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Discoveries: Epic Adventure

Brian Claridge and his family enjoy a cruise on one of the biggest ships in the world.

On Choice for a recent family cruise was the seven-night Western Med fly/cruise on Norwegian Epic, departing from Barcelona, with visits to Naples, Civitavecchia, Livorno, Marseille, Palma and back to Barcelona.

Apart from the colourful places en route, there was enough entertainment and onboard
facilities for all ages. As the biggest ship in the Norwegian fleet and third biggest in the world, the Epic is more like a floating city. It boasts more than 20 restaurants, bars and lounges, one of the biggest spa and fitness centres at sea, a huge aqua park with swimming pools, hot tubs and water slides, sports deck, ten-pin bowling alleys, Las Vegas style casino, huge LED screen, rock climbing, abseiling and even an ice bar.

The Norwegian Epic certainly lives up to her name in terms of size and construction – 1081ft long with 19 decks, she weighs 155,873 tonnes and has capacity for 4100 passengers.

As expected with a ship of this size there’s accommodation to suit all budgets and requirements, from deluxe owner’s suites to oceanview,inside and balcony staterooms for families, couples and solo occupancy, whilst hidden away at the top of the ship is The Haven, an exclusive enclave of luxury and private suites and villas reserved for a privileged few.

With its own private access via a glass elevator and dedicated concierge, this is the largest ‘ship-within-a-ship’ area at sea and features 67 suites, villas and penthouses, private pool and gym, as well as an exclusive lounge and dining room. The pool area is a private oasis, with hot tubs and luxury poolside furniture, including daybeds and private cabanas.

Our ‘New Wave’ balcony staterooms were compact and the design contemporary with curved walls and dark wood fittings. Features include comfortable bed, sofa, flat screen TV, coffee maker, safe and an unusual bathroom design. The shower and toilet each have their own sliding glass door and the vanity basin is housed in the bedroom, which takes some getting used to.

Both our staterooms had a private balcony, which was useful for sunbathing, dining or simply relaxing and watching the world go by. With this being a relatively short cruise and no formal nights to worry about, we had little to unpack and were soon ready to explore our new home for the next seven nights.

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