Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by LVNV Cruiser
- Sail Date: July 2019
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Large Balcony
Embarkation: Very smooth and didn’t take long at all. They segmented everyone into groups in the order in which you arrived. They would go through a group in about 15 minutes. From the time we arrived at the terminal until we were onboard was about 30 – 40 minutes. There was plenty of seating and accommodations available such as restrooms, free water, and a snack bar. The waiting area was air conditioned, clean, and comfortable. The embarking operation was organized, adequately staffed, and well ran.
Boarding: When you board the ship there was nobody to greet you. You just follow the line of people in front of you and, SHAZAM, you find yourself on board wondering where to go next. Carnival does a good job greeting and welcoming. NCL could improve this part of the experience.
Food: It seemed that the food selection at the buffet was scaled back somewhat from what we have experienced on the other two NCL ships. Maybe this is done to entice people into the restaurants? Nevertheless, the food quality was good and there was still a great selection. I am on the Keto diet and my wife is vegan vegetarian. Food selection and quality are important to us, and NCL certainly does this better than Carnival; hands down!
Cleanliness: The ship was 5 Star Spotless. NCL does this very well. The ship is always well staffed, and workers are always nearby whenever a mess is made to clean it up immediately. This is also true for the rooms. The cabin attendants are full service, friendly, and helpful. They keep our room neat and maintained around the clock.
Beverages: This is the first time that we’ve ever used a beverage package on any cruise line. My wife and I simply do not drink enough for them to come close to being worth the price. However, in this case, it was offered to us as a promotional at a significantly reduced price of $125 per person. With a total cost of $250 for the two of us it fell into the category of good value. This should not be a promotional price; it should be the full-time rate as it is a good rate for both the cruise line and the customer. We did not drink anywhere near $250 worth of retail liquor, beer, or wine. But we did drink more than $250 worth of ship priced liquor-by-the-drink beverages. If ships sold these for a flat rate of $125 per person for every cruise, I am convinced they would enjoy a larger number of customers buying them and netting themselves a larger revenue. As for the customer, they would enjoy a carefree cruise by having a prepaid beverage package which eliminates the worry of sticker shock at the end.
Spa: We did not use any spa services this time around. It has been our experience that what you get is never worth the price. We decided to focus our money on more off-the-ship activities this time around.
Pools & Hot Tubs: We didn’t swim at any pools, but we did use the “warm tubs” at Spice H2O. I say “Warm Tubs” because they are nowhere near hot. Aside from water temperature the areas are clean and well maintained. Service at the H20 bar was quick and easy.
• Bingo – We always enjoy playing bingo.
• Atrium Game Shows – These are fun to do for those in between times. Love them!
• Pricilla – Mediocre
• Helen Ward Jackson Adel Tribute – Fantastic, highly talented, fun, energetic
• Burn The Floor – We never got to see it. They tell you to register, so we did. We registered the day we got on the ship for the only night that was available. As it turned out it was not a show night, it was at the restaurant act. We missed the show. I wish they’d do away with reservations for these shows and go back to just showing up for them.
On-Board Shopping: We didn’t do any shopping this time around. None of the stores are open while the ship is docked, which is everyday except one on this itinerary. The ship gets underway around supper time each evening and the stores open then. But our time was spent on other activities during evening hours.
• Countryside & Wine Tasting @ Florence/Pisa: Fantastic – 5 Star – Totally Recommend
• Grasse & St. Paul De Vence @ Cannes: Great – 4 Star – Recommend
• Local Wines & Panorama @ Palma Majorca – 4 Star – Recommend
• Hop On & Hop Off Bus @ Barcelona – 1 Star – Don’t Recommend, very little information or guidance on where to go, what to do, or how to do it. You’re left to your own wit to figure it out.
• Hop On & Hop Off Bus @ Naples – 1 Star – Don’t Recommend, SUCKED! These should be named “Shove’em on a bus and let them figure it out” tours
Disembarkation: Leaving the ship was very organized, easy, and quick.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
BarcelonaIt sucked! This tour should be named "Shove Them On A Bus and They Will Figure It Out". The buses are on a rotating route. There are two lines, Line A and Line B. You're given a map with labels in Spanish telling you what is at the stop. Nothing really guides you of how to structure your day, and what you can take advantage of at your stops. The instructions for getting back to your ship are barely helpful.View All 12,794 Barcelona Cruise Port Reviews
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St. Paul de Vence Walking TourThis tour is also awesome, very picturesque.View All 12 St. Paul de Vence Walking Tour Reviews
Wine TourWe did the countryside wine tasting and OMG it was awesome. What a great time. It goes to prove that you must travel outside a city to meet good people with great hospitality. This is totally worth it.View All 49 Wine Tour Reviews
NaplesWe booked both Hop On and Hop Off excursions prior to sailing. Even though our first experience sucked, we were willing to give it another try since it was a different country. There was seemingly nothing else to choose of interest, so this was better than staying on the ship. Nope! Same result. Should have gone to the pool on the ship instead.View All 12,794 Naples Cruise Port Reviews
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Wine TastingA bus ride to a castle you can't enter, and then the bus stops at the winery. The winery was interesting and the wine tasting a good experience. Not as good as the one in Florence, but this is a good tour.View All 19 Wine Tasting Reviews
Rome (Civitavecchia)We embarked at Rome and spent two days touring before the ship. The tours we did in Rome were not shore excursions, rather, we booked them through Trip Advisor. The first was Colosseum, Forums, and Palatine Hill, and the second was tour of Rome by Golf Cart. I recommend both.View All 2,146 Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Reviews
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