We booked a Penthouse for the 8/28/10 sailing on the Epic way back in May of 2009 (as the ship was being built). We saved a good amount of money by booking early and we LOVED THIS SHIP. We've been on several NCL cruises and by far this was our favorite.
Embarkation was a breeze, the quickest ever. The Private Courtyard area on Decks 16, 17 & 18 for those in the Courtyard suites, penthouses and villas is a nice splurge and worth the extra money. There is the pool, a small gym, a sauna, a steam room, the Epic Lounge, the Epic Restaurant, both an indoor and an outdoor bar, private sunning decks. Spectacular concept.
Entertainment: Legends was a good show (Tina Turner, Madonna & Elvis impersonators). The Blue Man Group was entertaining (if you like that sort of thing). Both of those shows are free of charge. The Cirque Dreams dinner show "under the tent" ($15) - save your money. I don't know what was worse, the cramped quarters or the show. They pack you in to a very small space and the show was alright. Second City --- didn't see any of that. Howling at the Moon (dueling piano players and sing-alongs): a fun time.
Casino: It's large, but we did not care for the way it was situated with gaming tables and slot machines right in the main thoroughfare as well as rooms off to the left and right. Other than it's location, it was the best casino on a cruise ship we've been in.
Food: For the money ($25 pp) Cagney's Steak House is the best meal on the ship. Shrimp cocktail or oysters or crab cakes or lobster bisque or New England clam chowder for an appetizer, then salad choice, then either fillet mignon, prime rib, etc. The desserts --- fabulous as well. We also at up at the Epic Restaurant, but overall we really enjoy the Garden Cafe (the buffet). The vast options are what we like. We don't need to be seated at a table and served dinner.
***ICE BAR: This was our favorite on board bar. You pay $20 pp to go in for 45 minutes and they give you 2 drinks (Svedka vodka drinks). It's 17 degrees and they give you a winter cape and gloves to wear. NOTE: shoes and socks rather than sandals are the way to go when entering the Ice Bar. The staff was outstanding. Always with a smile on their face and willing to help with whatever was needed.
NOTE: Due to Hurricane Earl our itinerary was changed. We were supposed to do the Eastern Caribbean (St Thomas, St Martin & Nassau, but we had to do the Western (yuk) - Cozumel, Roatan (Honduras) & Nassau. These things happen, better safe than sorry.
Overall, this ship is beautiful and we would go on it again in a heartbeat.