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Anna Jenssen

Age: 15

Occupation:School Student

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Epic

Sailing Date: 2012-10-26

Itinerary: Mediterranean

This was my first real cruise, ever. Therefore I cannot compare it to other cruises, but I don't think that is necessary to have a reason to say that this ship is amazing. My cruise was like nothing I've ever experienced before. To make a long story short, it was like all my travels mixed together in an amazing week. I can't say it in any other way, unless I want to write an entire book about it.

If it was something that weren't on the same level as everything else, it must have been the food. I have to mention that the overall level of everything else was extremely high, though. The buffet, for example, included approximately everything you would ask for in a buffet. Something for everyone, but of course not gourmet food.

However, this was absolutely available on board the ship. And it was very good, considering that this is not their special theme or anything like that. Very elegant served, and of course unique service. The meat was, in my opinion at the places I ate, a bit tough. Only one tenderloin was really tender (at the Cirque Dreams and Dinner in the Spiegel Tent). And one salad felt some dry and lame. Otherwise the food we got served was like the food you get on very expensive restaurants, and among the desserts there were some real pearls, I won't tell which.

Basically like every stateroom. Only bigger, more furnished, with nicer light, a lot of smart solutions (which I am very fond of) and last, but not least a very elegant design. Even though our balcony was not the prettiest, with exfoliation paint on the railing, two simple chairs and a small table, and not to forget an always wet floor due to the everyday cleaning, we really appreciated it every day and every night. Just waking up in the morning, stepping outside and feel the wind in your hair and the smell of the very fresh ocean beneath you in your nose was incredible. Including the fact that you can see for example Hotel Carlton or Martinez in Cannes from the best view from your very own balcony.

The stateroom was cleaned very often, to our appreciation. The iTv was genius, and from here, or by your telephone, you could check anything or make almost every reservation, which is originally the tasks you think is for the reception desk. It simply makes you feel so relaxed and non-stressed, like you should be on board a cruise. Only negative thing may have been the toilet, which was very noisy when it flushed. Hard to get used to, but easy to tolerate when everything else is so perfect.

You can say the activities made you feel like you participated in an endless festival. At the same time as you should relax, take a swim or watch the sea from your stateroom like in a very nice holiday, you should also go ashore and see a new city when you could, or even join a shore excursion. You would think this would be enough to spend your time. It is actually enough, but it is also not. Because there is a big thing in between, to take the rest of your spare time. The activities. And they are many, and very different.

I wanted to join as many of the activities of my interests as I could. I can tell at once, it was impossible to join them all. I checked the Freestyle Daily, the surprisingly informative newspaper of the ship, marked the activities I would like to join, and again and again I had to choose between two or three, including the relaxing- and going ashore-part.

On the other hand, the activities I got to participate in did not disappoint. I got to join a Ping-Pong tournament, watch movies from the bar on the two deck-high big screen, join a dance class, play bowling and more. Only once the activity organizer came some minutes late. Otherwise everything was well scheduled and set up, with good information and admirably friendly and humorous staff. The staff is in fact a chapter for itself, a very positive chapter. I can say that I felt very welcome, everywhere I went.

About this subject, I don't have that much to say. To us, the excursions were way too expensive, especially when we found out that it went very well to go around ashore by ourselves. However, we joined one excursion. The Pompeii Excavations in Naples. I got my suspicion about that the excursions were overpriced confirmed. Other than that, it was in fact a very nice excursion, not a bad word about it. We had a funny, probably pretty local guide with us. It was difficult to loose your group, while you at the same time got plenty of opportunities to get the impressions of this very special city by your own. Since we travelled in October, the temperature was perfect, with beautiful weather. Otherwise I would strictly not recommend going here in the middle of the season with way too high temperatures and amounts of tourists.

To say it short, this excursion was neither a don't miss-excursion, nor a stay away-excursion.

We had booked an airport transfer in advance. This felt very safe, both when we ordered it and when we were there. Right outside the luggage claiming area, two representatives from NCL waited for us, and told us what to do. We had to wait an hour or so, because of somebody else who had a delayed arrival. Then we got time to get some lunch and sort out our travel documents. It was nice not to be in a hurry.

At the time we were supposed to meet afterwards, the representatives came a bit late, but it was easy to see the other cruise passengers, with their yellow luggage tags. This made us feel even more safe, and sure that we were in the right place to the right time. That is always a good feeling.

When everything had turned out well, we were led, very fast since we were now in a bit of a hurry, to a bus and then from the airport to the boat. We were some of the last passengers to get on board, and had missed the lifeboat drill. Therefore we got our own personal one.

On our way home, there was a bit more we had to be aware of. This was never a problem. A very smart, colored luggage tag system, exceptional organization and good information made our way back to the airport very smooth and with no stress. The only negative was that we got two extra hours on the airport.

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