This past weekend, my best friend Allyson (another avid cruiser) and I had the opportunity to board Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, Epic, and take a tour. Before I go into details about our experience, let me just say that the Epic is, quite simply, Epic. It was aptly named & has quickly become a favorite. The NCL staff was not only polite and helpful but created a quick sense of comfort & cohesion among the group.

When we arrived, we had no problem finding parking & getting to our destination. Although customs took a bit longer than expected to clear the ship, we were excitedly boarding with cameras at the ready in no time. Upon boarding, our first visit was toThe Villas, which is essentially an ultra private, mini-community within the ship. It's located at the top of the ship & has two levels of rooms surrounding a private courtyard containing a pool, two hot tubs, and an array of chaises to soak up sun on. Staying in The Villas brings such privileges as a private gym, sauna, indoor/outdoor dining and bar/nightclub, separate concierge, and elevator. After a thorough tour of all that staying in The Villas has to offer,we continued our tour onto the rest of the ships accommodations. While I've heard plenty opinions about the newwave design, personally I loved it. We toured a variety of rooms and were able to gain a clear understanding of the rooming options available upon the Epic-- everything from inside cabins, studios, spa staterooms, family accommodations, and deluxe owners suites. The rooms are fairly spacious & look ridiculously comfortable. Plus, there seems to be enough storage for even the most 'prepared' packers (admittedly, I fit into the over-packing/super prepared category).

After a thorough tour of rooms on all ends of the Epic, we all met up in The Manhattan Roomfor lunch, which was quite delicious. Located on deck 6, this room has a massive floor to ceiling, two story window with a view looking off the back of the ship. There's a space for a band in front with a dance floor and tables all around. We were told that this is one of the best places to dine for the first few nights as they have a band & theme nights. It's also conveniently located in the middle of the action so you get to know your way around quickly. (Decks 5, 6, & 7 have the most places to go & things to do aside from the massive Aqua Park)

After lunch, we were given free reign to explore the ship and see the many entertainment and relaxation venues. Since we only had about an hour before we needed to leave, we quickly butthoroughly visited the bars, nightclubs, cafes, restaurants, shopping, and various entertainment venues. We checked out the theatre, a few bars and nightclubs like Bliss, dining like Moderno and Wasabi, the spa and gym, and of course the Aqua Park. There is certainly no lack of things to do and see! The best part is though, that regardless of age or preference you will definitely be able to find something that pleases you.

Just to name a few, there were some little things we noticed that stood out-- instead of a light switch, you need to put your room key into a slot just inside the door to turn the lights on/off. This is one of the many efforts to be more energy efficient & earth conscious but may also help prevent losing your key! The wave design- as far as balconies go- leaves you with a uniquely shaped balcony (no more boxy living quarters) & a bit more room too! The color scheme is a lovely blend of modern shapes, bright splashes, and muted tones. Since it's a big ship, it can be intimidating& easy tolose your way. To help solve this, there's touch screen directories all over-- absolutely fabulous. Also, for sanitary and health purposes, there are hand sanitizerdispensers strategically located around the ship. Ultimately, there are small but significant differences throughout which make this ship a refreshing experience.

Feel free to check out the pictures of Allyson & I's Epic Adventure!

If you have any questions about the Epic, NCL, or cruising in general, feel free to drop me a line & say hello in the comments, via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail as we love hearing from you!

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