Norwegian Epic Cruise

Ian Walsh 31 August 2021
I was invited by Norwegian Cruise Lines to spend 4 nights on board the Norwegian Epic cruise ship as part of their return to sea test cruise and it didn't disappoint. This was my first getaway since the pandemic kicked off. It had been 18 months since I left the country and I was super excited to be travelling again and on a cruise, one of my favourite holidays. All guests must be fully vaccinated against covid-19 to cruise. You must fill in Passenger Locator Form for the Spanish authorities 24 hours before you travel to Spain. This is all very easy to do and only takes a few minutes on your smart phone.

We sailed out from Barcelona and from the moment we arrived at the port, the Norwegian Cruise line staff were amazing. Their friendliness, professionalism and courteous manner were second to none. The pre-cruise procedures were simple and easy to follow. When we arrived at the port, we had to take a rapid antigen test, this took 10 minutes and once a negative result was received, we were whisked through to the check in desks. Check in was a breeze, quick and easy. To keep things running smoothly, check in online at least 10 days pre-departure so you can add an extras you might like on board or pre-book your speciality dining. More about the dining later.

Once on board, our stateroom was a Balcony Ocean View on deck 12. The room was nicely decorated and comfortable, Its an unusual shape and felt a little on the small side but it was more than adequate and had all the necessary storage required too.

Our first day and a half were spent at sea, so we had ample time to wander around the ship and sample all the culinary delights, the plethora of bars, the shopping and the unforgettable entertainment! I never enjoyed the entertainment on board a cruise as much as I did on Norwegian Epic. The theatre shows were Pricilla Queen of the Desert, the bands in the various venues around the ship, the dueling piano guys were great! But the duo that stole the show with their Tina Turner tribute were Fire and Ice from Barbados, just WOW!

When it came to dining on board, the choices are excellent! With the freestyle concept on Norwegian Cruise Lines, there are a host of restaurants from main dining, to Asian cuisine that you can just walk up to and get a table. I recommend the Shanghai Asian dining, the food here was gorgeous!

For the speciality dining, I would highly recommend Le Bistro and La Cocina restaurants. They are the ultimate in fine dining on this ship and the food was outstanding. I strongly advise you prebook these well in advance, as they tend to book out!

During our sea days, we spent them lazing in the sun on the top deck, drinking cocktails, listening to the live music on deck and taking full advantage of the on board water park! Talk about releasing my inner child! Kids and adults alike will have an absolute ball on this ship.

We docked in Cagliari, Sardinia on our 3rd day. The evening before we arrived, the Italian authorities required everyone to fill in a Passenger Locator form. To disembark the ship at this port, we had to pre-book a ship excursion. Cagliari is a stunning city and worth a day trip.

After our next day at sea, again sampling the culinary delights on board and even more cocktails in the sun, we sailed back to Barcelona. Just one more arrival passenger locator form to fill in for the Spanish Authorities and one for the Irish authorities and we were all set for home.

I thoroughly enjoyed Norwegian Epic and will highly recommend this ship for families or couples looking for a relaxing ship, with amazing food, fabulous premium drinks package and the staff are probably some of the best I've ever encountered on a cruise!

If you're planning a cruise, please get in touch any time. Norwegian Cruises have some excellent ships, itineraries and offers for their sailings throughout the Mediterranean, Caribbean and far flung destinations around the world.