We were really excited and had high expectations before this cruise on the Norwegian Epic. Travelling with children age 4 and 7 and since we had been watching the promotional videos from the Epic we were especially looking forward to the aqua park, the unique entertainment and meeting the Nickelodeon characters. Our 4 year old who can swim very well and loves water slides and has been using water on various aqua parks for over a year was devastated when he was told he was too short to use the slides. We informed the aqua park guys that he was used to and quite experienced to take water slides, but they still would not let him go since he was shorter than 42 inches. Since the ship is so big we were surprised that the swimming pools were so small. The pools were crowded with kids and even though our kids did not mind and had a great time in the pools it was quite stressful for adults.
The Blue Man Group show and Legends in Concert was great but after seeing this two shows it was really not many shows to entertain a family. They only put up these two shows in the Epic Theater, and the other entertainment was not that entertaining for children. You had to book tickets for entertainment, and most shows was fully booked the day in advance. When on vacation and especially with children you don't want to plan your days in advance. You never know if the kids are up to it the next evening. We would have wanted to go to the Cirque Dreams & Dinner, but having to decide a time at least one day in advance and paying 120 USD we did not dare too book this because they did not accept cancelation after 24 hours before the show.
After four days on the cruise we had not seen any of the Nickelodeon characters. Then we notice in the Epic newspaper that there was a "Meet and greet the nickelodeon characters" the next day. We went but was disappointed again since there were only one character there, Patrick from Sponge Bob. There was a second "Meet and greet the nickelodeon characters" on the 6th day of the cruise, and this time it was Dora the explorer.
We ended up eating in the Garden Cafe or Great Outdoors buffet every meal. The food here was good and sometimes great with a lot to choose from, but sometimes it was very crowded and queuing. It was many times hard to find a table and since the cafe is so big we had to walk a lot every meal.
We went ashore on every port call and enjoyed every city. We found our own way using taxis and train finding the shore excursions very expensive. In Marseille and Palma NCL offered bus tickets to city centers for 40 USD per person. In both places we found taxi more convenient and also cheaper (40 euro in Palma).