When we first booked our western Mediterranean cruise on the Norwegian Epic I didn’t have high expectations and thought of the ship as a means to get around to the ports. I left very happy with the cruise portion and NCL.
Yes there were things that could be improved but so many positives outweigh them.
As I mentioned before the public areas of the ship were beautiful. I loved the touch screens by the elevators showing you how to navigate and what’s on the schedule and where.
Speaking of the elevators, this ship could use another bank. Over the week, I waited more than on other ships for an elevator and with the size of this ship taking the stairs as much as I usually do isn’t going to happen.
Our cabin was in great condition except for the carpet right next to the balcony door where it had gotten wet too many times. We had plenty of storage and that was impressive considering we had three adults with 10 days of clothing.
The balcony was bigger than I expected but the cabin itself was too narrow making it hard to get around the beds. The Epic is known for the unusual bathroom setup (see pictures here) and we adapted but I would prefer to have a traditional bathroom.
We were all extremely impressed with the service on board no matter where we encountered staff. The service in the main dining rooms was fantastic and frankly exceeded my last several cruises with Carnival and Celebrity.
Our room attendant was great and all three of us great her an extra tip the last day in appreciation.
Although I didn’t eat at the buffet for a full meal I had a couple of desserts there and a lot of perusal went on. It looked on par with Celebrity and far outweighed Carnival’s offering.
The main dining room food was good to excellent although I must admit they had some unusual menu offerings (a potato skin filled with crab salad). Their prime rib is the best I’ve seen at sea for several years.
I enjoyed the specialty restaurants we ate at and appreciated we were always reminded of the fee before being seated.
Entertainment and Activities
Entertainment is where Norwegian excels. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is the best show I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship (this is after 22 cruises). There was plenty of good options available and I enjoyed everything I saw except one singer whose style just didn’t match mine.
There were plenty of activities going on every day and if you read the Freestyle Daily’s posted each day, you’ll see that there’s no reason you would be bored on the sailing.
When we wanted something more low-key (after those long port days) the free in-room movies had a good variety and I know all of us enjoyed more than one.
Each port day the atrium screen (where many games where held) was used to post useful information about the port.
Two things I didn’t like about Norwegian Cruise Line is their pricing on bottled water and internet plans. Although it had recently dropped they only sold large bottles of water which would not be convenient to lug around ports.
The internet packages are very old-fashioned in pricing. Instead I paid $10 a day to AT&T (my carrier) for unlimited data access a few times. These are two areas Carnival wins!
Two more things I really liked was the NCL app and the self serve style of distributing luggage tags. I haven’t sailed on other lines using an app yet so this was my first experience and it was great having the ability to check the schedule and order tickets while out and about on the ship. I wish it would show me my reservations — only complaint there.
Epic Experiences I Missed
The cruise was so port intensive that there was a lot of things on-board we never got to try. These included:
- The ice bar
- Sports deck
- Cavern lounge
- Bliss lounge
- Dueling pianos
I guess it means we’ll have to book another Norwegian Epic cruise in the future. 😉
You can tell from this recap, we enjoyed this cruise very much and I’m excited to mix Norwegian ships into my cruise rotation.
If you missed the other parts of the recap the links are below.
Next Vacation: Barcelona and Norwegian Epic
Barcelona Flights and Lodging Plans
Norwegian Epic: Port Call Plans
Traveling to Barcelona
Barcelona Day 1
Cava Winery Tour/Taste
La Sagrada Familia
Epic Embarkation Day
Epic Sea Day
An Epic Visit to Naples
Two Epic Hilltop Towns
Specialty Dining: Moderno
The Epic San Gimignano
San Donato Farm
Epic French Riveria: Cannes and Nice
Epic French Rivieria: Eze and Saint-Paul de Vence
Specialty Dining: Cagney’s Steakhouse
Palma De Mallorca
Epic Debarkation and Travels Home