May 2015 - Norwegian Epic to Europe - Western Mediterranean
This was my first time using BJ's Travel to schedule a cruise and also my first time on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship.
My experience with BJ's Travel was excellent. The cruise package was a great value and I was very happy with their customer service. The included onboard spending credit, beverage package and gift card sealed the deal.
I give Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) a gold star for their excellent service throughout the entire cruise. The Norwegian Epic ship was fantastic. It is one of the largest ships in the world and I always felt very comfortable in any location on board. I liked the layout of my Balcony Stateroom and my Stateroom stewart was excellent and very helpful. The entire NCL staff throughout the ship was always very friendly and helpful, as well.
I really enjoyed the Freestyle dining. For me it worked perfectly to decide when to dine as opposed to eating on a set schedule like on other cruise lines. That really added to the enjoyment and relaxation of my cruise vacation.
I scheduled a variety of NCL shore excursions at each port that included, Sorrento and Amalfi by Land and Sea (Port of Naples, Italy), Off the Beaten Path - Hilltop Towns (Rome, Civitavecchia, Italy Port), The Cinque Terre (Florence/Pisa, Livorno, Italy Port), Cannes Walking Tour (Cannes, France Port) and Spectacular Scenery & Flavors (Palma, Majorca, Spain Port). Each one was fabulous and the weather was thankfully great the entire week. The tour guides were all excellent and added to the enjoyment of the excursions. They always got us back to the ship by the required timetable. Well done, thank you!
I just want to point out that I scheduled the Italy Port excursions noted above, since I had previously visited, Naples, Pompeii, Rome, Florence and Pisa on other vacations. If you have already been to those cities, I think you will find the noted shore excursions to be very different and a lot of fun.
The internet service on board was good in most locations but not perfect. I quickly found that using my iPhone in the Internet Cafe usually always worked best. I signed up for the unlimited internet package, for the greatest flexibility, based on my needs.
Bottom line is NCL and the Western Mediterranean Cruise gets my very highly positive and recommended rating. Thank you.