71 Rome (Civitavecchia) Singles Cruise Reviews

looked a decent price for a solo, originally 20 nights it was reduced to 17 nights with a promised 25% reduction and a 25% off the next booking - problems with a refit lead to the reduced cruise nights the rearranged flights meant that ... Read More
looked a decent price for a solo, originally 20 nights it was reduced to 17 nights with a promised 25% reduction and a 25% off the next booking - problems with a refit lead to the reduced cruise nights the rearranged flights meant that ncl put me up in a hotel for one night at fumicino airport. I had to arrange my own transfers to be refunded later which was odd as I was greeted at the airport by an ncl person who informed me of a coach the following morning from rome airport to the port which would cost me 60$ - so either pay 60$ to ncl or arrange my own transfers of 105 euros which ncl said they will refund, makes no sense whatsoever embarkation took over 3 hours, the longest ever, arrived on board for the safety drill which was the longest drill ever covering everything form use handrails and don't forget to tie your shoe laces only to be repeated all again in Italian my cabin, apart from the first 3 days and nights being cold and uncomfortable was very good, a number of suite owners had no suite available for the first 10 days the ship had had a refit which was incomplete hence the delayed sailing date and loads of workmen on board and was not fit to sail there was a staff shortage - entertainments staff should have been 5 was 3 - a lot of staff were unable to sail because of previous close contact with china there were a lot of unhappy people on board but being English we made the best of things and apart from my cold initial cabin and statement being wrong and having to queue every 3 days to sort it which in fairness ncl did sort out I was relatively happy but others who had paid a lot of dosh for suites that were not available were not any sign of the captain or hotel manager apologising or explaining the difficulties er NO, senior staff were conspicuous by their absence, the poor front line desk staff had to take a lot of flak for something that wasn't their fault or responsibility - they were brilliant a pity the senior staff weren't I have had automated replies from ncl but no direct contact from them or my travel agent about the promised refunds which is disappointing especially from the travel agent as there were only 5 of us who had booked from that particular agent, just an e-mail to inform us of the refund situation but nothing in 2 weeks I could have made more of an issue about my cabin and the mistakes in my account charges but I did not as there were a lot of people with much more serious problems like wet carpets in their cabins, toilets that didn't work etc basically the ship was not ready to sail and ncl should have cancelled the cruise instead they went ahead and upset a lot of passengers - I sailed on the star in November and although there were not the same refit issues there was no organisation and again low profile captain and a lot of unhappy passengers, my previous 4 cruises with ncl were brilliant sad to say my last 2 with ncl were far from brilliant - NCL YOU HAVE LOST THE PLOT Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
After reading some reviews on this site i was apprehensive about the cruise, but soon realized, that people complaining about this cruise are crazy! My Solo Cabin was very comfortable, and had more space than i expected! The Solo ... Read More
After reading some reviews on this site i was apprehensive about the cruise, but soon realized, that people complaining about this cruise are crazy! My Solo Cabin was very comfortable, and had more space than i expected! The Solo Lounge is a great place to relax, and make new friends. It was always stocked with refreshments and basic breakfast food. I didn't think i would - but i loved every meal from the buffet at the Garden Cafe, and never had a problem with seating. I Loved the breakfast options at Taste and tried to have breakfast there often, but on excursion days i ate breakfast at O'Sheehan's and it was great too! My dining package covered meals at Moderno, Cagneys, Teppanyaki and La Cuchina. I enjoyed all my meals at these restaurants but the Brazilian food at Moderno was by far my favourite! Just too many options to choose from and I couldn't find enough time to try out all the other dining options on offer! The shows i enjoyed the most were Pricilla and Burn the floor! Each and every staff member i came in contact with was friendly and attentive! I had the time of my Life! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Back home just last week from my first Norwegian cruise aboard the Epic. I had an amazing holiday thanks to the lovely, friendly people that I met on board. Would I cruise again with the Epic though? Don’t think so. I’ll start by ... Read More
Back home just last week from my first Norwegian cruise aboard the Epic. I had an amazing holiday thanks to the lovely, friendly people that I met on board. Would I cruise again with the Epic though? Don’t think so. I’ll start by mentioning the positive points about the ship that made my trip enjoyable. The ship is clean, well maintained and the decor is sublime. Very hard working crew. Also, very friendly when they’re allowed to be. Some great entertainment. Friendly/fun atmosphere with guests of all ages (mostly Americans) Freedom with dining times and tables in the restaurants. If you’re a solo traveller, you will love the private solo lounge and the studio, as well as the solo gathering (meet-up). I got to meet some amazing people! Now, the negative points that will definitely stop me from booking another cruise with Norwegian: If you’re a foodie person like myself and enjoy fine dining, the Epic is not for you. The complimentary dinner restaurants like the Manhattan and Taste serve similar dishes and the menu is the same every day with only one or two changes if you’re lucky. The dishes are extremely poor quality/presentation - it’s basically similar to what you would get served in a Wetherspoons. I found that a lot of the food was too salty to eat. You’ll also notice that some dishes have lost their original flavour due to being defrosted and not prepared fresh. The buffet in the evening has better quality and variety but stays the same for the most part. You might be impressed the first and second day but after that you’ll be bored of eating the same thing over and over again. The drinks package is not worth it unless you just want to get drunk and don’t care about the options or quality of what you’re drinking. The wine, cocktails, soft drinks are all the cheap, non-branded stuff. If you want good wine you’ll have to pay extra. A fresh squeezed orange juice or even bottle of water costs extra too, which I thought was a joke. The crew seem to be under a lot of stress and sometimes it’s like they can’t breathe. I’m quite friendly and love chatting to people who work on board even for just a few seconds. I’m aware they have plenty to do but it just shows some appreciation and it can help to break up their day by even asking them how are they. The problem is they don’t seem to be allowed to make small talk with guests! I noticed crew members seemingly looking distracted a few times and it turned out that they were looking around in case their manager caught them talking to me. It really put me off that the crew are treated very poorly, especially compared with staff members who are separate and do seem to have a bit more freedom. It actually upset me when I asked a couple of staff members why they couldn’t talk and the suggestion was they were working under military rules and could get fired any minute. No wonder they hire a lot of people from developing countries! Managers on the cruise lied to me! I wanted to stay an extra 4 days on board as I had a swollen ankle and didn’t want to travel on it. I was given a price which I was happy with but then told the next day that no rooms were available. I tried to say that I didn’t mind which room I stayed in and that I’d be happy to pay extra money but the answer was still a no. Imagine my surprise then, when I saw on the website that rooms were available! I was truly disappointed and felt like I was chasing them to take my money. In the end, despite knowing I could actually book through their website and stay I decided to keep my money and endure the pain of a 5-6 hour journey home with my ankle still swollen. For me, those are the main points, although some more would be: Poor medical centre service when my ankle got swollen. The Internet doesn’t work at all so don’t even bother buying it. A lot of extreme loud alarms go off every single morning! Toilets not flushing seemed to be a common problem. If you order room service, bear in mind you’ll have to wait 1 hour even if it’s just for a bottle of water. The entertainment is good but was very repetitive. Entertainment at the atrium and pool was poor. Tiny, shallow swimming pools. The lady who works at the second Manhattan restaurant desk and looks for an available table for you was truly unhelpful and cheeky. Overall, if it wasn’t for the hard-working crew and some amazing people on board I would’ve definitely had the worst time ever. Basically, once they have your money, they don’t care if you’re coming back or not, or if you’re happy or unhappy. So if you’re young, don’t care about fine dining and just want to party, this cruise might be for you. However, if you’re a foodie person and love variety in your meals, good wine, a good chat with people (even those who who work onboard) and enjoy different shows/music, this cruise is definitely a no. Day 1 on the Epic: This is amazing!! I’m booking my second cruise the second I get home. Last day: Never gonna be back! Back home: Booked 2 cruises for next year….with P&O! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a birthday gift from me to me with Love. October 26th I was in beautiful Bermuda! I chose this cruise because the price was right, the itinerary Was great. I wanted to see as many places as possible My criticism is about ... Read More
This was a birthday gift from me to me with Love. October 26th I was in beautiful Bermuda! I chose this cruise because the price was right, the itinerary Was great. I wanted to see as many places as possible My criticism is about the food. I had an expectation of wonderful fresh ingredients from Italy being served since that is where we were leaving from. The food tasted frozen, stale, not fresh at all. Even in “fine dinning” the food was horrible. I spoke with many passengers that have traveled from 43-100plus cruises and they ALL said that the food was the worst they’ve experienced I’m not sure why this was the case, but really it should be addressed and fixed!! Is it possible to bring on fresh produce and products and make them tasty as if we were on land and ordering from REAL restaurants? Even the coffee(which is my favorite thing in the morning) was UNdrinkable! It was literally repugnant. Being on a ship for 16 days without good coffee is a big hardship when you’re on vacation and dreaming of enjoying the food and drink. It was such a huge disappointment. Then there’s the shows: They were really SUB par to say the least. I loved the acrobatic duo. I loved when they did the “legends” and the 3 ladies I think they were called the queens of rhythm? Or soul? They were great, and the juggler was entertaining also, but the rest of it was torturous. I tried every night to stick it out but I along with many other audience members walked out of a lot of the performances. I was really expecting more professional type of shows other thank you the ones I just mentioned, they were a huge let down. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It's the only cruise line that I travel one .In fact my first cruise was on the Emerald. We arrived in Rome one day prior and it was amazing. As a platinum member the check-in was very fast. The ship was refurbished but the ... Read More
It's the only cruise line that I travel one .In fact my first cruise was on the Emerald. We arrived in Rome one day prior and it was amazing. As a platinum member the check-in was very fast. The ship was refurbished but the stateroom decoration is outdated. The food was very good . The boutiques aren't interesting even boring. The musicians are very talented and the singers also. The atmosphere was very relaxing. We had the anytime dining and its a great option if you want to relax. the entertainment presentations at the Princess theater were the worst I've seen so far. Our room cleaner wasn't friendly and helpful .The worts we had so far.I'll remember him for a long time. The ports offers very affordable shuttle that make your reconsider the necessity of paying for expensive excursions.The one in Corfu and Chania were a waist of money and my time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were ... Read More
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were the size of baby shrimps. Although the MichelAngelo waiting staff was really courteous and helpful. Pedro the head waiter was good to find us nice and enjoyable people to sit with. Front desk service is useless they give you the run around! We were booked on a shore excursion on our day of disembarking but the bus couldn’t carry luggage. It would have been great to visit Mykonos but the rough sea prevent it us to port.... the captain decided for the safety of the passenger to continue our route. I’m glad that he made that call for our safety. Princess didn’t live up to their slogan.... Come Back New! I found that Princess cruise line has been going down in quality over the last 5 years. It not what it used to be. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have recently made a Mediterranean cruise with koningsdam from 21 August 11 days. My tourism agency had recommended koningsdam. They said ”new ship, it is very clean and the food is very good” I believed of course. But unfortunately ... Read More
I have recently made a Mediterranean cruise with koningsdam from 21 August 11 days. My tourism agency had recommended koningsdam. They said ”new ship, it is very clean and the food is very good” I believed of course. But unfortunately as soon as I got on board I realized that this was not what I expected. Because I traveled with many different companies I can compare very easily. I have been cruising last 10 years with several different companies and ships. This time is my first time with Holland America. I wish to share my experience for the sake of other customers and as well as your benefit. (Actually I am very busy person who works 10 hours a day but I hope it will be appreciated that I spend my resting time to write this.) I have a very serious complaint about the reception manager (or chef) his name was M...... He made me angry so much. He treated me very unpleasantly. We are Turkish but since we are high level civil servant (We are professor doctor working in university) we were given a “special passport” which we don’t need any visa in EU countries. In every cruise, in check in desk they understand it and they don’t keep our passports. They know special passports or they can easily understand when they look at the pages there are plenty of stamps of many countries but there was not any visa. In Rome port they did the same. They checked the passports and gave them to us. The first day was sea day we would be in Cartagena following morning, But at night I found a note someone calling me to the reception. I went there a girl in the reception wanted me to give our passports to them. It was so strange. She said “my manager wants them”. I refused of course. The explanation was not adequate. She called the manager He said “Turkey is not EU country that is why I want to keep your passport”. It should not be a personal preference. I tried to explain why we did not need any visa. But he was person who cannot understand the situation. His attitude and words were very very annoying and irritating. He insist to take it. (Be honest even if we are not obliged to give it. Since I am a mature and respectful and respective person, If he had asked nicely and kindly I would give it right a way). I said no. Finally he wanted to scan them, I said “I have a copy I can give it”. In that case he dared to insist to get them before 7 am in the morning!!!!(Look at his personal caprice) I was even angrier he had to understand that I was a guest and on my vacation no one has a right to force me to do something. I said “I don’t want to get up very early in the morning”. Following day I ask an appointment for “hotel manager” to discuss this issue and the other issues related with crew behaviour. No one responded. I asked total 3 times for an appointment in different days. He didn’t even send a message to me. I know he must be very busy (actually I am one of his businesses) but even dough he should have had arrange someone else to meet me. He totally ignored me (as many of them). He didn’t give any value and credit to me as a human being who actually prefer and trust them to spend her holiday on his ship. There are plenty of issues to be mentioned: But I will briefly tell. First of all the behavior of the crew (most of them) was the most unacceptable. It seems almost all of them don’t like their job. Or even they hate with what they are doing. No smiling at all. They don’t make eye contact with you they don’t even say hello or any other greetings. From the barmen to the waiters, from the officers to simple mariners every one was tossing out you. I was shocked . (none of the ship had not had such a crew like that). First day as soon as we settled, we wanted to have a drink. We approached to the bar (opposite to “guest relation”) no one cared. I asked for a menu. He didn’t even move and looked at me very unwillingly and showed the wall (there were some writings on the wall). We didn’t drink anything. We went up to the restaurant (self-service) in deck 9. For lunch There were some stations with different type of food and there was one person in it as if they were in prison (They were looking at you as if somebody forced them to stand unwillingly). It was so strange that the self-service restaurant was not self-service. All stations were covered (protected from the customers) by glass. At dinner in the 2. floor is another story. It takes ages to wait for a dish. I had to speak to restaurant chef to attract the attention to be served. The most important thing is security. In the gang way going out and coming back, IN all other ship companies they ask to take off sun glasses and hats. It is very important to recognize the people. But in Koningsdam most of customers were wearing glasses and hats !! No one asked them to take off. Crew were only concentrated if there was an alcohol in the bags. All other companies they serve water and wet cold towels in the gangways in every port they make a tent. But in koninsdam we had nothing. Even water. No one greeted and no one welcomed us. Only last day in Livorno a couple of officers were standing in front of gangway and told “welcome”. And no entertainment at all.. There are many more to tell but these are facts. I have no intention being rude I didn’t mean to offend anybody. Because I respect everybody who does their job properly, I spent my time to give this feedback. I am sorry to tell these perhaps they reevaluate the issues to please their customers and consider them as "guest" Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
There is no doubt Celebrity Edge looks good. All those Kelly Hoppen greys and beiges. But does it feel good? Well not to this seasoned traveller. Celebrity have made a great effort to lower the age demographic of their passengers. They ... Read More
There is no doubt Celebrity Edge looks good. All those Kelly Hoppen greys and beiges. But does it feel good? Well not to this seasoned traveller. Celebrity have made a great effort to lower the age demographic of their passengers. They have succeeded - but I think at the expense of the older guest. Take the bars: I want a comfortable lounge to enjoy a drink. The biggest bar is the Martini Bar on Deck 3 but the seating is on the edge of a three-deck high atrium. Yes it looks impressive. But it feels cold and impersonal. The nicest space is the Al Bacio coffee bar lounge on Deck Four. I took to getting a drink from the casino bar (also on deck four) and carryimng it through to the Al Bacio lounge. So I noticed did others. In fact Al Bacio does serve some limited drinks in the evenings and the solution would be to open it as a full bar plus coffee after say 6 o'clock. I and many others in my age group like to hear a pianist or a classical duo. Alas - Edge is an almost non-stop diet of over amplified pop music. Even worse there are designer muzak tapes on a loop in the restaurants - designed presumably by someone who didn't try listening to them every day. The atmosphere on the Magic Carpet - the bit that hangs over the side- was much better. For one thing -- being outside you couldn't hear the music. It is an idyllic place for those balmy evenings in the Med. I got that "all fur coat and no knickers" feel about the Speciality restaurants - especially Eden. It is approached via a dark mirror glass room, negotiating a series of twisted floor-to-ceiling columns and lit only by twinkling ceilng lights. What's that all about? And Aquaclass passengers dining in Blu have to pass through this for every meal. The food itself was good though not exceptional and it certainly wasn't helped by being served by a girl dressed in rags and a man, also in rags, wielding a stick. Adam and Eve? Caliban? Le Petit Chef and friends features overhead projections of animated figures dancing on your plates as they prepare each course. Entertaining - certainly. But sadly the animation food looked a sight better than the food we actually received. Neither restaurant was worth the extra money. On the plus side - the three main non-paying restaurants were all excellent. Great friendly service, a wide choice of dishes all very well presented and tasty. And no gimmicks.The a la carte breakfast in the Cosmopolitan (I think) was particularly enjoyable and a better choice for me than the scrum at the buffet! The cabins are very well designed in general. But I was in a single cabin (and God Bless Celebrity for thinking positively about we solo travellers), Again the Hoppen influence looked good- but there was enough hanging space for clothes but only one shelf (under the safe) and no drawers. What to do with the smalls? And the plus side: The best shower I've ever found on any ship - proper walk-in, no clingy curtains and a powerful spray. Bliss. The single-panel control for everything including the excellent air conditioning, the window and the blinds, was a definite plus and the ability to transform the cabin into an infinity balcony was fun. Other pluses: Embarkation at Civitaveccia was a dream. Almost straight aboard and keys waiting outside the cabins. Disembarkation was equally smooth with lots of staff on hand to guide us all to the correct buses. And as always the biggest plus of all - the cheerful, efficient , friendly staff who are keeping this ship spotlessly clean and who do put the customer first. Especially the younger customer! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
About the Reviewer: I’m a mid-30s male who sailed in a balcony stateroom on the NCL Epic from Rome on 6/12 to 6/19/2019. This was my 26th NCL cruise (including charters) and my 46th cruise overall. My prior cruise history includes ... Read More
About the Reviewer: I’m a mid-30s male who sailed in a balcony stateroom on the NCL Epic from Rome on 6/12 to 6/19/2019. This was my 26th NCL cruise (including charters) and my 46th cruise overall. My prior cruise history includes sailing on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival and MSC. In 2018, I took a break from NCL and sailed with Royal Caribbean and MSC with MSC Seaside being my last cruise. Pre-Cruise I met up with friends in Rome, Italy for a few days prior to the cruise. It was nice to explore the sights at a more leisurely pace than what you can do with it being a ship’s port of call. I flew into FCO (Rome airport) and transferred with a private company versus taking the train to Termini Station. I stayed at a hotel close to Termini Station in Rome and Termini is a great focal point for which to travel regionally as well as within Rome on the public transit system. I purchased the Roma Pass and with the ability to get into attractions cheaply and the use of the public transit system for 48 hours, it was a very wise investment. NCL EPIC CRUISE – Roundtrip Rome DAY 1 – ROME, ITALY Embarkation: The most cost-efficient way to get to the cruise port from Rome city is by train. I booked the Intercity 510 on TrenItalia arriving at the Civitavecchia port just before 11AM on 6/12. Unfortunately, the elevators on the platform at the train station were not working and you had to take the luggage up and down two flights of stairs to get to the outside. Minor inconvenience. Once outside, you need to purchase a ticket for 2 EU for the red bus to take you to the port entrance. Fair enough, but the line for the bus was disorganized and not all cultures understood the need for a proper queue when the bus arrived. It was rather chaotic. I would’ve just walked it and if you’re able-bodied to do so, you might as well as it’s not too far to the port entrance and with city traffic on port days, it would be easier to do so. At the port entrance, since there were 6 ships at least doing embarkations during this date, you had to get into a queue for a bus to take you to the designated terminal. How kind of the bus driver to allow us to load our own luggage under the bus and then tell us the bus for the NCL Epic only had one working compartment versus the other side for Holland America which had two. We were going to the same terminal so it didn’t matter what compartment it went into. How silly and disorganized. Upon arrival to the terminal, the bus unloaded for both ships and we were split up once inside the terminal. Luggage was taken finally and check in was upstairs further over. Latitudes members didn’t have a separate check-in line, however, the main check in line was moving swiftly so it didn’t matter too much. Once checked in, we were told to proceed to the gangway which was down the escalators. When we got to the bottom, there was another bus waiting to take us to the ship! Good grief already. The ship was a short walk down the pier from where the terminal was. Holland America had the gangways in use for their embark that was in the terminal. The bus was hot and stuffy and by this point, I just wanted to walk to the ship to get it over with. Crew were walking to the terminal so it wasn’t unsafe for passengers to do so as well. We had to wait for the bus to fill before we were driven an absurdly short distance to board the ship. All told from arrival at the train station to when we got on the ship and had drinks at Spice H2O, it was two hours. NEVER AGAIN!! A complete and utter mess with 2 transfers within the cruise port to get on the ship. Stateroom Balcony GTY: Room 13039 I’ve sailed on the Epic three times and all the other times were in a studio room. This was the first time I sailed in a balcony. I booked a guarantee and was put into this family room at the ships first bump out. The room had a very large angled balcony which I loved. I could see why this stateroom configuration wouldn’t work unless sailing with a spouse. The layout is funky and while it mirrors the studios design, storage was in the most random of places – including within the sofa! The electrical outlets are hidden under the counter by the coffee maker. The phone in the room also didn’t have a working voicemail button, it would take you to the voicemail and delete it instantly. I learned a trick to bypass it by mid-cruise. Charlton was my incredible stateroom steward. He did a wonderful job looking after any small request the entire cruise and for making sure everything was perfect. He even provided me with towel animals daily without request despite NCLs announcement they were getting rid of them on future sailings a couple months back. After unpacking rather quickly, it was time to head off to the theater for a joint muster drill for all stations embarking in Rome. It was mandatory for all guests who embarked and some didn’t like it that they were shut off from their alcohol until they attended. Rome embarking guests had purple cards so that’s how ship’s crew knew to stop serving you for the mandatory drill. After that, I went to the solos gathering with Julianna hosting for this portion of the cruise and then the LGBT meet up. A group of solos went to dinner at 7PM and we joined them in Manhattan Room. It was a leisurely dinner service since we were a big table and it took over 2 hours to dine but the company made up for the gaps between courses. The ship was supposed to sail at 7PM but some “scheduled maintenance” wasn’t completed in time and the ship would be delayed sailing until 10PM. After dinner was done, I headed back to the room to relax and it was getting close to 10PM. The ship didn’t sail at 10PM. I fell asleep on the balcony waiting for it to sail and when I awoke after midnight we were finally moving. DAY 2 – FLORENCE, ITALY The previous day’s delayed departure caused the Epic to arrive two hours late to Florence, Italy. The tour provider stated they would work with delayed arrivals so I wasn’t worried but there was a mass upheaval in the atrium where guests demanded to use the phone to contact their individual tour companies. The Epic staff caved in and did allow for usage of the phone for people to contact tour companies about the delayed arrival. We arrived in Florence at 9AM instead of 7AM. PRIVATE TOUR: Best of Florence and Pisa by ItalyTours.EU As was mentioned in the confirmation for the tour booking, ItalyTours waited for the arrival of our ship and when I disembarked, I found my name being held by the driver almost immediately. When he rounded up the rest of the guests, we left the port and headed for Florence. Once in Florence we met up with the tour guide from Vox who walked us around the city and took us inside the museum to see the Michelangelo statue. The tour guide provided us with insights about what we were seeing and the history as we walked around. The driver recommended a lunch pizzeria and took some of us there. After gathering the rest of the guests, we went to a scenic overlook of Florence before heading for Pisa. Upon arrival in Pisa, we had a small amount of time which was actually fine to see the sights before heading back to the ship. The tour accomplished everything it stated it would do, even with the time delay. I would highly recommend this tour provider for tours in Italy (they also have tours for Naples and Rome). The tour size is much smaller than what NCL offers (van with Italy Tours versus bus with NCL) and the cost is cheaper than what NCL charges. NCL’s shore excursion prices have skyrocketed since the introduction of the Free at Sea promo. If you take the shore excursion discount, you’re still paying what you’d be paying if you didn’t even bother booking with NCL. ItalyTours guarantees your arrival back to the ship prior to sailing or will get to you the next port for the ship at their own expense. You don’t see any private tour companies really offering such a guarantee! Back on the ship it was a quick change to get to the solo’s gathering in the studio lounge and then off to the LGBT gathering before a Platinum Plus Latitudes perk – Dinner with an Officer. Either there weren’t a lot of Platinum plus cruisers on this sailing or they weren’t interested in dining with an officer. I was the only person to sign up and had dinner with Brett, the Ship’s Training Specialist. It was a nice dinner and we talked about cruising past and present while enjoying dinner in Taste Restaurant. Grace, the Hotel Director’s assistant, arranged the dinner for us. It was a nice time and very well done! It was one of the highlights of the cruise. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert The major production show on the NCL Epic is Priscilla, QOTD. I had seen the show just after it was loaded on the Epic back in 2015 so it was nice to see it again. It is definitely a PG-16 or higher rated show. Leave the kids in Splash Academy! It’s a good time to follow the gang to the Australian outback for their show. Lots of good dance numbers and a good storyline. The show has evolved a bit since it was first brought to the Epic but the overall production was enjoyable. I was surprised to see some of the original cast from the first loaded show still doing it nearly four years on! After the show completed, it was time to give Bliss Lounge a try. When we arrived, it was already busy and it wasn’t possible to get into the bar to order so the supervisor sent a bar waitress over to take our order. The service was incredibly slow in there but we did notice one bartender going faster than the others and that’s why people were queueing for him. It took forever for our first round to arrive. It wasn’t until the next day that I discovered I was charged for the round of drinks. I did NOT have the beverage package and was shocked when I got the check for $20 for one drink. The last time I sailed on NCL in 2017, the cost was just shy of $12 having gone up from $10 for a Grey Goose and soda. A nearly 100% increase in drink cost? NCL you’ve gone mad. I don’t drink much and with the ridiculously measured pour you did for this $20 drink; you should be ashamed of yourself. You’re not Vegas and with all the nickel and diming lately to justify the CEO’s salary, you should be doing much better instead of getting worse. The drink included an increased gratuity I’m sure the bartenders weren’t getting and an additional $1.50 for a port tax. Trying to fix this error at guest services later would result in the transfer of the $1.50 to the other person’s account. When that person complained about the $1.50 charge, it was reversed back to me with the full charge of the drink I didn’t have. Lesson learned… the waitstaff in Bliss were incompetent. Order directly from the bar staff to avoid this screw up, especially if you don’t have the package and are ordering with people who do. DAY 3 – CANNES, FRANCE I went to a highly-rated beach club from TripAdvisor on the Cannes beachfront. Riviera Beach Club was not far from the ship and for a small fee, you could have a lounger in front and have bar service. It was sunny when we arrived but became more overcast as the day wore on. The wind was kicked up so the sand from the beach was blowing on us. We had a few drinks and then returned to the ship. We did so just in time as the wind had kicked up quite a bit slowing tender service down. When we got in queue, it was just at the guard shack and after that, it was all the way up to the street. It was reported by some guests that it took two hours to get back onboard. Naturally, we sailed late again from Cannes towards Mallorca. Tonight, we had the solos gathering where we met Michael, the Filipino bartender who was dancing in Bliss the prior night and constantly had a line for service. He was very fast, efficient and remembered what you were drinking for all my friends and water for me as I wasn’t drinking. If he saw an empty glass he would ask if the person wanted another one. His energy was amazing and we became fans of his for the rest of the cruise in Bliss or finding him at Howl at the Moon. It was sometimes much faster to go to Howl at the Moon to get a drink than it was to get one from the rest of the bartenders in Bliss. The other bartenders in Bliss just didn’t seem to have the same energy or motivation Michael had. SPECIALTY DINNER: Le Bistro Tonight, we had the first of two specialty dinners given to Latitudes members Platinum or higher. We had a 9PM seating meaning most of the restaurant was just about finished their dinner when we came in. I had the duck which was nice along with escargot and crème brulee. The service was nice and our waitress had to leave after the main course to work in another restaurant. We finished up eating shortly before 11PM. It was a good dinner. You had to chose a main course less than $20 which meant four main courses to choose from – duck, chicken and two fish dishes. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Glow Party This was originally supposed to be up at Spice H2O but when we went up there after dinner, it wasn’t up there. It was down in Bliss Lounge. This is always the featured nightclub night of the voyage. Since Mallorca is a late arrival, the ship put the party on this night. This was the ONLY night of the voyage where the party was scheduled for Spice H2O. When the ship is in the Caribbean or Canary Islands as it had been in the past, Spice H2O was used more frequently. I didn’t feel compelled to go on the dance floor as the music just didn’t move me. It was hard to move anyone since the DJ was mixing in and out of songs so fast you couldn’t dance to one. While it shows a good DJ to mix smoothly, let a song play a bit more. I actually ordered two drinks tonight and it was accurately billed since I ordered it directly at the bar. It was an ok night but definitely not the greatest Glow (formerly White) Party I’ve attended on NCL. DAY 4 – PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN Our delayed departure from Cannes caused a delayed arrival into Mallorca. We arrived just before 3PM when we were supposed to be in by 1PM. This caused a mad rush when the ship arrived for people to get off. I went for an independent Hop On, Hop Off excursion. I walked one bus stop up as the line at the port was a bit crazy so I could get a spot on the bus. It worked as the next stop down was the port and the bus filled without clearing the queue. I took the whole circuit which didn’t take too long and then got off in town by the church to see the cathedral closer up. On Saturdays, the cathedral might not be available for viewing as it can be used for weddings. It was closed this day to the public because of a wedding. It was reported by people who had a shore excursion they received a credit for it. The artisan markets strewn about the area had all sorts of interesting wares for sale, from food to crafts. Save yourself the hassle and see Mallorca for 18 EU on the Hop On, Hop Off bus. Back on the ship we dined with the solos we had made friends with during the voyage so far but were disembarking in Barcelona the next day. Tonight, we dined in the Manhattan dining room and I had the Prime Rib which was amazing. Dinner was leisurely as we had a big group and we watched the ship sail from there. I had a 9:30PM reservation for Burn the Floor but because dinner went longer, I missed it. DAY 5 – BARCELONA, SPAIN This is the main turn around day for the ship so guests were being told to disembark the ship. Surprisingly, I expected the ship to have more announcements than it did in the early morning hours. My friends and I headed off the ship to find some churros around 9AM to avoid any more announcements and to get off the ship before the new folks showed up to embark. We ventured up to the churros place, took the transit up to Parc Guell and discovered you now needed a ticket to enter it. The last time I was there in 2003, you didn’t need to have a ticket to enter. They were sold out for the day already so I headed for Palau Guell and my friend headed back to the ship. Along the way, I headed to Starbucks for a caffeine fix the ship doesn’t offer. Back on the ship, it was interesting to come on the ship as an in-transit guest. When I arrived to the terminal, I had to go through security in the terminal but then just bypassed everything else and went up the escalator back onto the ship. Very easy to do! Embarkation was well underway at that point for the new cruisers. During the ship’s lifeboat drill, I enjoyed working out in the quiet gym. Since I had done the drill on embark day in Rome, I didn’t have to do this one. It was a great time to use the ship’s services in peace and quiet. I met up with the solos and went to the LGBT meet up to meet the new cruisers. SPECIALTY DINNER: Moderno Churriscaria We had a dinner reservation for 7:15PM in Moderno. We figured it would be easier to dine specialty the first night where everyone was so new and getting their bearings. It was a nice dinner where the passador were fast and efficient at bringing all the meats. We were asked for what else we wanted. The waiter was attentive to my friend’s alcohol requests throughout the dinner service as well. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Beattlemania Show The band who usually is setup in the Cavern Club was in the theater. I do know Beattles hits despite my age and decided to take in a bit of the show. It was just as you’d expect for the Beattles. The singers were really good in the band. The show was well attended. I went to Bliss Lounge afterward and hung out there for a short bit before strolling the ship. Bliss didn’t get all the kids out of it by 11PM like usual and so there were kids in there trying to get drinks off adults who had the beverage package. The crowd who embarked during Barcelona was decidedly younger than the crowd who was on the first leg of our voyage. Security was slow in removing the minors as well. We ventured to Howl at the Moon and then onto Cavern Club where Fire and Ice were playing. Not finding our groove anywhere, we decided to call it a night. DAY 6 – SEA DAY Finally, a full day at sea! It was nice to head up on deck and go to the quiet zone up front before most of the cruise passengers discovered it was there. I found a lounger immediately and setup shop for hours. It was nice and quiet to read and snooze while the room was being made up. I left for a late lunch at Taste with my friends before returning to my room and sitting on the balcony which was also in the sunlight. We passed through the Strait of Bonifacio around 1PM and had the land masses of Sardinia and Corsica between us. It was nice to be on the balcony for the last part of the transit. Tonight, we dined with some solos from the studio lounge in the Manhattan Dining Room before heading off to the 9:30PM showing of Burn the Floor. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Burn the Floor I couldn’t figure out why I disliked this show so much before. The dancers are so elegant to watch and technically proficient in their movements but the story is lacking. The dances don’t progress from one genre to a more upbeat genre, they hop around with no rhyme or reason. There’s no story that links them and the singers with this cast were horribly bad, especially the male vocalist. I stayed for about 50 minutes before giving up and leaving. I’ve seen Burn the Floor on other ships but this production just doesn’t make sense or have a flow to it. If Priscilla isn’t your cup of tea, this is the only other show on the ship you’ve got. FEATURED ENTERTAINMENT: Norwegian’s Night Out Party This party was well attended and for a change, the DJ let a song play out. I finally got out on the dancefloor for the first time this voyage. The vibe was finally right to do so or at least early on it was. As the night progressed, the music changed again and just made me stay at the bar with my friends more while they drank. Michael, the Filipino bartender, had to come up and help get my friends drinks because the other bar staff couldn’t keep up. He was dancing around while he did so and having a good time on his own while still offering faster service than the rest of the bar staff who were stationed there. DAY 7 – NAPLES, ITALY We made it to the port ON-TIME! Hurray! The only problem was, I didn’t need to get off the ship early so it didn’t matter. However, I felt with the way this cruise had gone so far, a bravo to the Epic for an on-time arrival is warranted. After having a room service breakfast on the balcony, I went ashore and walked around Naples center for a bit. There’s a not-so-helpful tourist desk setup in the cruise terminal. Just walk out of the terminal and you’ll be hit up by taxi drivers offering tours. You’ll also have options from the Hop On, Hop Off Tour provider just at the end of the drive way to the terminal. It was here I discovered my grave mistake of booking a tour through NCL for Herculaneum for $100 USD when it would have cost 28 EU for the trip out there on my own and then admission cost at the site. NCL SHORE EXCURSION: Herculaneum In 2004 when I returned to the Med, I was supposed to visit Herculaneum but skipped the tour and went to Capri with newly made cruise friends instead. This trip allowed me to redeem this and go. Since I didn’t have the logistics worked out before sailing, I booked with NCL. Since I am Platinum Plus, I went to the shore excursion desk to get the discount for booking. You can’t get the discount unless you go there and mention it. The tour started with a bus ride from the terminal at 1PM towards Herculaneum. It was a standard sized tour bus but it wasn’t full of passengers. Upon arrival to the ancient site, we waited while the tour guide purchased the tickets for our entry. She guided us around the site describing things we were seeing using a single earbud setup. The group was too large to fit into some spaces while she was talking so you had to go in afterward or squeeze in together. This is why small group tours were more advantageous. After we completed our summary visit to Herculaneum, we boarded the bus to head to a cameo factory. This is where I really dislike NCL’s tactics. The cameo factory and “teaching you how they do it” is a total joke. They put a video on and have you stare at someone who is sitting at a table near the TV and then take you around back to their showroom where you are expected to buy something from which not only does the vendor make money but NCL gets a kick back from. We could’ve spent more time at Herculaneum and seen more of the sites there versus needing this waste of time. It was when we stopped there that I remembered why I have steered clear of NCL excursions lately. My recommendation is you do the same. You can easily go to Herculaneum on your own for much less than what this tour cost and they have audio guides available at the site. Save your money and do it yourself. Just go earlier to get back and avoid all the port traffic. When we returned to the port, so many tours were returning at the same time that it was chaos for traffic with the containers and trucks coming in and going. It would’ve been faster to walk but we stayed on the bus for over a half hour just to get from the port entrance to the terminal building! Tonight, we dined with a large group of solos, some of whom were with us from Rome, in the Taste Dining Room. It was a fun dinner service after the solos gathering where Michael was bartending at. Service was surprising efficient given our table size. Our dinner moved right along and we were done by 9:30PM. I had time to return to see Priscilla at 10PM for one final time. I loved the production, so I wanted to catch it again on standby. I had no problems grabbing a decent seat. Afterward, it was the 70s dance party in Bliss. I stayed for a bit but was so exhausted from the tour in the hot sun, I called it a night at midnight. DAY 8 – ROME, ITALY Disembarkation was much smoother than embarkation for two reasons. We called the driver who picked us up from the airport to the hotel in Rome to see if he could pick us up at the terminal. He did at 9:30AM. The ship’s transfer option to the airport was to leave at 7AM and cost $60USD. For three of us with a taxi at a more convenient time it was 50EU per person and had door to door service. We disembarked the ship shortly after 8:30AM. You do have to be out of your room by 8AM so people were hanging out in public spaces and not leaving the ship at their assigned times. It caused the lifts to get backed up but we had our trick to get one and got off when we were supposed to. The terminal we were at wasn’t the same one we embarked at and had limited facilities. It was also quite hot outside so we waited in a semi air-conditioned area for the taxi. If you were taking the train, you’d have to go through the bus transfer to the port entrance and then pick up the city bus to head to the train station. I customarily close out my reviews by thanking those on the ship who provided exceptional service. This cruise, only two people stood out for me. The first was my stateroom steward, Charlton from the Philippines. His attentive service and his friendly nature from the first day’s greeting to me and to subsequent chats in the hallway were much appreciated and never forced. The nightly towel animals were a nice touch and the towel body one day was a new one for me after all these sailings! The other person who stood out was Michael Misargano (last name might be misspelled) who was a bartender with salt and pepper hair from the Philippines in the solos lounge, Bliss and Howl at the Moon. This man is to be commended for his energy and quick ability to sling drinks. He was incredibly friendly to those who got to know him and he knew everyone’s drinks without having to ask them for it, only if they wanted a refill. I’m not sure how NCL stole him away from Princess but he could do well training some of his peers to be faster and have more fun while doing so! Special thanks to Brett, Training Officer, for the officer’s dinner and making it interesting. All in all, the Epic isn’t the ship I remembered her to be from previous sailings. The room costs have gone up, the on-ship alcohol prices have gone up, everything has gone up exponentially on NCL. Originally, due to NCLs inflated pricing for their promos, I was booked on the MSC Seaview which sails the same day from Rome, Italy and also embarks there. I switched when after final payment NCL finally came down to be reasonably close (without perks) to what MSC was charging and to be with my friends. MSC is privately owned and while they’re struggling with service issues of their own, the NCL Epic minus the people mentioned above was no different in its service struggles. Cruise lines are expanding too fast and now that NCL is publicly traded, it’s all about squeezing the cruiser to make the investors happy. This cruise couldn’t have been more in your face about it. It’s sad because it’s not the NCL I’ve come to know over the years. While I do have two CruiseNext deposits to return in the future, I won’t be in a rush to use them. I will only sail from the Rome port again with flying in directly and using a NCL transfer directly from airport to cruiseport. It’s sad how every new CEO since Colin Veitch has come to NCL and cheapened the product by so much and yet commanded passengers pay so much more for it. Frank del Rio, CEO of NCLH, should be ashamed of what he’s turned this company into. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was my 10th cruise - 7th with NCL. The weather was mild and windy. In Civitavecchia there needs to be better signage for the cruise port and where to get the bus from. Be warned that there isn't a lift if you use the railway ... Read More
This was my 10th cruise - 7th with NCL. The weather was mild and windy. In Civitavecchia there needs to be better signage for the cruise port and where to get the bus from. Be warned that there isn't a lift if you use the railway station! If you walk, take a right and then a left before the tower to the cruise bus. Many people stood in the wrong place until someone went into a shop to ask! if you are taking a cab, they drop you off right outside of the terminal building. Once inside the terminal it is very quick and straightforward. I thought the ship was just the right size to wander round and had plenty of art and decor to make it attractive and interesting. The Galaxy Lounge is a great observation room and a lovely place to watch the world go by. For dining I preferred the Garden Room MDR because it was smaller and felt more intimate. I ate with 2 friends in Windows one night and we all had stone cold meals. The assistant manager handed us a bottle of red wine without asking our preference as though this was sufficient! I ordered the same meal in the Garden Room and specified that it needed to be hot and the plate and food arrived wonderfully hot! Apart from that particular meal all the rest were fine. I particularly liked Le Bistro because you could see the ocean and the service and food were great. In Cagneys the food was good but the staff seemed to dash around almost falling over each other as they came out of the service door! The Speciality Dining Rooms are a bit cramped compared to larger ships but you soon get over it! The temperature throughout the ship was just right for me. The swimming pool was also a good temperature and had a deep end which was great. There were virtually no kids on this trip which made for a peaceful cruise. I went to 9 out of 10 shows and enjoyed them all. I would give them a solid 8/10! The Captain and all of the staff did a great job. The itinerary was great with the exception of Crete where we had to leave at midday. NCL should either make this a full day or a sea day in my opinion. I liked the fact that not all days were early starts so you could relax a bit! We did hit rocky seas leaving Sicily and the ship rolled a lot. This didn't bother me but if you get seasick you've been warned! Boarding and leaving the ship at all ports was effortless! Regarding excursions, my advice is to shop around and not try to cram too much into such a busy schedule. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I cruise with NCL because their itineraries are port heavy with very good excursions. If you use the $50 per excursion perk, it is very affordable. Embarkation and disembarkation are very easy. Entertainment is diverse and fun. Crew ... Read More
I cruise with NCL because their itineraries are port heavy with very good excursions. If you use the $50 per excursion perk, it is very affordable. Embarkation and disembarkation are very easy. Entertainment is diverse and fun. Crew seem to enjoy their jobs (not a fake atmosphere of hospitality). Speciality restaurants provide an upgrade from the regular fare, which is adequate but nothing special. There are always lots of fresh options if one wants to eat healthy. I have gotten to the platinum level, and plan on cruising with NCL in the future. I am a solo traveler, and NCL is safe, affordable, pleasant, and relaxed. I cruised a "high end" line last year, and really did not like the formality and presumption of the ship. The cruise experience is a matter of taste, but for me, I enjoy the happy, fun, relaxed, and diverse experience of Norwegian cruises. The Spirit is an older, smaller ship, which I also like. The ship is clean and well maintained. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Always wanted to cross an ocean as an immigrant to Canada. This was our first cross Atlantic cruise, our first on Princess and the first ever cruise for my partner. The boat was very good. We had a great time on this trip. We were ... Read More
Always wanted to cross an ocean as an immigrant to Canada. This was our first cross Atlantic cruise, our first on Princess and the first ever cruise for my partner. The boat was very good. We had a great time on this trip. We were in Europe for 2 weeks before embarking visiting Paris and Rome each for a week. The staff was great. The restaurants were to our taste quite too similar. The food was good but the three anytime restaurants had a very similar decor and the menus sounded very similar. We preferred by far the steak house over the Italian restaurant for the pay a fee restaurants. We loved the cabin and the mattress and pillows were the most comfortable we ever slept on. Too bad the mattress is not sold in Canada. Our Stewart was fantastic. It was a pleasure to have Wilmer helping us. He did an amazing job. For activities, my partner would have loved more hands on activities like cooking class. I enjoyed the movie under the stars. The larger pool was a lot of fun especially with a little sea movement cresting some waves. We enjoy the coffee bar. I used an Internet package. It was great to be able to work from the middle of the Atlantic. If possible it would be great if the speed could be increased. At time it was painfully slow. Regarding the TV, we would have preferred for the movies at least an option to start the movies when we wanted like a Netflix style. A little more selection in movies and shows would be great on such a long cruise. We only used princess excursions at one harbor. We did our own at the others. We never looked really at the excursions offered. We were used to go on our own. Embarking was very easy and smooth. Disembarking was good too. Just slow with the us customs to clear. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The ports were the big reason I chose this cruise and they were pretty good but there were several issues that made it clear I would never choose this cruise line again! First off my room had a disgusting mess on the carpet and a few ... Read More
The ports were the big reason I chose this cruise and they were pretty good but there were several issues that made it clear I would never choose this cruise line again! First off my room had a disgusting mess on the carpet and a few clothing items left over from previous passengers which means the closets and drawers are not even wiped down. The food was not great in the dining rooms odd choices things didn’t really go together and repetitive. Inconsistent service with the wait staff! My biggest problem was how they handled the heat! In Venice it was very hot and the shuttle (you had to pay for) meant standing in line in the full afternoon sun. It was worse in Olympia when we were tendered several tours arrived at the same time as well as people who did there own thing and the line was over an hour long! Full sun! No water or cold clothes were offered and no one from the ship was there. You could only get water when you right about to board but they ran out. There were children and elderly people there and there is no excuse for this! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the ... Read More
Hi Adventurers! We recently completed a beautiful trip on board the Windstar Wind Surf across Italy, Montenegro, and Croatia and we fell in love with the boat, its crew and the beautiful port of calls. During our journey, we had the opportunity to visit Rome, the famous Amalfi coast, Sicily, Kotor, Montenegro and three port cities in Croatia. Our trip ended in Venice where we continued our vacation. It's evident that Windsurf spends significant resources in training their associates. The Wind Surf crew was able to provide a consistently high level of customer service in all aspects of the trip; onboarding, the restaurants and the cafeteria, boutique, and the cabins, etc. We truly enjoyed the company of the entire staff; however, we fell in love with Nadine, Aditthas, one of the restaurant supervisors and the big smile and sincere disposition of our cabin butler. These three individuals exceeded our expectations consistently during our 8-day trip. The Wind Surf is a fine old dame; a five-mast schooner that brings up memories of a romantic past and pirate encounters. As you look at the Wind Surf from the distance, its beautiful display of white sails become an attractive landmark in any of the ports of call that you visit. This is not the type of cruise experience, where you are expected to be entertained by a troupe of dancers, singers and all sorts of juggling acts. Instead, passengers get intimate dining experiences, the company of other passengers, romantic cocktail hours and impressive views from any spot on the boat. The available options of shore excursions are very interesting and affordable. We thought that crew and their excursions vendors did a great job in adapting the excursions to the American market. The restaurant options are limited; however, they compensate this by providing an exceptional array of breakfast, lunch and dining options for the American palate. Our first experience with Windstar was unforgettable and we know we'll be back next year to enjoy another exciting destination. Perhaps Japan, China or the Brittish Isles. We just want to thank the Wind Surf's crew for their attention to detail and exceptional customer focus. and to Windstar for sticking to their promise of delivering "180-degree-from-the-ordinary" experiences. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Just got back from a 7 day cruise on the NCL Epic. What a great cruise. Started in Barcelona and did a week hitting Italy, France, and Spain. Few notes... The Ship: Hands down one of the best ship I have sailed on. The Epic has ... Read More
Just got back from a 7 day cruise on the NCL Epic. What a great cruise. Started in Barcelona and did a week hitting Italy, France, and Spain. Few notes... The Ship: Hands down one of the best ship I have sailed on. The Epic has everything for everyone. --The service is top notch with the Hotel Director Nelson on top of everything. Nelson is very visible all the time. Many times I saw him helping people, inspecting the food venues, and talking to guests. He is very approachable and like to interact with the guests to make sure everyone is having a great holiday. His assistant Agatha contributes alot and is also very visible. With over 4,000 guests, they stay very busy, and truly care about your experience. Hats off to NCL for hiring the best in the business for there fleet. Definitely, sets them apart from the competitors. --The Entertainment: Great shows including the "Priscilla queen of the desert". The shows are just like what you expect from Broadway productions. Also, the Circus dinner was fantastic. Amazing to the the talent that is on the boat. You definitely got to attend. Casio is very big. I think one of the biggest at sea. Very friendly staff with all the table games you want. The themed parties are great too. NCL has a white party that is real cool. Its held in the back of the ship in an open air venue. Live music is always playing. --The Food/Drink: One of, if not, the best food and beverage program at sea. Plenty of options including a complementary Chinese restaurant (we ate there twice). The Carney's steakhouse was excellent. Just what you expect with the same quality as Capital Grill or Morton's. This was my favorite restaurant. The buffet has everything you can think of with great hours. We didnt do room service but it had an extensive menu. The beverage package is the best deal in town. Open bar was a great value that offered an amazing selection and fast and friendly service. I would strongly recommend you getting the package. Plus, its nice when you are with a group not having a tab. --The Ports: The ports are great. My favorite was Barcelona and Palma. Ship is docked right in the middle of the action and plenty to see. We also stopped in Cannes and took the train to Monaco. It was very easy and nice to see. Rome is a little tricky to get to. Its about 45 min from the port. Need to leave early to enjoy the day. Naples has great pizza and nice shopping. Over all this was one of my favorite cruises that I took. I have been on all the big lines like Royal, Carnival, and Princess. I really think that NCL is the best not only for service but for value. They don't nickle and dime you and the staff are amazing. Would recommend you try the specialty restaurants. Looking forward to our next sail. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I only chose to do this cruise last minute because of the great deal I got but wow it was great to be back on this lovely ship. She is small to medium size, only 2000 passengers, which makes it large enough for you to have space when ... Read More
I only chose to do this cruise last minute because of the great deal I got but wow it was great to be back on this lovely ship. She is small to medium size, only 2000 passengers, which makes it large enough for you to have space when you want but small enough for you to feel the intimacy. She is also one of the better looking of the Norwegian ships. My cabin, a balcony, was adequate though I would not want to try and fit 3 people into it and as usual the bathroom area was tight. What was usual about this trip was even though it was mid November it was warm and sunny enough for me to use the balcony which was small and only had seats. Food was great thoughout the ship and I used all venues except sushi. My only complaint was windows as this venue is directly below the theatre and if the production is on while your seated it is very hard to have a conversation with people around your table. NCL do a great job with their solo travellers, one of the major reasons I use them, and this cruise was no different. We had a lovely group and our host was friendly and helpful. My only real down side was that some of the ports are so large that when I look out I am daunted by the length of the walk to get to the buses/taxis especially now that I am getting older and my mobility is lessening. I wish sometimes they would provide those little buggies you see at some airports. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
My second cruise with silversea. I found the silver shadow far more engaging. My first day onboard was a put off in that I didn't find it either welcoming or friendly. As it's only a 4 day stint I have a gut feeling that many of ... Read More
My second cruise with silversea. I found the silver shadow far more engaging. My first day onboard was a put off in that I didn't find it either welcoming or friendly. As it's only a 4 day stint I have a gut feeling that many of the staff took the foot of the peddle. Other than the cabin staff and waiter in the section of The main restaurant I ate in every day the word that best describes most I encountered was disinterested. The experience on silver shadow prompted this short journey as it was absolutely fantastic. I had no hesitation booking 2 further cruises with them next year, however if not for the fact that I am committed to flights for both journeys I would think again. The inconsistency in service levels between both ships indicated that some of the service personnel on this vessel choose to take a little downtime. Cabin and food excellent, linens bathroom superb. Glad it is undergoing a makeover public areas are a bit tired Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Norwegian Star needs and overhaul both physically and managerial. The ship definitely needs updating, it seems stuck in years past. With a few exceptions the staff seems to be going thru the motions of working on a cruise ship. It reminds ... Read More
Norwegian Star needs and overhaul both physically and managerial. The ship definitely needs updating, it seems stuck in years past. With a few exceptions the staff seems to be going thru the motions of working on a cruise ship. It reminds me of 'ho hum another day at work, when do I get off.' The buffet on deck 12 also reminds me of going to the government handout in communities. Or maybe a buffet at Walmart. And I do not want to put down Walmart. The entertainment was mediocre at best. Whatever company they secured the cruise director they need to get a refund. I was on a transatlantic on the Getaway where the cruise director knows how to secure a good lineup of entertainment that has most of the ship engaged. Also whose policy is it that allows passengers to take a yapping dog on the ship and have the that pass as a service dog. My neighbor trains dogs for service animals, they go thru a lot of training both to the aide of the user and their behavior in crowded environments. This dog was neither. Norwegian needs to address their requirements for service animals. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
After sailing numerous Holland American ships, I was anxious to experience the new Koningsdam. There are many things I love about this ship and things I miss when compared to their smaller ships. Highlights: The cabin was excellent, ... Read More
After sailing numerous Holland American ships, I was anxious to experience the new Koningsdam. There are many things I love about this ship and things I miss when compared to their smaller ships. Highlights: The cabin was excellent, especially the shower and the larger flat screen TV. (My only complaint here was the air quality and ability to control the temperature adequately. For some reason, the air was extremely HIGH in humidity! Maybe due to this there seemed to be an over abundance of "ship" coughing going on.) The upper sports deck offered an excellent outdoor walking experience each morning while the lower promenade deck was lacking due to the portion that reverted to single file. Entertainment in the main showroom was much improved when compared to HAL smaller ships. Lacking: The quality of food in the main dining room was inconsistent and lacking in variety. The Lido was often over crowded, stuffy and miserable to walk through to reach the outer pool deck. Due to the size of the ship, service was not as spot on when compared to smaller HAL vessels. Would I cruise her again? Yes, for sure! It's all about the itinerary and pricing for me as I have to pay the single supplement. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Good itinerary , ship had good reviews. It was a bigger ship than I have been used to so I was a little put off by the size. The embarkation was reasonably good although more chaotic than I've been used to . The crew were for the most ... Read More
Good itinerary , ship had good reviews. It was a bigger ship than I have been used to so I was a little put off by the size. The embarkation was reasonably good although more chaotic than I've been used to . The crew were for the most part friendly and helpful. Didn't get to really understand the select eating system . The food I cant truly say was more than average and whilst I like my vegetables cooked al dente , the broccoli was a tooth breaker! Carrots and broccoli every night was a bit much . Shows were a big disappointment in the theatre , 45 minutes duration only and no variety. The resident singers and bands were very good.The barmen in the Martini bar provided the best cabaret. Cafeteria was excellent, with a good choice of food . Good variety of bars and lounges to use but so dark at night, I personally like to see who I am talking to whilst appreciating mood lighting . Disembarkation was a little chaotic ,and then dropped off at Rome airport at the wrong entrance and told the wrong check in desk number . Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our first cruise so I must start out by saying that I have no point of comparison. We had been hesitant to go on a cruise but were advised to stick to small luxury ships and the Azamara Quest is in this category. We just loved ... Read More
This was our first cruise so I must start out by saying that I have no point of comparison. We had been hesitant to go on a cruise but were advised to stick to small luxury ships and the Azamara Quest is in this category. We just loved this cruise. Everything worked like clockwork and the staff were fabulous. Our cabin was small but this is the standard size for this ship and it worked. The bed was really comfortable and there was plenty of storage room, wardrobe space and cupboards and drawers in the room to stow all our gear with room to spare. We dined at both Prime C and Acquilina twice. They were great with superb food. We also enjoyed the BBQ events on the ship - the staff did a fantastic job. We also enjoyed the White Night evening. To give you an example of the attention to detail on this ship, as we sailed into Venice at 11am and a lot of us were out on deck to watch the spectacle, the staff were ready with bellinis and mini pizzas. This crew and ship have thought of everything. This is just one small example of the level of service and planning that goes into making the cruise such an enjoyable experience. We stuck with the standard alcohol offerings that were included with our fare and they were adequate for our needs. Each day there were 2 red wine, 2 white wines, 1 sparkling wine and one 1 rose wine on offer together with standard beers and spirits. The average age on the ship was quoted at 55 to 57 (and we fit right into that category), however, I would have put it at slightly older for our cruise. There were a few children on board, but not many. This is more a couples cruise. There was a good mix of Americans, Brits, Australians and Canadians onboard - being the main audience for this cruise. All in all, a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Everything on board deserved a 'very good or 10' title NCL staff was waiting at the airport baggage claim ready to point out where to go for transport to the ship. Embarking was a bit dissorganised as we had to fill in ... Read More
Everything on board deserved a 'very good or 10' title NCL staff was waiting at the airport baggage claim ready to point out where to go for transport to the ship. Embarking was a bit dissorganised as we had to fill in debit/credit card details however after that everything was smooth. Disembarking was very well organised. Crew in bars and cabins were helpful polite and friendly always willing to stop and talk which is a very pleasant change. Cabins were kept clean and tidy, I also appreciated our fluffy animals left on the bed. Main dining had a good a selection of restaurants and variety of different nations food so I did not feel the need to eat at speciality restaurants. Entertainment was not bad although theatre was quite cold fortunately after 1st time it was sensible to take a cover. Many years since my last cruise and this one was deffinately worth going on I would go with NCL again Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Let me start out first by saying that I'm a very seasoned cruiser. Nearly 100 days of traveling on various cruise lines on the high seas. Although this boat was rated as 1# for honeymooners, there's a catch and I will reveal the ... Read More
Let me start out first by saying that I'm a very seasoned cruiser. Nearly 100 days of traveling on various cruise lines on the high seas. Although this boat was rated as 1# for honeymooners, there's a catch and I will reveal the notes I've taken while cruising on my honeymoon. The boat looks amazing from the inside and outside. The decor is top notch and the ship is very clean, but that's really where it all ends. My wife and I are in our mid 40's and enjoy our down time as well as a night out dancing. We approached this cruise like any other. We purchased the drink package expecting to party it down with some drinks beside the pool and listen to some live music. Well, that isn't allowed on the Epic. 1) No drinks in our around the pool 2) The pool area is considered a quiet zone. (as stated to me by the DJ) 3) You have two VERY small pools (10x30) to choose from but can only hold about 25 guest before it's too crowded 4)Forget trying to get a drink. There's only 1 pool bar about 30 ft long with only 4 bartenders and you rarley seecocktails waitresses around the pool. 5) Get ready for extreme whistle blowing from the lifeguard. Every wrong move by any one of the 500 kids on board and he blow his whistle. We went out our first night to explore the ship. We wanted to dance to some current music and have a drink at the bar. 1) There are NO night clubs on the boat unless you're under 17 We then walked around and expected to find the Theater with stdium seating allowing a couple thousand cruisers to see broadway shows. 1) The theater does not exist We really enjoy dressing up on formal nights, seeing everyone in their best, taking pictures and meeting other guests at the dinner table. 1) There are no formal nights and only 2 backdrops for pictures. 2) No assigned seating and you must make reservations for dining or wait 45min for a table. We often inquired about locations on the boat or general facts about the boat 1) The staff seemed very short with most people and often cut you off before you're done. Maybe they've been asked teh same question a 1000 times but not by me. We decided to go see a show 1) Get ready to PAY for onboard shows. $35 - $100 2) Don't do the Cirque show, you can't see the enitire show unless you buy the $100 tickets. 3) We went to the dueling pianos and had an amazing time. THAT was our saving grace. We wanted to get off the boat in Florence but the local port authority charged $5 euro to take you to town. We went back on the boat to get Euro's but find that the boat only provided US dollars but you can reserve trasnportation with the boat to town for triple the cost ($16) or they will drop you off in Florance take you back to the boat for $100 per person. We didn't go into Florence :-( We then decided to purchase something from the on board store. 1) Although they only provide US dollars you pay 21% take in all their stores. Doing your own laundry 1) Does not exist, they do not have a laundry department but a pair of socks (no joke) is $3 We chose not to take an excursion 1)The cost of the excursions were 30% - 40% higher than I've ever seen on any boat. Would you like to stay out late one night? 1) 99% of the boat shuts down at midnight. If you don't like gambling or and irish bar, then go to bed. Don't order room service 1) You're charge $8 service charge for room service no matter what you order AND yo're charged 18% more for gratuity. YES, they charge you gratuity on the service charge. Do you prefer Coke over Pepsi? 1) Forget it Only Pepsi aboard Where's the midnight buffet? 1) Does not exist I could go on but you get the idea but you still ask, how could this be the 1# rated ship for honeymooners? It's the ports you visit NOT THE SHIP. My only advise would be to spend money on nice meals on the boat and spend even more money enjoying Europe off the boat. Don't purchase excursions from the ship, they are 75% less of the boat and you're very safe to travel in groups. We used the ship as an expensive place to sleep, walked off the boat only owing them $300 (We normally own $1000 - $1500). the ports are amazing and we really enjoyed ourselves. We hope this helps Brian and Michelle Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Ship: The Jewel of the Seas Ship, met all of my needs. I found the ship to be very clean everywhere I went. I found the staff to be very friendly, professional, attentive and willing to meet your needs. I also, found the selection of ... Read More
Ship: The Jewel of the Seas Ship, met all of my needs. I found the ship to be very clean everywhere I went. I found the staff to be very friendly, professional, attentive and willing to meet your needs. I also, found the selection of food to very comprehensive in both the restaurants and buffet. The food was always plentiful, fresh and well presented. The dining room staff was very engaging and attentive. They also, remembered their passengers request and needs, and met them, without prompting. Safety: I found the ships security procedures to be very comprehensive and professional. I am speaking to this particular subject, because, I travelled alone. And I appreciated the attentiveness to security as well, and the procedure for tracking people from the airport, who got on and off the ship, and even tracking my return to the airport. Port & Excursions: The great things about taking a cruise, is that it can meet the various needs of different passengers on board. Saying that, from my experience: I had an amazing, insightful, reflective, calming, peaceful, appreciative, educational and beautiful experience throughout the cruise. But someone else, could have a wild and crazy time, if that is what they are looking for. I found the various port of calls to be well chosen, because they are all, very beautiful and distinctively different in every aspect. Santorini, was purely a beautiful port. Santorini's views were gorgeous and breath taking. I opted to take the Island of Santorini and Village of Oia tour. Which allowed me the opportunity see both the Village of Oia and the Old Port of Fira amd to stop at a winery, that provide free wine tasting and tapas. In Mykonos, I elected to just tour the town, which is very charming and it runs along the water. The view is amazing and there are a lot of shops and restaurants there, and you can pick up all the trinkets your heart desires. In Athens, I went on the Athens highlights, Acropolis and Attica Zoo for Families tour, which provided a comprehensive guide to the ruins of the Acropolis and ruins of Athens. Which gave me an educational experience regarding ancient Greek history. But, additionally, providing a visual piece as well. I also, had the opportunity to spend Attica Zoo two -three hours at their zoo, which provided a great and fun dolphin show. I have to admit that while I enjoyed the highlights and the tour, the zoo, left me wanting more, though they had a large bird collection. But, to be fair, the time I went was very hot, so the animals were laying down or hiding. Katakolon is a beautiful Island of about 600 people, by that time we arrived at Katakolon, I was over ruins, so, I walked around the town (which you can do in one-hour) They have a lot of restaurants and also various little shops. I, would definitely travel with Royal Caribbean again, and I recommend the Greek Isle Tour to everyone, who is interested in beauty and/or Greek History. Enjoy! My life is forever changed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Loved the cruise. The itinerary was great. The food was very good. The staff was friendly. I had a comfortable, quiet room with a nice view. Wish they had more seminars about the different ports like the one they had on Croatia and ... Read More
Loved the cruise. The itinerary was great. The food was very good. The staff was friendly. I had a comfortable, quiet room with a nice view. Wish they had more seminars about the different ports like the one they had on Croatia and possibly more affordable excursions.. Overall, this cruise was a GREAT VALUE because there was No Single Supplement. YEAH! As a result of the No Single supplement special, it attracted many SOLO travelers....,which was great. I met so many interesting people from all around the world, NCL made it possible to have dinner with other SOLO travelers, Wish they had more activities for SOLO travelers other than just a 15 minute meet & greet daily...but it was better than what other cruise lines offer solo travelers. The entertainment was great most nights & mediocre a few of the nights...It would have been nice if they had comedians. Hoping Norwegian has more No Single Supplement Specials for SOLO travelers in the future...Us singles like to travel too!....Is so, I will certainly be on board another NCL cruise, Read Less
Sail Date July 2017

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