January 2016 - Norwegian Epic to Europe - Western Europe
5-stars for the Haven, 3.5 stars for the cruise itinerary and 2.5 stars for Norwegian's staff training (outside of the Haven and the exceptions listed below)
The Haven upgrade we paid for was well worth the exceptional the price for the level of customer service, Haven facilities (restaurant, lounge, 3 bars, pool, hot tubs, sauna, steam room and small workout facilities), special access to shows and priority disembarkation.
We ate all of our breakfasts and most of our lunches in the Haven restaurant. Excellent food and service!!! The Smoked Salmon Frittata, Crabcake benedict and pancakes were all delicious. I ate the Swordfish burger for lunch everyday. Skip the bun and have it on Arugula.
The Haven concierge staff (especially Noemi who was THE MOST EXCEPTIONAL person on the ship due to her level of CUSTOMER SERVICE) were very nice and very accommodating. Also, our butler (Teresa), the Haven lounge bartender (Lillie) and the Haven restaurant manager (Justin) were exceptional. I filled out many of Norwegian's HERO forms for the staff and service in the Haven area.
The entertainment: The Cirque Dreams dinner show (dinner was ok), Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Burn the Floor were ALL VERY GOOD SHOWS!!
Unfortunately, several items dampened our overall experience with Norwegian.
1) As we departed one of our last ports, we encountered HEAVY fog as we were leaving the last port. The fog lasted most of the night which meant the fog horn was used frequently. We know the fog horn had to be blown for safety, but unfortunately it seemed like it was located DIRECTLY above the Haven area.
2) Outside of the Haven area, the majority of bartenders provided mediocre service (except for the excellent and friendly service by Bernard at Wasabi and Petra who worked the bar at one of the shows as well as the Bliss nightclub) and we experienced poor (bordering on rude) service in the Atrium. Fortunately, I used Norwegian's forms for fine service (known as HERO forms) to document the non-HERO, we encountered.
Specialty restaurants, especially Cagney's, were very nice and the food and level of service at Cagney's was EXCELLENT.
O'Shehans Pub food and service were POOR! Don't bother eating there.
In general the ports and excursions were nice. We'll be going back to Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands and SPAIN! Especially Barcelona!!! We'll be going back there for SURE!
We aren't seasoned cruise shippers so take that into account with my review.