We arrived at the ship late, because of a missed flight to Barcelona (caused by a two and a half hour delay by American Airlines), so I can't comment on embarkation. Disembarkation was the smoothest ever. Cruise ports in the US should study the way it's done in Barcelona.
The food was good, and since we dine early, we did not experience long lines. The wait staff was very courteous.
We never plan our entertainment in advance, so booking ahead, which is a must on Epic, doesn't work for us. We really wanted to see the Blue Man Group, though, so we made reservations. While parts of the show were funny, much of it was just plain stupid, and it was so loud that we left 30 min. before the end.
Ports of call were good, but the excursions were expensive. Do your research and book on your own, but don't use Viatours Hop-on Hop-off bus. You will still have to get to the cities on your own because they don't start out from the port (except in Naples).
Now for the cabin: First, our cabin steward was excellent. No complaints there. However, the person who designed this cabin should be forced to live in it for 7 days with another person. There is no way to move from one end of this cabin to the other without disturbing your partner. Sink, coffee station, and tiny counter top for applying make up or checking email, are all lined up across from the end of the bed. There is 18 inches clearance from bed to counter. If one person is on the balcony and he wants to get to the "bathroom", he either has to crawl over the bed, or the other one has to get up and move out of the way. I couldn't even get by my husbands feet, which extended beyond the end of the bed.
There's no point sitting on the sofa, the only thing you can see from it is the closet door, 24 inches away. The TV is right in front of the bed, and cannot be turned. There is no table in front of the sofa, so there's no point sitting there with your coffee cup. The only comfortable sitting option is the balcony.
THERE IS NO BATHROOM! Toilet is on one side of the door, shower on the other. For "privacy" there is a smoked glass surrounding for each. Nothing can be done about the noisy toilets on ships, I realize they have to be that way, but the toilet doesn't have to be right next to the head of the bed. I got blasted awake every night, when my husband used the toilet. The tiny sink is right at the foot of the bed.
If you are clausterphobic or have privacy issues, you do not want this cabin. We had more floor space and privacy in our 1989 Winnebago, back in the pre-slide era. This is our sixth cruise with NCL, and we will cruise with them again, but not on the Epic. Balcony cabins on Norwegian Star, Norwegian Pearl, and even the tiny Pride of America are far roomier and people friendly.