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Old 08-08-2013, 09:14 PM   #1
ldo
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Med cruise--DCL vs Epic--my review of Epic-plus DL Paris

I just returned from a family trip to Europe on the Epic and also then onto Disneyland Paris and then London. I know several on these BB were considering NCL Epic for next summer and also maybe DLP, so here are my thoughts.
Epic--pros
price--6 of us in 2 balcony rooms for $6600
choice of boarding in BCN (main port), Rome or Marseille. We boarded in Rome--easy on/off. We prefer Rome, as it is very easy to then train to other places in Italy.
stateroom attendants were very good--we saw them all the time
loved anytime dining, and food in MDR was perfectly fine--we never found a need to even try a "fee" restaurant. However, if you wanted to eat at 7:45-8:30pm, there was a wait (with a free glass of champagne). We walked right in between 6:30-7:30 every night.
buffet--very good for breakfast and lunch
very good entertainment, fun waterslides, climbing walls, etc.
fun bowling alley ($5 game) and great Irish pub attached with free food and reasonably priced beers, etc.
No issues with smoke--even walking thru the casino--I could smell it a bit, but not bothersome--and I have asthma. No smoke issues anywhere else--except on our balcony when our neighbors smoked (a lot).
ports are similar--however, for those wanting to go to Pisa or Florence, Livorno is a closer port and super easy DIY which can save you big bucks.

cons
Cabins are narrow and not really designed for just sitting around--our kids much preferred DCL rooms.
the bathrooms--lots of comments on the web for those interested. The shower was fine, and you could close the privacy curtain. But the toilet has a curved door that is nothing like a solid door and not soundproof--it's just weird. Fine for younger kids, but just realize the set up if privacy is a concern.
No movie theater and few, if any movies played outside during the day and only 1 movie all week at night--we really missed that, as sometimes we did not want to go to a show and a movie would have been great.
I prefer other French Riviera ports to Marseille for DIY days, but if you are going to take an excursion, then it doesn't matter. We went to Avignon and Aix en Provence thru the ship--a good trip, but $90PP (steep for a family of 5 who usually can do a whole DIY day for under $150 for everyone).
Bottom line--we prefer a bit smaller ship with less people, but I could not find any faults with the Epic except the bathrooms.

Paris--very easy to fly on low cost carrier into Paris. We took Easyjet for $500 for 6 persons including fee for 5 suitcases. We stayed at the Disneyland Paris Marriott Vacation Club in a 2BR villa for 6 persons. Loved it! Our favorite place that we have ever stayed. Took the train into Paris 1 day, DLP 1 day, 1 pool/shopping day, and 1 day on a local bus to a medieval village built in the 1200s. DLP was great, Walt Disney Studios a bust--wish we had skipped it and just stayed at DLP.
Well, that's it. Feel free to ask any questions for those considering the Epic or DLP after a cruise. Elaine
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:30 PM   #2
FJS961
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Thanks for that. We are sailing Epic next year (Aug) in the Med - much better value. We had DCL booked but switched to Epic leaving 1 day later.

We are spending the week prior to cruise in Paris and thinking about a day trip to DLP mid week for the kids to break it up.

We will need to to get from Paris to BCN for the cruise and had forgotten about Easyjet. The other options are an overnight hotel train or a high speed train if up and running.
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:17 AM   #3
woody73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ldo View Post

. . . We stayed at the Disneyland Paris Marriott Vacation Club in a 2BR villa for 6 persons. Loved it! Our favorite place that we have ever stayed.
We stayed at the Marriott villas multiple times and loved it. (For years, we had DLP annual passes.)

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Old 08-09-2013, 08:49 AM   #4
ColoradoDisneyFreaks
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Originally Posted by FJS961 View Post
Thanks for that. We are sailing Epic next year (Aug) in the Med - much better value. We had DCL booked but switched to Epic leaving 1 day later.

We are spending the week prior to cruise in Paris and thinking about a day trip to DLP mid week for the kids to break it up.

We will need to to get from Paris to BCN for the cruise and had forgotten about Easyjet. The other options are an overnight hotel train or a high speed train if up and running.
Just a note about EasyJet, their rates are fantastic, and the service has improved about 500% since 2010 (we took them this summer from Venice to London), but, they don't do phone agents well. Everything is on line. Since you're planning on flying from Paris, and they're know for industrial actions and limited strikes, it would be worthwhile to have a phone with an international data plan so you could get e-mail updates.

One thing I loved about Easy Jet, since they only do intra-Europe/continental flights, the seats don't recline much, so you don't end up with someone's head in your lap the whole flight!
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:54 AM   #5
LeslieG
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How were the crowds in port coming off such a large ship?
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:38 AM   #6
ldo
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we embarked/debarked in Rome--only about 500 persons vs. 4000 in BCN. Rome was walk on/off. BCN was a zoo for the cab line. If you debark in BCN, plan to have a pre-arranged taxi/driver pick you up. But that is the same for DCL or RCCL, as they all have a rush with limited taxis at the same time in BCN.
The downside for Rome, if you have kids, is that all the activities are focused on BCN as Day 1, and Rome is Day 3. So, Nick sailaway party is Day 1 in BCN. Big kids club open house is day 1, etc. Our kids were not really interested in the kids club, and we were very busy touring the ports, so it didn't matter to us. On the +, by Rome, a lot of folks were tired and so the lines for the slides, etc. were not very long, pool chairs available, etc. until we got to BCN. Plus, on the Rome day, everyone is off the boat, so you can eat lunch in peace, get a pool chair, use the slides, etc. Then we hit BCN with a new group of "fresh" people and it was a madhouse on Day 1 and Day 2, Sea Day. I liked getting on in Rome and would do that again on the Epic.
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