There's so many things wrong with this ship that my review would be way too long for anyone to read so I'll do my best to streamline it for all of you. We've only been on Celebrity before this so that's what I'm comparing it to in most cases. We are a 35 year old couple with a 8 and 9 year old.
-Not enough elevators to handle 4000 people. We had to walk 7-10 floors on a daily basis(many times a day)because we would watch for 20 minutes as full elevators kept stopping.
-The food was mediocre at best. The food you had to pay extra for was pretty good but forget about eating in the dining rooms(which had almost identical menus by the way!). The buffet was boring and closed several times throughout the day. It also closed at 10pm which is ridiculous. When it's closed they put a tiny buffet outside with finger sandwiches and hot dogs, blahhh. The portions are small in the dining rooms too. On celebrity, it was a ton of food. On Epic, I left hungry a lot!
-All of the dining staff is lazy and incompetent. Asking them for something which always provoke an eye roll or they would shuffle over at a snails pace(and usually come back with the wrong thing).
-The ship has a poor layout. For example, on one floor you HAVE to walk through a smoke filled casino to get to the other side. On another floor, you HAVE to walk through the Irish pub which was often full of standing people. On floor 14, one elevator bank dumps you off in the spa and they just stare at you as you try to get your bearings and find an exit(you'll see what I mean).
-They are overly aggressive with the hand sanitizer. I'm all for it, but its excessive and probably doesn't help considering I saw a man touch the tongs for cinnamon rolls, lick his fingers and grab the tongs again. People are still gross and forcing hand sanitizer on people just annoys them. They have automatic hand sanitizer machines in the elevators but when you have an 8 year old who slowly gets pushed to the back of a full elevator over the coarse of 6 floors, the hand sanitizer starts squirting all over their back. Yes, that happened to my son 3 times!
-They are overly aggressive with their promotions and sales. For the first 3 days you couldn't go anywhere without being prompted to reserve a future cruise for a $100 room credit. I felt like I had gotten trapped in a timeshare presentation. Then in the evening when you are strolling around, people on mics are screaming about their watch sale or gold by the inch sale or duty free alcohol sale, etc. They had this stuff on Celebrity but it was much more low key. These people were about the equivalent of the kiosk people at the mall who try to lure you in.
-and ahhhh, the room layout....so awful. The 4 of us wanted to kill each other by the 3rd day. We didn't feel that way in the Celebrity room. Where do I start? In a room for 4, the bed is closest to the door with the sofa and pullout near the slider. This might sound dumb but there is way too much storage space. Since this cruise rarely sails for more than a week, there is no reason for floor to ceiling storage all the way across the room. If they had left half of it out, there would actually be room to get past the bed. It's hard to explain but someone always seemed to be blocking the only 8inch exit. It anyone wanted to get towards the bathroom, someone would have to back up or hop on the bed so the person could walk by.
-The bathroom setup is ridiculous. You can hear EVERYTHING!! And you can see more than you would like to through those glass doors. Even though you can't see much, it is so unnerving to be sitting on the toilet and have the room steward come to the door. For example, my husband was going to the bathroom and the steward knocked. I answered and tried to make him leave but he just kept talking. My husband was finally like "can you please give me a minute". The only thing separating my husband from this guy was a piece of glass and again, you could hear everything!!! Very embarrassing! And if you get too close to the glass, you can see a LOT!!!
-The sink next to the bed is a bad idea. I'm a night owl and sometimes would go out for a bite or a cocktail after everyone was asleep. At midnight I would be brushing my teeth right next to my husbands head, literally. And then this brings me back to the hand sanitizer issue. They dump it on you everywhere you go, yet you have to open the bathroom door with dirty hands to get out to the sink. If people are sleeping, you don't want to turn on the water to wash your hands.
-The Daycare people are GREAT!!!! Thank god for them! We were so crammed in that room that my kids spent a lot of time there and LOVED it.
-The Cirque show was FANTASTIC!!! Even though the food tasted institutionalized, the show itself was worth every penny. I really thought it was going to be 2 hours of people dangling from ropes but it was really creative and interesting. Lots of surprises and lots of "how did they do that?".
-I've seen Blue Man group 3 times previously and thought this show would be dumbed down but it is the same exact show you will see in Boston, NYC or Vegas. Thumbs up for not trying to cut corners!!
-The waterslides were great(long lines but that's to be expected) and they were staffed with some wonderful people who chatted up the kids while they waited in lines. The regular pools however are a joke!!! They are literally 2 hot tubs. I don't think 10 people could be in each one at once, never mind 4000.
-The bowling is expensive and ALWAYS broken.
-I felt like I was being nickel and dimed for 7 days straight!
I could go on and on but these are the highlights! It was way too expensive to be bombarded all week about future cruises, no elevators, a room designed by someone who should be collecting unemployment and food from Applebees.