Wow . . . I just returned from my Christmas Cruise Marathon! I managed to do 12 laps around the Epic --- which after the starters whistle blew upon getting on board, included slaloming thru the Garden Cafe mass of humanity on a daily basis ---- the UFC battle for a hot tub (compounded because half of them were broken) ---- the sprint for deck chairs ---- dash for the open table in the free restaurant (NOTE: EAR PLUGS ARE NOT INCLUDED TO REDUCE THE LEVEL 9 NOISE VOLUME) and final all out "cram em in" elbow swinging into the elevator free for alls after the mandatory 8 minute wait.
Then there were the bath rooms in your cabin (I had a Mini-Suite). Talk about getting close to your family. I mean, I want to monitor what my kids are doing -- but that should not include mandatory viewing them in the privacy of sitting on the toilet. Just plain uncomfortable! The foggy glass that "serves" as privacy glass is anything but (maybe I should spell that butt!) Hey Norwegian . . . . you can see thru them!!!!!! Talk about a WOW moment on the ship!
To help reference all of this -- I have been on close to two - dozen cruises so this isn't a matter of "not being accustomed to life on a ship". This was just a blatant case of minimizing everything that would make a cruise special. Oh --- we did get that special meal and moment, etc., AFTER dropping an additional $1,800 on "Specialty Dining" / "Tour Excusions" (to escape the absolute sardine impact of being squeeeeezzzed onto this moving "Blue Light Special" / and "Tips" for mediocre non-enthused service I have to wonder just what does the initial fees pay for.
The Epic was poorly designed, with too many people crammed into too little space. The ship lacks sizzle and creates a real sense of "cabin fever". It felt like "corners were being cut" at every angle. It was great to include the "Blue Man Group" and "Legends in Concert" -- but what about a Welcome Show? What about additional entertainment? The Cruise Director was, unfortunately "missing in action" and honestly when we say "bi-lingual" shouldn't one of those languages include speaking understandable English. (The staff could use lessons in English as well --- they simply didn't speak it!
To conclude: Too Much Money for Too Few Memories (Save for the image of my son sitting on the toilet) for me to recommend Epic, or Norwegian, again for that matter. We have always found ourselves saying "can't wait for our next cruise" -- but certainly not this time.
I was glad to finally cross the finish line - when debarkation arrived . . . . and finally get a chance to relax (without having to reach back into my wallet!). I'm still recovering!