I'll start off my saying that the only reason we booked the EPIC is because we already sailed with the STAR on two occasions. One to Alaska and the other to Mexico. We loved both trips. If you are not into walking make sure you book a room near the elevators and that you are centrally located. There is a lot of walking to do. I didnt mind nor did my family. The EPIC is large and way overrated. I read a couple of the other reviews and agree wholeheartedly. We did eat at the buffet, but it was always so crowded, with people pushing and shoving. Plates were piled high and food would fall on the floor. I slipped a couple of times. Our first night at sea we had to turned around and go back to Miami due to the death of a young man. Our hearts go out to the family. A terrible tragedy!
We tried to go to the Manhattan room one evening and were told the wait would be 30-45 minutes. We didnt wait. Our two best meals were in La Cucina and in Cagney's. We had dinner at the Cirque, but that meal was awful. Most of us didnt complete our dinners and ended up back at the buffet. The fact that we needed to make a reservation before we even left our home was odd, but realized had we not done so, we would not have seen the shows. The Blue Men wa wonderful. Legends was good. Cirque was also good. The comedian/magician was great. We laughed so hard that we saw his show twice. There were always lines in the hallway leading to the Epic Theater. It was not properly organized. People wanted to walk through from the elevators and had to push their way through. Also those that wanted to go into the Headliners had difficulty walking through the crowd. Once the doors opened into the theater there was pushing and shoving. People in wheelchairs had a hard time getting through as well.
The pools were too small to accommodate all the people. The weather was hot and being in the water was the only place to be. With so many people the water became murking very quickly. I dont recall children leaving to go to the bathroom and there was a layer of sunscreen on the water. I dont feel that the water was being recycled quick enough. The coolest water was the vertical sprayers. The children were constantly jumping from the sides into the water. I witnessed a couple of children jumping on top of other people in the pool and they were hurt and crying. I went to a bartender and asked if they could make an announcement. They did, but it only lasted a short while. There are no signs anywhere that say NO JUMPING/DIVING. The bartender that took care of us all week ELLIOT was wonderful. He remembered our names and he was a delight, as was our wonderful room steward LEO. The excursion on St Maarten was great, we did the Regatta race. We didnt go into town afterwards because it was too hot. We made no plans in St Thomas and Nassau. We went to the pier and took a minivan with a driver for less money and had a wonderful experience.
One night we went to see Dancing with the Stars in the Manhattan room. The problem was, there were still people in there having dinner. You heard them talking and the dishes rattling while the waiters were working. I feel that the room should have been cleared of all diners before the show started. It was not a lounge/club setting. Im sorry to be so negative about the cruise. This was my vacation of the year and I was so looking forward to it. On the whole we had a great time, because we made it fun for ourselves. I feel that the managers of the ship have to review all our comments and take them into consideration for the future. Organizing so many people is difficult, but this is your business and you have to make it perfect for all. As you can see by the other comments it is not just me.