We cruised on the Epic from March 23rd to the 30th. When we arrived it was your typical cruise registration....everyone trying to do the same thing in a small amount of space and tired of the lines. It was a pain, but it usually is.
Once on the ship, we found ourselves on Deck 6 Aft, but near the elevators.....which were so busy we found ourselves hiking our luggage up 7 flights of stairs to get to the room. I need the exercise, but I wasn't counting on it so soon.
We stayed in room 3219 which I was impressed with. I feel o the room was comfortable. The amenities were nice, the TV was in a terrible place being that I like to lay in bed and watch it. Our two children (6&9) had their usual drop down beds which were nice and reliable as usual. The bathroom setup does take some time to get used too; however, I'm 6'2, 230 pounds so the extra room was nice.
Once we were all unpacked we wanted to venture off to explore. We found ourselves in the Garden Café which was a mad house. Thankfully the staff were doing a great job. We got through the lines, in a somewhat timely manner and then had to try to find a table, which is the biggest down side to this ship....tables and chairs, not enough for the amount of people.
We just happen to travel during the Miami area spring break, which meant that a solid 50% of the people were from Miami. This was good and bad, a lot of people were nice; however, there was a battle royal that happened on the 10th deck on day 4 and if I am not mistaken they weren't travelers from far away. First cruise brawl I have heard of. Anyway, staff said there were 4,700 people on the ship, and I'll take them at their word.
Pros: Laid back atmosphere, nice water slides, good staff, great Italian restaurant, Blue Man Group is good for the kids. The ship is kept in good shape. Rooms are nice. Great Sushi.
Cons: Holy Hell some needs to monitor the pool chairs, we had people going up at 7am laying their towels on the chairs and never coming back to them. Boat Staff would not address the problem. By day 6 I had enough, I showed up early and sat in my chair, by 9am the people (towels) to my right had not been touched so I absorbed the those chairs, slowly I absorbed the rest of the row for the day and got good seats for our new cruise friends. Yes, I know I'm weird.
Also bad were the drinks....I finally switched and stayed with Coors because you can screw that up.
The buffet, if you are going to have a nacho bar, the chips have to go first.....the ingredients go last because they go on the chips, FYI. Same with the Omelet's, if you are going to put them in the Pancake, Sausage, Bacon, egg line....please move them down because the traffic jam was killing me.
Overall I would do this again (if I couldn't get on a Royal Caribbean Boat), I would get a balcony suite. I would do all of the beach excursions because those always seem to be the best. Although, the Dolphin Excursion in Cozumel was AWESOME. I would bring some nicer clothes so I could get into a few of the nicer restaurant's.
Hope this helps.
Matt, from MN