We just got off the EPIC Sat 10/2 ... First of all our family consist of me and my husband and we are in our mid 40's traveling with 2 children , 9 yr old daughter and our 10 son. I have cruised more than a dozen times but to be honest I have lost count. Well here's what we thought of our family experience...
CHECK IN: I'm not sure what happen but it took us 2 hours from the time we stepped out of the taxi at the ports until we walked on to the ship. We arrived at 11:00 and boarded at 1 ish. They moved us from one big room into another room as if herding cattle. I didn't like this process at all. But I have heard of others getting through the check in process in 20 mins or less. THE CABIN: We had a balcony cabin 14089. We arrived on the ship and spend the first night breathing second hand smoke from the cabin that adjoined our cabin. Yes, the door was shut and locked but it somehow filled our cabin full of a terrible smell and a visible haze. Our daughter has asthma so we were concern. We reported the problem and the staff reacted immediately, by cleaning our cabin and bring in an air neutralizer. Well that was a temporary fix. When the smokers returned to their room in the pm the cabin was just as before. The staff again reacted immediately by offering to move us to the starboard side of the ship and since they didn't have a cabin for 4 they gave us 2 cabins that adjoined. This was not only allowing us to have fresh air but more room for a family of 4. Cheers to NCL, Great customer service on that one. As for the SINKS, yes they splash; the BATHROOM/SHOWER design, no privacy; The BALCONIES, are spacious; STORAGE surprisingly plentiful; BED very comfortable.
THE PLUNGE/WATER SLIDES/THE MEDICIAL CENTER: The kids thought the slides were a blast. So my husband and I decided to try them. I went down the plunge ( yellow with flush bowl) got off and told my husband he needed to try it. He ended up losing his tube and came out at the bottom with blood from head to toe. He had hit his head so hard that he was dazed, his head was cut and the medical assistants came quickly with a wheel chair and took him to the medical center. There he ended up getting stitches. I have to say this was a first for us. We have never visited the medical center on a ship. We did hear that there was another man injured the next day in a similar way. BEWARE !!!!!
FOOD: I can only commitment on the ones we tried: GARDEN CAFÉ: loved it, lots of choices, no long lines, Negative: seats are hard to come by at times. TASTE: Liked it ok, few choices , Negative: SLOW SERVICE. OSHEEHANS: LOVED IT, lots of choices. Kind of like an Applebees or a Chill's, quick service. Manhattan: Liked it, few choices, Lobsters night was Tuesday and they are small and not tasty, loved the music and the atmosphere. Atrium Cafe: Loved it, great for coffee and Danish, quick service. Moderno Churrascaria: Liked it, lots of steak, chicken meats of ok quality. The salad bar is great ! But not $20 worth. Cirque Dreams & Dinner:LOVED THE SHOW, a must see ! Food ok.Wasabi, LOVED it, if you like sushi, you'll will love Wasabi.
ENTERTAINMENT : BLUE MAN GROUP, Loved it , Kids really loved it. Legends Unplugged, Loved it , kids loved it as well. NICK SLIME LIVE great family activity. ICE BAR, Loved it. hint... Northern lights drink really strong, suggestion: Order the kids strawberry kiss drink with the vodka. Fabulous!!! SECOND CITY , Didn't enjoy it all. I guess I don't get improve comedy.
Suggestions for Island activities: ST MAARTEN : Rent Rhino Riders, great value lots of fun, extremely safe, and they take you to a great snorkeling area. Check out their website.. http://stmaartencruiseexcursions.com/RhinoRiderSnorkeling.htm ST THOMAS: A must see is St Johns Island. 75% of the island is natural forest and it's truly beautiful. Due to the time restraint we took the ships excursion. The beach we went to was Trunk Bay. It is amazing. I have been to several of the Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Hawaii but this place is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen !!!
Kids program/RECESS: The kids loved it. They had all kinds of fun games and activities planned for the kids. They were well organized and had a state of the art facility with video games and a dance floor with all the flashing lights that the kids loved !
Our overall experience was positive and we would love to sail on the Epic again but we won't be riding the water slides :)