Epic, What to expect
18 of 18 people found this review informative
|Reviewed By: Lester, Banbury on 25th Jul 2011|
|Cruise Line: NCL Cruises||Times cruised before: 6-10|
|Cruise Ship: Norwegian Epic||Sailed: July, 2011|
|Destination: Mediterranean||Age: 56-65|
|Cabin: Balcony||Occasion: Family holiday|
We have just arrived back from our week long cruise on the Norwegian Epic and would like to share our experience.
We had a mixed holiday, some positives and some negatives.
The ship is huge and much bigger than the ships we have travelled on before. The difficulty that all these big ships must suffer from is that the facilities remain roughly the same size. I do not think that the restaurants, theatres and bars are much bigger than the ones on Ocean Villages. Where they win is there is vastly more of them. Which is fine except when everybody wants to go to the same place.
As a family on a budget we always dined in the non surcharge restaurants. We never had to wait for a table in the Taste restaurant and we always found a table in the Garden Cafe, timing always affects this I know, but we always ate when we wanted. Holding the table in the Garden Cafe is a problem but that would be a problem in a lot of buffet restaurants. The staff clear the tables so quickly people think its a empty table. Getting food in a relay is the only option, having a son helped us! We used the Garden Cafe a lot, we love the opportunity to try different things and we found the food was faultless. It is ordinary food, fairly basic, meals from different countries but it is excellent. But if you want waiter service do not use. The Taste restaurant was the only other one we used. There is a set menu with 4 or 5 options and a daily menu with 4 or 5 options. again the food was faultless. There was enough choice but as it is at home if you want fine cuisine you have to pay and that is where the specialist restaurants would come in. At extra cost. It is down to individual choice. It amazes me that people expect silver service and cordon bleu cooking in the price of the basic cruise. It was exactly the same on Ocean Village. To me the food was just what I wanted, plenty of variety, good quality and the chance to try different things.
The entertainment was generally good. what was disappointing was the fact you had to book and we did it the first night and only just managed to see the Blue Men(Absolutely excellent) and didn't get the chance to see another group at all. Spainish Ballet was excellent, Legends were OK but that depends on who you get, Comedian was too American biased, lot of jokes were topical and only understood by Americans. Bands on board were very good. We didn't see the circus show as it was charged for. Bit unfair I think. It would pay to book before you board but it would have been nice to see the whole entertaiment schedule. we found that one night we missed something because we had booked a show and another night there was nothing that we really wanted to do. It would have been nice to space the big shows out but we could only go when we found space. Again a drawback to having a big ship and a difficult one to find an answer.
Getting on board was excellent , check-in smooth and the cabin was good. The toilet/shower arrangement was weird, only a curtain across end of cabin to separate, just make sure you no one comes and goes while you are doing your bits. The cabin was clean, well looked after and comfortable so no complaints.
The whole ship is in excellent condition and well looked after.
General facilities are good, especially for youngsters, water slides and climbing walls well used, gym facilities good.
Staff are mostly excellent with only the occasional one who just seemed more interested in someone or something else. Again same problem as others so something you live with. Just didn't seem the happiest of crews I have cruised with.
So that's the positives
The negatives now
Three main areas. Drinks, Excursions and Photographs
Firstly the drinks.
To me they are very expensive
Bottle of Heinekin $4.95 plus 15% gratuity plus tax
There was offers of buy 5 get 6th free but then you have to carry them around
Cocktails were $5.95 plus grat plus tax
We ended up paying virtually $14 dollars, nearly ten ponds for two drinks
Seemed a lot to me
Cheapest bottle of wine was $20 plus grat plus tax so that was £18-19 for a house wine
If you had a plastic cocktail it was $2 dollars more (plus grat plus tax) and you wern't asked if you wanted one
Okay you get to keep glass if you want but every time? Most people didn't
Worst thing was on the first night a cocktail was thrust in my hand and I said thanks and then I was asked for my card to book it. It just seemed that the staff were doing there best to get us to spend as much as we can and doing it any way they could.
Next the excursions
I looked at the list and was gobsmacked
Day trip to Rome $250 dollars each
We wanted to go to Rome and see the Coliseum
It would have cost us £490, yes pounds
We booked a trip to Herculaneum - cancelled, then another trip to Naples - cancelled
Did a couple of half days, that was all we could afford
What grieved me was that the tours were exactly the same as the ones on other ships, same coaches, similar tour guides to same places but double the cost
That spoilt the holiday
As always on cruises photos are not cheap.
Photographers are plentiful and very good
What I was annoyed that they advertise the price but not the fact that you have to pay tax on them
So when we bought a CD with all our photos for $250 dollars we processed payment on computer and it added another $45 tax
I expect Americans know about the tax but foreigners don't so I feel it should have explained
So that is about it
It is a lovely ship but I just feel that to cruise on it is too expensive
Might be cheaper to book but I think the overall cost for the week makes it not a cheap cruise
So sorry Norwegian Cruise Line, I won't be cruising with you again
|Quality of Food|
|Garden Cafe Good variety|
|Blue Men and Spainish Ballet Both excellent|
|Only could afford two small ones|
Dec 10 2013 10:07AM)