So my Epic vacation is over and we are so tired. Relaxation was definitely not part of this trip. I will break my review up into sections to make it easier. I think people have fairly well covered the embarkation debarkation subject. It was smooth and easy. You do enter the ship in a not so epic spot by bliss lounge. There were some very EPIC moments in this cruise and some not so Epic. First all there is so much to do there is no way to do it all in a week even if you don't sleep. And trust me I did not sleep much.
POOL AND DECK AREA : The Epic pool deck was great. The pools are small and could have easily been made larger, but the water elements make up for it. We had a great time dancing to the reggae music around the water elements. The water slides are lots of fun and the kids spray area is very cute. All the needed elements of a water park on a ship wow. They could do without the showers and put in a few more hot tubs. More
Poor planning there.
The other activities around the top deck were also great fun, such as the Epic Bounce and the Rock Wall. It would be nice if they could have had them open more. It would also be nice if they posted times at the site rather than just in the Freestyle Daily I hate having to carry stuff like that around the ship. Oh and Bowling on a ship what can you say it was a blast. You never know where the ball is gonna go made for a great game and a horrible score. The best way to bowl.
Not so Epic on and around the pool deck. There is no access to the front of the ship if you are not in a suite. There is very limited access to the back of the ship and none if you are a kid. There is no area where you can walk around the ship on the pool deck or the promenade. The only unobstructed ocean views are on stairways around pool deck or in your own balcony cabin. I did not think this would bother me but the only quiet place on the ship to relax it a very small portion of deck 18 way up top with very restricted views. I found these elements to be very negative aspects of the ship. A few simple fixes would be, get rid of Posh and allow access to everyone, and build a bridge between the two sides of the pool deck and allow people to access the walkways at the end of each stateroom hallway in the front of the ship.
CABINS: EPIC - A balcony cabin for a family of 4 for the price of an ocean view on other ships. I absolutely loved having a balcony cabin and will have a hard time going without in the future. The beds were very comfortable, the showers hot with great shower heads.
Not so epic- These cabins built with a family of 4 in mind were designed poorly. I did not think the design would bother me but we had several problems. When the bed was down there was little walkway to the balcony. All they needed to do was move the pullyman bed over 6 inches and this problem would have been avoided. We also had a problem with the see through bathroom. We were traveling with a group of 10, when someone came to the door it was hard to answer when someone was in the bathroom. The sink design also led to the death of my good camera. It was set to close to the sink and got wet. If the sink was separate this would not have happened.
FOOD: I must say I think they bumped up the food a notch. I found the food to be consistently good. The everyday salmon was fabulous as were many of the other meals. Whatever you do don't miss the goat cheese tart. I think we all had 2 each. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants for dinner. We did enjoy the noodle bar, great prices . OSheehan's was acceptable however I think the blue lagoon menu of several years ago was better. We only waited to eat once and that was with a party of 10 for just 10 minutes. The restaurants never seemed full.
We loved the 2 for 1 Martini tasting.
Not so Epic food and dinning - I was disappointed with the OSheehans set up it was divided by the walkway did not have the pub feel I was hoping for. The atmosphere of many of the venues on this deck and those above were hindered by the noise and smoke from the casino. The casino was never full and could have been condensed and less in the way.
ENTERTAINMENT: EPIC all the way. Blue man group was amazing we saw it twice. Howl at the moon was so much fun we went every night it was open. We did not spend that much time in the jazz bar but the band was really good. The band playing in Manhattan was also good. The late night parties were also fun.
The only difficult part was the lack of family friendly venues. Many of the evening activities were adult only. My teens found this frustrating.
PORTS; We really loved Costa Maya just took a cab to town and wondered down the street till we found a bar we liked CocoCorona. We paid a very cheap price to jet sky and hang out at the bar for the day. For the time being it is my "one particular harbor" Loved it!!! Roatan was a blast Vicotor Bodden tour. We zip lined with Pirates of the Caribbean and headed the Monkeys at Boddens house then to the West End Village for some shopping eating and snorkeling. We did want to go to West End Beach and he dropped us off at the wrong place so be specific. Cozumel we went sailing and hit some rain. Then shopping, overall it was a good day.
So would I sail on the EPIC again I am not sure. It would depend on the itinerary. Overall it was a really good trip. The downfalls included, lack of ocean views, segregated deck, casino location, cabin design and difficult ship for families evening activities. Hopefully NCL will make some changes in the future because with a few alterations it could be a truly amazing ship. Ship highlights included, Entertainment, balcony cabin, and endless fun activities. Everyone who loves a fun filled nonstop vacation should try the EPIC. Less