2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My spouse and I took this exact same cruise at the exact same time last year and it was, hands down, the best cruise we'd ever taken. When we booked this cruise earlier in the year, we were very excited at the thought of matching ... Read More
My spouse and I took this exact same cruise at the exact same time last year and it was, hands down, the best cruise we'd ever taken. When we booked this cruise earlier in the year, we were very excited at the thought of matching last year's cruise. Sadly, there was a stark difference in the two cruises and we were left with a feeling of disappointment in some areas. In others, this ship shined. For transparency, we tend to sail in the Haven. This year was no exception. Not because we are rich. We are far from it. But I am disabled and have health challenges. For that reason, we budget every year to insure that we are able to travel in a way that's most comfortable for me...and in a way that allows me to get the best experience possible out of our travel. We are not "snooty," nor are we "entitled." However, when you pay a premium, you do expect that "premium" to be delivered. About 3 weeks prior to our cruise, I emailed the pre-cruise concierge, as directed, for any requests that may make our cruise more enjoyable. In that email, I explained that due to severe allergies, we are not able to have fresh flowers in our room, nor are we able to have any kind of feather bedding as they cause significant allergic reactions. I received an email response assuring me that this request would be handled prior to embarkation. Embarkation was close to flawless and we were told our room was ready as soon as we boarded. We were staying in a Haven Spa Suite and it was nice. However, when we walked in, we noticed a vase of wilted and dying flowers....obviously left over from the prior cruise. Not a huge deal...we figured we'd give it to our room steward when we met him. The ice bucket had lukewarm melted water in it....presumedly from the prior cruise that ended earlier that day. There was only one towel, and one bathrobe. There was no bottle of champagne on ice as we were told there would be...and as there was last year. Individually, not a huge deal...but adding it up, it was a little disappointing. Shortly thereafter, our room steward arrived and we spoke with him about the flowers, etc. He apologized for the oversights, said he'd fix them by the time we returned from lunch and assured us that the room was feather free. That was the big part for us, so we were grateful. After the first night, my spouse woke up with a pretty intense allergy attack. Since the vents were on the ceiling, we figured it was the air ducts and the air circulation. We were assured that the room was de-feathered, so we didn't think that was the problem. For the next 5 nights, our allergies were pretty intense. We were living on allergy medicine and continued to chalk it up to the air conditioning. By day 6, I was beyond miserable. At that point, I took a closer look at the pillows. All but one were exactly what we needed. The last one, all feather. We called our room steward to ask him to please change it, but he was unavailable. So we called our butler.....who, up until that time, we had seen, maybe 3 times the entire cruise...who informed us that our room steward was on break and would handle when he came back during the nightly turndown. We called about it just after noon. After explaining that the allergic response was making us pretty miserable, he did send someone in his place to change out the bedding. We vacated the room so that could happen. Our allergies never cleared up and we realized on the morning that we left, that while there was no feather bedding ON the bed, they had stored all the feather bedding UNDER the bed. It was pretty awful. Adding to that frustration, we had to ask almost daily for fresh ice...and the only thing we asked of our butler was to have cookies in the evening. He promised cookies every night. They came once. We didn't ask anything else of him....we didn't order room service....we did not dine in our room...he was pretty much non-existent. He did, however, show up on the morning of debarkation to collect his tip. Again, I need to stress....we are NOT snooty. We weren't asking for outlandish things. We asked for next to nothing. But we paid a premium for a certain service and that service didn't deliver. It was even more disappointing because we do work so hard to afford that level of service. For it not to be there, cast a bit of a shadow on our week. Especially with the allergy/feather situation. The rest of the cruise was AMAZING!! We loved Cagney's and Moderno. We also enjoyed Food Republic. It's a different concept but enjoyable nonetheless. The only exception was Bayamo. We didn't enjoy Bayamo as much as we'd hoped and probably wouldn't return. The Garden Cafe was perfect for what we needed it for, and we enjoyed dining at Taste one night as well. As for the entertainment.....for the second year, Choir of Man was absolutely incredible!! We also saw Melinda Doolittle's solo show in the Supper Club....and that was one of the most enjoyable evenings of our cruise. She was very warm, engaging, and very friendly. It was a very cool thing to be able to talk with her a bit after her show as well. I was really pulling for her when she was on American Idol, so it really was a thrill to see her perform. We didn't see any other shows as it was an early night most nights for us. We met some really great people through the meet and greet/slot pull/cabin crawl. We had a great time with them. Blackjack was very kind to us, but we seemed to give our winnings back to the slot machines!!! We loved karaoke nights as well. The pools were crowded as they normally are....but the slides seemed to be popular. We did not use the Haven pool area, but we did use the sundeck in the Haven once or twice and that was pretty relaxing. The Haven restaurant was also very good. Bermuda was beautiful as always. We took the free ferry over to St. Georges and headed to Tobacco Bay. That was a beautiful area. We seemed to luck out as we heard that Horseshoe Bay was filled with Portuguese Man-O-War which made it difficult to swim. In fact, someone from our Cruise Critic group was stung and from what we heard, had to be treated at the hospital. I'm not sure we'll do this itinerary again. We love cruising out of NY because we are local and flying is challenging for me. But I think we'll try something elsewhere next year. We are firm believers in vacations being exactly what you make them to be...and in that sense, we had a magical week onboard the Escape. But the service...or lack thereof...did make things challenging for us most of the time. And that part, was probably the most disappointing aspect of our cruise. Will be sail NCL again? Absolutely. Will we sail the Escape again? Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We loved this cruise and the boat was amazing. The staff were very helpful and kind. Our cabin was always clean and the public areas were also always clean. We only had a few suggestions. The speciality resturants were amazing. The food ... Read More
We loved this cruise and the boat was amazing. The staff were very helpful and kind. Our cabin was always clean and the public areas were also always clean. We only had a few suggestions. The speciality resturants were amazing. The food was good but we waited a long time for food when we went. We actaully missed a show we had scheduled because the meal took so long. They book us for another night to see the show but it wasn't when we wanted to go. Also we were on deck 15. Spa mini suit with balcony. While most of the time we did not hear the action from the pool deck above us we did hear it sum. If you are on deck 15 you will be fine but given a choice I would choose deck 14 or 13. We had the spa package and hosntley didn't use the spa that much. It was nice and very clean but mostly used by older folks and the heated lounge chairs were hard to get. I am not sure I would pay again for the spa room. If you want to lay inside a lot consider doing it but other than that it wasn't amazing. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Initially very tentative about moving up to such a large ship with over 4000 passengers. Some reviews wailed about long lines before, during and after. But my wife convinced me it would be great... she was right. Stayed in Manhattan ... Read More
Initially very tentative about moving up to such a large ship with over 4000 passengers. Some reviews wailed about long lines before, during and after. But my wife convinced me it would be great... she was right. Stayed in Manhattan the night before and decided not to go to the terminal until after embarkation had begun. So much better than standing for an hour waiting for security to open. We were able to go right to security and into the registration area lines which just kept moving. Total time including forms, pics, and up the gangway just 45 minutes to the first beverage. Spent some time wandering and discovered the 5 O’clock Somewhere outside bar. Great view of Manhattan. This bar and comfy seating areas surrounding the outside on Deck 8. Moved onto our room that was nicely appointed with a balcony that was great for morning coffees, afternoon sunning and champagne evenings. Our only disappointment was the cleaning staff who did not keep the standards we expected. The entertainment was great. Two pianos “Howl at the Moon” were so much fun we went 3 times! Steve and Rhonda we incredible talents, perfect performers for this type of music singalong. They even let a 87 year passenger play the drums a few times. Joe played great and it was a joy to see him play. There was also a 3rd player who had just joined “Howl”. He had an amazing voice. Two other shows we saw in the Theatre were After Midnight at the Cotton Club featuring a look back at the great songs of a vibrant era in Harlem. Great dance and voices that raised the roof. Next was The Choir of Man where a full slate of typical “anthem” songs with great choreography, solos and harmonies pulled you along with the boys night at their pub. The restaurants were exactly as billed with variety that should have pleased anyone. As with any ship you need to do some research. Check menus so you get what you like. Italian, Brazilian, Steakhouse, Japanese, Asian, French, Tapas. Some of those with up charges or as part of a dining package. The food hub is the Garden Cafe (Buffet). Every station is different so take a trip around the room that has everything from Hotdogs to Pad Thai, Fast or slow, deserts fancy and simple. Breakfast options, again, take a look around, self serve and never leave hungry. Oh yes, it also has two service bars. Short moving lines, plenty of seating that might be a bit tight if you are trying to sit a large group together. Leisure areas with pools, hot tubs, pool bars, deck chairs everywhere. My wives tip, go up, up higher for a cool experience sunning at H2O 17th deck that had a cooling waterfall grotto. Water slide, Ropes course with walk the plank off the edge of the ship. Basketball, Miniputt all up high. Once in beautiful Bermuda, we decided to pass on the excursions instead taking the Ferry across for a short trip to Hamilton for the day as we bar hopped from terrace to terrace. On Wednesday’s they hold a street festival in the evening. The next day we stay on the Wharf, while my wife hits the shopping, I tour the Old Fort built by the British. A great look into history, great exhibits and views. Next time beaches and snorkeling are on the agenda. Oh yes, there will be a next time for Bermuda! The elevators are fore and Aft. Occasionally busy and again possibly difficult for large groups or large families with strollers. But overall pretty smooth. Tip: remember that each set of buttons only calls 4 of the 8 elevators around it. If you press both sets on the same side, then all 8 are called. (PS that’s why the doors open and no one gets on occasionally). But you’re already on, so don’t get steamed, just get good at the close door button inside after you wait a beat for slow walkers. On The last day if you can’t get down the stairs the elevators will be quite full. Tip: Go up to go down. The sea days were great and the ship took the sea with very little sway thanks in part due to the weather awesome. Life is good! We’ll be back on NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
To summarize my very long review below, a brief version for anyone just looking for the cliff notes: The Good: Top notch friendly employees, Room size/cleanliness/comfort, Drinks, Large Casino, Mojito Bar, Tapas, Taste/Savor, buffet, ... Read More
To summarize my very long review below, a brief version for anyone just looking for the cliff notes: The Good: Top notch friendly employees, Room size/cleanliness/comfort, Drinks, Large Casino, Mojito Bar, Tapas, Taste/Savor, buffet, Starbucks. The Bad: Not enough elevators, not enough smoking areas, far too crowded, lots of up-selling, not enough explanation, extremely long wait times at bars. Almost all entertainment/dining options booked up right away, Supper Club, Room service meal. This was our second NCL to Bermuda cruise, the last was on the Breakaway 2 years ago. The extra passanger capacity between the ships and the nickel and diming reduction of service definitely showed however we were still able to enjoy our time. Other passengers seemed much less happy, as for us we are willing to try Norwegian again but may try out MSC as a replacement. There were no life jackets in the room. This was by design but concerning none the less. I’m guessing by only keeping them at muster stations and not 1 per passenger at muster and 1 in room they are saving money at the expense of safety. It quickly grew frustrating the lack of explanation of things/up-charges or even ship information yet the constant attention to advertising. For instance they have 4-5 cruising magazines in staterooms, none of which about the ship you're on, other ships in fleet or ports, all of which are about things you can buy on board. Half or more of the TV channels are dedicated to adverts and just about every other day we came back to the room with robo advert messages left on our phone and in our stateroom account page on the TV. When you just gave them a lot of money for the current cruise it doesn't feel as though they appreciate the business when they immediately go into upsell mode. It really sets a sour tone. Embarkation- Pier 88 parking was very expensive but worth it. We arrived at 11AM was in the terminal and boarding by 11:45. Previously we arrived very early and waited this time it felt much more seamless. I don't recommend getting to the NYC terminal earlier than 11-12, it was a breeze for us. Ship- The ship was incredibly large. We were in a forward room, you will get in all your daily steps for the day just leaving and returning to your room a few times. By the third day my feet were sore and I stopped wearing 'cute' shoes, I noticed I was far from the only woman who just gave up and wore sneakers to navigate this huge ship. The main draw back was how incredibly crowded the ship felt at times. Elevators were certainly a 'good luck' endeavor. After the muster drill it took, no exaggeration, 45 minutes for elevators to fit the people who were waiting. After the breakaway I knew not to bother so we stayed where we were and watched others getting increasingly frustrated. Especially the mobility challenged passengers who were unable to get their scooters into the elevators, something that became a common problem as the trip went on. Waiting for elevators was a rather common experience throughout the week, typically anything before 10PM you'd need to wait for 2 as the first that would come would be full. NCL seemed to try to lean into the extra passangers by creating a club like atmosphere in many places. The pool, the casino, several of the bars including Spice which is listed as a designated quiet zone. We stayed on the ship during 2 of the 3 days in Bermuda and it was wonderful. Finally many of the mobility challenged passengers were able to get out of their cabins and maneuver around. Smoking- We are smokers. Unlike the breakaway where there seemed to be many designated smoking areas the Escape has 3 for over 4K people. 2 of which outdoors on level 17, 1 inside on 8. It was here that I'd hear the majority of complaints and 'Never again Norwegian'. The inside area was what was supposed to be a cigar lounge, it was very small and often crowded. Even as a smoker I found it difficult to be in a small area with that much smoke and no fresh air. The reason I later discovered it was always so packed there was because it was the only smoking area anyone with mobility issues could navigate to. The other two had tables, chairs and a large volume of people you'd need to pass through in order to get to. Spice has several stairs to the smoking area and while there is a ramp you'd have to navigate around every one in loungers to get there. At night when Spice does parties you'd have no way of reaching the ramp. The casino does have a smoking section when it is open so long as you are gambling but this is a pay to smoke option. I'd read the Escape uses a better filtration system for their smoking area in the casino and you can really tell. Even when people were actively smoking it didn't linger and create that cloud it also seemed to really contain itself to the casino area which was impressive. There are not near enough smoking areas on the ship for the amount of smokers on board. Dining- This time every time we went to a sit down the server asked me for food allergies. I appreciated the attention to it but it became a bit overboard with me being allergic to some shellfish not being served any seafood and even my husband not being served. I suppose with such a big ship cross contamination happens often so even if you're getting a burger and fries it's possible to get shellfish in things they shouldn't be in. Buffet- I was surprised to see such a tone down of 'washy washy' only during peak hours did they have someone at the main entrance insuring people washed. I brought my own hospital grade hand spray and we used it constantly. The first night someone threw up in the buffet so they closed it down. We ate breakfast there every day, I wish they served their breakfast a bit later than 11 or had a 'brunch' option between lunch service because I found their breakfast much better than their lunch options. I loved their full salad bar and the breakfast was excellent every day. My husband loved the garbanzo salad so much we'd stop there just for that. Dining- Food Republic- We were planning on using our first dining credit for here. We made reservations and arrived only to be told Food Republic is not included in any dining plan. I was very thankful the matri-d explained right off the bat before seating us and we racked up a bill unknowingly. No where on the dailies did it say this nor when I selected the dining plan which places it would be good for. We went to guest services and they annotated a copy of the daily with the information on which is up charged on top of dining package and which were not included at all. Margaritavilla and Food Republic not covered at all Tapas and Super Club Upcharge Cagneys and Bleu - Upcharge is for certain items and indicated on the menu. Being as though it was too late to get another reservation we ended up at Savor and it was fantastic. Savor/Taste- Really great. On the breakaway it seemed it was the same quality as the buffet just plated and served. Here it was great, my husband had a better steak here than at the steak house Cagnys we went to later. Breakaway it seemed service was incredibly slow, if we went sit down it would be 2 hours minimum and it would typically be faster to go to the bar yourself to get a drink while waiting so we tended to just do buffet but not on the Escape. You were never rushed, servers were excellent and attentive as was the food. Manhattan Room- I chose the Manhattan Room for our anniversary dinner. On the breakaway it seemed the more upscale option in the most beautiful setting. The setting on the Escape is just as beautiful but they seemed this time to pack far more people into the room and it felt much more casual. What was the dace floor on breakaway was now extra seating so no dancing and what was nice live music was unmanned instruments. The server was great the food was decent. Unbeknownst to us when we handed the matri-d our free anniversary cake coupon they brought it over with a song. My husband and I have a standing agreement to never ask for the 'happy birthday' song for each other (though it is often threatened lol) while embarrassing it was incredibly cute and made it quite memorable and special. The servers, the matri-d even the buspeople, even though they were very busy were incredibly kind and wishing you a good day. Cagneys- I had heard very good things about Cagneys but found them a bit on the meh side, nothing to write home about but nothing bad either. I think the bar from Savor/Taste was raised too high for me to be wowed. I can't even remember what I ordered but I do remember that as always the service was fantastic. In Cagneys we had our picture taken, on the breakaway they were in our folders so we could order them at the end of the cruise this time when we went to order them at the end we were told eventhough we could see them in our file, we were not allowed to buy them. We would have had to have done so at the table not a big deal just something to be aware about. Moderno- The Italian place was a bit odd, they were playing American classic hard rock, think Alice Cooper, Guns N Roses etc. While I'm a fan of that it took away from the atmosphere a bit. The food here was good. I ordered a steak with bleu cheese ravioli and thought it was amazing, my husband got one of the pasta options and found it a bit underwhelming and not filling. Tapas/Pincho- This restaurant was a $7 upcharge per person and does not take reservations. We were incredibly confused on hours and seating. They don't have a designated matri-d section and when you walk up it looks like an empty sushi stand with no one manning it. We waited for a while, saw other people looking around, looking at the menu waiting then giving up. It was now too late to get a reservation anywhere else so we were about to just go to the buffet when I decided to ask the matri-d at the next door seafood restaurant if she knew when the tapas place would be open. Turns out they never man the serving area, it will always appear closed, to get seated you must go to the seafood restaurant. Something so small a tiny sign could help but nothing. They lost the up charge or straight extra business of 4-5 other couples in just the time we were waiting because none of us knew how to be seated. Frequently when passing Pincho you'd see confused people looking around to be seated or walking away. Once we were seated this was the most incredible meal we had not just on the ship but in years. It's definitely a hidden gem and you might need to work harder than you should to visit it but it is well worth it. We were expecting tiny samples, just tasters really and not only is it enough for a meal everything is incredible and sharing it is so much fun. The server here was incredibly knowledgeable about everything on her menu. Even if you don't have the meal package you need to visit this place. If you have the meal perk, spend them all here and gladly hand over the extra charge. Super Club- This was so bad we actually complained at guest services. After we booked I was on the website and saw I could book a dinner theater show here and prepay, so I did. We arrived 30 minutes early which was advised and right off the bat it was nuts. The server came over and in the thickist accent I've heard from anyone on board tried to take our order before we even sat down. Apparently they need to put in your dinner order right away, the only option is fish or beef. You do not get to choose any courses and you are not able to know what they are, they are brought put down and you figure it out for yourself. They advertise a 5 course meal and this is by far the worst when it came to my allergies. The main server asked if I had one, I told him shell fish he took the wine list off the table as we were sitting down, apparently they did not have enough so I needed to steal one from another table so my husband could read it which he wasn't given enough time to do before the person taking drink orders came around and they never came back. Once we sat we noticed the table was not secured to the base. We had to be incredibly careful not to flip it all night. The pictures they show online of big booths reminiscent of a 50s jazz lounge is not at all what it’s actually like. They brought over a colored ‘foul’ placard and put it in front of me, I thought it odd but with the rushing was given no explanation. Apparently the bulk of their courses, which we didn’t know would be predetermined were seafood of which I would be served none and only 1 of which had an alternative, the alternative was a few slices of canned beets. My husband even had seafood pulled away from him because we had a placard at the table. I was asked no less than 7 times what my allergies were, I had desert served to me then pulled back up because they needed to check with the kitchen staff if it had been contaminated. There was a larger table behind us with 2 foul placards and after enough people being passed over by the third course got rather upset and told them to take the placards away and bother telling them what the courses were so they could decide for themselves. My 5 courses turned into 2 plus the addition of some sliced canned beets on the side. Several times I moved my placard slightly off to the side so I could have my drink or one of the plates I was allowed to have in front of me and 3 separate times I had someone move my plate, drink or purse so the placard would be in front of me at all times frankly it was getting embarrassing. We figured whatever, one pretty awful experience won’t ruin our trip and I can always go to the buffet later. However we found out that not only did I prepay, but it counted against our meal package. What I paid was not the fee but the uncharge all for food I was unable to eat and given no alternatives. We went to guest services and explained that we were never informed what I paid was an uncharge and I wasn’t even served 3 of my supposed 5 courses that I’d paid for. Jeff in guest services was very apologetic and acknowledged the website does not tell you the $36 fee is the uncharge on top of your dining credit. He not only gave us our credit back but went out of his way to get us into Moderno on the last night (we were planning on just going to the tapas place for lunch again with our last credit as everything was booked from that point on) apparently if you’re going to buy/reserve ANYTHING on the website do it over the phone instead where they can tell you if what your paying is the actual full charge or not. Oshehans- We went to Oshehans the night of the Super Club failure so I could have dinner and again for lunch. Great bar food, great service. Always incredibly busy and packed but the servers seem to really take it in stride. Room Service- We did this once late night. I think it was really meant more for very drunk people than anyone else. I ordered a salad and a hot dog- hot dog was nuked, burnt and exploded missing the onions and fries were replaced with potato chips, missing the deli pickle advertised on the menu. Husband ordered fruit and yogurt plate that was missing the yogurt. Salads were good though. Bars- This is the place where you’re going to feel the added passengers more than anywhere else with exception of the elevators. Bars were often packed and it could be very difficult to get drinks. If you had diner reservations and decided to stop for a drink you must allocated about 20 mins of wait time and that is not an exception. At least once a day we would wait at one bar for 15-20 minutes, see no end in sight so move to another bar and wait again. The bar tenders were really trying but there just isn’t enough of them for the amount of people they are expected to serve. Often times you’d see people just holding up at the bars, unlike the breakaway where they would get their drink and move on. If you planned on a drinking night it seemed you needed to scope out a chair in front of the bartender if you wanted more consistent service, again not their fault. Even at the casino, which we visited every night, I was able to get two drinks at the slots my husband was only able to get a drink once. Bars were another place you’d hear ‘Never again Escape or Never again Norwegian’ even late at night the casino bar turned into a club and Oshehans was packed. If we ever do Escape again we will not get the drink package, for the two of us the added tips alone were $250 that is probably what our drink charges + tips would have been for all the drinks we were able to get served to us at the ship bars. On the breakaway the drinks were incredibly consistent Escape speed seemed to be the primary concern. Little corners cut, such as the mai tai recipe calling for cinnamon, breakaway had cinnamon sticks as stirrers here all cinnamon was left out completely though it still remained on the menu. There were also several specialty bars and it could get a bit confusing who was serving what. There was a whisky bar that seemed to just exist for the people in the small smoking room to drink something and navigate people over to one of the ships bars. There was a margaritaville tie in bar called 5 oclock somewhere that also had a special menu and did not serve anything else. There was a specialty mojito bar that only did mojitos. No where at any of these 3 bars did they have a sign or anything stating they were not normal bars so the over worked bartenders had to keep repeating it over and over and over again. The mojito bar was incredible. We only stopped there because it was the one bar that didn’t have a line even though by then wed realized they were mojitos only. We went back again and again, by the end of the cruise it seems other people were catching on to how good they were and it became another packed placed hard to get a drink at. Straws- I was relieved to see they had gotten paper straws but dismayed to see them so stingy with them. You could get one if you asked or if you got a frozen drink. I support their effort to be green but I don’t believe thats why they are doing it. If they cared about the environment they wouldn’t be using plastic disposable cups, they wouldn’t be denying people straws they would have moved to paper or plastic less ones. They are doing it to save money at the expense of customer enjoyment and spills all over the floor and in every elevator every night. Speaking of plastic cups the NCL logo ones are no more now it’s clear cheap plastic. It seems everything that costs a few pennies but isn’t absolutely needed is being removed. Disabled Passengers- We’ve been considering bringing my parents on a cruise. My mother is mobility impaired, she can walk and stand but only for limited periods so this cruise I tried to pay special attention to the conditions from a disabled persons perspective and frankly I do not recommend cruising, at least on Norwegian for anyone who relies on a mobility scooter. I had debated renting one for my mother thinking she wouldn’t need to worry about walking but seeing what people in those scooters went through it would be easier to carry her on my back if I had to. I’m now debating bringing her one of those seated walkers but unless I can find one that folds I still don’t think it would go well. The elevator situation on the Escape while bad for all passengers seemed a right nightmare for the disabled. One man mentioned they should have one dedicated elevator for people needing scooters and I completely agree. The buffet showed handicapped placards but you’d still need to be able to move a chair out of the way, there were chair lifts for the areas not accessible by elevators but you needed to call someone to use it. I don’t know why they couldn’t have a special key card but even then, how would you get the scooter up there? Main hall ways were virtually impassable at times as is and for some reason in room hallways they put the housekeeping cart in the middle of the hallway instead of making it slightly shorter to fit in the concaves of the room doorways. It would be impossible for anyone in a scooter to leave or return to their room. It seems the only times most were actually able to use the ship was during it’s time in port. How sad to pay the same for a vacation as everyone else and be able to enjoy only a fraction. Room- Previously we stayed in the mini suite, this time we were in a regular balcony. The only difference was the bathroom was smaller but for 2 people it was more than adequate. It took me 3 days to realize I was in an obstructed view balcony as for me it just meant I could see other people below me. We went through a travel agent who warned us it might be possible to get an obstructed view so I was worried. At least in my case the obstruction was something most wouldn’t notice or mind. Despite being far forward there was very little movement. The only noise was the occasional slamming door. I asked our room steward for extra coffee and creamer for the coffee maker and an extra blanket. Not only did he do that, he left me extra coffee and creamer every single night from then on. One evening I decided I wanted tea and thought about asking him to bring some extra that night but I didn’t want to be a bother, sure enough as soon as he noticed I had gotten into the tea he put in extra and also took note of the sugar I was using to leave more of that as well. I was so very happy to see towel animals as I’d heard they were phasing them out. No I’m not a child, no this wasn’t my first Norwegian cruise I just love them. I know you can request they be made but most people don’t want to bother others for things that are not needed. I made sure to tell our steward how much I appreciated him taking the time to make them without having to ask. Both verbally and in tip. I also left it in the note for his hero card at the end of the week. Entertainment- We made our own entertainment for the most part. Unfortunately a lot of the things I was interested in watching took place in the Atrium. The Atrium is far too small, even being two floors to see anything let alone get a seat. We saw Melinda Doolittle at the supper club, she was fantastic. We also went to the late night comedy show I don’t remember his name but he was pretty decent. He did seem to go on and on about farms though and the audience seemed to get pretty sick of it. We went to the 90s party and it was incredibly packed, we had a really great time though just be aware the H20/Spice night shows are a very club like atmosphere. While the ship was in port we were able to make use of the Bocci set, the Mini golf and the large chess set. Mini golf was a bit strange, parts of the floor seemed to be sinking where you’d stand other than that all of the equipment seemed in good shape. Other entertainment options sold old very quickly. To me it sort of doesn’t agree with the freestyle vibe if you absolutly must reserve a dining room or a theatre ticket by 5PM sunday that you might want to go to on Saturday. It didn’t bother us too much though but be aware your ‘freestyle’ vacation might need to be planned meticulously as soon as you get on the boat as there just isn’t enough showings for all the people on board to get a seat. Bermuda- We’d been to Bermuda before and we are planning on going again. It’s incredibly beautiful and it’s so wonderful to be in an area that you feel so comfortable and safe in. This time we decided to enjoy the empty ship but we did visit tobacco bay. There was a $5 cover per person, this is certainly not a swimming style beach and if you visit water shoes need to be warn in the water as it’s very rocky with bits of glass. You can see beautiful little fish through the crystal clear water here. This is not one of the pink beaches but it is close enough to the ship you can walk, just follow the little green feet on the sidewalk and it takes you there. The absolute best show of the cruise will be watching the runners trying to make it back to the pier. Even the locals show up for this one. Employees/Tips- The vast majority of employees are really fantastic. One morning at breakfast they sang songs and offered people pastries. Very often they smile and say Hi or wish you a good day. I’d say the people they have working for them make the cruise. That being said I found the added gratuities a touch excessive when I did the math. Bartenders are not included as they are covered under the tips added from the unlimited drink package, which @ 270 for 2 people is excessive in and of itself. If you have 10 drinks a day that still equals out to almost a $2 tip per drink, even if they just hand you a beer. The added tips at the end is $15 per person per day or for us, was $210 specialty dining tips aren’t included in that nor is room steward. We ate at sit down main dining rooms 5 times 210/5 means we left a $42 tip each time. I’m all for tipping and tipping well but this is excessive. You can remove it at the end of the week I did not but before I go again I will do more research as it is probably much better to just cary enough cash to tip on the spot and forgo drink package as well. At least then you know for sure it’s going to the person and not the company. Shopping- I’m not one of the people who go on board to shop unfortunately there was 1 thing I was looking for which was the ship model and I wanted to collect every ship I’ve been on. Unfortunately even on day 1 they did not have it. I’m not sure if they discontinued them or not. I was also very surprised to see the large duty free liquor and tobacco store they had on the breakaway was much much smaller and melded with the general store on the Escape. It seems they gave all the room to the more upscale perfume or jewelry stores. I took note of some of the ship priced for toiletries a small bottle of mouth wash for $9 a dollar store disposable razor for $7. It’s good to know they have these things but be aware if you forget the mark up is huge. They had a starbucks on board though they did not advertise it anywhere. It’s in the atrium they call it cafe something but it’s starbucks. Surprisingly the mark up here isn’t that bad. The coffee on board really wasn’t all too great so we stopped here about 3 times. Each time someone asked me where I found a starbucks when they saw my cup. This goes back to not informing people of the amenities of the ship they are on and instead saving all the room for advertisements. Overall I enjoyed my time, if you’re not the kind of person who can go with the flow and not let little things ruin your day Escape might not be for you. We have decided to try at least 1 more NCL cruise on a much smaller ship, The Dawn to see if it fares any better with fewer people. NCL has it’s saving grace and that is it’s wonderful staff. I don’t wan’t to feel like a commodity with someone’s hand in my pocket, begging and begging for more money after I’ve spent thousands on a vacation and that’s what it seems NCL is becoming. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We found cruising NCL to be super relaxing and a lot of fun! The Escape is a beautiful ship with a fun and helpful crew. We definitely plan to sail on The Escape again! Embarkation was a smooth process, very organized. Our overall ... Read More
We found cruising NCL to be super relaxing and a lot of fun! The Escape is a beautiful ship with a fun and helpful crew. We definitely plan to sail on The Escape again! Embarkation was a smooth process, very organized. Our overall food and beverage experience was excellent. We chose to eat at Cagney's Steakhouse, LeBistro French Restaurant, Moderno Churrascaria, the buffet, O'Sheehan's, Savor, Taste, and The Manhattan Dining Room. Cagney's, LeBistro, and Moderno (all premium restaurants) were all wonderful - delicious food, great service, and excellent options. We were also pleasantly surprised by the buffet - delicious food, lots of options for all meals. Savor, Taste, and the Manhattan room were very good as well. Our experience at O'Sheehan's was hit or miss, but overall not bad. I wasn't thrilled with the cupcake I purchased at the bake shop (white chocolate strawberry); in my opinion the icing was way too stiff and the cake part was sticky. But the complimentary desserts were all hits with our family. Everyone on the NCL staff was professional and helpful. Our room steward checked with us every day and kept our room spotless. He even left me an extra box of tissues and an extra pillow when I came down with a cold during the cruise. The food staff was perfectly attentive without being overbearing and were VERY helpful with food allergies again without being overbearing. They were knowledgeable about how the food was prepared and double checked anything we ordered. We had plenty of allergy-safe options from which to choose. (For reference, our allergy concerns were Tree-nut, Peanut, and Shellfish.) There are plenty of onboard activities for all ages. Our family enjoyed the rope course, water slides, dance parties, pool, H2O, and the Grotto. The Grotto in H2O is a beautiful, peaceful retreat! There's plenty of entertainment on board. Here's our overall rating of the shows we attended: 18+ Comedy Show: Just meh. Not all that funny. After Midnight: High energy show, great dancing, beautiful costumes. Very enjoyable. Dueling Pianos: Very talented musicians, funnier than the comedian, but same kinds of jokes at each performance - once is enough. Don't ask them to play any Billy Joel or Elton John - they obviously hate it and will either not play your request while insulting you for asking or totally destroy the song with their own lyrics. Choir of Man: Fantastic show! We even purchased the CD afterward. This is the show to see! 5 stars. As for excursions, we did the Sunset Bermuda Triangle Glass Bottom Boat excursion through NCL and the Restless Native Catamaran Snorkel excursion through our excellent travel agents (Rick & Marian at Dream Vacations). Both were excellent! -The Sunset cruise was funny and very interesting. -The Restless Native crew were a lot of fun and the the snorkeling took place in water that we could stand in, making it accessible for everyone, and the more adventurous passengers could swim out into deeper water to see the reef. -On our own, we took a cab ($45 for six adult passengers) to Warwick Long Bay. The cab driver was friendly and helpful, the beach was beautiful and uncrowded, and we even found a little cove with lots of fish! Everyone in Bermuda was friendly and helpful. -I also recommend trying the Afternoon Tea at The Princess Hotel in Hamilton - delicious! A reservation is helpful, but not needed. If you do not have a reservation, just allow about 30 minutes for them to prepare your food - everything is made fresh! Disembarkation was a smooth process. Lines were long, but that's to be expected on a cruise carrying 5000 passengers. My disembarkation tip: Get a NYC porter for your luggage! No charge - just a tip (which they definitely deserve!), and they will get you through to your car or taxi super fast! Overall, a great trip I would love to do again! I'm hoping the Escape will get some improvements to it's professional entertainment, but at the very least Choir of Man is now included and is amazing! Yes, there are a variety of offerings onboard for an upcharge, but there's plenty to enjoy for no additional cost. Great cruise on a beautiful ship! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
As a heads-up, we were a group of 6 aged 30-45 with 2 seniors over 65 but still physically capable, all sailing May 19-26, 2019. We’ve also sailed on other cruiselines to compare (RCI, Princess, Holland America). The 2 seniors were ... Read More
As a heads-up, we were a group of 6 aged 30-45 with 2 seniors over 65 but still physically capable, all sailing May 19-26, 2019. We’ve also sailed on other cruiselines to compare (RCI, Princess, Holland America). The 2 seniors were celebrating their 50th anniversary. We're pretty casual and sensible people, but we sure know quality when we see it. I hope this lengthy review helps you out, because it sure could've helped us out before booking! While the NCL Escape wasn’t a horrible cruise, it was disappointing in too many areas that it really has left us just vexed and irked. It’s almost a completely different cruiseline compared to a few years ago, and not in a good way. They don’t offer a good enough product for the NYC area, with nothing premium that is not in The Haven (the ship’s suite facilities). The ship’s biggest flaw was not being able to fit the passenger capacity in the facilities onboard due to them being too small or an afterthought. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: Embarkation was congested yet semi-organized, which took about ~1hr from the entering the marina to getting on the ship. Many hurdles to jump through, and towing luggage while doing it isn’t too fun and I can’t imagine doing this regularly/monthly. Disembarkation was initially a disaster since the ship docked many hours earlier than expected, and some rocket scientist in charge thought it was a good idea to call our tag color 1hr before it should have. You should have seen the madness that was the buffet and elevators by then (8AM). Absolutely NUTS. And the staff was no longer as pleasant, but go figure special thanks to rocket scientist. Then once we managed to squeeze into an elevator, it was ~20min total time off the ship and passing customs. The $40/day pier parking was totally worth the convenience, and we could have gotten a marginally cheaper shuttle arrangement if we researched in advance. DEMOGRAPHIC: Basically the Carnival cruise kind of crowd, in mid-May. Passengers were mainly 30-60 yrs of the blue-collar-with-tattoos kind of crowd who looove to drink and consider the burgers and pizza to be gourmet, and there were some kids running around or making scenes and spreading germs via poor hygiene. But most passengers were respectful and we all treated each other as such. SHIP: Bigger isn’t necessarily better, and this ship’s a clear example. Aside from being a big & beautiful ship and all that, it’s packed to the gills with passengers like a sardine can (~4300 total). There simply aren’t enough pools & hot tubs for everyone. It’s hard to find a seat in the buffet most of the time. You have to hunt down lounge chairs often to get the location you prefer. I could go on. The ship also seemed to be cheaply assembled since it constantly creaked and rocked from the slightest choppiness at sea. I’ve felt less rocking in smaller ships, on WORSE waters. The walls aren’t well insulated or secured as evident by the constant creaking in the stateroom and several facilities. The strangest thing was that the engine’s vibrating was felt all the way up to the 10th+ floor, with sometimes jolts of vibrations that would dissipate randomly. Why? How? Imagine having to sleep with that….NOT fun! CABIN: Our cabin was a mid-ship balcony, 9280, smack-dab next to the elevators. The elevators weren’t a noise issue because they were partitioned from them, but the cabin walls were thin enough to hear a cough from the neighbors or flip flops in the hallway. Especially door slams and toilet flushes, what a drag. The bathroom was OK in size, but the toilet paper roller is installed in a hidden place which doesn’t make sense. Also, 9280 had the bed closest to the balcony rather than the sofa (as some balconies do), which while it’s nice for couples, it didn’t work out at all when having guests over. The dark wood and the sofa material were terrible design choices, because it cheapened & visually confined the cabin. SERVICE: The crew overall helped to create a positive cruise experience, and for the most part the staff is pleasant. Our housekeeper Edwin was the rudest, laziest housekeeper we’ve ever met. Not to go into much detail, he was in a bad mood no matter what, constantly neglected to refill or clean certain things, hung up on our call requests to fix them, ignored us when we ran into him and said hello, and rushed us out of our cabin whenever he felt like making up our room. Sure, he had 16 rooms to clean, but frankly that wasn’t our problem since we were on vacation. We had to beg him to arrange an anniversary surprise for the senior couple traveling with us. He didn’t even provide the “anniversary cake” card they were promised, so we had to get it at guest services. Other than folks like Edwin, the crew was overall friendly and hardworking however lacked refinement or training when it came to good service (eg MDR). Most are no longer willing to go above and beyond. Most are no longer eager to please. Those small details that make a vacation special were missing. The absence made sense when we saw staff being rotated around the ship instead of focusing on one area (eg one day Richard’s in the MDR, the next he’s in the buffet). The MDR was understaffed, lacking hands to manage several tables. The whole experience were even less special as a result of lacking food, service and timeliness. Other passengers complained of similar service issues in the specialty dining restaurants. Why pay more for the same experience? The anniversary surprise resulted in a quarrel between the staff of who were or weren’t in the mood to sing for the couple. On their 50th? A crying shame. DINING: The food aboard was overall acceptable, however was cut back a good amount since we sailed with NCL in 2015. It’s obvious that the cruiseline decided to go with a cheaper & lower-end selection of meals, even in specialty dining. Even Carnival has more gourmet dining options now (and that’s saying something). The Garden Café (buffet), while ideal for quick & no-frills meals, was limited or unimaginative when it came to selection and quality of food options. Where was the salmon, gourmet cheeses, array of cured meats, unique ingredients/foods/proteins or fine pastries? Because 80%+ of the time we couldn’t find them. Buffet breakfast was disappointing, with the same boring assortment every single day: continental/American usual choices, an embarrassing European selection, and congee. The buffet offered cuisine themes, but 1) themed ethnic dishes were NOT authentically prepared (not even the Mexican dishes! Really??), and 2) just the dinner themes were advertised while nobody knew what was going on for lunch. The pizza would upset ANY native NYC’er since it was essentially tomato sauce & cheese on a bland and greasy insult to pizza crust. Buffet desserts were mostly boring and repetitive, including the crepe station. There were always 1-2 no-sugar-added options (eg vanilla ice cream; strawberry mousse), but again, VERY boring and repetitive. The executive chef (an Indian man whose name I forgot) did nail down not seasoning the dishes too much/little, much like on RCI. He especially excels at Indian buffet dishes, but as much as I enjoyed the fish curry or chicken korma, I had to skip it often due to being too heavy/spicy, and most of the passengers apparently did the same. O’Sheehan’s was a pub-style free dining option, with decent wings and other bar snacks of varying quality. The whole place kind of felt like an afterthought, like “yeah, welcome, what do you want, are you done yet?”. The atrium right next to it was deafening loud a lot of the times where you just couldn’t hear each other at the table. Most things we tried on the menu were overall good, not great. The service, just meh. The desserts were disappointing, including me not finishing the brownie cheesecake -- something I NEVER did on a NCL cruise in 2015. It didn’t even TASTE like cheesecake or brownie. What happened? Oh that’s right, quality cuts the company hoped their passengers wouldn’t notice. The MDR menu selections were reduced a good amount, and lacked gourmet touches when it came to the ingredient quality and cooking technique. No special sauces, no complex flavors, barely/no textural components, no unique proteins/fish/etc, no Lobster night, and no prime rib or salmon every night like before. The MDR for breakfast and lunch was a COMPLETE afterthought in both food and service, glacial in pace (avg meal there was 1-1.5 hrs), and had a noisy ambiance forcing you to yell across a table of four just to hear each other (see sardine can notes above). Besides at the specialty dining, 75% of everything we saw was just repeating classic fare available every day and night. MDR dinner was barely considered a memorable event due to scaling back the quality & presentation so much (not to mention the service lacking), so they never felt that special like before. We’re not picky eaters at the end of the day. But most food options were seriously lacking that gourmet touch we expect when cruising (especially compared to the past); instead they just came off as upper-casual at best, or ideal for hangover recovery. ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment is all over the place from poor (eg After Midnight) to pretty good (eg Choir of Man). All the outdoor parties were underwhelming (deafening?), with the oldest of the age range doing most of the interacting/dancing while most of the youngest were just standing around and drinking. The comedy-magician guy was alright. Howl at the Moon was actually pretty good. The dance-off competition was funnier than the comedian. Again, all over the place. SHIP AREAS, ACTIVITIES, ETC: There were 2 shuffle board courts, a ropes course, water slides, 2 tiny pools, a kid-zone, a mini-golf course, and probably some other small things I cannot think of right now. The pools were empty most of the time, with people all around the perimeter dipping their feet. Why? Because a) the pools are too deep to touch the bottom, and b) they’re too cold to enjoy most of the time. At least they were salt water. The ropes course & mini golf were nice but forgettable, and could have been removed to make (desperately needed) space for more pools & hot tubs. The running track on deck 17 is obviously an afterthought. It didn’t have a dedicated pathway and is actually a hazard for both the runners and non-runners. Who wants to run while dodging puddles, loungers and second-hand smoke? The Waterfront on deck 8 was the ship’s saving grace for adults wanting R&R outside their stateroom. You can only walk on it due to dividers. It has plenty of chaises and lounge chairs to enjoy actual peace and quiet (something very rare on this ship). The muster drill is a congested joke to get up the elevators, so we just waited it out in the Waterfront (deck 8) until the crowds cleared. Deck 18 is a nice place to get some sun and relax, and there’s usually plenty of loungers available. There’s 2 hot tubs up there, outside of the Vibe Beach Club entrance. But the problem is that a) it sometimes is too windy to enjoy, and b) not enough hot tubs for the deck’s capacity, so they were always crowded. Spice H2O area is nice and adults only, but all the loungers are taken unless you snag one before 10am. Again, not enough space. The (scarce) umbrellas are almost always closed unless there’s barely any breeze, so hope you like tanning. Not enough hot tubs, and the waterfall just takes up wasted space. I mean, I could see the need to go black-Friday-doorbusters for the 1st-come-1st-serve Vibe passes at guest services upon embarkation (~$100 each IIRC), to get guaranteed access to umbrellas and hot tub. But because it’s deck 18, it’s oftentimes too windy to enjoy whenever. Enrichment activities were available, but many weren’t for pure knowledge and just ended up with upselling something you didn’t need. All other adult activities besides the gym, buffet, Waterfront & pools/tubs were basically fee applied. The gym was decent size for after 1st sea day when it cleared out, with plenty of treadmills, ellipticals, weight machines, etc as well as a yoga/dance room. The gift shop had some good items, clothing and jewelry for sale, and at decent prices during their flash sale events. Honestly, not all of it looked like chintzy Made in China stuff like I assumed. BERMUDA: Our 1st time visiting and we look forward to going back! We thoroughly enjoyed having a port of call for more than a day so we could explore it at our leisure. We did the mini-bus shore excursion which was a great way to see the island, but the experience is mostly all about the driver’s knowledge & proficiency (and we got a bad one). The Gibbs Hill Lighthouse area was probably my favorite part of the island. A view up there so nice that the Queen approved of it. The free ferry going from the dockyard to St. George (complete opposite side of the island) is nice if you go early to explore the area. We passed by Horseshoe Bay, and it’s $14 pp round-trip, but it appeared underwhelming with not-so-pink sand like we kept hearing. CONCLUSION: NCL Escape has so much room for improvement that there are some key areas that cannot be improved or fixed. Don’t get me wrong, the crew is overall pleasant and there’s activities here and there, but NCL needs to bring back the quality in dining, comfort and service. There’s not enough space in several ship areas, and NCL clearly knew this when designing the ship. They cram the passengers like a can of sardines in order to maximize profits. It’s kind of like the airlines: if nobody complains, they keep cutting. They act like a premium cruiseline by offering The Haven and specialty whatevers, but what about everyone else? NCL’s missing the big picture when it comes to what makes a cruise special, because they’re so transfixed on dumbing down everything to become plain or casual. Dining and entertainment experience has dropped to a new low which is unacceptable. Based on how the cruiseline trends are going, we’re basically left with no choice but to resort to the more premium lines (Princess, Holland America, Celebrity, etc) to ensure we get the quality and service we pay for. No more NCL for us, which is too bad! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I’m careful with my reviews because I read them carefully prior to booking and my hope is always the same, people that write point out the good as well as the bad. We have been in 17 cruises, with 5 different cruise lines. Nine of these ... Read More
I’m careful with my reviews because I read them carefully prior to booking and my hope is always the same, people that write point out the good as well as the bad. We have been in 17 cruises, with 5 different cruise lines. Nine of these cruises have been in a Norwegian ship. The various cruises were on Norwegian, carnival, Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean ships. The truth be told although most would think the same quality from ship to ship, and my guess possibly what the cruise line strives for, it’s just not the case. This review is regarding Norwegian cruises, specifically the Escape. As you will see I rated it excellent and do so with sincerity. We have taken cruises on the following Norwegian cruise ships, Escape, Breakaway, Dawn, Gem, Epic, and Pearl. There are and will always be a few hiccups so to speak on any vacation regardless of how taken. It’s not so much that a problem develops, what’s of more importance is how any issues are handled. The staff, Chiefs and management aboard the Escape far exceed that of all the other Norwegian ships we have been on. My wife as well as I have a variety of medical issues, all of which have the potential of ruined vacation if care is not taken by staff to assure cleanliness in the room of dust, sanitation throughout the ship to assure colds and illness isn’t spread but my wife having a major Gluten allergy Chiefs and waiter staff assuring foods are prepared and handled avoiding any chance of cross contamination. Entering the Escape a food service manager is assigned to any and all vacationers to assure food is handed in strick compliance. Regardless of so many areas of a ship to eat, anytime a key card is swiped in a food area, that supervisor somehow responds to the area to assure no mistakes are made. Although I’m sure many that cruise are aware this is done on other ships as well as other Norwegian lines... None are as careful as those on the Escape. In fairness, any ship can be just lucky or have a bad day. But with 5 cruises now on the Escape, each cruise on this ship has actually improved and a few supervisors as well as managers have kinda got to recognize us. Chiefs and food service staff routinely add to our experience by sending gluten free items/treats to the room for my wife to enjoy. Only drawback we have found on Norwegian is entertainment. Because we cruise so often on this cruise line, there is a bit of redundancy on shows. For example, although a great show, the magician dinner show has been running for over s year on this same ship. This being said for those similar to us that cruise often and enjoy a particular ship, we lose out on entertainment because after seeing several times it gets old. So my suggestion to Norwegian staff is IF they are going to keep a show or act for any extended period of time, that show should be updated with new material. For a magician I would think this would be easy to do, why it’s not done beats me. I would think after a year doing exactly the same thing would get old on the magician as well. Same goes with the Newly or not so newly wed show. How hard would it be to change up the questions asking guests called up to participate? I realize this is being a little critical of a ship I’m rating 5 stars, but Hope is someone in management looks over this review as well and possibly consider what I’m saying as a easy way to make trips even more enjoyable for others like us that cruise 3-5 times a year and are regulars on their ships. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first Norwegian Cruise, and I don't believe it will be the last! I will give my review in categories. Embarkation We arrived at the pier at around 10:45. Didn't have to wait too long in line before we were ... Read More
This was our first Norwegian Cruise, and I don't believe it will be the last! I will give my review in categories. Embarkation We arrived at the pier at around 10:45. Didn't have to wait too long in line before we were called. It was then that we learned that our cabin had been changed. We were no longer on deck 14. Now we were on deck 15, on the opposite side of the ship. I wanted to check out the new cabin before I complained. As it turned out the new cabin was quite acceptable. Cabin Our cabin steward was Jefferson. If we saw him 3 times during the cruise it was a lot. However, the room was always clean, and the towel animals that everyone was afraid were being done away with were always present. Bars Our first drink was in the Atrium Bar. There is nothing that tastes better than your first drink of the cruise! Every bar we went to always made us a good drink. The best bar was the Prime Meridian. They made the best martini there! Restaurants I can't say we had a bad meal on board. Everywhere we ate, from the Buffet to Cagney's, was really good! I'm a real prime rib fanatic and I can honestly say that the prime rib in the main dining room was just as good, if not better, than in Cagney's! Entertainment We only went to 3 shows, The Choir of Man, The Carole Kings (a Carole King Tribute), and Wine Lovers, The Musical. All were surprisingly excellent! We also saw a comedian, I can remember his name, that was also good. Spa As we weren't traveling with anyone, this trip was all about us! We treated ourselves to massages, daily acupuncture, and an algae cleansing bath. I also went for a full service shave! The spa staff was excellent! Shore Excursions Having been in Bermuda twice before we opted to take a mini-bus tour of the island to see if we missed anything. We hadn't! The tour was a nice way to spend a day. The Crew Those that I had interaction with were always very nice. My main complaint is I never saw the cruise director and I never saw the Captain. On my previous cruises I always ran into one or the other several times. Is this a normal occurrence on an NCL Cruise? The only real complaint I had was the lack of ventilation in the Casino and especially the cigar lounge. I love to smoke cigars! It was hard to enjoy a good stogie in there! There was no ventilation except for an overworked air-purifier. Whoever designed that place should be shot! If I ever cruise on Escape again I'll do my smoking on deck. Disembarkation Getting off the ship was as easy as getting on. We didn't have to wait long and our luggage was right there and customs was a breeze. Before you knew it we were home being licked to death by our dog! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The crew and staff were kind, courteous, helpful, and friendly. Our steward was always accommodating. We rarely went on the top deck because our balcony was lovely. The main dining rooms were beautiful - we especially loved the ... Read More
The crew and staff were kind, courteous, helpful, and friendly. Our steward was always accommodating. We rarely went on the top deck because our balcony was lovely. The main dining rooms were beautiful - we especially loved the Manhattan room - live music, great dining. O’Sheehans wings were delish! Did a couple of meals in the Garden cafe - lots of choices ... we preferred wait service, though. Entertainment was top notch - “After Midnight” and “Choir of Men” are must sees ... “Howl at the Moon” dueling pianos and comic Chris Bliss are also not to be missed. We bought a photo package and were delighted by all the background choices over the course of the week. All of the photographers were fun & easy to pose for. The shore excursions gave us a great taste of Bermuda and made us look forward to our next visit. So fabulous, almost afraid to do another cruise since it may not live up to the greatness! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Hubby and I have cruised in the spring out of NY on the Gem in 2017 and 2018. We were hesitant to cruise on the much larger Escape for this year's cruise. While we needed a map to find out where we were going much of the cruise, ... Read More
Hubby and I have cruised in the spring out of NY on the Gem in 2017 and 2018. We were hesitant to cruise on the much larger Escape for this year's cruise. While we needed a map to find out where we were going much of the cruise, everything was easy to find. Elevators (except for embarkation and disembarkation) ran quickly. The ship was so clean and bright and every crew member were smiling, helpful, and friendly. Officers were everywhere asking how you were, how things were, if they could help you with anything. Cagneys Steakhouse was excellent! Service and food outstanding. Moderno was a big disappointment and we had booked it 2x. The food came out so slowly. You'd get a piece of chicken, wait 10-15 minutes for another server. If the same server walked by you again, he'd pass because you already had whatever he was offering. Plus the food was very salty. O'Sheeans was ok. Nothing great, nothing bad. Bartenders were fun to watch. Garden Cafe was good. Haven Restaurant was outstanding. Every. single. time. Service was fantastic. Food was fantastic. Bermuda is gorgeous and it is on our list to visit again. What can I say about embarkation and disembarkation that hasn't already been said. Its a mess. Long lines, confused people. Elevators stuffed full and more people trying to squeeze in. There has to be a better way. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked with Friends who had never cruised b4 , then realized it was school vacation week so we opted for the haven, as we got upgrades, we got split up our friends moved to the 17th floor we were moved to the 9th. with no one to call ... Read More
We booked with Friends who had never cruised b4 , then realized it was school vacation week so we opted for the haven, as we got upgrades, we got split up our friends moved to the 17th floor we were moved to the 9th. with no one to call at NCL about this (we had a forward facing cabin that had an obstructed view of the staffs bow area) with a window in the bedroom that overlooked the staff area of the bow (no view) but people constantly working outside of our window. We were also directly above some sort of loading area with constant banging. We were woken up at 4:30 in the morning to the crew pressure washing outside of our bedroom window. Although the room itself was beautiful, we were extremely disappointed with our view and all of the activity around us. We were also disappointed in the separation from our travel companions. We bid to be in the Haven but were placed in a room 8 floors and 1/2 the length of the ship away. My husband suffers with severe foot pain and walking this distance was very difficult. Our room had access to the Haven but we were not in the Haven even though we paid the same amount of money as our friends. When we booked the cruise, we had a $500 credit to apply to our account and we are latitude members, so we do not understand why our travel companions, with no credit and no latitudes rewards ended up paying the exact same amount as us. It seems that they jack up the price to eat up the $500.00 credit. During the time that we spent in the Haven, the children on board ran wild. We paid extra to have an area away from the large crowds of people. We understand that it was school vacation but we couldn't even sit by the Haven pool (which should be quiet) because the pool and hot tubs were filled with children screaming MARCO POLO (which should be banned, especially in that area) Eating in the pool, throwing towels in the hot tub etc. I understand that kids will be kids but if the parents were not going to control them, it should have been up to the staff to say something. Even when we went to adult only areas, it was saturated with kids, including the adult only hot tub and pool, adult only bars, kids taking up seating, sleeping on couches so the parents could stay up and party. The theater had signs saying "no kids" in the front 3 rows, however it was packed with kids. For the record, there were many many people complaining about the behavior of the kids and lack of parental responsibility. I have been on many cruise vacations and the Escape is a beautiful ship but we were highly disappointed that we paid so much extra for a peaceful vacation and didn't get it. For the record, we have 4 grown children and multiple foster children so we are not immune to how children behave but would never allow them to behave in this manner ..... and one other thing who designs a ship that has SMOKING in a casino to have the casino OPEN AIR to TWO FLOORS ABOVE??? Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted to see Bermuda, and spend more than one day in port - this cruise fit the bill. Overall, a very good cruise, but there is room for improvement. First, the big positives: 1 - Balcony room was very nice - good bed, largest ... Read More
We wanted to see Bermuda, and spend more than one day in port - this cruise fit the bill. Overall, a very good cruise, but there is room for improvement. First, the big positives: 1 - Balcony room was very nice - good bed, largest shower (by comparison to other ships) we've seen, and a super room steward (friendly and helpful). 2 - Great cruise director and staff - personable and a lot of fun - no shortage of talent there. 3 - Good variety of entertainment options. 4 - Overall, a clean, nice ship. Room for improvement: 1 - While food was good, overall it was not as good as food we have had on Royal Caribbean and Princess. Less variety at the buffets than on Royal Caribbean and Princess. 2 - Maybe it was because it was a busy holiday week (Easter), but the bartenders were not as cheerful as we have seen on other ships. Also, while rest of crew was friendly, we received less "Good Morning" greetings than we have on other ships. While it might seem like a small, minor point, I think it definitely reflects on the overall friendliness of the entire crew. 3 - Deck 6 Atrium is a great place for the interactive shows and contests onboard with its neat high-definition wall screen. However, the overall size was too small for many of the events conducted there, leading to overcrowding and people fighting to get seats there, with the crowd overflowing into the Guest Services area. The situation could have been improved by moving the popular comedic adult games shows to a larger venue like the theater with more room. The games were a lot of fun, but the overcrowding hampered many from truly enjoying the shows. I have discussed the good, the bad, and now the UGLY: 1 - Only one truly poor thing, but unfortunately it was the last impression we had. The disembarking procedure was a horrible joke!! Two hours in a line winding from bow to stern, through halls and mazes in the main dining room, then on to the Customs maze (which only took about 15-20 minutes. No organization whatsoever, and a lot of angry passengers stuck forever between decks on staircases. Although groups of passengers were assigned departure times, none were observed or controlled by the ship personnel. Plus, handling your own bags made things move even slower. NCL - Take some lessons from Royal Caribbean - they have disembarking down to a science. When cruising on the Allure of the Seas, with 6,300 passengers, I was able to disembark, including Customs, in 15 minutes. With 4,000 on this NCL ship, it took another member of our group of friends over 3 hours - a total joke that quickly soured a lot of us to NCL. Again, overall a very good cruise, but if NCL could get its disembarking procedure totally changed, and tweak the few things I mentioned, it could have been a 5 star cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose ncl because they had a cruise in the dates we needed.. However we have sailed royal in the past. We have never had a crew argue with is about things we aren't happy with. We usually do a cash account and with doing so ncl ... Read More
We chose ncl because they had a cruise in the dates we needed.. However we have sailed royal in the past. We have never had a crew argue with is about things we aren't happy with. We usually do a cash account and with doing so ncl suspended our account 3 times on this cruise for owing money to them since they also did not allow us to remove automatic gratuities until the last day. So with them suspending the account we weren't able to buyanything on ship or get drinks with our ultimate drink package. They still charge you taxes on beverages as well. Boarding the ship took extremely roo long and getting off the ship was like being sent through a maze. This ship has no organization the ship itself made no sense . they do not enforce the adult only areas.... For such a large ship they only had one adults pool where there were always kids. Smoking on the ship is no where near a pool not even on the same deck. The pool when we did get in it was so crowded and sorry I got out immediately because I had a hand full of hair stuck to me. . the buffet food was aweful .. Just a horrible experience Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We had an AMAZING time! Everything was perfect. Jacky the cruise Director was awesome! He was very involved and had us laughing the entire time. All of the staff was so pleasant to be around. They always had a smile on their face and ... Read More
We had an AMAZING time! Everything was perfect. Jacky the cruise Director was awesome! He was very involved and had us laughing the entire time. All of the staff was so pleasant to be around. They always had a smile on their face and greeted us so cheerfully every time. They went above and beyond for us. I wouldn’t have changed a thing besides the final disembarkment process, that took FOREVER! All of the shows were so entertaining. Our favorite was Choir of Man and the Wine Lovers Musical. The comedians had great shows also. My husband and I did the Newlywed game and it was a blast. We had no idea that we would be famous because of it and everyone on the boat recognized us. Everyone on the boat was amazing. I felt like I was with family and I have been so sad since the day we got back because I miss it so much. Overall we are extremely happy with our experience and will definitely be back! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Sailed with NCL Escape on April 7,19 out of New York for the first time having done a few with NCL and other cruise lines before. It was one of our greatest sailings ever. We got a very nice large balcony cabin 8138, with two sunbathing ... Read More
Sailed with NCL Escape on April 7,19 out of New York for the first time having done a few with NCL and other cruise lines before. It was one of our greatest sailings ever. We got a very nice large balcony cabin 8138, with two sunbathing beds, tables and chairs. Our cabin steward was beyond awesome and friendly. At the restaurants, prior to making an order, the waitresses always asked about any food allergies you may have to have, and we really appreciate for doing that. I celebrated my Birthday during the sailing and must to say, that the attention of our cruise director Kivanc and his assistant Danielle made our sailing spectacular above and beyond all expectations. Thank you very much for everything! While I have been on other Norwegian ships and enjoyed them, I would probably do another cruise on the Escape. However couple things have to be improved: the variety of the night shows, and next cruise booking for Canadian guests (No Canadian dollar bookings on the CruiseNext Desk). I would like to thank Marthinus for all the help and support he provided. For the people who are planning to park their car at the port, be aware that the price per day is $40.00US. https://www.nycruise.com/manhattan-terminal/parking/ Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
It was my first time going on a cruise, and it has been a great experience overall. Cleanliness: The ship is very clean. I found staffs cleaning public area at least once every hour. The stewards would clean your room as requested by ... Read More
It was my first time going on a cruise, and it has been a great experience overall. Cleanliness: The ship is very clean. I found staffs cleaning public area at least once every hour. The stewards would clean your room as requested by simply pressing a button by your stateroom door. We had ours cleaned twice a day. I also looked forward to the towel animal on our bed every night. Shore Excursions: I was hesitated to get the shore excursions at first, thinking that it would be cheaper for me to arrange my own itinerary, but I'm glad that I added them. NCL prepared all the transportation, so there was nothing to worry about during vacation. For Port Canaveral, we chose Kennedy Space Center. We read reviews that it is not enough time to visit everything, but we found that it worked out fine if you researched on what you want to see beforehand. My husband and I downloaded the Kennedy Space Center app ahead of time, so we already knew which part we wanted to visit and got to see everything we planned. Our second stop was Great Stirrup Cay, but our ship could not stop there due to high winds. Nevertheless, NCL refunded us for our shore excursion immediately without delay. The captain also notified the passengers promptly, sent out an updated agenda in less than one hour, and stopped for an extra day at Nassau. For Nassau, we chose Aquaventure. They were not many people on the weekday, and you definitely have time to go on all the slides. It is also a plus that the staffs greeted all passengers with towels to clean our hands and refreshing drinks by the ship every time when we came back from shore. Food: The food were simply amazing. I'd highly recommend getting the speciality dining package to try a variety of food, just be prepared that the waiting time can be lengthy at times. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I just came back from the March 31st sailing from NY to the Bahamas and had a wonderful time on the beautiful Escape. I booked just a week in advance for a guarantee balcony (last minute deal) and lucked out with the aft balcony 12908, ... Read More
I just came back from the March 31st sailing from NY to the Bahamas and had a wonderful time on the beautiful Escape. I booked just a week in advance for a guarantee balcony (last minute deal) and lucked out with the aft balcony 12908, next to a Haven cabin. My new Platinum status came with all sort of perks that make me feel like a VIP. I arrived at the terminal at 10:38 and was able to check in immediately as Group 1 and boarded the ship by 11 am. After lunch, I went to the Supper Club and made the show reservations. I also went to CruiseNext desk to book the Behind the Scenes tour (very informative) for Platinum members which took place at 9:15 am the very next day. I saw 2 separate Supper Club shows (Comedian/Magician and Rocketman) and had 2 separate dinner menus. I also booked the Escape to the Big Top which is very challenging. One 1 out of the 10 teams was able to solve the puzzle with a minute left on the clock. I loved the Choir of Men show, saw it twice, enjoyed the choreography of After Midnight and it was fun to listen to Dueling Pianos (come early to grab seats). I then went to the Comedy Club to make the reservations for my 2 free specialty dinners (remember to grab the coupons to bring to dinner). Had a free bottle of wine with the Le Bistro dinner. The cabin was ready by 1:30 and had the free sparkling wine and water as my Platinum perks. Chocolate covered strawberries were delivered later that afternoon. I also received petit fours when we were in Nassau. I had fun on the water rides and the ropes course. Played Bocce for the very first time. Food at the buffet was decent too. We ate there for both the Seafood Night and the Oriental Night. Also had 2 types of wings at O'Sheehans. Had a great server Danilo at the Savor who was very attentive and serve our food promptly with no long waits in between. The game shows at the Atrium is always crowded so come early if you want a seat. The audience participation was wonderful so the shows were fun to watch. I stayed on the ship when we arrived at Port Canaveral to enjoy the activities onboard since I've been to the Kenneday Space Center. We didn't dock at Great Stirrup Cay due to high wind and arrived at Nassau instead by 1 pm. I signed up for the Atlantis Beach break and had a great time touring the resort, seeing the Big Dig aquarium and enjoying the waves at Atlantis Beach (paid $20 for a beach umbrella so bring some cash). On the next day, we paid $30/person for the 2.5 hour taxi tour around the island. We went to Fort Fincastle, Queen's Staircase, Fort and Beach Montague (calm beach) and instead of Atlantis, saw Cabbage Beach (beautiful but very high waves) instead. Afterwards, we walked around town for some shopping and also did the 15 minute walk to Junkanoo Beach (rocky in certain spots so need water shoes). On the final morning, we had a leisurely breakfast at Savor. Then played ping pong until our tag color was called. We had the Red tag and it took an hour to finally leave the ship and clear customs (lined up at 10 and exited by 11) . I think the aft exit might have a shorter wait since they don't have as much distance to walk. All in all, it was a great cruise and I would love to come back to the Escape again. Bought more CruiseNext certificates to apply toward future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband and I decided to take our first vacation together without our kids. He loves cruises and swears by them and I’ve only ever been on one cruise before this which was a great experience. This was not as great as I thought it ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take our first vacation together without our kids. He loves cruises and swears by them and I’ve only ever been on one cruise before this which was a great experience. This was not as great as I thought it would be. There seemed to be great things for young kids and elderly but not as much for the Middle Aged or couples trying to enjoy their time. Our first stop in Florida was a waste of time..not too sure why they would even make that a port to visit. We spent money on a shuttle to take us to cocoa beach and it was a complete waste of time. Weather was horrible and people were walking back before they even got there. Shuttle driver was telling us there is cvs and Walgreens as if they were a site to see. Anyways, our next stop was bahamas and that was great. Weather was perfect and the island owned by Norwegian cruise itself was beautiful..next was nassau bahamas which was extremely crowded because there was about 5 other cruise ships docked as well at the same time. Honestly most of our time was spent on the ship other then a few hours for the two bahama days. We didn’t have much to do so we ate most of the day because we didn’t know what else to do. Entertainment could of been much better..too Manucho trivia games which seemed to gear towards more of the older crowd. Dining was good but service on our previous cruise seemed much more better and personal. They made everyone feel special whereas here you can tell when they gave special attention to someone else because let’s say they were dining with a high ranking working. We hated that you had to make reservations for the show and that there was only 2 complimentary dining options plus the buffet. They have 25 dining options and only 2 are free so most of those stayed empty throughout the cruise.. waste of space and services. Shore excursions were extremely expensive and bahamas was ripping people off getting them to pay for aquarium and public beach that people were going in for free. Cabins were fine considering we had inside cabins but getting to the rooms was so confusing and they separated my husband and I from my brother and sister in law when they knew we were traveling together. I would go on a cruise again but not this one unfortunately. I wish I had taken my children atleast they would of enjoyed it much more. Atleast we got to rest though. Overall it was a average rating for all topics. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship is huge but the atrium (where it all happens) is tiny. There’s no room for the amount of people on the boat to attend the shows and fun things going around. There aren’t even enough show times for everyone to attend in the ... Read More
The ship is huge but the atrium (where it all happens) is tiny. There’s no room for the amount of people on the boat to attend the shows and fun things going around. There aren’t even enough show times for everyone to attend in the main theatre. You have to make reservations right away or you won’t get in. Some shows were BORING. Entertainment was not good. I liked the entertainment in the supper club, which is kind of hidden and no one knows is free. There’s so much on the ship that has a hidden cost. We had lots of incorrect charges on our account that Norwegian made nearly impossible to have removed. We were charged for the mini bar that we had removed on day 1.. as well as charges from one of the restaurants for the drinks that they brought that were incorrect. Still have not been reimbursed. We only saw the cruise director once... and we attended a lot of things. He didn’t go above and beyond. We wanted to go to the staff talent show but the theatre was so full you couldn’t get near it. The pool is also so small we were only able to get in it once. The hot tubs there were maybe like 2 on the main deck and 2 elsewhere on other decks. Could not even get into! Why such a big ship and not more on the decks? The gym is the tiniest little sad thing. They must have really just overbooked the cruiise ship or have way too many staterooms. I thought the food was good but at the buffets the food wasn’t hot which worries me a little bit. The main dining room food was really good and hot though. Port Canaveral is not a good port to stop at. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our second time on the Escape, enjoyed it a little better the first time. The first time we went was in September and leaving from Miami so the weather was a bit different and the waves were a bit bigger this time. I traveled ... Read More
This was our second time on the Escape, enjoyed it a little better the first time. The first time we went was in September and leaving from Miami so the weather was a bit different and the waves were a bit bigger this time. I traveled with my husband, 14 year old son and 19 year old daughter. It was very easy getting on and off the ship. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smooth and was very organized! Entertainment- Headliners Comedy club was very good. We didn't go to the dueling pianos on this cruise but always have and we always enjoyed it. After Midnight was good. By far the best show on this cruise and probably I've seen on any cruise was Choir of Man! This bunch on guys really knew how to get the audience involved and they put on a fantastic show! Loved every minute of the show!!! Cruise Director Scott is great and the rest of the entertainment crew do a great job as well!!! There is always something to do. Dining- We ate in at Cagney's and La Cucina for Specialty Dining and both were excellent from beginning to end. The service was very attentive and perfect timing in between courses. The food was excellent! At La Cucina our favorites were the mushroom risotto and the fettuccine alfredo! Parmesan Truffle Fries, Crab Cake and Pork Belly were the favorites at Cagney's aside from the delicious Steaks! The food at O'Sheehans was very fresh and tasted great. The chicken wings and the Fish and Chips were our favorites. The service there was also excellent. We ate at each of the main dining rooms. The service isn't as attentive and the selections aren't as great but that's why they have the Specialty Dining experience. I'm not really a fan of the Buffet but that's my personal preference. They do have very good varieties and the food is not bad for a buffet. Value- I feel like if you can go on the ship and tell yourself that you are not going to spend any money, the cruise is at a decent value. It's very hard to not be tempted by the things that cost extra and if you're traveling with kids it's even more difficult. There are a lot of things on the ship that cost extra. Cabin- We stayed in a Family Mini Suite with Balcony. It was a decent size for a cruise cabin but definately a tight space as most cabins are. Shout out to Jenifer, she was very attentive to us and kept our room clean! First day we asked for extra pillows and towels and we had within an hour. Ports and Shore Excursions- If I were to do this itinerary again I would definitely go a different time of the year. Florida was cold and rainy. My husband and son went to Kennedy Space Center and they said it was great but wish they had more time as you weren't able to get off the ship until 1. My daughter and I took a Shuttle to Cocoa Beach. One huge suggestion I have about that is to book it on the ship. It costs the same and you will have priority. The long was ridiculously long for the shuttle and a lot of people were complaining about the wait. Great Stirrup Cay was absolutely beautiful and the weather was great! Other reviews that I have read have said that a lot of times you are unable to go to Great Stirrup Cay due to having to take the Tender Boat. They say a lot of times the winds and waves make the Tender Boat unsafe. You can use your beverage package on the island and the meals are included. So many other things cost extra there though, none of the water sports are included, not even a float. Nassau was a rainy day and it was difficult to shop because so many people stop you to try to sell you stuff. I would definitely suggest booking an excursion. Overall I do love the Escape and I love cruising NCL. The service is excellent and the food is very good overall! I wouldn't cruise this time of year again but I will definitely cruise NCL again. 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband and I took our 1st cruise last week and it will be out last. For starters we were supposed to receive a copy of our final bill by 5:00 a.m. the morning of departure & didn't. Arriving home we were charged $300 with ... Read More
My husband and I took our 1st cruise last week and it will be out last. For starters we were supposed to receive a copy of our final bill by 5:00 a.m. the morning of departure & didn't. Arriving home we were charged $300 with no explanation, logged into our account & our summary is "unavailable". We checked our charges the night before and they were $114 which we agreed with. We did not make it to Great Stirrup Cay which was the main reason we booked this cruise to begin with. I called guest services on board to find out what was happening and was rudely told we can do this it's in the fine print. I asked where we could go in Nassau and if there will be beaches nearby and was told there is a beach within walking distance but it's not that nice so we could take a taxi to another beach. I advised that we were nervous to do so in a country we are not familiar with especially since I am pregnant. I was then told I don't know what else to tell you and hung up on. Speaking of my pregnancy I was extremely upset to learn the casino is in the middle of the ship in the middle of everything, I had to walk through second hand smoke daily and expose both myself and unborn child when my doctor has specifically told me to stay away from it. Not only was the smoke on floor 7, but 6 & 8 b/c your casino is not closed off & smoke is not contained. Its disgusting and unsafe for pregnant guests, children, elderly and those medical conditions! It was evident to us throughout our entire cruise that the staff hates their job. 80% of the staff we encountered were rude, nasty, & annoyed by the fact that they had to do their job. We traveled with someone who has an allergy and every meal was a disaster waiters would roll their eyes at her & walk away without answering her question. 90% of our meals were either incorrect or we just wouldn't get what we ordered. My husband & I attempted the buffet and on 2 SEPARATE OCCASIONS we found HAIR IN OUR FOOD! Although our room was clean there were 2 -3 occasions we found LONG BLACK HAIR in our clean towels when getting out of the shower (WE ARE BLONDE)!I called guest services again to make restaurant reservations and was told there weren't any, I could try just going and see if they could get me in. When I explained my frustration and disappointment with our trip, we were again abruptly hung up on. Finally, on our second day in Nassau we got off the boat around 10:30 a.m. I had to go right back on the boat as I was not feeling well only to find out this is when Norwegian thought it would be a good time to hold your fire drill and stopped all elevators. I had to climb the stairs all the way to the 13th floor pregnant and not feeling well. My husband and I are so disgusted with Norwegian and our trip Our vacation was not enjoyable at all. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We ended up choosing this particular cruise so we could enjoy the best of two worlds. The ship, and the port destinations. Being that this was our first cruise, and one of the biggest ships in the industry, we had to allow ourselves ... Read More
We ended up choosing this particular cruise so we could enjoy the best of two worlds. The ship, and the port destinations. Being that this was our first cruise, and one of the biggest ships in the industry, we had to allow ourselves enough time to enjoy both things. The staff on the Norwegian Escape were the best and truly made you feel welcomed and taken care of. Our first night was an interesting one for everyone. Around midnight, we were woken up from our stateroom from a big gust of wind that tilted the ship and sent things flying. This incident lasted about 3-4 minutes, but it seemed like a lot longer. We were thankfully in our bed when the incident happened. Unfortunately a lot of people were still around the ship and were injured. Again the staff did a fantastic job taking care of the situation. When we woke up the next day, the ship was cleaned up and everything was back the way it was originally. This particular storm made national news and I am grateful to have experienced such an experience, but the way the staff handled the situation, it was like an everyday experience for them. They were amazing and on top of everything. We had a few pieces of broken glass in our room which we were able to clean up a bit, but as soon as they could, they were there to clean it up for us. As our cruise continued on its path to our next port, we continued to enjoy everything the ship had to offer. There is so much on this ship to experience, and take in. The comedy shows were our favorite, and there was always plenty to see from them. They have it all planned out so that particular shows have different material. Next we enjoyed the Broadway shows After Midnight, Choir of Man, and Company of Men. Choir of Man was our favorite and enjoyed the pub style show with free beer before the show starts. The shows were included in our travel fare, and were amazing. I would highly recommend taking in all the shows they have to offer. Overall the ports and the trip was great. It was unfortunate that we couldn't enjoy Great Stir Up Cay, but we did get to enjoy two wonderful nights in Nassau, Bahamas. We used day one for swimming, and day two for shopping. Had we been there for only one day, this would of been difficult to accomplish. On the ship there is so much to take in. There is a rope course, several water slides, a miniature putt putt course, and several pools and hot tubs. If you are thinking of a cruise, and not sure what to choose, The Norwegian Escape will certainly give you an amazing cruise and vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We just returned from a 7-day cruise. This was cruise #6 with Norwegian and we have never had a complaint - before this. Our cabin steward was pleasant enough when he saw us but seemed to really not care. We got our comp sparkling wine the ... Read More
We just returned from a 7-day cruise. This was cruise #6 with Norwegian and we have never had a complaint - before this. Our cabin steward was pleasant enough when he saw us but seemed to really not care. We got our comp sparkling wine the 2nd night. We asked for ice one afternoon and never got it. He rarely changed our dirty glasses. We have always sailed on ships that have smoking areas that are either enclosed or out of the way. On this ship, one must cross through smoking areas to get to other areas of the ship. Sadly, while we love piano bars, we had to give this one a miss as it was in a smoking area. Further, the casino (a smoking area) is mid-ship and the smoke rises to other areas on other floors. We found the hostesses at the comp restaurants cold and officious - something we'd never experienced on a Norwegian ship before. And, as others have mentioned, service in the restaurants was brutally slow. We did enjoy the shows that we went to - they were top-notch. And, as before, we really have no complaints about the food - although they could really add more veggies to the dishes in the sit-down restaurants. Had this been our first Norwegian cruise, we would never return. We will certainly never book on the Escape again. 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
Norwegian Escape Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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