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We picked this cruise based on the ports of call and could not be happier. The disembark from Barcelona could not easier, took about 20 minutes and we were on the ship. We didn’t like the layout of the ship based on the lack of windows and no outside deck on the front of the ship. BTW Elevators on this ship-suck! We booked most of our tours with Can’t Be Missed (CBM) and glad we did. Naples we used CBM at the last minute for their Sorrento, Almaphi coast & Pompei tour. It started with a wreck blocking the road to Sorrento. While most tours turn back and skipped Sorrento, our bus driver knew half the city and was given information that the wreck would be cleared. After a 30 minute delay we were back on track. While this was our least expensive tour it was our favorite. If you take this trip make sure you eat where they(CBM) shows you. Sorrento was nice however very crowded and the restaurant that was recommended was relaxing and one of the best meals of the trip. Rome had a bus strike so our tour with cruising tours.com was canceled, however after telling CBM our story they found us a private driver and saved the day. Our meeting time was 8;30am, so we arrived at the meeting place about 7:45. To our surprise our driver was there waiting for us, therefore we left 40 minutes ahead of schedule. To say he was great was/is a gross understatement. Patricio was awesome! He is a history major at the Rome University and he gave us a tour of a lifetime. We stopped at all the main historical sites and then he added some special local sites that we would had never seen it we took our original tour. Again CBM SAVED THE DAY! Florence Pisa was another CBM tour and while it was good, it was hard to live up to the last 2 tours , however still a really nice tour. We originally were going to do the ship tour on this port, however they didn’t have a tour to both Florence and Pisa, so we went with CBM. Cannes we did the Cruise tour and while the disembark was a Royal cluster , once we were on the tour to Monoco and Monte Carlo we had a great time. We loved this tour and the tour guy was one of the best we have ever had. Great balance between giving great facts without overwhelming us. Last was Palma and all we did was take the cruise bus into the city. Once again not to disappoint the cruise ship bus load was a cluster. They told everyone to get your tickets a head of time and most did. If you waited until you were at the bus you could bypass the 30 minute line and get right on the bus. Good job NCL! Once in town it was a pleasant surprise. What a cool city. Wish we had more time to explore. As for the rest of the cruise: The Good Buffet staff, bartenders and rock wall people were fantastic! Way better than the Grand Princess we had last year to Alaska. Also for the first part of the trip the main restaurant staff were great, however sometime after Rome we noticed a different group that wasn’t that great. Not sure if we were eating at different areas or what, but we all noticed a change. Also the captain and bridge staff were great. We would pull in and out of port and rarely notice it was so quiet and smooth. The Bad. We ate at 2 specialty restaurants. Teppanyaki and Cagney's Steakhouse. Teppanyaki was good food and service, however we had 6pm reservation and the did not start dinner until 7. They sat us at 6:15 (20 minutes after we arrived) and then we waited another 45 minutes. Cagney's Steakhouse The food and service was OK. Not worth the $100 for 2 we paid. And at both restaurants they charged 30% on top of the meal and then asked if you wanted to tip more. To me that was a little excessive. And again the service was just ok. The ugly Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant was the worst food I have ever had on a cruise. Not sure if it was that we had too high of expectations and we were so hungry, however it was just awful. The ships windows were always dirty. Does NCL know about Windex? Also our cabin steward was not good. Every night we would let him know that we were going out for dinner however, every night we would come back 2 hours later and have to wait another 45 minutes to an hour for him to turn down the beds. Last, the disembark was a nightmare. Did I mention the elevators sucked! We decided to just walk off and not have them transfer our luggage and that was a mistake. We waited for over 30 minutes for an elevator and finally just carried our luggage down 6 flights of stairs. NCL really misses on crowd control. All in all we had a great trip. The cruise did what we wanted it to do. That said, I would never cruise on this ship if I wanted to see my surroundings. I will never understand why NCL would cover up windows not clean any of the restaurant windows and thought it would be nice to look at a bowling alley instead of the sea/shore, however I am sure they have their reasons. The ship has the feel of a Reno casino and while nice, it just wasn’t to my liking.

Just ok

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Hlymon25

Trip Details
We picked this cruise based on the ports of call and could not be happier.

The disembark from Barcelona could not easier, took about 20 minutes and we were on the ship. We didn’t like the layout of the ship based on the lack of windows and no outside deck on the front of the ship.

BTW

Elevators on this ship-suck!

We booked most of our tours with Can’t Be Missed (CBM) and glad we did.

Naples we used CBM at the last minute for their Sorrento, Almaphi coast & Pompei tour. It started with a wreck blocking the road to Sorrento. While most tours turn back and skipped Sorrento, our bus driver knew half the city and was given information that the wreck would be cleared. After a 30 minute delay we were back on track. While this was our least expensive tour it was our favorite. If you take this trip make sure you eat where they(CBM) shows you. Sorrento was nice however very crowded and the restaurant that was recommended was relaxing and one of the best meals of the trip.

Rome had a bus strike so our tour with cruising tours.com was canceled, however after telling CBM our story they found us a private driver and saved the day. Our meeting time was 8;30am, so we arrived at the meeting place about 7:45. To our surprise our driver was there waiting for us, therefore we left 40 minutes ahead of schedule. To say he was great was/is a gross understatement. Patricio was awesome! He is a history major at the Rome University and he gave us a tour of a lifetime. We stopped at all the main historical sites and then he added some special local sites that we would had never seen it we took our original tour. Again CBM SAVED THE DAY!

Florence Pisa was another CBM tour and while it was good, it was hard to live up to the last 2 tours , however still a really nice tour. We originally were going to do the ship tour on this port, however they didn’t have a tour to both Florence and Pisa, so we went with CBM.

Cannes we did the Cruise tour and while the disembark was a Royal cluster , once we were on the tour to Monoco and Monte Carlo we had a great time. We loved this tour and the tour guy was one of the best we have ever had. Great balance between giving great facts without overwhelming us.

Last was Palma and all we did was take the cruise bus into the city. Once again not to disappoint the cruise ship bus load was a cluster. They told everyone to get your tickets a head of time and most did. If you waited until you were at the bus you could bypass the 30 minute line and get right on the bus. Good job NCL! Once in town it was a pleasant surprise. What a cool city. Wish we had more time to explore.

As for the rest of the cruise:

The Good

Buffet staff, bartenders and rock wall people were fantastic! Way better than the Grand Princess we had last year to Alaska. Also for the first part of the trip the main restaurant staff were great, however sometime after Rome we noticed a different group that wasn’t that great. Not sure if we were eating at different areas or what, but we all noticed a change. Also the captain and bridge staff were great. We would pull in and out of port and rarely notice it was so quiet and smooth.

The Bad.

We ate at 2 specialty restaurants. Teppanyaki and Cagney's Steakhouse. Teppanyaki was good food and service, however we had 6pm reservation and the did not start dinner until 7. They sat us at 6:15 (20 minutes after we arrived) and then we waited another 45 minutes. Cagney's Steakhouse The food and service was OK. Not worth the $100 for 2 we paid. And at both restaurants they charged 30% on top of the meal and then asked if you wanted to tip more. To me that was a little excessive. And again the service was just ok.

The ugly

Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant was the worst food I have ever had on a cruise. Not sure if it was that we had too high of expectations and we were so hungry, however it was just awful. The ships windows were always dirty. Does NCL know about Windex? Also our cabin steward was not good. Every night we would let him know that we were going out for dinner however, every night we would come back 2 hours later and have to wait another 45 minutes to an hour for him to turn down the beds. Last, the disembark was a nightmare. Did I mention the elevators sucked! We decided to just walk off and not have them transfer our luggage and that was a mistake. We waited for over 30 minutes for an elevator and finally just carried our luggage down 6 flights of stairs. NCL really misses on crowd control.

All in all we had a great trip. The cruise did what we wanted it to do. That said, I would never cruise on this ship if I wanted to see my surroundings. I will never understand why NCL would cover up windows not clean any of the restaurant windows and thought it would be nice to look at a bowling alley instead of the sea/shore, however I am sure they have their reasons. The ship has the feel of a Reno casino and while nice, it just wasn’t to my liking.
Hlymon25’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 16+
Service
Onboard Experience
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Barcelona
    Great city
    View All 2,129 Barcelona Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Barcelona Cruise Port Review
  • Monaco & Monte Carlo
    Cannes we did the Cruise tour and while the disembark was a Royal cluster , once we were on the tour to Monoco and Monte Carlo we had a great time. We loved this tour and the tour guy was one of the best we have ever had. Great balance between giving great facts without overwhelming us.
    View All 49 Monaco & Monte Carlo Reviews
  • Florence & Pisa Tour
    Florence Pisa was another CBM tour and while it was good, it was hard to live up to the last 2 tours , however still a really nice tour. We originally were going to do the ship tour on this port, however they didn’t have a tour to both Florence and Pisa, so we went with CBM.
    View All 212 Florence & Pisa Tour Reviews
  • Palma de Mallorca
    Palma and all we did was take the cruise bus into the city. Once again not to disappoint the cruise ship bus load was a cluster. They told everyone to get your tickets a head of time and most did. If you waited until you were at the bus you could bypass the 30 minute line and get right on the bus. Good job NCL! Once in town it was a pleasant surprise. What a cool city. Wish we had more time to explore.
    View All 770 Palma de Mallorca Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Palma de Mallorca Cruise Port Review
  • Private Tour
    Rome had a bus strike so our tour with cruising tours.com was canceled, however after telling CBM our story they found us a private driver and saved the day. Our meeting time was 8;30am, so we arrived at the meeting place about 7:45. To our surprise our driver was there waiting for us, therefore we left 40 minutes ahead of schedule. To say he was great was/is a gross understatement. Patricio was awesome! He is a history major at the Rome University and he gave us a tour of a lifetime. We stopped at all the main historical sites and then he added some special local sites that we would had never seen it we took our original tour. Again CBM SAVED THE DAY!
    View All 129 Private Tour Reviews