Just got back from 7 night Easter Caribbean Cruise on the Epic. Loved every minute of our trip!
Embarkation was quick and easy. Arrived to pier at about 11:30 and was eating lunch up in the Garden Cafe by noon.
Our cabins were ready by about 1:30. We booked an inside cabin and though it was small we had plenty of room for all our things and never felt crowded. The bathroom arrangement was not an issue for us. The shower was bigger than others we have had. I liked the placement of the sink. The bed was very comfortable. Only thing that I think could be improved on is that the lighting was a little dim. Things were clean and cabin steward did a nice job.
Food was great. We ate at the Taste restaurant most nights because we liked the atmosphere better than in the Manhattan dining room. The band and singer in the Manhattan were a little loud to be able to enjoy conversation. The food is the same in both restaurants, so it just depends on what you prefer for atmosphere. We loved all the food. The chicken, fish, and shrimp dishes were especially good. Service was great. The buffet at the Garden Cafe was also great. Especially loved the crepe station each evening. And the ice cream station was also a nice addition. Most cruise lines we have been on only have the soft serve ice cream, the hard serve ice cream ncl had was delicious- and so many flavors to choose from is a bonus. We only ate in one fee restaurant- La Bistro. It was worth the extra cost and I highly recommend it. Best food of the trip! O'Sheehans was also a great place to eat and relax. We played some card games and ate their great food a couple different nights. The mozzarella sticks and brownie sundae were my favorites.
Entertainment was very good. The Blue Man Group was the best entertainment I have seen on a cruise line. It is a little "different", but so creative and fun. If people go into the show expecting something that follows a story line or that is mainstream- they will be disappointed. Just go in with an open mind and you will be highly entertained. Legends was fun, Michael Jackson was especially good. Second City was not something I really enjoyed, just didn't laugh too much. Lots of people in audience seemed to like it though. We went to the International Crew Show the last day... could have done without that one. I do appreciate the courage it takes for them to get on stage though.
The ship was great. Loved the decor and found it easy to navigate my way around. Didn't have an issue with smoke in casino like I read about in other reviews. I don't gamble, so just didn't spend time in casino. Walked through casino multiple times and wasn't overly bothered by smoke. Loved Spice H2O adult pool area. You do need to get up there early to get your desired seat. Plenty of lounge chairs on sun decks throughout ship, so if you don't get one early by adult pool you can still find one somewhere great. Water slides were really fun and lines were not bad at all. Fitness center was beautiful and always were plenty of machines to use. Ship was clean and well taken care of.
Enjoyed all the ports. St. Maarten: took a catamaran snorkel expedition (not though ncl). Snorkeling was not great, but sailing on catamaran was fun. After excursion we took the water taxi over to the beaches and spent a wonderful afternoon on the beach. Got two lounge chairs, umbrella, and 5 sodas for $20. St. Thomas: took the best excursion ever! We booked through a company called Blue Water SUP (stand up paddle). The owner, Colin, took us on a private paddle boarding excursion to a beautiful place called Secret Harbor. We had hours of paddle boarding on the most gorgeous water! Colin spent time teaching us, since we had never done it before, and then once we got the hang of it he taught us tricks and even had me do a few yoga poses out on the board. We had a great lunch as part of the excursion. On way back to ship he gave us a tour of the island. Look them up online before your cruise! I highly recommend this company- they also do fishing trips if that is more your thing. Nassau: cloudy day so we just did some shopping, still fun though.
Disembarkation was the quickest I have ever experienced.