First thank you to CinD and her husband Mike for the great meet and greet the first day and the following morning. It was wonderful to put a face to the names on the boards.
Our cruise on the NCL Epic was very good since we always believe that any day on board ship is better than most days onshore. We arrived via the Cruise Connection bus in about 2 hours from our home on the west coast of Florida. Due to our Silver Latitudes membership we were allowed to use the VIP embarkation. This went swiftly and without a hitch. Our friends who were with us came along with us and also got onboard quickly. Once on the Epic we began to realize the size of this ship. MASSIVE is an understatement! We went to the Garden CafÃ© for lunch only to find it packed. So, we went back down to the Taste restaurant and had a relaxing meal that we were served rather than along with the hungry mob in the Garden CafÃ©. Our cabins were announced as ready right on time at 1:30. We went down to our cabin 8169 a deluxe balcony. Waiting for my husband was his scooter that our TA has reserved through the service that does this. Just great if you need this sort of assistance. From there we went up to the muster drill and after to the O'Sheehan's for the CC meet and greet.
Our luggage had already arrived at our cabin by about 5 pm. We spent a bit more time in our cabin unpacking. I have to say there is more than enough space for ALL that you might bring with you. The cabins while unique do have a lot of storage space. We had two large closets (asked our cabin steward Ronald for more hangers and they arrived shortly afterward) that held all our clothes with room to spare as well as our suitcases on the bottom with no loss of storage space. Whoever designed the storage was brilliant for sure. Now, the bathroom situation! It is different for sure and I have to say that it does take a bit of getting used to. Even after all our years of marriage it wasn't comfortable at all. The toilet room is quite tight and I am not particularly a large lady. The shower with a bathtub in it is a HUGE step up to get into. Happily there were "grab bars" on the walls to help with this. So, one side has your shower/tub the other your toilet. No specific bathroom. It's livable but not something I would want all the time. The sink in the cabin isn't all that bad. I was prepared for it due to other posts here. Again, not my cup of tea but then again, the cabin while narrow (very) is quite spacious and the balcony was very nice sized.
A reminder to open your cabin safe before your leave the ship and LEAVE IT OPEN. We had to wait for someone to come open our safe so we could use it.
We found the entertainment on the Epic just fantastic. Having never seen Blue Men or Cirque we looked forward to it. Both shows were great and lived up to expectations. Second City Comedy group was very funny and we also went to the mystery luncheon that was audience participation. That was good as well. Our group was surprised at the large number of children on the ship. Not having young children we couldn't figure this out until we found out that Epic has a Nickelodeon theme (Sponge Bob Square Pants etc) for the kids. Well, that meant lots of children. They were well behaved but still meant more people. I am quite sure it was due to the large number of people and especially children that I became quite ill with an upper respiratory infection on Thursday evening and ended up at an urgent care center when we got home on Saturday afternoon. Not the way I would want to end a cruise again.
The food was good, not great but good. At the various entertainment venues where food was involved it seemed they crammed as many people in to cover costs as possible. Uncomfortably close to your table mates. We also felt there weren't enough activities if you didn't stake yourself out on the sun deck or swimming pools. With a lot of sea days it would have been nice to offer some smaller short activities for those who aren't into sun and swimming.
Over all it was a nice cruise, not memorable but nice. We can now say we've cruised on a mega ship and we won't do it again anytime soon. We still love NCL and their casual ways. We will just stick to smaller ships in their fleets.