May 2015 - Norwegian Epic to Europe - Western Mediterranean
Just returned from the 7 day Western Med cruise and it was wonderful. A balcony suite is highly recommended, and worth it because it's not that much more than a regular cabin.
I travelled with my sister and we booked nine months in advance, I checked in with my travel agent ( Vacation Outlet) throughout the planning and we managed to qualify for free upgrades with unlimited beverage plan plus the ultimate dining plan ..these proved to be invaluable! If you can acquire these plans, please do so!! We dined in the steakhouse, Italian and French Bistro every night of the week! Cagneys is the best ( steakhouse), however the slowest service.. Prepare to wait between courses .
The unlimited beverage plan will save you significant money over a weeks time of even light alcohol beverage indulging .. Ten dollar drinks each add up!
As far as the port excursions.. We enjoyed them and the Rome and The Vatican one was awesome along with Florence and Tuscany Castle Wine Tasing- fabulous.. Do these!
Not as great: Pompeii Excavation ( no petrified bodies (we expected to see these due to the historical evidence of the ruins) but they were removed and sent to the Naples Pompeii museum.. We had to take a separate trip to the museum on our own only to discover they were all being restored at the time.. Kind of a bummer. Pompeii itself is fascinating but I think there should be more disclosures when something major will not be part of the tour. Also, be prepared for ALOT of walking in total sun... Bumpy rocky pavement...
Nearly an hour of our Florence tour was cut short due to an unexplained slow start leaving the dock, so very little time to shop and see Florence and have a meal ( we grabbed a very quick bite before reporting back to the bus) .. But the Tuscany countryside and castle tour wine tasting made up for it big time.
Cons about the ship EPIC: Wifi ... It wasn't reliable, sometimes it was down.. And my opinion is that Norwegian charges way too much for even minimal contact with home via internet, emails & Facebook - thumbs down on this.
Service was friendly to our cabin, but whenever you called the Operator or Housekeeping with a question or request, no one answered! Just a recording saying callback, they're busy.. How is there no operators manning these calls and taking a message and saying someone will get right back to us? This was frustrating a few times.
other than that, this cruise is highly recommended: it is affordable, well staffed ( except for phones) and stocked with fun things to do! Clean rooms and pool area as well as dining areas and restrooms all say I would do this trip again!
With lots of hustle from port to port ( every day a new 10-12 hour adventure !) , you will be exhausted, but truly satisfied. It's like getting a nice little taste of everything, you can decide which places were your favorites to consider a return to! And the ship serves as your floating hotel along the way... Take this trip, it's worth it. Just bring VERY comfortable shoes.. 😉