This was our first NCL vacation and I had anticipated great times. The mini-suite cabin was difficult to move around in due to the curvy set-up. We expected a bathtub and had just a shower. The walls for the shower and toilet were opaque. You could see whomever was using either area, so not a plus when others were to visit the cabin. The available areas to store clothing, etc. were not well planned. Some of the shelves were about 8 inches deep, not wide enough to lay shirts or shorts on. There were no amenities that would have been standard on other cruise lines. The lines for the main dining rooms were long at normal dinner times and after waiting to be seated we thought the food was "ok", but not up to the good quality meals we have been served on other cruises. Paying to eat in one specialty restaurant, we had a better meal, but found that simple things like uncooked veggies in the coq au vin was not acceptable. Luck of the draw, we were seated near the kitchen doors at 3 dinners. The noise level was annoying. With freestyle dining, we missed the servers who knew our names and our preferences.
We didn't like all the smoke in the casino area. We noticed a small air filter in the corner of one part of the casino, but it really didn't help much. Entertainment was available, but for major events there was the requirement for making reservations. There was certainly not freestyle fun! Other events needed no reservations, but lack of seating kept us from standing around to watch.
The night before arriving back in Miami we had not been given any instructions as to what we should do with luggage, etc. When we located our cabin steward and asking him, he promptly told us that he gave some information to the friends in the next cabin and to ask them. Really? We stood in line for about a half hour in order to ask the staff at the desk what we needed to do. They finally came up with a sheet of information and told us to choose luggage tags on the wall. We were not impressed by the lack of concern.
The main pool was so small, we never dipped a toe in it. A ship this large should be able to accomodate a larger amount of customers. We also had trouble when asking directions..... the staff misdirected us several times. People in the photo gallery gave us conflicting information too. Not everyone was cheerful or helpful.
On the plus side, we found the food selection at the buffet was the best food we ate. However, trying to find a place to sit was a chore. We rarely got to eat hot food because of all the walking around to find an available space. Frequently there were single passengers taking up large booths.
We would not travel on the Epic in the future, nor would we advise anyone to choose this ship. It was the least enjoyable experience we have had in cruising.