ok let me start by saying we have cruised 25 or more times from carnival many years ago to regent (six star ship with 600 guests) not long ago i spent the time reviewing almost every source possible to get information on the epic.i went down to miami since i live 40 minutes from the port and looked at the villas on the pearl back in january so i had an idea what i was getting into we were ready to book the pearl or oasis (cruise guy was pushing because he knows me ) then the epic was announced so we decided because it was our 20th anniversry and my wifes 60th birthday we would go ahead and book a villa with a balcony and take our chances because of the privacy we thought we would have.let me first say that my agent "the cruise guy" stewart chiron worked endlessly making things right since we booked in april there were very few villas left and he knows we are very specific in what we like.he got us the same room for both weeks (no packing and moving rooms after the first week )and made sure all the details were taken care of. we had emails from the concierge (florentina)and an email from the hotel manager and all my reservations were made in advance and we changed them as we pleased once we got on and wanted to do different things at different times the hosts were glad to change things and were very friendly.
i said we bite the bullet and booked a villa because in the villas we had a private dinning room gym (never opened the door but well stocked )2 hot tubes private sun decks and butler along with fantastic room stewards.the villas also got us early entry in to all the shows so we were inside and seated before the other guests arrived.that means best seats for everything
speaking of entertainment first off we are not late night 4 in the morning party animals anymore well i am but wife not. blue man group was good have seen them before so knew what to expect cirque dreams ok food great show worth the money comedian/magician we went and saw basically the same show 3 times in the 2 weeks because he was so funny and good at what he did even bought a cd to remember him by (jeff hobson)was his name went to howl at the moon/dueling pianos very entertaining 4 times did not go to murder mystery lunch but heard it was good didn't do wine tasting or liquor tasting or ship tour but because my friend that went with us knew the captain we got a tour of the bridge that was great too but the group that stole the show was by far roadside Louis and the dusters blues group playing inside fat cats blues bar we missed them the first couple times they played but once we heard them we went back every night for at least one set they we greattttttttt.
food we tried cagney very good Brazilian steak house x 2 was that good and teppanyakis also good but we like benihanas so not much different did not do french or Italian. that leads me back to the epic club dinning room was not sure what to think of this restaurant but from the time we walked in we loved it the people were like family every day we ate there at least 2 times per day because every one and i mean everyone was great (some of the reviews people wrote said people were not friendly)that is so far from the truth i cant understand it when we left we tipped them so it was not because we tipped them in advance or anything they were truly fantastic in all ways if we wanted something not on the menu they got it for you including caesar salad ice cream shrimp you name it we got it cant even name them all because i would leave some one out
rest of the ship no children so no need to got to the small pools (we had our own private pool )or even walk down to deck 15 for anything deck 7 shopping deck was set up very well and very spread out cigar lounge hard to find but that was good because every day on board i used it and it was the quietest room on board deck 6 casino deck i have to admit i spent a lot of time in the casino yes it is smokey but that doesn't bother me so it was a non issue some of the reviews said you had to walk through the casino to get to places that's total bull so take that for what it is worth but all the casino staff was great and somehow remembered our names almost from the start and very friendly.
in closing i am planning to book again next year maybe same exact cruise on the same ship same destinations and maybe the same room i hope all of the staff is back after there break for next year when it returns to miami from europe
i cannot say enough good things about this ship and the people
ps i did hear the complaints about the room size but i knew that was the case long before i booked the cruise
thanks to all the staff for a really great cruise as i plan on doing it again