Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Contributor Level: Third Mate

Experience
1 cruise (first)

Review
1

Helpful Votes
13

4 out of 5

Hated to see it end...

Sail Date: August 26, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

I thought the experience was fun, educational, and exciting. For me, the excursions made the trip. Best time: bike riding in Palma, followed closely by the excursion to the Amalfi Coast & Pompeii. The buffet was pretty good but the free specialty restaurants are much quieter and less chaotic. I did not care for the people coming into the buffet area fresh from the pool deck dressed in bathing suits with cover-ups, plus kids running around. The shows were fun and they have lots of onboard activities, especially for kids. "Howl at the Moon" dueling piano bar was the BEST! I liked the running/jogging area on the port side. Staff are all friendly and eager to help. We got a balcony room which I would highly recommend. It was beautiful at night watching the full moon on the water.

Cruise Photos

Cabin / Stateroom
Definitely get a balcony if it's in your budget. We enjoyed sitting outside and relaxing--one time we even saw dolphins surfing the ship wake. I think my favorite pastime was watching as we pulled out of the different ports of call; you get a different perspective of the land and it's quite beautiful. At night we had a full moon which was lovely on the water.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
They've got it down to a science. Once you're on the program, you know what to expect. Don't forget your key card. You need it every time you leave the ship.
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
Best excursion: bike riding in Palma. You get to see the city up close and personal plus be out in the fresh air. Second best: Amalfi Coast and Pompeii--not to be missed. Least favorite: Monte Carlo--the casino didn't open until 2:30 which was nearly time to head back to the bus. Always bring your own water with you as you may not get any until late in the day.
Onboard Activities
We didn't participate much since mainly we were on excursions then returned to eat dinner and see shows.
Entertainment
The shows were fun, nothing to write home about. We had a good time at the Legends show, enjoyed the Beatles look-alike show, and thought the Burn the Floor dancers were crazy talented. But the BEST time we had was at the "Howl at the Moon" dueling piano bar. We went in after a show and ended up staying until closing. Would highly recommend it!
Service and Staff
Everybody was super friendly and always eager to help.
Food and Dining
The free specialty restaurants are a really nice alternative to the Garden buffet. Sometimes the chaos of the buffet was too much--noisy, crowded, kids running around--one time we couldn't even find a place to sit. The specialty restaurants are more upscale, with better food, waiters, and people who are dressed nicer. Don't wait until the end of your cruise time to try them like we did.
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
We flew into Rome where we started the cruise. When we returned, we spent an extra 3 days in Rome which I would highly recommend since you don't get to see the city before you get on the ship. Rome was amazing! We stayed at the Airport Hilton which has a free shuttle that goes back and forth into Rome several times a day. A BIG plus!
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy
We went to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower; of course it was very crowded. I hear May or October are much better times to visit (we went in August).
Cannes, France
Our excursion was to the medieval town of Eze (overlooking the Mediterranean) which was great but not enough time to really see it plus the shops were just opening when we left. Monaco was beautiful but Monte Carlo was a waste of time since the main thing to see is the casino and it doesn't open until 2:30.


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