Embarkation: Amazing as usual with NCL and the Port of Miami. It was surprising how quickly we were able to board the 156,000 ton NCL Epic.
Rooms: The rooms do take some getting used too... I won't lie. But if you can get past the narrow hallways, location of the bathroom and the paper thin walls... you should be OK. Norwegian needs to do a much better job at cabin assignment and at least advise customers that they will be next to a family of four with screaming children for a week!! Yes I am venting! But NCL did little to nothing to resolve the issue for us .. Except on the second to last day when they offered to change our cabin after they observed noise for themselves after several visits to our cabin. The cabin steward did an amazing job of tending to our cabin during our 7 day cruise and the cleaning of our stateroom was always prompt.
Food: Wow... simply amazing ... although Norwegian did a great job at adding a lot of eateries (over 20) on the EPIC, little to no attention was given to the undersized main dining rooms; Manhattans and Taste. The evening ritual consists of lining up for a pager and then waiting 20-30 for your pager to buzz in order to be seated... when there a several empty tables in the restaurants. A little less sophistication and more organization would go a long way here. As for the main buffet restaurant the garden cafe, the views in the restaurant were simply spectacular... but only seats 730 passengers, which made finding at a table difficult at best and nearly impossible for lunch during embarkation day.
Ship: Getting around the Epic is quite seamless with the touch screen maps throughout the ship; however access to the main restaurants usually involved a very congested and confusing walk through the casino depending on the location of your stateroom.
Entertainment: There are so many choices who can possibly complain, the NCL Epic offers headliners from Vegas such as the Blue Man group and Legends of Rock, complimented by the second city and various comedy acts.
Disembarkation: The whole process was disorganized, mass confusion and needs a bit of fine tuning. It could have simply been a result of people not going to designated areas and attempting to disembark when they felt like it. This resulted in confusion and major congestion around the elevators, then having to snake through the casino with our luggage... NOT fun.
Overall impression: Is this what a Disney cruise feels like?? With an overabundance of 400 children this NCL cruise felt like a carnival or Disney cruise... children screaming and running in the hallways, restaurants and staterooms. It made you feel as that NCL was trying to compete with Carnival or Disney on children's activities, while NOT taking the other 3,500 passengers into account. Yes I am venting again!!
All in all the ship was an awesome experience but needs some fine tuning to be brought up to the standard that we have come to expect from Norwegian. The ship's staff needs to focus on better customer service and removing the levels of complexity around the entire dining experience. If they are going to offer a family friendly Nickelodeon experience onboard, then better training should be mandatory for the staff responsible for the children's activities and programs. As it truly does leave the other 3,500 other passengers wondering why they booked "freestyle" or "free for all" cruise experience.