We decided to repeat on the Epic as our first experience last September was great and it went to places we hadn't been before, but this one was not so great. The embarking process was chaotic, infuriating, stressful and disheartening; we waited over an hour to leave our luggage, and another 40-45 min to get to the counter to get the keycards (we had done the online check-in but it didn't show in their system). This time the ship was sailing at full capacity and it showed, especially in the common areas, which were always over crowded as there is not enough seating or space for so many passengers. Also, on this sailing, aparently there was some staff in training in the dinning options and it showed, badly. The over crowdiness made going to dinner a waiting game, as we would always get a buzzer and had to wait between 20-30 min. to be seated. The staff in training was not properly supervised as they made several mistakes in the orders, forgot items, the tables were not properly set (I had to ask for cutlery on more than one occasion). The lack of space was most notably on the sea day, as it was mission impossible to get a table to eat (either at the buffet or O'Sheehans, as the Taste was closed) and we opted for room service fro dinner (which now has an overcost, no matter when or what you order). Also there was some issues with the VAT, as we were charged VAT on all our drinks and purchases during the entire trip, wether we were on port or sailing (aparently the VAT zone includes all the mediterranean sea). The discontent was very visible as the Guest Services and Onboard Credit counters always had long lines.
On a final note, an as one fellow passenger noted, we cannot recommed this ship to anyone at this time.
We had an AFT Balcony which is a connecting cabin. Surpringly enough, we had no problems with the other cabin as we didn't hear any noise coming from it. The cabin itself shows that the ship has not been properly taken care of, the peephole was useless (you couldn't see anything), the lower hinge in one of the closet doors was disloged (the door opened but it didn't stay open), the was some trimmings missing from the furniture lower parts. The bed (we found) was smaller than the previous time as my feet were over the bed when sleeping (I, female, am 5.3 ft - 1,63mtrs). The noise and vibration for the engines was sorely noticed as the cabin shook a lot (we could hear the hangers banging in the closet everytime).