We chose the EPIC because we took our 78 yr old mother and the studio rooms were the perfect fit for our group of 3. My husband and I enjoyed a large balcony room, very nice room once you get used to the bathroom set up. Privacy is lacking in this department but if you are cruising with your spouse it should not be a problem. The Balcony was fantastic, 2 large chaises and 2 chairs with small table, very roomy. My husband is a balcony person so he was thrilled with the size. The room is efficient but lacks good lighting. The bed is comfy but if you are above average tall then you would not fit to well, very short bed. Lots of storage which was nice and was tastefully decorated. The bathroom at the entrance with frosted glass was a bit odd but I knew what I was getting since I had read and viewed the rooms pre cruise. The sink in the room area is OK but if one is sleeping it is definitely a waker upper if you use it during the night.
Restaurants were good. The Manhattan room was a bit disorganized and had slow services at some of the dinners, Taste seemed a bit better with service. The Irish Pub which is complimentary was excellent and open 24/7. My husband loved the Chicken pot pie and brownie sundaes. The buffet was ok, but we tend to do the dining rooms more than the buffets. We did not use the pay restaurants since the main dining room food was more than adequate with great choices.
The entertainment is outstanding. Legends in concert was fun and well done. Blue man group was OK, some great parts some parts dragged on. Second City was half and half also. The Cirque dinner show is well worth the fee and was outstanding. Do not miss this show. Howl at the Moon is fantastic and should not be missed. If you are going on the Epic make it a point to book all of the shows in advance so you don't have to deal with it once your vacation begins. The only pay show is Cirque which is well worth the nominal fee. I usually don't do all of the shows since ships can have cheezy shows but this ship went above and beyond with its entertainment.
The ports are nice. Have been to all before but St. Thomas seemed to have gone a bit down and has become much more expensive. To get to Meaghan's bay it was very expensive $16-20 per person and $4 to get on beach per person. The shopping was higher than I had remembered. Did not stay all day here. St Martin is nice, beach when you get off water taxi is nice but beware of the dip as you walk in to swim also do not underestimate the power of the sun, got a little burned this day. Nassau is nice but beware of fake Cuban cigar sellers, make sure they have certification before buying. We went to a little beach that you can walk to from the beach, very calm water, shady areas and little tiki bars. Very quiet and uncrowded I believe it is called Junkanoo beach.
Getting back to the Epic, small problems would be that service lacked in some areas. Utensils not always stocked at tables on deck or in garden buffet, out of glasses in beverage centers sometimes, no cones at ice cream machine, so it seemed that the staff sometimes were unable to meet the demands of the amount of people by not keeping things stocked and available at all times. The staff was however pleasant.
My mother who traveled with us LOVED her Studio room. It was a better size than anticipated with a queen sized bed. The room attendant took very good care of my Mom who was in #11550 and his name was Dennis. The studios have a nice lounge area for fellow solos that had espresso, coffee soft drinks etc. and a nice area to meet fellow passengers.
This is my 8Th cruise. Epic is not my favorite but it was not my least favorite either. The layout did lack and caused some bottleneck areas. The casino was central to other areas and you had to go through the casino to get to other places that I found odd. There was a real focus on the Casino and it was very busy especially during the first couple of sea days because the weather was not that great for the sundeck.
I would recommend the Epic for Entertainment and Value. The cost for the cruise is fair. The food is adequate if not above in some areas. The service was lacking but not awful. The rooms are nice but a bit odd in set up, but very comfortable which is most important to me. The large balcony was a big plus. The embarkation and debarkation was quick and easy. I was told that this ship may come up to NY in the future, if it does it would closer to me and I would consider hopping on again if the price was right and the ports were appealing. A vacation is what you make it, if you want to find the bad you always can I would rather focus on the good and there was much good about this cruise.