We booked a Spa Deluxe Balcony to really relax and get away from it all. Unfortunately, in our opinion this ship was not ready to leave the shipyard. We expected a few teething problems on a new ship, but not to the extent we experienced on the Epic. We felt like paying customers on this cruise were treated as guinea pigs, and used to test the unfinished product.
When we entered our room, it was apparent that a lot of things weren't working. We had no working TV, phone or safe. We visited Guest Services three times on the first day (with a twenty minute wait in line each time), but the staff appeared completely disinterested and just kept telling us that we'd been added to a list and would need to wait. Nobody took any ownership of the problems, they didn't seem to care and would say just enough to get you away from the desk. At 11pm we walked to the Spa and used the phone there to call for an update, and when we were told the same line we politely asked to speak to a manager. At this point, we were hung up on.
Things went from bad to worse the next morning when we discovered we didn't have any running water in the shower. We therefore had to go to the Spa to shower, one at a time as we still had nowhere to lock our valuables.
We lost count of how many times we visited Guest Services, but we got nowhere until we managed to speak to the night manager (who was very helpful and arranged for our safe to be fixed on the second evening), but the running water proved more of a problem. On Saturday evening we spoke to the Hotel Director, who was very understanding and sympathetic, and he arranged for somebody to work on this all day on Sunday to fix it.
Away from the room, we were also looking forward to using the Spa facilities that came with our stateroom. Unfortunately, the Spa was so crowded at all times that this was almost impossible. Every single place to sit, every space in the pool and hot tubs was occupied whenever we went in there. We were later told by a Spa employee that in addition to the people with access from the Spa rooms, an additional 60 couples passes to the Spa had been sold. We would never choose to stay in a Spa room or buy a Spa pass until this policy is changed, as we found it impossible to use the facilities we'd paid for.
The ship did have some very good points - the Entertainment was fantastic and the best we've seen on a ship. In particular, Legends in Concert and Howl at the Moon were brilliant shows. We also really enjoyed the Cirque Dreams and Dinner and the Murder Mystery.
The food was also really good on this ship, and again, some of the best we've experienced on a cruise ship.
Hopefully now that the early problems have been sorted out, the passengers on the next cruise shouldn't encounter the problems that we did.