Posted May 4th, 2012, 01:35 PM
* Last but not least. I'll be heading on the Star in 2 days and I won't have the full review up on my blog for a couple of weeks, so I wanted to add a few additional thoughts about my trip along with a some more pictures of the Epic and Barcelona on my Flickr page.
Dinner with an Officer
I've had the opportunity to dine with the Hotel Director and Captain on the Jade on my past cruises. So I was happy to be able to dine with an officer once again on the Epic. This time I had the opportunity to eat with lovely Irina (forgot her last name so sorry) who is the assistant guest services manager on the Epic. Along with a couple from Arizona we ate at Taste and had a nice evening getting to know one another and talking about travel in general.
I cannot remember the name of the tour I took in Sao Miguel (see a theme here) but it was the full day tour that went to the Caldera, Tea Factory, had lunch etc. If I'd paid enough attention and realized that most of the tours went to the same place (short of lunch) I would have saved my money and booked one of the shorter tours instead or just walked around on my own. It was nice to see the various areas of the island which is absolutely gorgeous. The Captain told us that we might see him riding around on his bike on the island but not to worry as he'd be back on time. He was.
Good fun. I didn't try to rock climbing wall (meant to, but was busy doing other things) the rappelling though was pretty cool. I'd no problem climbing up the ladder, or settling into the harness yet once I had both feet on the side of the wall looked to my left a little ways over and saw the ocean I suddenly said to myself...”what am I doing up here?” That feeling didn't last long, as soon as I got down it was right back up to do it again. Definitely worth a go even if you do proper rock climbing with gear. Hanging off a wall on one of the largest cruise ships in the world is a fun experience.
Tradewinds has it's shops on Deck 7 and is nicely set up. You almost feel as if you're walking through a mall. This trip shopping was limited to beach towels and shot glasses.
Svedka Ice Bar
If you've never tried one it's worth it just to go in and look around. You can stay in there up to 30 minutes. 15 was good enough for me.
The Epic itself.
It's a huge ship and you will walk around. Personally I think that's a great thing. Daily I probably logged in about 2 miles just walking around the ship to various activities between doing that, taking the steps and hitting the gym every so often my clothes we actually loose by vacation's end. Of course you could choose to stick to certain areas, but in the end you will walk whether it's to get to your dining area (Garden cafe Deck 15 Forward – Manhattan Room deck 6Aft – Epic Theater Deck 5, 6 Forward etc) so if you really don't want to walk a booking a room on deck 8-11 on a Jewel class ship is a better idea.
I did miss being able to walk completely around the ship the way you can on the Jewel class ships and being able to see the Ocean easier when on the walking deck (there are Life Boats in blocking sea views on the “walking deck” except for designated spots.) This wouldn't stop me from booking the Epic again. There are just so many things to do and it's such a huge ship with a ton of places to sit, relax and enjoy oneself that the truth is I can't wait to get back on. 11 days on her and there are still places I didn't get a chance to explore that I want to next time.
All in all it was a great trip. I met lots of cool people. Made new friends and hope to sail the Epic again in the near future.