Travel into Miami and the port is simple and uneventful. The appearance of the Epic is that of a hotel that has been turned on its side. It's massive. Embarkation is straightforward and without problems. Our cruise was about 75% full.
This ship has only two sets of elevators, so on a ship over 1100 feet long a lot of walking will be required. Bag delivery was by 6:00 pm, life boat drill easiest I have seen.
The food on the ship is good to very good. Except for breakfast, real ice cream is available all the time (not so on other cruise lines). Except for trying to get lunch after embarking we never encountered any wait or lack of availability of the extra cost eateries. "Taste" and "O'Sheehans" are the hidden gems on the dining agenda. We used O'Sheehans for breakfast each day.
The entertainment is excellent. Blue Man Group, Legends, and Cirque are not to be missed. Some shows will fill up early, so make reservations accordingly.
There are several shops, and prices are very reasonable. Our cabin steward was competent and friendly.
Disembarkation was the easiest we have had on any of the cruises we have taken. One hour from the time our baggage tag color was called until we were through TSA security check at Miami airport.
The Western Caribbean stops are disappointing. My husband and I have decided that we have had about enough of visiting ports and looking at impoverished conditions everywhere more than 1/4 mile from the end of the pier.
Now for the bad - the cabins are at least as bad as many other reviews have portrayed. If your cabin has raised sides on the shower unit, you are taking your life in your hands climbing in and out. The commode space is tiny-it's a fancy porta-potty. The basin is in the middle of the cabin, and the bowl is only about 3" deep. Water splashes out every time you turn the water on. Anyone over 5'5" will have their feet hang over the end of the bed. There is not room to pass one another between door and balcony. Privacy is non-existent.
The ship is kept very cool to cold, partly to cut down on the spread of germs. The ports of call on our trip were all very hot and humid. The changes in temperature caused me to disembark with an upper respiratory infection, and I have heard that others in our group also came back sick.
Overall, we rate this cruise as "OK." This was our 6th cruise in the last 6 years, and with the exception of changes caused by dodging a hurricane a few years ago this was the poorest selection of ports we have visited.