The Port of Barcelona is huge. Make sure your taxi takes you to the right check-in area. Our bags almost went to another ship! Overall, embarkation was a breeze because we were in a special line for casino guests. The embarkation staff were efficient but not memorable or especially helpful or friendly. After reading many reviews, the first thing I wanted to do was get a day pass for the spa. We were on the ship by 1 PM but had to eat first so by the time we arrived at the spa, they only offered weekly passes for $199. That price was too steep considering only one day at sea and many long port visits. We did get a nice tour of the spa and a free neck and shoulder massage instead. That was the only time we visited the spa.
Our balcony cabin was located on the 11th floor. Bags arrived quickly. From our deck, it was easy to take the stairs to get to the main decks when the elevators were full. The cabin balcony was quite large with seating for two. You can see your neighboors if you peer over the railing. The beds were very comfortable. I could not tell when the ship was moving most of the time but at times, it felt like I was being cradled to sleep. The sound proofing was great, I could not hear the people in the other cabins. The PA system was not overly intrusive. There is plenty of storage but a lack of hangers. I brought a few old dry cleaning hangers with me to use throughout the trip which made one very odd closet space functional. Bring hair conditioner and body lotion if you use it. The shampoo and bodywash provided was quite drying. The linens were clean and crisp. Our cabin steward was awesome. He knew how to anticipate our needs and was there when we needed him and disappeared when we wanted privacy. The one obstacle in the cabin was the huge curving sofa. It took up a lot of space and was only used to put stuff down or put our shoes on. I quite liked the split bath and shower. There is a privacy curtain and you and your cabin mate can use the facilities independent of each other which helps when you're rushing to get ready for the next activity. I read reviews that say there was flooding from showers and the sink splashes all over the place. This is no longer true and I enjoyed our cabin overall with its fresh look and feel.
The ship is huge but after a day or two of exploring, it was manageable. What you will miss is being able to walk around the ship for laps while looking out at the ocean. EPIC does provide a walking track but all you see during you walk are lifeboats. The public spaces reminded me of the Winchester Mystery House in California. Many stairs and halls leading to dead ends. The pool area was emense and had a lively feel. We went to Spice H2O a couple of nights but it was very very windy. The bowling alley and pub are fun to hang out in. I played pool but the ball kept rolling away, LOL. The pub has one of the best chicken pot pies I've ever tasted, do not miss if you are a pot pie kind of person. The main dining rooms offered standard cruise fare. We ate at the Italian, French and Asian specialty restaurants. The Italian had the best food and the French restaurant was a big let down. The buffet was clean and well stocked with many selections. Room service food was average but it came quickly enough. Bar staff are very personable and friendly. Waitstaff were equally outstanding.
I took the Florence on your Own excursion and the Aix En Provance excursions. The Florence on your Own was great, the tour guide gave us plenty of information on the way to town. Tip, getting to Florence independently requires a shuttle to a bus to a trian. I think paying for a door to door excursion in Florence is well worth it. I went independently in Rome and Naples (having been there before). Extremley helpful was Rick Steve's Med Ports book if you plan on doing things on your own. We saw many of the shows but you can never see it all and be bright eyed and bushy tailed for your next port of call. Reminder, this was a very busy itinerary! Blue Man Group was very interesting, I'm glad I saw it and I'm glad I did not have to pay for it (because it was included in my cruise fare). Overall, my first megaship experience was great. I liked the NCL Pearl just as much, but the cabins on EPIC are nicer.