Epically worth almost every penny

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean
Experience: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 17

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5
Verified Review
Norwegian Epic

7 Night Western Mediterranean (Barcelona Roundtrip)

Sail Date: May 14, 2017

Ship: Norwegian Epic

Cabin Type: Balcony

Cabin Number: 8219

Traveled As: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review Summary

My fiancé and I realized that, after this first cruise for each of us in over 20 years (our first together), we'll never be that typical Caribbean cruiser. Going from beach port to beach port isn't really our thing.
So with that, this was a great cruise. A good amount of planning on our part is what made it really good. The experience on the Epic made it great.
Our cabin (8219) was amazing for the price. An aft-balcony room that was handicap accessible (we're not disabled) gave us a room that felt the size of something even larger than a mini-suite. The huge balcony that easily fit two chaises, two chairs and a small table made "outdoor" time truly wonderful.

The entertainment on board was stellar. Priscilla-Queen of the Desert was phenomenal. We had seen the play on Broadway and were quite flabbergasted at the ability of this production to be put on so well on a ship. A must see. (Admittedly, a small part of the entertainment of the show was watching ignorant buffoons who were told multiple times of the show's content walk out in disgust. Apparently ignorance is not always bliss.)

The service was terrific. Everyone (with one glaring exception) was always ready with a "good morning," a "hello," and a smile on their faces. Our cabin steward Ryan was great and always helped out with our silly requests (Tony takes a lot of sugar in his coffee, I use extra pillows while sleeping, etc.).

The only "complaint' that I have to say would be the food. It wasn't horrid, but the

complimentary dining areas were okay.... nothing special. The Garden Cafe was usually a zoo and I literally avoided going there. Taste for breakfast was good, and the dinner we had in the Manhattan Room was good as well. 
The specialty dining (we did all of them except for Le Bistro) were a step above the regular dining with La Cucina, Teppanyakia, Cagney's, and Moderno being preferred in that order.
Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze. Barcelona and NCL have their act together with regard to this. It was a simple process even for us relative first-timers. 
The ports (especially the Italian cities) were amazing. It's unfortunate we didn't get to spend enough time in each location. 
Our next adventure will be on Norwegian (we were so impressed, we put deposits down on two more cruises with them). We just have to figure out where to go. Happy 

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
As mentioned in the main review, the standard dining as average at best, if a specialty dining package is available, take it and enjoy La Cucina, Teppanyaki, and Cagney's! (Repeat La Cucina and try to get a window seat at a time during either sailaway or sunset.)

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
With a pool table, dart board, and air hockey, O'Sheehans seemed to be a destination for us. The trivia seemed too short (I'm a trivia nut), but I guess you can't have two-hour long bar type competitions.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
The shows are, well, EPIC. Priscilla is great. Burn The Floor was a great dancing event, but did lack a story line. The "Beatles" are the Cavern Club were quite good, and Bliss Ultra Lounge is always a fun place to go at night (even if there are only 4 people singing Karaoke).

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

Cabin review is essentially in the main review. Suffice to say here that the handicapped room provided us with more space that one would have gotten in a mini-suite. Well worth it.

Ship Tip

Do this ship in the Mediterranean and do it before the kids get out of school. I like kids, but honestly, just one set of parents who let their kids run amok can put a damper on everyone else's fun.

Ports Of Call

Barcelona, Spain

3 out of 5
If you stay for a day or two, we recommend doing a tour with BrightSide Tour.. You tour the city in a WWII era motorcycle with a sidecar. While you're being a tourist and learning about the sites, you also become the attraction. Truly amazing!

Naples, Italy

3 out of 5
For us, foregoing the typical excursion and running off to Capri for a 3-hour around the Isle private boat was an unforgettable experience. (Bring Dramamine just in case.)

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

3 out of 5
ItalyTours.EU did a great job, but honestly, it was rushed. Not their fault, just too much to see.

Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy

3 out of 5
We used ItalyTours here as well. Another whirlwind but less so. We had time to shopping in Florence and an hour or so to walk around the Leaning Tower of Pisa (that's more than enough time).

Cannes, France

2 out of 5
Avoid the Film Institute area (especially during the festival). Instead reserve your tender early and go walking around the Old Town and climb us to the highest points that will give you great pictures. (Don't go on a tour. That will provide you with time to find a cute café where you can grab a coffee and crepe and people watch.)

Palma De Mallorca, Balearic Islands

3 out of 5
The ship docks here on a Saturday. Arrange for the shuttle bus and take advantage of the craft market near the drop off point. You'll get unusual and more useful and memorable souvenirs there. After that grab some tapas along the main roads and wander the alleys to find your own memories.
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