I have read long drawn out reviews on the NCL Epic, especially before we lneft on our cruise. For the most part the reviews were right. The good part is that the food and service was above average, but the Ship was so poorly designed that it made everything seem unpleasant. Here are the highlights:
Embarkation was long and tiresome. I have been on larger ships that took significantly less time to board
You enter the Ship though the Casino, which BTW, is the largest Casino that I have ever seen on a cruise ship of any size.
The rooms are horrible. NCL, trying to be very cool,tore the bathroom apart. The sink is in the room, the toilet is on one side with a relatively narrow sliding door and the shower on the other side. There was water all over the place in the room.
The rooms are curved, why I don't know, which allowed almost no room to pass the bed from balcony to entry door. We felt jammed into the room.
DON'T TAKE AN 8TH FLOOR BALCONY ROOM! It is the level of the ship where all the floors above go in several feet, thus our balcony was exposed to rain, debris blown from cabins above, etc. We were constantly mopping up the balcony.
This brings up another point, since the ship narrows all the up from the 9th floor, the public decks with the pool and the buffet are narrower, thus much more crowded with 4,500 passengers during sea days. You felt like you were in rush hour traffic all the time.
We were excited about the number of specialty restaurants on the Ship. To our amazement, almost all of them were fee-based and the extra special restaurants were even more. They were OK with regard to the food, but not outstanding.
The large casino never had more than 2 or 3 $5 table of the 15 or so tables. When I complained about it. They told me that there was a call for $25, $50 and $100 Blackjack tables. Which I thought was ludicrous. The casino had a small no smoking area, but always smelled from smoke no mater where you were.
For most of the cruise the escalator from the casino to the shopping, etc. floor below was out of order.
There were no comfortable quiet places on the entire ship. The staff indicated they were going to change that, which did not make a difference when you are on the cruise.
Disembarkation was fast and efficient.
With great disappointment, I am unhappy to report that the NCL Epic provided the worst cruise I have been on in 17 years of cruising.