4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We went on this ship for a family wedding. When the ship was diverted because of the weather the Customer Service Rep refused to help in any way. No wedding for the Bride and Groom or the 21 people they brought on the boat with them! ... Read More
We went on this ship for a family wedding. When the ship was diverted because of the weather the Customer Service Rep refused to help in any way. No wedding for the Bride and Groom or the 21 people they brought on the boat with them! Exteamly poor customer relations. The ship is also very poor handicap accessible. They charge a lot for a handicap room and the bathrooms throughout the ship designated for handicapped were always locked. The regular rooms doorways were too small to fit a small walker through and the narrow hallways to the rooms constantly had the housekeeping staffs carts blocking access. We were very disappointed in the way the ship handled the reroute, there were many possibilities to give their passengers a worthwhile trip instead of just floating on the water with no possibility of any port visits. The one stop the ship did make I was unable to get off the ship die to my handicap so I was stuck on the ship for 7 days. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Have been on 11 NCL cruises and this was the worst. NCL keeps deteriorating, and the overcrowding of this ship just made things worse. Public areas have been replaced by too many restaurants (29 of which 5 are free!), so there is no ... Read More
Have been on 11 NCL cruises and this was the worst. NCL keeps deteriorating, and the overcrowding of this ship just made things worse. Public areas have been replaced by too many restaurants (29 of which 5 are free!), so there is no where to sit and enjoy reading a book or staring at the ocean except your own room. My big complaint: the Atrium is used for noisy shows and games like Deal or No Deal and even karaoke (so that we could all hear the bad singers, whether we wanted to or not). Atrium is packed when these activities occur, so not only is every chair taken, a whole bunch of people stand around watching, and if you are not seated you cannot see what is going on. The loud sound system and yelling carries throughout the area, which is also where the information deck, computer area, and shore excursion desk are located, so at times you can hardly hear if you need to go to one of these areas. Activities like the Not so Newleywed game, Thriller Dance Class, Big Pyramid Game show, line dancing, etc., might be fun in smaller rooms with plenty of seating, but here they are loud and impossible to see unless you are one of the lucky ones who arrive early. The whole idea of a warm and welcoming Atrium area is destroyed. Further, the sounds carry upward into the casino (already a noisy area) and O’Sheehan’s Bar and Grill. O’Sheehan’s (free) was one of our favorite places to eat on other ships like the NCL Pearl, where we could enjoy quiet breakfasts, snacks, or off-normal-time lunches with a sea view. Here it is constantly crowded and noisy, often with a long wait line for seats. The whole ambience and greatness of the place is ruined by the noise (no sea view either). Not enough lounge areas meant that even trivia ended up in the Atrium. And because of the crowds, if you sat there, bar service was very very slow. Crowding because of over 5000 guests extended to the pool areas, where lounge chairs were put into every available space and walkway, even lying side by side without space between chairs, so if you lay down it seemed like you were in one giant lounge bed for 6 people (your new best friends). Only the waterfront deck outside had good places to sit and watch the view and maybe play cards or talk with friends, but in inclement weather it was useless (and when a ship is moving during Dec. the cold air and wind make this area unusable for a lot of time). Reservations were usually needed for all the shows and specialty restaurants, and sometimes even main (free) dining rooms. (Freestyle my eye!!) Upon boarding we booked the shows for the week and found many were already marked Sold Out. Fortunately you often could arrive at showtime and get in to Headlines and Main Escape Theater shows, but for the Supper Club the non-reserve wait line started an HOUR early, and not everyone got in. The 6 pm Supper Club made little sense to me, since different acts showed there, but the (free) set meal was always the same, so would you want to eat there twice? Some shows without food were at 9 pm. Generally the shows were free there and good (Ben Zemzer Comedy Magic was so intriguing my friends went twice; and The Flyboys 4 piece singing group was great, though a short show at 45minues). But why was Jalynn Steele’s Supper Club cabaret show an extra $29.95 plus gratuity? (Sorry, I had never heard of her so didn’t pay for that one!) There were two big production shows — AFTER MIDNIGHT based on the Cotton Club was FANTASTIC, a great show, Broadway quality, excellent tap dancers, singers, dancers (highlight of the trip for me, and the best show I have seen at sea), and THE BRAT CLUB, energetic singers and dancers and a horrible plot that made no sense —some people liked it, I didn’t, and do not sit in the first few rows or people will be dancing behind you. Levity Entertainment group provided comedians....they got better in “adult” sessions. Some of the smaller acts had poor singers — the dueling pianists in Howl at the Moon could play really well but were not great singers, for example, and the singalong pianist wasn’t very funny and was not a good singer (at least to me). Food in the specialty restaurants was excellent and service there better than normal for NCL. Moderno great, Teppanyaki lots of food and entertaining, La Bistro best of cruise (dover sole to die for). Breakfast in the free Savor and Taste very good, with a large menu and excellent service. Service there better than the free Manhattan room (which sometimes has a singer or pianist). The buffet food good, but very similar night to night, and like on many NCL ships, too crowded so you normally had to hunt for seats. In the search for more profit, NCL has added more Ala Carte restaurants and even some of the normal specialty ones like Cagney’s is ala carte pricing unless you book a specialty package. If you have specialty package you generally were limited to one appetizer, main course, and desert (entree worth under $20), but that did not bother us, If all you want to do on a cruise is eat, this is the ship for you— unfortunately we like to do other stuff too! Bar goers may like the Cellars wine bar and beer-loving Distict Brew House, but be prepared to pay the high prices and automatic gratuities. There are the usual constant calls to buy stuff, and almost all daily activities are really promotions to buy things, from the Fly Boys CD to spa treatments to art [check Ebay prices before buying] to watches and bingo. The casino is the biggest on an NCL ship, but do not expect loose machines. The good news is there was a nonsmoking area. There are all kinds of ad-on charges for stuff that used to be free, like room service. You have to pay for a special spa package or there is no access to the snow room they tout, even if you buy a regular spa treatment. One good deck area had a fee, and some ship areas were relegated to those people in First Class (that is, Haven Rooms). Yoga has a charge, slow internet gets more and more expensive, duty free liquor not much of a bargain, etc. Constant announcements tell you what is happening (even if you can read like I can and get the daily newsletters!) Good news is that handicapped folks have cabins with wider doors and can open them with a button. The theater had a couple of rows roped off for handicapped folks, but strangely they put chairs in the handicapped area that should be for wheelchairs. Overall getting around in my scooter was easier than in the badly designed Epic, but the elevators seemed small and fast. Best thing onboard, comfortable beds. The rooms had a very large amount of storage. The ship was extremely stable, even in rough weather — better than most ships. Kids had their own area on Deck 5, and seemed happy with all the activities. The library is tiny, as is the card room. NCL constantly tries to sell you certificates to be used on another cruise (and I do mean constantly). The captain will wake you up daily at 10 am to tell you the latitude and longitude (available on the TV...), so much for relaxing and sleeping late... Muzak is constantly going in every bar and hallway. There is a jogging track, but with all the people, don’t expect to run very fast if at all.... Kids will enjoy a bunch of slides, aqua area, and rope area (if weather is good...it wasn’t on much of our December trip). The Tv basically has about 5 real channels [thank goodness for MSNBC, Fox News, and CNBC- I was sick part of the time], including a movie channel (ask front desk for a schedule), plus ship’s channels which run the same stuff over and over including the Not so Newleywed Game (why do’t they run more of their games?), plus newer movies you can pay for on another channel. The overall design of the ship should have been good, but because there were fewer lounges or lounge areas, the crowding in the Atrium area often made the activities there unbearable. Be prepared to be nickel, dimed, and now dollared to death on this big NCL ship. Bring your earplugs for the Atrium, spend quiet time in your room or on your own balcony, and pray for good weather so some of the people go outside (and so you do not miss ports as we did for more sea days). Finally, do NOT buy port to airport transfers from NCL as we did, or you could find yourself waiting for two hours in the Miami sun (or rain) without cover or chairs for nonexistent buses! (and do not exit the dock without a bathroom break because once outside they will not let you back in and the only “facility” is a filthy portable type shed with rickety stairs and rails and no wheelchair access) - shame on Port of Miami! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
fist of all, the reservation was a scam, the guy call us to sell us a cruise, we reserved 4 cabins, all of 4 where in diferent floor, on in the 9 floor at front the other rooms were on floors 13 and 14 , in the back of the ship, the ... Read More
fist of all, the reservation was a scam, the guy call us to sell us a cruise, we reserved 4 cabins, all of 4 where in diferent floor, on in the 9 floor at front the other rooms were on floors 13 and 14 , in the back of the ship, the fourth one was in a floor 18, was Haven suite. we explained the guy that we were traveling with one handicap person and two kids, one 3 years old and the other 5, but any way we were bucked all over the ship. The ship was so unconfortable, so packed, so crowded, the pools were full all the time, the pools were so small, even the one in the Haven courtyard was so small that looked so funny. The halls were so narrow that was unconfortable to walk, we had to walk all off the ship to go one cabin to other. No a nice cruise to repeat. NCL customer service is terrible, rude , in general , was a bad experience, before, during and after the cruise. This was my 15th cruise , 4th with NCL and the last one with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
We were really looking forward to this cruise to Miami, 'new ship', great we thought. We new it was a shake down cruise and didn't expect everything to run perfectly smoothly, but we didn't expect some many things to ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise to Miami, 'new ship', great we thought. We new it was a shake down cruise and didn't expect everything to run perfectly smoothly, but we didn't expect some many things to go wrong either. The best thing you could say was that of course the Escape looked beautiful and the staff really tried their hardest under difficult circumstances. The first thing we noticed when we got to our cabin was we had no coffee for the coffee machine, nor would there be any for the entire cruise because it wasn't being loaded until Miami, nor where half the beers both bottled and draft and considering we were paying $15 for two small bottles we at least expected a choice. We went for our first meal, it was cold, not even warm. We left the restaurant thinking it was the first night and things could only get better. Next morning I had to send my breakfast back, cold congealed eggs are not appetising at that time of day, and so it went on. The only place you could get a hot meal was the O'Sheahans pub which fortunately was open and served food 24/7. We only have praise for this area, it was run with military precision, the rest of the ship could learn a lot from the guy in charge there. The entertainment for adults during the day was practically non existent and the entertainment on a night like most things had to be paid for extra. If this is what Norwegian call upgrading their act, I hope the Chinese like cold food and paying for 2 thirds of the restaurants, entertainment etc. available. We talked to a lot of people on board, not one of them intended cruising Norwegian again. People are not prepared to pay first class prices for second class cruising!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Let me start by saying I love to travel, especially to Caribbean islands. I particularly love vacations filled with nature, adventure and exploring new places. I've traveled quite a bit over the years, so I know that a big part of ... Read More
Let me start by saying I love to travel, especially to Caribbean islands. I particularly love vacations filled with nature, adventure and exploring new places. I've traveled quite a bit over the years, so I know that a big part of traveling is keeping things in stride and going with the flow. With this cruise vacation, however, my patience was tested even before getting on the ship. First the long line to drop off luggage, then the REALLY long line to go through security, then the line to check in, and finish that off with a line to get your picture taken and pretend you're having fun while still bundled in winter coats. Once on the boat my main complaints how smokey it is. The design of the ship is just terrible. They put the casino (where they allow smoking) in an open area around a 3-level atrium. And on these 3 levels are most things you'd want to enjoy on the ship--restaurants, comedy club, lounges, shopping, theatre, etc. The smoke is not contained at all, but wafts throughout these 3 floors. Complaint #2: The Garden Cafe. The very first morning of our cruise we went down to breakfast at 10:15 am (an unusually busy time, maybe?) and I just wanted to cry. The place was packed. The three of us waited a long time to get our food, but then walked around and around the place and could not find a place to sit. I was prepared to eat standing up, but then couldn't find any utensils to eat with (I later learned they're kept on the tables). People without any food were saving tables all over--a problem we also experienced with pool chairs, seating in the lounges, the theatre, you name it. This was one crowded ship. Another thing...I was thinking such a big cruise ship would have plenty of variety and I would be able to find enough things to eat. I normally eat a diet of mainly vegetables with a little meat. At breakfast there was not a vegetable to be found, unless you count the tablespoon of spinach in my omelet. It was pretty much a buffet of meat and sugar. On the positive side, the entertainment was really nice. "After Midnight" was absolutely awesome! Wow, what talent. I left wanting to see what else those performers might be able to do. "The Brat Pack" was OK. The staff talent show at the end was cute. The comedians were on board were great--Spencer James and Flip Shultz, as was Ben Nemzer, the magician/comedian. The Adele tribute artist (Chelsea something) was great. One suggestion for Norwegian: quit shining those strobe lights into the eyes of audience members! It happened at every show we saw in the theater. The overall vibe of the ship just wasn't for me. Maybe it was because this cruise spanned over New Year's, but there were so many drunk people everywhere. Surprising, since it seems it would be awfully expensive to get drunk on that ship! Also, I felt nickel-and-dimed. Extra $ for internet service, extra to use a Norwegian app that lets you text others on the ship while out at sea, extra for some of the entertainment and restaurants, $6 for a bottle of water from the bar, and so on. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our 4th Norwegian cruise. I love Norwegian, but hated the Escape. Too Big, Too Loud, Too many people. Do not like the atrium. Everything happens in the atrium. Why? Always crowed, people milling around even if they were not ... Read More
This was our 4th Norwegian cruise. I love Norwegian, but hated the Escape. Too Big, Too Loud, Too many people. Do not like the atrium. Everything happens in the atrium. Why? Always crowed, people milling around even if they were not there for what ever was going on. Cooking demo, could not hear because they was a loud and noisy crowd upstairs at O'shannahans. HAD TO WALK THROUGH THE CASINO, WITH MY GRANDKIDS TO GET TO THE MIDDLE OF THE BOAT!!! You could smell cigarette smoke every where, it was disgusting. As usual had wonderful meals at the specialty restaurants, however was a little disappointed in Morderno, table of six, service was very slow. Had problems with the elevators. My husband uses a scooter, waited 10 to 35 minutes to get elevators that had room so he could drive on. I no not understand why Norwegian does not have dedicated card access handicap elevators. We will probably cruise Norwegian again, but not on the Escape or any of the sister ships. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Just completed a 7-day cruise on board the Escape. Was booked as Eastern Caribbean but rerouted to Western Caribbean due to hurricane damage. We didn't feel this itinerary change was not communicated very well and excursions only ... Read More
Just completed a 7-day cruise on board the Escape. Was booked as Eastern Caribbean but rerouted to Western Caribbean due to hurricane damage. We didn't feel this itinerary change was not communicated very well and excursions only became available a week before cruise. Overall the food and staff were excellent and would not advise booking the specialty restaurants as the step-up in dishes does not warrant the additional cost (especially as we were also charged a $20 reservation fee). The biggest advisory to offer is that this is is essentially a SMOKING ALLOWED ship. Smoking is permitted in the casino but there is no separation of it from the rest of the ship. Smoke can be smelled throughout all the main common areas. If you have small children or medical complications please take this into consideration, we would have if we had known this ahead of time. We have filed a complaint with Norwegian that this fact should be made to passengers prior to booking. The kids program was very good as well for our 7 and 9 year olds. Overall the pools felt small and crowded with typically long lines for the water slides. Unfortunately outside of our control was the weather (1 excursion we cancelled due to heavy rain and a second cancelled by the tour operator due to rough water). Both refunds were processed quickly. The other major irritant was the lack of common courtesy by other cruisers. My mother-in-law requires a walker and quite often several elevators full of able body adults (many of whom could use the exercise) were needed to pass before one with space arrived. Saw on many occasions people taking the elevators for 1 floor with a 15 second staircase right beside. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We went on this cruise because we were with a group. We have been on several other cruises - different cruise lines. Some of the things we didn't like: - casino smelled bad due to smoking - even though we had the drink pkg. we ... Read More
We went on this cruise because we were with a group. We have been on several other cruises - different cruise lines. Some of the things we didn't like: - casino smelled bad due to smoking - even though we had the drink pkg. we were charged for bottles of water - Medical office was closed most of the day & when we had a need for some gauze bandaids we were told to go to 13th floor where we could get some. Turned out to be a coin operated dispense cabinet which did not have what we needed. We were told if a doctor was needed it would cost at least $140. - The Irish Pub was supposed to be open 24/7 but between breakfast & lunch they closed down. The staff ignored the people waiting - no explanations. Service was also slow. - It was very loud in the Atrium, making it hard to interact with Customer Service. - Because there were so many people who used scooters, walkers & canes, there should have been a dedicated elevator - took an extremely long time to get from floor to floor. - The entertainment, mainly The Brat Pack, was pretty bad. When we got to see The Mercy Boys in the Atrium one night, we were very pleased - they were very good. - The service in our room was inconsistent. No trash removed & room service dishes left. The things we did like: - The food was very good. Ate at two specialty restaurants - Cagney's & the Japanese one. We enjoyed them both very much. - Getting on & off the ship went smoothly. - Our mini-suite was small but generally ok. - We were glad that Norwegian handled the change of ports well due to the hurricanes. - It was nice to have free-style dining with no need to dress up. - We weren't bothered with a lot of photographers - got one nice photo at the Japanese Restaurant. - We didn't do any excursions, but got off the ship a couple of times. Glad not to have tenders. Plus it was nice to have shuttle/bike-riding cabs since there were long walks to the shops. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
So....where to begin. We were so looking forward to this cruise, having been on just two cruises previously, we we excited about the prospects of a big, state of the art ship and beautiful tropical beaches. Our only reference point was ... Read More
So....where to begin. We were so looking forward to this cruise, having been on just two cruises previously, we we excited about the prospects of a big, state of the art ship and beautiful tropical beaches. Our only reference point was Princess Cruise Lines in Alaska and a Western Carribean cruise on NCL close to 20 years ago. After several weeks of pondering this review, I still cannot determine the target demographic for the theme of this boat. The ship is just entirely too big with a curious design. There were many features we looked forward too looking at the deck plans....the water slides, ropes course, pools. in reality, if there is anything more than a breeze, they shut down the ropes course. The water slides are packed, but the pool is the main tragedy. No one swims. The main pool is right up next to a big stage where "cruise director Tyler" emcees hypersexualized show after show to a hot, intoxicated audience. It is all so loud and unnecessary. The other areas of the ship were confusing. There is one small gift shop, surrounded by a high end camera store and jewelry/ watch store. Is a cruise ship really where you want to purchase a $3000 watch? The casino was nice, but a bit smoky, played a few hand of blackjack. The chandelier was pretty. They have the art auction rip off thing like other cruise ships. Did that once before. A small painting gets very expensive after framing and shipping. Next comes dining and entertainment. So a word to the wise.....book everything you can before you get onboard, or at minimum by day one. Apparently, there is no penalty for not showing up; but we were a bit miffed, learning that literally every show was booked by day 2 or beyond. Since you ships card isn't scanned until showtime, people just reserved everything. We saw one neat show the first night....then we were out of luck. We ate at the freestyle restaurants, but it doesn't matter which one you choose, because they all share the same menu. We didn't eat at any specialty restaurants because we couldn't get a table. We also miss a "formal" night, or a captain's dinner. Maybe something else NCL did away with. This morning buffet is a bit of a mess at prime time trying to compete for a place to sit. Cabin was fine. Unless you go all out for the captains suite, the rooms looked about the same. Storage is cramped and we were sleeping four. Can't expect much from 350 square feet. Nice "device" friendly room, but no drawers for clothes, just shelves. NCL really went downhill with service, primarily because you pay a flat fee - thus no incentive for staff to go the extra mile to assist. I don't know if other ships are doing this, but we adored the staff on Princess and NCL from years ago. I didn't even meet our steward. The ports / beaches were beautiful and the highlight of the cruise. Pay a cabbie to take you to a pretty beach and save hundreds avoiding the excursions. Word to the wise, bring your snorkeling gear - availability is variable from beach to beach. Also, if you chose an excursion....try doing it on your own. Booking it through the ship costs an extra $25 to $50 per person. Beware of some of the stoned locals on the USVI. One guy came up to me accusing me (an American) of stealing his land. Keep an eye on your belongings. Embarking and disembarking went smoothly. Despite the comments above, we had a great time as a family. As we we traveled with our teenage son and daughter and parents in their mid seventies. Perhaps this an overly harsh criticism, but between airfare and expenses...the experience should have been a bit nicer. Glad we went. Wouldn't choose NCL again. Not classy or elegant. Will save up next go round and choose something a bit higher end. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Group of 15 with the following demographic: 28-45 Years of Age Multiple Ethnicities Straight & Gay Let's start with the positive, the ship is beautiful with all details accounted for down to the salt and pepper ... Read More
Group of 15 with the following demographic: 28-45 Years of Age Multiple Ethnicities Straight & Gay Let's start with the positive, the ship is beautiful with all details accounted for down to the salt and pepper shakers at the restaurants. Also, the water slides where very nice and lots of fun when they were open. The adventure course was pretty cool too. Night Life: THERE IS NOT ONE INDOOR CLUB! They have an open sun deck in the back of the ship that is only open weather permitting. It's windy and interesting the first night but you get over it pretty quickly. Then there's the Skyline...the second in line "club wise". Fully open smack next to the casino...feels like part of the casino. The bartenders were literally ALL very rude and just not happy to be there. There was only one bartender that is usually in the pool bar and would go to the Skyline to back up that was super nice and full of energy. He was always happy, dancing, and made excellent drinks. His name is Clarense Bennett from Honduras and the only one that would always wear a straw hat. Then the worst part, since the Skyline is so open, the teenagers would constantly crash the party (we did the best we could with the so so music). All of them in mass groups doing the nae nae and cupid shuffle amidst the drunken old men. Super inappropriate and unsupervised. Many times my drinks would disappear and while I thought the bartender was just cleaning the bar too fast, I saw one of the young ones with sheer talent stealing one of my friends drink...pure stealth. Only the last night after a complaint did the security guard go in and kick them out. The Service: For some reason the person in charge of my stateroom was all attitude with mediocre cleaning. I called daily for proper cleaning and one day the guy gave me his schedule and basically insinuated with his tone he would come and make up the room as a favor. The housekeeping manager was very nice and the last couple of days everything was up to par. The couple a few doors down with a different person had a good experience and I haven't asked the rest of the group so maybe it was just mine. The Spa: It was nice...nice but after sailing in the NCL EPIC, I was expecting the same or more. The pool was smaller and the overall set up was not as impressive. The snow room was super cool, that was my best memory from the space. The attendants in the front can use a training on proper "spa" service...again, the ladies at the EPIC were also very nice and professional. The Gym: You have everything you need but very tight..although the ship is bigger, the gym is smaller than the one in the EPIC. The view from the cardio area, very nice as usual. Brace yourself to bump sweaty arms in the weights area. The Restaurants: The only 2 restaurants that I can say were excellent and worth the expense were Food Republic and Le Bistro in second place. The rest were OK, noting to die for. The H2O Sundeck Area: Light and low low music...good place to get sun while taking a nap. The Main Pool Area: I like my pool area with a DJ and drinks. Most of the time there was a live singer with unbrushed hair. I consider the pool to be small for the size of the ship and there are not enough Jacuzzis. Speaking of jacuzzis, full of children all day. Packs of 10 snorkeling under the bubbles....for hours. Children EVERYWHERE except their kiddie area. Thank goodness for the area upstairs that's enclosed. I don't remember the name but you have to pay extra to be allowed in and it's adults only. I recommend the drink Pain Killer! In conclusion, if you're looking for a fun lively ship with a night life and modern music, this is not it. This ship is meant to relax, gain 10 pounds (all you can do is eat) and play bingo. I kissed the floor when I finally got off the ship (so was my entire group). After this experience I don't want to think of a cruise but when I do, my eyes are shifting over to another line...my heart can't bear another ESCAPE experience. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I love cruising but haven't been able to go in the past 5 years because our kids were too little and our oldest daughter, who is now 6 years old, has cerebral palsy and we were too scared to bring her on a ship. We got ... Read More
My husband and I love cruising but haven't been able to go in the past 5 years because our kids were too little and our oldest daughter, who is now 6 years old, has cerebral palsy and we were too scared to bring her on a ship. We got to go on our last cruise with Royal when she was 1, but we left her at home with my parents. We were tired of seeing our friends get to go on cruises without us so we finally bit the bullet and booked the Escape for our family of 5. We also traveled with two other groups of friends. We were excited to say the least! Unfortunately NCL fell flat on just about everything. We were expecting there to be a few growing pains since the ship was brand new, but there was no reason for the awfulness that we encountered. Overall this huge ship just feels small. There isn't anything grand about it. Nothing feels "big". The decor was nice but nothing to write home about. CHILDCARE: The Escape boasts that they have child care for 1 year olds, "the first in their fleet!" What they don't tell you is that it costs an additional $20 per session, and the sessions only last 1hr & 50min. Not even a full 2hrs! There were only a couple sessions per day. This information was never relayed to us at any point until we were signing her up for the child care on the ship. I couldn't find it anywhere on their website either. The only reason we booked this ship at all was because they had child care for that age group so I didn't mind paying a full ticket for a baby who wouldn't even be eating any food. They also limit the number of babies in the 1 year olds room to 10, so you have to book the times you would like the babysitting in advance to insure they have availability. I had no freakin' clue what we were going to be doing that night, let alone two days later. They said they limit the number of babies to keep the ratio of babies to caretakers at 2 to 1. Which is nice in theory, but entirely unnecessary. 3 to 1, or even 4 to 1, would have been perfectly manageable. Paying for the childcare pissed me off to no end and set the tone for the whole cruise. The child care for our 3 year old was okay, he loved it while he was there! the problem is that it only lasts 3 hours and then you need to pick them up for a 2 hour break! So as soon as you are getting settled in somewhere it's time to go pick up the kids again! The real kicker came when we had the baby and our older kids in the child care at the "same" time. We had to pick up our 2 older kids at 12:00pm for their 2 hour break, but the babies child care went till 12:20. So we either had to pick the baby up early and lose out on 20 minutes of child care that we had payed for, or walk around for 20 minutes with our other 2 kids which defeats the whole purpose of having the baby in the child care to begin with. At the very least they should make all the child care hours the same. The staggered times were just stupid, whoever came up with that did not think it through at all. Child care for our 6 year old daughter who has cerebral palsy, is wheelchair bound, and is completely non-verbal was way below the standard that I would expect from such a huge company. We've been spoiled by Disney I guess who will bend over backwards to accommodate for any special need. The childcare at my local Gym is better than what NCL provided for her. They offered her zero accommodations and told us that they did mostly high energy games, and played loud music so she wouldn't be able to participate since they offer absolutely no one on one help, no acceptations. I asked if she could be put in the same class as her younger brother since he at least would play with her and help push her around, but I was denied. When I dropped her off and pushed her through the gate that goes into the kids section they just left her there until I pointed out that they will at the very least need to push her chair into the kids room. The girl who I was talking to was not happy that she would need to assist my daughter even in this minor way, we were an obvious inconvenience to her. I would never recommend NCL to anyone with a child with any disability. FOOD & DINNING: The buffet was average cruise food. The one thing that was absolutely awful was the scrambled eggs for breakfast. They were the consistency of soggy oatmeal and tasted even worse than they looked. We dinned at the Churrascaria restaurant which was pretty good and we were fine with paying the additional $25/head. Just make sure you make reservations! All of the other pay restaurants were booked so we didn't get to try them. We went to TASTE for breakfast one morning and wish we had stuck to the buffet with the soggy eggs! We waited over an hour to get our food. The server brought us only one set of silverware for both my husband and I, I couldn't get anyones attention so I got up and went to the server station myself to get what I needed. No one even noticed. We were never offered any water and our server wasn't anywhere to be found to ask for some, so we had to choke down our breakfast that took an hour to get to us. I guess the food was hiding in a hot box in the back because the mint garnish on my waffles had shriveled up to a crisp and had turned black. On our last night we went to FOOD REPUBLIC. It's a shame we didn't find it earlier! It was amazing! The service was great & the food was fantastic. If you decide to give the Escape a go, this restaurant is a must. We would have gone here for every single meal and gladly paid the extra $$. The whole ship seemed understaffed, but none as much as the bars on the ship. My average wait time for a drink was around 20-30 min. This was the resounding experience from everyone I talked to on the ship as well. They ran out of tequila by day two. SHOWS: We saw the million dollar quartet. It was okay but I fell asleep half way though. The acoustics in the theatre were pretty awful, that or the sound guy needs to find a different job. We had reservations to see after midnight but had heard such horrible things about it from every single person that had seen it that we opted to go to the comedy club instead. The comedy club at Headliners was great. We didn't make reservations but were able to get in by waiting in the standby line. The show was hilarious! I was in tears I was laughing so hard. Landry, the headlining act single handedly saved this cruise for me and is the only reason I'm not giving a one star rating. The ropes corse would have been cooler if 2 out of the three zip lines hadn't been closed. I have much more to say but i think you get the gist, everyone we talked to, young and old, with and without kids, were all saying the same thing. That they will never go on NCL after this trip. Read Less
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
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
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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