Although I have traveled to the Caribbean many times before this was my very first cruise so I have nothing to compare it to. That being said It more than exceeded my expectations. From the moment we left port and sat listening to music, under warm sunny skies with a drink in hand, I was completely sold.
We had a room on the eleventh deck with a large balcony which was more than comfortable for a week at sea. Although narrow, it had plenty of storage, a comfy bed and the bathroom layout that had me skeptical at first, turned out to work out just fine. The ship was easy to navigate and since our room was near the stairwell I chose to use the stairs frequently rather than waiting for the elevator which seemed to take forever.
The party deck was well laid out and seemed to have plenty of chaises (some of which were starting to look worse for wear). Although we are an older couple we made use of the water slides frequently and used the pool mainly for taking a quick dip for cooling off since it was woefully small for a ship the size of the Epic. That being said, I'm not a big pool person so it suited me just fine, but someone who plans to swim a lot may be disappointed.
The food was just wonderful in the buffets as well as the restaurants. In fact it was so good I almost regretted having made reservations in the steak restaurant. Breakfast fare consisted of an omelet station, fruit, meats and pastry. All the usual fare that you could ask for. For the other meals I found the menu to have enough variety and consistent quality. The sit down restaurants also impressed me with the presentation, quality of food and service that was provided.
The shows were also a big thrill for me. We loved Blue Man Group, Legends and Cirque Dreams. Second City fell a little flat for me. They may have been just having an off night but I thought their material was a bit weak. We also went to their Karaoke show at Bliss as well as The Newlywed Game. Both were fun but not as much as the Martini Tasting which was a real treat and not to be missed. I wish I had the recipe of their Key Lime Pie martini which was potent and yummy and came rimmed with graham crackers!
Lastly, we loved our port days at St. Martin and St.Thomas. We didn't go on their excursions but hopped in a taxi right at port and spent the afternoon at Orient Beach in St. Martin and Magans bay in St. Thomas. In Nassau we had planned to go to the beach but weather was a little cool so we shopped at the Straw Market that day. My only regret was that I wished we had done the Atlantis excursion.
To wrap it up, I would say that the entire experience was one that I will always remember. Especially waking up early and seeing the sun rise over the lush green mountains of St. Thomas and St. Martin. It sure is cold in Boston......I wish I was on the deck right now sipping on something fruity with the sun beating down in my face!