I purchased the pop package for myself and my daughter when we got on board. My sister and I also purchased a wine package. You can buy 6, 7 or 8 bottles up front and receive a 20% discount. They give you a slip of paper for each bottle you buy. All of the wines we purchased were great! When they sell the wine package, they say you can redeem the wine at any restaurant or bar. In reality, not really. The bars to not stock those wines, and someone would have to go to a MDR to retrieve it (which they wouldn't). If we wanted to drink a bottle at any time outside of dinner, we had to go to the atrium cafe and wait about 20 minutes for someone to retrieve it. We also had to wait a long time for our wine in La Cucina. I think only the MDRs have the wine. If I had to do it all over again, I would only prepurchase 1 bottle for each night's dinner and that's it.
Rooms: Very happy with the connecting rooms. You do lose a bit of storage because of the connecting door, however, we still had plenty of space in each room for everything. The bathroom split was fine for us. There was never water by the door after showering like previously reported. We never had a "flood" by the sink. Our 9 year olds even managed to wash hands, etc. without making a mess. We all preferred the room with the bed closest to the balcony. It gives you a ton more space by the sink area. Our rooms were ready when we got up there at 2pm on embarkation day. Our room steward was fabulous! My room had the bed split into two singles. They are very firm. We decided that the couch (bed #3) is the exact width, length, and firmness as the two twins.
Shows: We loved Blue Man Group. The kids are still talking about it. We lined up about 25 minutes early and were let in right away. We had 3rd row center! There is even drink service before the show. I also noticed many empty seats (It was the Sunday 7pm show.). The adults saw Second City which was good (we've seen them a few times in Chicago as well). We also lost 2 hours of our life at the Cirque Dinner Show. We had the cheap seats and were seated in the back booth (which I was happy about since I noticed many other groups had to share tables with strangers). There were a few things we couldn't see, but it was a good place for the kids. They could get on their knees to see more. We were able to get chicken tenders and fries for the kids (which probably tasted better than our food). There was a wine list, but we ordered a bottle from our wine package. We would not have been able to order a second if we wanted to though. The adults all thought the food was lousy. The acrobats were fantastic, as were the costumes. But, the the rest of the show (the talking, talking, talking, cowbells, talking, etc.) was painful to sit through. All I kept thinking was...you know what this show needs...more cowbells! Ugh!
Pool Area: Fantastic! The kids loved the pools, hot tubs, and slides (both kids did all 3 slides countless times). We were always able to get a table and chairs in the shade for the adults (and there were always lounge chairs in the sun if we would have wanted them). On Friday, though, the wind was pushing the diesel fumes down on the deck. You couldn't go anywhere to get away from the smell. We did notice on Monday that the diesel fumes were strong in Spice H2O when we ventured back there. Yuck!
Restaurants: We ate most of our breakfasts in the buffet. Lunch was usually by the pool. For dinner, we loved Taste! We also ate at La Cucina. They charged the kids 1/2 cover (my daughter ate off the menu and my niece had a pizza). Our appetizers and entrees were fantastic! Our Moderno night happened to be on a night with high seas (an understatement). I had to leave early with my daughter who was getting ill. I was able to eat a bit before we left though. The salad bar was excellent as was the meat, meat, meat. They didn't charge for either kid (my niece ordered off the kid's menu). We ate at Wasabi twice and were very happy with the prices. We ordered room service several times. And I wish I had the pizza 24/7 here at home for $5! It was excellent and quick!
Kid's Club: This was a huge disappointment for us. Our kids hated the kid's club We sent them there for about one hour Sunday night. They came out saying they were never going again. We convinced them to give it another try Tuesday night (our Second City for adults night). They were there for about 2 1/2 hours. They hated it. I guess we just don't have kid's club kids...bummer!
BTW, the kid's club staff mentioned there were 1019 kids on board! We were also told that there were a total of 3750 guests on board. We never had a problem getting a table at any time in a MDR or seats in the bars at night.
Mother Nature was not kind to us! It rained everyday! Rain, more rain, and more rain with high wind thrown in too. Unfortunately, we got little use of our balconies. We had 12-14 ft seas on Sunday and Monday (according to the announcements). While that doesn't seem high, it was rough. I apparently do not have sea legs! I lived on the sea sickness meds every 12 hours for the remainder of the trip (and the meds work great!). The kids were able to swim in the rain and the adults were "troopers" to stick it out up there too!
I would have liked to find a quiet location to relax in the evening after dinner to enjoy a drink. It was loud everywhere we found (live music everywhere). I'm sure others loved the constant live music.
Overall, we had a great time! Epic is a beautiful ship!
Blue Lagoon was fantastic...calm, crystal blue waters! We were able to get beach chairs and umbrellas. Food was okay (burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches) and easy to get. There was a bar and gift shop right there. The kids enjoyed laying on the float mats in the sun.
The bus on the way back either dropped you off at the boardwalk for shopping or on the pier for the ship. We weren't impressed with the boardwalk shops.
We did a private sailing excursion with Captain Max. It was fantastic! We sailed to St. John, snorkled, and ate a fabulous lunch.