimed missing item before so it really insulted me to have them make us feel like we were scamming them. End result they told us put claim in with insurance so we never did get our missing jewelry back after missing day of our vacation dealing with it. Final day getting off the ship was nightmare took over an hour and 1/2 in lineups getting off ship. It was experience we never want have again. Lesson learn, if it looks like good deal there’s reason for it. If they are posting specials get new customers what’s the point if treated like this. I was not the only disappointed guest I heard many complaints from other guest over the two weeks. I would advise looking else where when picking cruise line if you want to have fantastic vacation. We made the best of it since we were on vacation but very disappointed over the quality of service we received on Board. In closing I have to add my positive. The evening main dinning The server there was awesome and the photo gallery was awesome. 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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