We arrived a day early and stayed at the Hampton Inn, blue lagoon. It was OK for 1 night. The location was convenient to CVS, liquor store, publix and 3 restaurants (cuban-excellent, chinese and italian)I'm not sure I would stay there again, though.
EMBARKATION; we arrived at terminal around ll;00 and everything was extremely organized, and were probably get onto the boat by 11:30.
Our first stop was the spa to buy passes (2 for $199.00) we were given a tour and it was probably one of the nicest spas I have ever seen. The thallospa pool was fantastic. they had the heated tile bed chairs, steam, sauna, a relaxation room, and an outside area that overlooked the back of the ship with about 6 lounge chairs. this turned out to be our favorite part of the ship!
Our 2nd stop, was to go look at the "posh" sitting area. This is a private outside area for those in suites, with large padded lounges and cabana lounges. It was nice and for an extra $60.00 per person (or $15 daily) u can be away from the noise and crowds near the pools. They only sell a few passes, so we bought the weekly, although we hardly used it, due to poor weather (cold and rainy) but it was great for the few times we did use it. U have to buy these passes at customer service where we also changed our 19 year old sons room card key so that he had our permission to buy beer and wine. He loved this!
1 great tip that bares repeating is to bring bathing suits on with your carry on luggage. there were no lines on the slides and DH & DS just walked on numerous times. they said they were great. Rooms were available after 2:00. We had a midship room, which turned out to be slightly inconvenient since their were no nearby elevators, nor stairs midship. U had to walk either forward or aft. this made it hard to run back and forth to the room and we ended up shlepping things around with us so we wouldn't have go back.(HATE) The next, HATE was the room. I was prepared for the weird bathroom setup, but not until u have been in the room do u understand guests feelings for it. I thought it would be something we might get use to but unfortunately we didn't. It's just not romantic to have someone in the toilet area, while u are brushing your teeth practically right outside. Yes, u can't see in, but u can certainly hear!
The room did have a lot of storage, but we had trouble figuring out a few things. We couldn't figure out where the light switch was for the sink area, and we couldn't find where the safe was. Whoever designed this room should be shot because otherwise the ship was beautiful and a great experience.
Another tip is that at Moderno they have 2 for 1 martini's until 7:30 I believe for the last 3 nights. Moderno's was the only paid restaurant ($20) that we ate at and it was great. We liked the Manhatten room dining room but found that the service at Taste was inconsistent. We also ate at O'sheehans and thought the food was poor (except for the brownie sunday) and service was mostly poor.
Entertainment: in one word - LOVED!! We saw the blueman group, Legends (the michael Jackson impersonator was unbelievable) Britney Spears and Rod Stewart were OK. The backup people were fantastic. We also went to Howl at the moon, fat cats and 2nd city which were good, not great. we skipped cirque as we have seen them 3x and the reviews on the boards were mixed. there is just so much to do on this ship. We had a few bad weather days and it really didn't matter. We would have liked to rock climb and repel, but the weather didn't cooperate.
People have complained about the smoke in the casino, but we didn't find it that bad (and I hate cigarette smoke)
The gym on the boat was unbelievable. U could always get a machine, and they had some interesting classes. I took the TRX class with my son ($20extra) which we liked.
This cruise ranks up there as one of our favorite (this was our 12th) and it was our 1st on Norweigan.
Disembarkation: Simple and easy. We did walk off as we had an early flight.
We Loved the Epic, but hated the room!