I think this is my new favorite cruise ship!!! Even though there are a lot of passengers on this ship, it's big enough for everyone, and laid out well. There seems to be enough room for everyone! There are many different areas to soak up the sun, and the one out of the way area we favored for lounging was never overrun with people. We never felt crammed in our lounge chairs like sardines lined up in a can (as sometimes happens).
The water slides were a lot of fun. Some line ups during peak times as expected, but worth a few minutes of waiting!
The entertainment was wonderful. Second City was terrific. Legends was terrific too. Do not miss either of those shows!!! The magician (whose name escapes me) was wonderful too, though they put his shows on much too late. He should have a few shows scheduled for earlier than 10:30! Blue Man Group is something you either love or hate though. Our group was mixed on them.
This cruise on the Epic was the first cruise where I've enjoyed the breakfast buffet all week long. Someone has FINALLY figured it out!!!! No long lines, no repeats due to limited choices, hot food actually HOT, and only once did we have to wander (briefly) with our plates. There were many areas to sit! It was great! One caveat with the breakfast buffet experience - the scrambled eggs are still as horrible as on every other cruise on every other ship. LOL
As for our other dining experiences: We did not enjoy the Manhattan Restaurant. We were there the first night and it was too loud! We had to shout to make conversation over the live background music. On the other hand, we loved the "Taste" restaurant. We went there for dinner most of the rest of the week, and it was perfect every night.
Another "best" experience for us was with the crew. The crew members we saw and/or encountered seemed by far the happiest group of people! They didn't seem happy because they were required to be. They just seemed genuinely happy to be on board this ship. Whether they were interacting with passengers, or interacting among each other away from passengers, they were just happy people!!! It was wonderful!!!
The only real problem we had with this cruise was the fact that we arrived to a dirty cabin! Bits of debris left from the last occupants were still lying on the counter. The cabinet behind the mirror (at the sink) had sticky shelves. The wall behind the coffee pot had what looked like splotches of coffee on it. The wall adjacent to the door had a glob of food on it. I was completed disgusted! Instead of unpacking, I had to go down to the customer service desk and complain. The young lady was apologetic and asked if I would meet with the housekeeping manager up at my room so I could show him the problem, which is what I did. After an inspection and conversation, the room got re-cleaned from top to bottom, but what a thing to come into! It certainly did not put their best foot forward!
I could blame our cabin steward, who's job it was to clean our room, but I think there might be a bigger issue here. The only other time (in a dozen cruises) that we came into an improperly cleaned cabin, was our only other NCL cruise. Does this cruise line not give staff enough time to clean properly? Do they not have supervisors inspect the cabins before they are released? Is there an issue with the policies of NCL or was this some odd coincidence? Both times a bottle of wine was delivered to our room as an "I'm sorry" gesture, but neither my husband nor I drink wine. In my opinion, the cruise line should have given a small shipboard credit to our cabin equal to the value of the bottle of wine.
Other than the dirty room, which could have ruined our outlook on the whole cruise if we let it, we had a great time on a great ship!!!