Review: Norwegian Epic
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
My First Cruise
113 people found this review helpful
I was always a bit sceptical about cruises as they used to be for 'older' people (which I had always interpreted as 'old people'!) Not being 'old' myself I thought I wouldn't enjoy this kind of holiday.
However, my son and his partner insisted that I'd love it – this was their 3rd cruise on the Epic. It was a 'freestyle' cruise so no need for airs and graces, no captains table etc. We were headed for Marseilles and Palma before returning to Barcelona for our flight back to Scotland on Sunday night.
We left Barcelona (after 2 fab days in the city) on Wednesday on this, the 3rd largest ship in the world! My first sighting of the ship from the coach was the stern, Oh wow! What a height, it was like a big block of flats!
My son and his partner, having travelled twice before had gold priority so we boarded fairly quickly – the other queues were much longer than ours.
The cabin was quite luxurious, in a compact sort of way and the balcony had fantastic views over the port. I watched as we pulled away from the dock and headed for sea in comfort, after unpacking all my worldy goods.
The buffet dining area was awash with all kinds of food! Anything you fancied was there, whoever you were. Food was all prepared daily and covered all dietary requirements. However, we dined that evening in the Manhattan Room, a huge restaurant which accommodates nearly 600 people. The food was excellent, as was the service; very attentive waiting staff – considering how many customers they have. And it was all in with the cost of the cruise!
Marsielles, it must be Thursday. Transfer buses took us into town; we found out later local buses were just as easy and much cheaper. What a great place! found a super cafe (The Green Bear Cafe) just near the harbour – the coffee was so good we went back for lunch, it was fantastic! All organic too! Had a trip up to Notre Dame, wonderful views of the city and the most beautiful old cathedral – well worth a visit. After dinner in the Manhattan Room again, we went to the Epic Theatre to see Legends In Concert. Our treat was Tom Jones – mediocre; Adele – excellent!; and Tina Turner – also excellent!
Friday was a 'sea day', which means we were at sea all day! A bit boring if you'd been on twice before, but there were so many activities provided for all ages I just wandered around and watched people having fun (I am a bit of a people watcher), and the shops were open! Lunch at the buffet and dinner in the Manhattan Room, then back to the theatre where we saw the Blue Man Group, a bit like 3 blue 'Morphs', and so funny!
Saturday and Palma. What a lovely place, lots of English speakers, and fabulous warrens of little shopping streets and market places, I loved it! Though by this time, my feet were swollen and I had to buy bandages for my feet and ankles. Anyway, I can rest at home on Monday!
Got some fast food on the go – pretty basic, but the weather more than made up for that.
Back on board we went to dinner and a show in the Spiegel Tent. The Cirque Dreams show was fantastic and although the food was good we had trouble with the table and ate after most of the other patrons had finished their mains! And, no, we weren't late. Bit of a mix up with the bookings apparently.
No time to worry about the negatives, there was a party to get to! The White Hot Party (every Saturday night apparently) where everyone must wear white and dance all night! all ages from 18 upwards were there and having fun! Great!
Sunday morning we disembarked back in Barcelona where we had some lunch, shopping and dinner before heading for the airport and home.
This was a fantastic introduction to cruising, early season prices are very reasonable – about £350 for the balcony cabin – which I would recommend for your first cruise.
Excellent service in all areas, from housekeeping to entertainment.
The only thing I didn't agree with was the casino. It sprawls over more than half a floor and is open 24/7 except when the ship is in dock. Of course, the more you 'spend' in the casino, the more free drink and food you can get. But then you'll need the free stuff because you bank balance is dwindling at an appalling rate! What ever floats your boat – to coin a phrase!
We didn't do the excursions preferring to 'wing it' but they were quite pricey. Some of them looked good on the website though.
If I have another Epic cruise I will take an indoor cabin, they are just as nice but without the balcony. All cabins have a television which has a channel showing the view from the bridge 24/7 which can be used like window – day/night, sunny/raining, docked/at sea. There truly is something for everyone – except rest time to get rid of the swollen ankles!!
113 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.