This was the 67th cruise for me and my wife. We are both retired seniors. The Epic is a gorgeous ship on the inside. It had the look of an upscale hotel. The only nicer ships we've been on were the Celebrity Solstice class (Haven't been of Oasis class ship yet).
The food in the Manhattan Room was very good and the atmosphere was very nice as long as we weren't too close to the live music. Service in the Manhattan Room was very spotty- from very good to fair. The service is Tastes was poor the 2 times we ate there for lunch- waiter served burgers and fries without ketchup and then was no where to be found.
We enjoyed eating in O'Sheehans where the service and food was usually very good. The buffet area was very crowded with tables and chairs making it difficult to get from your table to the buffet and back- especially in the area in the front of the ship.
The big name entertainment was very good: Blue Man Group, Cirque show, Legends in Concert, Second City More
(Adult show- the standard show was only fair). The venue for Blue Man and Legends was great- excellent seats no matter where you were. The Cirque venue is theater in the round and if you weren't in the first thirty or so, the seating wasn't too good. We were on the line 30 minutes before show time but still did not get good preferred seats. Same was true for Second City venue.
We never got to stay in Howl at the Moon- it was just too loud in the small venue. We tried several times to see the jazz in Fat Cats but there was never anything going on we we went it- must have been on breaks. Aside from the big name entertainment, there wasn't too much other entertainment going on in the evenings.
The net of all of this was that we felt like we had to plan our days around the show times and had to get inline way before the show started to get good seats. It really made Free Style seem very structured. We had booked all of our shows online ahead of the cruise but because we had to get inline so early, it made going to the shows a hassle.
As most people have reported, the balcony cabins are some of the worst designed in the cruise industry. Our biggest complaint is that the cabin was too narrow. If someone was either at the sink or seating at the desk, there was no way to get by to use the toilet or go out on the balcony. And if someone was sitting on the couch, you could open the closet doors or drawers. The cabin is only 8 foot wide were the walls are straight. They concave wall were the bed is doesn't add enough space- the cabin should be at least 9 feet wide- that would add about 19 square feet to the 151 square foot cabins. We had a double deep balcony, but it was sparsely furnished with 2 straight chairs a very small table- about 1 foot square. We asked our room steward for 2 lounge chairs, but all he could get us were two reclining chairs- better than the straight back ones.
All in all it was a very interesting cruise experience, but not one that I would want to repeat given the other cruising options out there. Less