Welcome my blog post sharing all the NCL tips and tricks I learnt during my Mediterranean cruise on board the Norwegian Epic. I was only away for 4 days but it was plenty of time to learn all the essential Norwegian Epic tips you will need for your cuise.
There was so much to do on the NCL Epic Mediterranean cruise that it felt like I was away for weeks! You would never do or see so many varied things on a land holiday as you will on a cruise. Waking up in a different port everyday, in itself is a very magical experience.
I am going to kick off my series about Norwegian Cruise Line and life on board the NCL Epic with my top tips and insider secrets for making your cruise holiday as easy as possible. I’ve also got a video tour to share with you of the Norwegian Epic room I stayed in. I really hope you enjoy it and it gives you a better idea of the NCL Epic cabins you can expect on board this ship.
Norwegian Epic Secrets & Insider Tips
Getting Your Bearings On Board The Norwegian Epic
The Norwegian Epic can carry 4100 passengers. It’s a pretty big ship. When you embark you will be given a Norwegian Epic deck plan. I recommend keeping this with you until you become more familiar with the ship layout.
My other NCL secret is use the top deck of the ship, or another deck that you are going to spend a lot of time on, as your point of reference to help you find your way around. The decks where the cabins are all look the same and it can be difficult to get your bearings at first.
I found it really helpful to use the lift nearest my cabin and make a note of where that dropped me off on the top deck. In my case it was near the Water Park and H2O Spice Bar. This made finding my NCL cabin on board the ship a whole lot easier and quicker too.
If I was at the forward of the ship in the Garden Cafe for example, instead of taking the lifts at that end of the ship to the deck where my cabin was, I found it much quicker and less confusing to make the journey from one end of the ship to the other on the top deck and then take the lift to my cabin from the H2O bar. I found I got my bearings a lot quicker by doing this.
Making The Best Of Your NCL Epic WiFi Allowance
We had access to 250 minutes of wifi while we were onboard the NCL Epic. I was surprised that cruise ships even had wifi, but then it has been a couple of years since I’ve been on a cruise.
The NCL Epic wifi reception isn’t the best in the cabins, and you can waste valuable minutes using a very slow connection if you connect while you are in your room. One of my top Norwegian Epic Cruise Tips to make the best of your NCL wifi package is go to the public areas where the connection is better. You will then you will get more out of the minutes you have available while you are onboard.
Norwegian Epic Room Secrets
If you find a light in your stateroom that you can’t see an obvious switch for, try under the shelves. The light above the sink in my room didn’t appear to have it’s own switch anywhere! I resorted to removing my key card from the door for the first night on board the Norwegian Epic to switch it off. After a conversation with the group I was travelling with, they told me I would find it under the shelves next to the sink. Voila!
The phone display also gives off a glow which is noticeable when you are trying to get to sleep. There is a picture of a light bulb in the top right hand corner. If you give this a tap it will turn the display off at night.
Have a chat with your concierge for more NCL cabin tips, they are really helpful and so friendly too.
Do I Need Beach Towels On A Norwegian Cruise Line Ship?
I wasn’t sure about beach towels when I was packing for my cruise, so I threw one in my case to be on the safe side. When I got to my room there were two provided for my use. There was also a kiosk on the deck near the water park where I was able to get replacement beach towels if I needed them for the duration of the Norwegian Epic Med Cruise.
For more tips and insider secrets about the kind of things you can expect in a stateroom on board the Norwegian Epic take a peek at my cabin tour.
Taking Shore Excursions
Personally I really enjoyed taking the shore excursions organised by NCL Epic. I like being picked up from the ship, taken in an air conditioned bus to the destination I’m visiting and knowing I’ll get back to the ship on time. It takes all the thinking out of it for me.
If you opt for a shore excursion with NCL cruise line, make sure you know what time you will be leaving the ship and where your meeting point is. If you are late, they will leave without you as it’s not fair on the other passengers and everything has to happen on time.
Doing Your Own Thing
There are lots of reasons why people like to do their own thing when they arrive in a port. As I have been to Barcelona before, I would probably take the hop on and off bus if I went there again instead of a shore excursion. I feel more confident about exploring the city as I have some familiarity with it. Cost might also be a consideration for you and doing your own thing can save you money.
You will find tips and information about going ashore in your NCL Freestyle Daily or cruise newspaper that is delivered to your room every night. Read it as it’s packed with so much information for the day ahead.
Do I Need To Dress Up On The Norwegian Epic?
The answer to this is, only if you want to. Norwegian Cruise Line wants you to enjoy your cruise the way you want to. You have the freedom to dress how you wish with a few restrictions in some restaurants, like no ripped jeans for example.
You will be completely comfortable dressing how you want to. While I was on board the NCL Epic I saw people in their shorts sat quite happily next to people in their evening gowns. It really is up to you. Personally, I think it’s nice to be able to have the best of both worlds.
Visiting the NCL Epic Ice Bar
This Ice Bar was the first of it’s kind at sea and is a really fun place to visit while you are on the NCL Epic. There is an extra fee to enter the bar, but this does include 2 rather amazing cocktails served in an ice glass. Make sure you arrive on time as your window is limited and you don’t want to waste your time in there. You will be given a warm poncho and gloves to wear, but it’s down to you to make sure your feet are warm. Socks and shoes are probably your best bet for your visit here.
Read Your NCL Freestyle Daily
For the most up to date Norwegian Epic secrets reading the Freestyle Daily when it arrives in your room every night will give you the very latest tips and tricks for making the most of the day ahead. It’s packed with lots of useful information about must do activities on board the Norwegian Epic and things you can do ashore. It also tells you everything you need to know about the kids activities on board this NCL cruise ship.
It gives you a snapshot of the weather, tells you when sunrise and sunset are and when you are going to be arriving and departing the next port. All of this is great for planning what you want to do as well as any photographs of your cruise you want to take. It has a packed itinerary of daytime and evening entertainment so you can plan your day and gives you the opening times of all the bars and restaurants. It communicates all the information you need to make the best of your day, so don’t miss it!
Other Helpful Norwegian Epic Tips and Tricks
- Take a refillable water bottle
- Book any shows or speciality restaurants you want to visit in advance as they fill up quickly.
- If you are looking for a bargain, the best deals on spa treatments and other bookings are on Embarkation or Port days.
- Plan trips and activities in advance
- Keep an eye on the ships time, especially when you are on land as there maybe a time difference.
- Never miss the boat! It will leave without you.
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Have you read the Ultimate Guide to Making Family Travel Easier yet? It’s awesome!
I was a guest of Norwegian Cruise Line onboard the Norwegian Epic for a press trip but all thoughts and opinions are my own.