50th Anniversary Cruise of the Western Mediterranean

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 15

Overall rating:

3.9 out of 5
Norwegian Epic

7 Night Western Mediterranean (Rome Roundtrip)

Sail date: May 15, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Epic

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 11255 and 11257

Traveled as: Family (young children)

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

All in all, it accomplished what we wanted which was a cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary with our son, age 46, our daughter, age 39 (with physical disability), our grandson, age 9 and us, age 71 with my husband's physical disability. We wanted to see many of the great sites of Europe and most of us accomplished that. And we wanted a cruise that would entertain our grandson and he loved the water slide and pool area even on colder and rainy days. Without the arcade and pool slides, it would have been very difficult. The ship was too large, too crowded and the excursions too rigorous to accommodate all of our needs. Many of the things we had looked forward to seeing/doing were not included in the hefty price of our cruise. For example, bowling would have been fun but it cost $9 extra each. The Ice Bar would have been cool but it cost $25 each to enter. A tour of the ship sounded interesting but at $79 each, we declined. I knew that there would be extra charges for things onboard but these charges were ridiculous. Would I book on NCL again? No. I would chose a smaller ship with much more personalized service and attention to the needs of all of us. Again, I must say that Eka, our cabin steward, was wonderfully attentive and helped us keep track of each other. And our walkie talkies were vital to keep in touch since cell service was expensive and spotty. Also, when I needed Guest Services, there was often a long, long line as well as the desk for Excursion information. Also, either desk closed or long lines. I gave up on redeeming the internet minutes which were also supposed to have been credited to both of our suites. Only one had been credited and finding help with that consumed a lot of our cruise time. All in all, as novice cruisers, our experience could have been better. But we did see Europe which was the main goal of our vacation. Well, most of us saw it.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
We arrived and were processed quickly. However, if there was ever a safety drill, we missed it and were never notified of another opportunity. One of our suitcases ended up in the hall near another room, but we grabbed it and moved it to ours. Our room steward introduced himself and he was EXCELLENT throughout the entire trip.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
We were unable to make reservations for the specialty dining rooms which we signed up for as a "perk". When we called after settling in over a couple of days to make reservations, the convenient times for us were not available. Dining at 9:30 pm was not appropriate for us so we never actually used our 3 perks per our two cabins bonus.

Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant

3 out of 5

One night we had a meal there. It was okay. Small portions, though. Couldn't get in the first time we tried and had to make reservations 24 hours ahead. But we made it.

O'Sheehans Neighborhood Bar and Grill

3 out of 5

My son had a burger there. It was okay.

Taste

4 out of 5

My son and I enjoyed a meal there one night and it was very good. They didn't charge us for dessert even though they could have. The waitress gave me a break because she didn't inform me before I ordered that there would be an additional charge for desert and coffee.

Garden Cafe

3 out of 5

Ate most of their meals there. It was okay. But sometimes so crowded that we had to wander around with our plates waiting for seats to open.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
My grandson LOVED the slides and pool activities. My daughter utilized the spa and enjoyed it.

Aqua Park

5 out of 5

My grandson loved it. Spent a lot of time there, rain or shine.

Bowling

1 out of 5

Couldn't afford it. Seems like no one else used it much either.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
We enjoyed the magician, the Beatles tribute and Burn the Floor dance show. We also visited Howl at the Moon piano "experience". Once we were able to find seats and once it was too crowded to do other than stand at the door.

Headliners Comedy Club

1 out of 5

No comedians available.

Epic Theatre

4 out of 5

Enjoyed the Beatles Tribute, the Magician and Burn the Floor Dance review.

Children's Programs

We signed up our grandson but he never actually went. He went along on our excursions and he was busy at the pool and slide activities.

Video Arcade

3 out of 5

We spent a lot of time there with my grandson. We had to pay for each game we played but it was fun for him. The ticket machine worked only half the time to redeem for little prizes.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The room steward was excellent. Eka was great and very attentive. We used room service often and they were very good. The servers in the main dining area which we used once we're fine. The personnel in the Cafe where we took most of our meals were efficient, kind but distant.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship was clean. We walked a very long distance which was to be expected due to the size of the ship but still a struggle for the disabled members of our group.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Comfortable. Lots of storage. Liked the balcony. However, the third bed I slept on was like sleeping on a couch, which it was, and not the most comfortable. I thought there would be an actual third bed but the steward just made up the couch every night for me with a sheet over the vinyl couch. Not too comfy for a seven night sleeping experience.

Ship tip

If you are trying to arrange a cruising experience to suit an age range from 71 to 9, don't try to do it on a huge, crowded Norwegian Epic cruise ship. It was too big, too crowded and too much like a Las Vegas experience to suit all of us.

Ports of call

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

5 out of 5
This was our departure site. Not much to say about it. Very industrial but we were processed in very efficiently.

Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy

3 out of 5
We did an excursion here. The excursion covered the major points of interest but we were hurried through and our excursion leader lost track of my husband and he had to sit out the major portion of the tour in a cafe while we went on without him. We had listening devices which helped us keep track of where she was but we really had to hustle to keep up with her.

Cannes, France

4 out of 5
This tour leader was excellent. Attentive to her group and inclusive. Her grasp of history was excellent and she was very informative. And her accent was pleasant and she was understandable. She made good use of our listening devices.

Palma De Mallorca, Balearic Islands

2 out of 5
Palma was a beautiful location and we looked forward to the excursion. My husband stayed behind this time because trying to keep us was too difficult for him. But this tour leader's accent was so thick that other members of the tour were trying to help each other understand what she was saying. We did NOT have listening devices, either. And she gave no regard to who was on the tour and whether or not she had her group together before moving on. My daughter and grandson got lost in the cathedral and were it not for our walkie talkies, we would have lost them. Another group of ladies were also left behind and we had to shout to the tour leader to stop and wait for them to catch up. It was a very poor experience and I feel as if this was a waste of our money. I have since gone on to You Tube to understand where I was and what I saw.

Barcelona, Spain

4 out of 5
We took the excursion here and enjoyed Barcelona very much. We started in the Spanish Village so we had a wonderful overview of the country. We were surprised by an afternoon shower which dampened the experience but overall our tour leader was excellent and very attentive to our large group. My daughter stayed behind in the plaza due to her walking disability and my husband stayed on board the ship due to his experience in Florence but, thanks to our walkie talkies, we were able to meet up in time to catch the bus back to the ship.

Naples, Italy

5 out of 5
We very much enjoyed the tour leader on this excursion. He emphasized that he was not in a hurry and led us on a very remarkable excursion of Nice and Pompei. My husband stayed behind as we had learned that excursions cannot accommodate disabilities. My daughter paced herself on this excursion and stayed behind when she needed to. My son, my grandson and I went along at a lovely paced and learned a lot from our tour leader.

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
We disembarked a bit earlier than we expected and had to wait 45 minutes for the ride we had arranged based on the time we thought we would be getting off the ship. It worked out but waiting on the curb with our luggage could have been more pleasant than it was. We had no way of getting in touch with our prearranged transportation so we just had to wait. Then we worried about getting to the airport on time. As it was, all was well and we got there on time but still, the message about when we had to be off the ship could have been made clearer.
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