Will try to keep my review short and to the point!
Embarkation: Left home from Ft Lauderdale area at about 11am on 9/25/2010 and got to drop off point for luggage at noon. Parked the car in the garage.($20.) per day. Total cost $140. Went thru check in with hardly any delay. Received card, the freestyle daily for Sat. Gives info on what's doing today. Got on board ship and proceeded to restroom to change into our swim suits on Deck 15 which is the pool deck and time is noon. The Garden Cafe is on this deck and lunch was being served. Buffet style. Had lunch. Great selection! And very good as well.
Cabin: We were told that the cabin would be available at about 2pm, which it was. Luggage came about 1 hour later. We had a cabin with a balcony for the first time and it was "great". We packed enough clothes and stuff for a trip twice as long and had plenty of space for all of it. We were very happy with the design of the room. The did make one mistake with the design. The bathroom sink is small and water tends to splash out. No big deal. From our cabin we had a long walk to the Garden Cafe but it was not a problem. With so much eating walking is a good thing!
Decks: We spent alot of time on Deck 15. Garden Cafe location and pool area as well. The pools are small considing the size of the ship. As other reviews have stated it's not a lap pool. More for cooling off. Which was ok with us.4 hot tubs are close by as well. One adult only pool is on the oposite side of the ship and is small as well. Beach towels also available. Must leave a deposit. We never had a problem to get a spot in the pool area we wanted. The early you get there the better. During the day you have access to ice cream and ice tea as well. The bar servers are close by...pushing for drinks as usual. Live music is playing from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.
Dining/Food: The Epic also offers two main dining rooms for those seeking more traditional dining experiences. The Manhattan Room and Taste. Both have the same menu.The Manhattan Room has a live band for dancing during your meal. And also seems to be more upscale than Taste. Taste has piano playing music. We tried both and was very satisfied both times. You can check out their menu on room tv for entire week. Menu changes daily. We never waited long to be seated. Also late night food service is available 24/7 at O'Sheehan's..The menu has options the should make anyone happy at any time.We had breakfast and lunch at Buffet. Lots to chose from. Hardly any waiting on lines. Alway enough to eat.
Specialty Restaurant: La Cucina for ltalian food was only $10. extra PP. The menu options were fine and the food very good. Plus the ambiance can't be beat. Great value...Should give it a try.
Cirque Dreams & Dinner. Has a $20. pp charge. This Cirque du Soleil-inspired dinner theater with stunning acrobatics and a good dinner as well. This is a good value and a very enjoyable evening. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Tip to you is arrive early and request upstairs seating. The view is great and the theater is not that big.
Activities: Too many to name all. There is something to do for everyone at any given time. But we did enjoy the water aerobics, gym and ping pong.
Entertainment: All music acts were very good. Do not miss: White Hot Party, Latin Night if you enjoy dancing Salsa. Fabba Theme Night...Music by Abba was very good as well.
Staff: All were very friendly and helpful. The Cruise and Entertainment director and their staff are terrific.
Disembarking: We were told to be off the ship no later than 10am. No Problem, we had a full breakfast, left the ship, went thru customs with no delays and picked up our luggage, got the car from the parking garage and was home in no time at all.
Summary: Overall a "Great Cruise" experience. No problem recommending this new NCL ship the Epic to everyone who enjoys cruising!
Point ofInformation: We took advantage and you might want to as well. Their "Freestyle Cruise Rewards Program". If you plan to cruise within the next 4 years. Give a $250. deposit on a feature cruise and receive a $100. credit towards you bill. Check it out.