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Everything posted by sicness4x4

  1. We had lunch and a couple dinners in the garden Cafe and the one thing we noticed missing was the pasta station. We also heard the omelet station was not available for breakfast. The only thing we were able to get for ourselves were little ramekins with salt and pepper packets. Everything else was served by the crew.
  2. We did not hear of anyone being surprised by the restrictions in place for Italy. We were aware of the restrictions some time ago and knew what to expect when we booked 6 days before.
  3. We were told on board the we needed to complete the Spain Travel Health maritime/ferry arrival form before disembarking in Barcelona. We completed it and received the QR code email. We were never asked to show it disembarking or at the airport.
  4. Testing was quick and easy. The original QR code is used to check in, you get tested and your key card is scanned to complete the process that took less than 5 minutes.
  5. Posh is the private sun deck on deck 18 forward. Picture looking aft from Posh.
  6. Last week on the Epic, Starbucks was included with the Premium Plus package.
  7. The wife and I had a great cruise through the Western Med on board the Epic. This was my 10th cruise and my wife’s 14th on the Epic. As always the crew is absolutely fantastic. We will definitely cruise on the Epic again although the ship is a bit worn in areas, but also fresh in others. Embarkation A quick 20 minute taxi from BCN and we were at the terminal. There was a short line in the Covid testing tent. 15 minutes after getting in line for the test, we had our negative results and headed for check in. Check in was very slow. We walked up to the counter with no waiting and it took close to 30 mins to complete the process. It seems we always get someone who has to ask coworkers questions or someone that all the coworkers are asking questions. Thinking we are all finished, she gives us orange keycards. We knew they were not the correct cards and the names on them confirmed it. My wife tells them we are supposed to have the teal cards, but is informed the colors are “random”. Anyways, I think they are mistaken on that. Less than an hour after dropping bags off, we are boarding the ship. It felt great to be boarding the Epic again. We’ve done it many times before, but this time was special given the last 18 months. We went to guest services to get Posh passes for the week, $59 each. I left the wife there and headed to Moderno to make dinner reservations. Next we went to the box office to book Zambooka. After that we headed to the Manhattan Room for muster. The crew scanned the keycards and gave a quick refresher on the ship's alarm and life vests. We then made our way up to Spice for our first drink. We really enjoy Spice on the Epic considering it is where we met 8 years ago. Stateroom We stayed in a starboard balcony on deck 11 near the aft elevators. Walking to the cabin we noticed new carpet with the fish swimming towards the bow and you could feel the cushion under your feet. The stateroom also had new carpet and that was pretty much the only improvement in the cabin. The curtains had broken hooks and the sides let in some light since half the velcro was missing. The curtain by the facilities was broken. It was on the opposite side of where it is supposed to tuck out of the way by the sink and shower. The button for the toilet was loose and felt like it would fall off the wall, though it never did. Various drawers and cabinet doors were crooked and harder than normal to open and close. The TV network stuttered some making it annoying to watch the navigation or event channels. Most disappointing with the cabin was the AC. It didn't cool the cabin very well. I do prefer the warmer weather and keep the thermostat around the middle. This time, with the thermostat all the way down it just wasn't that comfortable, but was far from uncomfortable. We did manage to sleep decently at night though. The bed was very comfortable though my feet were hanging off. The mini fridge was excellent and kept everything very cold. The steward was amazing as is almost always what we get.. He was very quick to bring an ice bucket and kept it full. He made the cabin every day and turned it down every night. Even though we didn't ask, he left the daily every night. Entertainment The musicians at Maltings and Shakers were pretty good and easy to listen to as well as the guys at Howl at the Moon. All are very talented and put on a good show, just not my type of music. The pool deck band was good but loud while at Waves bar. They were a lot easier to listen to while up in Posh. Zambooka was the only show we booked. The show might be good, we didn't stay to find out. After being seated for 45 minutes, we still had not received our drink orders. Our friend went to talk with the maitre d who opened the curtain for him to go to O’Seehans to get a drink. We were a little surprised at this, so when he returned we all left. We did receive a refund for the show back to our account. Restaurants La Cucina Almost always a great meal here for us, and time was one of the best. The food was the way it is supposed to be.The servers were very friendly, quick and attentive. Le Bistro Most of the time Le Bistro is a hit with some misses. This time was a definite hit. Awesome service and excellent food. Teppanyaki The food is always good here and cooked perfectly, just too much of it. The chefs toned down the performance some, it was nice. Cagney’s For me this is the most inconsistent specialty on the Epic. Most of the time I am not impressed or happy with it. The service was great as was the food. My ribeye was a bit past medium rare I wanted, but I didn't send it back. It was tender, seared well and tasted great. Garden Buffet We ate lunch here everyday, as well as a couple dinners. The Indian food was great everyday. The hamburgers were nice, juicy and pink. The Greek food on the Mediterranean night made us happy after walking out of Zambooka. Taste We had breakfast here every morning so my wife could have champagne. Our waitress was amazing, one of the best we’ve had. Food was standard, nothing amazing, but good. Premium Beverage Plus Somewhat overpriced, but it is nice to have. For my wife it is a must for champagne. She enjoyed the Veuve Clicquot yellow label in all specialty restaurants, Taste and Shakers. The Veuve Clicquot Rose was available in Le Bistro. I was able to have Don Julio Reposado and Blanco in Posh, Spice, Waves, Maltings, and Headliners. Glenfiddich Reserve and Macallan Quest were available at Maltings, Shakers and Headliners. It is also nice having Pellegrino with your meals and the Just Water in between booze and to have in your cabin. We did have a $102 charge for a bottle of Moet that we had to have removed. This only happened once on the Epic, as opposed to the Jade a few weeks where it happened nightly. The Ship The Epic is a great ship, but is worn in areas. Just a couple things I noticed. Pros -The ship is exceptionally clean -New carpet in staterooms and stateroom hallways -Tile on the elevator floor. I think it used to be carpeted. I’m sure it makes “fluid” clean up easier. Cons -Some broken light fixtures in Posh -The appearance of the lifeboats. Covered in what looks like a rusty looking overspray. Visible grease by the winch points. Severely faded and cracked paint on the top. -Big screen in Spice. Quite a few busted pixels ... still, after many years. -Stateroom condition Ports We only went ashore in Mallorca. We've been here a few times, it is a beautiful island. Being that we booked 6 days before sailing, we knew about the restrictions in Italy. Then again we know nothing is certain given the global state of things. The Crew Last, but definitely not least, the crew. One of the main reasons for us returning. We are always acknowledged and greeted by them. Now, with the facemasks, their smiles are missed and it can be hard to recognize them. They on the other hand have no problem remembering us and our drink order. They are amazing!
  8. Two weeks ago on our 25 July Jade cruise, the earliest selectable check in time was 10.00 and I believe the latest was 19.00.
  9. The wife and I purchased 8 CruiseNext deposits and were given the choice 2 gifts each. The gifts being: 17oz S'well Insulated water bottle. Blue and white NCL blanket / throw 10,000 mAh power bank The gifts are nice and I'm impressed with the quality of the water bottle. It has a non slip outside, reminds me of a parkerized finish. It has kept my sparkling water cold and sparkling all day.
  10. An old picture from yesterday of the Getaway in Piraeus as we were flying into Athens.
  11. We often leave the balcony door open at night and the AC does shut off. We have never had any complaints from neighboring cabins though, one of which is the parents and their AC works fine. This has been on the Epic, Getaway, Escape, Bliss and Encore.
  12. To me it is not an acknowledgment of attending Muster, just confirming you "have watched the Health & Safety Video and understand and accept all of the conditions for safe sailing in the video". I believe some form of a digital muster will be on board.
  13. Nothing about this cruise should have mentioned "Mask Free" since the EU Pathway guidance is from April 2021, the same month this cruise was first available to book. I feel for the cruisers upset by the mask mandate and feel they have legitimate reasons for a refund, but anyone traveling should be prepared for previous restrictions returning.
  14. I always thought it was possible for the mask mandate to return. I do think NCL informing us 10 days before the cruise with information from April is BS. Oh well, it is a cruise and I do plan on actively eating and drinking most of the time.
  15. We are actually 11 days out now. I posted this on the Health and Safety thread when we hit the 21 day mark. We had to complete a test registration and watch a safety video then check in was 100%.
  16. That incident is not what I'm referring to as the crew shortage rumors.
  17. To me scanning and uploading the vaccination card has always been a rumor on Cruise Critic, I rank it up there with the NCL crew shortages. I've never seen anything documenting them as fact. Then again, I never bothered to look for it either. The official communication email I've received from NCL is : "As a reminder, all guests must be fully vaccinated, at least two weeks prior to departure date, and present proof of such vaccination at the pier in order to board. Guest vaccination requirements are currently for all sailings embarking through October 31, 2021. Additionally, we are enhancing health and safety measures on board to promote the well-being of our guests and crew." Link included in email.
  18. Our Norwegian cells and a friends cell in the UK didn't receive the SMS. We used my US cell for all of us to complete check in.
  19. Thanks, good advice and I should have mentioned it. I read about some experiencing service termination before moving. I keep my service paused for the most part when I'm in Europe. Google does know where I live now and sent an email last year about it stating: We associate your Google Account with a country (or territory) so that we can better provide our services to you. Your country association will change within 30 days from United States to Norway Your country association affects the terms of service that apply to your use of our services. I won't be surprised if service is terminated and have to use an alternative when I'm back in the states. I would probably use a prepaid sim or just add the US to my Norwegian plan.
  20. Sorry, I don't see anything in the video requiring the life jacket for the drill. If the general emergency alarm sounds while you are in your cabin you should bring the life jacket with you to your muster station.
  21. With a 9 hour window for check-in I don't think it'll get too crowded in the terminal. I hope they are strict on the times and make passengers follow the rules.
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