Just how Epic ................ is Epic ?

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Review Details

Views:
28616
Overall Rating:
Cruise Line:
NCL Cruises
Cruise Ship:
Norwegian Epic
Destination:
Mediterranean

Review Profile

Times cruised before:
10+
Sailed:
September 2012
Age:
65+
Cabin:
Balcony
Occasion:
Birthday

Cruise Elements:

Quality of Food:
Dined in a number of eateries. The best was The Bistro. The least liked was the Cirqe Dreams byut that was down to one course only.
Entertainment:
Most enjoyable was the Los loco Ole. Weirdest was the Blue men.
Staff:
Rashida was outstanding in every way. But the rest of the staff were also excellent.
Onboard Activities:
Some more daytime activities would be good, but for the week we were on there was plenty.
Cabins:
Our balcony cabin was EXCELLENT.
With a decent amount of info to pass on I did wonder how to submit this review. But after some thought I will go with a diary type layout, and insert any tips/comments as I progress. Sunday 16th September. Day 1 Bags packed, and with a late morning flight we set off for LHR at 07:30. Roads were nice and clear, and we were soon at T5. TIP # - There is a vast amount of parking available at LHR, some linked with accommodation deals, some "meet and greet" and some just plain parking. I did a lot of work up front here and the best deal I found was VIP Parking ( link - http://www.valueindividualparking.co.uk/ ) 7 days meet and greet for £54.95 plus the BAA costs (~£5). NCL had people in the check in area who were on the look out for their guests. We waited in a line ,and when we got to the check in desk were asked for our boarding card. As we had not self checked in we didn't have one. So back to the machine we went. I have used these machines before, so it's not a problem, but the NCL rep did say that some people did have problems getting boarding passes and to use the desks. Self check in is not a speedy experience at all !! Once we were armed with a boarding pass it was easy to check the bags in, and then off to security. TIP # - NCL use mainstream carriers at LHR. These have generous baggage allowances of 23kg checked in and 23kg hand !! See links .... http://www.britishairways.com/travel/bagcabin/public/en_gb There is no way that passing through security checks can be described as a enjoyable experience, the sullen faces, and the "do this" and "do that" attitude make what must be a miserable job, even more so. But we were in the departure lounge relatively quickly, and on the hunt for newspapers and a bite to eat. We went to Wetherspoons for a drink but decided to give the breakfast a miss. We saw a number of plates of food on tables that were bought, but not eaten, not a good sign at all. Tip # - Take your own food. T5 does not have a large number of departure boards, and as verbal announcements are out these days you do need to be on your toes. But we found ours easy enough and boarded on time. As NCL use BA, the seats and legroom are better than chartered airlines, and overall the fight itself is a better experience. We were served a sandwich, with both a hot and cold drink. Barcelona was only a 2 hour flight and we were on time. Passport control was very quick and were in the baggage hall in ~15 mins. Once we had our luggage we set off to find our NCL rep, to be fair this wasn't that easy to do, and we had to ask about a bit. But we did find them and were sent off to amuse ourselves for 30/40 mins whilst other flights arrived. 10 mins before the new meeting time we noticed a number of people following a clipboard bearing rep to an exit. It seemed like a good idea to follow him despite it being early, but lucky we did or we could have missed the bus. Coaches were waiting and once boarded we were quickly on our way to Barcelona cruise port. Tip # - Keep an eye on the NCL reps. At the port our checked luggage was taken by port staff, and we went into the terminal. Our previous check in experiences have ranged from Ventura (dreadful) to Indy (brilliant), NCL check in was excellent, and from leaving the coach to getting on board was ~20 mins. No one was there to show you to your cabin, but frankly I prefer to find it myself anyway. We were on deck 12 FWD. The cabin was a large balcony one, but I will describe this later. As we were late arriving, we had lifeboat drill some 15 mins after arrival. In our case we had to go down 5 decks to a muster station in the Bliss lounge. There were crew checking names off, and a non attendance warrants a letter from the safety officer, a message on the telly, and a drill the next day !!! We did attend, but got a "see me" for non attendance. So make sure you get ticked off by the ships crew. Once the drill was complete it was back to the cabin to see if the luggage was there. One thing we did encounter was a problem getting a lift after the drill. They were chocker !! It took some 20 mins to get one, and in reality going for a drink would have been a much better idea. But this was the only time in the whole week that the lifts were an issue. Usually you had one in 2 mins max. There were 8 forward and 8 aft, so plenty to ride in. Tip # - Enjoy a drink while the queue goes down. We got back to the cabin and the luggage was there, this was quick by any measure. EPIC Cabin The cabin itself was quite large with good storage. Ladies will be pleased with the ample room for long frocks. 3 very large drawers are in the main storage, and ample hanging space for shirts, trousers and ladies tops etc. There are cupboards for shoes, underwear, and the other goodies you take onboard. There are even some stowage's behind the sofa itself. I have put pictures on this link ........................ The room has a safe (free), a minibar/fridge , and a coffee machine. This is replenished daily. The bed is slightly circular and fits into the wave cabin design, this makes the outsides of the bed smaller than the middle. It wasn't a problem though and we slept well once we got used to it. The balcony was large and had 2 chairs and a mini table. Now the bathroom arrangements ............. When you enter the cabin our loo was on our right, and the shower the left. The area immidiatly inside the door was open, but able to be curtained off for 100% privacy. It gave full cabin width from loo to shower, so nothing was cramped. The shower was large and had a good water flow, and when you had done the biz a bathmat was supplied that allowed you to stand in the area inside the door and towel off. There are loads of hooks provided to hang clothes on, and the towels are soft and fluffy. It's a novel layout idea and it works. I did see mention in some reviews that you can see through the door screens, but with the curtain drawn I found this impossible. The sink is in the main cabin area, it is very small and holds possibly only 2 or 3 litres of water. But you can wash, shave and do laundry duty of basic smalls (or in my case "bigs") in it. The sink taps didn't splash into the cabin, or damp the bed, it was all very functional. You are provided with a small selection of "quality" toiletries, and there are some regular soap and hair care dispensers provided. All you need really. There are 2 bath towels, 2 small towels, 2 pool towels and 2 flannels in the cabin. All towels can be changed daily. Plus the bonus of a towel animal on each and every night. The cabin has a telly with all the usual channels, and in English there was Sky news, BBC news, CNN, one "popular" TV show channel (mostly US) and one movie channel, although "Top Gun" and "The Sound of Music" are a wee bit dated . I think there are pay movies available. The TV system is interactive, so you can book meals, look at your bill, see where you are, find out what's on etc. There were 2 x continental sockets and 2 x US sockets in our cabin, so take an adaptor with you. Tip #6 - A Poundland adaptor kit usually has 1 x US and 1 x EU adaptor in it. So for £2 you can run everything. The ships is fully Wifi'd up, although my 7" Archos tablet dropped the signal very easily. All in all though .......... it was a very nice place to stay. So with all clothes stowed away, and a unused ships card in hand, we set off to explore ................... Sail away at Barcelona - As we sailed away the DJ turned the music up to a high warp factor so that all around could hear, I expect it could be heard in the region of Gerona judging by the volume. But it started the cruise in the right spirit, and we enjoyed a pleasant drink on deck. Now here I have my first little moan. My drink of choice is a Gin and Slim, but this ship does not have slimline tonic, and only offers diet Fanta or Pepsi light. So please if you are reading this can you have Diet Tonic available? Next stop was for some food, and as we were on a mission to sample as much as we could, we thought we would start at the Taste Restaurant to give us a base to compare all to. The Taste is one of the "included" restaurants with no supplements. They have a reasonably comprehensive menu, and a regional speciality daily. So when in Spain ............ eat Paella !! This was good and tasty. Portions were ample, and service prompt. I have a sugar free need at desert time, and there were always options available. I saw gluten free options as well. To sum up our first meal .............. very good. After a meal we went walkabout to explore the ship, we quite like big ships and Epic compares weight/size wise with Indy relatively closely. The decks where the bulk of the action take place are 5, 6, and 7. On these decks are shops, bars, restaurants, internet services, photo gallery, information desk etc. The decks seem to be very long? A quick look at the ships layout showed that you can virtually go end to end on these decks giving masses of space for all the facilities. The other deck that has major facilities on is deck 15, here is the main self service restaurant, pools and water slides area, bars and an adults only area called Spice H20.. But more on these later. We had a nightcap (or 2 ish) in the Headliners bar listening to duelling piano's, didn't know initially what to make of it, but liked it !! So to the cabin for a restful nights sleep. Monday 17th September. Day 2 at sea Woke up refreshed and ready for a day exploring the new ship. but first a breakfast was needed. We aimed 3 decks up to The Garden Restaurant. In this restaurant they have a large number of food stations, I guess you could divide it into cooked, omelette and egg, healthy and bakery sections. I have generalised a bit here but that's is what it appeared to be to me. The food is good and most diets will be catered for. There are even 2 stations outside and you can dine al fresco if you wish. Tea and coffee are provided at a number of serving points, together with some juices and ice/water. Tea and coffee are available 24/7 and are free. The only problem here was that this restaurant gets very busy and if one of you is waiting for an eggy treat to be prepared (me) and Mrs AVB desires healthy tucker, locating each other when you have a suitable plateful can be tricky. But we managed, and on completion decided to expose our pale white complexions to the Mediterranean sun. Finding a sunbed was easy enough (deck 16 above the bar) and we had a quiet morning examining the back of our eyelids. But far to much to do to be lazy all day, so after getting changed we set off to explore the decks 5/6 and 7. This ship has the most shops I have ever seen at sea, the sales people are not pushy and have a friendly approach. They organise some "sales" in the evenings and judging by the number of carrier bags you see, they are doing something right. Over the week I bought 2 x Blue Men T shirts for ~$40, but they are well made and will last. But with time moving on and a cocktail party waiting it was back to the cabin to glam up. The Captains welcome party was held in the Epic lounge on deck 16. This was a very nice area and a quiet place to enjoy a drink. It is out-of-bounds to what I will term "regular passengers" but we got an invite and thought we had better investigate. We met the Captain and some senior officers and went off into the bar area for a seat and some nibbles. The Captain is a very nice guy and quite approachable, he has a good line in chat and comes over well. The same can be said for the other officers we met. There were about 30 people in the bar at the time and it was then we noticed the wide range of countries they came from. The predominant number were from the US, but we met Israelis, Iranian, Swiss and even a few Brits !!! All were having a very pleasant meet and greet. If you get a chance to attend this event I would suggest that the prawns are the food of choice .............. very fresh and tasty. From the cocktail party we had to get a move on to our next event ........ Dinner in the Bistro My wife and I love French food, and this venue was top of our list to try out. The Bistro has a good menu, and most of it is French based. I opted for field mushroom soup as a starter, and Bouillabaisse for a main. I have tasted both these meals in France, and the chef did a good job creating them. My wife had French onion soup as a starter, and two kinds of duck as a main and finished with a creme brulee. The service was good and we advised the Maitre D that we were dues to see a show that evening. He kept an eye on the clock and courses were served well in time. We would have liked longer to enjoy the meal but needed to gee the show. This is a a pay restaurant, but at $25/each it was good value. The Blue Men Show. We booked this in advance of travelling. It is the top show on the ship and we had some good seats at the front. They came round with a plastic macs for the first two rows, and that made me very suspicious. But in no time at all, on they came. The show is part musical, mime, acting and in my opinion ............ just plain weird !!!!!! Here is an independent review page http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g45963-d183421-Reviews-Blue_Man_Group-Las_Vegas_Nevada.html From what we heard ........ The Americans get it and love it, Brits dont usually like it, and others seem generally confused by it. But I have a simple test to see if it kept my attention, and if I spend any time looking at my watch I am bored and dont like it. In this case I didn't look at my watch once, so I think I enjoyed it. Make your own mind up here I think. Once we had recovered from Blue Overload, we had a nightcap and hit the sack. Tuesday 18th September. Day 3 in Napoli We awoke and made the decision to try out a different breakfast venue. Today it was O'Sheehans Neighbourhood Bar & Grill's turn. This bar/restaurant is the best place to enjoy breakfast away from the crowds of the Garden cafe. The menu isn't as extensive as the Garden, but what they do have is freshly cooked and tasty. Tip # - Breakfast here takes less time and is an enjoyable experience.. Once we had eaten we decided to venture ashore. Naples is not the best port on this cruise and has a very tatty appearance. Lots of graffiti, litter, beggars and bag sellers within a few meters of the port. Here is the home of the most expensive coffee I bought ashore at €6 for 2 small cups. We went to see what shops were on the 2 main pedestrian areas and seek out any bargains, There were not any to be had, so we did a big loop and headed back to the ship. On reflection our best bet would have been to go to the railway station and aim to Pompeii. But hindsight is a wonderful thing, and next time ................. But I do have some good news about Napoli, the last time I was there we met the most aggressive taxi drivers in the world, they were virtually pulling my wife into their cabs, and I spent my time swearing at them. But this time they were few in number, and they just asked if we were interested, and did take a polite no for an answer. That's gotta be better. Tip # - Naples is not a great day out, do something else !!! Back on board we decided to worship the sun god again and indulge in hot tub fun !! Very nice it was to. The tubs at the back of the ship are less crowded and chid free, so it's a nice quiet area to enjoy. In the evening we went to Cagney's Steakhouse. This restaurant specialises in grills and American food. My wife opted for French Onion soup and a starter and surf and turf with a lobster tail. I went for Clam Chowder and Double cut Lamb Chops (aka Barnsley Chop). Both meals were excellent, and we washed them down with a bottle of American sparkling white wine. All in all a very nice meal. When we came out we made our way to the Epic Theatre to see if we could get into the Legends show. We queued for a couple of mins and were quickly shown some seats. This show was the last on our list as we are not Elvis fans, but ........... The 3 performers did Rod Stewart, Madonna and Elvis and were all very very good. They picked good numbers, and sang them well. I am glad I didn't miss this show. We came out and decided a nightcap was needed !!!!!!!!! Wednesday 19th September. Day 4 in Civitavecchia After a quick breakfast we set off ashore to have a look-see about. Whilst most head for Rome we usually just head into Civitavecchia and have a look round. The "high street" is literally opposite the port gate, and some 10 mins away is the market. This is a typical Italian fruit market and the produce on display looked to be excellent. We looked around and found a shop that sold Parmigiano-Reggiano and bought some (quite a lot really), and after that had a coffee in what we would call a market cafe for ?1/cup and then set off back to the ship via the shops. It isn't a big shopping area by any measure, but there are bargains out there, and the local town council are making efforts to tidy the town up. Back on the ship we easily found a sunbed and had a quick dip in the hot tub. That evening we dined in the Manhattan Restaurant. This is the largest table service restaurant on the ship and offers a dinner/dance experience. The menu is here is good and I had the lamb shank and asked for different veggies to the menu offering. It was no trouble to them and the service was prompt and efficient. The lamb was cooked perfectly by the way. We left the restaurant full and did a look round some of the other venues to see what entertainment was on. But this night we had booked to see Los locos Ole !!! These were in the Headlines bar and we got there nice and early for a front seat. These are 2 Spanish guys who play, mix in generous portions f comedy and make a very good night. They are fast, funny and if you see only one show. This should be it. The Blues Bar was quite empty later on, but the group still gave a show. Did I hear someone say "nightcap?". Thursday 20th September. Day 5 in Livorno Had a quick breakfast and set off to explore Livorno. There is a shuttle bus from ship to town centre that you pay for. From the centre you can either go to the train station and head for Florence or Pisa. Or do what we did and head for the local market. This is a really nice old building with lots of stalls selling local produce. We again bought some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to bring home. This was even tastier than yesterdays purchase. We had a wonder around the market outside, and had a coffee for €1.20/cup. My wife them bought some perfume from a Italian chain for what was a very low price and it was back off to the ship. After an afternoon exposing my Greek god like body to the sun we had booked a visit to The Ice Bar !! The ice bar is a small room (holds ~25 people) kept at 17 deg/f or - 8.3c. It is a bar, and they sell Vodka, and some cocktails in ice cones. They also have an ice wine. You pay $20 each to go in, and you get 2 good drinks for your money. They give you a cape to put on and some fingerless gloves to keep you warm. My wife took the added precaution of wearing open toe sandals to give her feet extra protection !! It was fun and I will post some pictures. It was very cold though, and I still have a cough to prove I went in !! From here we went to bar for extra fortification and then on to our next big meal. Teppanyaki I have never tried this before, so it was all new to me. The restaurant consists of a number of seats around hot griddle plates, and you sit with another 6 people. We actually had 4 Americans on our table, and they were first class company. The chef introduced himself, and his name was Warren. From them on he worked at a furious pace cooking meat, rice, prawns, eggs and other tasty stuff on the griddle plates. He was interesting and described what he was doing all the time. There were salt and pepper pots flying, and cutlery being wielded at all angles. Every so often we had a bite to eat. It was good tasty food and very entertaining. The steak was melt in your mouth quality, and the prawns delicious. We enjoyed this a lot. So after being frozen and fed it was time to go to bed ................................ after a nightcap of course. Friday 21st September. Day 6 in Cannes After a quick breakfast we headed down to board our tender boat. On NCL these are very large, and at Cannes both the ship and port ends should be o/k for disables guests to to access the tender boats safely. Cannes is what I call cute, it isn't that big and the shopping centre is only 5 mins walk. One tip here is to take swimming gear ashore as the beach is clean, free, and easily accessible. We walked the pedestrian area and shopped a bit, but by 13:30 we were back on board and sunning ourselves. Tip here would be to go to the ships stern (or the back end) as it's adults only and a small pool and hot tubs are available. But we need to get changed as we had big things planned. Cirque Dreams Dinner and Circus performance. This was a first again, and eating and drinking with people flying above your heads is a very unusual experience. The area they perform in is quite small, and they use every inch of it. There is also audience participation, and although I am not a circus person, I did enjoy it. There was a lady doing quick change, and frankly it beats me how she did it that quick. During the show they serve you a 3 course meal. This was the disappointing part, the starter and deserts were o/k, but the main was surf and turf. The meat was juicy and tender but the prawns had bits of shell on hiding underneath the batter and this made for uncomfortable eating. But overall it was a good show and I would recommend it. On completion of the show we bar hopped and had an early night ............. after a nightcap of course. Saturday 22nd September. Day 7 in Marseilles Last day today so I tried to cram as much in as possible. Started in the Garden Restaurant with a quick breakfast and straight off to get the shuttle bus into town. This is not a free bus by the way and you pay in the shed just by the gangway. The ship leaves early today so time ashore is tight. The bus drops you close to the centre and a 5 or ten minute walk will see you in the shopping areas. There isn't really much to say about Marseilles to be honest. There are 000's of roadwork's taking place everywhere, and traffic is very busy. By coincidence there was a telly documentary about Marseilles on that day, and some of the crime statistics are a worry. Some 40 murders this year alone !!! I guess the top tip here is dont stray away from the main areas, keep your valuables safe, and always watch your back especially, if you use a cashpoint. Back to the ship for a quick bite to eat, and the two open service points near the Garden Cafe have more than enough to satisfy the munchies. After an hour on deck, it was that time we hate most ............................. Time to pack !!!!!!. I guess it takes about 2 hours to make a proper job of this task, and with much reluctance we got stuck in. Then it was a decision time, where to spend the last night and have last memory of what was a very nice cruise. We decided to go for a quick photo taking trip around the main decks, and have a drink in O'Sheehans. This area does not get that busy and finding a seat is easy. I have a suggestion here for NCL ........... If you go on Indy (Ooooop's sorry to mention to competition) they have a bar called the Dog and Badger, it is essentially a village pub with entertainment. It gets packed and seats are hard to find. But if NCL had a similar theme in this area with an Irish band/musician this could easily become the area of choice for many. The Americans, Canadians, Brits and Irish all love this kind of music, and what European town hasn't got an Irish bar in it? Complete of course with a rusty bike and sign saying Limerick 500 miles?? It would be a winner. After a pleasant drink and watching the sunset in O'Sheehans, it was time to eat. We decided that the Manhattan Restaurant would be an excellent way to finish and set off there. I looked through the menu again trying to decide what to try this time, there was steak, chicken, pasta and other delights, so after much thought I opted for ............................. the lamb shank, and asked for different veggies to the menu offering !!!!!!!!. Yes I know I had it earlier this week, but my wife doesn't like lamb and this was a meal worth repeating. After the meal we went to headliners for a final listen to the duelling piano team, we stayed there awhile and wondered if we had covered everything we thought we needed to ............ mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ............. But there was one thing that we had promised to try and this was our last chance. What was this pleasure ?? It was the English style Fish and Chips in O'Sheehans. We quickly went there and ordered one to share, complete with a nightcap of course. I have to say that when it arrived I was pleasantly surprised, there were 2 bits of fish and they certainly tasted like cod, the batter was crisp, brown and tasty. The chips were American style fries, but they were ok. They had mushy peas in a small pot, and coleslaw in similar as well. Best fish and chips at sea ever I think I can say. After this it was off to bed for the early start the following day, and to decorate the corridor with my luggage. . . Sunday 23rd September. Day 4 in Barcelona NCL like you off early I'm afraid to say, but with overnight flights arriving from the US they need the cabins to be ready for weary travellers. I was up at 05:40 and decided on a quick breakfast in the Garden. They had the full offerings available, unlike some ships do. So had a bite and grabbed some items for my wife. We had a get off time of 07:00 and were actually off by 06:50. From there it's a short walk to the baggage hall and it was very easy to locate the luggage. The best I can do at Southampton is about 20 mins, here it was about 5. So well done there. Another short walk to the bus stops and were loaded and ready to go by about 07:30. It's ~30 mins from port to Airport and we were dropped at a "dedicated check in" area. This was not the most efficient part of the set up, and we were there for about 30 mins before BA/Iberia started getting us processed. Despite the fact there was a queue, the check in person loaded the baggage tag machine, and disappeared off for 10 mins. Other check in desks for other airlines seemed to be much more efficient and no build up of people. From check in it was off to security and into the departure lounge. When you enter the lounge you see a large array of shops ahead of you, but unfortunately there are for a different terminal and the only ones available to you are one shop selling drinks, cigarettes and small gifts. A newsagent, a McDonalds and a cafe. Not much I'm afraid to say. But I have 2 tips here ........... #1 - The shops has some drinks offers, and a 1 litre bottle of Bacardi for £10 is not bad. Tip #2 - The best and cheapest coffee is from McDonalds at €1/cup. Our flights were on time and why is it that the departure gate is always the furthest away? Once on board we were off on time and back to London. Our welcome back started with an nice early arrival, and a 15 minute wait for gates to be vacated for us. But we could at least watch the rain giving Heathrow a good soaking. Conclusions Who is NCL for ?? First time cruisers - YES Cruisers who dont like the dressing up such as they have on more traditional lines - YES. The young - YES. The middle aged - YES. The old - YES. Families - YES. Singles - A big YES. This ship has single cabins and a lounge area especially for singles. On our way out we met a single lady from Oxford on her first cruise. She involved herself with the singles group, and had a great time. They went about together and we saw them at the "white party" having a very good time. So if you are looking for a singles cruise this could be for you. Who is unlikely to like it. Traditional cruisers ( e.g., Cunarders etc). Traditionalists who like set dining arrangements and "dress codes".. Southampton departure fans. I mentioned dress codes above, in the whole week I never saw one formally dressed person. But I did see many who made the effort to go at least "smart casual" into the main restaurants. Ties were few and far between, but the ladies as usual always looked good. So it wasn't "no style" cruising, and they can truthfully say it is up market "free style" cruising. If you wanted to be total dress down there were places to eat, but the main restaurants were places to feel comfortable in. Kids. There were children on this cruise. Not many I hasten to add, but certainly some. I saw no problems at all. Not even joy riding in the lifts !!! Fellow Guests. There was a fair mix of passengers on this cruise. The dominant group were from the US and could be easily spotted describing things as "awesome". The next biggest in roughly equal proportions was Canadians, Brits, Scandinavians and some from the Mainland EU. All got on well, and again I saw no problems. There were a number of Russian guests as well, I hate to generalise about things, but they do seem to some across as being a bit rude and pushy compared to other guests. Disabled Guests There were a few disabled guests on the ship, and when you read some reviews you get a fairly mixed opinion about them on all ships. The ship makes facilities available for them with things like dedicated restaurant seating, and mechanical seats to access the hot tubs etc. But we saw none of the negative things we read about in other reviews. No pushing at lifts (there are 16 altogether), no speeding around on motorised chairs, no nothing in fact. So if you are disabled, this ship could easily be for you. Niggles. No sugar free jams at breakfast. Low choice of diet drinks, they had Diet Pepsi and Diet Lemonade. But no diet tonic. No Gin and Slims for me then !! We had some pictures taken by the ships photographer at various times, and despite extensive searching could only find the ones we didn't want. The ship has the modern facial recognition system to give access to our pictures. It's set up by giving your card to the first photographer to capture you and I guess the computer does the biz. It didn't in our case so although we were willing customers. So is it for me ? Our cruise history ranges from P&O, Fred, RCI, C&M, Thompson's and Ocean Village. So although we are not "been everywhere and dun that" people, we have some idea what we are talking about (we think). NCL are very good at what they do, the ship was excellent, the cabins a decent size and well fitted out. The ship is packed with innovative ideas. The food is good, the drinks selection had something for everyone at reasonable prices. Entertainment was most likely targeted at the US guests, but good for us as well. The ports of call were the usual ones for the Med, and the weather was kind to us. I do think NCL is for us to be honest, we are still Indy fans, but this holiday (or shall I say awesome vacation??) opened our eyes to another world. You dont have to eat in the "pay restaurants", but to not do so would miss one of NCL's little treasures. And finally a note from my wife. Mrs AVB - There is a powerful hair drier in front of the mirror which is placed at the end of the bed, best thing to do is to pack your husband off to the balcony off with a drink while you do your hair as there is no room to pass, but still a nice area to do your make up. The coffee pot was a nice touch, nice coffee too. It was also easy to make tea using this with the tea bags provided for your morning cuppa, the cabin steward brought extra milk every day after we had requested it. An ice bucket was also filled every day - perfect for your chilled pop. If I had known I might have taken some Vimto, there was nowhere to buy diet orange so soft drinks were limited to coke or sprite for those who dont take sugar. I was very surprised that folks didn't dress up for the evening, I took my posh frocks with me and only wore 2, I guess we haven't travelled with so many Americans and didn't realise this is not what they do so I dressed down a little. Sorry to say I only saw one man dressed to kill all week, If only they knew how attractive a man is in a DJ - shades of James Bond. That's probably just my preference . Questions ?? If anyone has a questions, and it's not covered here, or in the pictures I will post, let me know and I will do my best to help.
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