My husband and I are low key cruisers. We like good food, good service, a casino. We rarely book excursions, preferring to hire a taxi, or just walk around. Actually, we're pretty boring! We travel with another couple who are the same style cruisers, except they don't need a casino!
We rented a car to drive from Hilton Head, SC, to Miami, as we have a two-seater car, and the four of us traveled together. We turned it in at the Miami airport the night before we left. We stayed at the Residence Inn at the airport on the Marriott "campus," sharing a two-bedroom suite. We arranged a shuttle to the pier, and embarkation was extremely smooth.
We had a starboard-side, mid-ship balcony on deck 11. The cabin is a bit small, especially the space between the bed and the sink/counter. We had the bed-near-the-door configuration which I would not choose again. These cabins also have the bed near the balcony configuration, which I think is better, as the toilet is not right next to your head! Yes, the toilet and shower compartments are a bit odd, but I like the "external" sink, and it wasn't as splashy as others have said. The shower is great!
The storage is fabulous. In addition to a normal-sized long closet, there's a short closet above three roomy drawers. There's a good-sized cabinet under the counter next to the sink for dopp kits, cosmetic bags, etc. and a large cabinet next to the vanity section, which contains the safe and is really deep. Additionally, there are large cubbies behind the back cushions of the sofa, and more cubbies in the bulkhead on the curved wall above the sofa and bed. The only down side for the cabin is there aren't enough hooks/racks for towels and it's a LONG walk to the elevators. For such a large ship, the elevators are in two groups at each end--none in the middle.
We ate twice in Le Bistro--our favorite NCL restaurant--once in La Cucina, and the rest in the MDRs. I thought the food overall was good, well prepared, and nicely served. I am especially fond of the warm bread and butter pudding with caramel sauce, and have had in the MDR every night on the last two cruises!
The service on this ship is wonderful, as others have said. Every staff member is pleasant and accommodating. Even the salespeople in the shops are pleasant and warm. We were "adopted" by by a server in O'Sheehan's, who also is a server in La Cucina, and she treated us like family when we ate there. Our cabin steward, Willie, also took excellent care of us.
For such a large ship, it never seems crowded, a good thing. We saw the Blue Man Group--fantastic; Second City in the Murder Mystery lunch, and in their own performance another night--sidesplitting; and Legends in Concert--very, very good, especially the Steven Tyler impersonator.
The disembarkation involved a long line as we accidentally got caught in the take-your-own-bags-off group, but it went really smoothly, with no annoyed people. We easily found a cab to the airport ($25 flat fare) where we picked up our rental car to drive back to Hilton Head. The rental car facility at the Miami airport is really efficient and easy. All the companies are represented in a new off-airport site that works quite smoothly.
That's about it--we really enjoyed our Epic experience!