1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I choose Norwegian Escape to Bermuda because I wanted lots of time to relax and be pampered, great excursions and one port of destination. From boarding to disembarkation, I felt like I was treated like a queen...but I do tend to act like ... Read More
I choose Norwegian Escape to Bermuda because I wanted lots of time to relax and be pampered, great excursions and one port of destination. From boarding to disembarkation, I felt like I was treated like a queen...but I do tend to act like one. Lol. The staff referred to me by name (which blew my mind), they remembered details and special needs. I honestly do not have the time to explain the quality of the freestyle dining in terms of food, presentation, and staff. You honestly would think the Maitre D's were taking care of royalty. The entertainment was great. An older couple who were on their 27th cruise with different cruise lines told me that it was the best entertainment they had ever encountered. I don't have the comparison, because this was my first extended cruise, but OMG...the entertainment was first class with Broadway and Motown entertainers, as well as comedians from well known television shows. Would I do it again? I can't wait to do it again. I am hypersensitive to cigarette smoke, so my only displeasure is that some of the events I wanted to attend were or the two smoking floors and required me to go in and out so that the faint smell did not cause me difficulty. Please note that the faint smell did not bother most people, and probably would not bother 99.9 but as always, cigarette smoke can cause headaches for me. Excursions were professional and fun! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Joining my niece and her two girls for Spring break motivated us to book this cruise along with its convenience as we live in Manhattan. Overall I'd rate this experience under the "meh" category. I'm not a fan ... Read More
Joining my niece and her two girls for Spring break motivated us to book this cruise along with its convenience as we live in Manhattan. Overall I'd rate this experience under the "meh" category. I'm not a fan of these megaships and this confirmed my feeling. Way too many people, service not at Celebrity or Cunard standard for suite guests and, in some food venues, literally ineatable food. Haven concierges are helpful and it's good for embarkation and disembarkation. When I say ineatable I mean ineatable. Steak in Manhattan Room tasted like detergent. The Haven menu sounded good and rarely delivered in quality. Food all felt overly processed and not at what you pay for at Haven rates. Service in the Haven restaurant, though a pleasant room inside and outside dining, didn't live up to what it should be. (Eg waiting 10 minutes in the morning for coffee and coffee cups, I'm not kidding) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This is my first cruise on Norwegian. Since I've done 2 RCL last year, those experiences were still fresh on my mind so I compare the three ships. Sadly I must say that Norwegian is like many had lamented, lagging behind other leading ... Read More
This is my first cruise on Norwegian. Since I've done 2 RCL last year, those experiences were still fresh on my mind so I compare the three ships. Sadly I must say that Norwegian is like many had lamented, lagging behind other leading cruise lines now. Ship: Escape is quite impressive in size and plan. I like the water slides/park, rope course, and very nice mini golf course. Escape also seems to be rocking harder at similar weather, and definitely shakes (at 6th floor MDR you can clearly feel the tremble - as if someone's shaking legs at your table, and you can feel it at times even in the 16th floor Garden Cafe!). Can't help but think of the listing incident. Our last day had huge wind - 70+ miles, waves several meters high, but we were safe. I do like the casino not being as smelly as some other ships, and the atrium always having some interesting activities. Summary: RCL wins because they offer surf simulator and flight simulator. Skating rinks, rock climbing etc. And overall smoother ride. Cabin: Had mini suite on Escape, and Balcony on Allure/Anthem. I like Escape's cabin number plate, with "make up room", "at home", "do not disturb" indicators. Size wise they seem similar, but mini suite had bigger/nicer bathroom. The biggest complaints I have against Escape are listed further down in cabin review Summary: Easy win for RCL here. Food: MDR was a semi-disaster. Even if you go there at an early time, you might have to wait a bit to get in. The menu had few things special usually, and you have to wait a super long time for any course. The waiting staff were slow refilling (my water glass was empty and 10 mins past no one filled it up. I finally got a chance to ask the waitress and it took another 10 mins to get it). It was so bad that after the first 2 days, we went to Garden Cafe pretty much all the time. Norwegian claimed "Nobody does dining like Norwegian". They're right - we haven't seen a slower MDR on Carnival, RCL, or Celebrity! Anthem/Allure MDR was quite efficient and always had something interesting to order. I think it's not that Escape staff was bad, but they seem very short on hand in MDR. One waiter has to deal with many tables. It almost makes one think Norwegian deliberately drove traffic to Garden Cafe. But at least Garden Cafe is its saving grace. It's much better than RCL's horrendous windjammer. There's barely any long lines in Garden Cafe AND never ever had one had to wait outside the Cafe waiting to get in. Windjammer of RCL is small and jampacked, had food that's not that good and a few times had lines 20-30 mins long waiting outside to get in! We ended up mostly using MDR on RCL. Summary: RCL edges out, only slightly. Much better buffet on Escape can't fully compensate for the huge lack of finer dining option (sans paying extra for specialty dining). Entertainment: We booked every show, including escape room (you should book them right after you get on ship, in the box office) on Escape. The main, Broadway-quality show, After Midnight - nearly everyone of us fell asleep during some part of it. It's great singing, great showcase of jazz. But not including other music style AND without a real plot made it boring. The comedy shows were fine, same quality as other ships. The staff talent show - I was wowed. Grace from the O'Sheehan packed a powerful voice. She's in the wrong line of work and deserves a better stage. The Chinese dancer was quite professional and chose music nicely with good choreography. The magician was fine. Later ones were not as good but still quite impressive. The Knights - a huge letdown. They picked mostly obscure songs from the most famous knighted singers, and the few that were famous, you can't tell until the 3rd line! Somehow they managed to take every song and sign it in their own way, and not a good way! Their voices were ranging from OK to very good, but they shouldn't be singing pop songs. One of them should be belting out Broadway hits instead. Dizzy the magician was great! He's really funny and had some very nice tricks that I still scratch my head. But the real surprise was Choir of Men. I never heard of them before but they were fantastic! Like Knights, they took famous songs and sang in their own way, except it's a very good way! One of the Knights member joked at the end of their show said a Choir of Men member "came to watch their show on his off day, just to see how it shouldn't be done". It's actually true. Where Knights failed miserably, Choir of Men triumphed. From a powerful rendition of Adele's Hello to touching love ballade (not sure whose song was it). They chose different voices for different songs and nailed most of them. The bar tender, sadly, did not have a great voice but was tasked on two songs not well suited for him, particularly Sia's Chandelier?? He couldn't really do it, despite the nice harmony created by the team. But overall this is a 5-star show. I'd say don't miss Dizzy's show and definitely not Choir of Men! Activities wise it's similar to RCL, and the atrium big screen is nice for both simultcast and other activities. Summary: RCL still wins out easily. Anthem had We will rock you and Allure betters with Mamma Mia. Both had some impressive acts flown in to perform some shows and every show on RCL ships were quite good. The escape room on Escape is very similar to the one in 270 on Anthem, so that's even. Pool: Didn't really use it much. Hot tub usually quite busy, including spice H2O. The waterfall was quite gimmicky. Summary: RCL edges out slightly with bigger and better equipped solarium vs the small spice H2O. Fitness: Escape has decent size, and better classes at a slightly lower price for unlimited. It's way more packed the first two days than both of the RCL ships too. But one equipment had a bad seat from beginning till end of cruise despite that they said they called it in a while ago. Summary: This might be the only Norwegian win here. Port: Bermuda is nice! I like the beaches all looking different. View from lighthouse was very nice too. We heard various opinions that said Elbow Beach had the pinkest sand, or Horseshoe had the pinkest sad. But as we discovered, Jobson's Cove definitely had the pinkest sand of the 3, and possibly all beaches! One thing though - don't pick up anything translucent on the beach. And if you don't have place for your snorkeling gear, don't worry. Most of the beaches had few fishes. Horseshoe had like 10, Jobson's Cove had 4. My son said he saw more fish at the Garden Cafe... (There is actually reasonable number of fish at Tobacco Bay though, which has nice rock formations too). BTW surprisingly, even though the water's cold, once you get in, it wasn't so bad. On nice sunny April days, you can swim. We didn't book any excursions and didn't feel the need to. Took Escape's ferry to St. George and most other times were using public bus and ferry (bought bus tickets in post office). That was fine - the bus was slow and no clear schedule at individual stops, so we took taxi at times too. Final verdit: While we enjoyed our trip quite a bit, Norwegian was disappointing as it had the same price as RCL but definitely failed to provide the same entertainment and service. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Disclosures: - Traveled with wife, both in our 30s; no kids or family on the trip - Both vegetarian, with extremely minimal alcohol intake Pros: - Excellent staff and service. As with our prior Norwegian experience, the staff ... Read More
Disclosures: - Traveled with wife, both in our 30s; no kids or family on the trip - Both vegetarian, with extremely minimal alcohol intake Pros: - Excellent staff and service. As with our prior Norwegian experience, the staff go out of their way whenever possible to accommodate your needs - Sports/water complex is an unexpected treat on the open ocean. Ropes course is death defying fun (I am intensely acrophobic). And water slide usage was limited only by my tolerance for climbing the tower over and over again. Water is gently warmed in all pools, making it very comfortable in 60-70 degree weather. - The gym is excellent, and an extremely small proportion of cruisers actually use it. Felt like an enormous private gym for the most part. - Oceanview balconies have beautiful views, and are built such that one can't accidentally peek into someone else's balcony space. Cons: - 1:4 staffing levels become noticeable during busiest dinner dining hours (6PM-8PM) - Due to the time of year, cold weather At Sea days made the ship feel quite crowded - Elevators are slow during the At Sea days and embarkation/disembarkation process. Not a problem for us, as the stairs were always accessible, but I could imagine issues Tips: - Pick a dining room/time (I would recommend the Manhattan Club for the rear views) early in the cruise and establish yourself with a server. The staff are extremely service oriented and can pamper you in unexpected ways if they know what you like. - Pick a port day and stay on the ship for at least some portion. Using the sports complex (minigolf, bocce, waterslides, and rope course) without a line is worth it if planned into your itinerary - Reserve all the shows you'd like on the first night. But just show up if you feel like going to any of the free shows. All of our shows had plenty of open seats for latecomers or standby's - Get a balcony room. On a trip with 3.5 at sea days in cold weather, you'll relish some quiet time with a beautiful view - For those same cold weather days, ensure you pack some additional warm clothes. Summary: - Good ship. Great service. Would book again, but only in warm weather. Norwegian again finds that amazing sweet spot on price and service. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise to leave from NY and not have to deal with airports. The ship was beautiful and clean. The food at every restaurant was excelllent. My luggage was broken in transport to my room. I filed a report and hoped they ... Read More
We chose this cruise to leave from NY and not have to deal with airports. The ship was beautiful and clean. The food at every restaurant was excelllent. My luggage was broken in transport to my room. I filed a report and hoped they would replace on the ship so I could transport my personal belongings back home. I contacted Customer Service twice after and received no response. We were supposed to have 3 beach days. The 2nd day was the private Island in the Bahamas. The weather was perfect but they said the tender couldn't go to the island due to wind. We were stuck on an overcrowded ship with over 1,500 kids who were allowed in the adult only pool and hot tub. Everyone complained about people reserving chairs that they didn't even use. On the last day, finally, the staff put stickers on the chair with times so if people didn't come to their chair, they would take the towels off. When you leave from NY, you expect 3 out of the 8 days to be at a beach. We got shortchanged without any compensation. the spa on the ship is beautiful, but very expensive. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We have been using NCL for almost a decade, even had our wedding on Breakaway in 2015, but Escape is same class ship tuned down on interior design. Ship is simple design with no personally, practical floating hotel. We stayed in balcony ... Read More
We have been using NCL for almost a decade, even had our wedding on Breakaway in 2015, but Escape is same class ship tuned down on interior design. Ship is simple design with no personally, practical floating hotel. We stayed in balcony room with a baby and toddler and it was OK, steward was OK, always busy and barely have time to anyone to talk. Management of the ship was an amazing crew, and anyone under was complete mess. Waiters in restaurants don't know what they doing and would screw up any simple order. Food in restaurants was OK, but buffet food is awful, minimum choices, a lot of cheap meat, no seafood or even NCL signature Norwegian lox. Specialties restaurant's food was amazing, and pricey and will make your wallet cry! In 14 days cruise we had only 2 free show After Midnight, Brat Pack, second one did not made any sense. Choir of Man show, is paid show with prefix dinner setting, was OK. We had one stop cancel due to 2 heliocopter lifts from the ship first two days with no explanation, and remaining stops were simple beach destinations. We end up spending more time on the ship due to cancelled stop, and there is nothing to do there. Kids sevice is ok for 3+ and for baby you have to pay $20 for 1 hour 50 min selected slot time. Overall experience of this cruise, is that NCL is cutting their cost by taking quality out of scope in any possible way they can. NCL becoming low class, no frills cruise line. Based off our last 14 day cruise, we are not coming back with NCL to cruise and will be looking for more classy company to cruise with. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
December 2018 Hello, Here are my comments on my cruise: 1. The food was excellent at the Garden Cafe. The best specialty restaurant was the Cagneys. The Manhattan room was a very pleasant experience. However, we went to the Taste ... Read More
December 2018 Hello, Here are my comments on my cruise: 1. The food was excellent at the Garden Cafe. The best specialty restaurant was the Cagneys. The Manhattan room was a very pleasant experience. However, we went to the Taste restaurant on December 3 for dinner and we were very disappointed because the service was very slow. 2. Houskeeping was impeccable. 3.Every day we went to the library to make a sudoku and play cards, and we deplored the noise made by the majong game. People had no respect for those who just wanted to read. This problem will have to be resolved. 4. The shows were very good; we liked Brat pack and the Choir of man 5. About shore excusions we found that it was very expensive 6. My ship account I completed the cruise with a refundable credit but we don’t know when and how it will be repaid. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Just returned from the best vacation ever! The ship was beautiful, the food fantastic, our balcony room was spacious and comfortable. I never felt crowded except for a couple of times on the elevator (a lot of people rush to get in ... Read More
Just returned from the best vacation ever! The ship was beautiful, the food fantastic, our balcony room was spacious and comfortable. I never felt crowded except for a couple of times on the elevator (a lot of people rush to get in without letting people off first, a pet peav of mine) and always got a seat by the window in the Garden Cafe. I can’t commend the staff and crew enough! Everyone I encountered from the minute I arrived was polite, professional, accommodating and best of all, smiling! The ship was emasculate! The pools and hot tubs, clean and refreshing. The water slide was a blast and the tube where the floor dropped out from under you was so much fun! I was able to walk the plank as I waived goodbye to NYC and do the ropes course. Unfortunately, the zip line was closed due to wind when I had wanted to try it. The Waterfront was beautiful with comfortable seating available. Alvin and Joey kept the party atmosphere going and seemed to really enjoy their jobs. They were tireless and a blast to be around! Our room steward Alexander was so sweet and accommodating and was always available if we ever needed him, which we didn’t because he made everything perfect! Roland, aka Mr Washy Washy is adorable and has a wonderful voice. I’ve never seen more kids want to wash their hands! The shows I saw were very entertaining and I had no trouble reserving them. Taking the tender to the private island was very well organized and quick. It’s only problem is that the tender is not accessible to those who need to use a wheelchair, so Great Stirrup Cay cannot be reached. Cruising like a Norwegian is THE WAY TO GO! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
My best friend and I booked this cruise super last minute. We toyed with the idea of going on a cruise for sometime, however, hadn't actually booked anything till maybe a month before our embarkation date. As a first time cruiser- I ... Read More
My best friend and I booked this cruise super last minute. We toyed with the idea of going on a cruise for sometime, however, hadn't actually booked anything till maybe a month before our embarkation date. As a first time cruiser- I had my hesitations, not going to lie! I was afraid of being sea sick and stuck on a boat with thousands of people and kids and norovirus! Now looking back, I cannot believe I questioned going on a cruise at all! Overall, this was truly an epic trip. I cannot wait to cruise again on the Escape for Halloween 2019! Dining- I did not get the specialty dining package- somewhat of a regret, however the dining that is included is perfectly adequate for the average person. My favorite dessert was the honey creme brûlée at Savor. The molten lava cake was also a hit. Service- Exceptional! From our steward to the entire crew, we experienced excellent service. Everyone went out of their way to make this trip a great experience. Special shout out to Mandi our cruise director! Entertainment- Loved the nightly themed parties. Loved Mandi the cruise director. Loved the shows. Take me back! Shore excursions- Only did the cave/aquarium/zoo excursion- but it was definitely worth it. Our tour guide driving to the caves was resourceful, and our tour guide at the excursion itself was a riot. 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: June 2018
Taste - main dining area day 2: My scrambled eggs and cheese were cold and they forgot my toast. Oddly they brought a gravy boat of shredded cheese rather than cooking it in my scrambled eggs. Manager, Moises, sent some wine and sweet ... Read More
Taste - main dining area day 2: My scrambled eggs and cheese were cold and they forgot my toast. Oddly they brought a gravy boat of shredded cheese rather than cooking it in my scrambled eggs. Manager, Moises, sent some wine and sweet treats to our room to apologize. Very classy and we appreciated it. Spa Zero spa shoes Zero lockers Zero access to thermal spa during appt Coed relaxation rooms There was some sort of detox seminar/tours to sell a service which is fine except that they hold it in the the relaxation room which isnt very relaxing for those of us trying to relax. Services were nice but overpriced for lack of additional amenities (like Thermal Spa usage with appt) Lots of upselling after appt with prices excessive for products. Amazon is much better for products over ship pricing. Sky bar has most of the late night activities but it's in n the middle of the casino so the smoke made me leave immediately. Most of the staff seemed very confused when asking where something was on the ship. So much so that after asking 3 people for directions where the sky lounge was, we never located it and missed the singles meet and greet. Not enough chairs on the ship so you have to wake up at the crack of dawn to claim your chairs. Vibe only allows for 100 people and though it has nice chairs, it only has a hot tub and no pool. All in all I'd rank the trip 4/5. Btw, our steward was Harvey and he was amazing. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We choose this ship because of the itinerary and also how need the ship was and the amenities. We also wanted to just have a relaxing time and reconnect as a couple away from the stresses of everyday life My wife loved the Spa and by ... Read More
We choose this ship because of the itinerary and also how need the ship was and the amenities. We also wanted to just have a relaxing time and reconnect as a couple away from the stresses of everyday life My wife loved the Spa and by far was the activity that she found the most value in as for myself I enjoyed the casino and just how smoke free it was and also the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Our Stateroom was immaculate and the steward was so attentive and always looking to go the extra mile which was indicative of all the staff that we encounter with Norwegian. The value on this trip was outstanding, the food was top notch and I definitely recommend the specialty Dinning Moderno it was amazing. Ocho Rios was our favorite Port as we loved the Best Of Ocho excursion loved learning about Jamaica and the Jamaican culture Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Need to get away; get a good break; a change of vacation; Normally would travel by plane/or bus; Package deals. The cruise was very nice; relaxing; you meet nice people from all different ethnic groups; The food service was ... Read More
Need to get away; get a good break; a change of vacation; Normally would travel by plane/or bus; Package deals. The cruise was very nice; relaxing; you meet nice people from all different ethnic groups; The food service was excellent; everything to sum it all; everything was wonderful. I just wish we had got a chance to go to Jamaica; this would give me a chance to learn about my people/and culture. And hopefully in 2018 to go back to see Jamaica and other islands; of the Caribbean. And hopefully in 2018 to do a European cruise as well. This is my first cruise; so is learning more about cruising. It may take some time to get use to the things they have to offer. This cruise line caters to the travelers needs; and cruise staff was very friendly; have noticed they was for everybody of the ship. So nice ok Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We went on the NCL Escape in December. This is fourth cruise so far in the last 5 years and so far we have been on Holland America, Carnival, Royal Carribean and this NCL one. NCL Escape was the best ship we have been on so far. Initially ... Read More
We went on the NCL Escape in December. This is fourth cruise so far in the last 5 years and so far we have been on Holland America, Carnival, Royal Carribean and this NCL one. NCL Escape was the best ship we have been on so far. Initially i was a little hesitant that it might be very expensive, but for the price we paid, it was totally worth it. The food was great, they had lot of varieties every day, the activities on the ship for families were great, we took part in a few of them and they were a lot of fun. The Splash Academy for kids was the favorite place for the kids, it was really huge compared to the kids daycares on all the other ships and had ton of activities for the kids. Our kids just did not want to leave that. They had grouped the kids by age group and had them perform on the last day. The water slides were a lot of fun and the kids pool was good. The ship in general was very well kept and maintained. Our room Steward was awesome, everytime we left the room and were back the room was all tidied up and neat. Special Kudos and mention to the Cruise Director Tyler and his assistant director Dave. They both had so much energy and were so much fun, everytime they were in the galley/Atrium/the dance floor it was just lot of fun. The Spice H2O was awesome, open-air dance club, it was really so much fun. All in all, this was our best Cruise so far for our entire family, and we will be going back on this ship again. The "After midnight" and "Brat Pack" were really great shows. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
love NCL...the ship is fantastic! i did miss the glass elevators though. you can't see the beauty of the ship in the small elevators. i elected to take the steps everywhere. i like NCL because of the ships. this ship was kept ... Read More
love NCL...the ship is fantastic! i did miss the glass elevators though. you can't see the beauty of the ship in the small elevators. i elected to take the steps everywhere. i like NCL because of the ships. this ship was kept spotless - just like the other times i've saild ncl. the service was great. there were only a few cons for this sailing. one was the entertainment. whoever the one female singer is, she was pretty bad. people were leaving the casino bar talking about her "messing up" the songs! it was funny to see the peoples faces. she was pretty bad, tho. all i know is she had big hair. she sang up on deck and other places and each time it was bad enough for people to talk. oh well. that didn't damper my trip tho. the track; not sure why the track is in the direct path of the smoking section. as a fitness buff, i had to hold my breath on each lap around. there would be smokers standing on the berm of the track. so it was odd that the smoking section would be near where people would walk/run for health. the casino. there were no roulette or craps tables in the non-smoking section. but there really isn't a non-smoking section. people were still smoking in the non-smoking section. no one did anything about it. there were many teens/kids in the adult sections of the ship. even at the bar at spice h20! there needs to be better monitoring of this. overall the ship is awesome. the group i was with had a great time. food was good and the service at the main dining - manhattan- was great! hey, where is the 27/7 pizza? i missed that. we booked excursions in every port. the best was an excursion we booked off ship a weej in advance to arriving in cozumel - the dune buggy tour. fantastic! margarita ville is thee best kept secret on the ship as far as breakfast goes! never a crowd and the omelettes are very good! the best place IMO to eat breakfast. i wish there was one more port to visit instead of the extra day at sea. overall this was a great trip. i recently sailed the epic, i think i like that ship better. the entertainment was better there, too. good clubs to go to. embarkation/disembarkation extremely smooth. i sail a a lot and this was one of the best! out in a jiffy! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The cruise itself evolved from C- to A- by the end. Now I have a preference for Norwegian over all the cruise lines. Saturday when we boarded I went to guest services to get my info on thermal suite(the main reason I booked on NCL) and ... Read More
The cruise itself evolved from C- to A- by the end. Now I have a preference for Norwegian over all the cruise lines. Saturday when we boarded I went to guest services to get my info on thermal suite(the main reason I booked on NCL) and was notified that the thermal suite was closed for the week. I was immediately devastated, one of the MIAN reasons I cruise is the spa experience. I like to play hard the CHILL in the spa on sea days and in the evenings. Between the eats, the excursions, and ending my day at thermal suite that is why I cruise. However by Tuesday they had gotten the thermal suite up and running and I was ecstatic! Between the great food, excellent service, Starbucks, I was swayed by the end of the week. As far as port if I had it to do over again I would not have excursioned at Roatan (not much to see), Loved Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel, the ruins were fabulos as you can see from the pics. I topped 25K steps on my Fitbit one day and only managed to gain 5lbs which I am working now on getting off. It was sooo worth it! The AAA travel team rocked created an EXCELLENTE travel experience, got the welcome home card, and I loved the Pleasant Holiday packages and the on board credit I was able to utilize for things on board. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
All of our previous cruises have been with Carnival. This was our first with Norwegian. Originally, this was a cruise to the Caribbean, but due to the hurricanes that hit the areas, it was changed to Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras, Harvest ... Read More
All of our previous cruises have been with Carnival. This was our first with Norwegian. Originally, this was a cruise to the Caribbean, but due to the hurricanes that hit the areas, it was changed to Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras, Harvest Caye, Belize, Costa Maya, Mexico, and Cozumel, Mexico. We took excursions in Honduras and Cozumel. The one in Cozumel was to Mayan Ruins. If your budget allows, I recommend at least a balcony room. While on the ship, it allows you some private time where you can sit out on the balcony while the ship is moving. The shows were excellent with my favorite being "After Midnight." Some other shows were: The Mersey Boys, The Brat Pack, Marva Hicks, Darryl Williams, and a number of other groups, singers, and entertainers. There were shows that ranged from family to adult. There is not shortage of things to do on board. There was a large variety of food choices. I experienced with various foods and most of them, I enjoyed. Most meals were complimentary. Some meals came with an 18% service charge. Comparing the two cruise liners I traveled on, I was disappointed that on the Norwegian Escape, there is a $200 plus charge per person if you want to use the sauna/steam room/spa. I was not about to spend an extra $400 for a few hours in a sauna. On every Carnival ship I traveled, they had a sauna and eucalyptus steam room at no extra cost. All of the workers on Norwegian were friendly and professional. If you choose to take an excursion, I recommend using a company like Trip Advisor and read reviews and do the research. You will save a lot of money. Your cruise ship gets you by guaranteeing if you book the excursion through them, you won't get left if you are not back by re-boarding time. But, they overcharge. By doing the research, you will discover creditable companies. I recommend not over packing. Bring some laundry detergent. You can always wash clothes and let them dry on the balcony just like you will with your swimming suit. Also, regularly monitor your spending/charges. For example, if you choose to treat yourself to a full massage for $225, with the 18% surcharge, you will be charged an additional $40. For every drink you request, the price includes an additional 18%. Many of their offerings attach the additional 18%. Plus, there are daily charges for having your room cleaned. The charge is per person. These things add up after a week-long cruise. Without fail, toward the end of the cruise, there is a long line of people at customer service trying to understand why their bill is so high. I love cruise and most likely will take another Norwegian cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
My husband and I cruised on the Escape in 2016. We had such a great time we rebooked the same cruise again in 2017. This cruise was scheduled to be an Eastern Caribbean cruise to St. Thomas, Tortola and Nassau. The itinerary changed to ... Read More
My husband and I cruised on the Escape in 2016. We had such a great time we rebooked the same cruise again in 2017. This cruise was scheduled to be an Eastern Caribbean cruise to St. Thomas, Tortola and Nassau. The itinerary changed to Western Caribbean following Hurricane Irma. Despite the change we enjoyed the cruise. Following Hurricane Irma we heard many other passengers re-booked on this sailing and the ship was packed. We definitely felt the ship was more crowded during this cruise. The ship mainly felt over crowded in the pool area and places like O'Sheehan's. Otherwise we were able to find quiet places on the ship if we wanted to. Cabin: we stayed in an interior room centrally located on Deck 11. It was the typical interior cruise room. The bathroom shower did have a door vs curtain which was nice. The location worked well for us as we were only a few floors away from activities on 6, 7, 8 Place and the main deck with the pool and Garden Café. We had the option to walk when the elevators were busy. Drinks/Bars: we had booked the cruise with the drink package Perk, we thought the Perk was worth it, even though we had to pay the service charge. We had a few favorite bars: Tobacco Road's bar tender's were the best. Marasiol (sp) was our favorite! Tobacco Road has liquor options that are not avail at other bars - but it does not have the ability to make any frozen drinks. If you are interested in a frozen drink the 5 O'clock somewhere bar is close by. Vibe Public is a fun place to hang out, it is disconnected from the main pool area. Bartender Bong keeps it exciting with his magic tricks and shot o'clock! District Brewery had an excellent selection of beers. Atrium Bar made quality drinks. Dining: We enjoyed breakfast at Taste/Savor. These restaurants were not as busy as the Garden Café Buffet and everything we ordered was delicious. I would highly recommend the pound cake French toast for anyone with a sweet tooth. The smoked salmon bagel was also a favorite. The Garden Café Lunch Buffet was impressive given it's selection of Indian and Asian food. Other food options were average. We also ate at O'Sheehan's. Food and service there were hit or miss. We mainly enjoyed the open faced sandwiches and prime rib there. For Dinner we primarily ate in the Manhattan room. We enjoyed the entertainment during dinner and the service was very good. The last evening we ate appetizers at the a la cart restaurant Food Republic. We would only return to that restaurant for the sushi, everything else we tried was just good and the service was fair. Although I did like the ability to order electronically. Waterslides: we again enjoyed the Aqua Loop and Aqua Racer. This year the staff were more strict with the Aqua Racer rules. Many staff wouldn't let riders connect their tubes and staff were giving people warnings who fell off their tubes that they would be banned if they did it again. The Aqua Loop still does not allow any jewelry or anything on your body other than your swimsuit. Staff were consistently checking pockets this year. Ropes Course: this cruise seemed to experience more wind. When the wind speed got above a certain speed OR when there was lightening in the area the ropes course was closed. The course seemed to be closed more than it was open this time and the 3rd level needed to be repaired, so it was closed the whole cruise. This was a disappointment as we really enjoyed the course during our prior cruise. Entertainment: The 80's and Glow parties were packed and full of energy. We brought 80's outfits and white/neon outfits to add to the fun. Staff will paint your face for the Glow party if you show up early. The line grew fast and staff couldn't get through the whole line, but again this was a full sailing. Ports: Roatan, Honduras: we booked a tour with Victor Bodden Tours. This was a great decision. The tour was private and affordable. We decided where we wanted to go/what we wanted to do. We would recommend visiting Victor's Monkey business and snorkeling at Half Moon Bay. Harvest Caye, Belize: the island is beautiful but small, not much to do but loaf on the beach. If that is what you want to do then it is the perfect place. The biggest complaint is that the drink package does not apply to any bars on the island. We brought a water bag, filled it with ice and ordered some extra beers before leaving the ship since we had the drink package. Some of the bars have the aluminum beer bottles that you can reseal. They worked great to transport in our water bag onto the island. If you walk to the end of the island where the private villas are the beach wasn't as crowded. We returned to the ship for lunch and went back to beach in the afternoon. The island had cleared out. Late in the afternoon there were probably less than 10 people still on the island. Costa Maya: the port had plenty activities. we enjoyed walking around for a few hours but chose not to leave the port Cozumel: we had visited a few times and chose to stay on the ship While we enjoyed our cruise in 2016 a little more,we still had a great time on this sailing. For us Norwegian continues to have a great balance of fun activities and parties along with relaxation. We are able to stay active and indulge in delicious food/drinks. Feel free to check out our vacation video from this trip if you are thinking about sailing on the Escape: https://youtu.be/pt0g8-LGdyg Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose the Escape for the initial itinerary and because we had such an enjoyable time the year prior. We were supposed to visit St Thomas, Tortola and the Bahamas, however Hurricane Irma changed the itinerary to Honduras, Belize, Costa ... Read More
We chose the Escape for the initial itinerary and because we had such an enjoyable time the year prior. We were supposed to visit St Thomas, Tortola and the Bahamas, however Hurricane Irma changed the itinerary to Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel. The ship was completely full, we heard some people booked this trip on short notice due prior cancelled cruises from the Hurricane. We did feel the ship was pretty full at times, but we could still find peaceful areas on the ship when we tried. The layout of the ship is wonderful, if the pool area is too crowded there is plenty of space around the outside of the ship on Decks 8 or 7. This ship has a few ouside bars on the lower decks which was nice. We love the freestyle cruising Norwegian offers - we can do what we want, when we want to - a true vacation! Dining: We mostly ate at the included dining options (buffet, O Sheehans, Taste/Savor, Manhattan Room). We never made reservations a head of time (group of 4) but were flexible, if there was a wait we found something else to do until it was less busy. We would recommend Taste/Savor for breakfast/lunch - relaxing environment and great service. We would recommend the Manhattan Room for dinner. We enjoyed the live entertainment, it added to the atmosphere. The service was excellent. We did try an a la carte restaurant - Food Republic. It was good, but we probably wouldn't pay extra for it, except maybe for the sushi. We were never disappointed with the included dining options. Bars: We spent most of our time at Tobacco Road. This bar had the best staff (Mariciel and two others but i can not remember their names). Great drinks and service. The location is inside next to the Margartivalle bar that is around the ouside of the ship. We also enjoyed the live music here. Activities: We enjoyed the ropes course when it was open and the slides! The 3rd level of the ropes course was closed the duration of the trip due to repairs which was disappointing. The slides were still fun, the drop slides are a rush and the tube slide is fun and relaxing. We attended the 80s party and Neon Party, both were full of energy and entertaining. Overall we really enjoyed this cruise. We did document our trip with a vacation video. If you are thinking of booking on the Escape feel free to check it out: https://youtu.be/pt0g8-LGdyg Channel: Explorcation Happy planning! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Absolutely loved this cruise, we have been on multiple lines and multiple itineraries, this is by far our favorite ship. The room was gorgeous, spacious (as cruise cabins go), Bathroom was roomy and the cabin was laid out beautifully. It ... Read More
Absolutely loved this cruise, we have been on multiple lines and multiple itineraries, this is by far our favorite ship. The room was gorgeous, spacious (as cruise cabins go), Bathroom was roomy and the cabin was laid out beautifully. It was just myself and my wife in the cabin however, if you were to bring two children with you, the 3-4 bed layout was ideal and out of the way of beds 1-2 and you could walk around the cabin and not feel too cramped (looking at you Princess). The gym was never crowded, I was always able to get a machine. The shows were great, we loved all of the comedians, the illusionist and the "brat pack." we walked out of the "after midnight" show, really boring. The pool was adults only until 5 which was a first, if you wanted to stay away from the kids, this was easily accomplished. The waterslides were great, the ropes course was fun and thrilling. Food was comparable to other lines, smaller dining room (taste) seemed to be a bit better, would have liked to have tried some speciality restaurants but they book FAST. We rarely saw our steward RItzel (sounds like Pretzel, her words not mine) other than the first day yet our room was always spotless when we returned to it. The on board activities are what drew us back to Norwegian and this ship did not disappoint, I want to give a shout out to Andre the cruise director as he was a big part of why this ship is so fun, he genuinely enjoys his job and it translates to a relaxed and fun atmosphere, the Harry Potter trivia he puts on is one of the most entertaining trivia events I have been to. Embarkation and Disembarkation were uneventful which was a plus, the ports were as one would expect from any Western Caribbean itinerary, Cozumel is always the favorite for my wife and I, the diving is first class. 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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
It was NOT love at first sight with the NCL Escape. I've never been on a cruise ship that I didn't like, but I didn't love the Escape either. There are a few noteworthy, impressive aspects of the Escape : • This is ... Read More
It was NOT love at first sight with the NCL Escape. I've never been on a cruise ship that I didn't like, but I didn't love the Escape either. There are a few noteworthy, impressive aspects of the Escape : • This is a huge ship, and both embarkation and disembarkation where extremely fast and smooth. • It's new and well maintained. • The NCL crew is very gracious and accommodating. Exceptionally so, really. • The 'included' food was plentiful and high quality. • Cabins are well laid out, attractive with large bathrooms and showers. • On a ship this size, there's always something to do. Activities were many, varied and a lot of fun. • At night, the back of ship has a high tech party venue that has a lot of well-planned, fun (but oh-so-crowded) parties. • NCL’s “freestyle” cruising is very enjoyable makes packing easier and lighter. It’s nice not having to dress up every night for dinner if you don’t want to. But some will not like dining next to those in shorts and t-shirts. And here’s where the Escape misses the mark: • The ship's public areas are extremely CROWDED. Always and everywhere (except in port). • Far too much of the ship has extra fees attached. • While the extra-fee venues generate revenue for NCL, they seriously take away from public areas for passengers. Many of these pay-venues are not well attended and force the masses into smaller spaces. For example, Margaritaville, a large venue with prime ship real estate was only open from 12 to 5 pm and probably had 40 tables. Never did I see more than a dozen people therein. The ship’s for-fee large thermal suite ($200 for 7 days and about half the size of the Manhattan dining room) is beautiful and overlooks the bow of the ship with beautiful panoramic views, but can only be enjoyed by those who fork over big bucks. • Relaxing public areas are few and far between. • Much entertainment was over-controlled by NCL. Almost all shows where indicating "standby" only, but for the 3 production shows I attended, the theater was never more than a third filled. Such a shame and a waste of some excellent entertainment and passengers’ cruise value. • The main Manhattan dining room consistently had music that was way too loud. Live background music is nice, but singers and shows really don't belong in a dining room. • The outside decks are very poorly designed and unattractive. There's ONE pool on board for adults that is TINY and jam-packed. There's a kid pool that many adults had to use. • The 'waterfront' is also a good idea, but too much of it is reserved for sparsely used for for-fee space. I never saw many people enjoying it. • The multi-story Ropes Course takes up A LOT of real estate, and I could count the number of people I saw using it on ONE hand and have fingers left over. • NCL has an app that is supposedly interactive with information about the ships venues and activities. It never updates and has you refer to the daily printed activity guide for most information. The account info was often WRONG. You can't book shows with it. For $10, it assigns you a phone number for calling and texting while on-board. We were a group a 10 and it's a GREAT idea for keeping in contact while onboard, but it rarely worked. Messages weren't delivered, and it couldn't find your contacts on board. Totally useless. We gave up after a day or two and asked for our money back. The staff lamented and admitted the app's many flaws. • The cabins didn't have much storage. There are no drawers, and the closet is very small and difficult to access. The skinny: NCL's Escape is big in size, but NCL’s greed is obviously much bigger and clearly their biggest priority. Royal Caribbean's big ships are more attractive and better planned with much more public space and options. The superlative staff makes most of the cramped quarters, but I always felt like I was being squeezed for space and money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise because the Haven was available and it left from Miami. My boys are of different ages and they love the kid/teen groups on each ship. I enjoy the Haven because it is set apart from the rest of the ship. You ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the Haven was available and it left from Miami. My boys are of different ages and they love the kid/teen groups on each ship. I enjoy the Haven because it is set apart from the rest of the ship. You don't have to fight for a pool side chair or have the noise of the other restaurants. Also, the employees treat you like a rock star the entire week. The extras that come with the Haven are well worth what you pay for. There are treats upon arrival and left in your suite daily. Fresh fruit to snack on the entire time. There are people to speak to about any need you have from morning to late evening. You never have to wait in line with the other cruisers. The worst part about NCL is the cigarette smoke smell coming from the casino. There is no smoking in the Haven. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We've experienced many cruise lines and looked forward to trying NCL. The Escape is a beautiful ship, however it does not have any quiet adult place to sun and escape except my stateroom balcony. The pool areas are not equipped to ... Read More
We've experienced many cruise lines and looked forward to trying NCL. The Escape is a beautiful ship, however it does not have any quiet adult place to sun and escape except my stateroom balcony. The pool areas are not equipped to handle 5000 passengers. We would've loved an adult pool/spa area like Celebrity lines where you can read a book. The food and specialty restaurants were wonderful, the staff very well trained. A very good experience. I had hoped to gamble and looked forward to it. BUT The Escape was the WORST CASINO ever in my life's experience. It was filled with smoke., I couldn't breathe and I couldn't play roulette.(only 2 tables) The minimums way too high as evidenced by many dealers at tables doing nothing. I even asked a Slot supervisor about the minimums. He was somewhat nasty in saying this is our policy. The entertainment was very good. Until they eliminate smoking we wont be back on this NCL line. The smoke wafted thru the floor to the bistro below and you could not eat in the outdoor area.. The cabin was smaller than most ships. The value is excellent but they nickel and dime you. I paid for WIFI ($40) but they charged me 50 cents to print my airline boarding passes. Public restrooms were not maintained forcing us to go back to our room to use bathroom. The gym was excellent and kept me there 2 1/2 hours a day. Great ship if you are travelling with children It's not an adult ship so why have smoking. The embarkation process was long lines and a staff who did not care. I felt like I was in Penn Station NYC. Disembarkation was a complete pleasure. 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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