Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
2-3 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Vote
1

4 out of 5

Great way to sample Europe.

Sail Date: November 18, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

This was our second cruise (first was to Caribbean).  After we had made our reservations, we were slightly apprehensive from reading a number of negative reviews , but as is often the case, nearly all the negatives were largely unfounded.  Prior to boarding, we stayed two nights at the Hotel Mondial (a Best Western; booked through Delta Skymiles), a great little place close to the train station and the Metro, and had a chance to tour Rome.  On the cruise, we generally had dinner in the Manhattan Room.  The meals and selection were excellent, obviating the need for paying extra to dine in (and pay extra for) the specialty restaurants.  We booked two shore excursions (Florence-Pisa and Pompeii-Almafi Coast) through the Delta Skymiles site - at a significant savings over NCL's prices - and enjoyed each excursion thoroughly.  Both were led by very knowledgeable guides with good busses and drivers.  We would highly recommend this cruise and the shore excursions to anyone wishing to sample Italy, Barcelona, and the Cote d'Azur.

Cabin / Stateroom
We had a balcony stateroom. With their curving walls, single-person width between bed and sink/vanity, and curious bathroom layout, these were obviously designed to maximize the number of rooms available. A little bit tight, but certainly acceptable. Stateroom carpet is starting to show its age, particularly near balcony door, where salt from sea spray appears to get tracked in.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
Would highly recommend seeing Florence; we hope to return sometime for a few days.
Onboard Activities
Entertainment
Cirque du Soleil show was fantastic.
Service and Staff
Bars seemed to be slightly understaffed at the busiest times.
Food and Dining
Manhattan Room and Japanese restaurant were very good (as was the breakfast buffet in the Garden Café.
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
We had 1 1/2 days to see some high points of Rome before boarding ship; not sure how you could do so in one day from ship with hour trip each way, but I guess it's done.
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy
Do not miss Florence for the art; Pisa for you-know-what. We visited Pisa first, early in the day, and beat most of the crowds, but were also too early to go up in the tower.
Cannes, France
Good place for a leisurely stroll about town.
Palma De Mallorca, Balearic Islands
Our cruise was unable to dock in Palma, due to high winds/waves.
Barcelona, Spain
Bought tickets for Sagrada Familia online before trip to avoid very long lines; also recommend 50 minute guided tour for little more than cost of audio guide tour.
Naples, Italy
Visited Pompeii and Almafi Coast; would highly recommend.


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