The wife and I had a great cruise through the Western Med on board the Epic. This was my 10th cruise and my wife’s 14th on the Epic. As always the crew is absolutely fantastic. We will definitely cruise on the Epic again although the ship is a bit worn in areas, but also fresh in others.
A quick 20 minute taxi from BCN and we were at the terminal. There was a short line in the Covid testing tent. 15 minutes after getting in line for the test, we had our negative results and headed for check in. Check in was very slow. We walked up to the counter with no waiting and it took close to 30 mins to complete the process. It seems we always get someone who has to ask coworkers questions or someone that all the coworkers are asking questions. Thinking we are all finished, she gives us orange keycards. We knew they were not the correct cards and the names on them confirmed it. My wife tells them we are supposed to have the teal cards, but is informed the colors are “random”. Anyways, I think they are mistaken on that.
Less than an hour after dropping bags off, we are boarding the ship. It felt great to be boarding the Epic again. We’ve done it many times before, but this time was special given the last 18 months. We went to guest services to get Posh passes for the week, $59 each. I left the wife there and headed to Moderno to make dinner reservations. Next we went to the box office to book Zambooka. After that we headed to the Manhattan Room for muster. The crew scanned the keycards and gave a quick refresher on the ship's alarm and life vests. We then made our way up to Spice for our first drink. We really enjoy Spice on the Epic considering it is where we met 8 years ago.
We stayed in a starboard balcony on deck 11 near the aft elevators. Walking to the cabin we noticed new carpet with the fish swimming towards the bow and you could feel the cushion under your feet. The stateroom also had new carpet and that was pretty much the only improvement in the cabin. The curtains had broken hooks and the sides let in some light since half the velcro was missing. The curtain by the facilities was broken. It was on the opposite side of where it is supposed to tuck out of the way by the sink and shower. The button for the toilet was loose and felt like it would fall off the wall, though it never did. Various drawers and cabinet doors were crooked and harder than normal to open and close. The TV network stuttered some making it annoying to watch the navigation or event channels.
Most disappointing with the cabin was the AC. It didn't cool the cabin very well. I do prefer the warmer weather and keep the thermostat around the middle. This time, with the thermostat all the way down it just wasn't that comfortable, but was far from uncomfortable. We did manage to sleep decently at night though.
The bed was very comfortable though my feet were hanging off. The mini fridge was excellent and kept everything very cold. The steward was amazing as is almost always what we get.. He was very quick to bring an ice bucket and kept it full. He made the cabin every day and turned it down every night. Even though we didn't ask, he left the daily every night.
The musicians at Maltings and Shakers were pretty good and easy to listen to as well as the guys at Howl at the Moon. All are very talented and put on a good show, just not my type of music. The pool deck band was good but loud while at Waves bar. They were a lot easier to listen to while up in Posh.
Zambooka was the only show we booked. The show might be good, we didn't stay to find out. After being seated for 45 minutes, we still had not received our drink orders. Our friend went to talk with the maitre d who opened the curtain for him to go to O’Seehans to get a drink. We were a little surprised at this, so when he returned we all left. We did receive a refund for the show back to our account.
Almost always a great meal here for us, and time was one of the best. The food was the way it is supposed to be.The servers were very friendly, quick and attentive.
Most of the time Le Bistro is a hit with some misses. This time was a definite hit. Awesome service and excellent food.
The food is always good here and cooked perfectly, just too much of it. The chefs toned down the performance some, it was nice.
For me this is the most inconsistent specialty on the Epic. Most of the time I am not impressed or happy with it. The service was great as was the food. My ribeye was a bit past medium rare I wanted, but I didn't send it back. It was tender, seared well and tasted great.
We ate lunch here everyday, as well as a couple dinners. The Indian food was great everyday. The hamburgers were nice, juicy and pink. The Greek food on the Mediterranean night made us happy after walking out of Zambooka.
We had breakfast here every morning so my wife could have champagne. Our waitress was amazing, one of the best we’ve had. Food was standard, nothing amazing, but good.
Premium Beverage Plus
Somewhat overpriced, but it is nice to have. For my wife it is a must for champagne. She enjoyed the Veuve Clicquot yellow label in all specialty restaurants, Taste and Shakers. The Veuve Clicquot Rose was available in Le Bistro. I was able to have Don Julio Reposado and Blanco in Posh, Spice, Waves, Maltings, and Headliners. Glenfiddich Reserve and Macallan Quest were available at Maltings, Shakers and Headliners. It is also nice having Pellegrino with your meals and the Just Water in between booze and to have in your cabin. We did have a $102 charge for a bottle of Moet that we had to have removed. This only happened once on the Epic, as opposed to the Jade a few weeks where it happened nightly.
The Epic is a great ship, but is worn in areas. Just a couple things I noticed.
-The ship is exceptionally clean
-New carpet in staterooms and stateroom hallways
-Tile on the elevator floor. I think it used to be carpeted. I’m sure it makes “fluid” clean up easier.
-Some broken light fixtures in Posh
-The appearance of the lifeboats. Covered in what looks like a rusty looking overspray. Visible grease by the winch points. Severely faded and cracked paint on the top.
-Big screen in Spice. Quite a few busted pixels ... still, after many years.
We only went ashore in Mallorca. We've been here a few times, it is a beautiful island. Being that we booked 6 days before sailing, we knew about the restrictions in Italy. Then again we know nothing is certain given the global state of things.
Last, but definitely not least, the crew. One of the main reasons for us returning. We are always acknowledged and greeted by them. Now, with the facemasks, their smiles are missed and it can be hard to recognize them. They on the other hand have no problem remembering us and our drink order. They are amazing!