I cruised on the Epic last week and had a really nice time. There are things I had read about the Epic that made me very curious to check it out. The most unique thing I had heard and found to be awkward was the lay out of the rooms with the bathroom pretty much merged into the room itself. I ended up not liking this because it just made it difficult to have very much privacy. The sink is right in the area where the desk is and the lighting is really horrible! This may have been because we were in an inside cabin. I'm guessing that the natural light that comes from a balcony would make a world of difference. In our cabin, however, it was very difficult to find a place with very good light to put on makeup, etc. Having the sink in the room also made it hard to get up before the other person in the room without waking up that person. It would be awkward, to say the least, to come into the room with someone in the shower right there in the entry. If we were both in the room, it was fine because of the curtain, but it didn't work well if we weren't both in there. :(
The other thing I didn't like about the ship was the lack of a promenade deck and very few windows. That is something that I really like about cruising, so I really missed that. The only place to walk (other than on a treadmill in the fitness center) was on deck 7 where you could only walk back and forth on either side. You couldn't go around the back side or the front side of the ship anywhere. The other place where you can usually do that is up by the pool, but that didn't happen there either. The ship is designed with the Haven in the front and a party space (Spice H2O) in the back, so you can't walk very much up there either. There are big slides up there which looked really cool, but they really break up the area. There is just nowhere to really be able to walk very much.
Now that I have highlighted all the negative things, I would like to point out the positive! The entertainment onboard is absolutely fabulous, especially the Blue Man Group. I was really looking forward to this and was not disappointed. It is very easy to register for the shows on your interactive TV in the stateroom, so that was good. The Cirque show was also incredibly good in the Spiegel Tent. I didn't think I would like the Legends show, but I was pleasantly surprised by that, too. The guy who impersonated Michael Jackson was very, very good. Even the game shows were a lot of fun as was Second City, as always. One of my favorite options was to hear the guys from the Blue Man Group answer questions during a session that the ship provided called "Behind the Blue." It was fascinating to hear how the group started and expanded into so many different cities. That was a simple thing that was a favorite memory from the ship!
The ports were pretty standard for the Eastern Caribbean. I went to St. John for the first time and would definitely recommend that to anyone who is planning on going to St. Thomas. We went on our own and found it easy to get a taxi to the ferry and take that over to the island. I would go back there again right away if I take another cruise that stops in St. Thomas!
Overall, I'm really glad I was able to cruise on the Epic. I've been curious about it for awhile and really enjoyed experiencing it. As always, I wish I could put together the things I liked with other things I like from other ships. :) I wouldn't go on this ship again unless there was a great deal and it just worked out right to do it. It just isn't the type of ship that I prefer, but the staff was fabulous and the food was great as I mentioned earlier. All of that made for a good week!!!