First of all I would to begin this review by saying that I have never reviewed a cruise ship before. It is only because of the negative reviews I have read on this site that I decided to post a review.
This is my eleventh cruise and my third cruise with NCL. Both of my other NCL cruises were on the SS Norway (formally SS France), the grand old lady of the seas.
I went on the EPIC with my sister and brother in law. We are all in our 60's and enjoy the cruise ships for vacation as you unpack once and you are "home". We had two inside cabins on deck 12. We did a back to back cruise on Thanksgiving week and the week after. The cabins were wonderful. We read about the toilet and shower and sink that people did not like but we thought NCL got it right for a new style ship. We actually loved the rooms once we got in them. I read negative complaints about water on the floor after a shower but there is a special towel just for the floor on a special towel rack outside the shower. I go about 185 pounds and I did not create a flood after a shower. The doorway to the toilet and shower is standard bathroom width, so I have to assume the people that found it tight must have been shall I say, a wee bit portly?
I read complaints about lines everywhere. I did see lines in a couple of situations:
1) The Cirque Dreams show always had at least a 45 minute line before opening. I guess people were afraid of getting less than ideal seats.
2) The "free" restaurants always had a 30 minute line at them before they opened. By the way, the "free" restaurants were open for 4 hours at a time and you are free to eat anytime during those 4 hours, even over and over again if you wish. There is free 24 hour food available also elsewhere.
We had windy weather and some shore excursions were cancelled (including the sub in Cozumel that we booked) but the world did not end. One evening we had 45 MPH winds and when combined with the ships speed totaled 55-60 MPH. I went outside and saw water licking the bottom of the lifeboats and they are on deck 7. I went back inside and still find it amazing that the ship was smooth as land; you had to look outside to believe you were on the ocean.
I have to speak about the staff at this point. Without a doubt, this staff is one of the most professional group of people I have ever in my life had the pleasure to meet on a cruise ship. Everything about the staff on this ship was incredibility professional. We always enjoy talking with the staff (learning about other cultures, etc.) and these people were top notch. Many of the "lower" staff (cleaning, maintenance, etc) spoke two or more languages and quite well I might add.
Because we did a back to back cruise we had a special get together in Bliss Lounge to meet the captain and upper crew. The senior staff were the nicest people I have ever met again demonstrating how top notch this ships crew is. The captain had been on the Norway in his earlier years. I thought the name sounded familiar.
The entertainment is incredible....Blue Man Group, Legends etc. ...... just wonderful, and try the ice bar....where else can you find -10 degrees in the Caribbean?
People complained in negative reviews about paying for things......This ship has great pay restaurants if you want to try something different, and all well worth the money. There is bowling, pool tables and even a barber shop. Yes, some things you pay for, but well worth the money to experience a ship like this.
The Norwegian EPIC is a one of kind cruise ship. I cannot begin to do her justice in a simple review. It may not be for everyone, but we sure liked it, and the freestyle type of cruising. For this aging family it would seem NCL and freestyle ships are in our future.