This was a graduation cruise for our 18 year old daughter and a 25th anniversary cruise for us! From embarkation to debarkation, my family voted this the best cruise ever! The entertainment was the main reason we selected the Epic at first and then when we discovered she would be in the Med. for the summer. After 11 Caribbean cruises this one to Europe became a dream vacation for the whole family. We loved Barcelona and thanks to Cruise Critic boards, we selected the Hotel Continental for a pre and post stay. The location was the best and the accommodations were great for the price. Watching the Ramblas from the balcony of our room each night was priceless!
After 2 nights in Barcelona, we arrived at the ship around 11 am and in only a matter of minutes we were on board! (In 12 cruises, this has never happened before!We usually have to wait around an hour in a waiting room prior to being allowed to board.) Once on board we started to explore... There is so much to do on board! We bowled, we registered with the Casino's Players Club, we checked out the Bliss Lounge where the CC Meet and Greet would take place and then had a fun lunch in the Garden Cafe.
After lunch (a little before 2 pm), the announcement was made that our rooms were ready! Our balcony cabins were on 2 different sides of the aft section of deck 8 (cabins 8199 and 8200) This way we had the perfect balcony view from both sides of the ship. After meeting our room stewards (who were very friendly and accommodating). Our luggage arrived early so we started unpacking and finished just in time for the muster drill. Then we met a few cruise critic friends in the Atrium Cafe for welcome aboard drinks followed by the sail away party on deck.
That evening we celebrated Father's Day with center balcony seats and a great bottle of "Goats in the Village" wine at Cirque Dreams. Thanks to our 23 year old son for arriving early and being first in line to give his dad the best seat in the house! The food was wonderful and the entertainment, epic!
Later in the week we watched the Blue Man Group and Steven Sorrento. Every show was awesome!
This is the best ship for entertainment! From the White Hot Party, the Casino and it's "Da Vinci Machines", bowling and pool (Billiards),the Atrium late night movies, as well as, the water slides and the Spice H20 hot tubs, view and music, we barely put a dent in the list of things we wanted to do! The Spice H20 snacks were perfect for sail away each day and our favorite restaurant was Le Bistro!(The mussels and desserts and service were to die for!)We also loved the Garden Cafe's pot stickers, crepes and pretzel balls, and O'Sheehan's entire menu provided the best late night comfort food!
And speaking of comfort, we found our balcony rooms to be very comfortable and the bathroom arrangement worked fine! The beds were great, the storage very spacious and accommodating. The room stewards were also friendly and efficient. They offered personal attention to every detail.
We really hated to disembark on our 7th day (Which actually went as smoothly as embarkation)! The ports of call (Livorno, Rome, Naples, and Palma) were also exciting and each one very different from the other! Not having to be back on board until 6 pm really gave every time to enjoy more time ashore.
If we had the time and money we would do the Epic as a 2 week back to back cruise. There is so much we still want to do! From entertainment, the great food, the ports of call...we highly recommend this cruise!!!