We sailed on the Epic this past Thanksgiving (11/2010). Our balcony stateroom was very clean & very nice. The over all ship was very nice. Lots to see and do! The free style cruising is great. Food is decent but was seems like everything tasted the same. I have to admit, the sushi was very good & so was the fresh crepe station! The way they have things for kids to do is nice. Lots of stuff there. However, my son (11) said that the people (workers) in the kids club were very rude & only worried about "texting" their friends. He was only there for night and never went back because of it. The water slides were very fun! Nice sports courts too.
Ok, so here's the best part of the ship: The service on the ship was bad at best. HOWEVER...We received out standing service from ONE person on our cruise (and I tipped him VERY well because of it). He is a "Jr. Waiter" in the adult area of "Spice H2O" Outstanding service! His name is Arvid. If you go on this cruise ship, ask for him. Outstanding service and a really nice person too! Go see him!
Now the bad side for the rest of the service on this ship: First our cabin steward was no smiles & rude to begin with. I didn't see him smile until the 6th day of our cruise. Forgot most things we asked of him & caught him in 2 lies. Interesting to say the least. A very stingy tip at the end for him.
The rest of the staff, WOW, where did they hire these people from? Angry school, no smile university? Honestly, I am not kidding here. Yes there were a few smiles here & there but really, the overall crew of the ship was mostly no smiles which made us (my family) feel awkward to even ask them (for) something.
There wasn't a day that went by that something wasn't right or they "forgot" when it came to service. Especially when it came to dining. They honestly tried but eventually, ever meal, something was wrong or missing from EACH & EVERY meal we had (w/ the exception of the buffet). We had service so bad at Cagney's Steakhouse that I (me) had to get my sons soda (at the bar) after we asked for twice & waited 25 minutes & still didn't receive it! That was just one example, I won't go into more as the details aren't worth it now. However, from that part of the night, one of the managers went out of their way the next day to make sure our service was good. We smiled, said yes & just went with it. However, it wasn't but we didn't want to complain anymore.
So, to sum things up: Beautiful ship w/ lots to do! Great color combos. Nice selection of food that seems to taste the same. Very clean ship too! Fun things to do, for the family. Service, well, maybe the staff of the ship needs to go to a few customer service classes. I am really reserving reservations about cruising w/ NCL again. I (and my family) received far better service on Carnival than the NCL Epic.