On the positive side: NCL came through with its usual culinary 'horn of plenty', but only in its free buffet section and some (not all) of the specialities restaurants. On board shopping was as expected - great offers and deals. The relaxed, casual informal atmosphere was nice. On the negative side, we thought the ship was too big and the 4000+ passengers too many for the staff to handle; they looked harried and on many occasions curt and abrupt. Shore excursions arranged through NCL were very overpriced eg. average price of a privately arranged tour was 10% to 20% of NCL's including lunch, with the advantage of one being able to do and eat what one wanted; and despite what must be a hefty margin that NCL makes on these tours, they chose to sell drinking water to us at $4.50 per 750cl a bottle just before we disembarked for the excursions, this even though water was provided free for consumption in the Garden Cafe and Pool Decks. Entertainment: again, presumably due to the high number of passengers, we were forced to pre-book all shows, many of which were sold out on dates we wanted, and in an endeavour to accommodate all, shows were run concurrently in bars and restaurants, which were not equipped for such events; eg. in a puppet show, one could not see the puppets even when sitting four rows from the front.Our experience on the EPIC was disappointing, and having been on other NCL cruises, from where we came away very happy, we agreed that we did not enjoy our holiday on the NCL Epic as much as we thought we would and we would not recommend NCL Epic to anyone.