Sail Date: October 2018
I wanted to sail on one of the new big ships and the Escape fit this bill. With outside dining and beautifully designed rooms it was wonderful. The food is a big improvement over some of the smaller ships. This trip went to Bermuda and ... Read More
I wanted to sail on one of the new big ships and the Escape fit this bill. With outside dining and beautifully designed rooms it was wonderful. The food is a big improvement over some of the smaller ships. This trip went to Bermuda and we were there for parts of three days. So it was a more restful itinerary than others where you are in a different port every day. Bermuda was beautiful with pink sand beaches and lovely people. No hustle no hassle compared to some Caribbean Islands. You can rent scooters and travel the island. St Georges is a UNESCO site and is a charming seaside village that you can walk around and see forts and visit lovely beaches. The weather rained a little but cleared up most of the time. I would visit Bermuda again and spend more time. Hats off to NCL for a great ship and a wonderful itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
To avoid Florence we cruised to cape Canaveral and GSC instead of Bermuda. Captain Giovanni did a remarkable job keeping us safe! He totally avoided rough seas. Each day was beautiful in the 80's and very calm seas. We missed ... Read More
To avoid Florence we cruised to cape Canaveral and GSC instead of Bermuda. Captain Giovanni did a remarkable job keeping us safe! He totally avoided rough seas. Each day was beautiful in the 80's and very calm seas. We missed nassau to give us 3 days to return. But as they said, "the ship is the destination". And it certainly was. No kids to speak of on the cruise since school started. Just a few toddlers. That's why I always cruise when school is in session. The escape has a couple of new venues. Food republic and tapas. Both were excellent! Great sushi at food republic. Had lunch there twice. Tapas had wonderful small plates. Had the lamb sticks and they were excellent. Try the dates wrapped in bacon! Delicious! Prices were very reasonable. quality of food and service at main dining rooms was great. Cagney had the same quality of food as the main dining. Not impressed. In fact the lobster bisque had a very odd flavor and I couldn't eat it. Had a lobster at the seafood restaurant. It was just ok. But everything else was wonderful. District brew house was a nice place to relax, read and have a beer. I never eat at the buffet on any cruise so I can't comment here. Saw the dinner show choir of men. Great show! Served beef Wellington which was very good. Well worth the price. I didn't care for the brat pack. Not my cup of tea but the performers were very talented. The story line was weird. But all other shows were very good. Wine lovers was ok. I really don't care for wine so I guess this was my bad. I had the UDP but I only have one drink a day so this was a waste, but it was free. My cabin Stewart was wonderful! My room was always made up when I returned. The staff on the entire ship were happy, friendly and couldn't do enough for you. Even though we missed our original port and missed nassau I must say this was the most enjoyable cruise I've had. Btw... This was my 15 th cruise (most on NCL) and I usually cruise solo. I'm 69 yrs old. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I would never recommend anyone to go on this cruise line. NCL Escape was horrible, from the service to food. Lets start off with the dinning experience. It is freestyle dinning, which means you go when ever you want to eat. We waited every ... Read More
I would never recommend anyone to go on this cruise line. NCL Escape was horrible, from the service to food. Lets start off with the dinning experience. It is freestyle dinning, which means you go when ever you want to eat. We waited every night at the table for 2 hours to get our food. Then when it came to the food, it was just horrible. I think I could have ate better at Wendy's or a fast food restaurant. And instead of the dinning room we actually went to the buffet because it was better food then the dinning room and we didn't have wait for 2 hours to get it. I have never seen this on a cruise. If you ordered room serve there is a $7.25 service charge every time they bring it to you. Next the breakfast is only served in three restaurants and at the most they stay open to 930am. Of course there is the buffet again that you can go to till about 1030am for breakfast. If wanted the real experience of a cruise ship dinning you had to pay extra for the special dinning, which is not right. There are two pools for about 4,000 people that are packed all the time. The amenities around the pools were ok, which were the following: jacuzzi hot tubs, slides, rope course, mini golf, basketball courts and jogging track. Now when it came to the shows, you had to put reservations in for them. If I wanted to do that I would have gone to NY or even Las Vegas. I paid for the shows when I booked the cruise, why would I have to have reservations. And there was only one good show on the ship and that was Brat Pack. Service on the ship was just horrific. Like said above the dinning service took about 2 hours to get your food. The bar tenders would see you and walk right by and not ask if you wanted a drink. My wife and I order some pictures and the pictures were 3 different ones. Some how the guy at the picture place thought we wanted 3 of the same one, so we had to go back and re-print them. The manager would not even give the pictures to us for free or even a discount for the inconvenience. The cabin service was good, but hard for the stewardess. And what I mean by hard is that he never knew what time we were going to be at the room or back to the room. Overall, the cruise was just bad. We will never use NCL again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise ship because it was a new ship and had never sailed Norwegian before. The ship did provide many fun things for our teenagers to do, like the multi-level water slide and the teen gathering room. The mini-golf was fun ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because it was a new ship and had never sailed Norwegian before. The ship did provide many fun things for our teenagers to do, like the multi-level water slide and the teen gathering room. The mini-golf was fun as well. There was not enough time at the ports of call especially Tortola and Nassau. Although at Nassau, the pier was extremely long for someone with walking difficulties. It would be helpful if assistance would be provided to be able to get to shore using a small shuttle vehicle or assisted wheelchair. The food was only OK, however, for any of the top dinner choices you had to pay extra. We feel that the higher quality food and better menu options, i.e., lobster and steak, were only offered if you paid extra. We felt like the better food was provided to those who paid extra, those who didn't pay extra had the inferior quality or "leftover" food. For the most part the entertainment was very good but hard to make reservations as most were marked as sold out. The best entertainment was "For the Record - The Brat Pack" and "Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons Tribute". Both of these were excellent - the best we've ever seen on a cruise - high energy, great singing and loads of fun. There were just too many passengers to get around. Even to get on an elevator it took several attempts to find one not packed. Being one of the passengers who required a scooter, it was very hard to get around, especially through the hallways toward the outside of the ship and through the doorway. Getting around is very important, but was difficult on this ship. Only one swimming pool and always packed so unable to use it much??? Why is there only one swimming pool??? It was extremely crowded and not really usable for true swimming time. The cabin was very nice, but seemed small for an upgraded room. Our room steward, Jocelyn, was fabulous. She was always very pleasant, helpful and caring. She assisted our friend who has lost her luggage by taking care of the laundry promptly, so that at least the few items our friend had was cleaned and returned to her room promptly. Overall, our main disappointment was in the quality of food. We've been on many cruises and this one rates extremely low for the food options provided as "complimentary" for the "average" passengers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We were excited to book a cruise on Norwegian's newest ship the Escape. We were not disappointed. Embarkation was a breeze. We walked right up to a counter and was able to get the process completed quickly. We were given group 9 ... Read More
We were excited to book a cruise on Norwegian's newest ship the Escape. We were not disappointed. Embarkation was a breeze. We walked right up to a counter and was able to get the process completed quickly. We were given group 9 for Boarding. We were walking the gangway by 11:45. We headed straight to Taste for lunch. Didn't realize that the dining rooms didn't open until 12:30. We used the wait time to use the TV screens to make reservations for the Comedy show. Lunch in the dining room was fantastic. By the time we were done it was time we could go to our room. (We had inside cabin, 11425). After dropping off our belongings we started exploring our home for the next week. During our week on the Escape we had 4 free nights of Specialty Dining. We enjoyed each meal. We went to Le Bistro, Cagney's, Teppanyaki and La Cucina. We really enjoyed our meals at all of them. Just way too much food! Teppanyaki was my favorite. We were not able to see all the entertainment, but did make it to The Brat Pack, After Midnight, Oh What A Night-Frankie Valli and 4 Seasons Tribute, a Magic Show and 2 Comedy Shows. The Frankie Valli was my favorite. I enjoyed the Brat Pack, was not my husband's favorite. There was so much to do on the Escape. Could have easily stayed on another week. The pool area was normally pretty busy, but that is not our favorite area anyway. I didn't even attempt to get in pool all week. We did get in Hot Tub on the upper decks several times. We enjoyed sitting on Deck 8 and relaxing and playing games. The District Brew house became another favorite place to hang out. Service was wonderful Was never crowded in there. Loved the area to sit and play games and relax. Qene Bee takes good care of you in there. Another favorite place was the outside 5"o Clock Somewhere bar. Chocolate Cowboy was always great to visit with. We had several lunches at O'Sheehan's. I really liked the newer improved menu. The wings were delicious as was the Ruben Sandwich. Wanted to go back for Hotdogs, they looked amazing but ran out of time. In the mornings to get out to the crowds we would go to Margaritaville for Breakfast. They had an omelet station and a few items from the buffet. Not a huge spread but nice relaxing place to go eat a quick breakfast. We had inside Cabin 11425. It was sufficient. It was pretty small but we had plenty of room for the 2 of us. I will say the bathrooms on this ship are little bigger than most. The shower and the water pressure were the best on any ship we have been on to date. I had read lots of bad reviews. So was little nervous. We had a fantastic time and would gladly sail on the Escape again. Read Less
35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Before I get started into the details of this cruise, I want to make one thing clear: I am a female solo cruiser. I have cruised about 10 times total on various lines. I am also, generally, a very easing going person who likes to ... Read More
Before I get started into the details of this cruise, I want to make one thing clear: I am a female solo cruiser. I have cruised about 10 times total on various lines. I am also, generally, a very easing going person who likes to experience each day as it comes along, and I like to "go with the flow." I enjoy quiet, but I also like the "freestyle" opportunity to mingle with the "partiers" when it's going on, and later when I'm in the mood, I while away an hour or more in my cabin balcony, and watch the sunset fill the sky. I'm a mature adult (50s) and have learned to experience the process of living more than having goals run my life. It's all about experiencing life -- not controlling it. I cruise to get away from work on short notice (2-3 weeks notice), which admittedly means I sometimes have limited choice of cruise itineraries. I also usually choose smaller ships (about 2100 passenger size) and if I can afford it, a balcony. It all depends on the cost of the single supplement. But after cruising on the Escape, this may be my new favorite ship. But like any large ships there are pros and cons. I found the pros usually won, however. On price point - I like Norwegian pricing and option of cruise itineraries because: (1) their single supplement is usually around 50% and sometimes even at 0%! (This is wonderful for single cruisers because that means a solo cruiser can get a cabin at less than the 2 person occupancy rates. And (2) I like the solo meet and greet with Norwegian and the Meet and Greet they offer to members of the Cruise Critic Roll Call group, and (3) Norwegian is low pressure for dress code -- not that many cruise lines are formal anymore -- but it means I don't have to pack a trunk. I've cruised with Norwegian about 3 times now and will do so again. I've also cruised with other cruise lines and enjoyed them also -- so this is not a diss on other cruise lines. Honestly, I suppose it boils down to convenience. EMBARKATION from Miami: It went very smoothly. In fact, although you are given an embarkation time on the E-Docs, I found that Norwegian generally takes you on a first come first served basis. I arrived about 2 hours before my embarkation (due to a VERY early flight arrival) and presented my documents to the cruise personnel shortly after 11AM. I checked in, and received my boarding pass (credit card authorized and photo) in less than 10 minutes. They directed me to a seating area, gave me a group number (group number 8) and then I relaxed to await bordering. Now, I'm a friendly person, so I struck up conversations with a few people around me -- I met several folks from New York and others from California. I then helped myself to a glass of orange juice, and settled in with my carry on bag and listened for the boarding call. Within 20 minutes Group 8 was called, and I was routed by staff into line to walk to the ship. All told -- it probably took less than 30 minutes from check-in to boarding. I was on board around 11:45 AM. BIG HINT: After boarding the Escape -- If you want a quiet and relaxing first few hours after boarding the ship, DO NOT go to the Buffet Restaurant on Deck 16 (unless you have children who need to eat ASAP). I went to SAVOR -- one of the restaurants on Deck 6 (AFT). It was quiet, relaxing, leisurely -- and the staff were polite and friendly. (As an aside) I noticed some crew seemed very tired -- probably from having just completed a turnaround on servicing the Escape. I was told the crew does a top to bottom cleaning of all rooms and deck areas. They sanitize as much as possible. The crew on this ship works hard, very hard. I spoke with several of the crew and many worked 18 hour days/ 7 days a week. It is not an easy lifestyle. It is surprising how kind they can be when you are kind in return. After speaking and really listening to the staff, asking questions of where they were from, it was amazing how they remembered my name and always smiled. So - be kind -- it can go a long way to make your trip better and the crew feels appreciated too. By the time I had eaten dessert at SAVOR, (around 1 PM) the ship announced the staterooms were ready. I dropped off my luggage in my AFT balcony. See my review on the cabin (FYI) Cabin 12908 was the best Aft Balcony room I've ever been in - see my short review - I will upload pictures. And the Steward, Harvey, was a kind and wonderful young man from the Philippines. I discover each room steward oversees about 16-18 rooms a day. They make up those rooms sometimes 3 times a day! Wow. That's work. DINING: Dining generally was very good. The Best experience was at BAYAMO - truly stellar - NOTE: there is an up-charge of $15 added to your specialty meal package, but it is well worth it. I had the Tuna and watermelon appetizer, a tomato salad, Scallops with Oxtail in a cuban inspired green chile sauce (really great!) and for dessert a flan and coffee. I had one sub-par experience at Cagney's where for some strange reason they couldn't cook my steak to the right temperature. I ordered it 3 times (medium rare) and it was always over cooked to medium well. I finally gave up ordering -- I didn't complain or ask for new steaks -- instead the waiter noticed every time I cut into the steak that the steak was over cooked. He brought the restaurant manager to apologize, and he gave me complete credit on my bill for the meal. (I really did not complain) My theory is that they were still training undercooks - the temperature should not have been a problem for this level of service - but all the side items were perfect. I had garlic potatoes and Asparagus. The next day I got Chocolate covered Strawberries and a bottle of wine from the Hospitality Director, Jovo - and an apology card from the Restaurant Director. (I really DIDN'T complain - so this really surprised me!) Thank you Jovo! (As a side point -- I knew when I was comped the bill for this meal at Cagney's that the wait staff would not earn the gratuity -- so I handed them cash ~$10. They really do work hard, and the steak was not their fault -- it's nice to remember these folks work hard to send money back home - they depend on the tips). Other than the experience at Cagney's, the food was good in all the restaurants. The Prime Rib and Short Ribs offered in the complementary dining rooms were very good! Don't miss those meals. I also dined at Le Bistro and at La Cuchina. Both were lovely and had nice atmosphere. Service was attentive. I avoided the Deck 16 Buffet because I don't like the noise and rush - rush. I usually grabbed rolls, fresh fruit (oranges or banana) and pastries late at night (9PM) in the Buffet and took them to my stateroom to save overnight for the next day breakfast - the coffee maker was a welcome addition to the room and made good hot coffee -- and was more than fine for breakfast on my balcony. ENTERTAINMENT: I went to FOR THE RECORD: BRAT PACK (A Hoot!) It was a very fun 1980's road trip, AFTER MIDNIGHT (Sexy and stunning tap and dance) a 1930-40-50s style Harlem Jazz scenes that combined to make you feel back in the hot days of Harlem. I also went to the CABARET DINER CLUB which was very good and had a gourmet 5 course dinner. That show was mostly 1950s and 60s Torch singing. Fun and sexy. Not quite a cabaret, but more like a 1950s style singing review. SERVICE: I've already covered this above. I found the service very good when I put forth effort to be friendly. I'm a naturally curious person, and want to know about others around me. I know some people don't approach traveling in the same way and expect constant smiles. This ship had few smiles initially, but I found the smiles and greetings came easier after I asked a few questions about their name, their day, and where they were from as well. A few moments of genuine interest brought smiles every day and warm greetings of "Hello Madam, Are you having a good day?" It was well worth the effort on the first and second day for a pleasant trip all week. PORTS and SHORE EXCURSIONS: I visited St. Thomas, USVI; Tortoga (BVI), and Nassau, Bahamas. I lived for a while on St. Thomas so I was not in any way shy about going onshore and going to the beach. This is a US protectorate -- US dollars. If you want upscale -- get a pass online for Sapphire Beach Resort (It is a resort style beach with clean white sands and upscale security). You can take a taxi and get there for about $20. It is a resort and can call a taxi when you need to return. If you want a local guided tour of St. Thomas that has lots of local color use Brenda and Franko's Fun tours. They are Island Locals all the way -- they will usually take you to Coki Beach which can be crowded on cruise day or to Magan's Bay -- both can be a little hectic but the beaches are wonderful and warm and soft sand. The tour guides are attentive and will take you to all the tourist places on the Island (and get you a few cups of free rum punch on the side). The cost is about $35 for a tour and beach day -- it lasts about 5 hours (beach about 2 hours). I went to Secret Habour. It is not frequented by the Cruise companies, and is very quiet, it has change rooms, and a small restaurant and is a local beach. It is about 20 minutes by taxi. If you take a taxi make sure you can call them for pick up and return. The Beach is also part of a resort but is public, and there might be people who will offer to get you a beach chair for $5 -- it's up to you. It is also a great beach for snorkeling. Just be aware of your return time back to the Cruise ship and plan to leave early -- all the Cruise line taxis return at the same time and traffic will go slow into the port at Charlotte Amalie. So plan on being back to the ship at least an hour before ship sails -- and make sure you arrange a set time for pick up at the beach. TORTOLA: Tortola is actually only 45 minutes by boat from St. Thomas (FYI) but the Escape cruises 9 hours in a circle and docks early (about 6 AM). I took the 7 AM Ships' tour to Virgin Gorda and the Baths. It was the Snorkel ashore tour -- I used to snorkel so this was not a problem. After snorkeling ashore (about 200 yards) make sure you turn with your back to shore and let the waves bring you in -- its much easier. The water was warm, the waves high, and the walk through the Baths Stones a little challenging for those with weak knees. I would NOT recommend this for anyone with back problems, bad knees or ankles. Take a submergible camera (all digital cameras will die in the wet here) - but- there are so many great pictures to take! I liked this tour and would do it again, but next time I would hopefully find a tour with a smaller boat (there were 80 passengers on this boat, so it was a little hard to get everyone coordinated and moving on time). FYI NASSAU: I didn't go ashore. I had been here several times and decided to stay on ship. IT was wonderful. The ship was quiet and relaxed. I could sit by the pool and read or have pool to swim in without any interruptions! THE CASINO: This Casino was all right. I found it rather confusing as it was situated in the atrium and in the middle of Deck 7. I played the slots with friends and made back about 75% of my money. I considered it entertainment for the cost of about 2 cups of Latte Coffee :) DISEMBARKATION: The disembarkation was smooth. I chose to leave the ship with the "PURPLE" group at about 9:15 AM. It was fairly easy to find my checked luggage for Customs, and I was out into the Taxi area by about 10 AM. HINT:; If you have a late departure at MIA International (mine was at 8 PM) you can take a Taxi to the Airport, check your luggage in and go back downtown to Miami on the Metro rail for only a few dollars. I checked in my luggage with my airline. I didn't have much of a carry on, so I went to the Metro Rail station in the Airport Station and bought a DADE Metro Rail pass for the Day ($6 for the day) and I went down to South Miami and hanged around the South Miami Shopping mall area. It is Cuban area with GREAT Cuban food. I ate at Casa Cuba -- and wandered around the upscale shopping area. Around 5:20 I took the ORANGE LINE back to the MIA Airport. I was through the TSA check point and back at the gate by 7 PM. What a nice way to end a cruise! Happy Cruising! 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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