5 Norwegian Epic Cruise Reviews for Group and Theme Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean from Rome (Civitavecchia)

1. Nickel And Dimed: I felt like everything was extra money after I paid for my cruise. - The app to message people around the ship was $10. - Most of the restaurants you had to pay for ($40-$50/person) - The best entertainment ... Read More
1. Nickel And Dimed: I felt like everything was extra money after I paid for my cruise. - The app to message people around the ship was $10. - Most of the restaurants you had to pay for ($40-$50/person) - The best entertainment you had to pay for. - All drinks except water you had to pay for. (other ships I have sailed with let you get a soda or lemonade or something similar with your dinner.) 2. Daily Disembarking - it was difficult to know what time we could begin disembarking each day. We knew when we arrived at the port, but not when we could disembark. And each day it was in a different location on the ship. It would have been helpful to have listed that on the daily newsletter, in the app, and with signs throughout the ship. 3. Laundry - I really wish they had washing machines we could use on the ship! That is a big deal for me when I choose who to sail with. I did find out that we could do a bulk laundry service near the end of our time on board (which I was NOT able to learn through ANY of the NCL information, I learned about it through Cruise Critic). I did use the service while sailing, and it was a good service. We sailed Wednesday to Wednesday. We had to put the laundry out by Friday morning and it was returned Sunday/Monday (2 of our cabins received it Monday, 3 of our cabins received it on Monday.) The bulk service is a discount from their high prices - everything you can fit in the bag for $20. The bag is just smaller than a regular pillowcase, but it is a flat paper bag. I used a suggestion I found on Cruise critic, where I brought with me a large garbage sack, put all of my clothes in it and then slid the plastic bag into the paper bag. It helped because I was able to close the garbage sack with the draw string and then I didn't have to close the paper bag. It was slick! The laundry came back folded in a small basket waiting for us in our room. 4. The App was NOT worth the $10! All it did was allow us to text one another. They didn't use it to push information to us! This app could have let us know about disembarking times and locations, when we need to be back on the ship, it could have showed me my excursion details and my dinner reservation locations and times. But it didn't. It wasn't interactive at all. If you have a large group and need to communicate, then I guess it's worth paying for, but other than letting you text, there is a static map of the ship and that's about it. 5. Dining - MAKE RESERVATIONS EVEN FOR THE MAIN DINING ROOMS! The main dining rooms get really busy, so if you want to eat at a certain time, make sure you make reservations for your party well in advance, otherwise you will wait in a huge line for a table to open up! I really didn't like the "Free Style" dining. On other cruises with set dining times, the waiters got to know our table, our habits, our drinks, our favorite appetizers, etc.. and had things ready and waiting when we arrived. With Free Style cruising, each dining experience had different waiters, so we didn't get the personal attention I've received on ALL of my other cruises! Additionally, since we were a party of 9, had I not known that I needed reservations, dinner would have been a nightmare! 6. Stateroom Layouts. I stayed in 8149. We were lucky we had odd numbered state rooms because that side of the ship was able to view most of the port coast lines! My party stayed in cabins 8149, 8155, 8157, 8159, 8161. The layouts for 8149, 8157, and 8161 were all the same. The toilets were next to the bed and the couch was on the far side of the room next to the balcony. The walkway was so tight that two people couldn't pass the bed without one of them either getting onto the bed or walking to the other end of the room. The layouts for 8155 and 8159 had the bed at the far end of the room and the wider space to move up front in front of the couch and by the bathrooms. It's a MUCH better layout!! The bathrooms don't have a door. The toilet and shower area are frost covered glass enclosed on either side of the door into the cabin. So if someone knocks on the door and you answer it while someone is using the toilet or showering, then there isn't much privacy. This area is separated from the main living area by a curtain. The sink was in front of my bed, so when I used the facilities during the night, it woke up others sleeping in the room. I've stayed in interior cabins before with more room! This "suite" was smaller than other rooms I've stayed in! (minus the balcony of course.) 7. Embarkation and Disembarkation were SUPER smooth. It was one of the easiest I've done (I've sailed 7 times.) Overall the ship was nice, the staff was wonderful, and the food was terrific. But I think I'd rather not sail with NCL again. If I did, the price would have to be a steal to get me to go through the headaches again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise because both of us really wanted to experience parts of Europe and this seemed like the best way to do this. We stayed in one of the Haven suites and I have to say we will never go back. The embarkation process was so ... Read More
We choose this cruise because both of us really wanted to experience parts of Europe and this seemed like the best way to do this. We stayed in one of the Haven suites and I have to say we will never go back. The embarkation process was so smoooth. There was a minimum of 1500 people in line to check in. We were whisked away from that line and brought to another line. We filled out 3 short questions, checked in and were on the ship within 20 minutes. We met our concierge before boarding and given a private tour of the Haven private areas. We sat and ate lunch, thinking that we would still be waiting in line if we did not have the Haven. The disembarkation process was the same as well, we took our bags to he concierge desk and taken down a private elevator and were off the boat within 20 minutes. The crew and the boat was fantastic, clean and nice. I highly recommend the Epic and the cruise in general. Everywhere we ate the food was fantastic, especially at teppanyaki our cook was really engaging and funny. We saw 4 shows, cirque, comedy magician, Beatles and rock n roll and all 4 were great and very entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because our cruise last year on the Norwegian Star was absolutely wonderful, so we thought we’d try NCL a second time. We brought our daughter and her boyfriend (1st time cruiser) with us this time. I read a number ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our cruise last year on the Norwegian Star was absolutely wonderful, so we thought we’d try NCL a second time. We brought our daughter and her boyfriend (1st time cruiser) with us this time. I read a number of bad reviews about the ship a month or two before our sail date and was hoping it wasn’t true (comments about the stateroom design, ugly ship, etc.). Well, although I did like the NCL Star better for the shows, the Epic was still wonderful. While other reviews didnt like the bathroom layout, we preferred the shower and toilet separate. The sink on the outside of the bathroom was fine, we had no issues with it being there, in fact I preferred it. You didn’t have to wait for the other person to come out of the shower if you needed to use the toilet. The service was excellent in all areas of the ship, and the food choices were endless. I like how the pub was open 24 hours. Buffet food isn’t always the best no matter where you are, but there were enough choices that there was no way anyone would be without something to eat. I preferred the shows on the Star but these shows were very good too. You had to reserve a date and time for some of the shows. The staff work very hard, morning till night and they really do want to ensure you’re enjoying your time on the ship. We didn’t book shore excursions through NCL, too expensive. Instead you can find the same excursions through the web or when you get off the ship. We had a great vacation and my daughter’s boyfriend had a fantastic time on his first cruise. He will sail again and so will we. A few tips, take the train from Rome to Civitachecchia, it’s cheaper and very efficient. You can catch it at a number of the stations in Rome. You then pay 2 euro for a bus shuttle to the port from the station right to your ship, We took a ferry from Naples to Sorrento, you can buy your tickets in advance or at the port. Be sure to take your proof of purchase to the ticket window going to and from Naples. Sometimes the printed reservation accepted, sometimes you have to go pick up your tickets. Book tours through Tuscany Bus rather than NCL when docked in Liverno, much more cost effective. Also, we stayed one night in Civitachecchia after the cruse but noticed that there are a lot of companies waiting to take passengers to Rome or the airport for only 20euto a person, most companies charge 150euro online for 4 passengers and luggage. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We picked this cruise because it offered a great itinerary for the price and because it offered activities to fit a variety of interests. We travelled as a group of twelve with ages ranging from 12, 16, 19, mid forties to mid fifties. ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it offered a great itinerary for the price and because it offered activities to fit a variety of interests. We travelled as a group of twelve with ages ranging from 12, 16, 19, mid forties to mid fifties. Overall this was a good cruise. This itinerary meant we spent a lot of time off the boat, but the meals and entertainment were decent. Staff were friendly and helpful. The food was below average from what we have had on HA and Celebrity. Drink selection was quite good, but having to pay for bottled water because it wasn't included in drink package was a real drawback for us. Many people commented on the layout of the room as being a negative because the toilet was separate from the shower and sink, but we found this to be convienient when getting ready. There are sliding doors for both areas, so you still have lots of privacy. The boat is huge. We really noticed the crowds on sea day. I would not enjoy this boat on a cruise where you spend a lot of time on the boat. We struggled to find sun chairs and there were long lines at the restaurants and bars. Entertainment was really good. Precilla and the Cirque show were awesome. We don't often attend the ship evening shows, because we find them pretty lame, but it was very entertaining. We booked our own transfers and excursions because the prices from the cruise lines are always much higher. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Let me start out first by saying that I'm a very seasoned cruiser. Nearly 100 days of traveling on various cruise lines on the high seas. Although this boat was rated as 1# for honeymooners, there's a catch and I will reveal the ... Read More
Let me start out first by saying that I'm a very seasoned cruiser. Nearly 100 days of traveling on various cruise lines on the high seas. Although this boat was rated as 1# for honeymooners, there's a catch and I will reveal the notes I've taken while cruising on my honeymoon. The boat looks amazing from the inside and outside. The decor is top notch and the ship is very clean, but that's really where it all ends. My wife and I are in our mid 40's and enjoy our down time as well as a night out dancing. We approached this cruise like any other. We purchased the drink package expecting to party it down with some drinks beside the pool and listen to some live music. Well, that isn't allowed on the Epic. 1) No drinks in our around the pool 2) The pool area is considered a quiet zone. (as stated to me by the DJ) 3) You have two VERY small pools (10x30) to choose from but can only hold about 25 guest before it's too crowded 4)Forget trying to get a drink. There's only 1 pool bar about 30 ft long with only 4 bartenders and you rarley seecocktails waitresses around the pool. 5) Get ready for extreme whistle blowing from the lifeguard. Every wrong move by any one of the 500 kids on board and he blow his whistle. We went out our first night to explore the ship. We wanted to dance to some current music and have a drink at the bar. 1) There are NO night clubs on the boat unless you're under 17 We then walked around and expected to find the Theater with stdium seating allowing a couple thousand cruisers to see broadway shows. 1) The theater does not exist We really enjoy dressing up on formal nights, seeing everyone in their best, taking pictures and meeting other guests at the dinner table. 1) There are no formal nights and only 2 backdrops for pictures. 2) No assigned seating and you must make reservations for dining or wait 45min for a table. We often inquired about locations on the boat or general facts about the boat 1) The staff seemed very short with most people and often cut you off before you're done. Maybe they've been asked teh same question a 1000 times but not by me. We decided to go see a show 1) Get ready to PAY for onboard shows. $35 - $100 2) Don't do the Cirque show, you can't see the enitire show unless you buy the $100 tickets. 3) We went to the dueling pianos and had an amazing time. THAT was our saving grace. We wanted to get off the boat in Florence but the local port authority charged $5 euro to take you to town. We went back on the boat to get Euro's but find that the boat only provided US dollars but you can reserve trasnportation with the boat to town for triple the cost ($16) or they will drop you off in Florance take you back to the boat for $100 per person. We didn't go into Florence :-( We then decided to purchase something from the on board store. 1) Although they only provide US dollars you pay 21% take in all their stores. Doing your own laundry 1) Does not exist, they do not have a laundry department but a pair of socks (no joke) is $3 We chose not to take an excursion 1)The cost of the excursions were 30% - 40% higher than I've ever seen on any boat. Would you like to stay out late one night? 1) 99% of the boat shuts down at midnight. If you don't like gambling or and irish bar, then go to bed. Don't order room service 1) You're charge $8 service charge for room service no matter what you order AND yo're charged 18% more for gratuity. YES, they charge you gratuity on the service charge. Do you prefer Coke over Pepsi? 1) Forget it Only Pepsi aboard Where's the midnight buffet? 1) Does not exist I could go on but you get the idea but you still ask, how could this be the 1# rated ship for honeymooners? It's the ports you visit NOT THE SHIP. My only advise would be to spend money on nice meals on the boat and spend even more money enjoying Europe off the boat. Don't purchase excursions from the ship, they are 75% less of the boat and you're very safe to travel in groups. We used the ship as an expensive place to sleep, walked off the boat only owing them $300 (We normally own $1000 - $1500). the ports are amazing and we really enjoyed ourselves. We hope this helps Brian and Michelle Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Norwegian Epic Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.7

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