Because of storm delays, we walked onto the Epic just in time for the muster drill a half hour before departure. I was impressed with the attention given to attendance and decorum. No drinks were allowed in the areas. Well done, NCL! The bedlam in the hallways trying to make my way to my cabin was unbelievable. Finally, my first glimpse at the cabin was surprising. The rooms is very narrow with no room for two people to pass at the same time. The sink at the foot of the bed was a little awkward. I could literally sit on the edge of the bed and brush my teeth over the sink. The drape between the bedroom area and the closeted toilet (on the right) and shower (on the left) provided no privacy, especially with two friends travelling together. There was sufficient cupboard/closet space for clothing and stow-ables and the couch was simply a drop zone for bags,sweaters, books etc. The balcony was comfortable with 2 chairs and a small table. Special thanks to our room steward Jose, who was wonderful.
Dining was not always a positive experience. The Garden Cafe buffet was great for breakfast and lunch with good variety and sufficient seating. Dinner there on two evenings was satisfactory. Service and cleanup were very good. O'Sheehan's was fine for dinner twice. the selections were limited, but very tasty. The Taste dining room was too large, too exposed to the the atrium above and too noisy. With no dress code, large groups congregated there as they would in any road house restaurant and bar. You could not converse normally. The food was OK, nothing special. The Manhatten dining room was too large, too noisy, especially when you factored in the musicians. Food was not great. The onion soup was watery as was the tasteless Caesar salad. Meat was tough. The service here was not as attentive as in other locations. We did not try the restaurants which charged a fee. Coffee was the biggest disappointment.
The entertainment was excellent.We attended Blue man Group, Legends, Cirque, Howling at the Moon, the Murder Mystery, Second City, the magician and numerous musician performances throughout the ship...all excellent. better than on any ship I have experienced.
Activities were scattered throughout the ship and there was enough to do, but unfortunately, seating became a problem if you were in the Atrium.I was impressed with the number of activities for children and teens.
The pool and hot tubs were under used, but that cannot be said of the deck chairs. The no saving policy was never enforced and saved loungers sat empty for hours on end, leaving available spaces in the windy back end or beside the rock climbing wall. Bar service was always available and efficient.With only three ports, I was surprised to see the number of reasonably priced excursions. We took an excursion at each port and thoroughly enjoyed them. At our last stop in Nassau, we made a last minute decision to take an excursion and encountered a very unhelpful NCL rep who gave us very little attention and a lot of attitude. We booked a tour in spite of her.
Disembarkation was a joke. Any attempt to leave an elevator was blocked by hundreds of passengers who blocked the elevators and refused to move, even though they had an hour to wait. You could not hear the announced colours because of the noise level. This was a potential safety hazard and an overall frustration.
Overall, we enjoyed our time away, but would think twice before choosing this huge ship or even NCL in the future. The one very positive note about a huge ship is that we could hardly feel any motion, especially sailing on the Atlantic side of the islands.
Thanks to our Cruise Critic colleagues who organized our M & M, Cabin Crawl, bar crawl and tour.