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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise ship was very smoky. The food was ok. The ship layout caused lots of traffic issues and had no where to relax quietly. And the service... While I don’t regret this cruise, I don’t think I’ll ever go on a Norwegian ... Read More
The cruise ship was very smoky. The food was ok. The ship layout caused lots of traffic issues and had no where to relax quietly. And the service... While I don’t regret this cruise, I don’t think I’ll ever go on a Norwegian Cruise again. The service was awful including changes in our stateroom attendant, catching a bartender in a lie (cause he didn’t want to make the drink I asked for), interrupting several meals by management to question me why I didn’t like my service (not after the meal, while I had an entree on my fork), and then when I did complain i was handed a paper to write my greivances and then ignored. I didn’t feel heard at all. But... the hardest pill to swallow, I felt that several crew members went out of their way to ignore that fact that we are a gay couple. From pulling out chairs across from eachother (all the other couples around us were diagonal), asking questions when I asked to put the beds together, and ignoring our anniversary. The entertainment was as expected. Not fantastic but entertaining certainly. The howl at the moon dueling pianos was by far my favorite entertainment. Water slides and ropes course was fun but not open much. We only dined at the complementary restaurants which were good but rarely remarkable and the food was never served hot. Bread was stale the whole week. The private island far exceeded my expectations (though the food was terrible). Super clean and plenty of chairs for us early birds. The rendering process was incredibly frustrating especially as we had to sit in the theatre for over and hour and then several people were allowed to jump the line without the wait. Makes no sense. Nassau was disappointing. We went on the seahorse catamaran and snorkel which was fun. Very cheap snorkels that didn’t work but after we decided to just ditch the equipment we did enjoy our swim in the clear blue water. The town part was super shady. I was offered drugs twice in the first ten minutes on the island, had two separate instances of attempted cons, was totally ripped off by the lunch spot, and the shops were full of scammers and over aggressive salespeople. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My 60th BDay cruise and I had a blast. This was a last minute decision and I'm so so glad I did. The price was right, I live in New York so its convenient. The Entertainment was great. They also have Celebrities on the ship. I went ... Read More
My 60th BDay cruise and I had a blast. This was a last minute decision and I'm so so glad I did. The price was right, I live in New York so its convenient. The Entertainment was great. They also have Celebrities on the ship. I went to a show to see the fabulous Sharon Wilkins. Matter of fact it was Dinner and a show, A 5 course dinner and a show for a very small fee. I absolutely loved it had a great time watching her singing and mingle in the audience it was up close and personal. I visited all the Specialty restaurants on the ship and enjoyed each and every one. My cabin steward Charlie was great he catered to my every want and need . What I want people to know is fill out those comment cards let the higher ups know you appreciate when all goes right on your vacation. I Did. 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: 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose the Escape because of the itinerary, the price, the reviews of the ship and the food. We had the ultimate beverage package which was fantastic! All drinks under $15 were free, anything over you just had to pay the difference for. ... Read More
We chose the Escape because of the itinerary, the price, the reviews of the ship and the food. We had the ultimate beverage package which was fantastic! All drinks under $15 were free, anything over you just had to pay the difference for. For those with the package, keep in mind that any drinks ordered while still in the Miami port will incur taxes on it that are not covered. The staff was super friendly and went the extra mile to make sure you enjoyed your stay. You can tell that Norwegian treats them all like family. Food was good and the ship is very nice and modern. Like others have mentioned previously, there should be more pools/hot tubs for the number of people on board. The water slides were awesome! The onboard entertianment could also be improved but there were a few good shows and activities. Overall we had a fantastic week and would definitely sail with Norwegian again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I traveled solo for this trip and I stayed in Miami 3 days before this cruise. I had more fun in Miami those 3 days than I did the entire week of the cruise. Now my review is about my experience on this ship. This has nothing to do ... Read More
I traveled solo for this trip and I stayed in Miami 3 days before this cruise. I had more fun in Miami those 3 days than I did the entire week of the cruise. Now my review is about my experience on this ship. This has nothing to do with NCL as a whole or their brand. I think they have completely reinvented cruising and what it means to be a cruiser. I have even booked my next cruise before I even stepped foot on this ship. Embarkation day 2/24/18 was probably the fastest and smoothest I have ever experienced. it was probably a half hour from the time I was dropped off until I was on the ship. The Ship is huge. It is beautiful inside and out. We were immediately directed to go to the buffet. I had just eaten so I opted to go to the top deck (Spice H2O) and wait for my room the be ready. The weather was beautiful and the view was incredible. It went down hill from there. First off there is over 4000 people on this ship, I believe there needs to be more elevators. The lines and the wait for the elevators was insane. This was an issue for me all day everyday. Also while I think it is amazing that so many people traveled from Europe to go on this trip, manners must not be taught in those countries. I have never been ran into and nearly knocked over by so many people trying to get on the elevator while I am trying to get off, the biggest culprits were the plentiful very unruly children. They need to learn to let people get off before you get on. So after the very long wait at the elevator and once I was able to get to my room I was happy. My room steward was amazing the whole trip. I tipped him a couple extra times for his great service. once I unpacked I went back to Spice H2O and had a couple of more drinks, until the muster drill. That was the easiest muster I have ever been too. even taking my time to get to my station I was still the first to arrive so yet again I waited and waited and waited for the other people to arrive. Apparently they can't be bothered to show up in a reasonable amount of time. After muster I went back to the Spice H2O deck and enjoyed the rest of the night. It was beautiful. Day 2 (sea day) i was hung over and I spent 90% of the day in my cabin watching movies and TV shows and I had enough of the crowds from the day before I wasn't dealing with it at any level on day 2. I ordered room service. Day 3 Jamaica. I was not thrilled with this stop, I had never wanted to go to Jamaica and I can now say I have been I never have to go back. I spent about an hour in the port. I did a little shopping and ended up at Margaritaville. The service was horrible at the bar. I sat their for 10 minutes while the bartender played on his phone and wiped down the bar even before he served me the 1 drink. I immediatley returned to the ship. I took this opportunity to explore the ship a little and go up to Spice H2O. This is where I witnessed the meltdown by the bartender on duty. I have never seen this kind of behavior from a staff memebr of any cruise, in my life. He made sure that we all knew he was not happy. I refused to let him wait on me anymore after that. Day 4 Grand Cayman, I had been here before I didnt want to go again so I stayed on the ship. By this time I had been to the buffet several times and I have to say the food is horrible. This was the first time I tried O'Sheehans. The food was not all that great either and the service was terrible and man they could be rude as hell. I was scolded on 2 different occasions in the place. This was the place I was looking most forward to enjoying as well. My only advice is CHECK IN WITH THE HOSTESS .... I learned that real quick and very rudely, the second being, guys wear shirts with sleeves in this irish pub after 5pm or you will get told off again. I knew the 2nd was a thing in all the upscale pay restaraunts but not in the free ones. Day 5 Great stirrup Cay. I did not get off the ship this day either as the tender was unreasonable long and I didnt want to wait. I stayed on the ship and enjoyed some of limited open area's on this ship. It needs more and bigger adults only pools. I did get to use the hot tub for a while by myself this day and it was fantastic. By this time I was sick of this ship and was counting down the seconds till i could get home. Day 6 sea day. I didnt leave my room. I knew the ship was going to be packed and over crowded everywhere I went on the ship I opted to stay in my cabin. I was going stir crazy by this day. My neighbors on either side of me were horrible. On one side they slammed their door whenever they entered and left the room. This went on 24/7. The neighbors on the other side were constantly banging on something. I swear they never left their room because I listened to that for 7 days, they also liked to get drunk and scream from their balcony at all hours of the night. This made it hard to enjoy my balcony by leaving the door open at night to get in that amazing sea air. Day 7 Nassau. Well This was the stop I wanted to see the most and probably spent the least time in. There were 3 or 4 ships also in port that day so when I got off the ship the port and streets were so crowded. Not fun to see the sights when you are being touched by more strangers at once than in your entire life, I did very little shopping here. I was proabbly in port 45 minutes. I hate crowds. I hate being touched by strangers. I went back to the ship and started packing because I knew I would be free in 24 hours. Overall, of all the cruises I have been on this was my least favorite ,Maybe it was because I went solo, maybe because It was not the original cruise I had booked. I hated this cruise. I hated this ship. The first few days I found the staff beyond rude and not friendly at all, they did warm up after a couple of days. I would still say it is way to big and way to over crowded. I will never sail a mega ship again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Offer, price right time, wanted the experience is a mega ship. Solo traveler, I really did have an enjoyable time, embarkation and disembarking was easy. Other than the rain on the first three days very pleasant trip. Crew and amenities ... Read More
Offer, price right time, wanted the experience is a mega ship. Solo traveler, I really did have an enjoyable time, embarkation and disembarking was easy. Other than the rain on the first three days very pleasant trip. Crew and amenities were great, clean and well maintained. For me this ship was too big, I have traveled on small ships (1500 crew and guests), medium size and now this one (6,000+). I prefer the mid sized ships myself. The food was better than average, deck areas leave something to be desired, but there was plenty of space, layout was just odd. Public area nice, casino huge, smoking areas should be reevaluated to plead smokers and non as well. Smokers do not bother me but it appeared they were an afterthought. If I was able to get a good deal ,I would sail on another mega ship but if I'm looking for specific needs I'll stick with the midsize ones. Traveled RCCL, Carnival, Celebrity, NCL Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
About the Reviewer: I’m a 35 year old male who traveled on this cruise with a 21 year old “niece” celebrating her birthday. Since this review is coming from my perspective mostly then it is prudent you know my cruising history. This ... Read More
About the Reviewer: I’m a 35 year old male who traveled on this cruise with a 21 year old “niece” celebrating her birthday. Since this review is coming from my perspective mostly then it is prudent you know my cruising history. This was my 26th cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line (charters and regular cruises combined) and my 42nd cruise overall. I’ve sailed on other cruise lines including Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Carnival. My last cruise was on the Carnival Inspiration for a full ship charter a week prior. I love nightlife and music. This was also my first time sailing under the new Latitudes levels as a Platinum Plus member. My reviews are written in the way I experienced the cruise and in chronological order. Hope you enjoy the review… Norwegian Escape: 10/14 – 10/21 Embarkation: I missed my time slot to arrive at the pier for check in. I was scheduled at 10:30AM to 11AM but didn’t get to the terminal until about 11:20ish. The porters outside took the luggage quickly and I headed into the terminal. The queue for security was stretched to the door. Once through the queue I went around the corner and sought out the Platinum Plus line. It was fairly short with about three couples waiting to check in ahead of me. This was awesome compared to the regular line which was very long at that point. When we were checked in which the lady at the counter seemed surprised it would be so fast, we headed upstairs. This is where things went awry a little. When we reached the top of the escalator, we were handed a boarding pass with number 16. I had to use the restroom which was right by where the people with numbers were queued up. A very high energy lady was getting the cruisers lined up and getting them excited to get on the ship. In between groups I was chatting with her and complimented her on her energy level. She asked if it was my first cruise and I told her it wasn’t and when I told her how many she seemed puzzled, asked to see my keycard and told me GO NOW! LOL! She pointed me towards the gangway and apologized saying I shouldn’t have had to wait at all! Yeah Platinum Plus perk!! Once onboard the ship, we explored the ship from bow to stern on the lower decks of 6, 7 and 8 ocean place until friends were waiting on arrived and got onto the ship. If you’ve sailed on the Norwegian Breakaway or Getaway, the ship isn’t all that different. Most of the entertainment and food venues are located on these decks. Once my friends were on the ship, we met up and headed to the Manhattan Room. Even though guests come onto the ship right by the Manhattan Room, the staff there steer guests up to the buffet. Trust me it’s a lot easier to sit and wait for the rooms in a much quieter environment and to relax versus the craziness of the buffet. We sat there until the rooms were ready and then reconvened at Spice H2O for a drink and to explore the top deck before muster drill. Muster drill was a little longer than usual as guests were not getting to their stations. After muster drill it was up on deck for sail away. We went to the highest part of the ship and watched the ship go to the turning basin and head out by South Beach to the Atlantic. Stateroom Interior Deck 5 Forward: It was my first time doing a Breakaway or Breakaway Plus class ship without being in a studio as a solo or balcony with another guest in the room. The interior was small and almost seemed like a studio but with beds for two. It was cramped with the space between the beds. I think this is the smallest interior room I’ve ever stayed in. The closet was very small. If both of us decided to utilize the hanging space, it would’ve been tight. With the closet door open, you obstruct the TV and remote access to it. Weird layout for sure. Standard NCL bathroom with glass shower door and plenty of sink space. There’s also storage on the table and the refrigerator under the table in the cabinet. The room itself was situated by a crew door for forward access to crew spaces. We had a lot of crew coming and going in our hallway during the cruise. Dinner tonight was in the Taste Restaurant. The server sat us at a table in the main aisle but when we were handed the menu and the water poured, the server told us to get up and enjoy a sunset view and move tables. We moved over to the windows and watched the sunset. I had a bit of insomnia so I went to South Beach to watch the sunrise. It’s rare I get to see both so kudos to the waitress for moving us! Service was excellent and spaced so between appetizer and entrée and entrée and dessert I could run up to the Friends of Dorothy gathering meet some of the large group up there. ESCAPE THEATER: WELCOME ABOARD After dinner we met up with some of the Cruise Critic folks for a bar crawl. Since I didn’t want to peak too soon, my niece and I went to the Welcome Aboard Show and checked it out. It was a variety show as much as it was a constant advertisement between acts pushing things. If you’re a couple that’d been around for 60 years, make sure to go as they always give away bottles of bubbly or free bling to you. Featured performances included a treat of After Midnight, a comedian from the Levity Comedy Group, the Merzey Boys and one other entertainer that I can’t remember. The show was longer than the 45 minutes because of all the sales pitches meshed in between. It’s good to get a highlight of entertainment for the week and an understanding of what you’ve got in store. After the show ended, there was a small gap until the Welcome Aboard Dance Party started up at Spice H2O. We stayed up there for a bit and danced on the side. When the party wrapped up and the Party Mix started in Skyline Bar, we headed down there. Spent quite a bit of late night hours there before turning in. Day 2 – SEA DAY With setting the clocks back one hour, it seemed like I woke up on time. Had a leisurely breakfast and then floated around the ship until the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet at the District Brewhouse started. This was one of the largest attended Meet and Greets I’ve attended and the first time ever the cruise line provided sample beer at one! Very well done Norwegian Escape! The officers introduced themselves and Tracie who led the CC group brought gifts for people celebrating their birthday and anniversary. It was very sweet of her to do! I was even presented with a grass skirt and a KC and the sunshine CD by a guest I had been joking with prior to the cruise about who would have the best embarkation terminal. I was in Terminal B and he was in C. Definitely a good meet up! Immediately after the Cruise Critic gathering it was time to head off to the other side of the ship and Skyline Bar for the Latitudes Meet and Greet with the same officers and the CruiseNext representative. The Captain, who was so young, greeted us as we entered the bar but I didn’t realize it was him until after I sat down. It was interesting to go around the room and have people hooting for their Platinum status. There were only a handful of Platinum Plus guests on the ship. When I hollered loudly, everyone looked. She said to make noise! After a quick bite for lunch, it was off to the sun deck to catch some rays. Finished up in time to get back to the room and freshen up for the solos gathering. The solos gathering on the Escape was really early at 5PM and they wanted everyone to go to dinner at 5:30PM. That was far too early so a group of solos decided to dine together but later. Tonight we decided to dine in the Manhattan Room after the Friends of Dorothy gathering at 8PM. Service was fast and efficient. ESCAPE THEATER: AFTER MIDNIGHT After seeing a preview, the night before during the opening variety show, I wasn’t sure if After Midnight would be for me. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt but the music was so slow, it put me to sleep not once but twice. From when I could stay awake, the dance moves and tap was amazing but the music was just too mellow to engage me. If I book the Escape again, I wouldn’t be going out of my way to book this show. It was much too low energy for me. SPICE H2O: NORWEGIAN’S NIGHT OUT PARTY I tried desperately to shake off the sleepiness After Midnight set in on me but I was so mellowed out, it was hard to get into a party frame of mind. DJ Keith was at the turntables up at Spice so I gave it my best effort. Tonight, was the first night where it had become noticeable that a lot of people had over indulged. On the way to the bathroom there was puke on the ground. Another guest was getting helped by security as they were puking. While all this was going on, a guest slipped and fell who was also intoxicated on the dancefloor. Security was tied up with the other guest to deal with the incident so the DJ went over to see what was going on and to check on the guest. When security returned, I pointed them in the direction of the guest who had fallen so the DJ could return to his duties. They escorted the guy out of Spice. His friends were visibly intoxicated as well. I’d had enough and wished my DJ friend a good night. NCL needs to teach their bartenders when to recognize and shut off guests or institute a limit on the number of drinks a guest can order in a day like Carnival does. I thought Carnival did it because they attracted more party-types but after seeing this on the Escape, I think it would be prudent for NCL to adopt a similar cap. DAY 3 – ROATAN, HONDURAS – Little French Key Up bright and early for breakfast to meet up with cruise buds and head to Little French Key. It was booked independently of the cruise line and for $88 you had two drinks and one meal for the day trip. If a fellow cruiser hadn’t found this on TripAdvisor, this day would’ve been a sea day for me. The bus picked us up at the port and drove us to the pier where you paid and took a small boat ride to the island. They give you a brief tour of the island and then you are free to pick your place to sit. We took a quiet cove on the backside of the island with just us and another group. Everyone else was congregated closer to the bar and the music. There was a Poseidon statue and it was actually quite shallow in the whole area except for by the Dancing Queen bar. There were hammocks over the water on the other side of the little bay. I sat in them for a bit until the sun poked back out. On the swim back to the bay I scraped my finger off some rocks just beneath the surface. Luckily the staff had a first aid kit and I had some sanitizer to clean the wound with before putting a band aid on it. The weather destabilized and rain had moved in with thunder. We decided to head back to the ship. With traffic, we didn’t arrive back until 3PM. Overall, if the weather were better Little French Key would’ve been an exceptional value for the price paid. When we returned, we just went back on the ship and up to the hot tub to wait for the ship to depart. SPECIALTY DINING: LE BISTRO Tonight’s meal featured a dinner in Le Bistro, NCL’s signature French Bistro. A complimentary dinner with a bottle of wine is given to Platinum guests. I had the escargot, the beef dish and some fruit for dessert. It was paired with a nice Cabernet Sauvignon. I recognized the waitress from previous NCL cruises and I was correct as she had been with NCL for nearly a decade! I wish I remembered her name though. Excellent service in LeBistro. The waitstaff with their main entrée same time reveal is always a nice touch. Tonight, Spice H2O was quiet and DJ Keith was designated to Latin night so some of the cruisers I met went and hung out at O’Sheehans and played some of the games. It’s the first time I’ve bowled at sea. I’ve seen others playing but have not done so myself. We also played darts too. I’ve never played those either and did an amazing job. It was an overall early night since Skyline wasn’t enjoyable as the live band was playing late and we had done so much arcade games that there was no point circling back for hip hop with the other DJ. People were already starting to show visible signs of intoxication again. I just headed for bed as I was exhausted. DAY 4 – HARVEST CAYE, BELIZE After having a leisurely breakfast on the ship, we headed ashore. From the ship’s buffet, Harvest Caye already seemed disappointing. NCL had provided shots of what seemed like a large beach area and lots to do so I figured it would be more spread out compared to what it was from the ship. It looked very small. If you have a mobility impairment, which one of the guests did, there is an elongated golf cart which can take you from the ship to the entrance to Harvest Caye. It was nice to have a walk to get to the entrance to the island sanctuary. When we arrived at the entrance there was mist stations to cool you down. This was a nice touch. We walked through the shopping area and around the back of the pool to the wildlife sanctuary to scope it out. They have a butterfly farm and a couple of other animals on display. There’s also a London style telephone booth good for photo ops. We circled in the back by the lagoon where you could rent a paddle boat, stand up paddle board and raft. The lagoon you do all these activities in seemed really small so we passed on the opportunity and headed for the beach. Harvest Caye is a unique beach layout. The beach isn’t really a sandy beach or if it is, the sand is not anything like I’ve felt before. It felt like crushed gravel and was grey resembling it too. It felt funny under toe. I went in the water for a bit and chilled out. Another day where rain clouds moved in. It was lunch time anyway so I headed back to the ship. After grabbing some lunch in the Garden Café, I decided to try out the water slides on the Escape. The yellow slide was a nice little loopy slide and was fun. The Aqua Racer with the tube was the best. The tube had lights in it as you went along. It also has an open section as you’re out over the side of the ship. The two free fall slides were the last to be done. I tried these before on the Breakaway and they had a back board you strapped on to help you glide through it and also keep your back directly off the slide. The Escape didn’t have that so when I dropped my back hit the curve, it left a mark and bruised my back! I called it quits on the slides after that. It took the rest of the cruise for the bruise to go away and days after that for the pain to subside in the same area. I won’t be taking the free fall slides on the Escape again. ENTERTAINMENT – MERSEY BOYS After feeling like I was missing all the entertainment, I went to one of the many information screens and booked the Mersey Boys group for the night. There was still space available for the 6PM show. Mersey Boys is a vocal group doing hits from Fankie Valli, Beatles and Cilla Black. The show was amazing and the best entertainment of the cruise to that point. I was happy with my last minute decision to book it. The Mersey Boys also came with a dinner since it was in the Supper Club. Unlike the Breakaway and Getaway which have an upcharge for the dinner show Cirque Dreams, this one didn’t. We had a nice appetizer sampler of three items, a beef and shrimp main course and a dessert with three different samples. The meal was actually quite tasty and served fully by the end of the show. Of note, tonight was the first night the film crew on the ship was actually in a venue with us. They were filming / still photographing their talent for an upcoming commercial. Their setup was right behind our table. Previous to this I had seen them in the District Brewhouse filming and in Food Republic but neither venue I wanted to go into. ENTERTAINMENT – Escape Celebrity Dance Off Formerly called Dancing with the Escape Stars or what not, now it’s called the Celebrity Dance Off. Members of the cruise staff are paired up with guests who enter to dance. The cruise staff and guests get absolutely wild to win some prizes. It’s always a good time to catch this as it has never disappointed me yet on any ship. Quite amusing so don’t miss it! Of course, what can happen depends on the guests involved! Don’t forget to enter it too if you like to dance AND have fun! Tonight, was another low-key night. No Spice H2O again. The Skyline Bar just wasn’t hitting home for me. It wasn’t a proper nightclub and it wasn’t a Skyline bar either. Every time I went there if I wanted a drink, the bar would be two or three deep and the bartenders were overwhelmed and couldn’t keep track of who was next. It wasn’t their fault either, it was management’s choice of where to assign bartenders. The waits were excessive for drinks so I would have to go down to O’Sheehans for a drink and come back. Skyline bar itself should be renamed sports bar. Instead of having skyline views like the bar was supposed to, it showed sports ALL the time! What kind of nightclub is it when you have sports fans on all sides watching the game? Intelligent lighting was non-existent in this venue. What club doesn’t have a proper lighting structure and leaves their guests in the dark on the dance floor? The sound system is a whole other issue. Clearly the Skyline bar wasn’t meant to be a nightclub since entire sound system for the nightclub is an add on with moveable speakers and subwoofers. These are not built into the venue. NCL built a ship without a proper nightclub yet wants the younger cruise segment and families. Someone messed up on this ship. Hopefully they fix this on Bliss and bring back a proper nightclub like BLISS is on Breakaway, Getaway and Epic. Another night of bowling to finish out the night in O’Sheehans. DAY 5 – COSTA MAYA, MEXICO After breakfast at the Garden Café, it was time to head ashore. The last time I was at Costa Maya, they didn’t have as many shops as they do now. In order to get into the town, you are forced to go through the entire shopping area. The port exit closest to the pier is buried behind a stairwell. Otherwise you have to navigate through narrow passageways to get out. Not sure if this is meant to keep cruise tourists confined to one area or not. The ride to town was a few dollars per person. The driver stopped at one resort where it seemed like he was getting some sort of financial reward. The man when we pulled up tried selling us a package for the day at the beach. Last time I was here there were three stops with the third being the furthest down the beach. He said he would drop us at the park which still wasn’t at the end of the beach. Pez Quadro used to be the last resort on the beach and the furthest from all the cruisers. The problem was as the day went on two more ships joined the Escape in port. MSC Divina came in and then Carnival’s rust bucket showed up. With three ships the other end of the beach filled up and people spread down to our area. Pez Quadro is low stress. You show up and get a beach chair and umbrella (thatch or typical beach umbrella) and all you have to do is buy a few drinks and eat if you’d like. I had the chicken quesadilla at lunch and it was amazing! It was served with authentic guacamole and tomatilla! Pez Quadro is completely low pressure unlike the rest of the beach spots further up. They also offer massages for $30 for 50 minutes. It’s pretty reasonable, especially compared to the ship. Ask for the wifi passcode as the cell service is a bit spotty down that end of the beach. I’ve been here many times throughout the years and the ownership has changed but the quality has remained the same. We headed back to the pier complex. While my niece did some shopping, I checked out the enclosure they had in the middle with some animals. There were flamingos and a monkey. They’ve really developed the port area to make it an attraction all its own. When she was done shopping, we headed back onboard. I wanted to watch the ship leave and since the aft was docked closest to the Divina and the corner of the pier I figured it would be a good place to watch it. Suddenly I realized I was the only person back there. When I went to the bend in the ship to the port side I realized they had roped it off saying there was a wedding in progress. I looked around to make sure I wasn’t intruding on something that I wasn’t made aware of. Next thing I know there’s tables and chairs being put up on the Waterfront where I was and the film crew came along. There wasn’t a wedding, it was the filming for the commercial and I was asked to leave the area while they setup the shot. Now I was annoyed since I wanted to be there to watch the ship cast off. Since there were two guests who didn’t return on time, we didn’t leave right away so I went back to the room to get ready for dinner. HIGHLIGHT DINNER – Dinner with the Officers New to the Platinum Plus tier is Dinner with the Officers. When I RSVP’d with the hotel director’s secretary for how many would be in the party, I wanted my group of four to do it but it was limited to the people in the actual room so it was just my niece and myself. When we turned up in the atrium, there were several people there so I figured they were all Platinum Plus members. Actually, some were not and had a complimentary ticket to do it and that was one table. The other table I think won some sort of raffle to do it and our table was the Platinum Plus. Our table had the worst showing. It was myself and one other couple who showed up and it was sat for 14 people. If you’re going to RSVP to an event, SHOW UP FOR IT!! Dinner was lovely with the first and second officer from the bridge. The first officer sat closest to me and we talked about cruise experiences from past cruises and whether we had ever sailed on the same ship at the same time before. The second officer moved down to sit on the other side of my niece and she was very nice and talked about how she ended up on the Escape and how the schooling worked and how it was honored under certain flagged states versus others. Since I knew quite a bit about the nautical world, it was a very engaging dinner conversation and one I found thoroughly enjoying. Well done and hats off to both of the officers who had never done this before and were clearly nervous at the outset. By the end we were able to get a photo with them and wished them well in their journey towards Captain! Out of all the benefits added to the Platinum Plus tier, I would have to say during this cruise, this was the best one! I thoroughly enjoyed it so bravo NCL for the addition! I can say the other tables at random glances didn’t seem as chatty with the officers or as engaged as we were. If you have this perk at your Latitudes level – definitely take advantage of it! ESCAPE THEATER – FOR THE RECORD: THE BRAT PACK After the debacle with the 10PM showing of After Midnight, I was very concerned I might fall asleep during this production. It wasn’t founded. The energy from the Brat Pack which was a theatrical Rock N Roll experience was just astounding! Now this is what you need in a theater! It was a mashup of 80s favorites Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Say Anything and St. Elmo’s Fire. The cast got you toe tapping, laughing at some points and almost wanting to get up and start dancing! I loved loved loved this production! I wish I could’ve seen it once more as it was THAT good. As a note to parents, this show is NOT for kids. There were some suggestive scenes and moments of sparse clothing. ENTERTAINMENT – AWESOME 80’s PARTY Spice H2O had come back to life for the 80’s party! DJ Keith was at the helm of this party where the Cruise Director Andre dressed as Boy George. DJ Keith was VJ Keith tonight with music videos appearing on the Spice H2O movie screen. It was a great night but again it was noticeable that guests were visibly intoxicated. Again, another night with puke by the bathroom at Spice H2O and watching the biohazard cart go back and forth. Honestly by now I thought people would’ve learned their own limits. The music was good and I was with good people having a good time. DAY 6 – COZUMEL, MEXICO I’ve been to Cozumel I can’t even remember how many times. Shore excursions offered are all the same. There’s nothing new to do here so I went off the ship with a friend who had a busted leg and hobbled to the Punta Longosta pier Starbucks and had my first green tea latte of the entire trip! I could’ve gone back on the ship and called it a happy day in Cozumel with just that but my friend had never been before and wanted to try and walk a bit. After getting harassed every few feet, we crossed the street and got some shots of the ship before heading back. SHORE EXCURSION: SENOR FROGS Ha ha! Some shore excursion! It was determined we didn’t do Mexico properly unless we went to Senor Frogs. This place is a complete tourist trap and you can get insanely drunk with conga lines, shot ladies hounding every few minutes and constant drinking games. We entered just after 11AM and I knew it was much too early for me to survive the day and night which lay ahead. After three beers and it being 12:15PM, I went back to the ship for lunch leaving my friend behind with another solo cruiser. I decided to not return after lunch but hang out on the waterfront and read. SPECIALTY DINING: MODERNO CHURRISCARIA Another complimentary meal to Platinum and Platinum Plus members is a dinner at La Cuccina or Moderno. I love meat so Moderno it was. The salad bar didn’t seem to have as much selection for salad items as I recalled from the Breakaway. The meats which came out were the same ones over and over again. We knew some were missing because we’d been before so we asked for the missing meats to be brought. Since it was Glow Party night, I didn’t want a food baby so I didn’t eat as much as I usually do. The meats were all very tender and cooked amazingly. The pineapple is a great palate cleanser during the course of the parade of meats. We had quite a few pineapple breaks too. For dessert, I had the papaya cream and part of a birthday cake as one of my friends celebrated her birthday this evening on the ship. ENTERTAINMENT – GLOW PARTY Thank the stars for DJ Keith! It’s the one party of every regular (non-charter) cruise I look forward to the most! Glow Party or on the older ships called White Hot Party is a party featuring high energy electronic dance music. The cruise staff were face painting guests who showed up early. I do my own add ons for the party but the added idea of face painting enhances the guest experience. It was a great night of dancing and I stayed until the very end which was about 1AM or 2AM since the ship’s time shifted forward this night. It was the most amazing night party of the cruise and it is always good when DJ Keith spins it! DJ Keith is the last remaining DJ is the NCL fleet that I know and have sailed with many times. He knows how to judge the vibe of the party, knows how to read the crowd and still keep the beats flowing. When he finished up at Spice H2O, the party moved to the other DJ at Skyline Bar. I just couldn’t stand this venue for very long. I went with some new cruise friends to the arcade and bowling and went to O’Sheehans for some late night food. All the food from O’Sheehans was hot… so hot in fact it would burn your mouth. I ate here several times late at night and the burger and fajitas were always scorching hot! The food always tasted good once you let it cool down a bit. Upon returning to my room, it was important to note a cruise guest a few doors down had a security guard posted at her room. Either she was visibly drunk or had been involved in some sort of altercation but she was being forced to stay in her room to sober up for 12 hours. The security guard was posted there before I headed off to the Glow party and was still there when I returned in the early hours of the morning. She was gone when I awakened on Day 7 and went for breakfast. I expect this sort of thing on the charters I do but not on a regular cruise. What the heck NCL! Put a cap on your drink package already. DAY 7 – SEA DAY After rolling in at 4:30AM adjusted to ship’s time, today was a late start at 10:30AM. The Garden Café was still full of people seeking breakfast when I got up so I didn’t miss it as it was listed in the FreeStyle Daily as closing at 10:30AM. At 11AM there was still breakfast available on one side while the other side flipped to lunch. It was a lazy sea day with some time spent in the sun and finishing up the reading materials I brought. When the storm clouds threatened a quick shower, it was time to get some lunch and then hung out inside the ship. Watched the Deal or No Deal game show in the atrium while drinking a chai latte from the atrium coffee bar. The atrium coffee bar has Starbucks products which is nice but no green tea latte. Bummer! Tonight, it was a farewell dinner with cruise friends of old and new. Thanks to the reservation hostess at the Guest Services Desk we were able to have a reservation for 9 people accommodated in Taste Restaurant at a decent hour. The reservation shrank upon arrival and we had a great dinner full of laughs. Prime rib was served. It was the end of the cruise and I was starving so I had three slices. While fatty, it was cooked nicely unlike the hockey pucks Carnival Cruise line serves. The meat chef on the ship definitely knew what he was doing! After dinner we strolled the ship and eventually sat with drinks on the waterfront waiting for the final disco. I knew DJ Keith was playing so I wanted to see him off. We had all sorts of laughs and rearranged some of the furniture. Some went off to bed and the live band was delayed finishing so it took a while longer for DJ Keith to get setup. The bar was insane trying to get drinks at so I wished Keith well and headed off to bed. DAY 8 – MIAMI The final morning was uneventful. I grabbed a somewhat leisurely breakfast at Savor as they were already calling the express walk off guests to disembark. I chose the last color luggage tag knowing it would be around 10AM for disembarkation. I was right, LIGHT BLUE tag was called just before 10AM but with getting up to Deck 7 to disembark from the hang out in the atrium took a bit. The lines for customs in Terminal B were long. One of the cruise line shoreside reps grabbed a few of us and told us to go to Terminal C and clear customs there. There wasn’t much of a line so we were through customs with a breeze and off to the airport! It was a pretty smooth disembarkation overall. Rooms have to be vacated by 8:30AM. Value for Money Spent: I don’t usually talk about the cruise value but this was the first time I did the Ultimate Beverage Package promotion. As a frequent cruiser, I know the cruise line marks up the room cost by at least $100 or more if you choose a room with the package. They’re getting the cost back up front, then they charge a service fee on the package retail price. Just before sailing, NCL raised the base price of the ultimate beverage package so they could charge more in the gratuity. I don’t doubt for a second NCL uses this to offset the expense of the alcohol being consumed and the overworked bar staff on the ship not seeing a pay increase for the influx of obnoxious drunk people they’re dealing with. I didn’t see a value in this package add on. Did I drink more because I had the package, yes I did. Did I get my money’s worth out of the package given what the average drink price costs without it – no I did not and that’s what NCL hopes for. Half the problem was being able to get to a bartender or served timely at the night venues. I’m not sure how the drunk people were so drunk unless they started much earlier in the day than I did. I only drink at night with dinner and thereafter. Since I was cruising with a 21 year old, I didn’t know what to expect but I usually do the Sailaway rates when traveling solo. I will resume doing those on future NCL sailings. Overall, I wasn’t impressed with the ship. For being the newest ship in the fleet, the Escape is sadly lacking. I’ve already detailed my distaste for Skyline Bar. The intelligent lighting in Spice H2O was also not functioning properly with one broken. The sound system in Spice H2O wasn’t setup right and there was nothing the DJ could do about it because it was set that way by the audio technicians in the booth who had left for the night. Five O’ Clock Somewhere was always empty besides the karaoke in there. The bar outside was always jammed packed with people but the actual venue itself was a waste of space. Perhaps the cruise line could make this the proper disco in the ship’s first drydock in a few years. The space of the interior stateroom was also insane for two people. With just about 2 feet between separated beds pushed to the walls, it was a tight space to navigate. Most of this can’t be fixed by people on the ship so I’m putting it here so corporate sees it. At the end of every review, I send a shout out to staff and crew who made the cruise enjoyable. First and foremost, DJ Keith who never disappoints me when I sail with him. He’s the BEST cruise line DJ I’ve encountered. He made the Glow Party worth dressing up for! A shout out to Sonny on the cruise staff who was the solos host for the week and danced with my niece and friend at almost every single theme party up on deck. A shout out to the Cruise Director Andre for always having a positive energy about him the whole week and really getting into the 80s party with the Boy George outfit. The bar staff at O’Sheehans during the nightclub hours when they took care of me and realized my frustration with the Skyline Bar setup. They went above and beyond to make a bad situation good and worth the walk back and forth. I would also like to thank all the wait staff who served me all week. Sadly, I didn’t get any of their names but they all did an excellent job. Unlike my last NCL cruise, this wait staff knew how to properly serve the food in a timely manner without elongated gaps and handled special requests like it was second nature. Kudos team restaurant team on Escape! I’m not sure what the future holds with me and NCL. Will I be back, probably, will it be in 2018? Probably not. I’ve decided to branch out and retried Royal Caribbean in 2017 and look forward to sailing with them again soon. In 2018, I don’t have one NCL cruise planned which is the first time in a decade this has happened. Corporate changes to the cruise line have cheapened the product. Slow down on the ship building and focus on building a better product for the guests! I look forward to trying out MSC Seaside in 2018 and possibly returning to NCL again in 2019. 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
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

Find a Norwegian Escape Cruise

Email me when prices drop