The Epic is very clean and all areas have an updated elegant appeal. This itinerary was great. I'd recommend getting on in Rome because it's nice to have the break at Sea after several days of excursions. We talked to others that got on in Barcelona and they felt we had the better itinerary - they were exhausted. We flew in early and spent 3 days taking nite and half day tours (we wish we had a few more days in order to visit Venice - which is the only additional place we wanted to see). This did allow the us time to get accustomed to the time change and enjoy more sights than you would see on the full day excursions to Rome. We opted for the Haven thermal spa suite and would definitely recommend it. We enjoyed having our special "haven" area away from the crowds on board. The thermal spa suites are located in the Aft of the ship near Madara spa instead of directly in the Haven area (forward) so be prepared for a walk to get to the Haven amenities. Our room was on the 14th deck with the water slide area / rock wall above us. We assumed that there would be noise during the day but the running and jumping noise continued throughout the entire night, every night long after the slide, rock and bars were closed. If you are a light sleeper bring earplugs or opt for the Haven area versus the Spa area on deck 14. Otherwise the room itself and balcony were lovely and it's a convenient location! The complimentary access to thermal spa at Madara (when you book Haven Thermal Suite) was wonderful - you just have to show your room key to the desk to gain access. On our first day on the ship we made sure we had swimsuits and other necessities in the bag we carried on; even if your room is ready (and most are) your bags won't get to your room for several hours, you can hang out in the Haven or use the Spa. We opted for private excursions and would highly recommend that as well if you don't like traveling with crowds or on buses. Scott with Delta was extremely helpful making recommendations and giving me great tips on dining, shows and the ship...can't wait to start planning our next trip.
The best way to see all of the best port cities in the Mediterranean is by taking this cruise. The Epic was clean, the food was good and the entertainment was excellent! I would definitely do this again! Oh and the unlimited beverage package was the best part of it all!
It's really hard to pick a favorite but if we had to, it would be the restaurants, except the Garden Cafe which was pretty standard fare for a cruise ship. It wasn't bad, just ordinary. There are some really good complimentary restaurants.
The service overall was terrific.
it would have been nice to have towels changed at least twice in a week.
Overall my husband and I enjoyed the cruise. Each port had its attraction, My favorites were Florence and Naples. Did all but one tour independent. Ironically the only one that we did with NCL was the Monaco and Monte Carlo tour and it was our least favorite. I believe it had to do with the tour guide and not enough things to see or do. The guide wasn't passionate, he just commented without much historical context. As another cruiser stated the NCL wasn't helpful if you didn't book the tour with them. They had no interest in letting you know where to go. I wasn't expecting them to know anything about the tour company but to be helpful in guiding to where the independent tours were stationed and how to get to them.
Food was okay, Actually I think Carnival's food was better, definitely Carnival's dessert were better and overall Celebrity has had the best food. We had the drink package and the upgrade restaurant. Definitely the drink package is worth it but the upgrade to the restaurant package was just okay. The Italian restaurant was nothing great, the Steakhouse was good as was the Brazilian churrascaria.
The Garden Cafe was okay, however during breakfast it was always jammed. AC isn't what we Americans are used to, it was still warm. Had to take the food and eat outside the Garden Cafe, nothing wrong and actually better (nice breeze).
Cabin room was small as expected (a bit dated) nice balcony but I didn't like that the sink was right in the room almost in front of the bed. Good water flow for the shower. Room had good storage for two individuals. Bring a power strip cord, only two 120 volt receptacles and two 220 volt (European). With todays gadgets that we all have you'll be sorry if you don't bring the power strip. Our cabin guy was great, Marlon was always asking us if we needed something when he saw us. The bar guy from Perú on the pool deck was great, (forgot his name).
I have cruised with a number of companies and I have to say this was my least favorite. Everything from booking the trip to getting good information scheduling flights getting on the ship planning meals entertainment all was very hard. Over all the staff was good food was ok not the best not the worst.
I will say the shows were great. One show I tried to book and was told they did not have the show on the ship. A day later another guest was telling me they had plans to go to the show. Come to find out the staff did not know what they were talking about. Everything was extra even it cost extra to go to one of the shows and the price changed a few time from when I paid for it. Going up of course. After making plans to go to the show, setting a time months ahead of time the day before the show I was told they could not honor my reservation. Even know I paid for premium seating I was told it was first come first serve who ever got there first got the best seats. My luggage did not make the ship and so for the first 5 days I had no cloths except for what I was wearing. I do not feel the staff made a helpful effort to get my luggage when I asked them what they were doing they told me it was not there problem it was the air line and I needed to deal with the airline. They did wash my cloths as well as they were very happy to sell me a polo shirt for 50 dollars.
great ports and enjoyed each city. The cruise was full of Spanish people which made it very loud and chaotic at the open buffet. We thought NCL catered to North America, but these were in the minority which made the cruise somehow noisy and unorganized. People would cut in front of you with no respect to others. People were going in the hot tubs with babies and in their under wears, some others were in their clothes. The swimming pools weren't enough for the sheer number of kids, and the water color changed, not sure if it's something to do with the chlorine or the people swimming. Overall, I wouldn't except that experience on Norwegian, but rather on carnival cruises.
This was my first time in a Cruise, for that everything was wonderful. There were some things that I didn't like for example the mourning breakfast that was so crowded. The cost of the internet service was exaggerated almost 30 dolars per day. The unkind personal trainer in the gym. How people who don't take the cruise tours are treated by the port agents who were rude and not polite dealing with tourists.
overall the cruise was fabulous, we enjoyed the evening entertainment especially Howl at the Moon, and Pricilla. The gay entertainers, it was funny. The activities on board were fun as well. we also enjoyed the private sunbathing area as well.
Freestyle dining was amazing! Loved the layout of the staterooms.
Perks received by booking through was the best deal out there.
NOTE!! Bring backup documentation of all your perks, excursions and anything you reserved in advance! We had the Ultimate Beverage Drink package and when we got on the ship they didnt show that we had that perk. We went to the Guest Service Desk and they said not only do we have to prove we had it but that we had to wait for them to email the home office and get the perk confirmed! Super annoying to prove what shows on the NCL vacation summary!
the ship itinery was excellent . it would show who and what going on.
my suggestion for first timers is to bring your luggage aboard with them so they can change and be comfortable and not wait till 6pm for the luggage to arrive by staff, theyre to many passenger to expect luggage to be in room.
We wish the ship would have allowed us to buy pictures at a later date online. They are very expensive and most of the time at the end of the ship you have spent all your money. We know we would have bought online at a later time if we had the opportunity to do so.
Get a room near the front, the forward elevator goes right into the buffet, and don't miss the free liquor tasting each night at 8, they give out increasingly better scotch in the liquor shop each night.
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