Quality not as good as expected

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Contributor Level: Purser
Experience: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 17

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
7 Night Western Mediterranean (Rome Roundtrip)
Sail Date: September 09, 2015
Ship: Norwegian Epic
Cabin Type: Suite
Cabin Number: 10093
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 2 years ago

I've been on several Carnival cruises but this was my first Norwegian cruise. I was expecting better food and service but was disappointed that neither measured up to my previous experiences. The amenities were superior - we booked a junior balcony suite that was comfortable and well appointed. The bathroom accommodations aren't too private but shouldn't be a problem if you're familiar with your traveling companion. The entertainment was superior - 2 of the 3 theater shows were Broadway quality (only the Legends show faltered). We did not pay the extra fee for Cirque de Soleil as I'm from Las Vegas and have seen most of their shows. We paid the $20/person extra to try the Ice Bar - didn't compare to the 5 Below bars in Las Vegas and the room was uncomfortably cold - we couldn't finish our second drink we were so uncomfortable.  The food was the biggest disappointment. Unless you pay extra to dine in the Bistro, Teppan or Steak restaurants the food doesn't compare to other cruises. Also I found many of the sauces they added to entrees or desserts detracted from the final product. If you're not sure you're going to like it - order it without or on the side. Most disappointing was the restaurant service. Most servers didn't seem to be enjoying their jobs and rarely smiled seeming more interested in talking to each other rather than the guests.  Of course the star of this cruise are the ports of call and they didn't disappoint. Even when we had a poor tour guide on one of our excursions - the staff discounted the excursion on our bill. Overall I enjoyed this cruise most for the places I visited and if I travelled this area again I think I would experiment with another line. 

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
if you don't spend extra on the better restaurants you'll be disappointed in the Main dining rooms.

Onboard Activities

1 out of 5
This is not a "fun ship". On at sea days everyone is around the pools and there are not enough chairs to accommodate everyone. They had the occasional game show or guests competition but not like other ships that have something to do nearly every hour of the day.


5 out of 5
The Motown show and Burn the Floor dance musical were excellent. The Legends impersonator show had mediocre performances. Did not pay extra to attend the Cirque show.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
restaurant service was biggest disappointment but our room steward Joe (shortened nickname) was excellent.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Great room, plenty of storage. Bathroom configuration is awkward but if you're familiar with your cabin mate it shouldn't be a problem. I haven't found any ship that has enough plugs to accommodate iPads, phones, etc.

Ship Tip

Pay extra for the upgraded dining or you'll be disappointed. Not as many planned activities on the ship as other Cruiselines.

5 out of 5
We took this cruise in and out of Rome so we could spend 5 extra days in Rome. That allowed us just to hit the highlights! One day is not enough in this great city!
5 out of 5
Don't miss Florence! Wished our excursion had bypassed the drive by of Pisa and allowed us an extra hour to shop in Florence. Historical excursion was so action packed we had to shorten our lunch to allow time to buy some souvenirs.
5 out of 5
We took the Grasse/St. Paul excursion that was a half day. This tour was too short especially in St. Paul. Should have been a full day to allow art lovers to browse galleries or non art lovers to shop in this quaint medieval village with spectacular views. We barely had time to walk up to the village when we were being pushed back on the bus to go back to the ship. Hopefully this excursion is lengthened after the many complaints. We spent the rest of our port time I walking back to Cannes where there are countless cafes and shopping.
5 out of 5
We just took the $15 shuttle to town that runs all day. There is a great beach and tented shops setup along the main drag offering local wares and $1-2€ tapas and cervezas.
5 out of 5
Did the Best of Barcelona tour that gave us highlights of the city and included an inside tour of Sagrada Familia. My favorite city - can't wait to go back and spend more time. City is so clean and green with great food options!
5 out of 5
We took the excursion to Capri to do as we liked once there. All of our excursions were so action packed we felt that this was a perfect relaxed day. The funicular is only 1.80€ each way to top and the town is easily walkable. The boat ride there was rough and many people were sick - seas were much calmer on return trip.
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