We just want to let you know about our experience on the NCL Epic the week of November 3-10, 2012.
Day 1 -- Staff was very unfriendly and not very cooperative. The daily Freestyle was not in our room and when we went to the front desk for one they told us they did not have any more and we should have gotten one earlier. Not impressed with the room configuration, with the toilet on one side and the shower on the other and the sink on the counter/table/dresser. It was like having a bed in your bathroom. The curtain separating the bed from the bathroom is good. However, if someone is taking a shower or using the toilet and someone knocks on the door -- where is the privacy? One of the drawers was broken and had to have someone come to fix it. I did not discover until day 7, that they glued my underwear to the drawer. One ruined pair of underwear. Like the idea of putting wire baskets on the closet door (definitely provides additional storage). There was too much confusion at the Garden Cafe for lunch. We couldn't tell where one line began or ended. The lounge chairs on deck are so close that you cannot even get on one. The electronic information system said dinner was at 5:00. However, when we got there, they said dinner was at 5:30 and that we should refer to the Freestyle (none available). Dinner at Taste and the Blue Man Group (must make reservations early to get to see them) were excellent. You must stand in line early to get a good seat for the Blue Man Group. TV in the room does not show current movies like on other NCL ships. Only one movie channel and they show movies from the 60s, 70s or even earlier. If you want a recent movie you must pay $9.95. They also have Porn movies you can buy. Only one channel for favorite TV shows. The TV is a flat screen; however, the angle of the TV does not provide you with a clear picture from the bed (the only place you can watch TV from). Internet Cafe staff was very helpful. However, internet service is even slower than on the smaller ships because there are twice as many people using the service. You can only walk in a large oval on deck 7. You cannot walk around the entire ship on that deck. The walking space is probably six feet wide -- so 3 feet going in each direction. You cannot walk two people side by side in one direction.
Day 2 -- Staff seems to be a little bit friendlier. Breakfast at Taste was not exceptional. We had Eggs Benedict and the ham was half the size of the English muffin. On this ship you must request pastry/Danish or you do not get it. On other NCL ships they bring it around and ask if you want any. We had reservations for dinner and the Cirque Dreams. Both were excellent. There is a charge for this ($25/$35). You still have to stand in line early to get a good seat. It is hard to get a lounge chair on the pool deck. They delivered our chocolate covered strawberries and bottle of wine (Platinum perk) after 10 pm.
Day 3 -- Ships tour is a waste of time (especially if you pay to see it). We are Platinum members so it is complimentary. We did not see anything other than the galley (which was impressive). I don't think the entertainment (Spiegel Tent) is behind the scenes. Anyone could go to the observation deck and view the bridge, so why didn't we get to actually go on the bridge like we did on another NCL ship in April? Saw the Second City (Late show) and it was fun. (Again need reservations and need to stand in line early to get a good seat).
Day 4 -- Taste restaurant is not open on port days. You must eat breakfast in Garden Cafe or O'Sheehan's. Waiter John (O'Sheehan's) is excellent (very friendly person). O'Sheehan's has the best Buffalo chicken wings. We saw the Legends in Concert (again reservations needed and must stand in line early for a good seat). This was an okay show. We had dinner in the Le Bistro. Restaurant provides excellent service and food. However, beware that there is a bowling alley above the restaurant and you can hear the bowling balls hitting the floor. There is a $20 per person fee and an additional $10 if you want lobster.
Day 5 -- Listened to Slam Allen in the Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Bar. It is a very small venue with no tables for your drinks. It is just chairs in rows. A light went out in our cabin, called to have it fixed early in the day and they came after 10 pm to fix it. You would think the room steward would check these things out and report them.
Day 6 -- We went to the Le Bistro for dinner. Again it was excellent food and service. However, the bowling alley was even busier than the first time. It was like they were up there just dropping the bowling balls on the floor. You are paying to go to this restaurant (Specialty) and you cannot have peace and quiet. We went to the Ice Bar. ($20 per person -- includes two drinks). A unique experience, however, I don't think the drinks are full size (they are strong) but not worth $10 a drink.
Day 7 -- Disembarkation -- We ate breakfast at O'Sheehan's. The express breakfast came with cold uncooked scrambled eggs. I could not eat it. Just left and I would eat at the airport. We chose to walk off with our luggage. We were in line around 6:00 am. Walk off time was to begin around 7:15. People lined up with their luggage; however, others would try to walk through the line to get to the other end of the ship. There should have been someone(staff) around to tell people to walk on the other side and not in the line for departure. Some people were really rude.
Summation: We will not be cruising on the latest and greatest ships. These ships are way too large and the Captain even called it a "Floating Resort". This is probably true -- because you have to pay additional for everything on the ship. The concept of having all restaurants and bars in a central location is good; however, this jams up the walking space for getting to and from other venues. The Epic is a large ship; however, everything -- stores, bars, restaurants, pools are smaller. Also if you are a Platinum member you do not receive all benefits on the EPIC. However, this is not indicated on the Latitude website.