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phoenix1975

New to NCL - queries about Epic

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I've not been on NCL before but have been on other European Cruise lines. I'll be on the Epic from the 31st July for a week in the Mediterranean and with less than 6 weeks to go, I need to start getting sorted. I have a few queries though that I hope some people will be able to answer:

 

1. I have the 3 speciality restaurant cover charge package - which are the best restaurants on Epic to go to? I'm a bit of a foodie so I want to try whatever's best!

2. When I book the restaurants (this will have to be via customer services as I can't via the app or the website for some reason) - do they just use my 3 restaurant package to do this?

3. If I opt out of paying the daily service charge and decide to tip my cabin steward, can I do this in Euros, or will it have to be in Dollars?

4. Can you get liqueur coffees made with decaffeinated coffee?

5. Do they have decaffeinated tea on board or do I need to bring my own teabags?

6. Can you get Frozen Margaritas - I particularly like these on other cruise lines?

7. Does NCL/the port provide shuttle buses to Livorno Railway station and Barcelona? How much do these cost?

8. Is there anything that I should not miss when on board Epic, as I don't want to miss out on something in case I don't cruise with NCL again?

 

Thanks 🙂

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I've been on the Epic 5 times and three of those out of Barcelona.  I can help with a few of your questions.  I've always been a bit to busy to make dinner reservations, but I have tried the Italian restaurant and did not really care for it.  Please don't opt out of service charge.  It pays many more people than the room steward.  You can tip extra in dollars for your steward.  Yes to the Frozen Margaritas.  Many many flavors.  We took cabs to in both Livorno and Barcelona and both were not expensive much easier than a shuttle.  Enjoy, it is a great cruise.

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2 hours ago, phoenix1975 said:

🙂

1. I have the 3 speciality restaurant cover charge package - which are the best restaurants on Epic to go to? I'm a bit of a foodie so I want to try whatever's best!  La Cucina, Cagneys and Le Bistro

2. When I book the restaurants (this will have to be via customer services as I can't via the app or the website for some reason) - do they just use my 3 restaurant package to do this?. Just ring up NCL UK

3. If I opt out of paying the daily service charge and decide to tip my cabin steward, can I do this in Euros, or will it have to be in Dollars? They will take Euros.

4. Can you get liqueur coffees made with decaffeinated coffee? If you ask nicely

5. Do they have decaffeinated tea on board or do I need to bring my own teabags?  Yes they do

6. Can you get Frozen Margaritas - I particularly like these on other cruise lines?  Yes

7. Does NCL/the port provide shuttle buses to Livorno Railway station and Barcelona? How much do these cost? Yes they do but at Livorno, Tuscany Bus run a bus into town for €5 return.In Barcelona, Blue Port shuttle Bus (Cruise Barcelona) Outside terminal. Cash on bus €2

8. Is there anything that I should not miss when on board Epic, as I don't want to miss out on something in case I don't cruise with NCL again? Deck 18 for quiet sunbathing

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42 minutes ago, elwood_98034 said:

Take your own Three Cheese Ziti.

Just in cases. 

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/03fa7d84-a898-4bd5-ba24-6fe42a33bfad

Is this something that is popular in the US, as I've never heard of it in the UK?

 

Thanks for the other replies.

 

What is Moderno Churrascaria like, and what about Teppanyaki, or is the latter more style over substance? I probably won't do La Cucina as I'm spending some time in Italian cities both before and after the cruise.

 

Sunbathing - I don't do so much. Are there any shaded areas outside - like what you would have on a promenade deck?

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3 minutes ago, phoenix1975 said:

Is this something that is popular in the US, as I've never heard of it in the UK?

It's a long story.

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The daily service charge goes towards more than just the room steward. It also covers the people who work in all the complimentary restaurants -- and with NCL's freestyle it's very rare to ever see the same person twice so you'd have to be tipping the people who helped you at every meal which means making sure you're always carrying cash with you. As well as some behind the scenes people like those that deal with the linen laundry. 

 

Leave the DSC on and tip extra for exceptional service if you desire. 

 

They have frozen margaritas - and lots of other frozen drinks. They use paper straws in case you're particular about that. 

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43 minutes ago, phoenix1975 said:

Is this something that is popular in the US, as I've never heard of it in the UK?

 

Thanks for the other replies.

 

What is Moderno Churrascaria like, and what about Teppanyaki, or is the latter more style over substance? I probably won't do La Cucina as I'm spending some time in Italian cities both before and after the cruise.

 

Sunbathing - I don't do so much. Are there any shaded areas outside - like what you would have on a promenade deck?

We love Moderno.  You begin by going to a salad bar with a great selection of salad items and cheeses.  Servers then bring around skewers of lamb, filet mignon, sirloin, chicken breast, sausages, pork ribs and beef ribs. They cut off as much as you want.  It allows you to have a variety of meats at one meal. If you really like something, you get more the next time they come by. There are also side dishes, dessert and grilled pineapple that is delicious. 

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4 hours ago, phoenix1975 said:

I've not been on NCL before but have been on other European Cruise lines. I'll be on the Epic from the 31st July for a week in the Mediterranean and with less than 6 weeks to go, I need to start getting sorted. I have a few queries though that I hope some people will be able to answer:

 

1. I have the 3 specialty restaurant cover charge package - which are the best restaurants on Epic to go to? I'm a bit of a foodie so I want to try whatever's best! Le Bistro French, Cagney's Steakhouse, Cirque Dinner Show (fun show, marginal food), Teppanyaki. 

2. When I book the restaurants (this will have to be via customer services as I can't via the app or the website for some reason) - do they just use my 3 restaurant package to do this? Bookings opened on 02 April. Much of the dining will be sold out by now. You can book as soon as you embark (you will have more luck later in the cruise after the Barcelona people leave). You can book as many dinners as you want. The ones you select will be paid for via the package. The others will be charged to your room account. 

3. If I opt out of paying the daily service charge and decide to tip my cabin steward, can I do this in Euros, or will it have to be in Dollars? Many more people than your steward who work very hard to make your cruise wonderful are covered by the daily service charge. You would be cheating them out of a gratuity if you opt out. DO NOT OPT OUT. 

4. Can you get liqueur coffees made with decaffeinated coffee? Depends on the bar

5. Do they have decaffeinated tea on board or do I need to bring my own teabags? Yes, they have decaffeinated tea. 

6. Can you get Frozen Margaritas - I particularly like these on other cruise lines? Yes. Availability depends on the bar

7. Does NCL/the port provide shuttle buses to Livorno Railway station and Barcelona? How much do these cost?

8. Is there anything that I should not miss when on board Epic, as I don't want to miss out on something in case I don't cruise with NCL again? You need to book seats at the two main theater shows (Priscilla and Burn the Floor). You need to book a comedy show as soon as you embark (early shows are family oriented, late shows are 18+). 

 

Thanks 🙂

 

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Thanks very much for the replies - my only gripes with the daily service charge is the cost of it, as it's quite expensive compared with other cruise lines, made worse by the Dollar/Pound sterling exchange rate; and that it just goes to the company. My usual cruise line in the UK doesn't have tipping and has now got rid of the service charge completely, absorbing it into the cost of the cruise.

 

Glad they have frozen margaritas and decaff tea.

 

I've wanted to book the restaurants online (so I can see the times/days available) but the system won't let me. UK Customer Services has tried to help but they can't get it to work either. So will have to work out what I want to do and when, and then try and do it over the phone.

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1 minute ago, phoenix1975 said:

Thanks very much for the replies - my only gripes with the daily service charge is the cost of it, as it's quite expensive compared with other cruise lines, made worse by the Dollar/Pound sterling exchange rate; and that it just goes to the company. My usual cruise line in the UK doesn't have tipping and has now got rid of the service charge completely, absorbing it into the cost of the cruise.

 

Glad they have frozen margaritas and decaff tea.

 

I've wanted to book the restaurants online (so I can see the times/days available) but the system won't let me. UK Customer Services has tried to help but they can't get it to work either. So will have to work out what I want to do and when, and then try and do it over the phone.

phoenix, don't be put off by American posters telling you in bold red type not to opt out of the daily service charge. Remember that NCL UK advise you the charge is discretionary. If you don't feel the need to pay it, just advise guest services when you embark.Simples!

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1 hour ago, phoenix1975 said:

Thanks very much for the replies - my only gripes with the daily service charge is the cost of it, as it's quite expensive compared with other cruise lines, made worse by the Dollar/Pound sterling exchange rate; and that it just goes to the company. My usual cruise line in the UK doesn't have tipping and has now got rid of the service charge completely, absorbing it into the cost of the cruise.

 

Glad they have frozen margaritas and decaff tea.

 

I've wanted to book the restaurants online (so I can see the times/days available) but the system won't let me. UK Customer Services has tried to help but they can't get it to work either. So will have to work out what I want to do and when, and then try and do it over the phone.

 

Well if you liked the usual cruise lines pricing then you should have sailed with them. The main US cruise lines all charge practically the same - Royal is only $0.50 less per day. Carnival is $1 cheaper. I wouldn't think most would call $7 a week a significant amount of money. 

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3 hours ago, farjar said:

We love Moderno.  You begin by going to a salad bar with a great selection of salad items and cheeses.  Servers then bring around skewers of lamb, filet mignon, sirloin, chicken breast, sausages, pork ribs and beef ribs. They cut off as much as you want.  It allows you to have a variety of meats at one meal. If you really like something, you get more the next time they come by. There are also side dishes, dessert and grilled pineapple that is delicious. 

 

I really like the salad bar at Moderno--I think it's excellent.  However, I have always been disappointed in the meats. I think their only redeeming value is that you can eat tons of it. 

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