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Anyone with recent trip reports sailing the Mediterranean on the Epic from Rome (Civittecia) or Barcelona?  We board May 22nd, and are so excited!  Any tips or suggestions?

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Posted (edited)

The Epic is currently making it's way over from the US at the moment.  First cruise this season start next weekend.

Edited by JohnIreland

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I did it a year ago and was generally pleased. I've also been on the Epic again recently, in the Caribbean. Is there anything specific that you want to know?

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To kochleffel - did you board in Rome or Barcelona?  I booked it for departure in Rome not realizing the main port for embarkation is Barcelona.  Was wondering if there would be a problem getting off ship on Barcelona day with people leaving and new people boarding.  Were you able to find seating in the theatre for the shows and the Cavern Club for the Beatles group?  Hearing negative reviews of too many people and not enough seating, etc., etc.  Hope you had good experience.  Thanks.

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1 hour ago, cidymom said:

To kochleffel - did you board in Rome or Barcelona?  I booked it for departure in Rome not realizing the main port for embarkation is Barcelona.  Was wondering if there would be a problem getting off ship on Barcelona day with people leaving and new people boarding.  Were you able to find seating in the theatre for the shows and the Cavern Club for the Beatles group?  Hearing negative reviews of too many people and not enough seating, etc., etc.  Hope you had good experience.  Thanks.

Getting off the ship is easy in Barcelona. If you head off at peak time then there may be a very short queue (less than a minute) to actually walk down the gangway.

 

Many people who are used to cruising in the US worry about disembarkation due to the queues caused by immigration. However, there is no immigration here so the only slight delay is due to fitting people onto the gangways. It will be no problem.

 

My main tip for Barcelona would be to get yourself a drink and find somewhere comfortable (your balcony may be the best plan if you have one) before the muster drill starts if you are onboard. The whole ship closes during that time as normal, but you obviously don’t have to attend. Make yourself comfortable as it can drag on due to the number of languages. Even better, be off the ship at that time (it is quite a while before sail away).

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There is so much to see in Barcelona. I would grab the hop on hop off bus and at least get an overview. If you have time you should reserve in advance the La Sagrada Familia https://sagradafamilia.org/ .  You need tickets to get in. You can also book something through Ncl to see Barcelona. 

We have done the Med on Epic and it was very nice, but we were in the Haven for that one. We just sailed the Epic for our 3rd time in December. I would highly suggest that you book as much as you can ASAP. My only complaint is that the hand sanitizer they are always pushing made the floors incredibly slippery. Be careful. Enjoy your trip.

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5 hours ago, cidymom said:

did you board in Rome or Barcelona?  I booked it for departure in Rome not realizing the main port for embarkation is Barcelona.  Was wondering if there would be a problem getting off ship on Barcelona day with people leaving and new people boarding.  Were you able to find seating in the theatre for the shows and the Cavern Club for the Beatles group?  Hearing negative reviews of too many people and not enough seating, etc., etc.  Hope you had good experience. 

 

Rome, because it's easier to fly to Rome from where I live than to Barcelona and embarking a few days later fit my work schedule better (it was the first cruise of the season on this itinerary). No problems getting off anywhere but Cannes, which is a tender port. Because the entire western Med itinerary is within the Schengen area, there are no customs or immigration checks at any port.

 

I had reservations for the shows I wanted to see in the theater, and had no trouble getting into Headliners - I didn't happen to go to the Cavern Club.

 

However, on a Caribbean cruise this winter, also on the Epic, it was all but impossible to get into Headliners for anything whatsoever unless you went more than an hour early (there were even long, long lines to purchase bingo cards an hour before the bingo game would start), and I heard that it was also difficult to get into the Cavern Club. The Beatles band made one appearance in the theater and there was no difficulty getting in for that. Same with the Headliners comics - two shows (early rated PG, late rated R, I'd say) in the theater and no difficulty getting in, even though no reservations were taken for those.

 

I attribute this to the differences in itineraries (the eastern Caribbean itinerary had as many sea days as port days) and demographics. The passenger profiles were quite different.

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We sailed from Rome a few years ago.  Flew in a few days early and spend some time in Rome (you can't see Rome in a day).  Make sure you have a plan for getting to your destination (airport, Rome, or wherever) when you disembark.  Taxis are few and expensive since most people don't disembark in Rome.  We should have arranged a private car but instead relied on a Taxi....not a good plan for us.

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Do Med cruises tend to be full? Looking at the Getaway next summer but recent reviews have me concerned. Not sure how much a port intensive itinerary will play a factor in the on board experience. 

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