wikimedia

In an interview with uber-cruise-site Cruise Critic, NCL CEO Kevin Sheehan stated:

We thought [the courtyard complex] through in the Project Breakaway planning, and so it’ll be more integrated into the structure this time around. What must have happened [on Epic] was that somebody said, "Let’s put another level on it," and it made the ship look a certain bit odd.

source: CruiseCritic