Overall good and clean
Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Europe
Ship: Norwegian Epic
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Large Group
Reviewed: 4 years ago
Review SummaryThe shore excursions were terrific. Draw back Barcelona is good if you are going to see Gaudi. If you are going for shopping make sure it's not on a Sunday because all stores are closed. Restaurants and souvenir shops are open. Palma Majorca is beautiful. the weather was perfect when we went. The people are friendly and there were a lot of street vendors. Great shopping for genuine leather bags. Marsaelle France was nice. A lot of walking and many steps to Notre Dame. Take the little white train for 7 euros round trip. it comes every five minutes. Nice ride. Also if you are a fan of the Count of Monte Cristo it is there where you will find The Château d'If the fortress prison. Rome was captivating however, a lot of vandalism on buildings, watch out for pick pockets, and a lot of cars. It's dirty, rustic and historic in a good way. Eat where the locals eat not where the tourist eats. We found a good supermarket called Elite many good deals. Food was great. If you like cheese they will let you sample and the cookies are yummy. You must try Sanatal juice. It comes in a carton/container blood orange (orange juice), mixed exotic fruits and peach flavor. the gelato stand by the Trevi fountain is delicious. The tour of the Vatican was great. (I can not remember the tour group it is a block away from the Vatican and begins with a "G". Our tour guide Deborah was knowledgeable and delightful. The group was approx. 12 of us cost about 65 Euros. worth it. Bring water, a small hand towel and a paper fan to stay cool while you walk through the Vatican museum. They have a cafeteria and gift shop. Some places are air conditioned others are not to preserve the art work. Naples and Florence are spectacular. You will really enjoy your time there. Just wear comfortable shoes. Remember if you didn't plan your excursion in advance you can always do so on the ship and if you want to be on your own, NCL provides a shuttle for only 12 Euros to any city center.
Now, the Epic cruise ship is massive and the décor is beautiful. However, There were many thing about the cruise experience that could have been better. The first is the internet café. It was over priced and the computers were slow which increased the amount of money you were charged. Secondly, we were informed that on our last day we could pay cash for our balance. However, the ATM machine was conveniently turned off. There were no power outages. The next is the Mandera Spa services that we received. Staff member Farah was exceptionally professional and my sister really enjoyed her spa time. However other staff members were not so professional. I received a hot wax of my chin which the cost was $15- that is reasonable. She said she wanted to shape my brows. She plucked a few only a few hairs of my eyebrows and charged me $50 for that. That is outrageous. It is my fault that I didn't say anything about it sooner. The receipt kind of through me off guard. Further, the spa did not inform us neither was it visibly published that if you can not keep a spa appointment you will be charged 50% for the service anyway. I know the spa is separate from "Norweigian" however, they are operating a business entity on the ship and should be more flexible to customers who have legitimate excuses for not keeping appointments. What women doesn't want a spa treatment? I had a reasonable excuse why I couldn't but the assistant manager didn't want to hear it. I was exhausted and my feet were swollen like two balloons from walking on cobble stones and hills for 4 hours. I was then told to come and speak with the manager of the spa, which I had to walk so far from my stateroom to get to. The manager and I came to a resolution and she was professional and helpful. The Assist. Manager was rude to me and my sister. Fourthly, the "washie washie" girls who sprayed you when you entered any eating establishment and at the entrance of the ship. They did not give you an opportunity to manually hold your hands under the sanitizer machines that were there. They just rudely sprayed you as you came in. Norwegian did not inform us on their website that this would be taking place. I understand that it is convenient and hygiene is important, however violating a person's personal space is unacceptable. Next I had put some items in the refrigerator. When I came back to my stateroom the refrigerator was locked and my items were left out to spoil. Why????? Again we were not informed that the cleaning staff locks the refrigerator. When booking my stateroom on that was one of my request to have a functional refrigerator so I can put my things in it. I do not drink alcohol only shifted it to make room for my things. The cleaning crew was apologetic and the manager even called to apologize and he explained that this was procedure on the last day to lock the refrigerator. Again, we were not informed in advance of this procedure. Lastly, the ship had a lot of children on it. Running into people taking over the pool area. The adult pool was so small and crowded at the back of the ship, a little tiny space you could enjoy because you had to walk between two ping pong tables and watch out for flying balls. We never got in the pool. Next, the gratuities charge. This charge should be included in the package not in addition to the total cost of the expensive cruise. We were informed of this in advance but it would have been nice to included with the package just like the insurance. No one wants to go on vacation and have additional fees added at the beginning of the trip, and then additional charges for restaurants as well. Lastly, there were some good things about the ship. The crew was excellent and efficient. Our staterooms were clean and the linen was clean and smelled good. The food was excellent, the music and performers, such as Nathaniel the piano player and singer were talented (give him a bonus), and the activities were fun and great. The cleaning crew of the stateroom always greeted you and called us by name. We were impressed that a ship can have three cruises at one time. We've never experienced that before and were impressed with that. All of the staff had smiles and were working very hard to make everyone on board's experience pleasant. In the future I will be more proactive to find out more about the policies of the ship and additional fees.
Lastly, when booking with they only presented one type of insurance to us. I always like to get insurance that has full refund cancelation policy. Cruises did not share the other type of insurance with me because I lived in New York and it is not offered but my sister lives in AL which is was offered. So at least she should have been given the opportunity to purchase just in case of an emergency. We did have a medical family emergency and thought we would have to reschedule our trip but thankfully everything worked out. That is the only gripe with cruises that I have. I always check for insurances, it would have been nice to be advised of the different types being offered.