Ahoy, to the cruise! Welcome aboard the Norwegian Epic, a cruise ship of superlatives.
T he ship is 329 m long and with 153.000 tons the third largest cruise ship in the world. Its length is about the same as the size of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise that you see on the news from time to time. But before you are allowed to come on board, you first have to get your hands disinfected. Regulation from the captain. Done? Good, then just show your ship ID – and off you go.
Norwegian Epic: US-style cruise vacation
It is called "Norwegian", but that is a bit misleading. Because Norwegian Cruise Line is a US company. The style on board is correspondingly American. And that doesn't only apply to the on-board language English, but also to the habits at table. For example, there is the ice water that is common in the USA.
Most cruise guests come from the USA. There are also many Asians on board. French, Italians and Germans are few and far between. The atmosphere on board is relaxed, the clothing rather casual.
The Norwegian Epik was completed in 2010 in France. The ship accommodates between 4228 and 5074 passengers and 1738 crew members on 19 decks. Speed: 24 knots.
Norwegian Epic: floating cruise hotel
Curious: on the ship you do not feel like on a ship. But rather like in a hotel. At least on the Mediterranean, there's hardly any sway to be noticed most of the time. During the day you can make excursions and visit by bus cities like Rome, Florence, Cannes, Monaco, Barcelona, Palma and Capri. In the evening there are shows and entertainment. And the next morning you wake up in front of a completely different city. A cruise allows you to see a lot in a short time. The disadvantage: the visits are a bit short.
Norwegian Epic: the freestyle concept
Onboard, there are 24 "dining options," as the cruise line puts it. When it comes to food, the "freestyle" concept applies: you can feast when you like. What you want. And in which clothes one wants. If you want to dine elegantly, you can do that for example in the French gourmet restaurant. There are many options. From steakhouse to sushi bar. Some specialty restaurants can be visited for an extra charge.
In the main restaurant "Garden Cafe" there is an extensive self-service buffet that leaves nothing to be desired. And you can even order something in the middle of the night: There is a pizza service on board that delivers around the clock.
Norwegian Epic: the drink prices
Budweiser beer: $5.50
Espresso (small): 1,75 $
Ruffino Pinot Grigio wine from Italy (glass): $7.50
Villa Sandi Prosecco Brut (glass): $9.00
Svedka vodka: $5.75
A service charge of 15% is automatically added to the prices.
Norwegian Epic: the entertainment concept
The approximately 4.000 passengers want to be kept busy on their cruise. There are many slot machines and gaming tables, a large spa area with sauna, a very spacious gym, swimming pools on deck with slides, a bowling alley, various shows and bands (Blue Man Group, Legend in Concert), an ice bar, a climbing wall, parties, a nightclub, stores for shopping, a cinema and much more. In addition, there are photographers on board to take pictures of the guests on request. You can look at the pictures later and buy them.
Norwegian Epic: the cabins
The cabins are a bit cramped. It is recommended to take a balcony cabin on the cruise so that you have an idea of what time of day it is and where you are at the moment. The interior is modern, the workmanship is fine. In the balcony cabins the "bathroom" is only separated by a curtain, this could have been solved better with a door. There is a TV, an alarm clock, telephone and a kettle.
Norwegian Epic: Evaluation of the cruise
The Norwegian Epic is a modern cruise ship with more excellent entertainment possibilities than one can perceive. The service is basically good – even if some employees at the reception quickly seem overwhelmed. The cleanliness is excellent, the food varied and delicious.
Conclusion: recommended for vacationers who want to see and experience a lot in a short period of time.