December 2015 - Norwegian Epic to Europe - Western Mediterranean
I did not enjoy this cruise. The Epic is a poorly designed ship. I admire NCL's attempt to think outside of the box, and certain features were well-designed. For instance, I liked the open atrium area, along with the "lookout" point over it from the Irish pub, as well as the waterslides. The flip side is that there is very little space on the upper decks for passengers. My favorite parts of a ship are usually the outside decks on the bow and stern, but on Epic, these are not available. Most of the bow is reserved for "Haven" customers (with the exception of the fully-enclosed buffet area), and the stern is blocked by a giant movie screen. Other puzzling elements are the two-story window looking over the stern in Manhattan dining room, the bathrooms overlooking the water on the pool deck, and the insufficient number of elevators (8) for a ship holding 4000 people.
Other than the design of the ship, I give the crew credit for trying to manage the ship at full capacity, though the hostesses at the main dining rooms require a serious attitude adjustment. Even then, many crew members (e.g., bartenders) seemed listless and disinterested in serving passengers. Few crew members seemed interested in doing more than the minimum amount of work. "Average" was the best we could expect, though I recognize they aren't used to dealing with ships at full capacity.
This is my third cruise with NCL, so I know they can do better; otherwise, it would definitely be my last NCL cruise.