I won't go through day by day as so many of these reviews do. I will say that this is the first time I have been on a mega-ship and yes this ship is huge but not so large that you can't find your way around. I was worried about how long it would take to get through check-in and onto the ship since there would be so many people however it only took about 45 mins to get through security and checked in and onto the ship. We entered through the mid-ships entrance and it was very underwhelming. The entrance was directly into the casino and you had to squeeze by a craps table. I thought that it was a little tacky. We got on board right about 1PM and our stateroom was ready so we were able to drop off our bags before we headed out to lunch.
Food: We ate at all the specialty restaurants with the exception of Moderno, Shanghai and the Noodle House. They were all delicious with the best being Le Bistro. Ate breakfast and lunch daily at the Garden Cafe and it was good with the usual buffet fare. Had dinner there one evening and it too was rather good. The last night we ate at Taste for the first time and I have to say that while I really liked the decor in there the food was awful. I have to agree that to have a good food experience on this cruise you really need to pay the additional cover charges and eat at those restaurants. They are well worth it.
Entertainment: This ship has the best entertainment at sea. Blue Man group, which I have seen several times was amazing as usual. Cirque Dreams will blow your mind with what they can do on a moving ship. Second City was very funny however I was a little disappointed in their one theater production, while funny it had very limited improv and I really like improv. I did notice on the schedule that they had several different shows through out the week with different material depending on when you attend however it can be difficult to get additional ticket reservations because you may have seen them already. We also attended the Murder Mystery Luncheon they do and that was great I highly recommend it. Finally, the only show that I was disappointed with was Legends in Concert. The legends presented on my cruise were Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Buffet and Michael Jackson. Now they all did a great job but, two of three were just not my taste.
Service and Staff: The service overall was very good. Drinks came quickly and you weren't harassed by the bar staff to drink more. The food always came quickly and they were there to make sure that your water, tea, etc... was always filled. The cruise staff were generally pleasant however I got a sense of arrogance from them and sometimes their comments were rude, mean and not funny. We were really turned off by both Ken the cruise director and Luz the assistant cruise director. Another comment on staff is addressed towards the captain. He would speak down to the passengers in a degrading manner, often lecturing during his morning reports. I found that irritating.
Cons: The overall design of the ship is nice however there just isn't enough deck space for 4000+ people. During the 3 sea days I didn't find a deck chair at all because they were all "occupied". There is an alleged rule that if the chair isn't used within 60 minutes that the belongings would be removed so others could use the chair however this was a policy that was not enforced and I found it very irritating. Now, if I were richer I would have booked a Haven room and been able to use that deck space and certainly would have found a deck chair. Overall, it is expensive on board with drinks and restaurant cover charges however those can be booked and paid for ahead of time which helps as it spreads out the cost. The Ice Bar is a complete waste of money and time. There is a $20 cover charge that includes 2 drinks but it is just too cold, crowded and frankly way too strong to enjoy them. One thing you will notice on this ship is that it is dark. There aren't many windows to see out when walking the public corridors especially when compared to a RCCL Vision Class ship which has nothing but windows.
I have read many complaints about the rooms and the split bathroom. I actually really liked the room and didn't mind the wavy walls. There was a ton of storage with empty shelves left over. The beds were comfortable and even my 6'1" frame fit on without much issue. I really liked that the bathroom was split however I could understand the complaints regarding privacy but they are minimal compared to the advantages.
Overall I am confident that I would sail on the Epic again however I would certainly try to save up and book a Haven room as it would allow a more positive outside cruise experience.