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5 Norwegian (NCL) Marseille Cruise Reviews

Took my family of four ( two girls ages 18 and 19) on a seven day cruise, leaving from Marseilles. The Epic is certainly a beautiful and impressive ship...but I digress. Arrived at the Marseilles airport after a week in Paris. Just a ... Read More
Took my family of four ( two girls ages 18 and 19) on a seven day cruise, leaving from Marseilles. The Epic is certainly a beautiful and impressive ship...but I digress. Arrived at the Marseilles airport after a week in Paris. Just a twenty minute taxi ride to the port, and the ride was only about 42 Euro - not the 240 dollars that the cruise line would charge us for a transfer. It was very easy to board the ship, and the staff there was excellent. We found the rooms on the ship to be a bit larger than we expected, beautifully appointed, and very comfortable. The bathroom/sink/shower arrangement is different than on other ships, but was quite logical and easy to use. All four of us found that making our way on the ship from point A to point B was sometimes a chore, and that there were long, narrow corridors to navigate everywhere we went. Quite a long walk to the fitness center, spa, and other areas. It was also interesting to note that, despite the open area surrounding the casino and decks five, six and seven, the ship seemed to lack the openness of the R.C. Allure of the Seas and others. The open areas continually smelled from cigarette smoke, due to being contiguous with the caisno - an aspect of the ship that was quite negative. During our cruise we ate in the two dining rooms as well as the Garden Cafe. The opinion of my family was that the food was, at best, mediocre. Main dishes were usually dry and overcooked ( steak and chicken). The food in the Garden Cafe was ok, no better, and getting a seat at breakfast time was an impossible task. The ship is packed with staterooms up to the fourteenth floor, and the crowds can be somewhat maddening. Four Thousand guests is a bit too much. The staff in the restaurants was courteous and friendly. We did eat one evening in the Italian restaurant, and the food was superb. I find it a bit upsetting to know that, after I have paid for a cruise, I would have to spend another sixty to 120 dollars per dinner to get fine food - better than the dining room - when the food on Celebrity and R.C. was really much better. The entertainment on the ship was truly fantastic. The best show at sea that my family has ever seen was the Cirque production - truly great. The dinner there was mediocre, but the show was great. The same goes for the dueling piano bar - really great. We missed our reservation for the Blue Man Group twice due to one of my daughters getting sick, but heard that it was excellent as well. There was a marvelous guitarist sitting each night by one of the bars, and the jazz club was very fine. The idea of people embarking and disembarking at all ports along the way is interesting. We thought that it detracted from getting to know other passengers and sharing the cruise with them. It definitely has a different feel than when everyone gets on and off the ship at the same time. My daughters met some other college-aged girls to hang out with, but since they got on after us, and we left before them, it left very little time for them to spend together. While we did not use the spa, it looked excellent. The gym was top notch, and we used it on four separate occasions. On our day at sea the decks were swamped with people, and upon returning from our port days the decks were crowded and the music loud and sometimes objectionable. It is a very crowded ship. The ports are all wonderful places to tour. While we did the bike ride in Mallorca ( which was great), we did not use the other of the ship's tours - they were prohibitively expensive - really quite ridiculous. When we went to the tour desk to try and get information about the ports they were not at all helpful. The staff knew nothing, and would only try to sell us NCL tours. Went to Capri on a ferry and saw the grottos and Annacapri - fun. Toured Barcelona on our own by first taking a taxi to the Parc Guell, then to the Sagrada Familia, and then toured the old Gothic district - skip Las Ramblas, it is truly a waste of time. The ship's transfers to Rome and Florence were superior to what some others did on their own - the buses took us directly there, while other passengers we spoke with had issues with travel on the Italian trains. We toured on our own in both cities, which are incredible places, of course. You can arrange tickets to the various museums in advance so that you just go to the will-call window at the museum to start your tours. Remember not to wear shorts if you want to tour the churches. In all, we had a very fine cruise. I will say, though, that we will most likely not use Norwegian in the future. The ship's objectives seem to be to have the passengers use the cover charge restaurants, buy the NCL tours, and push liquor - all high margin items. This ship in particular had very average to poor food,was too crowded, and too smokey. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
There were three of us on the cruise; myself, wife and 4 year old daughter. We boarded at Marseilles and there were very few people getting on. Check in was quick and easy (only 20-30 people getting on when we were there). Likewise, ... Read More
There were three of us on the cruise; myself, wife and 4 year old daughter. We boarded at Marseilles and there were very few people getting on. Check in was quick and easy (only 20-30 people getting on when we were there). Likewise, disembarking was easy due to limited number of people leaving. We had a mini suite on deck 8 and it was nice. This was our first time on Norwegian and thus our first time on the Epic. Storage!!! Cupboard/shelves everywhere! The bathroom was kind of weird. As you walk in, the toilet was on the left, the shower on the right, and the enclosure was a translucent white. The balcony was very nice. deeper than we have experienced before though not as wide. I think I preferred this one since it was easier to arrange when two people were on the balcony. We used many of the specialty restaurants which were nice but there are upcharges for everything. $20 per person just to go into the Ice Bar (even for my 4 year old daughter) which sucked. Rude service in the Moderno (sp?). Great service in the sushi restaurant (they made whatever my daughter wanted; very kid friendly and great attitude) Ship had lots to do. My daughter loved the pool, slides, and splash area. Kids club was outstanding. So good my daughter didn't want to leave and the staff was great. Selection of bars was outstanding as was the choice of food (paid and otherwise). Overall we had a good time (hard not to on a cruise right?) but sadly I don't think we will cruise Norwegian again. Good time yes, but way too many problems and poor service. The price paid for what we got wasn't worth it. Where to start? Internet. I booked internet and of course it didn't work. Stand in line forever at guest service. get to front and am told I have to go see the internet manager. Another line with 30 people because noone else's works either. Turns out they have a single point of failure for the entire ship; the internet manager. He is only available at certain hours and was mobbed. Day 1, internet not fixed. Day 2, still not fixed (waited in line again). Said something was sent to my room (it wasn't). Finally got it fixed and it was really bad. Slow, disconnected alot. Waste of money. We really only needed it to stay in contact due to a family issue and it barely met that requirement (I paid for it though so it should have worked). Stopped working again on Day 4. Internet manager line again. Very frustrating. Spa: Booked my wife a massage before we left. We received the letter in the cabin the day before confirming time and everything. She goes up there and they say they double booked. She is out of luck and she cannot have her money back (Guess they haven't heard of a stop payment on a credit card...but I digress). Finally able to get her in at a convenient time but it was another screwup. Massage was good though. Our room wasn't made up the first day. We asked the room steward and she said she wasn't feeling well....I empathize but get another person then! First stop at Barcelona I go down and ask guest services if there is a euro ATM on the boat. No, but go up to the casino and get dollars from the ATM and we will switch it for you. OK, no problem. I go get money, come back down and ask to switch it and I am informed they cannot switch it for me until 2 pm...It's 0930 and that doesn't exactly help me (not to mention I just used my withdrawal limit for the day on that debit card). I asked to speak to a supervisor and was refused. I gave them some choice words... The whole cruise followed this pattern. I don't want to make the impression that we had a bad time because we didn't. The boat had lots to do, was clean, and we had an all you can drink package which tends to make most problems go away... The stops were good and they were pretty organized getting people on and off. The point is we had far less hassle on other cruise lines and when we did have the occasional problem on the other lines it was taken care of. The price was definitely not worth it either. Glad we tried out the Epic and the cruise line but there is little chance we will go back. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The good: Great, comfortable, roomy cabin. Destinations and times in each port. Service at reception was good. The bad: The ship was way too crowded. Most people had no manners and would not respect waiting in the line to ... Read More
The good: Great, comfortable, roomy cabin. Destinations and times in each port. Service at reception was good. The bad: The ship was way too crowded. Most people had no manners and would not respect waiting in the line to get food (example the Garden Cafe). I would have expected a little bit more class from people. Good luck using the elevators. You are better off getting a work out and taking those stairs. The food was average. Nothing special. If you did not want to dine at the buffet place, the restaurants had a limited menu (very poor options) and all free restaurants had the same menu. Service was mainly poor. I think the way staff gets paid needs to probably be adjusted so at least workers can have a smile on their face (even if it is fake). Entertainment was very poor. The way they advertise the ship, seems like there is so much to do on the ship compared to reality. We were happy to get off the ship every day. Evenings were kind of dull as there wasn't much going on. Even when there was a good show, you had to pay for it. As if we did not pay enough money for the cruise and the daily charges. Some of the shore excursions are unreasonably expensive. Come on people! Enough of stealing money from people. Currency on the ship was US $ only. Good luck trying to exchange money. You'll go bankrupt. The rate is ridiculous. Internet- don't even bother using it. It's extremely slow and once again another way to steam money from you. I almost forgot to comment about the pool! Lots of space for sun beds but not even a nice large pool for the 4000 people on the boat. Good luck again during the "At Sea" day. You'll be lucky if you find a sun bed. You might have to set up the alarm clock and go reserve a sun bed by putting your towel on it at 5 am in the morning. Forget about getting close to the tiny pool areas. Conclusion: Never doing a Norwegian cruise again! So not worth it for the amount of money you pay. You will be treated like a king/queen elsewhere with the amount of money you spend on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I have taken about 15 cruises in my life and this was my first with NCL. The ship itself is very nice. Tons of dining, bar and seating options throughout. The rooms were small as to be expected but it was nice to have a separate area for ... Read More
I have taken about 15 cruises in my life and this was my first with NCL. The ship itself is very nice. Tons of dining, bar and seating options throughout. The rooms were small as to be expected but it was nice to have a separate area for the shower and another for the toilet and a 3rd for the sink. Plenty of nooks and cranny's to put your belongings in as well. (Tip, choose a room in the middle of the ship as it will lesson noise when parallel parking the ship each morning). My 2 big concerns with the ship were 1) the pools were tiny, all 3 of them. 2) NCL charges for almost everything and its not cheap. The cheapest rum drink I had all week was $10 after 18% tip. They have a daily drink special for $8 plus tip as well. The cheapest bingo package was $50 for 3 games. Ridiculous! Room service food was free but there was a $7.95 delivery charge, What the Heck! Next was the service. We all felt like the staff didn't really care about the cruisers. Only 1 or 2 were very friendly. The rest seemed to be indifferent. I never felt that way on Carnival or RCCL. You would wait at the bar for a drink and never be acknowledged. The pool servers were few and far between. They rarely cleaned up food plates and the like that were left out. I dont think I will be traveling on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We are a family of 3,husband,13 year old daughter and myself.We have previously only sailed RCCL,twice on Freedom,3 times Oasis and once on Allure( all in Caribbean).We loved all or RCCL cruises but decided to try NCL for a change. We ... Read More
We are a family of 3,husband,13 year old daughter and myself.We have previously only sailed RCCL,twice on Freedom,3 times Oasis and once on Allure( all in Caribbean).We loved all or RCCL cruises but decided to try NCL for a change. We also needed a European cruise as my husband has had a knee replacement so needed a short haul flight. Embarkation at Rome was a breeze,straight from the airport and we were onboard within half an hour of embarkation...our cabin was also ready at 1pm so we were able to go and see our cabin,a mini suite,which is basically a slightly larger outside balcony cabin. We had already read about the bathroom situation with frosted glass...it didn't bother us..in fact the fact that someone can use the toilet and someone else have a shower was great.However,the water temperature of our shower throughout the cruise was just about warm... never showered so quickly as desperate to get out of it! Our lovely cabin steward,Victoria ,did get a plumber to look at it but to be honest it made little difference. The cabin itself was a decent size with tonnes of storage...much more than on RCCL ships...however the strange curved design was problematic ...our round bed meant your feet hung iver the edge...I am only 5 ft 7 so goodness knows how a tall person gets on.! Also our daughter was to sleep on the sette,which was converted into a bed each night. Due to the curved design,the bed was a half moon shape which my daughter had to curve her body around...she fell out of bed twice! The settee on RCCL converts into a double bed to give more space. We then went up onto the pool deck ....far inferior in our opinion to any other ships we have been on...just didn't have the WOW Factor..the sun beds were very cramped,definitely wasn't enough of them,the adults only part was dreadful....cramped,noisy,children supposedly banned but this was not enforced,as we saw some young girls aged around 12/13 in there...small pool..nothing like The Solarium on The Oasis of the seas..which is a haven for adults and luxurious. The service at the main pool bar was dreadful,you could wait ages...they ignored my daughter repeatedly,they are clearly understaffed and some of the of virtually treat you as an inconvenience ...when we were on the top deck I would tip a waiter a few euros and get our drinks served to us .On our only pool day we got our sun beds by 10am,,people looking for them after 11 am had no chance....not enough for people on board. The first night we went into Taste,one of the main dining rooms...what a shock,miserable waiter,no one took our drinks order ...average food....the following nights we went to Manhattan...much better experience here...service was very good,atmosphere much better with live music and dress code strictly enforced which I believe is correct in a nice dining area.The food was average,sometimes good...desserts were very average...small portions,often cold main meals...RCCL definitely has it in the main dining room. We did dine one night in the Chinese restaurant,included in complementary restaurants....this was very good,hot food,great service with a smile..slightly cramped restaurant. Entertaininment was excellent...loved The Beatles...saw them 3 times,Cavern Club was superb and waiter service from the waiters excellent...also excellent bar service in Shakers bar...drinks were of good quality,better wine choices than RCCL. The ports of call were excellent...did our own excursions and save a fortune,except for Sorrento which we did through ship as it was a distance from Naples and I was worried about missing ship! Overall we had a great holiday,mainly due to the ports of call we visited...in our opinion NCL lacks the professionalism that we have found on RCCL cruises...we missed the central buzz of the Royal Promenade on RCCL ships.everything was spread around with no focal point. The staff are mixed in their service...some excellent some are downright awful....at the end of the day this was cheaper than an RCCL cruise and you get what you pay for...perhaps we are too set in our ways as loyal to Royal cruisers,and I wouldn't say I would never sail NCL again,but definitely not on this ship... Booked Symphony of the seas with RCCL for next summer....can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
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