3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My spouse and I took this exact same cruise at the exact same time last year and it was, hands down, the best cruise we'd ever taken. When we booked this cruise earlier in the year, we were very excited at the thought of matching ... Read More
My spouse and I took this exact same cruise at the exact same time last year and it was, hands down, the best cruise we'd ever taken. When we booked this cruise earlier in the year, we were very excited at the thought of matching last year's cruise. Sadly, there was a stark difference in the two cruises and we were left with a feeling of disappointment in some areas. In others, this ship shined. For transparency, we tend to sail in the Haven. This year was no exception. Not because we are rich. We are far from it. But I am disabled and have health challenges. For that reason, we budget every year to insure that we are able to travel in a way that's most comfortable for me...and in a way that allows me to get the best experience possible out of our travel. We are not "snooty," nor are we "entitled." However, when you pay a premium, you do expect that "premium" to be delivered. About 3 weeks prior to our cruise, I emailed the pre-cruise concierge, as directed, for any requests that may make our cruise more enjoyable. In that email, I explained that due to severe allergies, we are not able to have fresh flowers in our room, nor are we able to have any kind of feather bedding as they cause significant allergic reactions. I received an email response assuring me that this request would be handled prior to embarkation. Embarkation was close to flawless and we were told our room was ready as soon as we boarded. We were staying in a Haven Spa Suite and it was nice. However, when we walked in, we noticed a vase of wilted and dying flowers....obviously left over from the prior cruise. Not a huge deal...we figured we'd give it to our room steward when we met him. The ice bucket had lukewarm melted water in it....presumedly from the prior cruise that ended earlier that day. There was only one towel, and one bathrobe. There was no bottle of champagne on ice as we were told there would be...and as there was last year. Individually, not a huge deal...but adding it up, it was a little disappointing. Shortly thereafter, our room steward arrived and we spoke with him about the flowers, etc. He apologized for the oversights, said he'd fix them by the time we returned from lunch and assured us that the room was feather free. That was the big part for us, so we were grateful. After the first night, my spouse woke up with a pretty intense allergy attack. Since the vents were on the ceiling, we figured it was the air ducts and the air circulation. We were assured that the room was de-feathered, so we didn't think that was the problem. For the next 5 nights, our allergies were pretty intense. We were living on allergy medicine and continued to chalk it up to the air conditioning. By day 6, I was beyond miserable. At that point, I took a closer look at the pillows. All but one were exactly what we needed. The last one, all feather. We called our room steward to ask him to please change it, but he was unavailable. So we called our butler.....who, up until that time, we had seen, maybe 3 times the entire cruise...who informed us that our room steward was on break and would handle when he came back during the nightly turndown. We called about it just after noon. After explaining that the allergic response was making us pretty miserable, he did send someone in his place to change out the bedding. We vacated the room so that could happen. Our allergies never cleared up and we realized on the morning that we left, that while there was no feather bedding ON the bed, they had stored all the feather bedding UNDER the bed. It was pretty awful. Adding to that frustration, we had to ask almost daily for fresh ice...and the only thing we asked of our butler was to have cookies in the evening. He promised cookies every night. They came once. We didn't ask anything else of him....we didn't order room service....we did not dine in our room...he was pretty much non-existent. He did, however, show up on the morning of debarkation to collect his tip. Again, I need to stress....we are NOT snooty. We weren't asking for outlandish things. We asked for next to nothing. But we paid a premium for a certain service and that service didn't deliver. It was even more disappointing because we do work so hard to afford that level of service. For it not to be there, cast a bit of a shadow on our week. Especially with the allergy/feather situation. The rest of the cruise was AMAZING!! We loved Cagney's and Moderno. We also enjoyed Food Republic. It's a different concept but enjoyable nonetheless. The only exception was Bayamo. We didn't enjoy Bayamo as much as we'd hoped and probably wouldn't return. The Garden Cafe was perfect for what we needed it for, and we enjoyed dining at Taste one night as well. As for the entertainment.....for the second year, Choir of Man was absolutely incredible!! We also saw Melinda Doolittle's solo show in the Supper Club....and that was one of the most enjoyable evenings of our cruise. She was very warm, engaging, and very friendly. It was a very cool thing to be able to talk with her a bit after her show as well. I was really pulling for her when she was on American Idol, so it really was a thrill to see her perform. We didn't see any other shows as it was an early night most nights for us. We met some really great people through the meet and greet/slot pull/cabin crawl. We had a great time with them. Blackjack was very kind to us, but we seemed to give our winnings back to the slot machines!!! We loved karaoke nights as well. The pools were crowded as they normally are....but the slides seemed to be popular. We did not use the Haven pool area, but we did use the sundeck in the Haven once or twice and that was pretty relaxing. The Haven restaurant was also very good. Bermuda was beautiful as always. We took the free ferry over to St. Georges and headed to Tobacco Bay. That was a beautiful area. We seemed to luck out as we heard that Horseshoe Bay was filled with Portuguese Man-O-War which made it difficult to swim. In fact, someone from our Cruise Critic group was stung and from what we heard, had to be treated at the hospital. I'm not sure we'll do this itinerary again. We love cruising out of NY because we are local and flying is challenging for me. But I think we'll try something elsewhere next year. We are firm believers in vacations being exactly what you make them to be...and in that sense, we had a magical week onboard the Escape. But the service...or lack thereof...did make things challenging for us most of the time. And that part, was probably the most disappointing aspect of our cruise. Will be sail NCL again? Absolutely. Will we sail the Escape again? Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
To start, I was on this cruise that got hit by 115mph winds and made some news headlines. I would commend the crew for their professionalism and help during this incident and afterwards. The remainder of this review reflects the cruise ... Read More
To start, I was on this cruise that got hit by 115mph winds and made some news headlines. I would commend the crew for their professionalism and help during this incident and afterwards. The remainder of this review reflects the cruise overall. Being in the Haven made this cruise a bit more bearable. My wife and I traveled with her mother who was turning 76, she has mobility issues, and this suite made it very easy for us to travel together. The ports and excursions were not terribly appealing so at least we had a nice room! The BEST part: The Haven experience was good and the benefits for priority to boarding and and show reservations and disembarking were invaluable when traveling with an elderly with a scooter and mobility issues. Haven Restaraunt hostess Made' (?) and Charlotte were the stand outs here). The WORST part: The ship overall is a huge headache for anyone with GLUTEN FREE dietary needs. (this is why dining is getting a poor rating btw) Yes, they can accommodate GF requests for dinners but for example, the main buffet area not only lacked a dedicated GF section and much less noting what (if any) foods would be GF. you always had to ask. and sometimes they go in in the back and get you a prepackaged off-the-shelf cookie, or the standard GF dessert of "flourless chocolate cake". We've sailed other cruise lines that were far more accommodating to this. AND it's not that hard to implement. (Charlotte in The HAVEN was very helpful in coordinating GF dinners.) It's a small thing, but it's a big deal for my GF wife. The level of service and price point that we paid for on this cruise, we were disappointed that we had to ask the butler staff to bring GF options. Frequently something would be forgotten for room service and we'd have to remind the staff. Personally I think the Butler staff is stretched too thin. our Butler had to 14 rooms to handle. He was often rushed, seemed overwhelmed at times to the point where we felt bad asking him for things. And we never felt we were getting the attention we were promised. in the Haven restaurants and others there was poor follow up by wait service., for getting to take a drink order with our meal, we'd have to wave someone else down to get a drink. And on a cruise ship your glass should never be empty. ( again for the price and level of service that was paid for I was not impressed. comparatively other cruise lines attention to such details and service were stand out even at the general dining rooms.) The Moderno stood out as one of the best overall experience and other restaurants on the Escape should look to the Moderno as to how to wait service properly. Anna stands out as the exemplary server here. The shows that stood out were Choir of Man- excellent, and After Midnight was very impressive.. There WAS a Brat Pack show when we booked ,but had ended it's run by the time we sailed, so there was less entertainment to choose from as no replacement show was in place. THANKS NCL! We were hard pressed to enjoy any of the shows in the supper club. Port of call and shore excurisons- Port Canaveral- we spent the day at epcot and the hour or so bus ride there and back. but we were hard pressed to find any interesting excursions. GREAT STIRRUP CAY. we did not visit, as weather to risky for the tender boats to ferry. from other reviews this seems to happen a lot and I would hardly promote this as viable port call. but looking at those excursions, there doesn't seem to be much to do there anyway that doesn't involve immediately going somewhere else. NCL needs to significantly improve this experience. with out this stop, when made it too NASSAU Bahamas a day early and I appreciated having the time and overnight stay here. NOTE: Nassau Bahamas has very poor "disabled" accommodating excursions and such. and note you are at the end of a very long dock that takes along walk to get to the main shopping area. I made excursion arrangements not affiliated with NCL. and had a great time! Getting back to the ship with 5 minutes to spare! The other activities (pools slides, rope courses etc outdoor stuff )of the ship seemed better suited for southern ports and warmer weather, leaving from NY in early March tends to temper this a bit. I don't feel I got my money's worth here as there were a couple of days on the 7 day cruise where it was too cold to take advantage of this. Lastly, the 678 section with the shops and such restaurants and such. the casino is located on deck 7 and the openness of these atrium type sections means you can smell cigarette smoke throughout the floors. The selections of shops is mostly jewelry and watches. Seriously NCL how many of these repetitive stores do you need??? Get some variety in those shops! And a side note.. their photo area doesn't even sell any gopro stuff. Overall the cruise was just okay, mainly because we stayed in the Haven section of the ship. Doubtful I'd consider another cruise with NCL regardless of the Haven. NCL is welcome to try and change my mind though. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Winter because it was the only time my brother could cruise for our mom's 90th birthday. As Haven guests with mom in wheelchair and on oxygen, embarking was horrible. Stuck all of us in a small area waiting to board. Way to many ... Read More
Winter because it was the only time my brother could cruise for our mom's 90th birthday. As Haven guests with mom in wheelchair and on oxygen, embarking was horrible. Stuck all of us in a small area waiting to board. Way to many people in a closed space. Haven area is excellent! Butler and concierge were top notch. Only issue is now have so many Haven guests the Haven restaurant could not accommodate all of us. NCL needs to provide a better solution after all you are being charged a lot as a Haven Guest for that restaurant accommodation. Shows were great! February has way to many kids running all over the ship with No Parental guidance. Left to run crazy. Not good. NCL needs to change policy and make sure parents watch and accompany their children. Seven year olds were alone on elevators. Scary!! The Tobacco Road lounge is more about good whiskey and a good cigar. On every cruise my husband and I go and enjoy this, not this time. The humidor cigar room was loaded with all cigarette smoke. Horrible. Another issue is the private island. Big issue. We could not take the tender due to wind and safety. Well NCL get going on building a dock. Royal Caribbean has one on all their private islands. People pay and should get what they pay for or issue everyone a cash refund for that day lost. Horrible. We also were taking my mother's sister and her husband on this cruise but she got terribly ill and could no longer travel. Well people, travel Insurance is giving us a hard time. We hhaveall rhe doctor notes and they are still fighting us. Travel Insurance does not guarantee you anything, even with good reason. Good luck! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The for slow about 45 minutes to an hour to get our food in the Manhattan room took a bow and Savor and taste about 30-35 minutes the activities will great set for two shows they were born shows for after midnight in the male vocal group ... Read More
The for slow about 45 minutes to an hour to get our food in the Manhattan room took a bow and Savor and taste about 30-35 minutes the activities will great set for two shows they were born shows for after midnight in the male vocal group they put you to sleep. In the Manhattan room it's very loud they have music every other day. The game shows with funny and fun the dance classes fun to watch and learn. 60% of the ship granny generation. There's nobody that was under the age of 30 made a 1/3 of the ship and there we're only a hundred kids on the ship on this Cruise. Course of man was a great show all ages is very hilarious to watch it kept you entertain and they came out into the audience gave away two people. We saw a guy in the headliners Club she was 18 and over he was hilarious and raunchy. There was a a woman in a band named Victoria who voice was excellent must see. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our Bermuda trip was sadly detoured because of hurricane Florence. We were OK with going to Bahamas, but at the last minute, we didn't stop there. It was upsetting that we didn't get any credits for missing ports. My friend ... Read More
Our Bermuda trip was sadly detoured because of hurricane Florence. We were OK with going to Bahamas, but at the last minute, we didn't stop there. It was upsetting that we didn't get any credits for missing ports. My friend on Carnival received a $50 credit for a port she missed on her cruise last month. Restaurants - -The new tapas bar Pincho was my favorite hidden gem. The menu is exceptional, so I didn't understand why it was always empty. I think many of the cruisers don't understand the tapas concept, but I hope they don't close it. The restaurant closed early at 10pm. As a tapas restaurant, it should be open much later! The best things on the menu were the scallops, shrimp, tomato bread, grilled sirloin, and salmon. The sangria was amazing too. -Bayamo, the new seafood restaurant was a big disappointment. The servers werent properly trained and we were often without silverware and empty glasses. The huge crab legs for $8 were a steal and delicious. The oyster rockfellers were very disappointing. The thermal spa was a peaceful sanctuary away from the ship chaos. I do not regret getting the a spa room. The mini golf is a bit dated and wish they would upgrade it. The breakfast at the buffet it the best. The buffet lunch was very bland and everything was very salty. I wish there was more healthy food at the free restaurants. Everything seem very salty and cream heavy. The music was fantastic all over the ship. My favorite was Orly who played Santana hits in the atrium. There was a great columbian duo in the Manhattan room. I liked how they dont rush you through the manhattan room and you can linger as long as you like. The comedy shows were all sold out immediately and the standby lines started over an hour before the show. I wish they would put a better system in place so people dont waste so much time standing around. It seems like NCL is moving to an entirely a la carte model as more dining and entertainment come with a fee. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I have cruised 15 times prior to this cruise on 3 other lines so I have lots to compare my experience to. There are only a couple of areas that I thought were better than past cruises. PROS: * Selection of food at the Garden Café ... Read More
I have cruised 15 times prior to this cruise on 3 other lines so I have lots to compare my experience to. There are only a couple of areas that I thought were better than past cruises. PROS: * Selection of food at the Garden Café buffet. They have all types of hot, cold, international, grilled, soups, salads, sandwiches, etc. The staff there was also exceptional where they will bring you beverages or help carry your plate to your table. * Our O/V family stateroom had double sinks and a tub! (See more below in my cabin review) * Howl at the Moon piano bar was fantastic. * Bermuda, although very expensive, was absolutely gorgeous and would go back! * Heritage Wharf, where we docked, is a great little area if you want to some light shopping, eat and drink outside the ship without taking a cab. There's even a free trolley that makes stops along the way if you have difficulty walking. Also, Snorkel Park is a man made beach about a 5-7 min walk from the ship where they have chair and watersports rentals, food and drinks for $5 admission. The only bad thing is that it is VERY rocky to go in and out of the water, BRING WATER SHOES!! CONS: (This may take a while) 1) The embarkation process could have been so much faster had NCL had you set up your onboard account online. 2) Big issue with wine I put in my luggage. NCL policy on the site reads as follows "Guests may bring bottles of wine and champagne on board. When bottles are brought on board and served or consumed in any restaurant, public room area or in their stateroom, a corkage fee will be charged according to bottle sizes" When I opened my luggage I was greeted with a paper saying I violated the policy and my bottle was confiscated and will not be returned until I pay the fee or they will hold it until the end of the trip. WHAT VIOLATION??? You said I could bring it on board!!!! I spoke with management and they apologized and opened it free of charge. 3) No straws on board. In an effort to clean up the environment, NCL has stopped using plastic straws. This is a great thing but there should be a metal or paper replacement for those with medical conditions who need them and at least wooden stirrers to stir the drinks. 4) WiFi is horrific! My roommate got the Social Media package and paid $88 for a week of almost unusable service. 5) If you are not near the pool area, no one will come around to take a drink order. I was a deck over and a bit forward from the main pool for about 3 hours and not one person came by. 6) There is only 1 main pool which is about the size of my neighbor's pool. Try fitting 4,000 ppl around there. Aside from that, kids take over that pool and the hot tubs when they have their own water park and same size pool. 7) The design of the ship is absolutely horrible and it’s too just too big yet it was designed for a lot less people. a)There are only elevators at the front and back of the ship. I went with someone who uses a cane and has trouble walking a lot or using stairs. When she had to go from the middle of the ship on one deck to the middle on another deck, she would have to walk back to one of the elevator banks and walk back across. b) The buffet is set up only in the back of the ship whereas other ships have buffets spread out across the middle and back so you don't have to walk a mile for food and drinks. c) There is only 1 towel stand to get your pool towels from. d) THE JOGGING TRACK! My biggest pet peeve. How do you have a track going around a regular deck, just over the main pool, where there are lounge chairs, a restaurant, bar and even service bins being moved??!!! To avoid this I got up at 5:30AM only to find they had just hosed it down making it impossible to run without slipping because it's just a wooden deck (not a rubber track) UNREAL!!! e) The sliding doors do not open automatically, you had to tap a button on the door or wall. If you were carrying drinks or food, it was very inconvenient. f) We were lucky enough to have a cabin on the same deck as the kids clubs. They were running around top speed at all hours and even chose to start knocking the cabin doors at midnight. When we opened the door and yelled at them, they called the cabin and hung up. WHY WOULD YOU PUT KIDS ACTIVITIES ON THE SAME DECK AS CABINS???!!!! 8) They nickel and dime you for everything!! a) Subpar food in all dining rooms and service, while pleasant is EXTREMELY SLOOOOOOW! Breakfast, in less than half empty dining room, took more than 30 mins on 3 occasions; Waited 25 mins for drinks one night that came after the meal was served and on the last sea day I went to Food Republic for lunch to go as soon as they opened and ordered 3 items on the same ticket yet each one was brought to me 10 mins apart and they somehow seemed very confused. However, when we chose to pony up to go the a la carte Italian restaurant, the food was very good but the portions were on the small side. EX. My friend ordered the gnocchi app ($8) and there were 5, yes FIVE, regular sized gnocchi on the plate. I got the entree sized portion Linguini Cioppino ($15) and was rewarded with 1 clam, 1 mussel, and cut up pieces of shrimp and fish and about 4 forkfuls of pasta. b) Want to go to a show on board? You can catch a free one at 12:30PM or 6PM. Oh, what's that? You're out exploring the island, poolside or having dinner? No worries, you can pay us $20 to come at 9PM. c) Rip off shore excursions. $45 for a 4 hour trip to the popular beach about 30 mins away. No thanks, I went outside to the government regulated mini buses (Prices are posted and they cannot rip you off) and paid $7 each way and stayed the entire day. Bermuda island tour $109 PER PERSON for 5 hours through NCL...went the next day to the same stand and got a 6 hour tour for $60. BOOM! 9) The freestyle thing is not for us. We like going to the same dining room (with the exception of maybe another special meal), at the same time and having the same waiters that know your name and preferences. I like getting dressed up for dinner and going for "a night out" and I just didn't feel it on this ship. I've heard this is pretty much the way they operate all their ships so needless to say, we will not be back on NCL. Despite the mixed reviews, we gave it shot and were highly disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We just got back from our 7-day Carribean cruise on the Escape. We brought a large group (21 in all) of family - myself, my wife, two kids, her brother, parents and two aunts, and some cousins. Our son is moderately autistic - calm and ... Read More
We just got back from our 7-day Carribean cruise on the Escape. We brought a large group (21 in all) of family - myself, my wife, two kids, her brother, parents and two aunts, and some cousins. Our son is moderately autistic - calm and sweet, but has trouble paying attention or following group instruction. One of the first things we did when we got on board was check into the kids club, where we had a short talk with the directors there about our son and what they could expect. He's self-sufficient and will absorb himself in an individual activity when one is available, and we were told that was fine. That lasted exactly one trip to the club, after which we were told that his disinterest in group activities made it a problem for him to be in the club and that "they can't provide one-on-one care." Since we weren't asking for that and he doesn't need it, this was a bit of a shock. What they had really told us was that they couldn't keep an eye on the whole of their club, since for our son's safety that's all they'd need to do. The issue wasn't one of age groups leaving the club to do ship-walks - we avoid those anyway (he does elope sometimes and needs to be in an enclosed space, which the club is.) This was an issue of the club being understaffed to the point that there were areas that would go unsupervised for stretches of time. While the cruise was Spring Break and there were as a result a LOT of kids on board (we were told between 1700 and 2500 total) this does not fly as an excuse. Spring Break cruises are substantially more expensive - if more staff is needed to properly handle the kids' club that week, more money has been collected. It should be staffed. And the kids' club is the same size, and maxes out at 190 kids, no matter how many are on board. We were extremely disappointed to be told that because there were so many kids, they couldn't give a sideward glance to ours, and singled him out for his special needs, which in an entertainment-packed, enclosed space, drop to zero in any case. This is a shame, because other aspects of the ship are fantastic. There's so much to do on Lido and above that, in spite of the truckload of minors, wait lines for everything were astonishingly short. We never waited more than 5 minutes to ride a slide, get on the mini golf course or use the ropes course. My (not special needs) daughter, I'm sure, would give the cruise all 5 stars. The food is exceptional at all the specialty restaurants we tried, and their one minor mistake (bringing me a well-done steak when I ordered medium rare) was corrected in less than 2 minutes. I'd highly recommend the drink package, if it's included or reasonably priced - not having to sign for every cocktail is an underappreciated joy, and most of them are included. The cabin we had was on the small side, but if you do a little pre-cruise research like my wife did, you can jam all your travel gear into it for 2 adults and 2 kids and not have any in the walkways. Good service abounds pretty much everywhere you go, whether it's getting on or off the ship, dining, or at the bars and lounges, where we were approached several times and asked by cruise directors how everything was going. (I didn't raise my concerns about the kids' club to them at the time, and kind of regret missing that opportunity). The only shore excursion we were able to do through the ship was the Jamaican bobsled and Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios, and it was seamless and an eyeful. Norwegian is doing passengers a disservice by docking in Falmouth - Ocho Rios is maybe the most beautiful port I've seen anywhere in the Caribbean, and you can see it from the top of the mountain where the bobsled runs. (To be fair, our itinerary was changed due to damage from Irma and Maria last year, and Falmouth may have been a fallback from Ocho Rios due to port space). We were also supposed to tender at Great Stirrup Cay, but seas were too rough to run the tenders, and based on conversations we've had, it's a common enough occurrence that this should only be considered half a port; there's a very good chance you won't go at all. We steamed to Nassau early instead. Overall I really want to give a high rating to this ship, and if you're traveling alone or with neurotypical kids you'll probably love it. If one of your tykes is on the spectrum or needs anything resembling personal attention from the kids' club staff, though, expect to have them with you for pretty much the whole cruise. We didn't (and shouldn't have), and it put a pretty sizable dent in what was otherwise an excellent sailing. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise ship because it was a new ship and had never sailed Norwegian before. The ship did provide many fun things for our teenagers to do, like the multi-level water slide and the teen gathering room. The mini-golf was fun ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because it was a new ship and had never sailed Norwegian before. The ship did provide many fun things for our teenagers to do, like the multi-level water slide and the teen gathering room. The mini-golf was fun as well. There was not enough time at the ports of call especially Tortola and Nassau. Although at Nassau, the pier was extremely long for someone with walking difficulties. It would be helpful if assistance would be provided to be able to get to shore using a small shuttle vehicle or assisted wheelchair. The food was only OK, however, for any of the top dinner choices you had to pay extra. We feel that the higher quality food and better menu options, i.e., lobster and steak, were only offered if you paid extra. We felt like the better food was provided to those who paid extra, those who didn't pay extra had the inferior quality or "leftover" food. For the most part the entertainment was very good but hard to make reservations as most were marked as sold out. The best entertainment was "For the Record - The Brat Pack" and "Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons Tribute". Both of these were excellent - the best we've ever seen on a cruise - high energy, great singing and loads of fun. There were just too many passengers to get around. Even to get on an elevator it took several attempts to find one not packed. Being one of the passengers who required a scooter, it was very hard to get around, especially through the hallways toward the outside of the ship and through the doorway. Getting around is very important, but was difficult on this ship. Only one swimming pool and always packed so unable to use it much??? Why is there only one swimming pool??? It was extremely crowded and not really usable for true swimming time. The cabin was very nice, but seemed small for an upgraded room. Our room steward, Jocelyn, was fabulous. She was always very pleasant, helpful and caring. She assisted our friend who has lost her luggage by taking care of the laundry promptly, so that at least the few items our friend had was cleaned and returned to her room promptly. Overall, our main disappointment was in the quality of food. We've been on many cruises and this one rates extremely low for the food options provided as "complimentary" for the "average" passengers. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
First time on Norwegian and certainly the last. We strayed from RCCL and learned out lesson. We had a lovely time as ANY cruise is a good cruise; however, NCL can't hold a candle to RCCL!! The food was mediocre at best, the choices ... Read More
First time on Norwegian and certainly the last. We strayed from RCCL and learned out lesson. We had a lovely time as ANY cruise is a good cruise; however, NCL can't hold a candle to RCCL!! The food was mediocre at best, the choices in the main dining were far from traditional, there were NO bar waiters to be found anywhere. If you wanted a cocktail you were on your own to find it! For a ship of this magnitude to only have 1 small pool, is short of reckless and irresponsible! Overall design and layout of the ship was poor and compartmentalized. The entertainment was poor and not up to the same standards as RCCL, Carnival or Princess. NCL majorly screwed up our embarkation with respect to my husbands mobility issues and wheelchair. They made to attempt to offer restitution for all the trouble he had to through. Sorry, won't be returning to NCL! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We booked our room in the Haven a year in advance.....hubby uses a mobility scooter and the thought was he wouldn't have to travel far to a deck chair, bar, or restaurant if he wasn't feeling up to fighting crowds and distance. ... Read More
We booked our room in the Haven a year in advance.....hubby uses a mobility scooter and the thought was he wouldn't have to travel far to a deck chair, bar, or restaurant if he wasn't feeling up to fighting crowds and distance. Two weeks ahead of trip we got a call that we either had to change our date or down grade as someone wanted the Haven rooms. As we couldn't change our date we agreed to down grade. The scooter didn't fit in doorway of our new room without a lot of maneuvering....that was a daily annoying thing. The room was VERY small even though it was called a mini suite. The hallways were nearly always crowded with service/maid carts so it was hard to get the scooter through....very, very narrow halls. Storage in the room was disappointing. The only good thing was we were able to keep our Haven "perks"....free drinks, free specialty dining, free gratuities and onboard credits and got a refund of some of our already paid room. Entertainment wasn't that great. I had read some good reviews....but here again, shows were cancelled....rescheduled and then cancelled again...all before we even boarded. Some folks even had their specialty dining reservations cancelled for private events. Half way through the cruise they brought on more folks to entertain us....but without getting advance reservations you didn't get an opportunity to go to the shows. All in all.....I won't be excited to go on the Escape again. We wanted to see the big ship....with the first Margarittaville at sea...it wasn't that great and certainly didn't live up to its name. The food was pretty good in the speciality spots, even in the buffet and that was surprising given the size of the ship and number of passengers. Bars were plentiful and not too crowded....with the all you can drink package, that was good. There were not as many bands playing in different venues.....we usually like to settle in a spot for a few drinks and listen to the music but the opportunities for that were usually not available. Service and cabin staff were wonderful....always smiling and helpful and officers seemed visible more than I recall on our previous cruises. Seems like folks were bending their ears about problems most of the time.....We had help from friendly staff member who took pity on us with scooter and the long lines...he helped us take a "back door" to get off so it wasn't painful at all. But if we had been in the regular line the wait would not have been too pleasant. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My BF and I sailed on the NCL Escape the end of November of 2015. This was our 3rd time on NCL: NCL Pride (Hawaii) and NCL Dawn (West Caribbean). I tend to get a little sea sick even with the patch so I thought being on a bigger ship ... Read More
My BF and I sailed on the NCL Escape the end of November of 2015. This was our 3rd time on NCL: NCL Pride (Hawaii) and NCL Dawn (West Caribbean). I tend to get a little sea sick even with the patch so I thought being on a bigger ship would help my sea sickness. We took a taxi from the airport in lieu of the shuttle. It was $24 one-way but if you pay cash, it is discounted to around $22. The port was crazy when we arrived around noon. There were people disembarking as well and there were cars and taxis everywhere. Luckilly, there were police officers directing traffic, as well as they could, but it was madness. Once we checked in, we had to wait in a huge waiting room for approximately an hour. There were a lot of big groups travelling together. This gave us a taste of what was to come. The ship is new and huge. However, the layout of the ship was odd and it felt crowded. We seem to have to wait in line for everything. We were in a balcony stateroom and it was very similar to the other NCL ships we cruised on. The bathroom did feel a bit bigger. However, the closet was located right next to the bed. There was about a foot between the bed and the closet. I found that to bit inconvenient. Also, trying to find the stateroom was a big confusing. Because of the size of the ship, the staterooms seem to go on forever. If you don't know where you are going, it can be a bit exhausting. We received the Ulitimate Dining package as a part of our cruise so we decided to try Margaritaville in lieu of the buffet for lunch. However, we wanted to make sure that it was included in our dining package. When we asked the server, she seemed a bit confused. Another server came and we explained the same question and she had to verify with a manager. When she finally returned, she informed us that it was included but we could only go to one A-La-Carte restaurant per day. We had reserved the Hibachi that night so we told her that. She then went back to the manager and came back and informed us that with the Ultimate Dining, that was not the case. Very confused. The food was good. The key lime pie was delicious. My BF loves key lime pie and he said it was one of the best he has ever had. We tried all of the A-La-Carte restaurants and really enjoyed all of them. We just felt that the same restaurants were nicer in the NCL Dawn. The ship in general did not seem very luxurious as the other ships we traveled on. Unfortunately for us, there was a huge group of 30 people who seem to follow us to every restaurant we dined in on the cruise. They were extremely loud and obnoxious and very hard to ignore. This made our dinner experience a big downer. I would hope that the restaurants would try to manage their reservations better and not seat huge groups next to groups of two people who are trying to have a quiet or romantic dinner. One thing this showed us is bigger ship means bigger groups. The pool area was small and located right next to the water park which was full of kids. In order to get to the buffet for lunch, you had to walk past the water park. We tried to book the adults only pool but was told that it was completely booked for the week. On the NCL Dawn, there was a small adults only pool which we spent most of our time. In addition, there was constant activity at the pool. Some of the activity was a bit risque and being that there were children everywhere, I felt it was inappropriate. However, for those looking for more action, there was a great deal of it on the Escape. The singer Pit Bull the god-father of the Escape so be prepared to hear a LOT of his music. In St. Thomas, we tried the Paradise Point Tramway. We went early around 9 a.m. to beat the crowd. It cost $21/adult. There is a restaurant/bar and few gift shops. The view is beautiful. You can see the entire island. The WIFI is free and the ticket is good for the whole day so we went back to the ship for lunch and then brought our tablets that afternoon. It was much busier when we went back in the afternoon. There is also a K-Mart not too far from the port. We went there to get some ginger ale for me. I tried to buy the beverage package because of my sea sickness but was told that you have to buy it on the first day for the entire cruise and everyone in your party has to buy as well. For one soda I would have paid on the ship, I was able to buy a 12 pack. Tortola was not very memorable. The port area was under construction. We walked the majority of the main town and there was not much to see. There is a straw market which sells the usual souveniers. Other than that, there was not much to do. In Nassau, we did a half day excursion to Atlantis, which was one of the reasons we booked this itinerary. There was so much hype about how great Atlantis was so we decided to go see for ourselves. We did not do the water park. We did go to the Dig which was interesting. The resort is beautiful but knowing how expensive it is to stay there, I would not pay the money. The crew seems very friendly and very willing to go-out-of-their way to please the patrons. I saw several buffet room staff assist the elderly and the disabled with their food and get them drinks and so forth. We did go see one show about Elvis and enjoyed it. The theater is very nice and has comfortable chairs. As for my sea sickness, I still became a little sea sick. So we have decided that being on a big ship did not help. In fact, we both decided that we enjoyed cruising on the NCL Dawn much more. The Escape is more for families with children and large parties travelling together. While waiting for one of the restaurants for dinner, I heard one cruiser say that he was disappointed with the main lobby. He said it was not as grand as some of the other ships. That was the overall feel of the ship. It was new but did not feel or look like a flag ship like the Royal Caribbean's Oasis. Read Less
Norwegian Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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