Sail Date: July 2019
We have cruised on Norwegian Breakaway two years ago, also out of NYC. The ship is almost exactly same layout and same size, but on Escape was much more people. It’s to crowd. We went on this cruise with 6 people. In our opinion, ... Read More
We have cruised on Norwegian Breakaway two years ago, also out of NYC. The ship is almost exactly same layout and same size, but on Escape was much more people. It’s to crowd. We went on this cruise with 6 people. In our opinion, the pool aria is way to small for the size of the ship. We were not happy to get up early in the morning just to be able to save six seats together. About embarkation processes: We are PA residents and we are never experienced so many rude people. They were screaming, cutting of lines, pushing, and embarkation staff was NOT care at all. Regarding the ship staff: Extremely hard workers, it’s obvious. The shows were an outstanding, spectacular. Choir of man is an excellent performance. These guys are hugely talented. “After Midnight” show is also extremely good. The dancing, the singing, the band were amazing. Overall, we had a good experience on this cruse, but NOT grate. Bigger ship it is not always better. It just means more people on board. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We enjoyed this cruise very much. Food, service, cleanliness, almost everything was perfect. This is our 5th cruisse, 4th on NCL, and 2nd on the Escape. We had a spa mini suite this trip. The room was very nice, but no larger ... Read More
We enjoyed this cruise very much. Food, service, cleanliness, almost everything was perfect. This is our 5th cruisse, 4th on NCL, and 2nd on the Escape. We had a spa mini suite this trip. The room was very nice, but no larger than a regular balcony room. The bathroom is bigger with a much larger shower. That was very nice. Having a spa room gave us access to the Thermal Suite. The only bad thing was that we didn't get a spa pass on a previous cruise. It was AMAZING!! We ate as a group of 6 and again as a group of 15 in the Manhattan Room. Both times the food and service was top notch. Food Republic was great and worth paying the extra money, especially if you enjoy sushi as much as we do. Pinchos was amazing! We love the small plat2es concept and the food is always spectacular. Bayamo was great too! We paid the upcharge for the lobster and the surf and turf. Evreything was cooked to perfection. Le Bistro is our favorite restaurant fleetwide, and as usual it did not disappoint. The food and service here is always impeccable. O'Sheehans was eh. Not great, not bad. We ate breakfast and lunch in Taste and Savor a few times, and for the most part everything was good. We spent a majority of our time at Spice H2O. It's nice to have a place to go where kids are not allowed. Especially when you travel on a school vacation week. Service was great! District Brew House is also a great place to go with no kids! Service at every bar or restaurant we stopped at was great! Now for the bad parts. Disembarkation was a nightmare!!! Very little organization, hard to find crew to assist us with my cousins husband who was in a wheelchair, and basically rude and obnoxious passengers made it a stressful end to our vacation! And the other bad part was OTHER PASSENGERS and their UNATTENDED KIDS! What is wrong with people now a days???? Does noone know manners???? Do people not understand that you let the people off of the elevator off, especially those in a wheelchair, off before you get on?? Why is it acceptable to let your young children run amuck while you are nowhere to be found? I understand that this is not NCLs fault, but if you are reading this, please try to be nice to others. You are not the only one on vacation. The world doesn't revolve around you or your children. Show some humanity and don't act like animals. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose Norwegian just to try something different, as i have been a Royal Caribbean cruiser. I was told from a friend of mine that she loves Norwegian, so my husband & i decided to try a different cruise line. We usually travel in ... Read More
I chose Norwegian just to try something different, as i have been a Royal Caribbean cruiser. I was told from a friend of mine that she loves Norwegian, so my husband & i decided to try a different cruise line. We usually travel in September, However we traveled this year for our anniversary in April & was very overwhelmed with the amount of children on board. We did not realize that it was spring break. Kids will be kids but it made our cruise miserable as they have no respect for the handicapped. The food in the Garden Cafe was never hot enough, You did not sell Newport menthol on your ship. There are not enough elevators to accommodate the passengers on board. I really was very dissatisfied with the amount of staff that you employ that do NOT speak English although very polite, just cant understand. My stateroom steward Kiran was an absolute Blessing as he was very attentive to my Husband & i truly appreciated that. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We had a wonderful time on this cruise on NCL Escape which left on December 9, 2018 from New York. We were previously on this ship in November 2017 when it departed Miami for a 7 day Western Caribbean Itinerary. This was our 3rd cruise ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this cruise on NCL Escape which left on December 9, 2018 from New York. We were previously on this ship in November 2017 when it departed Miami for a 7 day Western Caribbean Itinerary. This was our 3rd cruise with NCL, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife travels in a wheelchair with me, so we had to book this 2 years ago in order to secure one of the wheelchair accessible balcony cabins, which was wonderful as well. Embarkation of the ship was a breeze, and we arrived at our scheduled time of 10:30 AM, and were onboard with our bags dropped in the room by approximately 11:30. As soon as we got onto the ship we went for lunch which was great. Our dining experience on Escape was fantastic overall. We ate in many different venues of the ship, including the Manhattan Room, Cagney's, Le Bistro, Teppenyaki, Margaritaville, and the Garden Cafe. The majority of our dinners were eaten at the Manhattan Room which is on Deck 7, Aft. We had a wonderful waiter, Archinta Patra who looked after each and every one of our needs, and make sure nothing went wrong at all. We also had a great Maitre' D', Moises Fernandes, who ensured that nothing was missed during our dining experiences. We also had at the 4 night specialty dining package as well, and went to the specialty restaurants mentioned above, and all were great, both in service and food quality. For Port Excursions, we mainly did our own thing at each and every one of the ports. In St Thomas, we took a cab into town from the Havensight Cruise Terminal, and walked around the old town of Charlotte Amalie, which was very enjoyable. There are many interesting little shops and boutiques located there, and I would recommend it as a must if you haven't done it before. In Antigua, our second stop, I organized an Island Tour for both the Cruise Critic and Facebook cruise groups, through a local tour operator, Emelda Frank. She took us on a 5 Hour tour of the island, and we saw all the fabulous things that Antigua has offer, including the spectacular Shirley's Heights and Nelson's Dockyard. If you haven't been to Antigua before it is a must. The great thing about this tour is that she was able to accommodate my wife in her wheelchair, and we were able to experience everything that the island has to offer. Our next stop after this was Barbados, where I met up with an old high school friend, and he showed us around the island. Barbados is wonderful, and I would recommend doing an Island Tour if you have the chance. Our next stop was St Lucia, where we did a COSOL tour of the island which took the entire day. We started first thing in the morning at the ship, and saw the entire island for the most part, including the Volcano, Pitons, Sugar beach, a speed boat ride, rainforest drive, and many of the other beautiful scenery that the island has to offer. I would also highly recommend this tour as well. Our final port stop was Basseterre, St Kitts, where we went to Reggae Beach for the day. I am not a big fan of St Kitts, probably my least favourite island of the itinerary. The reason for this is, there isn't a lot to see and do if you've been there multiple times. I would recommend an Island tour the first time, but other than this, the island has some great beaches and a lot of adventure tourism, which we can't partake in, due to my wife's physical requirements. The on ship activities were very good overall. There were a couple of things that could have used a little bit of work in this department. My wife and I are big trivia fans, and we participate in pretty much all of the trivia events that are offered onboard during the sailing. The one thing that could be worked on here is repetition of questions. With exception of the Progressive Trivia and specialized theme trivia, we saw some of the questions multiple times. Perhaps they could add some more questions to the rotation perhaps so that this doesn't happen in the future. On our previous sailing on the escape last year, we were a big fan of the District Brew Pub, and the live entertainment that it would offer in the evening with a piano player. On this sailing, we tried the venue twice, and had to leave, due to the excessive volume of the piano, which drowned out the singer's voice, to the point we couldn't hear anything. Perhaps this could be improved in the future. The themed parties, ie 70's, 80's and 90's parties were OK, but not as good as the same events on the previous sailing last year. I think that this might have had to do with the cruise director's choices of music, as the director we had last year was exceptional, and the parties were unforgettable. The Service on the ship was wonderful as well. We experienced no issues at all from members of the crew, and the Hotel Directors staff including the Director, Deepak Punia, Assistant Director, Roland Schrock were both excellent, and made sure that all of our needs were looked after. Additionally, the Food and Beverage Director, Kivanc Ucar was fantastic as well. All in all they were excellent, and I would recommend the ship to anyone who asks. I would definitely book on Escape again, depending on the itinerary offered. To summarize, the cruise was very enjoyable, and we had no major issues during the sailing at all. Thanks again for a great cruise NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
No flight to worry about or how much your suitcase weight or having to pack 3 oz sunscreen and toiletries!!! Just go to the pier and welcome aboard !! Try to get there early if possible so you can get in and book restaurants and ... Read More
No flight to worry about or how much your suitcase weight or having to pack 3 oz sunscreen and toiletries!!! Just go to the pier and welcome aboard !! Try to get there early if possible so you can get in and book restaurants and entertainment. Is a HUGE cruise over 4000 passangers so hard to find chairs by the pool area but pleanty of chairs all over ( just NOT by the pool), Has a private pool but all sold out by the time we go in ( 12 PM). They have an amazing water park for adults and children. They also have a small children pool area separate from the adult only pool area. Lots of bars and restaurants - the longest wait was 10 minutes. Great entreatments and crew was super friently !!! Has a large gym with all modern equipment - very clean and not as crowded. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
First time on this ship. Been on Breakway several times. This ship is bigger and better. Only thing better on the Breakaway is Fat Cats. Big mistake IMHO. The 5 o’clock somewhere lounge that replaces is wasted on Karaoke. Wandered in ... Read More
First time on this ship. Been on Breakway several times. This ship is bigger and better. Only thing better on the Breakaway is Fat Cats. Big mistake IMHO. The 5 o’clock somewhere lounge that replaces is wasted on Karaoke. Wandered in a couple of evenings and found the place practically empty. Bring back live entertainment if you want to sell drinks in that place. The Skyline lounge is so much better than the Bliss Disco. MDR food was good. Not enough vegetarian selections in the specialty restaurants which was disappointing for my wife. Le Bistro had only one entrée and one appetizer that were vegetarian and both were tasteless. NCL needs to step up the number of specialty restaurant selections and the quality to make it significantly better than the MDR. Otherwise, why go? Looking forward to going on the bliss next year to Alaska. It appears to be even better then the Escape Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
The ship is beautiful, but like someone else already said, way to crowded. Most days you couldn't get near the pools. The crew seem tired and overworked. We traveled on the Sky before and had much more interaction with the crew. ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, but like someone else already said, way to crowded. Most days you couldn't get near the pools. The crew seem tired and overworked. We traveled on the Sky before and had much more interaction with the crew. This time not so much. Our cabin was very nice and spacious, the ports were beautiful and had plenty of places to shop and eat. Dining on the ship was great, we didn't get to try every restaurant. The entertainment was wonderful, however, if you don't book on the first day, there's no chance of getting in to most of the shows. The specialty restaurants either, we had booked ahead of time for the one we really wanted to go to, but then wanted to try others and there were no available reservations at a decent time, only 9:00. It is nice to get away no matter where you go or how you go. Thank you! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Before I start my review I want to let you know how fun the Meet and Greets, Slot Pulls and Cabin Crawls are with Cruise Critic. Our Meet and Greet this time was put on by MIchelle and Chris and they did a fantastic job of organizing that ... Read More
Before I start my review I want to let you know how fun the Meet and Greets, Slot Pulls and Cabin Crawls are with Cruise Critic. Our Meet and Greet this time was put on by MIchelle and Chris and they did a fantastic job of organizing that and the Cabin Crawl. My husband and I did the Slot Pull. For our Meet and Greet we were in the District Brew House so there were beer samples and snack samples being passed around. There was music playing and we got to meet the staff and of course the other nice cruisers. What a blast. From there we went right to the Slot Pull and that was a lot of fun. We actually made $3.00 above our bet. Then on Wednesday we had the Cabin Crawl. This was my first time doing a Cabin Crawl and I was really impressed with all the different types of room we saw. These events are a great way to meet other and to learn more about your ship and cruising in general. I really recommend this especially if it is your first cruise. But it is for everyone first cruise or 30th cruise. Great time!! Ok so now here is my review. I purchased this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and my cousins 60th birthday. We went with our husbands. I had been on the Escape before and really loved Tortola and St. Thomas and those were two of the ports were were going to see. After the hurricane devastated some of the islands our stops were to Falmouth Jamaica, Grand Cayman, GSC (Great Stirrup Cay) and Nassau Bahamas. I was not as thrilled with these stops but it was looking forward to Grand Cayman and GSC. Embarkation It went smoothly...no issues at all. Got to our room and was disappointed that the room configuration was not what I asked for. I had a spa balcony cabin and after researching I found that there are two configurations of these rooms. One were the couch is closer to the closet (allowing you much more room to get in and out of the closet) and the other with the bed is closer to the closet giving you less room. Because of my disability (I am getting a two level low back fusion in 3 days) I discussed the rooms with the agent and she was able she said to get me my desired room. Well she did not give me the right room. So when I got to my room I called guest services and they said they said they would send in my concern. Later that day received a message on my phone from some man that said there was no record of this. Since I did not speak with him I have no idea if he knew the correct request or not. So either she did not put the notes in or they were telling me I was lying. Very said for a person who likes NCL and has recommended them to many friends and family. So I was really in a lot of pain trying to bend in this small area to get things that I needed. The Muster Drill was a little longer than usual because you have those people who think they can wander in late...then those who wander in even later...and those who do not care at all and come when they feel THEY should show up. So this makes for a longer time. At my cousin's station a lady was screaming that it was taking to long. I think they had to remove her because she was screaming so loudly. So when they give you your time for the drill please be considerate and get there on time. The Escape is beautiful and there is something for everyone. From a pool, childrens area, slides for both kids and adults putt putt, bowling, Spice H2O a place for adults only. So many places to go on this ship. . Then there are many bars and places to dine. I don't drink much if at all but in order for my husband to get the drink package I had to as well. He also doesn't drink much but being with my cousin and her husband he did drink more than usual. The District Beer house was very nice. We all enjoyed everything about it except the waitress. She was the most unfriendliest person on the ship. They have many types of beers and a cozy atmosphere. You can order I believe 4 different items from the menu, like sliders and wings but it will cost you an additional fee. My cousin and her husband ordered a few things the second night not knowing she had to pay. This was her their first time on NCL. So if you are looking for great beers go here. If you want beer and free food go to Sheehans as it complimentary. The Cabin The cabin was nice except for the configuration as I spoke of above. Everything worked fine. There was enough storage and room for both of us. Our steward was great with the animals in the room. Those are always a treat. And he kept everything nice for us. I should have asked him to fix the bed because there was a piece of plastic that went between our beds where they push them together. I could feel this and it was uncomfortable. I should have requested him to fix it and I am sure he would have. Just kept forgetting after I got up. The pillows on the bed were very nice. Make sure if you are in your room and you want to hear the announcements turn your tv on and go to channel 22 and you will be able to hear them in your room. Dining All specialty restaurants we went to were wonderful. We did La Cucina, Cagney's and Tepanyaki. All of us enjoyed our meal. In fact in the Italian they had tbone steak...kinda sad they took out the ribeye. But I was so stuffed after eating the pasta that I told our waiter to skip my steak. My husband got it so I had a few bites of his. I just did not want to waste a steak. So yes there is definitely a lot of food at these restaurants. And the desserts are great except for the Tepanyaki. I do not like either of the two desserts they offer. Green tea cake and fruit sashimi. I wish they would add a few other choices like the other restaurants have. We also went to Taste, Savor and Manhattan Room for dinner as well. All were very good. I love when the strip loin is on the menu and I was so happy I did not have a specialty reservation that night. Oh and really make your reservations for the specialty restaurants as soon as you are able to on line. Otherwise you may get shut out. We tried to change a time on our 630 La Cucina reservation to a 530 reservation so we could get to a 730 show. This was the first night I tried and they were booked. So this is really important if you want to get reservations. Entertainment and Activities. We get the spa package so most of our free time is spent there. And being disabled it really helps me feel good. My cousin and her husband did the slides and they loved them. My cousin is 60 and her husband 70 and they had a blast. So the slides are not just for kids. We only ended up with one show and that was the For the Record the Brat Pack. It was excellent. We saw it the last time on the ship but it was in the Supper Club. So being in the Theater gave it a little difference. Still excellent. I would recommend it. But there is some strong language so I would not recommend it for smaller kids. Spa We love the spa and so we got the spa balcony our room was so close to the steps and we could go directly up to the spa on the next floor. This spa is a little more expensive than on other ships but it has more. There is a steam room which is great and then right after we would go into the ice room for like a minute or so and boy is that refreshing. You are not even cold. They also have a salt room which I went into but then after reading the sign inside that says people with diabetes and high blood pressure should not use it, I got out. It would have been nice for the sign to be on the outside like all the other signs. They also have two types of saunas as well. And what is nice on this ship is that I could go in these with my husband. On the Gem and Dawn these areas were inside the women's areas so you could only go in by yourself or with other ladies but not with your spouse. I like this much better. They had many heated loungers and they were great about removing towels for people who were saving them while they got a spa treatment. I like that they were pro active in this area. There are also many regular loungers that are very comfortable. We had a relaxing time in the Thermal Spa!! Ports and Shore Excursions. This is where we were really disappointed due to weather conditions. Our first stop was Jamaica. We did a food walking tour that was excellent. We did not do it from the ship but directly from the website. Look up Jamaica Culinary Tours if you are interested. Next stop was Grand Cayman and we had a three stop snorkeling and stingray experience with Captain Marvins. Another one that you can book directly with them. 3 snorkeling stop and then the stingray stop for $45. Another guest said he booked Captain Marvin through Shore excurioneer and paid more. But it did not matter what we paid because after we got off the ship we found out that the port police or port authority would not let the snorkeling tours go out. Not private ones and not on the ship. Boy we were disappointed. I went with Captain Marvins about 6 years ago and it was amazing. So we walked around just a little bit since it is hard for me to walk and we went back to the ship and to the spa.. Next stop Great Stirrup Cay. We were really excited to see there island and lay in the sun and have a bbq. another highlight of the trip that did end up happening. Due to the weather we could not tender and therefore could not visit the Island. The captain took us directly to the Bahamas and we got there at 1pm on Thursday and stayed overnight and spent the entire day there on Friday. I am not big on the Bahamas so was pretty disappointed. But we did find a snorkeling tour with the ship to Athol Island. It was only $50 so not a bad price. We went to one snorkeling spot and it was really chilly out. But I did get in and snorkel for awhile. Many of us just stayed in about 15 minutes but there was enough time to snorkel a lot had it been nice out. Service The service on the ship was great!! Everyone except for the waitress in the District Brew House and our waiter in Cagney's had a smile on there face. I am for the most part always smiling and try to stay happy so I like when I go on a trip and the service staff is also happy. Just a shout out to Leyda in the Manhattan club. She was so sweet and so nice we all wrote the comment cards out about her. I hope she and the other crew members had a good time in the Bahamas. Since we were staying overnight there the crew got to enjoy some of the sites. What a nice break for this hard working staff. We would definitely go on the Escape again. We think it is a great ship. Lots to do and great food. If you have any special requests I would make sure you put it in writing. You do not want to have happen to you what happened to us. I am doing that with our next trip on the NCL Bliss to Alaska so I can get the room configuration that will be good for me and my disability. If you decide to go on the Escape have a great time! We sure did! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I, like so many folks, had my Eastern Caribbean cruise cancelled by Irma. I was a bit disappointed, because I was really looking forward to going back to St. Thomas. NCL refunded me and gave me a 50% (of the total cost of my cruise) ... Read More
I, like so many folks, had my Eastern Caribbean cruise cancelled by Irma. I was a bit disappointed, because I was really looking forward to going back to St. Thomas. NCL refunded me and gave me a 50% (of the total cost of my cruise) credit. I had an itch to go cruising, so I stalked their website until I saw a good sale for the Norwegian Escape traveling out of Miami on a Western Caribbean itinerary. I booked this cruise just one week prior to its sailing and I got an amazing deal that I just couldn't pass up. Ports - Honduras, Belize (fake), Costa Maya and Cozumel. I didn't learn until I began meeting folks onboard that this sailing originally had an Eastern Caribbean itinerary. However, because of Irma's damage to many of those islands, NCL changed it to Western. Embarkation and Disembarkation - Embarkation: I took an early flight into Miami and did a B-line to the ship. They had just begun allowing folks to check-in when I arrived around 11 AM. The crowd was growing by the minute. While I wasn't due to check-in for a few hours, I hopped in line anyways. Embarkation took about an hour from curb to ship. Not bad for NCL, since they really suck at Embarkation and Disembarkation. Disembarkation: I had an earlier flight leaving Miami (11:59 AM) when we returned, and I was a little concerned about getting to the airport on time, so I opted to carry my own baggage off. I was in line to get off the ship at approximately 7 AM. At that hour, I want to say I was maybe the 20th person in line. I wasn't the only one with a before noon flight. We were set to arrive and disembark at 8 AM, but they let us get off at 7:40-7:45. I flew through Customs and out onto the curb where I hoped into a $27 cab straight for the airport. Since there was no traffic (Saturday morning), I got to the airport in less than 15 minutes. Had I known this would have happened, I would have booked an earlier flight. But back to my disembarkation experience: Unfortunately, I found myself behind this family that allowed their inconsiderate sons to play Air Hockey at 7 AM. The noise was so loud you could hear them in the Atrium, which is located a level lower. The noise was so loud, it gave me a migraine once I got in line. There were elderly people in line in wheelchairs, and you could tell by the grimaces on their faces the noise hurt their ears and hearing aids. These kid's parents didn't care. They seemed asleep at the wheel when it came to parenting or discipling their three boys. The derelict mother actually joined them in a few games. I took one for the team and asked to play when they finished a game, and I just snatched one of the pucks, preventing them from further audio carnage. I got so many high-fives and quiet thank you's as we disembarked. To whoever that family was: Shame on you!!! To NCL: Please shut down those games during disembarkation, so people like me don't have to be confrontational to rude and inconsiderate people. My room (9844) - I had a balcony on the 9th floor. I've done a few NCL cruises by this time, so this room is pretty standard. Its not the larger balcony rooms, but I didn't need large since it was just me. What I did notice was I didn't get the breeze I normally get with balconies on higher floors when we were at sea. I like to open my balcony door at night and hear the waves crash and feel the wind on my face. That experience was minimal to non-existent with this room. I think it was part the fact that I was on a lower level and part that we were going through the Gulf which was very calm with waves lower than 1 ft in height. The Ship - I really liked this ship. Like most NCL ships, it had something for everyone. I loved that there's an area (H20) where children are not allowed. Even though this sailing occurred right after Irma and during the beginning of the school year, I was SHOCKED at the number of children on the boat. It wasn't a lot to where I felt suffocated, but it was more than I was expecting. Way more. Surprised at how many folks snatched their kids out of the first few weeks of school. This ship has 3 slides - one for those who aren't that adventurous, one for those who want to squeal like a child and one for the insane. The latter is a straight drop and ends in like 5 seconds. Let's just say I stayed sane and enjoyed the other two slides immensely. It brought out my inner child. I don't believe our cruise was fully booked, because I never had a problem getting a sunbathing chair near the pool on any day, to include sea days. There were 2 pools. The salt water pool can only have adults in it during the day. Kids can come in at 6 PM. I really enjoyed this. I mostly stayed on the pool deck when I was on the boat, if I weren't eating or at a show. Dining - I mostly ate breakfast at the Garden Cafe (buffet), lunch at O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill, and dinner at either Savor or Taste (main dining rooms). For the first four or five nights, I ate dinner at Savor and I found the customer service lacking. I was most times a party of one and they seemed to always forget me. I'd have my food sitting over in the corner, covered getting cold, while I waited for someone to bring it to me. The one time on the final night when I went to Taste, I didn't have any of those problems. Everything was so prompt, I didn't know how quite to handle it. Everyone was so nice. Not to say the folks over at Savor weren't nice, but it was a completely polar experience. Made me wish I had gone to Taste the previous nights. The main dining rooms all have the same menu, so it really doesn't matter which one you go to when it comes to food options. I never explored any of the speciality dining options, which come at an added cost and I never went to the Manhattan Room (complimentary dining), which has a band every night. I went to the Manhattan Room on the Breakaway, the Escape's smaller fraternal twin, and wasn't impressed by it, so I didn't feel the need to visit it on this cruise. Entertainment - I must say...Andre, the Cruise Director and his team did an amazing job. I typically go into port during port days, do an excursion, go eat dinner and pass out in my room from pure exhaustion. During sea days, I sunbath all day and eat. That's it. I don't gamble and I always felt like the ship's entertainment wouldn't be... dare I say it?... not entertaining! So, I'd never go, never check anything out. But for my sailing on the Escape, boy was I wrong and I believe that's largely due to Andre, Dave and their team. I laughed and screamed and cried and looked forward to whatever audience included game, show or skit they'd do in the Atrium. They really did a good job. Their entertainment sets aside, there were quite a few good singers and bands on the boat. There was a woman and a two piece band that played poolside called A Minor Trio. They mostly played Caribbean or Caribbean themed music. Now, the lead singer was this woman with a beautiful voice. She's one of those cruise ship singers you look at and go: Why aren't you a recording artist? Her voice was insane. There was another 5-piece band called Groove Addiction from St. Lucia with a guitar player from Colombia with a female lead singer, played most nights in the Atrium. The band was amazing... I mean AMAZING, but the lead female singer? She sucked. Majorly. No matter what she sang, she sounded like a wounded, dying animal. There would be times I would listen to them and try to cancel her voice out in my head, and just hear the band, but that was impossible. The guitar players, the young guy from St. Lucia who played bass and the Colombian guy on electric, should be on the road with some A-list artist like Santana or Rihanna, because they're just that good. I mostly stayed in the Atrium before and after dinner, so whatever was going on there, I partook in. In addition, I saw the After Midnight: Broadway's Cotton Club Musical, an all black cast production. I didn't see the original Broadway production. I really enjoyed it. Solo Travelers - Dave, the Assistant Cruise Director, managed the Solo Travelers group during this cruise and he SUCKED MAJORLY. Great guy. Funny. Wildly popular. But his attitude about this group impeded him from making it great. He believes (and these are his exact words) that the Solo Traveler's Group is a "babysitting job." I felt insulted. Like... are you freaking kidding me? If anyone doesn't need to be babysat, its solo travelers! We are independent people, hence why we can travel alone. His attitude about this group was such a huge hindrance that I never even bothered meeting up with the group again after I attended the meet-up on the second night and I heard him say that. I was done. I hear from folks who were on the ship the week prior that the guy who was doing it the 9/16 sailing was amazing. I can't remember his name. If I could tell NCL anything, it would be: This group should be fun and led by someone who gets solo travelers, someone who wants to create memorable experiences among a group of unique people who likely share a lot in common. Ports - Honduras was insanely beautiful. I went to snorkel and with it having the second largest reef in the world only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, I had an AMAZING time. I did the Jolly Roger in Roatan – Catamaran Sailing & Snorkeling excursion, which I booked through the ship, and I can't say enough good things about it. The actual excursion was great! The food was blah. Chicken good, but rice and sides sucked. The sail was nice. Slow and since it was hot it was kind of miserable on the lower deck, but the actual snorkeling? It just doesn't get any better! I can't say enough how amazing it was. Belize was super fake. Fake island. Fake experience. Felt like we were dropped off at some low-end amusement park. Took my snorkeling gear with me with hopes that I could snorkel from the beach. Nope. Not a chance. As soon as I grabbed a beachside chair, the island's workers put up a purple flag that warned against jellyfish. As we walked the damn near mile trek from the ship to the island, I could see them in the water. I think I counted a dozen or so. While they were beautiful to look at it, I didn't trust getting in the water and then I spoke to a few folks who had gone in before the flag went up and they said the water was murky and there was nothing really to see. Bummer. So, then I tried to parasail. The woman manning the list and booth told me at 10 AM, she couldn't tell me about the 2 PM sail until the Captain returned. She told me to come back 2-3 hours later. It was so hot the day we arrived, I knew I wouldn't just hang around that long, especially after I saw the island's one small pool was full to capacity. So with that, I took my happy butt back on the boat and enjoyed the boat's pool. Before going back, I tried my hand at some shopping to feed their economy, since we were told actual Belizians "owned" the shops, but they were so over priced it was insane and I actually felt disrespected. I had one guy quote me $675 for a wooden mask. $675!! For a mask that should have cost no more than $100, he finally came down to $390 and when that didn't work he began with guilt trips on how he needed to pay his shop's rent. Unbelievable! Yeah, to say I didn't enjoy this port is an understatement. Costa Maya and Cozumel - Been there, done that. In Costa Maya, I walked by all the mostly Made in China vendors and took a $3 cab to the public beach to get $25 massages. The guy who wrangles folks to get massages inflated the price to include a $5 tip. He does the same thing for the food he sells from the restaurant directly across the street when he talks you into sitting in one of their chairs. He automatically included a 20% tip with the price. Beware of him. Nice man, but a total hustler. I ordered guacamole and it sucked. Drinks were $17 and the guacamole $10. I talked him down to $12 per drink and $9 for the guacamole.When another cruiser and I got the bill it was $37 when it should have been $31. I don't mind paying folks, but when I know they're overcharging me, I resent it. There's no way in the world a local would be charged those prices. In Cozumel I did the Starfish Sanctuary and Snorkeling excursion through the Ship. Had a great time! Great sail. Beautiful breeze. Gorgeous water. Decent snorkeling. It wasn't fair, because the whole time I was, of course, comparing it to my experience in Honduras, which was unparalleled. But honestly, it wasn't bad. The water was very choppy due to the wind, but I still had a good time. Great drinks. I walked off the boat a very happy person. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
This was my first time cruising with Norwegian and it was a great cruise for the price! I have previously been on two Royal Caribbean cruises and loved them, but my mom is an avid knitter and found a group that was going on this cruise and ... Read More
This was my first time cruising with Norwegian and it was a great cruise for the price! I have previously been on two Royal Caribbean cruises and loved them, but my mom is an avid knitter and found a group that was going on this cruise and holding classes while we were at sea. Since there were so many people they got us all a great discount so I tagged along. My mother has a fused ankle so she was worried about how well she was going to be able to get around but the crew were very accommodating with bringing the wheelchair to our cabin and getting her where she needed to go in a timely manner, with the only exception being on disembarkation day we had to meet them at the elevators on the main deck. My favorite thing about Royal Caribbean has always been how wide of a variety of spectacular food they have, especially since I am a mildly picky eater, Norwegian didnt have nearly as much variety as RC and the food they did have was good but not spectacular. If you can eat anything it might not be as big of a deal to you but for picky eaters you will have to get used to eating the same things every day. The one food item that I did absolutely love was the Honey Creme Brulee! The shore excursions offered were decent! I ended up buying tickets to the Coral World Park and for the Turtle encounter in St. Thomas directly from the Aquarium since the cruise didn't offer the Turtle encounter. It was a great experience and I got amazing pictures! I also bought the Sting Ray Encounter in Nassau which was cool, and when I got to the island I was able to add on the Dolphin swim for a much cheaper price than was offered for the same experience on the ship! I would defiantly recommend the excursion to everyone I know! The redeeming part of this cruise were the passengers and crew! Tyler the Cruise Director was such a ball of energy and made every activity he attended a blast. The ship had great themes for every night! My personal favorite was 80's night at the Spice H20 bar. I made some great friends the very first night of the cruise and we all somehow managed to find each other every night to have a blast! It was an unforgettable experience! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise for my parents 35th anniversary. We've all sailed on NCL in the past and my sister has also sailed on RCI. This was a big change for us as we are used to sailing on smaller ships. The crew went above an beyond ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my parents 35th anniversary. We've all sailed on NCL in the past and my sister has also sailed on RCI. This was a big change for us as we are used to sailing on smaller ships. The crew went above an beyond adapting their rooms for them to be deaf friendly. They were able to get my sister the scripts for the shows and when they had a few mix ups one of the officers gave my sister a crew phone for any other needs that came up. They also had expedited check in to make sure their check ins went smoothly. We were able to join them so we weren't split up. 678 Ocean Place and the Manhattan Room were way too noisy. We noticed that the acoustics throughout the ship were a lot louder than other ships we've been on. While there are more elevators we felt as though there should have been another set. The waits were often way too long on port days. Even though the ship is larger it didn't feel like there was more to do on this ship vs others we have been on. We also missed the private/homey feel of the smaller ships during some activities. Customer Service and Shore Excursions: This was the worst idea to have it in the middle of the 678. You couldn't hear a damn thing while trying to do anything. It was annoying for the crew members as well as guests. Dining: We were very disappointed in the food this time around. Not that the food was entirely bad we...we're talking about variety. The main dining rooms had the exact same menus and they didn't offer very much for a picky eater or those who like to have their red meat cooked well. My sister and I would eat salad and whatever app we could find that we liked, so we could eat with the family and then we would venture out to find something at the pub or the buffet. Crepes are also served in the evening and the line gets pretty long. This was a must every night once we asked when they served served them. Specialty Dining: We chose the 3 dinner package. What we didn't know was that the Iron Chef's restaurant was an addition charge on top of the price. It was also one of the worst meals we had. Cagney's menu changed a lot. We loved it in the past but the selection seemed a lot smaller. We would 100% go to the Brazilian Steak House every night on our next cruise. It was amazing. Even though the meats aren't cooked well they brought out plates with pieces cooked longer. Entertainment: We weren't fond of having to book the shows in advance but it worked out. It beat showing up an hour earlier like we did in the past. It just didn't leave us with a lot of flexibility in out dinner times etc. We went to see After Midnight, For the Record, the tribute show at the Supper Club and a few of the comedy shows. Loved the comedy shows. Activities: My husband and sister loved the water slides, ropes course and the plank. Unfortunately, the plank was closed a lot of the time but they were still able to get some good pictures on it. Photo Desk: The people were extremely rude to my mother and sister. Ports and Excursions: Other than in the Mediterranean, this was our first time booking excursions through the ship and we thought it was unorganized in comparison. We were used to meeting in the theater and being brought out by a worker. This time it was more of a free for all and lots of people were getting lost, angry and confused. We loved all ports but felt like the Bahamas has gotten really run down and the safety alerts in the Freestyle Daily was a surprise. We loved the Helmet and Sea Trek Dive in St. Maarten. My husband, sister and dad loved zip lining in St. Thomas. My father in-law and his girlfriend thought the St. John excursion was amazing. The Virgin Gorda was gorgeous and we are so happy that we booked the 1st excursion out. It was nice and private for the 1st half. The Spa: Is a must. We only booked a day pass when we were in Tortola, to get the most out of our time there. AMAZING. The heated pool alone with the waterfall was worth it. We would book it for the week the next time. The heated lounge chairs were so so relaxing. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
I read the reviews prior to sailing last week and frankly I was very concerned that I had made a mistake going so early on the Escape. A combination of the low percentage that folks said they had a good trip and the harsh comments really ... Read More
I read the reviews prior to sailing last week and frankly I was very concerned that I had made a mistake going so early on the Escape. A combination of the low percentage that folks said they had a good trip and the harsh comments really had me going prior to getting on board. So for those having a great deal of concerns let me share the following. I am going to mix the pros and cons here...so bear with me. 1. New Ship - What I mean by this is that these early trips are going to be a fairly full ship. This means longer lines and more of the ship is going to be utilized. Plan ahead if you can. Book your restaurants, entertainment, and excursions in as much advance as you can. The NCL application up to 2 days prior to sailing does a great job of this. The ship itself is beautiful and excellent (Bristol) condition. With the introduction of the unlimited food plans you will find very early in the cruise that many of the premium restaurants say they are booked. This is true the second and third days, but as the week goes people forget their reservation and I found that restaurants that said they had no vacancy did indeed have openings if you just approached them. Ex. My parents and I walked right into La Cucina who said they had no openings, but was probably only 25% full at 6:30 pm. We got right in. I found Food Republic to be a great add and I never saw Margharitaville all that crowded. I think the ala carte of both these restaurants had kept some folks from frequenting these, but both are good options if you are willing to pay a little. All food was as good as I have experienced. Entertainment was also very good. I believe the Excursions where average for the ports visited. 2. Handicapped Travelers - My parents traveled with me on this trip. Both are slowing down and needed scooters to get around. Getting from a Taxi into the port security is frankly a nightmare (not NCL's fault). The Miami terminal port personnel are not helpful to the handicapped. Wheel chair access starts by getting into the terminal. The problem is getting your family from the taxi curb which is pretty far from the entry into the building. Once you are in the building an NCL steward when they become available will wheel chair you through Latitudes registration and up to one of the restaurants. You may have to wait either just before security or just after for a wheel chair assistance. Depending on how many need assistance...patience is needed. Generally the rooms are not ready before early afternoon. So it helps if you have another traveler to go to the room to secure your scooter/wheel chair if that is an option. For special needs cases they will deliver the scooter just past the security check point. During the week the crew was very helpful. We were able to also rent a wheel chair onboard for days like St. Thomas where the open air taxis could transport the wheel chair to downtown so my parents could shop. There was a minor extra charge for the wheel chair rental, but it was a life saver. We would have not been able to get the scooters into downtown St. Thomas. In the other ports the scooters worked fine getting into Tortola and Nassau. Torola was a nice alternative to St. Martin that I also like as a port. Finally...the handicap rooms are fantastic if you can secure one. My parents had a rear facing balcony room on the 15th deck that was really nice. Both of their scooters fit in the room with them. The balcony was wide enough with a big door that they could even use that space. These are well laid out rooms with plenty of space for special accommodations. It made the trip very manageable for them! 3. The Vessel - If you are familiar with Getaway and Breakaway you will find this to be a very familiar and good experience. The layout is Breakaway class familiar and there are some different amenities, but overall nothing too different to cause merit to write a book about. The new ropes course is awesome, but eliminates the climbing wall. The Thermal Spa is really something. A few more hot tubs and common space on top is nice. I have only one criticism of the ship. The trip between Miami and St. Thomas was rough. Maybe the weather and time of year, but this ship is not as smooth as I have experienced on the Getaway. A long time boater I was not over concerned, but when the captain kicked up the speeds at night it could be a rougher ride than some will like. I don't know if they are still "trimming out" the boat or what, but I heard the same comments from friends who sailed a few weeks earlier. After day two things seemed to get smoother. Especially after we made the turn at St. Thomas. 4. The Crew - Heard a lot of criticism about the new crew. We never had an issue. Guests throwing their weight around about being a Platinum member that could not force a restaurant reservation when they were full is not the crews fault. That is the members fault for poor planning. I saw some crew I knew from my Getaway travels and overall everyone did everything they could to make it a great trip for my parents and me. As is always the case on these ships...there was always something to do. The activities directors made sure of it! 5. Solo Travelers - I am a single solo traveler that happened to invite my parents to join this last trip. My point here is that I frequent the Studios. If you are single, widowed, or whatever this is a great program. The Studio room sounds small, but everybody I showed said they could not believe how well laid out the room is and liked what they heard regarding the rates. I found nobody I met that has said they would not stay in such a room because of the size. More often the hang up is that it is interior space. If you are on a budget and can accept being in an interior room this is for you. The Studio Lounge on the Escape is the best one yet all on one level. They did drop the bartender / bar however, but never saw that utilized all that often. The rest is all there. This program for solo travelers is like nothing else I have found in the industry. The rates are up a little compared to my prior years experience, but I still think the rates are reasonable compared to having to pay double occupancy in other rooms or on other lines. Note: This is not the love boat and please don't go into it expecting a "love connection" as the reason you are picking the Studios. You will make many long term friends going solo in the Studios. If you find a love connection...then good for you. Just don't book expecting this to be a "singles" scene. Folks are there for many different reasons and all are looking to make friends and have fun. I think you get what I am saying. Hopefully this is a helpful review. Please don't be swayed by the other reviews saying they will never go NCL again. I have to say...I think they are being a bit dramatic. Either way we all have our own experiences and mine was a good one. Looking forward to my next trip next spring on the NCL Epic in Europe! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We booked as a 3 night break from Hamburg to Southampton and then got the chance as Platinum latitudes members to stay on an extra night at a reduced price So overall thoughts on the ship? Firstly is it disabled friendly? On the ... Read More
We booked as a 3 night break from Hamburg to Southampton and then got the chance as Platinum latitudes members to stay on an extra night at a reduced price So overall thoughts on the ship? Firstly is it disabled friendly? On the whole yes, it’s a big ship but easy to get around and not too many bottle necks EXCEPT Embarkation Disembarkation Muster Drill And queuing for restaurants at peak times like just after shows finish It will be interesting to read reviews when the ship is full and in warm weather as to how crowded it gets on sun decks There were a lot of people with walking sticks and some in wheelchairs It can be a long walk from one end of ship to the other and would recommend getting a cabin near the elevators. If you can use stairs it’s a bit easier than having to wait for the elevators which at peak times were full when the doors opened onto your floor. The congestion on elevators was exaggerated on this short cruise by no portering facilities so you had to carry your own luggage on and off ship. The 2 sets of elevators with 8 in each are called forward and aft but are actually about a third of the way along from front and back of ship. With 20 decks the public area decks are 6/7/8 and 16 upwards for the sun decks Cabins We saw a good selection on our cabin crawl and there is bound to be a style to suit your style and budget. We liked our balcony cabin and the angled balcony available in a few such as 10276 will make a lot more room to relax in your own private space on a warm weather itinery. I’ve heard a few people complain that having the bed configuration near the wardrobe limits space . It certainly isn’t pushed up against it-there is a bedside table between the bed and wardrobe which is at least a foot wide. We didn’t find it an issue getting clothes out of the wardrobe in fact my husband found it easier sitting on the bed and leaning forward to grab his clothes from the shelves. The lighting system you activate by placing your room card in the slot inside your room works well and indicates to your cabin steward you are in residence. There are 2 switches to indicate do not disturb or make up room and they show as lights outside in the hall. Entertainment Million Dollar Quartet was very good but don’t drag your husband along if he isn’t a theatre fan! Howl at the Moon duelling pianos was great entertainment each night [they wont be playing every night on a regular cruise though or they will be exhausted Starlight band in 5 o clock sometime bar we really enjoyed but they are hampered by the design of the room. 5 o clock sometime bar implies a lively all day atmosphere but it doesn’t seem to work In May we were on the older NCL Star with the old bar refurbished to become 5 o clock sometime .That suffered by being a throughfare with bad acoustics and uncomfortable seats. This newly designed bar had its own problems attracting people to sit and listen to the on stage band. It had limited opening hours-supposed to open 12 noon but bar often closed mid afternoon Uncomfortable beach type chairs Rotating lights around stage dazzle audience for a few seconds There is an automatic door leading from waterfront which is the outside smoking area into the bar. Therefore there is a draft when people walk through it. The exit from the bar into the main inner r area consists of 2 glass doors. One of these open with a handle from the outside but have to push a lever from the other side and as there is no indication which door to open first the 2 doors never shut properly and bang together. SPA I used the thermal spa-very nice and had 1 treatment-a discounted head to toe with full body/scalp/foot massage and a facial Dining We ate in Manhattan restaurant one night where service was slow. Because platinum latitudes perks not extended to this short cruise we didn’t have a meal voucher so didn’t eat in speciality restaurant For ease and convenience ate mainly in O Sheehans and buffet and were perfectly satisfied Communication There was misinformation about back to back passengers having to attend multiple muster drills which caused frustration and resulted in people turning up late to their muster station. The only pre information given that there would be no portering facilities available at the port was for the invited guests cruise on 28th. There was no pre warning for the other mini cruises departing from Hamburg and Southampton Added taxes/gratuities We had pre paid our daily service charge and were aware of the 18% automatic bar charge .As we had pre paid a corks and caps beer and wine package that 18% was also pre paid However the final 2 days in and around Southampton there was extra port tax and VAT payable which was not pre warned but I knew to expect by reading info on cruise critic However I have read reports of irate people blaming NCL claim this extra money for themselves-nope blame our UK government. TEETHING PROBLEMS The non functioning safe and tv should have been on a checklist before guests arrived Toilets on deck 7 outside the theatre-there is a female toilet on 1 side and male on the other and both doors labelled correctly .However the high level indicators show a male figure on both sides! A silly mistake by someone hanging the signs but it’s going to irritate if not fixed Toilets on deck 8 outside District Brew house. The ladies has 3 cubicles 2 of which the handles are loose with too much play on the shank-someone risks getting stuck in there The curtain across the balcony window in our cabin had the final hook missing so a loose flap hanging down –looks unsightly on a brand new ship All above issues were reported to guest services/maintenance Would I do such a few days cruise again-oh yes!!! I am however disappointed that our group missed out on the souvenir lanyards tote bags etc that were given to other cruisers even day guests .Being the first paying guests on an inaugural cruise would have expected some kind of recognition. Read Less
Norwegian Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Service 3.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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