Last August 2014, my mom wanted to celebrate her birthday in Europe. Since we enjoyed our Asian cruise that much, my Tito Nonnie and Momskie decided that we can all go on a cruise instead. 😘
A few months before August, we already started gathering the necessary documents for our Schengen Visa application. Good thing, our travel agent helped us all the way. If you want me to hook you up with our travel agent, let me know so I can send you the deets.
So, anyway, our visa got approved and the trip pushed through. Thank, God! 👏🏻
We flew to Barcelona, Spain from Manila via Singapore Airlines. The flight was long and we had a 4hr layover in Singapore. When we got to Barcelona, we had a few hours to ourselves and a bus picked us up from the Airport and took us the the Port of Call where we embarked the Norwegian Epic.
The Epic was epic! It was a giant ship! 😳 My jaw dropped – literally! Hahahaha
It was so big that it will take you days to be able to try all of the amenities that they had to offer. So you have to manage your time well.
My mom and other relatives had a different room. I was lucky enough that they assigned me to stay at one of the ship’s Studio Staterooms. Aside from having the cabin all to myself, everyone who stays at their Studio Stateroom gets access to their Studio Lounge. The lounge was exclusive – if you’re not single or if you’re not staying at one of their Studios, your key card won’t work there. They arrange activities for those who are travelling solo – meet and greet, games, tours, etc. So if you’re single, and you want to mingle while on a cruise, this is the way to go.
Let me show you my cabin…
Oh, and did I mention that those colored lights change from pink, to purple, to blue, to white.. etc. If you’re annoyed by it, you can turn the option off and let it stay white. I left it as is. I wasn’t bothered by it at all, and I found it cool and trippy. Hehe 🎉
After a long day outside, enjoying the ship’s amenities and optional excursions, you go home to a tidy cabin with fresh animal towels…
They’re just too cute not to share! I did my research before this trip and these animal towels were always mentioned in several reviews/ videos that I’ve read/ watched. They always say that these animals bring delight to cruisers, they really do.
Aside from the super comfy and clean room, the food onboard did not disappoint, too. Buffets were offered in various locations. And the sit down dinners were mouthwatering.
We had steak, turkey, ribs, champagne, wine – the works! Oh, and unlimited Nutella EVERYDAY! Who’s to complain? Tell me!!! Hahahaha
And since it was my mom’s birthday, they gave her a variety of cakes.. she loved all of them! 😍
Ok, and this I have to mention – Aside from the casino, they have these games were you insert your access card (in lieu of arcade tokens) and play this game to get a prize. Look at the prizes available… (I did not win anything!! Grrrr) and there’s a gym onboard! Eat much, cardio much! Hahaha 😂 There’s a bowling alley, too!
So just to give you an idea, and I will blog about each destination separately, here are the cities/countries that we visited:
- Barcelona, Spain
- Naples/Pompeii, Italy
- Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
- Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy
- Cannes, France
- Palma Majorca, Spain
What I liked?
- Everything on this ship! It wasn’t called Epic for nothing! 😍
- Every single staff were friendly and helpful
- There were a lot of Filipinos amongst their staff members, hence, when they see Filipinos like us – they give extra favors (We met a Filipino Restaurant Manager who gave us a bottle of wine – Free!)
- The ship had a ton of amenities, I am not able to showcase all of them, Sorry!!!
- They managed to keep everything, from my room, hallway, common areas spanking clean
What I didn’t like?
- Drinks and ala carte food were pricey, which was expected
- Excursions offered onboard were wayyyyy too pricey than doing a DIY trip or getting someone at the port of call to help you out
- Wifi is super duper expensive! Prepare to get disconnected for awhile. Or do your editing ahead of time, so when you find a hotspot or free wifi, you can easily upload your selfies and update your family and friends
- Check sail dates and prices here: https://www.ncl.com/
- If you want me to hook you up with our travel agent, hit me up
- It’s cheaper to do a DIY trip around the city where you dock than purchasing onboard – Explore the city and get lost, just be back on time since the ship won’t wait for you
- If you’re a bit afraid to create your own adventure, look for some filipinos onboard and ask them for suggestions, they’re always glad to give you some tips – places to visit nearby, where to hail a cab, where to get free Wifi, how to get around, etc.
- If you can’t manage your time well, just join the excursions offered onboard. They will give you an itinerary which already includes meals. Saves you the trouble of looking for a place to eat or getting ripped off. The only drawback is that you’ll have to join a group – if one person goes to the bathroom, everybody waits. LOLx Aside from that, it is an opportunity to meet new friends!