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A mini cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line's Epic is the perfect getaway

Within an hour of boarding Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic, I was pinching myself for not having booked a get-away on a ship sooner.

If it wasn’t the grand decor or overwhelming number of things to do and see, it was the sheer size of the vessel (1,081 feet long and weighing 155,873 tonnes) that blew me away.

As a newbie to the world of cruising, I hadn’t exactly been sure what to expect from my time on the Epic. Would I get sea sick? Would I be by far the youngest on board? What would the food be like?

The Norwegian Epic is 1,081 feet long

The Norwegian Epic is 1,081 feet long

But in truth, the three days I spent at sea were utterly brilliant.

Norwegian prides itself on its notion of Freestyle Cruising – where guests have the freedom and flexibility to chose how they spend their time on board.

This was something I certainly took advantage of; I spent time on the top deck on a sun longer, relaxed in the hydration pool, rode the flumes, drank fancy cocktails and relaxed in the lounge area with a film.

The Aquapark - on the top deck - has three flumes

The Aquapark - on the top deck - has three flumes

The Epic, which launched in 2010, is the biggest ship within Norwegian’s fleet (for now) and truly offers something for everyone.

As well as accommodating up to 4,100 guests on each voyage, the ship is also home to 1,743 crew members from more than 70 countries to cater to your every whim.

There are several choices of cabins to chose from, ranging from solo studio rooms, family rooms with balconies, to deluxe penthouses.

Mind-blowing The Blue Man Group

Mind-blowing: The Blue Man Group

The vessel has 19 decks in total, and is fitted with bars, restaurants, a spa, a theatre, kids’ clubs, two bowling alleys, comedy and jazz clubs, a library, shops, climbing walls and an aqua park.

Dining options, of which there are more than 20, include French, Italian, Chinese and a steakhouse.

There are also 20 bars and lounges, including an Irish pub, a martini bar, a nightclub and even an Ice Bar – the first at sea.

Reporter Sam Williams enjoying a frozen drink at The SVEDKA Ice Bar

Reporter Sam Williams enjoying a frozen drink at The SVEDKA Ice Bar

The highlight of the break for me was watching the world-class entertainment.

I was left in complete awe after watching the Blue Man Group on our second night.

The painted men mix music, comedy and audience participation with flying paint and a lot of drum banging, all resulting in a laugh-out-loud performance. Another night we dined in the Spiegel Tent and watched the Cirque Dreams show.

The group of acrobats, contortionists and jugglers will leave you on edge – but in a good way. Their talent is simply on another level to any other circus I’ve seen. Again, audience participation is big so sit on the upper floor if you’re shy!

Norwegian promote the notion of Freestyle Cruising

Norwegian promote the notion of Freestyle Cruising

But it isn’t just the wide variety of attractions that this floating resort has to offer that made it stand out from other holidays.

I thrived on the idea of falling asleep in one city or country and waking up in another.

Opening your curtains in the morning to discover a new land or open sea is so thrilling. My trip took me from Barcelona to Marseille to Palma, in Majorca, before heading back to Barcelona.

At each new stop there is opportunity to book an excursion or explore the town for yourself.

Truly, my time on Norwegian’s largest ship was epic.


Samantha’s trip was funded by Norwegian Cruise Line

  • Norwegian Epic’s seven-night Western Mediterranean from Barcelona fly-cruise
  • Departing August 17, 2014
  • Prices from £1,140 per person based on two people sharing an inside stateroom including return flights from Heathrow. (Child 2-11 price from £642)
  • Fly UK-Barcelona; Naples (Pompeii); Civitavecchia (Rome); Livorno (Florence, Pisa); Cannes; Palma (Majorca); Barcelona-fly UK
  • For more details visit www.ncl.co.uk or call 0845 2018900

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