July 2015 - 7 Night Western Mediterranean (Rome Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Epic
Not enough time in ports and small pools
Got on in Civitavecchia which is not the main embarkation or debarkation port the whole setup was a mess from the lack of free shuttle to/from the train... to unmarked crusie area and no prior directions. Made it to the port and have no clue where our ship was.. wandered until we found a shuttle bus stop waited 20min to be driven in circles had there been a map or something we would have just walked.
Checked in and our room was ready yay except our luggage took another 2 hours to arrive and then it was only one of the 2 got a little anxious but decided to be patient, the other finally arrived in time for sailing off.
Our mini suite was oddly designed. In the shape of a wave with restrooms upfront followed by a couch then bed. The privacy issue as many people have mentioned is there... and the room was dirty there were crumbs all over the floor and there were screws loose all over the place. The mini fridge shelf originally was a cabinet but i guess they rethought that one and ripped out the door. Btw they lock the mini fridge the night before you get off and put all your stuff on the shelf in which case all my produce spoiled while I was on my tour.
The room was dirty when we got in but the linens were clean and we were too tired to care. There were crumbs all over the floor bits of food and a thick layer of dust on the coffee maker. The room steward was great and did everything with a smile even managed to get us towels for the pool well ahead of time.
The ship is much like the breakaway in terms of layout.
My issues with NCL were this one they nickel and dime you on everything. Juice is not included only the chemical stuff.. fresh pressed is extra. Every little thing seems to be extra. They even changed the daily service charge mid cruise.
The pools were like hot tubs small and over crowded for the amount of ppl on board it was just not ideal. I tried the slides one night around 7pm aside from the ton of kids and long lines they are poorly made and bruised my back. As for the pools well major let down I came back from an excursion and was looking forward to a cool dip only to get into what looked like a kiddie pool under the big screen in the adults only section and it was warm and filthy and with 10 ppl it was so crowded you couldn't even really move around just stand there in tepid water. The one day at sea was so crowded on deck there was not a single chair available anywhere. Honestly if I didn't have a balcony to retreat to I would have killed myself in that heat that day.
The spa fee to use the indoor amenities is $40 per person per day...absurd. They try to up-sell you on their products for 20 min before your massage cutting into the time and after they push it again.. what a pain. Also I took one of their spa deals and they charged me for the wrong promotion and I got sub par service so make sure you bring the flyer with you and they ring you up correctly. No robes are provided either which i think is lousy nor can you use the facilities after to soak you would still need to pay the $40.
Seems the on-board activities are always the same towel folding.. .drink tasting... bowling and pool at the bar at $.
Unlimited drink package wasn't very useful as had to pay the difference for certain glasses of wine and what not at the bars and dinner. Did not include the coffee and was barely utilized if you want to see the ports then i suggest the dinner package. Although that would require reservations which is tough to do when you are unsure of how exhausted you will be from your day trips.