September 2016 - Norwegian Epic to Europe - Western Mediterranean
We're not super experienced cruisers. We've been on Carnival once and Disney two times. So, when we booked this more "value priced" cruise of the Western Med., we were prepared for less than spectacular service, food and amenities than Disney offered. We were very pleasantly surprised with this cruise on the Epic. The overall design and layout of the ship was quite easy to learn. Our stateroom (just an inside cabin) felt like a much larger space due to the very clever and effective storage features and efficient layout. The food easily surpassed that of our previous cruises and the "Freestyle Choice" approach meant we ate where we wanted when we wanted and we never waited. We were also suspicious of the built-in "service charge" (AKA tips) thinking that all incentive was removed and that we would not see good service. Wrong again. Everyone from our cabin steward to the wait staff treated us like royalty. As for the entertainment, we particularly enjoyed the small venue entertainment...Headliner's Club, Cavern Club, Pool Deck, etc. As for the Epic Theater productions, they were very well done, extremely well staged and full of talent. However, the shows were a bit raunchy for our taste. With this experience we have to consider NCL on a par with Disney for our future cruising choices.