NCL Epic

Norwegian Epic (NCL) Passenger Review

A complete review of Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) biggest ship by one of the passengers. Lets see what she has to say about the cruise experience on board  Norwegian Epic. She gives a very detailed review about the over all experience on board, the cabins and bathrooms on Epic, the entertainment on board, food and drinks, the service and the itinerary. The passenger has rated Norwegian Epic with 5 stars.

I just got off of a 5-day cruise on the Norwegian Epic. The itinerary was out of Barcelona and stopped off in Marseille and Palma de Mallorca before making its way back to Barcelona.

Norwegian Epic: The Ship

This was my second cruise in as many years, the first being on RCCL’s Adventure of the Seas with a similar Western Med itinerary. The Norwegian Epic blew the Adventure of the Seas out of the water! Of course, the newness of all the furnishings leant it a lustrous appeal.

But the general layout of all its guest areas was just really well done. At first, the lack of grand, open spaces made me a bit wary – there was no Royal Promenade here. Instead, all the bars, restaurants, shopping and entertainment areas lined three floors, with interconnecting stairwells throughout. I was a bit disappointed by this at first – I won’t lie – but the very clever design of this guest hub resulted in a buzzy atmosphere at almost all hours without any guest congestion. I can’t count the number of times I got held up in a crowd of guests trying to walk through the Royal Promenade on RCCL’s Adventure of the Seas.

Cabins/Rooms in Norwegian Epic

I had an inside stateroom. Yes, it was compact. But it had loads of storage space, nice mirrors and a lovely bed. It was a king-sized bed, people! That’s bigger than my bed at home. And more comfortable. The bedding was nothing short of luxury.

Bathrooms in Norwegian Epic

The toilet is a compartment with a glass door, yes. But if your partner won’t have sex with you ever again because you have to poop, you have relationship problems.

If you love your partner despite this, choose one of the hundreds of toilets throughout the rest of the ship, which you’ll often find completely empty, if you’re really concerned about it.

The Entertainment on Board Norwegian Epic

So good. The Blue Man Group almost made me pee myself. Howl at the Moon was good fun – not as raunchy and therefore amazing as brick-and-mortar Howl at the Moons in America – but entertaining nonetheless; I suspect the European market didn’t quite understand the sing-along aspect. The blues group was great, and the lead singer was thoroughly entertaining and engaging.

The entertainment throughout the ship in the evenings, generally, was of a great standard. It was wonderful being able to sit in any of the bar areas in the evening, enjoying a drink and listening to the very talented guitarist, pianist, etc wherever we were.

The great quality of the entertainment on the ship really affected my holiday positively. It was nothing like the cheesy, naff entertainment on RCCL’s Adventure of the Seas.

Service Quality On Norwegian Epic

A bit by rote, none of the staff members on the ship went out of their way to be friendly but nor were they rude. Coming from London, I don’t really mind this kind of service. I suppose if I were coming from America and therefore used to getting good service as standard, this would have bothered me.

This is one area where NCL didn’t compare favorable to Royal Caribbean.

Food on Norwegian Epic

I ate in the main dining room once. It wasn’t great. But it wasn’t terrible either. The buffets were good in that you could always find something that appealed to your palate, although the quality of some things was a bit below average; the quality on other things was perfectly acceptable. I ate in the Churrascaria restaurant one night, and it was fab. I also ate at the sushi bar another night (as an American expat, I sometimes miss those epic American sushi rolls), and it was wonderful. I was a bit dubious about eating at a sushi bar at sea, but I shouldn’t have been. The quality of the sashimi was excellent.

Drinks Served on Norwegian Epic

The cost of drinks was a bit less than I usually pay for drinks on land, so I wasn’t too fussed. But I do live in central London, where drinks are notoriously expensive, so I can see why people get upset at cruise lines (all cruise lines, not just NCL) for charging so much for drinks. I do have to commend NCL for having such a variety of drinks on board. Because, why yes, I’d like to drink a Kirin Ichiban while I’m eating sushi – not a Bud Light. (Royal Caribbean said it had more niche beers on it menus, but when asked for at the bar they were never available.) Weirdly, the only Guinness available on board was export quality (usually drunk in the African market) – even at the Irish pub on board – which is 7.5% abv. WUT. Normal Guinness is 4.1% and therefore tastes much different.

Port Of call

Marseille is typical of European port stops – that is to say, it’s difficult to make your own way from the commercial port to the city center, and the $20pp cost of the shuttle service offered by the cruise line itself seems prohibitive. Also, Marseille is a bit boring, let’s be honest

Palma de Mallorca was a lovely port stop, however, The port itself was modern and well built for cruise tourism, and a bus stop inside the port itself had a bus line that went straight to the city center for 1.50€. Palma was a nice, digestible port city to enjoy in a single day.  Source

Have you been on a cruise recently? Was your cruise up to expectations? Do you think that you should have tried a different cruise line, based on your experience? Was the overall cruise good or bad?

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One comment

  1. Zimbabwe says:

    Despite the couple of small moans I would love to try this trip :) Diane

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